Words, Writers & Southwest Stories: Jeff Smoot

October 10, 2019 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Southwest Library
9010 35th Ave. S.W.
WA 98126

At the Southwest Branch library, join us as we welcome climbing author Jeff Smoot, who will be sharing stories and images from his new memoir “Hangdog Days: Conflict, Change, and the Race for 5.14”

Jeff Smoot’s new book chronicles the era when rock climbing exploded in popularity, attracting a new generation of talented climbers eager to reach new heights via harder routes and faster ascents. This contentious, often humorous period gave rise to sport climbing, climbing gyms, and competitive climbing indelibly changing the culture of the sport, transforming it into what we know today.

One of those young climbers, writer Jeff Smoot, traces the development over time of traditional climbing “rules,” enforced first through peer pressure, then later through intimidation and sabotage. In the late ’70s, several climbers began introducing new tricks including “hangdogging”— hanging on gear to practice moves— considered cheating by the old guard. As more climbers broke ranks with traditional style, this new gymnastic approach pushed the limits of climbing from 5.12 to 5.13. When French climber Jean-Baptiste Tribout ascended the 5.14a To Bolt or Not to Be at Smith Rock in 1986, he broke a previously thought impenetrable barrier. John Bachar, Todd Skinner, Ray Jardine, Lynn Hill, Mark Hudon, Tony Yaniro, Alan Watts, and others star in this lively period of the sport.

Presented in partnership with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required.

For more information, call 206-386-4636 or Ask Us. For ADA accommodations, please contact: leap@spl.org.

Space is limited at library events. Please come early to make sure you get a seat. Due to the fire code, we can’t exceed the maximum capacity for our rooms.

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