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climbers club membership - pros & cons?

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 jessyb55 08 Nov 2022

I was considering applying for membership to the CC.  I notice it isn't cheap so I want to make sure it would be worthwhile. 

I was wondering:

What are the huts like?

Is it easy enough to get hut access or are they booked out years ahead?

Can I book for friends who may not be members, if so, how many?

Can you stay in a camper van on hut grounds?

What are the people like?

Are there other pros / cons I haven't thought of.

I guess I have people to climb with, but I'm always open to meeting new people.  Hut use and parking would be sweet but at £80 I guess it would need to be something I would make use of.  Any other pros / cons / opinions gratefully received. I see an older post about this from 2013 but am wondering if things have changed in 9 years.

8
 lithos 08 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

> I was considering applying for membership to the CC.  I notice it isn't cheap so I want to make sure it would be worthwhile. 

> I was wondering:

> What are the huts like?

some small some big, some new some historic.  all in good places, details on the cc website

> Is it easy enough to get hut access or are they booked out years ahead?

easy

> Can I book for friends who may not be members, if so, how many?

you can take upto 3 guest easily, more if you contact the booking sec

> Can you stay in a camper van on hut grounds?

yes at most huts- same cost as staying in hut

> What are the people like?

they are like a mix of people !  mostly a bit older but generally very keen and in my experience friendly

> Are there other pros / cons I haven't thought of.

lots of meets to go on, access to other clubs huts via some arrangements, guidebook discount

hope that helps

Post edited at 16:16
1
 Pedro50 08 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

As lithos says, however in the spirit of the late Al Evans it's "The Climbers' Club" 😀

Post edited at 16:00
1
 Uncle Derek 08 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

Is your logbook up to date?

I would have thought, you may need to be climbing a tad more adventurous stuff.

35
OP jessyb55 08 Nov 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

What are the criteria these days?  I heard it was to be climbing 'adventurous stuff' rather than a specific grade.  I took that to mean multis / big mountain days as opposed to cranking out E2s.  Could be wrong though?

3
OP jessyb55 08 Nov 2022
 lithos 08 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

you are correct, no grade is stipulated these days. 'tell us what you've done'

see https://theclimbers.club/docs/membership/joining-the-club

1
 AlanLittle 08 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

"What is the criteria?" Somehow the CC is not an organisation I would expect to have grammatical errors on its website.

 Uncle Derek 08 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

> What are the criteria these days?  I heard it was to be climbing 'adventurous stuff' rather than a specific grade.  I took that to mean multis / big mountain days as opposed to cranking out E2s.  Could be wrong though?

As I understand it, you are totally correct, hence why I asked as your logbook suggests you are leading single pitch V Diff.

Nothing wrong with that, many a fine day can be had leading v diffs in the Peak, but it is not multi pitch adventurous, is it.

Hence my question. I wondered if you knew the criteria, but it seems you do.

18
In reply to jessyb55:

Do you know any existing members? You need two to give references, or attend an aspirant members meet.

They are more focused on the adventurousness rather than grade per se. If you haven't done any multipitch or don't know any existing members, then maybe an aspirant meet is the way to go? 

 OCDClimber 08 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

It may not be an official policy but anyone not climbing regularly at VS is unlikely to be considered seriously IMO.  Unless of course things have changed.

With regard to the original query, I have been a member since the late 70's and always found it to be a pleasant experience and with all the benefits others have outlined.  I have made numerous very good friends over the years because of my membership.

Post edited at 16:49
1
 Sean Kelly 08 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

Yes, it was VS when I joined. A better question is to ask what can you bring to the CC. There are many ways in which you can contribute. Supporting club meets, helping with guide-book production, writing for either the newsletter or journal, helping with huts. It could be legal or humping a wheelbarrow. A club doesn't run itself. 

Post edited at 17:01
4
 james mann 08 Nov 2022
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Well said Sean. 
 

James

3
In reply to jessyb55:

I've been a member since '84. If I bump into another member at a hut or wherever and they wanted to climb, I would expect them to be safe and competent on multipitch VS. (Most members climb or have climbed at a significantly higher level.)

The huts a a great asset, meets that I have attended have been good fun and sociable, and I have made many good friends through the club. It's well worth joining and remember, the membership fee includes your BMC membership. However, as others have said, the CC can be thought of more as a group of friends / likeminded people, it's not a commercial organisation at is run entirely by volunteers, and a good question is "what can I offer to the club?"

2
 leland stamper 08 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

FFS why? Look at the replies.

"they are like a mix of people !  mostly a bit older but generally very keen and in my experience friendly"

"however in the spirit of the late Al Evans it's "The Climbers' Club" "

"Is your logbook up to date?I would have thought, you may need to be climbing a tad more adventurous stuff." Bit passive /aggressive Uncle D? What is your logbook looking like these days?

More of the same from another stale white male who hides his logbook "you are correct, no grade is stipulated these days. 'tell us what you've done'  "

"With regard to the original query, I have been a member since the late 70's and always found it to be a pleasant experience and with all the benefits others have outlined.  I have made numerous very good friends over the years because of my membership." Logbook private but suspiciously stale white male from his utterances on the forum.

"  It could be legal or humping a wheelbarrow. "

Clearly little has changed(including the membership) in forty or fifty years, so join now and you should shortly inherit a bunch of huts and can sell the veedub.

64
 lithos 08 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

hi leland

2 of those responses are mine, the 'tell us what've you done' is a direct quote from the CC joining info page i linked for Jessy 

My other response was due to asking what a collection of 1800 ish people are like - variable i'd say.   I was trying to answer the questions posed directly rather than give a sales pitch

my logbook is open, but i am stale and a white male as charged, 

4
 Pedro50 08 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

What an extraordinary post! Is humping a wheelbarrow illegal anyway? 

OP jessyb55 08 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

I know, Ieland stamper, you are right and thanks for making me feel a bit better.  Sometimes, asking a genuine question on here can lead to some pretty depressing interactions.  It's a shame that people can't just answer the question asked without needing to puff themselves up and leap to prejudgement.  Lithos - the exception, thank you for just replying.  

27
 Pedro50 08 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

> FFS why? Look at the replies.

> "however in the spirit of the late Al Evans it's "The Climbers' Club" "

Selective quoting; you omitted my ☺️ 

 leland stamper 08 Nov 2022
In reply to lithos:

Hi Lithos,

Not picking on you. Just couldn't believe the casually negative way a number of members dismissed this person's published credentials(15 years on UKC!) whilst carefully hiding their own and not being aware of the changes  to membership criteria. 1800 eh? I'll stick with Marx.

20
 Pedro50 08 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

I'm not sure if 15 years on UKC is a useful criteria! I can see little evidence of posters "puffing themselves up", posters have given sensible views and advice. OP has now appeared to hide his ticklist since posting (correct me if I'm wrong) 

An imminent application might look somewhat thin but we can all improve; I got knocked back by the person I asked to propose me in 1976 but I never let it deter me.

2
 jiminy483 08 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

The biggest con seems to be the members.

14
In reply to jessyb55:

Many excellent points in this thread. 

Regarding the criteria there is no specific minimum leading grade but the rule of thumb is (and has been for many years despite guidebook grade inflation) lead adventurous VS: by adventurous we mean multi-pitch, mountain crag or with routes with commiting access such as abseil entry sea cliff routes. However a competent leader of big mountain crag routes at a lower grade wouldn't be ruled out automatically just because they haven't hit the magic grade. Similarly alpine and winter experience count but can't be measured by 'lead VS'. What is important is your breadth of experience in terms of climbing areas visited and depth of experience in terms of number of routes done. There are no hard and fast rules because they can suggest to applicants that they must have done x, y or z to join. We take each application on its merits.

If you don't know any members get in touch with the Membership Secretary, membership@climbers-club.co.uk, to find out more. We always welcome applications and, as has been mentioned, we have some meets so climbers who don't know any members can come along to meet us, climb with some members and hopefully decide to apply to join. To join you will need to have been on some meets  and have the support of two current members who have been in the club for at least two years, they will know of your experience and by supporting you are confirming they believe you meet the criteria. We do not habitually reject applications, if we aren't sure we will defer your application so you can come on some more meets and demonstrate your experience.

As for the cost; £75 a year inc BMC Affiliation is peanuts in return for very easy short notice access to 8 superbly located huts which will cost you £7.50 per night - try finding a campsite at that price! You also get 25% discount on CC guides and guides produced by some other clubs.

Obviously I am a member and am currently one of the Officers of the club (not Membership Secretary).

1
 Misha 09 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

I would say the main benefit is the people you meet. I’ve met most  of my regular climbing partners through the CC. Staying at a hut is always good fun for a bit of interaction with other climbers. The key thing is people are climbers. This is why the huts are a bit scruffy and some members complain about others not getting involved in running the club. That’s because the members are climbers and are focused on climbing above all.

The huts are a great asset as well of course. Just try finding a parking spot in the Pass on a busy day!

As to grade, you need to be competent on proper multi pitch. Different people have different ideas of this but being able to handle a long (for the UK) multi pitch VS is a good yardstick.

In reply to jessyb55:

The main pro is free, available, private parking in the Llanberis Pass and a nice stroll to all the bouldering (other climbing styles and venues are available). Easily worth the membership alone.

Main con. It’s a club 😂

2
 Hovercraft 09 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

Having re-read this thread from the start there is only one person who has made any comment or judgement on the OPs credentials. There have been a number of comments on what is considered to be an acceptable level of experience, but none others I can see which are critical or dismissive of the OP.

“What experience do you need to join one of the UK’s largest climbing clubs” feels like a reasonable subject for discussion on UKC, even if it wasn’t one of the OP’s questions

> Hi Lithos,

> Not picking on you. Just couldn't believe the casually negative way a number of members dismissed this person's published credentials(15 years on UKC!) whilst carefully hiding their own and not being aware of the changes  to membership criteria. 1800 eh? I'll stick with Marx.

2
 spenser 09 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

As a still somewhat none stale white bloke who has been on the committee I have got a lot out of my membership:

Friends and climbing partners all over the country 

Access to some cracking huts available at short notice (massive benefit while I work through the Munros, Ynys is the best located hut in the UK, somewhere easy to park in Borrowdale; is pretty valuable these days)

A good meets program 

I'm 30 and have never felt unwelcome on a meet in a hut, the CC has a healthier mix of ages than a lot of local clubs I think.

 ianstevens 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Hovercraft:

> Having re-read this thread from the start there is only one person who has made any comment or judgement on the OPs credentials. There have been a number of comments on what is considered to be an acceptable level of experience, but none others I can see which are critical or dismissive of the OP.

I don't think this is necessarily questioning so much, more just pointing out that there *are* criteria which need to be met, and a process which needs to be followed.

> “What experience do you need to join one of the UK’s largest climbing clubs” feels like a reasonable subject for discussion on UKC, even if it wasn’t one of the OP’s questions

Honestly I think the CC has it about right - the idea is that when you turn up to a hut, you know you can go climbing with anyone else there and they will have a base level of experience which makes them competent/safe/not a liability in any climbing situation. Much better than Facebook pages looking for climbing partners, oft quoted as club-killers, where you inevitably end up providing a free day of mentorship when you just wanted a day out.

1
 Uncle Derek 09 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

>

> "Is your logbook up to date?I would have thought, you may need to be climbing a tad more adventurous stuff." Bit passive /aggressive Uncle D? What is your logbook looking like these days?

>

Just a straight question, neither passive or aggressive. Just did not wish the OP to waste time.
I do not keep a log book nowadays, for me it is too much like stamp collecting, but I make no criticism of those that do.

3
 ExiledScot 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Mark Kemball:

> I've been a member since '84. If I bump into another member at a hut or wherever and they wanted to climb, I would expect them to be safe and competent on multipitch VS.

This is THE benchmark that will swing entry, provided all those VS days haven't just been at Tremadog, so I'd add in mountain VS. 

 Uncle Derek 09 Nov 2022
In reply to spenser:

>  Ynys is the best located hut in the UK,

>

Right, thats enough wittering on about clubs. I cannot let you get away with this tosh.

The Count House.

is better, a lot better

and 
BrackenClose 

and

RLH

are at least as good.

4
 ExiledScot 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Misha:

> I would say the main benefit is the people you meet. I’ve met most  of my regular climbing partners through the CC. 

I've done a bit swinging at club huts, you arrive with a partner and a plan, chat with others there and decide to swap things around a little as it best suits everyones desires. You wouldn't risk this in most clubs as you just don't know how safe others are. 

 OCDClimber 09 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

I thought I had "just replied" so your response seems a little harsh as do the comments about "stale white males" which is completely unnecessary and somewhat unpleasant.

lelandstamper  shame on you.

Post edited at 08:57
5
 spenser 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

The problem with the count house is that it's in Cornwall, it's blooming miles from most people, although it is very well located once you get there.

Brackenclose similarly is difficult to get to but well located once there.

RLH is a longer walk to the crags than Ynys, but a superb hut.

Ynys is easy to get to, has a better variety of climbing styles close by than the other huts you mention and parking in the pass is far more difficult than the other areas which you cite making the parking much more beneficial.

Ynys also features an intermittent paddling pool in the back bedroom, none of the other huts can boast that!

1
 gethin_allen 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Pedro50:

> "Is humping a wheelbarrow illegal anyway? "

depends if you do it in public or in the comfort of your own home.

 GrahamD 09 Nov 2022
In reply to spenser

Whether places are "easy to get to" rather depends on your starting point !

1
 leland stamper 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

Shock horror! I have to agree about the Count House. Fond memories

 leland stamper 09 Nov 2022
In reply to OCDClimber:

No shame here. Embrace your SWM status and do something about it.

12
 Hovercraft 09 Nov 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> I've done a bit swinging at club huts, you arrive with a partner and a plan, chat with others there and decide to swap things around a little as it best suits everyones desires. You wouldn't risk this in most clubs as you just don't know how safe others are. 

So here’s a question, and apologies if I’ve missed it above. Can you turn up at a CC meet without a partner and be confident of finding someone to climb with? That to me is the mark of a club

Post edited at 12:16
1
 spenser 09 Nov 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

For the vast majority of England and Wales it is far easier to get to Ynys than The Counthouse or Brackenclose.

1
 deacondeacon 09 Nov 2022
In reply to spenser:

> The problem with the count house is that it's in Cornwall, it's blooming miles from most people

Isn't that why it's so good? Wouldn't be much use if it was at the end of your street 🙂

 spenser 09 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

As a stale white male yourself you are discouraging someone from joining with all of this nonsense. The CC has plenty of female members, some younger members (youngest I personally know is 18 or 19), plenty of older members (some of whom climb very well and contribute an extraordinary amount to the club and their local areas) ethnicity/ nationality wise I would guess they are on par with the wider BMC membership.

4
 Steve Woollard 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Hovercraft:

> So here’s a question, and apologies if I’ve missed it above. Can you turn up at a CC meet without a partner and be confident of finding someone to climb with? That to me is the mark of a club

Yes most certainly

1
 OCDClimber 09 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

I can't do anything about being a white male What do you suggest I do to get rid of the "stale" description? 

1
 Uncle Derek 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Hovercraft:

> So here’s a question, and apologies if I’ve missed it above. Can you turn up at a CC meet without a partner and be confident of finding someone to climb with? That to me is the mark of a club

Kind of 

The meets list is poor relative to number of meets and members, but looks to be improving.

But most people who join are in other clubs and use them for meets.

They join for the huts and the parking 🅿️

2
 ExiledScot 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Hovercraft:

> So here’s a question, and apologies if I’ve missed it above. Can you turn up at a CC meet without a partner and be confident of finding someone to climb with? That to me is the mark of a club

Kind of, usually, but you might have to flex your aspirations, in terms of grade, 3 on rope etc. Having some rope with you to make turning a two into a fast light three easier helps, and I don't mean some worn out 11mm! If it's your first meet then it's less likely, as it's a question of give and take, if your face becomes known over say year one, then next year you appear alone I'm sure you'd be accommodated.

In reply to OCDClimber:

> I can't do anything about being a white male What do you suggest I do to get rid of the "stale" description? 

Pop you in the toaster and slather you in butter?

In reply to jessyb55:

Well if nothing else, this thread has reminded me that as I’m stepping down as President of the North London Mountaineering Club on Sunday, and thus as is convention stepping away from any committee role for a few years, i need to put in my application for the CC and get involved over there instead for a while!

3
 Steve Woollard 09 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

As others have said it's a club and if belonging to a club is not your thing then joining the CC is probably not for you. For the club to be successful it needs it's members to participate in club activities like organising meets, writing an article for the journal or helping with guidebook preparation or helping maintain the huts etc. Joining just to use the huts and parking is not going to help the club flourish.

3
Message Removed 09 Nov 2022
Reason: inappropriate content
 65 09 Nov 2022

In reply to mutt:

Clearly you misinterpreted it, which means you’re won’t be the only one. I’ll request it to be removed.

2
 deacondeacon 09 Nov 2022
In reply to 65:

Come on then, how would you like it to be interpreted?

2
 65 09 Nov 2022
In reply to deacondeacon:

Ill judged on my part, I’ve asked for it to be removed. 

1
 Max factor 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Steve Woollard:

> As others have said it's a club and if belonging to a club is not your thing then joining the CC is probably not for you. For the club to be successful it needs it's members to participate in club activities like organising meets, writing an article for the journal or helping with guidebook preparation or helping maintain the huts etc. Joining just to use the huts and parking is not going to help the club flourish.

Yes, these are all activites I associate with clubs, but first and foremost i want a club to be full of people who love climbing and want to go climbing given half an opportunity. A surprising number of climbing clubs seem to be run without this purpose in mind.  

 leland stamper 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Pedro50:

> Selective quoting; you omitted my ☺️ 

I am so sorry. My eyesight isn't what it was.

 Fellover 09 Nov 2022
In reply to thread:

Interesting that everyone seems ok with the idea (even if it's not an actual requirement) of having a must lead at least VS requirement to get membership. I feel like if it was E6 there would be some complaints!

19
 Sean Kelly 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Fellover:

> Interesting that everyone seems ok with the idea (even if it's not an actual requirement) of having a must lead at least VS requirement to get membership. I feel like if it was E6 there would be some complaints!

Yes, but what an elite club!

 PaulJepson 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Fellover:

I think if you had to benchmark a grade at which you would need a certain level of climbing competence, mountain/sea-cliff VS is a pretty good one, no?

I think, as an average punter, VS is about the grade that most people who climb quite a bit get to at some point at least. Obviously there are exceptions and people who are incredibly experienced and safe may only end up climbing lower than that but I guess that is why it is not a hard and fast rule. If someone has done 10,000 VDifs, yes they're quite experienced but they're unlikely to have been in certain situations (e.g. having to prusik up a rope through steep terrain, falling off/catching falls) that you experience at higher grades. 

The main thing that caused me to not bother renewing my membership with a club previously was that you would turn up on a trip and there was a real risk you would get stuck with someone who you did not trust to hold your ropes. I don't want to ab in to a sea cliff or get stuck halfway up a mountain with someone who is not capable of looking after themselves and, to some extent, me. 

Sure, you can look at it from an elitist or exclusive angle but being too inclusive in terms of ability/experience can work to a clubs detriment. 

1
 OCDClimber 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Once upon a time it was elitist in both social class and grade requirements.  There weren't many members who were welders back in the 50's and VS was considered a very demanding grade.

These days I think the club has it about right on both of those metrics.

 leland stamper 09 Nov 2022
In reply to OCDClimber:

Look at you! Good effort. How many welders do you have these days? How many are women?  Given well over 50% of your committee are female I would expect a few are. Maybe you need to do a quick survey of the membership to see how elitist or not you are these days. You may want to point out to your members that you don't need to climb VS to join. A few haven't quite got the message.

46
In reply to leland stamper:

I’m not sure you realise how badly you come across. I get that you think you’re advocating for the cause of justice and equality in climbing. But you just come across as a self-righteous moralising aggressive douche. The Climbers Club is a club for climbers, and not a vehicle for your preferred moral vision. You might think that’s not how it should be, but guess what? Other people live in the world, and they don’t all share your moral vision. Some of them just want to be in a club for climbers and go climbing. And that’s fine, actually, even though you clearly don’t agree. But then, you’re not in the CC, so I’m not sure why you think you have the authority to lecture people who are about what they should do with their club. 

5
 leland stamper 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

"self-righteous moralising aggressive douche" Bit personal, but quite possibly true. OCD asked about being less stale. I'll leave it there. Good luck with your application.

Post edited at 19:14
25
In reply to leland stamper:

>  Maybe you need to do a quick survey of the membership to see how elitist or not you are these days.

Climbing generally seems to be pretty middle class these days so it would be strange if CC membership didn’t reflect that.

1
 OCDClimber 09 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

I truly do not understand the point you are trying to make.  Are you saying the CC is too diverse or not diverse enough? Sets too high a qualifying grade or not high enough? Why do you feel the need to take an aggressive, sarcastic tone.  I don't believe anyone has expressed any views that justify such bad faith comments. Are you carrying a bitter chip on your shoulder because your application failed at some point?  That's the only explanation I can come up with.

Post edited at 19:18
 Hovercraft 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Fellover:

> Interesting that everyone seems ok with the idea (even if it's not an actual requirement) of having a must lead at least VS requirement to get membership. I feel like if it was E6 there would be some complaints!

What's interesting (and I mean interesting, I am not passing judgement - I am not sure yet what my view is) is that the CC seems to have a stated policy that there are no specific grade requirements, that applications are never fully rejected only deferred, and that even deferrals only occasionally happen. 

Behind that stated policy is a generally understood expectation (widely repeated on here including by at least one Committee member) that you would normally need to be an adventurous multipitch VS leader to be accepted.

Therefore those who are not VS (etc) leaders get the message, don't bother applying, and the Club can continue to publicly state that almost no one who applies is rejected / deferred!

8
 peppermill 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Fellover:

> Interesting that everyone seems ok with the idea (even if it's not an actual requirement) of having a must lead at least VS requirement to get membership. I feel like if it was E6 there would be some complaints!

Not a CC member but went on one of there New Members weekends in Langdale a few years ago. I think it's a fairly sensible grade for a minimum requirement, if you're going to have one (or even is true....I'm not sure)

IMO it's the lowest grade you have to properly think about your climbing, technique, footwork as well as ropework and gear placements rather than just reaching up knowing there will probably be a massive hold somewhere. 

I'm well aware that's a sweeping generalisation and have certainly climbed some harrowing Severes that make E2 seem easy but as a ballpark, if you want a club where you can just go out climbing with someone you've never met before and trust that they're competent VS seems reasonable rather than anything elitist.

In reply to Hovercraft:

Dare I ask why any very keen, fit young climber is not climbing at VS? Even in 1967, 55 years ago, when I first started climbing in Snowdonia, VS was pretty much reckoned to be the average grade. Now I imagine it must be at least E1/E2. VS seems like a very modest requirement to join the Climbers Club. (The top rock-climbing club in the UK, after all). I never joined it, or applied to join, because in my late 20s TV and film work took me away from climbing for a while, and I didn't consider myself to be a bona fide candidate, even though I was leading HVS regularly.

2
In reply to peppermill:

> Not a CC member but went on one of there New Members weekends in Langdale a few years ago. I think it's a fairly sensible grade for a minimum requirement, if you're going to have one (or even is true....I'm not sure)

> IMO it's the lowest grade you have to properly think about your climbing, technique, footwork as well as ropework and gear placements rather than just reaching up knowing there will probably be a massive hold somewhere. 

Exactly. When John and I started climbing we didn't really feel we were doing 'the real thing' until we were climbing VS, which certainly felt different and special.

 peppermill 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Dare I ask why any very keen, fit young climber is not climbing at VS? Even in 1967, 55 years ago, when I first started climbing in Snowdonia, VS was pretty much reckoned to be the average grade. Now I imagine it must be at least E1/E2. VS seems like a very modest requirement to join the Climbers Club. (The top rock-climbing club in the UK, after all). I never joined it, or applied to join, because in my late 20s TV and film work took me away from climbing for a while, and I didn't consider myself to be a bona fide candidate, even though I was leading HVS regularly.

I'm glad someone else said that... if a competent climber is leading regularly and has some experience under their belt.....should most VS routes (there will always be that odd sandbag...) be much of a challenge for them...?

Post edited at 19:35
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> I’m not sure you realise how badly you come across. I get that you think you’re advocating for the cause of justice and equality in climbing. But you just come across as a self-righteous moralising aggressive douche. The Climbers Club is a club for climbers, and not a vehicle for your preferred moral vision. You might think that’s not how it should be, but guess what? Other people live in the world, and they don’t all share your moral vision. Some of them just want to be in a club for climbers and go climbing. And that’s fine, actually, even though you clearly don’t agree. But then, you’re not in the CC, so I’m not sure why you think you have the authority to lecture people who are about what they should do with their club. 

Yes, it's almost as if leland stamper is more interesting in being able to call himself 'a Climbers' Club member' than to go out and enjoy climbing well.

In reply to peppermill:

> I'm glad someone else said that... if a competent climber is leading regularly and has some experience under their belt.....should most VS routes (there will always be that odd sandbag...) be much of a challenge for them...?

Yes, the question is, what on earth is stopping them?

 Andy Hardy 09 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

> Look at you! Good effort. How many welders do you have these days? How many are women?  Given well over 50% of your committee are female I would expect a few are. Maybe you need to do a quick survey of the membership to see how elitist or not you are these days. You may want to point out to your members that you don't need to climb VS to join. A few haven't quite got the message.

W.T.A.F is that unhinged drivel supposed to mean? 

Full disclosure: CC member, old, white, cis, hetero, male (i.e. pretty much a full house in "privilege bingo"). 

4
In reply to jessyb55:

 Well some of these replies would put me right off wanting join. 

16
OP jessyb55 09 Nov 2022
In reply to charlie 1:

They really have!

18
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Dare I ask why any very keen, fit young climber is not climbing at VS? Even in 1967, 55 years ago, when I first started climbing in Snowdonia, VS was pretty much reckoned to be the average grade. Now I imagine it must be at least E1/E2. VS seems like a very modest requirement to join the Climbers Club.

The average grade for all UKC logbook users has only been Mild VS for every year since 2010. Of course, this isn't necessarily the same as the highest grade which the majority of UK climbers regularly lead. Nevertheless, based on my personal experience of a few clubs, I'd be extremely surprised if this was E1, let alone E2.

1
 spenser 09 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

As best I can tell all of the unpleasantness has been from Leland Stamper who doesn't seem to be a member (or behave like any of the members I have met on meets and in huts).

Post edited at 21:27
1
 climbingpixie 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Fellover:

Maybe because the vast majority of experienced climbers who are getting out and doing adventurous trad would be leading VS fairly easily? It's not a very difficult standard to achieve and is well accepted as the entry level into technical climbing.

1
 climbingpixie 09 Nov 2022
In reply to leland stamper:

I'm a female CC member. I'm pretty pale but not particularly stale. I've never felt anything but welcome in the huts and respected as a climber. Personally I'd say it's a great club and the vast majority of other members I've met have been lovely, enthusiastic, interesting and way less unpleasant than you've been on this thread.

 Rob Exile Ward 09 Nov 2022
In reply to charlie 1:

Just as a matter of interest, which ones?

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

There are a few of us who love climbing, do it regularly, have done it for quite a long time, consider ourselves competent climbers but don't climb much harder than VS. I have climbed one E2 (properly - onsight etc.) but it's one that used to be graded E1. I've climbed onsight maybe half a dozen E1s in the UK? Different rock types, different crags, so probably not all wrongly graded or very soft. But that's maybe 5 in 30 years of regular climbing. I've done more around those grades in Norway, Sweden and Finland, but it's hard to know if they would be E1 or 2 here.

I'm not particularly heavy, I'm reasonably fit for my age - cycle a lot. I have at certain times trained, in as much as going to the wall regularly, going bouldering regularly. It has helped but never made huge obvious changes to my level. In recent years I've done a fair amount of sport climbing - I'm onsighting 6a and 6a+ pretty consistently but it hasn't meant that I now find grit HVSs straight forward, I don't - I still have to really fight on them and I fail on HVSs perhaps a third of the time? I have friends who climb the same amount as me or less, who climb technically much harder than I do. I guess something about their body is better suited for climbing than mine. My natural level seems very much to be about VS! So I'm sure there are some people who find the same at HS or Severe.

And this isn't a moan, I'm sure if I coughed up for a coach, or stopped drinking beer or wine completely, or annoyed my family by leaving them more often to go climbing - I could climb somewhat harder. But I don't particularly want to do any of those things. More just that not all climbers find VS that straight forward. I know that we're all different - I'm grateful for some things I find easier than many other people seem to.

Having said all that a friend has tried to get me to join the CC and said he would happily propose me on the basis of the big routes I've done in Norway on rock and ice, which was nice. I never took him up on the offer though!

Post edited at 22:00
1
 Sean Kelly 09 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

What amazes me is the vitriol that is sometimes directed at the CC whenever there is a post about membership. The other senior clubs (the Alpine Club, SMC & F&R) don't appear to attract this response. Admittedly perhaps 40/50 years back the club did number among its membership a fair sprinkling of lords, sirs, & judges, and certainly no women. But that was then and this is now, the present mix of the membership as someone else above has noted, is a fair reflection of the mixed membership profile of most clubs. Perhaps the only defining difference is the Grade requirement. Then again some clubs have an introductory form of membership before the individual progresses to full membership. I won't quote Groucho Marx...

 65 09 Nov 2022
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> What amazes me is the vitriol that is sometimes directed at the CC whenever there is a post about membership. The other senior clubs (the Alpine Club, SMC & F&R) don't appear to attract this response. 

I can think of a few occasions on here where mention of the SMC, and I'm sure at least once the FRCC, have elicited similarly dismissive comments. My own club, which is not a national or private club but is quite big, has come in for some slurs on here. Almost all are a result of someone having had a bad experience with a single member of said club and projecting that impression onto the entire organisation, which is clearly unreasonable. There are of course those individuals who just like to gob off at perceived elitism for whatever reason, and I suspect many of us have done it in some form when we were younger and less considered.

FWIW a few of my friends are CC members and I've heard nothing but positive stories.

Post edited at 22:38
1
 climbingpixie 09 Nov 2022
In reply to 65:

In the interest of balance, I did have one memorably bad experience at Ynys Ettws where some tedious bloke spent about an hour mansplaining how a headtorch worked. Bad enough at the best of times but it was my bloody headtorch!

 Rob Exile Ward 09 Nov 2022
In reply to climbingpixie:

I'm sure you found it helpful and were suitably grateful!

An 'instructor' preparing my daughter's DoE group did a similar thing: 'Who knows what one of these is?' A headtorch. 'How do you use them?' You wear it on your head. 'What must you make sure of?' You have a spare battery. Etc etc etc.

2
 65 09 Nov 2022
In reply to climbingpixie:

Every club has at least one. They are generally and thankfully outnumbered. 

 Howard J 09 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

I had gained the impression that the CC, like many clubs, had been struggling to attract new members and the club establishment were concerned that the minimum VS rule/guideline was deterring experienced and competent climbers from applying.  The message they are now trying to put across is that they are looking for experienced and competent leaders of adventurous climbs, and that the idea of an adventurous climb is linked to a combination of factors in addition to the grade; for example the length of a climb or its location.  However, whatever the club's official position may be, it appears that so far as at least some of the members are concerned they still regard VS as a minimum.

My own situation is similar to TobyA's. I've been climbing for 50 years and I consider myself to be experienced, fairly competent, and safe, but my usual climbing standard is around Severe. I've done VSs (I always surprise myself when I realise how many) but I don't consider myself a VS climber.  I love climbing, but it's not my only passion and I have other interests and activities which up take their share of my time.

It's been suggested to me that on the basis of my experience of adventurous multi-pitch climbs I would have a good chance of being accepted for CC membership.  I've thought about it, but to be honest it would really be for the huts as I have doubts that I'd really fit in, and the comments on here seem to confirm that.  Perhaps that is the nature of a national club where you can know personally only a handful of the total membership but still want to be able to climb with anyone you may bump into.  VS may once have been elitist but you can hardly say that now.

In reply to Howard J:

> I had gained the impression that the CC, like many clubs, had been struggling to attract new members...

I don't think this is a problem, however personally, I think it would be a good idea to attract more younger members, most of the CC members I climb with are retired or not that far off it (with some exceptions).

I've followed this thread with interest, a few thoughts:

Having been a member for nearly 40 years, I've met a fair cross section of members. They're an interesting bunch, more excentric than the general population I'd say, and yes I've met one or two who were unpleasant, some more than others, but that goes for the general population too.

If you want to join, the expectation is that you are a committed, enthusiastic and safe climber (the suggestion of a VS multipitch leader more or less covers this). There are two ways to join - go on an aspirants meet - see https://www.climbers-club.co.uk/meets/?event&ref=439 so you can climb with some CC members who would then be able to propose and second you or find two CC members, who've been members for 2 or more years and get them to propose and second. Basically those people who support your application are saying that they consider you to be competent etc. and that you're a reasonable sort of person who they think would not go into one of the huts and trash the place. 

The benchmark VS grade is really only a guideline and there are certainly members that are no longer able to climb at that grade!

Post edited at 00:46
In reply to climbingpixie:

> In the interest of balance, I did have one memorably bad experience at Ynys Ettws where some tedious bloke spent about an hour mansplaining how a headtorch worked. Bad enough at the best of times but it was my bloody headtorch!

To be fair, judging by the recent headtorch thread, a lot of people are baffled by their own headtorches and would welcome an explanation! I would.

Post edited at 06:47
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> What amazes me is the vitriol that is sometimes directed at the CC whenever there is a post about membership. The other senior clubs (the Alpine Club, SMC & F&R) don't appear to attract this response. 

Probably not as bad as it used to be, but I think the SMC still attracts a bit of negativity. The usual elitism nonsense and the completely false idea that it doesn't fully welcome women (a hangover from when it was male only decades ago). Also the issue of the CIC with which I do have some sympathy.

 Tom Ripley 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Dare I ask why any very keen, fit young climber is not climbing at VS?

 

Young, fit climbers don’t trad climb, and they definitely don’t join the CC!

30
 ExiledScot 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Howard J:

I referenced VS as it is a really good grade where routes get more 'interesting', steeper terrain, smaller holders, smaller features to follow, more complex stances and so on. If you've accrued some VS mileage as a leader you have more than likely acquired the skills to read route descriptions, spot the line, set a stance up in the right place and get yourself off the mountain afterwards. There's good reason it's also the benchmark grade for entry to the mountain instructor scheme.

However if an aspirant arrives with limited VS experience, but their logbook was full of routes like amphitheatre buttress, cuillin ridge, eagle ridge, devils slide... you get my drift... then they'll also be viewed as a seasoned mountaineer. VS isn't definitive, but a starting point to work around. 

 ExiledScot 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Tom Ripley: 

> Young, fit climbers don’t trad climb, and they definitely don’t join the CC!

I was 22(1993) when I first entered the Ynys Ettws hut, how can you not be excited to park up and not need to drive for climbing with so much rock just outside the door. Even now I'd rather just climb a mountain route in walking boots, than grade chase on bolts, but that's me. Many young climbers today who start indoors maybe don't know what they are missing! 

Granted climbing walls, sport climbing, crag development and entry routes to climbing have changed lots since. 

1
 peppermill 10 Nov 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> I referenced VS as it is a really good grade where routes get more 'interesting', steeper terrain, smaller holders, smaller features to follow, more complex stances and so on. If you've accrued some VS mileage as a leader you have more than likely acquired the skills to read route descriptions, spot the line, set a stance up in the right place and get yourself off the mountain afterwards. There's good reason it's also the benchmark grade for entry to the mountain instructor scheme.

> However if an aspirant arrives with limited VS experience, but their logbook was full of routes like amphitheatre buttress, cuillin ridge, eagle ridge, devils slide... you get my drift... then they'll also be viewed as a seasoned mountaineer. VS isn't definitive, but a starting point to work around. 

I think that's what I and the rest of us were trying to say. I don't think it's unreasonable for a club to expect competence before joining, solid VS leader being a vague indicator of that. I'm guessing it will also filter out people that think it's a YHA equivalent rather than a climbing club ;p

 AJM 10 Nov 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> Having said all that a friend has tried to get me to join the CC and said he would happily propose me on the basis of the big routes I've done in Norway on rock and ice, which was nice

And so he should have done. It's not some sort of "can you climb the world's most sandbag VS in a thunderstorm lit only by the intermittent flashes of a distant lighthouse at midnight" competition.

Iirc some of these "oh but they were in Norway so I don't know if they were E1/2" things were fairly substantially multipitch, right, plus intermittently elsewhere and regularly out climbing VS-and-a-bit...Genuine question - what is it in the club's messaging that doesn't make you think you'd be a no-brainer?

In reply to AJM:

> Iirc some of these "oh but they were in Norway so I don't know if they were E1/2" things were fairly substantially multipitch, right, plus intermittently elsewhere and regularly out climbing VS-and-a-bit...Genuine question - what is it in the club's messaging that doesn't make you think you'd be a no-brainer?

Firstly I didn't actually mean I don't think I'd qualify, I think I probably could. It was more that I just didn't (and probably still don't) feel a particular need to join a club.

'Why not?' is an interesting question - a couple of other friends I climb with have suggested I could join the clubs they are in, the Bowline in one case and the MAM in another. I've been a member of three different university clubs over my academic career - Glasgow, Leeds and MMU, so I have experience of UK clubs that way. Since coming back to the UK from Finland 8 years ago, with the mates mentioned above, I've used some club huts in North Wales and the Lakes as a guest. A couple of those trips my wife and kids came on as well, but she definitely wasn't into the whole lying on a bunk surrounded by snoring acquaintances and strangers thing, so had zero interest in joining as a family. I find it a bit odd also, and am perfectly happy camping as an alternative. With my family not interested in being involved, I knew I wouldn't have that many opportunities to go away for weekends and use the huts. I'm also lucky to live on the edge of the Peak so can climb at many many crags in -ranging from - a 10 minute to 40 minute drive. And when conditions allow, I can winter climb in the Lakes and Wales in a long day trip also. I have a good network of mates to climb with living around this area, and haven't found it particularly difficult to meet new people to increase the potential partners list. Having said that, internet climbing blind dates always have some risk, but so far I've only met cool people who are safe and sensible. 

So I suppose I don't have much 'need' to be in a club? Listening to friends discuss interminable debates on committees - often between the 'old guard' and others, maybe younger, who think the club needs to change in some way to survive - sounds a bit miserable too, although I regularly go to BMC Peak Area meetings so perhaps I am a glutton for punishment when it comes to sitting in lengthy meetings!  

In reply to ExiledScot:

> I referenced VS as it is a really good grade where routes get more 'interesting', steeper terrain, smaller holders, smaller features to follow, more complex stances and so on.

But you could say that about any grade; nothing special about VS as a benchmark apart from some sort of tradition and they fade with time and changing standards. I remember when I was working up the grades in the early '80s and there was definitely a feeling that E5 was where it was "at". Yes there were harder climbs but if you climbed E5 then you were, in a sense, hard. More recently I had a conversation with a keen young climber and he just didn't get this; E5 was just the grade between E4 and E6.

In reply to jessyb55:

Hi, I'm a female CC member and an ethnic minority in my 30s, and my own experience of meeting other CC members at the huts or at the crag is as other CC members have said - people are generally friendly and up for a chat. When I've stayed at huts with my girlfriend (who isn't herself a member) at no point has anyone made an awkward comment about it or made us feel unwelcome - folks have mainly been interested to know what we've been climbing that day and whether we've had enough signal to check the latest forecast. Members are happy to make recommendations for routes and beta, good grub nearby, parking info etc, and help you out in a jam. My car keys once got stuck in the lock while at the Downes hut and no fewer than 3 people produced cans of WD40 to help unstick it. People whom you've met just once become familiar faces over time as well, and even though it has a sprawling membership, I've more often than not found through chatting to random members at the hut that we have friends or acquaintances in common. You might join the CC mainly for the huts and parking, but use them long enough and you'll find you quite enjoy meeting those who are staying there or just passing through.

Post edited at 10:33
 climbingpixie 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Bruise Apprentice:

> You might join the CC mainly for the huts and parking, but use them long enough and you'll find you quite enjoy meeting those who are staying there or just passing through.

Chatting to the other members is one of my favourite things about staying in the huts! I was at Ynys over the August bank holiday weekend and there was a great mix of people - from people knocking off Classic Rock ticks right through to multiple E5 onsighters. What everyone had in common was a love of climbing and the outdoors, regardless of whether you'd spent the day climbing or walking/scrambling/swimming, climbed Main Wall or Right Wall or been to Cloggy or Bus Stop.

 UKB Shark 10 Nov 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

You were spot on referencing VS as it is cited as a rule of thumb in the criteria:

https://theclimbers.club/docs/membership/joining-the-club#what-do-i-have-to-do-to-join-the-climbers-club

What climbing experience do I need & what is the membership criteria?

We are always looking to recruit new members who are climbers and mountaineers who are experienced and competent leaders of adventurous climbs. There is no minimum grade of climb which you must achieve; we look at the overall experience of each applicant.

The idea of an adventurous climb is linked to a combination of factors in addition to the grade; for example the length of a climb or its location (e.g. high mountain, remote, inescapable, difficult access or descent). You will note that we have not included any specific minimum grade, the traditional “rule of thumb” was lead VS – please just tell us what you have done!

There is no minimum length of experience for membership, we receive applications from climbers who have been active for only two years yet they have done much more than other applicants with 10 years experience. It is your overall experience that matters.

Post edited at 11:05
 Howard J 10 Nov 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> However if an aspirant arrives with limited VS experience, but their logbook was full of routes like amphitheatre buttress, cuillin ridge, eagle ridge, devils slide... you get my drift... then they'll also be viewed as a seasoned mountaineer. VS isn't definitive, but a starting point to work around. 

Frankly, the idea that VS is an indicator of experience or competence is nonsense - I've known a number of solid VS leaders who are a danger to themselves and others and who I would refuse to climb with.

Yes, I'm fairly confident that my logbook shows me to be a seasoned mountaineer and that I'd probably be accepted for membership.  However, to repeat what Hovercraft said earlier "Behind that stated policy is a generally understood expectation (widely repeated on here including by at least one Committee member) that you would normally need to be an adventurous multipitch VS leader".  Many of the comments on here from CC members suggest that they don't regard sub-VS as real climbing, which makes me question as only a solid Severe leader whether I would be accepted in the club even if my membership were to be approved. 

It's encouraging to see a different perspective from Bruise Apprentice, and I have to say that my own experience when I've stayed in CC huts is that everyone is friendly. However it does seem that the CC is sending out slightly mixed messages.

12
 65 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Howard J:

> Frankly, the idea that VS is an indicator of experience or competence is nonsense - I've known a number of solid VS leaders who are a danger to themselves and others and who I would refuse to climb with.

I get your point but I would argue that anyone who is a danger to themselves and others is anything but 'solid' whatever their actual climbing ability.

In reply to Howard J:

It seems to me that a private club can set the admittance level bar at whatever level they decide, even if some people perceive this as unfair. I’m not a CC member but I’ve climbed with lots of members and often stayed at the huts and my understanding is that competence at VS is a minimum standard. I was in the Vaynol this summer and a CC member said to me there were now even applicants who could only lead VDiff and he didn’t approve. I must admit this seemed a bit harsh. Maybe change will come. Just as an aside, if you’re an alpinist you can’t join the ACG without having completed several grande courses and guided ascents don’t count, but nobody seems to moan about that. I don’t see this as any different to CC membership requirement also being set at a certain level.

In reply to Tom Ripley:

I know a number of young fit climbers who climb trad and have joined the CC recently, but they are the exception rather than the rule. 

1
 OCDClimber 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Philb1950:

A fairer comparison would be the CC and the Alpine Club.  The ACG is a group within the Alpine Club established to encourage hard alpine climbing so hardly surprising that it has tough entry requirements. I found getting into the Alpine Club harder than getting into the CC because back in the day Alpine trips tended to be a once a year 2 week annual holiday event for many of us. This limited exposure compounded by abortive ascents due to bad weather etc. made accumulating the necessary alpine mileage much harder.

In reply to OCDClimber:

Fair point, but it doesn’t alter the fact that several clubs connected with climbing have entry requirements that not everyone can meet and quite a few of the CC of the membership have been active pushing climbing standards of the day.

 jcw 10 Nov 2022
In reply to UKB Shark:

I think it is necessary to remind candidates that the CC is at heart a North Wales Club with Cloggy,  the Pass etc on their back doorstep. When I joined in 1966 my own criteria were that you could only say you were a VS leader when you could onsight two thirds of them. To compensate for the rest you should   also have a solid list of harder leads under your belt and be capable of seconding much harder than VS. One was proud to become a member of THE Climbers  Club whatever it's failings. So still to be only asking VS nowadays days can hardly be considered an onerous demand for any keen climber that loves trad climbing.

 climbingpixie 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Howard J:

> Frankly, the idea that VS is an indicator of experience or competence is nonsense - I've known a number of solid VS leaders who are a danger to themselves and others and who I would refuse to climb with.

That's why you also have to be nominated and seconded by two club members who've climbed with you and can vouch for your competence.

 ianstevens 10 Nov 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

>  

> I was 22(1993) when I first entered the Ynys Ettws hut, how can you not be excited to park up and not need to drive for climbing with so much rock just outside the door. Even now I'd rather just climb a mountain route in walking boots, than grade chase on bolts, but that's me. Many young climbers today who start indoors maybe don't know what they are missing! 

Have to disagree with a lot of this. I was 3 in 1993 (so you can do the maths yourself), which firmly puts me in and amongst the "younger" CC members. It's infinitely nicer to go indoors than climb a long route in the wet, and sometimes its fun to push yourself to your limits* in an environment with 100% focus on movement like a sport climb.

Yes, I started indoors.

Yes, I have climbed a lot of trad, and enjoyed it, including what you would define as "mountain" routes in Cymru.

Yes, I know what I'm missing. Getting wet on a scramble. I'll go indoors thanks, even if I'm staying an Ynys. This weird fetishisation that trad is the be-all and end-all of climbing is not the way the CC will attract new, younger members. 

*or as you like to call it, grade chasing.

Post edited at 13:19
5
In reply to jcw:

One of the historical failings and a sign of the times, when Ken Wilson proposed J Baldock with an impressive climbing CV. However J stood for Jancis, a woman no less, so application rejected. Things have obviously moved on since then

In reply to Howard J:

> Frankly, the idea that VS is an indicator of experience or competence is nonsense - I've known a number of solid VS leaders who are a danger to themselves and others and who I would refuse to climb with.

The CC and other such clubs require a proposer, seconder and sometimes additional signatures for menbership application. When I am asked to do this I ask myself whether they would be a competent climbing partner and good company if met at random in a hut; there is a process for keeping the dangerous out.

1
 Pedro50 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Philb1950:

Well yes because she became a well respected president.

In reply to Pedro50:

Absolutely. Still a very good climber when I knew her. 
I see the CC have a 70,s meet next year at Bob Downes. How could one possibly attend as a guest. Good to catch up with the old farts.

 Howard J 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Philb1950:

> It seems to me that a private club can set the admittance level bar at whatever level they decide, even if some people perceive this as unfair.

Of course.  Previously it was fairly explicit that VS was the minimum grade, so for most of the 50 years I've been climbing I hadn't even considered that I might join.  I never had a problem with that, I knew that I didn't meet the criteria and accepted it was the club's prerogative to set those.  

More recently it seems that the CC has been at pains to make it clear there is no minimum grade to qualify for membership and that it is overall experience of adventurous multi-pitch climbing which counts. That seems to be at odds with the stated point of view of some of its members. Perhaps they're not representative of the membership as a whole, which presumably has backed the change, but gives an impression that lower-grade climbers will not be made welcome, even if they have been approved for membership.  That's what I mean by mixed messages.

3
In reply to jessyb55:

An anecdote (for what it's worth).

A few years ago I was staying in a CC hut. The evening was convivial with a motley collection of members and guests sitting around the table eating and consuming a fair amount of wine. Amongst us was a really quite famous mountaineer with a reputation for being, well, properly dead hard. There was also a father and teenage son pair. The son was obviously a super keen climber and, being keen to join the CC, was looking for members willing to sign his application form. He was also clearly somewhat in awe of the famed mountaineer sitting opposite. So, with much banter, the young lad's form was passed around the table until it reached the illustrious mountaineer. A hush fell. The famous mountaineer looked the lad straight in the eye and said "Are you a knobhead?". The lad was rather taken aback and struggled for words. The mountaineer went on "I don't really care how hard you climb, but I just don't want any knobheads". Anyway, having been reassured that the lad was not indeed a knobhead, the famous signature was provided to much mirth and I assume the application went through. So, don't worry too much about the climbing; just don't be a knobhead.

 ExiledScot 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Howard J:

> More recently it seems that the CC has been at pains to make it clear there is no minimum grade to qualify for membership and that it is overall experience of adventurous multi-pitch climbing which counts. That seems to be at odds with the stated point of view of some of its members. 

no one here has claimed it's a hard and fast ruling of VS, it's a guide grade at which to start, the routes climbed etc are equally important. Dozens of long mountain routes at S or HS being more relevant that dozens of Es at stanage.

The goal is a club with active safe mountaineers, who can climb, belay, abseil, read the route, navigate etc. safely. This being at HS or HVS is largely irrelevant, as long as there is volume at either grade. 

1
 duncan 10 Nov 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

>  Even now I'd rather just climb a mountain route in walking boots, than grade chase on bolts, but that's me. Many young climbers today who start indoors maybe don't know what they are missing! 

If social media is anything to go by, most CC members are currently spending their defined benefit pensions clipping bolts in Kalymnos. The bastards.

 Steve Woollard 10 Nov 2022
In reply to duncan:

> If social media is anything to go by, most CC members are currently spending their defined benefit pensions clipping bolts in Kalymnos. The bastards.

Not just CC members, Kalymnos was full of wrinkly Brits, but definitely not stale 😊

 JMarkW 10 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

> They really have!

Don't let it. You to have to speak to them (or me) when you park up in the Pass for a Saturday afternoon boulder or bit of routing......

 seankenny 10 Nov 2022
In reply to duncan:

> If social media is anything to go by, most CC members are currently spending their defined benefit pensions clipping bolts in Kalymnos. The bastards.

The economy of much of Southern Europe is going to be buggered when we move onto the majority of old people having defined contribution pensions. 

 jcw 10 Nov 2022
In reply to climbingpixie:

That reminds me of an amusing, at least for me, story and I hope the person concerned won't mind my recounting it if he's still around the place.

A member I knew on a meet at the Bob Downes said he was putting X up for membership and would I climb with him on the morrow at Frogatt and write in support. Really nice guy and we had a pleasant day, though I thought he didn't show quite the push one might have expected from someone of his age. As we were going back to the hut I said I hadn't caught his surname.  What! Not the guy who had that terrible accident on the Dru. Selfsame. I had been climbing all day with a man that had an artificial leg. No wonder he didn't want to lead Three Pebble Slab.

 jcw 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Philb1950:

Yes, and the problem was Ken. He banged on about things and put members backs up rather than leaving it to the President,   Mike Westmacott and committee who were bringing people around.They voted against because it was Ken's  campaign  and aggressiveness and he wouldn't let the more measured voices of reason handle the matter. 

3
 seankenny 10 Nov 2022
In reply to jcw:

> Yes, and the problem was Ken. He banged on about things and put members backs up rather than leaving it to the President,   Mike Westmacott and committee who were bringing people around.They voted against because it was Ken's  campaign  and aggressiveness and he wouldn't let the more measured voices of reason handle the matter. 

“I didn’t do the right thing because the people asking for the right thing to be done asked in a way I don’t like, so I’m going to be a bigot,” is not the stance of someone who dislikes bigotry. Rather, it is the stance of someone who wants an excuse to carry on being a bigot. It’s an age old excuse entirely used by reactionary arses.

3
In reply to jcw:

Ken was famous for his machine gun repartee. I well remember him chastising (from the ground!) Jerry Moffat for having clipped a bolt 30ft below his feet on one of the first E7,s in the UK. On another occasion he forcefully told me, without right of reply why it was I soloed hard routes to which I was nonplussed, but he did chase down and expose Maestri, his personal cause celebre and his journalism and research were beyond reproach, as well as all the books. To our generation he is sadly missed.

 Mick Ward 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Philb1950:

The first time I met Ken we argued for something like three hours in a pub car park after closing time while an eerie moon crept up over Nesscliffe. Ironically we were on the same side.

The next time we met, at Harpur Hill, we had a full on mad rant at each other, faces flecked with spittle, in a thunderstorm. Ironically we were pretty much on the same side. 

Agree with John's comment above: Ken's abrasiveness could be distinctly counterproductive. But I think Gordon Stainforth put it best: he just couldn't stop caring about the world in which he lived. His heart was always in the right place. That such a vibrant mind could have come to such a sad end is terrible. 

'To our generation he is sadly missed.'  Agree entirely. 

Mick 

In reply to Mick Ward:

Slightly embarrassed to confess my ignorance here, but how did he pass away? I obviously know who he was, in terms of what he did for climbing, but I know nothing of his (as you put it) sad end.

1
 Iamgregp 10 Nov 2022
In reply to ianstevens:

I've been reading this thread, and your post has spurred me to share my thoughts, on CC, if anyone would mind?!

It does seem rather odd that the requirement to be a member is that you're confident leading VS trad multi pitch (or mountainous routes or whatever) for a large club called the Climbing Club.  It's called the Climbing Club not the Mountain Trad Climbing Club and climbing has very much grown since the CC's inception, not just in numbers but in activities too.

By these criteria I don't think people like Buster Martin, Will Bosi or Shauna Coxsey would qualify? So the top climbers in the UK, including the only one to represent the country in the Olympics, can't get into the biggest Climbing Club in the UK because the type of climbing they do isn't the right sort, due to reasons a layman wouldn't even understand?  Doesn't feel right to me.

But to be honest, although I do find that odd, all of that's fine.  What's in a name?  It's a historical name and after all if trad climbers want to join a club to meet and go climb trad routes with like minded people who am I to criticise?

But what if there was another climbing club where trad counted for nothing and unless you can lead an overhanging 6a+ sport route you're not allowed to join.  "Climbed cenotaph corner in plimsolls in the drizzle in 1955?  Counts for nowt mate!".  I think that people would find that rather odd too?

The thing is though, with the growth of the other types of climbing why wouldn't the club want to be welcoming and open to new types of members who do new ("new" hah!) types of activities, grow their revenue and be able to offer more huts and services to all of its members? 

It could really be quite a marvellous organisation but in its current form it does seem somewhat of an anachronism to me.  I'm sure it'll be able to continue and survive it it's current form, but unless it changes it's had it's heyday.

It's like those restaurants have a dated menu that they dare not change as the few folk that have been regulars since the 1970's would stop coming if they did.  Meanwhile fewer and fewer new people come...  They survive, but the atmosphere is never like that shown in the faded, yellowing photos of the 70s that are on the wall behind the bar.

But anyway look, I know I'll get all sorts of dislikes for this, and probably rightly so as none of this is any of my business and after all, I'm sure people do stay at the huts and go bouldering and/or sport climbing as most people who climb trad climb a bit of sport and or boulders too, but it just seems odd that the entry criteria is entirely focussed on trad routes?

37
In reply to Iamgregp:

Actually, it's called The Climbers' Club

:P

In reply to Iamgregp:

It's not that weird mate. Most UK climbing is trad. Most of the CC huts are in predominantly trad areas. Most UK climbers in the CC are trad climbers. They want to make sure that people joining are able to climb safely when doing UK trad, with other people who want to do UK trad.

I'm pretty sure Shauna, Will, etc. would be welcomed with open arms, should they fancy applying for membership. It's not - as people have tried to explain above - there as a way of being elitist and exclusive. It's a way of ensuring minimal competence and safety as regards the average climber (not your super-crushers).

FWIW, whilst I've been President of NLMC we have had to change our membership process. You now need to 1) prove you can lead belay, and 2) get proposed by two committee members (not just random other club members). Why? Because the massive upsurge in interest in climbing in recent years was creating a dangerous situation whereby prospective members were joining who lacked the pre-existing skill set to be safe to take on meets (they were looking for free coaching and tuition, basically). This was quite simply dangerous. We didn't change the rules to be pointlessly elitist, but because we are basically a trad climbing club and we had to ensure that those taking part in an inherently hazardous activity were competent in terms of the risks they were taking themselves and potentially also exposing others to. That is really all that the CC is doing here, and it is entirely reasonable. 

Post edited at 20:57
 Andy Hardy 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

Entry criteria is that you are a *competent* climber. Multi pitch VS trad routes are simply being used as a benchmark to assess that. Maybe we should expand the criteria to add spotting boulderers, correct use of a grigri and clipsticking a route?

In reply to Andy Hardy:

>  Maybe we should expand the criteria to add spotting boulderers, correct use of a grigri and clipsticking a route?

Isn't ineptitude with a clipstick the surest sign of a proper climber? Please tell me it is?

2
 Iamgregp 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Yeah that’s fair, and to be honest after I posted that I did wonder if perhaps the new “just tell us what you’ve done” entry criteria means the club may be open to applications from a broader range of climbers?

In my defence though, I don’t think CC is elitist at all. VS is pretty a normal grade right? Maybe something around 6a sport would be the similar expirience level? Seems pretty fair. 

Absolutely hear you on the amount of new climbers meaning you had to change the criteria for NLMC. I was at Mile End the other night and saw some things happening on the lead wall by a group who clearly thought that they were alright, but most definitely were not. Luckily someone who worked there clocked them and helped them out a bit…

Pretty sure they would all say that they can lead belay. They could not.

 Rob Exile Ward 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Years ago in Chamonix you could tell who were 'real' alpinists because they had ice axes sticking up from their rucsacs.

This year in Kalymnos you could tell the real climbers because they had clipsticks sticking up from their rope bags.

I'm obviously not going to make any clichéd Freudian observation...

In reply to Iamgregp:

IIRC on the CC website it offers Wings for Life (6a) as an example of an 'adventurous' climb, so it's by no means a trad-only affair over there.

 Iamgregp 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Oh definitely not then!

I’ve still never climbed Wings For Life, it’s not the getting up that’s the issue. It’s the bloody walk off and my knees!

In reply to Iamgregp:

haha when I did it, I didn't pay attention to the guidebook and turned the walk off into a 3 hour adventure in the midday Greek sun. Funtimes!

 jcw 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Mick Ward and 

Don't get me wrong about Ken. I probably knew him better than most on this thread. He published four translations of my wife's books, we stayed with him in UK and vice versa. I introduced him to Bleau long before it had become Font, and I remember how he said how is it that this is not known back home? But he could be incredibly wearing as an editor. He used to ring me every day when I was translating the Chamonix Rescue book almost page by page instead of reading the work through and seeing his question answered. a couple of pages on. And he refused to publish Anne's strictures on Lady Di and firmly believed the whole thing was a MI6 plot. But in the end he produced a far better version than the original French edn with a proper index, photos etc. Nothing was ever slapdash with him.

And after all that we remained friends, all four of us.  And as you say, the end was tragic. All the more so because mountaineering and climbing owe him a great debt of gratitude for the incredible work he did in pursuing essential values of both tradition and modernity at a time when the whole game was evolving, for better or worse.
 

Post edited at 21:54
 Andy Hardy 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> >  Maybe we should expand the criteria to add spotting boulderers, correct use of a grigri and clipsticking a route?

> Isn't ineptitude with a clipstick the surest sign of a proper climber? Please tell me it is?

We could have a dispensation for anyone who thinks a bouldering mat should be a scrap of cloth with "Tetley's" woven into it?

 Pedro50 10 Nov 2022
In reply to jcw:

I'm  intrigued to know what Anne's strictures on Lady Di were?

 Iamgregp 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Sounds exactly the sort of thing I’d do… I’ve a poor sense of direction and far too much confidence in it!

 jcw 10 Nov 2022

 I think I have popped my head quite enough over the parapet in this thread

 spenser 10 Nov 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

There's a lot wrong in this post:

It's the Climbers' Club, it started back in the day when all "serious" climbing was either trad climbing, or alpinism, if you wanted to focus on the latter the AC was the club for you. Bolts weren't going to be placed for climbing purposes for rather a long time, although there probably a few people mucking about with tea towels beneath little rocks at the time. The clubs objective is at the top of this webpage:

https://www.climbers-club.co.uk/about/#:~:text=The%20Climbers'%20Club%20was%20founded,mountaineers%20and%20the%20mountain%20environment.

It does this by publishing guidebooks, supporting the BMC, maintaining some brilliant huts and various other things. 

The club is welcoming of new members, if you clip bolts 9 times out of 10 days out and then go out and do a mountain route on the 10th day there is nothing to stop you from joining the club. It's already a significant commitment on the part of the club's officers to run a club the size of the CC, they COULD  expand the club and get more huts, but then you have more work generated for the volunteers (many of whom have full time jobs and all of whom are active climbers themselves). It's a bit like the story of the fisherman and the business man who asks him why he doesn't spend longer fishing so that he can buy another boat so he can make more money to retire, the club already works quite well from the perspective of the members (ok occasional controversies but nothing enormous) and there seems to be a steady flow of people applying to the club. If you were to turn up on an aspirants meet you'd see that it's nothing like a restaurant from the '70's with a faded menu, it's just people who like climbing meeting up, going climbing and having some food and a couple of drinks while chatting nonsense, probably also some van perving as well because climbers seem to love admiring each other's vans...

1
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Years ago in Chamonix you could tell who were 'real' alpinists because they had ice axes sticking up from their rucsacs.

Of course. How do you tell who they are now?

In reply to jcw:

> That reminds me of an amusing, at least for me, story and I hope the person concerned won't mind my recounting it if he's still around the place.

> A member I knew on a meet at the Bob Downes said he was putting X up for membership and would I climb with him on the morrow at Frogatt and write in support. Really nice guy and we had a pleasant day, though I thought he didn't show quite the push one might have expected from someone of his age. As we were going back to the hut I said I hadn't caught his surname.  What! Not the guy who had that terrible accident on the Dru. Selfsame. I had been climbing all day with a man that had an artificial leg. No wonder he didn't want to lead Three Pebble Slab.

Is that the character with a nickname beginning with p? Featured in a photo in the Birtles Al Rouse biography?

 ExiledScot 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

Not every club name exactly matches its membership. There are very few chamois in said mountaineering club. 

 Rob Exile Ward 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

You must be an absolute blast at parties!

2
 Mick Ward 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Paul Sagar:

He got dementia. There's an excellent short film about him, by the BMC, I think. At the end he, typically unemotionally, says he has it. 

Mick 

In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> You must be an absolute blast at parties!

Why do you say that? I'm not really a party person at all.

Post edited at 07:44
In reply to Iamgregp:

> In my defence though, I don’t think CC is elitist at all. VS is pretty a normal grade right? Maybe something around 6a sport would be the similar experience level? Seems pretty fair.

Really? I'd have thought the skills and experience needed to be a competent VS climber were way greater than to be a competent 6a climber.

2
 Mick Ward 11 Nov 2022
In reply to jcw:

Ken revered your wife as a writer. Having said that, he could drive a saint to madness. I couldn't have dealt with him on a daily basis. I think the 'can't stop caring' part of him continually ran ahead of the rest of him, so instead of reading the whole way through (as one should do), he'd have been constantly giving it, "What about this. And that? And that??" 

Somewhere on the web there's a wry, hilarious account of a young John Porter working for Ken at Mountain. He captures Ken beautifully. You're minded of Yeats.

'Dear lord, what would they say

 did their Catullus walk that way?

> But in the end he produced a far better version than the original French edn with a proper index, photos etc. Nothing was ever slapdash with him.

That unswerving dedication to doing it right. His motto might have been, 'Either do it right or don't bother.'

> mountaineering and climbing owe him a great debt of gratitude for the incredible work he did in pursuing essential values of both tradition and modernity at a time when the whole game was evolving, for better or worse.

Probably the best epitaph that could be written about him. I'd argue that two typical elements of greatness are unswerving dedication to doing things right and an almost insane capacity for hard work. He certainly had both of those. I suspect they both came from an inability to stop caring about the world he lived in. 

Mick

1
 Rob Exile Ward 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

No sh*t!

1
 Iamgregp 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

That's why I put the question mark at the end, I really have no idea what the equivalence would be as my trad experience is extremely limited.

What would it be? Genuinely interested to know...

 Iamgregp 11 Nov 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

Absolutely, and given the Climb Britain fracas I can see why any club or organisation would be reticent to make the change.

But the name of a club does point towards what the original raison d'etre of the club was and something as broad as "climbers" does give an organisation a mandate to be a broad church.

It's a silly name anyway.  Surely it should be called either the Climber's Club, or The Climbers Club.  The Climbers' Club though grammatically correct is daft.  Do people actually pronouce it how it's written (phonetically the climberses club)? 

Post edited at 09:59
17
 Andy Hardy 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

There won't be a direct equivalent. 6a onsight is around HVS / E1 *physically* but sport climbing prioritises physical movement over risk. To be competent at VS you have to have higher levels of other skills - route finding, building belays, protecting yourself and your second, mentally dealing with risk, etc. 

 jcw 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Re my story. Sorry Robert, I can't find the entry in my diary. But I think probably yes. He was a Cambridge climber. As I remember it, he was hit in a bivy on the Dru by stone fall, and it was a remarkable rescue with the helicopter stationary almost inches from the wall throwing him a rope to attach himself  to. I think his partner must have abbed off and somehow raised the PGHM. 

 ExiledScot 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

I think people are against pointless name changes of anything that achieve nothing other use up valuable time and money. 

Climbers/'s/s' club of any flavour does what it says on the tin, it's non geographical, race, sex, religion, political... just climbing. 

 OCDClimber 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

> That's why I put the question mark at the end, I really have no idea what the equivalence would be as my trad experience is extremely limited.

> What would it be? Genuinely interested to know...

I don't think there is an "equivalence".  The physical effort/technical movement skills required to get up a 6a are similar to that required to get up an E1 IMO but the psychological barriers of a trad route are far greater and require far more risk assessment, judgement, rope handling and gear placing skills. Put bluntly anyone who can lead an E1 will most likely be able to lead a 6a but the reverse is not always true.

 AlanLittle 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I remember in Lauterbrunnen in the 80s you could tell the climbers because they were the ones not wearing mountain boots in town

1
In reply to Iamgregp:

> It's a silly name anyway.  Surely it should be called either the Climber's Club, or The Climbers Club.  The Climbers' Club though grammatically correct is daft.  Do people actually pronouce it how it's written (phonetically the climberses club)? 

All three would be pronounced identically. The only one of them which make sense is Climbers' Club. An alternative would have just been Climbing Club.

In reply to Iamgregp:

> That's why I put the question mark at the end, I really have no idea what the equivalence would be as my trad experience is extremely limited.

> What would it be? Genuinely interested to know...

I think it is tricky to make an equivalence because there are a lot of non-overlapping skills. It just strikes me that 6a is really only a little above entry level sport climbing for a lot of people, whereas competence at VS is quite hard won. Going on how much time and effort is probably needed to reach competence, I would guess that VS might be equivalent to possibly 6c (though the physical demands of 6c might be problematical for some. I'm not sure!

1
In reply to AlanLittle:

> I remember in Lauterbrunnen in the 80s you could tell the climbers because they were the ones not wearing mountain boots in town

Well, the people going into bars in Chamonix still wearing their boots, harnesses and helmets definitely aren't the real climbers!

In reply to Andy Hardy:

> There won't be a direct equivalent. 6a onsight is around HVS / E1 *physically* but sport climbing prioritises physical movement over risk. To be competent at VS you have to have higher levels of other skills - route finding, building belays, protecting yourself and your second, mentally dealing with risk, etc. 

Yes but... and this is as someone regularly climbing to VS and 6a/6a+. There are plenty of VS cracks on grit that while physically no push over allow you to place solid gear above your head whenever you fancy. I've done plenty of trad routes where the gear is rarely below your harness. But leave Stanage and drive down to Stoney and go into Goddards or Horseshoe and there are plenty of 6as where the last bolt is well below your feet before you can clip the next one even at full stretch. Once you are confident at placing gear, there are lots of trad climbs (I'm thinking of grit mainly as that's local to me, but I'm sure people in other areas can think of other examples) that are considerably less scary to lead than some sport climbs because your chances of taking a significant fall are much lower.

2
 Andy Hardy 11 Nov 2022
In reply to TobyA:

Maybe I should have said "competent at multi pitch mountaineering / adventurous routes of VS grade and above"? 

 Iamgregp 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

You think?  Doesn't the apostrophe at the end denote possession, so to the group of climbers, so should be pronounced as in St James' Park? 

7
In reply to Mick Ward:

Thanks - just watched the film. Very well done, not least as you get a real sense of the (uncompromising!) character of the man, as well as what he achieved. 

In reply to Iamgregp:

> You think?  Doesn't the apostrophe at the end denote possession, so to the group of climbers, so should be pronounced as in St James' Park? 

Fair point, but I'm fairly sure that an extra s is not pronounced at the end of plural possessives.

In reply to TobyA:

And then there are the outliers, and the need for familiarity in style etc. Last weekend I onsighted a couple of 7a sport routes. Last month I climbed Embankment 2 (VS 4c) and thought I was going to die. Trad is trad, and if you know you know. To some extent the only way to answer Greg’s question is to be someone who has done a lot of trad climbing and “gets” it…

2
 Iamgregp 11 Nov 2022
In reply to TobyA:

It's an interesting this one isn't it?  I guess the best way to test it would be how many years the average climber takes to be leading VS confidently then extrapolate that to what an averagely skilled sport climber would be leading at that point.

But even then it's a difficult one to make, as Robert quite rightly pointed out, some people who are experienced sport climbers may never reach 6c due to the physical demands whereas (I'm guessing) VS leading should be within the grasp of almost all trad climbers as long as they are able to dedicate the necessary time and effort?  Again, genuine question, I really don't know!

2
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Fair point, but I'm fairly sure that an extra s is not pronounced at the end of plural possessives.

It's not unless the s is there anyway, as it is with James, which would belong to Jame otherwise. Climbers, Climber's and Climbers' are all the same.

 OCDClimber 11 Nov 2022
In reply to TobyA:

You are of course correct but as you say this only applies to some routes and grit.  A mountain VS is a different kettle of fish and you should of course ad the factor of climbing into the unknown with regard to protection.

In reply to jcw:

> Re my story. Sorry Robert, I can't find the entry in my diary. But I think probably yes. He was a Cambridge climber. As I remember it, he was hit in a bivy on the Dru by stone fall, and it was a remarkable rescue with the helicopter stationary almost inches from the wall throwing him a rope to attach himself  to. I think his partner must have abbed off and somehow raised the PGHM. 

Yes, that will definitely be him, though I had a feeling the accident was in the Bonatti couloir (but I'm probably wrong). I thought I had a copy of Birtles' book but can't find it and can't remember his real name. Just ordered a second hand copy! I had an amazingly coincidental and hilarious meeting with him in a French autoroute service station in 1993..........

 GrahamD 11 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

In short:

Pros: it's a club almost exclusively for keen climbers.

Cons: it's a club almost exclusively for keen climbers.

You are either a club sort of person or you aren't. 

 AlanLittle 11 Nov 2022
In reply to TobyA:

Totally agree. I remember when I first started getting on bolted sport routes in the 90s, after a decade or so of trad climbing, finding climbing above the bolts on steeper ground absolutely terrifying. The trad routes I did were either ones where you  could place gear above your head pretty much at will, or slabs that might be runout, but I was standing on my feet with no pump clock ticking.

 OCDClimber 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

> But even then it's a difficult one to make, as Robert quite rightly pointed out, some people who are experienced sport climbers may never reach 6c due to the physical demands whereas (I'm guessing) VS leading should be within the grasp of almost all trad climbers as long as they are able to dedicate the necessary time and effort?  Again, genuine question, I really don't know!

The problem is you are not taking into account the psychological factors. Not sure what the position is these days but not so long ago the average grade for climbers was severe/hard severe. VS was always a bit of a benchmark grade and quite possibly still is. It all gets a bit more serious in every way and feels it. The vast majority of routes at the severe grade are easy angled. I've climbed E4 for many years, every so often I would come across a VS that could pose challenges but even after a long lay off happily solo any severe.

Post edited at 11:32
 Rob Parsons 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

> ... (I'm guessing) VS leading should be within the grasp of almost all trad climbers as long as they are able to dedicate the necessary time and effort?  Again, genuine question, I really don't know!

Talking about climbing gets a bit nuts. Why not just give it a go?  Then, you will find out.

 Iamgregp 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Rob Parsons:

I'm sure I will one day!  Climbing sport right now and it fits with where I live, what my mates do, the time I have etc, but things change.

In reply to Paul Sagar:

> And then there are the outliers, and the need for familiarity in style etc. Last weekend I onsighted a couple of 7a sport routes. Last month I climbed Embankment 2 (VS 4c) and thought I was going to die. 

As the kids say - Lolz!

Dying of exhaustion on Embankment 2 - particularly if you're rubbish at jamming I could perhaps see - but dying from hitting the ground!? The route is one long gear placement!  

Now you've done that one, pop round the corner and do Crewcut (VS 4c) next time you're in the 'hood. I'll even come and hold your ropes/giggle as well! It's the sort of VS that I'm sure the CC would approve of.

 OCDClimber 11 Nov 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> Dying of exhaustion on Embankment 2 - particularly if you're rubbish at jamming I could perhaps see - but dying from hitting the ground!? The route is one long gear placement!  

I've always found that once the fear sets in, rational or not, logic, strength and technique disappear at an alarming rate.

 meggies 11 Nov 2022

Have the CC decided to put WIFI in their huts yet?

6
 Albert Tatlock 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Nigel Lyle and Mick Geddes

 jcw 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Wearing climbing gear in Chamonix or anywhere else frequented by mountaineers. Quite right. My wife would never let me go into town after a climb until I'd changed.And the first time I saw Bleau on a cold winter's day in 1971 and I suggested we ate our sandwiches  in the car: no way, so we ate them shivering under a boulder. 

I think you may well be right about where that Dru accident happened.And it makes better sense  The names of Nigel Lyle and Mick Geddes are more than ringing bells with me. I saw a lot of the Cambridge set at that time who were producing some extremely hard climbers 

 GrahamD 11 Nov 2022
In reply to meggies:

> Have the CC decided to put WIFI in their huts yet?

I suspect that even if they did, there wouldn't be a broadband connection to enable it - unless you're thinking 4g, in which case use 4g on your phone.

 Rob Exile Ward 11 Nov 2022
In reply to jcw:

Wasn't Nigel Pyle nicknames 'pubes' and you're right, he had lost a leg. Haven't got my copy to hand but in the Birtles/Rouse book there's a great photo of him and Rouse in a pub.

 mutt 11 Nov 2022
In reply to GrahamD:

This thread has wandered so far off the point I wonder if it's at all related to The climbers' Club at all. 

I can confirm that as a member of that club I care not one jot about the equivalence or otherwise of Trad and sport grades or the availability of the internet in huts, or any debates on perceived injustice in the entry criteria. I just want to go climbing.

If the OP has also grown weary of this thread and is out climbing somewhere I think they will find a warm welcome. 

In reply to meggies:

> Have the CC decided to put WIFI in their huts yet?

Are you trolling?

In reply to TobyA:

Yeah, since my accident a few years back I sometimes have a bit of a meltdown and refuse to believe the 4 cams I’ve placed will hold…interestingly both times it has happened I was on VS routes (the other being Direct Route on Glyder Fach). Maybe the CC are on to something y’know! 

 lithos 11 Nov 2022
In reply to meggies:

in some.  Roybrige hut has wifi (has had for 3 or 4 years).   Being installed in some others.

Some huts have good signal, and some are easy to connect to landlines, others not so much

In reply to Albert Tatlock:

> Nigel Lyle and Mick Geddes

Yes. Thanks.

In reply to jcw:

> I think you may well be right about where that Dru accident happened.And it makes better sense  The names of Nigel Lyle and Mick Geddes are more than ringing bells with me. I saw a lot of the Cambridge set at that time who were producing some extremely hard climbers 

Yes, definitely Nigel Lyle. It seems he has maintained his climbing, including in the Alps. It is him I met in the Fremch service station.

In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Wasn't Nigel Lyle's nicknames 'pubes' and you're right, he had lost a leg. Haven't got my copy to hand but in the Birtles/Rouse book there's a great photo of him and Rouse in a pub.

Yes, I remembered the nickname but not his real name (including when I met him and worked out who he was!). The photo I remember was of several climbers at, I think, Gogarth, sporting sheepskin coats, long hair and John Lennon glasses, and, in his case, a peg leg.

1
In reply to meggies:

> Have the CC decided to put WIFI in their huts yet?

I sort of hope not.

 PaulJepson 11 Nov 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> Yes but... and this is as someone regularly climbing to VS and 6a/6a+. There are plenty of VS cracks on grit that while physically no push over allow you to place solid gear above your head whenever you fancy. I've done plenty of trad routes where the gear is rarely below your harness. But leave Stanage and drive down to Stoney and go into Goddards or Horseshoe and there are plenty of 6as where the last bolt is well below your feet before you can clip the next one even at full stretch. Once you are confident at placing gear, there are lots of trad climbs (I'm thinking of grit mainly as that's local to me, but I'm sure people in other areas can think of other examples) that are considerably less scary to lead than some sport climbs because your chances of taking a significant fall are much lower.

But I think that's why they specify 'adventurous'. A grit trad crack is not adventurous. 

Ken said it brilliantly in that old video about the Classic Rock books (and I'll paraphrase because I don't remember it exactly); Adventure is undertaking something in which you are not sure of the outcome when you set out. If you go to climb a sport route somewhere, it might be a bit scary or hard, you might physically fail at the route, but the outcome is pretty sure: you will follow a line of bolts rather than your nous and routfinding, and you will successfully climb the route or you will lower off having 'failed' (by whatever definition you have of that word). With sport climbing, you only need a little bit of knowledge and experience to achieve that pretty certain outcome (with bouldering even less so).

Trad takes years to be safe and confident and know how to deal with what can get thrown at you. I imagine someone who has climbed nothing but short, single pitch cracks, would be rejected on the same basis that someone who's only climbed sport in an inland limestone quarry would be. 

That's not to say that bouldering or sport climbing are risk-free; they obviously are not, but disregarding external factors like loose rock and equipment failure, you need a hell of a lot more experience and knowledge to climb trad. 

Would I go swing leads on a multi-pitch at my limit with someone who climbed 9a sport but had no trad experience? I honestly might not. 

1
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, I remembered the nickname but not his real name (including when I met him and worked out who he was!). The photo I remember was of several climbers at, I think, Gogarth, sporting sheepskin coats, long hair and John Lennon glasses, and, in his case, a peg leg.

Is the photo you mentioned? From the book 'Alan Rouse - A Mountaineers Life'.

The photo quality is not great, but it does come from a well-used 40 year old paperback. I was a hanger-on in the Cambridge University Mountaineeering Club at the time, so often look at the book as a reminder of those days.


In reply to Bob M:

Yes, that's the one! Doesn't mention the "pubes". Must be elsewhere in the book.

 Fellover 11 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

>Adventure is undertaking something in which you are not sure of the outcome when you set out. If you go to climb a sport route somewhere, it might be a bit scary or hard, you might physically fail at the route, but the outcome is pretty sure: you will follow a line of bolts rather than your nous and routfinding, and you will successfully climb the route or you will lower off having 'failed' (by whatever definition you have of that word).

In that case I reckon there's barely anyone doing anything adventurous. You could say the same thing you've said about sport (that you'll either get to the top of the sport route or lower off) about trad, either you'll do the route, or you won't be able to and you'll retreat/escape some other way.

You've basically left the only adventurous option as being; I'll try a route at or above my grade limit, knowing before I set off that there's no option for retreat if I fail. I can think of maybe one route I've done that maybe barely meets that criteria and I bet most other people can't list many! Also, I bet that anyone who got into difficulties trying something like that would be roundly criticised on here for doing so!

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 PaulJepson 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Fellover:

I mean it's all a blurry sliding scale of risk and 'adventure' isn't it. 

Alpine attempt at a Himalayan peak and there's a reasonably high chance that failure = death. Trying a roadside boulder and failure most likely means not having much skin left on your tips. 

There isn't a black and white point where something either is or isn't adventurous but no amount of sport climbing is going to make someone a safe and competent trad climber, and that's predominantly what the club is about. 

 Fellover 11 Nov 2022
In reply to thread:

Thanks everyone for the thoughts on the VS grade minimum limit thing, when I said it was 'interesting' that everyone seemed ok with it to start with I did genuinely mean interesting, wasn't a criticism, I was just surprised more people weren't anti it.

Personally I'm not too bothered either way, but I think I'm glad that the CC have dropped it as an official requirement (though based in this thread a significant number of their members haven't got that message...) and roughly replaced it with a requirement for being adventurous.

I think the argument (made in this thread a few times) that VS is an appropriate cut off grade because VS leaders are significantly more likely to be competent than sub VS leaders is pretty weak.

I think the point raised a couple of times that all young modern climbers should be climbing VS or more is pretty insensitive. Back in the day if you were a climber you had to accept a lot of risk and have good head game for trad/soloing, so there weren't any climbers about who didn't accept that risk or have good head game. These days there are lots of forms of climbing that don't require the acceptance of lots of risk or require much trad/soloing headgame, so there are climbers about who like climbing but don't like taking risks or have very good head game, they do like climbing trad on the weekends, but don't want to push their grade much because they think it's risky/don't have good head game. They can have plenty of fun below VS. I don't think they deserve to be laid into online just because they don't have as good a head game as the heroes of yesteryear.

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 ExiledScot 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Fellover:

I don't think anyone is laying into sub VS climbers and no one has said categorically that below VS climbers are unsafe or incompetent. There are unsafe extreme climbers as well as sub VS, hence the vouching system. 

The CC goal is to have safe, competent members climbing at sufficient grade that they can jump on each others rope to make up a pair or a three, on a low to mid grade route, and everyone will have a safe enjoyable day out. This is hardly a big ask, it's what enables everyone to come home, every time, after a day on the rock. 

Note: VS isn't the grade where people are taking large risks.

Post edited at 17:24
 Fellover 11 Nov 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

I think that you're basically equating adventure with risk to the health of the participant. Which I think is probably a fair definition.

However, it is distinctly different from the original quote of "Adventure is undertaking something where you are not sure of the outcome when you set out", which doesn't mention risk to the participant atall. If I order an egg at a restaurant but don't specify whether I want it scrambled, poached or fried and wait with baited breath to see what turns up it's hardly an adventure! Or maybe it is, idk.

7
 Fellover 11 Nov 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> I don't think anyone is laying into sub VS climbers and no one has said categorically that below VS climbers are unsafe or incompetent. There are unsafe extreme climbers as well as sub VS, hence the vouching system. 

The vouching (proposer/seconder system) makes a lot of sense. It seems to me like that is more than enough to cover competence and any minimum grade requirement does nothing to help.

> The CC goal is to have safe, competent members climbing at sufficient grade that they can jump on each others rope to make up a pair or a three, on a low to mid grade route, and everyone will have a safe enjoyable day out. This is hardly a big ask, it's what enables everyone to come home, every time, after a day on the rock.

Yeah, everyone having a fun safe day out sounds great! However, surely that's covered by the vouching system? Personally it makes very little difference to my enjoyment of a day out whether I climb a VS, HS, S, Diff or Mod (in a similar style of course e.g. mountain route), so I don't really see an argument for the minimum grade from that angle either.

> Note: VS isn't the grade where people are taking large risks.

I don't really agree with this atall. There are loads of bold routes at all grades across the UK. Perfectly easy to do a very bold VS and if that's your limit, that's a big risk. Whether people are typically doing this I don't know and unless you've got some hidden stats I suspect you don't either. Personally I think I've probably got less bold and more risk averse the harder I've climbed, but n=1.

5
 Fellover 11 Nov 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> I don't think anyone is laying into sub VS climbers and no one has said categorically that below VS climbers are unsafe or incompetent.

On this bit specifically, you're probably right that no-one is laying into sub VS climbers or categorically saying they're incompetent, I'm not going to read through the whole thing again to check.

However, for me reading it, I certainly felt like I saw comments implying that VS is piss easy and what are you playing at if you're not leading VS. I imagine that if you're a sub VS leader that doesn't feel very nice to read. There have also been a reasonable number of comments saying/implying that you're more likely to be competent at VS and above, which conversely implies you're less likely to be safe at HS and below. Again probably not that nice to hear if that's you.

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 ExiledScot 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Fellover:

>  There are loads of bold routes at all grades across the UK.

So VS isn't really any higher relative risk than any other route? 

Grade and CC, the point I see is that if S is your ceiling and you intend to climb with other club members then it narrows options. Get to VS and even on a busy day in the pass there will be routes free and no queuing. 

 OCDClimber 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Fellover:

There have also been a reasonable number of comments saying/implying that you're more likely to be competent at VS and above, which conversely implies you're less likely to be safe at HS and below. Again probably not that nice to hear if that's you.

Competency and safety are two different things.  A VS climber is by definition a more competent climber than a severe climber, an E1 climber is more competent than a VS leader etc. etc. Anyone can be "safe" at any grade. You are mistaken by conflating the two.

Post edited at 18:59
1
In reply to PaulJepson:

Greg's original question was just is climbing 6a and VS roughly similar in all over difficulty? My answer was to that, not really anything about the CC qualification level. But no we're on the subject I think you're in danger of fetishizing a particular form of climbing here, and saying it the be all and end all because it's "adventurous". I did  Eliminate 'A' (VS 4c) last summer, it's quite intimidating from below, but we had two different guidebooks with us, and could read dozens of comments on UKC so hardly lacked for info on the route. Once on it, as well as polish guiding the way, the most obvious gear placements were all, well, very obvious from the level of wear and shine to them. Very easy to see what nut goes where. It was a bit like... hmmm... clipping bolts. Great climb, great day, but is that really that more adventurous than trying hard at Stanage? And I'd argue that technical winter climbing requires a bigger skill set than trad (and arguably I'd say UK style needs more technical skills than pure ice climbing - so much jiggery-pokery involved! With pure ice, 'reading' the medium is an art in itself, but placing screws a straight forward, if strenuous, task) so maybe that should be the benchmark of adventurous climbing? Scottish IV, 5 rather than VS maybe? ;⁠-⁠) 

But, onsight new routing and climbing in very remote places aside, I think we might feel we're being more adventurous than we really are, just because it's trad.

1
 OCDClimber 11 Nov 2022
In reply to TobyA:

There is a scale of adventure that goes something like this: Indoor bouldering, indoor climbing, bouldering, sport climbing, trad climbing, winter climbing, alpine climbing, greater ranges. There are of course overlaps and outliers but in general this holds true. I would put trad climbing at the adventurous end of the spectrum even though it is far less so than in previous years.

Post edited at 19:22
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 mrjonathanr 11 Nov 2022
In reply to OCDClimber:

Like a lot of posters on the thread, I too feel that VS is an arbitrary and rather illogical cut off and should be scrapped. It’s antiquated. The CC should modernise.

VS 4c is far too low.

E1 5b is clearly a minimum standard in an age of warm, dry climbing walls in winter. Furthermore, there should be at least one ascent of the standard witnessed by a CC member or recorded on video annually to maintain membership. For ascents completed in Yorkshire, for the purposes of standardisation, E2 5c should be the minimum standard. If annual evidence is lacking, membership should be suspended until it is provided.

For those in receipt of a state pension or appropriate doctor’s certificate, HVS 5b may be considered an acceptable mitigation.

2
 alan moore 11 Nov 2022
In reply to OCDClimber:

> There is a scale of adventure that goes something like this: Indoor bouldering, indoor climbing, bouldering, sport climbing, trad climbing, winter climbing, alpine climbing, greater ranges.

No! Surely, any one of these can be turned into the most banal, adventurerless experience by people with right means? Conversely they can all be made quite adventurous (although I can't comment on the indoors).

 mrjonathanr 11 Nov 2022
In reply to alan moore:

Using Ken’s dictum about adventure being uncertainty of outcome quoted above, with some partners the greatest adventure is simply driving to the crag.

 OCDClimber 11 Nov 2022
In reply to mrjonathanr:

> For those in receipt of a state pension or appropriate doctor’s certificate, HVS 5b may be considered an acceptable mitigation.

Don't undersell us Myself and several friends all in our 70's and several of whom are CC members spent last April on sighting 7a's on Kalymnos and much of summer climbing E3/4 in the Lakes and N.Wales.

Post edited at 20:29
1
In reply to OCDClimber:

>  A VS climber is by definition a more competent climber than a severe climber, an E1 climber is more competent than a VS leader etc. etc.

No, competency is not a function of grade climbed. There are many highly competent low grade climbers and few incompetent ones climbing high grades.

 mrjonathanr 11 Nov 2022
In reply to OCDClimber:

Fair point. Maybe we should go for E3 6a, or Yorkshire E4, as it’s known.

1
 OCDClimber 11 Nov 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I worded that badly. I suppose it depends on how you define competence but I would see grade climbed as being one metric. 

 OCDClimber 11 Nov 2022
In reply to alan moore:

> No! Surely, any one of these can be turned into the most banal, adventurerless experience by people with right means? Conversely they can all be made quite adventurous (although I can't comment on the indoors).

To some degree but generally speaking the definition is valid.  An ascent of Everest even with porters and guides will always be more adventurous than indoor bouldering.

Post edited at 21:19
 PaulJepson 12 Nov 2022
In reply to mrjonathanr:

That seems unfair. Everyone knows that hvs 5b is harder than e1! 

 spidermonkey09 12 Nov 2022
In reply to jessyb55:

I think the Pinnacle Club might be a good fit? Heard good reviews from people I know in it.

Fwiw I have never been a member of the CC. Despite the fact I love trad climbing and would meet the entry requirements I have never really felt like I wanted to. In large part this is due to the perception that its a bit stuffy. I would maintain that this thread does nothing to address that. I'm sure it is welcoming once you're in but it doesn't come across as welcoming to outsiders. Barbed comments about 'young people not knowing what they're missing' and 'why would I waste my time on bolted stuff' (paraphrasing) also would ring alarm bells for me. I love trad but also love sport and bouldering. The messianic devotion to trad, whilst slagging off things other people enjoy is not an attractive look! Also, its perfectly legitimate to want to join for convenience, access to huts and parking. Its a big perk of the club! Sure, once they're in people may wish to get involved in meet organisation, journals etc but implying you need to be immediately keen to get involved in that as soon as you join, that you owe the club a favour for letting you join, is no way to encourage new members. The perception that the CC think they're doing you a favour allowing you to join, rather than being pleased you want to join and helping facilitate that with no expectation of service to the, club, is a big reason I've never bothered. Again, the above is nothing personal, but I bet I'm not the only one with that perception. Treat it as some constructive feedback from a non member!

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 helix 12 Nov 2022
In reply to spidermonkey09:

I’ve been in the CC for around twenty years and in my experience trad is at the heart of the club, it’s kind of in its soul, you can’t get away from that. Having said that I’ve met a ton of members who are going off bouldering, bolt-clipping, walking, cycling, surfing, to the beach, et al for the day, or their whole weekend or a longer stay, and noone cares.

Regarding service to the club, I felt no obligation when I joined, there was and is not a requirement, as far as I know. You can’t have 1,800 offering service.  Given what I do for a job, I’ve been approached a couple of times to help in a particular specialist area, but I’ve just said politely no, I have too much on at work and home, I felt no pressure.  Someone asked me to run a meet in my area next year too, which I readily agreed to. And when I can help more in a few years, I intend to, because I have benefited massively from a ton of amazing volunteers who run the club and look after the huts. But I honestly don’t think anyone should be put off, thinking they’ll be expected to give back to the club.

1
In reply to jessyb55:

Broadening out the discussion to "how do I go about choosing and joining a club, and what are the benefits?", a bunch of volunteers (full disclosure - me included) have been working with the BMC to develop a campaign to help people find a welcoming club that suits their needs. 

There's a "club finder" here:

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/find-your-adventure-club-list

... and more info here:

https://intouch.thebmc.co.uk/find-your-adventure/ 

Regardless of which club you go for, the benefits are immense: Ready access to dozens of potential partners; frequent organised meets, access to cosy mountain huts or simply a community to make ad hoc plans with?

If you are lucky, a club can be an extended family and a source of lifelong friendships and unforgettable adventures. Go find yours! Cheers, Dom 

 OCDClimber 12 Nov 2022
In reply to spidermonkey09:

> Fwiw I have never been a member of the CC. Despite the fact I love trad climbing and would meet the entry requirements I have never really felt like I wanted to. In large part this is due to the perception that its a bit stuffy. I would maintain that this thread does nothing to address that. I'm sure it is welcoming once you're in but it doesn't come across as welcoming to outsiders. Barbed comments about 'young people not knowing what they're missing' and 'why would I waste my time on bolted stuff' (paraphrasing) also would ring alarm bells for me. I love trad but also love sport and bouldering. The messianic devotion to trad, whilst slagging off things other people enjoy is not an attractive look! 

It's hard to understand that this is what you have taken away from this thread. I said that "young people do not know what they are missing" it was intended as encouragement to try trad.  What on earth is "barbed" about that.  Not sure who made the comment about bolting but almost every member I know and that's a lot "wastes their time on bolted stuff". I see nothing wrong with wanting to maintain and encourage trad climbing however. Your perception is wrong. I will concede that many of the members are "older" with respect to the general climbing community.  This could be regarded as stuffy but in my book older people remaining active and keen and still cranking at hard grades is not something to be ashamed of and compared to society in general anything but stuffy.

3
 ExiledScot 12 Nov 2022
In reply to spidermonkey09:

> Barbed comments about 'young people not knowing what they're missing' and 'why would I waste my time on bolted stuff' (paraphrasing) 

By paraphrasing I presume you mean editing out that it's just my preference and that entry routes to climbing have changed massively in the 40 years since I started climbing. 

The reality is CC is primarily a climbing or mountaineering club, whilst most members are very multi disciplined trad climbing is part of it's foundations. 

Yes, I think many who start indoors are missing out, if they leap to bolts, then to hard trad, they miss the whole joy of doing long sub hvs mountain routes, no climbing shoes, chalk, mats... just what you carry in a modest rucksack. A sarnie and brew on the top, then a ramble off and around back to the bottom, with not a single thought about prior beta, red points or any other style of ascent. 

Post edited at 08:08
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 Rob Exile Ward 12 Nov 2022
In reply to OCDClimber:

Yes I have to agree with you there. There's 'paraphrasing' and there's 'completely making up quotes to suit my prejudices.'

Disclaimer: i've known about the CC for 50+ years and been a member for 3 months! And how any club that once included Colin Kirkus as a member could be described as stuffy, well...

 spidermonkey09 12 Nov 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> Yes, I think many who start indoors are missing out, if they leap to bolts, then to hard trad, they miss the whole joy of doing long sub hvs mountain routes, no climbing shoes, chalk, mats... just what you carry in a modest rucksack. A sarnie and brew on the top, then a ramble off and around back to the bottom, with not a single thought about prior beta, red points or any other style of ascent. 

Fair enough; I think this is jumpers for goalposts stuff though. What you describe, to me, sounds idealised, romanticised and nostalgic. Personally I would get very little out of a climb that didn't require me to even wear climbing shoes or use chalk! I have done many long mountain routes and enjoyed most of them, but they clearly are an enormous faff, often have many pitches of rambling with one pitch of good climbing, may require being very bold even where the 'climbing' is easy, require a big walk at the other end...and this being the UK its probably going to piss it down at some point! I also intensely dislike climbing with a rucksack on so routes that require that are always going to be a no for me. Again, I meant nothing personal but I think the suggestion remains in comments on this thread that the above is the purest, most worthy form of climbing. I don't think that and thats where we differ I think.

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 spidermonkey09 12 Nov 2022
In reply to OCDClimber

Older climbers are a huge inspiration to me and I obviously don't think that age equates to stuffiness. I think the belief that trad is superior to all other forms of climbing equates to stuffiness, and I think that belief remains prevalent in the CC based on this thread. You disagree, fair enough! fwiw I also love trad and want it to be maintained and encouraged; I also think the CC could do a way better job of this.

15
 spenser 12 Nov 2022
In reply to spidermonkey09:

Having met you in Arapiles a few years ago I'd say you'd fit in pretty well with a few of the people I have met in the CC. There are old bumblies and mega wads with all sorts of people in between in the club.

 ExiledScot 12 Nov 2022
In reply to spidermonkey09:

It's not a question of one being superior or inferior, if people like trad then join a club with huts near great trad crags and or with a trad tradition. If sports your thing find a club that's got a base near some bolted limestone crags etc... 

You may dislike rucksacks, i can't think of anything worse than carrying a small mattress into a crag for the sake of climbing a couple of body lengths up. Horses for courses. 

The main CC goal of it's membership criteria is safety and competency. Not elitist trad or any interpretation of.

Post edited at 22:13
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In reply to spidermonkey09:

I’m an ancient old fart who boulders in the V4-V6 range and occasionally harder if I get lucky or spend months on a problem (which I really enjoy). I haven’t climbed trad for literally decades but have clipped a fair few bolts. I’m saving a re-entry into trad until I’m too decrepit to do the ‘proper’ climbing 😂

4
In reply to ExiledScot:

Wavelength, Pieshop, the Satellites and The Meadow are literally behind Ynws Ettws, so the CC is a good call for boulderers to join. I’m guessing soloing mountain VS and up would satisfy the criteria?

4
 ExiledScot 13 Nov 2022
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

It's a fine line between long boulder and short climb, thinking of somewhere like slipstones.

1
 lithos 13 Nov 2022
In reply to spidermonkey09:

>I think the belief that trad is superior to all other forms of climbing equates to stuffiness, and I think that belief remains prevalent in the CC based on this thread. ..... I also think the CC could do a way better job of this.

herein lie the issue, this is a thread on UKC, the CC has not commented, some members have. The whole direction of the thread says more about forums and UKC than it does about the CC. It's what happens, someone asks a question and it shoots off in many directions with people keen to express their opinion and experiences.  Not a bad thing just a thing, it's the norm.

I think Jessy (the op) should ignore most of the thread, get their info from CC site (which they have) and give it a go and see if it's a good fit for them.

 Jim Hamilton 13 Nov 2022
In reply to Fellover:

> The vouching (proposer/seconder system) makes a lot of sense. It seems to me like that is more than enough to cover competence and any minimum grade requirement does nothing to help.

But with apparently 1800? members I get the impression it's a collection of friendship groups, who can get their mates signed up for the hut network without any real test of competency or of being the "right sort!".  

10
 mrjonathanr 13 Nov 2022
In reply to lithos:

> herein lie the issue, this is a thread on UKC, the CC has not commented, some members have. The whole direction of the thread says more about forums and UKC than it does about the CC.

> I think Jessy (the op) should ignore most of the thread, get their info from CC site (which they have) and give it a go and see if it's a good fit for them.

This.

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 Misha 13 Nov 2022
In reply to climbingpixie:

Exactly. You can talk with people you’ve never met before about climbing stuff and some of them will be very experienced people who have climbed interesting stuff at home and abroad. What’s not to like?

 Misha 13 Nov 2022
In reply to duncan:

> If social media is anything to go by, most CC members are currently spending their defined benefit pensions clipping bolts in Kalymnos. 

 

Which is kind of amusing given the CC is meant to be a trad focused crag and there’s all this talk of the younger generations not being into trad. Mind you, Euro-sun bolt clipping isn’t even proper sport climbing. Meanwhile the younger generations are cranking it out at Malham etc and smashing the big grades in Pembroke. 🤣

 Misha 13 Nov 2022
In reply to OCDClimber:

> An ascent of Everest even with porters and guides will always be more adventurous than indoor bouldering.

Adventurous, maybe. I suppose you can die on Everest even on a guided trip and people regularly do. I would have a lot more climbing respect for someone who can crank out V8 at the wall than someone who got up Everest on a commercial exped. One is a climber, the other one is not.

 Misha 13 Nov 2022
In reply to meggies:

There’s been wifi at Riasg for a few years. The other huts either have good 4G or are problematic for both decent wifi and 3G/4G because of where they are. If you want proper old school, check out the FRCC. Use of phones in huts is discouraged (or at least it was a few years ago).

1
In reply to Misha:

> Meanwhile the younger generations are cranking it out at Malham etc and smashing the big grades in Pembroke. 🤣

Which is probably what the pensioners now in Kalymnos were doing 40 or 50 years ago with inferior gear and protection.

 Neil Foster Global Crag Moderator  UKH Supporter 13 Nov 2022
In reply to Misha:

> If you want proper old school, check out the FRCC. Use of phones in huts is discouraged (or at least it was a few years ago).

Not like you to fall into the trap (so common in this bizzarre thread) of inaccurately describing the culture of a club you aren't a member of, and have no real knowledge of Misha...  

Cheers, Neil

 ExiledScot 13 Nov 2022
In reply to Misha:

> Which is kind of amusing given the CC is meant to be a trad focused crag and there’s all this talk of the younger generations not being into trad. Mind you, Euro-sun bolt clipping isn’t even proper sport climbing. Meanwhile the younger generations are cranking it out at Malham etc and smashing the big grades in Pembroke. 🤣

Mid to late 80s I was fortunate to have the combination of an uncle who climbed and another family friend who owned an apartment in one of the few blocks on the northern bay of Calpe. However, you needed a trad rack for at least your runners, if not belays as well then. Not been back since, but at 51 perhaps I'm a little young for it now, maybe when the arthritis kicks in. 

Post edited at 18:08
 Misha 13 Nov 2022
In reply to spidermonkey09:

There are certainly CC members who think that new members should contribute to the club in some way. They are a minority and I think they are wrong. More to the point, there is no such requirement or expectation. What does happen is overtime some people will get involved, which is great. 

3
 Misha 13 Nov 2022
In reply to Neil Foster:

May be so but that’s the general vibe I get, rightly or wrongly (plus it being a club mostly for walkers, which the CC definitely is not, not to mention the apprenticeship requirement with its hut polishing weekends). That said, I’d join the FRCC if I was from that neck of the woods.

The reality is that most (all?) clubs have an imagine problem these days. Image might not correspond to reality but image is what matters to people who are considering joining. There is no simple answer here.  The CC does have a stream of new members joining, which should keep it going. Some local clubs are struggling though.

1
 Misha 13 Nov 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I wasn’t being serious of course, though I do find it amusing.

I don’t think they would have been cranking out the big grades in Pembroke 50 years ago though. 40 years ago - quite possibly.

 Misha 13 Nov 2022
In reply to spidermonkey09:

Re mountain trad being a faff. Sure, but it can be well worth it, same as big sea cliffs routes. Probably the best two climbing days I had this year were a day on Scafell doing White Wizard and Nazgûl and a day on Cyrn Las doing Lubyanka and The Skull. Great routes which make for fantastic double hits, just wait for a boiling hot day! Other than some easy approach pitches, they will keep you on your toes all the way and if you’re efficient you’ll be back down in good time. Both times we left the sacks down at the crag to come back for more routes the following day, made for a very good sack carrying to quality pitch ratio. It’s only half an hour to Cyrn Las from Ynys anyway. But we digress…

 OCDClimber 13 Nov 2022
In reply to Misha:

I've climbed trad for 55 years but I'm not afraid to admit that relatively risk free climbing in the sun is these days increasingly attractive. I can also admit that some of my most memorable climbing days have been on Kalymnos pushing myself more than I could on trad alone.  This has also benefited my trad climbing.

 mike123 13 Nov 2022
In reply to Thread : I’m amused to think that the “ standard “ required for the CC is now a guarded “ mountain VS “ . Some  years ago  my then partner ( both life and climbing ) considered that we should join. mainly because she was on the various instructing / guides scheme and she thought that the huts  and potential variety of partners would be useful for work and her cv . At the time We climbed a lot, mainly trad  in The mountain s and all over the world , at around E2 /3 . Having made a few enquiries she /  We honestly got the feeling we weren’t good enough or perhaps “ the right sort “ . This confirmed my view that, one that I had expressed before she looked into joining , that Groucho Marx was right  . 

 Neil Foster Global Crag Moderator  UKH Supporter 13 Nov 2022
In reply to Misha:

> May be so but that’s the general vibe I get, rightly or wrongly (plus it being a club mostly for walkers, which the CC definitely is not, not to mention the apprenticeship requirement with its hut polishing weekends). That said, I’d join the FRCC if I was from that neck of the woods.

I rest my case because, as any FRCC members reading this will know, you've just made it for me far better than I ever could!

This thread must have the greatest concentration of people feeling the need to pronounce wrongly on something they have no direct experience of, than any I can remember.  As I said, I find it quite bizzarre...

Neil


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