SCIN

Tommy Caldwell, writing for La Sportiva about a trip to Switzerland that had him questioning the mantra that “Sport Climbing is Neither”:

Yeah, sport climbing is the safe type of climbing… right. That is what I was telling myself as I looked down and saw my rope hanging free for thirty feet then gently arcing towards my last bolt more than 40 feet away. I looked up… no more bolts in sight and no possible place for gear either. If I fall here I am looking at a 100-foot fall that will leave me hanging 40 feet below my belayer. But it’s a free fall. I should be all right…maybe.

Posted In: Asides, Sport Climbing
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14 Responses to SCIN

  1. Derek March 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    I’m not sure I would file these routes under Sport…

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    • Dan March 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

      Why not?

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      • derek March 18, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

        Sport usually means not just a bolted route, but a bolted route on which one can fall (relatively) safely. Extremely long runouts or falls which seem to guarantee injury or death preclude a route being sport. For example, Snake Dike, though bolted, is certainly not a sport route.

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        • Dan March 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

          I think that’s your subjective definition of sport climbing, not the objective one that has been used for decades now.

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  2. Chris Schulte March 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    I ASPIRE to be able to climb in the Wenden and Oberland someday. Beautiful, but apparently you gotta have Sand.

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  3. Dan March 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Can someone explain the origin of the “sport climbing is neither” phrase to me? What things are sport climbing neither of?

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    • MIchael March 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

      The joke is sport climbing is not a sport, or climbing

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    • douglashunter March 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      As far as the origin goes, I first started hearing that phrase in the mid 1980′s. It was part of the attack launched against pre-placing bolts. This was considered a horrible, immoral, Satan inspired, wanker thing to do by people who thought they had the exclusive right to define what climbing was and should be. They started to use the phrase “traditional” climbing (which had only been around in the US for about 15 years at that point) to distinguish between what they approved of, and this new form of climbing that threatened them. “Sport climbing is neither” was their knee-jerk way of denigrating a new generation of climbers and their vision of the sport.

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  4. Strong Euro March 19, 2013 at 4:30 am #

    This article is a couple of months old, but I’m glad at least somebody across the Atlantic noticed it. A good answer to all the tough anti-bolt trad climbing wise asses in the US.

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    • Steven March 19, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Dunno, these routes sound a lot like the ‘traditional’ style climbs people like Bachar & other traditionalists encouraged. Ground up, minimal artificial protection. I suppose technically they are sport routes but it is hard for me to think of something like Bachar-Yerian or You Asked for It! as sports routes.

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  5. Drunk Williamson March 20, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Those routes aren’t sport climbs, they were put in ground up. The whole argument is busted.

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    • Dan March 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      That has nothing to do with whether or not something is a sport climb.

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      • Baller March 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

        Yes it does

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  6. fabio June 25, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    Hello

    here the trailer of our film on Wendenstocke, place of whoch Tommy wrote about

    https://vimeo.com/67672780

    Fabio

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