Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Outdoors blog

Draw your own line on risk-taking — after you’ve talked to mom

Rock climber Alex Honnold was featured on the cover of National Geographic in May 2011 and then on 60 Minutes in October 2011.
Rock climber Alex Honnold was featured on the cover of National Geographic in May 2011 and then on 60 Minutes in October 2011.

OUTDOOR PURSUITS -- “We concluded that these forms of the sport are pushing boundaries and taking the element of risk to a place where we as a company are no longer willing to go,” Clif Bar wrote last month in an open letter to the climbing community to explain why the company is dropping sponsorships of the top athletes in free-solo climbing, high-lining and BASE jumping.

I explored the issue in my Thursday Outdoors column: Clif Bar Decision shows personal nature of assessing risk

The column is worth checking out for more details and the comments by Spokane climber Chris Kopczynski and the honest and moving reflections of a Spokane mom who's raised four adventurous boys.

I admire Clif Bar for trying to draw attention to the risks outdoor adventurers are taking, especially nowadays as skilled athletes and wannabes are spurred by the drive to make great footage in the cameras that are attached every sort of outdoor equipment.

People are risking their ability to walk if not their lives for a shot at going viral on YouTube.

But every line in the sand that's been drawn since the beginning of time has been challenged, if not crossed.

It will always be that way until we lose our drive to be better.

When we get to that point, what the hell.



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

Follow Rich online:




Go to the full Outdoors page