Saturday, June 13, 2015

Who's line is it anyway?

closed projects - it really comes down to opinion - and here's mine;

As a boulderer, I'd really love to climb a first ascent. Not just some rubbish 'for the sake of it' problem, but something really great. If I ever got the chance, I'd want the reaction to be...

How did she ever find it? How long did it take to work out that sequence, and Isn't this a brilliant piece of rock (ideally I'd send a beautiful overhang or an amazing arête)

I have a full time job and so my weekends are not spent trudging through the unexplored Wicklow countryside. My weekends are spent in popular and documented bouldering areas. I have not got the time or the energy to seek out new life and new civilisations and to boldly go where no one has gone before.... My weekday evenings are mostly spent either at The Wall training or at home resting.

It is this lack of time and energy that makes me very greatful for the likes of Dave Flanagan, Michael Duffy, Ricky Bell, Pierre Fuentes, Barry O Dwyer, Al Sarahan to name A FEW!!! They discover and I hopefully follow.

I think I've had quite a few of the first female ascents, or maybe first Irish Female Ascents (where do you stop when narrowing it down) of the boulders around Wicklow.

I love the idea that I might be the first girl to climb problems like Rhythm and Stealth, The Groove SS, Robots, Living the Dream, The Nu Rails and everything in Aytons Cave that I've done so far (aside from Caroline's traverse for obvious reasons!!!!)

The point is that the idea of an FA really is important to me. And no I don't have a problem narrowing my field to produce my own breed of FA. First girl... Happy days!!!!

That is my opinion.

The problem starts when you pour your effort into something and it gets sent by someone stronger than you who doesn't share that opinion.

It's a bit of rock - it's out there and should someone want to climb it, you can't put tape around the Boulder and deny access.

So what do I think?

I think I really like Ricky Bells blog about his ascent of the Gentlemens Agreement. That post really sums it up for me. And I ended up really liking the whole story around the name of the Boulder and Ricky's acknowledgment that the race was on!!! The story makes his FA really special.

So in my opinion:

If it means something to the person working it, then hands off til you've asked, or come to an agreement!!!


  1. There was no agreement to come too. Dave wanted to get the FA, but wasn't strong enough, and didn't put in the training. Never ending circle.
    There's too many exploring climbers, and too few classics for this backwards approach. I'm heading out tomorrow to try the problem, and am happy to have another classic added to Wicklow open for all to try.

    1. Im not sure how you know there wouldn't of been some agreement. I think it would of been polite to tell me his plans before hand especially as they were motivated by an ideology.
      I've never got the sense that there are a lot of exploring climbers and I certainly don't think there is a lack of good new problems to be done. Maybe you are looking in the wrong places Colm?

    2. Funny the way there are some questions you just can't ask without being labelled as "backward" or "silly"... There's just one answer and that's that, right?

  2. My opinion in this post is on the idea of a 'closed project' and the importance of a 'first ascent' from one climber to the next. It's been narrowed down in this response to one problem and one climber - the opinion differs to mine, but my post is not backward. It is my view on a broad topic that is very relevant in the world of bouldering.

  3. Narrowed down because of the timing of the post. Why is it very relevant? Do you know of many closed projects?

  4. I know I've read a few debates over the years about projects and the ethics of whether anyone should get priority for things like discovering the block... From these prior debates I've formed my own opinion (see above) Dave posed the question and I answered it on my blog, in the broad sense of the matter. I thought it was an interesting idea to write about.