Bringing Climbing to Burning Man
Once a year, tens of thousands of participants gather in Nevada's Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a city in the desert dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever. Burning Man has become increasingly popular over the years attracting lots of bay area artists, many of whom rock climb.
“In climbing, if you see an unclimbed line that you feel should be climbed, you go and do it and then tell folks about it. At Burning Man, we saw there wasn't any climbing, so this year we're bringing it,” said Eliot Tang-Smith, a bay area climber.
The Burning Man Team
This year, five bay area climbers are heading to Burning Man with the intent of bringing a little bit of climbing with them. Zack MacFarlane, Vikki Glinskii, Nour Mardini, Spenser Tang-Smith, and Eliot Tang-Smith plan on building a 14’ by 26’ climbing wall in the desert for the August 29 to Sept 5 festival. Using an A-frame type design with some steel bracing, the climbers hope to make a wall that will withstand the impacts of the high winds across the desert playa.
A mock-up of the wall. Don't worry- The Lizard man won't send your project.
The group has been busy with construction as well as gathering material for the festival. Boxes are set up at Berkeley Ironworks for people that want to donate used climbing shoes, chalk bags, crashpads, climbing holds, and the like. The group has raised $2500 of their $7000 goal for materials, renting a truck to transport the wall, and other building costs. They hope to get more pads and holds, which they promise to return after the event’s end. The group also has a Kickstarter page where you can donate
Help support the artistic side of climbing and if you’re heading to Burning Man- make sure to stop by the climbing wall!
Labels: Burning Man, climbing wall at Burning Man, Eliot Tang-Smith