Monday, November 17, 2014

Too Dangerous

Clif Bar, a maker of nutrition bar with a climber on its logo, used to be a major sponsor of extreme sports such as base jumping and free soloing. Now the company has canceled all contracts. “We concluded that these forms of the sport are pushing boundaries and taking the element of risk to a place where we as a company are no longer willing to go,” Clif Bar wrote in an open letter to the climbing community. “We understand that some climbers feel these forms of climbing are pushing the sport to new frontiers. But we no longer feel good about benefiting from the amount of risk certain athletes are taking in areas of the sport where there is no margin for error; where there is no safety net.” Among those whose contracts were withdrawn were Alex Honnold and Dean Potter, each widely credited with pushing the boundaries of the sport in recent years. How far they are pushing the boundaries can be seen in a new documentary about the evolution of rock climbing in Yosemite National Park that was just released ("Valley Uprising"). The film shows both of them climbing precarious routes barehanded and without ropes and Dean Potter walking across a rope suspended between towering rock formations.

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