Opinion: Why Isn’t Margo Hayes Projecting La Dura Dura Yet? -

Opinion: Why Isn’t Margo Hayes Projecting La Dura Dura Yet?

Credit: climbing.com

  • Dec 06 2017 23:05About: 6 days ago
  • 10 views

Opinion: Why Isn’t Margo Hayes Projecting La Dura Dura Yet?

As new media allows us to see more of climbers’ daily routines, our expectations are becoming conversely more outlandish.
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
As new media allows us to see more of climbers’ daily routines, our expectations are becoming conversely more outlandish.

I met a raggedy bunch of climbers at the gym the other night who declared they were informally objecting to Margo Hayes’ route choices. To be clear, no one in this harmless crew of boulderers had ever met Margo Hayes. But everyone in the mix followed Hayes on Instagram and knew all her recent accomplishments, and those facts—on this particular night—seemed to carry with them hefty degrees of authority.

The group’s gripe went something like this: Hayes, as everyone knows, became a superstar when she in Siurana, Spain. She was the first woman to do so. Then she upped her own ante by climbing one of the most legendary routes in the world— (also 5.15a)—in Céüse, France. This was all portrayed in the most recent Reel Rock film, which was what prompted this discussion in the first place. Of course, the obvious next step for Hayes’ continued vault into climbing’s stratosphere is to project in Oliana, Spain. This legendary 5.15c route is widely considered to be “The Hardest Climb in the World.” (At least it was prior to  in Flatanger, Norway.) Logically speaking, Oliana is close to both Siurana and Céüse, so Hayes would hardly be out of her geographic element on . And trying to bump up from an “a” to “c” grade, however arduous, would be a commendable challenge, right?

Plus, it’d be a great career move for Hayes. She could earn a new nickname: . Or something.

The only problem is that Hayes—inexplicably—doesn’t seem to be working on . Furthermore, she hasn’t made any public mention of what her next epic project might be. This bothered the niche of climbers I was with—perplexed them, even. La Dura DuraLa Dura Dura

One guy proposed we write a persuasive letter to Hayes—or maybe start a “Please Try ” petition—until he found that margohayes.com doesn’t have a "Contact" section. Someone else thought of looking up the phone number for La Sportiva’s North American headquarters—if Hayes couldn’t be notified directly with project suggestions, perhaps her sponsors could be.

Mercifully, such spirited energy eventually dwindled. People put away their phones and filtered out of the gym. Back to reality. Back to having no say or influence whatsoever in what Margo Hayes decides to project next. 

Still, the conversation stayed with me. Why has climbing fandom evolved to have this component of virtual management—we’ll call it fantasy projecting—normally left to other sports like (fantasy) football and (fantasy) baseball? Similar ridiculousness I’ve overheard this fall has included: whether Adam Ondra should drop everything to work on a 5.16a in some far-flung corner of the globe, whether Jongwon Chon—one of the best comp-scene boulderers in the world—should stop competing and instead try sending legendary boulders outdoors, and whether Tommy Caldwell should open a gym within easy driving distance of Yosemite (hint: yes, it’d be a marketing goldmine).

Part of the blame should fall on quinoa. Or at least what quinoa represents. 

See, over the past few months, I’ve seen so many strong climbers eating quinoa on their Instagram stories—or jogging on their home treadmills, or petting their dogs, or graduating from schools—that it has coupled the notion of epic projecting with a sort of suburban ordinariness. Food, pets, and projects on social media. Sometimes these days, pro climbers seem more like overly productive roommates than top-level athletes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with an entrée into their daily routines and quirks. I enjoy checking their Instagrams as much as anyone; I love pics of food and lazy dogs. And projects. But it’s just so different from the big-name climbers of previous decades, who seemed more like mystics—gurus, even—with their whereabouts and goings-on totally unknown.

Unknown until their surprise sends popped up in the pages of, ahem, a print magazine, or on a grainy VHS compilation backed by royalty-free reggae.

It’s only in the current era of constant fan access (annual tours, frequent streamed comps, blogs, and vlogs) and unceasing domestic surveillance (Instagram stories, any number of organic coffee shops in and around Boulder, Colorado) that we have grown accustomed to having access to climbers’ free time as much as their press time, commenting on their future projects as much as their post-workout snacks. It’s a two-way-mirror: if the elite climbers let us into all their normalcy, aren’t we allowed to talk about all their choices and possibilities with a new degree of normalcy as well? Ondra start working on a 5.16a, darnit! And Chon project outdoors more often! Also, Alex Puccio should enter arm wrestling tournaments, and Alex Honnold should run for president!

It has amounted to well-meaning, nonprofessional climbers commenting on famous climbers with the same casual familiarity—and, at times, ridiculousness—that any of us might use to inform a longtime friend that she mistakenly left the coffeemaker on: The Proueman ShowLa Dura Dura

I would end this here, but in a weird way, this has managed to bring us back to the topic of , which is precisely the spiral I was circling several nights ago after my gym session. I held a sweaty bandana and my old pair of Solutions in one hand, and a phone presenting climbers’ Instagrams—food, pets, and projects—in the other. 

For the record, I think that gym discussion ended with me acquiescing to some vague agreement that, —although I can’t say I ever got on board with that notion that Margo Hayes needs to jump on right away.

Still, the fact that the discussion happened means that it will continue to happen—if not at my local gym, then at yours. And if it’s not that topic, it will be another one. This strange familiarity that we now have with so many climbers’ everyday actions, substantial as well as mundane, begets strange proposals and suggestions. You have been warned. 

As to what legendary project Hayes will astound us with next, only she knows. And that’s the way it should be. But still, we can’t help but wonder. Maybe we should check her Instagram.

Why We Climb: A Dirtbags Quest for Vertical Reason



Follow Us on Twitter

John Burgman asks: climbing fandom evolved have this virtual management—we’ll call fantasy projecting—normally left football baseball?

Related stories with Opinion: Why Isn’t Margo Hayes Projecting La Dura Dura Yet?

LA will become largest US city with recreational pot -World News
LA will become largest US city with recreational pot 6 days ago
Los Angeles is in line to become the nation’s largest city with legal recreational marijuana after the City Council voted Wednesday to license sales and cultivation next year. The landmark vote came after a hearing in which council members character
WestJet to form joint venture with Delta as it pursues ultra-low cost carrier launch -World News
WestJet to form joint venture with Delta as it pursues ultra-low cost carrier launch 6 days ago
The airlines will apply for regulatory approvals in the first half of 2018, and said they hope to officially launch the partnership in early 2019
Prince George Played a Surprising Role in His School’s Nativity Play -World News
Prince George Played a Surprising Role in His School’s Nativity Play 6 days ago
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge with his son Prince George on his first day of school on September 7, 2017 in London, England. Chris Jackson/Getty Images Is Prince George following in his future aunt Meghan Markle’s footsteps? Prince William revea
Mike Mitchell: “I signed up to play full-speed, contact football” -World News
Mike Mitchell: “I signed up to play full-speed, contact football” 6 days ago
Plenty of people aren’t happy with the mixed signals being sent by the league office regarding the conduct that will or won’t result in a suspension. Steelers safety Mike Mitchell is among the frustrated, and he vented loudly on Wednesday rega
Lionel Richie axes Las Vegas show to help family escape from wildfire threat -World News
Lionel Richie axes Las Vegas show to help family escape from wildfire threat 6 days ago
Los Angeles landmark The Getty Center has been closed as fire rages nearby.
Trump delays his Jerusalem decision amid global uproar -World News
Trump delays his Jerusalem decision amid global uproar 6 days ago
International leaders warned US President Donald Trump Tuesday that he risked outraging Muslims and jeopardizing Middle East peace efforts if he recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and moved the US embassy there.
Formally apologise for Jallianwala: London mayor -World News
Formally apologise for Jallianwala: London mayor 6 days ago
"I'm clear that the (UK) government should now apologise, especially as we reach the centenary of the massacre. This is about properly acknowledging what happened here and giving the people of Amritsar and India the closure they need through a formal apol
Tom Wheeler slams Ajit Pai’s plan to kill net neutrality rules -World News
Tom Wheeler slams Ajit Pai’s plan to kill net neutrality rules 6 days ago
FCC is "bend[ing] to the wishes" of big Internet providers, ex-chair says.
Quavo Reveals Release Date for Quality Control Compilation 'Control the Streets Vol. 1' -World News
Quavo Reveals Release Date for Quality Control Compilation 'Control the Streets Vol. 1' 6 days ago
Throughout the year, Migos and other members of the Quality Control crew have hinted at a QC compilation project. With 2017 coming to a close, Quavo has come through with an official statement regarding the project and imminent release date. Taking to In
'Day of the Dead: Bloodline' Trailer Sees a Classic Horror Film Reinvented -World News
'Day of the Dead: Bloodline' Trailer Sees a Classic Horror Film Reinvented 6 days ago
Day of the Dead: Bloodline, directed by Hèctor Hernández Vicens’ is a remake of George A. Romero’s 1985 classic Day of the Dead. Like the original, Day Of The Dead: Bloodline focuses on a group of soldiers barricaded in an underground bunker look
The Hundreds Shares Latest Collection Designed by Anwar Carrots -World News
The Hundreds Shares Latest Collection Designed by Anwar Carrots 6 days ago
The Hundreds has returned with a new offering designed by Anwar Carrots. Known to share his own designs via Carrots by Anwar Carrots, the New Jersey native provides his own aesthetic to a selection of pieces such as a fine twill jacket, twill pants, shor
Train service between Boon Lay and Gul Circle stations resumes -World News
Train service between Boon Lay and Gul Circle stations resumes 6 days ago
SINGAPORE: Train service between Boon Lay and Gul Circle stations on the East-West Line has resumed after a train fault, according to SMRT. In a tweet posted at 6.05am on Thursday (Dec 7), the rail operator said free regular bus and bridging bus serv