Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Rock Pioneers

In today’s society, we have too many titles and too much dependence on material acquisition. And we have too many superlatives to describe what we do. We have redpoint, pinkpoint, onsight, the first this and the first that, and the 10 fastest climbs and the 10 best climbs. Its all hierarchical and it all about becoming that CEO. All this one-upmanship is just not my thing. In a very simple way, you’re going for a walk in a vertical world. I mean, what are you going to tell somebody about your walk. We shouldn’t try to coach and describe what the rules should be. No — you should go to the bottom, then go to the top and come back down, and not leave any trash and not trample any bushes or anybody’s ego, and just have a good time and not degrade the rock. ---- Henry Barber - Free-Climbing Pioneer, Free Soloist, Trad Climber, Motivational Speaker, Purist; North Conway, New Hampshire

"Climbing for speed records will probably become more popular, a mania which has just begun. Climbers climb not just to see how fast and efficiently they can do it, but far worse, to see how much faster and more efficiently they are than a party which did the same climb a few days before. The climb becomes secondary, no more important than a racetrack. Man is pitted against man." — Yvon Chouinard.

"Writing this last chapter has been difficult and painful. It involves do's and don'ts, obligations and responsibilities. Most climbers are individuals who love freedom — they climb because it makes them feel free. We may expect then, that having others suggest how they ought to climb will rub wrong. There used to be so few climbers that it didn't matter where one drove a piton, there wasn't a worry about demolishing the rock. Now things are different. There are so many of us, and there will be more. A simple equation exists between freedom and numbers: the more people the less freedom. If we are to retain the beauties of the sport, the fine edge, the challenge, we must consider our style of climbing; and if we are not to mutilate and destroy the routes, we must eliminate the heavy handed use of pitons and bolts." — Royal Robbins, Basic Rockcraft, 1971.

”Climbing requires intense concentration. I know of no other activity in which I can so easily lose all the hours of an afternoon without a trace. Or a regret. I have had storms creep up on me as if I had been asleep, yet I knew the whole time I was in the grip of an intense concentration, focused first on a few square feet of rock, and then on a few feet more. I have gone off across camp to boulder and returned to find the stew burned. Sometimes in the lowlands when it is hard to work I am jealous of how easily concentration comes in climbing. This concentration may be intense, but it is not the same as the intensity of the visionary periods; it is a prerequisite intensity.” - Doug Robinson

"I don't want to write about climbing; I don't want talk about it; I don't want to photograph it; I don't want to think about it; all I want to do is do it."
Chuck Pratt