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State of Cllimbing Report

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The State of Climbing Report is out and some of the numbers and trends are interesting.

Download the report here

Not surprisingly, the number of climbers is growing. I wish there were a lot more data on this and trends over time. How much is climbing growing? How many people climb outside? Climb in gyms? Some of this is in Outdoor Industry Associaion reports, and I'm not sure where to access the right reports.

Interestingly, the amount spent on gear has risen and this was largely due to increasing unit prices. Also interestingly, prices have changed unevenly. Rope prices have dropped substantially whereas prices for belay devices, shoes, and other gear have risen.

A majority of climbers are white and male, so the diversity doesn't reflect the US population.

Accident and fatality rates have mostly stayed flat over the past 40 years even though the number of climbers has been rising. I find this to be an interesting and perhaps encouraging trend.

There are plenty of questions. For example, what is the definition of a climber for the purposes of these surveys? Who was surveyed? What response rate did they get? There are lots of unanswered questions. Still interesting.

Climbing is growing and changing. Personally, I think this is a good thing because some new climbers will become passionate enough to work on conservation, access, and other issues that help protect and improve climbing resources for all of us.

 

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I was shocked the last time I climbed with Alex in Icicle Canyon.  Cars and vans parked all up and down Icicle Creek Road, but there were very few climbers on the routes.  Far fewer than 20 years ago.  According to Alex all of those 'climbers' are boulderers, which I tend to believe given the chalk on the boulders by the side of the climber's trails. 

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1 hour ago, DPS said:

I was shocked the last time I climbed with Alex in Icicle Canyon.  Cars and vans parked all up and down Icicle Creek Road, but there were very few climbers on the routes.  Far fewer than 20 years ago.  According to Alex all of those 'climbers' are boulderers, which I tend to believe given the chalk on the boulders by the side of the climber's trails. 

Yes, it would be interesting to have a chart on the number of climbers who boulder outdoors, rope climb, alpine climb, ice climb, etc and to see how those have changed over time.

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I noticed the same thing when I was at Index the past few times.  The parking lot was packed, the campground lot was packed, yet I was able to walk up and get on Godizilla.   It was an hour or so before another party came by to climb it.  With the amount of cars there, I wasn't sure where everyone was.    What I have noticed is that many climbers go in large groups now.  When I started, it was just 2-4 people.  Now, 8-10 people will go to an area, hang one or two ropes, then everyone gets a lap.   Which works out fine as those 10 people are really just confined to a couple of climbs.

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The thing that sticks in my mind from my last visit to Index is the number of women climbing now, and they are pulling down as hard as the guys.

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could it be that both harding and robbins will lose? 

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On 7/11/2019 at 8:45 AM, needtoclimb said:

I noticed the same thing when I was at Index the past few times.  The parking lot was packed, the campground lot was packed, yet I was able to walk up and get on Godizilla.   It was an hour or so before another party came by to climb it.  With the amount of cars there, I wasn't sure where everyone was.    What I have noticed is that many climbers go in large groups now.  When I started, it was just 2-4 people.  Now, 8-10 people will go to an area, hang one or two ropes, then everyone gets a lap.   Which works out fine as those 10 people are really just confined to a couple of climbs.

 

 

It also seems like fewer folks drive up together. Gas is too cheap, it seems, so those 8-10 people hanging out together next to one rope actually came in 8-10 cars, practically filling up the lot. 

I try to carpool up, but alas, I too often drive up alone. (Though avoid the parking lot.)

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