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Dirty shoe brigade

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 tehmarks 05 Apr 2021

I went bouldering with some relatively novice/'casual' friends yesterday. Not a single example of shoe-cleaning was seen; everyone was walking around the boulders in their climbing shoes and hopping straight on problems, rarely bothering to even give them a quick wipe on their trousers let alone squeak them. Much complaining about the glassy starting holds on many easier problems. Obviously I made the point (and felt like a massive Richard for doing so) that they're glassy because people climb in dirty shoes, and asked whether they could humour me and make sure their shoes were clean before pulling on.

Obviously I can only educate people that I know.

I feel like this is becoming a massive problem, particularly with the influx of new climbers who have come from indoors to rock without any guidance from those more experienced in the way of rock. It's depressing seeing the state of some classic routes and problems, and really depressing to think that it's only going to get worse as time goes on and as climbing becomes more popular. It's like an entire set of knowledge is being lost - the technical skills are easy to pick up and easy to pass on, but the more subtle considerations are not so obvious and not so likely to be taken notice of and passed on by the more casual of the climbing cohort.

I have no idea what the solution is to this problem; anyone have any suggestions? Something surely needs to be tried in order to preserve our rock for the future - particularly the more sensitive varieties. Perhaps indoor walls can take a more proactive approach to education in that regard, prior to their customers venturing outside? It's obviously not just about shoes really - it applies to any habits that are detrimental to the rock - but shoes are the obvious example.

 peppermill 05 Apr 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

I've had similar chats with super keen indoor trained climbers just venturing into outdoor bouldering, specifically on the sandstone of Northumberland and St Bees, driving a fair way from Glasgow to find various venues still damp.

Honestly no idea that this is a big no-no for this kind of rock and said something along the lines of "We got there and it was still wet but it was ok, we still got some climbing in"

I think here in Glasgow it's a combo of having to drive a couple of hours and not wanting to waste the journey, naivety, enthusiasm for getting outside and in a lot of cases a bit of stupidity. 

They "Got tellt" my me and others at the wall btw.

 petegunn 05 Apr 2021
In reply to peppermill:

Bring back the Beer Mat.

I know many of us bring old rags to the crag to clean our shoes before pulling onto the rock but it would be great to see the "brand" names in climbing selling these along with all the other paraphernalia. Maybe get one free if you buy a new pad etc. 

Also sad to see a few people climbing on crags which are currently bird banned. 

 Martin Bennett 05 Apr 2021
In reply to petegunn:

> it would be great to see the "brand" names in climbing selling these along with all the other paraphernalia. Maybe get one free if you buy a new pad etc. 

Very good suggestion. Besides the damage to the rock the un-knowing should also be made aware that the rubber on their expensive shoes, painstakingly developed to aid friction, won't work if it's covered in dust, grit, sand, or mud. For me they have to be squeaky clean before I set off - with me it's an obsession.

 tehmarks 05 Apr 2021
In reply to petegunn:

I like it.

As a variation, how about shoe manufacturers including a free basic mat and/or an informative leaflet with shoes? We all need shoes after all, regardless of the genre of climbing we're partaking in.

I like that Snap pads (or at least whichever model mine is) include a mat and a storage pocket for it inside the bouldering mat. The crux may be disseminating the information though; it's all well and good getting a free beer/car mat, but it won't do much good if no one knows what it's for or why they have it.

Post edited at 13:39
 tehmarks 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Martin Bennett:

It's part of the pre-pulling routine for me. Shoes on, shoes squeaked, chalk up and go. That way, when I'm panicking mid-crux on some smear, I know I've given myself the best possible chance and know that I can crack on without worrying about the state of my shoes.

I think it was Jerry Moffatt in his book Mastermind that talked about the utility of having a pre-climbing mental routine to put yourself in the right frame of mind for performing, and it makes sense to me to include 'clean shoes' as part of that. And as an aside, having that routine made a huge difference mentally for me too. The man was not wrong!

Post edited at 13:44
 Hooo 05 Apr 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

I think the only real solution is tactful education by those of us that know better. We just need to get out there and do it.

I've just spent a couple of days at Harrisons, which if course is extremely fragile and rammed with punters straight out of the walls. It seemed that the people on the really easy routes had clearly read up on the etiquette and were doing it all by the book. It was the people failing on mid grade stuff that needed telling. I spoke to a lot of people about their rigging, route selection and shoe care and without exception everyone was very nice about it and did everything I asked. 

 Myfyr Tomos 05 Apr 2021
In reply to petegunn:

Carling Black Label. 🎵🎵 Agree, tactful education is the way.

Post edited at 17:11
 alan moore 05 Apr 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

> I think it was Jerry Moffatt in his book Mastermind that talked about the utility of having a pre-climbing mental routine 

Also Ron Fawcett's "why spend 70 quid on butyl and then climb on mud?"

I've also always been utterly paranoid about squeaky my bootsolesbefore starting off. The thought that maybe you stood on wet moss , curdles the mind when you 20 feet up...!

 coldfell 05 Apr 2021
In reply to petegunn:

''Bring back the Beer Mat.

I know many of us bring old rags to the crag to clean our shoes before pulling onto the rock but it would be great to see the "brand" names in climbing selling these along with all the other paraphernalia. Maybe get one free if you buy a new pad etc. ''  

I was gutted to lose my  POD beer mat at Brimham and last year lost a real beer mat at Hind Crag (they are now super hard to get hold of ) - I am also obsessive about cleaning my shoes, I am not as attached to my present grot rag, an old facecloth

 Philb1950 05 Apr 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

Since climbing became an industry replete with endless bullshit qualies.., and a craving for more and more paying punters on endless courses they could learn within a club, of a spare 30mins if you have the inclination,, how how do you think dinosaurs like me feel. No bouldering guides and fantastic days out everywhere in the unspoilt Peak. Grass trees and heather on Stanage, Foggatt etc. Now a completely irreplaceably trashed area. Extremely sad. Blame puerile bouldering route tickers in large hordes and five minutes of fame on Facebook. Martin Veale and myself have even been told we’re doing our own problems wrong! I No longer visit Plantation, Cratcliffe, Roaches etc as it’s so upsetting. We’ve even been lectured at a wall by an “instructor” for tieing on incorrectly, despite my partner being a well known guide and my knot having seen me right all round the world on various above average difficulty projects. Rant over, back to climbing, not trad, (jazz?)or aid, or sport, but climbing

 Iamgregp 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Martin Bennett:

Same! I have to make my shoes spotlessly clean before I start a route. If I step on the ground before starting off I have to reclean the offending shoe.

Better for my friction, better for the rock.  

If you see people climbing with dirty shoes I think it’s fine to politely ask that they clean them. 

 Iamgregp 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Philb1950:

There was somebody here a while back who tied in with a bowline at a climbing wall, and the duty manager told him it was “wrong”. When he replied “well this knot was fine on Salathe wall” the guy said “well different walls have different rules about knots” 

In reply to tehmarks:

It surprises me that the marketing gurus at ark-hag-gonia aren't touting an overpriced piece of logoed towelling.

Hand woven from organic unicorn fur by artisans of course. 

In reply to petegunn

> I know many of us bring old rags to the crag to clean our shoes before pulling onto the rock but it would be great to see the "brand" names in climbing selling these.

It would certainly be quite fun laughing at people who bought them.

 afx22 05 Apr 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

The thing about cleaning your shoes before you get on the rock - we were not born with this knowledge.  It was something we were taught - by others, via a book, or through an article somewhere.  Climbers that are new to the outdoors all have to go through this.

I like to try and sell the positive to them first - that they’ll get better grip, especially on smears AND it’ll reduce the chance of damaging the rock too.

In reply to afx22:

> The thing about cleaning your shoes before you get on the rock - we were not born with this knowledge.  It was something we were taught - by others, via a book, or through an article somewhere.

Really? Not born with it, but isn't it something most people could work out for themselves (not to protect the rock, but to get better grip).

 afx22 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Philb1950:

You can’t change the fact that bouldering is more popular than ever and to lament other people enjoying something or somewhere you have in the past, comes across as a little selfish.

And what’s wrong with ticking climbs or problems?

I appreciate that more people can bring problems, like wear on the rock, litter, noise, etc but I think it’s great that more people are enjoying the outdoors and climbing.  There are so many positives and I’d much rather people were doing something I see as a healthy, social sport / hobby.

Post edited at 19:14
 afx22 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think many will realise the issue after slipping of a few smears but obviously some people are sharper than others.  

It was a while before I learned the benefit of ‘really’ cleaning my shoes after noticing in videos how Johnny Dawes paid attention to the process.   I can’t see how that’s so intuitive.

 tehmarks 05 Apr 2021
In reply to afx22:

> The thing about cleaning your shoes before you get on the rock - we were not born with this knowledge.  It was something we were taught - by others, via a book, or through an article somewhere.

Absolutely, and that is the problem. More people than ever seem to arrive at outdoor climbing fresh from the wall, on their own or with other indoor partners, with no input from more experienced climbers and no apprenticeship served. I'm not complaining about that - it is what it is - but it creates the massive problem of these small details being lost. I can't recall ever reading an instructional book that mentions the importance of cleaning shoes, and I can't recall seeing any articles recently that introduce that cohort to these sorts of non-technical skills.

I picked these things up from those who first introduced me to climbing on rock, but I was fortunate enough that I first started climbing with a handy small handful of climbers and not the mates I'd just made from the indoor course I took as my first step into getting into climbing.

The problem is getting the information to those who need it. I don't really know what the solutions are.

Post edited at 19:46
 tehmarks 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Hooo:

> I think the only real solution is tactful education by those of us that know better. We just need to get out there and do it.

Agreed, though it feels like a losing battle sometimes. I'm not the most comfortable at approaching random strangers and suggesting those sorts of things to them, but I take every session as an opportunity for education with any of my partners if I see them pulling on without thinking about the crap on their shoes.

 tehmarks 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Philb1950:

Instructors with groups, I think, are my biggest pet hate along these lines. Big groups of people in muddy trainers thrashing their way up sublime easy classics on grit. Every time I see it, a little part of me dies inside. It's infuriating because who becomes an instructor who doesn't have an enthusiasm for climbing? Those instructors who are guilty of this should know better and should have a solution.

 Lankyman 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> It surprises me that the marketing gurus at ark-hag-gonia aren't touting an overpriced piece of logoed towelling.

> Hand woven from organic unicorn fur by artisans of course. 

Quick - get that copyrighted now! You'll regret it if you don't ......

In reply to tehmarks:

You mention squeaking shoes.

My company Zendzykekrush rebrand cheap damp meters for the climbing market. Grits tone must be below 0.2 or the climber will be banished. An optional upgrade is a rebranded guitar tuner module to listen for the correct pitch of squeak (256 Hz, middle C) 

Buy both and get a complimentary branded bar towel. 

 Pedro50 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Buy both and get a complimentary branded bar towel. 

Well done for correctly saying bar towel rather than beer mat (a useless small square of cardboard)  

 gooberman-hill 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Are you related to The Register's legendary commentator @amanfrommars ?

Steve

 AlanLittle 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Pedro50:

They're not useless. They keep wasps out of your beer.

 Ian Parsons 05 Apr 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Or at least if they get in they've had something to wipe their feet on first.

In reply to Pedro50:

I was going to bring that up about towels/mats.

I still have a bar towel in my sac - incredibly dirty Carling Black Label in red, yellow & "white" - the only black on it is the dirt 😁

However my fave bar towel (sadly demised some years ago when I was badly caught short ☹ was bought from the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham - even came with a clip so you could attach it rather than stuffing it into a belt.

Post edited at 20:56
In reply to tehmarks:

Bar towels are nowadays as common as pints of mild served in glass with a handle (avoiding debate on correct term for that). Back in the day... when I was a lad... etc etc, it was a source of pride to wipe with a bar towel: pinched not bought.

I blame the cause of this moral turpitude afflicting our youth on not consuming enough warm beer. I can't think of a climbing gym (was called a "climbing wall" in my day) in London that has a decent bar. And there rests my case!

 Pedro50 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

I used to have dozens, worked in the drinks trade, gave loads away This is my last survivor.


In reply to Michael Hood:

> I was going to bring that up about towels/mats.

I use a Rangers Football Club merchandise towel that I found at Bowden Doors about 15 years ago. I live in fear of getting beaten up either by a Celtic supporter for owning it or by a Rangers supporter for wiping my shoes on it. 

In reply to Pedro50:

I'm guessing that it would offend the traderati (of which I consider myself far, far too youthful to be a member) if one were to use an old tea towel instead of a bar towel? 

What *is* the world coming to?

Post edited at 21:24
In reply to Philb1950:

> Since climbing became an industry replete with endless bullshit qualies.., and a craving for more and more paying punters on endless courses they could learn within a club, of a spare 30mins if you have the inclination,, how how do you think dinosaurs like me feel. No bouldering guides and fantastic days out everywhere in the unspoilt Peak. Grass trees and heather on Stanage, Foggatt etc. Now a completely irreplaceably trashed area. Extremely sad. Blame puerile bouldering route tickers in large hordes and five minutes of fame on Facebook. Martin Veale and myself have even been told we’re doing our own problems wrong! I No longer visit Plantation, Cratcliffe, Roaches etc as it’s so upsetting. We’ve even been lectured at a wall by an “instructor” for tieing on incorrectly, despite my partner being a well known guide and my knot having seen me right all round the world on various above average difficulty projects. Rant over, back to climbing, not trad, (jazz?)or aid, or sport, but climbing

"The passage of time

And all of its sickening crimes

Is making me sad again"

In reply to Robert Durran:

But you could say to the Celtic supporter "but I use it to wipe the shit off my shoes, that's the level of respect I give it"

Not sure what you'd have to say to the Rangers supporter.

 Hooo 05 Apr 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

> Agreed, though it feels like a losing battle sometimes. I'm not the most comfortable at approaching random strangers and suggesting those sorts of things to them,

Tell me about it! I know it's not easy, I'm terrified at the thought of approaching strangers and telling them that they are doing something wrong. It's taken me years to get to the point where I feel that I can do it. It does help being at a local crag that I know well, and where I know the other local regulars would be pleased to see me doing it. And like I said, the reactions I got were 100% positive, so that encourages me to continue.

 Blanche DuBois 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It would certainly be quite fun laughing at people who bought them.

Well, sneer away at small industries that don't meet your high level of consumer requirements.  Whilst you're sniggering, sat on your sneer stool, might be worth giving a thought to the revenue and tax receipts such "pointless" businesses bring in, which allow some people to make a living teaching kiddies to count.

In reply to Blanche DuBois:

I think the comment was more in relation to those of us who pinched them from pubs over the years rather than small industry. 

In reply to Blanche DuBois:

I hope you as not as bitter and humourless in real life as the persona you project on here.

Post edited at 08:18
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

Your argument could be used to support any sort of money making scam.

Homeopathic boot cleaner anyone? Only £100 per litre, it contains no soap, so it cleans better.

I pay my taxes so all is good. 

 GrahamD 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

> There was somebody here a while back who tied in with a bowline at a climbing wall, and the duty manager told him it was “wrong”. When he replied “well this knot was fine on Salathe wall” the guy said “well different walls have different rules about knots” 

Its amusing, but not surprising.   There is no reason why indoor climbing / activity centre climbing has any grounding in outside climbing nowadays.  From the manager's perspective what does it matter if he hasn't heard of Salathe wall ? His job is to safely run his business.

 Sean_J 06 Apr 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

Wall staff = punters with jobs

In reply to GrahamD:

I agree, a climbing wall manager needs the tie-in to be simple/standard for all punters and be easily checkable by all the staff , which makes it a lowest common denominator approach. 

 Qwerty2019 06 Apr 2021
In reply to petegunn:

20 year old Newton & Ridley beer towel in our climbing bag at all times (Its had a wash or two). 

Most decent mat have a carpet area for wiping your feet too.  Our metolious and Moon ones have.

Post edited at 09:44
 mrjonathanr 06 Apr 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

I went to a specialist climbing physio recently- because he was a climber. When he asked where I liked to climb, he had not heard of Gogarth. Indoor climbing has reshaped the profile of participants.

 alan moore 06 Apr 2021
In reply to mrjonathanr:

> he had not heard of Gogarth. Indoor climbing has reshaped the profile of participants.

Things change so quickly!

A few years ago, being an 'indoor climber' was just a ruse for non- climbers to inhabit these threads and push crank/conspiracy politics.

Now it's really a thing!

Who is Gogarth anyway?

 Iamgregp 06 Apr 2021
In reply to alan moore:

> Who is Gogarth anyway?

Wasn't he the fella who did "A Rake's Progress"?

 Jamie Wakeham 06 Apr 2021
In reply to CantClimbTom:

> I agree, a climbing wall manager needs the tie-in to be simple/standard for all punters and be easily checkable by all the staff , which makes it a lowest common denominator approach. 

I'm told there is at least one climbing wall liability insurance provider that specifically insists upon fig 8 with stopper.  Regardless of how knowledgeable the floor walker might be, that's the only knot they are insured to approve.  It's annoying, but not exactly terrible to have to comply with.

In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

From an overall risk perspective I can see that having a restrictive policy (thou shalt use this knot and no other) which is easy to "police" is lower risk than requiring better trained staff who can use their discretion. Understandable even if not particularly satisfactory from a personal point of view.

 afx22 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Sean_J:

I see you live in Leeds, the same as I do.  Many of the people that I know at the local walls are pretty experienced and climb at very high levels.  Not all but many of them.

 Jamie Wakeham 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

Oh, I can see exactly where it comes from.  It's interesting that it's clearly the decision of one particular insurer, as other walls have no such restriction.

 Rob Naylor 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

> There was somebody here a while back who tied in with a bowline at a climbing wall, and the duty manager told him it was “wrong”. When he replied “well this knot was fine on Salathe wall” the guy said “well different walls have different rules about knots” 

I usually tie on with an Edwards bowline. Only one wall (Westway in London) has ever accepted it as a valid knot. Everywhere else I've had to re-tie with a Fig 8. Understandable I guess, but a bugger to untie for a big lad like me after a fall!

 Iamgregp 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Rob Naylor:

That's a new one on me I must admit, never seen one of those before.  Looks a bit like an unfinished double fig 8, at first glance....  My mate used to tie in with a bowline with a Yosemite finish at The Castle and they never seemed to mind that one.

Like you say, I've no issue with someone at a wall not being able to recognise every knot in the book, and know if it's correct or not.  There must be dozens and dozens of ways of tying in, and something other than a bowline or double fig 8 must make up a tiny percentage.  It's totally reasonable for them to request people they tie in with something more common if it's not a knot they know (god I enjoyed the last part of that sentence).

Gotta say, most staff I've met at wall have been absolutely brilliant and they're absolute superstars considering the wages most walls are able to pay!

 Phil79 06 Apr 2021
In reply to petegunn:

> Bring back the Beer Mat.

Alpkit used to make them about 10 years ago. I suspect demand is still there if they ever do them again. 

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/gear/climbing/accessories/some_little_alpkit_goodies-3297

In reply to tehmarks:

Prospective Clean Foot Gang members shop here: https://shop.thebmc.co.uk/product/bmc-respect-the-rock-boot-towel/ #respecttherock

 justdoit 06 Apr 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

I feel your pain, whilst staying local like lots of others and climbing a lot on the Cheshire sandstone areas around me, at least twice I have gone over and just mentioned to climbers to clean their climbing shoes before getting back on the route/problem. there has always been a good response from the climbers, who I have told about cleaning their shoes before going back onto the rock and educating them in that the rock will get less dirty etc, and there also less likely to have a foot slip due to mud being on their shoes, which is always a bonus. 

as a lot of people are stating a lot of the climbers not cleaning boots, have never really climbed outside and just at indoor walls. 

 Rob Parsons 06 Apr 2021
In reply to afx22:

> The thing about cleaning your shoes before you get on the rock - we were not born with this knowledge.  It was something we were taught - by others, via a book, or through an article somewhere.

I don't think I was ever 'taught' it - it is just very f*cking obvious. If you spend money on shoes with sticky rubber, it makes no sense to start climbing in them when they're covered in shit.

Post edited at 21:36
In reply to justdoit:

Probably simple awareness in a lot of cases. Branded carpet, normalisation of the bar towel, replace some van/coffee video shots with slo-mo foot cleaning 😁

 Jamie Wakeham 07 Apr 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

The solution has just come to me.  Our problem is that indoor-bred climbers just don't have that 'must clean my soles' instinct as they step up onto a route.

Therefore, we need to coat the matting at climbing walls in a thin layer of grease.

 afx22 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Rob Parsons:

I get that but would you agree that it’s not so obvious that ‘squeeking’ your shoes makes a difference?

 peppermill 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

> Therefore, we need to coat the matting at climbing walls in a thin layer of grease.

Aye.

I'm not sure why but I've always had this urge at the wall to swap someone's chalk out for icing sugar, for nothing more than the confusion as they try to work out what the hell is going on.

In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

The snob in me checks footwear at the wall for hints they’ve ever been outside. The misanthropist in me is annoyed they get up bigger grades 😁

 barry donovan 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

“I say Holmes is that an Edwards Bowline “ . . .  

In reply to barry donovan:

…when you have eliminated all knots which are impossible, then whatever knot remains, however improbable, must be the truth

In reply to tehmarks:

This is just one if many issues that comes with the current deficit in mentorship.

It's getting more and more common these days that people head out with very little experience. And a group can be getting introduced by an "experienced" climber who has been out twice if they are lucky.

Rather than the classic intro a lot of us had with a climbing partner who had a lot of experience, and passed on basics such as cleaning shoes, looking after rock, not overdoing chalk, being aware of bird bans and more. 

For some of us figuring out for ourselves we still had people we could turn to for help.

With the exponential growth of climbing the average experience level has definitely shrank and covid has definitely accelerated this. 

I dont know the solution, but the BMC does a few things, brands could do more and maybe instructors,guides,coaches are becoming more necessary.....maybe. 

 tehmarks 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Lukem6:

> It's getting more and more common these days that people head out with very little experience. And a group can be getting introduced by an "experienced" climber who has been out twice if they are lucky.

As a funny aside, I was out recently and led a route next to some instructors rigging for and beginning a group session. Apparently (I was halfway up the crag and doing the climbing thing in a hoolie), the discussion being had between two of the group instructors was entertaining my belayer no end: one was trying to explain to the other what I was doing (leading on gear); they had no real familiarity with the concept of trad climbing and were very clearly not themselves climbers. My guess is that they were out with an activity centre under the supervision of the third, clearly experienced, instructor. No judgement being passed, no bone to pick, but the oddness of it did make me chuckle.

> With the exponential growth of climbing the average experience level has definitely shrank and covid has definitely accelerated this.

I know that the rock is not the sole preserve of the 'dedicated' climber, but the ethos of climbing seems to be being diluted and lost by the influx of this new breed who are only there for their own casual Sunday fun. When I arrived at climbing as a hobby, I couldn't get enough of the history and tradition of climbing, and with that the etiquette and expectations of climbing on real, damageable, finite rock. I feel something important is being lost with the commodification of climbing. Some of the pioneers must be turning in their grave.

> I dont know the solution, but the BMC does a few things, brands could do more and maybe instructors,guides,coaches are becoming more necessary.....maybe. 

But instructors aren't helpful if they're dragging people with muddy shoes up classic routes every other day. Instructors may be becoming more necessary - but many don't seem to have any interest in the preservation of the rock or the etiquette of the sport they're instructing.

 Hooo 08 Apr 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

I don't think more instructors is the solution.

There are quite a few "instructors" who don't give a shit about preserving the rock. I got into a row with one on here. His attitude was that the rock was going to get trashed by climbers anyway, so he wasn't going to take measures to preserve it.

In reply to Hooo:

You could have responded with "your car will get old and scratched sometime, so I'll just scratch it now - your keys or mine?"

 Hooo 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

Let's just say my response led to me being unable to post any more responses for a while...

 Jamie Wakeham 08 Apr 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

> But instructors aren't helpful if they're dragging people with muddy shoes up classic routes every other day. Instructors may be becoming more necessary - but many don't seem to have any interest in the preservation of the rock or the etiquette of the sport they're instructing.

It's just bloody laziness.  The need to take care of the climbing environment is, quite literally, on the syllabus of their award, so they're just not doing their job.  Every client I've ever worked with (and I'm including plenty of school groups, as well as easier one-to-one) has been made aware of the need to clean their shoes before they step up.

 fred99 09 Apr 2021
In reply to Hooo:

> Let's just say my response led to me being unable to post any more responses for a while...

It's a great pity that this "instructor's" attitude couldn't lead to his qualifications being cancelled - along with being banned from posting himself.

In reply to tehmarks:

It's here! Magic shoe juice to clean your shoes - https://lowgravityclimbing.com/collections/shoe-care/products/rubber-restore-shoe-spray

Who knows, might just be spit in a bottle, but commodifying the act may actually help the cause?


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