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The Gradeless Climbers Manifesto

Yes, that is what I am proposing; THE CLIMBING LIFE free of the subjective ordinal.

Free Climbing!?

No, my brave anti-gravitational partners, what we have unwittingly invented here is anything but free. We have, in our attempts at the purely descriptive, unleashed an epic of monster proportions.

We now stand before the crux. Will we give into the demons of the decimal?…or rage against this machine!?

Some time ago, our forefathers envisioned a land where all climbers were created equal; where all routes were hard five nine in the eyes of the Great First Ascentionist.

But this vision has been taken from us, twisted, and resold, packaged, discounted, high-balled, free-soloed, flamed, golden pitoned, sand-bagged, and sprayed upon until our dream no longer looks much like the parents that created it from the limitless love-passion.

This shiny, fresh-out-the-box, ordered from the interweb thing we now call god, was created in our own image? Well, I’m sorry but I have trouble recognizing myself in it. I would no sooner assign a number to you than I would drive a lost arrow through your heart.

How can we rebuild our Eden? I don’t know, to be quite honest, but I will start with this:

Your climbing, of whatever type, is a reflection of the divine present in you and the divine in this universe. I would no sooner look upon you through grade colored glasses than I would judge by the color of your cord.

Go now! Go! Seek out the guidebooks, the blogs, blags and mags! Cast them away and cast away the demons of the decimal!

What will you find, my friends? What lies beyond the decimal?

I don’t know, but I have a hint that what truly binds us together is not the rope.

ban the grade. love.