“Some of our wild behavior was derivative, for we had been heavily influenced by stories of the Vulgarians, a renegade group of young, antisocial males who climbed in the Shawangunks, that fabulous climbing area eighty miles north of New York City. Vulgarians had pissed onto parked cars from the roof of restaurants; overturned Volkswagen bugs; removed sacred fixed pitons from the trade routes of the Gunks; and partied loudly till dawn. They hated authority, rebelling against it at every chance. Much of their behavior was directed towards the Appies- members of the staid Appalachian Mountain Club, the same ones who had placed the sacred fixed pitons and owned the VW bugs. These older, more conservative climbers tried to set rules about who was to climb at the Gunks. The Vulgarians, most of them bright college students in the city, rebelled in a big way: the Appies suffered humiliation after humiliation until they finally ceased to be a force in gunk climbing. The Vulgarians later became mythologized for their free and crude behavior, but there are two sides to the story. A recent letter to the editor of a climbing magazine represented an Appie version: “the Vulgarians were filthy animals with nothing to redeem their reprehensible behavior.”
….. this is a passage from the book “Camp 4” by Steve Roper. Required reading for anyone who has the nerve to call themselves a climber.
I could go off on a wild tangent were I attempt to excommunicate all so-called climbers by establishing a criteria for membership…. but lets be honest if you can elbow your way up to the crag and throw down, ill forgive your ignorant ass. to a point….
back to what i was saying, that passage along with countless others in many books by authors/climbers have stuck in mind. passing along the ethics, ethos, and spirit of climbing. plus its inspiring when you feel fat, lazy, and angry as shit for having a job!
so what do the vulgarians have to do with anything? well i guess some of you have read for long enough that you have heard me refer to the climbers i rope up with as the vulgarians. i just felt it was time to explain it all.
we arent the vulgarians, instead we have dubbed ourselves the vulgarian climbing team. that in itself is a long joke. but in a sense those guys are our mascots. com'on, youve been to a sports game. do you really think the cleveland indians are all "the indians" from the wild west. no! but our mascots are slightly more inspirational to our agenda. hence the roper passage!
but i guess you need evidence before you believe me that we can use this name.
i deleted what i origonally wrote cause it sounded stupid! ...go figure.
regardless the best i can say is come experience it. come hang out in our campsite, walk down the trail with us, setup on a neighboring route and watch the show. were not necessarily cranking harder than the 15 year old kid who lives in the gym. but if he steps outta line well snap off his ego. were the ones having the most fun, you can tell because were loud with laughter. we get off the ground, just check and see if the gears been used. if someone leaves the cams in the car, well tie knots in the slings and stuff those in a crack. were not afraid to run it out, every dome has its day. were not too stupid to back off or back it up. "nice people climb 5.7 & the best climber is having the most fun" are true quotes for us. but dont think we cant send 5.12. we tear each other down and protect our own. weve hit the road at least every 10 weeks for the last 6 years ticking in yosemite, indian creek, city of rock, joshua tree, red rocks, squamish, bishop, south lake tahoe, index, and all the other spots in washington. its a good crew. i hope everyone has a group of climbers that are their family. ...oh and soon we get t-shirts.
in vulgarians part three i'll introduce you to the crew. tell you all about their nicknames and more.
thanks for reading