• TNB: Climbing's Big Mistake
  • TNB: Trad Dads and Dad Bods
  • TNB: Do the Right Thing
  • TNB: Big Wall Soloing Sustenance – Cookies vs. Bugs
  • TNB: When Your Rope Falls Off—and 5 Ways to Prevent the Nightmare
  • TNB: Before I Die - What Would Climbers Think?
  • TNB: Raphael Slawinski - Firsthand Account of Everest Earthquake
  • TNB: Point Break - Sharma, Andrada on the Big Screen
  • TNB: Muscle Shoals - Rock and Soul
  • TNB: Naked Soloist is Saner Than Me
  • TNB: The Hard Climb to Heaven
  • TNB: Summer Camp
  • TNB: Suicide in Our Sights
  • TNB: Ethan Pringle's 10 Tips for Sending Your Project
  • TNB: Hawaii Rocks - Totally Aloha
  • TNB: PointGate - Why Comp Climbing Is Not The Future
  • TNB: My First Epic
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Avoid Braking Bad - The Art of the Soft Catch
  • TNB: #Dawnwall and The Creation of Alex Honnlove
  • TNB: Vision Quest - Benji Fink and Mexico’s Steepest Big Wall
  • TNB: The New Dawn (Wall) of Climbing
  • TNB: The Top 5 Weekend Whippers of 2014 (Plus the Comments)
  • TNB: 10 Tips for Jolene Kay, Professional Climber (and Hot Actress)
  • TNB: The Story Behind the Craziest of Rescues
  • TNB: The Risk of Climbing
  • TNB: How to Get Stronger by Doing Nothing for 5 Minutes a Day
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Improve Your Footwork
  • TNB: In Praise of the Weekend Warrior
  • TNB: Joe Kinder Visits the World's Hardest Cave
  • TNB: Celebrating Insomnia in Chamonix
  • TNB: Run, Rabbit - Hermann Gollner, 71, Cranks Pump-O-Rama (5.13a)
  • TNB: Five Best Photos of 2014
  • TNB: Clip Like A Pro - 5 Tips from Sasha DiGiulian and Sean McColl
  • TNB: Five Things Every Gym Climber Must Know About Climbing Outside
  • TNB: Still Jeff Lowe
  • TNB: Moving Over Stone With Doug Robinson
  • TNB: Wheels Up—The Top 5 Climbing Rigs
  • TNB: Is K2 The New Everest?
  • TNB: Things—Besides Us, That Is—That Fall
  • TNB: When Homemade Gear Works, Sorta
  • TNB: The Outsiders
  • TNB: R.I.P. Homero Gutierrez Villarreal - The Padrino of El Potrero
  • TNB: A Short Talk with Sierra Blair-Coyle
  • TNB: Ian Dory, Ninja, or The Craziest Thing I Ever Seen
  • TNB: The Best Crag Dogs of All Time
  • TNB: 5 Ways to Make People Love Your Routes
  • TNB: Hudon and Jones, and Don't Forget It!
  • TNB: Climbing's Tribal Rites
  • TNB: Sasha DiGiulian and Alex Johnson On How to Be a Modern Pro
  • TNB: Is Dean Potter A Bad Father?
  • TNB: Silly Places We’ve Slept - Tales of Unplanned Bivies
  • TNB: Forgotten Hero - Frank Sacherer 1940-1978
  • TNB: The World-Class Weekend Warrior – Martin Keller Climbs V15
  • TNB: Everest Sherpas No Longer Willing to “Grin and Bear It”
  • TNB: Hardheaded Helmet Lesson Learned
  • TNB: Six Most Awesome Jobs for Climbers
  • TNB: The Coolest Climbing Deal Breaker
  • TNB: Sharma and Glowacz Send World’s Steepest Rock Climb
  • TNB: An Encounter with a Legend - Patrick Edlinger, Plus A Whipper Vid
  • TNB: Six Things Every Climber Should Do Before They Die
  • TNB: Falling from the Top
  • TNB: Weekend Whipper
  • TNB: Band of Crushers
  • TNB: Charlie Porter, We Hardly Knew You
  • TNB: Climbing's Greatest Route Names
  • TNB: Hot Women Die and Have Sex on Everest
  • TNB: The Great Tragedy at Carderock
  • TNB: Thoughts On Death, and Last Words
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Big Story
  • TNB: Next Level? Honnold Pushes the Game on El Sendero Luminoso
  • TNB: Jeff Lowe Invented the Sport
  • TNB: The Most Popular Weekend Whippers of the Year
  • TNB: If Ondra Isn't The Best Climber In The World, Who Is?
  • TNB: Storm Years or Typhoon? The Biggest Issue in Climbing
  • TNB: Jim Bridwell Speaks
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  • TNB: Death on Forbidden Peak - Was the NPS Complicit?
  • TNB: Ice Climbing Goes to Sochi Olympics
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  • TNB: 8a.nu: The Best Climber in the World is the One with the Most Points
  • TNB: Shutdown: Illegal Climbers in Yosemite—Ninjas or Criminals?
  • TNB: Who is the Best Climber in the World?
  • TNB: The New Courage in a Rucksack
  • TNB: Unsolved Mystery - The Ten Sleep Shooting
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  • TNB: The Mystery of Moses Tower - Help Answer a 25-Year-Old Question
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  • TNB: Erasing Midnight Lightning
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  • TNB: Watching the Boston Marathon
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  • TNB: Honnold's Achilles' Heel
  • TNB: He's Either Crazy or a Poet
  • TNB: The Fish Cheat and the Prince of Climbing
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  • TNB: Project FAIL
  • TNB: The Backwards Future of Climbing
  • TNB: The Death of Progress
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  • TNB: Five Things I Don't Hate About Climbing
  • TNB: Metro-Pointing
  • TNB: Beast in the East
  • TNB: Artificial Intelligence
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  • TNB: Nine Pitches
  • Video Spotlight
    FREE - Big Wall Climbing in Yosemite with Jorg Verhoeven and Katha Saurwein
    FREE - Big Wall Climbing in Yosemite with Jorg Verhoeven and Katha Saurwein
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
     



    TNB: In Praise of the Weekend Warrior

    11-Nov-2014
    By Duane Raleigh

    Michael Carrington (belayer) and Tom Rossbach (climber) work up <em>Stones that Speak</em> (5.11d), Devil Head, Colorado. Photo by Zach Mahone.I was paging through the Rifle Mountain Park guidebook this grey November Veterans day, already regretting the snowfall that will transform our balmy rock into an icy purgatory and will take a second sun to make right again, when a fact struck me.

    In my Newton/apple moment, I realized that of the 400 or so routes that hopscotch up the walls of Rifle, a canyon second only to Yosemite in international acclaim (for America), 90 percent of the climbs were established by weekend warriors, the common man.

    These are guys and gals who take the game seriously, but not so much that they can pay the bills by doing it exclusively. Some are semi-pros who might get spotted shoes or a rope, but they are the teachers, doctors, carpenters, salesmen, physical or mental therapists, chefs, waiters and waitresses, shop owners, gear reps and the like who spend their free time bolting, cleaning then struggling with the most important task of naming, almost all of the routes almost all of us climb. The paycheck for them is an occasional mention in a guidebook or a smile from a happy repeater.

    Pros, those rare paid-to-climb people who would seemingly have nothing but free time to spend on first ascents, aren’t route developers. Instead, they make headlines by romping up established lines faster or in better style, or do more of them in a day or solo. For them, developing a crag would be like a pro football player sodding the field.

    There are exceptions, naturally. Ondra at Flatanger, Sharma at Oliana, Edlinger at Ceuse are most notable, and the routes they have done at these areas moved the upper end of the scale, pulling our own standards along, as iron to a magnet.

    My observation holds true for most every area. The Gunks. Eldo. Smith. JT. Etc. Even Yosemite’s historied walls were first climbed by climbers who didn’t make a dime from it, but who worked jobs, saved then spent their earnings up on the hot granite. Frank Sacherer was a physicist. Kor a bricklayer. Harding a surveyor. Robbins ran his climbing shop. Chouinard made carabiners and pins. All this, of course, was when there wasn’t money to be made by climbing, but even today when there is funding, the workers building the infrastructure do it for other reasons.

    In the issue of Rock and Ice that is at press right now, for instance, we show off Devil’s Head, a region of spectacular granite outcrops near Denver. The 800-odd climbs in this vast area were largely if not entirely bolted on weekends, holidays and after hours by climbers who love the sport and expect nothing in return other than a sunny day on the rock with a few good friends.

    Hard to imagine a better reward.

     

    Note: I'd like to recognize Dave Pegg, who passed on Saturday [November 8, 2014]. Dave was a Very Serious Climber and one of those people who climbed hard and put his heart into maintaining Rifle so we could all enjoy it. You can read more about Dave here.

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