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Feathered Dead Birds....

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Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby Dow Williams » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:04 pm

How come all I ever meet out there on the rock or ice are dirtbaggers who can barely afford a cup of joe, much less afford these premium hollywood climbing brands? Who are these folks who spend $500 on jackets and $800 on sleeping bags? Do they climb routes above 5.6? If we invented a premium titanium plated cam and charged $300 per for it, would they buy it?
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby WouterB » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:10 pm

I did spent that kind of money on a sleeping bag. Although it was after about four years of not sleeping very well and waking up barely frozen in the morning. I also spent quite a lot on a decent pair of good fitting double plastics.

In my opinion, if you pay a lot of money to go somewhere, you might as well get the gear too. Then again, I have had to turn back quite often in the past because I simply didn't bring the appropriate gear, costing me more in double trips than the gear would've cost me in the first place.

If it is essential to the success of a trip, I'll buy it. Titanium pots don't fall into this category.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby bird » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:42 pm

They don't climb at all. They pose around Manhattan, and maybe ski at Aspen.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby Hotoven » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:09 pm

I know a few people with a few sets of brand new cams and they do not trad climb. Its very interesting. They sport climb around 5.8 and 5.9 on a good day. There's posers in every sport.

When I was really into skateboarding before my knees went bad, I met kids my age with 300.00 decks who could not do a single trick (this was in the 1990's too) where I would go to skate comps with my $30.00 K-mart board and place.

Its in every sport. They usually move on to something else that's more interesting to them over time it seems.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:15 pm

What gets me is the cost of boots for alpine climbs, even on fairly mild routes. Our local group wants to go to Rainier by the Disappointment Cleaver in June, and the push is to get heavy plastics. I'm in price shock.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby Dow Williams » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:32 pm

MoapaPk wrote:What gets me is the cost of boots for alpine climbs, even on fairly mild routes. Our local group wants to go to Rainier by the Disappointment Cleaver in June, and the push is to get heavy plastics. I'm in price shock.


I climbed that route that time of year with approach shoes and strap ons....not because I am hard, quite the opposite....because it is so much more comfortable! You owe me huge (in blisters and cash), but I will let you in on a secret, you do not need plastics period, much less doubles. Go with a light boot.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby Hotoven » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:38 pm

Dow Williams wrote:
MoapaPk wrote:What gets me is the cost of boots for alpine climbs, even on fairly mild routes. Our local group wants to go to Rainier by the Disappointment Cleaver in June, and the push is to get heavy plastics. I'm in price shock.


I climbed that route that time of year with approach shoes and strap ons....not because I am hard, quite the opposite....because it is so much more comfortable! You owe me huge (in blisters and cash), but I will let you in on a secret, you do not need plastics period, much less doubles. Go with a light boot.


I guess you can give advice like that. Last time I said I didn't bring a down parka and was perfectly fine without it even when it got very cold, I got ate out by several members for giving horrible advice.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby welle » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:50 pm

Dow Williams wrote:How come all I ever meet out there on the rock or ice are dirtbaggers who can barely afford a cup of joe, much less afford these premium hollywood climbing brands? Who are these folks who spend $500 on jackets and $800 on sleeping bags? Do they climb routes above 5.6? If we invented a premium titanium plated cam and charged $300 per for it, would they buy it?


People who don't have 2 homes like you, can afford to splurge on some climbing gear that could potentially save their lives. I'm sure there are Sandy Pitmans out there, but there are also Doug Hansens among us - people who cut their other expenditures and spend most their hard-earned nickels on climbing gear...
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby Dow Williams » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:16 pm

welle wrote:
Dow Williams wrote:How come all I ever meet out there on the rock or ice are dirtbaggers who can barely afford a cup of joe, much less afford these premium hollywood climbing brands? Who are these folks who spend $500 on jackets and $800 on sleeping bags? Do they climb routes above 5.6? If we invented a premium titanium plated cam and charged $300 per for it, would they buy it?


People who don't have 2 homes like you, can afford to splurge on some climbing gear that could potentially save their lives. I'm sure there are Sandy Pitmans out there, but there are also Doug Hansens among us - people who cut their other expenditures and spend most their hard-earned nickels on climbing gear...


I don't own two homes....do you just make this stuff up as you go??? This was not about me, but sure, I don't buy feathered dead birds even though I can easily afford it. I would prefer to give money to charity than waste it on foolish bullshit. I climb in as tough of environs as any of you, but have no use for these hollywood brands. They just suck you in with their marketing that somehow their product will save you in a pinch.

Layering is key to climbing comfortable and staying dry, if you are truly climbing and working hard. Also if you are climbing hard, you should be tearing through your clothes, rock and ice are abrasive, crampons and tools sharp. Who can afford to worry about their $500+ jacket or pants? To get back to my main point, the young and hard climbers who are pursuing their passion on the road for huge chunks at a time, whether in Canmore or Moab.....I don't see them wearing dead bird or sleeping in fancy ass bags. (somebody needs to explain to me what these fancy bags do for you....if there is a collapsible mini bar in there, I might want one)
Last edited by Dow Williams on Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby outofstep80 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:19 pm

Hotoven wrote:I know a few people with a few sets of brand new cams and they do not trad climb. Its very interesting. They sport climb around 5.8 and 5.9 on a good day. There's posers in every sport.

When I was really into skateboarding before my knees went bad, I met kids my age with 300.00 decks who could not do a single trick (this was in the 1990's too) where I would go to skate comps with my $30.00 K-mart board and place.

Its in every sport. They usually move on to something else that's more interesting to them over time it seems.



$300 decks ??? :shock: I think someone took that kid for a ride.

I think “posers” are people that have accessories not gear. They have the look but do not take part in the activities. Even at that, I could care less if someone wants to spend a crap ton of money on a North Face Jacket regardless of what they’re into. Who gives a crap?

To me people with shiny new gear are either replacing what they have or trying to break into climbing for the first time. I for one was there not too long ago. I wanted to get into trad climbing. I didn’t have anyone to teach me. I bought some gear, read some books, and now I climb the best I can. I might not meet other people’s standards but as long as I’m pushing my own boundaries I’m happy.

When I start judging others I try to remember these things. Everyone starts somewhere and most others are simply trying to be comfortable the best way they know how.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby welle » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:58 pm

Dow Williams wrote:
welle wrote:
Dow Williams wrote:How come all I ever meet out there on the rock or ice are dirtbaggers who can barely afford a cup of joe, much less afford these premium hollywood climbing brands? Who are these folks who spend $500 on jackets and $800 on sleeping bags? Do they climb routes above 5.6? If we invented a premium titanium plated cam and charged $300 per for it, would they buy it?


People who don't have 2 homes like you, can afford to splurge on some climbing gear that could potentially save their lives. I'm sure there are Sandy Pitmans out there, but there are also Doug Hansens among us - people who cut their other expenditures and spend most their hard-earned nickels on climbing gear...


I don't own two homes....do you just make this stuff up as you go??? This was not about me, but sure, I don't buy feathered dead birds even though I can easily afford it. I would prefer to give money to charity than waste it on foolish bullshit. I climb in as tough of environs as any of you, but have no use for these hollywood brands. They just suck you in with their marketing that somehow their product will save you in a pinch.

Layering is key to climbing comfortable and staying dry, if you are truly climbing and working hard. Also if you are climbing hard, you should be tearing through your clothes, rock and ice are abrasive, crampons and tools sharp. Who can afford to worry about their $500+ jacket or pants? To get back to my main point, the young and hard climbers who are pursuing their passion on the road for huge chunks at a time, whether in Canmore or Moab.....I don't see them wearing dead bird or sleeping in fancy ass bags. (somebody needs to explain to me what these fancy bags do for you....if there is a collapsible mini bar in there, I might want one)


My apologies, I was referring for you being based in two places, after I wrote that I realized it was a wrong assumption, oops. In any case my point was, some people who hold regular jobs, have no family and are not over-burdened with mortgage and car payments, could probably afford those $500 jackets. I have a friend who is young, still lives with his parents, so all his gear is spanking brand new and top of the line brands, even matching colors! If someone can afford an expensive jacket, manufactured domestically in environmentally conscious way, I think it's better than donating to some charity where bulk of money goes to employing trust-fund kids schmoozing up with lobbyists. The irony is those expensive cult-level brands most likely are employing the dirtbag climbers you are talking about.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby Dow Williams » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:11 pm

Thoughtful response Fletch. Does make me think of another interesting point though. I have watched some of these manufacturers close over the years. It seems they always leave room for improvement (phase II of their product if you will) or more importantly technical advances in clothing, gear, tents, etc, make them stronger, lighter, etc. Look at the 900 fill puffy one can buy today that rolls up to the size of your hand! for $80, now that is a real tool. When someone markets a shell jacket or pant for $500+, they have to justify it, the bells, whistles and durability added for the justification makes that product weigh in to heavily for a layering piece in the alpine mix..... in my opinion. I can take the same stuff I climb with in the desert during the winter, head up to Polar Circus off the icefield parkway with the same get up plus an additional very light piece here or there and am set. None of the pieces on me costing more than $100 retail individually. Getting wet is a temp killer in any environment. Strip down, bulk up....strip down....how can one do that with expensive pieces. Ventilation zips don't cut it, not when temps vary while you are climbing hard (sun/no sun, etc). My down bags are 10 years old and I swear I have never been cold in one as long as I could adjust what clothes I might have on and if I took the correct bag for the conditions. If someone is buying $800 bags, how does he/she have different bags for different conditions? i.e. Moab vs Canadian Rockies?...summer vs winter?
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby zeroforhire » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:18 pm

yes... most of the best climbers I know climb in whatever is cheapest. It gets beat up, and abused.

but who cares? Seriously... people spend money on all sorts of stuff...

after trashing too many pieces of gear, and having some fall apart on me at really inopportune moments, I have the mindset of getting quality gear. Generally you pay for quality.

Your post title is a little confusing... I get the dead birds part (arcteryx), but are you saying that Feathered Friends is a boutique brand? FF is extremely high quality, and it is made in Seattle. Totally worth the money in my book.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

Postby Dow Williams » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:24 pm

Welle, no worries, you have never been one to let facts get in your way. Sounds like you are in need of some charitable references....check out Kiva.org. Something far removed from the perils you speak of....and a charity that functions well in Senegal at a minimum via a method that should impress the most loath self centered conservative among us. $500 does wonders! and you can manage it yourself.
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