Intentional Mentorship vs. Formal Education
There is a difference between formal instruction and intentional mentorship. We recently laid out the criteria of formal instruction in a separate blog and now we want to take some time to focus on what it looks like to have intentional mentorship in climbing and why it’s important.
Impacts of Climbing Gaining Popularity
We often see mentorship and instruction confused in this industry. Many times, experienced mentors have alternate, selfish motives. When working with a professional guide, you are ensuring that the person providing you skills is up to date on best practices and presents the content in a clear and concise fashion. Mentorship looks more like coming alongside a climber (usually a new climber) and teaching them in a loose manner. This can include initial technical skills, but should focus more on the efficiencies, principles and ethics.
One of the factors that contributes most to this boom in climbing is the increase in the number of climbing gyms. In 2014 Mountain Project listed 884 climbing gyms in the U.S. and that number is now 1,165. For you data geeks, that's an increase of nearly 25% in the last 6 years alone!
Mentorship Starts in the Gym
This is a call to work collaboratively as a community. We need both formal education and intentional mentorship to protect climbing in this drastic growth we are seeing. The only constant in this world is change, and we need the community to rise up to this challenge!