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Sekrit crag rant

What’s the first rule of Fight Club sekrit crags? [1]

Don’t talk about Fight Club sekrit crags.

I just listened to a couple of bozos complaining on a podcast that shall not be named [2] that they had been invited to a sekrit crag, and weren’t able to talk [3] about it, and they were bummed [4]. Oh my, they said, what do you do when someone asks what you’ve been up to. You can’t just lie to them! Oh my! You have to tell!

And what do you do about spray lords, those disgusting dudes, says the dudes who were just spraying about being invited to the sekrit krag that they are not supposed to talk about, with the Canadian Model Girlfriends That You Don’t Know pro-climbers they hang with.

Well, no. You don’t gotta tell. You just… leave it out. Just like you’d leave out that you went to go visit your sister in prison who keeps scamming dudes out of their medicare dialysis checks, maybe you’d just… not mention… that you went to a sekrit crag. Oh yeah, I was at Rifle, then the Park, then the Sekrit Crag, then Eldo. See how that works? You. Just. Don’t. Say.

You might say, well, the only rule of climbing is, Say What You Did. But that’s about the act of climbing. Stick-clipped the third bolt? Say What You Did. Found a new kneebar? SWYD.

That’s clearly different that saying where you did it.

Then there was a bunch of spray about how sekrit crags are wrong, and no one owns them. Well, yeah. That’s right. But someone put in a lot of time finding the place, making a trail, hundreds of dollars on bolts (even at pro-deal prices), dragged up a drill, and worked hours and days cleaning and working and making stances. That doesn’t mean they own it. But they are under no obligation to tell anyone else about it. And if they want to keep it on the DL until it’s sorted out, keep the masses away until loose rock stops falling, and they get a chance to send that wicked 5.11 they’ve been working, that seems okay.

That’s the deal with Fight Club. Keep it to yourself. Not forever. But maybe for a little while. There’s such a thing as sweat equity.

If you don’t like it, go bushwhacking through the poodle dog bush or poison ivy to find a crag and put it up yourself. You can post it up on SuperTopo on day one. Oh, wait…

Or you can say there’s no such thing as a secret, everything belongs to everybody, spray about it, post, and bring the Touchstone Junior Climbing Team out to total gangrope that sick 5.13 all day every day, because, hey, it’s not yours. You don’t own the place.

But maybe you don’t get invited next time. [5]


[1] insert descent, break, rail, sushi joint, camping spot

[2] I really don’t know why I keep listening to these bozos. One I used to know slightly BITD from The Center Of The Universe aka Yosemite Lodge Camping Parking Lot and the base of the right side of El Cap dodging Bear 47 while trying to get your bags off the ground solo; the other I had no respect for ever since he slagged a pro climber for being too young and too good and too pretty (hey, she was qualifying for World Cups, whatever else, she has mad skilz and has worked hard, and it was bullshit sexism making anything else out of that, and defending that hill a muerte). If you’re going to talk about comp climbing and can’t be bothered to look up Janja Garnbret, and her accomplishments, and learn how to pronouce her name before you make a podcast, then maybe you shouldn’t hold forth on that. Anyway, not gonna link to that rage listen.


[3] post pix/words on ig, twits, or fbs. Forgetting perhaps:
What’s the first rule of Fight Club sekrit crags? [1]

Don’t talk about Fight Club sekrit crags.

And seriously, don’t post up pictures, and don’t say I was up at Big Top Mountain. Because someone is going to figure out from the topology, the flora, fauna, or geology, where you are. So you can’t just post up a picture and say here’s the new secret place that you don’t know about. That’s enough. There’s something else there from a canyoneering or moutain biking or hiking website that someone is on both sites and will put two and two together. Then it’s just a matter of driving up the road and looking for a certain Toyota truck.

Keep it to your fucking self. Jesus.

[4] Except of course they were talking about it, and in the most public place possible [6].

[5] There might have been a certain strong local climber who didn’t get invited to a certain local sekrit crag for about five years because he can’t keep his fucking mouth shut and once you tell Big T, you’ve told the world.

[6] Funny story. Once, I was the opposite side of the world, hanging out in a campground underneath the shade of a coolibah tree, and a fellow there asked me what I had been doing. Well, friend, I was as far away as you can get, talking to a climber, let’s call him John, because his name is John, who was unlikely to say the least to ever show up in my neck of the woods, so I told him. We found a 30 degree 20 m overhang on chossy rock, and we’ve spent the last five years putting in routes and not telling anyone about it. Keeping it on the DL, just a select few who can keep a tongue in their head. Now here I am, spraying about it, albeit halfway round the world, but what’s the harm.

Friend, not three months later, I am climbing at a local chosspile with the same folks I’ve putting up this new crag with, and who should come stumbling down the trail but my antipodean friend John. And he is looking for the newest thing, and walks right up to me and asks me how to get to the secret place.

Friend, it was a long time before I heard the end of that, and I might not yet. I also learned a lesson about spraying, and keeping things to yourself. It’s a small world, and there aren’t that many places in it, and we all go the same places at the same times of the year.

What’s the first rule of Fight Club sekrit crags? [1]

Don’t talk about Fight Club sekrit crags.