and I bet you thought Twight was dead????

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Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:00pm PT
I'm trying like hell to make sense of what is going on with Twight's article.
And our responses to it!

Excerpt from Mark Twight’s article:

I could agree with the notion that it's a team sport on some levels, and that fixed ropes can have a place in some forms of climbing however the use of oxygen has no place, is cheating and overrules all other claim to achievement. Supplemental O2 is doping - without question. It is not a medical necessity, which is proven by many, many ascents of 8000m peaks without supplemental O2.

Then:

Why isn't supplemental oxygen viewed as doping? Some argue that it is a safety issue, that they do not want to take the risk of altitude illness, or frostbite.

As has been noted here by many of you, it's not doping because doping refers to a surreptitious activity. That's why it's cheating in the milieu of bicycling.

In rereading his text, I'm not sure why he let that slip. It's a mistake. Semantics? But the overall effect of using EPO or supplemental oxygen, yes oxygen, it has medical uses, but I can see where he would put these together in the same bucket. Essentially he's looking at them as crutches.

Then, where I see how he supports putting them in the same bucket, and somewhat understand his tact:

If O2 allows one to accomplish a task that he or she otherwise could not do or was not willing to do then O2 is a performance-enhancing drug and should be treated as such.

Then he states his concerns specifically:

Times have changed. Cheating is commonplace and doping is rampant, even at the lowest levels of sport.

Look, I've read through his piece several times now. I think he made some mistakes, such as forgetting that doping refers to a culture of lying. So technically supplemental oxygen doesn't really fit that. Then, he talks about cheating which is exactly what the doping reference really is about for most of us readers.

I think the thing needed to be edited better. And maybe he thinks in absolutes and never would have made any changes. But the thrust of what he is trying to say is that all that extra stuff you pump into your body gives you an edge, and he is calling having an edge cheating. Semantically, it's not cheating if you report it. Understood. Many of us here have echoed that.

I believe the spirit of what he is saying still comes through. It is this: even though people may report that they use any particular manner of aids, oxygen, fixed ropes, whatever ... activity in the mountains is not such a noble pursuit if everybody's completely discounting a minimalist credo - instead just filling up the goodie bag with aids of all kind as a matter of course. From the elites on down the line to the neophyte trophy collectors, He wants to see all of us do better. Better for ourselves, and better for others.

That they or we are not hiding whatever these extra aids might be isn't exactly the issue. For Twight it is that tactics are not moving in a progression which benefits from what has come before us. Essentially saying we're cheating ourselves as a culture when we, as leaders in the sport if you will, don't strive to inculcate the masses, and one another to some extent, with those concepts.

Holding an absolute hardline on oxygen or any of the various ways to make the body tick better really isn't the point. Although I know that's pretty much what he's saying. And maybe Donini is to: no oxygen ever. And of course those of us who've been around know that Twight can be a hard liner. Well, many of us will recoil from absolutes, but again, the spirit of the piece which Mark wrote is I believe, in the right place.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:02pm PT
Jim's been around the horn more than once.

You musta been sleeping under a rock Coz.....

Here's a little teaser:


1976 Torre Egger - First Ascent - with John Bragg, and Jay Wilson from the United States, by climbing first to the col between the Egger and Cerro Torre, the Col of Conquest, and then up the ridge to the peak. The ascent was hampered by bad weather and took from December 1975 to February 22, 1976 when the 3-person team summitted.
1978 North Ridge on Latok I, Karakorum Range, Pakistan. Attempt with Michael Kennedy, George Lowe and Jeff Lowe (climber) (all USA).
1991 Cobra Pillar on the east face of Mount Barrille, Ruth Gorge, Alaska Range, Alaska, USA (VI 5.10+ A3 WI5? 2300m) FA with Jack Tackle (USA), June 5–10, 1991.
1991 Viper Ridge, south spur of southeast ridge to ridge, Mount Foraker, Alaska Range, Alaska USA. FA with Jack Tackle (USA), June 11–17, 1991.
2000 Lightning Spur, south face Thunder Mountain, Alaska Range, Alaska USA. FA with John Bragg (USA).
orangesporanges

Social climber
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
I never claimed to be a roll model in climbing.

So who be thee role models these days?

And must one have climbed Everest before observing whether using oxygen, ladders and fixed ropes indeed lessens the challenging effects of the rarefied air on its' summit?

02 to the top of Everest is fine. So are fixed ropes and ladders that are cleaned-up. But using such is not the same as climbing the mountain in good elegant style - and you don't need to have climbed Everest to feel that.

And as for observing that the SS is now frequently soloed. You needn't have soloed the route to note the frequency with which it is now soloed. Opinion on the discussion does however, become more relevant if you have indeed lived a life or nine among the mountains in good elegant style.

I'd like to think that the likes of Bonatti, Scott, Messner, Kurtyka, Stump, Jello and even LEB all know a little (or more) of Jim Donini's adventures.
mt10910

climber
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
he he he Donini has to prove up?

oh man I just choked a little on my single malt and

vomited in my hand (there is no causal link between the two events).

For a group that spends a lot of time on the internet, they seem to lack the ability to use something called, "Google."

Carry on.

Is mary jane, coffee, and donuts a performance enhancing substance?

If so we all are guilty.
coz

Gym climber
Belmont
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
Werner,

Said he was bad ass, that's proof enough for me. I was never much of an Alpinist, so I don't really pay attention I suppose...

MT, I was giving him the chance to share his great career and stories with us, sorry never heard of any, doesn't make me a loser, spew on, lets hear about his long and amazing career.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:09pm PT
Seriously Coz? The guy has so many badass lines in the AK range they could name it after him.. ok well maybe not quite. Eh his partner Jack tackle might have more, Hmm that homeless kid who lived on Denali and got his food for about the whole year from folks bailin? Jeez can't think of his name.. Apple... ahh Jeff Benowitz

Anyway

First ascents of prominent whole major peaks in Patagonia.

Stuff in China

Peru

Maybe only Beckey has done more stuff in more places...

hmmmm mebbe not

And certainly not at the technical level of Donini.

I don't like sounding like a fanboi but the reality is I've been one of Donini's fan's since I first started studying anything to do with climbing. It freaking rocks that he likes to post here and often has so much to say. Goes for Coz too actually. Jeez I sometimes should just shut up more and listen to the real badasses around here..

Dosn't mean I think using o2 is "cheating" however .. never used it but I wanted to raid the rescue cache on Denali and for some skiing..well I thought about it anyway..
RDB

Social climber
wa
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 30, 2013 - 05:11pm PT
"He wants to see all of us do better. Better for ourselves, and better for others."

bingo

coz

Gym climber
Belmont
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
I don't think any of these guys got the attention they deserved, Jack Tackle?

Who's he....????















wait for it....








Joking!!!!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
Coz,
Go fetch me a beer and then come back and rub my feet, won't you darling?
coz

Gym climber
Belmont
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
I'm shut down with a cold today, and need to put the computer down, love to have a beer with ya Roy, maybe will get old JD to join.

Then we could have a good laugh in person!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
Use all of the supplemental oxygen you want, but I wouldn't be calling Jim "old" ... he might be sensitive to that fact!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:50pm PT
twight's climbing was important. unfortunately, most folks know his writing or promotional stuff or bad taste in music. his work there is a lot less interesting. tony robbins meets skinny puppy.

this article isn't especially strong. the debate over oz is a bit like the debate over chalk. the main difference is that most of us can carry our own chalk rather than hiring 3rd world locals to drag it around for us at risk of life and limb.

i'd be surprised if some of the folks involved in the various unofficial timed events in the alps aren't blood doping. obvious easy thing to do, when one has a good staging area, and comparatively safe.

i really don't care about folks climbing at altitude using the various blood thinners from aspirin on up. that bit of the piece strikes me as really marginal. what about folks using pepto-bismol or rolaids to deal with the gi problems common on expeditions and at altitude? or just getting their shots? at some point it becomes ridiculous.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jan 30, 2013 - 06:50pm PT
Regardless the O2 rule.

The Omnibus and ST approved and adopted Climbers Code Of Conduct Page 1127 Paragraph 13 section 7-A clearly states the use of a supplemental Donini on any climbing ascent is considered out of bounds and disqualifies the validity of said ascent due to the use of way to much BADASS, Please see appendix chart 157a regarding the validity of Descents when using a Donini.
TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
Jan 30, 2013 - 07:40pm PT
O2 used to summit Everest is doping. Period. It is absolutely no different than the cyclist who dopes to achieve better performance. Is it cheating? It depends on the rules by which you play your game. The word "rules" might, for want of a better word, be substituted by the word style. I would think it better style to summit without O2. In our culture, style, or at least the appearance of style to the uninitiated, is something one can buy given the desire and requisite long green(especially when it comes to the big "E"). Thus the debate, however,I understand exactly what Twight is digging at.
"I think I know what your problem is......"
TY
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jan 30, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
http://www.sierradescents.com/climbing/2009/11/06/brain-damage-altitude.html
cowpoke

climber
Jan 30, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
the debate over oz is a bit like the debate over chalk.

That argument evokes an interesting thought experiment. If we awoke tomorrow to a world void of chalk and with no means to carry O2 in a tank, would we see a greater percentage decrease in: (1) the number of ascents on 8000m peaks or (2) the number of jaw-dropping, cutting-edge rock climbs?

I gotta go with door number 1 on that one, but would be interested to know the predictions of those who have, in fact, played in both (or at least one) of those adventure lands.

PS the debate over oz was resolved by Dorothy (unless you are a fan of Wicked).
orangesporanges

Social climber
Jan 30, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
O2 used to summit Everest is doping. Period. It is absolutely no different than the cyclist who dopes to achieve better performance. Is it cheating? It depends on the rules by which you play your game.

You are spot-on reasoned. O2 is doping, though not inherently cheating. It only becomes cheating if you fail to honestly disclose the extent to which you used supplemental oxygen during any period between leaving basecamp for the summit and your return.

I will note here that Twight's team had used O2 during Everest expeditions - something he has previously mentioned though failed to mention in his most recent discussion piece when he wrote: "And if the audience isn't well-informed enough to ask about the means the speaker lets the omission slide, allowing them to think better of him. A decade and more ago I cared deeply about the way we climbed more than whether we were successful."

Wonder if he used the likes of Diamox as well?

Be great if Twight also stated clearly whether he followed in the sweet posthole tracks of others. Comparing with his cycling, wonder what Twight thinks of fellow cyclists in a race breakaway who sit in the draught and don't take turns up the front, only to pull ahead at the sprint and never qualify credit to the others.

Using a ladder any time from the moment you left basecamp for the summit and during the descent is however always to be deemed cheating. With or without supplemental oxygen.

And never blame the weather if you don't get-up. Dynamic mountain conditions are central to the challenge. You're either strong enough, or YOU weren't.

Keep it real, and the 'rules' become easy to live a life by. Project that approach into other parts of life, and nobody worth knowing will ever judge you harshly if you happen to never end up climbing Everest.

Those clients from the Everest "Beyond the Limit" mock-umentary that have since self-promoted themselves as "Mountaineer".

The by-line ought read the simple truth - I use supplemental oxygen to get to and down from the summit. Used fixed ropes that others were paid money to fix up and down the route. I used ladders that others had fixed in place, though only to make it easier to move through the most technical sections along the selected route. I was accompanied by Sherpa Guides much of the way; deep down, I know they were central to what I was able to undertake.
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jan 30, 2013 - 09:36pm PT
FAKT: few of twight's critics could have sherpa'd his O2 on Denali, much less the Big E

WORD
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jan 30, 2013 - 09:42pm PT
Can we imagine any relative non-climber whose toted their bad selves using whatever means to the top of Everest, then having any success whatsoever trying to discuss the disclaimers with their complete non-climber workmates over the watercooler? All for the sake of honest reportage? Even with the best of intentions it would fall flat.

This taken in stride with the fact that we can't even decide/agree on it here?
Ha ha.

It's just so out of this world for the regular person to comprehend style and ethical prerogatives in rockclimbing nevermind the big mountains. And to them, they'd be right to tell their would-be work hero who's gotten to the top to forget all that disclaimer stuff because the experience is still so deep compared to walking around on the street, hailing a cab, riding a bike, hiking, drinking in bars, getting laid, changing diapers, or studying for an exam.

Not that that should dissuade us from the idea that aspirants need to be educated about these things. Or that these dialogues don't serve a purpose other than flapping our gums.

Cowpoke: I guess I'd go with oxygen being more critical than chalk, relative to their historical outcomes. Good one!

Climbski2: on the other hand, even a grade schooler would just nod up and down at this brilliant ditty which you laid out for us! They'd comprehend it in a flash! Ha ha.

The Omnibus and ST approved and adopted Climbers Code Of Conduct Page 1127 Paragraph 13 section 7-A clearly states the use of a supplemental Donini on any climbing ascent is considered out of bounds and disqualifies the validity of said ascent due to the use of way to much BADASS, Please see appendix chart 157a regarding the validity of Descents when using a Donini.
orangesporanges

Social climber
Jan 30, 2013 - 09:57pm PT
FAKT: few of twight's critics could have sherpa'd his O2 on Denali, much less the Big E

I will happily carry down discarded gear that Twight has dumped on mountains because he was too weak to carry down (though he later sprayed about how strong they'd been on those routes).

There are other "critics" come advocates for mountain stewardship who would willingly do the same when next in the neighbourhood.

To note, MFT has been back to such areas in later years, and made no noteworthy attempt to redeem himself by retrieving the stuff he dumped. His mate Steve House should give him a kick in the butt, Steve followed-up his promise to attempt to retrieve gear he'd left on Makalu.
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