NY Times Examines “From-The-Route Social Media” In Climbing

The New York Times picks up on the issue of climbers using technology to provide near-live updates of their efforts, with Tommy Caldwell’s Dawn Wall Push as a prime example:

The Dawn Wall, as Caldwell’s project is known, is the latest example of what has become an increasingly accepted practice among professional climbers and the wider climbing community: from-the-route social media. Observers enjoy it, sponsors encourage it and climbers get to share what is inherently a selfish pursuit.

I may be a bit biased, but I like this trend.

Posted In: Asides, Media
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6 Responses to NY Times Examines “From-The-Route Social Media” In Climbing

  1. josh December 13, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    Tune in this weekend as I live-tweet my epic battle with the 40′ 11a down the road.

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  2. Sforscott December 13, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    I like and dislike this, it engages the climbing community as the dawn wall project did. Then, in my opinion, you lose that connection to nature when you start a connection to social media on the wall, the experience becomes more of a race to get to the top so you can post on your twitter

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    • isaac December 13, 2011 at 9:39 am #

      Only if one lets it.

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  3. Cadydreams December 13, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Agreed, not everyone is looking to be the 1st.  However, there will always be those that do.  It’s part of everything we do in life.  Man tends to do that will everything.

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  4. Colin December 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    when did this whole “climbing is a selfish pursuit” thing get started? You hear this all the time and I don’t quite get it.  

    Is spending your free time on other recreational activities, even potentially dangerous ones, selfish as well? Every year people die skiing/snowboarding, road cycling and mountain biking, etc. Are those activities selfish? Bouldering has got to be safer than all of them. Should we rank them on a scale of danger and determine what is and what is not a selfish level of danger to accept? 

    Are “safe” recreational activities selfish too? Are the legions of middle-aged family men who spend their Saturday at the golf course selfish? Should we be spending all our free time working at soup kitchens and caring for the poor and unfortunate? 

    Is climbing a selfish activities only because it can take us away from friends and family?  And what then if your spouse or your best friends are also your climbing partners?

    Sorry for the rant. I just think this “climbing is selfish” thing is fucking stupid, pardon my french.  

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    • Colin P December 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

      I’m not sure where it got started. I do not think it’s accurate either. Selfish is defined as:
      “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.”

      This misses the point entirely. I think a better term is self-indulgent:

      “indulging one’s own desires, passions, whims, etc., especially without restraint.”

      Now, there are some climbers that are able to be restrained with how much time they put into this activity, but on a website titled ‘Climbing Narc’ I think this definition is particularly apt. It is true that climbing is basically self-indulgent, and in this regard is no different than almost all recreational activities, drinking, watching television movies, etc. So no, I don’t think it deserves any special stigma on this account. That being said, I personally think our society could find a better balance between personal endeavors and giving back to the community. I could certainly improve in this regard…

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