Now that this thread has become one of donald perry vs stoopid, I'll suggest that they carry on via personal messages.
Once, I went to Bayards alone in the winter, I climbed a lot in the winter. No one else was up at the cliff for months. I started to solo something around the middle of the cliff, and at one point I found myself in a lot of trouble when I suddenly realized the part of the cliff I had gotten myself into was all one giant collection of loose blocks. Climbing down was no longer an option, things were moving around. I managed to get off somehow and remember it as one of my most complicated experiences of my climbing carrier.
One winter Jim Munson was alone climbing at the Bayards, He had camped out there by himself and was climbing near the top. He said the temperature was around 20 degrees and gusty. It was starting to get dark when he saw something that stopped him in the middle of his climb, it paralyzed him with fear, he could not move, he could not get off the climb. Yet on questionable rock he could not go up or climb down, there are questionable places there in the Bayards where you never know for sure if you are in over your head. What stopped him cold was there was a man standing on one of the ledges in a white shirt with his hands stretched toward heaven looking up. He did not want to disturb the fellow . . . he did not know what he was looking at, or if it was perhaps something, someone who had come there to meet him. He was afraid of having eye contact with this person, as I suppose I would too. He got out of there. Eventually he was able to move and found the strength within himself to move off the cliff and away from this thing. Some how he climbed around and made it back to his tent, found some soup, and fell asleep. I do not believe he has ever returned to there since.
One time back when I first started climbing a boy went up to climb Roseland in the Nears. He climbed up, thinking that he would find a rest. And he kept climbing up, and then up again running it out from placement to placement. Eventually he made it up into the traverse. He never did find a ledge to rest on though. When he could hold on no longer he had to let go. He fell off from quite a ways up there and came down hard on that big boulder at the base of the climb. His pro pulled out and he died. I cannot imagine the pain his family went through because of this needless death, they must have been devastated. What did they think of the rest of us who continued to climb, in a way were we mocking him? Perhaps this is the person that Jim saw? When I would sleep at the bottom of the Uberfall at night I slept in the stokes litter when it rained, it was balanced up on top of that rock under the big overhang. Sometimes it would rain for days, I was alone. There was nothing to be concerned with, no bills and plenty of money, the cliff was my home, it really was my only home. That litter I slept in had been used to carry out the dead bodies of people who had fallen off the cliff. One time a young boy had fallen off the top of the Uberfall next to the place where I slept, that's what Bill Ravitch told me, about these people who had died while he was there. Often I would think of them at night, sometimes I would not be able to sleep, (you went to bed when it got dark). The wind would howl through the trees, and it would make you think about these people who had died suddenly without warning. It was sad, suddenly they were in a trap to fall to the ground and too their death. Perhaps we were making light of their plight by continuing to climb?, I think in a way that we were. There was no one there on many nights. It was just me and the cliff, and the blood of the people who had died. And I am sure some of their blood was on the stokes litter as well. Do they visit this place again?, I would sometimes wonder. And if they did what would they say? These are the kinds of things you can sometimes think about when you are in the mountains, it is only you and these cliffs and whatever else there might be out there in the dark.
No, I think Stoopid has brought up a extremely valid concern only because it is held by many a climber, that climbing is safe. I am not going to mention any names, but his concern is not merely held by new climbers. However, I think the thinking is simple and is fatally flawed. There is nothing to support it, the idea stands on thin air. This argument has nothing to do with anything personal the way I see it. There is a lot of blood spattered all along here, and I would not be surprised if there are not some dead people looking over our shoulders. In fact I am sure that there is. When there is a lot of blood, guts and dead people involved I am not interested in bashing Stoopid, I am interested in bashing his stupid ideas to smithereens. And I think I have done that. I don't believe he has anything left to stand on. But, only time will tell for sure. If he keeps posting ad hominem arguments we know it's over, at least as far as he is concerned.
PS Sorry if I get a little emotional, but I hate the idea that seeks to dismiss these … trapps.