Ω The Powerband teeshirts are here….just in time to fill you stocking. Two designs (Flock Hill & The Rak), two colours (blue or orange) and a reasonable range of sizes (as long as you’re S, M, L or XL). $30 plus postage. Mail me if you want one: thepowerband [at] hotmail.com. First in, first served Ω
Ω A straw poll please. This year the Wellington stop on the National Bouldering Series will be a pebble-wrestling event at Turakirae Head; as opposed to the traditional Baring Head Rock Hop, which has been running for donkey’s years. I will be running the Rak comp. What then becomes of the “Rock Hop”, NZ’s longing running climbing competition? Do “we” (the community) find someone to run a separate competition at Baring Head, thereby allowing the “Rock Hop” to continue as is? Or do we call the Rak comp the “Rock Hop”, making it a Wellington (rather than Baring Head specific) event? Or do we let it die, like a fish that has inadvertently jumped out of a fish bowl on to the table? Votes/comments please. Pronto, cos shit needs to get done Ω
Ω In Cole v Turner (1704) 6 Mod 149 (87 ER 907), Holt G.J. ruled that the least touching is a battery [Not that kind of battery; think assault and battery!] Of course, the logic behind that finding is compelling, not lease because the alternative (some vague, subjective and inevitably inconsistent ‘materiality’ threshold) is fatally fraught. Laws (like most things) are better when they’re simple, and simple to apply.
And so it is, I say, with the ‘dab’. The only workable rule, that can be consistently and fairly applied by all boulderers, is that the least touching is a ‘dab’ - and a ‘dab’ invalidates what might otherwise be an ascent.
Harsh? Maybe. But it’s better than the alternative. It’s better than asking the just-dabbed-the-ground-on-her-way-to-the-end-of-her-two-year-project climber to make an honest, objective assessment of the materiality of a ‘dab’. Of course it made no difference; of course she would have sent anyway. Who would say any different, especially when the stakes are high or the climber actually believes the ‘dab’ made no difference?
There will be those who disagree (usually the worst dabbers!). And there will be those who say something erudite like: “I just want to be free. And maybe I’ll climb some of them, one of them or none of them. Either way that’s enough”.
Jokes about the Sharmapotato aside, freedom is an important part of climbing. You are free to do whatever you like. Except dabbing and then claiming an ascent - because that’s not being free, that’s (at best) being misleading, as people will assume (unless you correct them) that you didn’t swing off and scrape your feet along the pads or have your spotter catch a portion of your weight on the crux move. So don’t do it!
That’s my rant on the ‘dab’. And yes, the zero tolerance approach has cost me fame and glory. But at least I can still moralise with you, my 3 Powerband readers, which is WAY better than being free Ω
Ω James Morris went to the Grampians for a whirlwind looksee at the end of September. Turns out he likes: So You Think You Can Dance V11, Dead Can’t Dance V10/11, Gripmaster, Amniotic World, Butthole Surfer - all V9 plus a bunch of V6-8 ticks. Not bad for a midget slabby poofter on his first visit Ω
Ω Do you remember the second generation Powerband tee shirt? Do you want one? I’m thinking of running a new series, same design but by area (so listing classic problems at some well-used areas). But not much point if people aren’t keen on them. I guess (but haven’t checked) that they’d cost around $30-35 Ω