/ Climbers! The Sport that Got Left Behind

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L Blem 06 Feb 2020

I started climbing at the age of 27 and it was an intense passion i had for 12 years and very fulfilling time of my life, it only really ended due to sheer fatigue, injuries and operations to fix the over exersion i had for the sport.  Its great looking back and reflecting but there was 1 question i always had stirring in my mind during these obsessive years, 'Why Given The Accomplishments Of The Best Rock and Alpine Climbers Of The Eras Gone By Was It All Lost To The Main Stream Media?' In my eyes the best athletes in the world are belonged to a hidden past, bias of course, but never the less. If you look at the Olympics, from the dawn of man humans have been running jumping throwing and climbing, it just seems obvious to me its a hidden sport of sorts and Ive never figured out if was international and rooted in the climbing community or just simply that media find it hard to get ppl to relate to its significance and importance over the decades past. 

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Wiley Coyote2 06 Feb 2020
In reply to Blem:

I think because back in the day it was a very minority pastime which was difficult to explain to the general public. The big landmarks, such as Everest  1953, were covered as were things that could be simplified like the race for Eiger North Wall and, of course, the tragedies  and big rescues. Or better still, if the two converged as in the case of Toni Kurz dangling off the Eigerwand.

To an extent the same is true today. Alex Honnold's solo of El Cap is essentially a simple story to tell and the achievement easy to understand but how do you explain to Joe Public the difference between a new 9b on a bit of steep rock and why it is more significant than the 7b alongside it. Both look equally impossible.

So you end up with coverage like the Dawn Wall fiasco. Several, if not most mainstream news outlets initially reported it as the first time El Cap had been climbed. When their error was pointed out and that El Cap was covered in routes the reporters' reaction was  mainly bafflement. "If it's been climbed before why has my office sent me here?" The fact it was just a much harder version did not light many fires in the public imagination.

Post edited at 18:59
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Presley Whippet 06 Feb 2020
In reply to Blem:

Climbing is a poor spectator sport so there is little money in it. There is no demand from punters to buy seats, replica shirts etc. 

The nearest I can think of is the telescope ot the hotel below the eiger. 

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Mick Ward 06 Feb 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

Totally agree. And also agree that much of climbing is a pastime.

[To the OP]

Sports tend to be characterised by clear rules and overt competition, so clearly competition climbing is a sport. Trad and soloing (to name but two other subsets) don't really fit the sport parameter. For me, climbing is simply a pastime - and one with norms (rather than rules) which would seem distinctly odd to an outsider. Why have ladders on Everest but not on Stanage?  Why have pitons in the Alps but not at Millstone?  Why have bolts on (some) limestone but never on grit? In all cases, the reason is to preserve a game - or series of games - worth playing. It's very much an intrinsic motivation.

And this is what Joe/Jane Public fail to realise and the media are too lazy to learn. "What's the highest you've climbed?" Yeah, right. Does height mean difficulty?  Not necessarily. What does mean difficulty? Well angle, size and shape of holds, protection, exposure, rock type and quality, seriousness of environment... etc, etc.

You can see the problem - it's too much effort to understand. So the media doesn't bother.

We are the best custodians of our history. And we are the best custodians of climbing.

Mick

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Iamgregp 06 Feb 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

Dunno who gave you a dislike for that as it was a f*cking blinding answer. Have a like from me.

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Kevster 06 Feb 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

Lol, not sure I understand it all, and I've been doing it for years.

Just imagine the commentator explaining the english trad grading system. Makes the offside rule seem trivial.

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Pekkie 06 Feb 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

Well I gave it a like. Sometimes 'dislikers' on here should be dragged out from under their stone and forced to justify their 'anonymous'? decision. And then hung from the nearest lamp-post. Only joking...

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Baron Weasel 06 Feb 2020
In reply to Pekkie:

I think this forum would be improved by making the likers and dislikers visible. 

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jimtitt 07 Feb 2020
In reply to Blem:

>  In my eyes the best athletes in the world are belonged to a hidden past, bias of course, but never the less. If you look at the Olympics, from the dawn of man humans have been running jumping throwing and climbing, it just seems obvious to me its a hidden sport of sorts and Ive never figured out if was international and rooted in the climbing community or just simply that media find it hard to get ppl to relate to its significance and importance over the decades past. 

But climbing IS insignificant and unimportant like many other sports, when did you last see 80,000 people go to watch a javelin throwing competition?

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Andy Hardy 07 Feb 2020
In reply to Blem:

Are you for real, or currently dreaming of electric sheep?

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Trevers 07 Feb 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> The nearest I can think of is the telescope ot the hotel below the eiger. 

Or the cave gallery viewpoint in the Avon Gorge, where interested punters can make idle chat with you as you skate around on ridiculously polished holds. The poor man's Stollenloch ;)

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Offwidth 07 Feb 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

I think you have it sideways on, Everest being easy to understand made it good propaganda for the people. The 8000m peaks and Eigerwand were 'covered' as they were in part proxy political climbing games played by states. Free Solo was very different in that respect. As for Dawn Wall it seems the viewers didn't care if a few ignorant journalists didn't get it...the majesty of trying that hard and that long to push limits in such a place clearly resonated with millions. As for the media...even in the Daily Fail attempts are sometimes made these days to explain the individual motivations in taking on the risks in these games.

On another point, I've met people who didn't really know climbing really enjoy watching climbing competitions from the Birmingham World Cup onwards. As a climber I'm biased but Lynn Hill's victory there is up with the best I've seen in sport and by far the best I've seen live: not only was it a spectacle in its own right but the superfinal climb-off on the men's final route turned the theory that women could be as good as men into hard fact (and on a route set for men with long reaches and no small finger holds).

As such I have a different view to the OP... the media relationship with climbing has become healthier and excellence in climbing can be anything from a quiet obsession to a sport worth of Olympic medals.

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PaulJepson 07 Feb 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

> And this is what Joe/Jane Public fail to realise and the media are too lazy to learn. "What's the highest you've climbed?" Yeah, right. Does height mean difficulty?  Not necessarily. What does mean difficulty? Well angle, size and shape of holds, protection, exposure, rock type and quality, seriousness of environment... etc, etc.

I've been asked quite a few times (by acquaintances and parents at the climbing wall) what the highest thing I've climbed is. "I bet you've done some crazy things. What's the highest thing you've climbed?!" and they always seem a bit disappointed when I shrug or say "oh I dunno, something in the Smoky Mountains probably. Probably an easy walk and had a carpark on the top"

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Iamgregp 07 Feb 2020
In reply to PaulJepson:

Been asked many similar questions!  It's hard for Joe Public to grasp that difficulty of a climb isn't measured by height, angle of whatever it is.

If only there was some kind of numeric rating system where you could give easier ones a low number, and them make the number go higher and higher, then you could maybe add sub divi.... [drifts off into own world]

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ChrisClark1 07 Feb 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

Saving this for future reference. Sums it up perfectly.

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McHeath 07 Feb 2020
In reply to Blem:

I don't get it... you register here solely to complain that the media weren't/aren't sufficiently interested in your passion? Isn't/wasn't the joy of climbing in itself the more important thing? I had a 15 year break due to various reasons, and having started again 18 months ago I'm just revelling in it because it's good for me on all planes. I don't give a f**k about how the mainstream press reports on major events; there would be enough good places on the Internet to keep me occupied 24/7 if I so chose. 

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Offwidth 09 Feb 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

I've been asked similar questions. Ive also been asked very insightful questions from non climbers, and lots between these extremes. Why as a climber would I expect any different?

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Wiley Coyote2 09 Feb 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> Why as a climber would I expect any different?

I'd  say because the 'rules' of climbing (as a pastime outside of comps) are so arcane and so much comes down to opinion. In athletics it's indisputable who has run fastest, jumped highest or thrown furthest, in  other sports there is a final score at the end and you know who has won.

In climbing, however, - as innumerable spats and petty squabbles on here demonstrate week in and week out - even  experienced climbers disagree on who is best, what's hardest, what constitutes  correct style etc so it's probably a bit unreasonable to expect the uninitiated to know what the hell is going on.

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krikoman 09 Feb 2020
In reply to Blem:

Who really cares what the media think of climbing?

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Offwidth 09 Feb 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

Something like Cricket (especially the 5 day game) or Rugby (especially Union) is way more complex than the climbing games but still have mass popularity.

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Pekkie 09 Feb 2020
In reply to Pekkie:

16 dislikes! I must be on to something. I see Mick Ward got 116 likes and 1 dislike. Is that a record?

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Donotello 09 Feb 2020
In reply to McHeath:

I get it perfectly fine. The guy had a musing and decided to discuss it among his peers, what else is this forum for? Give it a rest. 

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Donotello 09 Feb 2020
In reply to krikoman:

Nobody but that wasn’t his question he is musing why some sports seem to go mainstream and others don’t, snookers all over the telly but risking your life on a climb isn’t. I enjoyed the question and have enjoyed reading the answers, you’re the only part of the thread that sucked. 

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Steve Ashton 10 Feb 2020
In reply to Blem:

As a 16-year-old, I was on the top deck of the Bolton bus, rope proudly coiled over my shoulder, when an old fella sitting across the aisle turned to me:

"Where ar't off to wi that rope?"

"Wilton quarries."

Slow drag on Woodbine. "What fer?"

"Go climbing."

Sniff. "Up yon rocks?"

"Yep."

"So how much do they pay yer for that, then?"

"Nothing. I just do it for the challenge."

Spits out strand of tobacco and turns away. "Yer daft sod."

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pass and peak 10 Feb 2020
In reply to Blem:

3 rules for large media involvement:

1) it needs to be square, Ie; fit on the telle or a newspaper/magazine page, prime examples of include football, Rugby, tennis, even darts has a round board on a square background.

2) it needs to have a commercial break so they can install the adverts, think half time!

3) it needs to have a specific start and finish time or length as in words in order to be scheduled.

To some extent competition wall climbing has some of these elements, now with the addition of it in the Olympics with set time frames, I can see the media and thereby the public taking more interest.

Hard to see how the many other disciplines of climbing could attract the media interest. For me I don't mind so much, let them join the crowds at the wall and I'll keep the piece and quiet of the crags for myself!

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PaulW 10 Feb 2020
In reply to Blem:

For me climbing, or most of climbing anyway, is not a sport. I don't head out on a climbing trip hoping that we win and beat someone else.

It's an activity, a pastime, sometimes an obsession. Sport seems trivial by comparison.

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Andy Clarke 10 Feb 2020
In reply to PaulW:

> It's an activity, a pastime, sometimes an obsession. Sport seems trivial by comparison.

But any sport can be all those three things as well. I can't think of any way in which football is more or less trivial than climbing. Of course, climbing may sometimes be a matter of life or death, but Bill Shankly had something to say about football's relation to those.

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Wiley Coyote2 10 Feb 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> Something like Cricket (especially the 5 day game) or Rugby (especially Union) is way more complex than the climbing games but still have mass popularity.


No way. No matter how complex the rules or the subleties of the process at the end of both games you have an unarguable, clearly-defined result, a winner and a loser (or a draw), someone collects the Ashes or the Grand Slam. Outside competitions climbing has no such clearly defined outcome, nor any mechanism for deciding who is best nor which route is the hardest.

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Offwidth 11 Feb 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

Well I'm not the only person who messed around with cricket bat and ball, etc., as a kid with no winner involved in any sense  .. just for the fun of it.... and some climbers (subject to Coronavirus calming down)  will soon be winning gold medals in the 2020 Olympics and a long time ago people won Olympic medals for climbing mountains. We always had defined outcomes on any climb (most notably getting to the top in a particular style)  and those handy things called grades mean we do know which climbs in which climbing games are the hardest.

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krikoman 11 Feb 2020
In reply to Donotello:

>  I enjoyed the question and have enjoyed reading the answers, you’re the only part of the thread that sucked. 

ha ha, then my work here is done.

The be honest though I was being serious and it was a legitimate answer, climbers aren't always bothered about getting recognition,  accolades, or publicity for what they achieve. I simply used a short-hand version of this post.

Sorry I sucked, which isn't a phrase you'll hear very often.

Have a lovely day.

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Pero 11 Feb 2020
In reply to pass and peak:

> 3 rules for large media involvement:

> 1) it needs to be square, Ie; fit on the telle or a newspaper/magazine page, prime examples of include football, Rugby, tennis, even darts has a round board on a square background.

Tour de France.  Golf.

> 2) it needs to have a commercial break so they can install the adverts, think half time!

There are no adverts on BBC, yet they show sport.

> 3) it needs to have a specific start and finish time or length as in words in order to be scheduled.

Tennis is open ended.  Even with a 5th set tie-break, matches have an unpredictable length.

> To some extent competition wall climbing has some of these elements, now with the addition of it in the Olympics with set time frames, I can see the media and thereby the public taking more interest.

The speed-climbing may have the opposite effect of subjecting climbing to ridicule.  The gymnasts do amazing things without ropes or harnesses.  In speed climbing it's impossible to tell whether the climbers are being pulled up by the ropes. 

If you take the top rope away from the speed climbers maybe you have something. 

The bouldering and lead climbing are not so bad, but it's a lot of the same to sit through.  Gymnastics, by contrast, has the variety of different apparatus.  Same with the athletics: the TV can switch between track and field.

Post edited at 08:39
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Trevers 11 Feb 2020
In reply to pass and peak:

> 2) it needs to have a commercial break so they can install the adverts, think half time!

Plenty of time for ad breaks while my partner and I are switching leads at the end of a pitch.

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Wiley Coyote2 11 Feb 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> Well I'm not the only person who messed around with cricket bat and ball, etc., as a kid with no winner involved in any sense  .. just for the fun of it....

And just remind me: how much public/media interest was there in those games?

>and some climbers  will soon be winning gold medals in the 2020 Olympics

which is precisely why I made the distinction of 'except for competitions'

  > and those handy things called grades mean we do know which climbs in which climbing games are the hardest.

Now I know you are just trolling. Grades are the most  hotly debated subject in climbing. How often have you climbed something and then  declared it to be wrongly graded (in either direction), And how do you compare across styles - technically easier chop route v desperate clip up you can safely fall off a dozen times a day? Climbers can talk about it for hours but try explaining a flash, a beta flash, a red point and a headpoint to an outsider and watch their eyes glaze over.

To pique media, and by extension public, interest you need something easily understood and clearly defined with  a clear result, all of which are lacking in the messy and very diverse business of non-competition climbing. It also helps to have lots of incident and most climbing is like watching paint dry.

Post edited at 11:10
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In reply to Iamgregp:

> Dunno who gave you a dislike for that as it was a f*cking blinding answer. 


It was probably the "never (bolts) on grit" bit...

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Offwidth 11 Feb 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

What has media interest got to do with the variety within sporting games?

How on earth am I trolling? Name me any route or problem with a well established top end climbing grade that's not broadly accepted by the leading players of that game. Sure climbers sometimes take a punt through ignorance or chasing glory (and quickly get downgraded) or are a bit modest (and get upgraded) but the very top grades are pretty much all accepted. In competitions you get the highest or climb the most or go the fastest in the exact sense you denied above. You split formal competions from lower level competions and just having fun but don't do this in an equivlent way to other sport. Below the formally organised competitions run by the national body (in the UK BMC run under the IFSC rules) I'd estimate roughly five thousand climbers in the UK annually compete in paid competitions for fun, from young kids to a few I know well into their seventies. In all that context you are the one who looks to be trolling.

Post edited at 15:22
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In reply to Steve Ashton:

As a 16 year old, I was spreadeagled on the north face of Granny Rock at the Breck. It was hard, the holds were small and it was getting a long way from the ground.

I heard a small sniff and looked up. It was a young local urchin. His face was peering over the top. 

'What youse doin'? ' he said.

' Climbing' I gasped.

He waited a while. 

'Why you doin' that? ' he asked. 

'It's fun' I said.

'Doesn't look much like fun' he said.

He waited again, as I tried to make the crux move leaving the deep horizontal slot.

'You should just climb up the back mister, it's dead easy.'

He let a bit of gob dangling from his mouth fall on my head and legged it, laughing. 

Post edited at 15:49
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Seymore Butt 11 Feb 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Climbing is a poor spectator sport so there is little money in it. There is no demand from punters to buy seats, replica shirts etc. 

> The nearest I can think of is the telescope ot the hotel below the eiger. 


Went to Alister Lee's latest Brit Rock Tour film recently. I recon 90% of the audience weren't climbers from some of the questions raised at the end, and they seemed genuinely interested in the climbing and film.

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Wiley Coyote2 11 Feb 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> What has media interest got to do with the variety within sporting games?

>

Did you read the OP? "Why Given The Accomplishments Of The Best Rock and Alpine Climbers Of The Eras Gone By Was It All Lost To The Main Stream Media?'"

The value of grading to the general public is virtually zilch. Just ask yourself  a non-climbers' question. What is the hardest climb in the world? They see that as a very simple question and expect a simple answer but there isn't one is there? So you start on "Well it all depends what you mean by 'hardest'....." disappear  into a bewildering maze of headpoints, redpoints, flashes, Alpine-style and Big Walls breaking off for a brief digression into ice and dry-tooling  with perhaps a bit of speed climbing thrown in and, whoops, you lost them ages ago.

And that is why in answer to the OP climbing is lost on the main stream media

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Offwidth 11 Feb 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

The OP, like you, paints a picture that simply doesn't match the reality (in particular the complexity) of climbing coverage in the media: from really insightful stuff (say from Ed Douglas) in the broadsheets to tabloid nonsense complaining about "irresponsible climbers" who were in fact just members of the public who ignorantly walked into trouble. Those climbing stars who seek attention getting it and those who don't living a very quiet media life.

The public clearly do care about the hardest routes in amazing situations and grades are part of that. They trust the climbers that the route is hard, without needing to know the number systems used to denote the difficulty. Dawn Wall.....the most impressive recent, roped, free, big wall acheivement in the world... demonstrated that and was a major worldwide news story. Do you, really think the public would care in the same way about an modern ascent of Royal Arches? Free Solo was almost as big a media sucess (albeit based on the award winning film, not covered live). Would the public care about a solo of a mod on Tryfan? Back further, the newspapers were obsessed with the big Himalayan peaks and the attempts on the north face of the Eiger. Climbers pushing limits in the face of mortal risk. Clever production has also led to less leading edge climbing to go mainstream: the 1967 live broadcast of The Old Man of Hoy had the UK nation on the edge of their seats. Climbing is in our adverts and on magazine shows and travel shows and local news in climbing areas and many other areas of the media. Climbing deaths and bad accidents can be guarenteed to bring out distasteful mass media responses from some quarters. Climbing magazines and web pages and shops and manufacturers and climbing clubs and representative bodies and climber profiles and blogs are forms of media too. The non-climbers who 'consume' this media (alongside climbers) are not the uniform fools you seem to paint them to be, as has been witnessed live by several posters on this thread.

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LeeWood 11 Feb 2020
In reply to Steve Ashton:

> "So how much do they pay yer for that, then?"

> "Nothing. I just do it for the challenge."

> Spits out strand of tobacco and turns away. "Yer daft sod."

The essence of this dialogue touches on a deeper problem for the public; the answer to the OP's question has been otherwise answered - in resumé its a question of what the public can relate to. Intellectually that means understanding the rules of the sport. Practically that means having a 'stage' on which to observe the action. But emotionally - the above dialogue illustrates a deeper problem - fear

Most sports operate on terra firma, and thats where most folk are themselves comfortable. Most spectators of sport are those who have taken part - or dreamed of it - so they can relate to what they see, but the majority of folk are not comfortable off the ground.

So as in the dialogue, doing something dodgy may seem worthwhile - if you are getting paid to take the risk (ie. risk which they don't understand). But climbers have their brains wired in a different way - this is nature / genetics - having a head for heights. And that allows the climber to not only take the risks but to enjoy them too. That, fundamentally, is 'off the wall' for all but the minority

edit:

So, putting comp climbing on a stage - indoors - has made it practical for viewing, and the rules for winning are obvious. But emotional accessibility has not changed, and climbing will never have the popular appeal of ball games. As many commentators here have said - do we really care ?  

Post edited at 21:05
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Wiley Coyote2 11 Feb 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

You really are making my point for me here. You're so short of examples you are having to go back 53 years to the Old Man of Hoy. 53 years! As I recall there was a series of these outside broadcasts (Cheddar, Gogarth etc even the Eiffel Tower) and then the tv people and the audiences got bored and they disappeared. I honestly can't remember the last one. Climbing mags, websites etc, interesting as they are to us, are irrelevant to this discussion since the OP specifically asked about 'mainstream media'.

Free solo was a huge success because it was a simple story to tell. Thousands of feet up, no rope, one slip and you're dead. Good exciting stuff. A bit like  Alain Robert 'the French Spiderman' climbing skyscrapers.  No rope, sudden death, led away in handcuffs at the end, again nice and easy to understand. Before Free Solo he might have been the most famous climber in the world with the public.

The Dawn Wall was a wierd one since it was obvious from the early reports that a lot of news outlets thought they were covering the first ascent of El Cap. Once they  started asking questions they realised it wasn't  but, hey, when you have sent a crew and a satellite truck all the way to Yosemite you damned well better get something on the main bulletin to justify the expense or you're in deep doo doo with the management. So if you can find someone to call it the hardest climb ever the viewers don't know any different and nobody gets a bollocking. Result!

As your list reveals some climbing stories will be covered - even when nobody dies. Only tonight our regional news tv news had a piece on Shauna Coxey becoming the first UK climber to be picked for the Olympics. She's from our area, a good talker. Perfect. Another nice, clean easy to understand 'first'. As I said in my first post last Thursday, that kind of thing will be covered. But even Shauna's selection was illustrated by two clips of speed climbing  rather than desperate bouldering even though the voice over said she was a former world bouldering champion. (Head-to-head speed climbing is faster and Joe Public can see it's a race. Nothing complicated.)

It will be interesting to see how much coverage the Olympics climbing gets. It's a novelty event but if we get a Brit doing well it might  get extra airtime. After all curling - another niche event - did surprisingly well once Britain were in for a medal and Tae Kwan Do did OK too thanks to  a successful Brit. Let's see. But if you think climbing will ever become a subject  for regular coverage or a fixture on the sports pages and programmes I'm afraid you're dreaming.

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Pekkie 11 Feb 2020
In reply to Heartinthe highlands:

Ah The Breck. The ultimate urban crag. Reminds me of the story Mark Hounslea (aka as Porkie) tells about Pex Hill. He felt a warm mist of rain on his face and said to his mate ''Looks like it's starting to rain!" Giggling from above. Mark looked up to see an 8 year old kid finishing his piss to the obvious delight of his dad.

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Mick Ward 12 Feb 2020
In reply to Pekkie:

I remember doing the second ascent of a route on the most remote crag in the Mournes. The first ascentionist was still on top, somewhat miffed that I wasn't finding it harder. Suddenly a warm steam washed over me...

I topped out and chased that bastard across a desolate moor. He's now a pillar of the legal establishment.

Mick

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Offwidth 12 Feb 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

You are just not thinking this through... there are thousands of sports so how are the mainstream media supposed to fit them all in? Climbing simply isn't being overlooked if UK coverage is above average for a sport (unsurprising as its a pretty popular one with UK participants probably into 6 figures) and is one of a few that sometimes has international public reach well beyond the particular sport fan base.

Post edited at 10:43
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Wiley Coyote2 12 Feb 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

This is getting daft now. The OP's question was 'Why is climbing 'lost to the mainsteam media?' I gave my explanation as to why, with occasional notable exceptions (Honnold etc) ) that was so. If I have read your last post correctly you are saying these notable exceptions are as much as a relatively minor activity like climbing can expect and that it actually fares better for coverage than many other minority/niche sports. If that is so, I agree with you

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Offwidth 12 Feb 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

In the last two years when climbing has been all over mainstream media, and its not just Free Solo and Dawn Wall, the OPs argument (and yours) are just blinkered.

This were headline articles on The Guardian today.

Main pages..

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/11/ben-nevis-climbers-extremely-lucky-to-be-rescued

..and on sports pages

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/feb/11/shauna-coxsey-climbing-tokyo-2020-olympics

Despite the claims of the OP climbing simply hasn't in any concrete sense been 'left behind' in the mainstream media in the UK; when big news happens it gets covered.  In countries with alpine terrain, alpine climbing is often a very big deal in their mainstream media. It was sobering visiting the climbing museum in Turin this year. To think that this is only one of the museums in Italy dedicated to climbing.

https://www.compagniadisanpaolo.it/eng/Major-Projects/Torino/The-Duca-degli-Abruzzi-CAI-National-Mountain-Museum

Post edited at 12:23
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Wiley Coyote2 12 Feb 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Oh dear. Just for a moment I thought we had found some common ground.

So climbing has been 'all over the mainstream media'? Really? Maybe I'm being a bit thick here but could you define 'all over' for me please? I can see soccer, rugby, cricket, horse racing 'all over' the mainstream media  you know multi page daily coverage, special tabloid supplements in the main papers, live tv and radio coverage of games followed by highlights programmes and phone-ins. That's what I call 'all over the mainstream media'. Even cycling has its few weeks of glory TdF, the Giro etc. Athletics comes and goes  bit. Tennis has its two weeks of Wimbledon wall-to-wall telly and a few bits and bobs for other Grand Slams and Davis Cup (if we're winning). But climbing? Not so much. Well let's be honest. Hardly at all really

1 Yes, Shauna was covered. Her selection is  a first and so by definition is unusual.  That's pretty much what news reporting is about, covering unusual happenings.

2 Yes, the rescue was covered though I would  not exactly call it  a 'climbing accomplishments' story. It's more a 'Look at these f**king idiots' story. Who knows? It may even provoke another 'climbing' story tomorrow when some rent-a-gob MP, desperate to get their name in the paper, calls for winter climbing to be banned (again) or says we should need a licence or at least insurance. To call that a climbing story is like  calling a report of a car crash a motoring story.

3. Yes,  mountaineering does get more coverage in Alpine countries but since we are not an Alpine country that's a  red herring and we can safely ignore it for the purpose of this thread

4 Museums are not media.

But, looking on the bright side, I am delighted you think the industry is doing such a sterling job in providing you with coverage of your activity and look forward to selling you lots more papers  in which you will not be reading about it

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JR 12 Feb 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

>  (unsurprising as its a pretty popular one with UK participants probably into 6 figures)

More like 7 figures (1.4mil participants in 17/18) for England alone (climbing and bouldering). See what the next Active Lives release in April says...

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Adam Long 13 Feb 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Climbing is a poor spectator sport so there is little money in it.

So are many spectator sports - road cycling, distance running, golf etc - until you throw some proper money at presenting them properly with spectators in mind.

The only time I've seen it done properly in the modern era we got a whole afternoon of LIVE ACTION CUTTING-EDGE TRAD CLIMBING FROM - wait for it - STRONE F*CKING ULLDALE! I still can't quite believe it happened but it was absolutely brilliant and I saw several non-climbers get totally drawn in to it a way that the Tour de France has never managed. The media circus surrounding the Dawn Wall proved the same thing.

Similarly bouldering comps make decent viewing nowadays and I'll be surprised if they don't get good viewing figures in the Olympics - remember that year everyone got into curling?

Post edited at 11:20
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Offwidth 13 Feb 2020
In reply to Adam Long:

The Strone Ulldale event was amazing. I was not so far away on the mainland in Applecross and tension was added by the 'will it or won't it happen' factor as the local weather was terrible.

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Presley Whippet 13 Feb 2020
In reply to Adam Long:

There are, of course, always notable exceptions but ukc is a very biased audience by its nature. I maintain that climbing is a poor spectator sport. If it were otherwise, there would be banks of seating below Malham cove. 

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Sean Kelly 13 Feb 2020
In reply to Blem:

Imagine if Dawn Wall's ascent was put out live on TV with the outcome in doubt until Honnold topped out without falling...now that would have been truly amazing viewing!

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AlanLittle 13 Feb 2020
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Truly, given that Honnold hasn't done the Dawn Wall.

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jimtitt 13 Feb 2020
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> Imagine if Dawn Wall's ascent was put out live on TV with the outcome in doubt until Honnold topped out without falling...now that would have been truly amazing viewing!


Since we've already done "worlds greatest climber tackles impossible climb" live on the BBC in the past and the people went back to watching the footie you need to try something else. Climbing really isn't that interesting

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Sean Kelly 14 Feb 2020
In reply to AlanLittle:

Apologies, my mistake. I meant his climb on El Capitan. Perhaps Dawn Wall next year!

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Jon Stewart 14 Feb 2020
In reply to Adam Long:

> remember that year everyone got into curling?

Yes - but that was only because no one could believe there is actually a sport called "curling".

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