Remember when climbing magazines were great.

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Tami

Social climber
Canada
Aug 22, 2014 - 09:34pm PT
The overall writing seems to have taken the biggest hit. Magazines these days seem to be written by the interns that do not have the overall experience of some of the authors in the past. What do you think?

I think you are wrong :-)

I"m not gonna make any excuses for the ragazines but I've been fairly regular in a couple of'em since '94.

Prices paid to photographers, writers and illustrators have dropped significantly. How that has translated into the content, I don't know.

I believe quality writing is to be had but you need someone stupendously committed to delivering that. Katie Ives does this for Alpinist. She also has fact checkers like Gwen Cameron who are awesome.



bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Aug 22, 2014 - 10:07pm PT
I ran into former editor of both Rock and Ice and Climbing, Dougald McDonald, while climbing in Boulder Canyon a month ago. He said one big reason why magazines are in decline is that advertisers are putting a lot of their money into videos as a way of spreading their message and building their brand.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Aug 22, 2014 - 10:14pm PT
Along the lines about what Clint said about the magazines not being able to pay for good writers, I remember reading in Steve House's book about how after he did the first alpine ascent of the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat he got numerous requests from climbing magazines for an article on the climb, most of which asked him to provide the article for free!

It should be noted that the 2006 ascent was so noteworthy that it won the Piolet d'Or that year. That is a huge statement on the state of climbing magazines that they would ask for a free article on such a groundbreaking climb.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 22, 2014 - 10:22pm PT
I think there are good articles but there are one or two instead of 10. There just seems to be so much how to do yoga, gear reviews, or stuff besides actual writing about climbing.
Michael Hjorth

Trad climber
Copenhagen, Denmark
Aug 23, 2014 - 08:48am PT
mfm: Damn, I had hoped to be able to answer your question...! But it doesn't say in the caption of Issue #1. Only that the photographer was John Hartley (who ever that was...).
I have almost a full Mountain Mag serie from 1 to 145, unfortunately except #2,3,5,8 & 18. A never dwindling source of reading material.

Anyone out there who can help me out with those six issues...?
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Aug 23, 2014 - 09:17am PT
"During the descent they chopped a good portion of the Compressor route, including the entire headwall and one of the pitches below. The Compressor route is no more."

Platform for old and new idiots, but there were always gems every few issues that made the digging worth it.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Aug 23, 2014 - 09:27am PT
That's a telling note mike. I imagine it's difficult as an editor to keep descriptions of another climbing trip or route fresh to old eyes.

I mean, I imagine the experience I had of a route isn't that much different than someone experiencing the route now. How will a writer convey differences AND get an editor to buy into it ? I'd say part of the expansion into odd topics is the ever ongoing saga of finding fresh meat.

Gear guides and reviews fuel the advertising revenue without which the mags would wither and die. Alpinist had to radically change it's strategy of paying for itself when it's major investor chucked in the rag in the Crash of '08.

And yoga and climbing ARE compatible.

"How to" pieces are very desired by new readers.

Of course my big beef is there isn't enough funny stuff in the mags. Everyone is so damn dour and dire and melodramatic.

And hot young writers are very difficult to find. There is very little money in writing. Friends of mine who have decades of experience in all manner of print and who have won major awards struggle to make a decent wage. For the same work rendered 20 years ago, they now make less than half the wage. If the work is even there.

It's a low water mark for writers and publishing but I feel that books will persevere because people love to read and a book simply feels better in hand and it's batteries never need recharging.

And good climbing stories are timeless which is why MH still seeks magazines from aeons ago :-)

Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Aug 23, 2014 - 09:58am PT
Since the demise of Vulgarian Digest, things have never been the same!
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
Aug 23, 2014 - 10:13am PT
Mike, It was all downhill after the Schlock and Vice Issue.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1910095&msg=2091753#msg2091753
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 23, 2014 - 10:18am PT
Butt who is The Dude Up There?

Can I guess...Trevor Jones?

I have a pile of extras of Climbing and Rock and Ice if anyone's trying to fill their collection in. Summit too.

I need...

Climbing 7, 9, 11, 91, 107, 284, 311, 313-321 and 323-326.

Rock and Ice 16, 37, 202, 210, 215 and 217.

Cheers!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 23, 2014 - 11:08am PT
Stuck in a backwater like I am I would eat up everything on climbing I could find. I think we should start a new one that goes something like this old retired guy(and gals)adventure stories retold. Stories by guido, Tom Cochran. Donini and such would be eaten up by a lot of people.

Dingus McGee once told me about giving a mountain goat an abortion. He found goat that was giving birth to a still born kid, but the fetus had not exited and the goat was obviously debilitated because of it. He and some friends wrestled it down and pulled it out not without some major effort. It apparently saved the goats life. Tom's story of flying into the winds in winter and then getting rescued by the first snowmobile in the state of Wyoming is such a classic story. Donini can spill the dirt on most of the old climbers the day and seems willing seems very willing to do so in person. He could have a monthly column.

Just a few thoughts and I honestly believe even today's hot young climbers are going to enjoy reading that more than who put up the 10,000ed 5.14. There is a place for technique, gear reviews, ads, and other stuff. I just wish it was a smaller place.


On second thought I think it should all be politics and religion.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Aug 23, 2014 - 11:52am PT
Ahhh, people have always bitched about the mags.

Right now, Rock & Ice is rolling.

Go to the website and sign up for their weekly TNB article. They are written by various people, and often funny as hell.
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Aug 23, 2014 - 11:54am PT
Hey Brian - for what it's worth, Issue 202 of Rock And Ice appears to be the issue of ASCENT for 2012. Just mentioning as it doesn't have a number on the spine (or inside as far as I can see), but the ensuing issues of ASCENT are definitely counted as issue number (number on spine).

Edit: I'm missing R&I 2 through 11, and 37 if you have dupes of any of those or anyone else has them.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 23, 2014 - 03:44pm PT
"Of course my big beef is there isn't enough funny stuff in the mags.
Everyone is so damn dour and dire and melodramatic."--PoodlePusher

John Svenson.
John Svenson.
Credit: mouse from merced
Sherry.
Sherry.
Credit: mouse from merced
Edit--
The Sheridan appeared in the Jim Perrin review below.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 23, 2014 - 04:00pm PT
Mountain ran an intermittent series of reports from Camp 4 or Valley-based ‘correspondents’ who came and went, but who actually knew the scene or enough about the haps to make a report that might sound credible and informed. This reportage, along with similar reports from around the climbing meccas later mutated into their INFO section.

Werner, you didn’t miss much by not reading magazines. You were f*#kin’ THERE!

You should have had your turn as a correspondent for Mountain, dude.

I can imagine your reports, mostly one-liners--

“Two Frenchies came and did the Salathe. Big deal.”

“Nobody died this month. No big deal.”

"Dale climbed all day today. All day yesterday. All day the day before. I still got him beat."

“Stupid North American Wall was done in record time by a six-idiot team of insane clowns. Whoop whoop!”

In my day, the funniest man writing in Mountain was Ian McNaught-Davies.

Michael Hjorth, thanks. And there is no help here on this sparklingly WITTY page, either.
Credit: mouse from merced
Well, chalk it up to Wilson's ineptitude. What a twit, not mentioning Dude' actual NAME! It could be Welsh Jebus! Or Dingus Milkington of Tremadoc! Famous in their day. Now, who knows what van they might be living in down by the Test?

Also, Michael, here is this, too, from the Classifieds of Climbing.
The missing issues of yur collection MAY still be available.  Quien sa...
The missing issues of yur collection MAY still be available. Quien sabe?
Credit: mouse from merced
Good luck, bud.


Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 23, 2014 - 04:55pm PT
Hey Brian - for what it's worth, Issue 202 of Rock And Ice appears to be the issue of ASCENT for 2012. Just mentioning as it doesn't have a number on the spine (or inside as far as I can see), but the ensuing issues of ASCENT are definitely counted as issue number (number on spine).

Edit: I'm missing R&I 2 through 11, and 37 if you have dupes of any of those or anyone else has them.


Ahh...yeah...forgot, as, I filed those Ascents with that earlier run. Accounts for 202 and 210 issues of R&I. Thanks!

Looked through my mag's for ya...most of my older doubles are climbing starting around issue 37 or so. R&I doubles start later than the ones you're looking for.

Its a curse...ha ha...
Michael Hjorth

Trad climber
Copenhagen, Denmark
Aug 23, 2014 - 04:58pm PT
Those Mountain issues of Embicks? Somewhat too late, sad to say...!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 23, 2014 - 06:33pm PT
Oh, sh!t. That never really occurred to me. Believe me, I'm sorry if it offended anyone. I only knew Dr. Andy thru Roy Naasz.

Three climbing Andys I have known,
Two climbing Andys now have flown,
And e-nuff said on that sad subject.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 23, 2014 - 07:43pm PT
Wow mouse, mountain #1!

Mike, if you started climbing in '91, I think you don't, remember when climbing mags were awesome.... Mountain was the main one, but summit, off belay, North American climber. As well as glmbing and the late starter r&i had real content back.

Clearly, the internet changed the whole scene. But the need for increased sales / ad revenue did it too, seemingly a bit earlier.

There was an inflection point in the early nineties when the mags switched from a forum for participants to a sports illustrated style, spectator sport style model.

Alpinist is the last harkening back to the good stuff.

The Climbing Art was a small circulation literary climbing mag. We will probably never see that format again! Sigh..

Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Aug 23, 2014 - 08:19pm PT
I started climbing in 1974.

I collected full sets of Climbing, Rock & Ice and Mountain magazines, from #1 up to the most recent issues.

Except, of course, Mountain magazine which went out of print, but I had the entire set.

I am selling off my entire collection of books and magazines.
All of the magazines have already been sold.

I had plans to spend my retirement sitting around a reading every single page of all of those magazines, but I decided to lighten my load and get rid of everything. I am too old to climb, but recently I got into fighting, so now fight every week instead and it keeps me young. Don't need no climbing books or magazines anymore.
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