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#64002 - 04/15/12 08:51 PM yelling "ROCK!"
jeffyh Offline
stranger

Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 4
Loc: Palisades Park, NJ
I'm still relatively new to climbing (4 years) but within the past year I've been in a situation twice that could've been avoided. I really think it's important that people know to yell "ROCK" if they send a rock down.

About a month ago, I was laying around the base of a climb I was waiting for when I heard a faint "oh geez". I lazily looked up and a basketball sized rock fell about 5 ft from my head and continued to tumble down the hill. Seriously? I watched someone get into a heated argument once over this. Doing this isn't just a courtesy, it's etiquette that should be followed for the safety of other climbers. I really don't know how I would've faired if it had landed on me, but I'm really glad it didn't...

Is there any non-confrontational way to spread the word about this to newer climbers?

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#64003 - 04/15/12 09:03 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: jeffyh]
Rickster Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 848
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
I'd not worry about being non-confrontational about. Not calling out "ROCK!" when anything comes down could kill someone, how confrontational is that?

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#64004 - 04/15/12 10:04 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: Rickster]
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey
I hope there were no babys there too.



I tried to warn ya! Personally, I try and avoid getting under people at all costs. Then again, I don't lead everything. : )


Edited by donald perry (04/15/12 10:20 PM)
_________________________
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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#64020 - 04/16/12 02:42 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: jeffyh]
fear Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 221
Loc: New England
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. Many times the climber isn't even aware they've kicked something off until it hits the ground.

The real issue is encouraging people NOT to lay or mill around at the base of climbs like sheep. It drives me crazy but I've finally realized I can't cure stupid.

If it's babies or little kids I'll usually encourage people to move along if it's a particularly busy area.

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#64023 - 04/16/12 05:39 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: fear]
Cornell Climber Offline
journeyman

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 61
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.


+1

A rock falling from 100' will hit the ground in 2.5 seconds. I ALWAYS wear my helmet at the base of a cliff. Even at sport crags where most climbers don't bother with a helmet while climbing. When I hear "rock!" my response is always to keep my head down and cover the back of my neck with my hands. I've trained myself to do this and can respond pretty quickly. If I hear the rock crashing down the cliff or the person is screaming "ROCK ROCK ROCK!!!!" in a panicked voice, then my assumption is that the helmet won't provide sufficient protection. I do my best to look up and spot the rock and avoid it. This doesn't happen very often and it isn't as automatic a response for me. I've never actually needed to dodge a big rock and I'm not sure I could successfully do so. I've been hit by plenty of pebbles, two fist size rocks (shoulder and thigh, both left bruises), and once by an ATC (helmet took that shot which otherwise would have left me with a bleeding scalp wound).

Falling objects are an objective hazard of rock climbing. I usually warn people who seem unaware (tourists, children). I also warn people if there is atypically high risk for that location. Like a climber above moving through a loose band of rock, or a beginner above sending down lots of debris.

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#64025 - 04/16/12 09:42 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: Cornell Climber]
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Cornell Climber
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.


+1

A rock falling from 100' will hit the ground in 2.5 seconds. I ALWAYS wear my helmet at the base of a cliff. Even at sport crags where most climbers don't bother with a helmet while climbing. When I hear "rock!" my response is always to keep my head down and cover the back of my neck with my hands. I've trained myself to do this and can respond pretty quickly. If I hear the rock crashing down the cliff or the person is screaming "ROCK ROCK ROCK!!!!" in a panicked voice, then my assumption is that the helmet won't provide sufficient protection. I do my best to look up and spot the rock and avoid it. This doesn't happen very often and it isn't as automatic a response for me. I've never actually needed to dodge a big rock and I'm not sure I could successfully do so. I've been hit by plenty of pebbles, two fist size rocks (shoulder and thigh, both left bruises), and once by an ATC (helmet took that shot which otherwise would have left me with a bleeding scalp wound).

Falling objects are an objective hazard of rock climbing. I usually warn people who seem unaware (tourists, children). I also warn people if there is atypically high risk for that location. Like a climber above moving through a loose band of rock, or a beginner above sending down lots of debris.


"Do you think babies should be made to wear hard hats too?" Just wondering how you would answer that one.

Personally, I agree with you, that anyone under climbers should have a hard hat on. Yet, if I know the climb and the climber over me I feel I can get away with it.

However, if I am over or under people I don't know it I find it very concerning and upsetting. I usally get rude and tell people to move the hell out of the way. They just look up and me like dodo birds. The last two times we went climbing at Millbrook rocks fell off, I really did not pay much attention to it, because we set up the belays so it is almost impossible for people underneath to get hit with anything. So, although we don't wear hard hats, we take other measures to prevent getting hit on the head. Staying out of places where things may be falling someday sooner or later. If I am going to put a hard hat on, then I also have to reconcile myself to the fact that I am choosing a poor place to stand.


Although, if it is on a big wall, forget it. The hard hat stays stuck to my head like glue, I even like to bring it to bed with me. I have been hit with whole racks of gear a couple of times, I have almost got killed a couple of times. A rock came down and bit off the piece of the ledge like a giant shark! It left me completely unnerved. Good thing my partner was a pot head, else he probably would have bailed.








Edited by donald perry (04/16/12 09:55 PM)
_________________________
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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#64026 - 04/16/12 10:08 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: donald perry]
fear Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 221
Loc: New England
My last time on MF I was setting the belay on the first pitch chains to bring up my second. I remember hanging out on the belay and looking directly down. I was looking down my right side where I had a #4 Camalot clipped sighting directly down the stem onto some chick who was laying down and stretched out directly in the crosshairs (cross-cams?) reading a book.

Don't even get me started about the recent crop of "ice-climbers".

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#64027 - 04/16/12 10:21 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: fear]
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: fear


Don't even get me started about the recent crop of "ice-climbers".





More please : )
_________________________
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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#64028 - 04/17/12 12:56 AM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: jeffyh]
tallgirlnyc Offline
member

Registered: 05/12/08
Posts: 194
Loc: Cold Spring NY
I was at the belay of Sleepwalk/Ant's line on Saturday, bringing my partner up when I hear and see from Bonnie's a huge cam come whizzing down. The velocity, the sound of it hitting the ground was terrifying. The party who dropped it was shouting rock, rock...but it gave me pause. Between the shout and the time the cam hit the ground wasn't long...and I must say, i decided I am wearing my helmet at the base on busy days...no matter what!

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#64029 - 04/17/12 01:04 AM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: tallgirlnyc]
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey
It's The Fail Rail ... All aboard!!! cry

Welcome to the Gunks






Edited by donald perry (04/17/12 01:23 AM)
_________________________
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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#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.
_________________________
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.
_________________________
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.
_________________________
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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#64042 - 04/17/12 11:01 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: TerrieM]
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: TerrieM
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?




How do you expect a zombie to yell rock? When some people rockclimb they become zombies. Have you ever seen that before? I have many a time, and I would have been afraid before he dropped anything. What is more dangerious than a falling tree limb?, Zombies!, they are the walking dead, beware!

Quiz: How many Zombies do you see in this movie?

http://youtu.be/322Xp9umHWY


Edited by donald perry (04/17/12 11:55 PM)
_________________________
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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#64043 - 04/17/12 11:12 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: fear]
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: fear
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.


Well .. it would be interesting if you did not yell rock, and if your had some Styrofoam rocks, to see just how many people we could kill in a day. If someone complaines, you could just say: "I thought it was part of the game?" But that might not work every time, and you might get a beating from a newb at some point. But, if that happens we give you 2 points. OK? Or ... what climbs are you going to be on, on Saterday?



Edited by donald perry (04/17/12 11:47 PM)
_________________________
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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#64044 - 04/18/12 12:22 AM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: donald perry]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Those are great looking Styrofoam rocks!

They ARE Styrofoam...right?

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#64046 - 04/18/12 01:34 AM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: donald perry]
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey


Edited by webmaster (07/23/12 02:32 PM)
_________________________
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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#64047 - 04/18/12 11:14 AM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: donald perry]
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey
If you see something that looks loose what do you do? I used to just get a hold on it and try and fiture it out. Now I asume rocks are going to fall off only after I just touch them, and I will be trying to hold them back onto the rock for dear life, and deal with it that way.

Also, when you put in nuts or grab hold of something you need to look to see if there are cracks around it. A fall on a nut may pop out a part of the rock. Strangly some of the best nut placemnts are over rocks that are ready to pop out.


Edited by donald perry (04/18/12 11:15 AM)
_________________________
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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#64050 - 04/18/12 02:36 PM Re: yelling "ROCK!" [Re: donald perry]
fear Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 221
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: donald perry
..... Strangly some of the best nut placemnts are over rocks that are ready to pop out.


By definition, that would probably not qualify as a "best" wink

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