UKC

NEWS: The King Of Kings: The Complete Chris Sharma Interview

New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 Michael Ryan 25 Sep 2007
"Picking projects at your physical and mental limits means constant exposure to the reality of failure. The struggle crushes many, weeding out the strong-fingered charlatans from the lifers. Above it all reigns Chris Sharma, 26, an athlete endowed with unparalleled physical strength and mental tenac...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/
 Fiend 25 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I know what I'm reading over my dinner tonight!
 Mick Ward 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Great interview, Mick. Thanks for putting it on. Amazing to think that Sharma is still only 26. He's packed so much into the last 10 years. Fantastic to see someone with the courage to follow their dreams.

Mick
 JLS 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ward:

>"Amazing to think that Sharma is still only 26."

Yeah, I'd thought, oh he must be 30+ by now. I think he looks and sounds older (in the interview).

His thus far nomadic lifestyle appears very lonely.
TimS 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Great interview Mick, cheers for posting the link. I still find him the most inspiring climber, and sticking on a bit of one of the Dosage films while eating my breakfast before going out on a cold grit morning still gets me psyched!
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to TimS:

I've not met Sharma (I quit before he came on the scene) but he seems a top bloke.

His climbing style is inspirational as you can always see how f*****g HARD he's trying. The Dreamcatcher video never fails to get the palms sweating.

I think it's fascinating that he doesn't train. I was reading some stuff about Rich Simpson yesterday and the two completely different approaches to reach similar goals are very interesting. Rich was putting in 35 hour weeks on the boards, Sharma just gets on the route to get strong.

Simpson said that he thought you could get to a certain level (8b) without training if you were naturally talented but no further. Sharma disproves this theory completely. I already had my doubts about the statement from my personal experience but to find out that perhaps the highest achieving climber of his generation does no training is amazing.

However Simpson got to 9a in 5 years by training like a demon whereas Sharma has climbed since he was a lad so has had far longer to build up power and technique.

All very interesting imvho.
TimS 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull: There's the obvious time and money aspect involved too I guess - I'm sure most of us would prefer to spend months at a beautiful crag working our project, rather than 3 hours a day at a musty board or hanging off a finger board!

For me Sharma's lifestyle represents the ideal - not thinking about how many one armers you can do or how long you should spend on your fingerboard, or worrying about your calorie intake, just out there, climnbing every day and loving it.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to TimS:

In reply to TimS:

Yeah that's very true. One of the reasons Rich quit appears to have been the frankly disgraceful funding that climbers in this country get. He was truly world class and yet he got pretty much f**k all for his trouble. It must have been utterly demoralising when he was working Action Directe at the same time as Dai Koyamada who had a film crew, manager etc with him and who is a millionaire through climbing.

Look at Malc Smith. World famous, supremely talented and yet unable to climb to the limit of his capabilities because he has to have time off to work on the rigs.

Experienced this myself 15 years ago but you would have thought that things would have improved by now.

And people wonder why we only have one world class sport climber in this country. Go figure.
OP Michael Ryan 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to TimS)
>
> In reply to TimS:
>
> Yeah that's very true. One of the reasons Rich quit appears to have been the frankly disgraceful funding that climbers in this country get. He was truly world class and yet he got pretty much f**k all for his trouble.

Perhaps the climbing companies in the UK just don't have the money to pay a lot to sponsor climbers.

Sharma is unique though, his ability, accomplishments and image are nigh on perfect. Plus he is internationally well known. I know he gets paid a wad from Prana, Evolv, Petzl, but he does earn it.
TimS 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: I agree Mick, as far as figurehead climbers for a brand go you couldn't ask for much more than Sharma. I seem to remember you suggesting a while ago that perhaps his image was 'managed' to make this so? Perhaps I am remembering incorrectly. These days any traces of eastern philosophising seem to have dissappeared from his interviews and he's all about the routes, which is excellent.

In sponsorship terms I think there are three main problems with climbing. The first is that it it isn't very exciting for the general public to watch so does not draw sponsorship from outside of climbing companies in the way that other 'extreme' sports do (obviously except for Leo H, Tim E and Audi, which is obviously the exception to the rule. Secondly as you say climbing is a small industry and companies probably could not afford to throw money at climbers just to get pictures of their products in magazines. Thirdly climbing is such a small sport, and so much of the government's sport fund has been eaermarked for the Olympics for the next 6 years there seems little chance of getting any funding from them.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to seagull)
> [...]
>
> Perhaps the climbing companies in the UK just don't have the money to pay a lot to sponsor climbers.

I don't believe that. It's more that the pathetic tradcentric attitude of most of the UK climbing press pays more homage to Leo Houlding walking up snow or slack lining than Steve McLure climbing 9a and hence that's where the money goes.

>
> Sharma is unique though, his ability, accomplishments and image are nigh on perfect. Plus he is internationally well known. I know he gets paid a wad from Prana, Evolv, Petzl, but he does earn it.
>

He gets the opportunity to earn it though Mick. Who's to say what Malc (just as an example) might have achieved had he had the same kind of financial support from when he was 18 and had just repeated the hardest route in the world?
OP Michael Ryan 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
>
> I don't believe that. It's more that the pathetic tradcentric attitude of most of the UK climbing press pays more homage to Leo Houlding walking up snow or slack lining than Steve McLure climbing 9a and hence that's where the money goes.

We give Steve lots of press, and rightly so.


> He gets the opportunity to earn it though Mick. Who's to say what Malc (just as an example) might have achieved had he had the same kind of financial support from when he was 18 and had just repeated the hardest route in the world?

Tricky one that. Sharma has had photographers and filmmakers following him and they make their stuff widely available. Plus the backdrop in the USA is stunningly beautiful. I think lots of factors have helped Sharma along with his acomplishments and ability.

I mean where would Chris Sharma be without Josh Lowell at Big Up.

Still, I suppose Malc Smith has got Ben Pritchard's film, Splinter.

OP Michael Ryan 26 Sep 2007
In reply to TimS:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) I agree Mick, as far as figurehead climbers for a brand go you couldn't ask for much more than Sharma. I seem to remember you suggesting a while ago that perhaps his image was 'managed' to make this so? Perhaps I am remembering incorrectly. These days any traces of eastern philosophising seem to have dissappeared from his interviews and he's all about the routes, which is excellent.

His eastern philosophy interest was certainly capitilised on by the media and his sponsors. Better shut up...I have a meeting with Prana this afternoon.

I don't think there was any grand design though.

He has the looks as well, and is a pro at giving autographs. Perhaps one of the few real rock climbing celebrities.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to seagull)
>
>
> We give Steve lots of press, and rightly so.
>
>

I was careful to say "most" of the UK climbing press.





>
> Tricky one that. Sharma has had photographers and filmmakers following him and they make their stuff widely available. Plus the backdrop in the USA is stunningly beautiful. I think lots of factors have helped Sharma along with his acomplishments and ability.
>
> I mean where would Chris Sharma be without Josh Lowell at Big Up.
>
> Still, I suppose Malc Smith has got Ben Pritchard's film, Splinter.

Ha ha. Yeah that is another factor. I still think that the major problem is that sport climbing achievements don't get the billing they should here. Rich Simpson's case is notorious for this.

OP Michael Ryan 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:

Rich should have stuck at it.
 John2 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull: Let's face it, there just isn't much money around in climbing in the UK. Outdoor retailers are going out of business and it's a sport with very little media exposure.

Climbing in France is much better funded - promising young French competition climbers go into a state funded training scheme, and someone like Patrick Edlinger was able to make quite a lot of money out of climbing. Many climbing areas have their bolting funded by the local syndicat d'initiative and Peztl send trainers around the country to show council workmen how to safely install bolts.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Yeah but you can understand his frustrations. He climbs most of the hardest routes in the UK, tears up the Frankenjura, burns off the Spanish in their back yard and gets snubbed by the UK magazines. At the same time European, Japanese and US climbers who are at a similar standard are lauded as Gods and receive the correct funding to ensure they can continue to push the boundaries.

That's the way it seems to have happened from what I've read anyway and I'd have been well f***ed off.

There are more people climbing than ever in this country and there is more cash sloshing about in the industry as a result. It's just not going to the right people IMO.

You can't live off a few pairs of free shoes.
OP Michael Ryan 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Yeah but you can understand his frustrations. He climbs most of the hardest routes in the UK, tears up the Frankenjura, burns off the Spanish in their back yard and gets snubbed by the UK magazines.


Alex did a good article at Summit magazine.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to John2:
> (In reply to seagull) Let's face it, there just isn't much money around in climbing in the UK.

I just don't buy this. How can that be possible when there are more and more people climbing? And when there are more RICH people climbing and buying loads of shiny kit (that they don't really need). These are facts I've seen for myself.

As for retailers closing so what? Some are doing very nicely. That's business.

I totally agree that France is a much better place to be a pro climber but I still don't see why it's SO bad here.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
>
>
> Alex did a good article at Summit magazine.
>
Yeah I read that yesterday. This wasn't the norm though was it? I'm asking this genuinely as I've only heard about the situation second hand.
 tobyfk 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:

> One of the reasons Rich quit appears to have been the frankly disgraceful funding that climbers in this country get. He was truly world class and yet he got pretty much f**k all for his trouble. It must have been utterly demoralising when he was working Action Directe at the same time as Dai Koyamada who had a film crew, manager etc with him and who is a millionaire through climbing.

'Disgraceful is an odd word to use. AFAIK most climbing sponsorship comes from the private sector and it's reasonable to assume that they spend rationally. The Dai Koyamada comparison you give vs Rich Simpson is an interesting one. But the Japanese population is twice the size of the UK and remains very wealthy, so the sponsorship/ media pot may simply be larger. Also I'd guess the Japanese outdoor firms are more concerned about pleasing their domestic audience through sponsoring local heros than the Brit firms may be ... after all firms like DMM are major global players in climbing gear and should look at their marketing accordingly. But all that said, I remember reading that Dai Koyamada lived for years as a dirtbag climber in Japan, sleeping on climbing gym floors and the like.
OP Michael Ryan 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)

> There are more people climbing than ever in this country and there is more cash sloshing about in the industry as a result. It's just not going to the right people IMO.

Not sure about all that money sloshing around. There seems to more players in the Outdoor Trade with the pie about the same size. Lots of people market (few make) climbing gear.

The marketing budget of UK climbing companies is tiny and there are so many media outlets now (UK and beyond) and events and trade shows that it quickly gets eaten up.

Most people who are pro-climbers have to guide, instructs, take photos, write articles, make tv programs etc............become 'Me Incs' having a portfolio of small income streams to make do.

Look at Lucy Creamer, she now works for the BMC as Comps Officer....one of the UK's most talented all-round climbers.

Only a handful get paid to climb, world-wide.

Mick

 magpie 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Does anyone know if it's possible to see the NBC 1hr special on Es Pontas (mentioned in the article) anywhere, I know there is a bit about it in one of Big Up's films, but not the full thing I don't think.
 niggle 26 Sep 2007
In reply to tobyfk:

> AFAIK most climbing sponsorship comes from the private sector and it's reasonable to assume that they spend rationally.

Rationally, yes perhaps. But companies are often overcautious with marketing spends because they prefer the money they have to money they might have.

If climbing gear companies spent more money on sponsorship, advertising and making sure their stars and events got on the telly, climbing might become more popular, hence higher sales for them.

But that's a gamble.
 Fergal 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:

RE Simpson, Yeah but where are his film star good looks and charisma!, there is a gulf of difference between the likes of Sharma and Simpson, repeating 15 year old routes just doesn't cut the mustard i'm afraid, Sharma pushes the bar higher.
 John2 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Conquistador of the usless: I have to say, his (factually inaccurate) tirade against Ben Heason gave us some insight into his attitudes and his appreciation of what might be involved in earning a living as a climber.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Conquistador of the usless:

Utter balls.

I agree with the looks point of course but have you forgotten that Simpson pissed Markus Bock's new 9a straight after Action Direct went down AND then went and did that new 9a in Spain, A Muerte?

The lad had only been climbing for 5 years. Do you seriously believe that he wasn't going to climb harder?

Please.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to seagull)

>
> Look at Lucy Creamer, she now works for the BMC as Comps Officer....one of the UK's most talented all-round climbers.
>
> Only a handful get paid to climb, world-wide.
>
> Mick

Yes, including Leo Houlding and John Dunne. Hmmmm. With respect, Lucy Creamer is a good climber but you can't compare her achievements to those of Rich Simpson so it doesn't really mean anything to cite her case.

As an example of misguided sponsorship why are Scarpa shouting "Dunne's Not Done!" at the top of my screen?

John Dunne did a couple of low grade boulder problems the other day. Fellow Scarpa "team" member Malcolm Smith has just climbed another 8c in Scotland and is having an amazing few months ticking off hard route after hard route.

Which deserves credit?

It's quite depressing.
OP Michael Ryan 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
>
> John Dunne did a couple of low grade boulder problems the other day. Fellow Scarpa "team" member Malcolm Smith has just climbed another 8c in Scotland and is having an amazing few months ticking off hard route after hard route.
>
> Which deserves credit?
>
> It's quite depressing.

Yes but easy to work out why. You mention John Dunne......you get attention. John knows this and so does Scarpa.

OP Michael Ryan 26 Sep 2007
In reply to John2:
> (In reply to Conquistador of the usless) I have to say, his (factually inaccurate) tirade against Ben Heason gave us some insight into his attitudes and his appreciation of what might be involved in earning a living as a climber.

Probably also had something to do with recognition and media coverage, and its uneven distribution amongst the top climbers.

 Norrie Muir 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:

One problem with Sponsorship/making a living from climbing professionally in the UK is the narrowness of standards between the truly professional and amateurs.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (
> Yes but easy to work out why. You mention John Dunne......you get attention. John knows this and so does Scarpa.

Yes and fair play to John for milking it for all it's worth. He's done a great job of self publicising all his career (and I'm not being sarcy here - genuine respect for that).

However this is a bit much.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Norrie Muir:


If the "truly professional" were truly professional then they would be able to commit all their time to raising standards. Anyway it's not exactly that narrow a gap is it? How many "amateurs" are climbing 9a or even 8c+ regularly?
 Norrie Muir 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to Norrie Muir)
>
Anyway it's not exactly that narrow a gap is it? How many "amateurs" are climbing 9a or even 8c+ regularly?

How many UK professionals never mind amateurs are currently climbing 9a?
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Norrie Muir:

That is my point! Steve McLure is and Rich Simpson was but he's packed in (partly because of the problen I'm on about).

If Malc had had decent funding I have absolutely no doubt that he would be regularly climbing 9a too. To be fair Hubble is reckoned to be virtually 9a and Malc did that 15 years ago.

Who knows how many others we might have if the conditions for developing top sport climbing talet in this country were different?
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:

*talent
In reply to seagull:
> Lucy Creamer is a good climber but you can't compare her achievements to those of Rich Simpson so it doesn't really mean anything to cite her case.

But your point is that people in the UK don't appreciate sport climbing that much - and this is objectively true. Lucy has been able to perform at high standard in lots of different parts of climbing, including trad - which is what most UK climbers are interested in because that's what they do. DMM and Wild Country are more interested in promoting that because there is limit to how much gear a sport climber needs to buy, whilst all of us who are punter trad climbers are continually convinced that if we buy just one more bit of gear for the rack somehow we will turn into Dave Macleod.

I think TobyFK had it right, the market is the market. Rich Simpson is clearly a phenomenal athlete, but if he was doing it for money and recognition (which is perfectly valid reason for doing something that you have to work so hard for), he clearly should have put his athletic talent into another sport where there is more money in the UK.

You could argue just the same - that the top British alpinists get none of the recognition they deserve for being amongst the best in the world, but again the average British punter can't really comprehend what doing M8 on a massive Alaskan or Peruvian face really means, and hence their achievements aren't going to get the same play as new E9 on gritstone.
 Norrie Muir 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:

Yes, it is a disgrace that someone as talented as Rich Simpson could not make a good living climbing.

Maybe there is a malaise in developing all sporting talent, not only in climbing, in the UK. Comment like the best climber is the one who is enjoying themselves the most don’t help.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to seagull)
> [...]
>
> But your point is that people in the UK don't appreciate sport climbing that much - and this is objectively true.

No I actually said that sport climbing doesn't get the appreciation it should from the majority of the UK climbing press. The former is perpetuated by the latter although yes, I agree that obviously more people here climb trad and are perhaps more impressed by hard trad ascents.

>
> I think TobyFK had it right, the market is the market. Rich Simpson is clearly a phenomenal athlete, but if he was doing it for money and recognition (which is perfectly valid reason for doing something that you have to work so hard for), he clearly should have put his athletic talent into another sport where there is more money in the UK.
>

I didn't say I thought Rich was doing it FOR the cash. Just that he (or anyone who was operating at a world class level) should have received the recognition and remuneration that he deserved.


> You could argue just the same - that the top British alpinists get none of the recognition they deserve for being amongst the best in the world, but again the average British punter can't really comprehend what doing M8 on a massive Alaskan or Peruvian face really means, and hence their achievements aren't going to get the same play as new E9 on gritstone.

Yes very true.

 Tom Briggs 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:

Hang on a second. Lucy Creamer has way more natural talent than Rich Simpson and she stuck with it.

I respect Rich's dedication, but he chose the wrong sport. I don't believe he is/was a great rock climber (yet) in the way that McClure or Creamer are. Perhaps he could have climbed harder, but he packed in on the naïve assumption that he deserved a livingfor repeating a 15 year old route. McClure is world-class and up there with Sharma. Simpson might have established new 9bs if he put the time in and learnt to use his feet, as well as train for pulling hard. As a brand ambassador, he could have done with a bit of mentoring because he tended to come across as 'in it for the money' rather than the love of climbing. That doesn't exactly endear you to the buying masses!
 John2 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull: 'Just that he (or anyone who was operating at a world class level) should have received the recognition and remuneration that he deserved'

So where should this money come from?
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor:
> (In reply to seagull)
>
> Hang on a second. Lucy Creamer has way more natural talent than Rich Simpson and she stuck with it.
>
> I respect Rich's dedication, but he chose the wrong sport. I don't believe he is/was a great rock climber (yet) in the way that McClure or Creamer are. Perhaps he could have climbed harder, but he packed in on the naïve assumption that he deserved a livingfor repeating a 15 year old route. McClure is world-class and up there with Sharma. Simpson might have established new 9bs if he put the time in and learnt to use his feet, as well as train for pulling hard. As a brand ambassador, he could have done with a bit of mentoring because he tended to come across as 'in it for the money' rather than the love of climbing. That doesn't exactly endear you to the buying masses!
>

FFS! I'm not just talking about Rich Simpson he's just a good example.

I think you're being a tad harsh on him though Tom as you don't climb all the hard routes and problems that he did JUST by pulling hard. In a short period he achieved a lot (and from a worldwide point of view way more than Lucy).

You say "McClure is up there with Sharma" but he doesn't get the recognition nor the financial recompense he deserves. That's the point.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to John2:
>
> So where should this money come from?

My God. Can we not keep going round in circles.
In reply to seagull:

> I didn't say I thought Rich was doing it FOR the cash. Just that he (or anyone who was operating at a world class level) should have received the recognition and remuneration that he deserved.

I didn't mean that you said that, what I meant was that he obviously hoped that he could, at least, make a meager living out of being as good a climber as he was/is. And that is probably a misplaced hope for most British sport climbers.

I'm in my early (or - dear god - you could even say 'mid') thirties and I'm trying to complete a PhD on subject that few care about, and no one will ever pay me to hear about. I know all about making crappy "lifestyle choices".
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to seagull)
>
> [...]
>
> I didn't mean that you said that, what I meant was that he obviously hoped that he could, at least, make a meager living out of being as good a climber as he was/is. And that is probably a misplaced hope for most British sport climbers.
>

Yes and this is very sad.

In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

> Above it all reigns Chris Sharma…

Yuri Hiriyama, Dai Koyamada and various Spanish and Basque walking muscles might have something to say about that.

What a nauseating piece of arse (or ass)-licking! The message of the piece seems to be that Sharma is so brave to have chosen such a hard life of lucratively sponsored world travel, occasionally pausing long enough to shag a Seniorita or two. Tell that to a Burmese monk. But I’m sure he’s a lovely chap and his Mom loves him.
In reply to 7lbs overweight:
> occasionally pausing long enough to shag a Seniorita or two.

He dodged that question. We shouldn't make presumptions.
TimS 26 Sep 2007
In reply to 7lbs overweight:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> [...]
>
> Yuri Hiriyama, Dai Koyamada and various Spanish and Basque walking muscles might have something to say about that.

Really? Not even Koyamada comes close to Sharma on the world stage. Sure those basque guys are ridiculously strong sports climbers and have done hard routes on their local crags, but you have to travel if you want recognition up there with the likes of Sharma, Moon and Moffat.
In reply to TimS:

I agree, its not enough to be super accomplished in your own back yard. Like Moffat before him Sharma has travelled and climbed other people's hardest routes and boulder problems and prjects and seems able to switch from one to another. That's what sets him aside.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Tyler:

Dave Graham's done similar sh*t mind.
TimS 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull: Graham was another name I could have mentioned for WorldWide Wads!
 Fergal 26 Sep 2007
In reply to 7lbs overweight:

HA ha ha i smell a rat!

Really Richard is that right.
In reply to seagull:

> Dave Graham's done similar sh*t mind.

Similar but again I think Sharma edges it, q.v. Realization
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Tyler:

Coupe De Grace?
In reply to seagull:

I agree totally with what you say about sport climbing getting less recognition than trad climbing in this country. I don't think it is just down to what people climb either, I think the magazines have, for years, perpetuated the idea that sport climbing is somehow 'inferior'.

Likewise I agree that Rich Simpson was more deserving of sponsorship than anyone else around in the UK apart from Steve McClure (although he could have done more to help himself in this regard, choosing not to publish his grit ascents was cutting off his nose to spite his face) but your whole argument relies on this idea that there is money out there for marketing. I don't think that's the case because the second defining characteristic of UK climbers (the first being terrible parochialism) is incredible tightness.

UK climbers are, what might charitably be described as, price conscious consumers and this is the market in which climbing companies operate. I don't see any of them making large profits and I also don't see any trad climbers (apart from Leo Holding) doing well out of sponsrship either.

I think your use of Lucy Creamer as an example is also mis-placed, she is so much better than any other female climber in the UK in every dicipline its incredible. Allied to that she has made a big effort to get in the mags and has also been at the top of the game for about 10 years.
 Tom Briggs 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor)
> [...]
>
> FFS! I'm not just talking about Rich Simpson he's just a good example.
>
> I think you're being a tad harsh on him though Tom as you don't climb all the hard routes and problems that he did JUST by pulling hard. In a short period he achieved a lot (and from a worldwide point of view way more than Lucy).

I'm being harsh because I do think that success redpointing a couple of 9as isn't exactly world-class thesedays. Doesn't one's on-sighting ability reflect true talent and natural ability? I think so, and I think that's why Creamer and McClure are two of the very few 'stars' we have in the UK. In the same way that McLeod is a great headpointer... if you work routes into submission, you can rely on training and strength, rather than natural climbing ability.

> You say "McClure is up there with Sharma" but he doesn't get the recognition nor the financial recompense he deserves. That's the point.

Agreed. It's a British amateur climbing thing that we suffer from throughout the whole industry...
In reply to seagull:

> Coupe De Grace?

I presume you are talking about the route rather than conceding defeat in the debate?

Has Sharma tried that as much as Graham did Realisation, has he tried it at all?

I hope no one reading this assumes I take these comparisons seriously or that I know what I'm talking about.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Tyler:
> (
> I think your use of Lucy Creamer as an example is also mis-placed, she is so much better than any other female climber in the UK in every dicipline its incredible. Allied to that she has made a big effort to get in the mags and has also been at the top of the game for about 10 years.

I wasn't dissing her in any way. It's just that unfortunately no British women have come close to doing anything on a worldwide level that compares to what Rich Simpson did. That was my point.

With regard to the money you may well be right but I just don't think the figures add up. There must be more money in climbing gear than 15 years ago as there are way more people buying it? Someone will now shoot down my simplistic view of things of course.........



OP Michael Ryan 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to Tyler)
> [...]
>
> With regard to the money you may well be right but I just don't think the figures add up. There must be more money in climbing gear than 15 years ago as there are way more people buying it?


Possibly. But the retail cost of climbing gear is the same as 15 years ago!!!!!!!!
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor:
> (In reply to seagull)
> [...]
>
> Doesn't one's on-sighting ability reflect true talent and natural ability?
>

Well I wasn't talking about natural ability, more actual achievements. However I know Simpson onsighted 8b if not 8b+ which aint too bad.
 Neil Foster Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 26 Sep 2007
Let's not lose sight of what really gets sponsors interested – and repeating old sport routes most definitely isn’t it.

If you want to make a living out of climbing, you have to

- first and foremost do new routes – the harder and more spectacular the better – and get professional photographers to record them. (plus professional video makers to include them on their next DVD). These new routes should be in different countries, and show a variety of rock types and styles.

- secondly (though this is much less important) travel the world repeating the hardest routes, preferably in better style (or at least as good) as the locals.

It is also true that charisma and good looks will help.

It is no co-incidence that Chris Sharma, who excels at the first point, and is probably reasonably adept at the second – and has the looks – is a well-sponsored ad man's dream.

Lets look at some other examples:-

Jerry Moffat – new routes - half tick; world repeats – tick; charisma – tick. Decent sponsorship – tick.

John Dunne – new routes – tick; sponsorship – ongoing as a result

Dave McLeod – new routes – tick; sponsorship – ongoing as a result

Steve Mac – new routes – half tick; world repeats – tick; charisma – tick. Sponsorship – a bit, but with the potential for much more.

Other people featuring in this thread:- new routes – no tick; world repeats – no tick; charisma - ?? Entirely predictable result – no sponsorship.

I definitely concur that Steve McClure is a world class athlete, and has far more talent than any of the (very few) other UK climbers receiving sponsorship – a few of whom probably receive much more than he does. (Like Tom, for me it is a climber's on sight ability which really shows their talent - not their competence as a headpointing automaton).

But (imo) Steve does have the potential to break into that select group of earners, if he is really motivated to do so. The shortfall in his sponsors’ CV is definitely new routes, and that shortcoming will only be addressed once he finds truly spectacular lines, not merely sportclimbing, and not just on limestone (and preferably not just other peoples abandoned projects!) and definitely not only in the UK.

Something as aesthetic as Sharma's Es Pontas would be a good start!

Neil
Alex Messenger, BMC 26 Sep 2007
In reply to people:

And for those who are interested, the original interview is here:

http://www.thebmc.co.uk/Feature.aspx?id=1653

And available as a pdf here (i.e. with full route list and more photos).

http://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmcNews/media/u_content/File/summit/back_issues/SUMMIT_40.pdf
 Tom Briggs 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to Tyler)
> [...]
> With regard to the money you may well be right but I just don't think the figures add up. There must be more money in climbing gear than 15 years ago as there are way more people buying it? Someone will now shoot down my simplistic view of things of course.........

I reckon so. Maybe not in retail, but certain distributors and manufacturers of gore-tex jackets seem to drive round in very large cars. The brand value of certain pro climbers like Leo and McLeod is massive. The latter is never out of the media but without an agent I suspect he would find it difficult to negotiate the kind of deal he deserves.
 Nj 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: There are a few UK climbers who could make it up there with the stars, but it is not easy. Dave Mac is hot in the UK at the mo and a bit abroad prolly cos of E11, but you are not going to be a star staying in Scotland or doing 8c+ in Spain. He has chosen a stable life at home and I guess he must be pretty happy with that. Steve Mac could definately be a big star if he chose to, but again, he choses to be UK based and that is not enough. Again, I presume he is pretty happy with how he lives.
I don't think Rich Simpson was too happy, seeing as he quit climbing, he was getting out there and after only 5 years was approaching world-class standards, but reading the media and hearing stories, it sounds like he had a problem with attitude which turned potential sponsors off big time.
Like others have said, Moon and Moffat are the UK climbers who can be compared to Sharma. Others like Glowacz, Hubers, Edlinger, Tribout, Dave Graham, and now Ty Landman may be on the way. Travelling, new routes/problems at the very cutting edge. Climbing lifestyle, dossing in caves, hitching and no attitude etc. This is what makes the big stars. You need to appeal to the whole world cos the cash is not there in one country really. The global companies can afford to give more cash, so you need to be a global climber. Britain is just not interesting enough for foreigners, nobody goes to Britain basically. Has Sharma/Graham ever been? (we know it is the best though eh!)
 Tom Briggs 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Nj:

One other point to make is that the best brand managers spot talent. Leo was spotted early and I think it's interesting that Patagonia are sponsoring Alpinist, Matt Helliker. Not massively well known in the UK yet (depsite being a Brit, living in the Chamonix Valley). Those in the know talk about his all-round talent: http://www.patagonia.com/web/eu/patagonia.go?assetid=15855
 tobyfk 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:

> I didn't say I thought Rich was doing it FOR the cash. Just that he (or anyone who was operating at a world class level) should have received the recognition and remuneration that he deserved.

Totally bemused by this 'deserved' concept ... Most of us climb because we enjoy it, no? Getting paid to do it is a lucky bonus. Period.
 Norrie Muir 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor:

To make it big in climbing one has to appeal to a wider population, but just to climbers or even the Climbing Capital of the UK.

I was in Germany in the early 80’s and I looked a bookshop window, the main display was Messner’s latest book. One of his sponsors was Fila, Fila’s only other sponsored person at the time was Bjorn Borg.

 John2 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Norrie Muir: I remember going to a Doug Scott lecture where he showed a slide of himself with his arm around a life sized cardboard cutout of Reinhold Messner in a German bookshop.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to tobyfk:

If you want to be the best you need to climb full time.

Unless you have a trust fund or a lottery win then you need to earn money from what you are doing full time i.e. climbing.

It isn't about wanting to get rich from the sport just wanting to give it your best shot.

Bemusement over.
 Norrie Muir 26 Sep 2007
In reply to John2:
> (In reply to Norrie Muir) I remember going to a Doug Scott lecture where he showed a slide of himself with his arm around a life sized cardboard cutout of Reinhold Messner in a German bookshop.

Was that the nearest he got to greatness?
OP Michael Ryan 26 Sep 2007
In reply to tobyfk:
> (In reply to seagull)
>
> [...]
>
> Totally bemused by this 'deserved' concept ...


Ditto.....earned is perhaps better.

Some seem to forget that sponsorship is about selling more product.
 seagull 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Jesus Mick such quibbling over terms. OK how about if it was worded "the recognition he deserved and the chance to earn decent remuneration from his sponsors"? That better for ya?!

The fact is that tobyfk is missing the point that I made in my last post. Rather than being a "nice bonus" earning a living from climbing is the only way to get to the very top of the sport. Unfortunately it looks as if it is very unlikely that the UK will produce many world class climbers as they're not going to get the opportunity to climb full time.

Personally I think this is a real shame. Others seem to view it as just the way it is.

Not that I really care, I'm going climbing now.

 Richard Horn 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Neil Foster:

Sponsors are looking for one thing when they sponsor a climber, ability to sell their products. They realise that the average climber such as myself is inspired by climbing 'heros' such as Sharma, and are firstly more likely to part with their cash when inspired, and secondly might hand it over to their company if they choose the right person. The acheivements (9a redpoint) are just a tick in one of the many boxes, like getting a degree, it still doesnt get you the job, you have to pass the interview as well - it is no real coincidence that glamourous people like Sharma and Houlding make it, whereas not exactly pretty people with a bit of an attitude like RS dont get the cash.

I think British climbers have an additional problem as well, the British public in general just arent interested in climbing, they are too busy watching football, cricket or rugby - these are the sports you need to take up to make money. British climbers themselves arent hero-worshippers either, they generally prefer doing it rather than watching other people do it.
OP Michael Ryan 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Richard Horn:
> (In reply to Neil Foster)
>
> I think British climbers have an additional problem as well, the British public in general just arent interested in climbing, they are too busy watching football, cricket or rugby - these are the sports you need to take up to make money.

Although Berghaus, who sell mainly waterproofs to country walkers, do have an impressive line up of sponsored athletes. Similarly the North Face.

It's called the 2% rule or something. 2% of your products are technical garments worn by your athletes, which you don't actually sell that many of. The athletes are used for image marketing to help sell 'cutting edge' rain jackets to the country walkers who feel good in a label that has been up Everest.
hugedyno 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I don't think its fair to compare Steve Mac & Rich with these USA/Euro wads.

Phenomenal athlete though he is, has Chris ever had to hold down a day job, like Rich did? Yet for all his 'lack of natural talent', he still sent a 9a benchmark that (correct me if I'm wrong) Chris hasn't. Despite hanging out round Europe for the past God knows how many years.

I'm sure if Tyler Landman ever tried doing routes, he'd give 'em all a run for their money!

Up the British!

;-P
HD.
 Bob 26 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Jesus Mick such quibbling over terms. OK how about if it was worded "the recognition he deserved and the chance to earn decent remuneration from his sponsors"? That better for ya?!

I think that Mick's right - you have to
>
> The fact is that tobyfk is missing the point that I made in my last post. Rather than being a "nice bonus" earning a living from climbing is the only way to get to the very top of the sport. Unfortunately it looks as if it is very unlikely that the UK will produce many world class climbers as they're not going to get the opportunity to climb full time.

Well Tony Mitchell did Trauma (F8c) in 1993, oh, and what was (is) his job? GP - hardly a slacker then. Action Directe was done in 1991 so it (Trauma) wasn't that far off the leading edge. With a few exceptions most of the climbers of the day held down "day jobs", perhaps they could have climbed harder if they had been sponsored, we'll never know.

John Dunne did much of his hard climbing when he had to hitch to crags or get a lift from mates as he didn't have a car. I don't remember him moaning about that, he got on with it.

Yes it would be nice if those at the top of our sport got fiscal help but in order for that to happen they have to tick various boxes as Neil mentioned above - "No, you can't go climbing today, there's that photo-shoot we agreed on last month", etc. How many climbers (in any discipline) worldwide are full-time, fully sponsored climbers? I suspect that the number is far fewer than you imagine. Ultimately climbing is a selfish sport in that it is hardly (to a non-climber) viewer friendly in the way that football or tennis is. So the opportunities for airing the sponsor's logos are much reduced, even including competition climbing. This leads to less money being justifiable for handing over to an individual - basic cost-benefit analysis.

>
> Personally I think this is a real shame. Others seem to view it as just the way it is.
>
> Not that I really care, I'm going climbing now.

At 3 O'Clock, how nice, some of us have to work.

boB

 Nj 26 Sep 2007
In reply to hugedyno:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> ...he still sent a 9a benchmark that (correct me if I'm wrong) Chris hasn't.

I suppose La Rambla at 9a+ doesn't count??

hugedyno 26 Sep 2007
In reply to Nj:
> (In reply to hugedyno)
> [...]
>
> I suppose La Rambla at 9a+ doesn't count??

10 years sponsored climbing (full-time), for half a grade above a Brummie part-timer with crap footwork?

Wow-ee-woo!

HD.

 robin mueller 27 Sep 2007
In reply to people:

Or John Gaskins with Violent New Breed 9a+, as well as several font 8Cs. Never seems to get mentioned much, unlike Steve and Rich. Why is this, I wonder? Maybe not enough media coverage?
 Nj 27 Sep 2007
In reply to hugedyno:

> 10 years sponsored climbing (full-time), for half a grade above a Brummie part-timer with crap footwork?

Hmm, 1st asc. Realization, 9a+ 7 years ago, 1st asc. El Pontas (speculated 9b, at least 9a+), 1st Asc. Dreamcatcher 9a, 1st Asc. Witness the Fitness font 8c... blah blah blah. Come on!

As for Gaskins, another guy who could definately be a sponsored hero if he went to places that other people went to, but I guess he doesn't want to.
TimS 27 Sep 2007
In reply to robin mueller:
> (In reply to people)
>
> Or John Gaskins with Violent New Breed 9a+, as well as several font 8Cs. Never seems to get mentioned much, unlike Steve and Rich. Why is this, I wonder? Maybe not enough media coverage?

For the reasons mentioned throughout the rest of this thread - compare VNB with realization or Walk Away SDS with Witness the Fitness and it's pretty easy to see a good reason for the lack of worldwide coverage.
 seagull 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Bob:
> (In reply to seagull)
>
> Action Directe was done in 1991 so it (Trauma) wasn't that far off the leading edge.

Er. Yes it was. Perhaps you don't understand the difference between 8c and 9a. It's HUGE.

>
> John Dunne did much of his hard climbing when he had to hitch to crags or get a lift from mates as he didn't have a car. I don't remember him moaning about that, he got on with it.

Not a good example as John is one of the few people who has made a decent living from sponsorship. See above.

>
>
> At 3 O'Clock, how nice, some of us have to work.
>
> boB

Oh dear, that's a shame. I work 45-60 hour weeks mate but I manage my time so I can train and climb too. Jealousy is not nice.



Serpico 27 Sep 2007
In reply to hugedyno:
> (In reply to Nj)
> [...]
>
> 10 years sponsored climbing (full-time), for half a grade above a Brummie part-timer with crap footwork?
>
>
9a to 9a+ is a full grade. It's the same as 5.14d to 5.15 or Aus 35 to 36.

samsamsam 27 Sep 2007
my tenpennuth....

i met Rich Simpson a couple of times 'before he was famous' once at a crag and once at a bouldering comp.

at the crag he was very rude and came across as a bit of an iddiot. however i gave him the benifit of the doubt as he was young and probably didnt know any better.

at the comp we said hello to each other (bristol wall) and he seemed a lot more friendly. he asked me for some beta on a problem which consequently didnt work. i am a lot taller than him so... he got very upset, had a bit of a pop at me and then proceeded to storm off and have a cry. oh dear.

if i was a sponsor i wouldnt give the guy a penny.

as lots of people have said on this thread there are prerequisites for getting cash from climbing other than being a great climber.

for outdoor companies to to put someones photo on an advert to sell their stuff they need climbers who look cool and make people think "wow i wish i was him". for me mr simpson just doesnt do that.


 Norrie Muir 27 Sep 2007
In reply to samsamsam:
>
> for outdoor companies to to put someones photo on an advert to sell their stuff they need climbers who look cool and make people think "wow i wish i was him". for me mr simpson just doesnt do that.

How sad. I must be a outdoor company's nightmare, I don't want to be anybody but myself.
samsamsam 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Norrie Muir:

i'm not saying i think that. just trying to put myself in the mind of an ad man. it wasnt pleasant...
 Norrie Muir 27 Sep 2007
In reply to samsamsam:
> (In reply to Norrie Muir)
>
> i'm not saying i think that. just trying to put myself in the mind of an ad man. it wasnt pleasant...

It takes all sorts. Both Gary Liniker and Vinnie Jones do adverts and one is a goodie two shoes and the other is not. Maybe Red Bull would have sponsored Simpson.
 Steve McQueen 27 Sep 2007
(Like Tom, for me it is a climber's on sight ability which really shows their talent - not their competence as a headpointing automaton).


But 'talent' and 'success' aren't neccessarily intrinsically linked. In most sports there are incredibly talented people who just can't seem to keep their sh*t together and become very successful.

This is definitely a very English attitude that the only climbers deserving of admiration are talented amateurs, rather than also comsummate professionals

Add to this the fact that 'competence as a headpointing (or redpointing) automaton' by definition involves being extremely talented in the first place, with the added factor of incredible determination and self belief to stick with a project to the end. You simply cannot get to the top end of world sport climbing without a high level of natural talent, and to suggest that onsighting 8b /8b+ is somehow more valid that redpointing 9a+ seems a bit absurd.

For one thing, most people who onsight at this grade will be redpointing 9a / + anyway.

At the end of the day, top-end headpointing or redpointing is very, very hard, and comes with it's own rewards, whether you're pushing your personal limits or global standards.
 Paul B 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor:
> (In reply to seagull)
> [...]
>
> I'm being harsh because I do think that success redpointing a couple of 9as isn't exactly world-class thesedays. Doesn't one's on-sighting ability reflect true talent and natural ability? I think so, and I think that's why Creamer and McClure are two of the very few 'stars' we have in the UK. In the same way that McLeod is a great headpointer... if you work routes into submission, you can rely on training and strength, rather than natural climbing ability.
>
> [...]
>


6 week period:

Infinity 8c+
Wallstreet 8C
Ronin 8C
Inercooller 8C
Raubritter 8C
Drive By Shooting 8C
Armstrong 8C
Showdown 8C
Rockerbilly 8B+
Oshoween 8B+
Subway 8B ***onsight
Plan B 8B ***Flash
Die dicher kinder 8a+ ***onsight
Prik Pla Lam 8a+ ***onsight
Sackteffer 8a+ ***onsight
Sodom 8a+ ***onsight

So I think that crushed your point tom, thats the best trip abroad i've ever heard of a brit doing? and some damn good flashes and onsights, not to mention all of the below:

Other things of Note:
Staminaband/Pump up the power link up 9a
Bastard 8c
Caviar 8a+ ***flash
Superman 2 Font 8a+
Action Direct 9a
El Muerta 9a

All 9a's are worked into submission currently....btw I thought the footwork comment was about as petty as you can get.
 Paul B 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Paul B: and I guess if 9a isnt world class a repeat of the Big bang, or Northern Lights would go unreported?

add liquid amber, 8c to the above list.
 seagull 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Paul B:

Yes but Lucy Creamer's obviously got more natural talent Paul.........

 Tom Briggs 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Paul B:
> (In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor)
> [...]
>
>
> 6 week period:
>
> Infinity 8c+
> Wallstreet 8C
> Ronin 8C
> Inercooller 8C
> Raubritter 8C
> Drive By Shooting 8C
> Armstrong 8C
> Showdown 8C
> Rockerbilly 8B+
> Oshoween 8B+
> Subway 8B ***onsight
> Plan B 8B ***Flash
> Die dicher kinder 8a+ ***onsight
> Prik Pla Lam 8a+ ***onsight
> Sackteffer 8a+ ***onsight
> Sodom 8a+ ***onsight
>
> So I think that crushed your point tom, thats the best trip abroad i've ever heard of a brit doing? and some damn good flashes and onsights, not to mention all of the below:

No-one is saying Simpson wasn't very strong, super dedicated and didn't climb some very hard routes. But Simon Nadin was on-sigting F8a+ 15 years ago. I can't remember who at the top said "a year is a long time in climbing", but 15 years is a bl*ody long time.

> Other things of Note:
> Staminaband/Pump up the power link up 9a
> Bastard 8c
> Caviar 8a+ ***flash
> Superman 2 Font 8a+
> Action Direct 9a
> El Muerta 9a
>
> All 9a's are worked into submission currently....btw I thought the footwork comment was about as petty as you can get.

Yes, awesome achievements and fair point, all 9as are worked into submission.

But in the UK you're looking at Creamer, McClure and Houlding who have real star quality. You only have to witness them on the rock to see that (which includes their footwork). Sure, you can be naturally strong and train very hard and achieve some great things, but that doesn't mean you deserve a living from it. Simpson knew that (he said it on these very forums) and he cites that as a reason for packing in.
 Nj 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor:

> But in the UK you're looking at Creamer, McClure and Houlding who have real star quality. You only have to witness them on the rock to see that (which includes their footwork).

I don't think this has anything to do with their star quality. Nobody likes or dislikes climbers cos of their style. And to say anyone operating at that level has bad style or technique is not right.

You need to be world class and extra special to make it. Which is why no brit is a superstar at the mo, certainly not in the Moon, Moffatt, Sharma sense. Ty Landman may do, and he certainly has time to get there! Sharma was much less than he is now star-wise when he was 17.
I think the travelling lifestyle is a big factor, getting out there and doing stuff away from home.
Look at Rouling, Fernandez, Gaskins, even Malc Smith at the start with his Northumberland 8b+. These folk do things which are not in interesting places for the rest of the world and they get no attention.
 Paul B 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor: Take your blinkers off. This stupid british attitude that training is somehow to be frowned upon and that someone with natural ability should be shown more respect than someone who works hard for what they achieve. I'm not going to start attacking anyone elses achievments to prove my point, suffice to say Rich is more than worthy of joining your list of "Stars".

I might also add that wolfgang was renound for not having great footwork and that i've watched Steven Jeffrey literally drag himself up some of the hardest problems in Font, just because they don't dance their way up problems doesn't mean the ascents are any less worthy.

If you think rich's only reason for quiting was financially based then your a fool.
hugedyno 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to hugedyno)
> [...]
> 9a to 9a+ is a full grade. It's the same as 5.14d to 5.15 or Aus 35 to 36.

My mistake.

So why hasn't Sharma et al gone and done this 'bad boy':

youtube.com/watch?v=dSSxk71e-2k&

Quite old now and a 'full grade' harder than the rest (until someone repeats then downgrades it!)

HD.

PS. Fred's footwork is 'pants' on Akira. Get Lucy on it, show him how its done!

;-P



 Tom Briggs 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Paul B:
> (In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor) Take your blinkers off. This stupid british attitude that training is somehow to be frowned upon and that someone with natural ability should be shown more respect than someone who works hard for what they achieve. I'm not going to start attacking anyone elses achievments to prove my point, suffice to say Rich is more than worthy of joining your list of "Stars".

Okay, okay bloomin 'eck. I think you need to take your blinkers off and read my posts properly. When did I say training should be frowned upon?

> I might also add that wolfgang was renound for not having great footwork and that i've watched Steven Jeffrey literally drag himself up some of the hardest problems in Font, just because they don't dance their way up problems doesn't mean the ascents are any less worthy.

Fair point. I've always admired the climbers with technique over power, but I concede it's a matter of style.

> If you think rich's only reason for quiting was financially based then your a fool.

How the hell should I know what other reasons he had for quitting?!
 Paul B 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor:
Ok I'll explain a little more with an e.g:
Simon Nadin onsighting 8a+ yeah great, amazing even, but he wasnt climbing 9a as well, I don't know more than i've read about him (Rock Stars, Power of Climbing etc) but was this onsighting not a new kind of bench mark rather than a consistent thing? if so there's a major difference between onsighting a route of a given grade and consistently onsighting that grade. Say equivalent to current times onsighting 8a all the time and onsighting 8b+ now and then.
On the last point it was merely an assumption that you might have known more than just what you read here? Maybe you don't. I think its safe to say though that the financial factor wasn't the main reason for him quitting more of a sideline issue.
(Correct me if i'm wrong on the SN stuff, I'm don't really know a great deal about his climbing...)
Serpico 27 Sep 2007
In reply to hugedyno:
Because there isn't as much kudos in repeating someone elses route? Or worse still failing to repeat it?
Or possibly because it's not in a hugely inspiring location to spend a lot of time.
I've also heard that it's altered since the FA.
 seagull 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor:

Jerry had shocking footwork imvho.

 Tom Briggs 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Paul B:

Nadin was massively consistent and at the very top level in the world at the time. He was on-sighting F8a all over the place, with the odd F8a+. But he was also very understated and didn't really shout about it.
 Paul B 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor: You didn't say that you frowned on training, the whole preferring climbers who are naturally gifted rather than overly strong makes a bit of a point though...anyway I've got nothing constructive to add to the debate. I've said my bit...
hugedyno 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to hugedyno)
> Because there isn't as much kudos in repeating someone elses route?

Even if its repelled the world's best for a decade? I'd have thought it'd be like a red rag to a bull.

> Or worse still failing to repeat it?

That's more likely IMHO!

> Or possibly because it's not in a hugely inspiring location to spend a lot of time.

I think the point is, these sponsored heroes DO have the time!

> I've also heard that it's altered since the FA.

Yeah, I've heard that. But in what way? Easier, or harder? If I had the ability of the current 'Pack', I'd be intrigued to test myself on a climb that Jibe Tribout couldn't even do one move on (or some such preposterous claim!) Surely worth a repeat and re-grade.

Fred's the MAN!


HD.



 AJM 27 Sep 2007
In reply to Serpico:

> I've also heard that it's altered since the FA.

There was a big interview with Rouhling, its online somewhere but I can't find the link, perhaps climbing.com somewhere.

Anyway, they went over, interviewed Rouhling, and they looked at the line, couldn't find evidence of tampering on it (maybe one hold, but his sequence didn't seem to actually use it). They then got him to demonstrate random bits picked at their choice from the route (you can get on most of it with a stepladder) and he can still link big sections of the route together.

They left pretty convinced that he had done it and that he could still do fair chunks of it now. Given that the alterations are meant to have involved making it harder, the second part is fairly meaningful at least - if it wasn't modified then he could link sections of it, if it has been then he can do chunks of it even now that it is even harder...........

AJM
 Paul B 27 Sep 2007
In reply to AJM: it was an article on climbing.com, one of the best i've read.
OP Michael Ryan 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Paul B:

L’autre Côté de Fred Rouhling

Story by Pete Ward

Photos by Tim Kemple


http://www.climbing.com/exclusive/features/fredrouhling/index.html
 Paul B 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: that'll be the one
Serpico 28 Sep 2007
In reply to hugedyno:

>

> I think the point is, these sponsored heroes DO have the time!
>
I'm not disputing that they have the time, just that they wouldn't want to spend it in a dingy cave with an in-situ grumpy tramp. What else is there to do nearby?

 seagull 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Serpico:

Isn't this nearby?..........

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=KO2DRzM7atY

If not it's a good excuse to watch the video. Stunning.

In reply to hugedyno:

I wouldn't be surprised if Jibe couldn't do any of the moves on Akira. He was never known for his power but had fantastic endurance. I once showed him the sequence on Powerband and he couldn't touch it.
 Ian Patterson 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to hugedyno)
>
> [...]
>
> [...]
> I'm not disputing that they have the time, just that they wouldn't want to spend it in a dingy cave with an in-situ grumpy tramp. What else is there to do nearby?

Absolutely. The same discusion could stand for Violent New Breed. They may be very hard but are outside the mainstream in terms of style and attractiveness. The likes of Rouhling and Gaskins may climb routes that other people can't repeat but if they can't repeat the hardest mainstream routes in the world who's to say which is 'harder'.

As an example you may have an ultra-distance runners who can complete hundred mile+ races faster than anyone else but if they can't break the world marathon record who could say that they were the best distance runner in the world.
Serpico 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Ian Patterson:
You're at it again with the running comparison!!!
I know you're only doing it to wind me up, but if you don't stop I'll start with the cheese comparison.
 Ian Patterson 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Serpico:

I can cope with a 2 year aged extra mature Gouda but can't manage an extra strong gorgonzola, but is one harder than the other or is it just a matter of style?
OP Michael Ryan 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Ian Patterson:

It's about romance......Sharma has romance......he romances the stone and other climbers.
 seagull 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Ian Patterson)
>
> .....he romances the stone...

Is that when the going gets tough?
 Norrie Muir 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Ian Patterson)
>
> It's about romance......Sharma has romance......he romances the stone and other climbers.

He may romance you.
 Sam Ring 28 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to TimS)
>
> In reply to TimS:
>
> Yeah that's very true. One of the reasons Rich quit appears to have been the frankly disgraceful funding that climbers in this country get. He was truly world class and yet he got pretty much f**k all for his trouble. It must have been utterly demoralising when he was working Action Directe at the same time as Dai Koyamada who had a film crew, manager etc with him and who is a millionaire through climbing.

Not read all the posts so forgive me if this point has been made but the counter to your point would be Leo Houlding who (with Hammond) nearly onsighted El Nino which is in many people's eyes a more significant and inspiring ascent than repeating a 14 year old sport route (that already had 4 repeats) and who now earns a living through various dude-related activities.

Simpson, for whatever reason, didn't go down the media route (chiefly not publising notible grit ascents and there are rumours of a flash of The Zone E8 which even given his 'grit is overated' standpoint is significant because it's in the region of F8a and only with marginal pro - how many euro-wads have o/s soloed 8a?) so you can't blame sponsors for not throwing support at him. Obviously the usual caveats of personal choice apply but you cannot expect people to give you money with no return on investment. Obviously RS deserved (lots of) support but that is not the way the world works
 Paul B 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Sam Ring: It wasn't a "grit is overated" standpoint, it was "grit is easy" , even if like you say the Zone is F8a which I heavily doubt, it is an absoloute path compared to F9a, even with minimal pro. His achievements in sport climbing were completely ignored by certain magazines and he was told that F9a wasn't newsworthy so I think the non-reporting of his grit stuff was to show how insignificant he found it in comparision to his sport achievements.. (funnily enough I believe he was offered a two page spread after a Fnt8a highball grit ascent by the same magazine that classed F9a as not being newsworthy)...
 seagull 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Sam Ring:
> (In reply to seagull)
> Leo Houlding who (with Hammond) nearly onsighted El Nino which is in many people's eyes a more significant and inspiring ascent than repeating a 14 year old sport route (that already had 4 repeats) and who now earns a living through various dude-related activities.
>

I didn't even know about this ascent and don't find it very impressive now I've read about it. Yuji did a better job of onsighting El Nino on his own. People saw this as more impressive than the catalogue of ascents RS did? I expect it was down to the way it was reported.........

So Rich Simpson'a achievements boil down to "repeating a 14 year old sport route" do they? I think if you scroll up a bit you might think slightly differently.
 Sam Ring 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Paul B:
> (In reply to Sam Ring) It wasn't a "grit is overated" standpoint, it was "grit is easy"

semantics

"even if like you say the Zone is F8a which I heavily doubt"

I'm in no position to attest to this just "grapevine" should have made that clear, sorry. Fact remains grit E8 flash was a first and thus important historically.

"the non-reporting of his grit stuff was to show how insignificant he found it in comparision to his sport achievements.. (funnily enough I believe he was offered a two page spread after a Fnt8a highball grit ascent by the same magazine that classed F9a as not being newsworthy)..."

Well there are 2 options: spurn the media all together as you suggest or give them what and play the game. Not hard to see the righteous path but being righteous doesn't pay the bills does it? It not necessarily right that things are this way but you cannot have it both ways.

I personally think it was a disgrace that not one mag had Simpson on AD as a cover shot. The media should help people in these situations, give them support, fly the flag and tell the world how good they are. I want to see someone f*cking pulling down on something hard and inspiring not an E7 onsighter posing on a E1 at Stoney. Similary Moon on Voyager the only mag to give it serious coverage was the Yank spray-fest Urban Climber. Unfortuanately it seems endemic - did Climb/er have Troy McClure on the covers on Overshadow? The people want to see waddage!

In reply to seagull:

> I expect it was down to the way it was reported.........

I expect you're wrong on this, at the time it was a tremendously impressive ascent. The Huber brothers (no strangers to F9a themselves) had spent an age working to free this route. The way this was done by Houlding and Hammond was truely outstanding. Just the fact they even tried would have been considered newsworthy. This was a fast repeat of (another) 'hardest route in the world' in much better style than the FA.
 David Peters 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Paul B: Hi Paul, I dont remember whether the repeat of Action Direct and F.A. El Muerta received the appropriate coverage in the mags as I dont read them but I do know that he got blanket coverage on the internet, neither do I know the true reasons for his giving up climbing but in reality he was an advertisers worst nightmare, utterly dismissive of all punters operating sub 8b (ie 99.9999% of all other climbers) and prone to shooting his mouth off without considering the consequences (witness the Ben heason fiasco).

No matter how good a climber you actually are, and Richard Simpson was one of the best, you are not going to get sponsorship if your public image is a bit of a tw*t because it is that pubic image that sponsors use to shift product, which is what it's all about really.
In reply to Sam Ring:

> I personally think it was a disgrace that not one mag had Simpson on AD as a cover shot. The media should help people in these situations, give them support, fly the flag and tell the world how good they are. I want to see someone f*cking pulling down on something hard and inspiring not an E7 onsighter posing on a E1 at Stoney. Similary Moon on Voyager the only mag to give it serious coverage was the Yank spray-fest Urban Climber. Unfortuanately it seems endemic - did Climb/er have Troy McClure on the covers on Overshadow? The people want to see waddage!

Totally agree. When Neil Carson did Big Bang my mate took the (good) photos but OTE would only print a quarter page picture insode because "he was close to a bolt" and had too many sponsor's logos showing. It's not like he was dressed like a formula one driver!
 Sam Ring 28 Sep 2007
In reply to seagull:
> (In reply to Sam Ring)
> [...]
>
> I didn't even know about this ascent and don't find it very impressive now I've read about it. Yuji did a better job of onsighting El Nino on his own. People saw this as more impressive than the catalogue of ascents RS did? I expect it was down to the way it was reported.........

Well, that's just like, your opinion man.

5.13c half way up El Capitan that the the Huber brothers had to redpoint flashed by two 16 year olds - nah pretty shit isn't it?
>
> So Rich Simpson'a achievements boil down to "repeating a 14 year old sport route" do they?

Ultimately, yes, but it's not exactly some crap Chee Dale route. I personally find it inspiring but it didn't push established boundaries whereas the Hammond/Houlding El Nino ascent did change perceptions. That's the difference.


 Jeff25 28 Sep 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor:
> (In reply to seagull)
>
> Hang on a second. Lucy Creamer has way more natural talent than Rich Simpson and she stuck with it.
>

Rich Simpson has BAGS of natural talent. - it may be strength orientated but its still inate talent.

His non climbing brother did a 147 first go on the smallest rungs. thats incredible talent in a family.
 Paul B 28 Sep 2007
In reply to David Peters:
> (In reply to Paul B) Hi Paul, I dont remember whether the repeat of Action Direct and F.A. El Muerta received the appropriate coverage in the mags as I dont read them but I do know that he got blanket coverage on the internet, neither do I know the true reasons for his giving up climbing but in reality he was an advertisers worst nightmare, utterly dismissive of all punters operating sub 8b (ie 99.9999% of all other climbers) and prone to shooting his mouth off without considering the consequences (witness the Ben heason fiasco).
>
> No matter how good a climber you actually are, and Richard Simpson was one of the best, you are not going to get sponsorship if your public image is a bit of a tw*t because it is that pubic image that sponsors use to shift product, which is what it's all about really.

I think if you understood more about the "shooting his mouth off" scenario you wouldn't look at it in the way you do, it wasn't ideal, in fact far from it, but much better than the way a LOT and I mean a LOT of individuals were handling the same issue at the time.

Whoever said his ascent of AD didn't change perspectives etc. Maybe Leo's ascent did because trad was lagging so far behind the other disciplines in terms of difficulty?
 David Peters 01 Oct 2007
In reply to Paul B: >I think if you understood more about the "shooting his mouth off" scenario you wouldn't look at it in the way you do.

obfuscation :
1. to confuse, bewilder, or stupefy.
2. to make obscure or unclear: to obfuscate a problem with extraneous information.
3. to darken.

I appreciate that you are only trying to defend Rich, but making statements like those above only serve to confuse the issue further and enhance his reputation for dismissing the views of the general climbing population, "they dont need to know ... they wouldn't understand ... etc etc". As I have already said, he 'was' a fantastic climber but a total liability for sponsors, he could, with a little guidance, have made a good living out of climbing but he really needed to change his attitude toward his fellow climbers.

And for the record, I dont think we have seen that last of 'Climbing Rich', I suspect he will be back, hopefully in a more mellow frame of mind. It's not like this country is overflowing with talented climbers.

New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Loading Notifications...