/ is it frowned upon ...
i have been climbing for 13 years almost and at the age of 16 you would have thought i would be outside climbing big things by now however due to my father and grandfather passing i have no climbing partner to climb outdoors with so ive found myself doing a lot of indoor bouldering and in an effort to get outside i was wondering if it is socially acceptable to use old mattresses instead of a specific bouldering crash pad (im not able to afford one at the moment as im saving for a car) for when im bouldering outdoors
You can do what you like. You will only be frowned upon if you're causing damage, which it won't. You may get funny looks.
I used old foam mattresses in the mid 90S and before that concrete or mud.
Spotted a mattress dumped at the crag the other day... if you're happy to carry it in and then take it home again go for it.
Personally I'd favour staying low or chatting to other climbers and seeing of you can join in, they might let your share a mat if working a problem together.
I made my first ever bouldering mat out of some foam, a sheet of canvas, a square of carpet, carpet glue and duct tape. Cost me less than a tenner and lasted years.
> I used old foam mattresses in the mid 90S and before that concrete or mud.
Sure you didn't use the "bouldering mat" of the day - the ubiquitous beer mat. Mine was that old war horse McEwans tartan bitter beer mat (liberated from Killingworth social club, if I rightly remember). For high balls I often opted for Newcastle Brown mat.
Good luck trying to get old mattresses anywhere. They're bloody heavy and awkward.
I don't think you'd need to fall from very high for a normal mattress to provide no shock absorption. Just find stuff where you don't need a mat.
Better than heading out with a mattress on your back, see if there's alocal club or stick a post on the lifts/partners wanted forum here. Climbing and bouldering with friends is so much more fun (and safer).
This perhaps explains the family walking across the top of Stanage edge carrying a mattress I saw years ago.
> Sure you didn't use the "bouldering mat" of the day - the ubiquitous beer mat. Mine was that old war horse McEwans tartan bitter beer mat (liberated from Killingworth social club, if I rightly remember). For high balls I often opted for Newcastle Brown mat.
Rags, towels or the footwell mat from my Renault 11. Then I upgraded to an old foam mattress pinched from the activity center I worked at with karrimats glued to the top. Quite effective.
I always thought a Wards towel was de rigeur on the Eastern edges ( you did mean towel as opposed to mat, didn't you? )
You could try to meet up with people who have mats to go climb together? Or look at second hand crash pads?
I also boulder without one sometimes, just stick to easier problems, traverses or problems with a nice landing.
As has been recommended above, take a look at joining a club, readily available partners, no need for a car if you're willing to accept a bit of inconvenience and fit in with other people's plans along with huge amounts of experience which can be readily drawn upon.
Old mattresses are awkward to move around and will provide pretty rubbish protection for your ankles/ heels if/ when you fall off stuff.
Don't necessarily worry about getting a car anyway, insurance is pretty extortionae at your age.
You could move to Wales and just climb in parasellas , that was almost completely carpeted under the crag last time I was there.
Also Arlie Anderson did masters edge with a mattress on the ground that she carried up from the car park below the crag
If you dont have a car, how are you getting to the crags ? Carrying a mattress on a bus would be one of your main difficulties, I reckon. Tentative 5/10
Put a Wanted ad up on here, you never know some kind soul may have an old one they're willing to gift you.
I have an old mat that you could have. The foam is a bit bashed and the straps are screwed. If you’re handy with needle and thread etc. You should be able to repair it easily, if not it still works but can be difficult to Carry in. Seems like you’re based in Scotland. PM me re postage etc
If it rains and the mattress get wet it’ll weigh a ton!
I made a stop gap pad in the US a few years back, got a few dirt cheap camping mats from Walmart and cut in half, stacked altogether and duck taped the whole package. Worked fine.
Hi there, first of all sorry to hear the circumstances but well done for taking some initiative and asking the question.
As others have said you can do what you like, but a mattress isn't going to be very practical, especially if it gets wet etc. An old gym crash mat or similar with a plastic cover would be better.
I know it's hard at this stage (my climbing son is also 16) but the best thing is it find a club or a group of like-minded folk, some of whom may already own mats, and go with them.
I checked on the climbscotland website and it suggests Granite City Rock Stars - do you know them?
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org
It suggests they organise outdoor trips so that might be a good start.
They also have all the gear and the experience to show you how to use it.
Hope that helps.
Id try and get in with a crowd at your bouldering wall, you will get invited outdoors at some point.
I bought a mat a while back which incidentally i rarely use as i am usually with a group so we have plenty so i get out of hauling mine to the crag.
As others have mentioned, it'd be a good shout to join a club or try to make some contacts at your local wall and try to get out with them so you have folk to climb with and learn from.
That said, I've got a old mat that I'm not using and would be happy to give to you to get you started. If you want it, send me a direct message with your address details and I'll see what I can do to get it to you. I have mates who work on the rigs and drive over to Aberdeen regularly, so one of them might be able to help.
Sorry to hear about your circumstances. I lost my dad as well and know what a blow it is.
All the best with your climbing.
How generous, its nice to see!
Where abouts do you live mate? I've got 2 boulder mats that you can borrow for the summer if you like?
An unmodified mattress would be a pain to carry and wouldn't offer any meaningful protection.
I use a 2 deep layer of mattresses below my board at home. The highest footholds on my board are about 2.5m up. The mattresses slow down your descent and they are fine given that below the mattresses is a flat floor but you do still bottom out through the mattresses. If your feet are 3 or 4 metres up with just a single thickness of mattress, you are going to bottom out pretty hard. Add in the uneven and rocky landings that you get outdoors (that you won't be able to see because they will be covered by a mattress, making the landing appear relatively flat) and it sounds like a recipe for a sprained or broken ankle.
If you are going to modify a mattress by adding a stiffer load spreading layer, then great. If not, save yourself the hassle and just use a towel or piece of carpet to keep your shoes clean and dry and stick to things you won't get hurt on.
thats one of the primary problems, having to carry it in :/
i will definatly talk to more climbers and try and get more involved
A second hand pad will be sub 70 quid and is a good starter.
that being said a cut to doubled up foam mattress wrapped in a tarp & ducktape was the precursor of modern pads. A cheapo sleeping pad cut to size on top of the foam makes it almost as good as a worn 2nd hand pad. But unless you can get everything for free, a 2nd hand pad is almost as cheap. And a lot nicer To carry and so on (and If worn, adding some foam or sleeping pad stuff will make it stiffer).
> thats one of the primary problems, having to carry it in :/
An even bigger problem is getting it to the crag without a car
yeah you're right i never thought of it like that and i don't need any more injures then i already get (i'm just back climbing after Achilles tendinitis) so i probably wont use the mattress
my mum is more than happy to drive me to and from as where i live there arent any busses :/
I have an old but hardly used mat you can have. Live on coast north of Elgin if you can persuade you mum to drive over to pick it up. Pm me if you want it.
> I always thought a Wards towel was de rigeur on the Eastern edges ( you did mean towel as opposed to mat, didn't you? )
Ah - I've obviously been doing it wrong all these years; no wonder I kept missing the "mat". Also explains why my knees are knackered.
Base Jumper Tom Erik Heimen and trail runner Kilian Jornet "race" up & down the iconic Romsdalshorn (1550m) in Norway.