Some of climber’s language lost in translation

I was honored to be featured in the July 6 Durango Herald, in the story, “What Now?” However there were a couple inaccuracies I wanted to clear up.

First, the photo credit with the Indian Creek and East Animas images were switched. Though local climbers like to joke that Indian Creek is in our backyard, it is in fact East Animas that is truly the backyard crag.

Additionally, it states in the article that I quickly found employment opportunities here in Durango after moving here three years ago. In fact, I moved here less than two years ago, and finding employment was quite difficult. I was surprised by how hard it was to find a job, and now after nearly two years of living here, I’m finally gainfully employed.

Also, the article it states that, “Climbing ... is a great way to meet the opposite sex because it’s one of the rare sports where men and women are on an equal footing.” This statement is taken out of context. Looking for a dating scene has never been a factor in my pursuit of climbing. In the interview with the Herald, I did state that Durango is somewhat of an anomaly because the ratio of male to female climbers is more equal than many mountain towns of the West, and was part of the point I was trying to make. Additionally, the accomplishments of women in climbing are just as impressive as those that men make, and that was the other point I was trying to make. Lastly, I should add that within the core group of outdoor climbers who make climbing their life, men still outnumber women.

Overall, the Herald did an excellent job writing the story. It’s extremely difficult to write about climbing as a non-climber; as a culture we have our own customs, language and lifestyle – so much, sometimes, that perhaps we could benefit from having a translator in the room for interviews.

Luke Mehall