Shout Box

Who's Online
0 registered (), 2 Guests and 1 Spider online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#37569 - 06/04/08 02:17 AM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Bolt_Skytop]
acdnyc Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 208
Loc: NYC/Kerhonkson
Back in the 20th Century a guy and I started to talk about what gyms we climbed at as we set TRs above Kens Crack and that 5.10 to the right. Me, 59th St, he laughed and asked why I would climb there. Because it's cheap. I rapped down and got ready to climb while the other climber finished his joint and got ready to rap. I noticed a few 59ers walking by as I rapped and I said hi and they replied in kind. All of the sudden one of my fellow 59ers started screaming at the other climber as he leaned back to rap. I couldn’t see what was going on but the other guy finally rapped to the ground and he seemed a little paler than I remembered him.
He had forgotten to put both sides of his rope through his belay device and if I hadn’t been a 59er my friend wouldn’t have seen his mistake and he would of come down head first on or between the boulder by Ken’s.
If he hadn’t been an ass I might have stayed around to see his mistake and helped him out. He basically got luck.
_________________________
jugs or mugs

Top
#37572 - 06/04/08 01:11 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Bolt_Skytop]
mikeharo Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/06/06
Posts: 6
What happened to the climbers who just wanted to work on their tan....??????

Its much cooler to tell everyone that you're a badass rock climber than to actual figure out that you enjoy something and then work toward becoming good at it. I can't wait until ice gets more popular and the uneducated macho men take over that...then the real fun starts.

Top
#37573 - 06/04/08 03:06 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: mikeharo]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
Umm.. it's happening already!
_________________________
...anethum graveolens cucumis sativus!

Top
#37580 - 06/04/08 07:30 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Dillbag]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
its really too bad that guides act thaqt way. Hopefully the AMGA process will improve the level of professionalism, since guiding has notyhing to do about the guide but everything to do with the client. A guide who is an awesome climber is a worthless guide unless they understand the client thing.

Top
#37584 - 06/04/08 08:18 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Chas]
wombat Offline
member

Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 147
Loc: gardiner
i believe that you can be a good guide w/out AMGA training, but I have had much better experience with those that did. Likewise, friends who had undergone the training also seem to benefit. As Chas notes, guiding is about providing a service to a client, including quality of experience in addition to safety and accomplishment. The hardcore climber may actually have a personality very incompatible with guiding. I am hopeful that the AMGA will help the situation, and in return, the industry will be structured to provide a decent wage to more than just a few owners and celebrities.

With the exception of a few non-certified guides that I know, I always recommend to friends that they retain someone with at least some AMGA training, and that they should be willing to pay a bit more for it.

Top
#37589 - 06/04/08 10:58 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: wombat]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2454
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I hope it is clear that my account reflects on one particular individual and not on the guiding profession in general. The incident I described happened perhaps 40 years ago, and a lot has changed in the US and Canada in the guide education process. Nonetheless, the literature going back to Willi Unsoeld and Gaston Rebuffat (and perhaps further) makes it clear that the guide climbs for his client and not for himself; there's nothing new about that.

On the other hand, not every sobbing or panicky second is prima facie evidence of an abusive leader. It seems to me that guides and others who take on teaching roles have an obligation to the sport as well as an obligation to their clients, and there is perhaps a conflict between these obligations. Although I certainly don't condone the kind of abuse Dana and I have described, I also believe that in attempting to shield beginners from all physical and psychic discomforts, climbing itself may be changed to a blander and apparently less risky, more mainstream pursuit, with a lot more paticipants clamoring for the same resources and exerting growing pressure to remove aspects that used to be fundamental. We already have the plaisir climbing movements in Europe to confirm this trend.

To give a more practical idea of what I'm speaking of, some time back I recounted that when I was guiding, as a matter of principle I never did any top-roping and always made sure that beginners (with no prior experience) did an (easy) multipitch climb on their first day. This description stimulated a lot of flak, with a number of people saying that the terror of getting that high on the first day would have prevented them from ever pursuing the sport, which they only now enjoyed thanks to a protracted period of top-roping at relatively low elevations.

My response was that if something about getting up high and moving upward over rock didn't grab you and make you want to do more, even if you were afraid at times, then climbing really wasn't for you. (For the record, I am not speaking of an experience in which you are left alone on the cliff face, out of contact with the leader, to cope with whatever difficulties present themselves.)

For this attempt at revealing what climbing was about, I was accused of elitism, that modern all-purpose knee-jerk attack, typically offered and accepted without even a shred of thought about whether there is, in reality, anything hierarchical about the situation at hand. (Most recently, we've heard Hillary Clinton, that dyed-in-the-wool commoner, disparage "elite opinion," in this case the virtually unanimous agreement of every economist in the country not actually associated her campaign.)

So in addition to abusive leaders, there are also people who are really in need of another form recreation. In the most abusive of all relations, those people are made to feel inadequate for who they are.

Top
#37600 - 06/05/08 02:44 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: rg@ofmc]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
Its pretty easy to say that if a beginner doesn't take to heights right away (s)he will never be a true climber, but in reality there is a continiuim from the person that is found quaking in the shoes 10ft off the ground and Honnold or Reardon, and most of us fall somewhere in between. The person who is closer to the former should really think about will this be really right for them, and who knows maybe it will be.

And this IS coming from an elitist pig (I really think that most people should be able to climb 5.11+ to 5.13 trad if theyt would really try since if I can any one can, and I've worked with women that lead that level within 3 years of climbing).


Edited by Chas (06/05/08 03:04 PM)

Top
#37601 - 06/05/08 03:04 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: rg@ofmc]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2082
Loc: SoCal
I used to teach the tie-in class at the BRG, and I always told the story of my first time climbing:

I went up three feet, indoor wall, and had.to.come.down.NOW!

I'm sure I would have failed your test, RG. Yet time has proven me ... guilty as any other climber. So I'd agree with Chas that there's a continuum of folks out there, and that their first experiences don't always extrapolate to needing another form of recreation.

I don't find it elitist of you; but I don't see the need to 'test' people, either - it's as disrespectful to the entire human before you, as any other form of ultimatum. You just can't sum up a human being in one ... anything.

Top
#37609 - 06/05/08 06:42 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Julie]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2454
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Well, first of all, doing a multipitch climb is not some kind of specialized test. It's just climbing, or it used to be. Second of all, I think both Chas and Julie may have misunderstood my point. The issue is not what you felt on your first climb, it is whether you want to come back. Climbers of all levels of experience get scared, in fact some people claim that getting scared and dealing with it is part of the attraction of climbing. Consider, for example, John Cleare writing in Rock Climbers in Action in Snowdonia:

After all, among other things we climb for thrills. For that tingle in the instep, for that hot damp fear on the finger-tips.

I guess we won't be reading that anytime soon in an American publication, but acknowledged or not, performance under stress is an integral part of climbing. This doesn't mean you purposely go about frightening a beginner, but it also needn't mean that you sanitize the experience to the point that it no longer represents the real thing. I actually think the modern approach, which slowly but surely convinces many people not to be afraid when they should be, is potentially dangerous, and to some extent accounts for the idiotic behavior on the crag we see more and more of.

Julie had to come down after three feet on an indoor wall---but she came back. I don't know what she was trying that day, but I see beginners in the gym regularly put on pumpy steep routes for their first experience. Coming from a mountaineering background and having spent the majority of my climbing time as a back-country rock-climber, I guess I think the essence of climbing is being outside and getting up to the top of something, not conquering some minute patch of difficulty and lowering off. I'll bet anything that with appropriate encouragement and a careful leader who insured easy and direct communication at all times, Julie, who came down after three feet in the gym, could have done, say, Northern Pillar. In the several years I guided, I never had anyone insist that they had to go down, and I always made it clear that we could go down if the experience was too much. There were only one or two people who didn't come back for more (with me), so assuming I encountered a fairly broad sample of the spectrum Chas mentioned, it doesn't seem as if the approach I described was a very severe "test."

I did have a client who refused to start. We hiked up the boulder field, and when we got to the base of the cliff, she said, "Gee, that was just great! Thanks so much for this experience!" I said, "Uh...you're welcome...um...actually, this is where we start climbing..."

She looked up at the cliff and said, "Are you crazy? I'm not going up there!"

So we walked over to Skytop, did the "rough path" from the hotel to the Crevice, visited the tower, had a milkshake in the visitor's pavillion, and made a day of scrambling out of it. I told her about other things of the same sort she could do in the Gunks and at Breakneck, and some more advanced scrambles she could aspire to in the Adirondaks. I offered to cut my fee in half since we hadn't done any "real climbing," but she said it was everything she had wanted and paid in full. I saw her several times after that on the carriage road and was always greeted warmly.

Many of the climbers I know seem to be anxious to convince everyone else to become climbers too. There can be an almost evangelical air about them. I think we have enough climbers, thank you very much, and we don't need to encourage it. By all means help and mentor those who are interested, but stop devising ways to get people into the sport who never would have done it.

This is, of course, a geezer's rant, the belated cry of the boy within the man who discovered a love for the mountains. I understand (and even revel in) my irrelevance to the modern scene, so carry on...

Top
#37610 - 06/05/08 08:04 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: rg@ofmc]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
rg, great story! At least she had the sense to back off BEFORE she had the chance to turn into the stereotypical screaming beginner.

Top
Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >


Moderator:  webmaster 
Sponsored