Climbing - - THE APPROACH - —Sam Tay­lor, via Face­book

I was im­pressed at the cov­er­age of the Psi­coRoc com­pe­ti­tion (­a575w), but there are many things about the event that didn’t res­onate well with me.

I’m rel­a­tively lo­cal—I live (and climb) in West Vir­ginia and my home­town is 20 min­utes from the lake, this event was ut­terly not pro­moted in the wider re­gion. Why? I’ve heard dis­cus­sion about “not want­ing a crowd at the lake,” but that to me raises even broader ques­tions. You can’t tout the tourism or eco­nomic im­pact value of an event that in­ten­tion­ally ex­cludes the lo­cal com­mu­nity and isn’t pro­moted out­side the re­gion. If there were no eco­nomic or tourism value in­tended, then I have a lot of ob­jec­tions about a spe­cific, lim­ited group of folks get­ting spe­cial treat­ment and priv­i­leges for use of a pub­lic fa­cil­ity. As noted in the ar­ti­cle, DWS is still banned at the lake, with no in­tent to change those rules. A spe­cial per­mit was granted for this event. What was the long-term goal? Was there any in­tended ben­e­fit for a state that is strug­gling with wide­spread eco­nomic and so­cioe­co­nomic is­sues?

The broader lo­cal per­cep­tion is that the only peo­ple to truly ben­e­fit from this are climb­ing-equip­ment com­pa­nies and me­dia—very few of which have in­vested in pro­duc­tion or pub­lish­ing fa­cil­i­ties in this state—and the very few peo­ple who were in­vited to par­tic­i­pate.

I sin­cerely hope that this is an event that con­tin­ues and takes on a greater mean­ing in the area. It is easy to imag­ine this serv­ing as the start of a di­a­logue for fur­ther en­gage­ment and in­vest­ment in West Vir­ginia by a host of th­ese com­pa­nies who claim so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity in their mis­sion state­ments. A com­mit­ment from those com­pa­nies could come to rep­re­sent a lift­ing of all the for­tunes of folks in this re­gion. On the other side, maybe this was just an in­vite-only party, and no one ever wants to talk about the peo­ple who were left out.

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