Community is a funny thing.  Many of my climbing friends are tough, resilient, island like creatures.  We go about our days often on our own, sometimes thinking we don’t really need anybody – but the reality is much different.  We all rely on people everyday, for a belay, a ride, a beer, a place to crash, an extra #1 camalot for that secret proj, a job, you name it, WE are a community.  The longer I climb, the prouder I am to be a part of it and the outdoor community at large.  Generally speaking, we’re passionate people, who care a lot about our environment, and try to live as responsibly (and reasonably) as possible.   We tend to see the world in a similar fashion, having similar concerns, dreams, ambitions, and that brings us closer together, no matter how far apart we might live.

One of our friends is in need of a bit of help right now, he needs no introduction in the climbing circle, especially if you’ve ever picked up an American Alpine Journal in the last decade.  His name is Bean Bowers, and I’ll let his bio speak for itself, but in short, he’s an inspiration to us all.  Please make time to go to this website and read the latest about Bean and the battle he has ahead of him, he is one of the best people I know, and if we can help him,  in any way,  why wouldn’t we?

Although I won’t be able to attend the auction and fundraiser in Boulder, Colorado on April 28th, I am sending a gift to be auctioned off, and I am also auctioning off a day of private climbing (location to be determined).  But if you’d like to go climbing for the day with me, or if you have a dream line you want to tick off your classics list, but can’t recruit a partner or rope gun, or if you just want to learn rope work and refine some skills, then make a bid at the auction for a really great cause and I’ll be MORE than  happy to spend the day with you, climbing/teaching/exploring – and hopefully we can all win.   Besides, isn’t that what community is for,  making a better life for everyone?   Please click on the image below for more info.  and Best wishes.

  • “Generally speaking, we’re passionate people, who care a lot about our environment, and try to live as responsibly (and reasonably) as possible.”

    This community lives a lifestyle that involves driving, year-round, to premier recreation destinations while at the same time championing environmental causes. Oftentimes, this is done with incredibly inefficient vehicles. Are less people driving to and sleeping under the Chief as oil prices climb? Further, the majority of the equipment used for outdoor recreation and leisure relies on industrial processes and oil byproducts.

    The outdoor and climbing community’s care for the environment is largely lip-service; the beliefs do not coherently align with the actions. Perhaps many climbers are well intentioned with their fondness for the outdoors, but the general lifestyle says otherwise.

    Consider the industry of outdoor recreation. The guides, industry sales reps, and industry executives all have a vested interest in getting more people outside and buying more things along the way. That is point of your past and future slideshows and the reason why Patagonia pays “ambassadors.” Putting elite outdoor athletes on the cover of a set of products and wrapping it in an eco-friendly package is a solid marketing scheme. Consume and feel good about it; now consumption and activism are one and the same! Patagonia may care for the environment, but their actions indicate that getting more people outside to benefit from the corresponding consumption is a higher priority.

    Yvonne Chouinard once said that the best thing anyone can do for the environment is to buy less new things and to buy more things from second-hand stores. There is a strong tension between his personal beliefs and his business aspirations. Similarly with the average climber, there is a strong tension between responsible living and the desire to drive/consume for the sake of adventure. These tensions should be the focus of a truly progressive outdoor community and industry.