ed note

CLIMB­ING AND THE IN­EVITABIL­ITY OF CHANGE

Climbing - - CONTENTS - BY MATT SAMET

In 1990, I be­layed Boone Speed on the FA of I’ll Take Black, a 5.12c on the Mal­vado Wall at the Hell area in Amer­i­can Fork (AF), Utah. Speed was a found­ing fa­ther at AF and later be­came the first Amer­i­can to es­tab­lish 5.14b. We were in the early years of sport climb­ing, when clip­ping bolts was still fresh and ex­cit­ing, like open­ing the big­gest box un­der the Christ­mas tree. Some of my first road trips, to ar­eas like Smith Rock and AF, brought me face-to-face with the pi­o­neers of that piv­otal era. At AF, I watched as the rock­stars—peo­ple like Speed, whom I’d only seen be­fore in mag­a­zines— flung them­selves at the steeps. A rev­o­lu­tion was hap­pen­ing, and I feel lucky to have wit­nessed it.

Of course, much has changed since then, and the growth of sport climb­ing is but one thread in the ever-ex­pand­ing ta­pes­try of our sport. Life is change, some­times for the bet­ter, some­times for the worse— and most of it out of our hands thanks to the ran­dom work­ings of the uni­verse. Climb­ing is no dif­fer­ent; mag­a­zines must al­ways be rein­vent­ing them­selves, evolv­ing to re­flect the times. Thus for our July 2018 is­sue, we’re ex­cited to an­nounce a cou­ple of big changes: an in­crease in paper qual­ity and a front-to-back re­design.

In an era when print has to com­pete with the clamor of dig­i­tal me­dia, we wanted to give the magazine a weight­ier, more archival feel—some­thing to read, keep, col­lect, and re­visit. This be­gins with the im­proved paper, which will let us bet­ter show­case our amaz­ing pho­tog­ra­phy, sto­ry­telling, and art. We’ve also rethought our de­part­ments to make them shorter, newsier, and more eas­ily ap­proached, from the Place (p.22) to Skills (p.33) to Talk of the Crag (p.14). Mean­while, we’re rein­tro­duc­ing Play­ers (p.30), about key per­son­al­i­ties in the sport or in­dus­try; and Quick Clips (p.37), reader-sub­mit­ted crag hacks. We’re also proud to roll out Faces (p.38), a long-form Q&A in which you’ll meet the top guns to learn their sto­ries, pro­cesses, and methods (we launch with Bar­bara Zangerl). Plus, we’ve changed up the over­all look, fonts, and color pal­ette. We hope you like the new feel—holler at us at let­ters@climb­ing.com.

Fi­nally, this is­sue presents his­tor­i­cal fea­tures on two of the old­est sport-climb­ing ar­eas in Amer­ica: the afore­men­tioned Amer­i­can Fork (p.68) and the Flatirons, Colorado (p.44). The Flatirons, in par­tic­u­lar, are close to my heart—I first climbed here in sum­mer 1989, just af­ter a bolt­ing ban de­scended that would, for the next 14 years, keep the area frozen in time. Since 2003, we have been for­tu­nate to be able to es­tab­lish Flatirons routes again on a per­mit sys­tem—it is change, but on a more con­sid­ered, cau­tious scale, one that lets us mo­men­tar­ily imag­ine we might con­trol life’s chaos.

MEGAN WALSH ON THE CLAS­SIC JUG ROMP LI­CENSE TO THRILL ( 5.11C), MEM­BRANE, AMER­I­CAN FORK, UTAH.

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