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Old 02-27-2007   #1
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steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
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where did boaters come up with the word "beta"?

just wondering, have rarely heard anyone outside of the boating community ask for beta. anyone out there have any ideas?

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Old 02-27-2007   #2
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I'll take a stab at it, although I could be wrong. I think "beta" comes from the climbing world. The actual term comes from betamax. Like you got the info from a route by watching betamax videos. That is what I heard somewhere anyways.

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Old 02-27-2007   #3
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It really did come from climbing and Betamax...how weird

Beta is climbing jargon that designates information about a climb. In rock climbing this may include information about a climb's difficulty, crux, style, length, quality of rock, ease to protect, required equipment, and specific information about hand or foot holds. For alpine climbs, beta may include information about the length and difficulty of the approach, availability of water on the climb and the approach, ease of exiting the route before completing it, descent information, perhaps even useful logistic information for climbs in foreign countries.

The original use of the term Beta in climbing is generally attributed to the late climber, Jack Mileski. "Beta" was short for Beta Max, a reference to an old videotape format largely replaced by the VHS format. Climbers would sometimes videotape other climbers on climbing routes, then review the tapes to evaluate techniques to help them climb the same routes in the future.
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Old 02-27-2007   #4
pnw, Washington
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Yep, dead on. Can be the difference between an onsight or flash and working a route.
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 02-27-2007   #5
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steamboat springs, Colorado
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that makes sense. i have never really been into climbing, so i never heard it from anyone but boaters. i guess it sounds better than asking someone if they have the vhs on a run.
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Old 03-09-2007   #6
gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2006
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naw, we got the dvr, compressed and in HD

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