Potter, Delicate Arch, a Rap Song and a Lawyer

by Mick Ryan Americans love their ´cease and desist´letters. If someone slanders you, infringes your copyright or just generally pisses you off, you can get a lawyer (or even do it yourself) to send a a letter asking them to stop their despicable behaviour. This is what happened recently to the Ohio climber Kris Hampton, who is also known as the rapper Odub. What did he do? Here at UKClimbing.com we have fairly comprehensively covered the ascent of the Delicate Arch in Utah by the very talented free soloist, Dean Potter. Dean climbed the Delicate Arch solo, and had his ascent filmed for promotional purposes (it wasn´t a first ascent). Problem was, climbing access is delicate in the National Parks of the USA and particularly in the desert areas. In Arches National Park climbing ´named´ arches is not allowed. Dean managed to upset the National Park, the USA´s climbers´ access advocacy group, the Access Fund, and a lot of American Climbers, and provoked discussion at UKClimbing.com (click here) At the time the Patagonia company who sponsored Dean and his wife, Steph Davis, stood behind Potter but later had a change of heart and mind and fired them both(see UKClimbing World News on Mar 21, 2007) Enter Kris Hampton who in April this year posted his rap song, ?Not All Roses,? to the Web; it sends up Potter´s controversial free-solo ascent of Delicate Arch. Hampton says, “The song sends up professional climbers who claim they don?t like having sponsors or being in the spotlight, yet seek publicity by, say, distributing film of themselves on the Internet.” He calls this behavior egocentric and used Potter as an example in his song to get climbers to think about the nature of publicity and the responsibility that goes with it, writes Whitney Levine. Potter didn´t like it and Hampton received a ´cease and desist´letter from Potter´s lawyer. You can read the full sordid details courtesy of Whitney Levine at climbing.com ( Source: Climbing magazine )