I sort of steer clear of the whole ‘World’s Best Climber’ stuff, it’s a sort of hype, really, and climbing just doesn’t lend itself to that. There might be a fastest runner, or a highest jumper—you can measure that, quantify that. But climbing is different. It’s just too subjective. And it’s a lifestyle, not a sport. So I don’t really think there is such a thing as a ‘best climber.’ There are certainly talented climbers, and there are persistent, sort of anal climbers, you know? They just can’t give up. And those are the ones that sort of go on and do lots of climbs, and harder climbs. Those are the people who just can’t shake it off. That’s what I am. (ALEX LOWE, 1999.)
Wow how times have changed…… Alex Lowe, who is that guy anyway! Did he do the sit start using not the crimp but the undercut? Or did he do it with more than the necessary number of pads? What is the necessary number of pads? Tell you one thing… On the first ascent of Great Sail Peak in Antarctica in 1998 I swear he down climbed a pitch to take a rest and didn’t untie … yo-yoing cheat!!!
What is with climbing today? I thought it was about having fun? Preferably with friends but sometimes on your own in the cold. I was under the impression people just went climbing because it was challenging and it nicely punctuated the hum drum of every day with the influx of adventure! But that’s just me. I suppose the whole point of anything anyone does in their spare time is that there is no real reason… it’s just fun!
So in contrast to the humble and inspirational message of Alex Lowe here are a couple of posts that we will pass on to the next generation of keen climbers looking for role models in this sport of champions.
Recently Will Stanhope broke Parthian Shot and thankfully survived… however the climb is now missing a flake. This topic has exploded on UKClimbing with over 6500 views! It is incredible that climbing can generate numbers like this and we are lucky to be part of such a passionate sport, however as you flick through the posts some pretty disturbing things come to light…….
“Seeing as my inability to headpoint bollocks peak trade routes is such an issue, I’ll go do one for you. First you have to tell me your name though, so you look like a tool when I do.”
“£20 says I can do it sans pads in front of your eyes.”
What a shame…. I guess that we as climbers are lucky that we can express ourselves in forums… It’s great that I can go online and in a handful of minutes find out beta on a specific climb or whether or not a bothy has running water. But my word do people abuse forums! IF YOU DONT HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY DONT SAY ANYTHING!
Everyone feels safe and content sat in their homes on their computers picking apart individuals and generally making themselves feel big.
I have a theory as to why the British “Forum Assholes” exist… it’s always raining! If we were not forced to spend so much time indoors slowly becoming bitter and twisted towards each other then we would all find it easier to get along! So please think before you post! And remember….. “The best climber in the world is the one having the most fun!” (Alex Lowe)
Right I am back to the Beastmaker for Swizz…. Or am I, I heard it is soft out there so might not bother. AL