A friend of mine was browsing an online job search website, plugging in climbing to see what options were available. All of a sudden he instantly recognizes me in one of the icons, below titled Professional Mountain Climber.
As I scanned through the web page I experienced emotions of laughter, confusion, and anger. Let’s list everything that is wrong with this page, shall we?
First lets start with this fantastic easy-to-read graphic of percentages of higher education in Professional Mountain Climbers:
Climbing is a physical sport. It involves absolutely no college education to scale a rock. If you have working appendages assuming your ligaments and muscles flex and extend, you got it. Also while assuming your neurosynapses transmit within the spinal chord.
Its a poor assumption to generalize every mountain climber does not have a higher education. I have spent many seasons in Hidden Valley Campground at Joshua Tree National Park. Finding partners and exchanging life stories. Don’t let that seven day layer of dirt fool you. I have met the most intellectual people living out of a modified truck bed. Some who even have an extended education background, including PhD and medical degrees.
Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field.
Damn. If knew I could take a 3-week course to obtain a certificate to boost my competitiveness in climbing, sign me up! I could understand a course could be taken to gain a little knowledge on how to not kill your partner when shit hits the fan. This doesn’t insinuate a certificate allows you to finally crush a 5.12 trad route on lead. Only in a perfect world.
More than ever I wish there was a social comment box on the bottom of the page so the climbing community could input their opinions. Or at least the name of the author of the page.
Being a sponsored athlete, I am aware of the perks each different athlete gets. Mostly a V13 crusher has the benefit of being paid in itchy china made t-shirts sent to them every other season. Free box of Red Bull?! Screw a bi-weekly paycheck.
Seriously though, you can earn up to six figures being a Professional Mountain Climber? The only person I could probably point a finger at would be Chris Sharma. Only because he was smart and sold out his name as being “best rock climber in the world”. At least until Alex Honnold came on the scene, tv scene, as the poster child of Citi Bank. Did they make thousands from guiding boyscouts on the roadside 5.8? No. Instead they should label this page as Branding Entrepreneur/Public Marketing with a background in rock climbing.
Scaling Everest to find out what happened to a missing Climber or journeying up a local mountain range to collect and deliver samples to a team of Scientists falls into this category.
Vertical Limit flashback anyone? Dropped the liquid nitrogen off the mountain? No promotion for you.
One can only wish the six figures would be earned by the hardest working mountain climbers out there. Which would be the sherpas risking their lives every day on Everest. They guide pompous CEOs who have the money to cash out six figures easily. As we know the politics of all of this is extremely too complicated to make sense of. Right. Maybe its because Sherpas do not hold a high school degree according to Inside Jobs. That’s unfortunate.
All in all, I think my video presence on this sad page is extremely inappropriate. Along with the content and the facts claimed. The business side of climbing has so many branches it is impossible to lump it into one category. Jobs in climbing ranges from the front desk worker at a gym, a competitive athlete, to the adventure guide. We all know there is no money in climbing, so might as well punch in a different career goal in their shitty search engine. As much as I love any kind of positive exposure to my youtube channel, I requested it to be taken down. It should be replaced with an image/video of an actual person in the wilderness climbing and guiding.
Now for a short blurb on my non-climbing life. Which is practically every day. Sadly an MRI showed synovitis on the joints of my wrist. I am going to come back in to get blood work to determine inflammatory arthritis versus focal nodular synovitis. Inflammatory arthritis would be worse because I would then have to see a rheumatology specialist who would probably put me on biologic medicines. FNS could be alleviated with physical therapy. Wish me luck. I’m extremely bummed.
So more healing time is in my future. Fate hit me with an injury at a perfect time because I am scheduled to take my MCAT test in the first week of June. The first step of becoming Dr. Duran. Hopefully.
I look up to my bookshelf, which is currently occupied by climbing books. My collection of books has grown in the past year, not because I visited more climbing areas … but for the reason I am a nerd and I love buying books. In this PDF flooded age of eye squinting nonsense, I will always appreciate ink on paper.
SO my goal for 2014 is to attempt to visit every climbing guidebook area that is currently on my shelf. The areas I haven’t touched before are:
– Bishop sport/trad climbing
– Red Rocks sport
– Tuolumne Meadows
– Lake Tahoe Bouldering
– Big Chief Area
– Williamson Rock
– Horeseshoe Canyon
– NYC Bouldering
I have a bad habit of calling myself just a “boulderer”. The truth is, I still have a fear of ropes since I witnessed a friend falling in a bad trad accident. That was years ago, and I need to get over it. So time to mentally train! It’s going to be hard to push myself mentally, but I will try to deal with it instead of numbing through the conflict.
I’m getting psyched flipping thorough the pages of areas I have not climbed at before. Which makes me appreciate all the hard work the authors put in to each and every book. Your research, scoping, and willingness to share information is greatly appreciated by the entire climbing community and me. So thanks Louie Anderson, Robert Miramontes, John Long, Eric Hörst, Alan Moore, Tom Slater, and so many more.
Who else is down with me!?
HAPPY NEW YEAR!