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#65052 - 05/29/12 07:05 PM Re: Free Clinics; Learn what you don't know. [Re: RangerRob]
rg@ofmc Online   content

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Instruction, mentoring, and unsolicited advice are all things that, one hopes, will lessen accident statistics. But accidents, even the ones that seem especially stupid, can't be eliminated because, to put it as kindly as I can, some people don't get it and aren't going to get it. But I also agree with Shakes, that there are other people who may even react badly but who will eventually think about what was said and change some of their procedures.

I understand Welle's suggestion about bolts at popular top-roping sites, but I'm against it, for several reasons. (1) What it does in the end is actually increase the incompetence of the general population. (2) As a hedge against incompetence, it is destined to fail because incompetent people will find ways to rig a dangerous anchor on the bolts, and then what level of solution will be proposed? (3) As ropes go to 70 meters and 80 meters, the concept of "popular top-roping area" is going to end up being everything. (4) The idea that, because some people cannot take care of themselves, we have to alter the environment to make it safe for them, a concept that is already gaining acceptance in climbing, has to be resisted at every turn if one wants there to be anything left of trad climbing.

I also understand the argument that none of these things seems appropriately weighty in the light of the terrible tragedy that happened to Stephanie Prezant, but frankly, you can't take the risk out of climbing and still have the same activity left.

Stephanie, I suspect, had no idea she was taking any risks, and there, as I have said, lies a moral, if not legal, dilemma for those responsible for her death. But fixing up climbing areas so that incompetent people can't screw up is not the answer, not only because of the effects on climbing itself, but also because incompetent people will find ways to screw up no matter what.

#65053 - 05/29/12 08:20 PM Re: Free Clinics; Learn what you don't know. [Re: Welle]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
Originally Posted By: Welle
Speaking of bolts, I know I'm opening the can of worms, but maybe in the light of the recent accident the Preserve would reconsider the bolt policy and install bolt anchors say on popular single pitch climbs at Uberfall? I love the idea of gear anchors and am grateful for having learned building gear anchors at the Gunks, but two bolts are fool-proof plus it saves trees and prevents erosion...

Nothing is fool proof and to think other wise is dangerous. I'm all for preserving the environment and saving trees, but as has be stated before here we should not do things to protect people from themselves. Climbing is a dangerous sport and the consequences of a mistake can be significant to say the least. Just about all climbs anchors for climbs at the Gunks can be safely setup with gear. Why should we start turning the Uberfall and other areas into more of a gym. No matter how fool proof you think something is there are those who will always find a way to screw it up. Bolts are for rock that will not take gear and for where there is no other alternatives, don't start placing more bolt anchors because it is convenient and will save someone some time or worse save someone from actually learning something.

#65054 - 05/29/12 09:50 PM Re: Free Clinics; Learn what you don't know. [Re: Julie]
wivanov Offline

Registered: 05/01/12
Posts: 30
Loc: CT
I'll always say something if I see anything truly dangerous. And I think/hope most of you do, too.

Around here (CT) climbers need to keep a low profile and accidents are not very low profile.

I quietly introduce myself, exchange names. Sometimes they recognize my name, most times they don't and just see some old pervy guy wink ... I'll say something like: "How are ya? My name is ..... That's a great route you're on.... Hey, there's something that's making me nervous. Mind if I make a suggestion?"

I do it quietly to not attract attention - like I'm calling them out or something. Usually, it's a pretty positive response. Sometimes, they'll fix the problem and ask me if I want to tie in with them. But, if it's a bad response, I'll just shrug and say: "Yeah, well, it's gonna screw up my weekend if I have to help carry a body out" as I wander off to climb further down the cliff.

There was one time (not climbing), I approached a woman about her kids. Her hubby/BF flew over and got in my face. After I calmed him down I said: "I just wanted to let you know that vine your kids are trying to swing on is poison ivy root." Just couldn't sit there and not say something.

#65071 - 05/30/12 06:43 PM Re: Free Clinics; Learn what you don't know. [Re: wivanov]
TerrieM Online   content

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 425
Loc: Gunks in Summer, Southwest in ...
One thing that some new climbers may come away from the Saturday Night Live Clinics with is that the information and the way it is being presented may be a LOT different that what they are getting from their friends who are showing them the ropes...

When they become aware of the conflict, maybe they will ask themselves "Hmm...which one is right? My friend who started climbing 3 months before me, or this guy who everyone seems to know as a local climber here and who is being paid by a guide service?"

Maybe they will consider having a guide take them out to teach them one-on-one or in a group....

I know that, for a long time, the industry of guiding in the US has been pooh-poohed, but I think - if we care at all about the young people coming up out of the gyms - we old curmudgeons ought to rethink the concept.

To say "guides are too expensive" is SUCH a line of crap. Take a frigging look around! How many Prius' and very new Toyota pickups are in the parking lot? Prana outfits, ATC Guides and double digit priced biners, brand new full racks of cams, fancy snacks....

When I started climbing, I was a bit older than most women when they start. I SO desperately wanted to come climb at the Gunks, but I had no clue how to get out here.

When some people finally did take me along, I instinctively felt it would be wrong of me to expect them to teach me everything, since there was just so much needed to be taught. So I ended up hiring guide a few times - to learn anchor-building, self-rescue and to go on my first two climbing trips.

I can tell you this - I used to make a six-figure salary, but that was then... By the time I started climbing, I was making around $20, tops. Yet I found a way to pay a guide(AND tip them). And while I am surely not thinking I am above making a stupid mistake, I am really, really, glad that I learned the way I did.

The "dirbag" lifestyle being held as a way, by people who get on airplanes to go on trips, rent Zipcars for the weekend, and dine in town after a day of climbing, is ridiculous.

Guiding in the US needs some PR to be rebranded as a frigging cool way to make a buck, helping people have adventures and come a step closer to being self-reliant instead of the hand-holding it currently is perceived as.

The climbing gyms, also, need to frigging MAN UP and take responsibility for what is happening. When I went to the 59th St Gym, they had guides from here come down and give us clinics on occasion. This perk should be STANDARD fare at any climbing gym that is in close enough proximity to outside climbing that they know damned well their clients are taking their gym-taught skills to the outdoors.

#65102 - 05/31/12 03:56 PM Re: Free Clinics; Learn what you don't know. [Re: TerrieM]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Terrie, I think you make an excellent point about the climbing gyms offering some instruction to their dues paying membership. I think they have a responsibility in that area.

#65103 - 05/31/12 04:12 PM Re: Free Clinics; Learn what you don't know. [Re: RangerRob]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
Is it a good idea for climbing gyms to help their members climb outside? In most respects sure, it's hard to imagine that it wouldn't promote membership too, but responsibility for what happens outside their gym?

If you can say that, then would you say that Preserve has responsibility to help us learn to climb inside at our gyms!

#65108 - 05/31/12 05:13 PM Re: Free Clinics; Learn what you don't know. [Re: Mark Heyman]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
Also many people working in gyms often have little to no outdoor climbing or anchor building experience.

#65109 - 05/31/12 05:17 PM Re: Free Clinics; Learn what you don't know. [Re: Mark Heyman]
wombat Offline

Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 147
Loc: gardiner
The climber, both "leader" and "follower", are the only ones that have the responsibility. If you cant take steps to safeguard the lives of yourself and your friends, no amount of free clinics and other coddling will change that. Isn't it that simple?

I would suggest that climbing gyms have a responsibility to keep it safe in their gyms but no more. If it helps their business to provide instruction or provides marketing for a guide to do so, great.

But how many gym lessons does it take to gain appreciation of risk? to evaluate a marginal nut placement or the stability of ice?

It takes time, experience, humility, common sense, fear, luck, patience. A tough sell in the Twitter era of instant reward.

Rather than bend over backwards to give people a little knowledge or to put in bolted anchors to make it easier and "safer" - maybe the climbing community should make sure that everyone knows the cost of failure. If you read the story of that poor girl and dont think about whether your "leader" knows that they are doing, why should anyone else take responsibility for you?

#65268 - 06/05/12 12:25 PM Re: Free Clinics; Learn what you don't know. [Re: wombat]
whatthegunks Offline

Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 136
Loc: High Falls, NY
Clinic on Saturday, 6/2, will be given by Ryan Stefiuk at the Uberfall at 5:10. He'll be talking about materials, dyneema vs. nylon, when, why, where. He'll also go over rappelling tricks, rope management, etc. See you there.

#65271 - 06/05/12 01:28 PM Re: Free Clinics; Learn what you don't know. [Re: whatthegunks]
gunks Offline

Registered: 10/26/01
Posts: 84
Loc: Rosendale, NY
Originally Posted By: whatthegunks
Clinic on Saturday, 6/2, will be given by Ryan Stefiuk at the Uberfall at 5:10. He'll be talking about materials, dyneema vs. nylon, when, why, where. He'll also go over rappelling tricks, rope management, etc. See you there.

You mean 6/9?

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