A Brooklyn-based climber has caused an outcry after a candid video of him intentionally altering a boulder problem in upstate New York appeared on a popular climbing website. In the video on DPM Climbing, an individual identified as former Edelrid athlete Ivan Greene is shown using a hammer and hand drill to remove rock from the roof of a small cave.
In a separate article on DPM, one unnamed local said that climbers in the area had been noticing chipped holds, and occasionally entire manufacturered problems, since last year.
We started to see these problems that were completely manufactured—like, every hold. It was happening all over. We had suspicions about who it was, but there isn't exactly a police force in the boulders to prevent this stuff from happening.
The controversy over Greene taps into a debate that's been raging since the early days of sport climbing, when modifying, or "chipping," the holds on a climb was relatively common. While some types of minor alterations to the rock, such as scrubbing off grime or pulling off a dangerously loose flake that could hurt a climber if it breaks, are largely accepted today, intentionally altering holds to make a climb easier is almost universally frowned upon.
Following DPM's story, Edelrid posted a statement on their Facebook page saying that Greene was no longer part of their team.
We would like to state unequivocally that EDELRID does not support the practice of chipping. It is our belief that the challenge, and the pleasure of climbing, lies in rock formations, as they occur naturally.
With this in mind we can state that we find the recent behaviour of Ivan Greene to be completely unacceptable, and we would like to take this opportunity to clarify that he is no longer an EDELRID sponsored athlete, and in actuality has not been supported by the brand for over 12 months.
Greene has yet to comment publicly on the video or the accusations levied against him.