This past Sunday afternoon my partner and I, Dana B., were topping out to the right of the Madame G's buttress. We noticed a young woman at the top rap station, in position to cast off, who hadn't moved for quite a while. We were close enough to hear her talking to her partner - he was at the lower set of bolts on the Northern Pillar face - and what she was saying was pretty frightening. "Michael, are you sure this is right? I'm terrified. I'm really scared." Her partner's response? "Just lean back and do it." This exchange got repeated several times until finally we felt as if we had to intervene (we had no desire to watch a 200 foot ground fall) and it quickly became clear that she had no idea what she was doing and no idea if her set up was safe, correct, etc. (Us: Are both strands of the rope through your rap device? Her: I don't know.) I shot up to the top, scrambled down and found someone terrified and on the verge of crying. But she wouldn't unhook and come with me - and I spent some time trying to persuade her to do so - because, she said, her partner would be angry and disappointed if she didn't do the rap. All I could do was make sure everything was right and give her as much encouragement and advice as I could, and fortunately she made it down - although her performance was very unsettling to watch.

I'm sure that guy will never read this post, but in case he does, I'd just like him to know that I've been climbing almost 40 years, climbed all over the US and Europe, been coming to the 'Gunks for 35 years, met thousands and thousands of climbers . . . and buddy, you are the biggest asshole I've ever seen. By far.