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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Mission 14!!!!!!! WTF 17-Aug-2013 At 12:48:37 PM Damo666
On 16/08/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>From one of your links...
>what we need is less guilt and more pure, for-the-hell-of-it adventure.
>Itís worth it on its own terms. No feather boa required.
>... Sums it up for me.

Most famous, big-time adventure is not 'pure' and never has been. The only stuff that might be 'pure' you'll probably not ever hear about - 'small time' stuff done by regular people and their friends for the fun of it. As objectives get bigger, you cross a line pretty early on in things where money, ego, media and all the rest creep in, with a multitude of effects.

I used to be dead against 'charity' expeditions and mostly I still am, and of course this Mission14 thing is a terrible one. But when you slag them all off you are tarring lots of different situations and people with the one dirty brush. There is a wide variety of these things, along a spectrum from Great to Disgraceful. I know there are plenty that veer toward the latter, but not all do. I guided one last year and was initially very wary of the whole thing until I learned how the money would be raised, managed and spent. Basically, members could not do the trip unless they raised a (large!) fixed amount over and above the trip cost, all of which would go direct to the charity, who are very direct and transparent in showing how they spend their funds.

The only real thing that matters, if you ignore the effect on perceptions of the climbing/adventure community, is "Does the charity end up with more money in their bank than they would have otherwise?".

If the answer is 'yes' then objections pretending to defend the charities involved are simply misguided. The charity should not be out of pocket - they should make a sizeable profit. Of course problems arise when causes are abused or middle-men take cuts, or the finances are generally just a bit shady. But again, they're not all like that.

Plenty of 'charity adventurers' pay their own way for the trip and raise funds on top of that, all of which go to the charity. What is the problem with that? Well of course some sponsored 'athletes' have whinged on social media, but this is mostly just jealousy at the media attention and faux-outrage at their pure soul-climber ethics being impinged upon. Will Gadd did one a couple of years ago. Mostly they're just more evidence of the narrow-mindedness of professional athletes and yet more proof that, in climbing and most 'sports', you don't have to be smart to be good.

One of the links above says "...most charity adventurers could probably raise more money if they just sat at home and canvassed their family and friends by telephone." This is a really common response and is absolute bullish!t. Try it, it doesn't work. The sad fact is that people need an event or a challenge or something to trigger a donation to make it seem more worthwhile. They won't just sign a cheque because their friend asked them to - it just doesn't work and most of the people complaining that it should don't do a thing themselves and are often assuaging their own guilt at doing nothing by having a crack at those who are. Talk is cheap.

Plenty of people just give to charities anyway (thankfully) and you never hear about it. But so often more is needed so extra things have to be done.

None of this is meant to defend the Mission14/Cienski debacle which is just ridiculously f*#ked and will hopefully die a premature death.

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