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Take part in research study

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 Anna Zlevorova 31 Jul 2021

Hi all,

I would like to invite you to take part in research to help us understand the psychology of rock climbing.

The research is primarily focused on exploring the reasons why climbing is so psychologically rewarding and enjoyable. The present research study is a part of a wider research being conducted at the University of South Wales that focuses on positive psychological experiences associated with climbing and craving for those. Additionally, given how rewarding climbing is for most of us, the research aims to explore the therapeutic potential of climbing. 

You can take part by simply clicking the link below. The link takes you into an online survey that takes about 15 minutes to complete. 

https://southwales.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/extremesports

So grab a coffee and contribute to research! 

I greatly appreciate you taking the time. 

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. 

Anna,

Postgraduate researcher at University of South Wales

In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

That was an exceptionally depressing survey. I feel so sad for people who relate to these completely weird, escapist, over wrought, profoundly insecure sentiments.
 

A friend who does public health research told me that when recruiting for studies related to high risk behavior, extreme sports participants are a great source of samples, but NOT rock climbers. Apparently they asses risk affection by giving candidates a crossword puzzle. The climbers all finish the puzzle and are eliminated as subjects. actual extreme sport athletes ignore the puzzle and talk to each other. 

In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

Completed.

Quite a decent survey although some of the questions seemed a bit similar.

You may receive criticism re the options you present on gender.

Best on sight lead - wasn't sure if you meant current grade or best ever.

Hope you get lots of responses and find it useful.

 wbo2 31 Jul 2021
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

That questionaire doesn't really seems designed to fit me, or the other people I climb with.  What if your reason for climbing was that you find it enjoyable and challenging, and not an escapist struggle from the horrors of day to day life.

Completed, with reservation

In reply to wbo2:

> That questionaire doesn't really seems designed to fit me, or the other people I climb with.  What if your reason for climbing was that you find it enjoyable and challenging, and not an escapist struggle from the horrors of day to day life.

> Completed, with reservation

Totally agree with this. And the last section .. I have just spent all day doing a hard bike ride so I don’t want it go climbing. My current state is not taken into account.

And what’s the obsession with wild parties ? It’s not been defined what counts as a party. I’ve not been to a “party” in years so what do I put ?

In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20632737/

"Overall, climbing sports had a lower injury incidence and severity score than many popular sports, including basketball, sailing or soccer; indoor climbing ranked the lowest in terms of injuries of all sports assessed. "

Maybe you've got the wrong idea about climbing and risk seeking.

In reply to AtLargesse:

Proving the climbers are good a crosswords?

In reply to dunc56:

Maybe you go climbing because you don't get invited to wild parties? 

 Ian Parsons 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> Maybe you go climbing because you don't get invited to wild parties? 


This is way outside my sphere of experience - but I'd always rather assumed that wild parties were the sort that didn't involve sending out invitations.

 Lankyman 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Ian Parsons:

> This is way outside my sphere of experience - but I'd always rather assumed that wild parties were the sort that didn't involve sending out invitations.

A wild party is any party taking place outdoors in the countryside. You know, like wild swimming, wild camping etc.

 jonny taylor 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

I think you’ve been watching too much Point Break.

In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

Hi Anna

For nearly all of us, climbing is not an extreme sport. It's fun with our friends and a bit of a challenge etc. The questions make me wonder if you think we are all versions of John Redhead back in the day. 

Maybe your study would benefit from some participant observation. Go climbing, hang out with some climbers. Or maybe you already are a climber and the study will puncture popular myths about climbing

Please do post your findings on UKC 

 GrahamD 01 Aug 2021
In reply to jonny taylor:

How does it work with re-wilding ?

 John Gresty 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

I assume that you have read the book about the psychology of climbing that was published quite a few years ago.  An American book published quite a few years ago, consisting of essays by various people.

I had a copy but it has long since disappeared, and as such I have also forgotten it's title. Whilst things have changed considerably since this book was written it should provide a good starting point.

John Gresty

 Moacs 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

Done - but I think I may be misleading you on some things just because of the way you've set it up.  For example, if you asked what's your main roc climbing discipline it'd be trad...but "most often" becomes indoor training.

 mrjonathanr 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

Hi Anna, your second question is discriminatory as it excludes those who do not simply identify as male/female.

 Bob Kemp 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

> A wild party is any party taking place outdoors in the countryside. You know, like wild swimming, wild camping etc.

This is not true. But it will be…

 John Ww 01 Aug 2021
In reply to John Gresty:

The games climbers play?

 profitofdoom 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

Done. Good luck with your studies

 John Gresty 01 Aug 2021
In reply to John Ww:

No. Wasn't 'Games Climbers Play' although I have read that many years ago. And I always refer to rock climbing (and most other outdoor activities)  as just an adult version of children playing. After all, what is an indoor climbing wall but a grown up version of a kids soft play centre.

John

 joeruckus 01 Aug 2021
In reply to John Gresty:

Perhaps you're talking about "Everyday Masculinities and Extreme Sport: Male Identity and Rock Climbing" by Victoria Robinson (2008) ?

In reply to John Gresty:

I have several times whinged about there being no adult sized version when taking grandkids to playgrounds with adventure stuff.

Wasn't going to bother with this survey but all the comments have picqued my interest although I'm not sure I'm a suitable candidate having had back problems for the last 4 weeks which have stopped all my exercise activities.

In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

What a lot of weird questions, the assumption that everyone does partying, especially after 17 months of Covid.

Also, for someone like me who doesn't go into lots of self examination of my feelings, a lot of those questions are difficult to answer.

Why do I go climbing - because I enjoy it.

And I'm afraid my current situation (back pain for last month) has made some of my answers a bit contradictory; e.g. how much do you want to go climbing ATM - 7(?), top of the scale. Are you planning to go climbing ATM - 1(?), bottom of the scale.

 Kemics 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

I think there is a misconception of the personality types and motivation that is attracted to "risk taking" extreme sports. Almost everyone i know who is attracted to extreme "risky" things does so from a perspective of hyper control and risk mitigation rather than a point-break "f*ck it bro, yolo! Woooo" approach. 

The guys i know operating at the very margins of extreme sketchiness - free cave divers all have personality traits of OCD/borderline aspergers . A great example is alex honnold; extreme "risky" soloing but i doubt he's a wild party goer, he's basically an automaton focused on control and sequence execution. I also heard (hopefully true) anecdote that Dave Macleod drives very slowly and cautiously round the highlands in a reasonably priced volvo....and then goes and climbs echo wall and any number of mind bendingly dangerous routes. 

 Jon Stewart 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> What a lot of weird questions

Have you not seen all these questions before?

The way these things work is that they use validated scales using standardised questionnaires that measure certain psychological traits such as risk-taking, addiction, introversion/extraversion etc.

My own view on this type of research is that it's probably useful for teaching research techniques to students, but that such techniques often don't apply very well to climbing. People's experiences of climbing and their motivations, and the things they actually do when they go climbing (bimbling up a mountain vdiff as an excuse to go to the pub with old friends vs. redpointing 8a, etc) are so diverse you'd need a huge pool of data to get a handle on what was going on in within each of the sub-populations of climbers you'd identified. For example, I might find psychological benefits from going soloing in the mountains, whereas someone else might find benefits from taking up climbing as a novice and joining a club to help them form some social bonds or feel a sense of belonging. These are radically different activities in practice and in terms of the psychology that drives them.

In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Have you not seen all these questions before?

Pretty much but this set seemed to have more assumptions than normal. I always find the "how do you feel" type questions difficult because although I experience my feelings (do I have any 😁 ), I rarely actually examine them or try to classify or quantify them.

Post edited at 13:56
 james mann 01 Aug 2021
In reply to John Gresty:

> I assume that you have read the book about the psychology of climbing that was published quite a few years ago.  An American book published quite a few years ago, consisting of essays by various people.

Beyond Risk - conversations with climbers - O'Connell

James

 wintertree 01 Aug 2021
In reply to jonny taylor:

> I think you’ve been watching too much Point Break.

There’s no such thing as too much Point Break.

In reply to Jon Stewart:

That feels like it’s not an issue with standardised and validated measures, rather it’s an issue with whether a researcher will have sufficient statistical power to carry out analysis by sub-discipline and of the validity of their definition of types of climber.  

Within a well designed study I can’t see why standardised measures would be more problematic when applied to climbers than anyone else. Assuming that e.g. extroversion is a measurable trait then whether someone likes climbing, playing snooker or snorkelling isn’t relevant to what tools you could use to get a valid measure of their extroversion.

 Jon Stewart 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> That feels like it’s not an issue with standardised and validated measures, rather it’s an issue with whether a researcher will have sufficient statistical power to carry out analysis by sub-discipline and of the validity of their definition of types of climber.  

I agree, I just don't see how they're going to generate really meaningful results in this context.

 Mick Ward 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Kemics:

> I think there is a misconception of the personality types and motivation that is attracted to "risk taking" extreme sports. Almost everyone i know who is attracted to extreme "risky" things does so from a perspective of hyper control and risk mitigation rather than a point-break "f*ck it bro, yolo! Woooo" approach. 

Totally agree. I spend far too much of my time exploring extremely dangerous sea cliffs on my own. Every last iota of risk is remorselessly stripped out. If it wasn't, I simply wouldn't survive. And yes, I've got OCD. Everything that can be checked is checked - again and again and again. I know the odds are stacked against me and may well take me out in the end, I'm just making it as hard as possible for the grim reaper. (My rat needs feeding.) Before that, with soloing, it was much the same modus operandi.

If people are going to study climbing seriously, they really need to understand the different facets. There are many 'games climbers play'. Some are very far removed from others. Simply shoving them together and labelling them 'climbing' gloriously misses the enticing diversity.

Mick (ex-psychologist)

In reply to Jon Stewart:

Yeah I’d agree with that. It also wasn’t immediately apparent to me how the choice of measures matched up with what they said they wanted to investigate. Hard to see how extroversion, for example, is particularly relevant to possible therapeutic benefit. 

In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

I get the impression you think climbers are massive high risk taking, wild partying, emotionally insecure.

Generally I've found over the last 35 plus year of pushing various 'adventure*' sports, we're actually quite risk averse, very measured, methodical and secure, the wild risk takers are a rarity. 

*calling it an adventure sport wasn't an accident, not an extreme or high risk sport, statistically driving is allegedly more dangerous. 

Post edited at 21:26
In reply to jonny taylor:

> I think you’ve been watching too much Point Break.

Is she coming back? 

In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

I struggle to think of myself as an "athlete", and I rather think the OP would if she saw me. Especially  if she saw me climb.

In reply to Mick Ward:

> Totally agree. I spend far too much of my time exploring extremely dangerous sea cliffs on my own. Every last iota of risk is remorselessly stripped out. If it wasn't, I simply wouldn't survive. And yes, I've got OCD. Everything that can be checked is checked - again and again and again. I know the odds are stacked against me and may well take me out in the end, I'm just making it as hard as possible for the grim reaper. (My rat needs feeding.) Before that, with soloing, it was much the same modus operandi.

> If people are going to study climbing seriously, they really need to understand the different facets. There are many 'games climbers play'. Some are very far removed from others. Simply shoving them together and labelling them 'climbing' gloriously misses the enticing diversity.

> Mick (ex-psychologist)

Yes to all that. This questionnaire, like so many before it, is virtually unanswerable for that reason. Also, it fails to take into account the time span of someone's climbing career. Again, for anyone who's climbed for more than about 5 years many of the questions are unanswerable. Through my 40-year 'climbing career' (rather a grand description!) the amount of time available for climbing varied hugely ... some years virtually none at all, others 2-3 times a week. You know, other things like studying, getting a career together, working very hard in a creative freelance capacity, etc etc etc, came in the way.

Post edited at 22:44
 Basemetal 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

"Do I want to go rock climbing now?"

11:30pm on a rainy Sunday night.....um....no, not really.

 C Witter 01 Aug 2021
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

Hi Anna,

Responded. What I would like to know is, to what extent does your methodology take into account the bloody-mindedness and pedantry of the typical UKC forum user? Has your survey design been influenced by the existing literature on surveying arm chair critics, the habitually obstructionist and the downright cynical? Careful: you might be pressed on this in your upgrade panel!

 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Anna Zlevorova: 

I am surprised that your survey does not include a statement explaining the ethical approval that your research surveys has been through. II am not familiar with USW policies, but at some universities, undertaking a survey without strict compliance with the ethical policies - which may include disclosing the approval process -  can put the data - and hence concomitant research outcomes and student marks - at risk.   I am not saying this to try and rattle you, and I will take no action beyond this comment, but I am always concerned when I see a UK university survey without note on the ethical approval process.

I made some notes on difficulties I had filling in the survey

Question 7 - you don't specific a physical unit (months?  years?).   

> “I would like to take off on a trip with no pre-planned routes”

Does this mean “climbing routes” or just “travel routes”?

> I like new and exciting experiences, even if I have to break the rules

What are “the rules”?  Legal, societal, personal?

> I have physical sensations that even doctors don’t understand.

I don’t understand this question.

> When I am upset. I don’t know if I am sad, frightened, or angry.

Upset, sad, frightened and angry are all different emotions.  

> I prefer to just let things happen rather than to understand why they turned out that way.

The first option is a judgement made in advance, the second is about retrospective analysis, so they can’t be compared.

> I prefer to watch “light” entertainment shows rather than psychological dramas.

Very restricted options. I prefer to watch blockbuster action movies with a dramatic subtext, like Point Break.

> I find it easy to play my role in most relationships

I have absolutely no idea what this question means.

> When I want to unwind I like to have a few drinks and crank up the stereo

What about opiates?

> I like people who party hard

Is this a parody question?

> Exciting activities give me a feeling of accomplishment

If you’d said “challenging” not “exciting”, I’d resonate some understanding, but excitement is not a precursor to accomplishment, difficulty is.  Depending on the activity, difficulty may be utterly boring or thoroughly exciting.

> I can forget all of my problems when I am at a party

For me, being at a party is a problem.  Damn, I hate it when I accidentally end up at a party.  But there's no option for that.

> I am more likely to try skydiving than my friends

How the **** do I know?  I’ve never asked  most of them.  But, for the record, I wouldn’t “try” it, I’d either qualify to do it or not bother.  Anyhow, skydiving isn’t hard, it’s the canopy landing that kills people.  If I could skydive without having to land, I'd be all over it like a rash.  I've had enough near-death experiences in unpowered landings to last me several lifetimes...

> Why do you practice your sport?

Many answers, but it's ,issing the critical answer - because that's what I want to do.

> Climbing would make me less depressed

Trivially mixing mental health in to a survey like this is a massive warning flag about the theoretical framework you’ve used to derive your questions.  This question really stands out as a jarring problem.  Just dropping a mental health related question in with this kind of context is Not Cool IMO.

 mrjonathanr 02 Aug 2021
In reply to mrjonathanr:

> Hi Anna, your second question is discriminatory as it excludes those who do not simply identify as male/female.

Interesting that this comment got 11 dislikes.  Some people identify as trans or non- binary and the question only allows a binary male/female response, thereby excluding them. This is a matter of fact, not opinion.  Why dislike facts?

As wintertree observes there is no reference to any ethical process- surely this question would have been picked up? Universities are bound by equalities legislation, same as the rest of us.

I wish you well with your project. If you produce a non- discriminatory version, I would be happy to complete it.

In reply to wintertree:

Had a rough day?

In reply to Stuart Williams:

> Had a rough day?

Perhaps he's had a bad day climbing and just received an invite from friends to go ski diving, with after party. 

 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> Had a rough day?

Fine day, rough night… Failing to sleep from a number of midge bites.  First I knew about them was after I scratched them….

In reply to Bulls Crack:

She, my public health researcher friend, said it was because they engaged with mental, non physically demanding puzzle solving that required patience. Apparently it’s the sign of someone who is not addicted to high risk sports behavior 😂

In reply to John Gresty:

It was by a Dutch author, I think. With Steph Davis on the cover? That was a great book. 

In reply to wintertree:

Haha all of these questions reminded me of a young girl I used to climb with who took brainless risks, was obsessed with getting famous, and was absolutely headstrong in every area of life. She has effectively said each of these statements to me. Luckily she destroyed her foot (and ego) and can’t (hopefully) climb anymore, keeping her unsuspecting friends safe from the danger she presents. 

 Jon Stewart 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

The questions are from a validated scale. 

 wintertree 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The questions are from a validated scale. 

So I gathered from your earlier post.  

Digging in to it, the first set of questions are from a standardised scale, and most of the second come from a questionnaire in an old paper from 1996.  That paper didn't have the question on climbing and depression, which appears to be an addition, and this is the only one that I'd actually flag up if I was reviewing the ethics.  I don't consider it appropriately worded, and effectively collecting information on mental health without appropriate ethical disclaimers up front is on thin ice, at the least.

Doesn't change the difficulties I had filling it in.  I'm not sure these things work when I start thinking about the question instead of answering them...

Post edited at 14:09
 Jon Stewart 02 Aug 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I thought I recognised the 'less depressed' question from a scale on addiction or something used before in this context, could be wrong.

I assumed that you either used a scale (substituting "climbing" for "injecting crystal meth" or whatever), or you didn't. Perhaps some students take a more mix and match approach, just using the scales as a starting point, but that would seem to be the worst of all worlds to me. Dunno tho. 

In reply to Jon Stewart:

But the"depressed" question was phrased a bit in the style of the classic "have you stopped beating your wife" question.

In reply to C Witter:

> Hi Anna,

> Responded. What I would like to know is, to what extent does your methodology take into account the bloody-mindedness and pedantry of the typical UKC forum user?

I wonder if Alan has thought about any commercial possibilities of hiring UKC out for testing and refinement of research surveys 😁

 profitofdoom 02 Aug 2021
In reply to summo:

> .....an invite from friends to go ski diving.....

"Ski diving" sounds interesting. Is that sliding down a snow slope headfirst?? (Not into a crevasse, I hope 

In reply to profitofdoom:

> "Ski diving" sounds interesting. Is that sliding down a snow slope headfirst?? (Not into a crevasse, I hope 

Oops looks like I've just invented a new sport. Although Bond might share the credit. 

 C Witter 03 Aug 2021
In reply to AtLargesse:

>Haha all of these questions reminded me of a young girl I used to climb with who took >brainless risks, was obsessed with getting famous, and was absolutely headstrong in every >area of life. She has effectively said each of these statements to me. Luckily she destroyed >her foot (and ego) and can’t (hopefully) climb anymore, keeping her unsuspecting friends >safe from the danger she presents. 

A crush that didn't work out?

Post edited at 00:21
 C Witter 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> I wonder if Alan has thought about any commercial possibilities of hiring UKC out for testing and refinement of research surveys 😁

Almost certainly. But, then he considered the legal and ethical implications of the mental distress that would certainly be caused to scores of bright young things, fresh out of their Psychology MScs... 

Q. 1 Are you willing to overlook the typing errors, linguistic ambiguities and hermeneutic challenges of this survey, or would you prefer to overinterpret - and in some cases, wilfully misinterpret - every detail in an increasingly frenetic manner?

When you say "willing", does it count if I'm currently tied to a chair, typing on UKC while locked in a damp basement so that my (occasional climbing) partner can consensually apply electrodes to my... ...? Because I'm not sure you've considered that, have you?

Post edited at 00:31
 Basemetal 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

'Shredding', by peers used to be part of the preparation process for a public or classroom facing survey like this.  I would have expected the problem questions, ambiguities and presumptions to have been spotted and weeded by any contemporary university peer group. Doubly so as with the survey being part of a wider research project, participants for a review should readily exist.

If the survey exercise is primarily pedagogical for the trainee researcher, that information should really be part of the preamble as it influences its reception and responses (to cut some slack, or not). If it really is a study to generate primary data it needs (needed) a bit more refinement.   

 Cobra_Head 04 Aug 2021
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

Survey seems to already assume we climb to escape from something, I climb because it's fun and because it's social.

> Climbing would make me less depressed

I'm not depressed, and don't think I ever have been!!

Post edited at 09:00
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

I’ve just done your survey. I think most climbers are like ‘most people’; a cross-section of society.

In reply to C Witter:

> >Haha all of these questions reminded me of a young girl I used to climb with who took >brainless risks, was obsessed with getting famous, and was absolutely headstrong in every >area of life. She has effectively said each of these statements to me. Luckily she destroyed >her foot (and ego) and can’t (hopefully) climb anymore, keeping her unsuspecting friends >safe from the danger she presents. 

> A crush that didn't work out?

As two straight girls, I wouldn’t say romance came into it at all, but it was really sad to realize one of your friends and funnest partners was not in the game for compatible reasons. But talking with other climbers, I realized eventually we all come across a person like this and have to decide how to proceed. maybe that approach is  less common in climbing than in other self selecting communities, but I suppose we’ll have to wait for the study to come out. 

 Andy Gamisou 02 Sep 2021
In reply to ericinbristol:

> Please do post your findings on UKC 

How often do researchers do this?  I don't recall seeing a single follow up of this sort now I think about it.  You'd think it only polite really.  

 Greenbanks 02 Sep 2021
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

<You'd think it only polite really>
...whilst contributing to an ethical stance on the part of the researcher

 AndySL 06 Sep 2021
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

Done. But I'm confused about all the party questions and questions about being depressed. I don't particularly like parties but I do like sitting in front of the fire in a nice pub if that helps.

Post edited at 15:57
In reply to mrjonathanr:

> Interesting that this comment got 11 dislikes.  Some people identify as trans or non- binary and the question only allows a binary male/female response, thereby excluding them.

I’ve emailed asking them to add an option of ‘other’ so as to include non-binary people, and they’ve said they will.

 BrendanO 06 Sep 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

> A wild party is any party taking place outdoors in the countryside. You know, like wild swimming, wild camping etc.

A wild party is what used to be called a “party”. Its now called a wild party to distinguish it from a party in a designated site with party facilities. Although Scotland in general has great wild parties built into the legislation, the area around Loch Lomond is an exception.

In reply to Mick Ward:

> I know the odds are stacked against me and may well take me out in the end, I'm just making it as hard as possible for the grim reaper. (My rat needs feeding.) Before that, with soloing, it was much the same modus operandi.

I agree that the reasons we climb are many and various (and may be different at different times), and I thought the questionnaire missed the point by focusing so much on people who only seem to be able to self-actualise through an adrenalin rush.  I might solo something well within my grade, but not sure I could ever do a bungee jump, so it is about control and risk management.  Not to mention the sheer joy of physical movement.   

However, on reflection, isn't it also about being willing to take the ultimate gamble?  You try hard to minimise the risks, but admit that you are, completely unnecessarily, putting yourself in a position where you might be killed.  Many people will simply not do this, especially when the risk is so obvious and undeniable.  They may well indulge in behaviour that is statistically risky but, either through ignorance or simply because of the indirect connection to the ultimate outcome, they aren't consciously making a risk-taking decision.

The more I think about it, the more I see it as a strange sort of accepting responsibility.   It's the polar opposite of thoughtless, irresponsible, adrenalin-fuelled risk-taking.  In a lot of 'extreme' activities, the actual danger, at least of being killed, is rather less than the presentation suggests.  In climbing that depends on experience, skill and careful judgement.  It's no coincidence that so many climbers have a technical, scientific, problem-solving background.  

Post edited at 09:46
In reply to Anna Zlevorova:

Why do we need more well meaning but in the final analysis, more bullshit flawed analysis publishing about climbing. Just enjoy and get on with it for God’s sake. Ours is,preferably, not to reason why. I once remember Ken Wilson, in his machine gun repartee lecturing and explaining to me about why I went hard soloing and I thought, what the f**ck does he know about it. And he was one of the most knowledgeable members on all things climbing in all disciplines, as well as the author of Mountain magazine and numerous climbing books. I also remember him admonishing Jerry Moffat for clipping a bolt. Never mind he was 30ft out above the one vbolt on one of the country’s first E7;s on the Snore. Priceless. I was good friends with Ken.

 Mick Ward 07 Sep 2021
In reply to Dave Garnett:

I think it is a strange sort of accepting responsibility - of putting yourself in the situation and dealing with it. When I jumar out at the end of the day (sometimes with mad, staring eyes?) invariably I think, "I've won!"

Was it Frank Smythe who observed, "Life is at its best when it is risked."

I remember Eric Jones once telling me about a talk he'd given about his (obviously highly adventurous) life. A lady in the audience asked him, "Mr Jones, do you think you have a death wish?" One imagines a reflective pause, a considered, grave reply, yet with giveaway  twinkling eyes. "Madam, you may well be right. However, if I do have a death wish, it doesn't seem to be working too well... all these years later and I'm still alive."

One also imagines a gust of nervous laughter from the bemused audience.

Mick

 Basemetal 07 Sep 2021
In reply to Mick Ward:

"Life lived thrice for its lending" captured it for me -a line from Geoffrey Winthrop Young's "Knight Errantry".

There is a region of heart’s desire
free for the hand that wills;
land of the shadow and haunted spire,
land of silvery glacier fire,
land of the cloud and the starry choir,
magical land of hills;
loud with the crying of winds and streams,
thronged with the fancies and fears of dreams.

There are perils of knightly zest
fit for the warrior’s craft;
pitiless giants with rock-bound crest,
mystical wells for the midnight rest,
ice-crowned castles and halls, to test
steel with the ashen shaft;
realms to be won by the well-swung blow,
rest to be earned by the yielding foe.

Frosted cities of timeless sleep
wait for the errant knight;
kingly forest and frowning steep,
spirits of mist and of fathomless deep,
snow-winged dragons of fear that keep
watch o’er each virgin height;
treasure of dawn and a crown of stars
his who can shatter the frozen bars.

All that the wanderer’s heart can crave,
life lived thrice for its lending,
hermits vigil in dreamily cave,
gleams of the vision that Merlin gave,
comrades till death, and a wind swept grave,
joy of the journey’s ending:—

Ye who have climbed to the great white veil,
heard ye the chant? Saw ye the Grail?

Post edited at 23:27
In reply to the thread:

FFS. A student asks for a survey and is taken apart by a bunch of curmudgeonly old men. Do the survey or dont but the nature of the responses is pretty saddening. 

Without compiling the responses, the student probably thinks all climbers are grumpy old bastards after reading this thread.

 Michael Gordon 08 Sep 2021
In reply to Philb1950:

> Just enjoy and get on with it for God’s sake. Ours is, preferably, not to reason why.

Good thing for the pursuit of knowledge that not all others take this view...  

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> FFS. A student asks for a survey and is taken apart by a bunch of curmudgeonly old men. Do the survey or dont but the nature of the responses is pretty saddening. 

> Without compiling the responses, the student probably thinks all climbers are grumpy old bastards after reading this thread.

Nonsense.

By reading the wise, witty and insightful replies from experienced climbers in this thread, the OP will learn far, far more about the psychology of climbing than they ever will from their questionnaire.

 Lankyman 08 Sep 2021
In reply to Basemetal:

> "Life lived thrice for its lending" captured it for me -a line from Geoffrey Winthrop Young's "Knight Errantry".

> There is a region of heart’s desire

> free for the hand that wills;

> land of the shadow and haunted spire,

> land of silvery glacier fire,

> land of the cloud and the starry choir,

> magical land of hills;

> loud with the crying of winds and streams,

> thronged with the fancies and fears of dreams.

> There are perils of knightly zest

> fit for the warrior’s craft;

> pitiless giants with rock-bound crest,

> mystical wells for the midnight rest,

> ice-crowned castles and halls, to test

> steel with the ashen shaft;

> realms to be won by the well-swung blow,

> rest to be earned by the yielding foe.

> Frosted cities of timeless sleep

> wait for the errant knight;

> kingly forest and frowning steep,

> spirits of mist and of fathomless deep,

> snow-winged dragons of fear that keep

> watch o’er each virgin height;

> treasure of dawn and a crown of stars

> his who can shatter the frozen bars.

> All that the wanderer’s heart can crave,

> life lived thrice for its lending,

> hermits vigil in dreamily cave,

> gleams of the vision that Merlin gave,

> comrades till death, and a wind swept grave,

> joy of the journey’s ending:—

> Ye who have climbed to the great white veil,

> heard ye the chant? Saw ye the Grail?

Did he do much at Wilton then?

In reply to Lankyman:

> Did he do much at Wilton then?

Evidently not!

 tlouth7 08 Sep 2021
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> FFS. A student asks for a survey and is taken apart by a bunch of curmudgeonly old men.

OP is not a student. This is not a teaching exercise but a proper piece of research (supposedly).


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