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Do We really need all the “Cragging Classics?”


Original Post
mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

Do we?
I mean Jesus, everywhere I go it just gets more and more crowded. The secret is out people, we don’t need to keep bringing more people in.
Why do we insist on bringing hoardes of people to already crowded delicate areas? 

ClimbingOn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 405

Cragging Classic/Fest: The art of separating beginning/groupie climbers from their money.

I make sure to monitor where the fests or other trending name climbing "events" are taking place so that I climb elsewhere that weekend.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 746

I don’t think Craggin Classics are primarily aimed at people who aren’t climbers yet, with the intent of introducing them to climbing. At least one if their missions is conservation and land management, unless I’m mistaken.

One of those “climbing festivals” is often how newish climbers learn, for the first time, that SOMEONE is doing the work of trail building, and bolt replacement, usually unpaid work,  and this isn’t just managed somehow by fairies, or by paid workers, like the routes at the gym... I don’t think it is such a bad thing.

Yes, the walls with easier climbs see usually busy during these events. But I don’t think more people get introduced to climbing as result of these events. (The gyms are the reason, much more so than the climbing fests). It is more along the lines of “more people who already ventured outside get educated about climbing outside” as a result of these events.

Rope Byrne · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 25
Lena chita wrote: I don’t think Craggin Classics are primarily aimed at people who aren’t climbers yet, with the intent of introducing them to climbing. At least one if their missions is conservation and land management, unless I’m mistaken.

One of those “climbing festivals” is often how newish climbers learn, for the first time, that SOMEONE is doing the work of trail building, and bolt replacement, usually unpaid work,  and this isn’t just managed somehow by fairies, or by paid workers, like the routes at the gym... I don’t think it is such a bad thing.

Yes, the walls with easier climbs see usually busy during these events. But I don’t think more people get introduced to climbing as result of these events. (The gyms are the readin, much more do than the climbing fests). It is more along the lines of “more people who already ventured outside get educated about climbing outside” as a result of these events. 

Hey hey hey!  Who you calling a fairie?

Joshua Thompson · · Seattle, WA · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 839

I can't even recall how many people have reached out to me and said "Hey Josh! I went climbing at the gym for the first time so I went out and bought a rack.  Will you please teach me how to use it?"  Gyms are definitely doing more damage.  Just my two cents

Victor K · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 170
ClimbingOn wrote: Cragging Classic/Fest: The art of separating beginning/groupie climbers from their money.

I make sure to monitor where the fests or other trending name climbing "events" are taking place so that I climb elsewhere that weekend.

A really good way to avoid climbing crowds at a Craggin' Classic is to sign up for a trail maintenance project. Problem solved!

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

I don’t doubt gyms are contributing to it, but I can avoid craggin classics,
But unless I want to start at 5.7 every spring I can’t avoid the gyms, so I see my hypocrisy.
I know you can avoid the crags when festivals are going on, but I think people are kidding themselves if they don’t think these things help get newbies into the sport, in turn increasing crowds at places. And there’s no way a few people doing trail maintenance one weekend out of the year offsets the damage done by the festival itself. Have you seen all the dog shit at the campgrounds at Shelf or all the stuff left behind that people are whining about trying to get back after a regular weekend?
I know, get off my lawn, harrumph harrumph.

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,476

Oh, I don't mind them as I never attend them. That's the key.

don'tchuffonme · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 25
Tim Stich wrote: Oh, I don't mind them as I never attend them. That's the key.

You should try going to one.  Take a couple gallons of whiskey and two friends.  Drink every time you hear "fer shuuure".  Personally, I tend to go the weekend after.  Everyone travels for the "festival" and the crag it took place at is usually pretty barren by comparison the following weekend.  Judging by the people I hear say they're going, vs the people that say "fuck no!  why the hell would I go to that?"  I would definitely say it's geared toward newer climbers.  Experienced climbers usually don't need most "clinics" offered, they have all the gear they need, and the last thing they want is to be around more climbers and crowds.  

Concerning paying for trail building and rebolting efforts- yes, that isn't free.  But you have to ask yourself how much less of that would be necessary if the number of climbers wasn't increasing exponentially every year.  Seems like the ends kind of justify the means.

Anyway, I steer clear.  The less people the better when I'm climbing.  Especially if it's a giggling, loud, spraying horde of neon-clad "fer shuuuuures".  It's distracting, annoying, and it sucks.
Chalk in the Wind · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 3

Climbers pride themselves as being ornery and independent yet flock to climbing festivals and competitions and engage in groupspeak. Never have understood this, but whatever.

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

I live 11 min from a gym and have not climbed there in about 18 years or so..  

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,476
don'tchuffonme wrote:

You should try going to one.  Take a couple gallons of whiskey and two friends.  Drink every time you hear "fer shuuure".  

I plan to go to the Shelf one sometime for the hell of it. There are plenty of "secret" crags nearby so you don't even have to climb at Shelf. Back in the day, we did something called the Shelf Shindig, which was just an extended group of friends with a Saturday party and Sunday group breakfast. It was a ton of fun for many years.
jt newgard · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 150

I enjoyed Climb Smart at Josh last year. Did some trail work, got to spend quality time with quality guides, and met John Long. He asked if anybody had 'that lip stuff'....it's dry in the desert, right.

To my eternal regret it was probably the one time I didn't have my Carmex on me!! Then I asked about one of his YouTube learn to lead videos...instead of say, the vampire or NIAD! Totally blew it!!!

PS. I think a decent chunk of the money funds the park's SAR operations for the year as well, also good.

Dylan Pike · · Sandy, UT · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 35
jt newgard wrote: I enjoyed Climb Smart at Josh last year. Did some trail work, got to spend quality time with quality guides, and met John Long. He asked if anybody had 'that lip stuff'....it's dry in the desert, right.

To my eternal regret it was probably the one time I didn't have my Carmex on me!! Then I asked about one of his YouTube learn to lead videos...instead of say, the vampire or NIAD! Totally blew it!!!

PS. I think a decent chunk of the money funds the park's SAR operations for the year as well, also good.

Unprepared climbers funding their own rescues?

Parker Wrozek · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 86

I went to one. Camped 2 nights, partied with some cool people. Just went climbing one day and then spent 6 hours building trail the next. Got a stainless steel pint and a chalk bag that I gave to a friend who needed one. I don't know if I would go again but it was fun.

ClimbingOn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 405
Victor K wrote:

A really good way to avoid climbing crowds at a Craggin' Classic is to sign up for a trail maintenance project. Problem solved!

Are you really suggesting that I pay to do volunteer trail work? Craggin' Classics require a weekend pass ($$$$). I do quite a bit of trail work in my area, and I have never paid to do so. I really don't think I'm going to start paying to volunteer, at a Craggin' Classic or elsewhere.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 746
ClimbingOn wrote:

Are you really suggesting that I pay to do volunteer trail work? Craggin' Classics require a weekend pass ($$$$). I do quite a bit of trail work in my area, and I have never paid to do so. I really don't think I'm going to start paying to volunteer, at a Craggin' Classic or elsewhere.

I admit my experience with Craggy Classics is limited. Only been to one, at that New, and it was special circumstances, I had a guest pass. 

But I’ve participated in  Rocktoberfest at the red for many years, and if you volunteer, you don’t pay for the admission on the day you volunteer. So couple hour of work each day gets you in free.  And the fundraiser aspect of that one is huge. (So I volunteer to get in free, and then donate the money anyway). It certainly isn’t the one and only trail day, there are many throughout the year. But it is the biggest fundraiser of the year.  


I know quite a few people who avoid going to the Red the weekend of Rocktoberfest, because “it is going to be crazy busy”, but it hasn’t been my experience at all. No busier than a regular fall weekend. If anything, less busy at certain crags... 

 

Cocoapuffs 1000 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 10
Lena chita wrote:

I know quite a few people who avoid going to the Red the weekend of Rocktoberfest, because “it is going to be crazy busy”, but it hasn’t been my experience at all. No busier than a regular fall weekend. If anything, less busy at certain crags... 


Lately,  these events seem to reduce traffic outside the immediate impacted crags, because so many people avoid them these days (I've noticed this at the Red River Rendezvous and Rocktoberfest).  Most people I know that go to them either are personally connected to the event or are new to climbing.  I hate to sound like a jerk but these events and fundraisers have absolutely zero appeal to me (and many others).  I can donate money or time without having wade through Patagonia merchandise and doing a dyno comp.
Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,455

Cragging Classics are for the large amount of "climbers" who would rather party than actually climb. Climbing seems to be more of a social identity now than an actual sport or recreation. A result of going mainstream.

Cole T · · Cincinnati, OH · Joined May 2012 · Points: 386

I'll echo Lena, rocktoberfest is the biggest fundraiser for the rrgc. They raise almost 40% of their yearly operating budget each year which keeps so much land open. I'm sure other festivals support other groups the same way.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,455
Cole T wrote: I'll echo Lena, rocktoberfest is the biggest fundraiser for the rrgc. They raise almost 40% of their yearly operating budget each year which keeps so much land open. I'm sure other festivals support other groups the same way.

I can concede, and I rarely do on MP, that the events that raise money to support land acquisition and anchor replacement are quite altruistic. Thus if we can charge for party games, take the muggles money and keep them off the cliffs I'm all for it!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

General Climbing
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