/ University of Sheffield Mountaineering Club's Freshers Climb

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Elis Evans on 08:38 Fri
Lawrencefield The club will be having its annual freshers climb on Sunday 25th of September, meaning we will be taking many people down to Lawrencefield. Just a warning then that the crag will be extremely busy for the majority of the day. We will have top ropes on Gingerbread Slab from 11-4, possibly later. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.
deepsoup - on 09:16 Fri
In reply to Elis Evans:
> We will have top ropes on Gingerbread Slab from 11-4

Unacceptable. You can't simply block-book a popular section of a popular crag for 5 hours or more.

Here's last year's post equivalent to yours:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=625297
"This Sunday (27th September) the University of Sheffield Mountaineering Club will be running our annual Freshers' Climb at Lawrencefield. We expect the crag to be exceptionally busy, so suggest avoiding it if possible. If you do come to Lawrencefield, we will try our best to not get in your way."

Do you see why this is better?

Have you read these?
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/5-steps-to-planning-the-perfect-freshers-climbing-meet
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Download.aspx?id=1330

Valkyrie1968 - on 09:31 Fri
In reply to deepsoup:

> Unacceptable. You can't simply block-book a popular section of a popular crag for 5 hours or more.

They haven't so much 'block-booked' it as said that they plan on putting topropes up, specifically so that anyone who was, say, planning on making a long journey to climb there has the opportunity to consider another venue, of which there are a few in the Peak. I'd say that it's also pretty decent of them in the sense of simply letting people know that a large quantity of people will be there in the first place, especially as they'll mostly be first-year uni students - I sure as hell don't want to be anywhere near that lot while trying to climb (having once been a first-year, I know how much shit gets chatted), even at the other side of the quarry, so I appreciate the heads-up. I'm pretty confident that, were someone to turn up and want to lead one of the routes, they'd be very accommodating, considering the fact that the people running these meets are, in fact, real climbers themselves.

Honestly, though, it's a shit part of the crag, so why not let them have it? It's convenient for their purposes, and I'm sure we'd all rather the topropes were on already-trashed, not particularly good routes at Lawrencefield than three-star ones at Stanage or Froggatt. I can't help but feel that anyone who has their day ruined by finding topropes on one-star routes probably needs some sort of short sharp shock anyway.
neilh - on 09:44 Fri
In reply to Elis Evans:

I am there from 9am to 2pm with my team and we will also be on the slabs.

What do you propose we do to sort this out?
fromsinkingships on 09:51 Fri
In reply to deepsoup:

Informative links, I feel the following is particularly insightful:

"Something that has worked well in the past has been a single online thread [...] Unfortunately these threads have sometimes descended into general criticism of student clubs, which isn’t what we’re trying to achieve."
deepsoup - on 09:53 Fri
In reply to Valkyrie1968:
> They haven't so much 'block-booked' it as said that they plan on putting topropes up
And plan also on leaving them in situ from 11-5, maybe later - extremely poor form from those bringing groups of novices to the crags, commercial or otherwise.

Also, I don't recognise your description. Gingerbread Wall doesn't strike me as "a shit part of the crag" at all. Gingerbread is a nice fluttery VS/HVS. Snail Crack and Nailsbane are both good routes for the early leads of relative beginners. The bold and technical slab climbs in between are not 3 star classics, granted, but don't need any further trashing from top-roped novices with no chance of climbing them cleanly.

Here's another previous Sheffield Uni freshers' meet heads up:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=475888

"Hi all, just a message to let you know that the High Peak Club from Sheffield University will be conducting their Freshers Climb at the Roadside Bay at Lawrencefield throughout the day of the 25th of September (Sunday Coming). The Pool Wall will also be fairly busy with leading pairs as well. We apologise for any problems caused."

Some freshers' meets are run better than others, and for the last few years I believe Manchester and Sheffield (among others) have done particularly well, setting an example of good practice to minimise the impact of their large groups on the crag and other users of the crag.

Bunging multiple top-ropes on Gingerbread slab and leaving them in situ all day is most definitely not good practice, and it would be a shame to see the Sheffield club setting a different kind of example.
Post edited at 09:58
Valkyrie1968 - on 10:06 Fri
In reply to deepsoup:

We'll just have to disagree about the quality of Gingerbread Slab, but that's incidental to the point here. What's salient is that you're judging the actions of a group before those actions have even occurred, on the basis of what has been said in the past and what hasn't been said today. It's such nonsense to suggest that, because they haven't said that they'll happily move topropes, they won't; the phrase "We will have top ropes on Gingerbread Slab from 11-4, possibly later" doesn't, admittedly, reek of a desire to keep others happy, but it equally doesn't mean that those in charge on Sunday will tell anyone who walks over and asks for a toprope to be moved to piss off. Those who grumble under their breath about topropes being in the way and don't actually say anything, or act confontationally, probably won't get what they want, but such people don't deserve to.

More importantly, I think that your replies here evince the classic UKC perspective on top-roping and uni groups: That anyone who wishes to notify others that toproping on a large scale will be occurring must acknowledge its inferiority to leading and prostrate themselves before the community, demonstrating sufficient humility and knowledge of the etiquette of British crag climbing that they will be allowed to do this by our benevolent overlords. All of this, however, is wrong. Freshers meets, and toproping more generally, are going to happen, and they're going to happen somewhere; the organisers don't have to announce when and where, but doing so means that those of us who use UKC know where to avoid on the day. Coming out with the sort of crap that you've come out with will do nothing but make future discussions of freshers meets include the question 'what's the point of posting on UKC anyway, when all it leads to is baseless slandering?', and so in the future people may not even bother notifying us. As Chris's quotation above observes, this kind of thread usually degenerates into all sorts of accusations being thrown around, in this case before anything has happened, and so only serve to widen the gap between university clubs and UKC, or at least the older, more vocal element, who have nothing better to do but bitch and moan.
James Malloch - on 10:12 Fri
In reply to deepsoup:

They definitely do read the BMC guidance.

> Step one – safety

Tick
This will be thought about and covered

> Step two – minimising impact

Tick
A careful crag choice (and routes) has been made and has worked well for freshers meets over the last however many years without issue.
Whilst micro groups are ideal, it's not always convenient. BMC says that top-roping is fine if done considerately. Given the numbers often in attendance it is hard to split into small groups without having to take over the full crag. By choosing some easy, low/no starred routes to allow people to top-rope, it is minimising the impact to others. If someone really wants to climb one of these routes I'm sure they would be happy to put the rope aside and let they have a go.

By having slacklines up etc it keeps everyone occupied without the need for everyone to be climbing.

> Step three – protect the rock

Tick
The club always seeks to minimise damage.

> Step four – communication

From my experience of this meet, other people at the crag have always had a good day out too and not been impacted. Seems to have worked thus far.

> Step five – advertise your plans

Clearly this has been done. Perhaps the wording could have been better but shit happens.


In summary, UoSMC works hard to put on a successful freshers meets. Those in recent years have been well thought out and have received positive feedback from others. if the REALLY impacts your plans they will be more than happy to accommodate you but in reality one afternoon on some mediocre routes isn't going to end the world.
galpinos on 10:20 Fri
In reply to James Malloch:

> In summary, UoSMC ......

Totally of topic but..... Has the SCUM moniker been dropped?

Ramblin dave - on 10:22 Fri
In reply to James Malloch:

> BMC says that top-roping is fine if done considerately. Given the numbers often in attendance it is hard to split into small groups without having to take over the full crag. By choosing some easy, low/no starred routes to allow people to top-rope, it is minimising the impact to others. If someone really wants to climb one of these routes I'm sure they would be happy to put the rope aside and let they have a go.

I'd hope that that's the case as well, and I'd guess that it probably is, but I can see how the way that they've communicated it (or failed to do so) in the original post has rubbed some people up the wrong way.
nicmac - on 10:22 Fri
In reply to neilh:

I think they got first dibbs ;-)
stevieb - on 10:24 Fri
In reply to Elis Evans:

Thanks for letting everyone know.

If you edit your post to include something like last year's post-
If you do come to Lawrencefield, we will try our best to not get in your way - it would improve the tone, and you might get less grief.
bpmclimb on 10:29 Fri
In reply to James Malloch:

> Tick

> The club always seeks to minimise damage.



That rather has the ring of one of those bland policy statements you get from companies and politicians; it's not realistic to expect such a vague assertion to allay climbers' concerns.

Will you, for example, be making sure that all your climbers wear rock boots, and making sure they're clean before climbing the rock?

deepsoup - on 11:01 Fri
In reply to fromsinkingships:
They are informative links, i believe, that's why I posted them.
You feel that "general criticism of student clubs" is what I'm doing here? Not my intention at all.

I've encountered large uni groups on the Eastern grit many times over the years and have admittedly sometimes found them very irritating. On other occasions though I've found them an absolute delight to be around. I'm not the curmudgeonly old tw*t Valkyrie1968 thinks I am, believe it or not, and the enthusiasm of the young is immensely uplifting.

The Sheffield Uni groups of the last few years would definitely be more of the latter for me, their freshers' meets have been pretty exemplary, long may that continue. The OP that began this thread didn't seem to me to bode well, hopefully I'm as wrong as you think I am.

Valkyrie, I'm not asking anyone to "prostrate themselves before the community, demonstrating sufficient humility and knowledge of the etiquette", but I would hope that everyone taking large groups to these busy crags is aware of, and makes an effort to follow, the code of practice laid out in that Green Guide.
James Malloch - on 11:04 Fri
In reply to bpmclimb:

> That rather has the ring of one of those bland policy statements you get from companies and politicians; it's not realistic to expect such a vague assertion to allay climbers' concerns.

> Will you, for example, be making sure that all your climbers wear rock boots, and making sure they're clean before climbing the rock?

I'm an ex-student/member now living away so will not be involved and therefore can't speak on behalf of the new committee. However in the past, when I was helping run this event, if rock boots could be found or borrowed then they were used. There was also an emphasis on the cleaning of shoes prior to climbing.

Sure, some people will be climbing in trainers which can't be perfectly clean and it's not ideal, but that's an unfortunate problem when you have clubs with limited funding and resource combined with lots of people who are interested in joining / trying out climbing for the first time.

However that's where sensible route choices (such as low grade, low starred routes such as on gingerbread slab) make a difference.

Nothing is ever perfect and not everyone will be pleased, but the club tries its best to mitigate risks of damage, disruption and problems and brings many new people into an activity that they'll love and will become a dominant part of their life.
deepsoup - on 11:32 Fri
In reply to James Malloch:
> They definitely do read the BMC guidance.
Glad to hear it.

> A careful crag choice (and routes) has been made and has worked well for freshers meets over the last however many years without issue.
Yes, from what I've seen I'd agree that you've done well the last few years.

> Whilst micro groups are ideal, it's not always convenient. BMC says that top-roping is fine if done considerately.
Indeed. You've tended to do the bulk of your top-roping in the Roadside Bay rather than over by the pool previous years haven't you?

> Perhaps the wording could have been better but shit happens.
If that's all it is, cool. It certainly could have been, but yes it does.
Simon Caldwell - on 11:39 Fri
In reply to James Malloch:

> A careful crag choice (and routes) has been made

Do you think so? I'd say it's one of the poorer choices available - a popular but relatively small crag, with an even smaller section which most visitors head for (I don't think I've ever been there and not found people climbing on gingerbread slab routes), and they've chosen this section to set up their top ropes.
At least if they'd picked somewhere like Stanage then there are hundreds of other routes available for others to climb.

Damn, I've got involved in a freshers thread.
Valkyrie1968 - on 11:43 Fri
In reply to deepsoup:
> Valkyrie, I'm not asking anyone to "prostrate themselves before the community, demonstrating sufficient humility and knowledge of the etiquette", but I would hope that everyone taking large groups to these busy crags is aware of, and makes an effort to follow, the code of practice laid out in that Green Guide.

My point is simply that, by assuming the worst regarding behaviour that hasn't happened yet, based on nothing but some bad experiences (which as you say yourself, have been outnumbered by good experiences) and the tone of a post, you're coming across as somewhat (in your words) curmudgeonly. I'm sure that's not what you had in mind, and you simply wanted to ensure that people follow best-practice, but assuming that they won't and telling them off in advance simply means that next year's committee might not bother going to the trouble of putting up a courtesy post, as this year's generated more replies along the lines of yours - opening with the inimical "Unacceptable." - than ones simply saying "Cheers for the heads up, hope it goes well".

I think that that would be a shame; on a personal level, it means that I don't have to arrive at a crag and deal with the visual and aural horror of first-year students, rolling around in filth and loudly talking about how hungover they are, and more broadly it would signify an even more pronounced divide between uni clubs and the climbing community as a whole.

So, cheers for the heads up, hope it goes well.
Post edited at 11:44
Ramblin dave - on 11:51 Fri
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

There are arguments either way. But if people are generally thinking about how to minimize their impact then I'd rather see them applauded for making the effort than taken to task for arguably not doing it precisely optimally - they'll still be a hell of a lot better than a group who just don't care.

(Although yeah, FWIW I'd always thought that the roadside bay was the canonical group toproping area at Lawrencefield, too...)
kedvenc72 - on 12:00 Fri
In reply to Elis Evans:
Seems to me that the main problem is that there are just not enough decent venues in the Peak. It's pretty obvious, to any old keyboard jocky in the know, that everyone will be wanting to climb on gingerbread slab on that day and no other day is actually possible for the next decade at least. The only other viable venue, of comparable quality, is the Hells Bells area of Millstone. Being in the opposite direction to where everyone, on that day, will be going, it is simply out of the question. I suggest you all go f*ck yourselves.
Post edited at 12:02
ianstevens - on 12:01 Fri
In reply to James Malloch:

But you need to remeber that a) people like to be outraged out of all proportion over simple things, and b) have an arbitary hatred of University clubs.
davidbeynon - on 12:03 Fri
In reply to Elis Evans:
It's good to see that the annual "Freshers go climbing" car crash threads are getting off to a strong start this year. September is the best of all the months for internet climber rage!
Post edited at 12:05
James Malloch - on 12:23 Fri
In reply to ianstevens:

As an aside, if it were up to me they'd all be off to minus 10 - the real jewel of the peak. If any of the freshers are like I was then they'll soon defect to the limestone anyway when they realise they won't get strong fingers by climbing on grit.
neilh - on 12:32 Fri
In reply to nicmac:

I hope they get there before us then!

LOL
davidbeynon - on 12:35 Fri
In reply to kedvenc72:

If everyone in the peak is descending on Gingerbread Slab then I'm going to take the rare opportunity to avoid the queues at Stannington Ruffs!
paul__in_sheffield - on 12:37 Fri
In reply to James Malloch:

> As an aside, if it were up to me they'd all be off to minus 10 - the real jewel of the peak. If any of the freshers are like I was then they'll soon defect to the limestone anyway when they realise they won't get strong fingers by climbing on grit.

Totally agree, along with the other Peak Jewels: Tom's Roof, Tom's Cave, Rubicon, Raven Tor and Blackwell Dale.
Mrs Paul_in_Sheffield and I were eliminate bouldering on Carreg Hyll Drem on Saturday rather than losing strength on Welsh trad. ;-)
kedvenc72 - on 12:52 Fri
In reply to davidbeynon:

ssshh, or everyone will realise the same thing.
DerwentDiluted - on 13:03 Fri
In reply to davidbeynon:

> If everyone in the peak is descending on Gingerbread Slab then I'm going to take the rare opportunity to avoid the queues at Stannington Ruffs!

Merman's Meander (M) <shudders>
BAdhoc - on 13:10 Fri
In reply to Elis Evans:
With paid car parking such as Lawrencefield it is better to know beforehand, thanks for posting.

I'm sure as a long-founded club you will already know this, but please can you ensure the use of clean climbing shoes on the slab. Just saying as I've seen a lot of groups overlook this when busy/excited to get out, and trainers and/or mucky rock boots on an E1 slab are never a good thing!

Edit : just seen this was already mentioned, must have missed it oops - partially selfish concern as i still have one of the slab routes left to do!
Post edited at 13:14
kedvenc72 - on 13:10 Fri
In reply to davidbeynon:

There may be no queues but I've installed in-situ top ropes on all the classics.
kedvenc72 - on 13:13 Fri
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

That is one hell of a route description.
davidbeynon - on 13:13 Fri
In reply to kedvenc72:

All the classics or just all the acknowledged classics?
kedvenc72 - on 13:18 Fri
In reply to davidbeynon:
ALL the classics. Pretty much the entire crag.
Post edited at 13:19
davidbeynon - on 13:27 Fri
In reply to kedvenc72:

You rotter!
deepsoup - on 13:27 Fri
In reply to DerwentDiluted:
Ha ha. That's a great description.
Truly you are the choss botherer's choss botherer and an inspiration to us all.
davidbeynon - on 13:31 Fri
In reply to DerwentDiluted:
That looks brilliant. Unfortunately it has a top rope on it for the forseeable future so I won't get to lead it.

If that kind of climb is your thing then you would love the Exmoor coast!
Post edited at 13:36
Graham Hoey - on 15:16 Fri
In reply to Elis Evans:

Good grief, how standards in SCUM have dropped. I remember the SCUM freshers meet being at Gogarth back in the mid-seventies
James Malloch - on 16:16 Fri
In reply to Graham Hoey:

The first freshers meet is, I believe, held at Tremadog each year. Though it's a few weeks into the semester vs. this which is something where anyone and everyone can come along for a quick taster before committing to joining and whether to go one the first proper meet.

I think sea cliffs are banned now too due to past accidents.
TobyA on 16:31 Fri
In reply to davidbeynon:

> It's good to see that the annual "Freshers go climbing" car crash threads are getting off to a strong start this year.

Agreed. The annual tradition is being celebrated strongly this year!

> September is the best of all the months for internet climber rage!

Disagree, it's normally October when someone climbs Pygmy Ridge fully tooled up after a sprinkle of powdery snow and the British climbing internet explodes.

davidbeynon - on 16:49 Fri
In reply to TobyA:

I eagerly await the first frost on Kinder.
GrahamD - on 16:57 Fri
In reply to davidbeynon:

Is it in yet ?
davidbeynon - on 16:58 Fri
In reply to GrahamD:

I did a google image search that suggested it might be.
Graham Hoey - on 17:06 Fri
In reply to Elis Evans:

The thing about Gogarth, although true (we did go to other less serious places as well on other years) was just a fun joke. What is wrong with some people? It was not a criticism of current SCUM members; you may have noticed the smiley face. I despair sometimes.
rocksol - on 17:46 Fri
In reply to deepsoup:
It's got to be better than a Freshers meet I witnessed some years ago where someone kept falling off Billy Whiz onto the only piece of gear a cam in the slanting crack We offered some advice and left rather than witness a potential death fall
If on the rare occasion there is a top rope on my chosen route I pull it down !
neilh - on 18:45 Fri
In reply to Graham Hoey:
But it was rumoured you took freshers along blindfolded to the changing area at wen slab to try and frighten them........
Post edited at 18:45
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Morty - on 19:23 Fri
In reply to GrahamD:

> Is it in yet ?

You sound like my wife...
muppetfilter - on 20:39 Fri
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

They better hope the national trust dont show up and rig the place up again....
Philip on 21:54 Fri
In reply to Elis Evans:

What is the value in bussing fresher's to crags for top roping? You're not an outwards bound centre - you're a university club for climbers. You should be supporting you members, providing access for climbers and welcoming to a sustainable number of newcommers. I thought this trend for mass recruitment of freshers for the first couple of trips had passed.

My old club would go to a large or less popular crag,and climb in pairs with leaders finding new seconds. Occasionally as 3s if necessary. Moving around the crag rather than dominating one area.
Offwidth - on 09:55 Sun
In reply to Elis Evans:
Like deepsoup I have been really impressed with SU introdutions at Lawtencefield in the past (including witnessing proceedings one year whilst climbing obscure lines on the same crag) and have repeatedly praised the club on UKC. I would request you consider modifying your plan to what has taken place in the last few years (top ropes in the first bay and lead groups elsewhere on the crag). Thank you for posting irrespective.
Post edited at 10:00
milneb - on 09:56 Sun
In reply to deepsoup:
at least your informed now.
bouldery bits - on 10:13 Sun
In reply to neilh:

> I am there from 9am to 2pm with my team and we will also be on the slabs.

> What do you propose we do to sort this out?

FIIIIIGGGHHHTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!
davidbeynon - on 12:08 Sun
In reply to bouldery bits:

A plank over the pool and a couple of quarterstaffs should provide plenty of entertainment...
In reply to Elis Evans:

If my memory serves me right the Sheffield University Mountaineering Club Lawrencefield Freshers meet uses regular service buses to get students out to The Peak. Whilst that doesn't mean that it has to be Lawrencefield it cuts down the choice that are convenient. Traveline shows that by public transport today it would take about 5 hours to get to Holyhead and then its still quite a hike to Gogarth

I must admit that I'm not an impartial by-stander. My son went last year and loved it.
Offwidth - on 16:13 Sun
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

Last year was better organised... top ropes on Gingerbread slab are new and less than exemplory for a student club often used as a shining example of how to run such trips.
In reply to Offwidth:

> Last year was better organised... top ropes on Gingerbread slab are new and less than exemplory for a student club often used as a shining example of how to run such trips.

Are you sure. I'm sure my son said that he did Every Man and his Dog (E1 5b)
gethin_allen on 20:49 Sun
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

> If my memory serves me right the Sheffield University Mountaineering Club Lawrencefield Freshers meet uses regular service buses to get students out to The Peak.

This in itself can be an issue. As a past member of a large sheffield university outdoors club we had a few issues with the buses being full and then not stopping for others further down the route.
We would try to make sure we weren't on the same buses as the high peaks club and We tried to get the bus company to put a special on for us or even just a double decker but had no hope. We also tried minibuses but didn't have enough drivers or access to enough buses.
Freshers week meets and "give it a go" (official sheffield union organised event) weekends were just a stressful pain in the arse for the committee and didn't really give a realistic impression of the club activities because it was impossible to do so when dealing with such large numbers.
James Malloch - on 21:05 Sun
In reply to gethin_allen:

The club generally go in three trips which will lessen the impact of buses. I.e. One group sets off at 10, 11 and 12, or something.

Means those with hangovers can have a lie in too.
becauseitsthere - on 21:29 Sun
In reply to Elis Evans:

Not really surprised at the number of outraged climbers. Typical.

Instead of "Hope you all have a brilliant day" ..."We're going elsewhere" it's

"We're going to get there before you and block the routes you intend to climb." Pathetic.

Hope all your freshers had a great time!
Offwidth - on 08:46 Mon
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):
I'm not 100% sure about last year but in the past the rest of the crag outside the first bay was used for leading. When I used the crag on the same day a few years earlier any routes in the main section were led first (albeit sometimes with mulitiple seconds belayed by the leader) and asking if they needed to move out the way if anyone else turned up nearby to lead. They were polite, having fun without being boorish, and broadly following the BMC green guidelimes. It would be a shame if such a previous known example of good practice are becoming lazy and monopolising popular starred routes with bottom ropes.

These are the sorts of posts we should be seeing:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=650395
Post edited at 08:48
Offwidth - on 16:31 Mon
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

I also forgot to say there should be no such route as Every Man and his Dog (E1 5b) .... Meringue and Gingerbread share runners without moving off-line so where is the route in between? This is either a pure eliminate on Gingerbread (avoiding use of the arete and the joint runners) or a similar one avoiding the crack on Meringue. If we applied such rules across the peak the logbooks would become so over-complicated as to be almost useless.
In reply to Offwidth:

> I'm not 100% sure about last year but in the past the rest of the crag outside the first bay was used for leading. When I used the crag on the same day a few years earlier any routes in the main section were led first (albeit sometimes with mulitiple seconds belayed by the leader) and asking if they needed to move out the way if anyone else turned up nearby to lead. They were polite, having fun without being boorish, and broadly following the BMC green guidelimes. It would be a shame if such a previous known example of good practice are becoming lazy and monopolising popular starred routes with bottom ropes.

> These are the sorts of posts we should be seeing:


It sounds like something similar this year. Son lead some easy routes in the first bay and the a VS behind the Pool. No idea what else was happening
In reply to Offwidth:

> I also forgot to say there should be no such route as Every Man and his Dog (E1 5b) .... Meringue and Gingerbread share runners without moving off-line so where is the route in between? This is either a pure eliminate on Gingerbread (avoiding use of the arete and the joint runners) or a similar one avoiding the crack on Meringue. If we applied such rules across the peak the logbooks would become so over-complicated as to be almost useless.

I don't think I can be held responsible for the existence of an eliminate that I've never done. But I see no harm in it
Offwidth - on 18:04 Mon
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

Any route can be climbed numerous ways with other rules. Navigating the logbooks becomes tricky if we head too far down that slippery slope by naming every possibility. Variations can be logged under the comments in the existing routes.
andrewmcleod - on 19:12 Mon
In reply to Philip:

> What is the value in bussing fresher's to crags for top roping? You're not an outwards bound centre - you're a university club for climbers. You should be supporting you members, providing access for climbers and welcoming to a sustainable number of newcommers. I thought this trend for mass recruitment of freshers for the first couple of trips had passed.

Have you ever actually been involved in running a University club? :P

I've seen my Uni recruit over 100 new members in a year, some of whom will go on the outdoor Freshers trip (one of the best significant advertisements for the club if done well). You might see 20-30 members (including those of previous years) by the end of the year because of attrition, mostly shortly after joining. Most of those will only go outside once or twice on trips (often only on sport trips + Font). If you don't recruit heavily at the start of the year you don't remain sustainable. In the long run you lose competency and enter a negative spiral...

It's nice if you do have enough competent leaders to take people lead up stuff but that is often just not the case. Often what leaders you have might only climb Severe (often pretty trivial for anyone who has done indoor climbing and sometimes even for novices) and (depending on the crag) not really be OK taking two seconds up. Particularly with inexperienced leaders it is a lot slower than clipping someone onto a top-rope (uni trad faff is endless )

The end result is the next generation of climbers, so as long as it is done in a considerate way that doesn't cause excessive damage (remember ALL climbing results in some damage) and doesn't get in people's way more than absolutely necessary, what's the issue?
Philip on 20:32 Mon
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> Have you ever actually been involved in running a University club? :P

Yes. For 7 years (undergraduate and doctorate degrees).

We had 100+ turn up for the first gathering I was treasurer (up from a handful in previous years). That was when we had to adapt, learn to spread out more. That was 16 years ago. Since then freshers meets have become less of an issue as most clubs are quite thoughtful.

What is the point of promoting climbing as top roping in the peak. That's far removed from the real sport.

Take people to North Wales. Climb in 3s on long VDiffs in wet conditions. That will sort out the wheat from the chaff.
Offwidth - on 22:15 Mon
In reply to Philip:

Ditto... 15 years helping out a student club and all our top roping for beginners was indoors. The idea that initial outdoor top roping trips cuts attrition and prevemts the decline of a club is plain ridiculous. Our major first freshers outdoor trip was nearly always Snowdonia around the end of October when all the the time wasters and posers had usually already left and keen club climbers felt that help teaching the remaining beginers was a good investment.
Luke90 on 22:45 Mon
In reply to Offwidth:

I think several people on this thread might be misunderstanding what some of these trips are for. The "freshers trip" when I was at uni (about nine years ago) wasn't taking all the new members out for their first taste of what climbing is all about. It was about putting on taster sessions for people who are trying to decide which clubs to join. It's a recruitment effort. All the clubs at my uni put them on during Fresher's Week. If we didn't, only people who already knew they were keen on climbing would join and we'd have missed out on half of our members. You can't replace that with trips to Wales in late October. Those trips happen too but they're a completely different thing, long after people have joined whatever clubs they're going to join.

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