When there is a virus out there trying to kill you the last thing on your mind is climbing. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 many countries had shut down, everything is close except for essential services. Clearly climbing is not an essential service, unless governments around world are run be hardcore climbers. Climbing gyms, gear shops, climbing tourism had all stopped and these businesses are all taking a hit and struggling to make ends meet if the shutdown continues. Paying salaries and rental while not generating any revenue is devastating to any business. But it is necessary to stop all non essential activities to ensure we the disease incubating petri dishes stay at home.
Easing back to normal
Easing of shutdown rules is approaching for many countries and most businesses are able to reopen. Unfortunately we are still a long way from normal. Even with government aids, it is unlikely for climbing businesses to get back on their feet straight away so it is up to us the climbers to help. I am not suggesting to make a mad dash to the gym to climb or start stockpiling up climbing gear… or maybe you can. As many people are affected by the shutdown we can only help within our means. In order to keep your local climbing community and business going here are some suggestions.
Buy climbing gym multi-passes or season passes
It may be unwise to buy a multi or season gym pass when you are not sure when the pandemic is going to end. However, buying multi or season gym passes is the best way you can help by putting the much needed cash into the gym owners’ hands to pay for rental and staffs salaries. Yes there are expiry dates for these passes and you cannot be sure if or even when there will be another shutdown. So far most gyms had extended the expiry date of their climbing passes due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Climbers who had bought multi passes do get their passes expiry date extended. I know I did for the gyms I frequent.
Climb at different gyms
Every climber has a favourite gym and will only frequent that particular gym. This is fantastic for well established gyms with large number of patrons. Unfortunately other smaller gyms with less traffic may not have such good fortune. This is the time for us to visit other gyms and spread our climbing dollars around to other gyms that might be struggling financially due to the lockdown. With the likelihood of crowd size limit it is better to have a few climbing gyms as your alternative.
Replace your climbing gear
You may think this is not the time to replace any gear since you won’t have the chance to use it. Yes, this is true. But everyone has a few pieces of gear that are well past their prime. You’ll need to replace it sooner or later so let’s make this the time to replace them. Buy the gear that you been planning to replace. Don’t get carried away and go on a mad shopping spree. Buy what you need and buy now to help the outdoor sport retailers during this crisis.
Buy from local retailers
It has become a norm to buy things online. Selling online has allowed retailers to continue their business during the shutdown. However to help your local retailers you will need to buy direct from your local retailers’ online store. Buying climbing gear on international online platform like REI, Epic TV or Backcountry is not going to help your local businesses.
Sign up for climbing courses
The shutdown had affected many freelancers and climbing instructors are not spared. With the shutdown in place climbing activities had stopped so had the income from conducting climbing courses and programs. Climbers who had been contemplating to sign up for climbing courses or training programs should do so when the shutdown ends and normal activities resume.
Buy gift vouchers
If you do not have any climbing gear to buy but would love to spend some money to help with your local climbing businesses. You can help by buying gift vouchers for your friends who you think have climbing gear of questionable quality. Think of it as investment for your own safety.
Set up hangboard at home
COVID-19 may be here to stay. If you had always wanted to set up a hangboard at home to train, now is the time. You never know when your local shutdown will end or reintroduce to keep you at home. Once your local shutdown ends you should make it your priority to get one. But again please buy from your local retailers.
Promote climbing to non-climbers
Be the ambassador of rock climbing and promote the sport to others who hadn’t try out the sport. By generating awareness to climbing it’ll help to grow the sport and create more businesses for your local climbing community.
Put your money to good use
Is may sound counter intuitive to spend money on climbing activities during a pandemic. When every common sense in your head is telling you to save your money. Yes it is necessary to save and not be careless with your expenses during a crisis. However, for those who can be generous your local climbing community will need your help. Many people and businesses in the climbing industry depends on us the climbers to spend in order pull through this crisis.
If you have any more ideas on how you can help your local climbing community please let us know and leave a comment below at the end of the article. Cheers!
Find local climbing instructor
We are developing a platform on our website for you to find a local climbing guide or instructor. Sign up as a member on 5c Climbers here. We will keep you up to date with the latest development.
If you are a certified climbing instructor or guide you can sign up here to create a profile which will be made viewable to visitors of 5c. Anyone interested in engaging your services can contact you via 5c website. This is free, this is our way to help the community and grow our website.
Stay safe #fightcovid19
Your climbing community and businesses need your help by getting back to climbing and travelling to get businesses back on their feet. However, do keep in mind there is still a virus out there. So don’t go crazy and start going out climbing like a primate out of captivity. Follow your local authority guidelines and rules to keep the infection in check. Stay safe, I am not sure if the 5c tagline of “Climb more work less” is appropriate during a pandemic but you get what I mean.