Tricksters & Traditionalists Revisited: 2006

Article Index

- redpoint for making it without falling or tension, but usually after numerous attempts with falls and tension, sometimes with protection preplaced (pinkpoint)
- batmaning for gaining the highpoint by using the rope for continued attempts
- hangdog for falling repeatedly and resting on protection
- headpoint for leading after toprope practice, sometimes with preplaced protection.14 

No wonder the camps wrangle. Multiple means lead to multiple takes on the merit of how we climb. What could be more important to the joy of the game?

Time For Traction

One response to the style controversy is to discount it. After all, advocates of bamboo (versus graphite) pole fly fishing rave about the "spiritual experience" involved and "history and tradition that goes back 150 years."15  Aren't climbing style arguments the same, a kind of enduring, spirited sparring? No. Fly fisherman, cyclists or hang gliders rarely attack one another so concertedly or invite regulation by using a particular pole, bicycle or glider. Climbing style arguments are not just persistent but divisive, as the tone of web, journal and magazine discussions shows. The arguments also confuse measures of success and satisfying history.