This is my friend’s crag rabbit, hanging out in the Little Rain Cave in Kunming, China—a great little cliff nestled amidst the farmland. Seeing a crag rabbit was a first for me, so I thought I’d send along a picture.
ED. You did the right thing sending us this photo. Adorable crag pets are always welcome! Your Isabelle Faus profile ( tinyurl. com/gpz6oht) was interesting. It’s fun to shine a light on the silent crushers and share other climbing perspectives with the community. However, I was turned off by one quote—“Sponsorship companies would rather put money into cookie-cutter Barbies and CrossFitters. I’m a rock climber and I don’t fit into their box, so they simply aren’t interested”—which I found bitter, elitist, and condescending; it’s the type of thing that promotes division and judgment in a community that is meant to be supportive. Isabelle had an opportunity to inspire others, but instead slipped in a quote that slams those who work hard to pursue sponsors. Those “Barbies and CrossFitters” (I’m not sure whom she’s referring to) are climbers, too. Being “the best” or climbing V14 doesn’t make you any more of a rock climber than someone who works hard to climb V5. I hope Isabelle can utilize her talents and hard work to spread inspiration and shine a positive light on others rather than perpetuate this elitist attitude.
I’m writing in regard to your article on simulclimbing and short fixing
the last year or so, Climbing has featured many advanced (read: dangerous, especially when done incorrectly) techniques that are prone to misuse and have little margin for error. The magazine is overstepping. Our sport requires mentorship and knowledge that is passed on from one generation to the next, but that’s also double-checked for safety and accuracy. Let’s not give people the idea that they can climb the Nose in a day by using these methods— there are many other things one needs to know besides “climb terrain that you would feel comfortable soloing.”
ED. Thanks for the concern, Wade. We agree that mentorship is absolutely crucial for the future of climbing and its devotees, but anyone with a copy of Freedom of the Hills, or any of the dozens of other available books on climbing skills and techniques, will agree that supplementary learning from text—print or digital— can be an invaluable tool when combined with real-world practice and guidance.
In response to “Talk of the Crag: The Future of Bolting” (tinyurl.com/ z7xs4ew), I find that Brady Robinson, execu- tive director of the Access Fund, paints route equippers who place plated-steel bolts as the “bad guys.” This puts the burden on them to shoulder 100 percent of the cost of hardware, including the additional cost of stainless (not plated) steel. This sets a bad precedent.
I would argue that 99 percent of sport routes are put up by 1 percent of the climbing population. If we, as a community, want stainless hardware, we all need to pay for it. We need to stop complaining about the few route developers who are already making massive donations of time and money, and chip in ourselves—put up or shut up, so to speak.
Plated steel is not a “ticking time bomb” any more than stainless. All metal will eventually corrode, so why is a bolt that lasts 20 years cause for alarm? What are you going to call a stainless-steel bolt that’s 49 years into its 50-year lifespan? There are plenty of examples of plated steel lasting well over 30 years (e.g., granite crags along Colorado’s Front Range) and plenty of examples of stainless failing in less than six months (e.g., Thailand and the Dominican Republic). Stainless is not an end-all/be-all solution. If the UIAA makes stainless the requirement and land managers ban climbing until that standard is met, what happens to the tens of thousands of routes currently equipped with plated steel? It would take decades to re-equip them all. If the goal is to reach a 50-year lifespan, then make that—not a certain metal type—the requirement. We must leave room for plated steel (or at least a transition period out of it), or risk losing access to thousands of climbs.