Rhapsody Returns

I just saw this cover shot of CLIMB. Britain’s Biggest Climbing Magazine. I have yet to read what the reporter wrote, but I’ll hopefully get my fingers on a copy soon enough, you know for checking facts and what-have-you. The funny thing about Media is that they are a Necessary Evil, most people I know really don’t enjoy any sort of attention, but they do it because it allows them freedom to continue the lifestyle they enjoy, it is a trade off that seems to make sense, for how long depends on the person. The novelty wears off. But, I’m not going to lie, I got a big kick out of the first time I ever saw my picture printed in Gripped, way back in 1998. It was a rush for sure, and my first thought was “oh crap, I look like an idiot”. Well, over the years, I have come to terms with the fact that I not only look the part, but I play a fairly good idiot as well. Idiocy seems to come very natural for me, I suppose I am blessed. ha ha.

This week, FIVE TEN hosted a very intersting meeting of the minds. It was a continued education program for their athletes and the conference room was packed, from David Graham to Alex Johnson. Famous climber Lynn Hill, Photographer Jimmy Chin and Pyromaniac Jonathan Thesenga were all part of this first time ever event and coached us and inspired us to take on the world, and quite frankly it was a huge success. Thanks to Charles Cole, Nancy Prichard, Tim O’Brian, Isaac Tait and everyone at Five Ten for making this happen.

The dream team.

One of the themes that really struck a chord with athletes, was JT’s presentation about getting hosed by the media, or rather, how NOT to get hosed. You see the media are a sly bunch of foxes, always trying to get the very best most interesting and exciting hook. If you give them an inch they will take as many miles as legally possible, sometimes more. So the first lesson was “DO NOT GET HOSED” by the media. A tricky thing and an art all by itself. I raise this issue now, because aparantly this CLIMB cover photo (ABOVE) does not belong to the photographer who snapped it, Mr.Cory Richards, but the credit now belongs to Cory Rich, another talented photographer from the U.S. who is or never was anywhere close to Dumbarton. You may think this is an honest mistake, and it is, but it’s also very weak. It’s sort of the same if you climb the first free ascent of (an all natural) route that you tried really-really hard to nail, then after some minor internal bleeding and five rolls of finger tape you nabbed it, everyone celebrates and the sponsors, the money, the media and the guide books gave all the credit to some Joe Brooks. U got HOSED dude. What you may get if you raise a huge stink about it, is a tiny blurb in the “corrections” section, but you’ll surely require a magnifying glass to read it and it’ll be months down the road, thanks but no thanks. I say we need to raise some hell, I mean if you’re a Zen master with no ego at all then please disregard this post, but if you ever got ripped off, truly, just because someone failed to do any homework, I say raise a fuss and make them make it right. They owe you. Damn it, you worked hard for that. They are using their power to humiliate you (intentionally or unintentionally) either way it is UNCOOL.

However, please don’t misunderstand me, I love the MEDIA. I love them. They help to keep me inspired for the rocks, they print words from writers I would otherwise never read, pictures I may never see and they do a great job with advertising new products and giving credit where credit is due, I love the media. But this is not about me or how good of a job they are doing, it’s about you, and not getting hosed by the media yo, if you can help it that is. So in closing, this entry is dedicated to all those photographers out there who don’t get enough credit and to Cory Richards for being in the right place at the right time for this cover. Cheers.

  • can scan a copy of the article and e mail it to you if you want

  • caroline

    I have a copy of the mag you are more than welcome to have if you want it, let me know and I can post it out. The cover photo is credited as one of the lovely Mr Cory Richards on the inside cover, but what they seem to have done just to confuse everyone is say at the beginning of the article “Photography by Cory Richards” then proceed to tag the photos by either Corey Rich or Cory Rich :o( Definitely a bad day for the proof reader!

  • The level of editing is unfortunately not great with Climb. I like the magazine, I buy it almost monthly and they have published in the past an article by me along with my pictures. But you spot simple typos, spelling mistakes or grammar mistakes in every issue. In my article they messed up the formatting meaning that what should have been a subtitle got turned into ordinary text and simply reinserted into the text – making no sense at all. Other magazines which are probably no better staffed or funded don’t make the same errors. It’s sad that Climb is sloppy on such basic editing issues because the format, pictures and content are always fine and often great.

  • fred

    I was on gripped and saw this post by someone with your name:
    Sup Sup ya’ll. Butters, you da shizzle! Pound for pound the strongest blond man to come out of K-town. Crushing it yo. I love to see that.

    I’m so glad it was you who bagged that little bitch, and for the record that glued flake was nothing more than an eye sore and an easy heel hook, I think it’s so much better (butter) the way it is, now that there’s no cheating allowed it looks more aesthetic, suitors have to stomp that like a real man.

    As far as work, I recall it took a day or two to figure out, I still can’t believe it was more than seven years ago that I did that thing. Anyway, I moved some bolts around and replaced the old ones with new ones to make it more attractive. As far as the name is concerned, who gives a flying f*ck. Call it whatever you want, you won’t be hurting my feelings. Good work Ben. Now do Dream Catcher next and call it…

    ‘Lick the Shoe’.


    Thought you were a better writer than that. Hopefully it was not you.
    But if it was.. PULL UP YOUR PANTS

  • Sonnie

    Thanks for the comments guys and gals, if I really feel the desire to read the article, I may contact one of you shortly, but so far, it’s all good, thanks for the offers.

    Also, I didn’t mean to single out Climb, I have no doubt they do as good a job as any other pub, mistakes happen and we all move on. This doesn’t just happen with climbing stuff, news papers or mags of any kind reporting on anything at all around the world have a tendency to scuff things up a bit from time to time. Mostly I wanted to give credit to Cory Richards, he’s a bad ass camera man and worked hard to take those pics.

    Fred, as for you my friend, (do you mind if I call you friend?) Nice work brah! You have a terrific sense of humor, I laughed my shorts off.

    Congratulations, you have done a great job at surfing the net and digging up some earth shattering content. Cutting and pasting it perfectly here for everyone to read. If this is an attempt to critize me and my less than brilliant wordsmithing, than I’d at least appreciate it if you’d share your last name. I mean the credit for all this hard labor you’ve done must not go to some guy named just Fred, Fred who…?

    Maybe you wrote it yourself and then cut and paste it. Pull up my pants? Who are you?

    If you’re going to try and insult me, do it properly at least, start a new thread on your beloved gripped forum called Sonnie is a WANKER, or a TOP TEN list. Something to which you can spend your entire afternoon working so hard on and completely avoid going outside and climbing rocks. Climbing and fresh air are overated anyway, I prefer to stay indoors, troll the net in my ginch gonch and look for creative new solutions for climbings obvious lack of talented writers, cut and paste usually works. It’s really a fantastic way to exist. Please Dude, Keep it up, you entertain me.

  • Sonnie

    Okay Okay, I didn’t mean anything of what I wrote above. Fred, I’m sorry, I don’t know you and I didn’t mean for my words to sound so negative, It was a pathetic attempt to add humor, but I’m tired from a 12 hour drive and an overnight flight to the east coast. I’ve had 3 hours of sleep in 48. I’d take it off if I could but I can’t, not without some serious effort, so instead I’ll say I’m sorry. Maybe it was me and maybe it wasn’t, it doesn’t matter, nothing matters.

    I never said I was good at writing (or climbing) just that I enjoy doing it. So I will leave this thread at that and hopefully in the future, I won’t say anything until I’ve had time to get some sleep. My sincere apologies and now, I will ride off into the orange horizon. I hope it’s not a blazing fire, but a beautiful sunset. Best Wishes.

  • John

    The mag also has a further 4 or 5 excellent Cory Richards shots inside…

  • fred

    Just having some fun with you. Writing about climbing is hard.

    I snagged the “Pull up your pants” from Denis Learys skit.

    More of a joke than anything.

    Listen to his skit and you will laugh.

  • Emma

    Both you and Cory might like to read the following letter written by Giles Coren (Brtish journalist and broadcaster) to his sub editor at the Guardian. I think it says what you want to say in a pretty straightforward way. I don’t suppose he ever intended this letter to be published (or maybe he did) but it had us all in tears:


    Glad you are well. All the best to Cory too.


  • Sonnie

    I finally read the article and CLIMB did a great job at covering the story, the facts were nearly spot on, the writing engaging and the photographs razor sharp. I think DS did a good job at capturing the magic of my terrible mullet/mohawk. Cory Richards got ‘most’ of the credit he deserved and I think in general it was a bang up job. Nice. I hope Cory feels the same way and Steve Mac as well. Thanks gang.

    Fred, I drive super slow in the ultra fast lane, while people behind me are going insane. I’m an asshole. Smirk.

    Emma, that was likely the funniest letter I’ve read in ages, thanks for sharing the link (above), I nearly burst out laughing in a library full of suits. Thank you and I hope you are well. Say hi to the radical peeps for me please, you are missed.