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#64031 - 04/17/12 11:10 AM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: donald perry]
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey
Climbing in the Gunks is not dangerous any more dangerous than driving a car, and probably more safer than that. You don't have to stand under loose rocks with climbers on them.

The thing about climbing here is that it is only as dangerous as you make it. You always have the option to think about it and reverse anything you are doing. And you do not have to put yourself into dangerously irreversible situations. You can't do that when you are driving an automobile. Someone can go through a stop sign or a traffic signal, your safety depends on the person in front of you.

My greatest concern is getting hit on the head with a piece of gear or having some new climber fall on me while walking down the carriage road.

Oh yes, you can have an accident, but it does not have to be that way. I think if you are pro-actively safety minded, and you are not thinking about some problem you are having with your girlfriend or the IRS etc. there is no reason to have an accident in the first place.

For example, I used to play tricks on my belyers. We would always climb at night always till you could not see, and then rappel down. Sometimes when my belyers would lower me to the ground, then they would not be able to see me, so I would just keep pulling the rope. All the ropes where 165' back then. So I would tell the person I was climbing with to give me slack faster and faster and then surprise!, I would be able to get the end of the rope through the stitch plate. Very funny, you have to scream too. It is these kinds of games you can play to keep you on your toes.

You can also throw Styrofoam rocks on your belayers also, to see if they are paying attention. After a while it gets harder and harder to kill them, or for they to kill you. You have to be a defensive driver, you have to be safety minded to avoid accidents. There will be days where you are not paying attention, but those days would be better off if you stayed home and did not go climbing. Once you allow yourself into a dangerous situation knowingly or unknowingly, things can get out of control fast and you can die or hurt someone.

You really have to be intimately acquainted with your limitations and your environment, and this takes years, it does not happen overnight. You can't let your guard down when you are changing gear around. And if you have been climbing for a long time, your biggest concern should be that you are not as alert to your environment as you were when you first started climbing. And sometimes that can be a difficult challenge. But I think as long as we are talking about safety and thinking about safety, it makes it very much harder to get hurt and to get into dangerous situations in the first place. And, you can't be sloppy, you have to be very neat and organized too, everything must be in order. Sometimes you need to stop, and just pull everything apart and start all over again.

And if you're going to lead, you should have a long time doing easy stuff first to understand all the protection and the moves, how the rock works, how it all works together, and all the dangers. If you are climbing with someone more experienced then you, then they can place the critical gear or tell you when you are doing something you need to learn from outside of the danger zone.

And if you are going to take falls, than you need to prepare for that, take some short falls of a few inches and work your way up to how you are going to fall. You don't just fall off whenever, you need to know your limitations and the dangers and be in relationship with them. It's a dance, and if you're not paying attention to your partner and watching the other girls you're going to get a slap!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKoJwPH-GOo&feature=related

Climbing is fun, it does not have to be dangerous, and it's not dangerous as long as you know what you are doing, you have the experience, and you are paying close attention. But it takes a long time until you get to that point where good habits are routine. You can always make a mistake, so you can never be self confident. The safety is in the fear. Doing the same things over and over guarantees you will be safe. It is when you do something new or something that breaks your concentration that there can be a problem. Climbing is very dangerous, but it is a danger that you have to keep on top of, you can't let it get away from you, and you have to know what to look for instinctively. And that is a real challenge if you are only climbing on the weekends or don't have a lot of experience. It's like typing used to be before we had computers, mistakes are always possible. So you need to take your time and think things through before you do them.

And if anyone tells you to started leading hard climbs from the first day, or some other story, they are misleading you.
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The Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve have done a great job protecting the environment thus far, but ... it's all down hill from here http://youtu.be/9AU8fMo8v4k.

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#64032 - 04/17/12 01:38 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: donald perry]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 709
Loc: NYC
I have two comments/questions:

1. Who brings a number 4 Camalot up MF????

2. I disapprove of the practice of carrying up styrofoam or throwing it around on the cliff. This strikes me as environmentally irresponsible. When I need lightweight objects to throw at my belayer I like to use renewable, biodegradable materials like balsa wood. When I can't get my hands on any balsa wood I usually just hurl feces.
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It's true, I have a blog. http://climbandpunishment.blogspot.com/

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#64033 - 04/17/12 02:09 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: SethG]
retroscree Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
Originally Posted By: SethG
When I can't get my hands on any balsa wood I usually just hurl feces.

Wait. What? Are you talking about the cliffs or gunks.com?

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#64034 - 04/17/12 02:42 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: SethG]
fear Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 221
Loc: New England
1) The #4 was for an upper pitch of some other climb up higher. Something we probably didn't do. So it served as "training weight"

2) Water balloons. Just sayin. Those little f'ers hurt after 75 feet or so.

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#64036 - 04/17/12 06:18 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: fear]
TerrieM Offline
addict

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 425
Loc: Gunks in Summer, Southwest in ...
Quote:
By the time someone yells rock, you hear it and can respond, you're likely already paste. Many times the climber isn't even aware they've kicked something off until it hits the ground.


Both those statements are inaccurate. Second one first: If someone isn't aware they hucked something when it happens, it's extremely unlikely they would realize it when it hits the ground. Maybe if someone screams up to them about it, but the item hitting the ground is not what made them aware....

About being paste by the time someone yells - you imply that it's not worth bothering to alert, and that seems bizarre. Some idjit newb might read your post and think "well, this one says it's not going to make a difference anyway, so might as well not try." That's got to be a hell of a lot more dangerous that trying to walk across hwy 299 from the campground, which has got MPNA all aflutter.

1) Things don't usually silently and cleanly drop through the air. Often there is plenty of sound as something comes down: the initial scuffling sound of a rock scraping along rock, snapping branches from trees as it passes through, ricochet off ledges..

I don't know about you but I have had plenty of opportunity to see something come down, or be alerted to it, and respond, and I don't believe my reflexes are above the average.

Year before last some person was bringing a newb along a traverse, while we were doing trailwork on the base underneath. The newb was utterly oblivious that they kicked off a HUGE dead tree limb. I mean - HUGE! How they could not have noticed is beyond me, and I can only assume the were in denial when they later told their leader they hadn't noticed.

At any rate - LUCKILY one of our trail crew guys say it and yelled LOOK OUT! COVER! or similar. We then heard the scraping sounds of something coming down...

I'll only speak for my own response, but I had time to see what was coming, realize my dog was in the drop zone, decide what to do, and run/lunge for him, pulling him and myself close to the wall. I was probably 10 feet away from him when the alert came, and they were on a ledge not more than 60 feet or so up.

If that tree limb had hit any of us directly, it would very likely have cause bad injury if not killed. As it was, debris was sprayed in a really wide radius, that all five of us, who were working in a spread out fashion, caught some of the schrapnel.



If you drop something - HELL YES alert others! Would you rather have your day slightly disturbed by hearing someone yell "Rock! Rock! Rock!" or have to help in the sorry out for someone who got hit by a rock that you knew was coming down and said nothing?

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#64037 - 04/17/12 06:29 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: TerrieM]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
We have all dropped a piece of gear or kicked off a pebble at one time or another. We become more experienced from this and hopefully less dangerous. Climbers yelling rock have helped many avoid worse injury. I don't have a study that proves this but personal experience of this community is strong evidence. I always wear a helmet at the gunks now because of falling stuff and this is a dramatic change in hazzards and my behavior from 30 years ago.

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#64038 - 04/17/12 07:20 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: chip]
retroscree Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
There is zero justification for not yelling "ROCK!" if you drop or knock something off. None. Anyone who suggests otherwise probably shouldn't be climbing.

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#64039 - 04/17/12 07:43 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: retroscree]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
There are 3 principle sources of objects falling nowadays at the gunks.
1. pebble and river stones falling from certain ledges and the top where they accumulate after rain storms.
2. climbers pulling off loose holds
3. dropping gear
to 1. know these areas and avoid being underneath them or if you are be hyper aware. very likely there will be no warning
to 2. these can be bigger and can come off suddenly and the person might be freaked so might not warn you! avoid being under other parties.
to 3. try to catch it and it's yours. seriously, this can be just as dangerous. but you are more likely to get a warning, at least. since they want you to find their gear and give it back.

learn to be like the infantry listening to incoming shells and have a plan at all times to duck for cover.
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Support Your Local Farmer!

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#64040 - 04/17/12 07:54 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: TerrieM]
fear Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 221
Loc: New England
I'm not suggesting someone doesn't yell "Rock" or whatever.... I'm suggesting a much more helpful and realistic thing to do is to is also request people not mill around directly in the bomb zone.

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#64041 - 04/17/12 09:18 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: fear]
retroscree Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
Originally Posted By: fear
I'm not suggesting someone doesn't yell "Rock" or whatever....

Well, yeah, you sort of did, at least by implication:
Originally Posted By: fear
If something huge is kicked off 100 feet over your head. By the time someone yells rock, you hear it and can respond, you're likely already paste.


Originally Posted By: fear
I'm suggesting a much more helpful and realistic thing to do is to is also request people not mill around directly in the bomb zone.

I think we all agree on that.

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