One of my pipe dreams is to gain access to some previously unclimbed rock wall, and work to put up a series of original routes. Ideally the grades would range from very easy to nearly impossible. It wouldn’t be the bolting or first ascents that I would be after though. This vision is based solely on the enjoyment I would get from naming the wall and the routes. I would name this hidden gem The Philosopher’s Wall, and each route would be named after a different philosopher. The difficulty of the route would correspond with the difficulty of each philosopher’s work. And the enjoyment of the route would correspond with the enjoyment of the work as well. A fun moderate route could simply be called The Mill. The hardest route could be called Hegel. There could be an open area where one just makes up their own route called The Existential Abyss. The crux of some of the routes would be named after philosophical dilemmas.
I could imagine getting to the crux on Schopenhauer and trying to work through The Hedgehogs Dilemma. On Chalmers, there could be two cruxes…The Easy Problem and The Hard Problem. There could be a traverse called Philippa Foot, and the crux could be called The Trolley Problem, it would be a route that finishes on the same anchors as The Judith Jarvis Thompson.
Yes, yes, yes! I would love to climb on Wittgenstein’s Ladder, a route in which you can recognize the right beta, but realize that in the end it just won’t work. The Problem of Personal Identity will cause the climber to question whether or not the person who started the route is the same person who completed the route. The Prisoner’s Dilemma will put the climber and belayer into a position where they are forced to choose who is to climb first, and then recognize that the rational choice may not always be the best choice. While climbing through Zeno’s Paradox, the climber acknowledges that there are an infinite number of ½ way points between the start hold and the anchors at the top of the route, and then conclude that even if they make it to the anchors, perhaps they haven’t actually moved at all. And of course, The Liar’s Paradox. The Liar’s Paradox is especially good for climbers who may exaggerate the truth about whether or not they have actually sent a route at all. While we’re at it, there might as well be a route called Ockham’s Razor, where there are different options, but the simplest route is clearly the best!
I would name the approach Intro to Philosophy, and the exit would be called The Road to Larissa. It’s an exit that causes much uncertainty about whether or not it’s the right way, but ultimately ends up taking you exactly where you need to be.
I wouldn’t object to a small campground just off the trailhead of Intro to Philosophy. We could host a weekly symposium and BS about philosophy on a nightly basis. We could have a general store to sell camp amenities, climbing gear, and philosophy books. Maybe even rent a few Walden-like cabins to the bougie climbers who prefer a bed and a roof over a sleep pad and a tent. Once a year we could co-host a conference/climbing competition with the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society, focusing on unique topics regarding the protection of the outdoors.
This is a pipe dream so while we’re at it, why not throw in a vineyard. People like wine, and we already have a store, so why not? Wine Knot? Wineott? Those are pretty good name options for the wine at The Philosopher’s Wall, Campground, General Store, and Winery. Welcome to my dream!