Which means I've been exercising my forearms by pulling weeds in the backyard, not on holds. I've been working on a desperate traverse at CATS that's probably V13/14, linking 3 V10 sections. Hoping for the semester to wrap up soon as well.
On the climbing news front, little of interest since the Honnold free-solo of Moonlight. Kevin Jorgeson soloed the Fly at Rumney but, while impressive, had been done before. Probably a moratorium on news regarding that "route" until it's bouldered ground-up, preferably flashed. A female ascent would be great. Speaking of which, Alex Puccio looked very strong on Trice last weekend. Not too many American women have done confirmed V12 and she is certainly strong enough to take it a lot farther than that.
I went to the Denver Art Museum's Inspiring Impressionism show which is perhaps the best one I have seen there. Probably one of the finest selections of paintings that has been hung in the museum.
Photo Issue of Climbing Review
The new issue of Climbing arrived and of course it proclaims its carbon-neutral status. However should we take into account the decidedly non-carbon-neutral sport it chronicles? The environmental aspects of professional climbing with regard to expeditions, travel, etc., not to mention the entire industry seem ready for a new consideration. How many sponsored climbers are in Spain one week, California the next and off to France after that? "Exotic" destinations (if such things really exist in 2008) seem to be the flavor du jour and frankly are a little strange. An article by Bernd Zangerl, describing 3 weeks spent searching for boulders in Peru, which by the way are at almost 15000 feet, seemed kind of pointless in the end.
For those of us who actually somewhat work for a living, the question of how these climbers can afford to take weeks or months off at a time in an economy where the cost of housing, food, and transportation has been going through the roof constantly raises itself. Economically or environmentally, the nomadic lifestyle in 2008 isn't sustainable except by drawing on a big bank account somewhere.Are "professional climbers" really making that kind of money now?
Lastly a moratorium please on repetitive stories of life in Yosemite. The antics of young men with little money and too much time on their hands wear thin quickly.Tales of Camp 4 life and "dirtbag" lifestyles lived by otherwise unremarkable climbers are an established subgenre of literature that was getting old by 1980. John Long pretty much has staked out that territory.
Lastly, climbing photography has to go somewhere new. Co-opted, literally in the case of the printed magazines, by industry PR, photographers have served up variations on the same theme for about two decades now. Part of the problem is that "shooters" are no longer photographing something real but instead a media image of climbing that has fed on itself for a long time. Thus the likes of Tim Kemple, Corey Rich, Keith Ladzinski, and others of the newer generation recycle the images of Greg Epperson, Heinz Zak, and so on. The finger crack diagonal across the frame, the wide angle, etc. etc. has been seen and done before. Has climbing as a sport been over-photographed at this point?
Anyway the photos in this issue are literally squeezed out by cheesy ad after cheesy ad. Tommy Caldwell as Sergeant Rock for Powerbar is laughable for instance and the juxtaposition of an evocative picture in Wadi Rum and a full-page nutrition supplement ad is kind of sad...
By the way go here for an analysis of Powerbar's Protein Plus.
In closing, a word to John Bachar--enough with the F-Bombs. Just because your heinous soloing exploits (though not nearly as wild as Peter Croft's) take you to the edge, doesn't mean you need to swear like a sailor. Props to Matt Samet for filtering the potty mouth.