I really wonder why people do this climbing thing

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john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 6, 2013 - 12:41am PT
i used to climb a bit, it was fun and I made a lot of good friends, even free soloed a time or two ,, but,,

Steve House , one of the greatest climbers of his generation ,took a fall.
His body was totally wrecked, two pelvic fractures, with vertabre and ribs destroyed, so close to death. Too many climbers have come to this end. I know this will slide down the page into obscurity , because it deals with an unpleasant subject, but is it really worth it?
So many lives cut short. And so many terrible injuries.. with years of pain and rehab, and deaths.

Even the best can fall..


http://inclined.americanalpineclub.org/2010/06/steve-house-thanks-global-rescue/

Sorry to be so cynical, I know Donini and Lowe have been safe through the years, but it seems cutting edge climbers seem to have a short life expentacy. And begginers face a sharp learning curve.

And for Werner, I know, that is the path they took, and I am OK with that. At 52 I am surprised I am still alive, with all the chances I have taken, and have started to tend to more sedate activities like trying to learn jazz guitar and planting seeds.

I have been a construction supervisor for the last 10 years, and I always thought, That will never happen. But now I start to wonder... What if it does??

Be careful out there..

Aloha
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:46am PT
The NUMBER 1 leading cause of DEATH, Is, LIFE!!!
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:48am PT
on this planet, the penalty for death is birth


and death is the penalty for laziness, boredom and inaction


best to live a long interesting active life
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:50am PT
john, from my perspective some people (ones I've loved and love), actually Need to do what makes them feel alive, real. It is Life to them. Living in an office/work environment would be worse than death.

They are the ones that when this country was explored and discovered were the first out there. They are the ones that like Davy Crockett said, "Wife, I see smoke from a cabin. It's time to move on."

My heart goes out to the ones that love these men and women. You that love them have huge challenges, because they challenge you. But these people are truly among the most unique and special people I have ever lived with and loved. Lynne.
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 01:18am PT
LL I understand why people take risk's. I used to do that all the time where your life was in jepradey. It was engaging and fun.


There are 7 billion people on this planet, and lots of people die every day.

Just hate to see a life cut short. Be careful out there
briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose, ca
Feb 6, 2013 - 01:20am PT
You've got it backwards.

I do this sh#t TO live

That being said I have no plans on dying anytime soon...but then again no one does
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Feb 6, 2013 - 01:26am PT
briham89,

That's what I was trying to express.....
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 01:32am PT
I have no plans of dying soon either. When I was climbing I never had a doubt I could make it. And I always did, just like most of the people here.

But..So many gone. It is a hard game they play.
MisterE

Social climber
Feb 6, 2013 - 01:35am PT
Serious rehash here with this question - it has been asked probably more than any other single question across the board.

Got anything new to ask?

That being said, at least it IS CLIMBING CONTENT.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 6, 2013 - 01:35am PT
"Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies
inside us while we live."

--Norman Cousins
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 01:40am PT
Mister E,,

Do you have any links,?

Would love to see them

It would be a real drag to die bouncing off of a rock.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Feb 6, 2013 - 01:41am PT
john, this is a thought from my perspective. Sure, they are gone but they went doing what they loved. That Is Huge!!

You want to live to be 90 years old being safe and never living your life goals? There are many sitting on a couch watching the tube that live to 90.

My husband and I joked about dying many years ago. He said he'd like to go off El Cap. I wish he would have. Better than F'nnnn dying after spending a month on life support in Intensive Care then having to pull the plug.

It's not always length of life. Quality has a huge part to play. lynnie from the heart.

Edit: sorry to post so much but feel strongly about this....it's a Dan thing.
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 01:50am PT
LL, I agree, life is for living, I just wish every body could reach Luaria's age. I did not know he was older than Robbins..



The ST keeps on amazing.


Aloha
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 6, 2013 - 01:56am PT
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Feb 6, 2013 - 01:58am PT
I am a very risk averse climber. I am not bold. I do not like bold. It does not impress me. Not as it applies to putting your butt on the line anyway.

What impresses me is skill and control and decisions to BOLDLY back off, slow down when there is reasonable doubt and the myriad types of pressures to keep going or hurry.

I like systems and backups. I like identifying every point of deadly failure and putting in place simple practices, skills and awareness that negate their ability to bite you.

These are my favorite challenges in climbing. How do I get up what I want in the way I want, have fun and absolutely not die.

I had this approach from day one.

Yet I still can think of a few cases where I am alive due to too much luck. Where I screwed up and it did not bite me in the ass.

It's one hell of an unforgiving place to f*#k up.

But I still climb. Because cumulatively it's by far the most valuable, rewarding joyful and beutiful set of experiences in my life. I could throw away lots of things out of my life.. but the climbing would be one of the very last I'd choose.

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Feb 6, 2013 - 02:04am PT
Asking 'why' gets you to a particular kind of answer.

Ask "how" it is that people come to do this climbing thing.
That asks a far more personal question, which hints at what you are saying.


I don't solo much these days either, and I'm not, nor have I ever been a high performing climber, but I crave the adventure. Being somewhere I have never been before. Seeing some section of rock I have never seen before. And having fun with friends while at the crags.

john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 02:05am PT
I thnk the downer is when one of your friends dies,

Have you ever had that happen to you?

Dont get me wrong I respect climbing,, I just don't do it any more.

It is a hard occupation with many rewards, but a lot of people die,
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Feb 6, 2013 - 02:14am PT
Jeez john. You tread on harsh ground but I suppose it is a fair question.

I can only say this.. It's better than being the walking dead.. with no passion and great joy in life.

Absolutely 100% better than living a non-life.

Is there a safer way to live a spectacularly great life?.. probably millions of em.

But none of those ways chose me.

Another thought John.. How many lives have climbers saved? A ton of us do or have done SAR work most as volunteers. The very skills we risked our lives developing have saved the lives of non-climbers. In many cases only climbers could have done it.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Feb 6, 2013 - 02:39am PT
Thanks for the thread John. I won't bash you on it, as I think each of us has honestly thought about that question at least a few times.

There was a time when I tried to put into words why I do this "climbing thing." After a while, I came to the simple realization that I feel good when I climb, and I feel that something is missing when I don't. That's enough for me, without trying to unravel the psychology of 'Why." It seems to me that when I spend time trying to self-rationalize, I get wrapped up in things that have nothing to do with the question.

I haven't lost a close friend to climbing. But I started in aviation at a young age, and over the years I have lost about a dozen friends in aviation accidents. I can honestly say that over time, I lost my desire to fly, and a large part of that was due to the loss of so many that I cared about.

I can't say if I would respond the same in climbing though. I was never as happy while flying, or as successful, as I have been in pursuing my love of climbing.

I understand and accept the risks that are involved with climbing, and to me the reward out weighs the risk. I don't push my limits, because I am very happy with what I enjoy, which is mostly low level stuff. I take my time, and I minimize the risks to the best of my ability.

I also volunteer for SAR, and utilize the skills I have learned to help others - not only in SAR, but also to introduce others to the sport that have always wanted to try it, but need someone to spend the time with them and give them the opportunity. The fact that I can make a change in a persons life through my sport is a great reward for me.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 6, 2013 - 03:04am PT
I have seen so many preventable deaths in my life, only some of them from climbing.

Three kids from my graduating class were killed the night after high school graduation from drunken driving. In fact, out of a high school of 200 students, 6 had died from drunken driving before they got out of high school.

Then there's my experience in Nepal in a village where 40% of the children died before the age of 5. If only their parents had understood about germs and had the money to buy nutritious food.

I also worked in an American nursing home where people begged to die every day but we force fed them so they could go on living because it was the "humane" thing to do.

I've also lived through two wars where young kids, just babies really, away from their mothers for the first time, were sent off to die for reasons no one could quite explain.

There are many ways to die and climbing doesn't look like the worst way to go compared to these. Having said so, I personally believe that climbers with significant others should not take unnecessary risks. If you're into the thrill of that kind of danger, stay single and don't have a steady other. I think it's selfish to want to have it all, especially when the significant other(s) often have no idea about the danger until the worst happens.

The problem as I see it, is that climbers often don't recognize danger and even the best can have unanticipated accidents often from over confidence.

ruppell

climber
Feb 6, 2013 - 03:50am PT
John

I have been a construction supervisor for the last 10 years

Honest question. In those ten years how many carpenters, plumbers, electricians, roofers, or masons have you seen get hurt? I'd imagine that it happens quite often on larger projects. Now ask yourself, am I to blame for those injuries? Did I do everything in my power to stop that from happening? Did you? Then realize you'll never stop me from being a carpenter. I have been in the trade for over 15 years and have only once had a lost time injury. Pulled a nail off with a sawz-all. It's a long story. So does me being a carpenter mean I'm prone to injury? Yes. Can you do anything to prevent it? Yes. Do injuries still happen? Yes. Same holds true for climbing. You take the risk knowing that their is a penalty. In a few cases that penalty is paid. To me though the rewards still outway the risk. And I'm the one who gets to decide.

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 6, 2013 - 03:55am PT
> I really wonder why people do this climbing thing

Maybe because they live someplace with good climbing?
If I lived someplace with no good climbing, like Hawaii (like you do), or Florida, I would probably stop climbing, too.... :-)

Given that you have over 2000 posts to this forum, there must be something about climbing that still interests you?

I agree, bad things can happen, people can die young doing it (including good friends). It's a personal decision why people choose to climb or keep climbing. There won't be any simple answer that works the same for everyone, except "it seems to be worth it to me".
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 6, 2013 - 08:46am PT
Yes I have had a close friend die. I've known others more distantly, who have passed through the veil darkly, as well. I know how it feels, yes.

Consider these activities, activities that occur on a minute by minute basis in Hawaii and elsewhere:

Swimming
Cycling
Running
Football (soccer)
tennis
horse riding
American football
table tennis (!)

Know what they all have in common? They are all more dangerous than rock climbing, swimming is far more dangerous (4x), for example.

Do you curtail those activities too, out of fear of death? Do you stop all outdoor activities?

Maybe it comes down to 2 or 3 things we all do in life; wittingly or otherwise:

1. Love of an activity and the people/peers who do it (however induced, peer pressure, organically, etc.)

2. Ability to actually do the activity (opportunity, fitness levels are of course a part of opportunity, for many of these sports)

3. Risk management (skill).


We 'umans all do this, all the time, in virtually every activity down to the smallest of things - crossing a city street at a busy intersection.

The sport label means these activities are recreational. Of course guys who operate in the high mountains for a living are going to be exposed to far greater occupational risks than the average weekend enthusiast. I don't have access to the professionals' death rates but I'd guess the climbing guilds and their liability insurers do... I would expect those numbers to be different than the general climbing population, but frankly, I dunno.

I'm not saying, in my case, that careful risk analysis leads me to conclude its ok to climb. I'm not that digital, and I don't analyze things like that. For me risk management is an analog process that takes in conditions, fitness, hazards, skill, and ultimately, FEELINGS, emotions - all in real time, to produce a continuous stream of 'go/no-go' decisions from the littlest move (will this hold work) to the biggest climb (do I have the balls and skill to even attempt it) to, well

I was going to say to the ever present question - 'do I keep climbing at all?'

But I must admit - after many serious injuries and a near fatal 'drive home' from a climb? The only time I ever thought I might fade away into inactivity was when I let myself get fat. And even then.... I did not ever seriously consider stopping.

Lifer from the start, I'm afraid. 40 years of climbing, still taking measured risks, still loving the game and the people with whom I play.

Cheers
DMT

reference

http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth/risk/sports.html

3.
pud

climber
Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Feb 6, 2013 - 09:00am PT
Don't let fear guide your path, it makes for a dim light.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 6, 2013 - 09:10am PT
My motive was simply to keep pace with my friend Jeff, the Rev. And then I found there were relatively few limitations and practitioners. I was markedly different in that when I was up there and they were down here, I felt somehow superior.

Simple. It's good to feel superior to someone, even though you'll never be the king.

That was in the beginning.

As for today, the next few weeks, if I get to visit/climb with Dwain in Vegas, I'll worry about motive then. Just getting together with CC will be engaging and any climbing we do will be gravy.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 6, 2013 - 11:45am PT
^^^^^^^^^^^

HaHaHaHa,








"YER GONNA DIE!!!"
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
Feb 6, 2013 - 11:50am PT
To prevent a preventable death is to stifle creativity. No one basks in the glory of safety and boredom.

So what if someone dies climbing a mountain. It is no more or less noble than being killed in a car crash or being killed by a staph infection at a hospital where you volunteer to help burned kids.

It's just death. It happens and it sucks for those that don't want to see you go. Then they get over it and they die.

In fact, everyone who was alive 120 years ago is dead. Everyone. The entire world of people are gone.

People climb for the same reason others watch TV. It's something to do.

Dave
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Feb 6, 2013 - 11:53am PT

I do this sh#t TO live

I don't have a death wish, I have a life wish
-Dan Osman
Naitch

climber
Seneca area
Feb 6, 2013 - 11:56am PT
"Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies
inside us while we live."

--Norman Cousins


...or....changed a bit....


Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies
inside us when we don't truly live.

--Naitch
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:00pm PT
AGREE, Naitch!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:06pm PT
There are many ways to die and climbing doesn't look like the worst way to go compared to these. Having said so, I personally believe that climbers with significant others should not take unnecessary risks.


Great post Jan.

I do have children and a beautiful wife. My climbing took on a significantly more conservative approach after about 1990. I still love it and have a blast. Some people have a harder time turning away from the truly risky???
WBraun

climber
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:08pm PT
There is only one word required to answer the question.

Desire ......
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:11pm PT
Personally I have gone through stages of my life where I was much more risk tolerant and also much more risk adverse. When young, I was most definitely filled with bravado that steered me to more dangerous alpine adventures. I almost/ should have died when I had very young children at home. I suddenly became more risk adverse and decided it was time to dial it down a bit. As I grow older and have seen friends die of cancer and from other unfair causes, my tolerance for risk is increasing. Risk seems to be a highly personal topic.
briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose, ca
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
10b4me that gave me chills.

Alright I quit!!! I'm gunna take up bowling.

































Knott! :)
mhay

climber
Reno, NV
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
I am a very risk averse climber. I am not bold. I do not like bold. It does not impress me. Not as it applies to putting your butt on the line anyway.

What impresses me is skill and control and decisions to BOLDLY back off, slow down when there is reasonable doubt and the myriad types of pressures to keep going or hurry.

I like systems and backups. I like identifying every point of deadly failure and putting in place simple practices, skills and awareness that negate their ability to bite you.

These are my favorite challenges in climbing. How do I get up what I want in the way I want, have fun and absolutely not die.

I had this approach from day one.

Yet I still can think of a few cases where I am alive due to too much luck. Where I screwed up and it did not bite me in the ass.

It's one hell of an unforgiving place to f*#k up.

But I still climb. Because cumulatively it's by far the most valuable, rewarding joyful and beutiful set of experiences in my life. I could throw away lots of things out of my life.. but the climbing would be one of the very last I'd choose.


Exactly, except I, for one, am impressed with bold. Badasses like Steve House, Johnny Copp and Micah Dash know that what they're doing is the real deal, and that is part of the draw for them. But climbing does not have to be about managing huge risks. It can be done in a fairly quotidian way and still be a meaningful activity. One should not assume that everyone who climbs does it for the adrenaline.

weezy

climber
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:28pm PT
my worst injuries have occurred while:

 polishing a wine glass (four tendons, nerve, artery)

 riding in a car (dislocated pelvis, shattered wrist)

 making bagel dough (comminuted fracture to finger)

 opening the front door (deep laceration, nerve damage)

for the record, i was sober during every accident. (although recent studies have shown that i may, in fact, be a moron). rockclimbing for 18 years, including a bunch of ropeless shenanigans and never had a bad injury. worst injuries are from bouldering, oddly enough. tennis elbow from crimping too much and back problems from jumping off highballs.

oh and i suffered irreversible damage to my ego for a case of snail-eye that i came down with yesterday. the shame will haunt me to my dying day.

i guess my point is that anything can kill you and carelessness is the culprit.
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:31pm PT
I climb because it makes people think I'm a badass risk-taker when in reality it's not that dangerous.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:31pm PT
Wait a minute DMT...Table tennis?

Can you prove that more people have died playing ping pong than climbing?

Not calling you a l___r, just really curious that it's even possible....
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:34pm PT
It's a FACT!

Texas lawmaker: ‘Ping-pongs’ deadlier than guns

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/texas-lawmaker-ping-pongs-deadlier-guns-211551404--politics.html


And it's not just the case in Texas:

http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth/risk/sports.html

It's based on SCIENCE!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:43pm PT
I don't believe it. The table shows 7 deaths for table tennis between 97 and 06, yet offers zero for rock climbing in the same period, which we know is utter BS.

It also says ZERO about these alleged table tennis deaths. Sorry, but I call bullshit to ping pong being more dangerous than climbing.....
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:46pm PT
Yeah, I think the methodology used to create those stats is more than a bit flawed.

But just in case, I'm staying away from ping pong...
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:50pm PT
3/2011 , 3 weeks after last chemo, Trash Can Rock, JT weekend of Fland...
3/2011 , 3 weeks after last chemo, Trash Can Rock, JT weekend of Flander's Fest.
Credit: SCseagoat

Three weeks after chemo, bald. Couldn't wait to get back on the rock. There are worse ways to die than climbing.


Susan
gonzo chemist

climber
Fort Collins, CO
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
Mr. Hansen (and others who would pose this query),

with all due respect, do you ask the very same question of people who pursue a sedentary lifestyle? Or more to the point, do you question people who gorge themselves on cholesterol-containing animal-based food products?

Heart disease is the #1 killer in the USA (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm);.


I suppose it IS a fair question to ask why we would choose to engage in 'risky' climbing behaviors. However I'd wager that for MOST people climbing has brought them innumerable friends, an appreciation for the outdoors, a sense of community, an active lifestyle, a sense of accomplishment, and a litany of character-building experiences.

In the end, we're all just passing time until our biological matter can return from whence it came.
We all pass that time according to our own internal compass.

Nosce te ipsum.
Crodog

Social climber
Feb 6, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
I didn't get the title right away...
Credit: Crodog
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 6, 2013 - 02:10pm PT
This is why....




Credit: survival



Also this....



Credit: survival
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Feb 6, 2013 - 03:38pm PT
John Hansen,

You use to climb, but you were never a climber.

You don't seem to understand that climbing is only as dangerous as you make it. I would hope that those who climb while being ignorant of the risks they are taking are in the minority. Not all climbing is equally risky. You must have climbed enough to realize this.
Real climbers choose the amount of risk they take, and choose it willingly. Is this not one of the ultimate expressions of freedom?
But freedom comes with responsibility. You had better know what you are doing. Ignorance and hubris equal death, but neither is a requirement for pursuing climbing.
You can't just paint us all with the same brush like that. Very shallow.
BTW, I've been climbing for 32 years and I have no desire to quit now.
locker

Social climber
Whitebread
Feb 6, 2013 - 03:58pm PT


I don't personally know you or anything about you, etc...

"i used to climb a bit, it was fun"...

^^^

But right there I start getting my own questions, because to me it appears that you never really enjoyed climbing all that much...

I can easily see where you wouldn't, "Get it"...

That is, IF you didn't climb very much to begin with...


FRUMY

Trad climber
SHERMAN OAKS,CA
Feb 6, 2013 - 04:00pm PT
H_ll I don't know why I climb.
After more the thirty years, my hands don't work worth a da_n, the rest of my body is only in a little less pain.
But I wake up each day & think about the Mountains, or bouldering & off I go knowing that the next day my hands will barely open, I will have to put them in hot water just to hold a cup of coffee.
I won't get a good night sleep cause my right shoulder will send shape pains through my whole body if I roll over on it & I will.

If I don't go I get irritable. A few years ago I stopped climbing because my hands were in bad shape & I could do my job or climb. The job had to go. Sold the business.

I no longer care about the ratings -- I just climb.
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Feb 6, 2013 - 04:04pm PT
Yeah FRUMMY!

At this point climbing will do more to keep arthritis at bay, than to make it worse. Keep moving, that's the secret.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Feb 6, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
I climb because it makes people think I'm a badass risk-taker when in reality it's not that dangerous.

I like that explanation, Dave!

In John Hansen's defense, though, I've often wondered how we justify climbing in the face of deadly accidents, too. A little over a week ago, sending condolences about another climbing death got me to thinking about it. If no one died climbing, and no one was at risk of serious injury, would the sport be the same?

This got me to wondering whether I found, in some way, the possibility of tragedy to be an essential part of my personal climbing game. If so, how can I justify the existence of a mere game that requires the death of even one of its participants?

Ultimately, it comes down, to me, to relative probabilities. I think, at my age, I'm more likely to die of a heart attack on a climb than a fall on one. If anything, my climbing provides an incentive to maintain overall fitness, which enhances the likelihood of living a healthy life longer. I know of no other activity that motivates me like that, so the marginal risk of injury in doing another climb is, for me, less than the marginal risk of poor health in quitting climbing.

I think Jan's post was excellent on a number of points, but I'd like to focus on the effect of others on personal risk management. When I got married, 30 years ago, I stopped free soloing technical routes. Even though I always felt safe, I didn't feel it was fair to my wife to continue to take that particular risk. While my daughters were financially dependent on my earnings -- and my presence -- I did lots of things more carefully than I would if I were unattached. I think that's merely a manifestation of love. Of course, I also taught them how to climb, which shows the side of the risk calculation on which I conclude.

John
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 6, 2013 - 05:04pm PT
I can attest to that Reeotch! My body hurts all the time from injuries
and I hurt worse if I don't get out and exercise



Everyone also should stop Driving. Way more dangerous I think.
Not only do you have to watch out for your own stupidity behind the wheel,
you gotta watch out for all the other stupid drivers.
The roads are way more crowded with stupid people than the cliffs are.

If you are questioning the reasons and safety of climbing,John,
it's probably good that you don't climb anymore. You could be a danger to
yourself and partner due to insecurity.
Psilocyborg

climber
Feb 6, 2013 - 05:10pm PT
There are a million ways to be a human being and they are ALL worth while.

Death isn't the end my friend....
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Feb 6, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
Simple. It's good to feel superior to someone, even though you'll never be the king.

Good enough. When I was into running I'd feel hot sh#t over having done a 20-effin-mile run on Sunday instead of sitting on my ass. As I get to the heart of my passions though, I realize that the simple joy of expressing my being through movement is greater than any of the numbers attached. Of which realization, of course, I now feel even more smugly and subtly superior.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 6, 2013 - 05:41pm PT
Sorry I posted at all. F*#K!

Like I said, I wasn't after you in any way. I just found the ping pong thing a little unbelievable.

And no, I don't care enough to go research it some more. And I totally understand if you don't either!

Climbing is way better!!
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 6, 2013 - 06:20pm PT
If no one died climbing, and no one was at risk of serious injury, would the sport be the same?

I think that for trad climbing the answer is no. Risk, or perhaps I should say the confrontation and management of risk, is an intrinsic part of trad climbing. I don't think this point is arguable, in fact I think it is one of trad climbing's defining characteristics. Anyone who doubts this will have to find an explanation for the endless passionate debates about the effect of adding bolts to run-out traditionally protected climbs. The folks who add the bolts say, correctly, that they are reducing the risks. Those arguing the other side say the bolts destroy the challenges of the the climb and make it something less than it had been. In brief, less risk = diminished climb.

Of course every climber, at every stage of their career, has a broad range of options about how much risk they want to confront. Some, at least some of the time, crave a lot more than others, and nature, at least nature unmodified by the drill, is happy to oblige.

I'm not saying that trad climbers climb in order to take risks. There is no shortage of ways to take risks and climbing is far too much work if all you want to do is roll the dice with your life. I think the attraction of climbing is fundamentally biological, and that makes it unique among voluntary human pursuits. As I've written on some other thread, just hang out in one of the parking turnouts on the Needles Highway in South Dakota and watch what happens when a car with kids stops for a look at the scenery. Before the parents are even out of the car, the kids have all rushed to the nearest formation and are trying to climb it. No one had to tell them about climbing, they know what it is and they want to do it.

You can be sure that if you scattered a bunch of tennis rackets and some balls and nets around, the kids wouldn't be grabbing the rackets and trying to volley the tennis balls. No matter how ultimately compelling, tennis is an entirely artificial invention; climbing is on the other hand in the human genes. If anything, we should be surprised that more people aren't drawn to it.

Further evidence for the human climbing imperative comes from our language, which is rife with climbing analogies for describing achievement and success. We speak of climbing the corporate ladder, the pinnacle or height of achievement, reaching for the stars, upward mobility, and so on. Mythology and religion ensconce the gods, whether malevolent or benign, on mountain-tops, and seekers make pilgrimages to high places to encounter the sacred and the divine.

So really, is there all that much to wonder at? It is perhaps more interesting to wonder how such a primordial urge is educated or socialized out of so many people.

But there is a missing connection between the two aspects I just described. The kids in the Needles turnout are drawn upwards by the human instinct to ascend, but they are not interested in taking risks, are usually unaware of the risks inherent in the activity, and are typically overwhelmed with fear when they suddenly realize they have gotten a bit too high and don't know how to get down. I've had to "rescue" a few, as have many other climbers in similar situations.

Before the advent of the motorized drill, I'd say that risk came along with the territory, and if, as you grew up, you managed to hold on to that climbing imperative, then you understood that nature imposed certain hazards and that you would have to learn how to deal with them. This was the implicit contract in the "freedom of the hills" concept.

Then came, I think, a new aspect: the ability to perform in the face of those risks, the ability to deploy both skill and equipment in the neutralizing of those hazards, provided its own sense of fulfillment, and as climbers learned to develop the necessary emotional and technical control mechanisms for performing safely in a dangerous environment, they came to respect and value the ability of others to do so at a high level of achievement, and they incorporated performance in the face of danger into their views of what was fulfilling and worthy of respect.

And so we got mountaineering and then trad climbing. Sport climbing upended the situation by (frequently if not universally) filtering most (but not all) of the risk out from the activity of ascending, and so it is that the majority of climbing deaths occur in an alpine or trad environment.

Even if we appreciate and even embrace the role of danger in the activity, we can nonetheless be saddened and horrified at the deaths that result. I've lost two dear friends, a number of acquaintances, and know of many more. I've been on rescues of desperately injured climbers and have recovered the bodies of others. I don't share the illusions of some who claim to have made adjustments that render them completely safe. I introduced my daughter to climbing, but unlike many posters here, I breathed a long and heartfelt sigh of relief when she found something else, music, to be a far more compelling pursuit.

Although it hasn't been my path, I think I understand how you climb, give it up, and then wonder how anyone can bear to do it. I would never accuse John of not being a climber because he now wonders why people do it. He has arrived at the other side of an arc of experience that not all of us follow, but his moments in climbing were like our moments in climbing and his pleasure and fulfillments are ours as well.

locker

Social climber
Whitebread
Feb 6, 2013 - 06:22pm PT




You can come off of an easy climb (gear or bolted) or a hard climb (gear or bolted) and be just as DEAD...


Just saying...

;-)






rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 6, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
Of course, but that isn't my point, which is that the risk of that happening is intrinsic to trad climbing and not to sport climbing. And it is a mistake to think the distinction is between gear and bolts. The climber who starts up an unknown face with a drill in his back pocket, not knowing when and whether he or she will be able use that drill, is engaging in a form of trad climbing as demanding as any.

By the way, I'm not trying to argue some kind of "superiority" for one or the other.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Feb 6, 2013 - 07:00pm PT

"Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are naught without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end."

Edward Whymper
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Feb 6, 2013 - 07:14pm PT
I started thinking about people I had climbed with over the years, who got killed in the mountains; Charlie Fowler, Alex MacIntyre, Kevin Bein, Tom Hurley(UK), and Al Rouse (UK).

I'll keep doing it while I still can.

As Jimmy Dunn told me, "it's better than a god damn nursing home!"
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Feb 6, 2013 - 07:14pm PT
rgold, great post. Nice to see you posting in the thread, been a while since I've seen you write - have missed your other posts here I guess. Enjoyed the read.
dave729

Trad climber
Western America
Feb 6, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
Thats an easy one to answer

because ordinary views become a glimpse of heaven on earth when your all jacked up on fear of falling, maximum heart rate, and oxygen starvation.

LilaBiene

Trad climber
Feb 6, 2013 - 07:26pm PT
Lots of good food for thought, here. Thanks to everyone for contributing such a broad range of perspectives and approaches to the question.

Noodling...
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Feb 6, 2013 - 08:23pm PT
I think this is pretty funny:

Climbing is like nothing else. Thousands of men and women have heroically explored frontiers literal and metaphorical while pushing themselves high on cliff faces and into remote mountain ranges, sometimes with uncertain odds of success and survival. Countless of essays have been poetically written about it, idolizing the mountains, climbers and climbs, and creating a mythology around the sport.

But some things about it are kind of dumb. Like, for example, when everyone wore Lycra to do it. And some other stuff:

1. The Fit of Shoes
Have you ever listened to a climbing shoe salesperson try to describe to a first-time climbing shoe buyer how shoes should fit? They might as well be trying to explain an eggplant parmigiana recipe to a space alien. “So, you want them to be tight, but not uncomfortable, and your toes should be bent, but not curled, and there should be no room in the end of the shoe, but enough room that blood can still circulate, but barely, in your toes. The rear part of the upper of this shoe is leather, and that will stretch one-fourth to one-half size with use, but the front is a synthetic material and sticky rubber, and that won’t stretch at all. How do those feel? Do they hurt when you walk in them? That’s great.”

2. The American Difficulty Rating System
So, rock climbs are rated from 5.1 to 5.15c, and the higher the number following the decimal point, the more difficult the climb is, and after 5.10, we start using letters to denote the next levels of difficulty, i.e., 5.11a is harder than 5.10d, and so forth, unless you’re climbing without a rope, which is called bouldering, and that’s a scale from V0 to V16, which roughly equates to the 5.1-5.15c system, except it’s way harder — V0 is roughly equivalent to 5.9 climbing, and V5 is approximately 5.12, etc., and then ice is rated on two different scales, WI (which means “water ice”) and AI (which means “alpine ice”), except if there’s rock on the ice climbing route, in which case a “mixed” rating is added to the end, like M4, M5, and so on. Got it? You know what, just forget it.

3. Uphill Walking
Fact: To get to most climbing areas (besides a few things in Joshua Tree and a couple other places), climbers have to walk uphill, which is a strenuous, often sweaty, activity. Climbers will shoulder heavy packs full of ropes and gear and spend hours, even days, to get somewhere promising. Wait, you say there’s six pitches of marginally exciting rock climbing and it’s only seven miles and 2,500 vertical feet away from the trailhead? Where do I sign up?

4. People Don’t Get It
People who don’t climb understand the process of moving upward on rock. The gear, how you get the rope up there, not so much. Try to tell someone that you spent your weekend trying to send your project, which in layperson’s terms is, “Well, I tie a rope to my harness, take my shirt off, cover my hands in chalk and try to climb up 65 feet of overhanging rock, where there’s a set of chains…” — and they start to glaze over. I mean, come on, it’s easily no more ridiculous than, say, golf, or cricket, right?

5. Ice Climbing
When a block of ice the size of a toaster falls and smashes your kneecaps on its way to the ground, and you caused it because you’re hacking at a frozen waterfall with ice picks and crampons, and you grit your teeth and deal with the pain, and you finish the pitch and find that you have the painful “screaming barfies” (the phenomenon in which your fingers fill with searing pain for several minutes as they warm back up from being numb and held high above your head hanging onto ice tools, and you become nauseous), and you’re freezing through several layers of clothes and dodging chunks of ice that fall from above, and on Monday people ask you if you had a nice weekend and you say “Yes, it was nice — I went ice climbing,” well, you know. It’s a little hard to rationalize, isn’t it?

6. Using A Toothbrush To Clean Off Rocks So You Can Climb Them
One of those things that makes sense when you’re doing it, but in the broad scheme of things, seems a little … dumb. And by “dumb,” I mean, like, making artificial snow to ski on in drought-prone areas, stripping your bike down to one gear, hiking out to the middle of nowhere and risking getting eaten by a bear in the name of finding meaning. You know, stuff like that.

7. Free Soloing
Thousands of words have been typed on the internet endorsing and condemning free soloing. As a sometime practitioner, I can attest that free soloing is exciting and totally worth the experience when you don’t fall and die. When you fall while free soloing and die, you’re not on earth anymore and people miss you. And probably nobody thinks that last free solo was a good idea.

http://www.adventure-journal.com/2013/02/the-list-the-7-dumbest-things-about-climbing/
Crackslayer

Trad climber
Eldo
Feb 6, 2013 - 08:40pm PT
I really like that Jimmy Dunn quote. That is friggin' hilarious. My favorite climbing quote is Alex Lowe saying the best climber in the world is the one having the most fun. I used to tell my clients that guidng.

I have had numerous moments when I doubted climbing as a good thing in my life. All in all though, I keep coming back and now my life is pretty much based on it everyday. I kind of have a "Well, I have nothing better to do," sorta attitude. Seriously, if I wasn't climbing, I'd probably be bombing sh#t with ELO or god knows where.

If I fall and eat it, on a rope or not, at least it was a blast getting there. Every trad climber has been in that situation where it could have been game over with one lapse in concentration and everyone keeps coming back. So ya, sh#t is bound to happen to someone at some point. Obviously we wish things didn't happen but isn't that what keeps us coming back? The thrill that "oh sh#t I'm fuked," moment followed by the euphoria of getting past that.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Feb 6, 2013 - 08:49pm PT
rgold-

Further evidence for the human climbing imperative comes from our language, which is rife with climbing analogies for describing achievement and success. We speak of climbing the corporate ladder, the pinnacle or height of achievement, reaching for the stars, upward mobility, and so on. Mythology and religion ensconce the gods, whether malevolent or benign, on mountain-tops, and seekers make pilgrimages to high places to encounter the sacred and the divine.

Very nicely said rgold. Fvckin' awesome in fact!
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Feb 6, 2013 - 08:59pm PT
Because its awesome... maybe you shouldn't climb.
FRUMY

Trad climber
SHERMAN OAKS,CA
Feb 6, 2013 - 09:29pm PT
I am not a risk taker. Yes I raced Motorcycles, yes I have single handled sail boats. But I did those thing for the beauty of doing something that I was ( am ) good at in an environment I love. I wasn't good at school, but I can take almost anything apart & fix it. I hate crashing, but I love the feeling of pushing my bike ( or car ) at it's limits. & for me school made me feel like a failure. The first time I started feeling good about me was when I realized I could drive a car fast than anyone I new. I never had the money to race cars, but bikes I could at first afford & then people started giving me bikes & gear. I was never a great rider, but I was faster than most & I could tell the team what was right & what was wrong. & If need be I could show them how to make it faster.

I am NO dare devil. I don't like dare devils.

I like beauty, I love when my body can make beautiful fluid moves. I like to be in control of me.
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
I thought I would get beat up pretty badly on this thread, but it has been surprisingly cordial. Thanks every one for posting your thoughts.

Some one said " you used to climb, but you were not a climber" Ouch.
Other people said "you do not get it".

I really liked climbing , it always focused everything into the now.
Everything about it was fun. The good friendships, bueatiful days on warm granite, even the smell of the rock, and as some one said , managing the risk. That was half the fun, setting up pro as you worked your way up. I never was that good or bold, never got up any big walls. but man we had some fun times.

So I think I did "get it"

Another person said " you have 2000 post's here so there must be something that draws you to this site', I have always loved climbing history and this place is the best around. Where else can you sit and listen to climbing ledgends telling old tales.

I liked Werner's one word response "Desire" well put. I had a ton of desire to climb at one time.

Ruppel mentioned the consruction supervisor thing and how I must have seen accidents in the field, actually in 35 years as a carpenter, doing concrete, and moving into supervision, the worst I have seen is a nailgun shot through fingers.

It is a dangerous world, and any of us could be dead tomorrow. Like Cosmic said " the main cause of death is life"

I am surprised that Steve House has not been mentioned more. I noticed today that he had that accident in 2010, I thought it was more recent. That was what sparked the thought for this thread. Wonder how he is doing?


Again , thanks for all your thoughts.

Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Feb 6, 2013 - 10:34pm PT
We're all so fortunate to share an amazing sport....a lifestyle....being able to access places that most people in this life never will....and be able to see the world from that perspective, while all others simply look up and wonder.

On January 29th, 1996, I watched my friend Pete Schoerner die in an horrific ice climbing fall here in June Lake.

When the joy of all that climbing is goes horribly wrong, and you watch one of your party die in a most horrible way...well....you cannot help but have a change of perspective. Suddenly, climbing seems so incredibly irrelevant in comparison to the grief that goes out like a wave on a placid pond, disrupting so many lives, including your own.

With luck, drive and passion for the sport, the desire returns, and you set your minds on summits once again....with the caveat that the vivid memory of a friend dying tempers you just enough to keep you ever mindful that this game that we play, has most dire consequences.

Climbing is only relevant, if you return home to those whom you love...and more importantly...those who love and need you more than any mountain is worth.

Climb safe,

Dean Rosnau
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
Feb 6, 2013 - 10:37pm PT
+1 Dean
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 6, 2013 - 11:01pm PT
John wrote in the OP:
So many lives cut short. And so many terrible injuries.. with years of pain and rehab, and deaths.

Before I get to the main question, I'd like like to address the above supporting statement. I've known an awful lot of people, mostly climbers, who have died. My wife and I are often surprised at how many of them did not die climbing. At times I thought I might even post that list up just because it's so curious.

I have this whacked thesis: it is that climbers have short fuses and that they sense this liability in themselves and correspondingly feel a greater sense of urgency about living deeply.

To answer the thrust of your post: personally, because most of what I saw in life as a teenager was either stifling, boring or unattainable. So I have become a climber and it is what I am. Other than that, it's really hard to say. "Desire" was a good one, as Werner said.

I also liked what Munge said, which is that how might be a more practical question than why (by virtue of it being more personal). In part, understanding how was the reason I started that thread: "REWIND: Life Without Climbing". Sometimes how helps us to see who we are more clearly. Why eliciting the abstract and how asking after the more substantive.
abrams

Sport climber
Feb 7, 2013 - 12:11am PT
I see dead people




ok just kidding
really

MisterE

Social climber
Feb 7, 2013 - 12:36am PT
Funny how you post about climbing in the past tense - I "was" a climber.

Not all hear the calling, and then it becomes something that is just risky when the passion is not there - understandable. Especially when you lose people close to you.

However, if it is an imperative of your being your post makes no sense.

Your post title is an affront to the heart of the drive - "this climbing thing".

Like it is just a whim...

The "7 reasons" is stupid, I was not entertained.
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 7, 2013 - 01:16am PT
Tarbuster wrote,

My wife and I are often surprised at how many of them did not die climbing,,

Confidence can do great things.

Once you lose that..

I was on a metal roof once, when it started to rain. I thought to myself, let's stand above this skylight just in case. And then,, I slipped.

Caught my self on the sky light. It would have been a 20 foot launch out and down in to the bed of my truck. Broken bones for sure.

Since then , I have not spent too much time on roof's.

With confidence, you can do great things. I have much confidence in what I do now, it is just another place besides climbing.

Mister E, or any one, I would still be interested in links to earlier discussions on this topic.

I climbed from about 78 to 88, never placed a piton or a friend. Never could afford friends, hardly knew they existed. Wedges, stoppers and hexes, a small isolated group of climbing buddie's having fun around the Tahoe area. Never much more than 5.9 never took a fall on lead.

Confidence. once you lose that..




Edit:I was writing this when E postedl. Mr E, I did not mean any disrespect with the "this climbing thing" I know it is no whim. You can die doing this stuff.

I have always enjoyed your's and Skip's post's. And yes , climbing is in my past, though I still like to hear the stories on ST.

I knew this post would draw some criticism, and I am OK with that.


hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
Feb 7, 2013 - 07:25am PT
in the context of mortal consequence, one summons proper application of precision.
it's inherently satisfying. but without yagottawanna, it's simply a predicament
Norwegian

Trad climber
Pollock Pines, California
Feb 7, 2013 - 07:37am PT
because you can't get a mountain pregnant
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
Feb 7, 2013 - 07:47am PT
then where exactly do molehills come from?
Norwegian

Trad climber
Pollock Pines, California
Feb 7, 2013 - 07:55am PT
molehills are undoubtedly
an offspring of immaculate conception;
i am not their father.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 7, 2013 - 10:26am PT
An interesting tangent to the OP is the notion that a lot of us on the forum are nearing 50 years of age or a good chunk over that threshold. I believe this is a good time to reevaluate. Hand eye coordination, response time and all kinds of indicators for athletic prowess begin to wane (and have been for some time, denial will only go so far). I think we are especially prone to crashing right about this time. Our bodies if not our minds are more brittle. A bit of de-tuning and recalibrating of goals may be in order for many of us.
FRUMY

Trad climber
SHERMAN OAKS,CA
Feb 7, 2013 - 11:25am PT
My body started crashing in my late 40's -- my own fault -- working to hard & not stretching --lost my tuning. & now in my late 50's I'm paying for it. Fortunately I had my grandfather to watch grow old, he made it to 102 & was tough as nails till 100. & then there was BOB KAMPS who climbed hard & boulder even harder till his death in his 70's. I believe that had they diagnosed his heart problem correctly he would still be with us ( With that big smile of his ) & climbing hard as ever.

Knowing you body & the changes it's making is hard to deal with mentally.

But then climbing is 95% mental & the other 50% is psychological.
Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Feb 7, 2013 - 11:47am PT
Good thread: lots of competing notions of what is the right approach to this activity, climbing, and the consequences for failure.

Rgold mentioned something that is very true, and which I'd forgotten. As kids, many of us have that urge to seek out the high places, and scramble up the rocks and boulders without regard for the danger...that is until we realize the down climb is not going to be easy.

Like you Rgold, I was at the Needle's Eye turnout, and ran to the rescue of a kid who seemed to be gripped with fear after he realized he couldn't down climb the 12 feet he'd just ascended. Me and my partner rushed to him and had our arms up to spot him as his older sister moved his feet to good foot holds with him asking, "Am I gonna Die?" That's when I became skeptical and realized he probably had it all under control and was just putting one over on us 'climbers'...LOL.

Looking back to the beginning of my climbing I have one special person in my life I credit for her encouragement. Although not a climber, my late Aunt Katie, was an avid hiker and she is the one who took me on a hike to Gem Lake. She knew I had the urge to climb and allowed me scramble about on the ramps and boulders, without calling after me unless I started to get out of sight. She sat in the sun reading a book by the small pond monitoring me as I had my adventure.

In a way she introduced me to climbing by letting me play around on fairly safe terrain. She knew from raising my cousins, that kids quickly develop that sense of measuring risk and trusted in my judgement. That was one of the best days of my life. The hike, the scrambling, the adventure. I'll never forget that day, and really, whenever my wife and I visit RMNP, we hike to Gem Lake first. It's a tradition based on that memory, and also a great acclimation hike for us flat-landers.


So to the OP, and I thank you for starting this thread, I say:

I do this climbing thing because I like to visit high places.

I always have, and now with a knowledge of how to correctly use climbing gear, I can seek out higher more challenging destinations and be confident, but ever-aware that I can be one mistake away from disaster for myself, my partner or some unsuspecting hiker nearby.

I've had one instance where my climbing partner caught me making a critical error. I'd completed a climb where he was belaying me from the top of the cliff, and as we chatted about the fun we had, I untied from the rope BEFORE I was clipped into the anchors. He put his arm around me and VERY CAMLY asked, "Are you forgetting something Bill?" ...he was ready to catch me if I panicked and lost my footing as I clipped in. I owe him my life, because I very well could have leaned back thinking I could sit in my harness and continue the conversation at the top of the cliff. If he did not see that mistake I very well could have fallen and suffered the consequences of a single mistake. Thanks Mark!

Here on the Taco, the "Yer' gonna die" statement is true for us all. I'm not afraid of death, but wish to have as much time LIVING as possible. Seeking the high places is a part of LIVING for me, and I would die a small death if I had to give it up. I learn how to manage the risks and depend on my partners as they depend upon me.

My non-climbing friends and family don't understand this climbing thing. They've either never experienced the urge, or desire to seek the high places, or they've forgotten about it since their childhood. They don't think I'm crazy, but they do worry and I respect that.

If I had one regret it would be not getting into rock climbing sooner. I started at age 40 and am now 47. I love all types of climbing, but tend to prefer the easier climbs that offer stunning views or special places to sit and have a snack and reflect on this gift of LIFE and sharing it with others.


pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 7, 2013 - 11:50am PT
Jon u had better nuke this thread the real zealous climbers are going to hang u !!!!

get a life!


climbing thing is just something to do.

i like ur thread.

Credit: pyro
all us local calabasas boys go down to the cyn and have a slab party!!
locker

Social climber
Whitebread
Feb 7, 2013 - 11:54am PT


"molehills are undoubtedly
an offspring of immaculate conception;
i am not their father."
...


^^^


So far, my favorite post on this thread...


LOL!!!...
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 7, 2013 - 12:14pm PT
A bit of de-tuning and recalibrating of goals may be in order for many of us.


I'm way ahead of you bro!
Credit: survival
locker

Social climber
Whitebread
Feb 7, 2013 - 12:15pm PT


^^^

QUICKLY becoming my NEW favorite post...

LOL!!!...
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 7, 2013 - 12:34pm PT
Ha Ha Ha Ha
Survival is standing on top of a rock BOOB!!!
Or, should I say a PERKY Nipple?
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 7, 2013 - 05:45pm PT
a lot of us on the forum are nearing 50 years of age or a good chunk over that threshold. I believe this is a good time to reevaluate. Hand eye coordination, response time and all kinds of indicators for athletic prowess begin to wane (and have been for some time, denial will only go so far). I think we are especially prone to crashing right about this time. Our bodies if not our minds are more brittle. A bit of de-tuning and recalibrating of goals may be in order for many of us.

Some of us are a approaching twenty years past that half-century mark, and most of us have given up on denial as a viable strategy a while ago. One of the problems with detuning and recalibrating is that it requires a fully conscious effort. The mind, left to its own devices, thinks it is still issuing instructions to a 25 year-old body.

It's as if you think you're still driving that Porsche you had but in fact, while you weren't paying attention, someone swapped it out for a Dodge Dart with 250,000 miles on it. You whump down on the accelerator and...not much happens. The brakes are shot, the shocks are long gone, the head gasket is blown, and the thing can barely track around a street corner in first gear. Dude, you gotta learn how to drive this jalopy, 'cause it ain't what you're used to.

But you know what? If you got into climbing for its intrinsic appeals rather than for performance relative to others, then it's really not all that different. Some things are hard, and you try to find a way to do them. That's kind of what it was always about.

It can be a little discouraging that the twelve-year old girl on the red route a few feet away is doing things you not only can't do now, you never could have done them at any stage if you are honest with yourself. But when you go outside and the wind rustles the pine needles, the clouds scud overhead, and the rock rears up with a full helping of whatever you can handle now, modest as it may be in some other context, why then its much as it always was, and I at least am happy to have been granted the privilege of still being out there.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Feb 7, 2013 - 06:32pm PT
I guess the reason I'm 80 years old and still climbing is that I hate falling. I can count the number of times I've taken a leader fall on one hand. There have been many times I have backed off a lead because I feared falling. I never got into Royal's "fail falling" mode. Can I still call myself a climber?
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Feb 7, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
1 reason: chicks
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 7, 2013 - 06:37pm PT
Can I still call myself a climber?


Ummm, yeah.

Dude, you get the Golden Eagle Pass...FOREVER!
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 7, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
There's a MILLION ways to Die.

Pick one, or let it pick, YOU!


:)
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 7, 2013 - 08:13pm PT
RGold wrote:
It's as if you think you're still driving that Porsche you had but in fact, while you weren't paying attention, someone swapped it out for a Dodge Dart with 250,000 miles on it.
Bingo, and really funny!

And his follow-up:
But you know what? If you got into climbing for its intrinsic appeals rather than for performance relative to others, then it's really not all that different.
He shoots, he scores ... Nothin' but net!
See you at the crags!
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 12:04am PT

You know this thread has got me thinking, next time I am on the Main Land, I might hike up to the base of Knapsack crack at the leap, and see what it looks like after all these years. It would be pretty hard to fall on that "thing". Free solo, take my time.. I could always downclimb..
Even a cripple like me could get up that thing.


I am remembering the foot work involved in climbing , and moving up in short, well thought out moves. Knowing when to rest. My mentor allways compared them to chess moves.

Over coming challanges.

Maybe I can get that Norwiegen dude to take me up Deception.. you know ,, for a few beers.

The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Feb 8, 2013 - 12:25am PT
You can't explore properly if you can't climb
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 8, 2013 - 12:43am PT
"next time I am on the Main Land, I might hike up to the base of Knapsack crack at the leap, and see what it looks like after all these years. It would be pretty hard to fall on that "thing". Free solo, take my time.. I could always downclimb.."




Geez, John;
You go from Cynical to STUPID in one Thread.

;-)
SicMic

climber
two miles from Eldorado
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:04am PT
I'd like to explain the physical and emotional rewards- how it feeds and nurtures my soul, but the weather is nice and I've got to go climbing.
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 01:04am PT
Yes I am stupid..

This thread makes me remember the moves on the rock, and how comfortable I felt making those moves, that whole mind set.. those were good times.

I guess I am a hypocrite..
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:09am PT
^^^^^^


LOLOL
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:05am PT
Oh ... meh God!
At 97 posts I finally realized.
We've been TROLLED!!!

Heh.


[And SicMic, not so fast buddy ... you still got pictures of that Rotwand Craptasm to post up for us over on the Choss thread!]
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Feb 28, 2013 - 02:24am PT
omg, YES Don Lauria, yes!





Tar,

Tell us more about this theory...

"I have this whacked thesis: it is that climbers have short fuses and that they sense this liability in themselves and correspondingly feel a greater sense of urgency about living deeply."

Is this characterized by an existential bent that drives the short fuse first? And thus only through climbing does the absurdity ring true when all else in the world is not as deep?

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