Critiques Of Tricksters And Traditionalists

Article Index

Responding To Critiques Of Tricksters And Traditionalists

In Response to Critiques of Tricksters and Traditionalists on Supertopo Website, 2006

- regarding, "I think the author ... has a good point about making the style known," referring to the article calling for complete descriptions of styles on first and first free ascents. Such information about the style of ascents, whether in guidebook histories or route descriptions, not only enriches the experience, history and lore of climbing, it provides some way to compare achievements across time. As the article states, "Contrary to cherished belief, climbing is a competitive sport. Climbing a route all free, with limited protection and on the first try means much more than climbing it after rehearsing moves or placing protection on rappel. Consequently, climbers should agree to reveal how new routes, particularly hard ones, were done. Only in this way can climbers test themselves by trying routes in the same or better style." Doesn't this notion still applies today, in spite of the popularity of bolted sport routes? Why else do recent guidebooks, such as to Mammoth and Red Rocks, list first ascent parties for sport routes if the finished route is the only thing that matters? Why do posts and scuttlebutt go around about how many falls, tension rests, pre-placements and days to completion were involved in first free ascents? And why else do we have terms such as redpoint, flash and the like if we no longer care how routes are done, whether protected by bolts or other hardware? It seems we forever "vote" with our brains on style issues, contrary to another post, "we climbers vote with our feet and the election is LONG OVER."