'You don't understand us!': an inside perspective on adventure climbing

David Holland-Smith, Stephen Olivier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a specific (insider) perspective of a small group of experienced male Scottish adventure climbers and explores through in-depth semi-structured interviews their attitudes, strategies and justifications associated with potentially high-risk climbing situations. Attention is paid to how participants feel that they are represented and viewed by others (outsiders) who do not participate in mountaineering and climbing activities. Climbers identify the significance of media, commercial and social representations of them as risk takers. The analysis explores risk as being socially constructed, with the associated assumptions being embedded in particular discourses. Climbers present themselves as rational managers of risk and provide examples of their risk-management strategies, with such characterizations being central to their identity as climbers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1091-1104
Number of pages14
JournalSport in Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


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