/ Anyone else priced out of climbing?

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broc on 07 Aug 2017
This post is in response to the new North Wales Bouldering Guide, or rather, the price at £37. Thread here https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=668730

I was going to post this in that thread but didn't want to hijack things or take away from what is undoubtedly a huge effort by Simon Panton and co.

This isn't a rant. I'm just a little curious. Does anyone else feel they are getting priced out of climbing? I don't get to North Wales often so won't be buying the new bouldering guide. But even if I wanted to, I'd struggle to afford it. I'm well aware that guidebooks are a labour or love and the man hours involved in their production are pretty much off the scale. I don't doubt that the guide is a bargain if you consider the effort involved in writing it. But £37 for a guide is a price-point beyond my means.

A lot of the time the cost of gear / guidebooks, waterproof clothing, boots, rockshoes, gloves etc is out of my reach. As an example, my winter boots fell apart this past winter. I'm unlikely to be in a position where I can justify spending a few hundred pounds on a new pair. So is that the end of my winter climbing / walking? I don't want to stop, but if I don't have boots do I have a choice? This is just one example among many. I just don't have that level of disposable income. There's lots of examples and I could go on...

Anyone else feel they are being priced out of climbing? Or is it just me?
16
Graham - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

Nope. Climbing is great and really isn't all that expensive. Buy used, buy smart, use old but still serviceable gear, scale back your himalayan expeditions until you can afford them.
18
DancingOnRock - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

You need a guide to go bouldering? All you need is a pair of rock shoes. Maybe go to the expense and buy some chalk.

When I first started walking I just had a leather pair of boots from Millets and some thick socks.

Technical gear is a nice to have.
15
galpinos on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:
What do you mean by priced out? Do you mean that you feel things are getting more expensive so are now “priced out”, when previously you have been able to afford it, or that you feel you can’t enter the sport because all the equipment is prohibitively priced?

If it’s the first point, I think climbing gear has always been expensive and has increased in price at a rate less than that of inflation so in real world terms is probably cheaper (though I don’t have any stats or that).

If it’s the second point, again, it’s always been expensive hence people have always started with borrowed gear, second hand gear, a third of a rack they shared with friends etc.

Contrary to your post, I would say, due to the likes of Decathlon, you now have access to mid-range kit at reasonable prices than ever before. However, we are now convinced by adverts, marketing, the general climbing media, that we need more kit than ever before, it’s not just one pair of rock boots now but three, a plethora of rucksack sizes, a soft shell, hard shell, synthetic puffy and a down jacket etc.

If you want to dress like the sponsored heroes, it’ll get expensive, if you are happy to suffer a bit, compromise, shop in sales and avid the high price brands then I think it’s the same as it ever was.
Post edited at 11:54
1
ian Ll-J - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

> This post is in response to the new North Wales Bouldering Guide, or rather, the price at £37.


£37 probably equates to 3 or 4 visits to a climbing wall, though admitadely the cost of climbing wall entrance is a point of debate as to whether it's value for money or not.....

Greasy Prusiks on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

To be fair to the North Wales Guide it is absolutely massive, nearly 700 pages. Page for page it isn't any more expensive than other guides.
2
duchessofmalfi - on 07 Aug 2017

"yes" - well the way I'd look at this is that climbing gear price inflation has far outstripped other goods and also there is a lot more stuff to get these days. If I look at the cost of entry to go from a non-climber to owning a full trad rack and getting out on the rock I think it is significantly more daunting now than it was, say, 20 years ago.

Guidebooks used to cost roughly the same as a novel of the same weight, not 5 times more.
5
1poundSOCKS - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

> But £37 for a guide is a price-point beyond my means.

Couldn't you just buy an older guide, second hand? If you post on here, somebody might have a bargain.
2
cb294 - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

Climbing walls and guidebooks, maybe, but a trad rack? I a 100% certain that you can buy active camming devices (certainly the most expensive part of a trad rack) more cheaply today than, say, 20 or 30 years ago when WC and BD had the market sewn up.

Yes, these prestigious brands still are expensive (but I doubt the price for a modern, flexible stemmed, dual axle device is more than you paid for the clunky, rigid original friends when adjusted for inflation). However, you can now buy good quality equipment from places like the Czech Republic, and the increased competition forces the high end brands to offer new models more frequently, so your can buy the "old" model at reduced prices. Same goes for ice screws (another very expensive part of the rack), and passive pro.

CB

1
paul__in_sheffield - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

Hi there, to be fair as pointed out above, you don't need a guide to go bouldering. I also get lots of resoles out of a pair of Testarossas at 34 quid a time. Mats are v expensive but really worthwhile, and I used to pool mats with mates to keep costs down, same with guides and sharing petrol.
I'm not a good enough scholar of inflation and RPI over the years, but I'm not sure a guide or say, a WC rock 4 feels any more expensive than when I started around 1980.
I would be really interested to hear from anyone who has chapter and verse on this

All the best, Paul
Pedro50 on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

My original Boreal sticky boots cost £70 in 1982 from memory. You can still get rock boots for £70 - that's 35 years later
Matt Vigg - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

Blimey 37 quid is a lot, maybe they should have released it as two or even three different guides. Be interesting to see how it sells cause people tend to gauge pricing on a fairly irrational basis, and obviously just based on what they're used to paying for something.

Generally though the good thing about climbing is that with a pair of boots and some chalk you're good to go, you can even still thumb a lift to the crag although it's not as common as it used to be. This was my standard form of transport when I was younger....
seankenny - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Pedro50:


> My original Boreal sticky boots cost £70 in 1982 from memory. You can still get rock boots for £70 - that's 35 years later


Equivalent price now is £226 according to the Bank of England's inflation calculator...!

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/Pages/resources/inflationtools/calculator/default.aspx
1
Pedro50 on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to seankenny:

I rest my case!
trouserburp - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I don't feel like basic equipment has got any more expensive. There are a lot more opportunities to pay through the nose for high end things though, just don't buy into it.
If you buy end of line cams in a sale they'll be 99% the same as the new ones and half the price. If you climb in £10 TK Maxx tshirt and shorts you'll be 99.9% as effective as someone in their £80 climbing fancy pants.

and real climbers don't care about fancy pants so that helps too
Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:
I think guidebooks in relative terms have got slightly cheaper (compared to price inflation) and much bigger and better at the same time. You can also get great second hand deals way more conveniently than in the past (online purchase with home delivery), if you don't need the latest version and it's still possible to hitch, bivi, and just use your wits and the web and climb with shoes and a door mat (and some notes you made on paper from accessing the web at the library). However getting to N Wales will cost more than £100 for the average vehicle coming from outside the local area (shared costs of course but so can the guide be) and most will have a smart phone with free information accessible at the crag within their monthly data bundle (or stored content).

In contrast I think too many climbers since I started (in the 80s), who do have money, have remained mean enough to do real damage to great independant retail outlets (many of which closed) and to a lesser extent guidebook production (more in the time we have to wait for many volunteers to give up thousands of pounds of expenses pretty much for free to produce the next version of a definitive, whilst getting moaned at for any delay). If you are really strapped for cash many climbers will help you in exchange for time and effort, as will some clubs, especially Red Rope. The super cheap ways remain the same as they ever did.

So I sympathise with your plight but its not as bad as it was and so I think you are wrong and the price of the excellent new guide is arguably too cheap at the moment.

Compared to my time poorer people are in my opinion being priced out of housing, house purchases, overall career opportunities (debts to study and larger life expenses act as a disincentive for the careers with longer study requirements) and pensions
Post edited at 12:48
2
galpinos on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

> "yes" - well the way I'd look at this is that climbing gear price inflation has far outstripped other goods

Has it? I'd say the opposite though I have no hard data, just hazy memories of looking at cams in gear shops and wondering how anyone could justify spending all that money on something that was "only a little better than a hex".

> and also there is a lot more stuff to get these days. If I look at the cost of entry to go from a non-climber to owning a full trad rack and getting out on the rock I think it is significantly more daunting now than it was, say, 20 years ago.

There is a lot more stuf one can buy, but you don't have to buy it all. I'd say a full trad rack would cost about the same, it's just a full trad rack in 1997 would be a lot smaller than what is considered a full rack in 2017, i.e. rocks are probably about the same price (inflation adjusted) but a single rack of nuts is not longer considered enough by many, it two full sets plus offsets, micros etc.

My first rack, 20 years ago (1996) was half a rack of hexs and 3 rocks, each on their own individual quickdraw. I'd imagine that would probably cost about the same (or less, adjusted for inflation) now.

> Guidebooks used to cost roughly the same as a novel of the same weight, not 5 times more.

I'll have to check the RRP on my old guides (that date from the 90s)

tonanf - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

No. But not buying everything I want.
1
The Ivanator - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

It's the price of the petrol to get anywhere with decent climbing (from NE Hants) that is the main financial limitation on my climbing ambitions. Once you have a trad rack, ropes, guidebooks etc. I find the expense of updating these manageable, but the fuel is the inescapable one
1
Bellie on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I've read plenty of books by some of the great climbers, most of whom have scrounged, scraped and mended old clobber to do what they loved doing best.

I've always looked to grab a bargain, so most of my gear has come at reasonable cost. SH columns are your friend.

As for the guide. Small run technical guides in other subjects can be expensive too. A big guide like this at £37 sounds ok. I'd spend that on fuel just getting to N Wales. A human guide would be far more expensive giving you top beta on routes.
ian Ll-J - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:
To justify the cost of purchasing any kit, ask yourself how many times you're likely to use it and apply some simple maths...

If you buy the guide at £37 and use it once it's cost you £37
10 Times = £3.70
100 times = 37 pence
etc.

So for busy local climbers the new North Wales Bouldering guide is an absolute bargain....
Post edited at 12:43
Fredt on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

Why do you 'have' to have cams to go trad climbing?
7
Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Fredt:

Passive tricams cam, hexs can cam... camming is indeed available without active camming devices.
Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to The Ivanator:

People too often forget wear and tear costs will be similar to fuel costs.
Toerag - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I find it harder to justify things as well - I look at the cost of gear (mainly waterproofs) in shops and recoil in horror. I appreciate that things are relatively cheaper in real terms, but it's still enough to make me think twice these days. I have the same problem in pubs and restaurants though. Ian's comment on value for money above is very good.
planetmarshall on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

> Anyone else feel they are being priced out of climbing? Or is it just me?

It's possible you are falling victim to successful marketing that manages to convince thousands (millions?) of people that they not only need the most expensive gear - but also that last year's most expensive gear is no longer good enough - you need this year's.

This is, of course, nonsense. You don't need a bouldering guide to go bouldering. You don't need the same shoes that Dave MacLeod wears to do V1s or VSs. You don't need a full rack of 'radically redesigned' 2017 Dragons. You don't need Offsets and Microwires. You don't need a 9mm Triple Rated Rope. You don't need 'The lightest 3 layer waterproof jacket in the world'.

Ask yourself what you *really* need to go climbing. You might be surprised.

The New NickB - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I remember buying my first Gore-tex jacket nearly 25 years ago, it was nearly £200 and an 18th birthday present from my parents, as I certainly could not afford to buy it myself. My current Gore-tex jacket is a far superior garment and cost less than £200 a couple of years ago. £37 feels like a lot of money for a guidebook, but I remember paying £15 for tiny guidebooks with a fraction of the information in the 90s and I think when the Lancashire 'Brick' came out in 1999 it was £20. It would be interesting to compare with the price of a pint.
Ramblin dave - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Bellie:

> I've read plenty of books by some of the great climbers, most of whom have scrounged, scraped and mended old clobber to do what they loved doing best.

I do feel like that's a less visible part of the culture now, though - between the Instagram wads packing all the shiniest new gear from their sponsors and the middle-class punters like me wearing the latest technical midlayer and carrying enough rack for an attempt on El Cap to struggle up easy routes at Stanage, you can see where people get the impression that you can't really climb at all without loads of expensive gear. When the magazine covers were all about Steve Bancroft in rolled-up jeans or Big Ron in, erm, questionable shorts and not much else, it was presumably a bit more obvious that you could just bung on a pair of old trackies and get on with it.
radddogg - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

Just see it as another excuse not to go bouldering and go do some real climbing
Neil Williams - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

> I remember buying my first Gore-tex jacket nearly 25 years ago, it was nearly £200 and an 18th birthday present from my parents, as I certainly could not afford to buy it myself. My current Gore-tex jacket is a far superior garment and cost less than £200 a couple of years ago.

Interesting, as I had (now binned the older of the two due to a massive rip in it, sadly, though 22 years use isn't bad!) a Berghaus Trango Extrem from 1994, and a Mera Peak (basically the same jacket but for the hood design) from the mid 2000s, and the older one was definitely of noticeably higher quality.
Fredt on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:
I'd love to turn up at Stanage on a Bank Holiday Monday with the gear I used as a teenager, pushing HVS.

About 6 wedges made in school metalworkshop, slung on 7mm cord from Tanky's.
6 steel krabs from the Army and Navy stores.
White hawser laid rope, (£25? shared between two of us) - rope tied around the waist.
Leather gardening gloves for the waist belays.
Green Flash plimsolls, which were more expensive than the black Woollies plimsolls, I was spoilt.

Can't think of anything else, except the Peter Storm cag.
Post edited at 13:21
2
ogreville on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

No one NEEDS a guide book. What is considered Essential Kit is probably the most overinflated thing I can think of. Getting outdoors, fully kitted, is probably cheaper than taking your kids to McDonalds then the cinema.

Sigh!!!! - Happiest days of my life - Old rucksack from my uncle, walking boots from Oxfam and British Rail waterproof trousers found on a railway siding.

Now I wouldn't even consider a day out in the mountains without my - fullgortexwaterproofthermaltrousershoodedRabpulloverwithhood5LcamelbackrucksakwithaxeloopsfullfirstaidkitwithwaterproofdrybageverycamsnutandslingonmyrackallthreepairsofbootsinthecarincaseIchangemymindsparegloveshatsoftshellandinsulatedlongsleevecrampons2xiceaxewithadjustableleashesGPSIPHONE7GOPROwithbackupOSmaphardcopyandalsodownloadedtomyappwaterproofmapcoverheadtorchspareheadtorchsparebatteriesforbothsurvivalbagbivibag2personsheltersnowgogglesbuffguidebookenergygelenergybarsdownjacketinstuffsackgaitersbalaclavasunglassessuncreamcarbonfibertrekkingpolescompassandbackupcompasstrowlandtoiletpaperhandsanitizerwindjacket
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Ramon Marin - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

Maybe on other items yes, a rain jacket priced £500 sure, but knowing the years and hours it takes to put together a guidebook, which mainly a labour of love, £37 is certainly worth paying. Specially coming from Si Panton, he's provided me so many amazing adventures with his trustworthy guides that I'm more than happy to pay that price. As per the other items you mentioned, there's always a way around. Resole, repair, buy second hand... but the brutal truth is that if you can't afford a £200 worth of kit then you shouldn't be trying winter climbing, as £200 won't get you very far in terms of reliable decent kit. I would say stick to DWS until you get more income from a job.
4
planetmarshall on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Ramon Marin:

> Resole, repair, buy second hand... but the brutal truth is that if you can't afford a £200 worth of kit then you shouldn't be trying winter climbing, as £200 won't get you very far in terms of reliable decent kit.

I reckon it'd be worth someone's while to try this - I definitely think it could be done without having to resort to step cutting Grade Vs in tweed. Might make a good article for UKC.
dunc56 - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

> I reckon it'd be worth someone's while to try this - I definitely think it could be done without having to resort to step cutting Grade Vs in tweed. Might make a good article for UKC.

Sounds like a task for Over the Hill
summo on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Ramon Marin:

> but the brutal truth is that if you can't afford a £200 worth of kit then you shouldn't be trying winter climbing, as £200 won't get you very far in terms of reliable decent kit.

4 extenders
10 wires size 3 up
Few hexes
Few pegs
A wart hog
A bull dog
2 120cm slings...
2 second hand axes and a pair of part used crampons.

That will get you up a huge number of III/IVs. Might be push for £200 but some of it is summer gear too. Most people's racks grow with their ability, you could half that list for a grade I/II, or they combine racks with their partner.


2
Pedro50 on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

Wouldn't you need a raincoat as well?
summo on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

> Wouldn't you need a raincoat as well?

I presumed people don't summer climb naked.
MG - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

Come on, you do need quite a bit of clothing to climb safely in winter. Even second hand and third rate, that will cost quite a bit. Then there is travel and accommodation in Scotland. Winter climbing simply isn't cheap.
1
davidalcock - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

I saved up my paper-round money and bought a very basic goretex of simple design (no unnecessary seams) from Taunton Leisure around 86/87 for (I think) £40. I've never seen the need to replace it. It's a faded pink instead of red, but keeps me dry, inside and out. Aye, they made stuff to last back then.
davew88 - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I agree with the sentiment, though others have also made valid points to the contrary. of course you can beg, steel and borrow and still get out and have fun at not much expense, but there has definitely been several above inflation price jumps in fairly generic kit over recent years, no doubt correlating with the increase in popularity of the activity... equally there are more low budget-high quality alternatives to accommodate those unable to afford Pataguicci and North Farce, e.g. decathlon.

I would say winter and alpine climbing suffers the most, as there are a number of high ticket items (i.e. boots, technical axes and crampons) which simply cant be scrimped on, sure you can buy second hand still, but a well fitting boot can be the difference between misery and ecstasy on a north face blizzard!

sure with cams etc the rapid turnover in new models means you can always get a bargain (of sorts) on last years models which do the job 99.999999% as effectively, but with things like boots, as lines get discontinued they simply fall off the bottom of the marketplace and not replaced, meaning you get a steady increase in the price of 'entry level' kit.

You may well be able to climb grade III ice in a pair of floppy walking boots and strap on crampons (I have!), but if shit were to hit the fan your going to get absolutely lynched for being 'unprepared for winter' with all sorts of accusations thrown around of not only risking your own life but that of others... so its not only smart marketing telling us that we need the latest £500 bells and whistles, its the outdoor community itself, as not utilising current technology is deemed irresponsible.
summo on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

> Come on, you do need quite a bit of clothing to climb safely in winter. Even second hand and third rate, that will cost quite a bit. Then there is travel and accommodation in Scotland. Winter climbing simply isn't cheap.

It's not free. But there are hostels in reasonable locations for accommodation. Plenty second hand stuff around, I buy 2nd hand mountaineering fleece and windproof jackets for forest work, there is plenty stuff out there in good condition.

I just dispute the fact you need a massive pile of cash to get started at entry level of winter mountaineering. You can get winter stuff South of Scotland too, so a weekend trip doesn't have to involve a 1000miles of driving.
2
Graeme Alderson on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

I seem to remember my first Fires were £45.00 and they weren't available until 1983/4.

(But even so that's equivalent of £135+ now)
galpinos on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

I agree, it does cost but not as much as some made out. My first winter trip was in borrowed boots with borrowed crampons and axes in clothes I already possessed, just wearing more of them at once than I would have liked. Accommodation as in the car/tent by the side of the car. Food was "pasta and sauce" on the camping stove (again, not mine) and the drying room was the pub whilst we all nursed a solitary pint.

I wouldn't do that now, because I can afford not to, but if can be done on a shoestring.
Pedro50 on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

You're right about the date, so probably my memory plays tricks with the price.
Goucho on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I reckon gear is actually cheaper in comparison than it was a few decades ago, mainly down to more sophisticated design, engineering and manufacturing - modern technology and low Chinese production costs probably being the biggest factors.

Regarding guidebook costs, don't confuse the time, effort, dedication and expertise that goes into producing what is a small, specialist print run, with a mass produced by the container load, James Patterson paperback at half price from WH Smith.

Of course, regarding gear in general, with online sites like Ebay etc as well as here on UKC, you can source most gear at highly competitive prices both new and used.

And I doubt you can find a sport that offers more bang for bucks, plus a lifetime of adventures and wonderful memories, than the world of climbing in all its different guises
The Ivanator - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

> People too often forget wear and tear costs will be similar to fuel costs.

Sure if you have local crags I can believe that, but at nearly 2 hours drive to my nearest outdoor climbing options fuel expenses far outstrip gear/rope replacement - unless you are referring to vehicle wear and tear, which although less than fuel is another factor chipping away at the bank balance.
hokkyokusei - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to dunc56:

> Sounds like a task for Over the Hill

You beat me to it.
Fiona Reid - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

Most of the gear I buy is on sale and thus rarely at full RRP. If you shop around, avoid some of the overpriced brands, pick stuff up second hand etc then I don't think climbing is any worse than many other sports/activities.

Knowing a little about the amount of time and effort that goes into producing guidebooks I rather doubt that the authors are making masses of profit. If you're going to popular crags/boulders then there's usually other climbers there that will let you take a look at their guidebook for free.

If you are starting out in climbing/ walking and don't already have any kit then it is expensive to buy everything from scratch. However, if you already have the kit then it's usually a case of replacing the odd worn out item.

Boots *are* expensive and the RRP prices do seem to have gone up a lot recently. If you know what brand and style fits then you can often find them cheaper via end of line sales, or various for sale posts on UKC and beyond. With winter boots in particular a lot of folks buy all the gear, wear them once or twice discover they don't actually fit or that they don't like winter climbing after all and you can get the kit for a lot less than it would brand new.
The New NickB - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Cheapest pair of climbing shoes I could find in 1992 were £45, top end shoes where around £70. Whilst you can spend £130 on a pair of shoes, you can also get something perfectly adequate for £30.
Richard Wheeldon - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

... if my memory serves me right, on publication in 1990 of the 'red' Stanage guide (the one with Johnny Dawes on the front cover) the price was £15... using the Bank of England inflation calculator, the price today would be just under £31...

... Simon Panton's new NWB guide is pretty much double the size (both in terms of page count and actual paper size) and will have been considerably more time consuming / complex to publish despite the modern desktop publishing packages available today... £37 is an absolute bargain...
JHiley on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I think there has been some guidebook inflation over the last 7 years or so but the main reason it looks so bad is the incorrect claim made on the other thread that £37 is normal for a guide these days. A quick look on needlesports quickly shows that to be way off: They vary between about £20 and £30 with most new-ish guides being about £25. When I started in 2010/11 they were typically £19.99 or £21.99 so its not a massive increase and there has been a noticeable, although not dramatic improvement in size/ quality.

I haven't noticed a big change in much else apart from perhaps helmets which I became convinced had more than doubled in price but that's anecdotal and don't have any evidence.
You can get cams and decent ice screws for £30 now if you look around and I'm sure they used to be more expensive than that (although I would suggest looking in real shops rather than through internet search engines as there are too many scammers) Also decathlon is helpful for entry level basics.

Also, there are cheap ways of doing Scotland. When I was at University I remember going to a Scottish winter advice/introduction meeting which was basically just an argument about what ridiculously expensive brand/system of layering you would DEFINITELY NEED. "And paramo is sh*t lol", "no STFU it's rad" etc etc etc
I went with a second hand ski coat, some jumpers, £20 B3 boots from a charity shop (!!!), plastic waterproof trousers, a base-layer from god knows where and borrowed axes & crampons...
Obviously as soon as I got a decent job I ditched all that for a fancy branded layering system but it worked, it just wasn't very 'slick' (except for the trousers obviously).
Chris Craggs - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I bought Aris's new Greek Select the other day from Outside, Hathersage - the £45 price tag made me wince!

Chris
Blue Straggler - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:


> 2 second hand axes and a pair of part used crampons.


You forgot about some B1 (or higher) boots for the crampons or are you thinking in terms of flexi crampons to go on any old boots, just strapped on super tight and make the best of it?

Blue Straggler - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

> I reckon it'd be worth someone's while to try this - I definitely think it could be done without having to resort to step cutting Grade Vs in tweed. Might make a good article for UKC.

I've done "discount Scottish winter"

Scarpa Manta from clearout, £50
Grivel Matrix axes, £120 the pair
50% down 50% feather jacket, Decathlon clearout £15
Gloves, can't remember, Mountain Equipment ones maybe, clearout £28
Aldi motorcycle socks £3
Merino T shirt found in TK Maxx £7
Alpine harness free from outdoor pursuit centre getting rid of stuff more than 7 years old
Grivel crampons £24 second hand (quite battered but OK)

Everything else (hardshell, hat, fleece, eyewear, tracksuit bottoms etc) I already owned.
Pitons and screws and guidebooks provided by climbing partner

Michael Gordon - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

Re winter climbing, you're unlikely to get a hostel for 2 nights for under £30 per person. I'm not saying that's expensive (it isn't), but someone on a properly low budget would probably choose to either camp or sleep in the car.
planetmarshall on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Grivel Matrix axes, £120 the pair

*Two* axes? Luxury... (Four Yorkshiremen sketch follows...).
summo on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Re winter climbing, you're unlikely to get a hostel for 2 nights for under £30 per person. I'm not saying that's expensive (it isn't), but someone on a properly low budget would probably choose to either camp or sleep in the car.

True, but with a hostel you don't need any of your own cooking equipment, or full season sleeping bag. You get showers, washing and drying facilities.. And a chance of good sleep, which matters for both the climbing and the drive home. For weekend attack, late arrival car bivis on Fri, hostel Sat night. Perfect combo.
summo on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> You forgot about some B1 (or higher) boots for the crampons or are you thinking in terms of flexi crampons to go on any old boots, just strapped on super tight and make the best of it?

I was thinking more of a person who has progressed through summer mountaineering, climbing lower grade rock routes in boots etc.. But but of course if you only own trail shoes and stickies then you'll need to buy.

As a side note, wonder how many routes under V weren't first climbed in strap ons or older systems.
Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to The Ivanator:

I mean vehicle wear and tear and the extra per mile costs of things like servicing and insuring. That is, the full cost liability of a climbing journey per mile excluding most of the depreciation and the fixed taxes on a car (as you normally choose this clmbing trip as an extra as an owner unless the vehicle is only used for climbing) . It's about the same order as fuel costs per mile if you look at advice from the likes of the AA and RAC.
Irk the Purist - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

It seems the price of climbing might now be cheaper than ever.

Unfortunately the price of everything else, particularly housing, is crazy which means noone can afford to do anything at all any more. Unless you bought a house before about 2004.

So in real terms might be cheaper. I'd love to know what it costs as a % of disposable income now. For me it's about 450%. I'm with you.

But whatever, that's an extortionate price for a book.

5
MG - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

It depends very much on the car. If someone is scrimping for boots, I doubt they will driving a £20k car that loses £5k a year in value. I estimate wear, tear and fixed costs about 4p/mile for my setup, with petrol about 12.5p/mile.
Michael Gordon - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

> True, but with a hostel you don't need any of your own cooking equipment, or full season sleeping bag. You get showers, washing and drying facilities.. And a chance of good sleep, which matters for both the climbing and the drive home. For weekend attack, late arrival car bivis on Fri, hostel Sat night. Perfect combo.

Easy to find a cheap stove (or use your mate's). But I agree with the rest.
john arran - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I bought Aris's new Greek Select the other day from Outside, Hathersage - the £45 price tag made me wince!

Only € 45 here Chris, you should've waited. Mind you, it might not be long before that's more than £45!
gethin_allen on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to ian Ll-J:

> To justify the cost of purchasing any kit, ask yourself how many times you're likely to use it and apply some simple maths...

> If you buy the guide at £37 and use it once it's cost you £37

> 10 Times = £3.70

> 100 times = 37 pence

> etc.

But, for someone not living locally 100 visits is probably about 50-100 years of trips to go bouldering, especially in North Wales where there's loads to do otherwise.

At £37 I won't be getting one any time soon. If I were in the area and fancied a bit of bouldering and there was a half book at circa £20 I'd consider it and I'd probably only ever read/use 10-20% of a half book.

As far as the price of other kit goes I think it's generally cheaper if inflation is considered, but then climbing is much more popular now, more stuff is made in china/vietnam etc. so you'de expect things to be cheaper and I don't think that the savings made in bulk producing stuff are being passed on.

4
Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

Go and look at the numbers on the AA and RAC or elsewhere as you are missing loads of stuff. Yes it varies on age and mileage but the average is clearly around the same as petrol costs.
TheFasting on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

Personally I feel that it would be easier for everyone if the community embraced online guides a bit more. We have a few of them for areas here in Norway, and if everyone can contribute and some people moderate, you'll get a reliable and cheap guide pretty quickly. No materials and hardly any time needed so don't need to spend money on it.

Shouldn't be that had to set it up so you can get a complete printable version either.

I totally get the low budget climbing woes. I'm in the same position myself. I think nearly all my outdoor clothing are gifts or old army gear at this point.
2
MG - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:
I'm not missing stuff.

As an aside, some fixed costs should be offset against savings on e.g. bus fares that would result from not having a car.
Post edited at 18:07
MG - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

Things like Gulliver and Camptocamp seem to be replacing alpine guides. Perhaps work best when conditions are variable?
Greasy Prusiks on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I think the least expensive kit has actually got cheaper over the years.

Today I picked up a 50m 10mm Beal Karma for £47. I can't remember ever buying a new rope cheaper than that in the UK, never mind inflation.
The Ex-Engineer - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:
> Does anyone else feel they are getting priced out of climbing?

In a word NO.

The longer answer:

The cancellation of the fuel duty escalator in 2010 by the Coalition Government followed the sustained fall in the global oil price combined with the Bank of England's near zero interest rate policy supporting low cost vehicle finance and further across the board improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency due to EU regulations mean that for any fairly keen UK "weekend warrior" the comparable cost of UK climbing trips by car will be significantly cheaper than a decade ago when adjusted for inflation.

My main climbing related outlay by far, is petrol, so in terms of comparable overall expenditure I am certainly not being "priced out" (at the moment) and I think most of my climbing partners, excepting those living in Sheffield, North Wales etc., are in a similar situation. However, that is not to say I am happy with the many prices that are obviously increasing well above inflation and for many people, even a technically static expenditure may feel increasingly unsustainable given a decade of week or below inflation wage growth.

Also, I am very happy to concede that for the minority of climbers previously happy to run cars costing less than a few hundred quid, the post financial crash car scrappage scheme did significantly rise used car prices, and for those reliant on public transport, costs have risen markedly overall.

Additionally, the situation for those climbers regularly travelling overseas is more nuanced. The post-referendum weakness in sterling has significantly increased costs although they are still benefiting from relatively cheap airfares due to the low oil price.

Finally, I'm not completely sanguine about the future as the low oil price is unlikely to continue indefinitely and there is a significant risk of a wider inflation overshoot in the medium term combined with major uncertainty about UK growth prospects post-Brexit.

2
planetmarshall on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

> As a side note, wonder how many routes under V weren't first climbed in strap ons...

Snigger.

payney1973 - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:
I buy 99% of my gear and guides second hand, if you shop around you can get great gear.
Save up, sell stuff you no longer use, i think its more a generational thing where people need stuff NOW we no longer wait for gear, I used to go shopping each weekend when I started building a rack and buy one item, it took months to build.
Irk the Purist - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to payney1973:

A generational thing? Maybe, but not the way you suggest.

I spent Sunday in a theme park. At said theme park you can pay to jump the queues, surely the epitome of instant gratification. How many millennials do you think I saw in those lanes?

It's hard to tell all the time obviously, and I'm open to confirmation bias like everyone else, but nearly all the the people in those queues were grandparents. Barely a millennial in sight.

Off topic. Sorry.

1
string arms - on 07 Aug 2017
It may not be obvious but the fact is that people put unfathomable amounts of time effort and money to make these guides. If it wasn't for passionate individuals there wouldn't be any guides to any of the fantastic venues we all enjoy. £37 for this guide is not extortionate. 4000 problems, fantastic inspiring photographs and access to some of the best and varied venues in the uk?. Save up for it. ????
2
stp - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

Presumably you'll be able to a save a tenner on the price when it makes it's way to the online bookstores. And it's a lot cheaper than the old guide which is currently on sale at Amazon for a mere £200!
wbo - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc: I think climbing is pretty cheap and a lot of hardware is way cheaper in real terms than 20 years ago plus.

I can't think of many cheaper hobbies, particularly if you work in terms of satisfaction per pound
im off - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

What size boots u after. I've also got an old wales bouldering guide...
I agree. Cost of stuff is expensive. Same for alot of hobbies. Take cycling kit for eg.
springfall2008 - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I can imagine it gets expensive if you have a fairly low income. If you restrict yourself to summer sports climbing and use UKC rather than guide books it can be quite a cheap hobby. I've never even considered winter climbing, my fingers go numb in the car on the way to work!
broc on 07 Aug 2017
Wow! Honestly wasn't expecting 75 or so replies to this thread. Don't you lot have work to do?!

I'm happy to read that virtually everyone can afford their kit and feel they get good value from it. I hope my OP did not imply anything against the new NW bouldering guide - wasn't my intention, it was just topical.

Too many comments to reply to them all, but to put a bit of context - I'm not just starting out. I've been climbing for around 17+ years and hill walking for longer than that. I enjoy various aspects of climbing - trad, a little sport, winter climbing, scrambling, DWS etc. I'm a low grade punter but not a beginner.

My current kit has nearly all been bought on the cheap. Quite a few years ago I worked for an outdoors retailer for 18 months and made full use of the generous staff discount. Does anyone actually pay the RRP for their stuff?!

Thing is, quite a lot of my kit is wearing out all at the same time. I am not in a position to replace some of it. As an occasional climber, can I justify the cost? I'm not sure - hence my post. I feel I should think about replacing my harness (never been replaced). My rope is practically an antique. My rockshoes are falling apart. I've lost bits of my rack over the years. My winter boots are dead. My slings are all furry. I dropped one of my ice screws. So it goes on. Climbing doesn't have to be expensive, but it certainly isn't cheap. Some of this stuff clearly should not be scrimped on.

Yes I'm aware that I don't need expensive clothes and top-branded gear to climb. I'm living proof of this! Saying that, there are one or two things I would not go into the hills in winter without (having experienced some rather humbling and oppressive conditions after topping out on the Ben a few years back, and again in Torridon this past Feb). Consequently, a good quality waterproof jacket/shell is a 100% must for me. But I appreciate others won't share that view.

Part of my frustration is the 'planned obsolescence' that a lot of kit has these days. Some bits of gear I have bought or replaced are quite clearly not up to the job after moderate use. When you think in these terms gear can be very expensive indeed, but that is perhaps a different thread.

Cheers all. Happy climbing.
johncook - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Fredt:

When I geared up to do Right Hand Trinity on Stanage last year, to celebrate almost 50 years on the rock, I decided to only take the gear on the route I had at that time. In 1967 I had just bought 2 MOACS and a clog hex (The one made of sawn off ally bar stock and drilled) and 2 x 2ft nylon slings. (They are still the same three nuts, are treasured and used!)This route was my first lead on my own gear. To try to keep authenticity I kept on my trainers as I couldn't find a Woolworths to buy some pumps. I did wear a new harness and crash hat and use a modern rope. I was almost wrestled to the ground by some guy from the uni club climbing nearby and almost forced to take his cams, until I pulled my bundle of 30 cams (of varying age, manufacturer and style and decrepitude) and told him politely I knew what I was doing! (That got a laugh from my friends!)
My how things have changed. When I were a lad you could buy fish and chips and a pint and still have change out of half a crown! Cardboard box in the middle of the M1, etc etc etc.
2
johncook - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

Ten medium lattes! Sounds good value to me!
Lasts longer than 20 mins, can be read in the bath, can encourage exercise and fresh air, will last for a long time with care. Excellent value!
payney1973 - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Irk the Purist:

Stop going to theme parks and use the money to buy climbing gear lol basics!!!
gethin_allen on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

> I think the least expensive kit has actually got cheaper over the years.

> Today I picked up a 50m 10mm Beal Karma for £47. I can't remember ever buying a new rope cheaper than that in the UK, never mind inflation.

I know what you mean here, rope does seem to be particularly cheap at the moment. Waterproof clothing and cams seem pretty expensive now, although you can find end of line deals.
PaulTclimbing - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:
Nearly-
a Scottish winter trip divisible by the average cost works out at @ £100 per route (from s wales) in my recent experience.
General climbing if you want to travel a couple of hours is about £20 per route even when pushing to get your route quantity up.
Local climbing 3 routes trad for 35 quid or up to 10 sport for the same.
This is not costing in equipment..... I sure think its more expensive, but maybe its the lifestyle ... coffee house... chippy/big dining...fast cars...beers...posh quinoa/waitrose...even with cheap camps/back of car snoozing middle age incomes are tight..didn't used to be thus.
I'm probably doing it wrong! supplemented with fell racing..WFRA/local fell races are outstandingly good value for money. But in the absence of overseas trips.Paah/bah.
Post edited at 00:30
1
Mike Hewitt - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to PaulTclimbing:
You are doing it wrong

Trips to Wales for me

6h driving in total, based on two sharing, £20.

Sleep in boot in layby £0.

Can of stew and a baguette £2.

Cup of tea and dinner in cafe on sat evening £6.

12 route on sat, 10 on sun.

22 routes for 28 quid.

Edit:
Agree that fell races are great value. 17 mile fell race last sat, including scafell pike and great gable, plus free cup of tea and sarnie at the finish, all for 11 quid (thanks to Borrowdale fell runners and volunteers).
Post edited at 02:41
1
payney1973 - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Then camp or sleep in the car, easy!!!
wbo - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to PaulTclimbing: you're doing something very wrong. I reckon local sport climbing is almost free excluding equipment, and I've hundreds of routes on my equipment.

summo on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Hewitt:

Same with orienteering races. Or you can pay £50 to run around a muddy farmer's field with a few obstacles, with the mandatory wording of tough, iron, extreme, or warrior in the title.

Mountaineering club huts are good value too, joining a club and using their facilities is generally less than paying to camp.
Michael Gordon - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to payney1973:

I think that's what i said? I was just disputing that staying in hostels is a cheap way of going winter climbing. Maybe compared to hotels but who's going to do that?!
Irk the Purist - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to payney1973:

You think I'd open myself up to such blatant criticism?!

You can buy theme park tickets with tesco vouchers.
The Ex-Engineer - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to MG, Offwidth etc:

BTW I think both of you are correct about vehicle costs. Mine are either:
A) About £1200 per year plus 15p/mile petrol and 5p/mile other costs.
or
B) About 30p/mile.

It just depends on how you view things...

TobyA on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to galpinos:

I suspect that first trips away are much easier if you have contacts who are outdoorsy people who can lend you stuff or at least know where to send you to buy stuff at the most reasonable price. I lent my my best friend's daughter an old pair of Quarks this winter and she already had an old helmet and rope of mine. I've also just lent my nephew a rucksack, ridgerest and goretex jacket for his first DofE expedition. When I started climbing I didn't really know anyone who climbed, and only really got going when it turned out a teacher at school climbed and sold me an old rope and Troll climbers belt for a fiver. We started top roping following instructions in a book from the library!
TobyA on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to JHiley:

> I haven't noticed a big change in much else apart from perhaps helmets which I became convinced had more than doubled in price but that's anecdotal and don't have any evidence.

These have gone up in price by a fiver I think but remain ridiculously good value https://www.decathlon.co.uk/grey-rock-helmet-id_8389290.html Or push the boat out for a lightweight rather nice model: https://www.decathlon.co.uk/calcit-light-ii-white-helmet-id_8306109.html

Say what you like about Decathlon, but its great to see them producing good climbing helmets for decent cycling helmet prices.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

> Come on, you do need quite a bit of clothing to climb safely in winter. Even second hand and third rate, that will cost quite a bit. Then there is travel and accommodation in Scotland. Winter climbing simply isn't cheap.

But has it got any more expensive?
And what has this got to do with a guide at £37 which is the most expensive guide I'm are of
DubyaJamesDubya - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> I seem to remember my first Fires were £45.00 and they weren't available until 1983/4.

> (But even so that's equivalent of £135+ now)

My first pair were sixty or seventy pounds in '87. I've not paid more than £70 for a pair since.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Goucho:

> I reckon gear is actually cheaper in comparison than it was a few decades ago, mainly down to more sophisticated design, engineering and manufacturing - modern technology and low Chinese production costs probably being the biggest factors.

> Regarding guidebook costs, don't confuse the time, effort, dedication and expertise that goes into producing what is a small, specialist print run, with a mass produced by the container load, James Patterson paperback at half price from WH Smith.

> Of course, regarding gear in general, with online sites like Ebay etc as well as here on UKC, you can source most gear at highly competitive prices both new and used.

> And I doubt you can find a sport that offers more bang for bucks, plus a lifetime of adventures and wonderful memories, than the world of climbing in all its different guises

Definitely. Even something like the climbing wall, the people I know who go to 'normal' gyms are amazed that the entry fee allows you to stay as long as you want.
Running is probably cheaper, hill walking would offer many of the same things without the need for climbing gear but I can't think of many sports that would allow you to indulge for days at a time so cheaply
Big Lee - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I'm surprised there is so few alternatives in the UK to buying physical guidebooks. Apps seem ideally suited to bouldering, given their small scale easily fits a mobile screen. 27crags is pretty much the default website / app for bouldering guides in Scandinavia. It's free if you don't mind the occasional pop up ad, or you can subscribe and have the no ads version. The paid-for version apparently has more content, although I've never noticed a critical difference for areas that I climb. A physical guidebook to me seems less than ideal for any bouldering areas that have ongoing development, given the difficulty with updating and maintaining content.
Big Lee - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Hewitt:

> You are doing it wrong

> Trips to Wales for me

> 6h driving in total, based on two sharing, £20.

> Sleep in boot in layby £0.

> Can of stew and a baguette £2.

> Cup of tea and dinner in cafe on sat evening £6.

> 12 route on sat, 10 on sun.

> 22 routes for 28 quid.

I think you missed a few expenses off there.

<Car> to drive yourself to North Wales. Plus annual costs to insure, tax and maintain it. £xxxx
flaneur - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

You must be joking. Climbing has never been as cheap.

Regarding guidebooks...

Font 7+8 £35 and tiny in comparison.
Cresciano bouldering guide £39
Picos de Europa rock climbing guide £40
Croatia Climbing Guide £40
Greek Sport climbing £45
Kalymnos £45
Schweiz Plaisir Selection £47 (almost any from the same publisher are >£40)

Every single one has lower production values compared to NWB and I could have chosen many, many more. We have amazingly good value from UK guidebooks including North Wales Bouldering.

paul mitchell - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to davew88:

Keeping a guide up to date and checking grades etc takes a lot of time and effort.The price of the guide presumably
reflects that. Far too much stuff is free on tinternet these days,creating a culture of not paying for time put in.No rule says you have to buy it. A little inventiveness and drive is all you need on visiting a new area.
aostaman - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

Prioritise the furry slings for renewal. A bundle of these is cheap and the risk isn't worth it.

summo on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Big Lee:
27 crags is good if you are travelling about, it's a kinds of advanced version of crag guide to England and Wales that I often used.

A definitive guide is some how better, so you know that everything around is included. Although stealth crag development seems more common in Sweden. My club are currently bolting some project crags that aren't listed anywhere, as you know there is also plenty of unlogged rock in Bohuslän.

In modern books were are paying the printer for glossy images etc... not sure if that is cheaper than paying an artist for sketches. Some of the drawings in books 20 years ago are arguably better to use than some more modern topos.
Post edited at 15:15
Mike Hewitt - on 08 Aug 2017

> I think you missed a few expenses off there.

> to drive yourself to North Wales. Plus annual costs to insure, tax and maintain it. £xxxx

Maintanence costs were factored into fuel cost. I would still own a car if I didn't climb, it would just be parked-up for the weekend instead.

Now if you want to get super pedantic - I think you do, this is UKC after all - if I didn't get away climbing I would spend much more on beer, so actually climbing trips save me money :p
Post edited at 15:36
Big Lee - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Hewitt:

Fair enough. I'd say 90% of my driving is climbing related so a car is effectively a piece of expensive climbing gear for me. If I wasn't away climbing with it I think I'd find it hard to justify the running costs of owning a car.
Michael Gordon - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to flaneur:

>
> Regarding guidebooks...

> Font 7+8 £35 and tiny in comparison.

> Cresciano bouldering guide £39

> Picos de Europa rock climbing guide £40

> Croatia Climbing Guide £40

> Greek Sport climbing £45

> Kalymnos £45

> Schweiz Plaisir Selection £47 (almost any from the same publisher are >£40)
>

Are the above prices not to do with the poor exchange rate? A typical price for UK guidebooks would be £25-27, so £37 is pricey regardless of size or quality of production.
Sean Kelly - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

Haskett-Smith didn't worry about the price of guide-books. There weren't any, so he just went out and climbed. I sometimes don't consult the guide but just pick a line and go for it, much like the pioneers. It's much more fun that way!
Rob Grant - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

It's the grades too. 9b etc is out of my reach...
Misha - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:
All gear will wear out sooner or later. If you bought a load of stuff around the same point in time, it's no wonder that it's all wearing out at more or less the same time. Regarding longevity, cheap stuff typically won't last as long but equally very expensive software often doesn't last either because it's super lightweight and therefore less durable (expensive hardware still tends to be fairly robust). Assuming weight is less of an issue for you, go for medium of the range, robust stuff. Unless you're climbing loads, most software should last five years or so, which is a fair while really. Beyond that, manufacturers recommend retiring anything safety critical (rope, harness, etc). Of course if you can make a waterproof top last 10 years, great. As to whether you can justify spending money on something you do occasionally, it comes down to priorities. If it's important enough for you, you will find the time and money.
Misha - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to PaulTclimbing:
Yeah Scottish winter routes can be around the £100 a route mark (not including the gear) but these routes are experiences in many ways and you can't put a price on that...
mrchewy - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to Big Lee:

Only if you're buying a car specifically to go to work. I have to have a vehicle to work, self employed and there's kit to carry. Servicing, rfl and buying the thing will happen anyway.

I put £4000 in an account for climbing trips two years ago - there are just over 150 notes left and I've spent over 11 months of that period climbing on the continent, having just returned from five weeks in Switzerland. Climbing is as cheap as you want it to be. Renting a room to stay in the UK would have cost as much as my climbing fund and I'd still have had to buy food and fuel to allow me to exist.
The Bronze 1959 - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I's say climbing gear is cheap nowadays...
In 1974 when I started to climb, a krab was £3.05 each, that was 43 years ago, take into account inflation, id guess about £24 in todays currency.
simonridout - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

£37 for 700 pages is cheap compared to my vintage tractor workshop manual, £47 for 480 pages!
BnB - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Misha:

> Yeah Scottish winter routes can be around the £100 a route mark (not including the gear) but these routes are experiences in many ways and you can't put a price on that...

£100 sounds about right for every time my partner and I have carried all that rope and metalware to a boulder and then talked ourselves out of climbing because we're both spooked.

For each completed route I'd say £250 at least.
summo on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to BnB:

Better to walk into places a like meggie, more bang for your buck.
Michael Gordon - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to summo:

Unfortunately, even Meagaidh doesn't give much in the way of 'bang for buck' when it's not in nick.
summo on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Unfortunately, even Meagaidh doesn't give much in the way of 'bang for buck' when it's not in nick.

Of course, but if you goal was South post, you aren't likely to drive if temp is plus 10 at sea level. You'd go cragging or scrambling in North Wales, lakes etc..
descender8 - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

When I were a lad my local wall cost 4.50 to get in - nowt much has changed except The price that's doubled and the amount of people !!! My wages ain't doubled though ;(
PaulTclimbing - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Hewitt:

Cool... I like that.
PaulTclimbing - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Hewitt:

Agree with all of this .... probs the Scotland trips cost the most because they tend to take longer to complete at the higher grades.
PaulTclimbing - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to Misha:

Yes as the grade goes up .. you can only do less in quantity. You realise how good the experience has been when you leave the highlands and return late in the evening past Stirling castle heading for Glasgow...you've left something very special behind.
PaulTclimbing - on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to mrchewy:

Wow... well done.. how did you manage to do that... give the breakdown.
C Witter on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

It's amazing how the same people who are happy to endlessly debate the merits of particular products are so quick to dismiss the necessity of good gear: "Ah, ya pansy, just get yoursen out in some tennis shoes and your school uniform with your mam's washing line. What do you need cams for? In my day we used to just bang an old nail in for a belay and we'd winter climb in Woolworth's plimsolls."

I think people are probably right that, considering inflation, prices are actually (mostly) going down in the long run. But, so are wages: there's been a massive long-term decline in wages. Even worse, many people (myself include) suffer from a very unstable income, as part-time contracts and "freelancing" replaces a steady wage/salary. Meanwhile, in the last 10 years prices have really inflated for houses, rent, beer and food. So, many people find themselves in pretty tight circumstances - myself included.

In sum, I feel priced out pretty constantly: when I'm walking around the supermarket and I realised the food is categorised according to social class (basics; normal; special range; brand); when I'm almost mown down whilst walking or cycling by a jerk in a huge BMW jeep; when my students presume that, as a university teacher, I'm on a good wage, but they're all playing with Apple gadgets I couldn't afford if I wanted to; and when I turn up to the climbing wall and find the price is £10 for me to get in a bit of bouldering...

So it goes...
1
Dave Hewitt - on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to simonridout:

> £37 for 700 pages is cheap compared to my vintage tractor workshop manual, £47 for 480 pages!

And Wisden is £50 these days - admittedly for 1536pp this time round. I think the first one I ever bought new was 1976, which cost £3.50 for 1168pp (but is oddly thicker in terms of bookshelf-width than the current issue).
mrchewy - on 14 Aug 2017
In reply to PaulTclimbing:

A trip over to Spain is about £500 for ferry and fuel - go for longer than a month and it starts to become cheap. Go for 8 months and the monthly average is small indeed. Climb at Font, in the Ariege etc and the trip down is even enjoyable. Stay off toll roads. Use campsites as little as possible. Showers can be had for a euro in sports centers but sometimes, a dip in a river or lake is fun.
Take Chullila for example - a beer in the Goscanos bar is 1.20euro and a cafe americano is 1.10, a shower is 1.10euro and there is no campsite so no costs there. It's hard to spend more than 10euros a day unless you drink loads and eat out constantly. I spent more than most, there are lots of climbers living on 300euro a month, climbing hard and eating well.
Vanlife is not for everyone, it has some big drawbacks but it lets you be fully immersed in climbing for very little money.
PaulTclimbing - on 26 Aug 2017
In reply to Mike Hewitt:

Brilliant. Dude your doing it right!
1
birdie num num - on 26 Aug 2017
In reply to broc:

I shoplifted a copy and wished I hadn't.
Lots of pictures of scruffy folk in beanies hanging on pebbles

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