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The "best" climber in the world
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Dec 25, 2012
20 kN wrote:
You mean the guy whom everyone wants to kill? Last I read, he was legally banned from rock climbing in MA. I am not sure that has even happened before. Legally banned from climbing? You really have to fuck up to get a judge to order something like that. Is he even a climber?



Why, yes, he is. I've climbed with Ken.
Dana Bartlett
From CT
Joined Nov 18, 2003
963 points
Administrator
Dec 25, 2012
Dana wrote:
Why, yes, he is. I've climbed with Ken.

So, what exactly is his deal? Is he some hardcore tradster who hates bolts, or is he just trying to be a dumb ass and start crap with everyone in the entire sport?
20 kN
From Hawaii
Joined Feb 2, 2009
665 points
Dana wrote:
Why, yes, he is. I've climbed with Ken.

that was your first mistake
Dec 25, 2012
High Exposure
20 kN wrote:
So, what exactly is his deal? Is he some hardcore tradster who hates bolts, or is he just trying to be a dumb ass and start crap with everyone in the entire sport?


I've climbed with him, BITD. Been to his home. Had dinner with he and his wife at the time. Haven't seen him recently, though.

I've seen him climbing with others and always got the impression - especially with newer climbers - that he was encouraging. Like he genuinely wanted them to be able to climb the route. I felt that way when I climbed with him and others have told me the same thing. At the same time, on at least one FA with him when I fell off while seconding, he lowered me all the way to the ground to start over again. "You can't count the FA if you've rested on the rope"

I've seen him jump all over someone for dropping a cigarette butt at the base of the cliff. And seen him go nuts on some teenagers who were spray painting graffiti on the rock at the top of the small cliff at Ragged. I've seen him place bolts on the lead and second others when they placed bolts on the lead. I'd say his ethic at the time was "ground up" climbing. No power drills and no bolting on rappel. I can't speak as to his current ethics.

Working with him, he certainly was focused. Almost to the point of driving me nuts- LOL. Later, he wrote that my "patience was infinite".

He's pretty vocal. And he has some pretty vocal enemies. Can't say that I agree with everything he's said/done. But, I have no bad feelings towards the guy.
wivanoff
Joined Mar 3, 2012
121 points
Dec 25, 2012
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.
Smarty Ports/Shants wrote:
one of the most important skills in life: having focused attention on reality as it exists and therefore being able to rationally react to and adapt to it.


Perfect.

josh
J. Thompson
From denver, co
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,739 points
Dec 25, 2012
20 kN wrote:
So, what exactly is his deal? Is he some hardcore tradster who hates bolts, or is he just trying to be a dumb ass and start crap with everyone in the entire sport?



You'd have to ask Ken. He's probably out climbing now (really), but he'll be home later.

I believe at one time a western Masschusetts climber hosted a website called (I think) stopkennichols.com. If it is still up, you can learn more there.

Seriously, though, I climbed with Ken once, can't speak about his personality or his motivations. Ken, Todd Swain, and me spent the day touring some of the CT cliffs - probably 25 years ago. Just another day at the cliffs.
Dana Bartlett
From CT
Joined Nov 18, 2003
963 points
Dec 25, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks
Lynn Hill for being the best over the years

Pamela Pack------ her OW achievements are more than impressive

No sportie will ever, can ever compare......

My 2 cents

Merry Xmas to all!!!
Princess Mia
From Vail
Joined May 22, 2006
422 points
Dana wrote:
You'd have to ask Ken. He's probably out climbing now (really), but he'll be home later. I believe at one time a western Masschusetts climber hosted a website called (I think) stopkennichols.com. If it is still up, you can learn more there. Seriously, though, I climbed with Ken once, can't speak about his personality or his motivations. Ken, Todd Swain, and me spent the day touring some of the CT cliffs - probably 25 years ago. Just another day at the cliffs.

can we have his phone number so we can ask him?
Dec 25, 2012
Skull cave, Rifle, CO  awesome shot nate!
honestly I would give it to Adam Ondra, first 15c, first 14d flash, first 14c on-site(two in a day) has bouldered v16 more hard 14s than anyone else by a long shot.

no trad chops as of yet, but I doubt cracks will give him too much trouble when he bucks up.

that said I am personally much more inspired by Tommy Caldwell and Dave Macleod
ptrgeorge
From Houston, TX
Joined Sep 18, 2011
746 points
Dec 25, 2012
thefish wrote:
can we have his phone number so we can ask him?


Yes, you can.
Dana Bartlett
From CT
Joined Nov 18, 2003
963 points
well post it
stopken.org/Home.html
Dec 25, 2012
Mashers Tower
Princess Mia wrote:
Pamela Pack


bwah
Cornelius Jefferson
Joined Apr 5, 2006
163 points
Dec 25, 2012
CoR
asdrubal wrote:
... the "best" climber- implies climbing, not bravery or engineering skills, in the popular definition of climbing.


Not my definition, yours.
rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Joined Jul 18, 2011
181 points
Dec 25, 2012
Ueli Steck, Steve House, or Conrad Anker. I dont care how hard someone can climb on perma-draws, let alone sport climb... Reid Kalmus
From Breckenridge, Colorado
Joined Nov 16, 2011
1 points
Dec 25, 2012
Warming up
Blah, blah, blah...

Why are you so afraid of strong, young, people clipping bolts?
Joe Stark
From Iowa
Joined Oct 1, 2010
377 points
Dec 25, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
This thread has existed in various incarnations for over a decade. It really comes down to posters who are afraid of hard climbers, so they fall back on some vague notion of 'all arounders' to justify their own weaknesses. Boring.


I'll just say this- someone like ondra is way more likely to break into hard alpinism than most alpinists would be to start climbing 5.15.

And I agree that Lama is the future of all-arounders.
camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Joined Jun 27, 2006
1,369 points
Dec 25, 2012
camhead wrote:
It really comes down to posters who are afraid of hard climbers, so they fall back on some vague notion of 'all arounders' to justify their own weaknesses.

How naughty of you to be bursting bubbles on xmas!
reboot
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jul 17, 2006
143 points
Dec 25, 2012
Alex Huber for sure crushes sport routes up to 15a, free soloed a 5.14a, expert speed climber on el cap. Big wall free climbs up to 13b (maybe harder. And first free ascent of trango towers 13b. Jack Sparrow
From denver, co
Joined Jun 28, 2010
740 points
Dec 25, 2012
Colonel Mustard
camhead wrote:
This thread has existed in various incarnations for over a decade. It really comes down to posters who are afraid of hard climbers, so they fall back on some vague notion of 'all arounders' to justify their own weaknesses. Boring. I'll just say this- someone like ondra is way more likely to break into hard alpinism than most alpinists would be to start climbing 5.15. And I agree that Lama is the future of all-arounders.


Sounds great. Although, "likely" and actually possessing the skills and experience are two very different things. Maybe you're right and he really could throw the ball over that mountain. Then again, maybe he's a shite hiker or bad at some other crucial aspect of the alpine game. Dunno, ya know?

Sure, Ondra or somebody like him is likely the best climber in the world. Equally boring to contemplate to my mind, but I never got into baseball card collecting and stats either. I didn't ever hang that Michael Jordan poster above my bed. Either way, hard climbers are nothing to be afraid of as you say. Possibly jealous is what you meant?

I honestly find Ondra and a lot of the current crop of hard sport climbs one of the least satisfying things to follow. A lot of the upper end sport climbing just doesn't follow compelling features, so you're left with a number and and an account of how very very hard the climber worked until s/he sent it. Maybe there's a little sidebar on how so-and-so subsequently down-rated it or whatnot to serve as spice in such a plain dish.

There are a lot of different games and aspects to climbing and you happen to like your specialization. I dunno, I guess that makes me just another weakmo who admires weak all arounders like Tommy Caldwell and Dave McLeod, maybe a good story of adventure on something big and inspiring. That sounds about right.

Somebody like Lynn Hill who completely redefined the concept of what a free climb is really possesses the balls and vision that define the best climber in my big book of weak climbers.
Colonel Mustard
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,367 points
Dec 25, 2012
I think Adam Ondra is pretty annoying. But, his ability is completely unprecedented. Has any other person named pushed the limits of _any_ climbing discipline so resoundingly by age 19? Of course Caldwell and Macleod are better all-rounders, but they're also both 15 years older.

Also, if you could climb like Ondra or Sharma, why the hell would you aid climb?
Mark Paulson
Joined Sep 16, 2010
42 points
Dec 25, 2012
Me again!
Colonel Mustard wrote:
Sounds great. Although, "likely" and actually possessing the skills and experience are two very different things. Maybe you're right and he really could throw the ball over that mountain. Then again, maybe he's a shite hiker or bad at some other crucial aspect of the alpine game. Dunno, ya know? Sure, Ondra or somebody like him is likely the best climber in the world. Equally boring to contemplate to my mind, but I never got into baseball card collecting and stats either. I didn't ever hang that Michael Jordan poster above my bed. Either way, hard climbers are nothing to be afraid of as you say. Possibly jealous is what you meant? I honestly find Ondra and a lot of the current crop of hard sport climbs one of the least satisfying things to follow. A lot of the upper end sport climbing just doesn't follow compelling features, so you're left with a number and and an account of how very very hard the climber worked until s/he sent it. Maybe there's a little sidebar on how so-and-so subsequently down-rated it or whatnot to serve as spice in such a plain dish. There are a lot of different games and aspects to climbing and you happen to like your specialization. I dunno, I guess that makes me just another weakmo who admires weak all arounders like Tommy Caldwell and Dave McLeod, maybe a good story of adventure on something big and inspiring. That sounds about right. Somebody like Lynn Hill who completely redefined the concept of what a free climb is really possesses the balls and vision that define the best climber in my big book of weak climbers.



Some people like sexy young porn, you like old narsty porn, no harm, no fowl!
J Q
Joined Mar 11, 2012
58 points
Dec 25, 2012
Colonel Mustard
Jonhy Q wrote:
Some people like sexy young porn, you like old narsty porn, no harm, no fowl!


I get what you're saying. He doesn't float my boat, but I could see a young buck like you going for Adam O..
Colonel Mustard
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,367 points
Administrator
Dec 25, 2012
wivanoff wrote:
I've climbed with him, BITD. Been to his home. Had dinner with he and his wife at the time. Haven't seen him recently, though. I've seen him climbing with others and always got the impression - especially with newer climbers - that he was encouraging. Like he genuinely wanted them to be able to climb the route. I felt that way when I climbed with him and others have told me the same thing. At the same time, on at least one FA with him when I fell off while seconding, he lowered me all the way to the ground to start over again. "You can't count the FA if you've rested on the rope" I've seen him jump all over someone for dropping a cigarette butt at the base of the cliff. And seen him go nuts on some teenagers who were spray painting graffiti on the rock at the top of the small cliff at Ragged. I've seen him place bolts on the lead and second others when they placed bolts on the lead. I'd say his ethic at the time was "ground up" climbing. No power drills and no bolting on rappel. I can't speak as to his current ethics. Working with him, he certainly was focused. Almost to the point of driving me nuts- LOL. Later, he wrote that my "patience was infinite". He's pretty vocal. And he has some pretty vocal enemies. Can't say that I agree with everything he's said/done. But, I have no bad feelings towards the guy.


Interesting. I find it hard to believe that someone like that would maliciously destroy a route and bolts with a sledge hammer to the point that the goverment has to step in and intervene. But apparently he did it, he plead guilty and no contest and served 24 months of probation.
20 kN
From Hawaii
Joined Feb 2, 2009
665 points
Dec 26, 2012
old 1/4" bolt.
Just say Lowe!! Hands down the best all-rounder in the world was either Alex Lowe, George Lowe, or Jeff Lowe. Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Joined Jan 2, 2007
12,619 points


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