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Why aren't there very many black climbers?


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When I went climbing in J Tree I was surprised by the relative # of black climbers there were there because you hardly ever see pictures of blacks cranking in the mags aside from Ed February and Mike Freeman. Oh, and Trevor Messiah from Britain.


How come white trash are underrepresented in climbing? I would guess the same reasons namely different socioeconomic background and lack of a group of similar ethnic climbers of older age to act as known mentors? Im not talking about top roping with moms laundry line either.



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Me too. At T-Wall outside Chattaboogie, it was common to see PWT climbing. It even went so far as to coming across a rope hanging on a climb we wanted to warm up on. Since no one was around, we walked along the cliff to see if we could find the owner. As we rounded an arrete, there were 3 good ol' boys hanging out on another climb.


"Is this your rope over here?" we asked. "Oh yeah man. You're more than welcome to take a go on our rope. We'd just lefted it up 'cause we's fixin' to get back on it. But you can use it now." replied the skinny one donning a wife beater, cut-off jeans, and a bilboard foam/mesh construction co. cap. I looked at my buddy and he looked at me. The rope we had observed did not appear to be your typical dynmaic climbing rope. It was completely white and beared a few scars throughout its length. As my buddy and I pondered and tried to figure out how not to appear rude in a reply to their offer, one of the guys climbing yelled down from up high on the climb, barely visible through the maple tree branches that typically obscure your view of the upper cliffs in the south. "Hey Timmy", came a voice from above, "Ya ready?" With that the belayer's friends grabbed on to him, one especially large, and held him down. "Yeah, We's ready!" Replied Timmy. With that, the guy jumped off and took about a 30 foot screamer, coming to a hault only 5 feet off the deck. As he stopped, we witnessed a tight jerk in the rope and a whiplash effect to his neck. He was wearing gloves, a handmade Colorado harness made from webbing, and donning the most perfect mullet I've seen in my 4 years living in TN. (that is a compliment to most down there).He untied, walking a little funny, muttering something about chafing and his neck being wrenched, but needed to crack open a "cold one" and everything would be "a'right." My buddy asked,"So what kind of rope y'all using there?" They all turned to the skinny guy looking for a response. He replied," Aw, that's just your basic tree climbin' rope. After we nick up the rope a good bit an it needs a retirin' I just take 'em and use 'em for things 'roun da house an' climbin' rocks n such. We ain't fixin' to get on that one over yonder any time soon, so's ifs you's awnt ta, you can use it." I looked at my buddy and he at me. "Thank you, but we had our eyes set on another climb further down the cliff face. Have a good day!"

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