Trad as a Fad?

Placing a cam? Slotting a nut? Slinging a tree?
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Trad as a Fad?

Post by caribe » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:35 am

I have been talking to people about trad climbing recently. I got the following sentiment from the last three hard core climbers that I talked to: 'trad is coming back, itsih getting popular again.'
- How on earth could something like trad climbing ebb and flow subject to the whims of society? What's in this year? The fusion of previous styles, global and ethnic clothing, as well as the fashions of numerous music-based subcultures, vintage from the 40's, mid-height pumps, oh and trad climbing. Has there been a wave of gym rats that got out of the gym, did sport and then graduated to trad as a more adrenaline-rich activity? Do people who care about trad think that there is a renewed interest among climbers in placing their own gear?

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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by dustonian » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:48 am

Not in the Red so much, but in other areas of the country, yes. Eldo, Gunks, Yosemite, T-Wall, etc are more packed than they've ever been and the "fad" does not look to be slowing down anytime soon. That said, there are still plenty of traditional areas you can go to that are kick ass but completely empty. Over the last twenty years anyway I have noticed ebbs and flows of fashionable climbing styles: bouldering was way in in the early-mid 90s, then alpine climbing and trad got trendy, now sport is having another little heyday. It will be entertaining to see what's "cool" next.

Fortunately, trad is not so fashionable here in the Red, so on super busy weekends all you have to do is head to the nearest traditional crag and be essentially guaranteed a great, old-school experience free of the Conga-line insanity that characterizes the RRG now in spring and fall.

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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by caribe » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:10 am

dustonian wrote: old-school experience free of the Conga-line insanity that characterizes the RRG now in spring and fall.
That's letting the Cat in the Hat out of the Darling Dirtbag.

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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by caribe » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:18 am

Saturday night I was talking with Ray about the old days when he and Odub were only plugging gear and eschewing with great contempt the people who were just clipping bolts. At some point I ask, "who went to the Dark Side first? He says, "Oh, I sold WAAAY before Kris did." Cracking up, I come back with, "so, did he have a little talk with you at some point?" :lol:

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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by dustonian » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:21 am

haha. I think Mr. "SCIN" is due for a traditional renaissance one of these days... I've been playing around on Mr. Get It On Jones a little bit (I guess you could call it "climbing") and that thing is flat-out phenomenal!

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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by caribe » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:36 am

dustonian wrote:haha. I think Mr. "SCIN". .. .
When someone tells me something in confidence, I can almost guarantee that it will not make it on the internet. This was too good to pass up.

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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by pigsteak » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:43 am

trad is boring and time consuming. doing 2-3 pitches a day while belaying for an hour in between while some old fart fuddles with gear is not even climbing..it is more like shopping at a wal mart, without the electric scooter I guess. people get into 'trad" for several key reasons: they suck at hard sport and want to feel validated, they hate to train and there for can get on some 5.6 and feel ok, they are bored with clipping bolts and want a change of pace, or they accidentally ran into a painter pant traddie at the local gym and he lied to them about all the "adventure" of trad climbing...

let's be real here people: trad climbing has very little in common with climbing rocks which supposedly is what we like to do. it is about hiking, making up stories about getting lost, more hiking, carrying overweight packs, being able to place pro every 2 feet as to not get scared, and more hiking.

you have been warned caribe. there is no resurgence...only those who partake because they do not know any better.
Positive vibes brah...positive vibes.

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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by 512OW » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:44 am

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... trad climbing, for the majority of those who partake, is an excuse. Its an excuse to not try hard. Its an excuse to be antisocial. Its an excuse to be a pussy. Its an excuse to suck.

Ray sold out long before me because he's smarter. Plain and simple.

That said, I've been recently jonesing for a little gear pluggin. But only a little.
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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by dustonian » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:51 am

Despite the blatant trolling, I gotta say you guys need to get out a little more. Go climb the Diamond, South Howser Tower, Half Dome, or El Cap in a day, then come back and lay down the spray that it's all hiking and doing a few pitches all day. Sport climbing is fun but somewhat vacuous athleticism by comparison. The beauty of it is you can do both in the course of a single day in places like the Red and New. I never understood the "mutually exclusive" approach.

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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by climb2core » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:58 am

I hope that trad picks up momentum. There will be fewer sport climbers, and by darwinism, fewer climbers overall in short order. I will trad climb when I can't get up 5.11. I figure by then I will have the time, money, and freedom to go somewhere where trad climbing may actually be a worthwhile endeavor.

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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by dustonian » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:02 pm

The Red is such a bizarre little bubble of dependent sportwankery. I've never been to a place with so many people that have never placed a piece of gear in their lives, have no idea how to build an anchor or self rescue, and have no awareness of any of the history of climbing or where the sport came from. Half the people can't even rappel or tighten down a loose hanger for chrissakes! Even most of the climbers in Rumney go to North Conway or the Adirondacks from time to time for the kick-ass crack climbing.

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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by pigsteak » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:06 pm

why hate on sport? can't we all just get along......
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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by dustonian » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:07 pm

I never said I hated it... I like it. I just think it's strange to climb exclusively in only one style or discipline. Most of the good climbing in the western US is traditional, so climbing only sport would get old pretty quick... not to mention you'd be missing 90% of the most classic routes. That said, yeah, the majority of the best routes in the Red are rap-bolted sport routes, but there are some killer traditional lines to do too. Why skip them?

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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by climb2core » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:19 pm

Just because you like apples and oranges doesn't mean the next guy should like both too.

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Re: Trad as a Fad?

Post by dustonian » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:23 pm

I'm not saying you "should" do anything, I like that traditional climbing isn't popular in the Red because the sport crags are kind of a circus sometimes. I do think it's weird though to go to a classic crag like Long Wall on perfect sunny days in the mid-50s over the winter and not see another soul around... T-Wall would have 20 parties on days like that!

I guess I just think of it all as rock climbing without really categorizing it too rigorously... sport and traditional aren't that different when you're climbing trad well. A lot of the best gear routes we've been doing lately climb like sport routes with perfect placements. Or they'll be perfect splitter cracks up to a face crux. The stuff Andrew G has been doing over the last year will have like V8-11 boulder problems above bomber gear... Definitely "sporty" ;)

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