Up or Down?

Up or Down?

A couple weeks ago in this space, The Adventurey Report column told a story of a new helicopter operation in


adventure journal poll up or down

A couple weeks ago in this space, The Adventurey Report column told a story of a new helicopter operation in Utah that serves ski mountaineers — once they skin to the top of the peak, a chopper picks them up and flies them back to the bottom so they don’t have to be burdened with actually skiing down. The Adventurey Report, of course, is not true, but the piece gets to the heart of one of the more interesting wrinkles in the character of outdoor people: the fact that many of us, if not most of us, prefer either the up or the down, one or the other.

They offer very different experiences, climbing typically associated with the satisfaction of effort, descending more about thrills and rush and adrenalin. In simple terms, one is hard, one is easy, but of course it’s not so simple. Getting in the groove on a long uphill mountain bike climb can feel orders of magnitude easier than an endless rugged descent on an undersuspended bike. And going down can challenge your skills, vision, and athleticism every bit as much as the ascent, if not more so. And at their best, the two are linked, one comes before the other, and you earn what you’ve been given. They are yin and yang, day and night, Oreo and filling,

But at the end of all of it, we usually like one more than the other. Which is it?



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Congratulations to Áron Gábor, who wins the Smiths swag!


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Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal.
Showing 76 comments
  • Nate
    Reply

    the rush definitely

  • Hotmann
    Reply

    I used to be all about the down…but as I’ve gotten in better shape I also enjoy the up as well. But down will always be more fun to me.

  • Adam
    Reply

    All about the up. And besides, if you go up, you’ll come down anyway.

  • Scott Strong
    Scott Strong
    Reply
  • Mark
    Reply

    down

  • Dave
    Reply

    Downhill all the way. All about the speed and adrenaline rush.

  • Alex
    Reply

    Up and down! Don’t be lazy.

  • Charles Kelso
    Charles Kelso
    Reply

    Both.
    What goes up must come down and, the greater the investment, the sweeter the reward.

  • Chris
    Reply

    The decent is the reward for fighting the epic battle to the top.

  • Matt
    Reply

    Get up to get down. Unless I have to walk down. Then the up wins.

  • Mark Strikwerda
    Reply

    The up makes the down fun.

  • Glenn
    Reply

    I love the rhythm of climbing + I’m a wimp on the downhill

  • Alex Sinanan
    Alex Sinanan
    Reply

    When someone tells me they’re all one or the other that’s how I know they’ve missed the point

  • Sarah
    Reply

    What goes up, must come down. Lovin’ every minute of it!

  • Walker Thompson
    Reply

    The down is where it is at… I love XC for sure, but let’s face it – down is down!

  • Paul
    Reply

    its hard to stop and smell the roses when you are going down.

  • Dean Thompson
    Reply

    I might be a little bit biased being that I’m a Downhill Mountain Bike racer… But the only up I do is the chairlift to the starting gate!

  • jacob
    Reply

    gotta earn it! up.

  • oliver
    Reply

    The down makes you feel good, the up makes you feel good about yourself.

  • Jason
    Reply

    Love the up!

  • Ian
    Reply

    The down always feels better after a climb.

  • Eric
    Reply

    The “earning” is all about the “turning!”

  • David D
    Reply

    Do you ski to go up?

  • Alex
    Reply

    Up

  • Aidan
    Reply

    the down is what you are working for the whole way going up

  • OkieRover
    Reply

    Once you’ve reached the top the sense of accomplishment lasts only as long as the view. Everyone loves a roller coaster ride down. Mostly about the down for me.

  • Matt
    Reply

    Mostly the up… There is something disgustingly pleasing about the pain… though the down is still the reward for the pain.

  • MtnLee
    Reply

    Must…go…up!!!

  • Adam
    Reply

    Going big on the DH is a solid workout, but unless you a re a park rider you got to get up somehow…

  • Áron
    Reply

    There is no such thing as cycling without hills :)

  • colby
    Reply

    mostly down for sure. and for all the peeps that think they are awesome for saying the up, thats cool whatever, but only time u need skill for the up is tech climbs, which u need more skill for the same tech down. a flow climb u need no skill, but to blast a flow descent correctly you need great skill.

  • rick
    Reply

    when I think about any ride, for good or bad I think about the climb first

  • BDC
    Reply

    I love that oreo and filling reference!

  • Dennis
    Reply

    Love to test the skills going down and it’s just FUN which makes the climb worth it. I’d feel like I cheated though if I didn’t climb as well.

  • Natalie
    Reply

    what goes up must come down…

  • Kat
    Reply

    The uphill is only as good as the downhill! Sometimes its fun to climb and then be rewarded with awesome downhill, and explore areas with less people. Other times its worth it to pay for the lift ticket and bomb down the mountain all day!!

  • Murph
    Reply

    Mostly up. Skiing is the only real down that I love.
    Never was a big speed freak, too chicken to go balls out heading down on a bike.
    Absolutely hate hiking down….

  • Kevin
    Reply

    Mostly the up for me. I’ve grown to really appreciate the “earn your turns” mentality. The down hill rush would not be as fulfilling if it weren’t for the grueling climb that got me there.

  • Mike Fennelly
    Reply

    I’m down with that

  • Chris
    Reply

    Down is the reward for working up – and the reward should equal the work. I don’t know anyone who has said, “The skiing sucked on the down – but going up was so worth it!” Right? Instead, those days are referred to as “training days”, or “good practice” or “stretching my legs.”

  • James Roh
    Reply

    Powder feels a whole lot better on the way down

  • Matt
    Reply

    Depends on the sport. MTB? Snowboarding? Kayaking? I’m going, down, baby.

    Snowshoeing? Hiking? Backcountry? Road cycling? Up is a good thing..or at least a healthy thing. There is clarity in suffering.

  • chris
    Reply

    The Up is where it is at. The down is good, but the up makes the down so much more enjoyable.

  • Greg Pulsifer
    Greg Pulsifer
    Reply

    The down is far less enjoyable without the up. Pay to play.

  • Matt
    Reply

    Use the up to get down.

  • 3johnnys
    Reply

    The up gives you the world, the down life.

  • Ross
    Reply

    mostly about the up: gotta earn your turns, bra

  • alpentalic
    Reply

    mostly down

  • Jeff
    Reply

    The love trail. Going up.

  • Jess
    Reply

    Totally up. Easier, and you can look around you.

  • Donald
    Reply

    Really kinda depends on the sport.

  • Jennifer Chan
    Reply

    up up and away!

  • Bear
    Reply

    The up is satisfying but the down is rewarding.

  • DF
    Reply

    Work first[uphill] then play[downhill]

  • Erik
    Reply

    “Earn your turns” is something I tend to live by, but if a lift is offered, why not?

  • dennis
    Reply

    a little up but downhill all the way

  • Bradley
    Reply

    gotta gotta get up to get down!

  • Chris
    Reply

    Gotta get up before you can go down….up all the way

  • Jesse
    Reply

    Both challenging in their own way, you must love the down and cherish the up, I say!

  • chris levesque
    Reply

    It’s mostly about the down

  • JR
    Reply

    DH. But it must be earned with some sweat.

  • Andy
    Reply

    both, but I’m really digging the up.

  • jake
    Reply

    more and more its becoming about the down

  • Robi
    Reply

    Yes

  • DAVE
    Reply

    If you don’t have the up in the first place, the downs never come! And boy, the down are sweeter once you put the effort into the up.

  • Brian
    Reply

    The up is essential, but the down the joy!

  • Brian
    Reply

    What goes up must come down.

  • matt
    Reply

    Gotta spend money to make money

  • Scott
    Reply

    The up is rewarding in itself, but I do it for the down.

  • thefugitive
    Reply

    You gotta get up to get down….

  • Greg
    Reply

    Not a lot of die hard ups or downs here

  • Helen
    Reply

    Climb up, fly down! (mostly since I’m a bit scared of high velocities 😉 )

  • Kristi
    Reply

    All day for the down.

  • Tony Fitzsimons
    Reply

    there is no pleasure without pain, love the down, but need some up to keep you honest

  • Ian Houghton
    Reply

    If I didn’t have to climb to access great terrain, I probably wouldn’t.

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