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to bolt or not to be

Amity Warme, Chain Reaction (12c or 27), Smith Rock, Oregon, USA. Buy print.

Thanks for reading my newsletter. This week I have some more images from our recent trip to Smith Rocks. We’ve got a pretty cool use for some of these shots in the pipeline, so I’m not going to put them out in public or on social media yet, but in the meantime I’m happy to give you a peak here. I really enjoyed shooting at Smith, it’s a photogenic place and we met some really psyched climbers who were really making the most of their time there. Thanks to everyone who helped out with the pics! And special congratulations to Jasna Hodzic for sending To Bolt or Not to Be (14a or 32) in style whilst we were there. One of the best lines at Smith, the world famous test-piece To Bolt or Not to Be offers exceptionally-sustained highly-technical thin face climbing, the like of which I can’t really remember seeing anywhere. It was inspiring to see Jasna put it all together. Monique spent some days working it too and it has given her something exciting to return for. So Smith, I guess, we’ll be back!

Ok, the really important thing I want to mention this week is the Sexual Harassment and Assault in (Australian) Climbing survey that I’ve recently promoted on Facebook and Instagram. The survey has had a really “good” response, with nearly 300 responses so far. I’m of course really hoping that the climbing community doesn’t have a problem with sexual harassment or assault in this country, this survey should should give us some data. The survey was due to close by now, but, good news, the organisers have now extended the deadline until Midnight on Wednesday 4th July, that’s tomorrow night Australian Eastern Standard Time. So, if you haven’t done so yet, please take a moment and fill out the survey now –> HERE.

In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about… Well, two months ago discussions of sexism and misogyny within the US climbing community exploded on the internet. If you want to know what that was all about I’d recommend this article by Georgie Abel. Georgie’s reference in that article to the “rape culture” of US climbing really disturbed me. I’d never heard anything about that – but then again, there’s no reason I necessarily would have. Georgie also mentions sexual assault in her earlier article here. I’ve since ended up having some private conversations with some well connected people in the US, and I can see that it’s possible there may well have been instances of assault in climbing contexts in the US, but to what extent? I then learnt there had recently been a study set up in the US, with a survey, trying to establish exactly that. I reached out to the organisers of that study and, as the US survey had closed, they kindly set up the Australian specific version of the survey (which I’ve linked to above). The results of the Australian survey will be analysed by the American academics behind this, in parallel with the North America focused results. It is entirely anonymous. If you want more information about the study there is some on Alpinist‘s web site –> here (one of the organisers is the editor of Alpinist).

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the survey. I will share some of the results in due course — and of course am hoping it’s positive. Also, thanks to everyone who shared my Facebook post about this. It’s disappointing that some of “Australia’s Climbing Media” wouldn’t even do that.

Stay tuned, more soon!

~ Simon

Amity Warme on Darkness at Noon (13a or 28). To Bolt or Not to Be climbs straight up the next sunlight face to the right. Buy print.

Jasna Hodzic, To Bolt or Not to Be (14a or 32). Buy print.

Jasna Hodzic, To Bolt or Not to Be. Buy print.

Jorge Garzon and Mike Doyle (belaying) on pitch two of The Backbone (13a). Buy print.

Mike Doyle on pitch two of The Backbone (13a), Monkey Face, Smith Rock. Buy print.

Coco Carter getting into the crimp of things.

Monique Forestier, To Bolt or Not to Be. Buy print.

Mike Doyle attempting Just Do It (14c), Monkey Face. Buy print.

Monique and Coco @ Smith.

Blue Mountains Crag Care eat your heart out! Incredible turn out at Smith Rocks trail and work day where hundreds of climbers of all ability took some time out and gave back with a bit of hard yakka. It was impressive!

See you again Smith. Buy print.

Thanks to my sponsors: PranaSterling Rope, La Sportiva and Photo Toolbox.


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