The Lowdown On First Round First Minute

The Lowdown On First Round First Minute

A somewhat interesting internet controversy started this week when Nalle Hukkataival mentioned in the comments of his blog that he was “not allowed” to try the very well-known First Round First Minute project in Margalef, Spain during a recent trip there.  The FRFM project is well-known of course because it happens to be the main project of one Chris Sharma who also bolted the line.  Hukkataival’s thoughts can be summarized with this comment of his:

The lesson here is that if you want to keep your project, don’t put it in the next BigUp release, but if you do, at least don’t let people think it’s open and travel a long way to try it and then suddenly close it (and still not make it publicly known that it’s closed)

Hukkataival’s thoughts touched off a firestorm of comments from readers of this blog and many others who questioned the motives of both Sharma and Big Up Productions.  Most people expressed surprise that Sharma would close a project as this seemed out of character while others rightly pointed out that none of us really know the parties involved.

Josh Lowell from Big Up refuted claims that Big Up had anything to do with the closure of FRFM, but many were wondering what Sharma himself had to say about the situation.  Despite not being an active participant in the online climbing world Sharma has, in fact, posted his thoughts on the matter on both girlfriend Daila Ojeda’s blog and TheLowDown:

So until recently Id never met or spent anytime with Nalle Hukkataival. He’s obviously a really amazing climber and I really respect the the style of boulder problems that he’s been putting up (big impressive beautiful hard lines). I can understand his draw to a route like FRFM. I guess what was surprising was that he didn’t ask my opinion or permission (not that he needs to, its not illegal or anything we’re just talking about climbing etiquette). I found out his aim that he came to spain specifically try first round by reading his blog. Discussing it with Dani (we were like : “thats strange; he’s never been to spain, where there are so many hard routes to try and he’s planning to go directly to my project”) . Catalunya has a lot of good climbers and in general the locals are pretty respectful about these things, at least to ask is a good policy. I feel that its better to express yourself if you feel like if you don’t your going to be frustrated., So I told Nalle that Id appreciate if he gave me some more time to try to get it done before he started working on it. Obviously he didn’t have to respect my wishes. Its not like I have any power to enforce any sort of climbing laws and not allow someone to try it, I just expressed my feelings. He could have disregarded that and tried it but it seemed that he respected that and gave me some more time and I was very appreciative of that. I pointed him in the direction of several other futuristic projects that I bolted that I thought he would like and it seemed like it was all good.

There is much more from Sharma so I encourage you to read the full post before forming your opinion on the matter…

Update:  You can read some more thoughts from Hukkataival here including this interesting nugget:

Later on I found it extremely weird standing there on the ground, watching Dave Graham and Dani Andrada trying FRFM, when I wasn’t allowed to. I totally understand when Chris says he doesn’t want to turn it into a contest to see who does it first, but I surely felt left out standing there below the route, watching others trying it. I don’t think it’s cool to be separating people like that, who’s allowed to try it and who’s not.

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62 Responses to The Lowdown On First Round First Minute

  1. Fritz March 31, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    Very nice of Chris to weigh in; a very thoughtful, cool-headed response to some of the juvenile mudslinging that has been going on, in respect to this issue.

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    • Jim April 1, 2010 at 2:33 am #

      It’s really funny, I’ve heard people support Chris’ point comparing FRFM to Mescalito. This “comparison” is really where Chris shows his delusional, egotistical side, because, well, it’s not like that at all. FRFM might as well be a hang and drop problem compared to mescalito. Something that hard and long would take years to simply figure out. Then of course comes the difficult physical and mental tasks of actually doing it. I don’t think Tommy would have to red tag Nalle considering his 3 year head start on.
      His ‘ego’ is afraid Nalle would send it quickly, and that is that. There’s no other possible explanation. I don’t necessarily think Nalle was correct, but please Chris, spare us the misplaced spiritual charlatan inside of you and just be real. I’m surprised all that hcore ‘meditation’ he does doesn’t allow him to levitate up routes by now. Selfishness to this point isn’t hard to overcome, obviously Chris isn’t logging in too many hours in full lotus these days…

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  2. john g March 31, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    Props to Sharma for his response. Well reasoned and defensible.

    I hope he sends.

    And I hope that he and Nalle can both see each other’s perspectives here, because both of them are acting reasonably, in my mind…

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  3. Philip March 31, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    I really don’t feel like Chris’ response adds anything to the discussion at all. In fact, it more or less confirms what Nalle said in the first place: Nalle went to try FRFM, was told he shouldn’t try it, and then left the area. I don’t really see Chris’ argument about there being other projects to try. If I spend a lot of money to go to a new area to climb, I often have one specific problem in mind I would really like to get on. I know it’s slightly different with first ascents, but it’s a shame to all of a sudden have to put your focus on something else.

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  4. Raul March 31, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    Nalle’s respond on lowdown. Kind of interestig. http://bjornpohl.blogspot.com/2010/03/nalle-responds.html

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  5. joel March 31, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    what a terribly interesting discussion going on here.
    i’ve got nothing at all to add about the rights or wrongs of this situation, but i can say that from a viewer’s perspective, it’d be a lot cooler if the project were wide open, as that ‘contest’ sharma’s talking about. i mean, i think most of us would agree it’s unlikely that nalle’s going to walk frfm after it’s repelled sharma for, what, a year? so why not let him try it?
    very interesting to see a very self-aware sharma after years of media hyperbolizing his humility and selflessness.

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  6. Ryan March 31, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    After reading Chris’s response on Daila’s blog site I have to agree with what he is saying. I really liked Chris’s reference to Tommy Caldwell on Mescalito (on El Cap). How would Tommy feel if Chris flew out to just try Mescalito (and nothing else) (without Tommy), after Tommy has practically dedicated his life to this project? He wouldn’t be happy. He would feel like Chris was trying to steal his thunder. Anyone would feel that way. Thought the scale of Mescalito is 1000 times bigger than FRFM the concept essentially the same. I think if Dave or Dani wanted to work on FRFM without Chris, Chris wouldn’t have had a problem with it because they are his close friends. Let’s not forget the reason Chris Sharma is so popular is because of his ability to be a climbing visionary. Like he said FRFM wouldn’t exist today if he had not bolted the line. For Chris being the visionary he is and for all the hard work he has put into bolting and establishing FRFM he deserves to work on the project alone until he gets the FA. Nalle seems like a great guy and I was happy to see he respected Chris’s wishes but to fly all the way out to Spain just to try FRFM knowing Chris bolted the line and has put so much work into it (without the FA) makes me feel like he was trying to steal some thunder from Chris and put the spot light on himself. I think Nalle learned a-lot about sport climbing…..that it is much different than bouldering. Bouldering doesn’t require any bolts to establish a finished product, bouldering is all about vision. You see a set of moves that look hard and you have yourself a tough boulder problem. In sport climbing you have to not only envision the route you also have to bolt it. Chris has the ability to envision top end sport routes and the dedication to bolt them, Nalle on the other hand seems to be just learning the difference.

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    • Dan March 31, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

      he is climbing rock not discovering the cure for cancer. let nalle climb

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      • jus' sayin' April 6, 2010 at 12:21 am #

        but dude, if chris sharma _was_ discovering a ‘cure for cancer’ and tried to stop some other capable scientist from getting to the cure faster, that’d be indefensible and kinda homicidal in a sense. so in this instance the opposite applies:

        he’s rock climbing not discovering a cure for cancer, so let chris sharma FA his project before you jump all over it. no freakin hurry, we’re not saving lives or anything.

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  7. Anon March 31, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    Regarding the point about Dave Graham and dani andrada on the route: one thing about buddies trying your route is they probably are not really trying to send your project because they are your friends and respect the work you put into it. Although I can’t know what Dave and dani’s motivations are, I can guess, from trying my own friends’ projects, that they are only “playing” on the route without much motivation to send. Nalle on the other hand is at the cliff with only that thing in mind. So I could totally see why chris woul let those other try the route and not nalle.

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    • toothbrush March 31, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. Nalle is up and coming, one of my favorite climbers, he had everything to prove, nothing to lose and I think he should see it as a sign of respect that Chris Sharma, the center of the sport climbing world, asked Nalle, a boulderer, to just hold off so he could finish. Nalle is a bad ass, we’ve all seen it. The respect was on Sharma’s part to be as honest as he was with Nalle.

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  8. joe March 31, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Chris rakes together a big pile of leaves and Nalle wants to jump in it. Chris says no. Nalle pouts and goes home.

    The end.

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    • realstory March 31, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

      Chris rakes together a big pile of leaves and Nalle wants to jump in it because he sees his friends Dave and Dani doing it. Chris says no because Nalle isnt part of the cool club and threatened Nalle might be a little better raker than he. Nalle pouts and goes home because he feels rejected by someone he looked up to.

      The end.

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  9. jw March 31, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    got to agree with joe. seems like nalle should have had the courtesy to respect chris’ efforts and contact him prior to getting on frfm. not doing so seems sort of sneaky.

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    • Narc March 31, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

      Fom all accounts Nalle did respect Chris’ wishes and never actually tried the route

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  10. joel March 31, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    we all know what dave graham had to say about redtags after the girl talk episode–i wonder what he’d have to say in this instance, about his good friend chris sharma redtagging, especially given that he seems to himself be exempt?

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    • Joe March 31, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

      If I recall correctly, Andy R. wasn’t actively projecting Girl Talk when Graham swooped in and climbed it. That changes the scenario a little bit, since we all know Sharma has been actively projecting FRFM for a while now.

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  11. dcizzle March 31, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Just like every other professional athlete, sharma has been getting “pats on the back” (substituted for an expression describing felatio) for since he was a kid.

    he ends the blog with this, “Im no enlightened being and like most of us still have to deal with ego.”

    Oh wow this is the part where chris is coming to terms with himself. Oh hes such an inspirational leader how he can just take things and put them into perspective. (sarcasm) You have all seen the big up movies where he tries to get really, really deep. pilgrimage especially.

    very entertaining, but look through the bologna.

    if he was really, actually trying to have no ego, would he have a problem if someone nabbed the FA before he did? if he was really this all loving climber with no ego who climbs with spirituality not with strength, wouldnt he not only not care who got the FA but encourage everybody to try? If he was into climbing just to “go out in nature and find something that inspires you” why cant he just have fun climbing whatever?

    The dude has an ego, and its a big one. he cant wait for that guidebook to come out so we can see his name right next to the route we will never be able to try.

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    • yorkles April 5, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

      I think you misunderstood what sharma was saying about his ego. Just like the rest of us, he says, he STRUGGLES with ego. This does not imply he has no ego – quite the opposite. Just like a normal person, he has insecurities and like the rest of us, if he works on a project that takes a lot of time and sacrifice, only to have someone else send it while he’s persevering, his ego will take a painful hit. None of us would like it. The point is he realizes he is human and flawed, and in return we should all give him the courtesy of treating him as such and have mortal expectations of him.

      You may have a problem with his spirituality – I, for one, don’t subscribe to that sort of shamanistic thinking – but that doesn’t have any bearing on the situation at hand.

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  12. Sam March 31, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    So everyone who believes that Nalle should have been allowed to try it:

    Have you ever bolted a line before? The amount of work that goes into bolting and not just bolting itself. There’s the bushwacking to find a wall and then the cleaning and brushing and bolting and a dozen other things to do in order to bolt ONE route. The time and money that it takes for a developer to equip a line, it’s not too much to ask that they are allowed to attempt to send their project. Now, I’m definately not trying to attack anyone, but simply offering another viewpoint. If it was you who spent all the time finding the wall, buying the equipment, hanging on the wall to bolt it, cleaning it, etc and so forth I would believe that you would want the chance to climb it before someone else came in a took that away from you.

    And you can argue other things as letting Grahm and others on it, but I’m just trying to offer a bolter’s perspective.

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    • dcizzle March 31, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

      maybe if your an insecure territorial male. do you pee on every mailbox when you go for your walk?

      have fun, i love you 😉

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      • Anon April 1, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

        Use a proper analogy, please. Or simply don’t participate in the discussion as you aren’t entertaining or adding anything worthwhile in the least.

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        • Dcizzle April 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

          YOUR comment is neither entertaining nor is it adding anything worthwhile. why do you get to do it anon?

          if you had any strand of wit you would get the analogy…think harder!

          hmmmmmmmm, i love you too though anon

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  13. Cmi March 31, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    I’m so fed up with the old “have you ever bolted a line before” excuse. If you ever did bolt or open ( it doesn’t have to be bolted now does it?) a line than you should better now that:
    – nobody forced you to do it (I hope :))
    – it’s a lot of unselfish and probably unrewarded work that’s gonna benefit a lot of strangers that you’ll probably not meet or hear anything from
    – your name might not be remembered or mentioned related to that but ultimately you did improve this climbing world we live in and that should be part of the reason you did it in the first place cause see point n’1
    – unless you bought it you’re on public space and you don’t own it and sadly bolts, glue’ins etc can’t be taken out once you’re done with so you can’t restrict access to because it’s not your backyard remember
    – if you wanna keep it a secret until you send it, don’t flaunt it, don’t run beating the drum to the media so you get your name out there to sell more products(I don’t think there’s anything wrong with marketing), wait to be ready for the attention it’s gonna draw cause it doesn’t belong to you and you won’t be able to keep others away, same backyard we’re talking about – if you’re such a public figure remember that you have to own your image or don’t have one

    You guys think that Randy Leavitt felt bad about all his projects that he opened and CS or others sent. He actualy semed genuinely happy that he helped the “new generation” move forward and acomplish the things that eluded him, remember Chris? Maybe you don’t anymore, but maybe it’s time to and time to pay it forward!
    Oh and about TC, I remember him putting it out there for the strong climbers to join him. Or that’s not how Kevin Jorgeson ended up on that wall with him right now?!
    And yeah, I know the energy it takes to hang on a fifi and hand drill a bolt hole.
    We’re transient on this world fellas let’s try to make it better and improve it for when we won’t be around 🙂

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    • Sam March 31, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

      Get off your soapbox much? Anyway, I was just trying to offer an alternative side that 99% of climbers will never even have to face(because the equippers are few and far between). And you could make your arguments about not going public and yada yada yada. I’m not advocating either side, it was simply a question to ask yourself before you start jumping down someone’s throat. But I guess that requires an educated, experienced, and respectful person to do so. I apologize for thinking that climbers could be such.

      BTW. “The ‘old’ have you ever equipped” line. Really? Because this comes up in my everyday conversations.

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  14. sweatpants March 31, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    You know how when the latest ‘Twilight’ movie came out all of the little teenie boppers had ‘team edward’ or ‘team jacob’ shirts. Narc i think you should invest in an exclusive clothing line staring ‘team chris’ and ‘team nalle’ shirts.

    You can also mark me down for a ‘team chris’ shirt in medium. that is all. Order quickly everyone there will be limited quantities…

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  15. greg March 31, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    count me in for a nalle tee. i mean come on pimpin and crimpin did a tee and your site is hella better ha!

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  16. abe March 31, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    Man its crazy that these guys gotta go thru some online drama ish.. What happened 2 cracking a beer and just getting the issue out the way face to face and moving on.

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  17. Nate P March 31, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    Go Go 80’s style bolt wars. Piss the dish, crap the crimper, or just bring the guns like overpayed douchezenspray. Forget Orgasmic Bouldering Fads it’s on in
    Post
    Orgasmsic
    Sporty
    Ego
    Rage
    Showdown

    Thank you for trying to be the Paris Hilton of climbing narc.

    Nate P.
    Not a secret I’m an asshole, no sir.

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  18. dave April 1, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    Let Nalle climb, I think. Too long for a route that cool (a year?)

    Although I hope Chris changes his mind I am glad they both say what they think while being respectful.

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  19. free project viewer April 1, 2010 at 3:05 am #

    maybe if your an insecure territorial male. do you pee on every mailbox when you go for your walk?

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  20. AVIDclimbing April 1, 2010 at 3:29 am #

    We were totally thinking of the Team Chris and Team Nalle idea too! that would be awesome and nice to see what people are thinking just by looking at the shirt they are wearing. what do you guys think? mind if we make em?

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  21. ABC April 1, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    All this sounds like the Comic Book club discussing their favorite superheroes.. Where the superheroes in question never really picked up a fight, merely agreed to disagree. The more you know indeed..

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  22. André April 1, 2010 at 4:30 am #

    Well, I kinda thought that the both of them were right in a way. Sharma has a good point with all the effort he has put into the project, and so does Nalle when he says it sucks to be the only one who wasn’t allowed to try it. However, having read the lasted post on DPM (http://www.deadpointmag.com/articles/view/chris-sharma-big-nalle-hukkataival-and-red-tag), I gotta say that the light in which I see Chris FAs, especially Jumbo Love, changes a lot. To me it seems that those who actually had the capability to send Sharma’s projects, maybe before him, were told to walk away. Pringle on Jumbo Love and Nalle on FRFM. I’m just wondering, if Sharma is driven just by his love for climbing as it’s communicated in every BigUp film, how can he still be happy with a FA that might only be his because others weren’t allowed to have a go? I don’t want to start questioning Sharma here, cause I think his achievements for climbing as a sport are unparalleled. I guess all this discussion and controversy shows that he’s just human after all, with flaws like everybody else, and that the “truth” is adapted a little here and there to what best suits the movie projects. It’s a shame in a way, cause I personally would think in just the same positive way of his achievements even if the films would communicate that the dyno on Es Pontas was contrived, or that he used a toprope to try the work the top part of Es Pontas or that Pringle was close on Jumbo Love etc.

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    • Sid April 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

      Sharma used a rope to work the top parts? I could have sworn they said in King Lines that it was purely a ground up ascent?

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  23. Peter April 1, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Ego on both parts, can’t believe this is actually getting discussed. Nalle wanted the fa of te highly hyped project. Chris wants tonfoniah his line. Nalle’s comments re “the only thing of this style I’ve seen hyped in videos” are bull shit…how bout coup de grace? Better looking, Better location, and the season is about to start, not end. Perfect apart from the fact that it has already been climbed and isn’t being projected by Chris sharma.

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    • Narc April 1, 2010 at 8:43 am #

      I’m pretty sure there are access issues with Coupe de grace which is one of the reasons it hasn’t been repeated

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  24. g April 1, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    very interesting link andré.

    seems like the mythology of first ascents plus fastfood commercial videos, can lead to bad behaviours…

    (why footage of the preparation for a…second, or third ascent, would be “wasted”??? For instance is that short on rich simpson’s traninig to be the fifth to climb Action Directe uninteresting, because it was “only” a repeat? http://vimeo.com/6848413 )

    climbing movies should be honest, have a documentary-like spirit, and don’t sell fairytales, create myths, look for the “perfect” character.

    If they can’t sell vids and promote gear without playing with the audience’s perception of how things really are, hiding relevant “behind the scenes” like this, and sort of altering the course of events, it means that they’re not good enough to be honest and interesting at the same time.

    or, they should clearly let us understand that they are presenting a work of fiction, as it happens for ordinary movies we often enjoy on a big screen or on tv.

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  25. Mic April 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    I don’t remember Boone Speed’s project Necessary Evil being closed when Sharma snatched the FA. This was the hardest route in the US at the time.

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    • toothbrush April 1, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

      I kinda thought I heard from an interview with Boone Speed that he didn’t think Sharma had a chance at the time. He was still in his teens ya? So it was more of a “pffft go ahead kid”. And then he sent it. I could be totally wrong on that, my recallection of that time is not as accurate as many other’s here. Apologies ahead of time.

      Lots’a people are saying this is a stupid topic yet it’s the one we are all paying attention too. Nalle spoke up not to long ago when we all started debating grades after The Game so he has a habit of putting his toes to the fire and not being afraid to do so. Seems like it’s a non issue between Chris and Nalle but a bigger picture issue between the community on who has ownership on the rock and what truly defines a First Accent. So with that said, I don’t think it a pointless or stupid topic. Not that Mic (above) said that but I was kinda replying to several others who think this is trivial when based on the reaction it’s clearly not.

      Making a point to comment on something you think is a non issue is oxymoronic in it’s self. It’s not like we can hash it out over a few beers at the bar, so the web is the only place to do it. I just don’t see what the problem is with topical conversation like this. There’s obviously politics in climbing whether we would like there to be or not.

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  26. Guillermo April 1, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    This thread and topic proves that climbing is a truly ghey sport. But who wouldn’t love to watch nalle and sharmie wrestle naked?

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  27. Red tagging promotes progress April 1, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    People think that red-tagging inhibits progress, but in reality it is very likely that it increases the number of routes put up. If someone puts in the effort to bolt a line and it’s immediately a free for all, then there is little incentive for the equipper to dedicate much time to bolting several routes at the same time. They are more likely to bolt one route and work on that route exclusively until they send. Because of red tagging, the people who put in the effort to equip a route can bolt many lines and red tag a few, and then allow other people to explore new lines that weren’t previously available. This seems to be the case in the Chris/Nalle issue, where Chris has bolted a many lines and he wants to get the first ascent of a route that he thinks is particularly special for him. There are likely other rad lines that Chris bolted that are open for anyone to climb, thanks to the hard work of Chris and others. So, the bottom line is that in sport climbing, red-tagging might actually promote development of new cutting edge climbs.

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  28. Pablo April 1, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    Anyway, Adam Ondra has sent FRFM and fuck up the project…Oh my God!!!!!
    check the lowdown blog…

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  29. Colin April 2, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Sweatpants nailed it. Y’all sound like a bunch of fanboys.

    The “STFU if you haven’t bolted sport routes” argument certainly has merit, and as I haven’t bolted any sport routes I’m going to STFU.

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  30. Red Tagging Actually Promotes Progress April 2, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    People think that red-tagging inhibits progress, but in reality it is very likely that it increases the number of routes put up. If someone puts in the effort to bolt a line and it’s immediately a free for all, then there is little incentive for the equipper to dedicate much time to bolting several routes at the same time. They are more likely to bolt one route and work on that route exclusively until they send. Because of red tagging, the people who put in the effort to equip a route can bolt many lines and red tag a few, and then allow other people to explore new lines that weren’t previously available. This seems to be the case in the Chris/Nalle issue, where Chris has bolted a many lines and he wants to get the first ascent of a route that he thinks is particularly special for him. There are likely other rad lines that Chris bolted that are open for anyone to climb, thanks to the hard work of Chris and others. So, the bottom line is that in sport climbing, red-tagging might actually promote development of new cutting edge climbs.

    Like Chris said, people want FA’s but they don’t often take the time to bolt the project. And if the person who bolts the line doesn’t mind his friends working on the route and potentially scooping them, then so be it. I can understand the feeling of wanting to get the FA on my project but being psyched if one of my good buddies beats me to it.

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  31. Karmavore April 2, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    The right to pursue a project on your own terms is a privilege- one that Chris has earned many times over. As long as he is actively working it, and yes that could be a VERY long time, it is his to do with as he pleases, especially in the context so many other alternatives out there to bolt or adopt. If everyone who is curious starts jumping on a project, without permission, the result can soon be a clusterf#ck.

    I’ve bolted over 350 routes over two decades, and have had (usually younger “hotshots” too lazy to do the work themselves, never putting up anything worth climbing) try to ‘jack the projects. Funny how most of the time, despite supposedly being stronger than me, I usually end up getting it first anyway. Call it Karma. The guys who are truly capable of sending quickly respect the effort and hold off.

    I would no more show up uninvited to someone’s FA party, and expect to be able to jump in just because I was “willing to drive all that way”, than I would go to their house and start going through their refrigerator for food and beer while hitting on their girlfriend. It’s THAT personal guys. Learn to respect and be respected.

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    • Mic April 2, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

      Good point. I would agree with you if the situation wasn’t different here. FRFM (and Jumbo Love) got a lot of media attention. This attracts top climbers all around the world who want to make a name for themselves, especially young climbers like Nalle (and Ethan Pringle on Jumbo Love) who need coverage to climb professionally.
      Chris Sharma’s reputation alone make his projects widely accepted as some of the hardest in the world (which they without a doubt are), but if Nalle were to do some ultra hard project near his home in Finland and grade it 9b it would never have as much impact as climbing a Sharma project. It is only natural that the new generation wants to prove itself on the hardest climbs in the world, and everyone knows that Sharma’s projects are just that.

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      • Karmavore April 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

        OR… he could just do a second ascent of one of Chris’ other 9b’s, Like Ondra did.

        Of course, he is right now getting as much attention as he would doing a repeat, without even touching the rock! Kid knows how to make a name for himself… we’ll see how well that name holds up.

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  32. Mic April 3, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    Josh Lowell responds: http://www.bigupproductions.com/#/blog/1020/

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  33. Nate P April 3, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    “so please stop with the choosing sides and the rage, it’s totally misguided”

    The rest was as they say, a production. Apparently he was ready and waiting for his closeup. Hopefully he doesn’t ruin his chance to be anything but climbing famous by doing more climbing porn. Moue

    Nate P.

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  34. Rack April 4, 2010 at 4:53 am #

    Conrack says…
    Nalle, you are wrong.
    Professional and weekend climbers alike all relate climbing to art, finding the line, having the vision to see moves going down, working the painting, clay, spray paint, sculpture, novel, rock etc. until the final work is completed to the best of the original artists interpretation.
    I don’t understand why every other single sport in the world, ego is accepted, understood and ultimately expected. Sharma is the Michael Jordan of climbing, he has opened the most difficult routes in the world, he’s the only climber in the world with a major shoe brand marketing shoes off of his name, why shouldn’t his ego come into play regarding possibly THE most difficult route in the world? It is entirely human nature to have an ego, to thrive off of said ego. You wouldn’t even contemplate the possibility of trying frfm if your ego weren’t inflated enough to believe you could climb the hardest route in the world, ESPECIALLY when you don’t even climb routes! It’s as if climbers try to be so far from the mainstream that they end up being entirely hypocritical.
    You can’t be an accomplished artist without believing you’re work is at the very least respected, and more likely, admired.
    Think of FRFM as the fresco that adorns the sistine chapel created by Michelangelo; four years of work to create arguably the greatest work of art in history, frfm is possibly the first 9b+ in the world, almost two years of work in the making. Now imagine one of michelangelo’s peers inviting himself after 3 years of work to add his own flair to it without an invite from the original artist, wouldn’t it make sense for michelangelo to ask for more time to finish it before the peer had a chance?
    Nalle you say you don’t understand why people are attacking you for your point of view, if you simply stated that chris is wrong, and that you don’t respect chris’s view on this matter, you wouldn’t be a hypocrite. You argue that you respected chris’s wishes and were more than honorable. Yet you continue to argue that chris is in the wrong for trying to finish the artwork he viewed, cleaned, and has dedicated himself to .. just because you say, ‘i somewhat understand why chris didn’t want me climbing his route..’ doesn’t mean you have respected chris’s wishes. taking potshots at chris through your blog is childish and cowardly. “I find it interesting how I’m being judged for doing absolutely nothing at all, except respecting Chris’s request and the effort he has put in the route.” if you actually respected his wishes and the effort he put into the route, you wouldn’t be acting in this manner.
    You argue that it would’ve been entirely a different situation had BigUp prefaced the airing of frfm with a ‘closed route’ warning. You expect the climbing community to believe you go to the single greatest concentration of hard, bouldery sport routes in the world only content on working the most hyped up route in the world? And have no intention of benefiting from the media coverage from said route?
    there is one hundred percent difference between dg climbing the redtagged girl talk, which amounted to 8c+, and frfm 9b+? media sensationalism and coverage, sponsorship, and ego.
    Nalle, you’re in incredibly gifted boulderer, when you work on a 9a super hyped boulder problem for 2 years and someone tries to swoop in and take it from you, then you’ll understand. Until then, either stay off a rope or put in the effort to create your own routes.

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    • dave April 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

      I think a better comparison would be to a photographer. Nalle is not trying to paint on Chris’s canvas, he is trying to take a picture of something Sharma has found and already taken pictures of.

      Now it is true that there is a perfect picture to be taken of this thing, and pride that comes along with it. It is also true that there is joy in simply taking pictures and joy in looking at the pictures.

      Maybe this can help us look at the situation in new ways.

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      • Sebastian April 5, 2010 at 8:06 am #

        I like the art analogy and I’ll add my own. It’s like someone filling a canvas and then then someone else signing their name on it.

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  35. Peter April 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    If jens’ quote is real (admittedly it’s probably not) it looks like nalle wasn’t careful playing with fire – he got burnt. On a different note, I was hoping against hope that his links to “harmful blogs” might take me here. Alas, only ukclimbing

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    • Narc April 13, 2010 at 7:19 am #

      That would have pretty much made my week

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  36. sweaty April 5, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    I can’t believe people are still commenting on this… It’s so last week.

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  37. Nate P April 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    No one leaves the posedown till the person who suffers the most for their artistic white paper has been quoted enought to declare them the worthiest of losing the most time on it.

    Nate P.

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  38. Zachary April 5, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    I think it’s interesting that Nalle, who has sent one 5.14c (reported via 8a.nu), is interested in trying Chris’s project (likely 5.15b from the sounds of it, and furthermore flew in to Spain (by his own admission) to try this particular route of sharma’s project. Definitely not saying he couldn’t do it, obviously Sharma respects his skill level, otherwise he wouldn’t have asked him to stay off of it.

    Seems fairly directed at snaking the route.

    Regardless, both Sharma and Nalle are receiving an ass load of free press from this whole deal.

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  39. jam April 5, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    ‘Bad Man’ Smith Rock, OR

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  40. Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com April 7, 2010 at 2:25 am #

    I did a postscript to our take on this.

    Who owns a sport route? Nalle vs. Chris Sharma
    http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=52754

    ——————————————–

    To those who think that that the above somehow happened on the ‘internet’. Well no it really happened, between two people, in daylight, at a real crag, below a cliff with some bolts drilled for protection following an overhanging line of poor holds. It was started by a blog post. Then transferred to outside, then the incident was then expressed by real people, including the two protagonists, on the ‘internet’.
    ————————————————————

    Now this is what didn’t happen.

    This is on the internet, this is made up (although I did write it in my office after a bouldering session at Stanage last night, that bit is real).

    ————————————————————

    Nalle: Hi Chris, Wassup? Great to meet you and great to be down here away from the frozen North. How’s it going?

    Chris: Hi Nalle. It’s going well. Welcome to Cataluña. I love it here. Great to meet you. I’ve heard so much about you. Want to hang out?

    Nalle: Would love to.

    Chris: Meet Dave and Dani and the rest of the crew.

    Nalle: Hi everyone. Looks a great route Chris. How’s it going on it?

    Chris: Frustrating. I’ve got redpoint swamp. Keep coming back, keep falling off the last move. I really want to do this route. I read on your blog that you would like a go on it.

    Nalle: Yes I’d love too. Would that be OK?

    Chris: That’s fine, be my guest. Dani and Dave have been trying it too. More the merrier. I’ll belay you if you like.

    Nalle: That’s really kind of you Chris. Thank you. I would love the opportunity. If by chance I’m getting close, I won’t even consider a red point attempt.

    Chris: That’s kind of you Nalle. It means a lot to me this route. I remember last Fall looking at it, spying the non-holds and thinking that it might just be possible for me. Then bolting it, didn’t take much actually. It was hard work, but not like proper work like hanging a door or changing a car engine, you know, a proper job.

    – they spend several hours working the route that soon will become First Round, First Minute –

    Chris: Good effort Nalle. What do you think of the moves?

    Nalle: I don’t know Chris. That’s hard. I bit beyond me at the moment. I can see it, but wow! You are doing great on it, won’t be long now.

    Chris: Thanks Nalle. Really good to have a strong and talented climber like you on it and to get your opinion. Fancy coming back to my place tonight? Dave is making paella, he”s a great cook. There will be music later. It will be good to chill.

    Nalle: Would love to. Thanks Chris. Be a great end to my holiday. Got to go home in a few days. Got some great projects in Finland. If you ever fancy it, you’d be welcome at my home and we could work some of the unclimbed boulders I’ve found in the forests.

    Chris: Cool dude

    ————————————————————————

    I for one am looking forward to Chris Sharma completing this climb and I will watch/buy the film by Big Up of him doing it when it is available.

    It’s a great climbing story. Nothing wrong with a difference of opinion sometime. Adds colour and richness to our pastime. People are far too sensitive these days. Always makes me laugh that if you question or take the piss some call one a ‘hater’

    I blame the schools or the parents!

    Onward,

    Mick

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  41. Rack April 7, 2010 at 3:44 am #

    I formerly posted a moderately offensive attack on Nalle. I was trying to incite some sort of conversation on redtagging in general, but most importantly ego. I rephrase, since no one commented on this part of my monologue/post, why is ego a bad thing? i’ve read many a response on how redtagging directly relates to the ego of the original discoverer of the route, but why is ego a bad thing? Ego promotes competition, development and advertisement (see the media storm this entire debate has created) Ego is essential to every sport, yet people don’t want to clarify rock climbing as a sport? I’m just curious what ya’ll think about ego and climbing compared to other sports.

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