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Corona virus and future climbing culture

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 Hardonicus 27 Mar 2020

There have been many discussions about the impact of this pandemic on the future of society, the NHS, Scottish nationalism, EU etc etc. But what of the future of UK climbing culture?

Will aftermath of this pandemic result in climbers achieving a feeling of invincibility, having survived the outbreak , leading to a resurgence in those undertaking dangerous/risky trad ascents across the grade range?

Or will we begin to view life as a more precious commodity than we did before, resulting in a resurgence of retrobolting and ultimately the thickening of the wedge?

9
In reply to Hardonicus:

There might be a drop in climbing holidays due to people having less money.  But like the Foot and Mouth outbreak which heavily reduced climbing and hillwalking to almost nothing, I can't see a long term effect.  I don't see much connection between being lucky/having a good immune system and whether I might die if I fall off a bold trad route or highball boulder problem (not that I do either of those things).

Post edited at 10:31
1
In reply to Hardonicus:

Depending on how long the shut-down is, more people will carry brushes (and possibly trowels and secateurs) to the crags....

Can't see much long term effect on 'risk taking', just a massive ejaculation of psyche from thousands of extremely frustrated climbers once the restrictions are lifted.

In reply to Hardonicus:

Covid-19 will become a normal flu strain like the H3N2 is now, and life will come back to normal.

2
 nikoid 27 Mar 2020
In reply to Hardonicus:

I wonder how long it will take for the whole socially irresponsible/unnecessarily burdening of the NHS theme to fade?

After all it will take years for the NHS to get back on track and clear the backlog of cancelled operations........won't it?

In reply to Ramon Marin:

Only if you have herd immunity such that it never reaches epidemic proportions again. Which we won’t get with suppression - hence the need to on/off suppress till a vaccine and / or effective drug treatment is available.

I suspect the impact on climbing will be minimal in the medium to long term. 

In reply to nikoid:

Very fast, I suspect. Most people will go back to doing what they’ve been doing pretty soon after restrictions are lifted. It would be good though if the inexperienced and incompetent paused and reflected a bit more. Perhaps go with more experienced friends or hire instructors / guides to upskill. On the whole though, the load on the NHS from climbing accidents is, I suspect, considerably less compared to say football and rugby (there will be occasional very serious climbing accidents but these are thankfully relatively rare). Obviously if people want to dial down what they do, that’s up to them. In fact, if someone feels they should dial it down, they probably should. If I felt the risk of an accident involved in doing something is more than remote, I wouldn’t do it. Hence there are some routes I’m not going to try but that’s nothing to do with the virus. 

 timjones 27 Mar 2020
In reply to Hardonicus:

I admire your optimism but I suspect that we will see little more than slitghtly wider spacing of the draws at climbing walls.

 Mark Stevenson 27 Mar 2020
In reply to Hardonicus:

I'm really hoping that the aviation and travel industry will lose their unhealthy influence on both politicians the general public and the UK will get far more serious about tackling climate change. 

If that does occur then the end of cheap flights will hopefully end the culture of regular, short overseas sport climbing trips being socially acceptable amongst climbers who supposedly care about the environment.

However, I won't hold my breath. As has been proved to me over the last few days, there is no shortage of those who struggle to accept that their decisions have consequences. 

3
 JimHolmes69 27 Mar 2020
In reply to Mark Stevenson:

I think you maybe right. The way we travel around the world could change. I feel we'll need to have different travel documents saying we are virus free before we are allowed on a plane. This maybe true for long and short flights. Countries will have stricter borders about health. How that will be looked on politically, who knows. Crystal ball gazing is always difficult. 

 racodemisa 28 Mar 2020
In reply to Hardonicus:

I think for van dwellers  freedom of movement eg crossing borders and 'camping wild' could be complicated.Even after a final green light is given re opening borders in Europe.Whenever. that happens it will be done cautiously I would think

Post edited at 07:26
1
 JamieA 28 Mar 2020
In reply to ChrisBrooke:

" ejaculation of psyche" - my vote for the name of the first new route done after lockdown!

In reply to Hardonicus: Once everyone is allowed back out I think there will be an increase in accidents as climbers under estimate how much fitness they have lost.

in the medium term I expect we will see more people climbing in the UK rather than abroad, and doing those classic routes that in the past kept getting put off till another year.

Also I expect everyone at the crags will be even more friendly, sociable and smiling.

In reply to JamieA:

> " ejaculation of psyche" - my vote for the name of the first new route done after lockdown!

Good call.

I got back from Spain about ten days ago. The first new route, pencilled in for last weekend, was going to be 'Let's Go Climbing', after the fabled Kirkus book of my childhood. Since I've grown up (well, err...  you know what I mean) I've always wondered whether Kirkus should really have called it, 'Let's Go Soloing (as a total beginner!) and Scare Yourself Shitless'.

Anyway I'd already decided to pack in climbing until after all this is over, so it didn't happen. But perhaps the name will have an added relevance in happier times, when the route finally gets done.

Mick

P.S. I don't have a monopoly on route names - or anything else for that matter. So fine if anyone else wants to use it too. The more the merrier!

P.P.S. Worth noting that Kirkus gave his life for the greater good. He could have taught climbing skills to commandos in Cornwall, instead of signing up for bomber command. A very brave man, who paid the ultimate price. 

In reply to Misha:

Regarding the burden on the NHS of climbing accidents, there are certainly fewer climbing accident casualties in A&E departments than people injured at rugby and football. But, football and rugby injuries overwhelmingly consume few resources per injury, few staff, the odd xray, perhaps a cast, perhaps a clinic follow up.  On the other hand many climbing injuries require involvement of many staff, CT trauma scans, anaesthetists, specialist input from multiple specialities. Climbing accidents frequently cause polytrauma whereas that is very rare in contact sports.

No doubt someone will pipe up that they fell 300 feet at Cheddar Gorge and only sprained an ankle, but these really are exceptions.

1
 AlanLittle 28 Mar 2020
In reply to JimHolmes69:

> I feel we'll need to have different travel documents saying we are virus free before we are allowed on a plane.

There are already some similar things: lots of countries restrict recent visitors to yellow fever areas. Would be more difficult for infectious agents that are prevalent everywhere. And ineffective: there are plenty of parts of the world where it would probably be cheaper to pay a doctor to stamp a fake certificate than to get a genuine test.

I can see the Singapore approach being more promising - iirc I read about them having infrared scanners checking arrivals for fever. I see no obvious reason why they wouldn't just keep those turned on indefinitely.

 AlanLittle 28 Mar 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

> P.P.S. Worth noting that Kirkus gave his life for the greater good. He could have taught climbing skills to commandos in Cornwall, instead of signing up for bomber command. A very brave man, who paid the ultimate price. 

Not a guaranteed safe billet anyway: Comici died teaching mountain troops to abseil.

 peppermill 28 Mar 2020
In reply to Hardonicus:

Hopefully less in the way of short haul trips (yes I am a guilty party although not for several years, and not the Costa-Blanca-for-the-weekend lunacy), if people go away then fewer, longer trips (guilty these days).

I'd love to see a move away from the 'Shiny N New' brand style culture we have as people don't have access to rapid fire online shopping over the next few months and learn to make do with what they have. I've certainly bought some dumb shite over the years and been sucked into this but guess what, most of the kit I use and trust the most I've had for over a decade.

Seeing climbing as a privilege and something to be valued and all said and done, just a hobby that nobody really needs, and a move away from the entitled mindset that seems to have become apparent on here over the past few weeks. 

I think that's all wishful thinking though.....

1
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

Agree but I’m guessing these serious accidents are a lot less prevalent. It would be interesting to see some stats by sport but doubt anyone keeps that level of detail. 

In reply to AlanLittle:

> Not a guaranteed safe billet anyway: Comici died teaching mountain troops to abseil.

For some reason, I always thought that Comici died one evening, when out climbing with his girlfriend. Must have been mistaken.

What self-respecting climber would want a safe billet? But I would have thought that fatality rates among climbing instructors in Cornwall in WW2 were insignificant when compared with active personnel in bomber command.

Mick

 Dave Ferguson 28 Mar 2020
In reply to Hardonicus:

I would love to see a tome entitled "Hod Rock"

With pictures and essays from the masters of control and commitment on less than solid rock.

Fowler and Littlejohn would be obvious contributors but lesser known masters of the art like Phil Thornhill, Ray Kay and Steve Sustad would be just as inspiring.

Route selection would be tilted towards our great sea cliffs of Gogarth, the Lleyn and North Devon but could include mountain crags and quarries. First ascentionists of routes on the Devil's Kitchen cliffs and Langcliffe quarry come to mind, as do long committing scottish mountain routes miles from anywhere

So a celebration of keeping a cool head in situations where the outcome is uncertain and commitment is key. 

Can't see it being a big seller mind.

Deadeye 28 Mar 2020
In reply to Hardonicus:

You're seriously under-thinking that.

 Rich W Parker 28 Mar 2020
In reply to Misha:

I agree. I would add that obesity, smoking and excessive drinking will continue to stress the health service far, far more than adventure sports. I've heard no address whatsoever on that score.


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