Climbing Beyond Boehner’s Reach

Freddie Wilkinson takes to the Op-Ed section of The New York Times to talk about how the government shutdown has affected the climbing scene in Yosemite:

The most anticipated event of this climbing season was to be an effort by Tommy Caldwell of Colorado to lead a team of climbers to become the first to free climb the Dawn Wall — that is, climbing by hand and foot without using gear to make upward progress — a feat Mr. Caldwell has been pursuing for the last seven years. Chris Sharma, a reigning icon of the action-sports world, was to join the climber Kevin Jorgeson in the effort, which they ended up postponing.

“It’s like Michael Phelps showing up at the Olympics, only to find the pool has been drained,” said Andrew Bisharat, an editor for Rock and Ice Magazine.

Posted In: Asides, Off the Board
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18 Responses to Climbing Beyond Boehner’s Reach

  1. JM October 16, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Again, the NY Times impresses as one of the few (only?) mainstream media outlets to offer quality reporting on the world of climbing.

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  2. chris October 16, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    climbers need to stop crying about areas being closed. the gov shutdown is affecting people in much more serious ways. climbers need to take a second and check themselves on their own privilege

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    • Adam Shepler October 16, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      I agree in that there are many who are deeply affected, but I’ll quote Peter Beal here who I think sums it up well (he’s also referring to the recent flooding disaster across the Front Range).

      “Climbing access is basically still on hold and with winter approaching, options are narrowing. This may sound like whining, especially given the catastrophic destruction and losses so many have experienced. However for lots of Front Range residents, the opportunity to run, hike, ride and climb without driving long distances is much needed stress relief in these difficult times. It’s bad enough when natural destruction hinders these opportunities but worse when political obstruction extends this peculiar exile from our own backyard.”

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    • Alex October 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

      I don’t think anyone will disagree that there are worse things happening to people. On the other hand it is important that these types of stories come to the mainstream to highlight everything else that is going on because of the shutdown.

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    • Bob October 16, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      So what you’re suggesting is that on this CLIMBING WEBSITE people shouldn’t discuss how the shutdown affects climbing?

      Take your holier than thou preaching elsewhere dude.

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    • Silver October 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      You need to check your own privilege, my friend. You’ve got electricity, and enough calories in your diet for your brain to have the luxury to spit out stupidity. There are many people in other parts of the planet that have neither, nor the luxury of being a dumbass.

      (And in case you ask, privilege is like turtles. They go all the way down.)

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      • pipo October 16, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

        Yeah right on man! So you are working hard to rid this world of inequality when you are not trolling climbing websites?

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  3. Pascal October 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Free the land of the free

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  4. dave October 16, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    I think there is real value to the fact that climbing suffers along with the rest of the country. HEY LOOK. SERIOUS THINGS ARE HAPPENING. To the whole country and everyone in it.

    This whole fiasco was avoidable. Do the WORLD a favor and vote for moderate candidates.

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  5. Crimpin Ain't Easy...going political October 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    In response to the tea party, Im starting the V-party! We’re extreme about bouldering and only get shutdown on our projects *ZING*

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  6. Pebble Harvester October 17, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    game on!

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  7. chris October 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    maybe I should have been more tactful with my language….

    The point I am trying to make is that climbing (especially in the US) is an extremely exclusive sport. That exclusion is based largely on race and class privilege. As a black climber I’m constantly confronted with this in a host of unpleasant ways. Most white climbers I know have the privilege of being blind to this. This is kind of annoying, and frustrating because I love climbing so much, but constantly feel this privilege based exclusion. It is also frustrating because it means that not many black people climb. This is the result of active cultural and class based exclusion… We can change this and make climbing a better sport for it. Part of changing this is understanding that climbing parks being closed is a small problem compared to losing your health care benefits or not being payed. We should use our voices, even withing the climbing blogosphere, to bring light to this fact. That is all.

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    • Ryan October 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

      Can you expand on this a bit: “I love climbing so much, but constantly feel this privilege based exclusion”? I see race and class issues in the “real world,” but not in climbing…If I’m blind to this “privilege based exclusion” in climbing, I would rather not be.

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    • pipo October 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

      Yes, I would like to hear a bit more about this also.
      Maybe it is a bigger issue in the U.S? Though climbing is also a bit of an elite sport in Northern Europe (many climbing clubs are linked to universities).
      Anyway, It would be quite interesting to read your point of view on the subject.

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  8. chris October 18, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    for those who would like to hear me out, ill take some time this weekend to write something up about this. ive been meaning to do it for a while anyways… I don’t have a blog tho so ill post it in this thread I guess

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  9. Camp 4 Local October 18, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Climbing is so ego centered, that we believe it is important. It is important to you and me. There were more serious repercussions for the shutdown than climbing.

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    • Tane Owens October 18, 2013 at 11:41 am #

      Lucky for us, this is a blog about rock climbing.

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      • j October 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

        Umm . . . the possibility that barriers may exist that make it difficult for certain demographics/segments of the population to partake in rock climbing IS decidedly “about rock climbing.”

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