Thursday, November 24, 2011

Climbing is climbing is climbing.

Funny thing happened to me down at the Tea Shop today. I was talking to a regular customer about climbing when a another person walked in and overheard my conversation. I talking to my regular about her interest in getting into climbing. I mentioned that Squamish has a bouldering coop.

Well the gentalman who had just walked in stated that Squamish didn't have a climbing gym.

"It's a bouldering gym, which isn't climbing."

"Well shucks" I said. Because in all honesty I didn't know what to say to that other than don't listen to this guy, he's an idiot and well I figured that wouldn't go over well.

He went on to compare bouldering to top-roping and it really bugged him when people called that nonsense rock climbing.

I asked if he'd ever been bouldering?

He said he had and that it wasn't at all like rock climbing.

In what sense I asked?

No real answer that didn't involve things like height.

Then I asked the classic rock climbing question. How long have you been climbing?

His answer almost two years.

"Well shucks" I said. "I see now, you don't know what the fuck your talking about".

Ok, I didn't say that, but that's what I was thinking. Because anyone who's climbed for any length of time knows you don't rain on a parade you don't know anything about.

Now I'm not overly interested in ice climbing but I'm not going to tell a ice climber their sport doesn't count because their wearing crampons and wielding axes.

I said that a lot people boulder and "climb" and the ones that do don't hold one above another.

Because its about movement on rock. And just because you jam a cam in now and then doesn't make your sport better than mine.

He said a few other things that made me convinced he was trying to impress my regular. After which he offered to take her out climbing and show her what the sports all about.

But why is it that people get so down on bouldering? Is it because its about pure difficulty? Or is because they go out and try it and get shut down on the "warm ups"?

I'm not trying to be a jerk... Well ok I'm being a bit of a jerk but what's up with "Climbing" snobbery?