Interesting Katie Lambert Article on Climbing.com

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BruceHildenbrand

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 10, 2017 - 10:31pm PT
I thought this was an interesting insight on the current state of climbing and it's 'personalities.'

http://www.climbing.com/people/out-on-a-ledge-the-curated-image/
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Jan 10, 2017 - 10:37pm PT
Man that article put me off in 2 paragraphs. Yuk.

DMT
kingtut

Social climber
carmel, ca
Jan 10, 2017 - 10:49pm PT
Its a hard topic to approach and not turn off the very audience its intended to reach. I'll give Ms. Lambert props for bringing it up which is very important.

#gravityisreal
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 10, 2017 - 11:03pm PT
It seems Katie's point is that the rise of blogs and instagram might lead a noob into thinking people who make that content are experts,
then might be led to free solo Matthes Crest.
But the noob should know better than to trust unedited media.

And it appears the noob at the start of the article did know better - he asked her in the parking lot if soloing it was "normal". Although his question sounds kind of dumb. I.e. "normal for experts, or normal for average folks". So her followup question "Have you soloed before?" probably helped.
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Jan 11, 2017 - 06:50am PT
She makes a good point.
chill

climber
The fat part of the bell-curve
Jan 11, 2017 - 08:11am PT
Summary: Author encounters an idiot in a parking lot and writes an article about it.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 11, 2017 - 08:41am PT
TLDR: I'm angry those I deem as lesser than me are getting all of the attention.

Nothing has changed as to who or what appears in the media or their caliber, IMO, there's just more of everything now. The jealousy and insecurity hasn't changed either.

cat t.

climber
california
Jan 11, 2017 - 09:29am PT
I don't think her point is to complain about who receives media attention; it's more of a rumination about how the constant barrage of "#rad!!!111 shots" from social media streams affects climbers' (not just noobs') risk perception. I think it's fairly similar to a discussion that came up on ST over the summer. One could argue that an individual should just ignore the prevailing culture, but in general it's nigh impossible to remain impervious to culture.

Edit:
there's just more of everything now
As more and more people climb 5.13, 5.6 becomes "easier" in the community's eyes. I think the unfortunate side effect is that common/easy things are also perceived as "safer"--but no matter how many people are out climbing hard, the objective danger of mountains is not changing.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Jan 11, 2017 - 10:05am PT
I have walked way out to the edge of more than one cornice for just the right photo op over the years. Social media totally affects me and my judgement......I do all kinds of idiotic things now that I can edit and post it and gain admiration so quickly. Its like a drug to me. Seriously. Its a good thing I'm not a better climber or into soloing. I would totally be swayed by the opportunity to get rad on Insta if I had more than 16 followers.

#selfieking

Shadowselfie!!!!!
Shadowselfie!!!!!
Credit: micronut


#summitsdontcountwithoutaselfie
Credit: micronut
fivethirty

Ice climber
CA
Jan 11, 2017 - 10:37am PT
Man, I didn't read jealousy into that at all, but to each their own. This article puts into words a lot of how I felt in the wake of accidents involving friends last summer and I'm glad it exists.

I think Katie checks in here every once in a while, no? In any case, thanks.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 11, 2017 - 10:39am PT
Um, nut? You're missing the "duckface" :-p

Awesome selfies. If I was on INstagrin I'd SOOOO Follow You.


:-)

From the piece written by Katie :
but today, the social media explosion has led to an oversaturation and a loss of our sport’s soul.

I disagree.

Soul's still there. Why is a person with 40 years experience more soul-filled than a newbie on their first climb? We were all n00bs once.

I remember when I first got into climbing in 1977, a very senior woman who had been a mountaineer in the 1920's lambasted me for using gear. "A hardware climber" she referred to me as.

TwistedCrank

climber
Released into general population, Idaho
Jan 11, 2017 - 10:40am PT
Define "normal"
nathanael

climber
CA
Jan 11, 2017 - 11:14am PT
This is definitely a relevant article. I made a recent trip to Joshua Tree with a few friends of varying skill levels. One girl, who is very active on social media and all that, mentioned she would like to try an easy free solo. I was surprised, because she's only ever led a few sport routes and has never taken any offers to learn to place gear and trad lead, etc.

Anyways, I'm not really one to tell someone they can't try something, especially since she really thought she was capable and prepared. Plus I feel like just hearing "no you're not ready" just glamorizes it more. She was suggesting something like "The Eye", a route she'd seen her friends soloing on a previous trip. But at the same time I knew she would definitely panic and die is she actually tried to solo the eye or something similar.

Later in the day I found a cool 4th/low 5th class chimney that let you scramble up onto a tower. I climbed up and told her to solo up to me. After about 10' she stopped and said she didn't like it because if she fell she would get hurt. (real lightbulb moment...) I went back down to grab a rope for a toprope and watched her struggle up it (turning 5.2 chimney moves into 5.10 face climbing), then tried to get her to downclimb it on toprope and kept hearing calls for a tighter belay. She didn't ask to solo anymore after that.

Anyways all this to say, it's not an isolated thing. People really do look at that social media (and social pressure in real life) and get caught up in the image thing without comprehending what risk, exposure, etc really means and it builds a disconnect between the image of smiling soloers and and the reality of if you fck up you die.
Dolomite

climber
Anchorage
Jan 11, 2017 - 11:30am PT
Nice post, cat t.
Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Jan 11, 2017 - 11:32am PT
especially since she really thought she was capable and prepared.

perfect!
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 11, 2017 - 11:50am PT
The whole article is basically about not being good enough for the fame. The soloist dying thing is an excuse for cover. A noob interrupted her "we're too rad" narc bro sesh. Must have been rough. I've read a ton of these snips over the years. They are mostly written by and about women.
caughtinside

Social climber
Oakland, CA
Jan 11, 2017 - 12:00pm PT
The instabrag is a double edged sword. People use it in different ways.

I have found that if I don't follow accounts that have a greater than 5% selfie ratio, I enjoy it more and weed out obnoxious self promotion. YMMV
fivethirty

Ice climber
CA
Jan 11, 2017 - 12:05pm PT
dude i unfollowed everything but cute animals and my friends and instagram is great again.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BNdmtOYgOOI/?taken-by=ponchan918
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Jan 11, 2017 - 12:11pm PT
The whole article is basically about not being good enough for the fame. The soloist dying thing is an excuse for cover. A noob interrupted her "we're too rad" narc bro sesh. Must have been rough. I've read a ton of these snips over the years. They are mostly written by and about women.

This is a spectacularly snarky and judgmental interpretation of Katie's motives, even by the standards of this anonymous poster. Wow, what an as5hole.

As someone who has recently climbed alone and ropeless for the express purpose of sticking pictures of the event on the interwebz to amuse my friends, I can testify to the queasy feeling that such an outing causes. It would feel super-effing-stupid to blow it on a mission like that, and the inner dialogue arising from this constant awareness was in no way helpful. I won't be doing that again- more because once is enough, but also because the whole 'watching myself do something' meta-feeling detracts too much from the enjoyment of moving around on rocks that I truly prefer.

[more, later (but not much)]

I think the piece is well-considered, well-argued, and makes the appropriate caveats for a general audience. The fact that it appears on the Climbing website strikes me as particularly pertinent, since (as a friend who writes for them put it) the target audience is people who "have been climbing for two years and live in the midwest."







cat t.

climber
california
Jan 11, 2017 - 12:21pm PT
The whole article is basically about not being good enough for the fame. The soloist dying thing is an excuse for cover.
I think this is way off base. I personally feel a bit sick inside when I see overzealous noobs trivializing the inherent dangers of climbing, and I am 100% positive that it's not because I think they're not good enough for fame. If jealousy enters into it, it's because I'm jealous of the carefree nature of people who haven't lost good friends in climbing accidents.
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