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Pearson and Ciavaldini piss off some cavers (Read 5109 times)

Paul B

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...like mine which may or may not involve a large questionable infrastructure project and generally pouring concrete all over the place (more is definitely better in my line of work)?

Bonjoy

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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.

Nice one, cheers. <also totally off topic> I'd love to have met John Beck, he sounds like the quintessential peaksman. He even has a trilobite named after him, Baliothyrius becki, first found along the lane between Eyam and Stoney. https://pygs.lyellcollection.org/content/pygs/54/4/237/F6.large.jpg </still totally off topic>

SamT

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He was just a lovely lovely gentle person.  Didn't matter if he'd never met you before and you were a jumped up precocious little twerp who thought he was gods gift to caving (talking about a mate of course  :-[), he'd still have time to listen to you, invite you into Glebe cottage for a brew and offer up any titbits of info he could dig out of his vast archives.
Bless his soul. There's a lot of folk who still miss him (and Doug) deeply.

petejh

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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)?

This is the nub of the issue for me. I always wonder what people think when they say things like this ^.
 
'Making a living' is directly responsible for, or tangentially linked to, a lot of really shit stuff in the world - class division, chronic stress, economic hardship, educational inequality, environmental damage, over consumption, corruption. You could go on. Making a living for the majority of people on this planet is just neutral* or slightly annoying, a means to an end, the end being to live as great a part of life as possible out of the 'making a living' part. Forget 'I love my job and would gladly do it 24/7 for free' - that's a dream for the 99.9999% of people who will never achieve it because the underlying structure of society would collapse if it ever happened. 

The act of going out and climbing up things is great for many reasons: the places, the travel, the people, the freedom, the adventure.. you could go on. But a major reason the act of climbing is so great is because it has *absolutely nothing at all* to do with 'making a living'.

I could (and did but deleted) write a long essay on why 'making a living' is so antithetical to the core of what makes recreating in the outdoors so great.


* as in would those who claim they 'love their job' continue to work in their current role, or would they choose to not continue, if they were given £2million tax-free tomorrow. If they choose to not continue then they aren't doing their job purely for the love of it.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 01:24:28 pm by petejh »

Paul B

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Simply that hard ascents won't allow them to bring in a wage to feed their climbing habit and their 'publicity stunt' approach (as others have described it) is their compromise for doing so. I find it hard to begrudge others like the pair of them that live a different life as I'm not sure I'd want the compromises involved on a wider scale.

'Making a living' is directly responsible for, or tangentially linked to, a lot of really shit stuff in the world - class division, chronic stress, economic hardship, educational inequality, environmental damage, over consumption, corruption. You could go on.

I can't really tell if you're arguing that we're all doing shitty stuff or their shitty stuff is worse? My career choice repeatedly involves pouring a bit more concrete; it's hardly virtuous so I find this:

They could just get a job and go climbing in their spare time like the rest of us...

A bit  :tumble:

Teaboy

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I can’t tell from the photos but are they putting protection into the stalagmites/stalactites? That can’t be safe?

On the wider point I’ve no problem with them making a living by being climbing influencers (other than my rampant jealousy) but they shouldn’t be making climbing over irreplaceable delicate things of immense cultural value a thing.

SA Chris

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I can’t tell from the photos but are they putting protection into the stalagmites/stalactites? That can’t be safe?

Article now deleted JP was at length to state that he placed sets of
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Wild Countrytm
cams in between some of the formations that looked fragile and probably weren't safe

tomtom

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“We’re all swimming in the gutter - but some of us are circling the drain”

Bonjoy

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I can’t tell from the photos but are they putting protection into the stalagmites/stalactites? That can’t be safe?

On the wider point I’ve no problem with them making a living by being climbing influencers (other than my rampant jealousy) but they shouldn’t be making climbing over irreplaceable delicate things of immense cultural value a thing.
It's funny how we call them "irreplaceable delicate things of immense cultural value" when they are underground, and just 'tufas' when they're above ground.
PS I'm being deliberately facetious and I know there are different types and some are more delicate than others. But ones like those on Reptile Smile on Portland are exhumed subterranean stals, pure and simple. 

SA Chris

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Not saying right or wrong, but hasn't them now being exposed to the elements done as much damage to them as people grabbing and standing on them?

Bonjoy

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 :shrug: I honestly don't know, but they seem to be standing up pretty very well to both the weather and many trampling feet (over 19 thousand logged ascents on UKC).
I'm not commenting on the ascent in question either. Just passing comment on how essentially the same thing is treated differently according to context.

SamT

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It's funny how we call them "irreplaceable delicate things of immense cultural value" when they are underground, and just 'tufas' when they're above ground.
PS I'm being deliberately facetious and I know there are different types and some are more delicate than others. But ones like those on Reptile Smile on Portland are exhumed subterranean stals, pure and simple.

Very good point BJ.

petejh

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I think the protection from interference afforded by those formations being located underground rather than above ground (on a popular crag for e.g.) is a large part of the reason for people’s outrage. Maybe it’s seen as a step too far, for a couple of climbers to leave their usual territory to seek (and destroy?) tufas underground. That the climbers are also media whores making a living by sending photos and articles of their activities around the world just adds fuel to the flames.

petejh

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Paul I’m not arguing that ‘their’ work is better or worse. Personally I’d hate to have to climb to earn a living but that’s me, ymmv. Personally I don't view 'just going tradding or sport climbing' as a valid 'job' worth compromising values for. I do for the niche jobs of guiding clients, competing in competitions or literally being right at the cutting edge of performance - literally a small handfull of people. That's just me.

What I was trying to say is that climbing is great in large part precisely because it doesn’t have anything to do with the concept of earning a living. Therefore I question the value of using ‘making a living’ as a reasonable justification for doing anything when it comes to climbing or a.n.other recreational activity. Especially anything contentious.
I think the first principle should be to ask ‘who benefits?’  If it isn’t beneficial to climbing as a recreational pursuit, or to climbers in general, then I question its validity. In short: I place higher value on the not work'ness  of recreation, than I do on the making a living'ness of climbing. And I also believe recreation is a fragile concept and better off protected from the bullshit aspect of 'work' such as promotion and consumerism.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 05:10:51 pm by petejh »

Paul B

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Therefore I question the value of using ‘making a living’ as a reasonable justification for doing anything when it comes to climbing or a.n.other recreation. especially anything contentious.

It's not a justification, it's just reality in the sense that to make a wage from climbing these days you have to do significantly more than just being good/the best (this latest post doesn't seem any more overtly publicised than previous things the pair have done?), and this involves publicising yourself a lot. That's not a justification to bolt caves but there's a sense of vitriol which comes across like bitterness of someone else living their best life (when in reality what we're seeing is the glossy bits we'd all like rather than the realities).

Like you, I don't like it but it isn't going away.

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.

That's a t-shirt right there. Anyhow, I'm out, I've got some more concrete to specify.

petejh

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double post

Johnny Brown

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I could (and did but deleted) write a long essay on why 'making a living' is so antithetical to the core of what makes recreating in the outdoors so great.

Shame, I would have enjoyed that.

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In short: I place higher value on the not work'ness  of recreation, than I do on the making a living'ness of climbing. And I also believe recreation is a fragile concept and better off protected from the bullshit aspect of 'work' such as promotion and consumerism.

Amen to that. I did a slightly fringe slideshow on similar themes some years back, at one of the short-lived but excellent evenings organised by Claire Carter.

I'm pretty ambivalent about the this stunt and the pair of them. I suspect, like Bear Grylls, their appeal is largely with a demographic who don't know very much about what they're doing. The surprising bit is James still displaying the sort of clumsy naïveté that got him into hot water as a youth. It's something I've noticed in other famous climbers and perhaps derives from a lack of curiosity about the wider world beyond your next career move. However the one line that did have me spluttering my coffee was this:

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by 5pm each day it was time to clean up dust ourselves down, head back and collect our 2 year old son from his nanny, and slip just as quickly back into our typical evening routine in the comfort of our own home!

Is this a cultural thing? Are nannies normal in France, cos from where I'm standing nannies are the preserve of the cosseted super-rich, and leaving your infant with nanny while you go cragging a ludicrous repudiation of everything climbing culture stands for.

galpinos

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Is this a cultural thing? Are nannies normal in France, cos from where I'm standing nannies are the preserve of the cosseted super-rich, and leaving your infant with nanny while you go cragging a ludicrous repudiation of everything climbing culture stands for.

Assuming they treat climbing as "work", is this any different to dropping the kids off at nursery/a childminder whilst the parents head to the office/hospital/whatever? I'm assuming "nanny" actually means childminder in a UK sense, not that they have a "live in" nanny.

teestub

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Are nannies normal in France, cos from where I'm standing nannies are the preserve of the cosseted super-rich, and leaving your infant with nanny while you go cragging a ludicrous repudiation of everything climbing culture stands for.

What does ‘climbing culture’ stand for? I’d say it’s a pretty broad church these days. I deffo know of a few people who work part time but have their child in nursery one of their week days off so they can climb, do you find this troubling too?

Wellsy

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I think they probably ballsed up a bit and had to retract it and maybe got a bit of misguidance from a caver they knew, which perhaps also was compounded by a bit of "he said it was fine, sort of, and we wanted to hear yeah it's absolutely fine, so that's what we heard."

I will say on the other hand that UKCaving there were some people getting a bit pissy about it because it's just a "cheap thrill" when climbers risk damaging stalactites rather than when cavers do it because it's necessary to access a new system or whatever. Is not caving also a "cheap thrill" by the same standards? By which I mean; both of them are basically contrived and unnecessary reasons to be scrabbling around on/in rock for one's own personal sick joy, so to me it feels like if a caver is okay whacking over a stalagtite or stalagmite for their thrills then is not climbing equally acceptable?

On the other other hand though like, doesn't seem like it was particularly necessary to go climbing in that cave and climbers should respect the rock and so on so yeah I guess seems fair. I don't have any view of Pearson and Ciavaldini other than I think it's funny that Pearson has a French cadence to his voice these days. Matlock by way of La Reunion.

Johnny Brown

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I deffo know of a few people who work part time but have their child in nursery one of their week days off so they can climb, do you find this troubling too?

It's not something I did myself, but the point was in the UK 'nanny' typically means something different to nursery or childminder, that's why I asked if it's a cultural thing.

dunnyg

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I believe the caving ethos is generally dont touch anything you dont have to to get to to where you want to go, particularly if it is pretty. Some outsider then coming along and touching pretty things in a show cave for an advert doesnt really fit wih the ethos.

What is morally right is a different bag.

Wellsy

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I believe the caving ethos is generally dont touch anything you dont have to to get to to where you want to go, particularly if it is pretty. Some outsider then coming along and touching pretty things in a show cave for an advert doesnt really fit wih the ethos.

What is morally right is a different bag.

I guess from that point of view... if Pearson wants to get to the top of the route, then he has to touch the holds, so he's legit to do that? Just not anything else. If he had caved his way up there, is that legit?

I don't have a dog in the fight mind you. And I am not about to go climbing in caves. I'm just in a queue to vote so I gotta do something to pass the time.

Bradders

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selling us a dream which non of us can hope to fulfill

Personally I don't view 'just going tradding or sport climbing' as a valid 'job' worth compromising values for.

I think you've both gone a bit wrong here; their job isn't "just going climbing" or "selling a dream". Their job is to advertise products made by the companies who employ them, to people who might want to use those products, and it just happens that one of the ways of doing that is going climbing and taking photos of themselves doing that activity. If you've misinterpreted that as them selling a dream of a certain lifestyle then that's your problem, not theirs.

Edit: that probably comes across a bit strong. It's totally understandable and one of the big problems with social media, but it is true.

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I deffo know of a few people who work part time but have their child in nursery one of their week days off so they can climb, do you find this troubling too?

It's not something I did myself, but the point was in the UK 'nanny' typically means something different to nursery or childminder, that's why I asked if it's a cultural thing.

Yes I think nannies are quite common in France.

Off-topic a bit but I don't really understand why putting your child into nursery or other childcare so that you can go climbing would be a problem?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 12:37:28 pm by Bradders »

Johnny Brown

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Jeez, I didn't say or mean to imply that. Did nobody notice 'cos from where I'm standing nannies are the preserve of the cosseted super-rich'. Maybe it's just me.

 

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