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colatownkid


Nov 29, 2007, 5:55 PM
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"regulating" safety outside
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I'm sure most people have experienced the ignorant jackass climbing a pitch a few hundred feet away who will likely get themselves killed in short order. Is there some sort of moral imperative to try and help save them from themselves?

For example, recently I was at my local crag (which will remain nameless to protect the innocent) and there was an older couple there with a friend. The friend was teaching them to climb. While leading a 5.6 trad pitch, the husband of the happy couple doubled-up on all placements, then equalized the two placements by clipping the non-locking carabiners on the end of his cams together. His wife, belaying him, was sitting on the ground, with her back to the wall, leaning against the rock. Occasionally she would place a hand on the rope. Their "instructor" let all this happen until such time as the husband reached the top of the pitch. His wife looked up to notice she couldn't see him anymore and promptly took herself off belay to have a sandwich. There was no "off belay," or "on safety," or "at the anchor"--nothing.

That all seems outrageously unsafe to me. At what point do I politely suggest ways in which they could climb to make death at least slightly less likely? I understand I should mind my own business, but I also don't want to be a witness when the coroner comes around.


yokese


Nov 29, 2007, 6:12 PM
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Re: [colatownkid] "regulating" safety outside [In reply to]
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colatownkid wrote:
Is there some sort of moral imperative to try and help save them from themselves?

Well, it's a personal choice, I guess... like helping someone to cross the street. In my case, the answer is yes. I could certainly cope with someone rudely telling me to mind my own business much easily than with my conscience after witnessing an accident that I could have prevented.


notapplicable


Nov 29, 2007, 6:34 PM
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I would say yes, if you see a clearly unsafe series of events unfolding you should pipe up and try to make sure things dont go terribly wrong. In this case though, I think you have to pick your battles and focus on the lack of on-off belay communication. I would let the sketchy pro equalization slide given the circumstances, unless you have three hours to teach a class that is.


backclipped


Nov 29, 2007, 6:35 PM
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Many people aren't aware of peril they tinker with. I think cragging is played off as uber safe. And to the experienced climber it is--for the most part. Now let me hit you with some uncharacteristic hippy shit: you live and play amongst your kind. Being the shepard sucks a fatty, but sometimes you just gotta man up and do the deed. I mean, how much do your really care what some nooby broad says to you? Or the nooby posing as a knowledgable guide? Just say your peace and casara-sara. Beats getting sprayed by bone fragments and brain matter......


colatownkid


Nov 29, 2007, 6:55 PM
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Thanks, that makes me feel a lot better. As it happens, I did address the issue and was rudely rebuffed with outright denial that anything was done incorrectly. (Actually, my partner addressed it as I was breaking down an anchor 100 feet up when the opportunity for conversation presented itself.) We let it stop there, but I just wanted to make sure that by saying something I was trying to be a help and not just some snot-nosed kid who thinks he knows better.


backclipped


Nov 29, 2007, 8:58 PM
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[quote "... I was trying to be a help and not just some snot-nosed kid who thinks he knows better.
You do know better.
Cheers, mate.


blueeyedclimber


Dec 5, 2007, 6:55 AM
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colatownkid wrote:
Thanks, that makes me feel a lot better. As it happens, I did address the issue and was rudely rebuffed with outright denial that anything was done incorrectly. (Actually, my partner addressed it as I was breaking down an anchor 100 feet up when the opportunity for conversation presented itself.) We let it stop there, but I just wanted to make sure that by saying something I was trying to be a help and not just some snot-nosed kid who thinks he knows better.

If it was just him out there doing stupid shit to perhaps kill himself, and he rebuffed you...then there is not much you can do about it. But...he was out there with two people who don't know any better. I would do everything in my power to stop them. When people's lives are at stake, then you do not have to be nice. They will think about later and will thank you for it. Maybe not to your face, but they will.

Josh


dingus


Dec 5, 2007, 6:59 AM
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No for the most part I am not the Other Climber's Keeper.

I make exceptions for teenagers and kids.

But I'm not particularly social at the crag scene so I might not even notice. If something grossly negligent was going on I'd probably say something. If told to buggar off I would not retort,

"Its your funeral."

I might think it though...

DMT

ps. I don't often go anymore to places where I encounter such folk to begin with.


ja1484


Dec 5, 2007, 7:12 AM
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dingus wrote:
No for the most part I am not the Other Climber's Keeper.


Winner.

It's not my job to keep anyone outside of my party alive. I may attempt it, if I'm feeling generous.


(This post was edited by ja1484 on Dec 5, 2007, 7:13 AM)


markc


Dec 5, 2007, 7:57 AM
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Most of the time when I see something suspect at the crag I feel compelled to say something. This is especially the case when it's an obviously new group, or when bad habits are being passed from one 'experienced' person to those that don't know any better. In my experience, it doesn't usually go well. People don't want to be told they're putting themselves and friends in danger, and automatically get defensive. At that point, I wash my hands of it and usually put some distance between us.


billcoe_


Dec 5, 2007, 10:31 AM
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backclipped wrote:
Just say your peace and casara-sara. Beats getting sprayed by bone fragments and brain matter......

Bingo.

BTW, if any "snot nosed kid" as you say were to ever tell me anything related to safety they would get a handshake and a big thank you!


mtnwarrior


Dec 5, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Ahhh, let it go. Natural selection baby. We must breed out the weak climbing and smart genes in our society. These weak ones will be killed and no longer procreate the weaker part of the species.... Natural selection rules!!!


knieveltech


Dec 5, 2007, 12:09 PM
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billcoe_ wrote:
backclipped wrote:
Just say your peace and casara-sara. Beats getting sprayed by bone fragments and brain matter......

Bingo.

BTW, if any "snot nosed kid" as you say were to ever tell me anything related to safety they would get a handshake and a big thank you!

I'll see your handshake and raise you a beer. If someone where to roll up on me at the crag and correct me on something obviously sketchy I was doing I'd definitely thank them and offer (at least) one of the beers I keep stashed in my pack.


granite_grrl


Dec 5, 2007, 12:14 PM
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knieveltech wrote:
billcoe_ wrote:
backclipped wrote:
Just say your peace and casara-sara. Beats getting sprayed by bone fragments and brain matter......

Bingo.

BTW, if any "snot nosed kid" as you say were to ever tell me anything related to safety they would get a handshake and a big thank you!

I'll see your handshake and raise you a beer. If someone where to roll up on me at the crag and correct me on something obviously sketchy I was doing I'd definitely thank them and offer (at least) one of the beers I keep stashed in my pack.

But here's the crux of the situation. If you were doing something sketchy without fixing it yourself you likely didn't think you were doing something sketchy in the first place.

Would you still give them a beer?


colatownkid


Dec 5, 2007, 12:21 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
knieveltech wrote:
billcoe_ wrote:
backclipped wrote:
Just say your peace and casara-sara. Beats getting sprayed by bone fragments and brain matter......

Bingo.

BTW, if any "snot nosed kid" as you say were to ever tell me anything related to safety they would get a handshake and a big thank you!

I'll see your handshake and raise you a beer. If someone where to roll up on me at the crag and correct me on something obviously sketchy I was doing I'd definitely thank them and offer (at least) one of the beers I keep stashed in my pack.

But here's the crux of the situation. If you were doing something sketchy without fixing it yourself you likely didn't think you were doing something sketchy in the first place.

Would you still give them a beer?

it is nice to know that there are others who feel the same way i do. in my experience thus far, correcting someone is usually not well-received unless they're a total newb. if they choose not to take my well-intentioned advice or are an asshole about it, then so be it. (that doesn't mean i'm going to go out of my way to police the crag.)

as for giving someone a beer, i feel it depends on what they told me. i admit i don't know everything and on occasion someone will tell me about something i just hadn't thought about before. if what they say makes sense, they can have a beer and i'll probably adopt the practice. if it doesn't, they'll at least get the handshake for being concerned for my safety, even if i disagree.


billcoe_


Dec 5, 2007, 12:56 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
But here's the crux of the situation. If you were doing something sketchy without fixing it yourself you likely didn't think you were doing something sketchy in the first place.

Would you still give them a beer?

You mean like free-soloing past some roped up N00bs who start getting panicked and aggro watching you fly by? Probably not, but I wouldn't be pissed at em. Usually they're just quiet.


knieveltech


Dec 5, 2007, 1:14 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
knieveltech wrote:
billcoe_ wrote:
backclipped wrote:
Just say your peace and casara-sara. Beats getting sprayed by bone fragments and brain matter......

Bingo.

BTW, if any "snot nosed kid" as you say were to ever tell me anything related to safety they would get a handshake and a big thank you!

I'll see your handshake and raise you a beer. If someone where to roll up on me at the crag and correct me on something obviously sketchy I was doing I'd definitely thank them and offer (at least) one of the beers I keep stashed in my pack.

But here's the crux of the situation. If you were doing something sketchy without fixing it yourself you likely didn't think you were doing something sketchy in the first place.

Would you still give them a beer?

I dig what you're saying. For me that's highly situational though. I mean, if someone was dinging me for placing a tricam point down or something I'd thank them for their concern and keep on trucking. If, on the other hand, someone pointed out something that I honestly hadn't thought of, I'd weigh what was said and thank them either way. I mean, even if I don't agree with whatever advice is being thrust upon me there's no reason to be a prick to someone that's just trying to help.


stymingersfink


Dec 5, 2007, 10:02 PM
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last time something like your situation occurred in my immediate area was a day spent soloing at the Slips, where a church group (i guess) decided to hang out with like twenty people, tying up 5 routes with TR's.

Which normally wouldn't really bother me that much, but seeing that there was maybe one or two (semi-)competent climbers, quite a few n00bs, and the remainder being first-timers, I had to work overtime not to say anything.

Shook my head and held my tongue regarding belay procedures... if they lost control of the belay at least the belayer would have provided a nice cushion for the landing.

However, when a girl nervously began climbing up the Italian Arete which someone had lead and removed the draws from, I had to speak up. If she had slipped she would have pendulum'd into the corner six or eight feet away, probably resulting in bruises at least, perhaps worse. Of course, she was unaware of the possible consequences, but after mentioning it to her belayer three times, she was nervous enough about climbing any higher on the line that she asked to be lowered, whereby my concerns became quite evident as to their validity. When she reached terra firma, I explained my concerns to her, for which she thanked me.

In short: I've got no problem letting someone who should know better do something which might get themselves hurt, but letting someone who doesn't know better rely on that same faulty judgment crosses a line for me, in which case I've no qualms about speaking up. Repeatedly, if necessary.

After-the-fact does no good for anyone. How would you feel if you thought about saying something, decided not to, and then had to assist with a rescue?


evanwish


Dec 5, 2007, 11:20 PM
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stymingersfink wrote:
became quite evident as to their validity. When she reached terra firma, I explained my concerns to her, for which she thanked me.

that's good. I was climbing my fourth time on Knapsack Crack a 3 pitch 5.5 thats famous for n00bs, got cought behind a slow group of 3 n00bs about my age (16).

We took another crack parallel to them, Their leader and I both reached the end of our pitches and I set my anchor, relaxed to watch the view and saw this kid panicking.

I called over to him asked how he was doing he told me he DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. I asked him if i can help him, he quckly responded YES PLEASE!!!

I called back down on belay, clipped the ancor again climbed over to him, set a new one, and sat there and talked to him.

he told me he had never placed gear before, never sport climbed, and never even set up an anchor on bolts! I was shocked.
he proceded to tell me that out of the 3 of them only one had ever led before but he had a "pannic attack" and couldn't climb that last pitch so he decided to do it.

I tried to prompt him to set the anchor and he told me to do it for him since he didn't know what any of the gear was called i just grabbed it off the rack, set his anchor, and clipped him into it....

then he proceded to belay both of his partners at the same time up... i decided to backup belay...

the kids thanked me when they all got to the top... they could have easily all plumited.


viciado


Dec 6, 2007, 4:13 AM
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colatownkid wrote:
I'm sure most people have experienced the ignorant jackass...

Is there some sort of moral imperative to try and help save them from themselves?

If it affects access or causes partial access restriction (due to rescue/corpse retrieval) I guess you could consider that to have some sort of ethical value in regard to the local community. Otherwise, I think people have already defended well enough the "it depends" point of view.

I can think of two recent situations that ended up differently. In the first case, the two walked away with their gear, bodies and pride intact. In the second, the dudes limped away leaving a couple of draws and a bit of skin and blood on the wall. In both cases, the parties appeared at the crag with shiny new gear apparently fresh from some course or other that implied they were competent. In both cases the parties placed themselves over their abilities and when they evidenced lack of ability and knowledge we offered help. Not only our party, but others also pointed out the danger of the situation. In the first case, the dudes recognized their predicament and accepted the help offered. We still see them from time to time and they show development in their climbing. In the second case, the party showed bad attitude right off. We moved ourselves to another sector and only saw them nursing their wounds as they crawled out with their tails well tucked. I can guess what happened, but did not actually see it. Neither have I seen them since, but got a couple of nice new Petzl spirit draws. The rain has washed their smears of blood off the wall.

I will try to offer help in most cases, but will not insist on being heard. If another party's activity will likely present a danger to me or my party, then I might take another tactic, but I will usually just move away from the potential splat zone. Idiocy is contagious.


blueeyedclimber


Dec 6, 2007, 5:23 AM
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viciado wrote:

I will try to offer help in most cases, but will not insist on being heard. If another party's activity will likely present a danger to me or my party, then I might take another tactic, but I will usually just move away from the potential splat zone. Idiocy is contagious.

I am amazed at the selfishness of the posts on here. You know, there are some people out there that are reckless, and are a danger to themselves and others. They are arrogant and try to pretend they know more than they do. They do not take constructive criticism very well and they are not very pleasant to be around. But, that doesn't mean I want to hear about their untimely death later (perhaps on this website), all because I didn't bother to say something.

You people need to sack up, swallow your pride and try to help out a little more. Luckily, there are probably more climbers that are willing to do that than the jerks that would rather not be near the "splat zone."

Josh


granite_grrl


Dec 6, 2007, 5:32 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
viciado wrote:

I will try to offer help in most cases, but will not insist on being heard. If another party's activity will likely present a danger to me or my party, then I might take another tactic, but I will usually just move away from the potential splat zone. Idiocy is contagious.

I am amazed at the selfishness of the posts on here. You know, there are some people out there that are reckless, and are a danger to themselves and others. They are arrogant and try to pretend they know more than they do. They do not take constructive criticism very well and they are not very pleasant to be around. But, that doesn't mean I want to hear about their untimely death later (perhaps on this website), all because I didn't bother to say something.

You people need to sack up, swallow your pride and try to help out a little more. Luckily, there are probably more climbers that are willing to do that than the jerks that would rather not be near the "splat zone."

Josh

Josh, you cannot make a person listen who does not want to listen. Its the way people are. What do you do when it appears the person you're offering advice to doesn't want to listen? Do you follow them around the cliff lecturing them?


blueeyedclimber


Dec 6, 2007, 5:35 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
viciado wrote:

I will try to offer help in most cases, but will not insist on being heard. If another party's activity will likely present a danger to me or my party, then I might take another tactic, but I will usually just move away from the potential splat zone. Idiocy is contagious.

I am amazed at the selfishness of the posts on here. You know, there are some people out there that are reckless, and are a danger to themselves and others. They are arrogant and try to pretend they know more than they do. They do not take constructive criticism very well and they are not very pleasant to be around. But, that doesn't mean I want to hear about their untimely death later (perhaps on this website), all because I didn't bother to say something.

You people need to sack up, swallow your pride and try to help out a little more. Luckily, there are probably more climbers that are willing to do that than the jerks that would rather not be near the "splat zone."

Josh

Josh, you cannot make a person listen who does not want to listen. Its the way people are. What do you do when it appears the person you're offering advice to doesn't want to listen? Do you follow them around the cliff lecturing them?

I am very persuasive, and I have never had anyone continue with what they were doing. They may not like me saying something, but even arrogant jerks, if you say it correctly and know what you are talking about, will think about it. Just because you're arrogant, doesn't mean you want to die.

Josh


azrockclimber


Dec 6, 2007, 5:57 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
viciado wrote:

I will try to offer help in most cases, but will not insist on being heard. If another party's activity will likely present a danger to me or my party, then I might take another tactic, but I will usually just move away from the potential splat zone. Idiocy is contagious.

I am amazed at the selfishness of the posts on here. You know, there are some people out there that are reckless, and are a danger to themselves and others. They are arrogant and try to pretend they know more than they do. They do not take constructive criticism very well and they are not very pleasant to be around. But, that doesn't mean I want to hear about their untimely death later (perhaps on this website), all because I didn't bother to say something.

You people need to sack up, swallow your pride and try to help out a little more. Luckily, there are probably more climbers that are willing to do that than the jerks that would rather not be near the "splat zone."

Josh

Josh makes two points I totally agree with... tell the dude or dudette....You could die man...change your shit.

I really don't care what their response is. Personally, I feel morally obligated to let someone know if they are doing something dangerous. I just can't sit there and say nothing when I know they are doing something that could get them seriously injured... That is really bad karma.

I didn't really have that kind of help when I started...I wish I had...and, to be honest, I am lucky to be here. I wouldn't be suprised if I had a bit of attitude when receiving said help... No one likes to be told what to do and how WRONG they are doing it... especially guys... but you can bet your ass I would have changed what I was doing. I occasionally think back on some of the things I did the first 6 months I was climbing and I cringe.

More often than not, I will get a bit of attitude.... but they usually take the advice.... no one wants to get hurt... Share your knowledge and save a NOOB. c'mon..


(This post was edited by azrockclimber on Dec 6, 2007, 5:59 AM)


markc


Dec 6, 2007, 6:24 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
But here's the crux of the situation. If you were doing something sketchy without fixing it yourself you likely didn't think you were doing something sketchy in the first place.

I made a similar comment some time ago. Awareness is a major underlying part of this discussion for me. For the most part, I won't comment if someone is doing something dangerous if they have knowledge of what they're doing. They've assessed the situation, and have decided they are comfortable with the level of risk they're assuming.

Then there are those that are aware that they have limited knowledge, and may be out of their depth. They realize the inherent risk in climbing, and are open to input. As some stories have indicated, there may be a close call that suddenly opens someone's eyes and makes them willing to consider help.

It's those that are unaware of their level of risk that can be the most troublesome to approach. No one wants to think of themselves as negligent, or realize that they're unknowingly putting themselves and friends in danger. They think what they're doing is safe, so why would they modify their behavior? In many cases, the lack of consequences so far just bolsters their confidence in unsafe practices. I don't like the idea of these people getting hurt any more than anyone else, and make an effort to help. Unfortunately, negative consequences are sometimes the only teacher they're willing to heed.

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Forums : Climbing Information : Injury Treatment and Prevention

 


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