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UKC Articles 10 Jun 2010
[Ian and Suzanna Parnell, 4 kb]

In this UKC Feature, a follow up to 'Mountaineering Mums', Assistant Editor Sarah Stirling explores the difficulties of pursuing an active climbing career and juggling family life.

The fact that men leave behind families to scale the world's highest and most dangerous peaks is never usually problematised. Paul Nunn and Geoff Tier, in contrast to Hargreaves, were not criticized in the international press for being selfish and taking risks that left their children fatherless." (Summers)

She talks to top mountaineers such as Ian Parnell, as well as weekend climbers from all over Britain.

How do they balance the dangers and time commitments of climbing when they have young children?

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=2710

owlart 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Good, thought-provoking article.

Is 'problematised' really a word?
Sarah Stirling 10 Jun 2010
In reply to owlart: Yes, it means 'regarded as a problem.' Problematisation is also a word, though not the sort of word you'd use every day, or perhaps ever.
Hardonicus 10 Jun 2010
In reply to Sarah Stirling-Assistant Editor:

Unless you live in corporate middle-management circles...
owlart 10 Jun 2010
In reply to Sarah Stirling-Assistant Editor: You learn something new each day! Think I'll stick with 'regarded as a problem' though, it's easier to say!
Karl Bromelow 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Shortly after migrating to Australia, with our 5 month old boy Kai, my partner Mandy and I hiked with him in his BabyBjorn to North Jawbone to go climbing. We hiked to the summit and dropped a rope from the top to take it in turns to climb out on the top pitch. It was a good way to enjoy the exposure of multipitch climbing over eucalyptus forest without putting our baby in the line of fire of potential stone fall. We have no family to leave our child with over here and it has largely been the three of us on all our adventures. Back to the point. When I abseiled down to the stance at the start of the last pitch everything was fine. Kai sat gurgling on his mum's back while I enjoyed the climb back out. When it came to Mandy having a crack at it. Kai was fine on my back as long as his mum was next to me but as soon as she was out of sight over the edge he went bananas! He wouldn't do that if she disappeared around a street corner or during any other more mundane scenario involving apparent abandonment with dad. He always did it when she climbed. It was certainly curious and easier in this case for dad to climb than for mum. It didn't help Mandy crank out any hard moves while her helpless boy wailed like the armageddon was nigh at the other end of the rope. He's 3 now and things are returning slowly back to the way it was before. Especially now he's leading with a little help from dad holding the crabs still while he clips the rope into the draws I've put across the top of our home woodie. He's more stoked to climb on rock though and has to roped at Arapiles. Check out his inattentive belayer/grateful mother's smile on this shot:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4397531&l=395c7500ac&id=648261331
Heike 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
Very interesting article. Nice one.
michael lawrence10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Interesting article and one which I can relate to. My climbing/adventure activities have been severely curtailed since the arrival of my son two years ago. Yes, I miss not being able to go on adventures as much or going to the wall every week (haven't been for well over a year) but I don't regret missing out as I love my son and miss him more and more now when I'm away on business/ski trips. A love and a passion for being outside has been replaced with a greater one of spending time with my boy.

My risk appetite has changed as well, but I susepct this has also been affected by my reduction in fitness, ability, technique from climbing less regularly. I've also done a lot more skiing which I percieve to be "safer". My good friend and climbing buddy Stevie Taylor somehow blagged a research grant from his university employers to investigate changing attitudes towards risk in climbers and used some of the funds to go on a trip to Kyrgistan (sp.)!!!

I plan future adventures for the two of us when he's older; all I've got to do is fight the ageing process and stay fit enough to be able to keep up with him!
thomeagle10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Really interesting. The Wildest Dream (biography of Mallory) also provides a good portrait of the tensions between fatherhood/marriage and mountaineering.
Anna G 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
if it wasnt for my mum and dad i wouldn't be climbing
Monk 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

That is an interesting article. I think I may be too involved currently to make an objective judgement (with a 10 month old daughter), but climbing and mountains have been my passions for as long as I can remember. I was introduced to the mountains from when I was 6 months old. Until last year, I used to climb 4 or 5 times a week, and the times I had away from climbing were normally short. I manage to climb indoors about once a week now, and have climbed outdoors only twice since my daughter was born. I still long to climb, but that is definitely very heavily tempered by the fact that I love spending time with my daughter, and could never consider that as time wasted. I am intrigued to discover the ways in which climbing will continue to feature in my life.
hooley 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: This is an excellent article, Sarah. A thoughtful consideration--and it's an issue that does require thought, lots of it. I appreciate the bibliography too.
Monk 10 Jun 2010
In reply to Monk:

Actually, there is something else, only touched on in the article. If I don't get exercise and stimulation, then I start bouncing off the walls (I don't think I am wired right for staying indoors alot). I need a release from time to time so that I can be my normal happy self. However, that release can be with my family - I don't need to leave them behind.
Sarah Stirling 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Thanks for your comments everyone. I've not read the Wildest Dream but I will. The next article I'll be working on is climbing kids, so feel free to post your comments on this as well, and I'd appreciate any suggestions of relevant books and articles. I'll be interested to hear parents perspectives on this - (Should kids be encouraged to climb? Is it more dangerous than other sports or hobbies? If you push your child to be the next Adam Ondra will they get bored, rebel and take up ballet instead?). It would also be great to talk to some real live climbing kids and hear their opinions ;) Thanks, Sarah
peter beal 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article, just one quibble. Cute photos of babies bundled up at the crag actually depict the easiest part of mixing children and climbing. After about six months that phase is over.
simoninger 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Very nice balanced article. Like most of the posters I've had much, much less climbing time since the arrival of my first child 7 years ago, but it's not just about climbing; whether it's work, other dangerous or safe hobbies, the decision to have a family is beset with balancing acts. Don't do it if you can't handle that.
Now my 7 year old and my 5 year old love climbing, although we go once in a blue moon. They also love (respectively) ballet and hitting balls with sticks, so who knows where they'll end up.
And talking of being more responsible, toning down the psyche etc., even though I've got the well-advertised "climber-friendly" life insurance, I had to say I don't do soloing, so I can't afford that particular risk on behalf of the kids. Things like that never used to occur to me.
ferdia 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: A really intelligent, comprehensive article, raising questions about all kinds of aspects of gender in mountaineering.
Dirk Didler10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: I climb,i have a 10 year old daughter,has it curtailed my climbing in anyway? yes but i have also become a much better and much more focused climber,why? because i have a 10 year old daughter and i want to be there for her,"chicken and egg syndrome" if i could would i change anything?, not in a month of sundays,for those of you who don,t have financial drains yet it puts everything else into perspective.
In reply to owlart:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) Good, thought-provoking article.
>
> Is 'problematised' really a word?

No, and even if it were it would be the sort that people who can write never use.

Christ, I'm losing the will to live. I haven't even read this article and just by the fact that the author is a woman who thinks 'problematised' is a word I already know what it's going to be droning on about. As if anyone hasn't heard it a hundred times before.

jcm
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Wrong side of the bed John?
Michael Ryan 10 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

It's a word that is quoted John. The author of the article does not use it.

You are a lawyer too. I thought you were meant to be detail-orientated, or is that oriented?
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I'm assuming the author selected quotations that she thought were written by literate people who could write in English, Mick. And in any case didn't she say higher up the thread that she thought it was a word?

Anyway, I've just cast my eye over the article and won a small bet with myself - the author studied English Literature at university and likes to boast about it. In my experience, no-one who has had any experience of modern literary criticism can ever express themselves clearly in decent English.

Actually, the same is true of expressions like 'dad', 'mum' and 'kids'. No-one who uses these where 'father', 'mother' and 'children' would be appropriate is ever worth listening to.

jcm
Michael Ryan 10 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

You are so lovable.

Make sure you complete the readership survey:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=55385
hooley 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: OED: 1630, Ben Jonson, 'New Inn': 'hear him problematize... or syllogize, elenchize.' Seems a fitting quotation, somehow...
old skool 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
Pretty shoddy comma usage for an English graduate. And on a related note, who proofreads Björn Pohl's stuff? Or the rest of UKC's articles for that matter?
Blue Straggler 10 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> just by the fact that the author is a woman who thinks 'problematised' is a word

As an aside to your exasperation at the vocabulary (I'm not going to join in that particular discussion), why did you feel it necessary to include the author's gender in the sentence from which I'm quoting?
Etak10 Jun 2010
In reply to peter beal:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
> Great article, just one quibble. Cute photos of babies bundled up at the crag actually depict the easiest part of mixing children and climbing. After about six months that phase is over.

oh yes!!! just got there...... its when they want to move, eat everything and don't sleep much
James Moyle 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
Thanks for the article - enjoyed it.

My climbing has actually improved and become more frequent since my children were born; the reason for this is simply because previously I was diffident about climbing since I could do it anytime, now I use every opportunity that presents itself and get as much as I can from it. It means climbing one a week in the evenings, a whole day at the weekend about once a month, and a couple of long weekends each year. I don't think that is excessive time away from the family, although others might.

old skool 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Jesus, this is starting to sound like "Mother and Baby" magazine!
TobyA 10 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> No, and even if it were it would be the sort that people who can write never use.

You're showing the limits of your reading then John. Problematize may not be an elegant word but it is most certainly commonly used, particularly in specific fields. At least the social scientists don't insist on using Latin phrase to show off their education like some in legal profession seem do.
Monk 10 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I too balked at 'problematise', but on reasearching it, I discovered that it has a particular usage in the social sciences, and the quote is from a social science thesis...

I'd still have avoided having it at the head of my article though, as I would expect lots of people to continue no further assuming that was to be the style throughout (as you have proven).
BelleVedere 10 Jun 2010
In reply to old skool:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
> Jesus, this is starting to sound like "Mother and Baby" magazine!


father and baby surely?
Derbyshire Ben10 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I'm glad you are still here keeping an eye on things.
Karl Bromelow 10 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_Dad

Shakespeare uses one of those words that you dislike in a different context. It might offer you an "appropriate" piece of advice the next time you are feeling cantankerous.

Perhaps you should "seal up your lips and give no words but mum".

Mmmmmmmm : )

I have to add that I didn't like the "problematised" word either.

Cheers, Karl
Tallie 10 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Good article - particularly relevant for me at the moment...

Worth noting that it's not just the non-climbing press that feel they have the right to criticise the risks that climbers take either for themselves or their families as this recent UKC thread highlights:http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=411104
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I didn't consider it necessary, just illuminating. In my experience women are more inclined to write boringly on this subject than men, that's all.

I would naturally exclude from this stricture Nigella Lawson, whose magnificently sexist ignorance on the subject of Alison Hargreaves 15 years ago roused even me to write and protest.

jcm
In reply to Karl Bromelow:

You seem to think that Shakespeare wrote Viz. I'm not sure that's a universally accepted view. Perhaps I'm missing your point.

jcm
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
>
> [...]
>
> You're showing the limits of your reading then John. Problematize may not be an elegant word but it is most certainly commonly used, particularly in specific fields. At least the social scientists don't insist on using Latin phrase to show off their education like some in legal profession seem do.

You're making my point, Toby. It may well be a jargon term that those in the social sciences (whatever TF those are) use in their own dreary gatherings, but that doesn't mean it's appropriate in an article written for general consumption.

Why those in the social sciences can't use regular English in their d****y g********s is another question - to stop the rest of us listening in, presumably - but not the immediate issue.

As to lawyers and Latin; grow up, wouldya? Latin is a more concise and elegant language than English and certain Latin tags - memento mori, for example - have passed into the vocabulary of educated English people because they express concepts neatly and can't (unlike 'problematise') be well translated. The law has a number of those which lawyers use in speaking to each other, not to show off but because they enable more elegant and interesting discourse. In my experience few lawyers use these in speaking to the general public, but if they do then they're prats and bad lawyers, and so are sociologists who do the same. Was that the point you wanted to make?

I like the Jonson quote above, by the way, but he was using the word to mean something quite different from Ms S, and indeed in a sense which, unlike Ms S's usage, it would take many words to render less well otherwise. That's because Ben J is a great writer, and Ms S, and social scientists in general, are not.

jcm
hooley 11 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: This has gone off the tracks, which is too bad, since the article is a valuable one, in my view. But simple facts: ‘-ize‘ (often but not always spelled by Brits ‘-ise’) is a verbalizing (sic) suffix deriving ultimately from the Greek -izein (infinitive form). Jonson wrote ‘elenchize’ from the Greek elenchos (argument or interrogation), meaning something like ‘being quite eristic’. Latin gives us ‘-ate’ via the perfect passive participle of first conjugation verbs, performing the same function, viz., ‘incarcerate’. Isn’t it odd that people, usually those who take very seriously their own very partial knowledge, will italicize, legalize, modernize, or cauterize without a second thought, but get huffy and abusive when they run across ‘problematise’ (or -ize)? There are lots of words in the English lexicon that some people don’t like, in which case, they surely shouldn’t use them. They cannot, however, say that it is not English.
In reply to hooley:

Can you possibly imagine that I don't know all of that?? Or indeed, that anyone in the whole wide world has anything other than 'very partial knowledge'.

Do Americans really spell legalize like that, by the way? It looks even more absurd than the rest of them, especially since legal is a Latin root, and -ize, as you pointed out, a Greek one.

Anyway, I've no doubt 'problematise' is a word in the sense that there are people who use it and manage to convey meaning by it to other people who are in on the secret (you did notice that Jonson's use of 'elenchise' implied a completely different purpose for the suffix -ise, right?). It doesn't seem to have made it to the Shorter OED, but that isn't everything, of course. I still think people who are attempting to write comprehensible English for non-specialists would do better to avoid it.

jcm

gordoste11 Jun 2010
jcm: I don't consider all lawyers to be arrogant and obsessed with trivial detail, but you quite obviously are. By your own confession you didn't even read the article. This is supposed to be UKClimbing, not UKEtymology so who cares?

Anyway a big thanks to the author. I certainly found this article very interesting, balanced and particularly relevant - as have many others. Unfortunately the internet is full of people like jcm who do nothing but try to inflate their ego by pointing out errors made by anyone who makes an actual contribution.
George Ormerod 11 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Erm, wow, this thread's gone a bit off the rails. I think 'a problem' would have been simpler and more elegant (and use fewer letters). But aside from that in the introduction, an enjoyable article.
TonyB 11 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

I enjoyed reading the article and can't believe people are arguing about the English!
Karl Bromelow 11 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Karl Bromelow)
>
Perhaps I'm missing your point.
>
> jcm

Oh, come now. I'm sure you are not. I credit you with some intelligence.

Cheers, Karl
In reply to TonyB: I'm not sure I enjoyed the article. Seemed a lot of 'love my kids, given up a lot of what freedom and enjoyment I had now they are here' sort of stuff in it.

No reckless bounder just going out and doing it.

I guess making that choice to have children means those interviewed had taken the impact on their climbing into consideration but, and maybe my perception is wrong, there does seem to be a lot of 'I've rolled over and given up' in my interpretation of the article.

With my blinkered goggles it reads as, fantastic climbing then baby comes along and now resigned to the fact that they have become a funding stream for another and the fun of the past has now gone followed by the caveat spoken through gritted teeth "but I love my son/daughter so much" to appease the conforming masses and keep the baying wife from throwing the individual in the stocks/doghouse.

Sales of carpet slippers must go up after each birth.

Just my view of the article - nothing more.

GBPCG (not a father)

p.s. those about to reply about "you'll see things differently when your a dad brigade need not post - heard it so many times the words dribble out of my ears these days".

Hardonicus 11 Jun 2010
In reply:

The first English language error most Social Scientists make is the use of 'Scientist' to describe their profession...
Monk 11 Jun 2010
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
> (In reply to TonyB) I'm not sure I enjoyed the article. Seemed a lot of 'love my kids, given up a lot of what freedom and enjoyment I had now they are here' sort of stuff in it.
>

Interesting that you should say that. That was also my feeling, but I wasn't sure if I was being swayed by my circumstances, hence I commented saying that I may be too involved to be objective - I didn't want to criticise unfairly.
In reply to Monk: I'm expecting to be flamed by many but hope that some will at least read all that I posted before jumping in both feet and note that;

1. I'm biased (see how I signed off)
2. it is solely my opinion and not rooted in fact.

In reply to gordoste:

>This is supposed to be UKClimbing, not UKEtymology so who cares?

Obviously not the people who edit the articles they publish.

jcm
Monk 11 Jun 2010
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
> (In reply to Monk) I'm expecting to be flamed by many but hope that some will at least read all that I posted before jumping in both feet and note that;
>
> 1. I'm biased (see how I signed off)
> 2. it is solely my opinion and not rooted in fact.
>
>

The flaming is why I was reticent - I wouldn't like to be labelled as an irresponsible father.

In reply to Monk: I'm glad I wrote the post then.
Michael Ryan 11 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

That's enough please John. Drop it. You've made your point.

It would be more constructive to discuss the topics raised in the article from now on.

Thank you.
Null 11 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)

> It would be more constructive to discuss the topics raised in the article from now on.
>

Youse at UKC should chop irrelevant posts from threads by policy!

As regards parenthood and climbing. My instinctive response to a surprise but fortunate arrival in my life was to more or less stop climbing for about ten years. Spare time was spent on "adventure" picnics, camping out in the local hills, cycling, hillwalking, and sledging with the tot.
Now that my daughter is "big" I have started climbing again, although I doubt I would ever accept the same levels of risk that I did in my former life (gone soft but don't care).

Personally I would judge it irresponsible to knowingly do very dangerous anything when you have small children, in particular for a mother. Numbed with political correctness, nowadays everybody pretends there is no difference between mothers and fathers. Both are fundamental during child development, but mothers represent the first step on the ladder after which you need a father, and all the rest. Mothers are not "ideological constructs". Motherhood is real.

Bringing up children requires a degree of selflessness and responsibility. If you refuse to accept this then you are selfish and irresponsible. Many people are, and not only in this context.
Monk 11 Jun 2010
In reply to Gavin Taylor:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>

>
> Personally I would judge it irresponsible to knowingly do very dangerous anything when you have small children,

The problem with that sentiment being that I am far more likely to get killed cycling or driving than I am climbing. I don't need to cycle, I don't need to drive to visit relatives, go to fun places etc. I don't view your average trad/sport climbing or bouldering as particularly dangerous activities. I have to admit that since my other half got pregnant, I have been nowhere near as bold, and prefer well-protected routes and well-managed risks, but I don't see stopping completely as being a particularly useful option - mainly because I would be a grumpy sod (not saying that's a good thing, just telling it like it is).

Having said that, I currently cannot see me going to the alps anytime in the next few years, or climbing much winter stuff in Scotland, or even climbing on loose seacliffs, as I feel there are too many factors beyond my control. I think it all comes down to assessing risks.

In reply to Gavin Taylor: So in essence we're here to breed and sod the rest that holds interest - we were born into servitude and selfish to attempt to escape it - why bother climbing in the first place if all we are is a preambulatory penis for a mini-me
Tall Clare 11 Jun 2010
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

that seems rather an extreme extrapolation from what Gavin said.
Null 11 Jun 2010
In reply to Monk:
> (In reply to Gavin Taylor)

> I don't view your average trad/sport climbing or bouldering as particularly dangerous activities.

Yes, you are right. I was thinking of K2 and such stuff.

In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat)
>
> that seems rather an extreme extrapolation from what Gavin said.

I bet a lot of non-fathers are thinking it though.
Tobias at Home 11 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: good article but the pedant in me wants to point out that Rick (Marchant) hasn't taken Isabelle's surname
Null 11 Jun 2010
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
> [...]
>
> I bet a lot of non-fathers are thinking it though.

Well, I was dedicated non-father and a mad keen climber not so long ago. I considered myself too selfish to have children, which I was at the time.

My introduction to fatherhood was radical - both my girlfriend and the baby nearly died (clampsia). It was a long hard haul to get them both through and it completely changed my perspective on life. For the better I would say.

John Gillott 11 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

I'm unsure after reading it if the author arguing that:

1. Nowadays fathers, on the whole, are less likely to take significant risks than they were in the past;

and that

2. This is partly because they are more involved in childcare / spend more time with their children.

If that is part of the argument I wonder if it's right? In previous generations wasn't it also quite common for fathers to move away from the more risky kinds of climbing or from climbing altogether?
In reply to Gavin Taylor: But why is being selfish so irresponsible?

I still haven't got my head around it. Both sexes seem to curtail their involvement in an action such as climbing where the dangers are known and can be dealt with but we do not hear of changes in habit for actions that involve risks out of the persons control?

People continue to use home appliances without regular PAT testing to prove these are safe to use - is this a selfish act?

People continue to walk/cycle/drive/work even though they can come into contact with risks such as drunk/drug-filled 3rd parties in such a manner they cannot control the risk - is this selfish?

Why curtail climbing and yet still take the risk of being killed on the road by a rogue driver?

This post isn't directed at you btw.
Hmmmm, had another thought - money. To sustain the family you need money whereas, for the vast majority, climbing is a cost.

So for money we selfishly ignore the risks to provide for our family. In that sense we are forced to put money higher up in the ranking than the family.
mark237 11 Jun 2010
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

how to climb, and parent your children

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=92925
In reply to mark237: very good!
Null 11 Jun 2010
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
> (In reply to Gavin Taylor) But why is being selfish so irresponsible?
>
> I still haven't got my head around it.

Nobody says that all climbing is dangerous - nowadays a lot of it is very safe - or that you need to curtail all your activities.
The issue was with serious Himalayan and other "toss a coin" type climbing. I used to enjoy soloing quite hard ice and mixed routes in the Alps, and doing new mixed winter routes in Scotland, when you knew that climbing yourself into a bad corner was a real possibility. I stopped.

A couple of years ago an Italian pal of mine had a daughter. He was quite a tough icefall climber, but soon after he became a "padre" we were on an big icefall at Sottoguda, and his pitch was looking a bit rough, overhanging icicles and such. Normally he would have battled is way up, swinging around on one axe, but on this day he quickly came back down shaking his head. "I keep seeing my daughter's face in my mind's eye," he said.
Rubbishy 11 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

I saw a Will Gadd lecture a couple of years back, and since we have a mutual friend was able to corner him and chat to him for sometime afterwards. He had some interesting things to say about climbing and fatherhood. His argument, inter alia (hello John), was that it meant a few compromises but also he draws a great deal from sharing his environment with his child and watching his child interact with the outdoors.

the same could be said about Wally Herberty, who just dragged his grommet off to Greenland and had her brought up in an inuit settlement while he larked around o nthe icecap.

Personally though, I prefer tapirs.
Doug 11 Jun 2010
In reply to John Rushby: wonder if Will Gadd's dad also being a mountaineer had any influence on his attitude ?
alex_th 11 Jun 2010
In reply to owlart:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) Good, thought-provoking article.
>
> Is 'problematised' really a word?

Is 'gendered' really a word? And, later: 'I spoke to several anonymous mountaineers'. How do they get by without names?

Alex

Rubbishy 11 Jun 2010
In reply to Doug:

prolly
simon geering 11 Jun 2010
In reply to Sarah Stirling-Assistant Editor:

Sarah, Regards the kids climbing check out the articles up here:
http://www.theoutdoorparent.com/

I found that site a few years back from a link on a podcast. There are a number of articles up there about how different parents have tackled the problem of kids + outdoor life.
Nick Colton, BMC11 Jun 2010
Really useful, free and downloadable, little booklet from the BMC

Click here http://www.thebmc.co.uk/Download.aspx?id=9
boreal_baby 11 Jun 2010
Having read through this and skipped the boring bits about the use of grammer (ffs get a life!) I think as the child of a climbing father I can add my opinion...
My dad is a great climber and through him I got into climbing at the age of three, the fact that I am still doing it now 28 years later is partly due to him but... and this is a big but...
My brother and I were always very aware that we came a very poor second, if not third or even further down the list to climbing and mountaineering.
I spent many mind numbing hours being dragged round gear shops before he eventually realised that maybe he should feed his under 10 year old kids.
As a child you do become very aware of this and I also don't remember him being around much as he was always away climbing or mountaineering.
I also have memories of needing mundane things like food and new school shoes but these were neglected in favour of a shiny new piece of kit.
Don't get me wrong I love climbing, being out on the crags, the sense of freedom it's fantastic. It just isn't the whole focus of my life and I never want my kids to feel the way I felt growing up knowing I was second best.
I think it's admirable that parents are thinking about their kids more nowadays as my dad certainly didn't put his kids first 20 years ago.
Put your kids first, they're what you leave behind... the mountain will always be there you just might not be fit enough to climb it!
In reply to boreal_baby:

>skipped the boring bits about the use of grammer (ffs get a life!)

Maybe you could think about using a bit of yours to learn the difference between grammar and vocabulary.

jcm
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Anyway, since Mick has directed me to stick to the topic in hand rather than replying to various twerps higher up, I'd just like to add my view about that.

Apparently having children tends to restrict the time you can devote to other activities. People vary in how much they let this happen. This is because people are different from each other. However, on the whole it affects women more than men. This is because we live in a wicked patriarchy (or, if you prefer 'gendered society') which oppresses the sisterhood. Some people think we ought to do something about this.

Having children also tends to make people even more reluctant to kill themselves in pursuit of their leisure activities. This too affects people to various degrees (see above for the explanation of this). It too affects women more than men. This may be because of the g******d s*****y as well, or it may be because men are biologically equipped to be hunting mammoths for food. Nobody knows.

Gosh, I think I'm about ready for my PhD. And my new vagina.

jcm
In reply to alex_th:

According to my daughter, no-one can hope to get a PhD in English unless their thesis includes the "word" 'gendered'. So I suppose it must be.

You see how useful this talk about vocabulary is, btw? Alex_th's post was such a teaser I had to read the article to see whether it really did include 'gendered'. Mind you, I wrote my little precis above first. Having done so I do wonder how Mick had the temerity to make his point above about 'problematised' only being in a quote. Bit like Thierry H appealing for handball against that Mexican fellow. Still, perhaps he hadn't read it either.

jcm
boreal_baby 11 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
You know this is really why I stopped using UKC for a while as pedants just bore me, I mean seriously you're judging my post on my use of the english language...??? How very smallminded and judgmental of you... well done... Bored now
Misha 12 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

The other side of the coin is climbers - men and women - who chose not to have children, sometimes because they don't want to give up climbing and sometimes for other, more significant, reasons. This side of things might also be worth exploring.
Misha 12 Jun 2010
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
> (In reply to Gavin Taylor) So in essence we're here to breed and sod the rest that holds interest - we were born into servitude and selfish to attempt to escape it

Nicely put. I suppose we're just animals and as such are designed to spread our genes, though humans should be intelligent enough not to be driven by instincts. Are people who have children the ones who are actually selfish? Adding yet another mouth to an overpopulated world, using up healthcare and education resources, all just because they want to spread their genes and find fulfilment in life. That would be a cynical way of seeing it, yet there is a point there...
tlm 16 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

I know plenty of climbers who don't have children and who, as they have grown older have reduced the amount that they climbed, or stopped all together, or moved onto other sports...

I wonder how much kids (<---put that in just for JCM) are a convinent excuse which allows you to cut down on the climbing while protesting that it was only for your 'little one'? (Not deliberatly, you understand - just without realising that this is what you are doing)
Dirk Didler16 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:I eat babys.
Sarah Stirling 17 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Thanks for all the comments, criticisms and stories. I enjoyed reading them. Nick Colton (BMC) has pointed out an article about Alison Hargreaves' son in the Times last Sunday:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/men/article7144089.ece
Sarah Stirling 18 Jun 2010
In reply to simon geering: Thanks for pointing this out, Simon.

Cheers,

Sarah
NickD 18 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: I liek this article and don't even mind the word "problematise" (at least it wasn't spelled '-ize').

I really, really dislike the new stand-out quotes in articles. Can we drop them please?
Michael Ryan 19 Jun 2010
In reply to NickD:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) I liek this article and don't even mind the word "problematise" (at least it wasn't spelled '-ize').
>
> I really, really dislike the new stand-out quotes in articles. Can we drop them please?

Pull quotes, done right, are meant to increase readability, lead readers into the article and highlight certain phrases of the body text that maybe of interest.

Charlie_Zero 19 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that the pull quotes should have been shorter and there should have been less of them. Having to read the same sentences twice within a few lines was tedious.

I would also have liked to see more summing up of views and opinions from the author rather than quote after quote from others.

Michael Ryan 19 Jun 2010
In reply to Alan_2468:

Taken on board. Thanks.
Sarah Stirling 19 Jun 2010
In reply to Alan_2468: Yes, thanks for your comments.
cross_rider20 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

I feel compelled to write a response to this thread (my first response ever) for two reaons.
The first one being the most important. I thought that this was an excellent article about a subject/emotions which very close to home! One and a half years ago, after 4 years of trying, my son was born. My wife had a massive blood loss just after the birth, and then my son when he was 3 weeks old was rushed into hospital for emergancy surgery, which was made worse by the fact that he was given a massive penicillin overdose in the recovery room. He/We pulled through this, and then at 3 months old he developed severe reflux, meaning he never slept, he only took 1 ounce of milk per feed, meaning we had to feed hime every 1 hour every night untill he was 1.
This all meant that climbing has had to take a backseat. I work away alot, and at the weekend I think that it is selfish of me to spend a whole day out climbing when my wife has had our son all week by herself. Not only that, I want to spend time with our son, who is the most important thing in the world to us. Before he came along, I lived for climbing, I climbed pretty much every evening, and every weekend. and for me giving up / curtailling the climbing has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do. That sounds really sad, but thats how it feels.

My son is now well and truely on the mend, and I am looking forward to the days out in mountains we are going to have together in a few years time. I am trying to get myslf through my lack of climbing by thinking, that in a few years time I will have a mini-me to instill my love of the mountains on! He can already tell Stanage, and froggatt edge apart from other crags when we see them in magazines.
I think that the forced break of a few years I am having has made me love the mountains even more, and the fact that I can share them with my son is the best feeling ever. I think that I started taking them for granted, and thats when things go wrong!

The second reason for my response is to say what a bunch of to**ers some people who use this site are. This thread was not about grammer it was about mountaineering and fatherhood. If you havent got anything constructive to say then keep it shut, and before you have a dig back, I know my english is rubbish, but do I care!!!!! I dont know what it is about UKC but none of the other forums I use outside of climbing (Singletrackworld etc) have this amount of bitchiness or rudeness within them.
Charlie_Zero 20 Jun 2010
In reply to cross_rider:

Not sure if you are including me in the to**er category, but as mine was the last post commenting on the format of the article, I guess you might be.

Sorry to hear of the problems you have had with your son and how this has affected your ability to get out climbing.

I enjoyed the article (I probably should have mentioned that in my earlier post), but did find it a bit less readable than it might have been because of the points I mentioned above. As Sarah is a professional author, I would expect that she can deal with feedback in a constructive manner without personalising it. For all I know, her original draft may have been altered by subsequent editing or re-formatting. In any case, she can choose whether she agrees or disagrees with any comments.

Yes, this all detracts from discussion of the topic itself. In future I'll email any such comments to the author themselves rather than posting them on the forum. If others did the same then the problem would be solved.
NickD 20 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> Pull quotes, done right, are meant to increase readability, lead readers into the article and highlight certain phrases of the body text that maybe of interest.

Hi Mick.

I'm afraid, like Alan says, the current style for the pull quotes (new term, cheers!) is too intrusive. It looks like a heading at the moment. I don't know what the answer is, but something needs toning down to distinguish the pull quotes from the text.

Now I feel like a to**er for not talking about the content
Michael Ryan 20 Jun 2010
In reply to NickD:

Maybe align them to the right or left or box them out?
TobyA 20 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

> Maybe align them to the right or left or box them out?

I'm not sure, but just to echo the others I don't like them either. Sorry. Even in my own reviews I find the pull quotes confusing. It's not obvious if you are meant to read them in the article or not.
NickD 20 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> Maybe align them to the right or left or box them out?

Sure - worth a try.

By the way, my favourite pull quote ever was from an old OTE article about climbing in Nevada. It was "I hitched across the desert, pondering my sexuality."

Wish I could remember who wrote that article...
Michael Ryan 20 Jun 2010
In reply to NickD:

I wonder!
Sarah Stirling 24 Jun 2010
In reply to cross_rider: Thanks very much for posting this story - what an epic! - and I'm glad that things are looking up for your family. In response to the pullquote conversation - I'm to blame for my own layouts. On rereading I agree with you lot, so I've changed the layout a bit. If you want to email me rather than post a comment in the forum then you can click my name above my forum post.
In reply to UKC Articles: It's good to see some people bucking the trend.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=55764
lanky_suction124 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Wouter Jongelen (Dutch Bouldering Champion) recently had baby number 2 with his partner (I presume she did most of the hard work) and is currently having a really good year in the Bouldering World Cup rounds.

I had an excellent competition result exactly one year and one week after giving birth to my little girl - I managed to get pretty strong and fit fairly quickly despite it being quite a difficult birth (unfortuantely weak as a kitten again now as number 2 is on the way!).

Of course there is always a huge amount of compromise once you start your family. I am extremely fortunate in having a very supportive partner, we have both managed to return to climbing pretty well; he is also doing a huge amount of cycling at the moment. You just have to be motivated and flexible, and accept that some things will be very different (especially fear of injury/ death - but I think these increase with age anyway. It is just a little more intense when you consider your dependents as well).

I for one feel much more well-rounded as an individual having become a mother. I still strongly identify as a climber, and in fact am more motivated than I have ever been when I actually get the chance to climb, as my opportunities are so much more precious now. I also love the fact that we can bring sprogs up to appreciate the environment that we love.

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