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ARTICLE: Close to Home - Climbing & Travel in a Post-Pandemic World

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 UKC Articles 09 Oct 2020
Empire of the Sun at Anstey's Cove

Toby Dunn examines the possibility of a post-pandemic world where travelling abroad is a different prospect. He argues that climbing and travel are intrinsically linked, but that local experiences can be just as enriching.



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In reply to UKC Articles:

Not that keen on this article...

"Perhaps the best answer is to travel more consciously, rather than just picking somewhere drier and sunnier than the UK with a collection of fairly nondescript routes that will fill the days and work up a good appetite for some paella."

That's obviously having a little pop at Spanish climbing holidays many Brit climbers enjoy.  Going on to list 'inspiring' destinations in the US and Thailand that involve a hell of a lot more flying is a bit rich. Quick check on a carbon calculator and you could get 5 trips to Spain for 1 to the US West Coast/Thailand.

Post edited at 14:33
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In reply to Mike Stretford:

> That's obviously having a little pop at Spanish climbing holidays many Brit climbers enjoy.  Going on to list 'inspiring' destinations in the US and Thailand that involve a hell of a lot more flying is a bit rich. Quick check on a carbon calculator and you could get 5 trips to Spain for 1 to the US West Coast/Thailand.

Did you read the entire article, because if so I'm rather confused by the conclusion you've made, because - at least to me - this was a very loving piece about what we've got under our nose, here in the UK.

I'm in a similar position to Toby, insofar as I've climbed all around the world, yet time and time again I'm reminded by just how lucky we are to live within an island with such a diverse array of rock types and climbing styles. I certainly don't see him advocating travelling the globe, because what he's ultimately saying is that there is no need to - we've got everything right here on our doorstep.

Post edited at 15:09
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In reply to Mike Stretford:

I think Toby's point is that those relatively cheap and easy European trips can generally be more easily exchanged for something fun in the UK.

He knows it’s harder to choose the UK over Yosemite, but when trips there are fewer and farther between and more expensive anyway, it’s the more frequent, short-haul trips where many of us can make the most difference.

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 gazhbo 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

That’s fine - but one paragraph does say that Toby thinks it’s okay to fly, repeatedly, to the US and Thailand, as long as you want to climb a famous route, and you do it slightly less frequently.  Whichever way you spin it, that’s just nonsense.  
 

If you’re going to write an article about appreciating what we have at home, I’d leave out the tick list of international routes. I can see why some readers might find it a bit galling.

Post edited at 15:25
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 sandrow 09 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article.

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In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Did you read the entire article, because if so I'm rather confused by the conclusion you've made, because - at least to me - this was a very loving piece about what we've got under our nose, here in the UK.

I should have been clearer, that 2nd bit wasn't a conclusion, just a comment on the bit that slightly irked me, with the photo caption too, which is prominent. Generally, I found it rambling.... just not my cup of tea.

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 gazhbo 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Just to add - I did like the article.  But I can see Mike’s point.

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In reply to Natalie Berry - UKC:

> I think Toby's point is that those relatively cheap and easy European trips can generally be more easily exchanged for something fun in the UK.

> He knows it’s harder to choose the UK over Yosemite, but when trips there are fewer and farther between and more expensive anyway, it’s the more frequent, short-haul trips where many of us can make the most difference.

I don't agree. Personally I would rather go with the seasons, stay here spring to autumn and take 1 short flight to Spain in winter ( I country I really do like for many reasons).

From what you've said you and Toby probs fly more for climbing than me, and yeah if that's what you want to do, cut out the Euro trips for 1 epic to Yosemite every 5 years, good on you. However, the bit of text I quoted does come across as looking down on those who choose something else..... a bit rich when you consider if he does take his long haul trip more than once every 5 years he's making more CO2 than those taking an annual trip to Spain.

Post edited at 15:40
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 AJM79 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Natalie Berry - UKC:

Surely Mike's entitled to his opinion, and to be fair he backed his comment up with a quote from the article, I'm not sure he needs the weight of UKC telling him that he's wrong. If you didn't want people to make that conclusion then you should of edited out the bit where Toby says, that it's o.k to take longer, less frequent flights to world class destinations. I don't get why it's taken two UKC staff to tell Mike why he's wrong to jump to, exactly the conclusion which Toby himself stated.

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In reply to gazhbo:

To me one of the most poignant paragraphs within the article is this, as it explores the exact issue you're describing, only not in the way you're describing it, as Toby very much acknowledges the conflict of air travel:

I'd love to say that I have a great solution to this contradiction. But, as many people are I suspect, I'm struggling with the contradictions of really wanting to get away somewhere, while at the same time thinking that it is beginning to seem increasingly selfish, perhaps foolish to fly abroad several times a year. If you're tempted to brush this off with a flippant comment and carry on with your habits; then consider for a moment what it would take for you to stop travelling so regularly and casually: would it actually have to be because it's illegal or impossible?

I think we're all conflicted to a greater or lesser extent. I've certainly flown a great many places, but as time goes by my attitude has changed, and I suspect it will continue to change as time goes by...

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In reply to AJM79:

Mike's entitled to his opinion, much as we're entitled to ours, as is each and every person who comments. Maybe some of us agree, others don't, but such is the nature of debate.

One of the worst aspects of online communication is that anyone disagreeing with anything is seen to be hostile, but clearly isn't the case - it's just that we're not in agreement. I'm sure this would be a lot easier if we were all face-to-face but we're not, however I can assure you that all comments are meant in the most constructive of manners.

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 AJM79 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I agree that your opinion is just as valid. However, your opinion could also be seen as having the added weight of the organization whose article was being criticized. And that it may seem heavy handed, in a forum which supports free thought, for two staff members to point out to Mike, that you thought that the conclusions which he took from the article were wrong. 

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In reply to AJM79: I was surprised to get 2 replies from UKC staff accounts. I expected 1.... they'd have had a hand in it and the first comment is negative!

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In reply to UKC Articles:

Nope.  Good on the author for having a think about this, but the article seemed to be lost in a world of self-obsession from this sentence onwards:

"I love travelling to climb, as do many, perhaps most climbers."

Who else travels to climb?  

The article isn't a bad effort, but it needed the input of a good editor before it was deemed fit for release.  I know, I'm old school, I go back to the days of galley proofs and page proofs and those days are long gone, but the editorial input they made space for seems more valuable than ever.

T.

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 Tyler 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> However, the bit of text I quoted does come across as looking down on those who choose something else

Even if it wasn't obvious from the article (or at least a quick look at the author's profile) that this isn't the case this is a weird thing to get sensitive about.

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In reply to Tyler:

> Even if it wasn't obvious from the article (or at least a quick look at the author's profile) that this isn't the case this is a weird thing to get sensitive about.

I think selectively quoting text to accuse someone of being 'sensitive' is weird.

I'm not 'sensitive' about it, I'm commenting on the article which I didn't think was that good, and that was one aspect of it, and it was based on the authors text (and I shouldn't have to look at his profile).

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 Pefa 10 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

The planet is pretty screwed because of our behaviour in many different ways which each and every one of us are responsible for. Someone on here gives us their thoughts on how he has decided to curtail one aspect of something he clearly loves and is obviously very good at because it contributes to harming the ecosystems. For someone who loves jetting around all the time to far flung place to climb this must be a difficult decision to make. 

Not only does he do that but he gives a good alternative for himself ;to climb the many places in the UK he has never stepped up on. Which means he still gets to do what he loves but minus the carbon from flying.

I think its admirable to see a dedicated serious climber think this way and brave of him to stick his neck out by writing an article about it. 

One minor crimatism - the sea horizon on that lovely photo of the author fighting with a large sunny cliff that's trying to throw him off, it's not parallel with the top of the photo, argh! , OCD overload lol

Post edited at 10:38
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In reply to UKC Articles:

Interesting article. However I suspect most of us, perhaps with the exception of out and out sport climbers, already "know" (with just a pinch of parochialism) that the UK is as good as anywhere in the world for its variety and quality of its climbing, but I don't think that in itself is an argument for not travelling the world to climb - you can't experience Indian Creek or Wadi Rum or Patagonia at home. Toby says that travel is intrinsic to climbing, but then goes on to advocate foreign trips with a "pure and strong motivation for a particular goal", which seems to me slightly contradictory. For me the the objective has to be equally the travelling in itself. Particular goals are all too often unachieved (at least in my case!) but trips can still seem entirely worthwhile just for the travelling and the culture. A US road trip doing nothing more than single pitch cragging in landscapes and on rock types with styles of climbing unlike anything in the UK is just as valid and rewarding, in my opinion, as one focussed on a particular route on El Capitan. There is nothing wrong with pottering through a country in Africa of the Middle East, sampling the climbing as the whim and its appeal takes you. There are, of course, strong arguments for cutting down on flying, but I don't think there should be any sort of hierarchy about what people should aim to do when they do fly.

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 mutt 10 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:An 

interesting article, and I entirely support what I read as its message. the UK boast an amazing variety of climbing experiences. The geology if the uk is so interesting because the strata have been tipped over , younger rocks in the SE and older towards Cornwall and scotland. http://mapapps.bgs.ac.uk/geologyofbritain/home.html. This leads to a vast variety of different environments to explore and climb. Frankly Europe is all one flat limestone reef and yes it does develop gorges and flowstone but by UK standards it is all  the same and somewhat tedious. 

So, I agree there is no reason to fly, Get out and explore the UK. There is enough there to satisfy us all.

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 AJM79 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Pefa:

That's great, but no-where in his article does he actually state that he's stopping, or even cutting down, on flying. He just states that it would be great if we could, but if we can't then maybe we should aspire to climb routes like freerider. It all seems fairly non-committal. It seems like more of a list of places and routes than a statement.

I'm sure he's a nice person and I don't want to judge him for his choices, but it's just musings, albeit a pleasant read. To read a narrative into it whereby he's given up flying for the sake of the planet seems a bit of a leap of faith.

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In reply to AJM79:

> That's great, but no-where in his article does he actually state that he's stopping, or even cutting down, on flying. He just states that it would be great if we could, but if we can't then maybe we should aspire to climb routes like freerider.

Rereading that key paragraph that begins "Perhaps the answer is to travel more consciously......... " it is really not obvious what he is saying. It certainly could be interpreted as a bit of a dig at people who choose to go sport climbing in Spain rather than doing something like Freerider and, as such, might seem a bit arrogant as if one is more valid than the other. But then he seems to question whether the Freerider experience is any better than stuff available in the UK (well, there's certainly nothing like it in the UK!). It would be interesting if he came back and clarified whether he thinks flying is justified at all and, if so, for what.

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 AJM79 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Exactly, it reads like an internal monologue without actually coming to any conclusions. It's certainly very opinion-lite. That being said, I did enjoy reading it.

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In reply to AJM79:

> Exactly, it reads like an internal monologue without actually coming to any conclusions. It's certainly very opinion-lite. That being said, I did enjoy reading it.

Yes, maybe it is meant to be more of a stream of consciousness musing without opinion or conclusion. But, if that was the intention, I think he could have made made it less open to interpretation as an opinion!

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 dan gibson 10 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

I enjoyed reading the article, it reminded me how lucky I've been to have had the opportunities to do many overseas climbing trips through the years.

When I started climbing I was burning to visit Yosemite, the alps, Verdon, Australia etc. Though I loved climbing in the UK and still do, it was always the big trips away that really fired me up.

I feel a bit sad for younger climbers now being faced with justifying their travelling decisions. 

Don't we all want to visit Yosemite at least once? 

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 alan moore 10 Oct 2020
In reply to dan gibson:

Horses for courses isn't it.

I went to Yosemite once, and Lofoton, but I wouldnt bother doing back again. But there's barely a day goes by when I don't wish I was at Bosigran or the Roaches or Scafell.

I used to work with a bloke who said ' it stops being a holiday once you have to get on a plane' . I wasnt sure what he meant then but think I understand now.

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In reply to alan moore:

> I used to work with a bloke who said ' it stops being a holiday once you have to get on a plane' . I wasnt sure what he meant then but think I understand now.

I've no idea what that means!

Anyway, plane or not, none of them are "holidays" - they're all just climbing trips (but that may just be teacher thing).

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 profitofdoom 10 Oct 2020
In reply to mutt:

> .......There is enough there to satisfy us all.

Unless, of course, you want to climb 6000- or 7000-metre peaks

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 Michael Gordon 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

What's a holiday if it isn't a climbing trip?

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In reply to Michael Gordon:

> What's a holiday if it isn't a climbing trip?

Very frustrating I imagine🙂

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 mutt 10 Oct 2020
In reply to profitofdoom:

> Unless, of course, you want to climb 6000- or 7000-metre peaks

I suggest you spend a few days climbing circuits of the north Face of Ben Nevis in February.  Its as good as any alpine experience. I guess those who really want to climb beyond 7000 m will have to be the exception.  I don't think that's going to be so many people though. And those that do can examine their consciences when they arrive and find that the local communities can no longer rely on annuals rain and meltwater to supply their farms and animals. 

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/02/himalaya-mountain-climate-change-report/

No doubt I'll get some dislikes from some. facts are sometimes unpalatable.

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 profitofdoom 10 Oct 2020
In reply to mutt:

> I suggest you spend a few days climbing circuits of the north Face of Ben Nevis in February.  Its as good as any alpine experience. I guess those who really want to climb beyond 7000 m will have to be the exception.  I don't think that's going to be so many people though. And those that do can examine their consciences when they arrive and find that the local communities can no longer rely on annuals rain and meltwater to supply their farms and animals. 

> No doubt I'll get some dislikes from some. facts are sometimes unpalatable.

No dislike from me whatsoever. And thanks for your reply. I do appreciate your fair comment about people "can examine their consciences when they arrive". I am somewhat behind the curve there, I think. And you did say "Get out and explore the UK. There is enough there to satisfy us all."

However, I disagree that "a few days climbing circuits of the north Face of Ben Nevis in February" are (for me at least) "as good as any alpine experience". I've spent a lot of time climbing high in the Himalaya on several trips, as well as climbed in winter in Scotland (though not on the Ben), and - again for me - there was no comparison at all

Thanks for listening

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In reply to UKC Articles:

Simply down to people needing to change their habits and putting the world environment before profit and pleasure. That said, the local crags seem to be getting trashed now by the ignorant.

Post edited at 17:09
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In reply to mutt:

> I suggest you spend a few days climbing circuits of the north Face of Ben Nevis in February.  Its as good as any alpine experience.

I've done a lot of both. You are not comparing like with like. It's a bit like telling somebody in Sheffield to do laps of Stanage rather than driving to Scotland and climbing on Carn Dearg Buttress.

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 abarro81 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> I'm in a similar position to Toby, insofar as I've climbed all around the world, yet time and time again I'm reminded by just how lucky we are to live within an island with such a diverse array of rock types and climbing styles. I certainly don't see him advocating travelling the globe, because what he's ultimately saying is that there is no need to - we've got everything right here on our doorstep.

Conversely, when I go away or think back to far-flung trips I'm endlessly reminded of how crap I think most UK sport climbing is. Guess I should become a trad climber again.

I also found the advocation of certain objective-focused trips (esp given the focus on inter-continental objectives) to be slightly weird given the overall thrust of being UK focused.

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 mutt 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Yes of course. I am not suggesting that we can carry on as if we aren't making any sacrifices. I know the alps are bigger and wilder but we all have to make sacrifices. The sacrifice of staying within the UK to climb really isn't a big one, and from my point of view I really do think the UK has better climbing to offer than the perpetual limestone throughout europe. Even my local limestone crags have the sea crashing at the base, and beautiful birds and sea life abound. And if I choose I can cross to the Isle of Wight and climb on chalk or drive 100 miles and climb on granite. the UK is a oasis of varied climbing. And if you c0an't tough it out in Scotland then please do go to the alps. Just take the train, don't fly. And if you happen to be Scottish and have become bored with you local crags please do come down and climb on my local crags. You would be very welcome.

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 alan moore 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I've no idea what that means!

For context, it was the 1980's when very few of us had ever been on a plane. Those that had, found it to be a miserable, stressful, cattle-herding process. It still is;  and in  many respects the very antithesis of the open road.

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 Arms Cliff 10 Oct 2020
In reply to mutt:

> The sacrifice of staying within the UK to climb really isn't a big one, and from my point of view I really do think the UK has better climbing to offer than the perpetual limestone throughout europe.

 

You do know that there’s excellent sandstone, granite (and other igneous rock) climbing in Europe right? That preponderance of limestone also means that, if that is your chosen discipline, then you have so many more 3* routes to go at then if you just climbed in the UK. The granite bouldering in Switzerland and Sweden is better than anything we have here.
 

That’s before you get into the weather side of things, which is more important if you have limited holiday time and don’t fancy watching the British rain out the window rather than climbing.

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In reply to alan moore:

> For context, it was the 1980's when very few of us had ever been on a plane. Those that had, found it to be a miserable, stressful, cattle-herding process.

Setting aside the guilt thing, I absolutely love flying (as long as I have a window seat)! 

> It still is;  and in  many respects the very antithesis of the open road.

But there's nothing quite like flying into the western US, picking up a hire car and then really experiencing what "the open road" means.

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In reply to mutt:

> The sacrifice of staying within the UK to climb really isn't a big one.

It wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would certainly be a pretty big one for me.

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 Tobes 10 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Blimey - a lot of words used to convey very little  - Reference to crystal meths, what, eh? 
 

Yet another nomination for the 2020 first world problems awards? 
 

Ah sport climbing, safe as house innit, no need for helmets ; ) 

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 whispering nic 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Clearly he is advocating a little less jetting around, a little more appreciating what we have at home. Common sense in this day and age surely?

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 jimtitt 11 Oct 2020
In reply to Arms Cliff:

> You do know that there’s excellent sandstone, granite (and other igneous rock) climbing in Europe right? That preponderance of limestone also means that, if that is your chosen discipline, then you have so many more 3* routes to go at then if you just climbed in the UK. The granite bouldering in Switzerland and Sweden is better than anything we have here.

> That’s before you get into the weather side of things, which is more important if you have limited holiday time and don’t fancy watching the British rain out the window rather than climbing.


Well yes, I live nearly in the middle of Europe and within two hours drive there's  climbing on sandstone, conglomerate, schist, quartzite, three kinds of granite, limestone of varying types and probably some stuff I don't know about.

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 Doug 11 Oct 2020
In reply to jimtitt:

From home I can see sandstone, granite, some other igneous stuff & several types of limestone - that's one alpine valley.

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In reply to whispering nic:

> Clearly he is advocating a little less jetting around, a little more appreciating what we have at home. Common sense in this day and age surely?

Of course. I don''t think anyone is arguing against that basic message.

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In reply to abarro81:

> Guess I should become a trad climber again.

Come back to the light side Alex - you know you want to ;-)

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 Toby Dunn 12 Oct 2020
In reply to abarro81:

> Conversely, when I go away or think back to far-flung trips I'm endlessly reminded of how crap I think most UK sport climbing is. Guess I should become a trad climber again.

> I also found the advocation of certain objective-focused trips (esp given the focus on inter-continental objectives) to be slightly weird given the overall thrust of being UK focused.

When you say crap you mean not enough knee bars and too tweaky for your over abused fingers really don't you; and yes you should go trad climbing again,  as should I! 

Its weird to say that you would really like to disappear round the world climbing stuff that you've always wanted to,  but recognise that doing so now would be profoundly selfish and short sighted? I don't think so. 

Post edited at 09:50
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 abarro81 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Toby Dunn:

> When you say crap you mean not enough knee bars and too tweaky for your over abused fingers really don't you; and yes you should go trad climbing again,  as should I! 

Partly, but mostly I mean that everything other that the tor is wet for 50% the year, and the best stuff is wet for about 75-100% of the year (depending on the year)! So either life involves travelling or endlessly waiting for the 2 month block when we get lucky and things get dry! I do actually like the UK when it's all dry, it's just so fickle. 

> Its weird to say that you would really like to disappear round the world climbing stuff that you've always wanted to,  but recognise that doing so now would be profoundly selfish and short sighted? I don't think so. 

I think the weird thing was that the article mostly made me want to go the USA rather than climb in the UK, or forego the US for somewhere closer like Font! 

As an aside: I'm currently in Germany, and doing less driving than in the UK 'cos of not driving to Yorkshire/Wales 2x per week. I suspect that moving to Grassington and buying a house with enough room to build a board would save as much CO2 as scrapping a lot of my non-work international travel!

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 Iamgregp 12 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Fact is if you don't climb trad, or high grades in sport, then climbing in the uk nothing like as enriching as foreign trips. 

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In reply to Iamgregp:

> Fact is if you don't climb trad, or high grades in sport, then climbing in the uk nothing like as enriching as foreign trips. 

Or if you are an alpinist (obviously), or a  big wall climber (obviously)......... The idea that UK climbing (great as it is) can even be seen as a cosy microcosm of world climbing is simply not rue.

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 Iamgregp 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Agreed.

Post edited at 14:59
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 mutt 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

> Fact is if you don't climb trad, or high grades in sport, then climbing in the uk nothing like as enriching as foreign trips. 

well perhaps you should, as  most people should, spend a little time reflecting on your choices. If the price of choosing sport climbing is climate heating and habitat destruction, why on earth wont you change your choice and start trad climbing instead. I guess the answer is that you think trad climbing is dangerous? well so is flying. Yes UK sport climbing  is limited. That's a reason to do something else with your time, not a reason to fly all over the world trying to find better sport climbing.

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 Arms Cliff 12 Oct 2020
In reply to mutt:

What if you genuinely only find joy in sport climbing and have exhausted the UK options, should you just give up climbing rather than travelling? 

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 Iamgregp 12 Oct 2020
In reply to mutt:

The reason why I don't climb trad doesn't make my fact any less true though does it?

I don't climb trad as neither I, nor any of the people I climb with, are interested in it.  I'm not overly bothered about the danger aspect thanks.

Maybe that would change if we moved out of London to somewhere with loads of quality trad on the doorstep, but that's not likely to happen any time soon.

Also who said anything about flying?  There are other ways to travel y'know...

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 jamieevans 12 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

How about an article for 'normals'?

A months annual leave a year, kids, 9-5 etc?

Family team ups in campsites? Shared child care?

Lift sharing to Europe instead of flying? Maybe in an ev? Or a train? 

Improved UK tourist infrastructure?

Dare I say it, more bolts?

Or maybe a big resurgence of trad climbing?

A tea wagon in the Avon gorge again would be nice 😊

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 mutt 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

> The reason why I don't climb trad doesn't make my fact any less true though does it?

> I don't climb trad as neither I, nor any of the people I climb with, are interested in it.  I'm not overly bothered about the danger aspect thanks.

And that is what I said, your choices are incompatible with sustainable climbing . 

> Also who said anything about flying?  There are other ways to travel y'know...

I think the OP wrote an article about it didn't he?

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 Iamgregp 12 Oct 2020
In reply to mutt:

> And that is what I said, your choices are incompatible with sustainable climbing . 

Ummm no, you accused me of a lack of self awareness. Then threw some claptrap about choices at me, then made some misassumptions about why I don't climb trad and extrapolated from there...

Then there was some stuff about the environmental impact of flying (which nobody had argued against) and only now you're saying that sport climbing is unsustainable.  

> I think the OP wrote an article about it didn't he?

No there was sentence or two that mentioned it, but actually most of the article was about rock climbing.

Are you feeling quite well?

Post edited at 17:47
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In reply to UKC Articles:

He can't have it both ways.  If he's concerned about the environmental impact of flying then he should stop completely and climb only in the UK, which has he points out has a fantastic variery of climbing (thanks for explaining that, I hadn't realised).  But he can't in one sentence say flying is the moral equivalent of dealing crystal meth, and in the next say his flying can be justified because he is only going to fly in order to do a famous route, unlike us punters doing nondescript routes in Spain.

I agree with those who said this needs editing, because I can't see what the point of this article is.  Is it to tell us how good the climbing is at home?  I think most of us know that, and may even have climbed on Scafell, Glencoe, Skye and the other top places that somehow this "obsessed" climber has managed to ignore.  Is it to tell us to think about the environmental impact of flying?  Sir David and Greta having been banging on for years, is this article going to be the lightbulb moment?  It seems more like self-justification for having come up with a way for him to carry on climbing abroad - it's OK to destroy the planet provided I only climb inspiring routes.

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 racodemisa 13 Oct 2020
In reply to UKC Articles:

Everywhere has its place.The UK has stunning spots mainly trad.The sport climbing for the average climber (6a to 7b) pales in comparison though(there are odd pockets .. Portland for example).As an add-on freedom of movement restrictions brought on by covid19 and leaving the EU totally on 1/1/2021 will make climbers see travel in a different light I think

Post edited at 08:56
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In reply to UKC Articles:

Re-reading my post from yesterday, it comes across as unnecessarily harsh, which I regret.  He writes with style and there are the bones of a good piece, but like several of these articles it could have done with editing to give it more focus, a clearer a sense of what it is trying to say, and to marshall the arguments.

Perhaps he was not responsible for the headline, but the article completely fails to consider coronavirus at all.  Can we assume that travel in a post-coronavirus world will be the same as it was before?  It seems unlikely.

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 Michael Gordon 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Howard J:

> Can we assume that travel in a post-coronavirus world will be the same as it was before?  It seems unlikely.

Why? 

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 Toby Dunn 16 Oct 2020
In reply to abarro81:

> Partly, but mostly I mean that everything other that the tor is wet for 50% the year, and the best stuff is wet for about 75-100% of the year (depending on the year)! So either life involves travelling or endlessly waiting for the 2 month block when we get lucky and things get dry! I do actually like the UK when it's all dry, it's just so fickle. 

> I think the weird thing was that the article mostly made me want to go the USA rather than climb in the UK, or forego the US for somewhere closer like Font! 

> As an aside: I'm currently in Germany, and doing less driving than in the UK 'cos of not driving to Yorkshire/Wales 2x per week. I suspect that moving to Grassington and buying a house with enough room to build a board would save as much CO2 as scrapping a lot of my non-work international travel!

Yes, that's kind of the point! I too want to climb somewhere its dry with perfect rock, nicer holds etc etc But what some people seem to have trouble with is the fact that I feel conflicted about this, as travelling all the time isn't responsible, and is becoming increasingly difficult.  It's not supposed to be a scientific argument with a conclusion,  there are clearly no easy answers,  even in the ultimately trivial world of climbing.  

It's a shame Boulder house prices are so high ;-)

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