Risk of injury or death is an intrinsic part of rock climbing, whether done for sport or recreation, but not all climbers are thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies. The study, "Valuing the benefits of rock climbing and the welfare gains from decreasing injury risk," shows that these risks can heavily impact where individuals choose to climb.
The team of researchers, Lea Nicita and Giovanni Signorello, from the University of Catania, and W. Douglass Shaw, from Texas A&M University, applied the Kuhn-Tucker approach (conditions for an optimal solution in nonlinear programming) to estimate the demand for rock climbing in Sicily, Italy, to reveal the recreational value of various sites and the value to climbers of a reduction in injury risks. In addition to the degree of difficulty at the sites, climbers also consider length and quality of the climb, approach time, crowding and scenic quality, and travel costs, as well as variables that control for other unknown site-specific influences, when selecting a site to visit for climbing.
Rock - Sites - Sicily - Online - Survey
Thirty-two rock climbing sites located throughout Sicily were considered in the online survey distributed to Sicilian climbing groups on Facebook and via mailing lists from several climbing clubs. Ninety climbers completed the survey which asked questions about their place of residence, the number of trips taken to each of the 32 sites, self-reported climbing ability, experience, preference for sport or traditional climbing, whether they've attended training courses, are members of a club, whether they climb alone and their socioeconomic status. The average climbing ability of the respondents can be described today as handling routes of "moderate" difficulty, the equivalent of a U.S. 5.10 grade.
The researchers used knowledge of the climbing bolts and rope run-outs at each site to determine if a route was low, moderate or high risk. The distance between any pair of fixed bolts determines the...
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