/ Unsolicited beta at Boulder UK

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MikeMarcus on 21 Dec 2018

I don’t want to be negative, but Boulder UK in Preston has a little bit of a problem with unsolicited beta. 

I’ve turned away from three problems so far after being faced with someone telling me how to do them. One time someone charged over and took my place on the first hold just as I was about to start to show me the first few moves, another time while I was on my third try someone who was watching started pointing out holds and telling me which to use with which feet.

I really don’t want to come across as unfriendly as it’s my first visit, but part of progression is letting yourself learn by repeated failure.

Otherwise it’s lovely here and the staff are fab.

23
rj_townsend on 21 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

This sounds more like a problem with the users, not the venue. A simple "I'll work it out for myself, thanks" should do the trick.

1
MikeMarcus on 21 Dec 2018
In reply to rj_townsend:

thats usually what I say. But it’s often too late by that point. 

And yes. The venue is great.  

 

5
robin mueller - on 21 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

If I'm struggling on a problem at BUK, I like it when someone suggests beta. It only happens now and then (the unsolicited beta, not the struggling). People think differently and climb differently. I find it useful to consider other approaches.

2
MikeMarcus on 21 Dec 2018
In reply to robin mueller:

There’s a way to do it though? No? Like giving the other person the option before killing their chances of onsite/ascent in the style that they’ve chosen.

i couldn’t believe it when that guy charged in front of me and demonstrated the solution for me as I was reaching for the hold. A simple “would you like beta” would have been far more polite. 

Obviously this is not a criticism of the venue at all. Simply an opportunity for anyone who visits there regularly to read, and potentially reflect on future interactions with first-time visitors.

12
Andy Johnson on 21 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

I feel your pain. I've never been to that particular wall, but bossy unsolicited advice like that irritates me too. I once got told off for putting my foot on a hold that was "obviously a hand-hold" ffs.

Plenty of people boulder/climb much harder than me, but if I want advice I'll strike-up a two-way conversation.

Post edited at 17:57
derryclimbs - on 21 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

On a similar note, at my local boulder gym, there are the 'boulder police' hanging around making sure you sit start all the sit starts, don't use volumes etc. I literally laughed in the guys face when he firmly put it "well how are you going to tell anyone you've flashed the green if you don't start on the right hold?" 
my response "trust me, I'm not going to be telling anyone" was met by total confusion.

1
Naomi Buys on 21 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

I bet those same people give unsolicited advice at whichever wall they happen to be climbing at, not just boulder UK.. . 

If you have a problem with it and yet don't address it directly with the individual, what are you expecting to happen and how will they learn? 

I love the atmosphere at buk, everyone is very friendly and inclusive. Unsolicited beta is annoying, but I've not had a problem with it there myself, although there are usually plenty of people around who'll help if I ask. Some of the problems there are really technical and beta intensive! 

I hope you have a better experience next time. 

alx on 21 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

Maybe you just looked a bit clueless?                                               ;-)

Doghouse - on 21 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

Did you say anything to them at the time?

jackob - on 21 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

I think this post potrays BUK in a bad light. It has absolutely fantastic route setting and a great friendly atmosphere to match. Sounds like the guy giving unsolicited beta was just trying to be helpful. I think weve all been guilty of giving unsolicited beta in the past. Not the end of the world getting beta on a soft V6 which will be gone in 4 weeks, bit different outside on a classic problem or route.

3
Ehmarra - on 22 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

To be fair to Boulder UK it happens at all walls, bit harsh to suggest they have a problem there. You could always go to Depot where people boulder shirtless and shout "Allez" and "sick"

1
McHeath - on 22 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

I can understand your problem, but J*sus, climbing has moved on from the days of no climbing by numbers on coloured holds with existential meaning!

TheClimbingWallCritic on 23 Dec 2018
In reply to derryclimbs:

This sounds suspiciously similar to a wall in Swindon??

I too have been attacked by the boulder police at walls and it's always due to poor setting. Sit starts on slabs etc.

1
Andy Gamisou - on 23 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

Need to introduce a new law - "unsoliciting in a public place".

MikeMarcus on 23 Dec 2018
In reply to alx:

> Maybe you just looked a bit clueless?                                               ;-)

I usually do. It’s my “look”

MikeMarcus on 23 Dec 2018
In reply to Doghouse:

> Did you say anything to them at the time?

Yup

MikeMarcus on 23 Dec 2018
In reply to TheClimbingWallCritic:

> This sounds suspiciously similar to a wall in Swindon??

> I too have been attacked by the boulder police at walls and it's always due to poor setting. Sit starts on slabs etc.

The setting at BUK seems pretty great from what I can tel after a single visit.

Lord_ash2000 - on 23 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

I guess it just depends on how you like to climb. If you treat the wall like a crag and care about getting the flash / on-sight of problems, or just enjoy the process of working a problem out then getting the beta thrown at you would kindly of ruin it.

Personally I give indoor problems very little vaule in terms of caring about the flash etc, it's nice to do one first go but for me it's just training / testing your strength. So I'm grateful if someone give me the beta on a problem which other wise might take me a while to suss out. It saves a lot of energy on failed attempts and allows me to climb more problems in a session. 

I'm guessing the offender's at BUK (a great wall btw) have a similar view on beta as I do indoors so when they see someone apprentenly hopelessly failing to get up what they see as a relatively straightforward problem they find it hard not to (in thier view) lend a helping hand and put you out of your misery. 

I agree though that people should probably ask if you want the beta before giving it as I can see some people might not want it, but most do and it's hard to resist sometimes.

Eric9Points - on 23 Dec 2018

In >I think we've all been guilty of giving unsolicited beta in the past.

No.

4
derryclimbs - on 23 Dec 2018
In reply to TheClimbingWallCritic:

> This sounds suspiciously similar to a wall in Swindon??

> I too have been attacked by the boulder police at walls and it's always due to poor setting. Sit starts on slabs etc.

Not Swindon, guess again....

cfer - on 24 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

 

Don't let it put you off, I climb here regularly and never had it happen, its is a great wall and literally 5 mins walk from my house which is an added bonus

 

griffer boy - on 24 Dec 2018
In reply to cfer:

Had a quick session at UKB yesterday and no one gave me any beta

 

MikeMarcus on 24 Dec 2018
In reply to cfer:

> Don't let it put you off, I climb here regularly and never had it happen, its is a great wall and literally 5 mins walk from my house which is an added bonus

I’m assuming it was just bad luck to get three unsolicited beta-givers in quick succession. 

I’m heading back there today as there are two V4s and a V5 that I’d really like to make some progress on.   

1
MikeMarcus on 24 Dec 2018
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> I'm guessing the offender's at BUK (a great wall btw) have a similar view on beta as I do indoors so when they see someone apprentenly hopelessly failing to get up what they see as a relatively straightforward problem they find it hard not to (in thier view) lend a helping hand and put you out of your misery. 

So does nobody else agree that being told how to complete a problem takes all the fun out of it?

Maybe it’s just me, but i can’t see a whole lot of point in working on hard stuff (I consider V4/5 hard, you may not), if each problem attempted is supplied complete with step by step instructions. The pleasure I get from bouldering is derived from working it out for myself.

Hugo First - on 24 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

You're heading back today to work on them v4/5s? Well then, match first hold, flag left foot, cross through with your right and gaston the little sprag, then etc etc..... ;) 

deepsoup - on 24 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

> So does nobody else agree that being told how to complete a problem takes all the fun out of it?

I'm with you.  Not all the fun maybe, but enough.  I don't mind a the odd helpful hint after I've had a few goes, but if there's a puzzle to be solved the beta-blurters are a bit like those fuds who can't help looking over your shoulder and chipping in when you're trying to do the crossword in a newspaper.

JohnWoodrow on 24 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

I used to get pissed off too with unsolicited advice and beta when I started climbing about 6 years ago, but looking back now I realise that that was just insecurity on my behalf.  After climbing for a while I realised that without taking advice from and learning from other people, be that socially or from books and videos, a huge portion of what's potentially available to me would be impossibly out of reach for the rest of my life.  Nowadays when someone offers advice I'm happy to hear it, and when the investment cost is low (which it usually is) I'll try what they say no matter how ridiculous it sounds, regardless of any differences in our experience level.

Now that I'm ok at climbing, I resist the urge but I do find it somewhat emotionally arduous to not give advice when I see someone completely lost on a route that they could probably climb within the next ten minutes if they'd just take the time to ask someone more experienced, and open their mind to the learning that's available.  I don't really think that they'd lose anything by doing so, and even if they did, they would gain so much more in a vastly shorter timeframe than they would in continuing their current strategy.

It's too easy however to make the assumption that everyone that climbs has the same motivations as me; it's usually clear that people are having fun while failing gloriously, and for a lot of people that are happy with that experience, it would be insensitive of me to press my reality on theirs, because that would undermine their personal motivations.  I find also that people that genuinely want to improve at any task will seek out help from others.

Post edited at 22:06
DenzelLN - on 29 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

Shit, i may be the guilty beta soliciting individual!

Its made me think wether i do this or not, i probably do but only after being met with a look of frustration.

I cant recall the situation you have described above so i don't think it was me!

webbo - on 29 Dec 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

Could you do them after you got the beta.

gravy - on 30 Dec 2018

If you are tall never take beta from the short...

derryclimbs - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to gravy:

> If you are tall never take beta from the short...

if you are short, the words 'pop' 'reach' and 'stretch' from the tall almost always mean dyno.

Jim233 - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to MikeMarcus:

I only find unsolicited beta annoying if I actually know the moves but just can't bloody make them/link them. Otherwise I appreciate the input. That said, I am shit at route reading, indoors and outside, so I'm usually more than open to a pointer or two. I'm definitely guilty of offering beta on the odd occasion but generally only to very new climbers who need a hand getting off the ground and only ever indoors. I remember how grateful I was to the folks who steered me in the right direction when I was starting out. Still, doesn't mean I'm not being an annoying tit mind you, although I've never had a negative reaction to any advice offered (that I perceived).

J Whittaker - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to MikeMarcus:

On a side note im sick of all the unsolicited bouldering going on at Beta UK

Post edited at 16:32

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