https://helenair.com/lifestyles/recreation/climbers-perform-labor-of-love-in-chi
https://helenair.com/lifestyles/recreation/climbers-perform-labor-of-love-in-chilean-ascent/article_ad3067cc-9cef-11e2-bc50-0019bb2963f4.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

Climbers perform labor of love in Chilean ascent
BRETT FRENCH Billings Gazette Apr 4, 2013  0


Think of it as landscaping for climbing junkies with a masochistic bent.
For six weeks this winter, Drew Smith and Chance Traub spent all day pulling, sawing and hoisting weeds, brush and trees from the cracks of a 3,000-foot vertical granite cliff in the mountains of southern Chile. The end result was two first ascents, one with the aid of gear in a traditional style and the second in a lighter free-climbing style after the route was finally cleaned.
“We could have climbed it in five days, and it would have looked just as good,” Smith said. “But we spent time cleaning the pitch and putting in bolts for protection.”

Now, other climbers can follow the route with less gear.
“I think of it as giving back to the climbing community,” said Traub, a 31-year-old New Mexico wildland firefighter. “I’ve climbed a lot of routes that other people have put up.”
The duo named the new route in the Cochamó River Valley “Positive Affect.” The name honors Traub’s wife, Jennifer Dinaburg, who died of adrenal cancer last April.
“This climb was trying to make a positive from a negative,” Traub said.
Both climbers felt like Dinaburg was along in spirit, too, sometimes providing a helpful hand along the way by ensuring good weather as well as much-needed climbing holds.
Hanging in there
Hanging off a cliff in Chile is a long way from Smith’s roots. He grew up until age 11 in the small Missouri River town of Cascade. His dad worked on a nearby ranch. Then his family moved east of Miles City, where he graduated from high school. Although he tried out college at the University of Montana, he quickly decided it wasn’t a good fit.
“When I was in high school, everyone went to college,” he said. “I went and I hated it.”
Rather than return home, he struck out on his own, finding work as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, traveling to Asia and Europe and then relocating to Jackson, Wyo. It was in the shadow of the towering Teton Mountains that Smith began climbing in earnest. He started out bouldering and worked up from there, tagging along on other climbers’ adventures to learn techniques, while also reading books and watching instructional videos on YouTube to gain knowledge.
“I love the challenge and the focus,” he said.
When he’s climbing, Smith said he is thinking of little else. He also enjoys the heights.
“That’s probably my favorite part, the open space and the exposure,” he said. “It’s a wild feeling. I love it.”
Now 27, he’s become a nomadic climber — traveling from rock wall to rock wall across the United States in his Toyota 4Runner to places like Yosemite and Joshua Tree national parks, usually camping out to save money while he explores climbing routes. When he runs out of money, he works and saves until his next adventure.
“Some people think I’m a trust funder,” Smith said and laughed at the absurdity of the idea. “But you can make your money last a lot longer if you’re not paying rent or if you cook your own food.”
His only big bills are for gas, car insurance, a cellphone and — tellingly — health insurance.
Destination Chile
One of the things Smith likes best about climbing is the community that has grown up around the sport. At any climbing gym or cliffside venue Smith can find people to show him local routes.
That’s how he met Traub and they began planning their first ascent in Chile. For Traub, the planning was also a “mental timeout” from the reality of his wife’s constant struggle with cancer treatment.
The Cochamó River Valley is well known to climbers around the world, partly because the huge cliffs resemble the more accessible faces of Yosemite National Park in California. An American climber established a lodge along a route that was once used to herd cattle from Argentina to slaughterhouses and shipyards in coastal Chile.


The lodge provides a place for travelers to camp, eat and trade intel on climbing routes new and yet-to-be climbed. The problem is that many new approaches lack a trail. And first ascents like the one Smith and Traub created are overgrown with vegetation. They picked out their route by gazing through a telescope at the lodge.
“We wanted a line that wasn’t too wandery and weird,” Smith said. “We wanted a line that was aesthetic and dry, without vegetation.”
Others had tried the route they decided on and failed. Since they couldn’t see the bottom, Smith and Traub were in for some surprises along the way.
Landscraping
For three days they hauled climbing gear and food to their first base camp — about 500 pounds of ropes and canned food that it took three horses more than four hours to haul to the lodge from the nearby town of Cochamó.
Then the other work began. From sunup to sundown, they would clear brush, climb and pull vegetation while hoisting loads of gear up the cliff … day after day, just the two of them.
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“The first time we went up we had to climb these bushes, which was terrifying,” Smith said.
Temperatures soared into the 90s and rain fell steadily for one entire week. During one stretch, they spent eight days on the side of the cliff, camping out in a portaledge tent hanging from the face of the big wall. A portaledge is a hanging tent system designed for rock climbers.
“I’ve done trips before with a friend, but this was a lot of work,” Smith said.
With his background working on elite hotshot firefighting crews, Traub said he was used to digging in the dirt.
When not working, they stressed about whether the route would get finished, whether rain would shut them down and if they would be able to complete the climb, all while being tormented by biting horseflies the size of dimes.
“It was blue-collar work,” Smith said.
Final ascent
The payoff was the opportunity to free-climb the entire route. It took 15 hours to ascend the 19 pitches, the last one a scramble to the top. The majority of the pitches were rated 5.11, with one a 5.12. A 5.11 is a steep route that requires difficult and powerful moves. A 5.15a climb is considered the most difficult.
“When we left, the locals were happy with the route,” Smith said. “It’s one of those things, the more you think about it, it’s amazing how it all worked out.”
“After having some other folks climb it from the local area and being happy with it, that makes it worthwhile,” Traub said.
Although rewarding to have established a big-wall first ascent, Smith is looking forward to less-gear intensive routes for a while. And despite being gone for almost two months, he had no desire to spend more than a short time in Miles City visiting family.
After a brief stop in Billings to visit his brother, he was on to Mount Shasta in California where he has work in an outdoor school taking youngsters backpacking and climbing.
“I was home for a few days and the feeling I get right before I’m going to leave is exciting,” he said. “If you stay in one place too long, you know what’s going to happen and you know what’s not going to happen.”
One thing is for certain, though, both men would like to return to Chile just to climb, not to weed-eat the cliffs.
“I would definitely entertain the thought of going down to Chile, since we have the logistics figured out,” Traub said. “It’s by far one of the neatest spots I’ve ever climbed.”


Diputado celebró la anulación de permiso para proyecto hidroeléctrico en Cochamó
“Sus dueños siempre quisieron imponer un proyecto que no era coherente con la vocación de Cochamó”, expresó el parlamentario.


Como una muy buena noticia para el desarrollo del turismo sustentable en la comuna de Cochamó, calificó el diputado Patricio Vallespín la decisión de la Corte Suprema de anular la Resolución de Calificación Ambiental (RCA) del proyecto hidroeléctrico Mediterráneo, el cual pretendía construir una central de pasada en la cuenca del río Puelo, Región de Los Lagos.

La Tercera Sala, por tres votos a favor y uno en contra, rechazó los recursos de casación presentados por la empresa Mediterráneo, el Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental (SEA) y otros recurrentes, lo que además de anular la resolución del Comité de Ministros, mantiene la sentencia del Tercer Tribunal Ambiental de Valdivia, el cual falló a favor de la reclamación interpuesta por José Horacio Cayún por serias falencias de metodología en el estudio antropológico de dicho proyecto. Entre ellas, muestras arbitrarias en la comunidad indígena Domingo Cayún Panicheo, que no daban cuenta de la real afectación de la central y el tendido eléctrico sobre sus terrenos y habitantes.

“Sus dueños siempre quisieron imponer un proyecto que no era coherente con la vocación de Cochamó, que generaba más perjuicio que cosas positivas, por lo que celebro con fuerza este éxito de la comunidad organizada y todos los que trabajamos en su defensa”, comentó Vallespín.
El parlamentario destacó que con esta decisión se da una señal positiva para evitar que los beneficios particulares se sobrepongan a los deseos de una comunidad y el bien común. “La vocación del futuro de Cochamó es el turismo sustentable y esta central lo único que hacía era deteriorar esa proyección. Qué bueno que no tendrá viabilidad”, expresó.

De propiedad de los empresarios José Cox, Fernando Elgueta y Roberto Hagemann, la central hidroeléctrica de pasada Mediterráneo es un proyecto de 210 MW que, enclavado en la cuenca del río Puelo, proyectaba la construcción de una línea de transmisión eléctrica de alto voltaje de 63 kilómetroshacia Puerto Montt, además de la construcción de dos subestaciones.

Fuente:  http://www.elrepuertero.cl/noticia/politica/diputado-celebro-la-anulacion-de-permiso-para-proyecto-hidroelectrico

Picaflor - Dirtbag Diaries
Listen at:  http://dirtbagdiaries.com/picaflor/  or  download audio.

When a bad breakup sent him into a spiraling into a deep depression, Tom Ireson fixated on an unconventional way to get his head straight:

“I really needed something to focus my mind on to pull me out of that,” Tom says, “and about the biggest thing I could think of was to try and do a new route on a big wall.”

Not just any big wall, a big wall on the other side of the world in the remote and wild valley of Cochamo, Chile. When he latched on to the idea, Tom had never been to Cochamo and never climbed a big wall, much less established a new route on one.

Today, we’ve got one for you about how, if you find yourself at the bottom of an impossibly deep hole, sometimes it takes an equally impossible goal to pull yourself out of it.


If you want to hear more from Tom, check out his 2014 Short, ‘Go For It‘.
Protegiendo el Valle de Cochamó: Si quieres visitar, deberás reservar
(http://www.laderasur.cl/reportajes/protegiendo-el-valle-de-cochamo-si-quieres-visitar-deberas-reservar/)

Desde esta temporada 2017, para poder conocer el Valle de Cochamó deberás reservar tu sitio en los camping autorizados con anticipación. Esto como parte de una medida para asegurar un turismo sustentable que proteja al valle del deterioro que ha causado la sobrepoblación de turistas en los últimos años.

©McKay Savage

A partir del 1 de enero de 2017, todo aquel que quiera visitar el llamado “paraíso para la escalada” o “el Yosemite de Sudamérica” ubicado en la región de Los Lagos, deberá reservar con anticipación su cupo. Esto, luego de que operadores turísticos y dueños de terrenos en el valle de Cochamó, con el apoyo de la Municipalidad de Cochamó, Cochamó Patagonia Chile y Puelo Patagonia, se pusieran de acuerdo para proteger este lugar que en los últimos 3 años prácticamente ha triplicado su cantidad de visitantes, superando con creces su capacidad de carga.

Atrás quedaron los días en los que sólo algunos aventureros ansiosos de escalar sus características paredes de granito, llegaban al sector de La Junta en Cochamó, luego de subir por el mismo paso por el que sus habitantes y arrieros se han desplazado en la zona durante 100 años y que lleva hasta Argentina. Esos días en los que aún era gratis acampar en algunas zonas y donde sus toboganes de piedra natural eran un tesoro conocido por sólo unos pocos.

Cochamó sucio y sobrepoblado

©Cristóbal Muñoz Robles

Hoy se estima que al Valle de Cochamó llegan alrededor de 13.000 visitantes en la temporada alta, lo que supera la capacidad de carga que el lugar puede soportar y pone en peligro las maravillas naturales de este valle.

Según un estudio realizado en 2009 por la Facultad de Geografía de la Universidad de Barcelona, la capacidad de carga turística anual en el sendero La Junta debiera ser de 975 personas, ya que “presenta una alta erodabilidad y vulnerabilidad en cuanto a la pérdida de vegetación, debido al gran número de personas que lo transitan como vía de comunicación con Argentina, tanto a pie como a caballo”. Además, los 4 sitios de camping privados que hay en el sector de La Junta tienen una capacidad para 400 personas.

El gran problema es que no sólo estas cifras no se han respetado, ya que en temporada alta durante el verano llegan al lugar un promedio de 150 personas por día (con una estadía mínima de alrededor de 3 días) por lo que muchas veces una vez que las personas llegan al sector se encuentran con los campings llenos y deciden pernoctar en cualquier lugar; sino que además las personas que llegan han comenzado a dejar todo tipo de desechos.


Es tiempo de un cambio

©Augusto Dominguez

Según comentaron a Patagon Journal Sebastián Fuentes y Adolfo Mancilla, representantes del municipio de Cochamó, hasta el año 2015 era posible aún acampar de forma gratuita cruzando el río La Junta, pero desde la temporada de 2016 Bienes Nacionales autorizó que estén bajo administración municipal. Desde entonces ellos se han turnado para dormir bajo un gran toldo blanco en medio del bosque y evitar así que las personas acampen en aquella concurrida zona en la que, sólo en la temporada pasada, los arrieros debieron acarrear en sus caballos dos toneladas de basura, especialmente envases de alcohol que los visitantes dejaron en el bosque y las riberas.

A ellos ya les ha tocado ver que algunos visitantes llegan al lugar al atardecer, se encuentran con los campings sin sitios disponibles y llegan a este sector para instalarse. Y una vez que se encuentran con Fuentes o Mancilla a estos no les queda otra que permitirles que pernocten durante sólo una noche a cambio de trabajo voluntario al día siguiente que consiste en despejar senderos, eliminar fogones o construir señaléticas, entre otros.

Sin embargo esto ya no podrá repetirse a partir de esta temporada 2017 luego de que las comunidades del sector aunaran esfuerzos para proteger la zona. De ahora en adelante  quien quiera visitar las paredes de granito, bosques de alerce, ríos y cascadas del Valle de Cochamó deberá planificar su viaje con anticipación y reservar su sitio en los campings autorizados directamente en la página www.reservasvallecochamo.cl. De lo contrario, impedirán su paso.

 ¿Cómo reservar?

1. Elige el servicio que quieres contratar, en el mapa o en la lista de servicios.

2. Contacta al prestador de servicios y espera su respuesta.

¡Así de fácil!

Al comienzo del sendero, pedirán tu comprobante de reserva de algún camping del sector la Junta. Si no cuentas con él, deberás preguntar en el registro si los camping tienen disponibilidad de espacio y sólo si existe algún cupo podrás continuar hasta La Junta. Este plan se va a comenzar a ejecutar el 1 de enero 2017.


Si quieres conocer más acerca de la situación en el Valle de Cochamó, te recomendamos este documental que también toca la problemática de la basura: “El Mono de Cochamó“. 
El Mono de Cochamó: La pelicula ganadora del Festival de Cine de Montana


"El Mono de Cochamó": La pelicula ganadora del Festival de Cine de Montana de Santiago 2016. El documental relata la vida de Cristian Gallardo, mejor conocido como "El Mono", en el Valle de Cocham6 al sur de Chile y recientemente fue premiada como la Mejor Pelicula del Cine de Aventura Sudamericano durante el XVII Santiago Mountain Film Festival (Banff). Aquí podrás encontrar el documental y una pequefia entrevista a su creador, Daniel Pastene, donde nos cuenta como llegó a hacer este galardonado audiovisual.

El Cine de Aventura Sudamericano reune las mejores piezas audiovisuales de deportes al aire libre del continente, durante el Santiago Mountain film Festival. Quien se llevó los honores fue el chileno Daniel Pastene, con esta película. Este filme de 21 minutos, muestra la vida de Cristian Gallardo, conocido como "El Mono", en el valle selvatico de la Junta del Valle Cochamó, en Chile. La historia transcurre en dos estaciones, verano e invierno, donde la vida de este joven argentino encargado del refugio cambia junto a la llegada de muchos turistas, la soledad y el frio invernal.

Conversamos con Daniel para saber mas acerca de este proyecto que ya ha ganado varies premios como "Meier Película" en el festival Festival Internacional de Cine de Montana, Noche de Fogón de Bari!oche 2016, y "Mejor Fotografia" en El Festival Internacional de Cine de Montana Co. Valdés 2016. Ademas de ser considerado como Selección en el "Festival de Cine Internacional Surmic." de Puerto Montt y el 'Adventure Film Festival" de Santiago. Este es los que Pastene nos comentó acerca de su película y como llegó a hacerla.

"En el año 2000, tomé la decisión de ir a estudiar música a Bélgica, donde me titulé de clarinetista e interpreté musical con mención en composición en el Conservatorio de la ciudad de Gent. Ahí no solo descubrí un mundo enorme sobre la música, sino que también descubrí la fotografia", cuenta Daniel Pastene. Tras 12 años viviendo en Bélgica decidió regresar a Chile cansado del "viejo mundo y de la supuesta comunidad social en la que me encontraba," cuenta. Al llegar a Chile conoció la escalada y sal corns Pastene cuenta, un nuevo mundo se abrió ante sus ojos, encontró en la escalade no solo un deporte sino que una forma de vide y equilibrio espiritual.

Este lugar marcó un antes y un después en su propia vida por lo mismo decidió crear a partir de sus grabaciones y su experience este documental...

Ver el artículo entero en:
http://www.laderasur.cl/esta-pasando/el-mono-de-cochamo-la-pelicula-ganadora-del-festival-de-cine-de-montana-de-santiago-2016/
Baño Mágico






https://vimeo.com/185803240

Este video del proyecto realizado en el sector de El Bosque Mágico, queda a 15 minutos de Santiago de Chile, es uno de los lugares mas frecuentados de la región Metropolitana, por esta razón es muy importante de señalar ciertos consejos para poder convivir con la naturaleza y con las otras personas que llegan a este lugar fascinante, cuenta con un microclima que hace muy agradable la escalada, esperamos crear consciencia para que las próximas generaciones puedan disfrutar de esta área, muchas gracias a todos los voluntarios que participaron de la limpieza y orden de os senderos.

El Bosque Mágico, Cochamó y todos los sectores de escalada no pueden convertirse en un basural. La comunidad lo tiene claro y lo anuncia una vez más con este video.
El llamado es a comportarse de manera consciente y generar un mínimo impacto.

Recuerda:
- Si vas a al baño usa una pala y llévate tu papel.
- Baja toda tu basura.
- No hagas fuego en lugares donde no está permitido.
- Mantente dentro de los senderos.
- Respeta el espacio y el silencio de los demás.
- Escala de forma segura y responsablemente.
- Finalmente recuerda que esta no es una lista de acciones a memorizar sino algo que se debe entender e interiorizar de forma definitiva.


El Condor Pasa - Slovaks climb the hardest new big wall in Cochamó Valley
04.03.2016 di Planetmountain (http://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/climbing/el-condor-pasa-slovaks-climb-new-big-wall-in-cochamo-valley-chile.html)

Slovakian climbers Josef Kristoffy, Martin Krasnansky and Vlado Linek have made the first ascent of the hardest route in Cochamó, El Condor Pasa (13d, 700m) on Cerro Trinidad Central.

After the endless journey transporting 300 kg of luggage, they finally arrived at Camping La Junta in the epicenter of Cochamó Valley, located about 3 hours on foot from Cochamo village in Northern Patagonia. After becoming acquainted with the area and gathering the necessary information they decided to climb a new route up the impressive 700 meter high northwest face of Cerro Trinidad Central (1720 m). The next three days were spent carrying 300 kg of gear and food to the base of the route, and on Jan. 5 they began their project by following a virgin line circa 50 meters left of Nunca Mas Marisco (Angelo Forcignano, Ismaele Fosti, Christian Gianatti, Lorenzo Lanfranchi, Giovanni Ongaro, Simone Pedeferri, 2005) that shares the same start as Tabanos na Cara (5.10c, A3+), Sergio Tartari, José Luis Hartman, 2000).


Initially the new route led past small, shallow cracks and the Slovaks soon realised that the style of climbing was very different to what they were used to. Formed by water, ice and vegetation, the cracks were so small that jamming fingers and placing pro proved practically impossible, resulting in complex big wall climbing techniques requiring the smallest micro nuts, micro friends and hooks. Most cracks were dirty and full of weeds and after midday, when the sun hit the wall, climbing became almost impossible as they had to battle high temperatures and tabanos horse flies.

Using a mix of aid and free climbing, over the next week they fixed the lower pitches and managed to reach the summit. Five pitches were shared with Tabanos na Cara but where this breaks left the Slovaks continued right, parallel to Nunca mas Marisco. From 20 - 25 January they then set about freeing the remaining aid pitches, including the 14th pitch that Kristoffy freed on their last day with difficulties estimated at 13d.

Although time had run out for a single push, ground-up ascent, with all pitches freed individually Kristoffy stated "I'm really satisfied, this is my biggest climbing achievement so far: a 50 m grade X about 400m above the ground that I myself helped create, thousands of kilometres from home, after 3 weeks of work, lacking food and really exhausted…"


Cochamó, Un Verano Sobrepoblado
por Ignacio Palma de Patagon Journal

La historia ya es conocida dentro del mundo outdoor nacional e internacional. Ubicada en un privilegiado lugar en la precordillera de la región de Los Lagos, la cuenca del río Cochamó cuenta con unas 30 mil hectáreas de bosque de selva templada, de tipo valdiviano, las que están rodeadas por cordones montañosos de paredes de granito, cuyas cumbres superan los mil metros de altura. Éstas han sido el paraíso para escaladores que buscan nuevas rutas en uno de los Big Walls más grande de Sudamérica ...

Leer más en http://bit.ly/1Ug6Lvp

OS7 en el Valle Cochamó
Agentes de antidrogas del OS7 de Carabineros asistido por su perro buscan drogas en las mochilas de los visitantes del Valle Cochamó.

https://www.facebook.com/cochamopatagonia/ 

The Constant Gardener, Other Heroic Deeds, and the Bitch Fest of One Disgruntled Dirtbag
by Chris Kalman
This is what Constant Gardening looks like. Cooper Varney on the FA of Todo Cambia. Photo: Florian Haenel
This is what Constant Gardening looks like. Cooper Varney on the FA of Todo Cambia. Photo: Florian Haenel

So there he stood. Covered in dirt, hands so worn and ruined that he could not properly shake my friend’s hand.  Brushes long-since de-bristled, blood and dirt caked to cuticles and stuck in the eye creases, spittle stuck with dirt in the corners of his mouth.  So exhausted from his “day off” that he cannot even refuse my offer to push him across the river in the tyrolean cart.  That’s how I know he’s whopped – Daniel is a proud and capable man, and is far more likely to help me, than me him.

Now, Daniel, he’d fit the bill of ‘constant gardener’.  His extension to his own route Camp Farm on Cochamo’s La Junta – which he has worked bottom up, top down, side to side, and everything in between for multiple years now (often on solo missions that involve sleeping on the wall without bivy gear, and scrubbing, brushing, cleaning, bolting, etc for 10 hour stretches) – that route would qualify for the name.  Daniel’s been been putting up new routes in Cochamo for over ten years now – his Camp Farm extension is just the latest and greatest.  If cleaning vegetation out of cracks and scrubbing lichen and moss off of faces were cool in the climbing community, than Daniel would be Chris Sharma.  If there is anyone as accomplished in those thankless tasks, I’d love to meet him or her.  Simply put, Daniel’s appetite for cleaning is voracious and insatiable.  I learned from him, and J.B. Haab how to properly “work” on a route, during my first two seasons in Cochamo.  I also learned from them that it’s not something to brag about, or anything, it’s just what you do.  It’s what we do.  We’re there, in paradise, getting to establish new routes on incredible walls.  It’s a privilege.  It’s the biggest privilege.

Okay, I can feel how crusty I’m being even before I get to the point.  But seriously.  When a couple of pro climbers put up a new route in Yosemite (in 2 days, mind you – not the month+ suffer-fests I’ve witnessed in Cochamo), and call it the Constant Gardener; and then when their sponsoring company makes a video about it to show how amazing these guys are, for all their selfless gardening and hard work up on this wall – I can’t help but laugh (a bit cynically, perhaps).

In truth, it doesn’t have anything to do with these athletes, or this company, or their route, or another route.  It’s not a pissing match.  The thing I find frustrating is that we as a community constantly drool over these ordinary people who we ourselves place on the “hero” pedestal.  The media and the industry behind it feed into it by making a big deal of normal everyday actions when pros do them.  If I had pitched to any climbing company that I would go somewhere and spend days, weeks, whatever it took on a wall, scrubbing it, cleaning it, and prepping it for free climbing, repeat ascents, etc – they would have laughed me out of the office.

If?  Oh wait, that’s right.  It’s not easy drumming up support for blue collar work if you’re a measly plebeian dirtbag.  You can’t get a major AAC grant to do it.  You can’t get major sponsorships (i.e., ones that pay) – magazines don’t want articles about it.  What can you get money for?  How can you make a name for yourself?  Well, you’re not going to suddenly start climbing 5.15… You won’t all of a sudden grab the speed record on the nose… Nobody cares if you climb a new 5.11… but wait, what about a 5.11x?  Hmm… now we’re talking.  How about a 5.11x in PATAGONIA?  Uhhuh, we’re listening… And it was shitty conditions, and I almost died.  Yes?  Tell us more…

Everyone wants to see pros acting blue collar, down to earth, humble, and community-service oriented.  But nobody wants to see amateur climbers doing the same.  As far as the climbing community, media, and corporate sponsors are concerned, it seems to me that the only thing that really gets a nod, a mention, or a dollar spent on it if you don’t have “a name” is risking your neck on big scary mountains.  The riskier, the gnarlier, the better.  Does anyone else find it ironic that our heroes die in the mountains, and then we establish grants in their names to encourage new climbers to do the same?  Okay, we’re not directly encouraging them to die.  Obviously not.  But if we make remote, challenging, and alpine pre-requisites – we certainly encourage toeing that line.

I know it seems like I’m biting the hand that feeds.  Yes, I did receive a Copp Dash Award this past winter, and yes, it is to attempt a new route on a remote alpine big wall where weather is super gnarly.  Yes, I am grateful, humbled, and honored at the opportunity.  But no, I don’t think we should avoid the subject.  What is the ostensible goal of the climbing media?  What should we promote, and what should we devalue?  What responsibilities do climbing companies have to their clientele, and what responsibilities do we as climbers have to one another.

There should be another way.  If you want a professional place in the climbing community, there should be more options than risking your neck, or giving up because you’ll never climb as hard as “the other guy” (as most of us won’t).  The story we need to begin, more and more often, to tell, is the one of the everyday climber who is just like us.  The average ascentionist, the dime a dozen dirtbag.  If we cannot find inspiration in them, how can we begin to find inspiration in ourselves?
http://fringesfolly.com/2014/10/03/the-constant-gardener-the-constant-aggrandizement-of-occasional-gardening-and-other-heroic-deeds-and-the-bitch-fest-of-one-disgruntled-dirtbag/