Organizers Burnt Over Comp Poster

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Actual poster for the comps.
Actual poster for the comps.

The New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC) got into hot water recently when a comp poster caught the attention of the local national electricity body. The poster features a drawn silhouette of a person hanging by one arm from a power line above a cityscape.

Graeme Peters, chief executive of the Electricity Networks Association, said the Alpine Club’s poster promoted reckless behaviour. “I can’t understand it. I looked at it and I just thought, that’s crazy,” Peters told the Stuff.co.nz. “You wouldn’t be bouldering, you would be smoldering.”

The Alpine Club was contacted on Wednesday by WorkSafe NZ and the Electrical Engineers Association, who believed the poster was “reasonably likely to cause someone to break the law by climbing and swinging from the power lines.”

“It is a heavily stylized cartoon image that is clearly not based in reality,” said NZAC General Manager, Sam Newton in a press release. The poster had a total print run of 60 copies which were distributed to the climbing gyms where the events are held. “No suggestion that the events are held on power lines is made at all,” Newton said.

“Doing one-armed pull ups is extremely painful and is likely to cause injury. Climbing on power lines is even worse. NZAC is against both,” he said. “So we would like to make it perfectly clear – we strongly discourage anyone from doing one-armed pull-ups and/or climbing on power lines. Common sense really. Use both arms to do pull-ups and stay away from power lines altogether,” he said

“We are somewhat surprised at the perceived power and influence of such a small part of an image on such a niche website. But we will direct that influence to good effect.”

“We have replaced it with a sign that I am sure the EEA will appreciate. It feels good to help,” Newton said.

Screen shot from the NZAC website.
Amended screen shot from the NZAC website.