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Leading at Lost T - what is proper ettiquite?
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By Gary C Thomann
Aug 16, 2012
My name is Gary Thomann and I do quite a bit of work at what is known as Lost T cliff in the southern adirondack. I would like to bring up something that made me a little (well very) mad and also hurt my feelings a bit. It has also happened to me before. I would like to know what others think about ettiquite in this type of situation. I will try to describe the situation without insulting anybody.

I had my eye on a new route there for some time and a couple of weeks ago starting cleaning it with some of my friends. I can supply full names if needed, but for now will just say that Eric B did 60% of the cleaning and Bill G and I did about 30% Carl M and Mary G did a little. Another climber did maybe 5%. Until we started cleaning there was no route here; the west facing wall of Lost T is very dirty and a lot of cleaning was involved. I was at the cliff when all the cleaning was done so I know the situation.

As soon as the route was cleaned a climber came out and did a first ascent. He sent his first ascent in to the Adirondack guide book site and also posted it on Mountain Project. I think the name he gave the climb is "crimps are for pimps." He was not involved in any of the cleaning. He did not, to my knowledge, ask permission from any of us or tell us in advance what he was going to do.

Is this ok? Do we have any rights because we cleaned it? My immediate response to what happened was that I will never clean a climb again. Maybe later I will reconsider. I would be interested in opinions.

FLAG
By Unassigned User
Aug 16, 2012
I don't know about ethics but I know similiar things have happened in the past over here in California. Take Sticher Quits and Black Tide aka Monkey on My Back. Sticher Quits was named after the first party that was bolting the route and quit when it got dark, during the night the FA fella ran in and grabbed the FA and then named it after the original party. Kind of funny.

I will say thanks for contributing to the climbing community, even if you do not get your name down in the books.

FLAG
By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Aug 16, 2012
Did the guy know you were cleaning and prepping the route, then "snake" it from you or did he just spy a clean-looking line and climb it?

FLAG
By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 16, 2012
Bocan
FrankPS wrote:
Did the guy know you were cleaning and prepping the route, then "snake" it from you or did he just spy a clean-looking line and climb it?


Without knowing the true answer, it seems like it would be tough to run up to a line and then claim a FA and submit it right away without seeing them cleaning it. It would be a slim chance.

Sounds like a lame ego thing.

FLAG
By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Aug 16, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
Have you e-mailed the individual who grabbed the FA and put the climb on MP, who can easily be accessed via a private message on here?

FLAG
By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Aug 16, 2012
Rumney
That sucks Gary :(. I personally wouldn't climb with someone who did this. I mean, how did he know it was a FA and to send it in? He knew. I call: Asshole :-/

FLAG
By Blissab
Aug 16, 2012
If what is being stated is true...the guy obviously knew this specific route was being worked, given that the whole wall was dirty and covered in lichen with the exception of only one specific streak of cleaned exposed rock, that he stumbled upon.

As a result...the guy is a dick and should be called-out, as such in the local climbing community. He knew what he was doing and he was taking credit for other people's hard work. The route should probably be renamed: "Crimps are for Parasites".

The question should be...to what extent did Jim Lawyer and Jeremy Haas have with respect to the history and accuracy of this new route "Crimps are for Pimps", when they included this route into the ADK guidebook? Did they know that this turd stole this route out from under others?

To answer the original question, in my humble opinion...the people who put-in the effort to clean, equip and make safe a sport or trad route have first claim for naming/publishing the route and should be given the FA. Any route alterations, by people other that the original current FA group, should be granted and allowed for only by that FA group.

Again, if the information is accurate, I should think that the ADK guidebook site and Mountain Project have an obligation to be fair and accurate. So as a result..."Crimps are for Pimps" should be removed from these two sources, until such time as the FA group decides to publish and mover forward.

These are the ethics in my area and they work well. Many in my area, including myself, have spent countless hours hanging in a harness until the blood flow to our lower extremities ceased and our sinuses became packed full, by scaping moss, dirt, lichen, grass, poison ivy, bushes, trees, removing loose rock, equiping, getting stung by bees, etc. from a potential line. Given this, there is a level of appreciation for these cleaned routes and the people who make the hard effort to provide these routes.

I would hope that the people in the Southern Adirondacks appreciate the efforts that the Gary Thomann group put forth and that this incident would not prevent future contributions.

FLAG
By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 16, 2012
Bocan
^ +10

Well said... it's not nice to eat someone else's sandwhich when they aren't looking.

FLAG
 
By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Aug 16, 2012
I've never cleaned a route or put up an FA, but I've heard of "red tagging" a route that is under development. Is there a right/accepted way to mark a route that is being developed to let others know?

FLAG
By MaxSuffering
From KVNY
Aug 17, 2012
To the question do you have any rights... not really. The problem is that when you clean rock on public land it's public property, anyone can climb it.

Is it okay? No, that's simply a douche-bag move and makes this guy an asshole. If it was an honest mistake than that's one thing but you seem to think that this was not he case here. The fact that he quickly reported his ascent to the world at large makes me think even less of this individual. Were it me I'd call him out publicly and probably not very nicely.

I've done some scrubbing in the ADKs and it's a ton of work. To all the other thieves out there: What if the people doing the work of putting up routes stopped?

FLAG
By mountainlion
Aug 17, 2012
go put up another route Gary right next to this line. you and your buddies go up clean the area and camp under or by it. climb the area out and put up all new routes. Include the guys name in a route like "_____is a dick" or "banging____" or "stolen valor". a d-day friend of mine used to tell me "illigetimus non-conundrum est" translated it means "dont let the bastards get you down" cheers Gary you rock

FLAG
By Paul Deagle
From Geneseo, NY
Aug 17, 2012
me
That is all interesting conversation because I can understand the effort to put in climb. I was just there and I can see how it would be easy to see if someone was developing a route because most of the place is pretty dirty. With that said, the person was probably just FA hungry and without seeing it in the ADK book or online how would he contact anyone to discuss. So the answer is to just leave the line alone until someone claims it? I can see the issues for sure. As with most things in rock climbing, things can be subjective. So I would say the answer is, if you see a project/new line being set up maybe it should be left alone untill you find out who is working it this way we don't have posts like this.

FLAG
By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Aug 17, 2012
Stoked...
mountainlion wrote:
go put up another route Gary right next to this line. you and your buddies go up clean the area and camp under or by it. climb the area out and put up all new routes. Include the guys name in a route like "_____is a dick" or "banging____" or "stolen valor". a d-day friend of mine used to tell me "illigetimus non-conundrum est" translated it means "dont let the bastards get you down" cheers Gary you rock


This would def be the way to go about it in my book. I would PM the dude and try to talk to him about it directly and let him know the err in his ways. I do a lot of development back here in CT and I would be pissed for sure. Naming other routes you put up slandering him is a perfectly acceptable passive agressive approach. Def write the guidebook and ask to have cred for finding and cleaning.

FLAG
By Justin Sanford
From Broadalbin, New York
Aug 17, 2012
Push-5.12C at Good Luck Lake Cliffs
Gary,

First and foremost...your efforts in the southern Adirondacks are very much appreciated. I know personally how much is involved in developing not only new routes, but developing new crags altogether in remote sections of the park. What I am seeing/reading about here is a blatant "poaching" of a route your crew was actively working on.

I don't personally know either guy that posted the FA of this route on Mountain Project, but I did run into Jeff briefly three weeks ago at trailhead to Lost T and Lost Hunters. He mentioned that he has been actively developing with "Gary's crew" and expressed interest in the work being done at Lost Hunters. I'm sure it won't be long until I am dealing with this same bs out at that cliff where I have spent the last 10 weekends exerting tons of energy opening up new lines.

My advice...try and shrug it off. 75% of the boulder problems and routes I prep get FA'd by others but at least they are being snagged by my close friends. I'm sorry you had to see one of your new lines get poached by some douche. You can rest assured knowing i won't ever give these clowns a catch on the sharp end! Hard to be a punk and make friends in such a tightknit climbing community. I'll spread the word...

FLAG
By Dugan Thompson
Aug 17, 2012
First of all, totally lame move. Second, what a terribly lame route name. A poacher with no creativity?

FLAG
By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 17, 2012
Bocan
bdt wrote:
First of all, totally lame move. Second, what a terribly lame route name. A poacher with no creativity?


Young guy probably...they are always talking about pimping.

FLAG
 
By Glenn Schuler
From Monument, Co.
Aug 17, 2012
A grey fox skull wedged in a crack 100' up on a FA...
What an asswipe, I think you should have left his picture up.

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By Rob Dillon
Aug 17, 2012
FA of obscure moss pile: BFD. Little glory will adhere to this.

Known to all as route-stealing douchebag: a rep that lasts a long time.

FLAG
By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Aug 17, 2012
At the BRC
Not to defend poaching, but it would be interesting to get the other side's story. Reading between the lines of the route description makes me wonder if this was some anti-overbolting statement.
Mark

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Aug 17, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
Would you happen to be talking about "Paul U Roberts"? HA!

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By Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Aug 17, 2012
old 1/4" bolt.
Paul U Roberts and Jeff Erickson? Gary....poaching routes is definitely not okay. However, I'm also wondering if this was an anti-bolt statement as the route description states; "This line does not need bolts." "The FA was done on all gear." While I feel Gary's pain, it would be interesting to hear both sides of the story.

FLAG
By Justin Sanford
From Broadalbin, New York
Aug 17, 2012
Push-5.12C at Good Luck Lake Cliffs
I don't even need to hear both sides of the story. I know that Gary and his hard working crew cleaned the line being discussed and someone took advantage of their hard work to snag an FA as evident in their quick post on this website and email updates to Haas and Lawyer for an update on the new routes page on Adirondack Rock. Yippie, you got an Adirondack First Ascent. It's a shame however that you didn't get the full experience of finding a new cliff, locating a potential line, spending the time to inspect the line to see if it is in fact possible and then embarking on the awesome experience of working out the sequences.

That being said...on the issue regarding over bolting...I am totally against placing bolts where gear can be utilized but even I wouldn't go slinging mudd at a crew of climbers that has developed numerous southern adirondack cliffs, equipped countless routes and works hard to maintain trails and access to these areas. So if you are partaking in any of their developed work (hiking on their climbing trails, clipping their hardware, etc) just keep that in mind.

If you're so anti harware in the 'Dacks, there are plenty of cliffs without fixed hardware and top anchors. Or better yet, why not show some initiative and go out and explore the forest and unearth some new gems.

FLAG
By pooler
From Albany, NY
Aug 17, 2012
Well said, Jut well said

FLAG
By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 17, 2012
Bocan
Benjamin Chapman wrote:
Paul U Roberts and Jeff Erickson? I'm also wondering if this was an anti-bolt statement as the route description states; "This line does not need bolts." "The FA was done on all gear." While I feel Gary's pain, it would be interesting to hear both sides of the story.


Although I can see a "statement" being made, I think perhaps a second ascent would have been more of an appropriate way to do that.

Otherwise it's a real lack of tact for lack of a better word.

FLAG
 
By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Aug 17, 2012
Rumney
Justin Sanford wrote:
I don't even need to hear both sides of the story. I know that Gary and his hard working crew cleaned the line being discussed and someone took advantage of their hard work to snag an FA as evident in their quick post on this website and email updates to Haas and Lawyer for an update on the new routes page on Adirondack Rock. Yippie, you got an Adirondack First Ascent. It's a shame however that you didn't get the full experience of finding a new cliff, locating a potential line, spending the time to inspect the line to see if it is in fact possible and then embarking on the awesome experience of working out the sequences. That being said...on the issue regarding over bolting...I am totally against placing bolts where gear can be utilized but even I wouldn't go slinging mudd at a crew of climbers that has developed numerous southern adirondack cliffs, equipped countless routes and works hard to maintain trails and access to these areas. So if you are partaking in any of their developed work (hiking on their climbing trails, clipping their hardware, etc) just keep that in mind. If you're so anti harware in the 'Dacks, there are plenty of cliffs without fixed hardware and top anchors. Or better yet, why not show some initiative and go out and explore the forest and unearth some new gems.


I had a reply, then Scott and Justin stole it. Assholes.

:-D

FLAG
By RadTrad
From Prescott, Arizona
Aug 17, 2012
Storm over on Toms Thumb
Gary, I must apologize as I never thought that my actions would turn into such a problem for everyone else. Here is my story:

Jeff Erickson (who I know you know) and I went climbing at Lost T Wednesday July 25th. Jeff had just put up a new line of his and I watched him do the first ascent. He was psyched about the potential at the cliff and got me psyched on it too. I had one goal that day and that was only to repeat Flavor of the Day as I was leaving town for the rest of my life and this line appealed to me greatly. Upon arriving at the cliff we met Jim Lawyer there who was "documenting the cliff" because you for some reason do not want to send him any information about the cliff or any of the lines that are put up there. Jim was drastically upset with the amount of unnecessary bolting on lines that could easily take gear, me and Jeff agreed with him as he went from line to line showing us examples of great gear placements right next to bolts.

that is besides the point, so i will cut to the chase. Jeff told me about the line that I eventually named "crimps are for pimps" in honor of a good friend of mine. he told me how he did most of the cleaning and that gary and eric also cleaned it. He told me I should jump on a top rope and try it out. so I did. I flashed the line and was amazed at how wonderful the line was. I came back down to the ground and asked Jeff if he thought it would be okay if I lead it. WE didn't think anyone would be upset by my actions of leading it and posting it up on MP so other people could give the line ago.

I had no intention to be a douchebag and steal a line from you. I appreciate all of the lines you have put up and the development you have done. I was simply thrilled by the line and decided I would give it a proper ascent on lead as I think all climbs should be done on. I sent it in to Jim because he had asked us to send the information of the routes Jeff had put up and now the one that I had just led. That is why they were sent in so quickly. Im sorry to have stolen a first ascent from you and next time I will surely look more into whos line it really is before I lead it. I was under the impression that Jeff had done most of the cleaning and seeing how he was with me and told me to give it a burn on lead I thought nothing more of it than just rock climbing.

Not trying to insult anyone but it is just rock climbing. I was just having fun when I climbed the route and didn't think it would insult or anger this many people.

So you can call me an asshole, you can call me a douchebag, you can call me what ever you would like. I apologize that my ascent of "Crimps Are For Pimps" created such negative impact and negative thoughts in so many people.

If you have any further inquires please let me know.

FLAG


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