Combing Through DPM’s Stash

Combing Through DPM’s Stash

It’s been about three years now since Dead Point Magazine (DPM) launched under the banner of “free climbing media for the young and unruly.”  One of the key components of DPM’s platform had been their exclusive videos, a mantle they more or less picked up as MomentumVM faded away.  Whereas MVM offered exclusive video content for a monthly subscription, for much of the first three years of their existence DPM offered up a relatively steady selection of exclusive videos for free.

Earlier this year, however, the rate of exclusive videos offered at DPM began to trail off in anticipation of their launching a new pay area of the site called “The Stash.”  For a yearly fee of $12 one can get each issue of DPM’s magazine1 delivered to them and gain access to The Stash which is the new home for all their exclusive video content.  Reading the DPM website it’s not clear2 what you are actually getting when you sign up for The Stash with respect to the video offerings, but I’ve been told that they expect to release a new video each week.  The Stash is also the home for all of the previously free videos that were exclusive to DPM.

The Stash has been up and running for about three months now with one video per week being featured.  The videos are all generally longer than the average online climbing video while the quality varies depending on who filmed it, who edited it and what the subject of the video is.

Some of the videos being featured in The Stash


I’d like to say that The Stash is a must visit video destination, but the reality is that the online climbing video landscape has changed quite a bit in the last few years.  Youtube and Vimeo are inundated with new climbing videos on a daily basis, and basically every single climbing media website, including the one you’re reading, has an area of their sites dedicated to sharing these videos.  Many of these freely available videos are actually quite good, especially with companies like Black Diamond, Prana, Sterling and now Adidas commissioning top professional filmmakers to make videos for them to distribute for free as part of their marketing strategy.

Herein lies the main hurdle for The Stash in my mind.  We live in a world where videos of groundbreaking ascents like Adam Ondra’s onsight of Mind Control and Sasha DiGiulian’s repeat of Pure Imagination or feature-length films like Tomorrow I Will Be Gone and The Swiss Account are available for free.  Given this, how many people are going to pay money, even $1 per month, to watch what amounts to a random collection of longer videos, some good and some not as good, in a place like The Stash?  I know I will because it’s what I do and I don’t have a problem doing a small part to help support these filmmakers, but I’m curious to hear from you if it’s something you’re going to be doing.

 Let me know in the comments your thoughts on The Stash if you’ve checked it out or your reasons for not giving it a look if you haven’t yet done so.

  1. Which is apparently shifting to a quarterly schedule from its previously bi-monthly schedule
  2. Still

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44 Responses to Combing Through DPM’s Stash

  1. Pat December 14, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Deadpoint took down their terrible forum when they put up the stash.  I think that was a good idea bc it would have been the first time people really used it.  I think the only thing that was good about deadpoint was the free videos.  The articles for the most part are stupid as shit and seem like they were written purely to stir up trouble.  Once they decided to go right against their statement of free climbing media i left.  I have from time to time checked the site, but since I’m not giving them my money even a dollar a month, the content is pretty stagnant.  Finally my friend ended up getting a stash account and i watched all the videos they released and i think literally everyone was just the bad parts of a chuck fryberger movie.  All the climbing is cut up and its really just a short story not worth hearing.  The videos released by black diamond are so good, the quality and the fact that you can watch adam climb more or less a whole route.  That being said if black diamond wanted money for those videos i still wouldn’t wanna pay but id be more inclined to then for the stash.  Also that being said i still have a hard time paying for a high quality climbing dvd that i can actually hold in my hands so i think I’m just not ready to pay for intangible items.

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  2. Scott Strong December 14, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    I’ve been a little disappointed with the content in the Stash.  I noticed that a lot of the videos in the collection were offered for free at one point. Others I had seen through the artist or athlete’s own blog.  I haven’t received my copies of DPM yet, but it’s only $12 bucks so I don’t feel I’ve lost anything.  I am getting a magazine subscription along with it.

    If I was getting movies of a quality equal to say, A Fine Line, it’d be a lot different. But overall, I’m underwhelmed with The Stash.

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    • Narc December 15, 2011 at 6:09 am #

      Expecting something like A Fine Line in there is a bit much imho

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      • Scott Strong December 15, 2011 at 9:37 am #

        I don’t expect the length, obviously.  But if I’m paying for it, the shorts should be of that quality.  Right now I feel like I’m paying for gonzo climbing porn, not informative climbing shorts.  If I want climbing porn, that’s all over the internet for free.

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  3. Chris December 14, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    I won’t pay $5 a month for my debit card and I won’t pay $1 a month for my climbing video fix! This is America!

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  4. Zachary December 14, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    I signed up several months ago, but I must say I have not received my paper copy of the mag in the mail yet… Hmmm…

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    • Narc December 14, 2011 at 9:21 am #

      I haven’t seen mine yet either

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    • matt December 14, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      doesn’t your local climbing gym have stacks at the register?

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    • DenVAR December 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

      Haven’t got mine either. If I recall correctly it’s been about six months since I paid the $12.

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      • denVAR December 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

        …but overall it’s $12, so supporting the film makers is worth it. 

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    • Guest December 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

      These mags are free and are handed out everytime I have every seen them.  No real reason to pay for them since they are giving them away!?

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  5. Bert December 14, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    Not really into it.  There are so many free videos out there that I just don’t care about ‘the stash’.

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  6. Drex December 14, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    I also haven’t received any hard copies of the mags, which I would think would be the most costly part of the $12 I payed. I also agree that the videos have been a little underwhelming. Many of the other videos that have been released for free from Black Diamond have been much higher quality and unlike the Stash, have featured a lot of climbing. Most of the Stash videos seem to have a lot of talking and background with very little actual climbing, and sometimes the climbing (the Dave Graham and Nalle video comes to mind) is not shot well at all. I also think that it is kind of lame that they put all of their videos that were previously free into the Stash.

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  7. Rajiv December 14, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    In general I haven’t been too impressed with Stash. However there have been several videos that really nailed what I want to see – good footage of inspiring climbing. Nick Duttle on Trebuchet, Sasha on Quinsana, to name a few. I don’t think they are many cuts above the free media available, but then I don’t consider climbing videos substitutable goods. 

    In general I’m really thankful for all the inspiring free videos available (of all qualities). That said, I’m still more than happy to shell out the occasional $6-20 for a full-length film, and if some clips are going to be behind a $1/month paywall, I don’t mind that either.
    That said, it would be nice if the Stash filled a significant void in climbing media. For example – what about putting extras from films, or focusing on more complete climbing footage, rather than high-production value. I appreciate artful editing and storytelling, but sometimes (a recent video of Sharma on some hard spain project comes to mind) I would just like to see more climbing footage. Give me a route name, grade, location, a good track, and some good footage of climbing, and I’m a happy customer. 

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  8. Pat December 14, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    I watch brian kim crushing that 13d at the gunks often bc its so awesome.  That is until dpm decided to be worse then they already were and take away there free climbing media.  They even told me that if i didn’t pay for the stash my experience on the site would be unaffected.  That was clearly not true as tons of videos were stripped from my view.  Screw deadpoint 

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  9. Neil December 14, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    The Stash is like airplane food. It used to be free, and you gladly helped yourself, even enjoyed it because you were hungry and they were given it away. Now you pay 12 bucks and, yes, you get a product: a dry, stale, flavorless version of “the real thing,” which is half the cost and infinitely tastier. I paid $6 each for Orange Crush and Schengen Files and’ve watched them numerous times–well worth the price. I won’t be rewatching any Stash videos. And any time they do post something new, there’s a little voice in my head that says, “Oh great. Let’s see what they’re calling ‘premium content’ now.”

    I understand that online climbing media is searching out a fair market price for their products, and a lot of this is trail and error. $6 for SF and OC seems like a steal; $15 for Cold seems like a ripoff. To me, $12 for the Stash feels like a pickpocket scheme…at least they left the lint.

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    • Narc December 15, 2011 at 6:11 am #

      Well put

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  10. Fitz December 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    As someone who has lived and eaten by the “Free is the one true strategy” when it comes to online content — this is a good reminder that once you offer something for free you can’t back pedal. 

    If the overwhelming consensus here is that the companies should be supporting this content –whether they make a lot of it (like BD) or whether they support independents — let those companies know you appreciate their projects via Facebook or customer service.  Seriously, you would be amazed at the impact.

    Heck, if you don’t like the price tag on Anson’s Cold ($15 seems a little high considering the Art of Flight (snowboarding movie with a $4 million budget went for $10, but you will NEVER see anything like that movie anywhere else or anytime soon) tell the North Face you’d like to see it for free like they do with Renan’s content.

    In short — if you like free — remember to say thanks and please. 

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  11. toothbrush December 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    I can’t disagree that 12bux for a year of the stash videos seems to be a reasonable deal. However, there’s no way I’d pay for it. There is something exciting about hoping on to climbingnarc and seeing that another free video from Nalle Hukkataival is up or other various fantastic climbers. It’s like rolling the dice when I sit down to work in the morning and click on that favorites page to see if any videos are up. Some days are disappointing, others are “shweet!!”. If I had to pay for videos, it wouldn’t be the same feeling. Its like taking the fortune cookie I never eat, or grabbing the mint off of the pillow that I don’t need.

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  12. Dave December 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    I’ve thought of signing up for the Stash a couple times.  1. Good to support someone creative, making a product I want. 2. I want to see some of the vids.

    Problems: 1. Biggest for me is that a lot of it, a third to a half, is likely to be bouldering vids.  I don’t boulder much and I just can’t watch any more bouldering vids.  Personal taste, but there it is.  I do like watching sport vids, but because they are often similar, it doesn’t seem worth it to pay for a few sport vids when there are a ton of good free ones.  I do love great trad vids, but they are a pain to film and as such are pretty rare.  
    2.  MVM couldn’t make it, twice I think.  Just too many free vids?
    3.  I ask my friends who have a subscription how the vids are… and the report is that they are just ok, nothing special.  

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    • Narc December 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

      The “R Series” videos from Andy Mann are pretty cool. Headpointing and hard trad around the Boulder area

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      • Dave December 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

        I saw the Jenn Flemming video on Freeline, which they moved to the free section.  It was really well done and I enjoyed it… although stickclipping the start (crux) was a strange choice of technique on an “R” route.

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  13. Guest December 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    I was curious to see how folks thought about the “stash” thing on DPM.  As of yet I don’t know a single person who is on board.  It would be different if people were not ripping the vids from stash and passing them around (not that I agree with that).

    I just think that it is B movies that are not making it into the “major” releases these days.

    Either way best of luck trying to squeeze cash out of the climbing community in a bad economy.  I’d think a better approach would be to have all the vids for free and make more cash on ad space.

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    • Narc December 15, 2011 at 6:12 am #

      With regard to your last point, it seems fair to infer that having the videos for free and cashing in on ad space wasn’t cutting it.

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      • Guest December 15, 2011 at 6:41 am #

        Business is a funny thing.  Since they were not going out and doing these films with dave and crew specifically for the purpose of drawing a larger crowd so as to increase revenue, we can never really be sure.  In business on must always gamble and I’m sure they have generated some cash but it sound like (if these folks are being truthful) that they are not that happy with what they have bought.  For me I like your site and Bjorn for general info and head to other sports for the underground stuff.  There is so much free climbing media both legal and illegal that paying for it unless you get a dvd seems odd.  

        Keep up the good work!  It’s goin be a killer day down south and I ain’t got nothing to do but go climbing RIGHT NOW

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        • Narc December 15, 2011 at 6:57 am #

          Why do you taunt me like this?????

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  14. Narc December 15, 2011 at 6:10 am #

    One other thing I forgot to mention was the quality of the videos.  I think that they are HD, but watching them in full screen seems to degrade the quality.

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    • Scott Strong December 15, 2011 at 9:42 am #

      They don’t scale well at all, probably the encoder/player.  And if you go to DPM’s Vimeo page, a good portion of the Stash videos are available, for free and in HD.

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  15. Billy December 15, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Look, the only reason I want to pay for the stash is to see Sharma on Fight or Flight. The Scene obviously didn’t show this… but I still don’t know if the DPM stash video actually shows it either. So by god I am holding onto my money. By god sir!

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    • Dylan December 15, 2011 at 10:28 am #

      There’s a short clip of him on what looks like the start of the route, but none of the business section seen in The Scene, and definitely not the footage of the send.  What didn’t you like about the footage in the Scene?  Granted, its not send footage, and you only see the top third or so of the route, but I thought it was pretty good.

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  16. Cameron December 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Come on. $12 per year for as many videos as you could watch. Thats twelve beers. Is this going to be the only positive comment for DPM? It’s another revenue stream for the videographers out there, which is a positive thing for the future and progression of our sport. It should be a win-win. Keep watching the videos, don’t lose faith, they will get better ideally. Jason Kehl’s unique vids are always worth the money (opinion).  I signed up and thought of my measly $12 as a sort of investment into the future of our sport and its creatives/athletes. Maybe I’m being too much of an idealist, but so is TIM TEBOWWWWW !!!!!!!!!!

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  17. Mill Creek North Rim December 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Good *free* video content was the lure that brought me to DPM. I wish it were the writing, but to paraphrase @Pat, the quality of the articles has not been good. So, they’ve got it backwards if they think DPM has a strong enough pull or rep to cause me to sign up, even at $1/month, and pay for those videos.

    It’s not that I mind supporting content like this by paying for it. It’s just that I don’t see anything to indicate what I’ll get in return is going to be above the quality or subject I can find for free, as is stated above in this post, pretty much everywhere else on the Internet. Sites like DPM must also remember there is friction in the actual subscription process: click on this, dig out a credit card, remember a PayPal password, provide an email, think up a password. And then there’s additional friction in remembering the signin credentials for the new subscription, or finding them when the browser eventually loses them, and so on.

    Unless, like the Narc, “it’s what I do,” I would bet that almost all visitors to any climbing site are just passing through. We’re slouched in our chair when we should be working, or late at night when we should be sleeping, clicking around looking for a diversion. Or maybe we’re making our regular daily pass through sites like this one, looking for the latest news or seeking inspiration from the video of some guy named Magnus floating in another gravity over a campus board. The inertia that must be overcome to break that pattern and pull us into a subscription process even once, even for only a dollar a month, is surprisingly large. We don’t budge.

    I lament the loss of earlier climbing video sites that I really enjoyed. But the ones I’m thinking of both existed in a time when good climbing videos were less common and were created by highly accomplished pros. i.e. the content was consistently, really, really good. Would paying for them have saved them? Maybe so (though I think each did try subscription models and it didn’t work for them either). Will I equally lament the loss of DPM’s videos whose quality is unknown in a time when videos are everywhere? No, because by not subscribing, they’re already lost to me.

    So, here’s my prediction in chronology of some others that came before:

    Climb-X-Media  R.I.P. (c. 2003)
    MomentumVM  R.I.P. (c. 2009)
    The Stash  R.I.P. (TBD)

    -KT

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  18. Davidsahalie December 18, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    if climbers can’t pay $12 to support videographers, the we are doomed to watch shakey iphone vids

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    • Narc December 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

      The evidence out there would suggest otherwise

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  19. guest December 18, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Yeah pretty dissapointing.  More dissapointed with the roku channel they launched.  It hardly worked at all when they first announced the launch and after about two weeks it failed to work altogether.  It just doesn’t load at all.  Yet they haven’t explained that at all.  I don’t know what to say. DPM is a good site…. I like it better than say rock and ice’s site or climbing Magazine’s site.  And I like the lay out better than most of these blog style sites. (no offense).  But it should still be free for what they are offering.  But then again…. this is what everybody seems to want anymore… I hear so many climbers lately bitching and crying that they aren’t getting paid enough to go climbing, travel the world, meet great people and lay sexy girls.  Well… carpentry don’t pay enough either and it lacks the travel, the climbing and the sexy girls.  So, everyone wants to get paid but nobody wants to pay. 
    Fuck the crybaby whiners!!!

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    • Narc December 18, 2011 at 11:25 am #

      Isn’t DPM’s layout just as much of a “blog” layout as most other sites these days? Just with more ads?

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  20. Idiots December 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    You lose more than a dollar a month in the couch cushions… 

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    • Pat December 21, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      you can get that back on a rainy day

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  21. climb2core April 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    The most annoying thing about the Stash is that they post links to videos in stories and don’t tell you they are part of the Stash. Or the opposite as well… when a video is highlighted in the Stash and you find out that the video is out for free on the internet. I will pass and spend my $12 donating to the crags I climb at…

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    • Narc April 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

      Yep. I’m not opposed to charging for premium content, but the execution could definitely use some fine-tuning.

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  22. RyanJ June 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    Any thoughts on how The Stash has progressed in the half a year you’ve subscribed to it?

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    • Narc June 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

      I’ve been meaning to do a post about that for some time and I still hope to do so. The quality has improved, however I find that the delivery method makes it so I often go a month or two between actually logging in and watching any of the videos.

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  23. Ron Nance August 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I’m way late on this post due to just seeing it. I subscribed to the Stash and online only version of the mag as a thank you to DPM for giving me so many free mags. It is heavy on bouldering (one of the many complaints in the comments) but I dig it much more than paying for a glossy Rock and Ice that killed some trees and simply doesn’t cover as much of the John Q. Public climbing world. Sorry fellas but most of these comments sound like whiney wankers with overly inflated senses of entitlement. I guess I’m joining the gripe train with my comments, but hearing similar ones regarding access issues has left me with little to no respect for people who espouse such views. I’m also surprised that so many climbers griped about not getting a mag in their mailbox. Why did you not choose to spare the planet from more pulp mill production and the exhausts of mail carrier vehicles?

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  1. The Year of the Free Online Climbing Video - January 4, 2012

    […] of video content touted as high quality with the Stash subscription for only $12, but even that, if this post on Climbing Narc suggests anything, seems like more money than most people are willing to fork […]

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