Friday, July 8, 2011

Climbing Popularity Increasing

A report from New Hampshire Public Radio says the increased popularity of climbing in that state is driven by indoor gyms. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It’s good for equipment gear and clothing manufacturers and retailers. It’s bad if you want to be alone at the cliffs. The public radio reporter (he’s got the fancy double last name, so you know he works for public radio) says:

“……..Sam Evans-Brown reports, a trip to New Hampshire’s premier outdoor sport climbing destination shows how the popularity of indoor climbing has changed the sport.”

Thirty years ago it was New Hampshire’s best kept rock climbing secret, but the word has gotten out. There are days when lines form to climb all of the popular routes.”

Wow, that is a problem, over the course of 30 years, more people are climbing. In 1980, U.S. population was 220 million. Now it’s 310 million. Deduct the 308 million of us that are too obese to climb, and that still leaves a lot of potential climbers. (The obesity figures are mine based on what I read in the headlines. When I figured out, using the B.M.I. index, that I was borderline obese, I kinda stopped paying attention to how awful the obesity problem is. But I am sure it is awful – all I have to do is look in a mirror.)

The sport takes a lot of knowledge, and it’s inherently dangerous and difficult. For years. that’s kept people from considering climbing. But the proliferations of climbing gyms that have educated new climbers, and outdoor sport climbing destinations like Rumney have changed the face of the sport.”

I hate it when other people like to do the same things I like to do. There ought to be a law.

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