Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Having or Doing

The hardcore punk band D.O.A. first coined the slogan talk minus action equals zero, but climbers are more familiar with Marc Twight's use of the phrase to describe climbers who spray constantly about how hard they climb, yet never seem to climb anything hard. Another brand of sprayer is the person who is always buying outdoor "stuff" - tents and sleeping bags, crampons and boots, climbing gear, stoves, ultra-high tech clothing, the latest greatest reverse camber, early riser, twin tip rockered skis, etc., etc., etc. If you've never met this kind of person, the best place to find them is on internet bulletin boards where they hang out spraying about all the gear they own. A perfect example can be found here..

The strange thing about these people is that they rarely post trip reports and the trip reports they do post always seem to be lame, half-hearted, half-arsed affairs where they never make the summit, do the climb or complete the route, generally because of a variety of half-baked excuses like the weather, rock, snow, ice wasn't perfect, they were recovering from a flu, they had a hangnail, or perhaps their nail polish just hadn't dried in time.

They do, however, post authoritative gear reviews, yet skeptics like myself will wonder how well any of their gear has actually been tested given the paucity of time they actually seem to spend in the outdoors.

There is something sad and somewhat desperate about the frantic accumulation of gear and concomitant spraying. Somehow it's all a bit like watching a three year old shout "look at me, watch me" as they slide down a slippery dip or swing on a swing set, except the three year old has more integrity as they are actually doing something rather than simply garnering more and more possessions.

 Tom on a 7 day ski traverse in the Rockies completed on second hand skis that cost $6 from Cheapskates in Vancouver

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