Alex Honnold and Hazel Findlay recently made two E6 big-wall first ascents in Greenland during a six-week expedition to the East of the country, where they combined climbing with climate science.
I keep opening these Ticklist videos every few months expecting to find an actual video of the thing being reported.
Only to find some nightmarish montage of stills and pictures alongside some random bloke sat by a crag reading stuff aloud.
What is the point of the video format?
Just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be done.
Was interesting to read the text element, but please lose the (non) video.
> We literally went off the edge of the map to reach this
True story: when my dad went to Istanbul as a town planner about 48 years ago, the best/only maps of the city they could find were the ones created by Nelson's fleet as he sailed through the Bosphorous. Thus any dips and bits not visible from the sea were just blank spaces
> "We literally went off the edge of the map to reach this wall," Honnold told Nat Geo from base camp."
Funnily enough, I refrained from quoting that due to a similar level of skepticism. It's obviously very remote, but off the map - I think not...
Everyone has different tastes and it sounds like your tend to prefer text. As a result, it's not all that surprising that you didn't like it, because it doesn't sound like the format is for you.
We began the Ticklist a little earlier this year, in/around the same time we started to up the ante with our video Gear Guides, because whilst some people love to read news, articles, interviews and reviews - a great many don't. These videos are for those people.
The fact that we continue to include the written word alongside the video content means that the choice is yours. Watch them if you like, ignore if you don't, but please bear in mind that others may not share your tastes and we want to provide something for everyone.
Random bloke sat by a crag
For my part, I much prefer to read rather than watch, unless of course there's video footage of significant action or other interest that wouldn't come across in text and images. I find reading quicker, and I can do so when others are in the room without fear of disturbing them.
The problem is that it isn't always obvious whether the video has such added value from the way it's presented.
Neither is wrong but I wonder how much is generational. I notice that Epic TV is popular with younger climbers as it's a vid format. Personally I only like text format for forums and groups as we use them for assistance or offering assistance.
Greenland is completely topographically mapped at 1:250k. Many places including around the Scoresby Sund are also available at 1:100k or better. You would have to print it off yourself. The old paper maps you can buy from Stanford's are pretty cool though with all the bits marked as unexplored.
Looks like a great trip though.
I'm not against science, but we know climate change is happening, wouldn't it be better to preserve the Greenland glaciers to actually not fly a team of 10 and all their kit across the world, including local helicopter rides, in the first place? Looks like a cool climbing trip though, slightly greenwashed in my view, but won't be the first time I've been called cynical...
Seems to me quite important to me to continue to monitor, measure, and predict. Don't have enough specialist knowledge of the what and how the researchers were doing to meaningfully comment on the climate cost-benefit analysis, but to comment on it unmeaningfully it sounds worthwhile, and difficult to do without visiting.
Can't help notice that you appear to live in the Peak, but have been on relatively recent trips to the Scottish Highlands...
I'm guessing he didn't fly to Scotland in a helicopter... Also, if you are going to call out hypocrisy you have to be squeaky-green yourself. Have you ever visited anywhere other than your home town?
No I didn't fly to Scotland if you are asking. But I think you missed my point. I did imply science is important, but more important is to actually stop putting unnecessary emissions out in the atmosphere. Just the use of local choppers the ferry camera crew kit was pretty unethical. I don't think I need to see more science to realize all glaciers are retreating, and anyways, we don't have to fly (20 people as it turns out) to make a Disney+ movie about it.
If it really was for science it would have been a pretty small self-supported team with no choppers and a fraction of international flights. But no, this was Disney+ production with masses of kit and people. I've never said I'm free of guilt, I've done my fair share of international flights and I stand accountable. But I have never greenwashed my trips, and anyways that shouldn't stop me critiquing Disney+ for greenwashing Honnold's latest escapade to produce content for their platform.
I hope this clarifies my point.
The whole point in science is that it's evidence based regardless of the weight of evidence already gathered. Researchers don't tend to reach a certain point and then say 'that's us done then'.
> I've done my fair share of international flights and I stand accountable. But I have never greenwashed my trips, >
Does that make them better? Your emissions are the same regardless.
Well perhaps you should've been clearer that your point was that it could've been done in a more environmentally conscious way, not that there was no need to gather evidence as we already know everything.
> I'm not against science, but we know climate change is happening, wouldn't it be better to preserve the Greenland glaciers to actually not fly a team of 10 and all their kit across the world, including local helicopter rides, in the first place? Looks like a cool climbing trip though, slightly greenwashed in my view, but won't be the first time I've been called cynical...
It's obviously all bogus - if you wanted just to collect some data there would be easier ways of doing it than the one described.
Cool climbing trip though, as you say.
> It's obviously all bogus - if you wanted just to collect some data there would be easier ways of doing it than the one described.
Easier, probably. Cheaper, probably. More environmentally responsible, certainly.
The main problem may be that nobody may be prepared to provide funding for doing it that way. Then it becomes a matter of whether the scientific value justifies the added burden.
> Easier, probably. Cheaper, probably. More environmentally responsible, certainly.
> The main problem may be that nobody may be prepared to provide funding for doing it that way. Then it becomes a matter of whether the scientific value justifies the added burden.
Hang on - if it's 'probably' cheaper, and 'certainly' more environmentally responsible, then I don't think we really have any argument, do we?
To me this thing feels like a stunt (albeit one that was fun and profitable for the people involved.) But I guess we can wait for the papers ...
I'm not following you. Cheaper is all well and good if you can get it funded that way. If the only offer of funding is by doing it a more expensive way that has a good chance of being commercially successful, the decision won't be trivial.
Then it becomes a matter of whether the scientific value justifies the added burden.
I directly (but I think respectfully) asked Alex this on Conrad Anker's Insta post about the trip.
> Does that make them better? Your emissions are the same regardless.
A significant amount of hypocrisy can be seen to indicate a lack of authenticity which is then often counter-productive to the objective.
I can see the argument that it's not right to use planes on trips that highlight climate change. However, otherwise I'm not sure how they would have got there, it's possible but a highly adventurous and dangerous trip by sailboat. It could be argued that their unique skills as climbers/mountaineers were used to help scientists take measurements that they would not have been able to do themselves. As a result we gain a greater understanding of climate change. As to whether that mitigates the plane travel etc. is a difficult one.
Sorry, I read most but not all of the replies and can now see some of my points have already been made:
"Then it becomes a matter of whether the scientific value justifies the added burden"
I will add though that it's easy to say it's hypocritical but how else were they meant to access inhospitable areas to help scientists with tasks that are not easily performed without certain skills.
Am reading more about it and flying a whole crew does seem unnecessary, except if you think the film raises awareness and that makes the extra crew justifiable.
> except if you think the film raises awareness and that makes the extra crew justifiable.
It would be best for a film like this to acknowledge this head-on. You know: we realise we are contributing unnecessary emissions but feel that the impact is outweighed by the benefits of outreach and education, etc.
Maybe it does, maybe not? The small amount of insight I've had into big budget filmmaking would make me doubt that much thought was sacrificed for carbon efficiency, but it would be nice to be wrong.