So you're living out of your van, eating van de Kamp's yet another night. You've been whacking it to the same 1978 Hustler for three years and you've been disowned by your parents. Ahh, the outdoor lifestyle. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of fresh tracks or first ascents drives many to try this rewarding, but financially bankrupt lifestyle. Fret no more, get paid to ski - this courtesy of our friends at the Backcountry Blog:
It's a horror film for the sci-fi channel and it's kind of a Jurrasic park meets Park City. These Giant spiders that have been genetically brought back to life and enhanced from prehistoric times break loose at a hidden mountain facility by a ski resort and some innocent skiers get eaten by them. That's where you come in! You come skiing down the mountain and one of them gets you! Sound fun? I thought you might like it!
Ok, I didn't get a direct link because I'm not going to register for the Blogspot crap, so you'll have to scroll down. Seriously, this can be lucrative, and who knows where it can lead. I hung with Barry Blanchard in Ama Dablam base camp after his cinematic debut as the 'Mountain Safety Officer' for Vertical Limit, so he earned enough money to attempt a new route on Ama. We all gave him shit, but he was the one laughing as we had to cobble together enough guiding jobs that year. Anyway, tell your parents, your last girlfriend (from high school who left you because you started whacking it to the 1978 Hustler), and your gym teacher that you've done it, you've reached the pinnacle of your skiing career - starring in Touching the Mormon.
When pressed to give an official statement about Potter's 'illegal' ascent of Delicate Arch, Patagonia gave a ... well, a fairly lame answer, this courtesy of our friends over at thepiton.com.
... We have taken positions in the past on a number of issues of climbing ethics, including bolting. We take no position on this one. As Casey Sheahan, our CEO, notes, “From the early days in the Tetons to the rebelliousness of Yosemite’s Camp 4, every generation of climbers has had its run-ins with government regulations that attempt to restrict climber’s freedom of expression. At Patagonia we don’t control the ways our sponsored athletes conduct themselves except to encourage respect for the environment and uncommon approaches to every challenge. Dean is at the pinnacle of free solo climbing, makes decisions for himself, and has our complete support.”
There you go. 'We have no position on this one.' Yvon, get some cajones. If you're going to lecture everyone about being green, renewable businesses, etc, at least come out with something stronger about this. Yvon's generation was all about living just outside the law, from basically being homeless at Camp 4 to first ascents in areas that were theoretically closed, Yvon shaped climbing and pushed the limits, just as Potter is doing. Funny tho in the release they say 'sponsored atheletes' which is anathema to their philosophy, hence the Ambassador crap. The Patagonia hypocrisy endures.
IN THE FIRST FEW HOURS THERE WAS NOTHING, no fear or sadness, no thought
or memory, just a black and perfect silence. Then light appeared, a
thin gray smear of daylight, and I rose to it like a diver swimming to the surface. Consciousness seeped through my brain in a slow bleed; I
heard voices and sensed motion all around, but I could see only dark
silhouettes and pools of light and shadow. Then, vaguely, I sensed that
one of the shadows was hovering over me.
So seriously, what would you do? If there was nothing else to do but eat a teammate, could/would you do it? Hard to say, but the excerpt from Outside is long, a good read, and most important, it's free. Enjoy.
Here's the deal, if you do something, do it for the sake of doing it, not so you can publicize the shit out of it. Granted, little of what we do today we do for ourselves, I mean if not to tell someone and brag about, why do it? Who would know that I actually have summitted Everest 12 times, hold the speed record of Denali, and date Paris Hilton? No one, unless I told you. Bleh. In this age of sponsorship for the first w-ever to summit Everest or the fastest to circumnavigate the earth, it would be refreshing to find someone who's doing it Forrest Gump style - just because you feel like doing it. Which brings us to Steve Vaught and his walk across America to lose weight.
My Name is Steve Vaught, (born Stephen James Liller in Youngstown, Ohio). I am a 39 year old, happily married father of two great kids and I have a pretty good life here in Southern California. You would think that I would be happy because of these things, but I am not. I am not happy because I am fat and being fat makes every day unhappy.
Big. F**king. Deal. Jesus, go to Jenny Craig, lose your weight in silence. Seriously, this type of self-promotion (he's on the Today Show) and sponsorship (Go-Lite - oh, the irony) only foster more of this type of behaviour. For once, can someone just be more like Borge Ousland and less like Will Gadd?