Thursday, 17 February 2011

Goings on in cyberspace

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 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printed guide to North Wales bouldering – Guide gets printed, people get psyched, crush, discuss and guide becomes out of date very quickly.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.

JogPat from Dave Ayton on Vimeo.

Now that we’re working the bigger routes of the Sella Wildside it’ll be some time before the send train stops by I think. But trying hard on these lines is sooo much fun! Sheer climbing joy!


Stephen McMullan said...

Careful now Dave "Media Whore" Ayton. There'll be no retractions or apologies. Stand yer ground man!

Just to add that I monitor the usual blogs and forums via RSS so usually catch the rumours and updates pretty quick. is a no frills site so I've no problem publishing scant details or even incorrect info. It can always be fixed up later.

The only thing I don't do is chase up to find out the facts, make phonecalls looking for photos etc. There's just not enough hours in the day or enough credit on my mobile.

Just in reference to Kevin's comment - magazines like the Irish Mountain Log or Outsider would require a full article to be submitted. They just won't do the level of "monitoring" that I will do so don't expect much breaking news from them. If anything what they do print they probably seen on (boast!)

So blogging has improved the situation but its still a long way off actually posting something on the forum or even emailing me directly never mind submitting info to the printed mags.


Dave said...

Have i been taken up wrong again?!? :o) Jaysus!

I'm not whoring myself out to media (the grades would get jealous!). I'm just wondering where the pictures and print are for things like The bouldering thats being done, the trad routes, the sports etc... I don't expect you to go around chasing up every story and I'm glad for the stories you put the time into putting on - they're great! I'm just voicing my opinion about how little people publicise what they're doing. Having to climb as a couple abroad has moulded me into someone who looks to Media for motivation when i don't have a pack mentality or psyche to feed off. I don't have a co-op full of people working projects and problems and i miss that. I'd just like to have more Irish fuel - names and sends from people i know or at least have heard of... I'd imagine others would like the same. It's not your job and like Pierre said it's the result of the Irish mentality - those doing the sending feel like talking about it might be percepted negatively.

Points taken although i feel i take my ranting as far as i'm comfortable with on my Blog. If i ever do anything of note I'd consider sending it to a mag but that would have to be a first ascent or a new benchmark 8b+ or harder possibly. :o)

Stephen McMullan said...

I'm pulling yer leg and of course using your blog to go off on a tangent of my own as usual :-)

Right I'm off home and then up to UCD where I'm going to send that blue 6a+

Watch the headlines tomorrow!!!!

Dave said...

Believe it ot not I've actually heard about that blue route at UCD... Go Crush!!!

Neal said...

more great points, jeebus, what an awesome discussion has blown up!
One point you mentioned here in the comments caught my eye ("I'd just like to have more Irish fuel - names and sends from people i know or at least have heard of......those doing the sending feel like talking about it might be percepted negatively. ") - remember I actually started heavily writing on my own blog because of the fact that I always wished I was hearing more motivating stories from the Irish scene (I vaguely remember a point in the mid 2000's when it was very quiet). I was well aware (and very nervous) that it would be taken as me boasting when I ticked those 7's, but (and we've chatted about this a few times Dave) my intention was that it would hopefully motivate others to get out and find their own amazing levels (Be it 5a or 8a).
Motivation feeds more motivation (I think).

Do you know what? I think a blog post of my own is in order for all this ;)

Steve: doing a great job of pulling Dave's leg! Dave, continue the writing - it's ace.

Dave said...

Welcome aboard Neal! Yeah, Sure I remember using your initial blog to get me up my first 8a in Wales while you were cranking in Tailand!

Interestingly though... still no guesses from anybody on the standards at the moment :o)

Neal said...

don't think we'll ever get a good answer on standards, hopefully the 'standard' is changing regularly enough that it doesn't matter :) But basically, you're going REALLY well, and so is Caroline!