I Am Going To Post Something This Week, I Just Am.
The Best Enormocast Moment Ever:
[Chris Kalous, Brendan Leonard and Andrew Bisharat lamenting the rise of social media and especially how now everyone knows about their trips before talking to them]
Hayden Kennedy: [who famously has almost no social media presence since the shitstorm surrounding his and Jason Kruk’s chopping of some 120 bolts from Maestri’s Compressor Route on Cerro Torre] “It’s like when Dylan went electric, man.”
In other news, apparently Dave Graham has climbed 67 V14 boulder problems and Brendan Leonard gives money to homeless people and thinks you should too.
My conclusion: climbing media is almost nothing but vacuous, self-congratulatory nonsense (Peter Beal made this accusation in a Facebook post some months ago and at the time I brushed it off but I keep coming back to it and more and more it seems sadly true). Climbing media is occasionally interesting at exactly that same rate that people are occasionally interesting. The majority of climbers seems to believe that finger strength and/or the willingness to risk death equate directly with human worth. Some good work does get published, but for the most part the discipline seems stylistically stagnant and I suspect that the only real reason for this is a lack of demand. Climbers are perfectly satisfied reading about the same old shit in the same old way, day after day. It’s like pornography or cheap liquor – it’s functional, it doesn’t have to be good in any artistic sense; it gets you where you want to go. Most modern climbing writing aspires to the aesthetics of the two minute bouldering video, complete with the hip-hop soundtrack and the sponsorship logos. Maybe it’s just summer and everyone is too busy actually climbing to be writing well about climbing, but then again maybe as long as we keep thinking of climbing as a sport we won’t be able to write intelligently about it. Sports are, by definition, trivial.
Lately I’ve been aid climbing a bunch. My lead head is weak beyond all reason: I just don’t trust my body and I don’t have the right partners to work my way back up through the grades right now. Aid climbing is nice because you don’t have to trust your body, just your mind, and it really blows open the whole notion of climbing as a sport. Aid climbing is not even all that athletic. It’s hard work and it requires an amazing degree of finesse, but no amount of physical training will make you better at it. It’s all cerebral, all thinking, trusting, willing. Up there for hours at a time, stuck in the most unlikely places, hanging on some very small pieces of metal, you have a lot of space to think, to really consider what you are doing and what it means. More people should give it a shot.