If you are wondering why you should log your climbs, if you need to log them or you’re not sure how to start logging them, then Womenclimb is here to help. Here’s our opinion on why you should, and four different ways to start keeping track.
Why log my climbs?
There are many reasons that it’s useful to log climbs:
- Keep track of how many routes you’ve climbed
- See your progression up the grades
- Demonstrate experience and competence to prospective climbing partners
- Help you avoid repeating climbs you’ve already done
Validate your experience if you want to gain climbing qualifications
What’s the best way to log my climbs?
There are a few different ways to record your climbing feats, from your first climb on a top rope to your first lead outdoors, up to your first E1 and beyond. Below is some suggestions to keep track of your climbing, but bear-in-mind there’s no one size fits all solution to logging your journey, each option comes with it’s own benefits and drawbacks, it’s about choosing the one that will best suit you.
Technology is upon us. The ways that apps can help us in our climbing lives is constantly evolving. Right now the MyClimb and the Mountain Project apps are the most popular options and regularly cited as the most useful ones for keeping track of climbing routes you’ve ticked off.
Benefits: Information in an app doesn’t get lost. It’s a way of reducing the amount of physical ‘stuff’ you own.
Drawbacks: Requires mobile data internet access to be used at the crag. Data breach risks put some people off. Some people just like a piece of paper and a pen
This is the traditional way of doing things – pen and paper. Modern guidebooks leave space for you to note down when you climbed a route. Here’s how mine looks:
Benefits: No internet access needed! Immediate access to information about which routes you’ve already climbed.
Drawbacks: Whatever you do, don’t leave your guidebook at the crag. If you do, make sure you’ve written your name, address and contact details in the front.
UKClimbing is a vast repository of information including an extensive log of all climbs in the UK and abroad. If you register with UKClimbing you can log all of your outdoor climbs in your personal logbook. You can link up with your climbing partners too, to see what they’ve done and log them as your partner on particular routes you’ve climbed together.
The log includes date, route, method of ascent, climbing partner and notes. This can be made private or public. What we really love about this method of recording our climbs is that you can really see your progress.
Benefits: Boasts the UK’s most comprehensive crag database. Visual representations of progress are great.
Drawbacks: It’s not always possible to access this information at the crag, so it’s hard to know which routes you’ve already ticked off. If your aim is to always climb different routes then this can be a pain. The user interface isn’t the easiest to use.
4. Notebook & Spreadsheet
There are some people who go to great lengths to carry out their climbing logs in an organised way using a notebook and spreadsheet. These people are dwindling in number but it is nevertheless an option if you are a pen and paper person. Alice Turner Climbing Courses has several downloadable templates you can try out.
Benefits: If you record your details in a notebook it’s easy to take with you to the crag, where phone reception may be temperamental.
Drawbacks: If you decide to pursue a climbing qualification and need to migrate the information over to digital logs, you can end up spending week’s typing it up.
The popular choice?
In summary, in the UK the vast majority of climbers who log their climbs outdoors do so in a guidebook. It’s a failsafe way of knowing where you are at the crag. Naturally it has drawbacks, so a large number of people transfer their log onto some form of electronic application or website.