Sport climbing relies materially on the existence of routes equipped with bolts: vertical itineraries with anchors that allow climbers a safe ascent. Without bolting, sport climbing simply would not exist. In many countries, bolting is an altruistic individual activity that is usually neither organized nor regulated. Sport climbing bolting requires expensive hardware and sophisticated technical skills. However, equippers earn no money or prestige for this effort, which benefits many climbers. This paper develops a sociological approach to rock climbing bolting as a common-pool resource facing a deep crisis. In its early years, bolting was ruled by generalized reciprocity. The popularization of sport climbing quickly changed this framework. A small group of very active equippers has become net providers of public goods without compensation in economic or status terms.
The concern for style in climbing has been a long-standing debate in the climbing community, ranging from discussions around the politics of bolting routes to what exactly constitutes a first ascent. These debates, when read through Lacanian psychoanalysis, illustrate a larger concern for the construction of identity within rock climbing. Style becomes a strategy of differentiation that works through the signifier of whiteness to promise wholeness to the identity of the climber. Descriptions of the events in August of 2000 when four American climbers on a North Face expedition in Kyrgyzstan were taken hostage by members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan illustrate that whiteness only covers up deficiencies in the subject and creates a constant state of insecurity. Through the concept of whiteness as a logic of difference, it is possible to understand how this event illustrates the construction of whiteness, and specifically, the moments when whiteness fails to provide being to the subject.
Karen M. Appleby and Leslee A. Fisher
Rock climbing has been traditionally defined as a “masculine” sport (Young, 1997). The experiences of women in this sport have rarely been studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of high-level female rock climbers. Qualitative analysis of interviews with eight high-level female climbers (ages 19 to 30 years) revealed three general themes: (a) compliance to hegemonic gender norms, (b) questioning hegemonic gender norms, and (c) resisting hegemonic gender norms. A discussion and analysis of these themes suggests that these female rock climbers engaged in a process of negotiated resistance as they attained a climbing identity, gained acceptance into the climbing subculture, and increased performance in the sport of rock climbing.
Craig Hyatt, Shannon Kerwin, Larena Hoeber and Katherine Sveinson
Julie, Shawn knew little about the sport of rock climbing until his youngest daughter began participating. When asked if his kids influenced what sports he follows, Shawn responded: Maybe the only thing would be, my youngest daughter is a rock climber, which is kind of a unique thing . . . . And I
Jeffrey J. Martin
, & McCabe, 2017 ). Escaping a parent’s close monitoring is often seen as liberating ( Willis et al., 2017 ). Second, it is important to recognize that establishing freedom can also be a process. For instance, in one study of special-population youth participating in sport (e.g., skiing) and leisure-type (e.g., rock
Yong Jae Ko, Yonghwan Chang, Wonseok Jang, Michael Sagas and John Otto Spengler
Academy of Marketing Science, 31, 256– 271 . doi: 10.1177/0092070303031003004 10.1177/0092070303031003004 Llewellyn , D.J. , & Sanchez , X. ( 2008 ). Individual differences and risk taking in rock climbing . Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 9 , 413 – 426 . doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2007