/ USA climbing
Think there's something called the access fund, for that side of things.
Isn't there the American Alpine Association? I think that is fairly similar. Don't quote me on that though!
They seem to have less structures than those found in Europe. There are big clubs like the AAC and the ACC, but no BMC type organisations that I know of. Nobody that gathers info and promotes best practice in any sort of semi-academic way. rgold or USBRIT would know for sure.
>Nobody that gathers info and promotes best practice in any sort of semi-academic way.
Try this...ACCIDENTS IN NORTH AMERICAN MOUNTAINEERING
Way ahead of anything in the UK....in fact many climbing accident statistics in the UK, especially indoor ones, are hidden from us all for some reason.
Its a great read Mick, but do they record anything apart from accidents? Do they do any testing? Do they promote good practice? Do they offer advice for groups etc?
Whats more, many of the locals don't seem to have the same connection we have with the BMC and there's no one UKC to channel info.
When I visit crags & walls, I often see all manner of bizarre and ancient belaying techniques that have either long ago been dropped in Europe or never took hold in the first place. People come up to me at crags and tell me that I will die if I belay from the rope loop. Many seem to prefer rumour and myth to data and knowledge. And to those that don't like top roping, standby for a shock if go to the US. Apologies OP for the hijack / rant.
Speaking to American climbers this year, they were amazed when I told them the BMC occasionally gets invited into Downing Street. That's the power of having a single umbrella body for you, though to be fair climbers and hillwalkers are probably a bigger proportion of the population in the UK than the US.
> though to be fair climbers and hillwalkers are probably a bigger proportion of the population in the UK than the US.
> Way ahead of anything in the UK....in fact many climbing accident statistics in the UK, especially indoor ones, are hidden from us all for some reason.
Have to agree with you there Mick, I just can't imagine the BMC, MREW, MRS and MCoS putting together a similar yearly round up. It makes for interesting reading, as many of the accidents have pretty low number of similar causes. It took me a while to realise that RUNP had the meaning roped up no pro.
> Its a great read Mick, but do they record anything apart from accidents? Do they do any testing? Do they promote good practice? Do they offer advice for groups etc?
I think j2v's point is fair. The AAC is relatively small and still struggling to fully shed the air of an exclusive gentleman's club it started out as. Only relatively recently have they realized that membership numbers really matter. They make little or no attempt to attract hikers and other non-climbing outdoorspeople.
As a result, they don't have anything like the financial resources to mount the kind of serious testing programs one sees from the CAI and DAV, for example. Added to these structural defects is the sociological fact at Americans are not club joiners in general and climbing still has a rapidly fading but not entirely extinguished counter-culture aura.
The upshot is that climbing testing in the U.S. has been relegated to a few academics, rescue professionals, guide organizations, and individuals with varying degrees of grounding in the underlying physics of the phenomena they are testing, so that many so-called results are even contradictory and, in any case, hampered by a lack of statistical significance as well as being encumbered by unacknowledged assumptions and then interpreted in ways not supported by the original experimental conditions. In this general cacophony of "data," it is very hard to judge what is worth believing and what isn't.
Without any clearly authoritative voice, US climbers rely on folklore and tradition, and so are likely to confront j2v over his belaying choices without actually knowing much to justify their criticisms. And then more and more climbers are taught by guides and gyms, who necessarily have to standardize their approaches, in the process blunting many of the nuances that govern real climbing choices.
The clubs and organizations don't seem to be up to the task, or else are simply not interested in promulgating "best practices" to an anarchic group. No home-grown Jim Titt has shown up to confront long-held assumptions with hard analysis, and so we remain in many ways remarkably ignorant, relative to the amount of climbing and the expertise of our climbers, of the safest way to do things.
"Try this...ACCIDENTS IN NORTH AMERICAN MOUNTAINEERING
Way ahead of anything in the UK....in fact many climbing accident statistics in the UK, especially indoor ones, are hidden from us all for some reason."
Not really as the info relies on self reporting. I just don't believe the accdient stats are even close to those figures for the non fatal accidents: just compare to Yosemite rescue stats which are well kept and extrapolate. I don't disagree that some central data collection would be useful but it wouldn't be cheap and should really come from donations.
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