Ethics aren't different if you're on a 5.12 or a 5.2 ... the only thing different are the egos or lack of humility involved. So yeah, bad on them for leaving it there, no matter who or what.
more people want to climb easier routes. that makes it different, because the chances of someone else's ascent being buggered by gear on a 5.12 at the notoriously-'sandbagged' gunks seems a lot less likely than on a 5.6.
that being said, the gear was up for far less than the 24 hour "booty" "rule", more like less than 12 hours. it was still there when the OP was walking out a 7 because we were still climbing at 7, and camhead was gonna take one more run on KC.
Edited by clausti (06/04/0905:44 PM) Edit Reason: i can't spell, and i'm a mean person.