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What Nobody is Saying About the Dawn Wall


Original Post
Chris Kalman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 205

So, interesting thought at the link below about the Dawn Wall. What do people out in MP land think about this?

What Nobody is Saying About the Dawn Wall - Fringe's Folly

Rob Dillon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 720

So some old guy wishes there was more adventure and less press involved. Apparently, though, the route is hard and in fact the totally ground-supported, fixed, ticked, rehearsed way the boys are going about it is actually the BEST STYLE POSSIBLE thus far.

I invite you do do better. I bet Tommy and Kevin do too.

Max Forbes · · Colorado · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 108
Rob Dillon wrote:So some old guy wishes there was more adventure and less press involved. Apparently, though, the route is hard and in fact the totally ground-supported, fixed, ticked, rehearsed way the boys are going about it is actually the BEST STYLE POSSIBLE thus far. I invite you do do better. I bet Tommy and Kevin do too.
Couldn't agree more. Another point I would add is that Warren Hading and Royal Robbins got WAY WAY WAY more publicity and fame for their ascents on El Cap. Their names were known nationwide, but I guarantee hardly anyone outside the climbing community will ever hear of Tommy and Kevin.
Colonel Mustard · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Sep 2005 · Points: 1,186

Diminishing the sends of others to aggrandize your own game is Climbing 101.

Chris Kalman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 205

Thanks Rob! I've always wanted to be that crotchety old guy!

It definitely crossed my mind how silly it would be to pass judgement upon something I could never do... That's kind of what mountainproject is famous for, and it's generally super obnoxious.

That said, I think it often frustrates people enough to get out and actually speak their minds about something, which is really what the piece is intended to do.

The question is not whether Kevin and Tommy should be doing something different - but whether we, as a community, should be. Is there a point at which we need to cut off our own zealous mongering of the stories pros have to tell in order to keep the sport authentic, or meaningful, to its practicing masses? That's the question I really mean to ask.

Benjamin Chapman · · Small Town, USA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 13,384

Hmmm.....pretty tough to dedicate 6 years of your life to a project and not get some financial support or compensation. Not saying that Kevin and Tommy are in this endeavor for $$$, but as professional athletes some media coverage (NY Times, Big Up...) is necessary in order to make a living and make this project happen.

You don't like their style.......grab your shoes, chalk bag, rope and show us how it's supposed to be done according to your rules/ethics OR JUST STICK YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND AND IGNORE IT.

Malcolm Daly · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 370

Chris,

It is what it is. With every push of the limits, there has also been a push of the techniques, style and ethics. There are a few notable exceptions, of course, but that's what climbing is about.

My gentle suggestion would be to relax about it, pay no attention to it and go climb the way you like to climb.

Mal

Rob Dillon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 720

And as far as all the press, tweeting, etc: feel free to ignore it. No doubt when Gutenberg first corrupted the purity of the transcribed Word, there was some cruster crying about the loss of the illuminated tradition. But a whole lot more people else got to 'participate', and that's pretty cool in its own way.

Chris Kalman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 205

Thanks Malcolm.

I think you're right. I may have misrepresented myself in the piece a little, if I come off unrelaxed about the whole thing. It is mere curiosity that fueled me to write this and share it. See a phenomenon, and wonder why it is the way it is, and what it can tell us about the way things might be.

At the least, it is always interesting to bounce your ideas off of others. As John Stuart Mill said, (and I can't find the quote, but essentially) "an idea not subjected to the rigors of scrutiny is not one worth having" or something like that.

Mike Kim · · Hermosa Beach, CA · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 5

either way. Great read, well written article.., and incredible push by tommy and kevin right now.

Rob Dillon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 720

But yeah Chris, I don't want to be a jerk. I think we'd all do well to make sure to balance our diets of vicarious hype with some solo treks to mossy boulders and obscure scrambles. As long as you're getting out there on your own for whatever constitutes 'adventure' in your personal realm, I don't see the harm in following along with the boys.

And I really appreciated your piece about Heidi last month. Thanks for putting that up.

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125
Chris Kalman wrote:So, interesting thought at the link below about the Dawn Wall...
You should've had the courage to make it clear you wrote that "interesting" BS in your OP...
Highlander · · Ouray, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 255

Unless you have climbed multiple pitches of 5.14 on a big wall and spent 2 weeks on El Cap, you probably don't have the slightest idea of the difficulty, and hardship these guys face daily. Just from the dedication and perseverance Tommy and Kevin have shown over the years to keep trying a route that may or may not go, but to attempt to push climbing to the next level and do what many would call impossible, is inspiring.
The media has jumped all over this and I would bet that Tommy and Kevin would much prefer that it was just them up there focusing on the climbing, but if they send, it will be the hardest rock route in the world and everyone wants a piece of it. I personally have enjoyed the coverage and reading about their progress and followed it since Tommy began the route many years ago. Go Tommy and Kevin!

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,107

i agree w/ reboot - kinda lame that you are presenting this in a third person sort of way...

i think i will sum it up by quoting you directly "...I won’t be that armchair mountaineer."

but then you go on to be that armchair mountaineer...

i'm pretty sure TC would still be up there, even if there weren't film crews, etc....

Darren Mabe · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Dec 2002 · Points: 3,830

"...the last thing I want to do is criticize. BUT..."

Have you ever heard that when people use the word "But", that you can pretty much disregard everything they said preceding it?

what nobody is saying about this article is that you talk out of both sides of your mouth. It appears what you really want to say is in BOLD, and the rest is an attempt to sandwich the turd between two cookies.

Christopher Gibson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 85

Great read and great endeavor by two great climbers. My take on the article and what the author is trying to convey is similar to hiking the Appalachian Trail or climbing Mt. Everest. You have thru-hikers that take on the trail in one big push from beginning to end and never see home, eat a home cooked meal, get a postal shipment, or spend the night in a hotel. Then you have some that hike it in small sections and they get to go home, regroup, go back with new boots, new vigor and refreshed attitude about hiking while never being at it long enough to get grind down to the nitty gritty, lose about 20 lbs in the process and get put to the brink of insanity from the pure thought of having another 1517 mi to go. Or climbing mount everest as just a two man team, no oxygen, no portors, no $45,000 guide, just the two of you and the mountain. Both are done in different ways and styles and are accomplished in different way and styles. The question is whether one way is more meaningful than the other. Ultimately that's up to the people doing it. We are just bystanders watching from the sideline.

MojoMonkey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 66

I think their style is at least as good as pimping your blog on a forum. Especially creating a new thread for it when there is already a multipage discussion on it, including the style they are employing. And especially without making explicit that it is your own post you are calling interesting.

Though I see you are open to marketing inquiries and contributions to your blog, so maybe you are just bummed Kevin is posting on facebook instead?

Colonel Mustard · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Sep 2005 · Points: 1,186

Yep. There you have it. Tommy and Kevin, pampered thru hikers on the Yosemite Trail.

I could not think of a more unsuitable analogy if I tried.

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,107
Colonel Mustard wrote:Yep. There you have it. Tommy and Kevin, pampered thru hikers on the Yosemite Trail.
bwaaahhhaaaahhaaa, definitely some funny shit there. i think i am going to grab a bag of trail mix and a pancho and mosey up el cap....
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800
MojoMonkey wrote:I think their style is at least as good as pimping your blog on a forum. Especially creating a new thread for it when there is already a multipage discussion on it, including the style they are employing. And especially without making explicit that it is your own post you are calling interesting. Though I see you are open to marketing inquiries and contributions to your blog, so maybe you are just bummed Kevin is posting on facebook instead?
Oh snap!
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 579
Chris Kalman wrote:So, interesting thought at the link below about the Dawn Wall. What do people out in MP land think about this? What Nobody is Saying About the Dawn Wall - Fringe's Folly
Glad Tommy and Kevin could afford you an opportunity to publicize your website.

Edited to add- damn it Mojo, you beat me to it!
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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