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SmithRock.com Brooke Sandahl
Brooke Sandahl in 1990

changed but the attitude has stayed
the same. They were critical back
when I was doing some new things,
and they are critical now. And they
don't really greet newcomers with
open arms. I feel that if I had put up
a lot of these new routes it would not
have been very controversial at all.
But it was controversial because of
the people that did them. They were newcomers, they weren't especially
great climbers, they made some
mistakes. The routes were kind of
crammed-in in some places, but
that's not so unusual. I think the
biggest issue is that they are
newcomers.

It's a bummer that there is currently

 

such a negative attitude among
some local climbers about new routes.

Thinking back to the mid and late 80's,
I can remember that it started to get
kind of competitive back then and it
started to change a bit.

It used to be that if someone would
come in and do a new route or contri-
bute to developing the area, people
looked at it real positively. Like when
Brooke Sandahl moved in -- he was a
newcomer back in 84 or so -- he started
to do a few routes and it wasn't like
"phew, who is this guy, who is this
wanker...?" It never would have even
occurred to us, I never thought that
way. So there was this real supportive

"Yeah! let's just keep doing this
stuff!," attitude. It was a very
positive attitude.

This was in contrast to a place like
Yosemite, where it seemed like
there was so much of a negative
attitude, where anything anybody
tried that was new was looked down
on. The attitude there at times was
so bad you could feel it in the air
just walking through Camp Four; I
really felt it.

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