Photo Credit: Bryn Sillorequez
Writings in this category focus on the social aspects of climbing or social media.
- A Delicate Balance - Climbers, Traditional Owners, and Parks Victoria Navigate Gariwerd (Grampians) (By Leigh Hopkinson) - Gariwerd / the Grampians National Park was once one of the best rock-climbing destinations in the world. In 2019, land manager Parks Victoria banned climbing in one third of the park to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage and the environment. Since then, most of the park – 70 per cent of routes, 6200 climbs – has been closed to climbing. Leigh Hopkinson looks back on the four-year fight for access.
- Chossy Trio Renegades (By Dave Barnes) - What do you get when you assemble a group of climbing friends and add beer? You get the Chossy Trio Renegades who decided their contribution to “saving the world” is bringing climbers outside and showing them how to rock.
- Climbing into the Fold (By Juan Rodriguez) - How climbing and the people of climbing helped restore one person’s faith in himself and humanity.
- Diversity in Climbing (& the Outdoors) is Not a Bandwagon (By Stefani Dawn) - Diversity is not a bandwagon. Bandwagon implies short-lived popularity. This is a movement to create some needed shifts in our sociological landscape...
- Don't Burn Out (By Derek DeBruin) - TRIGGER WARNING (This articles contains references to rape, sexual abuse, and self-abuse) - A poetic and deeply thoughtful piece that interweaves the call of climbing to calm the mind and the futility of climbing relative to the misogyny and sexual violence in this world. Author and mountain guide Derek Debruin writes: "The headlights cast a pallor, the white and yellow lines glow. The shadows of peaks hulk in the periphery, a darker shade of navy than the night sky, blotting out the stars. It doesn’t matter where I am - the West Slope, northern Utah, fucking Amarillo - or where I’m leaving - the Tetons, Red Rock, the Valley - it’s always the same. But in this case, it’s southern Idaho en route from the Cascades. The road trip is intoxicating, for the same reason climbing has always inebriated me: the flow of the stone quiets all else."
- From Gortex to Camouflage: The story of climber, Irina Galay and climbing’s responses to the war in Ukraine (By Dave Barnes) - Last year in 2021, Irina Galay climbed K2. This year she swapped Gortex for comouflage and is serving in the Home Guard in defense of her people in Ukraine. This Common Climber feature by CC Assistant Editor Dave Barnes is a dive into a climber's life in this war. It reflects the history of climbing and war and examines the climbing industry and climber's responses to the war in Ukraine. It presents questions that each of us has to answer for ourselves. Learn about the impact that the war in Ukraine is having on the greater climbing community - particularly in mountaineering - and be moved by Irina, who shares her experience and what can be done to defeat tyranny and to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
- Fuck "Gumbies" and "Noobs" (By Stefani Dawn) - I’m just going to say it. Fuck “gumbies” and “noobs.” No, I’m not talking about the people that these words supposedly personify. I’m talking about those words.
- I am a Woman: Brie Chartier Shares Her Transition Journey (By Stefani Dawn) - Brie Chartier is an AMGA single pitch instructor and a transgender woman. This year, at the age of 47, she underwent gender affirmation surgery and, by fully embracing both her womanhood and outdoor and LGBTQIA+ advocacy passions, she finally feels whole.
- Montana, My Home: Claire Larson (By Stefani Dawn) - When Claire announced that she was going back to Bozeman, friends and family initially questioned her choice. They wondered, “Why not go back to San Francisco where there is a large representation of transgender people? Why place yourself into a community that is full of homophobia and transphobia?” “Because I love it there,” was her response. “Because I climb rocks, ice, and mountains. I cannot separate being trans from my climbing.”
- My Husband Climbs Stronger Than Me - (by Stefani Dawn) - I am a woman. I’m a climber. I am strong. My husband is stronger. Is that defeatist or sexist of me to openly admit that?
- Navajo Rising (By Aaron Mike) - Diné Bahane’, the Navajo creation story, tells of the journey through three worlds to the Fourth World, where the Navajo people now reside. In the Fourth World, the Diné would assume human form after gaining greater intelligence and awareness. This is a story of evolution, the author's evolution into a climbing guide, and our climbing community's evolution into our Fourth World of greater awareness.
- Social Climbing Networks Come to the Aid of Lonely Climber (by Stefani Dawn) - Mountain Project and Meetup.com save a lonely climber.
- Social Pressure, Climbing, and Leave No Trace (By Tanya Dreizen) - Two climbers and academicians wondered, "What is the best way to encourage better stewardship among climbers?" So they created a survey to determine if social pressure, preferred type of climbing, and indoor versus outdoor climbing impacted Leave No Trace Behaviors.
- The Alps Will Have to Wait (By Daga Dygas) - Erik Schäfer is a climber and the founder of H.O.P.E. (Humanitarian Operations, Provisions, Essentials), who has put his climbing life on hold, dropped his job, and put his studies to one side, to spontaneously concentrate on one thing: bringing help where he can to the people of Ukraine.
- The First Climbing Gym Union? (By Stefani Dawn) - A group of dedicated climbing gym employees are trying to start the first climbing gym union.