UKC

How to convince mum that climbing is safe

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 Red Rover 07 Mar 2008
My Mum is a complete non-climber and knows next to nothing about it, and although I am old enough to make my own descisions about whther or not to go climbing, and she doesn't stop me going, I would rather she was OK with it because currently she worries too much about my safety and I dont like going off if she's at home fretting.

Whenever I tell her that, consindering the numbers of people involved, casualty rates are minimal, she talks about some cousin of a friend who was crippled in a mountaineering accident but its no good trying to explain that single pitch cragging is a world away from Himalayan bigwalls because it doesnt seem to be easy to make non-climbers understand, they just seem to have climbing=dangerous firmly entrenched in their minds.

Has anybody got any suggestions?

Cheers PS if i dont reply for a while I will get back on later as I have a busy weekend ahead of me.
In reply to Red Rover: who said it wasnt safe?
 Red Rover 07 Mar 2008
In reply to Fawksey: Mainly parents and concerned relatives and friends, who although well-meaning, dont really know anything about it.
In reply to Red Rover:
I think trying to stop mums/girlfriends and whoever else from worrying about you is nigh on impossible.
Some people will always worry and you probably can't change that. As long as they're not trying to stop you and aren't completely over the top about it I'd just let it be.
Maybe with time she'll get used to the idea.
In reply to Red Rover: who put that thought into their heads?
rich 07 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: i sort of know what you mean but it's not safe is it? not really - personally, i think that telling your loved ones that 'it's safe' is a bad idea

she's going to fret anyway - "I dont like going off if she's at home fretting" is your problem not her problem - if you see what i mean - i can't think how to phrase that less harshly - try to imagine me smiling sympathetically :¬)

In reply to Red Rover:

Tell her what you like though it is worth remembering climbing ISN'T safe! In my 50+ years, most of the people I know who died, did so climbing.

Chris
 Red Rover 07 Mar 2008
In reply to Fawksey:
> (In reply to Red Rover) who put that thought into their heads?

Not sure, probably a combination of knowing someone who's family member had an accident and the general misconception that climbing is cheating seath by your fingernails etc. would you agree that climbing (ie single pitch trad) was far safer than sports such as motorbiking?
 Red Rover 07 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: I was under the impression that most of the accidents occured in the more serious climbing ie mountaineering, and that single pitch climbing was as safe as you choose to make it because you choose whether or not to set off on a route, and with a bit of experience (or guidbook) you can tell if a pitch will be dangerous or well-protected. I'm not refering to anything big, just places like grit crags etc.

Am I far off the truth here?
In reply to Red Rover: Im sure that more people die on motorbikes than climbing but Ive no access to fatal accident rates for either or non fatal accident rates, meaning how many man hours go into climbing for each death or non fatal accident.

Driving to the crag is probably worse
 halo 07 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

Take your Mum to the climbing wall so she can watch other people climb as well as you and let her see it for herself in an controlled area such as a nice indoor wall with a cafe.

She can watch in a relaxed manner and hopefully watch some cracking DVD's also.

 Red Rover 07 Mar 2008
I dont think Il ever stop her worrying as it seems mothers will worry, it would be nice if she could at least understand the differance between what I do and what happens on 'Toutching The Void' ect. At least she hasnt seen my Hard Grit DVD ;p
 James Oswald 07 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:
make sure she knows that you know what your doing.
 blondel 07 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

What you need to do, RR, is find a drop-dead gorgeous (male) climbing instructor who can talk to her inspirationally about why he climbs and authoritatively about why parents should let their children learn about safe risk-taking.

Worked for me when my son took up climbing - so well that I took it up myself and now climb a lot more often than him!
 IanJackson 07 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: Give her a bottle of a good red wine, a good bar of dark chocolate, and Hard Grit..
 Red Rover 07 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: I think I'l take her to the wall, maybe show her a (small) lead fall so she sees how the system works (not really sure about this though).
 Burns 07 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

Choose your poison. Everything has an element of risk. It is worth bearing in mind what Mr Craggs said. Climbers look to rationalise the dangers, become neurotic about possible scenarios, carefully building the experience to deal with them, but ultimately you can't negate the risk.



 Paul748 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:
Take her climbing, show her the truth
 Mark Bannan 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

tell her nothing and don't show her any photos (e.g. a shot of my mate Chris and I halfway up Bludger's Revelation - she turned green looking at it!)

M
Wingman 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

Just tell her that you make your own decisions and that not all of climbing is safe but you try to make your own reasonable risk assessment.

That's what I do (and yes to the boring silver spoon nay sayers, how are you going to link that one up!!!)
 gobsmacker 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: I'm not sure showing her a fall would help much.

When I've tried to allay relatives' initial concerns in the past, I have introduced them to the choices I make which mean the difference between a safe situation and a dangerous one.

For example, "I was half way up the route and I suddenly found that there was no decent protection - I decided not to try making the next move, because I didn't want to put myself at risk"

This could give your mother some faith in you having some influence over the situation you put yourself in (so it's not just a case of you being totally helpless against the dangers of climbing)

Equally, you could tell her a story about how you "got loads of gear in" before a difficult move, explaining how it felt good to be so well protected.

If you demonstrate that you enjoy safe practices wehen climbing (even if you don't), it might put your mother's mind to rest to an extent (although probably never all of it).

Stevo
Nick Colton, BMC 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

Parents who are non-climbers find this free BMC download well worth reading http://www.thebmc.co.uk/Download.aspx?id=9
 Trangia 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

In answer to your question you can't. What you can do however is convince her that you are fully aware of the risks, are competent, have the best equipment available, know how to use it, have a sensible and healthy approach to-wards the risks involved, and know how to minimise them. Above all show her how much you gain from the sport and how much it means to you.
Jamming Dodger 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: My mum was the same and still gives a worried "ooh be careful" when i tell her im off climbing. Even more so when i take my son along too. But she has progressed, even to the extent of buying me some gear and climbing magazines every so often. She'll still worry, but as long as she's not stopping you then just accept that's the way it is.
She may stop when you're ummmmm 45? Nah prob not...
 Si dH 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:
Single-pitch climbign on grit can be 'as safe as you choose to make it', but inevitably as you get better and keener on the sport, you start wanting to do some routes that are a bit bolder, and its certain that at some poitn you'll end up in positions that are pretty scary, and definitely not safe. And one day, if you bite off more than you can chew, you might hurt yourself. It can be dangerous, if you're sensible and know what is within your ability, then less so, but its not right to assume youll always be safe. You'' realise this once youve been in a few dodgy positions

In reply to the original question, although I started climbing at 21 my parents did still worry about me quite a bit. It gradually wore off though - basically youll find that once youve been out climbing 50 tiems and not coem home crippled, she'll get used to the idea I should think.

PS Im assumign youre a beginner here. If not, and she still worries, Ive no idea.
In reply to Fawksey:
> (In reply to Red Rover) who said it wasnt safe?

It isn't 'safe' though - it's an 'extreme' sport.
 nniff 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

I have been climbing for 30 years now. My injury tally is as follows:
one badly sprained wrist, one cut nose (falling ice), scraped shins, a fair selection of finger pulley and tendon injuries.

I have been mountain biking seriously for 18 months. My injury tally is one broken collar bone (plated back together) and one disloctaed ankle.

Go figure.
 Wee Davie 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

Some cognitive behavioural therapy should do the trick-

Show her the all of Dave MacLeod's screaming 70 footers off Rhapsody, then as a finale Jean Minh Trinh Thinh Hing Thingy smashing into yon arete off Gaia on Hard Git.
For added reassurance you should cackle and foam at the mouth while watching them with her.

Davie
In reply to Si dH:

In reply to Si dH:

> Single-pitch climbign on grit can be 'as safe as you choose to make it',

I am not even sure that is really true, unless you choose to stay on the ground; slip off the first move, pop a runner, forget to tie on, pendulum, get hit by a falling rock/dog/helmet etc. etc.
I know a few folks (good climbers) who have had nasty injuries from small routes (including some who were 'just' bouldering, and almost every summer weekend someone gets helicoptered of Stanage/Burbage/Froggatt/Roaches.

Chris
 Bruce Hooker 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

> Has anybody got any suggestions?

Only that climbing isn't safe...

But then neither is crossing the road.
 whitty 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Chris Craggs:

and almost every summer weekend someone gets helicoptered of Stanage/Burbage/Froggatt/Roaches.

Is that really true?

As for short routes, they can be as lethal as any route.
In reply to Red Rover: You shouldn't; it isn't. Not the way she might want it to be, anyway.

Better to try to convince her that it's compelling exercise, a much better alternative to the things you might be getting up to, with minimal levels of risk if you're sensible, and that she's brought you up to be someone of independent mind with good judgement and the ability to exercise it.

Depending on your previous behaviour, convincing her of the last two points might be more difficult than convincing her not to worry about climbing.

T.
 Wee Davie 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

>a much better alternative to the things you might be getting up to

'Mum, either you let me go climbing or I'll smoke this crack pipe I have ready to go.'

Worked for me.

Davie
In reply to whitty:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
>
> and almost every summer weekend someone gets helicoptered of Stanage/Burbage/Froggatt/Roaches.
>
> Is that really true?
>

Edale Mountain Rescue 2007

13 July 'incident on Curbar'
30 July 'accident Birchens'
31 July 'fall from the Sentinel, Burbage'
20 August 'fallen climber Yarncliffe Quarry'
26 August 'climber fallen down Carls Wark'
1 Sept 'injured boulder at Burbage'
8 Sept 'fallen climber at Stanage Popular'
8 Sept 'another fallen climber at Stanage Popular'


So maybe not 'weekly' - but far too often!


Chris
 Reach>Talent 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:
Climbing isn't safe, there isn't really any way of glossing over the issue Tell her it is either climbing or football and columbian marching powder.
 Si dH 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to Si dH)
>
> In reply to Si dH:
>
> [...]
>
> I am not even sure that is really true, unless you choose to stay on the ground; slip off the first move, pop a runner, forget to tie on, pendulum, get hit by a falling rock/dog/helmet etc. etc.
> I know a few folks (good climbers) who have had nasty injuries from small routes (including some who were 'just' bouldering, and almost every summer weekend someone gets helicoptered of Stanage/Burbage/Froggatt/Roaches.
>
> Chris


I agree - hence the rest of my post.
 Mike Hartley 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

Climbing isn't safe, it has inherent risks attached to it...the best you can do is to convince her you know what you're doing (provided you do) and you minimise the risks as much as possible. She'll either be happy or she won't.
 Paz 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

The real question is surely `how do I get my Mum off my back'?

Tell her all your friends do it and you don't want to get left out, get the responsible mature kid who all your friends parents look up to to take it up (worked a treat for me, thought he's long since been surpassed in terms of keenness and competence by myself) and then they'll think `Oh if they're with them they'll be alright', ask her what she thinks the hell all the expensvie kit you expect her to buy you is for if not for safety.

I think Maternal concern is understandable. If they dedicate their lives to bring us up, put about 20 years of time and money into us to look after them in their old age, do well for ourselves, get a steady job to provide for and bring on the next generation. And then we just go and do something risky for kicks and scratch off any other ambition we ever had as meaningless. Yes people, I put it to you once again that we climbers are just a bunch of c*nts.
 mat098 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Paz:

> I think Maternal concern is understandable. If they dedicate their lives to bring us up, put about 20 years of time and money into us to look after them in their old age, do well for ourselves, get a steady job to provide for and bring on the next generation. And then we just go and do something risky for kicks and scratch off any other ambition we ever had as meaningless. Yes people, I put it to you once again that we climbers are just a bunch of c*nts.

Class, that is.


 Bruce Hooker 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Paz:

My best friend was killed climbing along with his best mate when we were both 23... his parents were devastated, he was the brightest of the family, the one who went to university, they never really recovered apparently... or so I heard not that long ago.

So you are probably right about us all being a bunch of c*nts! But that's life.

By coincidence my paternal grandfather died at 23 too in the trenches of France... so he got an even worse toss of the dice.

Cheerful all this talk of death!
In reply to Red Rover:

I played rugby for 25 years, broken both my wrists, bones in hands, dislocated collarbone, concussion, prolapsed discs, broken nose, chipped teeth, numerous alcohol poisonings...never hurt myself climbing up to E3/E4 for the past 20 years...
 Epic Ebdon 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

I remember before going to the alps for my second season, with a long holiday and many routes as targets, I went to the pub with my dad and he said "I don't mind if you die, son" or words to that effect. I pointed out this didnt seem that nice, and he pointed out that I was at uni and could be getting up to anything, I'd taken him out on some stuff in winter and he'd loved it, and saw how much I enjoyed it, and he was happy that it was much better I was doing something I enjoyed that kept me healthy, rather than drinking or smoking my mind away. They still say "be careful" (particulalry after my mum watched touching the void and read "the beckoning silence", but generally I think they're happy with me going climbing and walking. It certainly gets easier with time.

Tim
 Paz 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

F*ck, dude.

>
> Cheerful all this talk of death!

Yeah I know what you mean (that's Bristol for you). It's kind of hard to put a positive spin on it, so I too have banned myself from it for the time being.

They had this nightclub night called Extreme for all the `Extreme sports clubs' in the Uni the other day. Total rip off. I just felt like saying `Yeah, people from the climbing club died or nearly got badly injured, that was extreme!', 'Look, that guy's got tattoos, how extreme', `An earing - in a straight guy? EXTREME DUDE!'.

Back on topic, I told my mum the other day how a lot of accidents are down to rushing complacency and fatigue and abseiling and how I always give myself a second chance, citing the example of it being safer to spend the extra 20 minutes to ab off a thread and a bolt rather than just a bolt, even though it meant getting cold and benighted. I did not tell her about the doubts I now have about how safe I was when rigging that up when off belay, nor about when I just abbed off a thread, sling and snap gate. She now tells me about any of her friends' kids she knows who are taking up climbing, and I have now agreed to take out her nephews and maybe even nieces too (my cousins).

Selective ranting is the best plan, e.g. make sure she thinks you're on the right side of the helmet debate..., explain why your belays never fail like the one in Vertical Limit (three cams, bah, I'd have about four wires, some old pegs and a thread if possible), how Black Diamond tried to sue the makers of Cliffhanger for portraying their harnesses as ripping. My BD harness's belt buckle started fraying badly and I still use(d) it and it(s) never ripped. Maybe don't tell her that. I'm sure you've all seen or even corrected some shocking belaying, e.g. down the wall. Once your mum starts comparing you to all the other climbers out there you consider to be unsafe then she'll feel fine. My Dad just professionaly appreciates risk assessment is integral to the sport, but has no doubt heard when I was told to do RAs that the riskiest thing student clubs do was the amount of heavy drinking and putting minibuses in the hands of shit shit drivers.

My sister came to Stanage with me once and she told me she was impressed with my climbing, this was way back when I was a beginner too. No doubt she told our mum as well. And my mum was beaming after, when on holiday near Arco, she saw me `just walk up a slab'. She doesn't have to know how hard or easy it was .

And at the end of the day going climbing is better than becoming a Jehovah's witness or developing a smack habit like some other cousins of mine so I've potentially had an easy ride.
 Trangia 08 Mar 2008
In reply to HappyTrundler:

The problem with climbing is that serious accidents tend to be fatal unlike other sports quoted where injuries are more prevalent.

When I look back over my life I have lost a lot of friends through various causes including road accidents, heart attack, strokes and cancer, but like Gordon has found, the biggest field for the Grim Reaper has been through climbing/mountaineering accidents. Too many friends have had their lives cut short in the mountains, but they all died doing what they loved, and that was at least some consolation to their families.
 simon geering 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Nick Colton, BMC:

Cool like the cover shot on that!

Am i the only one who, when looking at that image of that kid, of what 6-8 yrs old, climbing at an outdoor crag ends up thinking "how cool it would of been if I had decided to get into climbing at that age"?
 simon geering 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

Just explain what climbing protection is and hint that the more of it you have the safer it is, then wait for all your new shiny gear to appear next christmas

Seriously though, you kind of answered your own question in your origional post. You mention about the comparison between the relative risks involved in single pitch and alpine mountinearing. The key point here is that your mum, as with anyone else who dosen't climb themselves, is not full posession of the detailed knowledge needed to allow her to truely understand the risks involved and the ways these can be reduced / managed though all the various methods we all employ every weekend.

As others have pointed out you can't make it risk free and it would be unfair on her if you were to convince her this was the case. Rather you would be better off giving her sufficient infomation to gain a realistic apprecation of what it is you are doing.

It may be helpful if you make a list of what if questions, i.e try and think of all the possible things she might be assuming could go wrong and then explain to here how bits of gear techinques and decision making process help prevent said thing going wrong. I am learning to lead at the moment and have found this last point helpful for when all the stupidly irrational fears come into your head at the most inappropriate time.
 Red Rover 08 Mar 2008
In reply to simon geering: Good plan, think I'l try it. Thanks for the advice everyone, I'l see if I can educate her about the safety aspects or take her to the wall.

cheers all
 Paz 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

But seriously, why is she on your case right now , did you forget mother's day or something? .
 AlisonS 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

Climbing isn't "safe" and it's dangerous to pretend it is.

Do what I have always done. Tell your parents as little as possible about your private life.
 Bob Kemp 08 Mar 2008
In reply to AlisonS:
I'll second that. When I was sixteen and was starting climbing I told my parents all sorts of things about how climbing was really 'pretty safe nowadays with modern equipment' (MOACs, tape slings, sophisticated stuff like that). Then I had an accident aged eighteen. That story wasn't going to work any more so I told my mother I'd stopped climbing but carried on. I didn't have any more accidents and she was very happy that I wasn't wilfully jeopardising my life.
 jkarran 08 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

> Has anybody got any suggestions?

Don't get hurt...

Seriously, you can't 'prove' that it's safe because she'll always have something else in mind you could be doing that's 'safer'.
jk
 peas65 10 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

When i came back form the alps this summer, showed my dad the pics and he said 'very nice' and all that guff. Took him 4 months to realise i had actually been climbing the mountains not just looking at them
In reply to Red Rover:

Does she drive?

Actively worry about her driving a car, 3,000+ people die in cars every year, yet people happily get in them every day.

There are risks associated with climbing, but as long as you are careful they are minimal, the problem is that people do not tend not to evaluate risk in a rational way.

I am off to Scotland over Easter to go Winter Climbing, the most dangerous part of the trip will be the 800 miles of driving.
 LewisDale 10 Mar 2008
In reply to peas65: thats what i have told my dad about me going to the alps this summer
 Alex Roddie 10 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:
I know what you mean. When I was younger, I had a hell of a time persuading my parents that even long-distance backpacking was safe! My Mum is a massive worrier at the best of times, but after I returned safely and on time at the end of several trips, she started to realise I could take care of myself.

Mountaineering is a bit different but she is starting to accept that, while it is dangerous, my brother and I stay safe rather than pushing our luck. Most of the people in my life know that I am not afraid to turn back if the situation demands it.

So basically, give it time and she will learn that you are doing all you can to maximise safety.
neilinut 10 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

2 approaches

1)be vague about it and play down the risks. I had one friend tell his mum about the protection system and runners. His mum asks, what if the runner fails? Friend tells Mum he'll just grab onto another bit of rock in the event of that happening.

2) Take them out climbing or to watch you climb.

Some experiences of both approaches. Friend in approach 1) died climbing about 15 years ago. I went for approach 2) when I was 17, had a minor epic involving not enough rope on a multi-pitch whilst my parents watched from the road. Came back to grey faces and thought my Dad was going to have a heart attack.

It isn't safe - take care and don't worry the ones you love more than you have to.
 simon geering 10 Mar 2008
In reply to neilinut:

lol re point two - worst posible timing for something to go wrong
 EllenW 10 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:
tell her you're going cave-diving on your new motorbike.
 Knitted Simian 10 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

Let her watching touching the Void.

He lived didn't he, so will you.
seanfo 14 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: I think we should leave motorbiking out of this. A serious accident on average will occur for every 8500 hours of riding in comparison to horse riding where the average is every 800 hours. Don't know the stats for climbing but I always assure the likes of Mum that horses are more dangerous.
 Al Evans 14 Mar 2008
In reply to Fawksey:
> (In reply to Red Rover) who said it wasnt safe?

Its a gut reaction, I never convinced my Mum from when I was 10 until when I was 57, then she died
 Alun 14 Mar 2008
In reply to HappyTrundler:

Likewise while out on my mountain bike I have, on separate occasions, broken both my collarbones, both my wrists, been concussed several times and had too many cuts and bruises to count. In 15 years of rock climbing up to E4 the only semi-serious injury I have had (TOUCH WOOD) was badly spraining my ankle from a two foot fall onto a thick mat in an indoor wall...

...yet my mum STILL worries more about me going climbing than doing anything else.

I think what scares Mums is the thought that, IF something in the system should fail (i.e. the rope snapped, this is how Mum's think) there's a high chance that you'd fall to your death. Thus a Mum views say, rugby or mountain biking, as 'safer' because the risk of death from those activities is lower than in climbing.
 graeme jackson 14 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: Climbing isn't safe. Your mum is right to be concerned.
In reply to Red Rover:

a disclaimer on a friends website reads

"Rock Climbing is dangerous. You will die."

It's just thet the two statements are not necessarily connected.

My philosophy is that I dont want to be the best climber - just the oldest, but we should learn from that longest living of all creatures, the tortoise, that only gets anywhere when it sticks it's neck out!
 Jason Kirk 14 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

You can't. climbing is not safe which is one of the reasons most of us do it. It's an adrenaline rush.
 robert mirfin 14 Mar 2008
In reply to Chris Craggs: Blimey! this thread is starting to get me down. Think I'll go back to ebay
 Pauline 14 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: it helps me as a `non climbing' parent who occasionally partakes to know how the system works... hence i can climb and do so occasionally. I can rig up a belay on single and multi pitch and place/remove gear correctly ( often have to abb down and retrieve gear the kid gets stuck!)

maybe getting mum involved at low level climbing will show her the safety aspect of climbing and reassure her?
 Pauline 14 Mar 2008
In reply to Pauline: ps mine was 10 when he started climbing and i knew NOTHING!!!!
 Simon Caldwell 14 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:
I once saw some statistics (possibly made up) which showed that you were less likely to die while climbing than while salmon fishing.
 ice.solo 15 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:
3 suggested methods;

1) baffle her with statistics and complex stuff, carry on about how climbing isnt inherantly dangerous, only potentially, then give her the quantum mechanics difference according to heisenberg etc etc

2) start some other pursuit so obviously dangerous by comparison (BASE jumping, cave diving, heroin, pakistani cricket coach etc) that she will beg you to return to climbings relative safety.

3) lie. tell her youve given up the idea and got into origami instead, then smuggle your gear out to the car in with some laundry. tell her you the cuts and bruises brawling in the pub.

she will be fine.
 dek 15 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: Save her the worry, and tell her you are going scrambling/walking. Thats what we did at your age.
 Conf#2 15 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: I've had this problem lots. I used to say i was going off walking for whole sunny days in't peak, whilst I was actually bouldering/climbing beloved gritstone craggs. Then I persuaded my dad to come and watch me and a friend climbing@ laurencefield, to see how safe we were and how we managed risks etc, so now although they arn't fine with it, at least they let me go and have some confidence in me. It also means i don't have 2 lie to them which is never good.
so, take them climbing!
 mrjonathanr 15 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:
I used to tell my mum the most dangerous bit was driving to the crag. Come to think of it, I still do, and I'm nearly 40.
She's a mother. worrying's her job, she probably won't give it up too easily.
In reply to mrjonathanr: I dont tell my mother FA, she just whinges about my dad and he just cusses all the time, if I mention climbing or caving I get told its about time I gave that up

I dont ever mention the motorbike or work

The wine my dad gives me is probably the more dangerous
 trhp72 15 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

outwit her. hit her with something that she does which is dangerous. If she smokes, perfect. But find something. If she doesn't exercise much hit her with the fact that this is probably more of a health risk than not climbing. I used to outwit my mum all the time when I was young.
 JdotP 15 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

Well, firstly, climbing is not quite as safe as staying at home reading a book.

My experience is that trying to explain what climbing entails and why it is safe doesn't work. I think the best option is to just play it down and suggest that you just like to bimble around and do easy climbs. Though saying "I only do single pitch cragging, I'm not like these psychos who ice climb" will only work as a short term tactic because eventually you will probably want to take up ice climbing

Also, it is good to go climbing as often as possible so that your mother gets used to you going climbing and coming back safe and well. Nowadays I go winter climbing most weekends, and my mother worries about it far less than when I used to go once per year.

Of course, the best way to stop your mother from worrying is to avoid injuring yourself or having accidents / epics, which is a good idea anyway.
 jamestheyip 16 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:
I was told by a friend that in this country angling claimed more lives than any other sports, followed by horse riding and mountaineering. I tried to search the source of this statement and only found a ten years old article from the Independent. Here is the extract and the source (can't find it on the Independent website):

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19980107/ai_n9650181

"...Dr Michael Turner, chief medical adviser to the British Ski and Snowboard Federation, who has compiled statistics on the relative dangers of different sports, says that downhill skiing has an injury rate of just 2.6 per 1,000 participant days - roughly the same risk as table tennis, and half that of golf. Rugby, on the other hand, with an injury rate of 95.7 per 1,000, and soccer, at 64.4, are far more perilous. Angling accounts for more deaths in Britain each year than any other outdoor activity - seven lives, compared to five for horse riding, five for mountaineering, three for parachuting, two for hang gliding and two for fell walking..."

As climbing/mountaineering is much more popular than it was 10 years ago I'd imagine the death rate will be much higher. In my first year of uni there were 2 fatal accident & a few serious injuries just within our mountaineering club. I personally witnessed many helicopter rescues in my 10 years of climbing.

You have to accept it is a risky sport in order to make it safer.
 jamestheyip 16 Mar 2008
In reply to jamestheyip:
Amongst all climbing accidents I witnessed/heard of, many of them happened in a relaxed sunny day doing non-committing climbs, e.g. single pitch in local crag.

Apart from little cut and bruises, I've only ever got one climbing related injury, which was a bad knee sprain when pulling plastic in my local climbing wall without warming up.
 Crank 16 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover:

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) website has "an Introduction to Risk & Safety in Climbing":

http://www.thebmc.co.uk/Feature.aspx?id=1421

It also has a downloadable "Guide for Parents":

http://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmcNews/media/u_content/File/youth_equity/youth/publications/Young_people_Pa...
 Tobias at Home 16 Mar 2008
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> I know a few folks (good climbers) who have had nasty injuries from small routes (including some who were 'just' bouldering, and almost every summer weekend someone gets helicoptered of Stanage/Burbage/Froggatt/Roaches.
>
> Chris

i know an E1 climber with 30yrs experience who broke their ankle demonstrating the start of crack and corner at the roaches
 Kate Edhouse 16 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: if you ever find the answer to 'how to conveince mum that climbing is safe' please email me!
 dpc 16 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: one young beginner had the same problem. Find the poshest and preferably oldest male climber you can, invite your mum along and and get him to tell her how he's been mentoring you.... job done.
hiu068 17 Mar 2008
In reply to Red Rover: just dont tell her. one of my partners has had some pretty serious falls of late and he just neglects to inform her of such events. show her a picture of you bouldering saying "look mum its not that high and there is a landing mat at the bottom"

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