Why Aren’t Climbers Going to Standing Rock?
We have hand-crafted our lives around the importance of doing whatever the fuck we want. We are allergic to roots, commitment, stillness. This governs our every choice. We quit our corporate jobs to be freelancers. We work remotely. We don’t have children. We live on the road, in our vans, in the dirt.
Because our personal freedom is important.
Even those of us who are pinned down in some way, we still know how to leave. We pretend to be sick so we don’t have to go to work on Friday. We leave the kids with their grandparents. We ride shotgun in the car of someone we’ve never met. We get our neighbor to feed the cat.
We spend 14 hours in the car for a weekend trip to Bishop. We drive through the middle night to get to Indian Creek. We calculate that if we spend $50 on gas, we will have $7.82 to spend on food for two weeks. This is perfectly okay with us. We love tortillas and honey.
We know how to sleep outside. We know how to be cold.
We know how to go to Standing Rock.
What if I told you that Standing Rock is just four hours away from The Black Hills? Would that change things for you? What if there was a cliff, well-protected bullet limestone littered with pockets and edges, in the middle of Standing Rock? Would that make you care?
Why isn’t every single outdoor lover, brand, media outlet, magazine, athlete, and clothing company doing something to help? Is it because Standing Rock doesn’t contain rock climbing?
And why, when we do talk about climate or land issues at all, must we always relate it to our sport? Why do we say that glacial melt is important because if we don’t have glaciers, then we won’t be able to go skiing, approach alpine routes, or enjoy ice climbing?
I tried to answer these questions this morning. I frantically scanned my brain, searching for something that excused me from all of this. But I couldn’t find anything. I feel uncomfortable. I feel bad. I feel like a privileged white girl. I “checked in” to Standing Rock on Facebook this morning, mostly to help, but also in a selfish attempt to soothe my discomfort.
I won’t judge you if you don’t want to go. I’m not telling you to go. Maybe that isn’t the best answer. Perhaps we can help in different, more valuable ways:
Here are even more things you can do:
- Donate items from the Sacred Stone Camp Supply List: http://sacredstonecamp.org/supply-list/
- Contribute directly to the tribe to support the Red Warrior Camp: http://standingrock.org/news/standing-rock-sioux-tribe--dakota-access-pipeline-donation-fund/
- Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp Legal Defense Fund:https://fundrazr.com/d19fAf
- Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp gofundme account:https://www.gofundme.com/sacredstonecamp
- Attend solidarity/fundraising events in your community. Solidarity events took place this morning in SLC and SF.
We all have the means to go to Standing Rock. But that’s not necessarily what I’m asking you to do. I want outdoor brands to use their platforms and funds to help. I want every person in this community to do something.
And then I want you to ask yourselves why you aren’t there.