News & Notes – 3/29/2010

News & Notes – 3/29/2010

  • When Finnish boulderer Nalle Hukkataival went to Spain earlier this year it was assumed that he would try his hand at the infamous First Round First Minute project at Margalef since its bouldery style would no doubt suit him well.  It turned out he never got the chance to try FRFM  as it is apparently a closed project.  In the comments of a recent post on his blog Hukkataival says that, “When I went to Spain, my main motivation was to try a very well known project, but I was not allowed to try it.”
  • In a post titled Live and Learn, Bolt Smart Joe Kinder addresses questions over some routes he bolted at the Red River Gorge in 2008 calling the situation “embarrassing” and “something that I have learned a drastic lesson over”.
  • Splitterchoss.com had a couple interesting route development posts of late as well.  One post is about The Eight Unfortunate Truths of Route Development and the other asks the question Do First Ascentionists Own The Rock?
  • In other Red River Gorge news, a gate has been installed along the trail to PMRP areas Solar Collector and the Dark Side to remind climbers that those areas were not free and to encourage continued donations to the RRGCC.
  • The Cleanest Line blog brings us this amazing story of one man’s journey from life in East Germany behind the Berlin Wall to a career with Patagonia.
  • Never Stop Climbing interviews Fitz Cahall, the man behind popular online climbing media Dirtbag Diaries and The Season.  If you haven’t seen it yet, here is episode 9 of The Season in which Matt Maddaloni continues his work on the “anti cam”:

The Season Episode 9 from Fitz Cahall and Bryan Smith on Vimeo.

VIDEO: BD athlete Colin Haley wears a helmet camera during a solo ascent of Aguja Mermoz in Patagonia from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.

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Update: To follow up on the FRFM tidbit and the notion that Big Up has something to do with who can climb on the route, Big Up says on their blog that “we don’t tell Chris what to do, that is some silly speculation. It’s pretty standard on top-end routes to respect the equipper’s effort.”  Make of that what you will.

Posted In: Access, Bouldering, Competitions, Interviews, Mountaineering, News & Notes, Videos, Youth Climbing
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30 Responses to News & Notes – 3/29/2010

  1. Josh March 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    I have to wonder if FRFM was red tagged by Chris or BigUp… I mean this is the first time that I’ve heard of a red tag on any of Chris’s routes, he has always been open to other people trying his projects/routes. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

    The only reason I suspect BigUp is because they’re the ones who’ve been investing money, time, etc… and spraying about Chris almost getting the FA. If Chris doesn’t get the FA where is the selling point for there next film?

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  2. John G March 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Whoever red-tagged it… that’s lame.

    If it were Big Up, they could have taken a cue from Mortimer when Trotter snagged Cobra Crack – just go with it. Film climbing history, don’t manipulate it.

    Red tagging, in this instance, would be manipulative. If Sharma did FRFM first while many others were trying it, I (and others, I’d guess) would assume that he was simply stronger than the others. But if it is red tagged (and the public doesn’t know), then it skews the context in which the FA goes down. As Nalle says, the FA becomes less meaningful.

    And what’s wrong with folks trying it? It’s unlikely Nalle would have cruised in and sent it in two or three days. But if he did, that would sure as hell be newsworthy.

    Like the first poster, I’ve not heard of Sharma having red tags on his projects in the past – if he did (on his recent Spanish 5.15s, for instance), that would slightly change the historical light in which we view his FAs. Perhaps those more in the know could shed some light on this.

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  3. Mark March 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    I believe that I’ve seen pictures of Dave Graham on FRFM trying it out. Almost 100% I saw one this morning on his Facebook. I think he’s mentioned trying it too. If so, then why can’t Nalle get on? He’s a beast! He seems to have kind of popped up out of somewhere. I hadn’t heard of him until this past year or so. It’s likely I just overlooked this now uber strongman in the past.

    As for FRFM, after reading this this morning, I had a bad taste in my mouth regarding Chris’ ethics on this. In Progression, we saw a little bit of his side that seems to get obsessed and maybe that can lead to some covetous nature, but from what I’ve always heard, he’s a great down-to-earth guy. I can’t really see him doing this himself, for himself, or a vendetta. It really sounds like we’re missing a part of the story…

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    • Narc March 29, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

      Apparently the red tagging is a new thing

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  4. Kevlar March 29, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Man, that gym looks pretty awesome.

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  5. phillip March 29, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Re: FRFM- Maybe it has to do with the ancient Finland-Spain feud of 1762?

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  6. toothbrush March 29, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    http://www.rockandice.com/inthemag.php?id=37&type=news

    Hhmm, check that out. An article by Andy Raether on red tagging. Interesting it is – mmhhmm (Yoda voice).

    First off, we don’t know who red tagged it.

    And on top of that, Sharma is very close to a send. Last we heard on here, Sharma has the last move to work out.

    http://climbingnarc.com/2010/01/chris-sharma-first-round-update-from-spain/

    Imagine your one move from finishing a highly speculated problem and the scheduling of being the center of the sport climbing world has gotten the better of you and not allowed the send when it could have occurred. And imagine your directing a movie depicting that send and part of the funding hangs around the send. It’s a sad reality people but we gotta face it and not stomp on the foot of those that help this sport become popular. I’m sure the gyms are loving it and we are all members of one.

    Honestly, if we really look at it, there could be some justification in the financial aspect of this for BigUP. Maybe they don’t want joe shmo to come along and break a key hold. Maybe someone knows something someone else doesn’t and the rock is softer this time of the year and they don’t want to jeopardize the send for everyone? I think Sharma and BigUp deserve the benefit of the doubt here.

    There could be some tangible aspects to this rather than selfish ones. After reading that article, it kinda changed my opinion…a tad. There should be a degree of respect for the project. Then again, I don’t recall if this is Sharm’s bolted project or not. I’m sure someone will correct me on it.

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    • toothbrush March 29, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

      Can’t believe Narc didn’t mention this in the noteworthy news…or maybe I just missed it..

      http://www.splitterchoss.com/2010/03/09/interview-with-the-climbingnarc/

      INK!!

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      • toothbrush March 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

        Ya – really sorry to like spam my own post here but here it is direct from BigUp’s own blog…

        “. On FRFM: we don’t tell Chris what to do, that is some silly speculation. It’s pretty standard on top-end routes to respect the equipper’s effort.”

        Thats all…

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      • Narc March 29, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

        I posted the link to that a couple weeks back in the News & Notes section on the sidebar

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  7. Philly Cheese March 29, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    Damn! The walls at Stone Summit look rad!!

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  8. Josh Lowell March 30, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    Yeah guys, relax. We don’t tell climbers what they can and can’t do. If you’re looking for a sinister media conspiracy, watch Fox News.

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  9. Ryan March 30, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Narc – Your website rocks.

    Josh – Big-Up rocks. Your climbing films are the best.

    About FRFM – Sounds like to me there is a big piece of the story missing. Unless my perspective on Chris Sharma is totally off, I highly doubt he would red-tag a route. Correct me if I’m wrong but Jumbo Love was a mega project for Chris and yet other climbers like Ethan Pringle made several attempts on the route before Chris made the FA. Maybe this “red-tagging” thing is new but if Nalle wanted to really try the route he would have, not like he is going to get arrested or something. But like Josh said maybe Nalle was just trying to be a good guy and respect Sharma’s dedication and hard work on trying to get the FA on a top-end route, but it still sounds like Nalle isn’t explaining his whole side of the story on his blog site.

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  10. sweatpants March 30, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    Am I the only one that thinks its silly that a bunch of armchair climbers think they ‘know’ what Chris would or wouldn’t do because they’ve watched all the ‘Dosage’ movies? I’m not saying Chris isn’t nice person or a laid back guy. But people get attached to things. Especially to things that they put a lot of hard work into equipping, not to mention all of the hard work since then just trying to climb it.

    @Ryan … I am pretty sure that ‘Jumbo Love’ was an outstanding project, and not something that was bolted by Chris. Which would be why he couldn’t/wouldn’t red tag it. I think it was something bolted quite some time ago but was never done.

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    • Narc March 30, 2010 at 10:27 am #

      Well said sir.

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    • Steve Schultz March 30, 2010 at 11:47 am #

      Rare moment of clarity for sweaty. nice job sir.

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      • sweaty March 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

        @sickygnargnar i am constantly making pertinent and well thought out posts. I think you just need to pay better attention sir!

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  11. Paul March 30, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Sweaty, you’re right! Randy Leavitt bolted it awhile back, but it was still kind of known as ‘Sharma’s Project’ (see MVM video…). Plus Sharma re-bolted it to make it possible to link in 1 pitch. As for redtagging, to me he can do whatever he wants. Once I climb 15b, then I’ll get mad…

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  12. Narc March 30, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    If you haven’t read the comments on Nalle’s post lately I think it’s helpful to do so since he has added more thoughts including that FRFM was not a closed project until after he flew to Spain specifically to try it.

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  13. Sid March 30, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    I don’t know if the timeline adds up, but perhaps the redtagging has something to do with Chris being here in the US at the moment?

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  14. Ryan March 30, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    @Sweatpants,

    Your right Randy Leavitt first bolted the line known as Jumbo Love and then Sharma came along and rebolted the line to do it in one pitch so really became Sharma’s project. This line went untouched for 10+ years before Sharma came along. I’ve also read reports of Dave trying the route but who really knows I guess.

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    • Narc March 30, 2010 at 11:51 am #

      There was footage of Graham and Pringle trying Jumbo Love on MVM at one point. Jumbo Love is really a different situation given its history and its location. FRFM can be accessed right off the side of the road.

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  15. opTIMistic March 30, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    i let people try my top rope projects ALL the time.

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  16. Ryan March 30, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    Yeah there is more history to Jumbo Love and its location is much more remote than FRFM but I have a strong feeling if it wasn’t for Sharma coming along as a visionary to pushing climbing to the next level Jumbo Love to this day would remain an abandon project. Though FRFM is much more easily accessible I think the concept and the idea behind red-tagging a route that has yet to see a FA is pretty much the same. I guess my opinion shouldn’t matter all that much, I’m never going to climb anywhere near 5.15….like Sweatpants said…we are just a bunch of armchair climbers anyway, but it sounds like Nalle showed respect to Chris and the climbing community even though he might not agree with red-tagging, that is encouraging at the least.

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  17. Mic March 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Nobody respects my closed gym projects :(

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  18. Cmi March 30, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    @ Josh Lowell : the reason that you guys have fingers pointed at is the fact that most of what we all know about Chris is the public image Big Up created by featuring him as poster boy in most of your movies since he’s a pretty private guy otherwise.
    And the Chris that we know from all those Dosages, King Lines and Progression would never do this, the image you guys painted is of a guy who has nothing to win or loose he’s climbing to better himself and to be inspired and inspire others, to set new standards and bring forward new believers an players in what’s possible an what’s not. That is not the case if you read the thread on Nalle’s blog, who from being pretty evasive in the beginning goes to full accusations that he was c@&k blocked when he got to Spain to try the route and add to that new rules about “I bolted it it’s mine to try” on spaniards climbing blogs, I hope you understand why it’s not that easy to wash your hands so easy by just throwing a line about Fox news. You know what they say:” follow the money trail”
    And unless Chris or whoever had anything to do with this comes forward to explain things and why the sudden change in attitude ( competition was supposed to generate progress, and abiding by the “red tagging” rules we wouldn’t have Jumbo Love) you guys will have to deal with all this gossiping and second guessing. We looked up to guys like Chris to better this sport and to inspire, it doesn’t look like that this time, the message is just the opposite.
    And come on Big Up is a power house in the sport and the business so own up, with big power comes big responsibility:)

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  19. Adam Stack March 31, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    So after reading through this particular News and Notes, I have 7 unread tabs I am about to devour. I love you ClimbingNarc. Also, maybe Nalle and Chris just didn’t hit it off or something?? I mean if a friend of mine wanted to try one of my projects, I wouldn’t want him to but I would say go ahead. If some dbag (douche not dirt) wanted to try my project I wouldn’t want him to, and I would tell him that. Not that Nalle is a dbag, just maybe he and Chris might not like each other.

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  20. Adam Stack March 31, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Okay so after reading Chris post on Dailas blog, and all of Nalle’s posts on his own blog, I don’t think its so much that Chris doesn’t like Nalle. More that Nalle isn’t one of Chris’s close friends. Thats why Chris let Dave and Dani try, but asked Nalle not to. Makes sense… to me anyway.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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