Nicolas Favresse and sustainable climbing.
Nicolas Favresse (or Nico) as we call him, is a terrifically talented and gentle climbing guru now residing in Italy. He was born in Belgium, but has since moved countries for a slightly enhanced climbing life. He now calls Arco his home were he crushes rocks with bare hands, both sport and Alpine and ha can play his guitar just like ringing a bell, every camp fire without Nico is a lonely one, trust me, the man can play. I first met him in the VRG, we were both trying some of the same routes and quickly became friends. I recently got a link from a friend of mine, telling me about this "post" and how Nico wants to reflect on our impact as climbers against the deffenceless stone. I can see through his words that Nico holds the natural environment above his personal motivations and declares in this letter that mother nature needs our help.
I want to share this with you,
By Nicolas Favresse
The other day, I was scoping cliffs looking for natural lines to bolt that could possibly push my limits. Here is what I found. A beautiful cliff, probably one of the nicest I have seen in this area with a possible potential for hard new natural lines; instead, however, this wall is completely scarred with pockets chipped by ice picks and scratch marks left by crampons. The scars are all over the wall. I was quite bummed, especially considering the fact there are so many cliffs in the area with shitty rock for rock climbing.
While dry tooling is a technique that brings climbing possibilities to a whole new level in the mountains, it now seems to be becoming more and more a discipline of its own. This could be understood as a natural evolution, given the impact of global warming. Indeed, year after year the ice climbing season seems to be getting shorter and the walls that used to be full of ice expose more and more rock. The game is there and these days ice tools allow us to do all kinds of things. It’s fun!
Many admirable climbers are proactive, working with environmental groups and others to protect our crags from excessive human impact. This impact seems to follow a broad spectrum, from using chalk, leaving tick marks, wearing climbing shoes, bolting, throwing your crashpad down at the base of a boulder…if we
want to have no impact we'd have to stop climbing entirely. But activities such as dry tooling, leaving an irreversible imprint on the rock, seem to fall at
the extreme end of the spectrum. Although, thankfully, there are no rules to control our climbing activities, each of us should play our game with thoughtfulness and maturity. If we just take a moment to think
outside of ourselves and our own instant gratification, we'd probably be able to find an appropriate place for each activity that wouldn't take away from the future. For example, why not dry tool in an area that can sustain the impact, like a quarry or an area whose rock isn't suitable for freeclimbing.
My goal with this is not to prove what’s right or wrong. It’s just to open our eyes to what's happening out there and make us think, so that we can lessen our impact at which ever level it is and share our ideas with our friends.
Have fun climbing
OKAY, so as if that isn't bad enough, just minutes later I stumble upon this post "World’s Worst Climbing Desecration?" and after reading it's contents I decided it was enough to create a blah-G. Here is what it said, posted on Alpinist.com
Posted on: March 7, 2008
Bolts are bad. Chipping is horrendous. What could be worse? Well—here's an easy answer—really, really stupid people.
Ethics are one thing, but I can’t even conceive of who might think gluing plastic onto already climbable rock is OK (especially since someone there in Provo says it would probably be 5.10 or 5.11). Speaking of "OK," it looks like the jackass spelled that word with those alphabet holds just to get my skin itching and my blood boiling.
If anyone can think of a worse climbing desecration, I'd love to hear it."
I logged on today to check my mail and maybe post a few pictures of Lydia and I on the beach. Which will have to wait until next time, sorry mum – BUT – I just don't have the time for everything, we still need to find the time to sit in the hammock, eat some fruit, followed by a moist vegan chocolate brownie, play beach volley ball, practise body surfing, stretch, read, meditate and eat dinner, all before going out for a beer and some dancing. I swear to Hanuman, this Goa living is going to be the end of me, if I ever board that plane on Saturday it's going to be a flickering miracle.
So instead, I thought while this topic was hot in my head and the aligned stars seemed to make it want to happen, I posted these words and pictures above in hopes that we can all work together to keep climbing free and pure and clean and fun. And on that note, did ya'll hear about Beth Rodwell? a.ka. Tommy Caldwell's wife? a.k.a Beth Rodden? The girl just ripped open the climbing world and announced a new higher platform for ladies to stand upon. A new standard. 5.14c – trad. Beth you just don't slow down do you? Truly good job on the climb, it looks BEAUTIFUL. For those of you who don't know, the Yosemite based climber just finished a five month project, an all natural line she called "Meltdown". It is the hardest traditional climb ever completed by a woman. Today, I think Beth is 'the best climber in the world'. What I love most about Beth (and her hubby TC too) is her tenacity. She never gives up, which is to say, she always follows through, which is to say, that her excellence is not simply an act, but a habbit. Here is a low res snap shot of Beth from the world famous photographer (not to mention a man with some serious wit) Corey Rich. www.coreyrich.com
Okay, torrow after yoga I will post some pictures of Goa and maybe tell the story of Hanuman the monkey god. Did you know that today (Tuesday) is his day of the week? It's the best day of the week and it is not auspicious to begin a new project or a journey, but it is good for meditation, worship and of course Charity!