/ BLCC

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JLS on 09 Oct 2017
Should I have been surprised that the main senior male and female competitions had what I'd consider to be relatively few entries? I've seen bigger fields in local bouldering comps.

It was a great event with a lot of buzz from all the kids and paraclimbing categories but I was surprised the adult categories weren't better supported. Playing devil's advocate, perhaps competition climbing really is a very niche activity and those that are complaining about BMC resources spent on it have a point...

Your thoughts competition climbing in the UK and the BLCC in particular?
galpinos on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

Are the results anywhere?
Alex Messenger, BMC - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to galpinos:

Hi

For results, follow BMC_Comps on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/BMC_Comps

Also some on our Instagram @teamBMC

https://www.instagram.com/teambmc

We'll publish a write up later today.

cheers
2
Mike Nolan - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:
BMC (as organised as ever) chose to run the BLCCs on the same weekend as a World Cup.

Not sure how much difference this makes in reality to the number of competitors, just an observation.

I also disagree with the use of Awesome Walls Sheffield, compared to Ratho it is a poor venue for spectators.
Post edited at 13:14
4
Ian W - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Mike Nolan:

> BMC (as organised as ever) chose to run the BLCCs on the same weekend as a World Cup.

> Not sure how much difference this makes in reality to the number of competitors, just an observation.

> I also disagree with the use of Awesome Walls Sheffield, compared to Ratho it is a poor venue for spectators.

The choice of weekend is not really a surprise; its been around the end of sept / early oct for a while - clashing with a World Cup is unfortunate, but the calendar is crowded, and the reason why the BMC are happy to clash with a world cup round is that.....

The difference in entry levels is 1. Molly Thompson-Smith would have competed if she wasnt representing GB Cimbing in China. We lost a potentially brilliant head to head with Hannah Slaney, but Molly finished 5th in the World Cup, so massive congrats to her! Both Molly and Hannah having had their best WC results in the last couple of weeks. Personally I would have loved t osee Hannah out in China as well - following her performance in Edinburgh, the possibility of 2 of them pushing into the top 10 would have been brilliant.

We all love Awesome Walls dearly, but it is undeniable that Ratho is the better venue - however, there are "commercial realities" at play (lets cal them cost and logistical reasons......).
JLS on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Mike Nolan:

Ratho is a great venue. It has it's issues and in reality probably shouldn't exist at all. It's great for me that Ratho is local but most people will say it's a bit remote for the rest of the country.

The clash with the world cup was unfortunate, or be it of limited impact.
The IFSC and the various national federations should agree a weekend for National Championships to be held in much the same way cycling does...
1
planetmarshall on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Mike Nolan:

> BMC (as organised as ever) chose to run the BLCCs on the same weekend as a World Cup.
> Not sure how much difference this makes in reality to the number of competitors, just an observation.

Well It almost certainly meant one less elite female competitor, as Molly Thompson-Smith came Fifth in Wujiang. The benefits of having a sponsor that can pick up the financial burden, perhaps? Good for her, either way.
Mike Nolan - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

I agree that it’s a bit remote, but if the YCS final is held there every year, why not the BLCCs?
1
Andy Hardy on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Alex Messenger, BMC:

> Hi

> For results, follow BMC_Comps on Twitter:


> Also some on our Instagram @teamBMC


> We'll publish a write up later today.

> cheers

For those of us poor, benighted souls who are not on twitter or instagram, could you not just put the results on the front page of your website first?
2
Alex Messenger, BMC - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

Hi Andy

The social media goes out live, but as we're more BMC than BBC, it usually takes a day to write up the report and results.

There are also some posts on Facebook too:

https://www.facebook.com/BritishMountaineeringCouncil/

cheers

2
galpinos on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Alex Messenger, BMC:

Thanks Alex.
winhill - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Mike Nolan:

> I agree that it’s a bit remote, but if the YCS final is held there every year, why not the BLCCs?

The main reason the YCS is held at Ratho is because the car park is big enough.

You get more competitors at the YCS and they generally bring 2 spectators with them as well.

But it's crap to have the YCS held there as well.
1
winhill - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> Molly Thompson-Smith would have competed if she wasnt representing GB Cimbing in China.

Is it fair to say , tactically, that a weakened World Cup round would produce a better result for her and increase chances of UK Sport funding? Even if it means missing out on the BLCC?

1
planetmarshall on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to winhill:

> Is it fair to say , tactically, that a weakened World Cup round would produce a better result for her and increase chances of UK Sport funding?

How was the World Cup weakened? Molly's main competition is not really from the UK, and with a scholarship from Sky Sports does she really need UK Sport funding?
1
Lemony - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

> I've seen bigger fields in local bouldering comps.

That's not a surprise surely? The barrier to entry for a national level comp is a fair bit higher than a local one. I know realistically that I'm not going to win the ASBO but it's at a wall I'm at all the time anyway so I might as well turn up for a laugh. ~ were the british bouldering champs held at Climb Newcastle I'd almost certainly not enter as it would seem a bit daft.
JLS on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Lemony:

If we extrapolate your argument up to World Cup events then we'd expect only a handful of guys and gals to turn up.
I sort of get it that lead comps might not be a barel of laughs if you and your mate can only hope to finish =42nd with 35 other punters that got stopped at the 11+ move...

Maybe we need to think of a way to make the BLCC more attractive to non-elite climbers? Or are we happy with the status quo?
2
Ian W - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to winhill:

> Is it fair to say , tactically, that a weakened World Cup round would produce a better result for her and increase chances of UK Sport funding? Even if it means missing out on the BLCC?

It would, but thats an irrelevant argument here as the WC round wasnt exactly a weak field....But yes, for Molly (as with Shauna at the BBC's), it is far more important for her to get experience, results and ranking at internationals.

In answer to someone else, good idea re. national champs on one weekend. It has been suggested before, but its prob time to look at again. Last year the badly organised and thoughtless BMC were criticized for holding the Junior BBc's on the same weekend as the Arco Rock Junior. Problem was, it was the same weekend as the French junior champs. There are only a certain number of weekends a year...
Graeme Alderson on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to winhill:

Normally when we have World Cups in China you get a reduced field but not a weakened field. The main players are almost always in attendance as they are the ones competing for the valuable ranking points.

In case you didn't notice this is Molly's 2nd final in a WC, her first being in Arco which is one of the strongest fields ever, especially this year as the YWCH followed almost immediately. And in Wujiang she beat Ashima, Jessica and Anak.

I think you owe her an apology.
Ian W - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

Not sure whether making it attractive to non-elite climbers is too desirable; it is the National Championships, you really need to be able to climb to a certain standard to be able to compete reasonably (even the vets........).
It would be nice to have larger fields, but I would think trying to make the event more attractive to those who could compete but choose not to would be better than making it easier. Im sure there are ways of making the event more attractive, but i'm always open to ideas and can pass them on to the relevant people. I wouldnt say we are unhappy with the status quo, but there is certainly room for change and improvement.
Ian W - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to winhill:
> The main reason the YCS is held at Ratho is because the car park is big enough.

> You get more competitors at the YCS and they generally bring 2 spectators with them as well.

> But it's crap to have the YCS held there as well.

Nothing to do with the car park. Its the only venue large enough to host the YCS final. Nowhere else even comes close.
Post edited at 19:31
1
johncook - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Alex Messenger, BMC:

What about a decent catch up video. The last few years have been poor quality highlights. Show a full well filmed video of the whole competition, including a full video feed of the paraclimbing!
JLS on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

I should have been clearer, when I say non-elite, I really meant, like you say, those capable of climbing hard but not in the half dozen or so that are able to compete on the world stage. I know quality is more important than quantity but it's still seems a shame that the event can't even attract 30 good climbers to turn up.
Si dH - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:
Just to give another point of view on the participation debate, I'd much rather it was a relatively tight field with only elite competitors than the other way around. Purely as a spectator I'm not really interested in watching people in a national comp who can only climb say, 8a/+ outside, unless they're my mates. It would also mean compromising the standard of the routes too much. The nationals should be a top field. I didn't see the comp at the weekend but up to 20-30 sounds like a good number. Id rather that dropped to 10-15 than lower the standard significantly, as a spectator.
Post edited at 07:43
Ian W - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

I think we are pretty well on the same page - as above, I think its trying to make the event more attractive. We aren't far off your numbers - the mens this year had mid / high twenties, the women 19, and its nice to see the numbers increasing, so I dont think we are too far off. I'm also optimistic that the womens entry will increase as the batch of very good youth A (and youth B in 2 years time) get into the senior age bracket. Notably on gender equality, we have sometimes had a higher female than male entry in the Junior BBC's...... . Both genders have some really good role models to follow, so for my money, we just need to keep tweaking the event to make it more of "an event" rather than a low key comp. It is the national championship after all!
ukb & bmc shark - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to johncook:

> What about a decent catch up video. The last few years have been poor quality highlights. Show a full well filmed video of the whole competition, including a full video feed of the paraclimbing!

Indeed but unfortunately these things all cost
Dandan82 - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Si dH:

I agree with this, despite the fact that I was intending to compete this year before injury struck (and I would definitely have been rounding out the bottom of the field), from a spectator point of view, 30 ascents in one category is a lot, especially if a large portion of them aren't making that much progress.

Selfishly I'm happy with how it is setup currently, if the BMC will humour me and let me see how a punter measures up against the nation's finest, then i'll be entering next year.
JLS on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Dandan82:
>"30 ascents in one category is a lot"

You aren't obliged to watch every qualification climb.
Some sort of seeding process (previous top 20 result) could let you turn up late and avoid seeing the no hopers.

I think for a national comp we should be aiming to see in the order of 100 entries!
With perhaps 20 going into an evening semi final.

Making it into the semis would hopefully be an achievable and attractive enough target to encourage greater participation. With which would come the additional funds from entry fees.

4x the entry fee revenue must help the event's accounts.
Post edited at 12:39
2
JLS on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

>"I think we are pretty well on the same page"

Well no. I'm thinking in the order of 100 entries for the senior competitions!
I think the comp should to be seen as something the general BMC membership "could" be a part of and not just seen as something where the BMC spend "our" money on an elite mafia.

As you point out, perhaps participation rates will naturally increase as the ever increasing number of kids come of age.
Arms Cliff - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

Isn't a national championships in any sport elite by its very nature? I think the BMC leading ladder did something more toward mass participation, not sure if they are still running.

As mentioned above I think your point will be moot in a few more years as the keen youths filter through into the adult categories.
JLS on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Arms Cliff:

>"Isn't a national championships in any sport elite by its very nature?"

Well yes, but to have winners you also need losers.
What is up for debate is how many losers to you need for the contest to be truly considered a National Championship. Perhaps some might think, a self selected group of 25 of varying quality is enough.
I happen to think a National Championship should be seen to have beaten a bigger field but I appreciate I don't have a monopoly on opinions.
Ian W - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

> >"I think we are pretty well on the same page"

> Well no. I'm thinking in the order of 100 entries for the senior competitions!

> I think the comp should to be seen as something the general BMC membership "could" be a part of and not just seen as something where the BMC spend "our" money on an elite mafia.

> As you point out, perhaps participation rates will naturally increase as the ever increasing number of kids come of age.

To get an entry potential of 100 would be superb, but would mean a significant reorganisation of the comp. And that may be no bad thing. However from a logistical point of view, many more than 50 on a one day comp would be difficult. But not impossible.
Maybe regional championships, with the top going to a final, in the style of the YCS (minus the bouldering)? Some Euro nations with traditionally higher comp entries (thinking France specifically) have tiered championships. Is all worth a look, and I would love to see a full weekend event for seniors with your 100 entrants on day 1, and the IFSC quota semi of 26, then final of 8 on the 2nd day.
You do allude to one of the perennial problems though - "wasting our money on comps". Its a difficult problem, as in my opinion the vocal minority of anti's get their own way over the minority in favour of comps, and the middle ground - the majority - who dont mind them, wouldnt enter but quite like the idea of the comp scene as part of the climbing lanscape and having international representation etc.

summary - that isnt so clear above!
Would love a national lead champs with 100+ entries. Difficult to stage, would work as a proper even or festival. Also satisfies your wish for large field, and ohers who want an elite comp (the semis and final). Boils down to funding again. Wouldnt be cheap to stage, and whilst probably just as financially viable, would take a bit of a leap of faith to start.
1
JLS on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

>"To get an entry potential of 100 would be superb"

Yeah well, I'm not sure if I'm just day dreaming.
I guess part of the problem is climber's ego.
A lot of the people you'd want to see perform in a National Championships just don't have any chance of winning and so wont put themselves up to finish 16th.
That's a shame but perhaps just human nature.
planetmarshall on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

> I guess part of the problem is climber's ego. A lot of the people you'd want to see perform in a National Championships just don't have any chance of winning and so wont put themselves up to finish 16th. That's a shame but perhaps just human nature.

I think that puts an unnecessarily negative spin on their attitude. It is a competition after all, is it reasonable to expect climbers to take part if they know they aren't going to be competitive? Not everyone wants to be the climbing equivalent of Eric the Eel.

Dandan82 - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

What was the attendance like at Leading Ladder finals? As I recall that was split into ability categories as well as age and gender so that must have been a pretty sizable number of competitors?

I used to really enjoy the leading ladder, I wonder if it will ever return?
JLS on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

>"I think that puts an unnecessarily negative spin on their attitude."

Yeah, there in no right and wrong answer here but the Olympics would be a poorer spectacle if only the genuine gold medal contenders turned up.
Arms Cliff - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

The Olympics are similar to the World Cups in this scenario though, where you get the best from each country taking part.

Who is it that you want to see competing at BLCC's that currently isn't? Did you enter yourself?
Alex Messenger, BMC - on 10 Oct 2017
JLS on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Arms Cliff:

>"Who is it that you want to see competing at BLCC's that currently isn't?"

The top 100 climber in the UK.
Failing that, the top 50 climbers in the UK and 50 others some ability.

>"Did you enter yourself?"

I was making up the numbers in the veterans category side show...
Arms Cliff - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

I hope you had a great day.

The top 100 indoor lead climbers? Top 100 sport climbers? Top 100 all round climbers? Top 100 'strongest' climbers? I suspect that a large volume of the first category were climbing in the junior and youth divisions. And I suspect for the top people in the other categories a BLCC title is somewhat low on their priority list.
Tyler - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

> I was making up the numbers in the veterans category side show...
How hard were the routes in the vet category?

JLS on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Arms Cliff:

>"The top 100 indoor lead climbers? Top 100 sport climbers? Top 100 all round climbers? Top 100 'strongest' climbers?"

To be honest I'm not that fussed which, but "indoor lead climbers" would be good.

>" I suspect for the top people in the other categories a BLCC title is somewhat low on their priority list."

This is a shame.
JLS on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

>"How hard were the routes in the vet category?"

Too hard for me.
The routes were pretty hard but you didn't need to finish them to win.
Only the first qual route was actually topped.

The vets final route had been used as a qual in the Senior Female cat and only two of them topped it!

I reckoned, on the day of the finals I was climbing at indoors 7a on-sight level.
That took me to within one hold of third place or to put it another way, 4th and last.

My guesstimate would be that indoor 7b onsight form would have given you a chance of winning in the vets. Possibly 7a+ for 2nd and 3rd place. Just a guess.
Tyler - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

Thanks
JLS on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

Next year then?
Tyler - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

It might be fun but I think I'd feel a bit of a fraud!
In reply to Mike Nolan:
Hi Mike

Thanks for your comments but I have to strongly disagree with you that we’re an unsuitable venue. We have a massive floor base and a two tier mezzanine to view the competitors from!

How many BLCC’s at Sheffield have you been to?

We’re never going to be a Ratho, nor do we want to be.

Thanks

Dave D
Awesome Walls Climbing Centres Ltd

4
JLS on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:
>" I'd feel a bit of a fraud"

I know what you mean. We all know ten guys that are better than us, even before we think about Steve Mac and Ben Moon.
That said, even more than the senior comp, the vets need more people to take part to make it more of a contest. If your strong mates and Ben Moon aren't going to show up then it might as well be you...
Post edited at 16:41
biscuit - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

> It might be fun but I think I'd feel a bit of a fraud!

I'll enter if you do!
winhill - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> Normally when we have World Cups in China you get a reduced field but not a weakened field. The main players are almost always in attendance as they are the ones competing for the valuable ranking points.

How are you measuring a weakened field?

Reduced numbers is a weakened field and if there is anyone there who has beaten you or nearly beaten you this season who isn't there, then that is a weakened field. That's the case here.

> In case you didn't notice this is Molly's 2nd final in a WC, her first being in Arco which is one of the strongest fields ever, especially this year as the YWCH followed almost immediately. And in Wujiang she beat Ashima, Jessica and Anak.

I asked about the process, not the result.

> I think you owe her an apology.

I think you owe me one.
1
Si dH - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to winhill:

Complete claptrap.
It could be argued to be stronger than usual, given that 4th place went to Akiyo, who normally doesn't enter because she is primarily a boulderer.
1
Mike Nolan - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Dave Douglas - Awesome Walls:
Hi Dave,

Thanks for your thoughts. Good to hear from you!

I think it's a real shame that the Mezzanine blocks the view for spectators at Sheffield. Having visited both Awesome Walls Sheffield and Ratho for competitions, I think there's a much better view of the comp wall as a spectator at Ratho.

It's a shame you don't aspire to be a similar standard to Ratho, especially with your National Performance Centre Status.

Cheers,

Mike N
Post edited at 10:29
3
Graeme Alderson on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Si dH:

Actually Akiyo quite often does lead comps and will get to the final as often as not. Last year she took the silver medal in Kranj.
Tyler - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Mike Nolan:

> It's a shame you don't aspire to be a similar standard to Ratho, especially with your National Performance Centre Status.

I'm sure if more councils were prepared to bale out unsustainable vanity projects there would be world class climbing facilities all over the country.
4
Graeme Alderson on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to winhill:

I am measuring a weakened field using what is called the Field Factor - this is how different competitions are measured against each other to work out the overall World Ranking. It takes into account who has entered the competition.

http://www.ifsc-climbing.org/index.php/world-competition#!type=ranking&cat=ICC_F&detail=1

The Field Factor is easy to work out by looking at who won the comp, they would get 100 points in the World Cup so Janja got 72 World Ranking points for winning in China, so the Field Factor is 0.72

So the weakest fields this year have been Chamonix (63 female athletes) and Villars (58) not Wuijiang (30).
Si dH - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Fair enough, I stand corrected
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

If the field is decreasing in size, perhaps this is due to more elite athletes at the top end climbing full-time and becoming pro climbers as they dedicate themselves to training for the Olympics. Midfielders and 'weekend warriors' will be less inclined to spend money on travelling to compete. We therefore have fewer climbers but the strength of the field in the top 10-20 climbers remains the same or gets stronger due to more full-time climbers. A natural process in a growing sport, probably?

It would be good to see more interest and increased numbers in the BLCCs at national level, though. Great to see the BBCs attracting so many.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

> I'm sure if more councils were prepared to bale out unsustainable vanity projects there would be world class climbing facilities all over the country.

As an Edinburgh council tax payer you won't hear me complaining about the council showing a bit of vision and I'd be surprised if EICA wasn't making money for them these days.
Graeme Alderson on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Natalie Berry - UKC:

That was my original point. Backed up by my second post about Field Factor effect.

I guess BLCC attendance is partly due to the way our rock and walls work ie not a great deal of new overhanging limestone and a massive increase on new bouldering walls (me being guilty on this one! Sorry!)
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Yep, agreed - just pondering the reasons behind the changes.
winhill - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Si dH:

> Complete claptrap.

> It could be argued to be stronger than usual, given that 4th place went to Akiyo, who normally doesn't enter because she is primarily a boulderer.

Uh, check this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akiyo_Noguchi#Climbing_World_Cup.5B2.5D
winhill - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> I am measuring a weakened field using what is called the Field Factor - this is how different competitions are measured against each other to work out the overall World Ranking. It takes into account who has entered the competition.


So out of 7 ranks, it's 5th weakest?
1
johncook - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

Work on getting sponsors and advertising. The IFSC seem to manage as do a variety of sports. Maybe you need a better promoter?
In reply to Mike Nolan:

Hi Mike

> I think it's a real shame that the Mezzanine blocks the view for spectators at Sheffield. Having visited both Awesome Walls Sheffield and Ratho for competitions, I think there's a much better view of the comp wall as a spectator at Ratho.

Sorry but I have to disagree on both accounts again- The mezzanine is a great asset to the wall providing a warm seating area (with magazines, books and games), meeting rooms that are utilized by a wide variety of climbers and groups and a top floor with training facilities and room to expand. To leave the mezzanine out just for spectators to view climbers on the occassional compition would have been very short sighted and detremental to the business overall.

> It's a shame you don't aspire to be a similar standard to Ratho, especially with your National Performance Centre Status.

My line about not wanting to be a Ratho was aimed at the early finacial side of things and not at the excellent facility that it is today!

Dave D.
Awesome Walls Climbing Centres Ltd

Ian W - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Dave Douglas - Awesome Walls:

Dont forget that watching a climber from the top of your mezzanine gives you a whole new perspective on the top parts of a climb. At Ratho for e.g, you can only see the climbers at close quarters from the floor, so you are watching their backs most of the time. The view of the climbers on the central roof / overhang at the top of the climb is something you dont get in many other places.
Not that I've ever watched from there, I'm always on the ground organising and judging.........

JLS on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

>"watching a climber from the top of your mezzanine gives you a whole new perspective"

Indeed. I watched from up there. Though, if a little more thought had gone into arranging the seating with spectating in mind, it could have afforded a better view for more than it did...
Ian W - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

Good point re. seating / viewing arrangements.

I'm collating a list of issues / suggestions / ideas arising from the events, and will push to see if they can be reasonably incorporated into future events.
Anyone with ideas can pm me if you dont want to put your head above the ukc parapet!
Tyler - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> As an Edinburgh council tax payer you won't hear me complaining about the council showing a bit of vision and I'd be surprised if EICA wasn't making money for them these days.

Prepare to be amazed:

The net subsidy at EICA has been:
2012/13 £447,839
2013/14 £492,648
2014/15 £464,426
2015/16 £303,242
2016/17 £288,642

https://www.edinburghleisure.co.uk/assets/contentfiles/foi-request-responses/ELIR00088_FOI_Request_R...

Given that and also that the original company went bust, at which point millions of pounds will have been written off, and Edinburgh have since pumped in an additional £10.5 million (not inflation adjusted) capital into it I'll stick my original point that it's ridiculous to criticise Dave Douglas and Awesome Walls for not "aspiring to be a similar standard to Ratho".
Post edited at 15:26
1
JLS on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:

Yikes! That's an impressive amount of money spent on climbing by a local authority.
As I said earlier, Ratho as a thing, by rights, just shouldn't exist at all.
Glad it does though...
Tyler - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

Yep, Ratho is great but criticising Awesome Walls for not being more like it, which prompted my original comment, was pretty staggering. I'm envious Edinbrugh council are prepared to subsidise local climbers to such an extent but probably not as envious as I'd be if I was a non-climbing local sleeping rough.
1
JLS on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:

>"I'm collating a list of issues / suggestions / ideas arising from the events"

What time did climbing finish on Saturday?
The reason I ask is that the start seemed a bit early.
I was knacked after a week at work and then a 5 hour drive down there on the Friday night.
To get breakfast, warmed-up and rested, ready to climb for 9:30am required a bit of an alpine start which severely impacted performance...
1
Ian W - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

Timing is definately one thing to look at. Saturday finished about 6.30pm from memory. So for me, we could have started later which would allow people like you to get a decent nights sleep, and people travelling lesser distances (for me its about 1h 45) to save a night in a hotel and still have a reasonable start. We could also have run speed quali on saturday evening; packing it all into sunday wasnt ideal and led to a very late finish on sunday. Or we could have started the semis earlier on sunday, which would have had the same effect later on (i.e. earlier finish).

Easy to comment after the event, though!



tom_in_edinburgh - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Tyler:
I'm not criticising Awesome Walls for anything, They don't operate in Scotland and I've got no view on them at all. I'm responding to your criticism of Edinburgh Council not letting EICA fail.

Edinburgh Leisure is a charity and has obviously been given wider goals by the council, such as furthering the health of people living in Edinburgh. They get some subsidy and they can keep admission prices under control. Which is a good thing.

It looks to me like the 'subsidy' for EICA is going down year on year and is now pretty small in the scheme of things for a city the size of Edinburgh. Edinburgh Leisure have spent money on a clip-and-climb, roof improvements and better lighting within the last year or two and as a result the place seems much busier and from their own annual report they seem happy with how things are going and thinking about more investment. Ten years ago that location and climbing were both problems: these days that side of the city is getting more and more development and climbing is in a growth surge.

https://www.edinburghleisure.co.uk/assets/contentfiles/foi-publications/Edinburgh_Leisure_Full_Signe...


If you want to get hot under the collar about government money getting spent on sports facilities start with the billions of UK taxpayer money poured into the Olympic venues in London rather than Edinburgh Council putting a few hundred K per year of its own money into Ratho.
Post edited at 16:50
Tyler - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I'm not criticising Awesome Walls for anything, They don't operate in Scotland and I've got no view on them at all. I'm responding to your criticism of Edinburgh Council not letting EICA fail.
You need to read back up the thread and see exactly who and what I was criticising/responding to. I was responding to Mike Nolans ludicrous assertion about Awesome Walls not being like Ratho. I made no comment on Edinburgh council's subsidy until you waded in saying you'd be surprised if EICA wasn't now making money. All I did was point out it continues to make a substantial operating loss as it has done throughout its life, even ignoring the opportunity cost of all that capital.

> Edinburgh Leisure is a charity and has obviously been given wider goals by the council, such as furthering the health of people living in Edinburgh. They get some subsidy and they can keep admission prices under control. Which is a good thing.
And irrelevant to this topic.

> It looks to me like the 'subsidy' for EICA is going down year on year and is now pretty small in the scheme of things for a city the size of Edinburgh.
Yes it appears be going down from near half a million PA to nearly a thrid of a million which is completely at odds with your assertion it was probably making money. As I said, I did no more than correct your assumption.

> Edinburgh Leisure have spent money on a clip-and-climb, roof improvements and better lighting within the last year or two
It had a completely new roof in 2007 and so saying it had another new roof in 2013 hardly feeds in to the narrative that this isn't something of a white elephant.
> and as a result the place seems much busier and from their own annual report they seem happy with how things are going and thinking about more investment. Ten years ago that location and climbing were both problems: these days that side of the city is getting more and more development and climbing is in a growth surge.
But still not able to exist without substantial public sector funding, someth privately operated walls have to/manage to do, hence my original response to Mike Nolan which you seem to have taken umbrage at.


> If you want to get hot under the collar about government money getting spent on sports facilities start with the billions of UK taxpayer money poured into the Olympic venues in London rather than Edinburgh Council putting a few hundred K per year of its own money into Ratho.
I don't and I didn't I was just gobsmacked at someone failing to see how and why Awesome Walls couldn't strive to be another Ratho. I then corrected an incorrect assumption you made, which I now see was a mistake on my part.......

rocksol - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Changing the holds more often would help?!
(Just returning from a torn rotator cuff greasing off slippy yellows)
Always a laugh down there though!
Cheers
stp - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

>> > What about a decent catch up video. The last few years have been poor quality highlights.

> Indeed but unfortunately these things all cost


Actually they don't. These days, using digital technology, they needn't cost a penny. Filming is free, using reusable media. Even batteries tend to be rechargable so zero cost there. And publishing and streaming is free if uploaded to one of the big commercial sites like Vimeo or Youtube.

A few years ago Liam Lonsdale single handedly filmed the British Bouldering Championships, streamed it live and commentated on the entire event using nothing more than his mobile phone. All that's really needed is a bit of willpower.

1
ukb & bmc shark - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to stp:

Fair play to Liam but expectations of the BMC are typically and understandably higher.

Different angles = 2+ camera people who need paying and also the cost of the livestream.
1
stp - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

I'm not surprised there were few entrants. The publicity for this seems to have been non existent. It's not been mentioned on Awesome Walls web site, UKC and I can't even see anything about on the BMC site. I wasn't aware the event was even happening until I happened to try to go climbing at Awesome Walls shortly before the event and found most of the wall closed for routesetting.

If an event is to be well attended, any event, someone needs to be on the case with the publicity, starting from well in advance.
stp - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to ukb & bmc shark:

> expectations of the BMC are typically and understandably higher

Maybe that's the problem then. People's egos and not wanting something that's not 'perfect'. The reality is any stream, however bad it is, is better than no stream at all.

I'm pretty sure if they'd asked around ahead of time they'd easily find volunteers to film the event.
1
JLS on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to stp:

Yeah, I think you needed to already be aware it's something that happens every October and have already made up your mind it was something you'd be doing. Then it was just a case of waiting for the details being released. Otherwise it's easy to glance past snippets about it in social media and BMC news emails.

If you are a local, you could have signed up on the day of the event (assuming you hadn't made plans).
JLS on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to stp:

>"volunteers to film the event."

Looked like the event was being professionally videoed to me.
I guess it's just a question of how much you want to spend editing the footage to make something out of it...
stp - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

> I think you needed to already be aware it's something that happens every October and have already made up your mind it was something you'd be doing.

It seems a very strange way to carry on. Why not advertise it widely? It's the most important national lead comp of the year after all.

In response to your opening comment, "competition climbing really is a very niche activity and those that are complaining about BMC resources spent on it have a point..." I'd say this particular comp sounds like it's very niche indeed since the only way to find out about it is to be on the right grapevine. I live in Sheffield, obviously know lots of climbers here, and I've not heard a single word about it.

I think the lack of publicity combined with the lack of any video reporting means it's something that that few climbers are even aware of. I think video coverage is really important in bringing these events into the public's consciousness. One could argue that if the BMC are going to spend whatever they do on organizing the event they should at least film it so that everyone has a chance to see it. Without video it can only remain very 'niche'.

Out of interest I just had a look at the BMC competition calendar and all I can see is: Events from one or more calendars could not be shown here because you do not have the permission to view them. Not exactly trying to make this stuff accessible are they?
JLS on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to stp:
Ha! You sound like Auther Dent in, The Hitch-hiker's Guide, complaining about not being told the the Earth was due for demolition.
Did you look at the notice board...on the other side of the universe?

Here's last year's video...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngFGEd4vz1c

I imagine this year's will be a similar 5min reel.

I'm not yet sure what to make of the BLCC. This was my first time and to be honest I only went because my regular climbing partner was keen. I enjoyed it so will probably give it another go if I'm in fair shape when it comes around.

Edit: You always seem to be up to date on the IFSC stuff, even if it wasn't widely hyped, I'm surprised this passed you by...
Post edited at 23:10
stp - on 14 Oct 2017
In reply to JLS:

The IFSC stuff is very easy to follow. They have a web site with calendar with all the comps on. Also their Youtube channel usually has the upcoming streams too. Probably helps that they're ongoing throughout the year too rather than a single event like the BLCC. And the bouldering season sort of starts, unofficially, at the Climbing Works (CWIF), which just down the road from me.

I think the video for the IFSC events is absolutely vital. It keeps the whole thing connected to the rest of the climbing community, all over the world.
L CVI on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to Ian W:


> I'm collating a list of issues / suggestions / ideas arising from the events

A slightly later start would be helpful. After a 5 hour drive down from Scotland after school had finished, a late night then up, breakfast etc. and parking problems we almost missed out getting registered.

If you are making it mandatory for competitors to wear official vests for the competition then please make sure there are enough of the correct sizes for everybody who is required to wear them. Having to pin up a too large vest on a small youth isn't the best start to the day.

Could you not have moved the couches and chairs out of the main floor? or at least moved them to the perimeter?

Route demo videos - could you not have uploaded them onto youtube once they were available so people could watch the relevant one for them on their phone/tablet? Sitting in a door way waiting for the route you are interested in to come up was not ideal. I'm also not sure how useful having an adult demonstrate the routes for the younger routes was.

On the subject of routes and youth competitors it was disappointing to have the old problem of holds out of reach for the smaller kids. This arises at the YCS and SYCC and I know it is a difficult task for the route setters to set routes of the required difficulty for the wide range of kids entering, it is very disheartening to see when their attempts fail when they are unable to even reach the next hold.




tom_in_edinburgh - on 16 Oct 2017
In reply to CVI:

> On the subject of routes and youth competitors it was disappointing to have the old problem of holds out of reach for the smaller kids. This arises at the YCS and SYCC and I know it is a difficult task for the route setters to set routes of the required difficulty for the wide range of kids entering, it is very disheartening to see when their attempts fail when they are unable to even reach the next hold.

I think some of the routes were shared across too many age categories. For example the younger kids in Youth B are only 14 and can be simply too small to do a crux which is designed to force an adult or junior to go full stretch and statically. In an ideal world it might have been better to have more routes so as there was not such a large span of size/age ranges on the same route or routes shared between B and C rather than B with A/Junior/Adult.


L CVI on 17 Oct 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I think some of the routes were shared across too many age categories. For example the younger kids in Youth B are only 14 and can be simply too small to do a crux which is designed to force an adult or junior to go full stretch and statically. In an ideal world it might have been better to have more routes so as there was not such a large span of size/age ranges on the same route or routes shared between B and C rather than B with A/Junior/Adult.

I agree. Even within one age group there are large differences in the kids height/reach, some tower head and shoulders above their peers. In youth C some are as tall as me! When setting for the younger age ranges the organisers should find more challenging ways of getting the difficulty into the route rather than relying on long reach moves, or at the least make the hold they are going for substantial enough that the shorter ones have a chance of jumping for it.

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