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Need a little help (Survey) for an academic essay on the morality of free soloing


Original Post
Noah Boudreau-Richard · · Gatineau, QC · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Hi everyone,

For one of my classes, I am conducting a little research on the morality of free soloing. I will then write an academic essay analyzing the results of my research.

On top of what the media are saying and my personal opinion, I would love to have some responses from climbers (and non climbers) of every level of expertise. This is about you perception of the sport and how it is shown in the media. There are no right or wrong answers and the responses will remain anonymous.

It only takes roughly 5 minutes to complete.
Your help would be greatly appreciated!

Since the goal of the research is to understand people's perspective, I don't want to get into too much of the details of the issue.
If you would like to get more information on the issue I am discussing here, or if you have any questions or comments regarding the survey or you would like to add a thought that wasn't covered in the survey (unfortunately I was limited to 10 questions for the free plan), you can ask them here or send me a private message.

Thank you very much!! :)

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MXQ6KMG

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20
  • What level of climbing expertise - size of the group has no relevance on the level of expertise

     "Intermediate" is not spelled right
Noah Boudreau-Richard · · Gatineau, QC · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

You are right, I am native french speaker. I tried my best to describe my vision of the different level of expertise because I felt like just "expert" doesn't mean much in itself.

I feel like the difference between a good and expert climber is when you feel comfortable enough with the different aspects of the sport to show them to someone else.
I know this may be quite vague but it is the best definition I could come up with.

If you would like to provide an alternate definition, I am interested :)

Thanks for pointing out the spelling mistake... Unfortunately I can't change is otherwise the survey will count it as a different answer :S

ClimbingOn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 405

That was honestly probably the worst survey I've ever taken. It reads like it was written by someone who has little to no understanding of climbing. I try not to be negative, but that survey was truly not good at all.

Noah Boudreau-Richard · · Gatineau, QC · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Thank you for your insight buddy! Now, what could you tell me that would improve the survey? Just to remind you, the goal was to get people's opinion on the morality of one aspect of climbing that is generally (IMHO) not well represented in the media.

I am just trying to understand your comment because I would like to learn from this. 

don'tchuffonme · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 25

The questions you ask are too vague.  They make no distinction between someone like Alex Honnold and some dingus that has no business soloing, going up some loose choss pile to impress someone.  You can't possibly hope to glean any understanding of the "morality of soloing" with such a blunt, feeble attack at understanding it.  Furthermore, if by "morality" you mean publicizing free soloists and the influence that has on the general public and encouraging them to do the same, I don't think that's a matter of morality.  That's just natural selection at work.  Make natural selection great again.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

"How it works is called "fear." Humans are born with only two fears: of loud noises and falling. These fears are so evolutionary beneficial that they never really go away. Soloing is a direct confrontation with a core fear so deeply ingrained that we're born with it and die with it. You can't simply decide not to be terrified when you're clinging to the rock in a high place, and that deep, bowel-shaking terror keeps soloing unpopular regardless of magazine coverage (23)."

 Rock and Ice # 245, October 2017 "The Example" by Jeff Jackson.

 Fantastic piece. Highly recommend you read it.

s.price · · the deck of Rover or Pagosa… · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,346

If this thread was about the Toxicity of free soloing it would be 12 pages by now and your survey a huge success.
I solo alot and never think about the morality of it. I just think about the next move;)

Mark Dalen · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 930

Survey taken ... agree that group size has zero to do with level of expertise ... morons lead/follow morons ...

Greg Shea · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 10
s.price wrote: If this thread was about the Toxicity of free soloing it would be 12 pages by now and your survey a huge success.
I solo a lot and never think about the morality of it. I just think about the next move;)

(Fun thread-drift is fun, can we make this a thing) I mean how dare you suggest hijacking this nice man's thread!

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5

I couldn't make it past the first question. I'm somewhere beyond intermediate but I neither climb by myself nor "often bring groups".  

I worked with similar research in grad school and it was established through validity testing that most climbers (and some other sports as well) self-select accurately into beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert, and post-expert. Depending on what you're using your research for you may need to "show your work" on this, but you're going to make your validity worse by adding descriptions like "often climbs in groups". Someone who is an expert in climbing doesn't need your help to decipher what an expert is, and may select the wrong answer if they are focusing more on the "groups vs alone" part of your question.
I can't offer any more feedback than that, I tend to quit surveys as soon as I realize they are written so poorly as to gather meaningless data. 

Jay Harrison · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 6,211

I agree with many comments that your group delineation is unclear and potentially damning to the aims of your survey. For example, I am a licensed guide, but I am on the short end of a long career. I've noticed that my age and physical health have effected my free-soloing skills, and in that endeavor, these have all been negative effects. But does that change my category?
You may need to redo the entire thing. If you post your hypothesis or (better) the explicit research issue and ask for input as to designing your survey, that might help create a clearer, more accurate one - or even provide the *real* data you require. The one down-side to doing this would be "setting up" your target population.
Which brings up another question: what is your target population?

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 577
Jay Harrison wrote: I agree with many comments that your group delineation is unclear and potentially damning to the aims of your survey.

Surveys, in general, merely confirm the opinions of the person/people who created them.  For example, define "morality" in this context, make that definition unbiased, and then ensure that all your respondents respect your definition.  Impossible.

And since you can not control who responds and who does not, you do not get a fair representation of the group surveyed.  Thus conclusions drawn from surveys very rarely represent reality.  In fact, their conclusions are mostly are bullshit.  For example: every political survey you've ever seen.

Dear O.P.: there has been more written on this subject than on perhaps any other in climbing.  From Messner to Hargreaves, Erickson and Collins, Hersey and Bachar.   Why don't YOU do the research (a.k.a. work) and read some small fraction of what's already been written, instead of wasting other peoples' time with yet another vague and bogus survey.   Or better yet, come up with a new topic that hasn't already been hashed over a million times.  Doh.
Floyd Eggers · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 351

I used worse sources for my degree. Just mention the candidates had decades of experiences... Those decade may be aggregate, but decades none the less. 

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 15,465

   
                                               
  Dear Noah Boudreau-Richard,  
  After reading the above comments I decided not to take the survey.  I suggest you read "The Last Blasphemy" (short story)  (I think by John Long) ...probably one of the best pieces ever written on the "moral" aspect of soloing, by one of the greatest climber-writers of all time.

One solos for one's-self; there is no morality except between the soloist and his/her "God".  

John Clark · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 372

there were two questions that even get close to morality in the survey. 

Michael Holland · · Lander, WY · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 5

Take it easy, folks. he'll get all the necessary feedback on his measurement tool from his teachers. and i liked the variation on the Likert scales. kindof a cool way to think about it.

homies be so agro!

Noah Boudreau-Richard · · Gatineau, QC · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Alright so I had a long response adresses to every single post on this thread but when I tried to post it the website crashed. So I'll just adress the main issues.

I am sorry to have wasted a few minutes of some of your lives... This survey was not written in hopes of publishing any study. I am simply a student who loves climbing and had to conduct a small (10 questions) survey that could be answered in under 5 minutes. The survey had to be on the morality of something related to my field of study (adventure tourism).

Main complaints:

Yes morality is vague. I had my idea of exploring the way free soloing is shown in the media (currently).

The "levels of expertise" are not accurate. Yes, everyone has a different definition. I tried to give one definition that would standardise the results. Obviously impossible.

The target groupe. The targeted groupe was people. Not necessarily climber... I just thought I could get some different insight by posting it here.

Spelling. I tried my best. I am not a native English speaker (French). I'm sorry if that made you angry.

A little precision I should of have brought to the word media is that I am referring to media intended for the general public (not talking about climbing magazines, etc.).

Thanks to everyone who sent me on dofferent paths of reflexion. I will definitely take a llok at all the litterature I have been sent.

I agree the survey was unclear about many things. I apologise for that. Next time I make one, I will put more time on clarification and unbiased definitions.

Moving on, I have received a lot of very useful answers that are really interesting. Tha ks a lot to everyone who participated.

I would love to explore other aspects of the sport it's toxicity for exemple (like seggested  higher).

I am trying to learn from all of this so every constructive comment helps.

Gummy · · Akron, OH · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 1,070
Robert Hall wrote:   
                                               
  Dear Noah Boudreau-Richard,  
  After reading the above comments I decided not to take the survey.  I suggest you read "The Last Blasphemy" (short story)  (I think by John Long) ...probably one of the best pieces ever written on the "moral" aspect of soloing, by one of the greatest climber-writers of all time.

One solos for one's-self; there is no morality except between the soloist and his/her "God".  

"The Only Blasphemy" 

"The only blasphemy: to willfully jeopardize my own existence"
John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 577
Noah Boudreau-Richard wrote: I am sorry to have wasted a few minutes of some of your lives... This survey was not written in hopes of publishing any study. I am simply a student who loves climbing and had to conduct a small (10 questions) survey that could be answered in under 5 minutes. The survey had to be on the morality of something related to my field of study (adventure tourism).

Noah, 

If I understand this correctly, you were assigned to write a survey and the results are irrelevant?  

In that case, it's quite likely your instructor is trying (I hope so) to teach you something deeper than how to write a survey, and have you come to that knowledge yourself.   That "morality" was the assigned topic is key.  The subject of morality is long, wide, deep, multi-colored, shiny, dull, personal, social, culturally varied and contaminated with laws and prejudice.   A 5-minute survey can not even start to define even a narrow slice.    Maybe that's the assignment -- to have you realize that.

Mark Dalen · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 930

LOL!

Noah, you did nothing wrong but to catch the MP forum in little bitch mode ... try again another day with a more refined survey ... climbers LOVE surveys ...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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