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What Nobody is Saying About the Dawn Wall
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Jan 5, 2015
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
Chris Kalman
Joined Mar 21, 2011
217 points
Jan 5, 2015
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.
Rob Dillon
Joined Mar 22, 2002
1,045 points
Jan 5, 2015
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.
Max Forbes
From Burlington, VT
Joined Jan 6, 2014
94 points
Jan 5, 2015
Diminishing the sends of others to aggrandize your own game is Climbing 101. Colonel Mustard
From Sacramento, CA
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,469 points
Jan 5, 2015
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.
Chris Kalman
Joined Mar 21, 2011
217 points
Jan 5, 2015
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.
Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Joined Jan 2, 2007
17,057 points
Jan 5, 2015
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
Malcolm Daly
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jan 1, 2001
444 points
Jan 5, 2015
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. Rob Dillon
Joined Mar 22, 2002
1,045 points
Jan 5, 2015
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.
Chris Kalman
Joined Mar 21, 2011
217 points
Jan 5, 2015
either way. Great read, well written article.., and incredible push by tommy and kevin right now. MIKE KIM
From Queens,Ny
Joined Dec 11, 2012
13 points
Jan 5, 2015
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.
Rob Dillon
Joined Mar 22, 2002
1,045 points
Jan 5, 2015
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...
reboot
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jul 17, 2006
161 points
Jan 5, 2015
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!
Highlander
From Ouray, CO
Joined Apr 14, 2008
276 points
Administrator
Jan 5, 2015
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....
slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,159 points
Jan 5, 2015
"...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.
Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Dec 12, 2002
4,096 points
Jan 5, 2015
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. Christopher Gibson
From Frisco, Texas
Joined Feb 13, 2012
241 points
Jan 5, 2015
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?
MojoMonkey
Joined Jan 29, 2009
84 points
Jan 5, 2015
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.
Colonel Mustard
From Sacramento, CA
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,469 points
Administrator
Jan 5, 2015
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....
slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,159 points
Jan 5, 2015
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!
Gunkiemike
Joined Jul 29, 2009
2,733 points
Jan 5, 2015
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!
Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
570 points
Jan 5, 2015
the only thing I got out of the article was this line about belgians and bird vomit:

"...feels a lot more like a sport-climbing project, than a big wall adventure. Closer to Sharma pushing and pushing and finally sending Realization than to a bunch of Belgians romping their way up mossy big wall offwidths in the middle of the Arctic with seagulls puking in their faces."

literally laugh out loud funny
Derek Jf
From Northeast
Joined Feb 29, 2012
396 points
Jan 5, 2015
I'm not sure who the blogger is, or see anything in his blog that suggests that he's old (which, quite frankly, has become the go-to pejorative of anyone who doesn't like someone's opinion). Skimming the piece, however, I don't even find any reference that the guy has climbed the Captain himself. Given that, I don't know where he believe he has the right to determine what an El Cap climb should resemble.

I've done the Captain (but only a measly four times). Each ascent was your usual barebones, minimal food and comfort type ascent. However, we were cruising along a well established line. We weren't spending days at a time on a particular section or pitch. Frankly, even the time we were up there, some comforts, like warm food and drink, messages from friends (rather than someone just shouting up from the meadow) would have been AWESOME. Those guys are essentially living up there, busting their chops everyday. Their climb in no way resembles your normal El Cap grind. Let them enjoy some conveniences that make their hard work a little easier.

It should be noted that some of these same criticisms were levelled at Todd Skinner and Paul Piana when they worked on the Salathe. There were some commercial aspects to their climb as well. However, none of that ever detracted in my mind, the basic fact that they were up there, working hard, getting it done.
Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Joined Nov 9, 2007
190 points
Jan 5, 2015
Climbing is by your own words incredibly emotional, it is also intensely personal which brings that emotion out. The community is lots of climbers seeking that personal experience, that climb that means something to them. Whether its pulling on gear on a 5.9, free soloing a 5.11 after work, or yelling your way up a 5.14. Whatever personal experience tickles your fancy.

The problem is each person needs to define what an adventure is for themselves. An adventure to a brand new climber is a 6 pitch 5.6. An adventure to a professional climber is Cerro Torre, a trek to the north pole, a several hundred mile bike trip through a desert climbing 45 towers.

We are all seeking that adventure that really means something to us, that's why we got into climbing. With the advent of social media the climbing community is experiencing a population boom. Lots of new climbers who have an adventure plateau far less than someone who has been at it for a decade or two. This makes the average "epicness" of an adventure for the whole climbing community to be a bit less grandiose than the adventures of yore. Give them 10-20 years and they will have your same mindset.

I also don't believe dragging a camera around with your takes away from any adventure. Or a camera crew. The expeditions of Ueli Steck are no less adventurous with a camera crew there. How could they be?

I have no particular love for the bolts that were removed from Cerro Torre, dragging an air compressor through Patagonia is an adventure by itself. You could bewilder people with amazement today if you told them you took a compressor into and out of Patagonia.
Eliot Augusto
From Boulder, CO
Joined Dec 29, 2013
79 points
Jan 5, 2015
Chris,

Your thoughts echo my own on this subject. I thought your article was brilliant and is a topic that should be addressed and at least recognized as the contrivance it is.
Joseph DeGaetano
From Fayetteville, WV
Joined May 12, 2008
482 points
Jan 5, 2015
I just can't chance reading that blog entry without having a really large cup of coffee or something. Too sleepy. Way too sleepy. Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,680 points


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