So the initial post was deleted by Blogger cause of some reason I don't know. In it we lost the wonderful comments we had going. I've still got em in my e-mail and thats all that really matters. So here it is, same as before.
It's been some 8 years since I first saw Alpine Club. I've spent 34 days and countless hours beneath the problem. I've gone through all the phases and currently reside in the "act like you don't care but deep down care so much it hurts" phase. Not really. But something like that.
When I first saw the problem it was a pinnacle. It was a testpiece. Something to aspire to.
In my eyes there was something beautiful, kind of perfect about it. You've got this obvious jug to start on, a few holds that lead directly off of said jug and an obvious topout. It has a perfect landing, engaging moves, a beautiful approach and has a certain simplicity to it all. On top of that it's a great little spot with a wonderful view of the lake and a nice little place to hang out.
In my head it was as close to perfection as I thought possible.
As a result I've been particularly protective of it over the years. I remember one such moment while I was trying it in early 2009 where I didn't want to try just jumping to the lip for fear of it 'ruining' the boulder problem. Little did I know that Mike Simon did it that way years ago, but nonetheless, I was actually afraid of finding a new sequence for fear of destroying a beautiful boulder problem.
I didn't merely want to 'get up' the boulder problem, I wanted to do it under my own terms. Possibly to my detriment, but alas, that's how I wanted to do it.
RV recently said something that struck home.
"Somehow there has been so much shit with AC that I feel that the problem has been kinda bastardized."
Over the past couple years new beta has been unlocked, variations have been put up, chalk has become ever present and the landing has eroded. Much of this has been my own doing and it's something I battle with more than I'd like to acknowledge. As much as I try to encourage people to check out other areas, Alpine Club is an obvious choice for many people for all the reasons I listed above.
For the first time in a very long time I stood in front of Alpine Club this past weekend and felt uninspired. I felt unmotivated to pull on the holds for the first time in 34 days of being up there and I wasn't sure why until RV wrote those words.
I can say two things definitively:
1 - I don't like the bump beta.
2 - I don't like the potential super sit.
And before I make everyone mad, read this. I'm not writing all this to piss people off. If anything this site has served a space for me to work out issues in my head and this just happens to be one of those times.
The bump beta makes me sad the same way I would have been sad that lone night in 2009 if I'd figured out that going to the lip was a substantially easier way of doing the problem(bump way is in fact still quite hard, btw). It's inane, stupid and petty of me. It serves no logical reason in my mind other than I idolized that move. I put it up on a pedestal. So much so that I still remember Peter talking about it years ago, pantomiming the beta along with him and Kelsen. Imagining myself one day doing the move.
I loved the problem the way he talked about it so much that I didn't want to see it "desecrated". So if/when the three of you who did it the bump way read this, it's not meant as a personal attack. It just made me sad to see that there was a different method and that it, in fact, wasn't perfect. I don't care if it's harder/easier/whatever but it just kind of took something away from the problem for me.
As for the super sit, once more nothing personal against you Ian, but it just kinda takes something away from the boulder for me. Again, it's 100% personal but when I heard about it the remaining crust of a memory of what was once Alpine Club crumbled away.
At the heart of it I think it makes Alpine Club less special. Maybe that's what it was for me. In an area full of eliminates, drop offs, sharp crimps and vague starts there was this one gem. I don't care if you give it 1 star(Paul) or 4 stars(2009 Steve) if any of us were to walk up to an identical boulder with no chalk on it there's no doubt to what we'd try. We'd grab the jug and go straight up. And that's what I loved about it. It was the obvious line in the middle of an area with no obvious lines.
I've been trying to figure out why I'm writing all of this. I think a good part of it is me just coming to terms with what Alpine Club really is. Letting go of my former thoughts of the problem and instead just thinking of it as a cool couple of moves.
Alpine Club will always be more than just another problem to me. That's just how it is. There is no doubt though that much of the luster it used to have is gone. That isn't always a bad thing.