I began climbing in New England. The climbing in New England is awesome. If you have a good belay parka and like swinging ice tools the climbing is year round too. Well, almost. We have two weird in-between seasons when it rains. A lot. Climbing during the transitional period between fall and winter and between winter and spring can be brutal. Not only am I usually out of shape, the temps are far from ideal and the rain makes neither rock nor ice climbing enjoyable. Click here for a short video to see what I mean.
So what do you do to stay psyched? Climb that one climb that doesn't get wet? Do pull-ups till you collapse? Read the same magazines you have already memorized since you are too cheap to renew your subscription?
All of these are useful options but when overpowered by the need for something fresh many climbers hit the internet and live vicariously through our heroes who live lives of eternal sunshine and perfect sending conditions. Climbing companies seem aware of this. Lately gear manufacturers like Patagonia, Petzl, Mountain Hardwear, La Sportiva, and Black Diamond have added extensive multimedia content to their websites. Even those of us who use computers that were invented around the time the T-rex went extinct are willing to wait through ten minutes of downloading to immerse ourselves in five minutes of video-climbing bliss.
The internet has also become a virtual meeting point for climbers, many of whom will never know one another, to imagine themselves as participants in a global climbing community. Though the mags have been doing this since tank tops, neon, and lycra, the internet is interactive and available across the world in a way print can never be.
So even though we may not be friends on each other's facebooks, myspaces, or 8a.nu accounts we create a sense of a globally shared climbing experience.
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