Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Defense Of Manufacturing Holds On Rock

A professor of philosophy who’s also a strong climber, analyzes why sometimes manufacturing holds on a route is ethical. His conclusion:

Consider this: if you are a serious climber who climbs relatively hard sport routes, there is a good chance that you have done a route with at least a few manufactured holds. Moreover, there is also a good chance that despite the manufacturing, climbing the route was gratifying and rewarding. Now what should the appropriate attitude be toward the route preparer, who spent time, money and energy so you could have that experience? Does it really make sense to view the preparer with condemnation and scorn? That seems unappreciative at best, and at worst incoherent. Or is it instead more sensible to recognize that it is sometimes acceptable for preparers to modify the rock so other climbers can have the sort of experience you had? The latter position, I have come to appreciate, seems far more reasonable and philosophically defensible.”

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