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Pearson and Ciavaldini piss off some cavers (Read 6189 times)

Danny

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I don't know the first thing about caving, but Pearson and Ciavaldini seem to have seriously pissed off some cavers by tradding about in a big cave:


https://www.instagram.com/p/COdI6CvlirC/?igshid=ec4cn7yxc7lh


Honestly all the whack and dangle tactics that appear to be standard in caving leave me a bit confused as to why trad climbing in a cave is such a big no-no. Perhaps someone can educate me?

Johnny Brown

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You need to understand caving is a serious business, it isn't done for fun and cheap thrills. It is exploration and ropes are used to enable safe progress while keeping infrastructure to a minimum. In particular, the often delicate features are for your eyes only and in many caves touching is frowned upon. As soon as I saw the original post I was awaiting the backlash.  :lol:

Danny

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Ah right, sounds like serious business. So, as a thought experiment to centre my caving ethics, what would be the right approach if, say, a beautiful series of flowstone features in a roof were guarding the entrance to an unexplored system? Smash on with the bolts, avoid, or clean aid at A5?

Fiend

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As ever, we continue to learn and grow and appreciate the diverse communities we connect with. We will share more details on our actions to support the world of caving as soon as we can.
Spoken like true saccharine PC ambassadors. They should get Stevie Haston to write their PR reports for them - if he can be dragged away from being a demented covid-denier loony, that is.

petejh

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Ah right, sounds like serious business. So, as a thought experiment to centre my caving ethics, what would be the right approach if, say, a beautiful series of flowstone features in a roof were guarding the entrance to an unexplored system? Smash on with the bolts, avoid, or clean aid at A5?

Whichever approach you took it would be correct as long as you #neverstopexploring.

More seriously, it does appear a pretty stupid activity to spray about on the internet.
1. advertising this (the underlying purpose: to sell jackets and shoes) is bound to encourage other climbers to seek out similar formations in similar caves. Is this a good thing, probably not.
2. nobody else except over-privileged sponsored climbers are ever going to be able to try the same climb - unless the show cave are happy to let that formation be degraded into a black-rubber and chalk covered broken and polished monument to the power of advertising, by hoards of scrabbling punters like you and me. How elitist and limiting. Pretty much the antithesis of #neverstopexploring - #plebsneverallowedtoclimbit.
3. despite the seeming hypocrisy of the cavers up in arms one wrong doesn't justify another. And there IS a significant difference in the potential for damage between the very limited numbers involved in the somewhat 'underground' activity of cave exploration - where I think I'm correct in saying there's a strong ethic, whack n' dangle notwithstanding, to at least take precautions to avoid contact with or damage to delicate formations; versus a couple of well-known and well-followed goretex jacket salespeople insta-spraying about deliberately seeking out delicate formations to lead trad climb on for the cameras.


But yeah whose god is more righteous I dunno.

tomtom

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Whack and Dangle would be a great name for a Caving themed East London Hipster Bar.

Or a pair of mischievous Labradors 😁

Doylo

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Poor Darse. Least he might get a Redemption sequel out of it.

SA Chris

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https://www.climbing.com/news/check-out-the-underground-climbing-scene-literally/

Here's the original article.

Quote
and in that spirit, my husband James Pearson and I are focusing on reducing our carbon footprint. At 35 years old, traveling less is an easy choice for us when you’ve been moving as much as we have over the years. Even without the desire to reduce our ecological and environmental impact, years of adventures between Japan, Africa, and the U.S. have us ready to take a breath and slow down.

Strikes me smelling a bit of BS, and weak justification for their actions.

SA Chris

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Be interesting to see how sponsors act..

Ged

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It reminds me of the whole climbing waterfalls in Japan whilst tearing off vast amounts of pristine vegetation debacle. Well intentioned "at one with nature/pure Challenge" is actually just a bit nobby

colin8ll

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I feel a bit sorry for them. When Dave Mac and Alan Cassidy climbed a cave for BBC TV https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2012/04/dave_macleod_and_alan_cassidy_on_the_bbc-67036 I don't recall it raising any eyebrows.

Surely their sponsors signed it off too.   

SA Chris

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Also Potter soloing Delicate Arch and Patagonia not being happy.

SA Chris

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I feel a bit sorry for them. When Dave Mac and Alan Cassidy climbed a cave for BBC TV https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2012/04/dave_macleod_and_alan_cassidy_on_the_bbc-67036 I don't recall it raising any eyebrows.

Surely their sponsors signed it off too.

That's a limestone cave vs calcium carbonate (?) formations in an underground cavern.

SamT

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From a 'serious' albeit semi retired caver... ;)

I've actually called cavers out on this over on the other UKc  -
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=27957.msg343189#msg343189
(actually a sister site to this very site, set up at the same time by bubba).

Glass house residents and stone throwers. 

To make a few points in defense of the cavers - they appeared to be climbing on flowstone formations, or speleotherms, which are very fragile things which take thousands upon thousands of years to form, and a second to desecrate).
And indeed, as always with them two, its just a publicity stunt with little thought as to the wider implications.  Caves can be hugely fragile environments and there are just too many examples of caves that have been utterly trashed by the un-initiated (shall we say) and this kind of publicity just sends out the wrong message.


Dave Mac's thing was in Jingling pot, and didn't involve delicate flowstone formations as SA Chris rightly points out.  Bit like Malc Taylors route in Eldon Hole (and the two new ones in there done recently). 

 


Will Hunt

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if, say, a beautiful series of flowstone features in a roof were guarding the entrance to an unexplored system?

A few Hilti caps will sort that out.


There's a free climb starting at the bottom of Gaping Gill and climbing out to daylight. I think it's only viable when the winch meet is on and the river diverted (though I expect it has only had one ascent). Thus the cavers must have been in on it, albeit this happened some time ago. No idea what sort of rock it takes in.

Rob Fenton keeps telling me that there's crack lines down there that would make the Wide Boyz pop a cushion on their laps.

DAVETHOMAS90

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Danny, I may have taken the wrong vibe from the thread title, but it reads a bit "Jeremy Clarkson" to me.

But echoing James Pearson's remarks, good to raise this for lots of reasons, particularly the opportunity to appreciate what caving really means to their community, climbing to ours, and handcrafted customs and burning rubber to Nibile  ;D

Seriously, I would read James' comments as being really sincere, and worthy of how we should read this. Climbing has very little to do with getting up bits of rock, and caving similarly little to do with the opposite; proximity flying also comes to mind.

I think we should consider the upset seriously, and really, the care that Sam conveys also probably has less to do with possible damage than we might think.

Perhaps also, Pearson and Cialvaldini - by virtue of being able to climb pretty much where and when they want - are able to take a step back and consider what they do in a wider context. We should do that too.

The Plantation on a busy Autumn day can be rammed with folk, all trying to get "back to the source", reconnecting with nature, in a way that might even seem a bit crass and noisy to someone out for a quiet walk with their dog.

For all these "reasons", I don't see any hypocrisy in the response from the cavers either.

SA Chris

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https://www.climbing.com/news/check-out-the-underground-climbing-scene-literally/

Here's the original article.

Quote
and in that spirit, my husband James Pearson and I are focusing on reducing our carbon footprint. At 35 years old, traveling less is an easy choice for us when you’ve been moving as much as we have over the years. Even without the desire to reduce our ecological and environmental impact, years of adventures between Japan, Africa, and the U.S. have us ready to take a breath and slow down.

Strikes me smelling a bit of BS, and weak justification for their actions.

Interestingly, article now removed.

Bonjoy

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From a 'serious' albeit semi retired caver... ;)

I've actually called cavers out on this over on the other UKc  -
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=27957.msg343189#msg343189
(actually a sister site to this very site, set up at the same time by bubba).
...
Good post on (other)UKC Sam. What's the story with the "...big bolt climbs of Ben Bentham in Oxlow," you mention on there? have never heard about that.

SamT

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Good post on (other)UKC Sam. What's the story with the "...big bolt climbs of Ben Bentham in Oxlow," you mention on there? have never heard about that.

Keith 'Ben' Betham bolt climbed high into the roof of the West Chamber in Oxlow in '76 looking for leads and it was called Coconut Airways.
Only thing I can see quickly is a brief transcript of John Becks diaries here.
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=20341.msg261125#msg261125

Probably better write ups in the Eldon journals which I might be able to dig out if you're interested further.

Sorry - off topic.

SA Chris

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 in '76 looking for leads and it was called Coconut Airways.


Great "of its time" name, I remember the song so well.

SamT

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Guessing its a reference to the lumps of rock (probably miners deads, which are usually coconut sized) that he gardened on his way up.

Danny

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Thanks for this Sam. I enjoyed reading the other perspectives. I think we can all agree on the publicity stunt aspect being a bad look.
From a 'serious' albeit semi retired caver... ;)

I've actually called cavers out on this over on the other UKc  -
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=27957.msg343189#msg343189
(actually a sister site to this very site, set up at the same time by bubba).

Glass house residents and stone throwers. 

To make a few points in defense of the cavers - they appeared to be climbing on flowstone formations, or speleotherms, which are very fragile things which take thousands upon thousands of years to form, and a second to desecrate).
And indeed, as always with them two, its just a publicity stunt with little thought as to the wider implications.  Caves can be hugely fragile environments and there are just too many examples of caves that have been utterly trashed by the un-initiated (shall we say) and this kind of publicity just sends out the wrong message.


Dave Mac's thing was in Jingling pot, and didn't involve delicate flowstone formations as SA Chris rightly points out.  Bit like Malc Taylors route in Eldon Hole (and the two new ones in there done recently).

Dexter

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Whack and Dangle would be a great name for a Caving themed East London Hipster Bar.

Or a pair of mischievous Labradors 😁

Or the next hit dating app?

Paul B

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Thanks for this Sam. I enjoyed reading the other perspectives. I think we can all agree on the publicity stunt aspect being a bad look.

I'm not the most charitable of people when it comes to giving people the benefit of the doubt (I'm not alone looking at the UK(C) thread), and I may be swayed on this one, but whilst it's totally not my thing, it's the way they make their living is it not (and being really good at rock climbing is no longer enough)?

I find it far less offensive than "I climbed X that used to get BIG GRADE but no longer does", or similar whilst #taggingtheshitoutofbrands.

SamT

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it's the way they make their living is it not (and being really good at rock climbing is no longer enough)?


They could just get a job and go climbing in their spare time like the rest of us, rather than selling us a dream which non of us can hope to fulfill, whilst reminding us that we shouldn't attempt to fulfill that dream anyhow on a global warming basis.

Nah... fuck em

 

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