I’ve participated in a wide variety of outdoor sports my whole life, and I think climbing has one of the most positive, welcoming communities for beginners, at least compared to other outdoor sports. I don’t mean that sarcastically. I’m being serious.
(Surfing, meanwhile, is undoubtedly the most toxic. Any new surfer who has ever paddled out into a crowded SoCal lineup can attest to that…)
It’s not necessarily that climbers are any nicer to newbies than surfers or skaters or snowboarders. We still make fun of them. But our medium is more conducive to learning, in some ways. A gumby hangdogging or falling on a route isn’t going to present a hazard to anyone else at the crag, unless he’s dropping gear or gets injured and someone has to perform a rescue. In more fast-paced sports like surfing and skating, beginners who don’t know what they’re doing at the break or bowl can definitely get someone hurt, snaking a wave, crossing a line, whatever. Nowadays, most learner climbers also train in climbing gyms, where it’s difficult (though not impossible) to get hurt even if you’re an absolute buffoon.
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