The Angry Corrie 21: Jan-Feb 1995
Climbing on the Internet
1994 has seen a great increase in interest in the computer network known as the Internet. There are many different facets to the Internet, indeed one facility called gopher is used by many people to access TAC online from the computing services of Glasgow University. Another popular feature, called net news or Usenet, consists of thousands of different discussion groups on topics as diverse as semiconductor technology and British politics!
There are now two discussion groups which relate to climbing; a long-established one called rec.climbing and the 'new kid on the block' called uk.rec.climbing. The UK group was created in the last days of November and is already carrying messages such as 'Has anyone done any Winter climbing yet?' and 'How do I get from Sheffield train station to the Foundry climbing wall?'. The purpose of uk.rec.climbing is seen as providing a more focussed discussion of rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering for the UK. The established group, rec.climbing, continues to provide a forum for discussing climbing throughout the World, although this tends to be dominated by America.
Anyone with an Internet connection can post messages to uk.rec.climbing and anyone can reply. You don't even need to be a climber; ramblers and hill walkers are welcome to join in the fun, and if sufficient demand is demonstrated maybe one day they will establish their own group. If you don't have an Internet connection, then you will need a computer and an account with one of the 'service providers'. You can find adverts for these in various publications - try the Thursday edition of The Guardian or .net magazine.
So when the wind blows and rain falls, try a spot of Virtual Climbing - much safer than the real thing - not half as much fun though!