Climbing: From old school to new

If you go

What: Boulder Climbing Community event

When: Thursday at 7 p.m.

Where: Boulder Rock Club, 2829 Mapleton Ave.

Cost: Free

More info: boulderclimbingcommunity.net

Tonight’s Boulder Climbing Community event promises vertical entertainment from across the decades.

Bouldering strongman, Daniel Woods, will give a slideshow at the event as will Jim Erickson, who put up many first ascents in Eldorado Canyon.

Emcee Timmy O’Neill said he’d bring mirth to the event at the Boulder Rock Club, 2829 Mapleton Ave.

“I’m a mirth addict, a mirth-head,” said O’Neill. Neptune Mountaineering held the BCC’s first event last summer.

Local climber Roger Briggs, who started the BCC, said the events are a celebration of community.

“Come together, it’s free, drink a little beer, meet some of the stars,” he said. Avery Brewing is sponsoring the event.

Though he and the Rock Club sought maximum entertainment for the event, Briggs says started the BCC with the idea of giving local climbers a voice.

In some areas, this isn’t a problem — for example, the Flatirons or Eldorado Canyon are covered by the Flatirons Climbing Council and the Action Committee for Eldorado Canyon, he said. But when Boulder Falls closed a few years ago, thus blocking some climbing access, there was no way for the city to get in touch with climbers, he said.

“I felt like there needed to be some mechanism that represented climbers and provided a dialogue with the public, with land managers,” he said.

Thus through the BCC he formed the Boulder Canyon Stewardship Group to address issues at crags in the canyon. But the BCC isn’t necessarily an advocacy organization — in fact, it’s tough to define because it’s still evolving, Briggs said.

“It’s a connective organization is the idea,” he said. “It’s not a business, it’s not a club. I hate to even call it an organization — it’s a community.”

Briggs said he hopes it’s ultimately about stewardship. But he also hopes people come to the event Thursday just to get together and have fun.

Kevin Bains, of the Boulder Rock Club, said it should be a good show.

Aside from one slide show earlier this month, Woods hasn’t done a presentation in town in a few years — and whatever tales Erickson tells tonight should be entertaining, he said.

“He’s just a character, so we’re excited to see what he’ll do,” Bains said.

“I grew up in an era where people placed pitons and didn’t use chalk and viewed rock climbing as preparation for ‘real’ climbing,” Erickson said. “Ninety-nine percent of the people who climbed in the ’60s thought if you were just a rock climber, you were a lame-o.

“Rock climbing was just preparation for the real thing.”

Erickson plans to show slides — slides from film — from climbing in the 1960s and ’70s.

(Erickson said he didn’t have a lot of slides. “Back then we didn’t take pictures for posterity because we didn’t think we were doing anything important,” he said, adding with a laugh, “we weren’t!”)

He said he’s glad to help the BCC tonight.

“A long time ago, people didn’t have to organize, because not much had to be done,” Erickson said. “But now there’s all kinds of issues with land owners…if they make rules about things that affect climbers’ behaviors, then someone has to be able to respond and come up with compromises on issues.”

“It’s a good thing, and it’s like any relationship — the more communication you have, the more likely you are to succeed.”

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