Climbing Ice and Bogus Climbing Articles
Ice Climbing Suggestions in Places Where Climbing Ice is Prohibited
I was browsing around for interesting climbing articles on the internet, and came across this ice climbing article: Where to Go Ice Climbing and Winter Hiking in the Gunks of New York. Sounds interesting, especially since I never hear about any ice climbing in the Gunks, so let’s see what the author suggests. I start to read it…. WTF??? Her first suggestion on where to climb ice is Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Well, I know for a fact that ice climbing is not permitted in Minnewaska. As a board member of the Gunks Climbers’ Coalition, we have been trying to get it permitted, but it’s currently prohibited. Oh, and it gets even funnier. She writes, “Minnewaska State Park is located in Kerhonkson and offers some of the best ice climbing in the region. Once inside the park you’ll want to head to the Peterskill Climbing Area.” Well, Peterskill is spelled “Peter’s Kill”, and people often spell it incorrectly, so I’ll give her a break on that error. But Peter’s Kill is for rock climbing only, there’s no ice climbing there, and even if there was any ice worth climbing, it’s prohibited. Plus the Peter’s Kill area is closed to climbing during in the winter (effective January 12, 2012) according to the Minnewaska web site. Then she suggests the Mohonk Preserve. Nope, no ice climbing there either. Then she moves right along to Sam’s Point Preserve. They don’t officially allow ice climbing or rock climbing for that matter. Every place she suggests in the article prohibits ice climbing. Oh, and the photo in the article is not an ice climbing image, but a photo of rock climbing at Skytop cliff, owned by the Mohonk Mountain House – a cliff not mentioned in her article and where there is no ice climbing and rock climbing is only for guided guests.
Ice Climbing Expert or Author Spewing PR Crap?
So this women’s entire ice climbing article is bogus. If she doesn’t know anything about ice climbing or where it’s permitted, she should have just written an article about winter hiking, and not mentioned anything about going to Peter’s Kill to climb. If she wants to publish things as an authority on a well known site such as Yahoo, she should check her facts. I took a look at her author profile. She has many years of experience doing PR, but I suspect no ice climbing experience. Take a look at the huge collection of articles she’s written. Could she really be an expert in all those various subjects? Or is she finding stuff online or in books and magazines and regurgitating it in her own words? What is the objective of churning out article after article of stuff that’s potentially crap? I figured it out. She’s signed up in the Yahoo Contributor program. They look for user contributed content. If you write about the topics they need content on, or if you get lots of hits on content you’ve written, you get paid. So she probably looks to see what content Yahoo needs, does some minimal research, and writes good enough crap to get some money from Yahoo. I wouldn’t have a problem with this if she did her research and wrote quality articles, but clearly she doesn’t have a clue about climbing and yet she’s publishing articles about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if many other articles she’s written are full of incorrect information.
Author Authority – Who Can You Trust?
Do you believe everything you read on the internet? I should hope not. But when it comes to climbing, where issues of access and safety are nothing to BS about, you need to be careful. Some clueless ice climber could plan a weekend up here and find themselves without any ice to climb, or get fined for attempting to climb ice that’s off limits. Or they could be taking their ice tools to scrape up a rock face that’s not meant for dry tooling (this was an issue a number of years ago when people were seen dry tooling at the Trapps in the Mohonk Preserve). How about directions to a crag or trail descriptions that get you lost? Or instructions on how to use a piece of technical climbing gear that are incorrect? It’s not a bad idea to check the source of the article and where it’s being published. Although Yahoo is a heavy hitter, it’s not known for climbing content. Established magazines such as Climbing or Rock and Ice are probably trustworthy. If you’re reading someone’s blog, take a look at their About page, and other articles they’ve written to get an idea of how much experience they have and other hints at their level of authority. If the subject matter’s accuracy is very important, then it’s worth double checking with another source just to be sure.
Meanwhile, I hope the author reads the comments on her article and considers removing this article from the internet or at a minimum, make it a winter hiking article and remove any mention of climbing in it.