UKC

BMC respect the rock video

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 Matt Hill 25 Sep 2021

Has anyone else seen this video from the BMC? 

youtube.com/watch?v=AnuJWtq7RXU& 

I find the overall message of protecting access and the area laudable, but I don't understand why the belayer is not wearing a helmet? Especially since the video highlights the risk of loose and falling rock at the crag. Given that this is an educational video, shouldn't it show good practice?

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 climberchristy 25 Sep 2021
In reply to Matt Hill:

Fully agree with all that you've said. Climber not wearing helmet either. Obviously whether belayer or climber wear a helmet is a personal choice, but it does seem strange that something BMC endorsed isn't promoting safest practice. 

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In reply to Matt Hill:

Do you know who the belayer is? I would think if anyone has spent enough time at Raven's Tor to have a pretty good sense of whether a helmet is vital or not, it would be Mr McClure!

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 climberchristy 25 Sep 2021
In reply to TobyA:

I have total respect for Steve McClure but whether it's him belaying or an average punter is irrelevant and totally missing the OP:s point which was about BMC endorsement.

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 deepsoup 25 Sep 2021
In reply to TobyA:

It seems a bit weird to be describing Molly Thompson-Smith as "his belayer", is she not as famous a climber as Steve McClure?  (I don't remember seeing his face on the telly during the olympics.)  Besides, he spends just as much time being the belay bunny in the video as she does.

The point regarding loose rock seems well made to me though - if the pair of them have a 'pretty good sense' that a helmet is not required, why are they warning people that loose rock can be a problem even on well established routes that seem solid? 

Whether they choose to wear one in their personal climbing is up to them of course, and both climbers have frequently been filmed and photographed wearing one when they feel it's necessary so there's clearly no Grylls-esque machismo going on about it not looking cool - but the OP does have a valid point imo that it doesn't seem quite consistent with the message they're looking to get across in the vid.

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In reply to deepsoup:

> It seems a bit weird to be describing Molly Thompson-Smith as "his belayer", 

I'm not sure if that's aimed at me but I didn't do that. From memory Steve isn't climbing at all in the video, Molly is doing the climbing he is belaying.

Of course I take the point, but this video is about Raven's Tor and particular issues around that. I'm sure some people do, but I've not seen anyone climbing there with a helmet on. Thompson Smith mentions if you're a beginner or can't climb 7a, maybe try Horseshoe. There it's a reasonably bad idea to climb without a lid, I know I always wear one! But Raven's is just a very different scene. As far as I know there isn't an official BMC position that people should always wear a helmet is there? Obviously there isn't such a rule in comps.

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 nufkin 25 Sep 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

>  both climbers have frequently been filmed and photographed wearing one when they feel it's necessary

A timely example here, indeed, for people wanting proof:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2021/09/second_ascent_of_lexicon_e11_7a_by_steve_mcclure-72884

 deepsoup 25 Sep 2021
In reply to TobyA:

> I'm not sure if that's aimed at me but I didn't do that.

I thought the OP had but looking again I see that in fact he, like you, just said "the belayer".  I thought perhaps he was being a little bit sexist, but it turns out actually that was me!  (Or at best, I'd just completely imagined it.  Oops.)

> From memory Steve isn't climbing at all in the video, Molly is doing the climbing he is belaying.

They're both climbing, her more than him.  A lot of it bouldering/traversing.  They spend more or less equal time belaying I think.

> Of course I take the point, but this video is about Raven's Tor and particular issues around that. I'm sure some people do, but I've not seen anyone climbing there with a helmet on. Thompson Smith mentions if you're a beginner or can't climb 7a, maybe try Horseshoe.

If the warning about loose rock even on clean-looking well travelled routes is necessary, perhaps people should be seen there climbing (or more to the point belaying) with a helmet on more often!  I wouldn't know - not a beginner but too tubby and weak to climb 7a so I've never really spent any time there.

But I think in an educational film like this it would have been appropriate to be wearing a lid even just while suggesting that people maybe go to Horseshoe instead.  I often think it's a bit of a worry how many relative beginners turn up at Horseshoe thinking it's a sort of outdoor indoor wall, and anything that encourages them to think of it as a rather more adventurous activity than climbing indoors in spite of the bolts can only be a good thing.  If they're worth addressing specifically in this film, they're worth showing that it is not at all unusual to choose to wear a helmet whilst belaying on a single-pitch sport crag where loose rock is an issue.

Of course there isn't an official BMC position that people should always wear a lid, nor should there be imo.  I believe it should always be a choice, for cyclists and others too.  (And motorcyclists actually.)  But that isn't the same thing as advising people to wear a lid, or encouraging them to do so - especially while you're speaking on camera warning them of the possibility of loose rock right there where you're standing!

In reply to Matt Hill:

Fuq me, do we really have to have exactly this same thread every time the BMC produces a video?? Can you at least not just copy and paste?
 

Many people do not wear a helmet when climbing. Deal with it.

In reply to some other idiot. No, Molly Thompson-Smith is not as famous a climber as Steve Maclure. Not by a very wide margin indeed. The one is a legend who has been Britain’s best sport climber for two decades and also has a trad CV to match almost any. Nothing against her, but the other is not. I literally cannot name a single thing she has done, although I have a vague idea she may have done some competitions.

jcm

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 abarro81 26 Sep 2021
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I literally cannot name a single thing she has done, although I have a vague idea she may have done some competitions.

She's also arguably the most accomplished British female sport climber ever, certainly top few (surely undoubtedly for onsight/flash, for RP it probably depends on how much you value depth vs big numbers)... So that probably says more about you being out of touch than anything else. Steve will be more famous among many circles, and is clearly far more accomplished, but given Molly has 5x as many insta followers she's probably more famous among younger and/or predominantly indoor-focused groups (who are presumably the target demographic for the video)

Post edited at 11:08
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 wbo2 26 Sep 2021
In reply to Matt Hill/deepSoup:  If this were an educational video about belaying or similar then a lack of a helmet would be more noteworthy, but given that the information is mostly about preserving access at an elite level crag then I'm not going to ruin my Sunday fretting about this.

They use a gri gri as well!  The shame!  Is that best practice for beginners?

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 deepsoup 26 Sep 2021
In reply to wbo2:

> I'm not going to ruin my Sunday fretting about this.

Nobody is asking you to, nor even to spend a nanosecond of your time thinking about it let alone fretting.  You know you don't have to read every thread right?

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 remus 26 Sep 2021
In reply to abarro81:

> She's also arguably the most accomplished British female sport climber ever, certainly top few (surely undoubtedly for onsight/flash, for RP it probably depends on how much you value depth vs big numbers)... So that probably says more about you being out of touch than anything else. Steve will be more famous among many circles, and is clearly far more accomplished, but given Molly has 5x as many insta followers she's probably more famous among younger and/or predominantly indoor-focused groups (who are presumably the target demographic for the video)

Indeed. https://climbing-history.org/climber/344/molly-thompson-smith

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In reply to abarro81:

>but given Molly has 5x as many insta followers 

I fear that you may be confusing fame and celebrity. When the history of British climbing in the first half of this century comes to be written it will to a large extent the story of SM. he same is not true of MTS. That's what fame is. Not Instagram followers.

jcm

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 john arran 27 Sep 2021
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: 

> That's what fame is. Not Instagram followers.

Sadly, the days of fame being fairly linearly correlated with accomplishment are long gone.

Steve is the very definition of accomplished, and justifiably famous within climbing circles as a result. Molly appears to be media-friendly, so  is probably known to an audience wider than dedicated and experienced climbers. To be fair, she's also still very young, so her considerable talent and achievements to date may turn out to be a prelude to even more impressive things.

 spenser 27 Sep 2021
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

There are still 29 years left of the first half, Steve won't be cranking at the cutting edge for all of that, Molly likely will be if she chooses to.

They are both excellent climbers, Steve has had far longer to demonstrate his capabilities and from everything I have seen of him doubt he has any interest in a pissing competition of some kind of climbing "top trumps". 

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 abarro81 27 Sep 2021
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I'm not convinced - I'd say you're confusing fame and accomplishment, or present fame with future and lasting fame. What's your definition of "fame"? I've got 

- the state of being widely known or recognized; renown; celebrity (Collins)

- public estimation; popular acclaim (Mirriam-Webster)

- the state of being known or recognized by many people because of your achievements, skills, etc. (Cambridge)

- the state of being known or talked about by many people, especially on account of notable achievements (Oxford)

with all including celebrity as a synonym. I'd argue that in common usage they are essentially the same, i.e. how many people know who you are. If you're going to try to tell me that Kim Kardashian isn't famous you're trying to use the word differently to how it's typically used.

Fame varies by demographic, so some artists or composers had fame in their time but have fallen into obscurity, others are the other way around... Ste is far more famous that Molly amongst older outdoor climbers or the cognoscenti (although they would know both, and know that Molly was first female Brit to flash and onsight 8b, for example) but probably Molly is more famous amongst young climbers just getting into the sport. (again, if you dislike the use of "famous" there I think you're onto a losing battle against both common usage and dictionary definitions, although I did find at least one article from the LA Times from 1999 that sought to differentiate subtly in terms of renowned vs visibility).

Insta followers are not an ideal proxy for fame, since they're effectively a survey skewed towards a certain (young) demographic... but in the absence of anything better they are - like it or not - a datapoint on who is famous. 

Post edited at 08:26
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In reply to abarro81:

The fact that a dictionary lists one meaning of 'fame' as 'celebrity' does not mean that every celebrity is famous. Love Island competitors are celebrities, but not famous. Angela Merkel is famous, but she is not a celebrity. J K Rowling, say, is both.

I imagine Joe Brown has fewer Instagram followers than MTS, and no doubt too fewer people among what one might call the 'Who's Joe Brown?' generation' know who he was. But he's still more famous than MTS, arguably even than SM.

jcm

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 leland stamper 28 Sep 2021
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

He is certainly more famous than his bruvvas.(apologies. Couldn't help it)

 Offwidth 28 Sep 2021
In reply to abarro81:

From the dislikes it's clearly not just John that's in denial. I'd say Molly is a good bit more famous than Steve on dictionary definitions and amongst climbers they are probably equally famous. Not only is she an exceptional climber but she gets more public TV exposure for that (including Olympic commentary) and she also has growing fame for her work in encouraging diversity in sport.

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