So if you know a climbing instructor or avid climber then buying them a present can be a difficult if you don’t understand the sport. They will appear to have everything they need to climb. So you need to go under their radar and come up with something novel and not necessarily expensive to help.
First off it they are working towards a MIA or into multi-pitched climbing. Maybe they have a climbing assessment in North Wales, are working or planning a climbing trip there. Then why not either print off or simply send them a link to the Craig List – A list of great route for Climbing Instructors in North Wales. If you want to really help them out and can spend a few quid then maybe consider buying them a copy of North Wales Climbs. A guidebook that cover virtually all of the routes on the list, and a must have for any climber heading to North Wales.
If that is too pricey then maybe consider getting them a book about the Nature of Snowdonia. As it is not really well known but as part of the syllabus for instructor qualifications there are elements of access and conservations. This book by Mike Raine is the veritable bible of nature in not only North Wales but most upland areas in the UK. Don’t underestimate the environmental leanings of a normal climber either, we all enjoy the outdoors for a variety of reasons, getting scared on a rock face is just one of them.
Another area interest is the history of climbing. Whilst it is a broad topic one book. Hanging By A Thread has managed to capture the near complete history of rock climbing and mountaineering in one volume. A sort of idiots guides to the history and technology of climbing. If you want some free help then I recommend visiting archive.org and search mountaineering. There are many different historic mountain climbing texts from before 1900 there. One in particular you can look for is Scrambles in the Alps by Edward Whymper, available as a PDF or kindle format, it tells the story of the first ascent of the Matterhorn, a first edition is worth £700+, you can send a digital copy for free! Wanderings Amongst the High Alps is another.
If you ever wonder how to go about teaching or coaching climbing then maybe consider Effective Coaching (kindle, iPad, print) and How to Climb Harder. Another great way for a present to keep on giving throughout the year is to subscribe the climber to a climbing magazine like Climber.
Another outside the box idea is booking your friend into a B&B or bunkhouse somewhere in the UK so they can get climbing for themselves for a change. Ideal areas for multi pitched climbing are Llanberis in North Wales, Ambleside in the Lake District, Land’s End in Cornwall, or Glencoe in Scotland. If they are into single pitch or sport climbing then maybe North Wales, Hathersage in the Peak District, Swanage for Portland and Swanage or St David’s Pembroke.
The other alternative for a climber is a map to a new area or a guidebook. Although guidebooks are quite expensive a map can cost as little as £10. Any of the places I have mentioned will suffice but maybe think of some of the more remote places. Like Torridon, Skye or Knoydart in Scotland, these places are among the more adventurous destinations in the UK.
The final ideas are small but random gifts any climber would like. So why not buy 3m of 5mm prussic cord and cut it in half so they can make two prussic. Will cost less than a fiver and be of great use to them. Or something as simple as a block of chalk we be well received. A little more expensive but a real lifesaver for the climbers phone is a waterproof pouch. If you climbing friend has stinky feet then maybe go for the boot banana shoe deodoriser. Maybe just getting them another carabiner, something along the lines of the sentinel screw gate from DMM is a sure fire way to put a smile on there face.
Failing all of that, if you want to make a big statement, then find out which climbing wall they use the most. The short days, bad weather and long nights mean they will be going to the climbing wall a lot during the winter. Most wall allow you to buy a 10 entry ticket of a coffee and a climb voucher.