I have been reading Crusher's, Desert Rock book over the past couple days and it has got me thinking. The book begins with a brief history of climbing ascents in the desert southwest, of climbing on Indian lands and the characters who made the "monumental" first ascents of what was the next frontier at the time. The stories include the persona that these climbs took and the attitudes of the climbers that were able to complete them. Crusher's writing provides a wonderful insight into how we have gotten to where we are today, including our general ethics that sometimes we wonder how they ever came about.
So, I have been thinking about ethics in climbing and the "first" bolt wars and chopping and rebolting. I have been thinking about the word "style" and how it applies to rock climbing and how it can taint someone or some team's ascent of a rock. I have also been thinking how with our modern equipment that there really is not a rock that we can not ascend given enough time and energy, but that folks would talk more of the style of the ascent, rather of the accomplishment itself. Lastly, I wonder why it all matters? When I think about it a lot, I keep coming back to the line of reason that it all depends on your personal goals.
If your goal is climbing is to enjoy the outdoors through climbing, then style doesn't matter. If your goal is to ascend something that seems impossible, then the ascent itself should take the spot light, not the fact that you did it this way or another. If your goal is to repeat something that someone else did in the same fashion, then style does matter. I could go on, but I am sure that you get the picture.
I guess why I am thinking about these things is because Crusher was writing about them in his book and what seems great and wonderful yesterday, may be just that, but not as such today. I am attracted and inspired by his book in that it makes me want to go and have an adventure. It makes me want to go and make the rules up as I go. It makes me want to climb everything that he has chosen to share, but at the same time not. Adventure comes from the unknown, adventure comes from a willingness to try, to fail, to succeed. Adventure brings new faces into the game because it has the power to inspire. Adventure takes you out of your normal routine makes you sweat a little and then realize how much that you like your normal routine. I think that I will choose adventure and be happy with that.
piz : )