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ARTICLE: Climbing with Age

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 UKC Articles 06 Sep 2021

Mark Cobb explores how his relationship with climbing has changed through the years...

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In reply to UKC Articles:

I an empathise with this. My marker for getting old in climbing terms is my bookshelves ofclimbing/mountaineering books. Once they inspired. Now they combine to look at me with reproach for not going as great stuff as I once hoped - and now never will.

 leon 1 06 Sep 2021
In reply to Chris_Mellor:

Jesus Chris that comment really struck home ! I can't look at my bookshelf now without guilt kicking in

In reply to UKC Articles:

Nice article with some very thoughtful observations.

My approach to ageing is best articulated by Spinal Tap's Derek Smalls, "'There are only 2 types of people: people getting older and dead people. I'm aiming for the more active one".

In reply to UKC Articles:

Thanks Mark - I enjoyed that, and I especially related to the experience of having my son "snapping at my heels" as he improved and I grappled to keep my nose in front. The changing of the guard unfolded over about 12 months, and also prompted me to document it in an article:

https://doughton.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/parois-de-legend-some-big-routes-and-reflections-on-being-burned-off.pdf

Although the transition from apprentice to rope gun is now ancient history, we're still regular climbing partners, and our Dad-and-Jake adventures are amongst my most treasured climbing experiences.

Cheers, Dom 

In reply to dominic o:

Cracking article. Thanks for posting. 

 BuzyG 06 Sep 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

A good read.  My best memories in climbing have been climbing with my son. 

 august1929 07 Sep 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

Good article - me, 68 and still trying to crush it - managing sometimes too. Both my boys overtook me 5 and 3 years ago when they suddenly realised that they actually enjoyed climbing.

I have found being older and still climbing is now mostly about managing expectations and, as I tend to climb with a loose group aged between 21 and 45, understanding that although with technique I can still outclimb the others, their flexibility and youthful spring will often bring them success before me (but not always...).

Main thing is - don't give up - still plenty of fun to be had - possibly more so as the quest to be the best is overtaken by the quest for no injuries and that odd time when younger eyes look at you with the question "how come he can do it and I can't"...

 steveriley 07 Sep 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

Bonus side effect of being a long timer, is the amnesia point, you get to flash or work problems all over again! I’ve been back to a few spots recently I’ve not visited in a maybe 20 years. Got home ready to proudly tick something only to find I’ve done it before 😁

The flip side is looking at some hideous sloper and dismissing at as for the future generation… and later realising you’d done it before. 

 MarkKCobb 13 Sep 2021
In reply to Chris_Mellor:

That sounds sad Chris. I hope you're able to sitll do something worthwhile and fun.

1
 MarkKCobb 13 Sep 2021
In reply to leon 1:

Fortunately, my bookshelf is still kind to me..

 MarkKCobb 13 Sep 2021
In reply to Shani:

Ha ha , Brilliant.

 MarkKCobb 13 Sep 2021
In reply to dominic o:

I love climbing with my son, he drives me on and I'm fortunate to still be able to give him advice and on occasion, still burn him off on a problem..!!

 MarkKCobb 13 Sep 2021
In reply to steveriley:

A few times recently I've tried to re-climb some problems from the past, knowing that I've already climbed them, and as you say, have completely forgotten how I climbed them. With great difficulty is usually the answer.


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