Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Media Part 1 - News

For those of us who daily troll the Internet in search of a climbing fix, it was a dark time in April, 2015 when Brian Runnells, the Climbing Narc, announced he no longer felt the "rhythm" and was abandoning his site. Voted top climbing blog by Outside Magazine in 2011, Climbing Narc provided just the right frequency of relevant posts displayed with a clean and modern layout. Now you can almost hear the wind blowing through the bullet-ridden sign of his last post as tumbleweeds roll down the streets of that once thriving news and video source.

It took some adjustment, but it turns out there is life after the Climbing Narc. In fact, there's no shortage of climbing media on the Internet.

In this series of posts, we'll list some of our favorites. We've divided the content into three categories: Climbing News, Podcasts and Videos. News sites are listed here, with podcasts and videos to follow later.

Climbing News

Acknowledging the major magazine sites like Rock & Ice and Climbing remain mainstays, here are four sites we prefer for fresh content and perspective:

Deadpoint Magazine


The News tab at Deadpoint Magazine (DPM) does what the Climbing Narc used to by providing a curated, quality feed of news from across the climbing world. DPM's content is not limited to U.S. climbers, but draws equally from the international scene. Following its tagline, "Media for the Young and Unruly," the emphasis is on modern trends in bouldering, sport and comps. The posts are well-written and typically appear before the other major magazine sites release their coverage of the same event.

You can find a link to DPM's News feed in the "Links" section of the right sidebar of this blog. Full issues of DPM's print magazine are available here: http://www.dpmclimbing.com/issues



Desnivel is a Spanish language media site representing several adventure-sport magazines. The site's rock climbing page features in-depth coverage of major events in the world of modern climbing. If you see brief mention of the latest Ondra or Sharma send from one source, chances are you can read about it in detail at Desnivel, especially if it occurred in Spain. Content is in Spanish, so you have to either be able to read that language, or use something like Google translate (if in Chrome, right click on the page and click "Translate to English").

The latter approach produces a somewhat bumpy reading experience. But wouldn't you rather expand your horizons than stay all comfy in your fat American life? Of course you would!

Planet Mountain


The stunning images on Planet Mountain's splash page should make a Bing background image content provider jealous. From there, click into "English" and you'll see multiple links to predominantly European climbing news. Planet Mountain stays true to the "mountain" in its name and focuses much of its attention on alpine and big wall climbing.

The site originates from Italy, so watch out when the subject is Italian; while the national bias of any media site can usually be spotted, the Italians really let their hometown vibrato sing.



More cluttered and confusing than a Göteborg, Sweden curio shop, 8a.nu is the climbing spray site we love to hate. Watch for Jimmy Webb's latest V14 flash in the cramped grid on the left. Try to guess what the numbers and letters in parentheses mean. Take a poll about your "Dream male climbing partner" (seriously, we didn't make that up). Right-click videos and "Open In New Window" to escape the site's microscopic view frames. Or just check in to see if the "Webmaster" has finally replaced the funky 1980s Compuserve look for a design from the current century.

A daily visit to 8a will bring you up to speed on what's what in the world climbing scene. And if you choose to drill into its well of climbing area profiles, articles and scorecards, we may not see you again for days.

Next time: Podcasts.

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