Wow! I think I miss timed my last post. It was just meant to be an expression of an observation I made about the Irish climbing scene. The up-side of all this has been the positive responses!
I’m going to try and bring a few threads together here...
Firstly Steve from climbing.ie replied with similar feelings to my own. He’s really behind praising any and all achievements on rock but he did make the very valid point that if people don’t make the effort to report their climbs than nothing will ever get said.
Then Pierre summed up the Irish catch 22 very succinctly in his post titled Achievement. Yes, I suppose it really is that simple – it could be down to a cultural mind set.
Meanwhile the grade debate raised its head on Trish’s blog but in a very good and positive way. It seems to me looking at the scene with an outsider’s perspective that the excellent work Dave F has done in producing and publishing his bouldering guide to Ireland is playing a crucial role in the evolution of Irish climbing. The first print edition of grades will no doubt motivate the masses to go forth and repeat all those lovely problems, talk about grades and things should settle – just like what happened with Mr. Pantons first printed guide to North Wales bouldering – Guide gets printed, people get psyched, crush, discuss and guide becomes out of date very quickly. Good news for guide writers :o) They get to work on version 2!
Then today I read Kev’s reply on Stone boulder. "I have heard no song, seen no dance and seen no article in the Mountain log or Outsider mag noting this achievement. People like Caroline, Michael Duffy, Nigel Calendar, Rob Hunter and several more are becoming legends in the ghostly sense - sometimes thought to have been seen out in the boulder fields and crags doing something amazing but how often does the ghost turn into vivid 3D in the climbing consciousness?" I had to smile when I read this. Aside from putting Caroline along side such wads as Michael, Nige and Rob, Kev picked a mental scab of mine. Living away from Ireland the past few years has meant I rarely get a chance to flick through Irish climbing media in its printed form. The last time I did was in Dublin Airport when returning to Spain after Christmas. One article interested me. One. A single grainy picture of Nige at a comp and a small write up about his recent success. Aside from that I couldn’t find much other mention of rock climbing in the issue. Not enough for me to warrant parting with cash to buy the mag anyway! Why? Is it like Steve said – are people hiding their achievements? Are they supposed to write an article and submit it incognito under cover of darkness and then cringe when they see it in print? I don’t know.
Anyway, it’s been interesting reading people’s views on the topic and ‘ve no doubts that with the strength of potential out there things will change in the near future and we’ll be fueling off Irish send psyche in cyber land soon enough. In the meantime and getting back to climbing, here is probably our last vid from the short and sharp Los Pinos crag. This is JogPat a link up of a soft 8a and a stiff 8a+ first climbed by Gaz Parry. It’s brilliant, technical and sustained.