Climbing=White Person's Sport?

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McCannster

 
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Climbing=White Person's Sport?

by McCannster » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:24 pm

Not sure if anybody has brought this up, but has anybody noticed how climbing (and just outdoor activities in general) are very white dominated? Why is this? Out of the several years I have been climbing, I've only seen a handful of non-white people out in the hills. Of course that doesn't mean that they aren't out there, it's just that they are few and far between. Is it a cultural thing? Why do whites tend to be attracted to climbing? Thoughts?

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sneakyracer

 
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Re: Climbing=White Person's Sport?

by sneakyracer » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:42 pm

McCannster wrote:Not sure if anybody has brought this up, but has anybody noticed how climbing (and just outdoor activities in general) are very white dominated? Why is this? Out of the several years I have been climbing, I've only seen a handful of non-white people out in the hills. Of course that doesn't mean that they aren't out there, it's just that they are few and far between. Is it a cultural thing? Why do whites tend to be attracted to climbing? Thoughts?


Well, I wont say just climbing, I think it applies to most "alternative" sports in general. By alternative I mean mostly outdoor sports outside baseball, basketball and football in the USA. (In other countries soccer is THE main sport).

Most outdoor sports like climbing, skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, surfing etc requires $$ gear and specific locations to do it consistently. Most people dont like to make the investment, maybe they dont have the money or the time. Climbing specially, is an outsiders sport, far from the mainstream (part of the reason i am atracted to it).

I might be mistaken, maybe much more people practice "alternative" sports than one thinks since Media Coverage focuses on the main sports. Its hard to get an accurate perception of the reality even if you practice the alternative sports. There are no huge gatherings except at maybe gear conventions, forums like this one and special events.

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by JustinShapiro » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:19 pm

FortMental wrote:Ever notice how other sports and pastimes require high sociability? i.e soccer, basketball, softball, etc.... Being outdoors requires, almost demands low sociability. White people kinda suck at being social. Probably a cultural thing. Probably explains why all those backwoods psychos and survivalists are ALWAYS white.

All the same... not many people of color recreate outdoors. Ironically, the only mountaineer I ever knew of from South Africa was black. Go figure.

Signed,
Low sociability white guy


Great point right there. Culture is one thing, but in America, most states don't have high peaks and the states that do, contain a very low percentage of non-white individuals and most of that low percentage is located in the city (CA is debatable). Where I live, it is very rare to see a non-white person just by walking around, so the probably of a different culture in the mountains are slim to none.

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Sarah Simon

 
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by Sarah Simon » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:29 pm

I summit peaks with one of the few black female peakbaggers in Colorado Springs. We had this exact talk, appropriately, on the side of a mountain, this past summer.

After hours of chatting we reached...no conclusion, really, at all. People do what they want to do. If the ladies in Waiting to Exhail want to laugh at all the "silly white people" heading out on Friday night, westbound on I-70 toward their Mountainous Mecca, let 'em. Yeah, we talked about socioeconomic issues...and talked about black folks in the south huntin' and fishin' and campin'. We even talked about her intro to backpacking/outdoors (Big Brothers / Big Sisters, followed by serving her country in the Navy) but, in the end, we decided America is a free country and people can do what they want, and so they will. No fire-side (or mountain-side) socialogical chattering could possibly get to the bottom of such an incredibly complex issue.

I say to all "you folks" out there who don't look like me (tall, blue-eyed, etc.) get your asses out into the mountains...if you want! If not, enjoy what you do and do it well.

PS: FortLiberal, you really need to get over your guilt of being a white male. (Were you raised Catholic, too?) In all seriousness, that's a terrible guilt to burden yourself with. Live in the hear-and-now and let bygones be bygones. You're doing no-one a favor by letting darkness fester within.

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haivanhuynh

 
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by haivanhuynh » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:59 pm

The short of it is yes.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

I'd be more embarrassed about the 'sport' known as golf.

edit: but god damn, watching Tiger play is so inexplicably mesmerizing.

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Day Hiker

 
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by Day Hiker » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:01 pm

1000Pks wrote:Locally we have the MLC SC, which practices and preaches exclusion. Easy to see what and who they like! The SC has a past history of hate, well seen by many of them. Slurs and epithets, hate agitation, bans, boycotts, even violence are their hallmarks. Nazis and KKK are quite welcome in their chapter here, and there is no getting around that.


:shock: -- for those that believe this
or
:roll: -- for those that don't.

One of these days, I need to drive on over to the MLC SC to see for myself. Some of this stuff is just really hard to believe.

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by gordonye » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:02 pm

People are territorial. They like to go to places they feel ownership over. They like to go to places where similar people hang out. Culture, history, and economic reasons aside, there is a sense of ownership of the land that often minority groups do not have. They do not meet property owners in the rural areas, police, rangers, park employees etc. that are of their ethnicity. In Africa most adventure guides are black, and in Asia mountains are the most popular tourist destinations. That's because it's their territory.

In America there is a sense that the territory is not theirs, because the rural areas are almost exclusively populated by whites (except parts of the cotton belt and the Mexico border areas in the US), some of whom are truly hostile to minorities, some are seen as unwelcoming or condescending, very few show signs of incorporating minority cultures in their lifestyle. When I take my black friends to hikes they feel tense once they leave the big city because subconsciously they're afraid of being mistreated by local police or white residents (much like how a white person walks into a black neighborhood). Once they meet people of color that they can talk to or see minority cultural references (signs, paraphernalia etc.) that give a welcome message they become more at ease.

As for Asians in the wilderness, besides the wealth factor, whites tend not to react strongly to presence of Asians like they do to presence of blacks (sometimes a facial expression from a white resident to a black visitor can be enough), and there isn't a long memory of mistreatment of Asians by whites. In Asian cultures mountains are ideal places for spiritual well being.
Last edited by gordonye on Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JHH60

 
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by JHH60 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:08 pm

Are Asians and people from the Indian subcontinent now defined as "white"? Here in Silicon Valley there are a lot of both who climb and/or participate in outdoor sports. In fact in California it doesn't make much sense to talk about "white" or "asian" or ... because there are so many mixed families, including mine. What is the race of this young climber?

Image
Image

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haivanhuynh

 
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by haivanhuynh » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:11 pm

JHH60 wrote:Are Asians and people from the Indian subcontinent now defined as "white"? Here in Silicon Valley there are a lot of both who climb and/or participate in outdoor sports. In fact in California it doesn't make much sense to talk about "white" or "asian" or ... because there are so many mixed families, including mine. What is the race of this young climber?

Image
Image


ethnicity*

non-cauc-

asian.

Am I close?

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Luciano136

 
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by Luciano136 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:14 pm

I know a few black people and they seem pretty risk averse, as in climbing mountains is insane!! A lot of them just like to "chill"; I think that may be cultural.

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Misha

 
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Re: Climbing=White Person's Sport?

by Misha » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:19 pm

McCannster wrote:Out of the several years I have been climbing, I've only seen a handful of non-white people out in the hills. Of course that doesn't mean that they aren't out there, it's just that they are few and far between. Is it a cultural thing? Why do whites tend to be attracted to climbing? Thoughts?


Try going to the Japanese Alps. My bet is you will only see Japanese climbers and many of them :)

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Andinistaloco

 
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by Andinistaloco » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:26 pm

I disagree that climbing is a "sport."

Except for "sport climbing," that is.

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haivanhuynh

 
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Re: Climbing=White Person's Sport?

by haivanhuynh » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:28 pm

Misha wrote:
McCannster wrote:Out of the several years I have been climbing, I've only seen a handful of non-white people out in the hills. Of course that doesn't mean that they aren't out there, it's just that they are few and far between. Is it a cultural thing? Why do whites tend to be attracted to climbing? Thoughts?


Try going to the Japanese Alps. My bet is you will only see Japanese climbers and many of them :)


My wife is Japanese.

In Hokkaido, there is only unspoiled nature (shhh ... don't ruin it for everyone), potatoes, and climbers.

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rhyang

 
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by rhyang » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:37 pm

sarah.simon wrote:I summit peaks with one of the few black female peakbaggers in Colorado Springs. We had this exact talk, appropriately, on the side of a mountain, this past summer.

After hours of chatting we reached...no conclusion, really, at all. People do what they want to do. If the ladies in Waiting to Exhail want to laugh at all the "silly white people" heading out on Friday night, westbound on I-70 toward their Mountainous Mecca, let 'em. Yeah, we talked about socioeconomic issues...and talked about black folks in the south huntin' and fishin' and campin'. We even talked about her intro to backpacking/outdoors (Big Brothers / Big Sisters, followed by serving her country in the Navy) but, in the end, we decided America is a free country and people can do what they want, and so they will. No fire-side (or mountain-side) socialogical chattering could possibly get to the bottom of such an incredibly complex issue.

I say to all "you folks" out there who don't look like me (tall, blue-eyed, etc.) get your asses out into the mountains...if you want! If not, enjoy what you do and do it well.

PS: FortLiberal, you really need to get over your guilt of being a white male. (Were you raised Catholic, too?) In all seriousness, that's a terrible guilt to burden yourself with. Live in the hear-and-now and let bygones be bygones. You're doing no-one a favor by letting darkness fester within.


Couldn't agree more. People of mixed race often struggle with the issue of what their ethnicity really is. White ? Asian ? Both ? Neither ?

You can drive yourself crazy worrying about these things, or you can get on with life and just do what you enjoy.

But here's what I want to know: WTF makes blondes get dreadlocks ??

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2009/04 ... ob-marley/

:wink:

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JHH60

 
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by JHH60 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:46 pm

rhyang wrote:But here's what I want to know: WTF makes blondes get dreadlocks ??

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2009/04 ... ob-marley/

:wink:


Not washing their hair. Probably explains why it's a relatively popular look with climbers. :)
Last edited by JHH60 on Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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