The Quintessential Climber

Climbers at Froggatt Edge
Climbers at Froggatt Edge

People who like rock climbing are apparently more likely to enjoy eating gruel and poppy seed rolls, live in Wales, be middle class and describe themselves as analytical and practical, but occasionally neurotic. This is according to YouGov Profiler, a new, free app that allows you to look at survey data from polling company YouGov. It’s designed as a taster for the much more in-depth, paid-for YouGov Profiles that is YouGov’s segmentation and media-planning tool for PR agencies and brands.  It’s quite fun to input random things into YouGov Profiler to see what it can tell you about people and their interests. However, looking through the occasionally quirky results from this app made me wonder if some people are admitting things in surveys that they aren’t sharing with their friends at the crag or if YouGov might need to talk to a few more climbers. Read more

Ropes into Rugs and Other Ways to Recycle and Reuse Outdoor Gear

Old gear pile_1Lurking under my bed, buried in a drawer, shut in a box or in the dark in my wardrobe.  These are the places where my unused outdoor gear lives.   These are the bits of hiking and climbing gear, clothing and equipment that have been superseded when I upgraded to new, better kit, no longer work as well as they should, never really fitted me that well or were retired because they too old to be safe any more.  Now they take up space in my small London flat and provide a home for dust bunnies.  I’ve decided that they need to go.  I’ve also decided when they do go I want them to be put to good use rather than rotting or rusting away in a landfill.

A few of my unused bits of gear are still perfectly functional and someone could use them if I can get them to a new owner by selling or donating them.  However, there are some things that couldn’t have this second life with someone else.   For example, climbing ropes, slings and harnesses all degrade over time and past a certain age they have to be permanently retired because there is a risk that they will break in a fall.  However, this doesn’t mean I couldn’t reuse my old climbing rope by turning it into a rug (see SummitPost for some instructions on how to do this yourself).   The plastics and metal in my old gear could also be recycled and made into something else. Read more