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 By: Jens Larssen  | Date: 2010-06-09  | Category: Other    | (23) Comments  

Debate/Jens: I write this as a defence against the anti-8a-campaign going on at UK climbing. The campaign is fronted by two editors who actively have spread lies and negative information about 8a for about 18 months. Last week they spread, via an email, the rumour that The Access Fund is "pissed off" with 8a, and that 8a lies when we claim to work together with TAF on access issues.

I contacted Brady Robinson, Executive Director of TAF, who answered: "We are not upset - on the contrary, we are pleased that you are dedicating valuable space in your media outlets to get our message out." He continues: "Thanks again. I hope this clears up any confusion or ill feelings. Again, we appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to work with you in the future to help protect the places and the sport that we all love."

The UK climbing anti-8a-campaign started 18 months ago when they published a portrait picture of me at their

For the first months, the whole 8a screen shoot was a portrait picture of me which they also did use together with the headline at the first page.

The above article has until today been opened 25 417 times and I have been refused to answer it unless I register as an UKC member posting a comment. There are 184 comments to the article most of them of course very negative towards me.

The funny twist on the story is that I have the exact same opinion like theire Editor-in-Chief, Jack Geldard, even if it took him one year to understand :-)

"If you had asked me what I thought of E grades one year ago, I would have said they were great. Now I'm not so sure. If, on the very hardest head point routes, you first have to think of the bouldering grade or sport grade, then 'work out' what the E grade is - what's the point of the E grade? They do seem to work well on big trad routes up to E8 though - perhaps that's where they belong?"

The reason why they published their the above article was an 8a article saying,

"E-onsight grades seems to work fine for easier grades but for (redpoint routes) a supplementary grade should be added."
website and in their Ukclimbing article - A Swede and a Yank start messin' with our E-grade. I asked them to take away the picture and to have the possibility to answer with an article of my own. They refused to remove the picture at that time (although they did several months later) and told me I was welcome to register as any member and comment on the news.

One of their editors is also running a boycott 8a-campaign on facebook and the other editor is marketing Ukclimbing on that boycott page! I would also like to underline that you can find many more similar examples including several personal attacks from the editors in the 8a forum when I have only tried to discuss a subject. As I have tried to defend myself I have never answered offensively and of course we will not like them publish their pictures on the first page or even mention them by name in this article.

8a has tried to clear things up by sending several emails to their chiefs without any result so we felt we had to go live with what is happening behind the scenes denying the rumour they are spreading.

Despite the controversy that I realise sometime is a part of being a person with opinions and new ideas, I think it has gone too far when I receive emails that are spread around, saying: "You are a liar. The Access Fund is pissed off with you. You are causing access problems. How do you sleep at night? And, what is your favourite cheese?"