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Where to go climbing today?

A mathematically impeccable answer to that age old question, ‘where shall we go climbing today?’ There are only three things to think about. (hum, questionable!)

What is the weather doing?
Full suns all day with light wind from the South West?

Choose crags to make the most of the conditions as well as the recent weather history.

Who are you going out with?
Your regular climbing partner who’s keen to push hard routes or with the family? Totally different days out!

What are the objectives for the day?
Just to have fun outside, lead hard routes, get better at rope work? Knowing what you want to actually get out of the day is a factor often overlooked. Have a (flexible) agenda.

Your plan for the days climbing should mostly be a result of answers to the first two questions. Don’t let your focus on a particular route/boulder or venue mean you make the wrong decision about where to go climbing on any particular day.

It’s a classic mistake that could well see you shivering on endless belays in the shade with an unhappy climbing partner at the end of the rope. So here’s a suggested simple decision making equation for you. Often unused or overlooked its simplicity is brilliant.

weather + team + what you want to climb = venue for the day 
Try and overcome the instinct to revert to the old…

consider only what you want to climb = bad venue for the day

This does mean you’ll need to do some research about what options exist within striking distance. Your own experience, guidebooks, asking local climbers and the UKClimbing.com crag map are all useful resources for helping make this decision.

Simple simple simple. Hope that helps a couple of you out.