/ % Trad climbing to Sport in the UK?

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Sam Mayfield - on 09 Jun 2017
Having discussion with Rich about Trad and Sport in the UK and we cant agree on a %!

Trad climbing v sport climbing in Great Britian?

If anyone has a real figure shout it and if you want to guess like wise.

I will not say what I thought till a few more have answered?

Then what was the % 30 years ago?

Ta muchly Sam Orange
john arran - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:
I don't know about now, but 30 years ago there was practically no sport climbing in the UK as the trend had only just started to cross the channel. Probably less than 0.1%

edit: I also think you'll find a big difference in percentage if you look at ascents as compared to routes, and different again if you look at climbers' main focus.

My impression is that the number of sport climbs in the UK is proportionally still quite small - at a wild guess maybe 10%? - but that these routes will receive far more ascents than that on average.
Post edited at 08:38
Sam Mayfield - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to john arran:
Can we produce a scale from 30, 20 and then 10 and 5 yrs ago?

Sam
Post edited at 08:47
MischaHY - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

I'm fairly certain the UKC data could provide a good answer?
1poundSOCKS - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to MischaHY:
> I'm fairly certain the UKC data could provide a good answer?

When I trad climb I'll be logging multiple routes every day I get out because I just onsight stuff. Sometimes I might onsight easier sport routes, but when I'm redpointing I might not log anything for a few weeks, even though I might have been sport climbing many times.

EDIT: Are we talking about routes or ascents?
Post edited at 09:02
Wayne S - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Are you looking for a ratio of trad routes done to sports routes or three categories, sport only climber, sport and trad climber and trad only climber as a percentage of climbers. Clearly most will be the middle option, but I doubt 100% by any means.

Most years I tend to be about 15% Sport and 85% Trad by number of routes, though I would say I probably spend more than 85% of my time trad climbing, as I would typically do more sport routes in a session.

Equally areas will have a huge regional differences I guess, Dorset VS Lakes for instance.

Numbers aye.

Wayne
MischaHY - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Routes. I'm less interested in ascents than overall volume comparison.
1poundSOCKS - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to MischaHY:

> Routes. I'm less interested in ascents than overall volume comparison.

Sorry, not aimed at your good self, was thinking about the OP. Just occurred to me I didn't understand the question I was attempting to answer.
Sam Mayfield - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

reply to all!

ROUTES ONLY! not climbers climbing em!
Wayne S - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

The more I think about it the more complex it becomes.......what about bouldering/solos!

Of 2000 logged routes seems my mix is circa:

71% Trad
15% Sport
14% Bouldering
Sam Mayfield - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Wayne S:

really thats a lower % than we both thought!

Would others agree with that?

Sam
Sam Mayfield - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Wayne S:

sorry is that your mix,not what the whole UK has which is what I am after.
Sam
remus - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Perfect question for the UKC overlords! I wonder if they'll grace us with their presence?!
Wayne S - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:
Thats just my mix, of all logged climbs, you can find this on "all users" from logbook graphs.

2870688 Trad
1157537 Sport
748011 Boulder

I will let you work out actual percentages for this, as I rapidly in risk of becoming a geek.

Off to polish my Screwgates!

Wayne
Wayne S - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Run out of Brasso!

Works out circa:

60% Trad
24% Sport
16% Bouldering
john arran - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Wayne S:

Do those numbers not include ascents out of the UK too?
Wayne S - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to john arran:

Probably! But equally I assume numbers are skewed in other ways too. I would guess that most trips abroad might tend to be Euro bolt clipping then arguably logged UK climbs would likely have a stronger trad bias?

Into the mix, what is the demographic of people who actually use UKC logbooks. It's only numbers, to a degree you can read what you want into it.

I like to read that Trad climbing is alive and well In the UK!

Wayne

john arran - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Wayne S:

I think also that there will be a very big difference in route numbers, as compared to ascents. There must be huge numbers of extremely rarely logged trad routes, and relatively few such sport routes. It follows then that the proportion of sport ascents is likely to be considerably higher than the proportion of sport routes. Or, to put it another way, there aren't many sport routes but they take a hammering.
snoop6060 - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:
I'd imagine the UKC admins can tell you this pretty accurately. The UKC crag data is probably the best source of data available for this question.

My guess, in pure numbers of routes, is 15% or less. Maybe as low as 10%?
Post edited at 11:06
tomrainbow - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to john arran:

My guess would be (not including bouldering):

Trad - 80%
Sport - 15%
DWS - 5%

Although Dorset has a lot of sport my guess would be that it would still not amount to much more than 50% of the climbs there, especially if all the originally bolted DWS routes are taken as DWS rather than sports climbs. Obviously there are huge areas of the UK where bolts are not used at all and even in Devon, there are only a few sports crags...so I reckon my guess of 15% is probably above the true figure if anything.
bpmclimb on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

> Having discussion with Rich about Trad and Sport in the UK and we cant agree on a %!Trad climbing v sport climbing in Great Britian?


Hi Sam. I'm not surprised you can't agree! There's so many different ways in which you could reckon it: Route numbers, metres climbed, hours climbed ...

Even if you agreed on, say, route numbers, isn't the number essentially meaningless - when one can go out and spend longer (and climb further) on one big trad route than on ten short sport routes?

petegunn on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:
If you compare the number of Trad crags to Sport crags in the uk, I'am sure the percentage would be very low probably under 5%
Post edited at 11:51
Offwidth - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to tomrainbow:

5% DWS ?? I'd be amazed if it was much more than 0.1%
Trangia on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to tomrainbow:

> My guess would be (not including bouldering):Trad - 80%Sport - 15%DWS - 5%Although Dorset has a lot of sport my guess would be that it would still not amount to much more than 50% of the climbs there, especially if all the originally bolted DWS routes are taken as DWS rather than sports climbs. Obviously there are huge areas of the UK where bolts are not used at all and even in Devon, there are only a few sports crags...so I reckon my guess of 15% is probably above the true figure if anything.

What about Top, or more correctly Bottom, Roping single pitch climbs?

Is that really Trad? or a discipline in it's own right?

For a start there is no fixed protection as in Sport, and no removable placed gear as in Trad
alan moore - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

It's 95.5% proper climbing and 4.5% sport climbing.

Just guessing mind...

30 years ago, before the development of Portland, Gower and The Highlands as sport climbing venues then it was only 1% sport.

That's a guess as well btw.
Wayne S - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Trangia:

No it's just cheating at Trad! Ground up, preferably on sight is the only valid way to climb Trad.
Cake on 10 Jun 2017
In reply to tomrainbow:

> Trad - 80%Sport - 15%DWS - 5%

Even if DWS is up to 15% in Dorset (I don't know), isn't it one of only two counties that have that style available in the country, more or less. I agree with Offwidth- much less than 1%


Mark Bannan - on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to john arran:

Hi John, that's very helpful (both to the OP and for my own personal interest). When I started climbing 20 years ago, I would estimate that 90% of my partners were primarily or entirely interested in Trad (including myself). At that time the only sport I ever did was valley cragging in Cham, while waiting for the mountains to clear! Even of the 10%, all of these folk did a mix of sport and trad.
M

Mark Bannan - on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to Wayne S:

That would sound about right, coupled with other folk's comments about climbing 20-30 years ago. I am based in Aberdeenshire at the moment (and since 2013) and I always thought a busy day at the crag was maybe 6-7 parties (I once saw this at Red Craigs 2 years ago and Logie Head a few years previously). Last year, I visited a sport crag (Kirrie Hill, similarly extensive) and I was astonished at 100+ people present! This may have a bit to do with a limited number of bolted crags in this area, but the trend certainly seems to be there.

M
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Sam Mayfield - on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to remus:
any overlords replied yet? I did wonder if the UKC bods could give me a rough estimate based on data they have?

Sam Orange
Post edited at 10:58
Sam Mayfield - on 12 Jun 2017
In reply to alan moore:

Alan I am going to use your guess as it more like what I said! lol

Its not really for anything important just a poster promoting learning how to Trad climb.

Thanks all Sam Orange
stp - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

It depends on what you mean as sport climbing: bolted routes, fully bolted routes, clip-ups (ie. pegs, threads, no nuts needed) redpointing or what?

Are you counting route numbers, climber numbers, or ascent numbers?

These days I'd imagine the number of ascents of sport routes far outweighs trad because all indoor routes are sport and the long winters force many to climb inside for a good proportion of the year.
Bulls Crack - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to stp:
Number of fully bolted routes v everything else and ignoring indoors I imagine

(not counting slate of course!)
Post edited at 21:36
stp - on 14 Jun 2017
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Clarion Call was done in 1983 though I'm not sure it was a pure bolt route back then and the bolts didn't last that long, it was lead without. The first fully bolted route was possibly Statement of Youth. That is there were no nut or peg placements and it was equipped as a free route, not an aid route. That was in 1984. Obsession was a month or so later. But there were many other mixed routes that had some bolts but required just a few bits of gear at the time and have since been retroed to full sport routes today.

Obviously the number was growing rapidly. By 1987, (30 years ago) the number would have burgeoned considerably as fully bolted routes became accepted among many top climbers doing hard new routes on limestone.
Sam Mayfield - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to stp:

I wanted a rough % of fully bolted outdoor sports routes in the UK against Trad!

Crikey who would think a question would be so hard to get a rough answer?

Dont give a monkies about asents, indoors, bouldering, dws.........

Sam
guy127917 - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:
> Crikey who would think a question would be so hard to get a rough answer?

On UKC any question, no matter how trivial, will be misinterpreted and turned into an argument of some variety.
Post edited at 10:50
1poundSOCKS - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

> Crikey who would think a question would be so hard to get a rough answer?

Nothing to do with not asking the right question in the OP?
Simon Pelly - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:
With respect to actual routes, my estimate on this would be 1-2% sport at the most compared to trad.

Based this by thinking about venues and suggest that there are vastly more areas/sectors/etc... for trad in the UK than sport routes.

Simon...
Post edited at 11:52
Hardonicus - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Including all Gary Gibson's contributions I would say we're about 10% along the wedge, from the thin end that is.
stp - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

In 1987 I'd have thought that less than 1% of routes were sport routes. Not sure what the figure would be now but around 5% - 10% would be my guess.
Sam Mayfield - on 19 Jun 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Anyway - here's the data. It's from the UKC crag/route data for the British Isles, harvested about a year ago - but I don't expect new crags/routes added in the meantime will have much of an impact on the overall percentages.


Trad: 85%

Sport: 15%


The actual number of routes analysed:


Trad: 76055

Sport: 12719


I also ran it for Bouldering: 37980

This came from www.cyprusrocks.eu

Quite close to what I said which was 80% Rich thought higher so not a bad guess!

Thanks for input any one else.

Sam Orange

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