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Turns Out the Climbing Haiku Is a Thriving Artform. Who Knew?!

All proceeds from a new book of climbing haikus will go toward rebolting efforts by the American Safe Climbing Association.

My dear belayer Max

How the seas divide us so

Shall we climb again?

—Salém J

So reads the cryptic yet definite message left on a climber’s internet board back in 2019. The intent of this late night thought-in-the-dark was not to generate discussion. However, within minutes the message board snowballed with a flurry of similar belaytionship haikus. Some serious. Some funny. Some heartfelt. Some stupid. But all of them were dedicated to the individuals on the other end of the rope.

It is no surprise that Salem’s message to Max stood out to every climber who saw it. The longing ache of a friendship split by time and space is a familiar sensation to us all. And just as Salem left a whimsical whisper in the void, so too did the community add their messages of longing and gratitude. This conversation blossomed organically and grew beyond any expected proportion. The resulting avalanche of the communal celebration of partnerships stands testament to the emotional domicile that our climbing friends help build.

Wanting to capture this magic, a small cabal of climbers gathered to discuss what could be done with this overflowing collective creativity. Our team saw an obvious passion within the community and decided to create a work of art that reflects the relationships climbers have with their partners, community, and planet.

Check out the Kickstarter here!

We present to you On Climbing: A Book of Climbing Haikus, a community-created compilation of bite-size zingers, unconventional wisdom, and gorgeous photography from the vertical horizon.

The book will be sized at an attractive 5″ x 8.5″ with over 100 pages of community-submitted poetry and full-color photography – perfect for the coffee table, guesthouse, or van library!

We hope readers will find the book funny, charming, and informative of why climbing means so much to so many people – but that’s not all.  We are creating this book to raise funds for a common and important cause: safe climbing.  All project proceeds will be used to purchase safe climbing bolt and anchor replacements for the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA). We are leveraging the ASCA’s skilled retro bolting team for installation, aiming to replace more than 4,000 climbing bolts in the wild. Together, we’ll replace bolts on ~500 full climbing routes across the United States!

Everyone who pledges to support this Kickstarter is invited to submit a haiku about their relationship with a climbing partner, a special route or crag, or just climbing in general. Once the project is funded, our team will send you details on how your poetry could be published alongside local legends, pioneers and professional climbers.