Mountain Project Logo

Historic or just another click bait


Original Post
Fehim Hasecic · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 90

What are your thoughts on how our climbing media presents (hypes up) the sport related news?

Here’s the video of the send, props to Micheala 

http://rockandice.com/videos/climbing/michaela-kiersch-first-female-ascent-necessary-evil-5-14c/

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

Given that Necessary Evil has shut down a good number of very strong climbers, I think the ascent itself is newsworthy.


Nate Tastic · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10

Lots of little interesting stuff going on in the first part of that video that I won't mention. The climbing part of it was nasty AF! Props to her.

Here's another article that describes the event in greater detail.

https://www.climbing.com/news/a-necessary-evolution-michaela-kiersch-and-paige-claassen-send-necessary-evil/

A couple of quotes from the article that I found interesting for their apparent contradictions:

Climbing is a pretty welcoming and positive thing for females right now,” Harrington says, discussing how some of the tokenism of climbing has dissipated, creating a healthier, more supportive environment where “the rising tide lifts all of us.”

“Climbing is becoming obsolete for men,” says Claassen. “I think it’s going to become a women’s-only sport.”  

Fehim Hasecic · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 90

John Wilder wrote:

Given that Necessary Evil has shut down a good number of very strong climbers, I think the ascent itself is newsworthy.


Yes, but newsworthy doesn’t make it historic, or maybe I’m just behind the times 

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 345

Fehim Hasecic wrote:

Yes, but newsworthy doesn’t make it historic, or maybe I’m just behind the times 

I think it's historic. Necessary Evil was the first of its grade in the US to be FA'd by an American, and went 22 years without a female ascent, even while well over a dozen women had climbed the grade in the US and Europe.  That's a big deal.

Nate Tastic · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10

Fehim Hasecic wrote:

Yes, but newsworthy doesn’t make it historic, or maybe I’m just behind the times 

It was first sent in 1997. It seems odd to call something historic that happened ~20 years ago, doesn't it? 

I suppose it was historic in that it was "considered the hardest climb in North America, despite Sharma being only 15 years old" at the time.

Russ Keane · · Asheville, NC · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 150

Cool video.   I think it's important/interesting that climbing can be done equally by men and women.    This is rare in sports. 

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 14,479

Fehim Hasecic wrote:

Yes, but newsworthy doesn’t make it historic, or maybe I’m just behind the times 

Maybe so.  

I think its historic.

pfwein · · Boulder, CO · Joined May 2006 · Points: 35

Nate Tastic wrote:

It was first sent in 1997. It seems odd to call something historic that happened ~20 years ago, doesn't it? 

I suppose it was historic in that it was "considered the hardest climb in North America, despite Sharma being only 15 years old" at the time.

No, it's not odd at all.  Something can be historic if it happened yesterday or a 1000 years ago--the date is irrelevant.  Perhaps you're confusing historic and historical?


"Historic means 'famous or important in history', as in a historic occasion, whereas historical means 'concerning history or historical events', as inhistorical evidence; thus a historic event is one that was very important, whereas a historical event is something that happened in the past."

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/usage/historic-or-historical

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470

I think this ascent is a big deal. Despite its fame NE has still not seen that many ascents. I think it might still be less than 20? It's an older/harder style, that is different from those at the Red which favor pure fitness. 

Plus it's a good video.  

Also, I think 'clickbait' means no real content.  I think this is very far above that bar.


EDIT: just read the climbing mag article linked above, good history of the route and why it is important. 

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 125

It isn't clickbait, it is an ad for an outdoor gear company highlighting an accomplishment by a sponsored athlete.  I thought it was cool, it sure as heck looked hard, and great for her that she was able to get the route, even if she was using pre-hung draws (is that the norm for hard sport routes these days?).

Fehim Hasecic · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 90

caughtinside wrote:

I think this ascent is a big deal. Despite its fame NE has still not seen that many ascents. I think it might still be less than 20? It's an older/harder style, that is different from those at the Red which favor pure fitness. 

Plus it's a good video.  

I get that it’s hard and rarely repeated, but climbing 14c these days is hardly newsworthy, my opinion of course. These are all armchair speculations. What bugs me about the way climbing media represents these kind of news, repeat ascents of hard climbs, it’s the inflation of the actual act that turns it into a click bait essentially. If I see historic in the title it will intrigue me and I’d like to know what it is, but in this case I new beforehand that the route was climbed 20 years ago, in 3 tries, so that diminished the value of the video. She is ticking off some super hard climbs, but that’s it, nothing historic about that.

I like the video of original send better, who ever was editing this one made it twitch and it was annoying as hell.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Are you asking if there is sensationalism in the news? Not really new...

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 14,479

Fehim Hasecic wrote:

She is ticking off some super hard climbs, but that’s it, nothing historic about that.

Maybe not to you.  But, its a historic ascent, given that no other female had done it.  And, given its status as an American test piece.

A comparison might be Lynn Hill's free ascent of the Nose.  Was the next free ascent historic, even though it took 22 years?  Hell yes it was.

Partly the length of time it took for a woman to do it helps make it historic.  IMHO.

Nate Tastic · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10

Fehim Hasecic wrote:

I get that it’s hard and rarely repeated, but climbing 14c these days is hardly newsworthy, my opinion of course. These are all armchair speculations. What bugs me about the way climbing media represents these kind of news, repeat ascents of hard climbs, it’s the inflation of the actual act that turns it into a click bait essentially. If I see historic in the title it will intrigue me and I’d like to know what it is, but in this case I new beforehand that the route was climbed 20 years ago, in 3 tries, so that diminished the value of the video. She is ticking off some super hard climbs, but that’s it, nothing historic about that.

I like the video of original send better, who ever was editing this one made it twitch and it was annoying as hell.

If this was the first female 14c would it be considered an equivalent in a historic sense? 

Alexander Blum · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 143

Matt Himmelstein wrote:

It isn't clickbait, it is an ad for an outdoor gear company highlighting an accomplishment by a sponsored athlete.  I thought it was cool, it sure as heck looked hard, and great for her that she was able to get the route, even if she was using pre-hung draws (is that the norm for hard sport routes these days?).

I will assume you are being serious. The first ascent of Necessary Evil was on pre-hung draws. This has been then norm on hard sport routes for at least three decades, probably longer. Here is Ben Moon sending Hubble (14c) in 1990, with draws pre hung. No media called it a pinkpoint, no one cared. I would imagine that the same was true for Wallstreet and Action Directe, although I couldn't find photographic confirmation for those routes.

It has been the norm to climb with pre placed draws on all sport routes for at least as long as I have been climbing. Cleaning the draws for every burn is a pain in the ass and has nothing to do with the climbing. I have not once seen someone who has sport climbed at the 5.12 standard or higher advocate for this practice - the arguments always come from people who only trad climb, or trad climbers who dabble in sport climbing. These online arguments create a feeling of controversy. There is no controversy, it's been normal for decades.

Fehim Hasecic · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 90

FrankPS wrote:

Are you asking if there is sensationalism in the news? Not really new...

Yes, thank you. I’ve been subscribed to R&I going 10 years now and I’ve seen the shift in their reporting of things like this. I’d rather watch a truly historic ascent of 14c climb than just another ascent of some 14c climb out there. I mean I watch them all regardless I just don’t like the way certain things are labeled in order to get my attention.

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470

Fehim Hasecic wrote:

I get that it’s hard and rarely repeated, but climbing 14c these days is hardly newsworthy, my opinion of course. These are all armchair speculations. What bugs me about the way climbing media represents these kind of news, repeat ascents of hard climbs, it’s the inflation of the actual act that turns it into a click bait essentially. If I see historic in the title it will intrigue me and I’d like to know what it is, but in this case I new beforehand that the route was climbed 20 years ago, in 3 tries, so that diminished the value of the video. She is ticking off some super hard climbs, but that’s it, nothing historic about that.

I like the video of original send better, who ever was editing this one made it twitch and it was annoying as hell.

I think the pedigree of the route makes it significant and historical. You can disagree about that though. And I don’t think 14c is routine in women’s sport climbing yet. 

Alexander Blum · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 143

There are 14c pitches at the RRG and in Spain that have seen hundreds of ascents. This one has seen less than twenty, despite being extremely famous. I think the FFA is historic.

pfwein · · Boulder, CO · Joined May 2006 · Points: 35

Saw this on 8a.nu 

"Sonnie Trotter reports: "Two days ago I finally climbed what I think is the hardest route I have done yet: Necessary Evil, 8c+, in the VRG of Arizona. First Climbed by Chris Sharma at age 16, it has seen few ascents and is regarded as one of the most serious lines in the US.
I have climbed roughly 3 other routes in the 8c+ range but this was for sure the most challenging. It took a total of 12 days. It's funny how life changes, three days ago I looked at the route as a goal, a place where I wanted to be, today I look at the route and I see a stepping stone. I'm proud to be the first Canadian to climb this route, but now all I can think about are the new
challenges and projects which lay before me." 


So if Sonnie thought it was noteworthy that he was the first Canadian to climb the route, seems pretty newsworthy to have a first female ascent. 

Ryan Palo · · Bend, oregon · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 595

The grade itself is not very significant, but the route is. It requires so much more than the usual power endurance jaunt. Not saying that routes of the same grade are less, just that this one requires a huge bag of tricks to take it down. Our best climbers over the last 20 years have hunkered down to try this thing; taking up residence in Mesquite, with only a handful of them successful. All of whom were successful stressed how difficult the route was/is. From what I've heard and personally witnessed, really only one person did this thing easily.

Is her ascent worthy of shutting down the I-15 for a parade? No. For a climber of her caliber it's a significant tick and certainly a stepping stone to greater things.

Id agree with the OP that the usage of `Historic` is a little hyperbolic, but it doesn't mean the ascent ( or Paige's, Ondra's, or Tilden's, etc ) is not worth celebrating. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "Historic or just another click bait"
in the General Climbing

Log In to Reply