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Do you speak up when seeing someone making mistakes?
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By Sir Wanksalot
From County Jail
Jul 31, 2012
Scott McMahon wrote:
It's a really tough decision to make really, but every time I go out I see someone put themselves in perilious positions. - The girl back clipping all the way up - Her belayer first time belaying with a gri-gri...what a scream when the leader went down 5 feet quickly. - The guy I wanted to give route beta to when he skipped the 3rd bolt because he couldn't clip. Ground fall territory. - The guy on the Edge of Time clipped in through both ends of the draw while he hung on the first bolt for an hour. 9+ route and his belayer was belaying wrong. Oh and he had no gear for the bolt runout. - The many new belayers consistently taking their hand of the brake strand while lead belaying. - A school teaching brand new climbers to single line rap over a roof by bunching their legs up instead of legs out, butt down. Can you say face smash? Did I say something in every instance. No and truthfully when I see this crap going down, I bail. I don't want to be around to watch somebody take a ground fall. And these are just a few things off the top of my head. I'm not perfect for sure, but I do my best to make sure I'm taking as many precautions as I can. My opinion is that the gyms have alot to do with these bad practices, especially bad belaying and backclipping. People climb in "safe" environment, and then hit the REI sale for a new rope and draws. Unfortunently the logistics of climbing don't always come naturally and require some amount of study and practice. I try to always take advice if someone knows a better, more effecient or safer way of doing things. Climbing is a progression.


Have you ever thought you should mind your own damn business? I climb a lot, and I haven't seen nearly what you describe here. Or maybe your a noob babysitter and need to climb somewhere else.

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By RockyMtnTed
Jul 31, 2012
Randy W. wrote:
Have you ever thought you should mind your own damn business? I climb a lot, and I haven't seen nearly what you describe here. Or maybe your a noob babysitter and need to climb somewhere else.


I gotta agree with you. As someone else pointed out alot of n00bs try to make themselves not feel like n00bs by pointing out every small detail that someone else is doing wrong.

My one friend did this and it used to drive me nuts. He had been climbing less than a year and was constantly pointing out to people that they were belaying with their grigri wrong, people who had climbed years longer than him...

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Jul 31, 2012
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
pfwein wrote:
I always thought several meant more than one, although exactly two would be an uncommon usage. I looked at a dictionary: more than one and more than two are both listed. See merriam-webster.com/dictionary... ("more than one" is listed before "more than two"). So I'm not so sure about the English lesson in this story, but I've no doubt the actual climbing advice was spot on and the guy should have taken it.


More than one is 2 or more and I suppose that it is POSSIBLE he'd been climbing trad since he was 7...
But I doubt it.
English lesson or not, I think the guy was very bad at math or was arrogant. OR maybe some 3rd thing I don't understand... But expecting recognition for more than your achievements, in psychological terms, is the very definition of arrogance.

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Jul 31, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
RockyMtnTed wrote:
I gotta agree with you. As someone else pointed out alot of n00bs try to make themselves not feel like n00bs by pointing out every small detail that someone else is doing wrong. My one friend did this and it used to drive me nuts. He had been climbing less than a year and was constantly pointing out to people that they were belaying with their grigri wrong, people who had climbed years longer than him...



What does it matter how long someone has been climbing? If someone is doing something that may result in him or his partner getting killed, why wouldn't you offer up information that might prevent that?

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jul 31, 2012
Bocan
RockyMtnTed wrote:
You do realize in the story you quoted they were top roping? Where did the "lead belaying" tangent come from?


Nope missed that part, however everthing I said still stands.

Thanks for the "catch". Haha!

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jul 31, 2012
Bocan
Randy W. wrote:
Have you ever thought you should mind your own damn business? I climb a lot, and I haven't seen nearly what you describe here. Or maybe your a noob babysitter and need to climb somewhere else.


1) I said usually I don't say anything and I just leave. But you sound like the type of person who would let someone get hit by a truck because they didn't see it coming. Sorry, I'd want someone to warn me if I backclipped every draw I put in.

2) So what you haven't seen any of that? Guess what? This was all in the past month. What does that have to do with anything? You sound like your oblivious. But weren't you just complaining about the people in Boulder Canyon? At least I make friends with the people climbing around me.

3) I pretty much climb where ever I want to. I get there early and when this stuff happens, I leave. Seeing something happen right next to you doesn't mean I'm not minding my own business.

But mostly I try to climb where people like you aren't.

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By RockyMtnTed
Jul 31, 2012
Crag Dweller wrote:
What does it matter how long someone has been climbing? If someone is doing something that may result in him or his partner getting killed, why wouldn't you offer up information that might prevent that?


Youre missing my point crag dweller, that one went right over your head!

Nothing wrong with pointing out something that is clearly dangerous but when you are a beginner climber who has only been out there for 2 months telling someone on a 5.12 that they are holding their grigri wrong is a little unnecessary... Has nothing to do with grades, more so experience level. Its like a first day skier on a green run coming up to me on a double black diamond and saying I am skiing too fast or my feet are too far apart, what the hell do they know?

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By Unassigned User
Jul 31, 2012
RockyMtnTed wrote:
Youre missing my point crag dweller, that one went right over your head! Nothing wrong with pointing out something that is clearly dangerous but when you are a beginner climber who has only been out there for 2 months telling someone on a 5.12 that they are holding their grigri wrong is a little unnecessary... Has nothing to do with grades, more so experience level. Its like a first day skier on a green run coming up to me on a double black diamond and saying I am skiing too fast or my feet are too far apart, what the hell do they know?


I think you are missing the point. If said "pro 5.12 climber" is belaying wrong and could possibly injure someone, and mister 5.5 leader been climbing 2 months, notices he should correct him. experience does not matter sometimes.

Have you been checking out the climbing death threads? Those are experienced people that something went wrong and they fell and died. You are going to end up hurt if you keep up that attitude of experience makes right, Mister rockymtn...

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By RockyMtnTed
Jul 31, 2012
J Hazard wrote:
I think you are missing the point. If said "pro 5.12 climber" is belaying wrong and could possibly injure someone, and mister 5.5 leader been climbing 2 months, notices he should correct him. experience does not matter sometimes. Have you been checking out the climbing death threads? Those are experienced people that something went wrong and they fell and died. You are going to end up hurt if you keep up that attitude of experience makes right, Mister rockymtn...


Okay my point...

Why would a "mister pro 5.12 climber" need advice on how to belay from someone that has been doing it for 2 months? I am assuming the "5.12 pro" has been doing it for years and years, why does he need advice from a n00b.... Sure if there is an obvious danger like rockfall he doesnt see or belay biner unlocked then speak up but critiquing his form belaying is going a little far in my opinion and thats what I originally was saying. You really disagree with that?

Would you take advice from a 15 year old girl with her temps to slow down because she KNOWS that 75mph on the highway is excessive and you WILL die regardless of conditions??

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jul 31, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
Why would a guy that's descended off multipitch routes hundreds or thousands of times rap off the end of his rope? I guess the noob that sees that he can't see the ends of the rope and hasn't tied knots in the ends should just keep his mouth shut.

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By RockyMtnTed
Jul 31, 2012
Jake Jones wrote:
Why would a guy that's descended off multipitch routes hundreds or thousands of times rap off the end of his rope? I guess the noob that sees that he can't see the ends of the rope and hasn't tied knots in the ends should just keep his mouth shut.


Uhhh like I said twice now... something obviously dangerous like that then of course speak up. Minor differences in belay technique is NOT the same thing. At all.

You guys seem to love to pick apart peoples words for the smallest technicality and argue with them about it. I'm off to go for a bike ride, Id suggest doing something productive as well.

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By jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 31, 2012
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater ...
I often find myself in the circumstance of letting someone know they're doing something that could get them hurt. I take a lot of new climbers to new climber areas to do new climber type climbs.

I find the best way is to say, "hey, it might be better if (insert action to prevent imminent demise). When you say someone is doing something wrong it immediately makes people defensive so don't present it that way. If you present it as something where they can get a benefit or make their lives easier they're more apt to listen. Although I've always wondered what it would be like to walk up to someone and say, "hey dumbass, want me to show you the right way to do that so you don't kill your partner?"

I always laugh when people tell me how hard they climb or how old they are. Gravity doesn't give a shit and the ground hurts the same. Anyone can make a mistake, doesn't necessarily mean they deserve to die because of it. Continued insistence on being an idiot...that's another story.

Anyone can learn something from someone else, regardless of experience. Sometime someone without experience may have a better solution because they aren't confined by the thought processes that being experienced at something boxes you into.

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By Sir Wanksalot
From County Jail
Jul 31, 2012
Scott McMahon wrote:
1) I said usually I don't say anything and I just leave. But you sound like the type of person who would let someone get hit by a truck because they didn't see it coming. Sorry, I'd want someone to warn me if I backclipped every draw I put in. 2) So what you haven't seen any of that? Guess what? This was all in the past month. What does that have to do with anything? You sound like your oblivious. But weren't you just complaining about the people in Boulder Canyon? At least I make friends with the people climbing around me. 3) I pretty much climb where ever I want to. I get there early and when this stuff happens, I leave. Seeing something happen right next to you doesn't mean I'm not minding my own business. But mostly I try to climb where people like you aren't.


Pretty defensive there Hoss! Well since you climb in BoCan with all the other assplugs you definately won't see me around. I climb where people aren't, it's called adventure.

Your defensive response implies you think you know more than you actually do. I have seen shit hit the fan, I have personally shit and hit the fan. I have given and recieved advice early and often. I never act like a dick when someone points something out, and if I see something, I usually say... "hey, I saw you do that differently than I do. I learned to do it this way. Is there a reason to do it your way?" See that way, I let the student become the teacher. You learn a lot when you teach others (as you obviously know). If they can't explain, I say... "shit... I don't know everything, but this works for me and it seems safe." Sometimes you can learn things from other people.

Sometimes you need to know when to mind your own damn business, too.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jul 31, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
I understand what you're saying. I will definitely concede that noobs giving vets advice isn't going to be received well, and for the same reason you've mentioned.

It's entirely dependent upon the situation. It is a moot point though. A noob is less likely to know what's safe, and what isn't. He just knows what he or she has read, or been taught- correct or not. Inexperience is working against them. Example:

Noob: Hey man, that's quite a loop of slack you have coming out of your GriGri.

Veteran: Thanks for noticing.

Noob: Do you always belay that loose?

Veteran: No, dickhead. Only when I want my climber to clear the roof he just pulled if he falls. Run along now.

RockyMtnTed wrote:
when you are a beginner climber who has only been out there for 2 months telling someone on a 5.12 that they are holding their grigri wrong is a little unnecessary...


Unless they happen to be holding the cam open the entire time, whether feeding or not. Or letting go of the brake strand to feed. All of which I've seen guys do- guys that crank way harder than I do, and for much longer.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jul 31, 2012
Bocan
Randy W. wrote:
Pretty defensive there Hoss! Well since you climb in BoCan with all the other assplugs you definately won't see me around. I climb where people aren't, it's called adventure. Your defensive response implies you think you know more than you actually do. I have seen shit hit the fan, I have personally shit and hit the fan. I have given and recieved advice early and often. I never act like a dick when someone points something out, and if I see something, I usually say... "hey, I saw you do that differently than I do. I learned to do it this way. Is there a reason to do it your way?" See that way, I let the student become the teacher. You learn a lot when you teach others (as you obviously know). If they can't explain, I say... "shit... I don't know everything, but this works for me and it seems safe." Sometimes you can learn things from other people. Sometimes you need to know when to mind your own damn business, too.


My defensive respose is directly due to our dickish post, which apparently has zero relation to what you just said.

Do you mind your own business or do you "give and recieve advice early and often"? You've been deep in the shit, but haven't seen any of the common mistakes I've mentioned? I'm a noob babysitter and you talk about teaching others?

Honestly I'm not getting much out of your contradicting ramblings.

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By Unassigned User
Jul 31, 2012
Scott McMahon wrote:
My defensive respose is directly due to our dickish post, which apparently has zero relation to what you just said. This leads me to conclude that you spew things out of your mouth prior to your brain being able to sort them out. Do you mind your own business or do you "give and recieve advice early and often"? You been deep in the shit, but haven't seen any of the common mistakes I've mentioned? Honestly I'm not getting much out of your contradicting ramblings.


Keyboard diareaha (sp?) it hits all of us at times.

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By Baumer
From Boulder, CO
Jul 31, 2012
Easy Lieback
I can't see any good reason not to intervene if someone's life is in danger. If you're not a jerk about it, people tend to be receptive. I've pointed things out to people many times and the reaction almost always falls into one of two categories:

1) "Oh, shit! Thanks!"
2) "What do you mean?" (I then explain it)

One notable exception was when I was belaying Jim Erickson at the local gym and pointed out that he back-clipped the first draw. He ignored me. I guess a guy with dozens of free-solo FA's probably wasn't too worried about falling on a 5.9. Fair enough!

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By Matt Pierce
From Denver, CO
Jul 31, 2012
View from the first belay ledge on The Staircase (...
So I guess the short answer is: everyone has their own opinion!

I guess thinking back on it, when I saw her backclip the first bolt (second bolt on the route), I didnt say anything. But when the second bolt (third from the ground) was also backclipped I felt the need to point it out. Because - like many of you have stated - it seemed dangerous...

I guess maybe another way to say it is - maybe the first one was a simple mistake and she would have continued on clipping properly. But when 3 bolts have been clipped and 2 were backclipped - that tells me maybe she didnt understand. As important is the fact that her belayer also didnt notice? These were backclipped close to the ground and my thinking is he should have noticed...

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By BrandonK
From Columbus, Ohio
Jul 31, 2012
Be smart about it if its something that isn't good technique its not a big deal. If someone could seriously get hurt say something and if they don't like it or don't listen it becomes natural selection.

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By Krischa Berlinger
Jul 31, 2012
i worked for a while in a climbing gym with sometimes 300 people climbing at the same time. when we had to do our rounds to check on the guests you see a lot of interesting things what people do with belay devices. most of them just do minor mistakes, but there's so many that just don't seem to be able to handle a complex task like belaying. and i've seen climbers being dropped from belayers that climbed and belayed for 30 years (but they may have never used a grigri or an ATC before or were never properly trained to do so) and also from the beginners.

so, of course, as staff you have to tell the people what they're doing wrong or sometimes don't even allow them to belay anyone.
no matter how you approach those people, no matter how obvious the danger was, the responses are always snotty.

so as i'm used to give those advices in the gym and also as instructor, at the crag i usually point out bad belay techniques or dangerous mistakes, but will always tell them why it is a bad technique and/or mistake and show them a better way (most of the times i have a good story to tell about the particular mistake and how it caused people to get f*cked up because of it. if you climb SEVERAL DECADES :p you'll see enough of it). and funny enough, i never got a snotty response outside.

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By Sir Wanksalot
From County Jail
Jul 31, 2012
Scott McMahon wrote:
My defensive respose is directly due to our dickish post, which apparently has zero relation to what you just said. Do you mind your own business or do you "give and recieve advice early and often"? You've been deep in the shit, but haven't seen any of the common mistakes I've mentioned? I'm a noob babysitter and you talk about teaching others? Honestly I'm not getting much out of your contradicting ramblings.


Reading comprehension is hard huh? I said YOU should mind YOUR business. You then accused me of not giving a shit. I corrected you. I mind my business, and when I see something DANGEROUS I will say something. Difference between you and I is that I'm not such a pretentious dick about it.

As for shit hitting the fan. Have you ever got fucked up climbing? I have, some of my friend have. Sometimes shit flies, and when it does gravity is unforgiving.

You being a know it all and pointing out everyone else's flaws kinda says you may not be open minded enough to know when shit is starting to go south.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Jul 31, 2012
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
Randy W. wrote:
Difference between you and I is that I'm not such a pretentious dick about it.

Quoted for effect.

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By Arlo F Niederer
From Fort Collins, CO
Jul 31, 2012
This really isn't that much of a dilemma...

If you can prevent a serious accident or fatality by speaking up, isn't speaking up the right thing to do?

If you see climbers being unsafe, politely point it out. They have the choice of addressing the safety issue or ignoring it. If they take your advice, you might have prevented a serious accident or fatality. You will have a clearer conscious if they don't heed your advice and something goes wrong.

The actions of the unsafe climbers doesn't just affect them, it affects EVERYONE around them. If a serious accident or fatality happens, you will be in the middle of it, and it is a VERY unpleasant and unsettling experience, even for trained rescuers.

I was a member of Teton County SAR for twelve years, and had the unfortunate task of responding to an inexperienced climber who mis-clipped the anchors at the top of a climb on Rodeo Wall, and fell 90 feet to the ground. The climber survived the fall, but died at the base shortly after we arrived...the sights, sounds, and smells of that evening are unpleasantly burned into my memory forever.

I thought I was going to witness a similar trajedy, the whole deal, not just the aftermath - last weekend on Beehive Buttress at Vedauwoo, a newer sport area with many moderate, well bolted routes.

A rowdy group of three men were climbing a 5.8. One man led the climb taking 3 noisy falls (shouting/swearing) at the crux near the top, but made it to the top and lowered off, cleaning the draws as he went. The lead climber wanted the second to follow the route and change it over from a toprope through two draws to a rappel through the anchors.

The dialog between the climbers made it obvious that the follower had NEVER changed over an anchor from toprope to rappel! The second didn't even have his own gear - the leader took off his harness and ATC and gave it to the follower, who then completed the climb on the top rope. Fortunately, the climber realized he didn't know what he was doing and asked if there was any way to walk off, and there isn't.

The lead climber instructed him to take off the harness, lower it, and he would come up to the anchors and change them over. So, the follower was on the ledge unanchored for about 15 minutes!

The lead climber made it to the top, but it turns out the follower wasn't experienced at rappelling, so they swapped the harness again (TWO people unanchored at the same time), and fortunately (luckily?) they both made it down.

After my partner and I finished the climb we were on, I went over and talked with them. They were not overly receptive. So I described my experience in all it's gory detail - perhaps they got a glimpse of what could have easily happened. Don't know if it had any affect, since they pulled their rope and left.

If I ever do something unsafe, I hope that those around me will do the right thing and tell me about it. I'll smile and give a big "thanks!"

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By Steve Levin
From Boulder, CO
Jul 31, 2012
Guiding in RMNP
Arlo F Niederer wrote:
If you can prevent a serious accident or fatality by speaking up, isn't speaking up the right thing to do? If you see climbers being unsafe, politely point it out. They have the choice of addressing the safety issue or ignoring it. If they take your advice, you might have prevented a serious accident or fatality. You will have a clearer conscious if they don't heed your advice and something goes wrong. The actions of the unsafe climbers doesn't just affect them, it affects EVERYONE around them. If a serious accident or fatality happens, you will be in the middle of it, and it is a VERY unpleasant and unsettling experience, even for trained rescuers.


+1

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By Arlo F Niederer
From Fort Collins, CO
Jul 31, 2012
Here's another idea which may help in deciding what action to take:

"Philosophical difference vs. fatal flaw!"

If a climber is doing something in a different way than I do, but I can't see any safety issues with it, it is simply a philosophical difference. An argument here is an endless Moebius loop, and a waste of time. Sometimes I do get curious, and I'll just say "I've never seen it done that way before, what are the benefits of doing it that way?" Learned a few things with this approach.

A fatal flaw is when a climber is doing something that has been proven to be unsafe (backclipping, tying into harness improperly, etc.). Time to politely speak up. I've found it's useful to explain why it's unsafe, or demonstrate. For example, when people don't understand what can happen with a backclip, I demostrate...which is usually followed by an "oooh, I get it now!"

FLAG


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