Monday, January 21, 2008

MLK Day--Freezing cold winter continued

Here are photos of the new walls at CATS. Still waiting for paint. Much taller than before.

Winter does not let up here in Boulder. Highs for today around 10 degrees F. Saw Paul R and Seth A at CATS yesterday. Paul has had an amazing winter elsewhere, Hueco especially, but is finding it hard to get psyched around here. We talked a bit about Climbing Magazine's "Golden Piton" Award for bouldering going to Kevin Jorgeson. I wonder whether his ascents, however impressive, are really bouldering. They appear to be fairly serious solos after top-rope rehearsal instead. Certainly Daniel or Paul deserve more credit for actually bouldering, i.e. trying the most difficult moves you can do. There are other anomalies as well such as Ethan Pringle winning in sport climbing. Dave Graham or any number of Euros, or even Adam Ondra seems far more worthy. And where is the "Veteran" of the year?

It certainly isn't me. I am barely hanging in there, clawing away on the four spots at the Spot, desperately working V8 and not feeling any closer to breaking through.

Look for a review of the latest issue of Climbing soon

Congrats to Lisa Rands for a send of the Mandala.


Chubblez said...

Hi Peter,

I think it's an interesting discussion about the Golden Pitons, for sure. We've thought about doing it by jury next year, perhaps; round-tabled, like the Piolet d'Or was. Not sure. If you want to bring up the discussion in Climbing, too, we always love letters -- I dig the blog.


Peter Beal said...

Thanks for the reply Matt. I'll be blogging about the mag this week if I get the time. I think that overall it's definitely become much better.


Chubblez said...

Cool, thanks Peter. I really do dig the honesty and perspective you offer here, at this blog. All feedback -- what the mag's doing right, and where it's going astray -- is good feedback, in terms of making a mag that better connects to the community. Anyway, enough "mag" talk... We'll see you guys up on Sanitas or at The Spot!


Unknown said...

Your views on the Golden Piton award are, hmmm, myopic. Climbing 'styles' or 'disciplines' have been and always will be ambiguous and open to interpretation. If not, what would we discuss? With that, Kevin was a good choice for the Bouldering Golden Piton. His ascents were of the bouldering style, significant, and worthy of recognition. He used pads and spotters. Absent from the ascents were metal clippy things, a harness, a rope, and a belayer. Sounds like bouldering. One could argue free-soloing. I don't buy it. IMO Kevin is re-defining the limits of bouldering with his ascents of very difficult and tall boulder problems. We've recognized hard climbing close to the ground (pedestrian definition of bouldering) for years. Why not someone who's got a different take on things? Would you dare criticize Laird Hamilton for strapping his feet to the board and surfing big waves? Perhaps you'd liken that to wind surfing without the sail.

Peter Beal said...

I'm assuming this is Herman the Feissner writing about the issue of whether headpointing highball boulders is actually bouldering. As one of the distinguished elder statesman of the sport he deserves a response

Re: Laird Hamilton--what he is doing is aid-surfing as everyone knows. And for someone who wears glasses, all ascents are aid climbs. And John Sherman long ago declared that real boulders eschew such devices as "metal clippy things, a harness, a rope, and a belayer" in scoping out problems and tackle challenges from the ground up. So there...

Carlo Traversi said...

With the utmost respect to you Peter, I completely disagree with this post in regards to the Golden Piton issue. Kevin's ascents were definitely boulder problems worthy of respect for both their difficulty and height. To dismiss his ascents as merely pre-rehearsed solos is wrong in multiple ways. Most boulder problems are pre-rehearsed whether they are tall or short. Everybody is "guilty" of working individual moves that cause them trouble whether they are higher or lower on the problem. Kevin is deserving of the award because his notable bouldering ascents for the year are almost purely first ascents. I think everybody agrees that proud first ascents are WAY more respectable than repeats of pre-existing boulders. I was hoping that more people would would see Kevin's accomplishments as a step in a new direction for bouldering (something that the sport desperately needs). I am definitely very tired of hearing about hard repeats, whether their V15 or whatever. Not to rag on Paul, I think he is one of the strongest boulderers I have ever seen, I just wish more people (especially the strong youngsters) would focus more on first ascents. I know from personal experience that if Kevin wanted to repeat the hardest boulders in the world he easily could, so I applaud him for searching out new lines in exchange for losing the media attention he could easily achieve through the repeat of hard boulders. I hope this makes sense.

Peter Beal said...

Good point about the first ascent question, Carlo. My objection to toprope rehearsed "boulder" problems is that they are not about the search for difficulty but instead about danger. They are hard but not so hard that they can be tried unaided and fallen off of safely. They are solos.

Re: Paul R, I have hassled him about the FA factor but all in good time

THanks for posting