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Topic - Has there ever been a better time to be a climber?

Andy Moles - on 26 Feb 2014
The old boys will say with great vehemence and condescension that there has, but since when did old boys ever say 'it wasn't as good in my day'?

There are some aspects of climbing in the past that must have been nice. It must have been easier to find convenient, high-quality unclimbed lines, for a start. Limited information must have made things more exciting, outside the world of instant news and youtube, where nothing surprises us any more. I can imagine there was more of a sense of community, with fewer people doing it; maybe the 'scene' was better here or there - but then scenes are always better if you're a part of them. I understand there weren't so many women involved?

What about now? If you want to have traditional adventures, eschew the beta-heavy internet-forum culture of dependence, you can. At the other end of the spectrum, if you just want to dip your toes in, there are so many beginner-friendly ways of doing that. You can do everything from winter alpinism to bouldering, or specialise in whatever you like best. There's good access to whatever information you need, and well-developed equipment too - the flipside of a burgeoning commercialism that infects people with a greater love of gear than climbing.

Overall, have we lost as much as we've gained?
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