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Can we still go to climbing walls?

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 JimHolmes69 22 Sep 2020

Can we still go to climbing walls?

I don't know what the new restrictions mean. Help? 

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 JLS 22 Sep 2020
In reply to JimHolmes69:

Yes, but not for long I’d wager.

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 Max factor 22 Sep 2020
In reply to JLS:

I dont think anyone knows. Keeping an eye out for BMC to announce something.

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In reply to Max factor:

Pretty clear to me: no new measures for gyms announced.

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 JimHolmes69 22 Sep 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Aren't indoor teams sports supposed to be no more than 6 people. 

How does bouldering inside work with that? 

No idea? 

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In reply to JimHolmes69:

> Aren't indoor teams sports supposed to be no more than 6 people. 

> How does bouldering inside work with that? 

The idea is that we're social distancing in the wall, but obviously you can't do that in most sports.

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 SDM 22 Sep 2020
In reply to JimHolmes69:

> Aren't indoor teams sports supposed to be no more than 6 people. 

> How does bouldering inside work with that? 

> No idea? 

Bouldering is not a team sport.

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 Oceanrower 22 Sep 2020
In reply to JimHolmes69:

> Aren't indoor teams sports supposed to be no more than 6 people. 

> How does bouldering inside work with that? 

> No idea? 

How the f*ck do you make bouldering into a team sport! Have you ever EVER climbed?

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 JimHolmes69 22 Sep 2020
In reply to Oceanrower:

That's a bit strong. Are you OK. 

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 Oceanrower 22 Sep 2020
In reply to JimHolmes69:

Fine thanks. But I'm  not the one trying to team boulder!

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 JimHolmes69 22 Sep 2020
In reply to Oceanrower:

It is quite funny. I must be in a team. 

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 Fergal 22 Sep 2020
In reply to JimHolmes69:

There is enough hysteria in general without this bollocks.

Go climb.

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 henwardian 22 Sep 2020
In reply to Oceanrower:

I believe the correct term is "combined tactics" and it's a noble discipline I will not hear questioned.

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 JimHolmes69 22 Sep 2020
In reply to Fergal:

Well observed. You are absolutely correct. 

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 Kevster 22 Sep 2020
In reply to Oceanrower:

Bouldering is frequently a team thing, all those spotters, beta sprayers, mat carriers and groupies. AND thats without the local youth group etc casually walking under your drop zone (unless its Brad pit sit start style problem).

 If you prefer solitude, other disciplines are available. 

I'd suggest in order:

Bouldering
Sport
Trad
Mountaineering
Soloing
Armchair web climbing

However I realise "indoors" may be a tough criteria to fill. 
xx.

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 haworthjim 22 Sep 2020
In reply to Oceanrower:

Yer FFS JimHolmes ya clueless ball bag!  Don't you know it's crew (or possibly crue) not team nowadays.... "I had a most excellent bouldering session with mi crew and Im gonna post it all ower Insta!!!"

PS get some climbing done ;))

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 JimHolmes69 22 Sep 2020
In reply to haworthjim:

Quite right Jim. Team Holmes Hansome has been out on a number of occasions. Some climbing has been completed in some very problematic conditions. Some of your language is a little nouveau to me to understand.

Ps the climbing is crap around Haworth. What a dump. 

Post edited at 22:23
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In reply to Jon Stewart:

Me too. 

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 duchessofmalfi 22 Sep 2020
In reply to haworthjim:

No, no, no, it's a climbing support group now making the limit 15

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In reply to JimHolmes69:

I was waiting for this thread to pop up...

Generally, the two bouldering walls I go to in Birmingham have been less busy than usual. A bit busier now that the students are back but still quieter than usual in the evenings. Partly that may be due to more people going earlier in the day due to having more flexibility with WFH. Partly it’s because some people are avoiding the walls.

I suspect numbers will fall a bit further now but it seems that a lot of the people going now are regular climbers who aren’t going to stop until the walls are forced to close again.

Is it appropriate to keep going?That’s a personal question. It depends on where you are in the country for a start. It also depends on how Covid risk averse you are, whether you believe you can effectively mitigate the risks of being at the wall and your overall Covid risk profile. This is why any BMC guidance or UKC chat is going to be of limited use - it’s sensible to read it and reflect on it but we must all come to our own conclusions based on our own circumstances. This assessment could also change over time as the second wave gather pace.

My own take on it is this.

1. Birmingham has a high incidence of Covid cases. I have no idea whether the climbing population has a higher or lower incidence rate. This is a concern.

2. I’m fairly risk averse as regards Covid. I’ve avoided social gatherings, have been to the pub only three times since March (two of those visits were very brief), have limited my climbing contacts to half a dozen people (most of whom work from home), have worked from home and declined to go back to the office when it opened last week (now closed again, ha!) and have been scrupulous with hand hygiene and face masks where required. My main exposure is through climbing outdoors at weekends and by going to the wall.

3. This means my own Covid risk profile is relatively low, apart from going climbing.

4. Can I mitigate the climbing related Covid risk? For outdoors climbing, in theory yes but in practice I’ve not seen anyone socially distance with their climbing partner (on the other hand, it’s easy to socially distance from other parties). To mitigate the risk, I mostly rely on climbing with a small number of people and with only one or two people at a time each weekend. For indoor climbing, I think it’s fairly easy to mitigate the risks. Don’t go if the wall is busy. Wash your hands before and after. Upon getting home from the wall I also clean my phone and house keys with surgical spirit. Don’t touch your face while at the wall. 

Conclusion - I will keep going for the time being. 

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In reply to Oceanrower:

There was a team bouldering comp held in Keswick around 1995.

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 Oceanrower 23 Sep 2020
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

It's possible things have moved on since then. 

Even in Keswick...

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In reply to Max factor:

Nothing to do with the BMC they have no control over the climbing walls, keep a look out for a government announcement.

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 mrphilipoldham 23 Sep 2020
In reply to SDM:

Didn’t you see that photo of the bouldering team on Deliverance the other day? ;)

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 slab_happy 24 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

> For indoor climbing, I think it’s fairly easy to mitigate the risks. Don’t go if the wall is busy. Wash your hands before and after. Upon getting home from the wall I also clean my phone and house keys with surgical spirit. Don’t touch your face while at the wall. 

Unfortunately, it looks increasingly as if transmission via surfaces is a lower risk than originally thought, and transmission via air (including aerosols) is a much higher risk. And in enclosed indoor spaces, 2-metre social distancing isn't always enough to prevent transmission. See:

https://elemental.medium.com/the-most-likely-way-youll-get-infected-with-covid-19-30430384e5a5

https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3223

Obviously, you might feel that the risk of airborne transmission at the climbing wall is low enough that it still falls within your personal "risk budget", but it's something to be aware of.

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 veteye 24 Sep 2020
In reply to slab_happy:

I like that the first article essentially points out that infection is a matter of degree of challenge; in other words the number of viral particles. Essentially everybody is likely to be able to deal with one viral particle, and as the numbers in the challenge go up, even young people eventually will not be able to fight off viral infection.

Then in the second article it points to the idea that people when exercising are probably pushing out their breath more like a cough, and therefore more likely to be more of a risk, plus presumably if more air is moving from alveoli which have normally less flux of air into and out of them at rest, then there may be more viral particles in the exhalation, which is of a greater volume than the normal tidal volume anyway.

So at the climbing wall, perhaps we should all be wearing our masks all the time. This certainly does not happen at the Northampton wall, which I have visited 8 times since lockdown easing. I tried on the first visit, and it gets troublesome and hot. BUT, perhaps I should bloody well persevere next time??

Thank you for the links

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 slab_happy 24 Sep 2020
In reply to veteye:

> Thank you for the links

Glad they're useful! I've also found these very helpful for thinking about relative risks:

https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them

http://www.ezekielemanuel.com/writing/all-articles/2020/06/30/covid-19-activity-risk-levels

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In reply to slab_happy:

Indeed and that’s why it’s key to avoid times when the wall is busy. At the small bouldering wall I go to there are often only a handful of other people there across two rooms. The Depot was relatively busy last time but even so easy to find whole sections which were deserted, as was the circuit board area. So not been an issue so far. This might not be the case everywhere. So again comes down to where you live etc. 

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 Flinticus 25 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

My mate went to one wall (TCA Prop Store) yesterday after work, which is about 1 mile from the current student outbreak in Glasgow (Murano Student Village)

His words 'I'm no going back there, the behaviour is shocking. No one hand sanitises. No social distancing' and he's not near as old as I am, he's a relatively young 31 and very fit / no underlying medical conditions.

So you can go, but be aware of the risks.

My own experience is that, as the walls have been open for a few weeks, visitors have become complacent. On my last visit to the GCC, I noted that no-one bar my wife & I were hand sanitising between climbs (despite the plentiful supply of sanitiser, and its nice stuff too!) people were not wearing masks when not climbing / belaying, people were sitting on the bench spaces that were covered in tape to indicate 'out of use' and we had to untie & move a few times as others tied into top ropes right next to us.

Best advice: go early / when not busy. Do not count on others keeping to the 'rules'

Post edited at 10:28
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In reply to Flinticus:

Not sure why walls haven't just set half their routes/problems, which would mean distancing would be passively enforced, rather than relying on people to do the right thing who may well not do.

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 mondite 25 Sep 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Not sure why walls haven't just set half their routes/problems, which would mean distancing would be passively enforced, rather than relying on people to do the right thing who may well not do.

Could end up with everyone grouped under the remaining routes?

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In reply to Flinticus:

Agreed. I also think lead walls are trickier than bouldering as you can’t move away quickly if an area gets busy. 

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 Roger Vickers 14 Oct 2020
In reply to JimHolmes69:

Jim you are a legend in shit stiring terms but this takes the biscuit just stay safe and go easy on the mascara.

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