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#37635 - 06/06/08 07:26 AM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: rg@ofmc]
intrepid02 Offline
Snarky Bastard

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 1421
Loc: Boulder
I have a roommate (let's call him Bob) who is a complete waste of flesh. When he moved in to our house in downtown Boulder I noted the climbing gear that he hung up in his room, almost as if it were on display...

Fast forward 1 week. It is midnight on a warm, full-moon night in July. Myself and another friend are discussing a trip up the 3rd Flatiron. Bob asks if he can tag along.

"Have you done any multipitch trad and rapelling before?"

"Oh, yeah, tons!"

"Great! Come along. It'll be fun!"

Fast forward another couple of hours to find the 3 of us on the summit. Bob is putting himself on rappel.

"Uhh... Bob, don't unclip from the anchor yet. You're belay device is only through one strand of the rope."

"What do you mean?" replies Bob with an air of indignation.

"Bob, you're only clipped through one strand of the rope. That's not going to work for a rappell."

"Dude! I know what I'm doing. This is how I always do it!"

Anyway, you get the idea. I eventually convinced him to put both strands of the rope through his ATC and then watched him very carefully for the rest of the descent.

I never climbed with him again. Had I been able to foresee what a nightmare it would have been to live with him, I might have just let him take the big ride. It might have been my last chance to allow Darwin to do his work... He's going to be a proud pappa of twins with one of my girlfriend's co-workers in August.

#37638 - 06/06/08 02:25 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: intrepid02]
Chas Offline

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
Wombat and RG,

I must just see a different bunch of people and a different demographics. I find the young guys at the gym psyched at getting outside, but also very aware of the dangers and very keen at having someone work with them. Once I get past the "cultural" differences (since I'm probably more then twice the age of most of them) I find most of them very enthusiastic, less ego then you would think, and by and by in most part a joy to climb with.

(and the "freak" that I described is becoming less and less of the "freak" you would want to believe in).

And in most part I don't see that being "scared" of High-E is a good thing. Having a realistic understanding of the risks involved and the constant dilagence at maintain a safe work attitude is good, have a good understanding of the capabilities of equipment, but keeping it all in perspective is important. I came from the mindset that you described and it took me a long time (and I still work on it) to "leave less cards on the table" and utilize my potential more.

#37639 - 06/06/08 03:08 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Chas]
KathyS Offline

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 196
Loc: NY, USA
I'm wondering if the modern trend toward on making everything "ultra-safe" isn't lulling some folks into a false sense of security, especially young folks who didn't grow up in the era before mandatory seatbelt laws, bike helmets and warning labels on everything. I met a young woman in the climbing gym over the winter who was clearly new, and we chatted about climbing and technique. She kept asking me if it was totally safe. I replied honestly that climbing was never "totally" safe, and that risks were always present. Knowledge and skills were the tools one needed to minimize risk. I never saw her again. I felt bad that I may have scared her away, but perhaps it was not the right sport for her if she required "total" safety.


#37641 - 06/06/08 04:24 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Chas]
Timbo Online   content

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 696
Loc: Delaware
 Originally Posted By: Chas
Wombat and RG,

I must just see a different bunch of people and a different demographics.

I think you have the answer there, C - demographics. I think you are observing western arttitudes and we on the east coast are observing eastern attitudes.

The difference I detect is that you can get killed doing fun stuff in the west (and you are allowed to do so). Fewer restrictions, fewer fences, fewer signs. Even roads go unsigned or unmarked as to avalanche or rock fall dangers. People who live out there expect that and know how to avoid it.

Out here, we can't do much of anything on public land that might get us killed. No swimming, fences at every overlook or high spot with signs that say "Do not cross fence", signs at every cliff warning us we might fall. It's really hard to kill yourself by getting lost in the "wilderness" in the east, you must be really stupid or unlucky to do so. The average east coasters are, by and large, ignorant of what dangers await in true wilderness situations. They expect to be kept safe and assume every activity is safe (and regulated ???). They do not foresee getting hurt or killed as a possibility.

Oversimplification, obviously, but I think the "safe" attitude is much more prevalent here than out west.

Tim S

#37644 - 06/06/08 05:00 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Timbo]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
For good or bad, the gyms will train you to do well on overhanging, juggy climbs. I think most gym trained climbers look at High E as easy due to this training. Cracks and slab will scare the hell out of them, even if of a pretty light grade. The gunks moderates are tailor made for gym climbers, who then later realize there is more to it than simply climbing your arse up something.

#37647 - 06/06/08 05:23 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: chip]
Terrie Offline

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 247
Flagstaff does tend to have unbelievable hard climbers coming out of there, from what I've seen. Harrrrrd climbers, but laid back, nice people. The ones I have met are not Type A at all. There must be something good going on out there.
Links to my blog, and online t-shirt shop

#37651 - 06/06/08 06:09 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Terrie]
Chas Offline

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
What I think the difference from "East" to "West" (since I developed as a climber as a Gunkie) is that in the East, a large percentage of the climbers are living there because of job requirements whereas in the West a large perecntage of climbers are living there because of the availiability of climbing despite their job requirements.

I think that the vast majority of us (there are exceptions but I know that I am not one of them) sort of develop a mindset that is similar to that of the group of people around them. If most of the people around you live somewhere because of work, you will probably develop a more conservative (in terms of climbing) mindset (which is the way I developed). If most of the people around you are there because of climbing, you will probably develop a more outgoing mindset (again in terms of climbing).

Neither way is right or wrong, just different. I just know that because I had learned with a very conservative mindset, breaking through into some grades in trad climbing were more difficult (not physically but more of mentally believing I could do it), specifically the 5.10's (which came for me in the Gunks), and into the 5.11's (started in the Gunks and solidified out West) and then into the .12's required a huge leap mentally. Whereas the people I climb with now, it was completely normal since they saw a lot of people doin it so the mental jump wasn't so great for them. Just different.
In this town (Flagstaff) its easy to be laid back. Climbing is 5 minutes away, and a long road trip is 4 hours.

Edited by Chas (06/06/08 06:14 PM)

#37659 - 06/06/08 07:41 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: Chas]
pedestrian Offline

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Chas - isn't that another way of saying the numbers are softer out west? ;\)

#37663 - 06/06/08 08:37 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: acdnyc]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
ACD...that story sounds vaguely familiar.....hmmmm. Was I the ashhole or the savior of the asshole? I forget because it's been so long and I have Alzheimers.


#37664 - 06/06/08 08:37 PM Re: A very upsetting incident [Re: pedestrian]
Chas Offline

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
come on out..... I have some soft 5.9's that scare the liv'n #$&& out of me and I'd rather solo any 5.9 in the Gunks then do this thing.

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