“This has all been a very embarrassing mis-understanding” President of Chick-fil-A tells HomoClimbtastic reporter.

“We’re so embarrassed that it’s come to this,” Dan Cathy,  President of the successful fast-food restaurant says.  “When we were asked if we supported anti-gay groups, I answered yes…of course…but only because I misunderstood the question.”

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Gallagher, attempting to lick honey mustard sauce off her jowls.

Cathy claimed that the Baptist Press interview in which he announced the company’s support of anti-gay groups clearly mis-interpreted his answer, and that rather than making financial donations, the company has merely been shoveling “tons of fried foods into that whale Maggie Gallagher’s fat fucking mouth” in an effort to quiet the controversial NOM spokesperson.  Cathy spoke in an exclusive interview with an anonymous HomoClimbtastic member who was simultaneously singing “Onward Christian Soldiers” into the business man’s asshole for $50.  “I’m just so ashamed, I hope my sister-wife never learns to read.  It would take days to explain to her exactly what happened here.  Oh yeah, that’s it, that’s it, Oh God yes, Oh…”

Cathy was later unavailable for further comment, but did tip the anonymous HC member $15 for teaching him a better method of sucking cock using a Chick-fil-A cup and straw.

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President of Chick-fil-A Dan Cathy, learning the importance of proper lip positioning in keeping the dick away from the teeth

Suck it, Boyscouts

Fuck you, Boy Scouts of America.  Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.  Also, I happen to have this gigantic bag of dicks over here (always be prepared!), you can suck each and every one of them.

Oooooooooh….

You know, I’ve done this whole Goddamned research thing for the last 2 or 3 days in an effort to really counter the BSoA decision to hate fags, but then I remembered that climbers don’t come here to read well researched, reasoned opinion pieces about today’s hot-button issues.  They come here to laugh at the fucking insane bullshit that’s going on around us, because Goddammit if you don’t laugh, what, you gonna’ cry like a fucking baby?  Huh?  You some kind of fucking baby?  I’m sorry, that isn’t fair.  That’s the jet lag talking, I’m really sorry.

So here’s the deal:  I couldn’t sleep on my 14 hour flight to Taiwan, I’ve spent the last 72 hours in conference rooms that smell like a homeless guy’s sweaty nut sack,  I’m tired, I’ve been fucking sick, I’m hungry (I have to take a $15 cab ride from my hotel to get to the nearest decent vegan restaurant) and all of this just makes me even more sure that I’ve had it up to fucking HERE with groups of men who wear faggy uniforms, fuck little boys, and still have the wherewithal to tell gay people that we’re not allowed into your club.

Yeah, that’s right.  Turns out the Boy Scouts (a for-profit, $900 Million corporation) have a lot in common with the Catholic church.  They’ve been burying molestation cases for YEARS, and evidently have a secret stash of pedophile cases that they keep in some bunker outside Dallas, and have worked for the last 50 or so years to keep all of this secret because of the damage it may do Scouts as an organization.

Well you know what, BSoA?  HomoClimbtastic created a secret panel 2 years ago, filled with various members of the community (all of whom agree with us, because like BSoA, this ain’t a fucking democracy) and we’ve come to several conclusions:

A)  We fucking hate you.

B)  We fucking hate your uniforms.

C)  Those of us with children know that only 8% of child molesters identify themselves as homosexual in their adult relationships, meaning we know that our children are far safer with our gay friends than with some (now guaranteed to be) heterosexual scout masters.  Mike Huckabee apparently disagrees but mostly because he’s a man who makes a wonderful living pandering to the stupidest people on the face of our planet.  Also, facts are complex and often nuanced, which means you have to spend time dealing with them rather than watching re-runs of Jersey Shore.

D)  We hate it for gay kids that your organization, while seeking to create “morally straight” men, simultaneously encourages kids to lie about who they are on a very fundamental level so they can still be a part of your fucking club.  You are a very big part of the problem.

E)  We fucking LOVE the Girl Scouts.

Yeah. So fuck you.

I’m out.

(drop mike)

Voodoo Climbing: Protecting your queer booty

A duffel so large you’ll never have to use the hacksaw!

After you’ve finished wallowing in the amusement of my double entendre for “booty,” admire the fact that Voodoo Climbing is sponsoring us again!

With lots of stuff!

When I first heard about it, I secretly hoped that Gina was going to ship me one of their gigantic fuzzy crash pads, to my house, with my face embroidered on it, or maybe a naked gay porn star, or something.  But she did the next best thing, which was ship us a bunch of stuff to auction off for all of you at the super awesome July 28 HC auction.

So we’ll have chalk bags, duffel bags, tote bags, and a red velvet chalk bucket, the last of which has captured my attention, in addition to the on-site massage sesh being offered by Justin DiBenedetto (I anticipate a ruthless bidding war with Todd, which could get ugly.)

Not only that, Petzl sent us a GriGri 2, which is great.  Mostly because I force all of the people I teach to learn the GriGri, and thus am singlehandedly responsible for sending them a zillion dollars worth of GriGri purchases, so I’m stoked to know it’s for a company that’s all about keeping us high in the sky where we belong.  Same with the Evolv Shammies, although I don’t force anything on anyone in terms of shoe selection.

I know it’s easy to get cynical about commercial vendors sponsoring us and doing videos–it is true that they are for-profit entities, and it’s good marketing for them, and they make a shit-ton of money off us, blah blah blah.

But, to get more cereal than I usually do in my blogs, (and don’t worry, our humorous rebuke to recent events is coming) the recent Chick-Fil-A announcement REALLY HURT MY FEELINGS.  I expected an occasional bump in the road when carving a rainbow path into the climbing world, but not one when ordering waffle fries.  Waffle fries just seem like they would be a very apolitical use of tuber.  But commercial entities have the option, as our chicken nugget proprietor proved, of not sending you a red velvet chalk bucket, making you a video, sending you shoes, belay devices, coffee, what-not, and instead sending their spare change to ex-gay camps–marketing impact be damned.  They also have the choice to prop up the Boy Scouts–from which we’re all banned, in case you were wondering–even though we totes know way more about how to rig their top ropes and teach kids how to back-step than that idiot with the hat and the high-waisted brown knickers that accentuate his FUPA.

The Chick-Fil-A announcement stung (“I bought so many of your nuggets and THIS IS HOW YOU REPAY ME?”) but I have to say, I feel a lot better knowing there’s people out there who on faith will send a big box of swag to someone they’ve never met whose organization’s logo consists of two humping goats.  If that doesn’t at least partially restore your faith in humanity for a few hours, I’m not sure what will.

Towleroad (Why hello there, stranger!)

With mer perterders!

Towleroad has done blerged Water Stone (and us by association), the fame of which I plan on parlaying into a reality TV show, titled, “Gay Lawyer Who Lives With His Mom.”

Anyway, if you just know you want to support us somehow, go like HomoClimbtastic’s Facebook page and Water Stone’s Facebook page.

Non-climbers *occasionally* find our blog entertaining, when they skip the more arcane posts about climbing techniques/ethics/whatever, given our tenuous desire to stay on topic and instead make light of HIV and destigmatize stuff.  We don’t just climb!

Ok thanks.

-Rowland

Thou Shalt Not Set Up Top Ropes on Fixed Gear! (But feel free to lower off.)

Don’t do it!

The registration form this year included a trick question to identify and nail nooblets. Some of the most experienced climbers clicked it on purpose just to rattle my cage, but many more clicked it cause they didn’t know any better.  Among questions such as, “I have lead 20+ sport routes”, there was a checkbox next to the phrase, “I typically set up top-ropes through fixed/permanent gear instead of using quickdraws”.  That was a trick question, and you shouldn’t have clicked it.

One frequent element of climbing is setting up top ropes for yourself to work a route, or more commonly, for not quite as uber-strong friends.  When setting up top-ropes, you don’t run the rope directly through the o-rings at the top, but instead through your own equipment (which is in turn attached to the fixed bolts or o-rings).  At an HC event, we prefer that you do this with at least one locking quickdraw (an auto-locker is even better).  It’s much more appropriate than a pair of non-locking quickdraws for a top-rope that might go uninspected for several hours.

In any event, YOU SHALL NEVER TOP ROPE DIRECTLY THROUGH THE ANCHORS. If you don’t know what this means, you shouldn’t be setting up top-ropes, period.  Doing this at the convention places you in the category of “people who besmirch HC’s reputation”, which is a subcategory of “people who are subject to getting banned from this and future HC conventions”.

Unless local rules insist on it (e.g. Muir Valley, where the anchors are privately funded and replaced), we don’t ask anyone to rappel off routes when cleaning, unless they just really want to.  In my own opinion, the number of deaths caused by rappelling vastly eclipses the cost of replacing o-rings, and if I have to make and sell a calendar of hot shirtless climbers to fund an anchor replacement initiative to win that ethics war, by God I’ll do it.  I just see no reason to bring the unholy number of rappelling death reports into the single pitch sport climbing world because we couldn’t collectively figure out a way to make a few more stops to ACE Hardware.

In any event, toproping through the fixed gear is lazy and obnoxious, as it efficiently grinds down the rings while doing little to further your safety, and thus you shouldn’t do it outside of pressing circumstances.

The HomoClimbtastic Documentary

With perterters!

Filmmaker Brian Spiegel successfully raised over eleven thousand dollars to shoot a documentary about HomoClimbtastic, to be filmed during this year’s 2012 convention.  You can see his web site here.

I have to admit I reminisce a little bit about when the group was me and Rio in a hostel shouting “gurrrrrl!” at one another.

Oh, the good ole days.  Gurl.

Now, the blog gets about 6000 hits a month, the convention will have more than 30 volunteers at various points in its creation, and we’ve incorporated an impressive fundraiser to benefit the American Alpine Club.

I’m still a little confused as to how the hell that happened, so I’m glad someone else is looking into it.  Although if the camera ends up in the barn cabin with me and Rio, there’s still a pretty good chance for a ten minute segment of me and Rio yelling “gurl!” at each other.

In any event, that’s why there will be a camera crew present–and make sure you sign one of their waivers so you can be in the final product!  If they have to blur your face because you didn’t get a waiver to them, it’ll make it look like a depressing retreat of closet-cases, rather than people too occupied with crushing routes to get their waivers turned in.  The camera crew will have waivers with them and you can sign them at the morning announcements and the info tables.

Report: Water Stone Outdoors releases gayest advertisement ever; Ryan Scurfield’s mom “shocked, appalled” that son is still heterosexual

It was a somber day for Ryan Scurfield’s mom.

“When I first found out he was straight, I cried for days.  This video from Water Stone was a glimmer of hope, that this whole ‘girlfriend’ thing was just temporary.”

Scurfield’s mother was interviewed shortly after discovering that the advertisement from Water Stone was just a gig to help out the store’s owner, Maura Kistler, rather than a grand exit from what Ms. Scurfield called the “disturbing straight lifestyle.”

When asked how she found out, she said, “I logged in to look at his Facebook expecting him to become Facebook official with Gus. Instead, there was a status update about how he had the best girlfriend in the world. My heart shrank.  He looked so precious in that cowboy hat!”

This was just part of the reason the advertisement rocked the small Fayetteville community.  There was a public outcry and demand for justice among a large group of heterosexual women, who were found protesting in the courthouse lawn regarding the scenes including Craig Reger.

When asked why they were upset, one individual emerged from the crowd to explain.  “All this time, we thought of Craig as just that guy who worked behind the Water Stone desk and took photos with sock monkeys.  No one told us that he was packing an oversized kielbasa.  And he has a girlfriend in Europe?  There is no justice in this world!  No justice!”  The others chanted with her.  One was heard whispering, “so… does this mean that he’s Jewish?  Cause that right there looks Jewish.”  Another replied, “you can’t tell with the big ones.  I just call them mystery meat.”

Anger regarding the video has been directed toward producer Stella Mascari, who released a one-sentence statement through her publicist, which read in its entirety, “I wouldn’t have dreads if I gave a (expletive) what you thought of my art.”  She has been outside of the public sphere since the video was released, although one witness reported seeing her parading in front of Gumbo’s with a man on a leash wearing a luchadore mask.  When asked about the incident, Mascari’s publicist replied, “Stella likes crawfish.  Go (expletive) yourself.”

Still, there are signs that this community will press on, despite the hardship.  “At least,” said Scurfield’s mom, “some other (expletive) will have to pay for the wedding.”

HC Press

AAC to give us first dibs at campsite naming rights!

(This post is submitted by Lizzy Scully, one of the organizers of the HomoClimbtastic 2012 Climber Charity Auction, being held during the HomoClimbtastic convention on July 28, 7:00pm, Cantrell’s Pub, Fayetteville, West Virginia.)

The American Alpine Club recently announced that it’s giving a few lucky HomoClimbtastic bidders first dibs at naming rights for campsites at the beautiful, new climbers’ campground at the New River Gorge.

“We are offering a few initial bidders the chance to pick the campsite of their choice and to have that campsite named after them or, even better, to get to make up an appropriate name for that site,” says architect, climber, and American Alpine Club board member Jim “Jamie” Logan, one of the presenters at the event. “This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.”

The settings for these campsites are just gorgeous. They’re set along the access road, across from the Community Building, and nestled into a wooded hillside against a backdrop of rhododendrons. Wouldn’t you just love to have your name in perpetuity on a plaque at the East Coast’s finest AAC campground? Yes, me me! Oooo fun!

In addition to naming rights, you’ll get the chance to bid on a bunch of sweet, donated swag from a host of great outdoor companies. Take a minute to check out our list of awesome donors below.

Hood River Coffee provides freshly roasted coffee and Mighty Leaf teas to retail and wholesale businesses, including local shops in Hood River, OR. Check out Hood River’s beans at www.hoodrivercoffeeco.com. (Mark Hudon—legendary Yosemite free climber—promises to put shirtless photos of himself climbing on the label. Woohoo!)

Evolv designs and sells U.S. made, top-of-the-line rock climbing shoes, helping climbers reach new heights since 2003. Try out Evolv gear at www.evolvsports.com

Trango has sold first-class climbing gear since 1991, including brands like Splitter Cams, Alpine Equalizer, Squid, BallNutz, RackTags, and BigBro. Visit Trango online at http://www.trango.com/

Stonewear Designs develops stylish and functional women’s active wear. The Colorado-based company’s clothes are designed to fit every body, and are all Made in the U.S.A. Visit www.stoneweardesigns.com for the latest styles.

Keith Ladzinski has been a sports and environmental portrait photographer since 1995. His work has appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic Adventure, Discover Magazine, Men’s Journal, Outside Magazine, Runner’s World, and ESPN. Check out his stuff at www.ladzinski.com

Outdoor Research creates a variety of functional equipment and clothes for today’s outdoor enthusiasts. Their gear can be found at their store in Seattle, WA and online at www.outdoorresearch.com. OR also sponsors Madaleine Sorkin, so if you want to be as rad a climber (or as hot as she is), you’ll want to bid on this stuff.

Water Stone Outdoors outfits Fayetteville, WV rock climbers and adventurers with the best gear for their outdoor pursuits. Learn more about the shop and the New River Gorge area on their website www.waterstoneoutdoors.com/. We LOVE Maura and Gene. They are so supportive of HomoClimbtastic.

MountainGear.com (and their store) distributes quality active wear, gear, and footwear, while also sharing their outdoor expertise through events and classes throughout the United States. Learn more about the company and browse their products online at www.mountaingear.com. Thanks to owner Paul Fish (and his family) for being long-time supporters of the LGBTQ community.

More donors to be announced soon…

Southern Rox

This blog post is submitted by Jonathan O’Neill, the instigator to the formation of Southern Rox, the new local lgbt rock climbing club covering the southern territories of Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama.  O’Neill designs solar panels, plays ultimate frisbee, and sabotages romantic relationships by smoking.

You should have already heard this, but the South is getting a “new, preeminent” outdoor climbing club, SouthernRox. No, you’re saying it wrong.

For my blog post I wanted to give a little description of my favorite southern climbing areas and tell you why they are great. Of all the recent places I’ve been sport climbing in the south, there remains so much for me to climb that I feel like I could return to the same spots over and over again for a year and still be entertained.  Not a mild sitting on the couch watching my favorite TV show on Netflix entertained, but a Russell Crowe about to go to war entertained.

Me after my first trip to the New with Laurie, Nate and Alex. See look, ‘Mind blown!’.

So I’m really excited about being part of a group whose purpose is to get outdoors and climb in the southern area.  Living in Atlanta, Birmingham, or Chatty has the benefit of being only a short trip away from quality climbing locations.

Exhibit A: Distances to my top climbing spots: 

Climbing Location

From Atlanta

From Birmingham

From Chattanooga

Sand Rock, AL

2 hrs

1.5 hrs

1.5 hrs

Foster Falls, TN

2.5 hrs

2. 5 hrs

33 min

Leda, TN

2 hrs

2.75 hrs

20 min

New River Gorge, WV

7.5 hrs

7.5 hrs

5 hrs

Red River Gorge, KY

7 hrs

7 hrs

5 hrs

Clearly Chattanooga is the winner here, and they are really at the heart of all this and Atlanta and Birmingham are just along for the ride.

The List:

Foster Falls, TN: If a climbing spot has a swimming hole with a waterfall that you can climb and a place called the red light district, it never gets old.  The red light district btw is tucked away spot where you don’t have to worry about shocking all those nature loving librarians when a way-gay iPod goes on shuffle super loud.

The New: Any place that is home to a gay climber Mecca convention and can be reached in less than half a day gets on this list by default.  If you don’t like where the convention is located, you can complain to the management.

But I wouldn’t.

But for its real merits the New has free water soloing, miles and miles of cliff lines, great mountain biking and a super secret place I’m not going to tell you about so you don’t attract attention to it and then have it get overwhelmed by penguins. (If you don’t know what a penguin is, see the Southern Rox FAQ section about climber proficiency (see image below).  And as a note of caution, please be careful when travelling around Fayetteville, some of the boy scouts have AIDS.

Laurie and Nate in triumph after 12 miles of boy scout trails (of tears).

The Red: The highlight for me was the shopping center of sport climbing at Muir Valley, a privately owned area of 400 acres and 7 miles of cliffs. They were putting up nametags when I was there so expect to find your way around like you are looking for your favorite shampoo.

Sand Rock:  Hosts an annual RC car convention, majestic cliff line, graffiti, construction, broken beer bottles everywhere, decent bbq in town.  This is pretty much everything I dreamt Alabama would be like, so it’s cool.  The climbing is solid and it even snows there occasionally, like when we are there in a cheap Walmart tent, so I had to do this to my dog Izzy. :-(

It was below freezing that day, the rocks felt like razors and the local walmart was having a special on undersized dog jackets with redneck-fabulous inspired styling.

Leda: Well, it’s close, has easy routes and isn’t a trail of tears to get there.  Penguins are safe here, the habitat is cool, it is close to the road and not so far OTP that you lose your cell signal.  There will be none of this:

Laurie depicted as an orca whale chasing after little penguins and giving friendly reminders that SHE DID NOT JUST SET UP A 5.6 SLAB FOR HER TO CLIMB!

Why SouthernRox? (you’re still pronouncing it wrong)

Number 1: Because we live here in the south amongst all this great outdoor climbing.  Why start a climbing club to do anything else?

Number 2: Because it’s awesome to climb with other LGBTQB ppl.  The 2nd B stands for Bromance in case you were wondering.  Hey, we’re an open club.

Number 3: Because having an outdoor climbing group without Alex Rowland is like having a free hotel breakfast buffet advertised as a hot fresh breakfast but only turns out to be that crappy waffle maker and cold stale prepackaged garbage.

Number 4:  Because if you didn’t have SouthernRox, you would never have this:

FAQ

Check out our Facebook Page.  If you are ever in the dirty dirty, look us up.

Happy Climbing!