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Commercialism and Modern Climbing: A View From The Bottom Commercialism and Modern Climbing: A View From The Bottom  by jacobsmith

I am not a sponsored climber. I am not a guide. I am not employed by a manufacturer of climbing equipment. I am a lowly local climber: I read climbing blogs and take classes and buy equipment. My participation in climbing is roughly that of the majority of climbers. This is the perspective from which I am going to examine the issue of commercialism in modern climbing: from the bottom; not from the perspective of someone who actually has to choose whether or not to pursue sponsorship, but what the phenomenon looks like to someone to whom climbing is everything, but whom to climbing is no one.

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A Tribute to Paulo Roberto
A Tribute to Paulo Roberto "Parofes" Schmidt  by Marcsoltan

It pains me to bring you a sad news, friends. Summit Post has lost a valuable friend. Paulo Schmidt, also known as "parofes" passed away, May 10th-2014 . Parofes had the foresight to say goodbye to all of us by posting his wedding photo captioned "If I go, please remember me by this photo." Many of you sent personal words of encouragement and wished him a full recovery, and he answered each and every comment and message. Your expression of love and support meant everything to him. He fought a hard fight against an illness that has eluded our best and most brilliant minds. Cancer may have won another round against our physical existence and taken our friend, but it did not triumph over Parofes' mind and spirit. He was courageous and strong to his last breath.

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Joshua Tree
Memories. Going out of your comfort zone can have interesting consequences! Joshua Tree Memories. Going out of your comfort zone can have interesting consequences!  by Marcsoltan

Before the age of the Internet and smart phones it wasn't easy to find a climbing partner every single time you got the itch to get on the rocks. Although I had many climbing partners, on many occasions I found myself alone in Joshua Tree looking for someone willing to do what I wanted to do, to do the routes I wanted to climb. All I needed was a belayer.

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Dolomites, living mountains Dolomites, living mountains  by Silvia Mazzani

Also called "Pale Mountains" in reason of the impressive white bright colour which they assume under the moonlight, the Dolomites show a landscape marked by distinctive and unique characters, with an extraordinary aesthetic value: their beauty comes from a wide variety of spectacular steep rock formations, such as needles, massive towers, spires, huge walls, interrupted by the horizontal shapes, like ledges, karst tablelands and crags, rising suddenly from vaste screes and gentle hills. The green bottom valleys clash surprisingly with the awesome vertical rise of the mighty walls and peaks. Under the geological and geo-morphological aspects, the Dolomites are regarded as a Property of global value, being an exceptional example representing the history of the transformation of the primary carbonatic platform into an alpine range.

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Class Four is a Myth:
Problems in YDS Class Four is a Myth: Problems in YDS  by jacobsmith

Although technical mountaineering in the western United States has evolved directly from the Californian climbing communities, the nature of technical ascent has changed radically since then and their system, the Yosemite Decimal System, is no longer an effective descriptive tool. What is ultimately needed is an overhaul of the system, and this will be considered later in this essay, but first the pressing issue – fourth class. The basic problem with ‘class four’ is that in the modern usage it overlaps entirely with class three and low fifth. The exact division between these categories is the most vague and blurred in the entire system, due in no small part to the upward expansion of fifth class.

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Epiphanies
and Revelations Epiphanies and Revelations  by Bob Sihler

Rather than explain what’s beautiful about the mountains-- the colors, the clouds, the wildlife and wildflowers, the inspiring forms, etc.-- which doesn’t really explain the yearning, the outright need, that many climbers and hikers feel in their cores, and rather than explain the fact that in the mountains I find my only complete peace, inspiration, and redemption, sometimes I simply tell my story, the story of my awakening, and it is only then, as I relate my feelings from those days, that people at last begin to understand.

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Denise Escande The Chibania Denise Escande The Chibania  by ericvola

Born the 25th of October 1914, Denise died the 3rd May 2007 after several years of living nearly blind and a cripple due to damaged hips that no doctor wanted to operate. She discovered mountaineering at 35 and for the following 40 years she devoted her time to climbing. In 1962 after her ascents of the Walker spur, the West face of the Dru and other major routes such as the Carlesso at the Torre Trieste, she was made a member of the GHM, but as she stated: “For girls they were not too demanding!”

A member also of the Alpine Club (1976), when she stopped climbing, she quitted all the climbing clubs she was a member of as for her: “Alpine clubs are for active members not for retired war-horses!” She remained a maiden all her life and her little chalet (in Les Moussoux – Chamonix) facing the Mont-Blanc was the base camp of many of the greatest climbers worldwide. She was the most famous French female climber during those years along with Sonia Livanos and Simone Badier.

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Bodie Bodie  by Marcsoltan

Buried in a huge hillside are hundreds, if not thousands, of unmarked graves. All signs of disturbed ground have long disappeared with rain, wind and erosion. There is a small graveyard nearby belonging to those few who had the means to have a headstone. Several hundred feet below this hillside, nestled in a valley in Mono County of California, is a town that was abandoned by its residents decades ago. This is "Bodie."

What is left of this once bustling town of several thousands are the weathered skeletal remains of buildings, streets and abandoned gold mines. Yes, gold mines- gold was what brought the hopeful crowds to this town, and some might speculate, brought it to its knees and its ultimate demise. For anyone who has seen the movie "Paint Your Wagon," the movie could have very well been about Bodie. The busy streets, saloons, whorehouses, gunfights and outright murders were all a way of life in Bodie. This is a town where dreams of rags to riches were realized and lost and gold was always central to everything. More

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A rebel plant - Helleborus
niger A rebel plant - Helleborus niger  by selinunte01

Illustration of Helleborus niger Autumn and winter is coming to central Europe and to the Alpine regions and with them the dying of the plants, the falling of the leaves, the decay of all what is sprouting, blossoming and producing fruits and seeds during spring and summer.

Soon enough there is the first snow, covering the ground, giving a definite stop to plants life. Light your oven, prepare your skies and wait till springtime for the first tiny blossoms to reappear……

You are wrong! No, this is not about global warming and the sometimes dramatic changes in weather behaviour even in our European moderate climate. This is not about plants of southern or eastern warmer regions migrating slowly into our regions.

I am talking about a true rebel.

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Masculinity and Misogyny In
Climbing Masculinity and Misogyny In Climbing  by jacobsmith

The first time I climbed Godzilla, a classic 5.9 hand-crack at the Lower Index Town Wall, a group had just bailed from a large horn before the crux and asked if we could retrieve the sling and carabiner they had left on route. Godzilla is a notoriously heady and sandbagged climb and by way of explanation he said that his “vagina got too big [sic]” to continue. Now I have seen numerous women climb Godzilla, and their vaginas did not seem to have been an impediment, but never-the-less this anonymous climber excused his failure to commit (and it is a committing move for the grade) by saying, in essence, that he was simply not man enough, or rather, that he was too much of a woman, to boldly step up, trust his gear, and pull through.

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