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


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Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 30, 2013 - 12:55pm PT

Its fun for us superior types to laugh at them over a beer but the second you start to despise them in all seriousness you better go take a good hard look in the mirror.

Hopefully this is what Twight is really driving at.

Bruce, I think you hit the nail on the head

Jan 30, 2013 - 01:05pm PT
I think climbski2 best nailed it way upthread: "Do what you like, say what you did." It ain't cheating if everyone knows the rules you played by."

Or, probably even better: why tell anyone what you did? (not that I don't!)
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:23pm PT
Everest stands out in the climbing world as being a totally bullshit thing to do. If I learn someone has climbed Everest but few other alpine peaks, I think "gumby." On the other hand, someone taking on a moderate peak like Rainier, but not being guided, is a climber. As to O2, I'm still waiting for the North Face to design a spacesuit that solves all the oxygen and temperature issues for me.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
Everest stands out in the climbing world as being a totally bullshit thing to do.

Somewhat, but not entirely. There is always the west ridge. So far that seems to be quite under populated. South face too but watch out for flying O2 bottles and bodies!

right here, right now
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:38pm PT
Kind of OT, but I just re-read Bonningtons book on the SW Face, done with the Whillans boxes siege style (Scott, Haston etc.) Has that been done Alpine style?

Dingleberry Gulch, Ideeho
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
Whillans boxes siege style (Scott, Haston etc.)

Siege style yes. But getting the to top as the sun was setting and getting ready to hunker down for the night added adventure points.

Biggest Little City, NV
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
Even to quote something Twight had said in some writing somewhere...(paraphrasing)

"Nobody cares what you do as long as you are honest about what you do"

That is what it boils down to for me, but then people will obviously cut corners and won't call a spade a spade when they claim to have done something. Always interesting to see the lengths at which people will go to avoid telling the whole truth and nothing but...

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
Funny how the "truth" can wear different clothes. A persons perspective is paramount in determining what they perceive as the truth. The old adage...."there are two sides to every story," comes into play.

right here, right now
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
Again, as with my EPO querry, my question about the SW face is a non sequitur. Just figured someone here might know?

Mountain climber
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:14pm PT
Mft: the man, the myth, and the self-righteous self-promoter.

he's put out some good information for sure. extreme alpinism when it came out was very influential to me personally. some of his writing where he lays bare his own emotional experiences are very revealing and powerful.

and as a human he's likely a decent guy: i haven't seen a bunch of negativity coming from those who've climbed with him.

that said, i personally find that the self-righteousness and self-promotion found in his writing quickly gets tiresome.

just to pick apart this latest bit of writing. it's titled "What The Cheaters Have Done To Us?".

well, the answer to this question with regards to high altitude "cheaters" is very simple: they've done nothing to us.

the logical fallacy that he uses is to equate high altitude climbing where people are not hiding that they use oxygen, diamox, with lieing on resumes, "amateur athletes lieing about accomplishments", etc. and etc.

just because he has personally decided that for him to climb with o's is not his cup of tea, doesn't make it cheating. dictionary defines cheating as "acting dishonestly or unfairly". if you're not lieing about what you've done and if you're not in an endeavour with agreed upon rules you have by definition not cheated. and thank jebus climbing still has some anarchy.

in regards to the self-promotion, it's pretty interesting that he basically wrote his own wiki page [thanks to orangesporanges for pointing this out]. and pretty interesting that his wiki page claims he "ushered in the single-push climbing movement." hmmm.... i guess that must mean that the climbs profit, lafaille, loretan and troillet [to name but a few] did in the 80's were just extended bad dreams.

regardless of all this, he's often an entertaining writer. and with the above said, i still have a lot of appreciation for a good part of the information and introspective writing he's put out there.

but the bullshit is still bullsh#t even if it's mostly due to hyperbole.

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
Cowpoke dead on. Goes back to what Paul started up thread about how the challenge of the game changes due to knowledge and equipment over time. Free diving like the Australian guy pushing the limits without fins or lead weights. Seems like the challenges comes full circle, using knowledge and equipment to "cheat" what the human body is capable of but then using what is gained to go back to a more human way. Honnold and Messner showing us how. Learned on gear and knowledge gained from previous history, then stripping it down to where cheating can't enter. Blowing minds on trade routes climbed by the many using what most of us use to "cheat" our way up (to take from Bruce, because we're all cheating anyway aren't we?) and turning them into a thing of beauty all over again. I think everyone here agrees that what Norgay and Hillary achieved with siege and O2 wasn't cheating and that Messner couldn't do what he did without what came before. Ironically, the things we use to "cheat" (hang dogging, equipment etc.) end up being the thing that frees us.

right here, right now
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:38pm PT
Roy, you were one of the people to proudly usher in rap bolting in JT, BITD, laughing arrogantly at those of us who tried to preserve the resource at the time. You made fun of me for caring so much about the SFHD being rap bolted, why the bleeding heart for Everest?

Why, because Iím just a dick Cozzy!
Iím not so invested in these arguments.

[Edit] It is just a discussion. Taking a shot at my trad climbing cred is unnecessary.
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:45pm PT
Okay, I just watched this dude Garrett McNamara ride a humongous wave off of Portugal. Dude has cajones.

But, would some people consider the use of a jet ski to tow a surfer out or the use of a pony bottle in case of wiping out as cheating?

I suppose it is all in one's perspective. In the 1970s I just use to surf tiny stuff in Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz.

Would I use a jet ski and pony bottle if I tackled a 90 foot wave? Damn right, I want to live.

And what about the guy on the jet ski, he must have had some ride too.


watched the interview with ABC/NBC/? whatever. McNamara says he wasn't scared just a rush. And he works with autistic kids teaching them how to surf. Coolaboola.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:48pm PT
Just because some have climbed at 8000 meters peaks without O2 proves nothing, beyond the fact that these few are risking severe brain damage and probably would be the first to grab for a bottle if they started having problems. Jim these studs are proving nothing but the wiliness to ruin their brains, and disregard their lives, in a selfish pursuit, with no greater value than self. To use this suicidal behavior as an example that the world should follow, is nothing short of absurd.

Same could be said about Southern Belle for example, Coz.

Just because some have climbed it with X amount of bolts does not mean others have to. They are risking severe body damage/death by attempting it (and some did break their limbs trying), and probably would be the first to grab a drill (if they could) when they get off route.

Coz, craggers prove nothing by climbing runout routes but their willingness to put their life at risk, in a selfish pursuit, with no greater value than self. To use this suicidal behavior as an example that the world should follow, is nothing short of absurd.

: )
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Jan 30, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
Those that use every prop available....including fixed ropes to the summit, are dilettantes and not true climbers. A logical extension is that routes will become more prepared and more comfortized to accomodate more and more climbers that have the time and MONEY but not the skill and preparation such peaks should require.

Wow, Jim. Thanks for the heads up on what the future holds. So I can look forward to someday climbing the Cassin Ridge, Central Pillar of Freney, Cerro Torre and Everest VIA FERATTA. Coolaboola. Sign me up. I just have to find the money. ;-)

But I still have to shed a few pounds. Few? What an understatement.

Basically I am a coward, which is why I could never get past leading 11a/b or alpine and ice climbing in the Sierra (and Cascades - how many of you can say you were on the 'old' summit of Mt St Helens? and in high school my proudest 'send' was the Price Glacier on Shuksan), and a couple of Mexican volcanoes, but I do believe doing things in style, but again, what is the perspective of what style is?

Anyway, I have never pushed my limits because I like life, a nice hotel and a good dinner. Just can't afford the latter two.

I still have my dreams. Ama Dablam and Cho Oyu, shouldn't need oxygen, and oh yes, I have wet dreams about the Cassin Ridge. Pumori and Taweche too.

Some of the posters on this thread I envy, because, when I should have been concentrating on my climbing, I had the silly dream of becoming a football pro in Europe - at 26. Whereas some of you have gone out and pushed the limits. But I always have to remind myself... Envy is one of the seven deadly sins.

Would I use oxygen on Everest? I'd certainly would take it along, make sure the tank came back down for the dump called Khumbu Glacier, and above all, do a route, not trade, with real climbers.


Actually my proudest send in high school (16), with my HS climbing buddy Steve Fish, was North Palisade via U-Notch after Polemonium Peak via V-Notch. But Shuksan sure was nice for a 16-year-old.

Now I am just waiting for the Via Feratta for Ama Dablam, Walker Spur and Half Dome (oops, it's already there). Okay, I'll settle for a via Feratta of HDNF, considering Snake Dike is the only thing I have done on that heap pile of... beautiful granite. (Watched a total full moon lunar eclipse after the climb on that ton of rock, party and all with other climbers).

But unless you have climbed on Mt Diablo, none of you people have anything on me. And I didn't need oxygen, but that sandstone is shitty, you need props like some tequilla and weed.

Good and safe climbing.

right here, right now
Jan 30, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
Thanks Coz,
I'm not back for long, this is physically painful.
I'm not chickening out either; though I know you are half joking, I just don't have that strong an opinion on the matter.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jan 30, 2013 - 03:36pm PT
Couldn't agree more, if you read my story in Largo's last book, Yosemite Climbers or some such, I express the madness behind this mind set.

Basically that's what every thread about oxygen, Everest, people on Half Dome etc etc comes down to.

'Climbing is anarchy.' :)

....but we still can talk sh#t on the internetz!

*exits room, time to work*

PS: Would love to read about what you wrote in that book. Sounds interesting. There are some climbs that are very impressive for the era, and that was one of them IMO.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jan 30, 2013 - 03:43pm PT
If a couple dozen people can free climb the nose, out of tens of thousands that aided it, does this make the Nose a free route now? We're all supposed to go up there and spend months hangdoging the 5.13 pitches? This is what the Nose is all about now?

At the other end of the spectrum, should Everest have thousands of meters of fixed lines, fixed ladders, with huge crowds of gumbies getting guided up? If we make the routes accessible to everyone, then what you get is the half dome cables route.

I guess my perspective would be selfish - keep the gumbies from overcrowding the route, but don't make me risk my life to do it in your style, that's too extreme for me. That's not really a middle ground though, is it.

Could clarify all this by making hard and fast rules. No O2. No haulbags - climb it in a day or get the hell off the Nose. Seems like a bad idea to me. I'd say, whatever most *climbers* can do (not guided tourists), or are trying to do, is the accepted way to do the route. Plus the ethic of minimizing fixed gear whenever possible is something that will keep the sport from drifting into mediocrity.

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Jan 30, 2013 - 03:46pm PT
Patrick Sawyer...Exactly! But the use of Jet Ski's ironically has led to more and more big wave riders going back to trying to paddle into bigger waves. Much like hang dogging allowed people to experience and gain more knowledge of what is physically possible, the Jet Ski has allowed surfers to experience what it's like to ride monsters and now they have the experience to go back and try to paddle in, knowing what to expect.

I think, to go back to the OP, is to ask "What is Cheating"? Climbing (surfing, diving, flying etc.) are NOT innately human. We are not lizards. We use technology to allow ourselves to experience what we otherwise are not capable of. Hopefully, we use technology (a la Honnold, Messner) to get us closer to what we are naturally capable of but if we use any form of technology to go where we couldn't otherwise are we not "cheating" and therefore are not ALL of us cheating? And if not, does being "honest" preclude us from being cheaters? Did Twight's example of the man climbing Everest using siege tactics and O2 think he was a cheater? Would Coz think so if he climbed Everest using O2?

When game changers like Honnold and Messner change the game and that change is accepted by the players at large, is not anything short of that style, under Twight's argument, "cheating? Honnold said in his interview that climbing that route on the Sentinel wasn't hard and that he could down climb it if he had to. So now if I climb the same route using equipment and techniques used by 99.9 percent of the community, am I cheating? What is cheating/

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jan 30, 2013 - 04:09pm PT
So now if I climb the same route using equipment and techniques used by 99.9 percent of the community, am I cheating? What is cheating?

Cheating is breaking rules you agreed to compete by. Or lying about how you did something.

The rules themselves are arbitrary and up to the participants.

In climbing we compete mainly or usually with ourselves. Although this thread does show there is certainly a competitive group nature to the sport in various degree's and individuals. Thus why being honest about what you did helps each person define where they measure up .. to whatever degree that matters to them or others.

Some folks do cheat themselves. I have and I suppose most of us have at times. Living up to your own dreams and expectations is serious business.

What cheating yourself is?? well that's up to you to figure out.

I'm pretty damn sure it isn't about letting other folks force their own rules for you.
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