RunOut #24: So Long, Supertaco

06.05.2019 - By The RunOut Podcast

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For unknown cosmological reasons, the Supertopo forum became one of the most popular and prolific forums in climbing. When people spoke about “Supertopo,” they typically meant the forum, not the guidebooks, as good as they are.

Here on the forum, which came to be called Supertaco, or just The Taco, climbers of all stripes and pedigrees could rub virtual elbows with climbing luminaries like Jim Donini, John Long, and Royal Robbins while debating issues and sharing opinions and stories.

The Supertopo community was decidedly California-centric, and skewing to a generation of climbers who came of age when the Stonemasters were at the height of their powers.

Over the past 18 years, the Supertopo forum produced over 2 million posts that covered a range of topics. At its worst, Supertopo was place to engage in circular debates about religion and politics, and even slander individuals, myself included. At its best, Supertopo was a record of important climbing history that may have otherwise been lost or forgotten.

As of June 1, 2019, Supertopo forum will become an online museum—closed for new business, but preserved in the online ether as a point of reference for nearly two decades of climbing discussion and debate.

This is Andrew Bisharat. I’m here with Chris Kalous, and you’re listening to the Run Out. Today we’re speaking to our mutual friend Chris McNamara, a co-founder of Supertopo, about why he decided to shut the Taco down now, and what it means for the future of online climbing discussion.

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