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#37347 - 05/29/08 03:31 AM A very upsetting incident
Dana Offline
addict

Registered: 07/13/00
Posts: 619
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.

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#37360 - 05/29/08 01:53 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Dana]
wombat Offline
member

Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 147
Loc: gardiner
i think that i am going to only climb by headlamp and at millbrook during April/May from now on. Too much scariness until the numnuts start going to the beach come june. sure wish i could climb weekdays and skip the weekend lunacy before i see someone die

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#37365 - 05/29/08 02:36 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Dana]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
Dana,

Major kudos to you for trying to help. I'm sure that even though she was terrified, she did feel better for having you around.

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#37367 - 05/29/08 02:41 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Julie]
phil Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/12/01
Posts: 2627
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
The last time I was hanging around on the cliffs, I came back to work to so relaxed... what happened to the climbers who just wanted to work on thier tans and smoke dope?

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#37370 - 05/29/08 03:54 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Dana]
Dana Offline
addict

Registered: 07/13/00
Posts: 619
Editor's note. The text should have read; "My partner, Dana B., and I . . . " By a wild coincidence, my regular climbing partner and I have the same first name and the same last initial.


Edited by Dana (05/29/08 03:55 PM)

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#37381 - 05/29/08 05:58 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Dana]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2468
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I've told this story on various forums including this one, I think, but I'm gettin' old so y'all should cut me slack for repeating myself.

Years ago, Joe Kelsey and I rescued a woman from a Canadian Alpine Guide on a rock climb in Banff. She was obviously a very new climber; this might have even been her first time out---she literally still had price tags hanging on some of her gear. The Guide had chosen a route whose second pitch had a 60 foot 5.5 traverse under an overhang with, I think, two pitons protecting the second about 20 feet apart. When Joe and I arrived at the
belay stance, the Guide was at the next belay out of sight above the overhang and the young woman was scratching fearfully at one of the 5.5 moves with the rope running from her 20 feet out to the left to the first piton. The Guide was screaming at her that "you could ride a bicycle across that traverse," and she was in tears.

We explained to her that she had engaged an a$$hole [the correct spelling was censored-why didn't this happen to Dana?] of the proportions described above by Dana and that her fears were totally reasonable. If she fell, she would take a huge pendulum and end up hanging twenty feet or more below the traverse, perhaps not even able to touch the rock because the traverse was undercut. This was in the days before harnesses, and a person hanging from their waist was thought to have about 20 minutes, perhaps less, before they died of suffocation, unless they knew some tricks that certainly weren't in her repetoire.

We offered her the choice of a back belay or being lowered to the ground. She wisely chose being lowered over continuing in the company of an idiot who was willing to expose her (for a substantial fee, mind you) to the kind of dangers she currently faced. So she untied from the Guide, tied in to our rope, we provided her with a figure-eight seat sling and lowered her a full rope-length to the ground. She untied and walked off through the woods sobbing, as the Guide cursed and screamed above us.

We were pretty apprehensive about continuing the climb and meeting up with the enraged Guide, but as it turned out he soloed off in a huff and we never saw him or the young woman again.

In my experience, the phenomenom of "experienced" men abusing "inexperienced" women on climbs, sometimes just psychologically but other times, perhaps, putting them in real danger, is neither new nor rare. Why some men do this to women they presumably have positive feelings for is one of the enduring mysteries, to me anyway, of relations between the sexes.

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#37388 - 05/29/08 06:44 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: rg@ofmc]
wombat Offline
member

Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 147
Loc: gardiner
i am not sure that its a gender thing as much as an asshole thing (lets see if I get the $'s).

Several years ago i climbed Whitney East Buttress with a cpl friends and guides from Sierra Mountaineering. The lead guide was the son of a Teton legend and an asshole of epic proportions. The trip started off great when he tried to insist we climb the East Face so they could show the route to a visiting Austrian guide (who wasnt officially working but turned out to be the only decent one of the lot). We had to threaten to call his boss to get the climb we booked.

I was battling a bit of a stomach bug but everything went great until the shit hit the fan at about 14,000 (literally). By the time i made it back to iceberg lake I was hallucinating from dehydration and so cramped i could hardly walk. the guide had two apparent plans: 1) press on through the night and 2) when that was vetoed, stay in their own tents and let my friends take care of me through the night. They didnt recognize the symptons of dehydration (i believe his diagnosis was a viral infection) and couldnt be troubled to heat properly heat water enough to make cup o soup when it was the only thing that i could choke down. My friends went to bed hungry because he completely ignored the food preference sheets we filled out and didnt bring enough food they liked. With some fluids, i was fine by morning. the austrian was the only one to bother to check on the condition of their client and the head guide tried to sell us photos from the trip at the bottom.

there are too many examples of people (guides and non-guides) who show too little consideration for the responsibility that they have when taking new climbers out.

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#37392 - 05/29/08 07:19 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: wombat]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
hmm there's a climb that was put up by gunks local called Montezuma's Revenge in the Whitney area. from what i was told it was sh!t hitting the climb and climbing partner


Edited by talus (05/29/08 07:26 PM)
_________________________
John Okner Photography

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#37393 - 05/29/08 07:32 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: talus]
wombat Offline
member

Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 147
Loc: gardiner
funny. I was more considerate of my fellow climbers. the latrine on top (which i think was removed) was certainly the most scenic throne i have been on.

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#37433 - 05/30/08 02:55 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: wombat]
Bolt_Skytop Offline
addict

Registered: 11/21/01
Posts: 422
Loc: New Paltz, New York
I used that toilet in July of 2000. It is one of my favorite photos and definetely the most scenic toilet I have ever shit on.

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