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are the mags passe?

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chuffnugget · · Bolder, CO · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 0
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FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 276

Alpinist is a good, although pricey, magazine.

Tristan Higbee · · Pocatello, ID · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 2,970

Depends what you're into. Deadpoint is too sport- and bouldering-focused for my interests.

I still go to the library or book store to read Climbing and Rock & Ice, though I never buy them. There's great writing in there and a wider variety of stuff compared to what you'll see online, in terms of the people writing, the experiences had, and the places traveled to.

I agree with Frank, though. Alpinist is where it's at for me. Best magazine I've seen for any sport or industry.

Even if the climbing mags are "decreasing in quality and content" as you say, they're still currently better than most of the crap online.

Peter Stokes · · Them Thar Hills · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 150

I think you have a point... as motor fuel costs (and therefore paper and distribution costs) head ever upward- and sales head downward- the magazines have had no choice but to try building an internet presence. Dead Point Mag entered the game recently enough that they didn't have an expensive business model from an earlier time that needed changing- distributing just enough free copies of a smaller mag printed on cheaper paper in just the right places gives them (I'm guessing) a significantly lower overhead. The more established mags have had to cut costs any way they can, including writing staff and content. I'll be interested to see where both models go- will Climbing and Rock & Ice get as small as DPM and finish articles on the web, and/or will DPM expand into the same newsstand markets as the others?

Wiled Horse · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2002 · Points: 3,588

It depends on what generation you are from

Seth Derr · · harrisburg, pa · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 2,215

Makes sense. Print media in general is in decline, as there's no way a monthly, weekly, or even daily publication can keep up with the instantaneous happenings of the world the way the internet can. Paper and print is largely on the decline, just look at the problems of the post office as an example. I agree with Darren that each individual's tastes depend largely on their generation, but i think if anything that proves the point that eventually, as the generations who grew up with print pass and the world is dominated by folks who've had the internet since birth, we'll see most news outlets concentrate on the internet to get their message across.

Danielyaris · · Salem, OR · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 20
Darren Mabe wrote:It depends on what generation you are from
this I would say. Alpinist is great too and I still read rock and ice/climbing

I don't need to hear about the newest 5.16 day by daybut I love to read expedition stories in Alpinist. One of the other magazines I want to say Climbing maybe had a great spread on the cascades too.
camhead · · Vandalia, Appalachia · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,240

Alpinist fills a good niche. I think that lately, R&I has been doing a way better job than Climbing for just general all-around coverage. Yosemite is in general pretty played out, but I really like R&I's recent special issue on the Valley.

For new school internet 8a.spewers, Deadpoint seems to be doing a way more well-rounded and diverse job than Urban Climber. The last issue of Urban Climber that I read appeared to have been envisioned, researched, and produced by the same tired clique of radclimbers that never leave The Spot.

Pinklebear · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2006 · Points: 3,492

This thread is passe; in fact, it would have been passe in 2003.

Having worked for years in the mags, I can tell you that this criticism, as valid or invalid as you might feel it to be, is nothing new under the sun. Putting together magazines is very hard work, and often thankless. I'm glad the print mags are still around, and my hat's off to those who work there. The Internet has brought many great new voices and venues to climbing reporting as well, and it's hard to see why the Web and print should be mutually exclusive. One doesn't necessarily need to eclipse the other, and print journalists referencing web forums is just a reflection of how we've all adapted to the new media.

Happy climbing!

Petsfed DoxxedBySensitiveGuidebookAuth · · Snohomish, WA · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 990

I wouldn't say that the magazines are passe, or even getting worse. Its just that Urban Climber keeps getting worse, and its skewing the average.

Woodchuck ATC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 3,280
Darren Mabe wrote:It depends on what generation you are from
Totally agree. At my age, I can't imagine sitting with some e-book or e-magazine to read. Depend on electronic connection, internet, batteries? Nope. I want to hold that issue and thumb through the pages, fold it over and check 2 references at same time, stuff it in my pack for tent reading when snowed in. Nothing beats the physical magazine and the effort it takes to lay it out and publish. Agree the content of the big 2 has slipped quite a bit, but that can be blamed on the need to make sales and reach a new kind of climber/reader these days(those who want only to read , 5.15b results). Anybody remember the old Summit and Off Belay mags of the late 70's and how easy it was for everyday folks to get something published? Miss those days and the early R&I, Climbing issues.
Carl Sherven · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 210
David Sahalie wrote: 'tips from a cute climber girl' isn't making your palms sweat?
Rock and Ice is also starting to look like FHM. When that's a link from the MP homepage it doesn't scream "this magazine writes about interesting and climbing-related things." It kinda says "we got nuthin', but we know that sex sells."
Kevin Landolt · · Fort Collins, Wyoming · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 585

Climbing is such a broad pursuit and draws such a wide demographic... What a challenge it must be for any magazine! I'm psyched when I see articles like Steve "Crusher" Barlett's "The Colossus" appear in mainstream mags like Climbing and applaud thoughtful editors like Dougald MacDonald for realizing that climbing isn't black and white, that there's adventure and discovery at the heart of it.

Ryan Williams · · London (sort of) · Joined May 2009 · Points: 1,245
David Sahalie wrote:imo, the all the paper climbing mags have been decreasing in quality and content. i read more than the rest, not because it is free, but because it is better and online. for eye candy, no one compiles it better than seeing this post… on supertopo, made me think... is it the beginning of the end when: prominent people post to their local forums instead of writing to the editor of Climbing? ....and then the mags are re-reporting what is posted on forums?…
This is pretty much how all paper mags work these days. You don't see or time magazine's website reporting breaking news. Things get tweeted or blogged or facebooked, talked about on a forum or chatroom way before they come out in print.

Many people don't read forums, and actually get all climbing info from mags. I personally like having a real magazine as well, but that's just me.

The mags do what they can with the resources they can afford. Better than nothing, but i do agree that sometimes their content is lacking and the quality of writing is a bit of a joke.
Nick Stayner · · Wymont Kingdom · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 2,325
Killis Howard wrote: ...maybe some'a y'all punters oughta write something..
Another classic Killis line, loaded with truth.
Don't like the content? Write something that embodies the change you want to see and submit it. Guarantee you'll feel better whether or not it gets published.
Chris D · · the couch · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 2,230

Alpinist and Rock & Ice are pretty good. Alpinist may be worth +$10/issue for the stunning photography alone, and both magazines are quality bound glossy periodicals that are a pleasure to have around the house. Much nicer to pick up and read than the screen of a laptop.

And while they cater to different audiences (sort of) they both serve the same purpose for me; motivating stories and photographs of the stallions of the sport doing things I wish I could do in places I'd love to be right now.

It's a lot better than wading through 6,000 threads of old dirt bags arguing about tea baggers and religion for the occasional nugget of goodness on supertaco.

Bob Dergay · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 101

I have to admit, while having stacks of old R&I and Climbing mags from the 80's and early 90's.. I don't think I've picked up either of them in over 8-9 years except to peruse through quickly while waiting in line somewhere... The content is just tired.

I think we've either hit "peak climbing news" or perhaps the "end of climbing history" a long ago... I suppose such is life in the post-modern era...

And this isn't a knock against the publishers etc- no doubt, putting together a mag is extremely difficult. But how many times can we read the same story?

It's like being invited to go see yet another slideshow on some dude's quest to climb Everest.. yawn.

Pick up any contemporary climbing rag, with its only content being ______ climbed/bolted a new ________ at ________, and it's rated _____!!!! and then compare it to one of Bonatti's books.. Now, which one embodies that for which we seek?

played out...

azclimbingrocks · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 0

Folks have been saying the mags are in declines since they've been publishing. They go up and down. IMHO, it all depends on who are the editors & publishers.

Cant say I personally am very thrilled by the content of the big two over the past few years. Kennedy kept Climbing consitent at least. And I'm willing to give the new crew a few more months but...

Dylan Colon · · Geneva, CH · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 491

I think it varies a lot month to month. I personally think Leo Houlding's article in Rock and Ice about his struggle to send The Prophet on El Cap was one of the most riveting things I've read about climbing in quite a while.

sberk4 · · concord, MA · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 0
BDergay wrote: Pick up any contemporary climbing rag, with its only content being ______ climbed/bolted a new ________ at ________, and it's rated _____!!!! and then compare it to one of Bonatti's books.. Now, which one embodies that for which we seek?
Great point. I stopped reading climbing magazines except for Alpinist last year, and I also cut down on the number of climbing-related blogs and sites I read, because they don't have worthwhile content. I don't think the magazines are passé or "played out" because they fill in a good niche with the feature articles on more out-of-the-way destinations (two great ones in Climbing were on Valle Cochamó in Chile, and one by Fitz Cahall on climbing in Cochise Stronghold), but reading them month after month is often a waste of time.

Also, David makes an interesting point about news corps. buying sites like SuperTopo...would this happen?
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

General Climbing
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