It’s Time!!

Well folks, it’s time to get this show on the road!  See the information below to ensure the best possible experience at Homoclimbtastic 2013!  I advise you to print this for easy reference.

its time

start your engines, ’cause here we go!

ITINERARY

WEDNESDAY

8AM – 8PM      Check-In with Chris at Cantrell’s in Fayetteville

Go climb if you arrive early

Dinner OYO – Support Local Business!

Campsite Mix & Mingle

THURSDAY

8AM                 Breakfast at Cantrell’s

8:45AM            Welcome and Morning Announcements

9AM – 6PM      Climbing

8PM                 Pies and Pints Pizza Night

FRIDAY

8AM                 Breakfast at Cantrell’s

8:45AM            Morning Announcements and Ice-Breakers

9AM – 6PM      Climbing

9AM – 1PM      Whitewater Rafting

7PM                 Dinner OYO or at Cantrell’s Pub

8PM                 Homoclimbtastic Documentary Screening: Climbing With Pride

                        Campsite Games and Comedy Show

SATURDAY

8AM                 Breakfast at Cantrell’s

8:45AM            Morning Announcements

9AM – 6PM      Climbing at Summersville

7PM                 Dinner OYO – Support Local Business!

8PM                 Presentation by Lisa Hummel for American Alpine Club

HC/AAC/NRAC Auction with Hostess, Porsche Ferrari

Dance Party all night at the Bar

SUNDAY

9AM               Picnic Brunch at City Hall: Downtown Fayetteville

Announcements and Group Photo

12PM              Climbing

Campsite Night

MONDAY

10AM               Pack and Depart

pretty

time to climb

NOTES

Checking in with Chris upon your arrival is important.  Please do not neglect this.

Times listed on this itinerary are tentative, but please make every effort to be ON TIME to the evening events: Pies and Pints, documentary screening, and the auction.  Direct from the crag or showered and clean, nobody cares one way or another.  Just show up.

Morning announcements can save you lots of headache.  Show up on time and listen closely.  This is where we will, more-or-less, determine what groups are going to what crags for the day.

Breakfast is provided by Nancy at Cantrell’s for $9 daily.

Saturday’s climbing destination is Summersville for fun group time.  Every other climbing destination is yours to pick.  Find a group going somewhere fun and hit the trails.

Whitewater rafting is $70.  Actual departure and return time may vary from this itinerary.

Cantrell’s and Homoclimbtastic now take PLASTIC!  That means you can bring your credit/debit card to pay for various sundries at the campsite and at the big auction.  Three cheers!  Hooray!

Support local business while you’re visiting Fayetteville.  This town does a lot for us, so let’s do our part to make that support reciprocal.

Pay what you owe.  Do not assume that things are free.  Camping, lodging, food and rafting are the major expenses you should expect during the trip.  You’ll want to bring extra for auction items!

Get to know, and exchange telephone numbers with the person driving you to and from the crag.  Carpools might take a piece of advice and STICK TOGETHER so nobody gets left behind.  Confirm and re-confirm carpool changes.  Nobody wants to be left at the crag in the rain all night with no food or water.  That would suck.

It might rain.  Plan accordingly.  There are climbing areas that are always dry and areas that dry quickly… do some research or pay attention at morning announcements.

Homoclimbtastic leaders are NOT climbing instructors.  Know what you’re doing or be sure you’re hanging out with someone who does.

Introduce yourself to new people!  There are over 150 registered climbers for this year’s event; make new friends… these new friendships can be amazing!

BE SAFE!  Wear a helmet when climbing, check and double-check your gear, wear a PFD when rafting, don’t play with poisonous snakes on the approach, use protection between the sheets etc, etc… remember that we’re doing potentially dangerous activities, so use common sense.

Relax. Breathe. Enjoy.  The schedule might vary a little—sometimes a lot.  Climbing trips aren’t perfect.  Enjoy your vacation and leave the stress behind!

WHAT TO BRING

climbing gear
(hardware: ‘biners, draws, belay devices, etc; software: harness, rope, shoes, slings, etc; bring what you know you need and everything else just in case)

climbing helmet
(this one is mega important because there can be falling rocks at the new—stay safe)

rafting gear including good shoes for whitewater rafting… loose shoes and sandals get lost

campers need camping gear… be prepared for rain!

cabin people need linens or camp sleep gear

clothes
(contrary to popular belief, we do not always run around nekkid in the south… it may be encouraged in some situations, but it is not always appropriate)

rain gear

toiletry items
(the bathhouse is centrally located on campground property)

swimsuit

rafts and pool/lake floatation toys

essential items for Saturday's outing to Summersville. don't forget sunscreen!

essential items for Saturday’s gator ‘rasslin outing to Summersville Lake. don’t forget your sunscreen!

picnic supplies (blankets, quilts, baskets, pillows, etc) for our sunday picnic brunch: think “mini pride picnic brunch in the park”…really try to go all out for this

picnic!

picnic time

money for: lodging, food, auction, rafting, shopping at waterstone, groceries

friendly donations to homoclimbtastic are generously accepted

items for talent/comedy show

camera!

anything and everything else you can possibly think of

Looking forward to a great trip!  Safe travels, everybody… see you there!!

Registration now OPEN for 2013 Convention

It’s that time again, folks… time to register for the 2013 Homoclimbtastic Convention!

Mark your calendars for July 17 through July 21 to take a trip to Fayetteville, West Virginia to join the world’s largest group of LGBT rock climbers as we descend upon one of the best sport climbing areas in the nation.

How to Register:

Click here to fill out the registration form.  Fill it out entirely, otherwise it will take you back to answer questions you forgot.  That’s no fun, so knock it out.  When you see the confirmation page, you’re done!  If you are unsure about whether or not you can attend, fill out the form anyway and let us know later what your decision is.

How to Reserve Your Accommodations:

If you’re camping, let us know on the registration form… that is what reserves your spot.  Camping is paid for in cash at Cantrell’s when you arrive.  If you’re a pretty pretty princess like me and want to stay in a cabin with a shower and air conditioning, send me an email and let me know that you’re interested.  I’ll email you back with some info about the cabin reservations.  Cabin reservations are FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED, but I can only take cabin reservations from those who have registered. Note: there IS a bathhouse for campers, it’s not entirely wilderness camping.

About the Accommodations:

Tent camping is $9 per night (cash).  Cabins run from $70 to $210 per night (don’t scoff, you have to split it up, folks).  Cabins have a roof, AC, and fewer bugs.  There are some bungalows, some Deluxe Amish Cabins, the Country Cabin, and the Barn Loft-style Cabin.

Please remember to note: our accommodations site is CASH or CHECK ONLY.  We will not be able to use plastic (the kind you pay for things with, anyway) in any way, shape, form, or fashion.  You’ll have to go into town to use an ATM if you forget your checkbook.

Squeeeeeeal like a pig

Occasionally we will get emails from anxious yankees who are terrified of rain, Southerners, humidity, and Deliverance. We can’t promise that you won’t hear the faint pang of a banjo string, but we can definitely offer you a refreshing lake to cool off in that’s about ten feet from the climbing, food so good it’s escandalo, the hijinks of the Homoclimbtastic leaders and members, aaaaaaand world class sport routes (with plenty of trad routes to keep those with high ankled shoes occupied). It’s the South, y’all!

After You Register:

Hang tight and look for a confirmation email from me.  If you haven’t heard from me in a week or two, shoot me an email.

Stay In Touch:

Contact me if you have questions, I’ll be glad to help you out! Email me at chris@homoclimbtastic.com.  Follow us on Twitter @homoclimbtastic and @chrisavret. Like us on Facebook.

Get pumped, start training, and get ready for the best LGBT climbing event you’ve ever seen!

Taking over a whole town ain't easy, but if anybody can do it, we can!

Taking over a whole town ain’t easy, but if anybody can do it, we can!

See you at the New!

Everything I Know About Gender Identity Disorder, I Learned On A Climbing Blog

No, you won’t.  But you could maybe start here.  Also, I apologize that this isn’t the funniest post in the history of HC…I’m a little hesitant to put to much cock and irreverence in this post ’cause, let’s be honest, there are some things that are serious.  And you can get cock anywhere, you whore.

Fair warning:  I am not, nor do I claim to represent, the transsexual climbing community. I climb with a couple of gender variant people and I’ve been lucky enough to learn a lot about these issues from them.  I think it’s incredibly important for the HC community to be educated about this stuff because of who we are, and the diverse community we’re trying to create.  (side-note…despite what you may see in pictures, we’re not all plain-Jane gay boys…we just have a couple of queens who always jump in front of whatever under-represented minority we’re trying to get pictures of in order to prove that they really do come on our trips.)

Some additional (unimportant) history:  When I came out of the closet, my mother told me “I get the gay thing, but don’t you show up at my house in a dress.”  I realized at that point that, as hard as it is to be gay, it’s got to be infinitely harder to be transgender.  I’ve known for years that I wasn’t built with the courage it takes to live the life of some of my transgender friends, but I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have them…friends who’ve exercised what can only be described as a massive ass-load of patience in helping to educate me (and continue to do so) not only on how they want to be treated, but how I can best serve as an ally.

OK, that’s done…let’s talk.

Did you know that people who do not identify as the gender with which they were born are considered mentally ill by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association?  Google it…it’s called “Gender Identity Disorder.”  Isn’t that cute?  Gender identity is a disorder…so I guess we’re going with the whole “God don’t make no mistakes” thing here?  The APA, you may remember, is the same group who voted to delete homosexuality from the DSM in the late 70′s, thus clearing the way for…well, for a lot.  Our opponents had a wonderful time denying all manner of civil liberties to a group of gay people who were considered mentally ill, and now the same groups are having a field day doing the exact same thing to our transgender friends.

So the answer is obvious…we have to petition to have Gender Identify Disorder removed from the DSM RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!  Shit…hang on a second…

Removing the diagnosis from the DSM means insurance companies can stop covering gender reassignment procedures.  Do you have ANY fucking idea what it costs to transition from male to female?  Average is about $20,000.  Up-front.  That’s right, those surgeons aren’t fucking around, they want their money in advance.

So let’s petition to keep Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!! Shit…wait…

People with the diagnosis still need civil liberties, which are pretty fucking hard to come by when you’ve been labeled a mentally ill man or woman (never mind your true gender, dear, we’re going to further denigrate a key part of your life experience by continuing to refer to you by the gender with which you were born.)

So what’s the answer?  Fuck if I know.  The odds are against the APA to removing GID from the DSM all-together, but there seems to be some momentum building to reform the diagnosis to lessen the stigma while simultaneously increasing the access to treatment options.  One of the leading proponents of this change has been Kelley Winters.  You can read more here, if you’re so inclined.

Wow…you’re still here?  Well, I guess you’ve earned this:

Yeah, that's Rowland. Spank away, my friends. Spank away.

Women in HC

Do the Job He Left Behind WW2 poster

...drill baby drill!

In the beginning, Homo Climbtastic was 100% male–that was because the first trip was me and four other guys, including current dictators C-Pow and Chavez, tromping through the West Virginia woods.  Later, and we had perhaps the most success at our last New River Gorge convention, women turned out and turned it up.  Still, their numbers haven’t reached the volume of men present.

Where there’s more men, they bring more men friends, and the scales dip in one direction through inertia alone, so we actively recruit women in our advertising to keep the ratios from going completely out of whack.  I do this partly out of self-interest; a sausage fest sounds nice on paper, but it really just makes for a boring party, and I know my queer women friends feel similarly about clam cook-offs, so we’re in this BBQ pit together, friends.

But at the end of the day, (and this is becoming more true as the group grows larger) the inclusiveness of what we say in our advertising can’t overcome the major barrier–women in the field advertising.  The guys, since inception, have been excited to play whack-a-mole with every gay dating web site internet forum, posting press releases about the trips to bring in anybody who knows how to give a soft catch.  Sometimes I run across things posted by guys I’ve never heard of encouraging people to meet them there.

Thus, I am sounding the call to arms: we are getting more women involved, and we’re doing it now.  Which means you.  Assuming you either have a vagina or are making progress toward acquiring one, I, Alex Rowland, spiritual leader of Homo Climbtastic, am vesting you with diplomatic authority to post our press releases far across the internet, or, better, write or tailor your own.

Victory waits on your fingers WW2 poster

Gurl, get on OK Cupid and tell everybody to come climb with you!

You’ll have to caution them with the requirements of joining, which are posted at http://homoclimbtastic.com/join/ but that’s pretty much it.  The great thing about posting everywhere is that it gives you a reason to meet people, awesome rock climbers nearby perhaps, who you wouldn’t have met otherwise.  Direct them to join the Facebook group or to sign up for our July 14-18, 2011 convention at the New River Gorge in West Virginia.

I can assure you, we (HC men and women both) are actively working in various other ways to keep this from turning into some lame gym bunny circuit party with sports on the side and a poster that looks like it belongs under a car windshield wiper.  But the war cannot be won on leadership alone!  You have to get out there, leave shyness behind, and proclaim, “Ladies, we’re gonna crash this HC convention like no queer climbing convention has ever been crasheded before!”

Women in the war we cant win without them WW2 poster

Your gender expression is up to you, but leave working explosives behind

There are other queer athletic institutions which are almost entirely male and which have no equivalent group for women, thereby leaving women in the lurch if they want to commune with other queer people–those trains left their stations without all the cars attached.  So now’s the time to get everyone on board, and we’re all determined to make it happen.  We just need you.  Get it, girl.

A Late but BIG Thank You!

Hey hey all,

So, I know. This is totally late. Almost a month! But, after Bishop I totally partied with the SF crew for my Birthday shenanigans!

Anyways, I just wanted to send out a MASSIVE THANK YOU to everybody who showed up! Seriously, its because people take that leap of faith to meet a crew of seemingly normal ‘mo climbers that makes HC what it is. I tried to meet everybody so it was so awesome for me to finally meet more of the West Coast crew! I know I’ll never forget guerilla gay baring Rusty’s and trying to make sure nobody got lynched

Above all, I genuinely hope everybody had fun no matter where and what they climbed. Owen’s, Happy’s, Sads, Buttermilks, or the POW march to the Druids.

I do have an ask though. We’re always trying to make these trips better, more fun each year, so I would LOVE to have some thoughts and suggests on what was awesome and what you could do without. Here is a bit of a complain/love link (aka a survey)

http://goo.gl/MfEdB

So while Tim took some great photos, I’m sure EVERYBODY else did too. Chris B has set up a photo FTP site, so follow the steps here:

Please add you photos to the group share site:
Option 1: Add yourself
1) Go to http://hcc2010.lalgbtclimbing.com/ , then register yourself.
2) Accept the link that is emailed to you and set your password then login
3) Click on the “HC BIshop” Album
4) Create a new album
- Click “Add” -> “Album”
- Name the album your FULL NAME
5) Click on that ablum to enter it
6) Click on the “Add Photos” link.
7) Click “Select Photos…”
8) Select your photos and click add.
- I’d suggest doing this in groups of 50-100 photos at a time, just in case there is a problem

Looking forward, I hope you’re all gearing up for the BIG trip to West Virginia. Looking at all the emails and numbers, etc. I am like 99% sure we are going to exceed last summer’s attendance numbers! Again, making this the BIGGEST, FUNNIEST, CRUSHING-IEST CREW OF QUEER CLIMBERS, EVER!

See you all in 2 months in the dirty South!
Rio

What Would James Franco Do?

So I admit it. I gagged. Despite years of practice, turns out I still have a gage reflex. In fact, it wasn’t even at the part I thought I would gage at. Nope, not at all. Not at the very end of it all, but right in the middle, totally unexpected. The whole thing wasn’t even THAT Long. In fact, I pretty much sat through the whole thing rather comfortably.

I’m talking about Danny Bolye’s latest movie “127 Hours” staring James Franco. While Mr. Franco isn’t hard to look at, the scene portraying Aron Ralston self-amputating his own arm was. And I genuinely gagged at the scene where Aron drank his own pee. True story of a true story.

But despite the details, I was struck by the concept of the movie. As an outdoor enthusiast, it provoked a tonne of questions (I’m Canadian, therefore I’m referencing metric tonnes). Would I be able to do what he did? What would I do in that situation? Was Ralston brave or a hero? Or was he a fool for going out into the wilderness without anybody knowing?

I really reflected on the entire story. It helped me realize that even though I am a rock climber, and to the average person a high-risk taker, I am a total pansy! I check knots repeatedly, I hate falling, I wear my helmet as often as I remember, and I hate it when Upton walks around the anchors without being tied into anything 3+ pitches up (heart you Robbie).

But its hard for me to see the point of taking unnecessary risks, especially outdoors. Why do it? Am I less of a climber if check my gear? Am I less of a climber if I tell my friends where I am going? I sure as hell don’t think so. There are still thousands of places and crags that I want to climb, and I’m going to need all of me to do it. Granted, I see the allure of venturing out alone, but to not tell family or friends is risk I’m not willing to take. Plus, the geek in me wants my next dream/big purchase after the GoPro Helmet Cam is the SPOT Messenger.

Thinking about the amputation, I don’t know if I should even say what I think I’d do because that is a situation I can’t related to. Sort of like getting pregnant and childbirth. Don’t want nor need to deal with, and something physically I don’t ever want to experience. But I’d like to think I’d fight to survive no matter what the challenge is, no matter the scenario.

And when you think about it, us ‘mos are used to fighting. It sounds a little lame, but its true. We fight prejudice and stereotypes everyday. With our family, at work, etc. So if you ask me, being a ‘mo at any day and age makes climbing rocks look really easy. Well, 5.12s are hard, but you get what I’m saying.

That’s a lot, and its pretty heavy, but feel free to disagree. But I think what I’m really just trying to say is that rock climbing and “hard places” are kinda easy, its life I find really tough.

Rio

American Alpine Institute Climbing Blog – Film Review: 127 Hours