Monday, 12 June 2006

Why do YOU climb?

Rhapsody, attempt #3. A couple of seconds later I took a 70 footer. Its worth making sure you know why you do it!

Following on from my last post, knowing why you go climbing is a useful exercise not just for getting better at it. Climbing has so many avenues, shapes and sizes, sub-disciplines, whatever you want to call it. If you ask yourself often why you do what you do, you sometimes find out that you are in one field out of nothing more than habit or what your mates do, and would enjoy something else better. I like to put everthing I've got into whatever I'm doing (not just climbing) as much as I can. I think you can see this on my face in the photo above. So I like to constantly ask myself if I really want what I'm trying to get, because it is taking a lot of effort. Its also nice when people ask you why you climb, to be able to answer them well. So, could you make a list of your five top reasons for doing climbing? post them below! it would be cool to hear them. Mine are (possibly in order, but they change with my mood):

1. Advenuture (danger, exlporation and uncertainty)
2. Athleticism (movement, strength, fitness)
3. Beautiful places (like Scottish mountains, or just nice bits of rock)
4. Social (climbing is a cool way to meet other psyched individuals!)
5. competitiveness (I like the way it makes you push harder)

what are yours?


  1. My five would have to be

    1) Exploration- I love stumbling across a new crag, even if it only has two crappy easy problems, but I find it good that I found it and climbed it.
    2) Movement- There's nothing better than making fantastic moves, be they hauling on huge jugs across steep terrain, pulling on tiny crimps on vertical walls, or catching a sloper dynamically and mantelling it out.
    3) Feelings- The lovely contented feeling you get in your belly after a day's climbing, watching the sunset, walking slowly down the hill, mats weighing you down, skate shoes slipping off the rocks, everything is serene, getting home, lying down with some chilled beats on- and falling asleep in the arms of a loved one.
    4) Power- The great feeling of campussing or pulling down on the smallest quarried crimps.
    5) Glory- Topping out on a long-term project or after having just flashed a hard problem.

    Those are some of (but not all of) the reasons I climb. (I'll admit, some of that makes me sound a poof as well- I'm not though!)

    Aye, one more thing Dave- I reported some first ascents at Luath's Stones to you a while back, they went in Climb but it subsequently turned out they weren't first ascents, and apologies need to be made- Do you reckon we could sort something out?

  2. I think I mentioned somewhere that they were done before in a later report. If you want to speak to the Aberdeen lads best send them a msg via SC.

  3. Aye cheers lad- it's all sorted out with them and i've had my punishment- I don't think I'm allowed north of the border any more!

  4. I feel the original and follow-up posting have pretty well summed it all up - the experience all feeding a feeling of being 'out of the world' as we have to know it most of the time, leading, through the numbered reasons and their variations, to a really relaxed end of day state.


  5. Anonymous21 July, 2006

    Gah! I've been sitting at work all morning trying to get something done, but I couldn't help myself ffrom coming back here and leaving this comment.

    My five top reasons for climbing

    1. Concentration

    I love the moment when my active conciousness switches off becasue I have to concentrate so hard on what I am doing. This is one of my motivations to climb hard. When I have to pull out all the stops I sometimes, rarely, get a moment where my very identity is supressed by the moment, the action. I'm not the best climber in the world, but I enjoy it. Two years ago flashing my one and only fr 6c I climbed past the chains at the top because I didn't notice them, I was concentrating on the rock so much, it was brilliant. You can get the smae thing in an instant when bouldering too.

    2. Perspective

    A long day in the hills, at the end of a rope, mostly on your own, as your mate is off on lead. For me it puts the measure of a man into perspective, the rock doesn't care that you are there, nor the clouds, or the curve of the earth. It's so damn peaceful.

    3. Motion

    Unlocking a sequence because you move your centre of mass by a few centimeters. Figureing out how to move. Moving, and moving well. Climbing as an endless variety of body-motion puzzles to be solved.

    4. Friendship

    The people are great.

    5. Exposure

    I love the feeling of air beneath me. This is related to the point on perspective, but stands as it's own experience enough to be a motivation on it's own.