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.

Things We Believe In

So this morning I’m sifting through my work email & I see that one of my many many many many bosses has finally completed my mid-year performance evaluation.  I know this dude really doesn’t like me, mostly ’cause I’m much prettier/smarter/gayer than him, so I’m totally in avoidance mode.  I’m literally working my fingers to the bone (hehehe…bone…) in an effort NOT to read that performance review ’cause I’m pretty sure it’ll make me so mad that I’ll get lupus or herpes or a flesh-eating bacteriums from reading it.  This is the guy who made fun of me for being a climber and, really, sort of shamed me for not playing golf or some other lame-ass douche-tard sport.  Yeah, kids…that’s how we do it in Corporate America.  Fortunately for me, I got an email from Nat.  If you don’t know Nat, then…well, she is one of the coolest people you don’t know.  She’s also super hot…like, super super hot.

Nat...climbing. I told you she was super hot, you should believe me when I say stuff.

Anychrist, she sent me an email this morning with instructions on how I could channel all of this pent up rage into something productive…so here’s the email from Nat:

I’m a member of the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, which is a group that helps protect and preserve beautiful cliff lines and lands for future generations, saving many tracts from being turned into subdivisions.  I am also working closely with them in my role as a Park Ranger with the National Park Service at Little River Canyon, which is a breathtaking expanse right here in the South.  It’s been exciting and rewarding, and I am working towards coming up with more ideas and solutions to help forge a solid relationship, as well as provide support for the SCC’s goals, programs, and educational outreach.

As this is an issue I am personally and professionally involved in and passionate about, I am asking for your help.  The SCC has entered the Pepsi Refresh Project for the month of November.  If you are unfamiliar with the program, it is a plethora of grants for community project ideas that groups compete to receive.  The public votes on which ideas and plans they support, and thus a winner is chosen.

The grant that was applied for was in the amount of $250,000.  With this money, the SCC will work towards securing two areas–one in Alabama, another in Tennessee–that are slated for development.  If we can obtain these areas, they will be preserved and utilized by the public.  Some of the areas the SCC has already saved are enjoyed not only by climbers, but also hikers, cyclists, birders, and nature lovers.  They are a special treasure for everyone, and the SCC hopes to purchase these new spots.  Check out this video to get a better idea of who and what the SCC is, and what their goals are for the future.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPDqp9FbbeE&feature=player_embedded#at=20

This is a super cool picture that I lifted from the SCC website...I put it here because I was afraid all this text would bore you, the reader, so I thought I'd add something to liven it all up & keep your interest until you get to the end of the post. I'm sure that my transparency here is an excellent example of the type of behavior that leads my boss to give me shitty reviews.

Please vote for this project.  It’s as simple as sending a text, or pressing a button on the website.  You can vote every day in the month of November (of course, only one per day).  They have even set up a reminder email that can be sent to your address daily.

I know this may seem an annoyance or hassle.  You may think, I’m not going to go to all that trouble every day.  However, I would implore you to please support the SCC and this project.  As my family and friends, I am also asking on a personal level to support my connection with this group, as it helps foster new opportunities and angles to my job.  With these new avenues, I hope to personally improve as a public servant and continue to focus on putting my all into Little River to advance and elevate it to its designation as one of the Nation’s wild wonders.

Here are the ways you can vote:
1.  Send a text with the numbers “104071” (without the quotes) to 73774.
2.  Go to http://www.refresheverything.com/seclimbers and click on “Vote for this idea” in the upper right corner.

Thanks for the email, Nat!  Y’all be sure to take a minute to vote for them!

Member Profile: Mary Tang

Tang at Red Rocks

Aliases: MARAAHHHHTAAAANG!, Mirhihtang, Tang, Murr, Wu Tang Can!, Tang Tang Tang (a la Ricochet Rabbit), Tang-a-lang

Location: St. Louis

Profile: In this piece on deer overpopulation, Mary Tang captures the plight of so many HC members of being misunderstood in middle high school by authority figures who, at the time, loomed large and authoritative, but now as we can see in retrospect, are pushing their mental limits when they feed and clothe themselves in the morning.  HC, I suppose, is just the Andy Warhol studio we should have grown up in but couldn’t.

Mary and Kris

Mary Tang has those “I don’t need rest” shoulders such that she can flash a 100 foot flake all the while casually planning her next cartoon, most of which you can’t access without being her facebook friend, but here’s one about a trip to REI:

Return Everything Immediately or Rental Equipment Incorporated? You decide.

I first met Tang while in Chattanooga, where she demolished a crack at Leda I needed five takes on.  Maybe this is because I have such little experience with crack.  I mean, it’s like, what do you do back there?  Stick a finger in? Two?  I’m confused!  But Mary knows.

Odd skills: Fishing, growing cultures in a laboratory, ice hockey

Representative Icon: Cow

Carb staple: Noodles

Trip Report: The Super Secret Place

todays trip report requires a bit of discretion.  the place we went to has what the climbing community coyly refers to as “access issues,” so there is an understanding among the people who climb there that we not discuss where it is, how to get there, and so on.  because there are a lot of routes, the benefit is that you can climb there on a sunday, get on a bunch of classics, and not see a single goddamn person.  but the main benefit of no crowds is not, as you might guess, the ability to get on popular routes without waiting.  no, the real benefit is that you can climb naked. as pictured here.

Yowza.

ok, so we didnt really climb naked, and this picture was taken purely for the blog.  which may have made heterosexual cohort zach uncomfortable, although i couldn’t truthfully tell him that our trips weren’t normally like this.

Heterosexual cohort Zach. I'm not sure why we didn't have any pictures of him shirtless at the crag, but maybe Matt didn't want to give him the impression that we were perving. Which we were.

although not naked, i did in reality spend the entire day in underwear, flip flops, sunglasses, and a helmet.  the south is hot y’all!

If you saw how far up that second bolt was, you'd have top roped that shit too

given that i cant publicly disclose even what state it’s in, me and laurie decided to refer to this climbing area in the open as as The Super Secret Place.

Laurie, on the other hand, Just Says No to top roping. And says yes to sexy back.

even among the regulars, people dont know the name or the grade of 3/4 of the routes there. fortunately, we had the most recent revision of the bootleg topo for the area, which you too can obtain if you’re willing to forgo your sexual orientation for a few hours.  (Editor: Does it really take that long to fuck (redacted)?  Me:  Yes!  You only wish you could have.  And you can’t print that name here.)  suffice it to say, the dixie dyno’mos will stop at nothing to get a bootleg topo.  but dont ask us for it, because we think that’s a right of passage everyone should experience.  certainly better than whatever was involved in joining your fraternity, if only because we have the dignity to skip the cracker and admit that the paddling was enjoyable.

The downside of the area is the occasionally spartan bolting (better than no bolting) which demands creative stick clipping and sideways mammer-jammering.  So half the time we climbed anything we were tied into another rope and swinging around to clip the next route over.  Still, despite the heat, and the spiders, and the mammer jammering, the route quality is stellar and the grades challenging.  The latter probably explains why someone abandoned this pair of (Redacted) brand climbing shoes at the base.

Looking for a good home

Matt said, “Maybe you shouldn’t badmouth (Redacted) in case they decide to sponsor us?”

“If that happens, I’ll just delete all the references to (Redacted), and help them come up with a new ad campaign.  I can see it now.  (Redacted): Better than Montrails!”

“Maybe if they give us free shoes they’ll just spray paint their logo over a pair of good shoes like they did with (Redacted Redacted).”

Check out those guns

On the way home, we passed a sign next to a gas station that said “boiled peanuts”.

“STOP THE FUCKING CAR.”

The boiled peanuts sign was underneath a sign that said AMERICAN OWNED.

Thumbs up for the bottom sign, not the top one

The “American Owned” signage made me and Matt feel a little uncomfortable, because it’s the equivalent of “NOT FOREIGNER OWNED.”   In any event, one would assume that if you’re going to take particular pride in your American-ness, you would take particular pride in the pièce de résistance of southern cuisine, boiled peanuts.

NOT TRUE.  Those peanuts were hardly boiled, and if I was driving, I would have turned that car right around and chucked that styrofoam cup hard enough to blot out at least the second half of “American”.

Also, I demand to know what the hell the female equivalent of “Extenze” they were selling is supposed to do.

The male "extenze" makes your penis longer, so we can only presume that the female "extenze" makes your... uhhh... this seems like a discussion more appropriate for the comments section

with the trip just about over, i thought about my goal that morning, which was basically to find a place with bolts with no more than two hours of thorny bushwhacking, and to waypoint the shit out of everything on my GPS.  after we left, i was sad i didn’t have more time to get on harder routes, so it was kind of funny that we debated going to sandrock instead the morning of.  so, moral of that story, if your group is five or less, grab that motherfucking machete and move toward the abyss.

No, darling, you don’t miss him…you miss the near-death sexperiences.

OK so you’ve dated a climber, and, after having some herbal tea and talking with your therapist, you’ve decided that relationship just wasn’t for you.  Because you’re just better than that.  You’re worth more than that.  You deserve someone whose idea of a vacation involves room service and maybe a massage, not some self-centered narcissist with a death wish whose idea of “time off” is going to (insert river name here) gorge and climbing 13 hours a day.  Stand up for yourself!  Be the person you need to be, heal from this experience and move on, wiser and more capable of dealing with adversity in your relationships!  Now if only you could achieve an orgasm with your new love interest, that accountant you met at a trade show in Orlando…

What the fuck ever, this ain’t Cosmo and I’m not giving out any more GODDAMNED dating advice.  But Rowland was telling me about this article he read in some fucking book or what the cock ever.  Evidently, people who experience extreme stress (ie:  20 foot fucking lead falls) have an unexpected side-effects.  Like being really really really horny.  And guess what?  When you’re dating your climbing partner, you have those near-death experiences with one-another.  So it may be that you wind up having the best sex of your fucking life while dating another climber.

I need to add here that we’re NOT talking about clucking…Homo Climbtatsic does not endorse this type of lewd behavior.  That’s not to say we think there shouldn’t be MORE of it, we just don’t want to be responsible when it all goes horribly wrong for you.  Besides, we’ve all received fellatio while being lowered off a climb, and it’s totally fucking over-rated.  If, however, you’re making a video, we’ll totally watch that shit.

Think about it…have you ever cleaned a trad route & gotten to that totally run-out crux section right at the very end of the pitch only to realize that the piece you’re about to clean is actually an old chicken nugget with a sling wrapped around it?  Have you ever taken a 20 foot whipper only to realize that the gate on your fucking quick-draw at your last bolt…yes, the one you just fell on…blew, and you only survived because the rope happened not to fall out of the biner?  These experiences lead to some pretty serious emotions, and probably some serious arousal later in the day…if not immediately afterward.  Jon told me that, while he did not feel arousal immediately following his (now homo-world-famous) whipper, it was “no fun” having a near-death experience without having someone to take it out on.

Though you can see only terror in his eyes, Jon's probably insanely horny in this pic.

So, sugar, listen to me:  You do not miss that ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend climber.  In fact, breaking up with that person was probably the best thing you’ve ever done.  You do, however, miss the post-near-death-experience sex.  I recommend autoerotic asphyxiation if you’re not ready for another relationship, or, if you’re emotionally available enough, try to find someone who’s willing to experiment, maybe a little role-play with a loaded gun.  It’ll be safer, and odds are good you’ll wind up with someone who’s a little more sane than your garden variety climber.

HC featured on Towleroad, ProjectQAtlanta, ClimbingNarc

Whenever I post about HC getting posted about elsewhere, I think of a This Modern World cartoon where one of the characters says, “I’m blogging your blog!” There’s something vaguely disturbing about blogging about getting blogged elsewhere, like pointing two mirrors at each other. But more than I am disturbed, I enjoy basking in our notoriety! Woooo!

We got about 7,000 hits after my trip report was mentioned on Towleroad.

Matt Hennie of ProjectQAtlanta found great enjoyment in my letter to Nathan Deal, who just (gag) won the Republican primary.

And we got a nod from ClimbingNarc.com.

Robbie, sweetie, darling!

Well, the only news that Homo Climbtastic heard from this year’s Gay Games in Cologne was that Steve and Nick from San Francisco’s Flame’n’Flash came in second and third. A major accomplishment, congrats boys! What we DIDN’T hear until a few hours ago was that one of our very own, our fellow Homo Climbtastic Dictator, our ‘mo bro across the pond, Sweetie-Darling-Robbie won the GOLD!

That’s fine Robbie, sweetie, darling! We all miss you terrible and we can’t wait until you come back. Especially since we’re all still too scared to lead trad. Anyways, congrats Robbie! Way to represent Homo Climbtastic. I hope they gave you a small shoe as an award.

Also a big congrats to Steve and Nick!