Paul Ryan's 40 14ers? About as Credible as his 2:50 Marathon

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Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 3, 2012 - 08:38am PT
The original thread on this subject, a unique blend of climbing and politics, has mysteriously disappeared and links from the many news reports that quoted it no longer work. So, I am putting my posts from the “disappeared” thread here.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Nov 3, 2012 - 08:40am PT
Please repost your letter to the Paper
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Nov 3, 2012 - 08:41am PT
Excellent Rick. Let's turn up the heat again.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 08:42am PT
September 3, 2012
[In response to Donini's comments about fourteener enthusiasts not being real climbers]

Jim-I am not so dismissive of 14er collectors. Sure there is a lot of rubble rambling and choss scrambling involved. But the great thing about it is that they are scattered throughout remote parts of Colorado and you have to visit beautiful little towns and valleys to tick the list, towns and valleys that you would never visit otherwise.

Riley is right. To have climbed forty and not be a resident means that you would have had to devote entire summers to climbing fourteeners, in essence becoming a “lifestyle” hiker/scrambler. I doubt Ryan had the time or dedication to this goal to take time out from his political career. Even if you did four a summer, that would be ten summers devoted to travelling to Colorado for hiking. Even if you live here and can drive to the trailheads, 40 is a huge commitment of time and energy.

Why does it matter that Paul Ryan is a mountain man, at home above timberline on the fourteeners? Because there is no better index of character. It tells of someone's backbone under pressure, resourcefulness in facing adversity, and trustworthiness for power. Conservative or liberal isn't the point. The high peaks simply test your mettle. Declinists and defeatists need not apply. Excuses are for flatlanders.


http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_21386184/paul-ryan-mountain-man

Why does it matter that Paul Ryan, in all likelihood, is not a “mountain man” and is lying about his fourteener record? Because there is no better index of character. It tells of someone’s desperation to connect to the voters of a swing state, ability to lie without conscience, and ruthless ambition to obtain power through any means. It also is indicative of his contempt for the citizens of Colorado. He apparently believes that Colorado voters are clueless and that the press is a lapdog that has lost any ability to check facts. Dedicated hikers, scramblers, climbers, hunters, fishermen and other aficionados of the Colorado high peaks do not need to exaggerate their visceral connection to the Colorado high country and need not apply to become a faux mountain man, like Paul Ryan.
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Nov 3, 2012 - 08:42am PT
Yup,let's keep this up top.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 08:45am PT
September 4, 2012

Open Letter To Congressman Paul Ryan:

Produce the spreadsheet! You have one because fourteener enthusiasts invariably have one; you know, the one that records each peak ascended chronologically, and lists companions, weather, notes on circumstances of the climb, elapsed time, and probably a half dozen other columns of detail.

After all, the fourteener quest is essentially one big to do list, and the satisfaction of checking one off after a strenuous day in the high peaks is the major part of the attraction. By definition, a person who aspires to climb all 54 fourteeners is the sort of person who loves and keeps lists. It’s probably close at hand, on your laptop, because that’s just how fourteener people are. They like to refer to the list frequently, often daily or more if the obsession is at an advanced stage.

Just post it here showing 40 peaks bagged, along with the obligatory summit photos of Capitol and Pyramid, and the deep suspicion that you are a Colorado mountaineering poseur will be laid to rest and we can move onto discussing the merits (or lack thereof) of your budget proposals.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 3, 2012 - 08:48am PT

Would you trust someone as your veep if they lied about such a matter?
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Nov 3, 2012 - 08:50am PT
The repubs can say we're wasting our time dragging up trivial issues,but obviously someone was concerned enough to have the thread removed.All I have to say is,a liar is a liar.
hossjulia

Social climber
Eastside (of the Tetons)
Nov 3, 2012 - 08:53am PT
I still want to know how and why the original thread got entirely deleted.

(And apologies to Chris if it was his choice and he's sick of hearing about it.)
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Nov 3, 2012 - 08:58am PT
CMAC, WTF?
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!
!!!!
?
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 08:59am PT
September 7, 2012

[Note that the Denver Post op-ed quoted below in its original form, has since been "corrected" to revise the number of claimed fourteeners from 40 to 28 in the version on the Post's website now]

Since our banter among climbers here has become part of a national discussion questioning the credibility of Paul Ryan, I want to respond to the question some have raised: who cares about whether Ryan climbed 40 or 28 or zero fourteeners?

It should be noted how the fourteeners issue came about. It did not arise because Paul Ryan is being nitpicked about some minor background facts buried in his Congressional resume. Paul Ryan’s fourteener scrambles in Colorado were deliberately raised as a sword, by the Romney/Ryan campaign, to inflict political injury on Joe Biden and President Obama in Colorado, by equating athletic feats with the ability to lead the country. They asserted that, compared to the manly and uber-athletic Ryan, Joe Biden and President Obama are exercise wimps and therefore untrustworthy.

The Romney/Ryan campaign through its allies, made the claim that Ryan’s ascents of 40 fourteeners was not just important, but was the seminal issue defining Ryan’s flawless character. Here is the Denver Post op-ed which ran on August 26, 2012:

Add to this the hard-charging congressman's love for the Colorado high country (he has climbed 40 of the state's 54 peaks over 14,000 feet) and you have the most potentially transformative VP selection since President William McKinley put Theodore Roosevelt on the ticket in 1900. (Not the genteel Roosevelt, squire of Hyde Park, but his "strenuous life" cousin who ranched in Dakota and hunted bear in Glenwood Springs.)

Why does it matter that Paul Ryan is a mountain man, at home above timberline on the fourteeners? Because there is no better index of character. It tells of someone's backbone under pressure, resourcefulness in facing adversity, and trustworthiness for power. Conservative or liberal isn't the point. The high peaks simply test your mettle. Declinists and defeatists need not apply. Excuses are for flatlanders.
Describing the summit approach for Capitol Peak near Aspen (14,130 feet), the Colorado Mountain Club guidebook says with jaunty understatement: "Scramble around a pinnacle or two, stroll along the knife edge," and you're there. Ryan told me last week that Capitol and nearby Pyramid Peak (14,018 feet) are his favorite climbs so far.

Can you imagine Vice President Joe Biden even wanting, let alone being able, to stroll the Capitol knife edge? Or forging to the top of a "very rough and steep" Pyramid, with its "precariously poised rocks" warned of in the same guidebook?
I can't — and it's not just that Biden always has one foot in his mouth. Nor is it merely differing leisure preferences: golf greens for the presidential incumbent, boulder fields for the would-be veep. Rather the contrast goes to the core of what the men on these two tickets expect of themselves and what they believe free Americans are capable of.

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_21386184/paul-ryan-mountain-man

The story of having climbed 40 fourteeners was asserted more than once by the Ryan camp as part of his Colorado campaign. Here is Colorado Republican party chairman Ryan Call, reported on August 11, 2012, in the Denver Post:

Call said he has met Ryan, who told him he has climbed nearly 40 of Colorado's 53 fourteeners, or mountains above 14,000 feet in elevation.


Colorado pundits react to Mitt Romney's choice for running mate - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/nationalpolitics/ci_21291876/colorado-pundits-react-mitt-romneys-choice-running-mate#ixzz25n5qEVTF

So it is important to remember that, contrary to the Romney/Ryan response to James Fallows, Ryan’s purported climbs of 40 fourteeners were promoted directly by the campaign or its surrogates, beginning in early August, in order to belittle their opponents.

And this strategem by the Romney campaign was beginning to have some effect: Democratic congressman Perlmutter was asked by the a reporter-- as a direct result of the Ryan campaign’s promotion of the fourteener theme-- how many fourteeners he had climbed.

Have you climbed as many fourteeners as Paul Ryan?” a reporter asked Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter. The Golden Democrat said he has not.


http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2012/09/05/climb-mountain-paul-ryan-fourteeners/80482/

That gushing op-ed piece in the Denver Post , overwrought and over-the-top in tone, was ripe for parody as a whole, but what was most laughable was its assertion that climbing some mountains meant that Ryan would make a superior leader. I have been a technical rock and alpine climber for 40 years and climbing has some true heroes, as well as its share of charlatans, mountebanks and frauds. Just because you’ve climbed mountains, does not magically grant you credibility; that is earned by the practice of consistently telling the truth, whether making a speech to a political convention or describing your athletic achievements. It is earned by resisting the urge to exaggerate your accomplishments when you think the facts cannot be readily checked.

One of the attributes real climbers admire most in other climbers is accuracy and honesty in reporting your ascents. This is necessary, because unlike marathons where detailed time records are kept, who made the first ascent of a climbing route (the typical measure of climbing prowess) is largely dependent on an honor system. Usually there is no one around to witness whether you accomplished a first ascent in good style or not. Climber self-reporting of first ascents is usually taken at face value until facts show a climber to be untrustworthy.

When I read the Denver op-ed piece, It rankled that a politician would assert that he would be a better leader of the country because he came to Colorado on vacation and hiked or scrambled up some peaks, and that this also proved he was not a “declinist or a defeatist”, like Obama and Biden.

Real climbers don’t flaunt their climbing achievements to impress those who do not climb. You have never heard Senator Mark Udall, a, truly accomplished mountain climber and ski mountaineer, do that and Paul Ryan is a mountaineering nullity compared to Udall’s impressive climbing resume. Also, Udall has proven his love of the Colorado mountains not by bragging about his climbs, but by working tirelessly, throughout his career, to preserve and protect them.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 09:08am PT
September 8, 2012

Did you notice the subtle, but nasty, cheap shot in that August 26 op-ed piece quoted above? The op-ed contrasts the “hard-charging” mountain man, Paul Ryan, with the “genteel…squire of Hyde Park,” Franklin Roosevelt.

Add to this the hard-charging congressman's love for the Colorado high country (he has climbed 40 of the state's 54 peaks over 14,000 feet) and you have the most potentially transformative VP selection since President William McKinley put Theodore Roosevelt on the ticket in 1900. (Not the genteel Roosevelt, squire of Hyde Park, but his "strenuous life" cousin who ranched in Dakota and hunted bear in Glenwood Springs.)

Not very nice to compare the athletic abilities of Ryan and Roosevelt, since Franklin Roosevelt contracted Polio and had to use a wheelchair while he was president.

Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 09:16am PT
September 9, 2012

According to Trip Gabriel’s article in the New York Times Friday, the Ryan campaign is now asserting that we all just misunderstood what he said about his fourteener climbs.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/us/politics/paul-ryan-faces-scrutiny-over-marathon-and-mountain-claims.html?_r=0

The Ryan camp claims that this misunderstanding is the result of a miscommunication between Paul Ryan and Ryan Call, chairman of the Colorado Republican party.

In the New York Times article, Gabriel states that he spoke to Ryan Call, chairman of the Colorado Republican party. Call now denies, as reported in the Denver Post, that Ryan told Call a few weeks ago that Ryan had climbed “nearly forty of the 53 peaks over 14,000 feet.” Call now claims that Ryan told him only that he had climbed “a number of peaks.” Call’s story now is that he took that statement and combined it with his knowledge of a 2009 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article where “40 climbs” was mentioned, and then “inferred” the quote that Ryan climbed “nearly forty of the 53 peaks over 14,000 feet.”

In an interview Thursday, Call said Ryan had stated only that he climbed “a number of peaks,” and that he had inferred the total from a 2009 article in The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/168696016.html

James Fallows--who quoted my earlier post in his Atlantic Monthly blog --seems to accept this explanation at face value. Fallows even asserts that we climbers also “drew the wrong inference” from Ryan’s comments.

Like, apparently, many other people, I drew the wrong inference from Paul Ryan's comment about making "close to 40" climbs of Colorado's "Fourteeners," the 54 summits at elevations of 14,000 feet and above. I understood him -- as did some journalists, political figures, and climbers in Colorado -- to mean around 40 separate mountains. His spokesman clarified that he meant around 40 climbs, of a smaller number of peaks.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/paul-ryan-mountaineer/261904/

The reference to climbers links to this thread and my earlier post.

Feel free to quote from my posts here, Mr. Fallows, but please don’t put words or even inferences in my mouth. I, and other climbers, did not draw the wrong inference from Ryan’s remarks.

As explained in an earlier post, the only reasonable inference when someone says he climbed “forty fourteeners” is that he has climbed 40 out of the fifty four Colorado peaks over 14,000 feet. No one else-- I repeat--no one else counts Colorado fourteener climbs by including repeated ascents of the same peak: the method the Ryan camp claims is the basis for the alleged misunderstanding. Please see my earlier posts and the analysis below, which document how Ryan’s spokespersons exaggerated his mountaineering claims in a cynical effort to diminish his political opponents, and then asserted this specious explanation when caught. It’s like a climber saying he climbed Mt. Everest and, after it is learned he didn’t really reach the summit, claims he didn’t lie because the correct inference from his earlier statement is that he reached Everest basecamp, not the summit.

Here is why Ryan’s explanation for the incorrect “inference” theory falls off a cliff:

• Why is Call’s original statement of what Ryan said, that he now denies, nearly identical to the statement of what Ryan said according to Jon Andrews, another top Colorado GOP operative, as reported in the op-ed in the Denver Post? After a conversation with Ryan, Andrews asserted that Ryan, “has climbed 40 of the state's 54 peaks over 14,000 feet.” So in separate conversations with Ryan, both GOP operatives Call and Andrews failed to appreciate the “nuance” of what Ryan was telling them and understood him to mean he had “climbed 40 of the 54 peaks over 14,000 feet.” That is a subtle nuance, indeed, when two political allies take the identical wrong inference from two separate conversations. And in the case of Andrew’s conversation with Ryan, the fourteeners were not just a passing topic of conversation. Remember that in Andrew’s conversation with Ryan, Andrews said that Capitol and Pyramid were his favorites and Colorado fourteeners became the theme of the op-ed. Andrews has not “walked -back” his account of his conversation with Ryan, but we can expect that pretty soon (I love that phrase, “walking -back” a statement, I imagine Michael Jackson moonwalking ).

• How do you infer a direct quote? You either quote or misquote. Are both Call and Andrews now claiming that they made the identical misquotation of Ryan from separate conversations?

• How did GOP Colorado chairman Ryan Call remember that obscure 2009 Milwaukee newpaper article and the exact number of fourteeners cited in it? Apparently Andrews must have remembered that very same article and number. Do Andrews and Call have subscriptions to the Milwaukee Journal -Sentinel? Does the paper charge extra for out-of-state delivery?

No spreadsheet produced as of yet, but after counting them up with his brother on the campaign plane, the official statement of Ryan to the Denver Post is :

Your article says he ‘climbed 40 of Colorado’s Fourteeners.’ I’m not sure what the source for that is, but we wanted to add a little nuance. Paul Ryan has made nearly 40 climbs on 28 different peaks. We wanted to clear up any confusion. Thanks!

This clears up nothing and is just another official obfuscation. If you believe the Romney/ Ryan campaign’s explanation that this is all just a matter of you and I (silly us!) not fully appreciating a “little nuance,” I happen to have recently acquired a very nice fourteener, and not one of those loose nightmares in the Elks. It’s called Long’s Peak, its rock is quite solid, and it includes the east face, known as the “Diamond ,” which has the best big wall climbs in the Rockies. I am now offering it for sale, for a limited time only, at a great price. Really! No nuance involved!
stunewberry

Trad climber
Spokane, WA
Nov 3, 2012 - 09:16am PT
Al Gore JOKED about inventing the internet at a dinner party. It was picked up by the right-wing talking heads (not David Byrne!) and quoted totally out of context.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Nov 3, 2012 - 09:19am PT
In the apparently censored thread was a link to a Slate article that noted Ryan's under-3 marathon lie and also his claim to have 6% body fat, which would be comparable to Olympic 100-meter sprinters.

The legend of Paul Ryan’s physical fitness got even crazier when the boy-wonder V.P. candidate bragged to Hugh Hewitt about his marathon running, claiming he’d run the 26.2-mile race in “under three [hours], high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something. … I was fast when I was younger, yeah.”

Of course, we now know that was a lie. As Runner’s World discovered, Ryan’s time was 4:01:25, and as a Ryan spokesman admitted, it was his one and only marathon. He was 20 when he ran it, and yet he still would have lost to a 40-ish Sarah Palin. Whoops. Diehard runners were ticked off, of course, and the Ryan marathon soon became a punch line.


http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/09/paul_ryan_claims_he_has_6_to_8_percent_body_fat_.html
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Nov 3, 2012 - 09:22am PT
More from that Slate article:

Left unexamined, however, was another, equally outrageous claim: That Ryan has 6 percent body fat.... Well, guess what: He’s probably lying about the body fat thing, too. Or, at best, wildly exaggerating.

The “6 percent body fat” meme seems to have originated in a 2010 interview with Mike Allen of Politico. Allen asked him about P90X—“a fad, a craze that you’ve created here on Capitol Hill.” Ryan, who says he once worked as a “fitness trainer,” talks about the workout group, which at the time he led with then-Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.).... Sounds good. But then he can’t help but brag: “I keep my body fat between 6 and 8 percent,” he tells Allen.

Here’s who else maintains 6 to 8 percent body fat: Olympic 100-meter sprinters, that’s who. Also, world-class boxers, wrestlers, and marathoners, according to this study of elite American athletes. Top collegiate swimmers look pretty fit, right? Well, they average out at a plump 9.5 percent, at least according to another study. Positively porky, compared to Ryan. (For some perspective, the average man has body fat of 17 to 24 percent, and most women a bit more.)


http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/09/paul_ryan_claims_he_has_6_to_8_percent_body_fat_.html
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 09:23am PT
September 11, 2012

The Romney/ Ryan campaign’s hasty retreat from the original claim that Ryan climbed 40 fourteeners continues .

As I predicted in an earlier post, former Nixon speechwriter and GOP operative John Andrews did “walk- back” the statement in his Denver Post op-ed that Ryan “ has climbed 40 of the state's 54 peaks over 14,000 feet”.

The Denver Post now has a revised op-ed on its website, and the revised op-ed has Ryan climbing 28, not 40, as the original op-ed claimed. That’s a very nice perk for a newspaper to provide to its op-ed columnists, allowing them to retroactively change what they originally said when challenged. Ah, the wonders of the electronic journalism age!

The revised op-ed does note that it was updated September 10, 2012.
Here is the note regarding the correction:

This article has been corrected in this online archive. In a 2009 interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ryan addressed the number of individual fourteeners he had summited directly. "I think I've climbed like 28 (peaks), and I've done it 38 times," he said of his Colorado fourteener experiences.


Andrews: Paul Ryan, mountain man - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_21386184/paul-ryan-mountain-man#ixzz26AXQmtOo

The Denver Post also issued this separate correction, but strangely, called it a “clarification.”

CLARIFICATION: An Aug. 11 Denver Post story and an Aug. 26 column by John Andrews relied on comments from state Republican Party chairman Ryan Call that U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan has climbed nearly 40 of the state's peaks over 14,000 feet. In a 2009 interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ryan addressed the number of individual fourteeners he had summited directly. "I think I've climbed like 28 (peaks), and I've done it 38 times," he said of his Colorado fourteener experiences.


Corrections - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/corrections/ci_21486307/corrections#ixzz267owJZcj

Also, there is an expanded version of Andrew’s Denver Post Op-ed of August 26, 2012, which appears on Andrew’s website. It includes this correction:

Corrective Note, Sept. 5 - As originally published at Townhall.com on Aug. 27, and in the Denver Post on Aug. 26, this column misstated in paragraph 5 Ryan's total of peaks climbed at 40 (based on a Denver Post news story to that effect on Aug. 11) and gave the impression in paragraph 7 that I had talked directly with Ryan, whereas his answer was in fact relayed to me by a staffer. I regret the errors.

http://www.ccu.edu/centennial/blog/post/2012/08/30/Mountain-man-Ryan-aims-high.aspx

This blog post contains details not contained in the Denver Post op-ed, including some interesting details about alleged fourteener climbs by Ryan. There is even more of the overheated praise heaped on Ryan for his incredible mountaineering feats in the extended version of the op-ed. Here are excerpts from the extended version, not included in the original Denver Post op-ed.

Self-discipline, surefootedness, stamina, grit, gumption, vision, daring, toughness, prudence, drive, the will to rise, the refusal to quit, team thinking, practical intelligence, joie de vivre, a zest for the difficult and a disdain for the allegedly impossible – these are the mountain-conquering qualities we see literally in Ryan and figuratively in Romney.

“Bring me men to match my mountains,” the opening line of Sam Foss’s 1894 poem “The Coming American,” is a favorite of Romney’s on the stump. In Paul Ryan, he adds to the ticket a man indeed well-matched to the mountainous challenges of our slumping economy and soaring debt – and very likely the coming man for a 2016 Republican recapture of the White House if Democrats prevail in 2012.
***
It was on a climb of Mount Shavano last summer – according to Bill Bennett, Reagan’s education secretary – that Ryan nearly said yes to Bennett’s entreaties for a 2012 presidential candidacy. But the younger man sped on alone to the summit (14,229’) while his onetime boss at Empower America rested a few hundred feet below, and so Bennett (in his words) “lost the argument.”

Speeding to the summit comes naturally to the Wisconsin budgeteer turned mountaineer, it seems. Ryan says his next climbing goal may be the Mount of the Holy Cross west of Vail (14,005’) – and after that, presumably, the hiker’s holy grail of bagging all 54 of Colorado’s Fourteeners.

The extended op-ed contains the most detail on the subject yet, including the names of 3 fourteeners climbed (Capitol, Pyramid and Shavano) and the next one he hopes to climb (Holy Cross). Despite this comparative wealth of detail, Andrews now claims he got this level of detail from a Ryan staffer, not Ryan as the original op-ed stated.

Note how Call, Ryan, and the Denver Post all now refer to the 2009 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article’s total of 28 peaks as if it were the last word on Ryan’s fourteener total. But why that interview is now accepted as the undisputed truth regarding Ryan’s total number of fourteeners is not explained. As we have learned, when Ryan tells a reporter or talk radio host about his athletic feats, that does not mean that what he says is the gospel truth. It has now been one week since Ryan and his brother Tobin were counting fourteeners while flying forty thousand feet above the Rockies and still no list has been produced. This makes me suspect that 28 is not the true total, since any fourteener collector can produce his or her list in less than the time it takes to recite “The Coming American.”

In my earlier post I suspected that Ryan had not really climbed 40 out of the 54. That suspicion turned out to be well founded. The lesson for the Colorado GOP is that if your strategy is to make athletic feats of your candidate a major campaign theme by asserting that their opponents are feckless wimps because they aren’t as athletic, don’t exaggerate the numbers .

Better yet, scrap the whole theme promoting Ryan as a “man to match my mountains” because of his amazing hiking feats. Consider the two leaders of the English speaking allies during World War II, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Roosevelt was got around in a wheel chair and Churchill’s main exercise was the repeated lifting of champagne glasses. Churchill was so opposed to even mild exertion that he employed a man servant to help him bathe and get dressed. FDR and Churchill turned out to be pretty effective leaders.

Klk- Why is this important? Because the GOP has put forward the theme of that the great athlete, Paul Ryan, is better than his rivals because of his heroic mountain hiking in Colorado. It is only fair play to point out that his feats are inflated, just like the GOP rhetoric extolling Paul Ryan as a man to match the Colorado mountains.
gf

climber
Nov 3, 2012 - 09:29am PT
Thanks Rick for the repost-it is important to have this as part of the record. Regardless of political leanings, my assumption is that all climbers on this site have no truck with people who make false claims concerning their climbing achievements.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 09:30am PT
September 12, 2012

It has been reported that Paul Ryan’s favorite thinker is Ayn Rand.
"But the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand."

He told Insight on the News on May 24, 1999, that the books he most often rereads are "The Bible, Friedrich von Hayek's The Road to Serfdom and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ian-reifowitz/paul-ryan-ayn-rand_b_1767403.html

"People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I've learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one's reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one's master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person's view requires to be faked."

-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 2
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 09:39am PT
September 12, 2012

Rocky Mountain Lie or the Paul Ryan Fourteener Song
(sung to the tune of Rocky Mountain High)

He said he climbed fourteeners,
He claimed forty or some more,
He then walked that back
To a whole lot less than that.

And yet he has no proof of them,
No listing, no dates, no times
No partners, no one with photographs.

It’s the Colorado Rocky Mountain Lie,
Not even a very nice try,
Counting up fourteeners from forty thousand high,
Rocky Mountain Lie.

Paul Ryan’s Rocky Mountain Lie,
I’ve counted peaks from forty thousand high,
Surrogates and handlers, and everybody lies,
Rocky Mountain Lie,
Rocky Mountain Lie, Colorado
Rocky Mountain Lie, Colorado
Rocky Mountain Lie.

My first attempt as a lyricist, so it’s a bit rough. You musicians and creative types could surely do better and I encourage you to improve it or add your own verses.

Thanks to zBrown for the idea.



nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Nov 3, 2012 - 09:42am PT
bump to the top.

and since it's somewhat related... if i wanted to snowboard off of a 14er which ones might I look at?

and thanks for starting this up again, Rick.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Nov 3, 2012 - 09:44am PT
Thanks again Rick A. :)
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 09:46am PT
September 15, 2012

It has been 10 days since Paul Ryan was reported to be counting up fourteeners on the campaign plane with his brother and still the only official word is what was reported in the New York times article of September 7, 2012.

Still no other details, “no listing, no dates, no times,” in the words of the song. Here is the official statement.

Your article says he ‘climbed 40 of Colorado’s Fourteeners.’ I’m not sure what the source for that is, but we wanted to add a little nuance. Paul Ryan has made nearly 40 climbs on 28 different peaks. We wanted to clear up any confusion. Thanks!

A close reading of the wording of the official statement raises the question of whether there is more nuance being employed than is apparent at first glance? Here are some of the questions raised by the official statement.

• “ [N]early 40 climbs on 28 different peaks” is an interesting formulation that does not mention peaks over 14,000 feet at all. Could this possibly indicate that the official totals do not count fourteeners at all, but include lesser peaks? One would naturally infer from the context that the official statement means 40 climbs of fourteen thousand foot peaks on 28 different fourteen thousand foot peaks, but the statement says it is a “little nuance[d] , so I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the official statement includes peaks less than fourteen thousand feet. And this would be consistent with state GOP chairman Ryan Call’s walk-back of his August 11, 2012 statement from “40 of the state’s 53 peaks over 14,000 feet” to “a number of peaks”. Call, similarly, does not even mention fourteeners in his revised total either. If the official total is comprised of total peaks, not fourteen thousand foot peaks, that would be one nuance too far for me, and I would have to conclude that Ryan is engaged in intentional and scurrilous deception regarding his fourteeners.

• The 2009 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article makes clear that Ryan was talking about fourteen thousand foot peaks when he said, “So I think I’ve climbed like 28 (peaks), and I’ve done it 38 times, because I’ve done a number of them a few times. So I was, you know, kind of into that stuff.”

So let us assume that the official statement does refer to 40 climbs of fourteen thousand foot peaks on 28 different fourteen thousand foot peaks. This indicates that Ryan has made 12 repeated ascents of fourteen thousand foot peaks . That seems unusual in a fourteener collector. Repeating fourteeners does nothing to further the goal of checkng off 54 summits, the “holy grail of hiking” as the op-ed author Mr. Andrews put it. Taking your eyes off the prize of the ultimate fourteener goal seems a little out of character for a focused achiever in the “Atlas Shrugged” mold . Those repeats are a complete waste of time with respect to the Holy Grail. What fourteeners were so much fun that Ryan made 12 repeats of them? I’ve repeated Longs peak 5 or 6 times, but that is because it has superb technical rock climbs on the Diamond and other routes of interest. Compare the reasons for repeating Longs to the reasons for repeating a fourteener Ryan specifically states he has done like Shivano? Not so much, as far as interesting routes are concerned.

• That statement at the end of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel interview transcript on fourteeners, “So, I was, you know, kind of into that stuff,” is reminiscent of what Ryan said after his gross marathon exaggeration: “I was fast when I was younger, yeah..” Is this tendency to further explain an exaggeration after it is made a “tell” that indicates when Ryan bluffing about his athletic feats? Does he feel compelled to dispel any disbelief in a listener by volunteering an explanation for his amazing athletic numbers?

• The consensus of fourteener enthusiasts is that Mt. Evans and Pikes Peak don’t count if you achieved these ascents by driving up the paved roads to the summit. Some fourteener enthusiasts say that you must hike at least 3,000 feet of vertical to claim an ascent of these peaks . How much of these two did you actually hike?

Congressman Ryan:

Your boss, Mitt Romney has refused to produce more tax returns because he claims it would only give the press more opportunities to parse them and draw the wrong inferences from them. To allay this concern about producing your fourteener spreadsheet here, I propose a Supertopo fourteener truth commission made up of impartial Supertopo experts who would be tasked to investigate your claims and issue a non-partisan report. You know, sort of like the Simpson –Bowles deficit commission. The Supertopo fourteener commission would be guaranteed objectivity, because it would be made up only of those who don’t have a dog in the presidential fight, the Canuck contingent here on Supertopo. You are, of course familiar of Canada, Congressman, you can see it from Wisconsin.

I propose that the truth commission be chaired by two well respected Canadians who regularly post here, Mighty Hiker and Tami. The commission would be named the “Mighty-Tami Ryan Fourteener Truth Commission (MTRFTC).”

The MTRFTC would be charged with evaluating the truth of your fourteener claims and issuing a final report after its investigation is concluded. Maybe the talented Tami could be convinced to produce the conclusions of of the commission in cartoon form, using her amusing rat characters.
But Congressman, first you must produce the list of your fourteener ascents, so the truth commission can have access to the evidence which they can objectively evaluate. Please produce the spreadsheet for this purpose.

I propose that the commission have the final word on whether you have acted in accordance with the best traditions of the climbing honor system: being scrupulous in the self-reporting of ascents, or you are, in fact, a peak bagging poseur.


Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 09:49am PT
September 18, 2012

It has been fourteen days since the New York Times reported that Paul Ryan had consulted a list of Colorado fourteeners on his campaign plane in order to count his ascents.

Flying high above the Rocky Mountains on Wednesday, Representative Paul D. Ryan and his brother Tobin jogged their memories to complete a list of the 14,000-foot summits below them that the vice-presidential nominee had climbed.

“We did that one; we did that one,” they said, consulting a list of Colorado’s famed “Fourteeners.”

Because Paul Ryan has failed to make public his fourteener spreadsheet, the Supertopo Ryan Fourteener Truth Commission has applied to the court of appropriate jurisdiction to issue a subpoena to compel him to produce it here. The court has issued the subpoena and it is reproduced below:

To: Congressman Paul Ryan
From: the Colorado District Court of Mountain Climbing Opinion
Greetings:

You are hereby ordered to produce a list of all Colorado peaks over 14,000 feet that you have climbed, including, but not limited to, the following information: name of peak, date climbed, partners, elapsed time from car to car. You shall post this list on the “Paul Ryan has Climbed 40 of Colorado’s 14ers”on Supertopo.com no later than September 20, 2012.

Failure to comply may result in a default judgment by Colorado mountain climbers that you are a peak bagging poseur.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Nov 3, 2012 - 09:49am PT
I have an acquaintance who does the Lyin Ryan thing , lying about fake accomplishments to promote their self-esteem and self-image while attempting to cut to the head of the social ladder while pushing others back...In my opinion these imposters are thieves stealing the thunder of others who have actually accomplished the feats...Lyin Ryan has no integrity and should not be trusted...Rick...Are you still driving that pinto...?
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 09:55am PT
September 22, 2012

Thanks for the Slate article, Chiloe.

The article focuses on Ryan’s claim that he has 6% percent body fat and concludes that it is very likely to be false, since only elite, world class athletes measure this low. It is interesting to combine Ryan’s claims to have 6% body fat with his claims to mountain climbing prowess and ask the question, what does a 6% body fat mountain climber look like?

In rock climbing, the key to success is the strength to weight ratio, or grip strength to weight ratio, as has been established by studies of elite climbers. So, in rock climbing, low body fat is a practical advantage in climbing well and is not just braggadocio (although there is plenty of that in climbing). The article in Slate has a photo of Ryan without his shirt, and he certainly looks more fit than the average male of his age. But does he look like a mountain climber with 6% body fat?

For reference, those interested can view this old thread on Supertopo, which was started by the late, John Bachar, perhaps the best rock climber in the world in his day. The thread asked who was the most “ripped” climber (i.e., the one with the best muscle definition)? . It contains photos of what elite, low body fat mountain climbers, men and women, really look like. Does Paul Ryan resemble the bona fide climbers on this thread?

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=330933

Not so much.

Forty fourteeners is an impressive number to those who collect these peaks. That number makes for a very precise claim of mountain hiking achievement, akin to the level of detail that is expressed in a 2:50 marathon time. It seems that Ryan believes that the way to make a lie more believable is to tell the story accompanied by minute details, as this makes it seem more plausible.

Paul Ryan apparently believes that vague exaggerations of his athletic prowess in marathons, fourteeners, and body fat, are not sufficient for his purposes; he must impress his audiences with precise (but false) details of his supposed accomplishments (2:50 marathon time; forty fourteeners, 6% body fat).

The New York Times story by Trip Gabriel portrays Ryan as a neophyte on the national stage who is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, and described his discomfort at suddenly having his past statements, like his mountain climbing claims, parsed and analyzed.

Four weeks ago, no one would have questioned such a detail of Mr. Ryan’s résumé. But since he joined the Republican ticket, every scintilla of his life, every statement he has uttered has been open to inspection. His marathon claim was debunked by Runner’s World, hardly known for political investigations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/us/politics/paul-ryan-faces-scrutiny-over-marathon-and-mountain-claims.html

But it is really not that hard to have your past statements parsed, if you are, like most people, in the habit of telling the truth, rather than habitually varnishing it.

The body fat and marathon exaggerations could be shrugged off as irrelevant with respect to the political race (if it weren’t part of a larger pattern of mendacity). But not so the exaggeration of his fourteener climbs. It is not disputed that the fourteener claims were trumpeted by the Colorado GOP as a part of its Colorado political campaign, a campaign that sought to equate Obama and Biden’s failure to measure up to Paul Ryan’s fourteener prowess to a fundamental character flaw in the Democratic candidates .

Can you imagine Vice President Joe Biden even wanting, let alone being able, to stroll the Capitol knife edge? Or forging to the top of a "very rough and steep" Pyramid, with its "precariously poised rocks" warned of in the same guidebook?

I can't — and it's not just that Biden always has one foot in his mouth. Nor is it merely differing leisure preferences: golf greens for the presidential incumbent, boulder fields for the would-be veep. Rather the contrast goes to the core of what the men on these two tickets expect of themselves and what they believe free Americans are capable of.


Andrews: Paul Ryan, mountain man - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_21386184/paul-ryan-mountain-man#ixzz27D7sRhBD

So, the fourteener exaggeration is more significant than either the body fat or marathon exaggerations, because the GOP did not make these other fitness claims a major part of a swing state campaign. The Colorado GOP operatives who approved this strategy apparently didn’t vet their candidate’s fourteener claims, probably because it was inconceivable that their candidate would see fit to lie about this minor topic.

While no one in the media has pressed Ryan on his fourteener exaggeration, apparently accepting the campaign’s clumsy explanations at face value, at least we have heard nothing more of Ryan’s boasting about his Colorado mountain climbing prowess. The Colorado GOP campaign is maintaining strict radio silence on this since their “man to match my mountains” strategy crashed on takeoff, when the claims were questioned. For those of us in Colorado, this is a small favor, but we are immensely grateful for it.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Nov 3, 2012 - 09:58am PT
I know someone who has the same propensity to "stretch the truth". Best part of it is that this individual went to high school with Ryan. No shite! I hope it's not something in the water there.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 3, 2012 - 10:06am PT
Hey, who said you could post a climbing-related thread three days before the election?
Sparky

Trad climber
vagabond movin on
Nov 3, 2012 - 10:06am PT
Thank you for re-posting this! Really strange it was removed to begin with.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 10:08am PT
September 28, 2012

The Gazette: One thing that a lot of people who have been asking me about is the climbing thing that came up about a month ago. How many 14ers have you climbed?

Ryan: Go read Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He paraphrased a conversation we had three years ago, and that’s where the Internet thing got off. You read the transcript. That’s my answer.

The Gazette: Have you done Pike’s Peak?

Ryan: Yeah.

The Gazette: Do you remember when it was, how long it took you?

Ryan: Years ago. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. We’ve been coming out here, every year, my family, since I was a little kid. I’ve been doing this, I did it when I was in high school, I think.

The Gazette: Do you remember how long it took you?

Ryan: No, I’m not going to counter that. You’re just trying to play “gotcha.”

The Gazette: I’m not trying to play “gotcha,” it’s just something a lot of people have been asking me.

http://www.gazette.com/articles/colorado-145158-springs-cuts.html#ixzz27lqbzGji

We have to applaud the one intrepid reporter from the Colorado Springs Gazette who mustered up the courage to ask the key question, “How many 14ers have you climbed?”

But he was no match for an experienced political operator like Ryan. The candidate, schooled in the Gingrich tactic of attacking the press when an inconvenient question is asked, put the reporter on the defensive immediately with his “gothca” offensive.

And it worked. The reporter ran up the white flag immediately, halting his inquiry, and effectively apologizing for having the temerity to question the great and powerful wizard, Paul Ryan.

Woodward and Bernstein, it ain’t; but unfortunately, this sort of truckling to politicians is what we have come to expect from the modern fourth estate.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 10:15am PT
September 30, 2012

Paul Ryan was in Colorado last Wednesday, September 26, 2012, and a Colorado Springs Gazette reporter asked him, “How many 14ers have you climbed?”

Although the question calls for just a short answer, a number, in response, this is how Ryan responded:

Go read Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He paraphrased a conversation we had three years ago, and that’s where the Internet thing got off. You read the transcript. That’s my answer.

Here is the transcript from a 2009 inteview that Ryan refers to.

Ryan: “My mom was very outdoorsy … We spent our summers doing backpacking trips in the (Colorado) back-country, you know, Snowmass Lake, Capital Peak, spent all our summers doing that … went all over White River National Forest, just the whole Elk range. I mean I’ve climbed every fourteener in that range and the three around there … So I got into climbing fourteeners when I was 12, with my brother, Stan. My mom got us into that."

Question: "How many fourteeners have you climbed? Or how many times?"

Ryan: "38. I think that’s my last count."

Question: "Those are just climbing peaks that are 14,000 feet?"

Ryan: "I’ve done it 38 times. … I’ve done 38, but I think the number of unique peaks is something like twenty… no, no it’s like thirty or something like that. I counted it up a year or two ago."

Question: "Most of those in Colorado?"

Ryan: "All of them are in Colorado. So I think I’ve climbed like 28 (peaks), and I’ve done it 38 times, because I’ve done a number of them a few times. So I was, you know, kind of into that stuff.”

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/168696016.html
So Ryan now affirms that he has climbed 28 of the 54 fourteeners and, additionally, he has made 10 ascents of fourteeners that he had previously summited.

Every fourteener enthusiast I have ever talked to (they’re not hard to find; walk into any Denver area bar during the summer hiking season and you are likely to encounter several) loves nothing more than to describe about their list of ascents, the adventures that arise from those ascents, and to generally share their enthusiasm about the fourteener quest.

So Paul Ryan’s bizarre response does not inspire confidence in the veracity of his 2009 answers to Craig Gilbert’s questions. Remember, this is a guy who is not shy about drawing attention to his athletic achievements, his marathons, his body fat, his awesome gym workouts, etc. It is completelyout of character for this normally voluble politician--who loves to lecture audiences using power point-- to abruptly refuse to engage on this topic.

Here is the whole exchange about fourteeners with the Colorado Springs Gazette last Wednesday:

The Gazette: One thing that a lot of people who have been asking me about is the climbing thing that came up about a month ago. How many 14ers have you climbed?

Ryan: Go read Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He paraphrased a conversation we had three years ago, and that’s where the Internet thing got off. You read the transcript. That’s my answer.

The Gazette: Have you done Pike’s Peak?

Ryan: Yeah.

The Gazette: Do you remember when it was, how long it took you?

Ryan: Years ago. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. We’ve been coming out here, every year, my family, since I was a little kid. I’ve been doing this, I did it when I was in high school, I think.

The Gazette: Do you remember how long it took you?

Ryan: No, I’m not going to counter that. You’re just trying to play “gotcha.”

The Gazette: I’m not trying to play “gotcha,” it’s just something a lot of people have been asking me.

http://www.gazette.com/articles/colorado-145158-springs-cuts.html#ixzz27yLX69l6

It is not “gotcha” journalism for a Colorado Springs reporter to ask for details from the world’s most famous fourteener climber regarding his ascent of the local fourteener, Pikes Peak, which can be seen from that city.

Ryan doth protest to the Colorado Springs Gazette far too much. The only reasonable explanation for his inappropriate and cranky response is that he does not want to get into details, because he really hasn’t climbed 28 fourteeners (still a very impressive number: over halfway to the “holy grail” of 54). But he cannot retreat, because of the statements he made three years ago.

Experienced Colorado mountain climbers appreciate the value of a timely retreat back to the car, when confronted with the frequent and violent thunder storms that arise each summer. I expect that Ryan will eventually have to retreat from his suspect claim that he has climbed 28 fourteeners, plus an additional ten repeats of fourteeners previously climbed, but will it be in time to avoid falling off another reputational cliff ?
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 10:19am PT
September 30, 2012

Paul Ryan returned to Colorado this week and he now refuses to discuss the specific number of fourteeners he has climbed.

After praising Colorado's mountain beauty — and noting he has climbed many fourteener peaks — Ryan launched into a discussion to frame voters' choice.

Paul Ryan revs Colorado crowds - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_21639529?source=commented-#ixzz27lnYKBUs


A Colorado Springs reporter asked him how many fourteeners he had climbed, but Ryan evaded the question with the panache of a career politician:

The Gazette: One thing that a lot of people who have been asking me about is the climbing thing that came up about a month ago. How many 14ers have you climbed?

Ryan: Go read Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He paraphrased a conversation we had three years ago, and that’s where the Internet thing got off. You read the transcript. That’s my answer.

The Gazette: Have you done Pike’s Peak?

Ryan: Yeah.

The Gazette: Do you remember when it was, how long it took you?

Ryan: Years ago. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. We’ve been coming out here, every year, my family, since I was a little kid. I’ve been doing this, I did it when I was in high school, I think.

The Gazette: Do you remember how long it took you?

Ryan: No, I’m not going to counter that. You’re just trying to play “gotcha.”

The Gazette: I’m not trying to play “gotcha,” it’s just something a lot of people have been asking me.

Read more: http://www.gazette.com/articles/colorado-145158-springs-cuts.html#ixzz27lqbzGji

Probably the first time in the history of Colorado mountain climbing that this common and simple question, "How many 14ers have you climbed?" has been answered with the response, "read the transcript."
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2012 - 10:25am PT
[new post]

A few weeks ago, Ryan claimed that he had climbed “many fourteeners” during a campaign speech in Colorado.

While he declined to cite any numbers in that speech, Ryan contends that he has climbed 28 Colorado peaks over 14,000 feet and repeated 10 fourteener climbs for a total of 38 total trips to the summit of Colorado fourteeners. This is gleaned from his response to questions from a Colorado Springs reporter last week; it was during this interview that he told that reporter to “read the transcript.”

Ryan wants us to take his word on these totals and refuses to provide any substantiation of his claims. At the same time, he has asserted that it is a “gotcha” style, malicious press tactic for a reporter to ask him how long it took to climb Pikes Peak.

By Ryan’s rules, he can make whatever claims he wants to endear him to swing state voters, but it is verboten to ask him for facts supporting those claims.

Here are some questions that should be asked, in spite of Ryan’s take on what constitutes a proper question for a reporter to ask.

• It has been reported that Pyramid is one of your favorite fourteeners. Which route did you climb on Pyramid? There are only two recommended summer routes on that peak and both are dangerously loose. Did you pull off any of the infamous rubble on this peak when you climbed it? Any route finding issues as many have experienced?

• The knife edge ridge on Capitol is awesome isn’t it? Did you hand traverse the ridge or walk it like Crimpergirl illustrated in the photograph on the original post?

• Did you drive up Pikes Peak or hike up it?

• You claim that you have made 10 repeats of fourteeners you previously climbed. Which fourteeners were so much fun that you felt compelled to repeat them, rather than focus on the “holy grail” of hiking all 54 summits over 14,000 feet?

• What peaks other than all of those in the Elks range and Pikes Peak have you climbed? Did you ever get scared climbing these “perilous…slag heaps,” as one guidebook writer characterized the Elks?

• You are clearly very proud of your fourteener climbs and and your claim to have climbed them is a part of your Colorado campaign. Why do you refuse to talk about the details of those climbs?

• When you were in Colorado campaigning a few weeks ago, you said in your speech that you had climbed “many fourteeners.” Why should anyone believe this claim to outdoor achievement, when your claim to have run a marathon under three hours has proven to be false?
east side underground

climber
Hilton crk,ca
Nov 3, 2012 - 10:39am PT
hey rotting johnny, are you talking about the tip roll I did into Werners? Dude it was rad..........eyeeeeeeeee!
Gene

climber
Nov 3, 2012 - 10:43am PT
To have climbed forty and not be a resident means that you would have had to devote entire summers to climbing fourteeners, in essence becoming a "lifestyle" hiker/scrambler. I doubt Ryan had the time or dedication to fourteeners to take the required time out from his political career. Even if you did four a summer, that would be ten summers devoted to traveling to Colorado for the purpose of high altitude hiking. Even if you live here and can drive to the trail heads, forty is a huge commitment of time and energy.


Isn't this Rick's statement? Google it. It has better legs than Ryan.

g
John M

climber
Nov 3, 2012 - 10:47am PT
Wow Rick, Thank you for reposting this. It would be great to find out why that thread was completely deleted. Deleting the first post would not do that.


The GOP.. Honor And Integrity Personified.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Nov 3, 2012 - 10:51am PT
Credit: Crimpergirl

Reposted since the first thread vaporized. Look! Even a girl with more than 6% body fat can do it!
gf

climber
Nov 3, 2012 - 10:54am PT
crimpie -planning on doing your laundry on the summit on that washboard?
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 3, 2012 - 11:02am PT
As long as this is being reconstructed, as I recall one of my contributions was to label Ryan's claim The Rocky Mountain Lie.

oh yeah and


Some people say a lie's a lie's a lie
But I say why
Why deny the obvious child?
Why deny the obvious child?




zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 3, 2012 - 11:14am PT
When the Romney/Ryan campaign walked it back, it became nearly 40 climbs (read hikes, doesn't say he reached any summits).

Brendan Buck, a Romney campaign staffer, sent the following email to Fallows


"Hey James - caught your entertaining piece. Unfortunately, you've got some bad info in there. We're not sure where this started, but he's not said 40 different peaks, its nearly 40 climbs - with a number of peaks climbed more than once. He's been doing them for more than 20 years. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article from '09 doesn't say 40 separate summits, but instead, 'He is fairly careful about what he eats, performs an intense cross-training routine known as P90X most mornings, and has made close to 40 climbs of Colorado's 'Fourteeners' (14,000-foot peaks).'"

goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Nov 3, 2012 - 12:07pm PT
It's funny some of you old farts treat this place like some sort of golden chalice where everything you say is being keep away for future generations. This website is meant to sell guidebooks to mouth breathers getting into the sport, nothing more, nothing less.

Cmac doesn't owe you anything, you are here via free will to spray about whatever you want EXCEPT shít that might get Cmac into trouble.
Get over your little bullshit drama of whatever Ryan did or not do, the rest of the voting population could care less.

PS: this is coming from someone who has hiked & climbed all CO 14ers and skied 42 of them & voting for Obama.

Seriously get outside and get over your selfs .
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Nov 3, 2012 - 12:29pm PT
goatsez go outside
goatsez go outside
Credit: Fatfraud
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 3, 2012 - 12:55pm PT
It's funny some of you old farts treat this place like some sort of golden chalice where everything you say is being keep away for future generations.

It is. It's already inspiring us in this current day and age and hopefully will inspire others...

Hey Goat what happened to you on the Kovar thread??????
locker

Social climber
Nov 3, 2012 - 01:04pm PT


"PS: this is coming from someone who has hiked & climbed all CO 14ers and skied 42 of them & voting for Obama."...

and you also did Lucille...

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/lucille/105760437

Right???...

;-)

Sparky

Trad climber
vagabond movin on
Nov 3, 2012 - 01:56pm PT
It's funny some of you old farts treat this place like some sort of golden chalice where everything you say is being keep away for future generations. This website is meant to sell guidebooks to mouth breathers getting into the sport, nothing more, nothing less.

It may have been meant to only sell guidebooks...but this virtual community has forced me to think more for myself than any other site I've been. I rarely post but over the years have studiously read very interesting ideas of current events. This site is MORE than just selling guidebooks. You very well know that. More than likely, that was not the intention...but the Taco is a wonderful place where censorship really jeopardizes its true value. CMac can do what he pleases but this campfire is bigger than all of us. The climbing porn is pretty sweet too!
boognish

Trad climber
SLC
Nov 3, 2012 - 02:20pm PT
I am not Ryan supporter. I think he is bat sh#t crazy and has been caught lying and stretching the truth on multiple occasions. I am about as much of a wacky liberal as you could find; however, I am having a hard time piling onto the 14er naysayer band wagon.

I lived in CO most of the 90’s. For a few years I was really into hiking and scrambling the 14ers. Even at that time I could not have told you how many I had climbed or how many repeats I had done. I just wanted to find cool routes and fun snow board descents. Now I would guess I have done close to 20, maybe up to half of the peaks. I did repeats on quite a few, either turned back before the summit, different routes, different seasons or with a different group that wanted to do a particular hike. I might be able to get a close tally if I had my guide books open, but probably not with just a list of peak names. I don’t see it as unusual if someone could not remember the exact number of summits they had done over a much longer period going back to when they were fairly young. I don’t think it is that extreme to think someone could rack up 30 peaks without a serious effort. Some of the hikes are pretty short, or the summits are close enough that you can tag 2 or 3 in a day. If you spent a week a summer in CO for 10 years and went for 2 long hikes per year you could get up quite a few mountains. Especially if you went for the trade routes on the easy peaks.

I am sure some on this site can remember how many routes in Yosemite they have done, and even move by move beta through a crux. I have completed climbs and gone to mark a comment in my guide book only to see I had done it a year or two before. These things just don't stick in my brain that well.

My gut tells me that Paul is exaggerating his numbers a bit, and trying to change his story now, but not every person who has hiked a 14er in CO can recount the exact total.

PS. I voted early for Obama yesterday. Hopefully be next weekend this really won't matter.
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 3, 2012 - 02:21pm PT
Some guy at the SuperTopo forum has a closer look at the peaks Ryan claimed to have mastered:

Ryan told me last week that Capitol and nearby Pyramid Peak (14,018 feet) are his favorite climbs so far.

This is an excerpt from the Denver Post opinion piece on Ryan that discussed his claim of climbing 40 Colorado fourteeners. (...)

Capitol Peak's famous "Knife Ridge", a solid but exposed third/fourth class ridge, is a negligible passage for an experienced rock climber, but would be formidable and very scary for a non-climber. When I climbed it with a very fit partner, but who had little rock climbing experience, I brought a nine mil rope and some nuts and belayed across it. I haven't done Pyramid, but Dawson's authoritative guide cautions about tricky route finding and extremely loose rock. The consensus is that Pyramid and Capitol are two of the most dangerous fourteeners, and this is especially true for novices.

Since the Romney/Ryan campaign has chosen to make his fourteener claims a central part of their campaign to win the state's electoral votes by portraying him as a Coloradan at heart and not really a "flatlander," some climbing fact checking is in order. With whom did he climb them? Was he guided on any of them (this would be prudent on Pyramid and Capitol for any novice)?.

What out-of-state fourteener enthusiast would climb these routes without a camera? It would be highly unusual if there were not photos of him standing triumphantly on Capitol and Pyramid (his "favorite climbs"), if he in fact climbed them as is claimed.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1905949&tn=0&mr=0



from here

http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=4785636&page=



donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 3, 2012 - 02:33pm PT
Good to have this back....Ryan is a douchebag and a liar. If this thread gets deleted you will never see me here again.
boognish

Trad climber
SLC
Nov 3, 2012 - 02:39pm PT
So I just did a count of the peaks I could remember climbing from an internet list and got 16 peaks. Then I dug out an old guidebook and had 24 checked. I could not even remember where La Plata peaks was, but once I looked it up in my old Dawson’s guide I remembered that the Ellingwood ridge was about the scariest think I had ever done. I almost got run over by an elk doing the approach through the forest before sunrise.

With camera phones and digital images I would be surprised if someone summited today without a picture. Being a broke Boulder burner in the 90’s, I know that after paying to develop a few rolls of crappy mountain pictures that all looked the same I either forgot to pack a camera or didn’t want the weight on a lot of the peaks. A lot of those pictures have probably been lost during moves by now.

Does every Yosemite climber have a picture from every route they climbed? Once I got a digital camera I probably do, but not when film and developing was expensive.
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Nov 3, 2012 - 03:33pm PT
Bump

March on Rick.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Nov 3, 2012 - 03:36pm PT
I don't think I've climbed more than about 14 of the 14ers, and would struggle to write down the whole list -- most were a long time ago.

But if a reporter asked me to talk about some of the best or worst, I'd be delighted start in. Wouldn't most of us? Ryan's unwillingness to give any details at all -- "read the transcript" -- strikes such a false note.

On Mt. Sneffels and Castle Peak back in 1967:



zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 3, 2012 - 04:15pm PT
Mt. Elbert (14,433 - second highest peak continental US) is accessible via a trail that can be run (round trip about 7 miles).





So since Mr. Ryan can do 7 minute miles on the flat for 3 hours, then how many times could he run up Mr. Elbert in a day?

If he averaged 12 minutes per mile.
He could have slammed out 17 of his peaks in one 24 hour stretch.
Two days of this and he's got 34 in the bag.


Wait, I think this is him




Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 3, 2012 - 05:44pm PT
Have you climbed as many fourteeners as Paul Ryan?” a reporter asked Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter. The Golden Democrat said he has not

I suspect I have, but we'll never know. I'd be really surprised if he's run as many of them as I have.

But, as a non collector, like him, I dont have photos or records, of most of them.
But I do have on from the summit of my third (longs, keyhole up, cables down) when I was thirteen.

Edit: technical difficulties, I've posted the photo before here. I thought it was in the taco library. But it must be on photobucket, which I am searching, on and off on my phone. Will get it there eventually


......or it's a conspiracy......
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 3, 2012 - 06:19pm PT
jaybro (hint - the photo isn't showing up).

bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
Nov 3, 2012 - 06:23pm PT
CMac is making a fortune getting paid off with campaign funds to Bury these threads
Phantom X

Trad climber
Honeycomb Hideout
Nov 3, 2012 - 06:33pm PT
Paul Ryan has downgraded Super Chicken to 5.6 and will chop any bolts added by Rick A.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Nov 3, 2012 - 06:43pm PT
Rick A? Who's that?

Never heard of him...
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 3, 2012 - 07:00pm PT

Great song, Rick!
(but I still can't sing). . .

:-)
Hawkeye

climber
State of Mine
Nov 3, 2012 - 07:01pm PT
wow, this thread is pathetic! you guys should be proud of the most pathetic f*#king losers that ever graced the intardnet! way to go.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 3, 2012 - 07:53pm PT
hey there say, rick... thanks for sharing--very interesting to hear all the climber news on this...
you all have walked the walk--well--climbed the climbs, better said...learned a lot from all you all, as to the climbing world...

say, chiloe, as to this picture, GREAT picture, thanks for sharing...
:)

On Mt. Sneffels and Castle Peak back in 1967
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 3, 2012 - 09:43pm PT
Update: I found the photo of my dad and I on top of longs, but photobucket is being pissy about letting me post it here . I did get it onto my phone And Facebook.
I think the Romney machine is behind it

Photo is here;
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=174114&tn=0
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Nov 3, 2012 - 10:06pm PT
I can talk for a day about any 14er I have ever climbed
Elbert and the mountain next to it in Colorado, Whitney, Shasta, The Eiger, The Monc, Towers on Mont Blanc, Mount Kala Patar.

Jeepers that is only 9 summits - lol - and I have climbed 100s of mountains and thousands of routes.
Got to get my 14 numbers up man.
As well as my 6000 and 7000 meter peak numbers up.

philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Nov 4, 2012 - 03:46am PT
wow, this thread is pathetic! you guys should be proud of the most pathetic f*#king losers that ever graced the intardnet! way to go.

Well since CockEye has barfed in this thread now has the stench of the pathetic.

What's the matter, your cod piece too big for your teeny package. If you loathe this thread so much why post to it? Now that is pathetic. You are an arrogantly opinionated pathetic little man.


What exactly didn't President Obama do for you to make you such a bitter boi? Were you unaware that he was a bit occupied saving America from the disastrous eight years of Bushboi's neo-con agenda?


CockEye's ST contributions; No trip reports, no climbing photos, no climbing related posts, no substance. His cause celebre' seems to be Obama Bashing. And yet he feels we are pathetic.



steve shea

climber
Nov 4, 2012 - 08:35am PT
Rick, you must be an attorney. Thanks for reupping this. I did not know what the fuss was about, now I do. I do not usually read political threads. Just remember everyone Ryan also believes a child born of rape is a gift from god. That is a disqualifier right there.
locker

Social climber
Nov 4, 2012 - 08:39am PT


"remember everyone Ryan also believes a child born of rape is a gift from god."...


What???...

Has everyone forgotten that it's not the "GIFT" that counts...

It's the THOUGHT behind it...

GEEZ!!!...

zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 4, 2012 - 08:45am PT
Wait a minute, I don't see Ryan in there anywhere.



Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Nov 4, 2012 - 09:00am PT
Do we really have to pollute this thread with off topic BS
It's about Ryan and how he can lie about anything.
And why was the Original thread deleted...
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Nov 4, 2012 - 09:23am PT
Jim D said:
"Good to have this back....Ryan is a douchebag and a liar. If this thread gets deleted you will never see me here again."

I'm giving Cmac the benefit of the doubt till he says otherwise. It's damned unique and strange that the "Paul Ryan is a liar" thread got totally erased right before the election. However, all the speculation and blame laid on Chris's door is wrong. Who's to say that some young Republican staffer didn't hack in and make it disappear? This sites always had minimal moderating. This thread pretty much proves it, it's got all kinds of crazy topics which have nothing to do with climbing going on all the times mixed in with some great climbing stuff.


The where did the thread go link: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1973161&tn=0&mr=0

The actual link of that original thread after being wiped out: http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1905949/Paul-Ryan-has-Climbed-40-of-Colorados-14ers
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 4, 2012 - 09:50am PT
What handsome men in that photo!
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 4, 2012 - 09:54am PT
About as Credible as his 2:50 Marathon

Wait a minute, are calling Paul Ryan the Rosie Ruiz of 14ers? lol
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 4, 2012 - 03:50pm PT
Rosie Ruiz? She was relatively unsophisticated. Check out this article on a guy who is suspected of cheating in marathons, but how he does it, no one has figured out.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/08/06/120806fa_fact_singer

Kind of pathetic really.

Love this quote about how the cheater was discovered through internet running message boards:

Not long after McGrath began his research, he decided to go public, sort of. His medium was LetsRun, a Web site devoted to news about élite track and distance running. One of LetsRun’s salient features is its “World Famous Message Boards,” where most participants use pseudonyms, and the content quality runs the expected gamut (factual, analytical, sophomoric, inanely combative).
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 5, 2012 - 08:38am PT
Bumping this thread to counter the mysterious disappearance of mountain climbing/political content on the eve of the election.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Nov 5, 2012 - 08:54am PT
Speaking of credibility, the deep scrubbing of the original thread heard round the world brings SuperTopo's credibility into question. And quite rightly so.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Nov 5, 2012 - 08:58am PT
Another Ryan Lie

that lowering taxes will bring about economic growth and help pay down the National debt

How are you going to pay down the debt with less money?
oh yeah, it's the trickle down theory that has always never worked

---
another lie
He's saving Medicare!
By making it into a voucher system
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Nov 5, 2012 - 08:59am PT
Paul Lyin' Ryan, all widow's peak and peak bragging- no peak bagging.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 5, 2012 - 09:57am PT
If the electoral votes tie at 269 we get Romney but no Ryan!
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Nov 5, 2012 - 10:22am PT
Rick, Thanks for re-posting this (which I had missed the first time around).

The crux is:

The Ryan campaign attempted to use the Colorado 14ers in a very political (and cynical) manner to burnish Ryan's credentials in a key battleground state.

When these claims were seriously questioned (something that Ryan's campaign didn't anticipate), there was a major attempt to re-write, retract, cover-up and obfuscate.

While no-one really cares whether Ryan has climbed 3 or 40 Colorado 14ers ** (his absolutely primeval policy stances are what really concerns me), Ryan's boosters are right -- this issue says a lot about his character.

** I've only done 1 (Longs Peak)

John Butler

Social climber
SLC, Utah
Nov 5, 2012 - 10:24am PT
I really have nothing to add... but feel compelled to have at least one post on the the BEST SUPERTOPO POLITICAL THREAD EVER...

:-)

ymmv,
jb
Chim-Chim

climber
Nov 5, 2012 - 10:29am PT
Did he sign the registers at the summits of all the rad peaks he walked up. He's a piece of Mitt wrapped renus butter.
Whoever deleted this thread can't handle the truth that's why they destryoyed it. Censorship of any kind is wrong and un'american. It's strange though that there was political ads supporting The Romney?Ryan ticket right here on Supertopo... I hateed lookig at it but free speech and all... Dan
Hawkeye

climber
State of Mine
Nov 5, 2012 - 10:42am PT
The Eiger, The Monc,

riley congrats on these summits....Eiger is 13,025 ft, Monch is 13,474 per wikipedia. not a big deal, but if ryan included 13ers as 14ers like you just did i am sure that all you puritans would crap all over him as a lier....
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Nov 5, 2012 - 11:46am PT
I buy the notion that integrity matters. You should represent your achievements accurately. I like Rick.

However, to ask for a log with all sorts of statistics - that is so foreign to me. I realize that a faction of the climbing world keeps that type of data. Many of us mere mortals simply don't keep such detailed logs. I climbed the Grand Teton - not a 14ner - while pregnant in 1992. I have no photos as I lost the camera prior to reaching the lower saddle. I didn't even look for the summit register as a lightening storm was rapidly approahcing. I can't tell you the exact date I summitted, though I can describe the week and weather in a lot of detail. I can't give you the exact dates that I attempted Shasta, climbed Whitney, Rainier, ......I've climbed a few peaks many times, and don't keep any log of that.

As a younger woman I kept detailed records of running from every training run to every race with copious notes. The record keeping suddenly stops when I got hurt. I still run almost daily and I still race and do marathons. I can't tell you how many 3rd place tropies I have.

People do try to make connections with various groups of enthusiasts. I don't require proof or statistics to qualify you as someone who is also a climber, mountaineer, runner, skier, etc. If you want to take the first place trophy, don't pull a Rosie Ruiz. I don't really care if you have climbed 5 peaks or 50 peaks. That qualifies you as someone who has been in the mountains.

Not all people who have been in the mountains thinks alike. My vote isn't given to the person best qualified for the job of governing in a very divided and difficult political climate.

Of course, I haven't seen the public discussion going on in Colorado. It seems very strange to me. From afar, the candidate needs to impress me on a different dimension than athletic accomplishment to earn my vote.
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
Nov 5, 2012 - 12:29pm PT
This thread is amazing.
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 5, 2012 - 12:41pm PT
Well, I was just thinking.

If Paul Ryan did do all those peaks or some subset of them, did he use EPO? Would it be OK, since he's not a professtional? Where did he get it? Was he sponsored? Can his titles be taken?



Could this be Paul Ryan?



Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Nov 5, 2012 - 02:39pm PT
I've been hard at work to do all the 14ers in California
My total "10", after 40 years of work,
and not sure I'll ever get to check another one off.

I can remember everything about each one of them
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Nov 5, 2012 - 02:44pm PT
Eiger is 13,025 ft, Monch is 13,474 per wikipedia. not a big deal, but if ryan included 13ers as 14ers like you just did i am sure that all you puritans would crap all over him as a lier....

Hmm, good job on those stats!!
I was thinking they were 14,000ers but i guess they are only 4000 meter peaks...Not sure if i ever did convert. 4000 meter is like the 14,000 of Europe..
Good to call me on it!!
i didnt remember the Monc was higher either.

But not analogous - Ryan refused to talk about any of his climbs and showed absolutely no knowledge.

Difference between a mistake and a lie. My information is wide open for assessment. Even this wouldn't have mattered by Ryan's history wasn't filled with lies. I dont think any of us have an issue giving him 10,000 foot peaks - but he hasn't climbed sh#t. He did some hiking as a kid and somewhere in the last 20 years he liked the idea of climbing 40 14ers and so he adopted it as his accomplishment.
I know liars like this - i know them very well.

My point was I have climbed a lot - lifestyle - and I can still tell you piece by piece every 14,000er or 4000 meter climb i have done.


full disclosure - i don't think i got to 14,000 on the towers on Mount Blanc either - maybe just 13 somthing

but Kala Patar is 18,500 yayayaya

seamstress - maybe not a log or photo album - how about 1 pic from 40 climbs?


zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 5, 2012 - 03:28pm PT
I've been hard at work to do all the 14ers in California
My total "10", after 40 years of work,
and not sure I'll ever get to check another one off.

So ... that's one every four years or one in forty years. What's your best marathon time?

Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Nov 5, 2012 - 03:37pm PT

Is that Lyin Ryan on the summit?
..
..
..
Nope, guess not, what I thought was a sedan chair is just a boulder.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Nov 5, 2012 - 04:19pm PT
I posted a TR about my Whitney debacle, complete with pictures. I have summitted Rainier twice - the second time on my 50th birthday, June 26, 2007. I couldn't tell you the first time without spending a few hours looking through files. Can't tell you the date I summitted Evans. Most of my climbing records consist of month and year for the first time I attempted a climb, then a note on lead, toproute, dogged, stick clipped, grudge, or other term to describe of success/failure. I might subsequently note when I finally did it free, and the style may still have been completely laughable. My best marathon was 3:10:06 sometime in the 1990's - one of my Boston marathons.

Perhaps I am just not as compulsive about these things, and therefore I don't care if someone has climbed 1 or 40 14ners. It doesn't qualify them for office.

I would much rather dwell on the public legislative, service, and professional record when determining who I vote for. I don't care if they are Catholic, Mormon, a climber, a runner, a smoker, married, divorced, etc. All people are imperfect. I have no one issue litmus test. I pay much more attention to what people actually did.

And unfortunately neither ticket presented me with a perfect candidate for President and Vice President. I feel much like the 60 Minutes piece showed yesterday - very disappointed that the parties will not work together for the common good. If I have a litmus test, that would be it. Show me that you dwelled on what you can do and that you will work across the aisle for the benefit of the country and not just your party. Can you have a conversation about the issues without labelling everything as Democrat or Republicn? Where is the win-win? Why is everything a win-lose proposition?

Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 6, 2012 - 08:07am PT
Bump, because we should not tolerate censorship, even on the playground of Supertopo.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 6, 2012 - 09:32am PT
Malemute,
that looks like a late summer aerial shot of Longs.

Pretty cool!
(too bad it wasn't taken a couple hours earlier)
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Nov 6, 2012 - 05:01pm PT
I failed twice on Polonium
They weren't really fails, I just decided not to go for it,
Since I was too old or something, I forgot
Don't bring it up again!!!
Please


14ers are harder than they sound
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 11, 2012 - 09:41am PT
For those of you who dismiss the deleted thread as having no impact on the presidential race, let's consider the facts. They demonstrate otherwise.

Google "Paul Ryan mountain man" and you get 23.5 million results; google "Paul Ryan mountain climbing lies" and you get 1.1 million results.

Here is a sampling of hundreds of sources that cited--directly or indirectly-- the conversation on the original, mysteriously deleted thread, "Paul Ryan has climbed 40 of Colorado's fourteeners."

The Atlantic Monthly , where respected journalist James Fallows quoted extensively from the thread:

A crucial "will it matter?" factor is whether this proves to be one embarrassing but isolated glitch, or whether the new scrutiny it provokes will turn up other, similar problems. I have argued that on big questions of public policy, Ryan showed impressive sangfroid in standing before a national audience at the convention saying things he knew would be easy to attack. But I've known of no other indications of personal whoppers like the marathon.

Here's the first exception. Ryan has told his hometown paper that he has climbed "close to 40" of the famous "Fourteeners" in Colorado -- the 54 peaks more than 14,000 feet high. In fairness, he made this claim a few years ago, before he knew he would be under the scrutiny he is now.

Still: this claim makes me even more suspicious than his marathon answer did. I know nothing about mountain climbing, so give my views appropriate weight. But to see what people who do have experience think, you might check out the current comments at the climbers' site SuperTopo. One explains the reason for his skepticism:

The 54 peaks are scattered throughout remote parts of Colorado and you have to visit out-of-the-way little towns and valleys to tick the list, towns and valleys that you would never visit otherwise....

To have climbed forty and not be a resident means that you would have had to devote entire summers to climbing fourteeners, in essence becoming a "lifestyle" hiker/scrambler. I doubt Ryan had the time or dedication to fourteeners to take the required time out from his political career. Even if you did four a summer, that would be ten summers devoted to traveling to Colorado for the purpose of high altitude hiking. Even if you live here and can drive to the trail heads, forty is a huge commitment of time and energy.

This reader then quoted an admiring DenverPost.com op-ed about Ryan, from someone who believed the "about 40" claim:

Why does it matter that Paul Ryan is a mountain man, at home above timberline on the fourteeners? Because there is no better index of character. It tells of someone's backbone under pressure, resourcefulness in facing adversity, and trustworthiness for power. Conservative or liberal isn't the point. The high peaks simply test your mettle. Declinists and defeatists need not apply.

The skeptical climber replied:

Why does it matter that Paul Ryan--as seems likely in light of his marathon fabrication--is not a "mountain man" and is lying about his fourteener record? Because there is no better index of character. It tells of someone's desperation to connect to the voters of a swing state, his ability to make stuff up without conscience, and ruthless ambition to obtain power through any means. It also indicates his contempt for the citizens of Colorado. He apparently believes that Colorado voters are clueless and that the press is a lapdog that has lost any ability to check facts. Dedicated hikers, scramblers, climbers, hunters, fishermen and other aficionados of the Colorado high peaks do not need to exaggerate their visceral connection to the Colorado high country and need not apply to become a faux mountain man, like Paul Ryan.

As I understand it, mountain-climbing is like marathon-running in this way: people pay enough attention to their achievements that they remember the details, and they know that they are written down somewhere. Lists of who has climbed which "Fourteener," like lists of finishers and their times for marathons, are part of the permanent record of each pursuit. As with his marathon time, this is so specifically impressive a claim that it should be very easy to back up and dismiss doubts about**. If it is true.

If not, this is trouble.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/paul-ryan-mountaineer/261904/

The New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/us/politics/paul-ryan-faces-scrutiny-over-marathon-and-mountain-claims.html

The New Yorker magazine:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/09/paul-ryan-master-of-the-land.html

gawker:

http://gawker.com/5940781/is-paul-ryan-lying-about-climbing-40-mountains-too-what-is-his-deal

British newspaper, the Daily Mail:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2199140/Did-Paul-Ryan-lie-climbing-40-mountains-Scepticism-grows-Romneys-running-mate-admitted-shaving-hour-marathon-time.html

international business times:

http://www.ibtimes.com/paul-ryan-lying-about-being-mountain-climber-well-marathon-runner-779309

The Romney/Ryan campaign took time out from the early days of the Ryan campaign to respond to the fourteener controversy. Certainly, the Ryan campaign took the thread seriously, since it saw fit to respond to Fallows within one hour of his blog post.

The New York times article by Trip Gabriel demonstrated that the Ryan campaign was worried enough to allow a reporter to witness Ryan and his brother counting up the fourteeners on the campaign plane, in an attempt to try to innoculate itself against the internet virus portraying Ryan as one who has little regard to the truth.

The original theme of the Colorado Ryan campaign touted his forty fourteeners and sought to portray Ryan as a man to match the Colorado mountains. This clearly was an orchestrated campaign, planned by top Republican state officials, including the chairman of the Colorado GOP campaign.

Paul Ryan was announced as the VP candidate on August 10, 2012. State GOP chairman Ryan Call kicked off the Colorado campaign on August 11, 2012 in an interview in the Denver Post when he sought to portray Ryan as a mountain man because of his forty fourteener ascents.

Colorado Republican Party chairman Ryan Call said Ryan is a humble, religious family man whose goal is to reduce federal spending, the national debt and the role of government.

"I think it's exciting. I think it's bold. I think it's inspirational," he said of Romney's choice of a running mate.
Ryan has been a leader who has attracted bipartisan support for meaningful reforms, Call said.

Claims by Democrats about his economic plans are intended to "scare seniors" and are "downright dishonest and disingenuous."
In truth, Obama was the one who has cut hundreds of billions from Medicare since he was elected, Call said.

"I think (Ryan) is a really good choice," said former Republican Gov. Bill Owens. "Paul Ryan has been such a leader in warning us we're headed over a fiscal cliff."

Call said he has met Ryan, who told him he has climbed nearly 40 of Colorado's 53 fourteeners, or mountains above 14,000 feet in elevation.
"I think he appreciates the beauty of Colorado," he said.

Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli said Ryan's ultra-athletic and outdoors lifestyle is in sync with Coloradans and that part of his background will attract state voters.

"He is immediately going to add enthusiasm to the camp of the Republican ticket," Ciruli said. "This will help reframe the debate to the budget, spending and the national debt."

Colorado pundits react to Mitt Romney's choice for running mate - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/nationalpolitics/ci_21291876/colorado-pundits-react-mitt-romneys-choice-running-mate#ixzz2Bvk4ptvU

Then on August 26, 2012, former Colorado state senate president, Jon Andrews, wrote the histrionic op-ed piece in the Denver Post that continued the campaign to portray Ryan as a Colorado "mountain man".

Add to this the hard-charging congressman's love for the Colorado high country (he has climbed 28 of the state's 54 peaks over 14,000 feet) and you have the most potentially transformative VP selection since President William McKinley put Theodore Roosevelt on the ticket in 1900. (Not the genteel Roosevelt, squire of Hyde Park, but his "strenuous life" cousin who ranched in Dakota and hunted bear in Glenwood Springs.)

Why does it matter that Paul Ryan is a mountain man, at home above timberline on the fourteeners? Because there is no better index of character. It tells of someone's backbone under pressure, resourcefulness in facing adversity, and trustworthiness for power. Conservative or liberal isn't the point. The high peaks simply test your mettle. Declinists and defeatists need not apply. Excuses are for flatlanders.

Describing the summit approach for Capitol Peak near Aspen (14,130 feet), the Colorado Mountain Club guidebook says with jaunty understatement: "Scramble around a pinnacle or two, stroll along the knife edge," and you're there. Ryan told me last week that Capitol and nearby Pyramid Peak (14,018 feet) are his favorite climbs so far.

Can you imagine Vice President Joe Biden even wanting, let alone being able, to stroll the Capitol knife edge? Or forging to the top of a "very rough and steep" Pyramid, with its "precariously poised rocks" warned of in the same guidebook?

Andrews: Paul Ryan, mountain man - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_21386184/paul-ryan-mountain-man#ixzz2BvmL7WHW

There is a suspicion that whoever started the deleted Supertopo thread was a Republican social media activist and that the thread was part of the GOP campaign. The thread was started, soon after Ryan was announced, by a poster who was new to Supertopo, and who has never posted any climbing content, to anyone's recollection.

After the deleted thread got traction over the internet with its suggestion that Ryan lied about climbing fourteeners, the theme of Paul Ryan, mountain man, was abandoned. Ryan brought up fourteeners only briefly in his Colorado campaign appearances after this and never mentioned the claimed number of 40 fourteeners again.

The thread on Supertopo acted as a fact check of Paul Ryan's exaggerated mountain climbing claims and exposed Ryan as a peak bagging poseur to hundreds of thousands, according to the google results totals.

So the facts demonstrate that the deleted thread did have an impact on the Romney/Ryan campaign by (1) helping to define Ryan early in his campaign as one who lied, not only in his speeches, but also about his athletic feats (2) stopping in its tracks the original campaign in swing state Colorado that sought to show a Ryan connection to Colorado through his fourteener claims; and (3) forcing the candidate to take time out from early campaigning to respond to the growing understanding that he habitually varnished the truth.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Nov 11, 2012 - 09:46am PT
Well done Rick, very well done.
dave goodwin

climber
carson city, nv
Nov 11, 2012 - 09:52am PT
Credit: dave goodwin
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Nov 11, 2012 - 09:52am PT
Sounds like perfect material for a Rolling Stone article.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Nov 11, 2012 - 10:06am PT
Great job Rick! Much thanks for taking the time to put this all together for a second time.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 11, 2012 - 10:28am PT

And of course, this morning's Denver Post says Ryan is probably
in the running (scoff) as the Repugnicrat presidential candidate in
2016. I wonder if the 6(0)% bodyfat in his head will change by then. . .
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Nov 11, 2012 - 10:39am PT
^^^ Exactly why this story should be investigated ^^^

And likely why the thread vanished

It may seem petty in relation to national politics and their worldwide implications, but put it this way - if Karl Rove had something like this to work with, he could ruin any politician's future.
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 11, 2012 - 12:01pm PT
bump
gf

climber
Nov 11, 2012 - 01:19pm PT
Excellent work Rick, allow me to commend your efforts at documenting both the lies of Mr Ryan and what appears to be censoring of the same.
jstan

climber
Nov 11, 2012 - 01:27pm PT
In 2016 Hillary Clinton will be one year younger than was Reagan when he was first elected. Since she will also outlive him by twenty years, age is not an issue. By 2016 the republicans will have completed their present effort and will have adopted fully the Democratic platform. The task for the two will be to defeat the Tea Bags. The, now named "TB's/To Be's" will be hard to beat because they will have adopted a snappy brown uniform. Once elected Hillary will appoint Paul Krugman Secretary of the Treasury and TB's will be wiped out by the Mars Attacks syndrome. Ryan will have been imprisoned for his attempt to assassinate Putin, newly elected head of the United Nations. His unsuccessful defense will be that "Guns kill people. People don't kill people." Putin will have attained his office because he said. "I am an SOB. I know how to solve the Palestinian issue. TRUST ME."

For some reason, in his case, that argument will be believed. Even though only modestly changed from another leader's argument - which failed.

Unfortunately some upset will be caused in the US by Putin's insistence that W. bring him coffee every morning, under the very convincing argument that no one else had shown W.'s ability for finding things.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2012 - 08:58am PT
The remaining issue is why Chris McNamara, the owner of Supertopo, saw fit to delete the original thread in the weeks before the election. It is likely that the deleted thread brought more attention to Supertopo outside of the climbing community than any other thread in its history. A thread that might have been viewed for years to come, especially if Ryan runs for President in four years, is now gone. So it is very curious as to why this happened. Since Chris has chosen not to explain himself, we can only speculate.

There are a couple of possibilities that have been suggested:

1) He was threatened by GOP operatives. If Chris caved to this pressure, he was not getting good legal advice. The First Amendment would certainly protect him against any liability arising from a Ryan supporter's lawsuit, there would be hordes of volunteer lawyers lined up to defend him pro bono if that happened, and public exposure of the litigation threat would certainly make them back down. Has anyone ever heard of any candidate for national office bringing such a suit? It just doesn't happen. So, I have ruled this out.

2)He received a financial incentive to delete the thread from some republican funding source. That is too mercenary for me to believe. I have ruled this out too.

3) A poster to the thread was offended by a personal remark in it and asked it to be deleted. This is more likely since a libel suit by a non-public figure can be a real threat to a forum like this. This seems the most likely explanation to me, but I don't remember anything particularly scandalous said about any poster on that thread. Sure, there were the occasional "inanely combative" comments, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Chris can do what he wants with his site and can delete any thread. But Supertopo promotes its discussion forum as a "community." It certainly detracts from any sense of "community" when a unique political/climbing thread disappears and no explanation is offered.

It also displays a disturbing arrogance by the owner of this site to simply ignore this subject. I have written Chris privately, and asked him in the forum for an explanation. But nothing.

The way this has been handled is surprising and is just not "good blokery", as a Brit might put it.
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 17, 2012 - 01:50pm PT
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 17, 2012 - 02:32pm PT

John
What have you been drinking?????


hee hee hee. . .
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 20, 2012 - 07:44am PT
I'll chime in. Yes, I was not aware of the previous thread, so I am glad that Rick brought the issue up.

I just cannot see CMac deleting the previous thread, I would guess that something else happened. What? Don't ask me but that is my gut feeling.

As for Hawkeye writing that posters to this thread are pathetic, that is his right. But he certainly put his two cents in. Why?

As for Paul Ryan, it doesn't surprise me that he "embellished" certain activities that he may have done, after all, he is a politician. But one has to question his judgment. He has been caught out on lies before, one would think that he learned his lesson.

At least Mark Udall admitted back in 2008 that he was busted for pot in 1972. Honesty is the best policy. If one is under the scrutiny of the public and media, best to be honest and take any hits aimed at you. "I am not a crook", "I didn't inhale", "Victory is ours", etc etc, all came back to bite the butt of the people saying them.

"Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!"
Dave Kos

Trad climber
Temecula
Nov 20, 2012 - 08:25am PT
A Public Service Reminder: Paul Ryan is a Con Man

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/a-public-service-reminder-paul-ryan-is-a-con-man/

Let's hope the public doesn't forget. Ryan's tall tales about marathon times and climbing are only a symtom of a much more serious issue: His budget and policy "expertise" is a myth.

fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Nov 20, 2012 - 09:52am PT
The puppet race is over for now.... geeez...
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Apr 17, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
I wonder if Paul Ryan will run the Boston Marathon next year? Could be a good PR move.

Should be easy for him to qualify.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 17, 2013 - 04:49pm PT
Glad to see this back....too bad Ryan's bs didn't get more traction.

Don't they have subways in Boston....Ryan's a great candidate to be the next Rosie Ruiz.
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