Bullshit Lowball Choss: Climbing Irony from East to West

You Did a Rock Climb - A Decision Tree from Bass For Your Face
You Did a Rock Climb – A Decision Tree from the funny East Coast jerks at Bass For Your Face

This is a post about a blog called Bass For Your Face. But before I say anything about this blog, which strikes a perfect, zine-like balance between awesome and stupid, I have a question for you: If you’ve climbed in both the Eastern and Western United States, you might have noticed that many climbers in the West are lacking something. Do you know what it is?

No?

OK, I’ll tell you.

It’s a sense of irony. In other words, a deep love of sarcasm. A shit-talking streak that will make you feel like a total moron while at the same time letting you know that, even though you probably are a moron, your climbing buddies love you anyway. Having lived in Ohio, New York, Colorado, and now Utah, I’ve gotten a good sense of this difference. Often, when talking to a climber from the Western states, I’ll make a snarky East Coast comment, like shouting “Dab!” as a climber enters the crux of a climb. Or suggesting we go climb choss at Little Cottonwood Canyon. “What? I didn’t dab!” They’ll say, totally missing the point. Or, “LCC isn’t chossy! It’s, like, bullet granite, dude!” C’mon, son!

I don’t know what it is about New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and the rest of those frozen, Blair Witch-looking little states packed together in the Northeastern corner of the country, but the people out there just have an edgy, self-deprecating sense of humor that the people in the West tend to lack. Maybe it’s because the population density in the East is so much higher, or the weather is so much more hateful. Or maybe the vast, open spaces of the West just make the human brain go slack.

And maybe it’s related, but Western climbers also tend to take their exploits on the rocks more seriously. In the East, you can’t even start to spray about your accomplishments without getting smacked down by your “friends”. It’s like the scene in Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where big paddles shoot up out of the earth and whack the protagonists in the face every time they have an idea. In the East, you’ll just have to learn how to turn off your ego and have fun. In the West, when some dude throws a wobbler because he fell of his project again, his girlfriend and two other dudes will run over and start rubbing his back and telling him how strong he looked. Jet fuel for the narcissistic ego fire.

B4YFers climbing rad boulders
B4YFers climbing rad East Coast boulders

Now before you go getting your sarcasmically challenged panties in a bunch, Westerners, I know this doesn’t apply to all of you. And I know there are plenty of insufferable tool bags on the East Coast, too. But it’s something I’ve noticed and I just felt the need to finally get it out.

Ahhh… much better.

Back on track: If you’d like a taste of the New York climbing vibe, raw and uncut, I recommend checking out bassforyourface.com. In the “About” section of their site you’ll find this little tiddlybit of language: “Not satisfied with Louder Than Eleven (inches)? Bass For Your Face will make you cry for FIFTEEN.” This gives a pretty good sense of the kind of content contained therein. B4YF is run by a hyper-ironic band of rowdy hipster rock climbers constantly working to put up (or just repeat, as the case may be) new boulder problems in the Gunks. In a climbing area widely regarded to be picked cleaner than a turkey carcass at Joey Chestnut’s Thanksgiving dinner, the B4YF crew, along with Ivan Greene and some other enterprising bloc-jockeys, have been adding instant classics left and right. For example check out all the V4+ goodness in this professionally shot and edited YouTube masterwork:

Finally, if you want to see an East Coast, off-topic snarkfest to end all snarkfests, don’t miss out on boldering.com, a message board centered on the depraved lives of Internet nerds who climb up little rocks for fun. This board was starting by at least one East Coaster so intensely sarcastic he’s almost impossible to talk to. You keep asking yourself, “Is he being serious, or is he making fun of me?” (Or at least, I do.)

On this post, as will all my posts, if you don’t like what I write, you can tell me to STFU in the comments.

Published by

Justin Roth

A busy mind that aspires to be still.

15 thoughts on “Bullshit Lowball Choss: Climbing Irony from East to West”

  1. i love that you called my video “professionally shot and edited.” im SO GLAD that shooting youre entire video with an iphone is now considered “professional.” im going to start asking for money for my “work.”

    :D

      1. yea, good job, tkup. way to explode the man’s whole argument with one comment. you never could refuse a compliment. gawd.

    1. Me, too. How dare you not highlight southeasterners as supremely sarcasmic? We laugh to keep from crying every day. Hafta be capable of multiple sarcasms with no refractory period…

  2. Criz isn’t almost impossible to talk to because he’s sarcastic. He’s impossible to talk to because the decades of steroid abuse and fruit booting have left the only braincell he has left in a perpetual state of confusion. It’s totally cool if your family’s centuries of inbreeding have obscured this fact to you, but you should move on from this point with the full knowledge that you’re the abortion your mother should have had. Nobody’s perfect.

    With love and kittens,
    Skav

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