Trip ReportBeyond Lunacy 2.0 - A TR Module for Community Learning
[Monday morning, 2017. A windowless room at the end of a windowless hall, in a non-descript office park, somewhere in northern California. Quiet sound of rainbirds in the distance. Man in clearance-rack suit at front of room picks up clipboard and clears his throat.]
Good, welcome, good morning – please find a seat and would the last of you please close the door on your way in. Coffee in the corner. It’s garbage quality though, really foul. I don’t, as they say, touch the stuff.
[Speaker chuckles, squints at list on clipboard, sighs. A series of heavy clicks as the door thuds closed; sound of booted footsteps receding down the hall. Clock on wall ticks.]
OK. Quiet down people, let’s get started, I don’t want to draw this out any longer than the rest of you.
As you probably know, since you’re here, you’ve been called into this URL because your avatar name was drawn to participate in a SuperTopo General Population Education Group. The pics and italicized text all around you comprise today’s TR Response Module material. Please peruse as we move forward with the module.
“After shooting the breeze in the pullout with Footloose and ScuffyB, the partner and I shouldered the packs and set off. 10 minutes later we were done racking and giddily looking up. It’s nice to climb.”
“Golly but I do love that nice feeling of sinking the first jams at the bottom of seven pitches of low commitment, high quality climbing.”
“New cord, so fresh, so clean. Smells like sea foam and four-leaf clovers.”
As you can see, we are not using this TR for the originality of its writing or the quality of its pictures. That is one god awful metaphor, smelling of sea foam, that is terrible.
“The Fringe is a good climb.”
“Past the first crux and off we go. We racked doubles to gold BD, single blue, and made sure to carry thin nuts for pitch 2.”
Today’s module, “TR Response Matrices and Content Quality Evaluation,” uses le_bruce’s Beyond Lunacy 2.0 TR, (again, pics and italicized text interspersed here), for training purposes. You’ll--
What? No, that was the first one, 1.0 as it were, couple years prior - he bailed shamefully, no need to revisit; this is the second one, 2.0, winter 2014. Check the title on your ST Avatar Profile and Background Packets, which I’ve stapled and left on the back table there. Should be 2.0. Take one and pass along.
“Sunlight on the second crux of Lunatic Fringe. Nice warm day that stayed perfect with the breeze.”
“Nice views from the belay ledge above Beyond the Fringe. March in the Valley is nice.”
“Third pitch corner - fun, cruiser, little loamy. No pics of the second pitch, which felt easier this time than last time, and not heady. Still loose stuff on it, though. Careful LOL!”
Now, if we could just… Yes, you with your hand up?
No. There will not be bathroom breaks. Come again? No, I’m afraid not, there will be no donuts this morning, we’re here to -
[Exhales through nose]
“The Reed’s pullout, a place of good vibes. Fun face climbing makes up the middle of the route. Nice features abound!”
No, no juice boxes today.
Ok, people, if we could just – PEOPLE - quiet down please. Let me go ahead and dispel some misconceptions in the room about what to expect with today’s module and this TR in particular.
“After pitch 5, face climbing is done for the moment; back to crack mode. Partner here is spending some time thinking about how and where to protect and sling the pitch to avoid rope drag.”
“Nice sequence of .10+ climbing here - through an alcove, then climb up on thin, positive, steep locks. Got to hang on tight to get the gear in.”
“Free grimpin’ at the 5.10 grade past the golden katana’ish feature. The sword in the stone haha fun times.”
It’s important to me that you all understand why you are here. As you all know, ever since the Purge of late spring 2014, ST management has run these community education workshops to ensure a quality STUE (SuperTopo User Experience) for all. You’ll remember that the STUE was nearing its nadir moment, a rancid crescendo of dirty off-topic noise, just prior to the Purge.
And that rancidness finally brought the sweet, sweet hellfire out of Chris Mac.
[Holds clipboard to chest, staring placidly toward the ceiling]
If you’ll allow me an aside, I confess it still gives me a tickle in the leg to think of the day good ol’ C-Mac went unapologetically nuclear and borked to sweet Kingdom Come 85% of SuperTopo’s user base - one poisonous thread too many and the cleansing fire came down upon every black-hearted, rambling, bitter, hateful, and pettily spiteful avatar that ever infested this site. A thing of glory… the burning of the avatars… you could hear their screams for days… though in truth I believe that number should have been closer to 95%, but of course I’m not a part of the executive team. I know my sh#t from my shinola, though, and in my opinion we at SuperTopo have still not achieved 100% shinola these days. No sir and far from it.
“You get a good rest before the crux. Rests are nice!”
“No rests here LOL! The businessy first-knuckle fingers and into the traverse. Neither is guaranteed to be dry. Both were wet for us. Wetness and cement-like rope drag couldn’t slow down the strong fellow you’re looking at in these pictures, though. Good on-site.”
[Speaker lowers head, resting fist on table. Jaw muscles flexing sequentially. Incoherent low-volume mumbling.]
[Snaps head up, smiles broadly.]
Anyways, the Nuclear Event is three years behind us now, and we have come to think of the new, post-Purge ST as a curated community. And curating takes work, people, constant work. Vigilance. Commitment. Dogged pursuit of and an unbending allegiance to a higher standard. Which is why we’re here today!
“Whoops ROTFLMAO! Don’t let this happen to you, or you’ll have punishing cement-like rope drag as well! Not nice LOL!”
We are living in a Cleaner, More On-Topic Future here people. C,MOT! And we need to make sure that we’re keeping our standards up.
C,MOT: a slogan to live and to die by.
“Crux: steep, wet, thin. Sweet challenge. Partner sent on lead, I oozed out while seconding. Damn!”
[Chuckles brightly, face cracking disjointedly into lumpy sectors of flesh]
User le_bruce’s Beyond Lunacy 2.0 TR has been called up from the archives and spliced into this module today to create a response simulation space. Look at the photos and accompanying text around you: the object lesson today is tightening up the community’s response matrices, not entertainment.
Adhesion to ST’s prescriptive guidelines, people, will see you through this module, not donuts, bathroom breaks, and juice boxes. Simply follow ST protocol in your responses and you’ll be home to your loved ones soon! Easy!
So, in today’s module:
· There will be no belly laughs, guffaws, charming and whimsical rhymes, costumes, or piñatas – this is not a Micronut TR.
· While reading, you will not feel as if you’re driving a luxury vehicle with the highest trim level – this is not a Hudon, a PellucidWombat, a Clint Cummins, a Levy, a WML, an ECIYA, or a CultureShock TR.
· There will be no subtle and soulful spiritual depth lurking quietly beneath what you read today – this is not a DMT, a Tarbuster, or a Hartouni TR.
· There will be no meta humor or sophisticated expressions of irony-inflected internet culture nested around excellent photos of increasingly impressive feats of climbing - this is not a Vitaliy TR.
· You can loosen your white-knuckle grip on those Styrofoam cups – this is not a frightening TR from Regan, Moses/Ness, or any of the depraved characters from the Pullharder crew.
· And for God’s sake people put your cameras away, this is not a Herson TR, and Kara won’t be here today to sign your chalk bags. (Besides which Herson hosts his TR’s on another domain, not kosher as you all know.)
· Finally, neither Yo nor Tahoe523 have written a TR for many years. Never expect that caliber again - it is gone. They are gone. It’s something we all have to accept, and move on from.
“Most of the way through the Happy Hummock Traverse, a piece of climbing I won’t soon forget. No clue whether this will be easier or harder once the hummocks are gone.”
None of the above authorial voices today – no. They’ve all been long since borked for one reason or another. Today’s module is nuts and bolts stuff people – you can see it all around you, can you not? It reeks of it. See these pics? See this TR content? It’s what?
That’s right: It’s Cleaner, and it’s More On-Topic.
And you lot are here not to be entertained, but to prove your value to the ST community. The standard, people, must be met: Cleaner, More On-Topic TR responses.
“The final pitch is short and good: the only weakness in a long, steep, wave-like headwall is dead above the belay. Overhanging sidepulls and jugs with a tied-off knob for pro lead you to a balancey series of slab moves passing two bolts. One last mantle, which you don’t want to screw up on lead, and you’re in the clear. Not your typical Valley pitch and a nice ending to the climb.”
[A long pause. Clock ticks. A vein in the speaker’s forehead pulses.]
[Reads off clipboard]
“We’ve gathered you here to this URL to evaluate your SuperTopo TR Response Acumen…” Blah blah blah, yada yada yada, you know the deal people, big shots at ST HQ are concerned about blah blah blah and long story short they need to make sure these TRs keep generating the revenue that they always have.
“The neat patch of forest at Reed’s shoulder is a cool spot to be. We thought the pitches felt like: 5.10, 5.10, 5.8, 5.10 plus, 5.10 minus, 5.11 (wet), 5.10 plus. After soaking in the position, a half dozen easy raps get you back to the ground.”
And that means we have to ensure that our advertisers are aware that each TR (even the blandest) is generating quality (think C,MOT here, people, C,MOT) response commentary representative of the Outdoor Activity Consumer Demographic, age bracket 22–65, Disposable Income Tier 3.
In other words, people, just be yourselves! And you’ll be back home to your loved ones in no time! This will all be over. Remember: Just be yourselves!
“Nice forest floor on top of Reed’s.”
And what better way to just be yourself than by boning up on and appropriately deploying values from the Response Matrices provided by ST management, which contain optimised user comments designed to enhance your extreme adventure-athlete bonafides among your outdoor-oriented social networking/microblogging peers! While also conveying enthusiasm for and interest in commercially available products and services related to SuperTopo Forum and TR content! It’s easy!
“It’s nice to be able to rap straight back to your packs.”
[Reading aloud from clipboard]
*Sick TR! And damn where can I get a pair of that Prana capri?*
*That pitch six finger crack looks RADICAL. Bet you could ZIP IT UP with a set of Black Diamond X4 cams - just picked up mine at www.REI.com! NO BRAINER!!!*
*LOL nice job! OMG too bad about dogging the crux, but you’ll send it next time - especially if you become a subscribing member at Berkeley Ironworks Gym in Emeryville, CA, which I heard is offering discounted initiation fees if you act quickly! Plus more yoga classes than ever before! PS - Can’t believe you’re not a member yet, SMH! See you there! At the sauna maybe?! LOL!*
Just a few examples from the Matrices, people. Which you choose to deploy is completely up to you. But choose wisely.
[Speaker looks at watch, sets clipboard down on table. Removes jacket.]
Remember that ST management discourages improvisation on all Response Matrix values.
[Hangs jacket on back of chair. Begins rolling up sleeves.]
So people, as you peruse the photos and commentary from le_bruce’s fun-filled, springtime rock climb up the modern Yosemite classic Beyond Lunacy and prepare your Cleaner, More On-Topic responses to his Cleaner, More On-Topic TR, I hope you’ll take to heart our message here today. I really do.
“Nice position. Nice views.”
[Speaker's eyes begin to darken as he lowers his chin, gaze fixed menacingly on his audience. A sneer spreading to the corners of his mouth, his hand moves toward an until now unseen, four foot long metallic case resting at the foot of the table. Sound of rainbirds whirs to a stop outside building.]
Please position your fingers over your keyboards now.
You will have three minutes to respond to le_bruce’s TR.
“The rack. Cams are nice.”
Your response will be evaluated before you leave against the C,MOT standard. Meet or exceed the standard and you will be on your way shortly, back to the safety of your homes. Your families will be relieved to see you.
Fall short of the standard…
[Unbuckles first latch of case]
We aim to curate, people. And curation will be for the good of the Community.
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