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Climber dies at Lovers Leap
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By CJC
Sep 21, 2009

Tim Kline wrote:
Also want to reach out to our climbing community and just make one statement, free soloing is dangerous.


tim, i can understand why you'd want to post such a reminder. i'd imagine that from what you experienced you might feel more strongly than others about whether or not the risk is worth the reward. you are correct, free soloing can be dangerous, even deadly. and there have been several high-profile accidents recently that are on everyone's mind.

but when it comes down to it, we all have to work out for ourselves what we are willing to risk, and for what. what sense of safety and well-being...even longevity...are we willing to sacrifice in order to fully experience life as we feel we must? i don't know any free soloists that are reckless. none of the ones i know climb alone for lack of partners. and none of them are fooling themselves about the potential consequences of the unthinkable. that's why they climb well within their abilities on sunny days on clean rock and when they are alone on the route. there are things you can do to stack the odds in your favor.

just thought i would put this out there since it might help you understand why the man you found was perhaps not as reckless as you might think. then again, he might have been. what would we be saying about him if he had been wearing tennis shoes and a sooners hoody?

and as to the closure issue...people are always going to climb rocks. they'll do it even if it is 'illegal'. personal responsibility must not be replaced by draconian regulations. at the base of the rock, each of us makes our own decisions. sometimes we make bad ones and sometimes we pay hard for that. but they are OUR decisions.

i really don't think we can regulate our sport into being safe. as long as there are rocks, people will fall/jump off them. just seems to come with the territory. sorry you had to find one of them, that really sucks. thanks for sharing your experience.


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By slim
Administrator
Sep 21, 2009
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

pfwein, quick question, who determines whether a person is an experienced climber, or just a hiker, etc? some will call one the other and vice versa. honnold or hersey would probably call a lot of us hikers...


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By pfwein
Sep 21, 2009

slim wrote:
pfwein, quick question, who determines whether a person is an experienced climber, or just a hiker, etc? some will call one the other and vice versa. honnold or hersey would probably call a lot of us hikers...

Right, in some cases it's shades of gray, but from what I've seen, soloists come in roughly two flavors: (1) people who climb a lot (and are wearing climbing shoes), and (2) people who almost never climb, are not wearing climbing shoes, and are "soloing" on 4th class or easy fifth class terrain.
Gravity may not distinguish between the two classes, but depending on the context, it may be useful to keep in mind that they are two largely non-overlapping groups.

I think land-use managers are somewhat concerned if members of group (1) are frequently getting injured at a particular location (suggests warning signs or access restrictions may be a good idea at that location). I don't think accidents involving members of group (2) are common, nor are they on anyone's list of problems that need to be solved (with the possible exception of some people posting on this thread!).

Lots of people are concerned about gun control and have legitimately different opinions, but few are worried about guns being used to play Russian roulette.


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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Sep 21, 2009
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!

Paul Davidson wrote:
Don't know about you, but I do have the expectation of buying coffee that is not so hot it will cause 3rd degree burns. Funny how sometimes the truth of matters can change one's perspective.


Must control myself, do not respond and go on this tangent.......... ah ok.

The proper brewing temperature for drip coffee is between 195-205F. The boiling temperature at sea level is 212F so there is not much room to make it hotter.

I recommend you stop drinking drip coffee or become a professional juror.

Self control is a bitch.

PS. Were you being serious in your post?????


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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
Sep 21, 2009

Soloists are selfish because they don't consider how their actions might affect their friends and family.
Nice demonization. This is the same thing that non-climbers say about (roped) climbers whenever any climber dies and it is reported in the newspaper or on TV. Please think about that for a minute.


Soloists are selfish because their activity might close access to rockclimbing areas where we climb (roped).
Pfwein asked for even one example to support this claim. That is reasonable, don't you think?

If we look at the FACTS, it is clear that access problems have occurred in the past, many times, from climbers' deaths. All of the examples offered---and all of the other examples that I know--- involved the deaths of roped climbers. The data just does not support the claim that soloists are threatening access.


Climbing is dangerous. If you climb rocks/mountains/ice/trees/whatever, YOU COULD BE SERIOUSLY INJURED OR KILLED!

Preaching to soloists that they should reconsider their activity, hoping that "just one" might heed your wisdom, suggests you have not carefully considered the above statement.


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By DJ RYNO
From chatfield lake ,co
Sep 21, 2009
Dj Ryno doin his thing <br />

any word on who it was?


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By Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Sep 21, 2009

Bobby Hanson:

To suggest that not one soloist could be saved, by constsnt reminders of the fact, that they are involved in a style of climbing that is demanding of near perfection, and also involves other objective dangers not controlled by the soloist is in my opinion just false. Man what a long winded sentence. But I think very true. I think that wheather took out Derek and not the 5.9 he was trying to climb at the time. A piegon could have ended his life earlier for that matter. What a waste in the end. I really liked him, and think that most folks did.


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By England
From ?
Sep 21, 2009
Alpine toothpick.

DJ RYNO wrote:
any word on who it was?

+1. I have a couple of friends who like to solo here.


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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
Sep 21, 2009

Jim: I don't dispute that soloists' lives might be saved by reminding them how dangerous soloing is.

If you read what I said, you might see that I was suggesting the following:

Climbing is dangerous! In all forms. That includes soloing.

If soloing is selfish because the soloist might die, then (roped) climbing is selfish for the same reason.

Moreover, I was suggesting that climbers who preach to soloists, calling them selfish, are hypocrites. We are all engaged in a risky activity. It is condescending to say that the level of risk you take personally is acceptable and no one should take risks in excess of this level.

But, more importantly, any climber who thinks that soloists (as a group) are in enough danger to warrant recommending that they stop is someone who does not clearly understand that roped climbing is dangerous!


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By Monty
From Golden, CO
Sep 21, 2009
Just a teaser

Ok this is getting ridiculous.

A fellow climber has died, and a family is mourning their beloved loss. Please keep your opinions to your self or a different forum designed for your arguments. Some people reading this may be very emotional over the subject, and to see people discussing the climbers (or other climber's) experience/ motives, is disrespectful to them and the climber they lost.

You did everything you could Tim and thank you for bringing this to the climbing communities attention.

Please be respectful.


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By Tyson Anderson
From Las Vegas, NV
Sep 22, 2009
Rapping from the top of Cat in the hat

Monty wrote:
Ok this is getting ridiculous. A fellow climber has died, and a family is mourning their beloved loss. Please keep your opinions to your self or a different forum designed for your arguments. Some people reading this may be very emotional over the subject, and to see people discussing the climbers (or other climber's) experience/ motives, is disrespectful to them and the climber they lost. You did everything you could Tim and thank you for bringing this to the climbing communities attention. Please be respectful.


Agreed


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By Greg D
From Here
Sep 22, 2009
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

Monty wrote:
Ok this is getting ridiculous. A fellow climber has died, and a family is mourning their beloved loss. Please keep your opinions to your self or a different forum designed for your arguments. Some people reading this may be very emotional over the subject, and to see people discussing the climbers (or other climber's) experience/ motives, is disrespectful to them and the climber they lost. You did everything you could Tim and thank you for bringing this to the climbing communities attention. Please be respectful.


+1


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By RomoFo
Sep 22, 2009
Oh no

right on! sorry for the loss.


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By apeman e
Sep 22, 2009
excellent technique

Rick Blair wrote:
Must control myself, do not respond and go on this tangent.......... ah ok. The proper brewing temperature for drip coffee is between 195-205F. The boiling temperature at sea level is 212F so there is not much room to make it hotter. I recommend you stop drinking drip coffee or become a professional juror. Self control is a bitch. PS. Were you being serious in your post?????


Yes, I think he was being serious. When I first heard about this case, I thought it was ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. After I studied it in law school, however, you realize there are two sides to the story. The proper brewing temp is not 195-205, and even if it was, that does not mean it's the proper serving temp. In fact, at the time, McDonald's coffee was significantly hotter that any other large business' coffee.

In trial, McDonald's revealed they had knowledge of more than 80 other severe burn cases. People truly had no idea that they could suffer such serious burns within 2-3 seconds of contact. McDonald's admitted they weren't concerned, even though drive-though coffee is more likely to end up on your lap.

Anyway, the damages weren't "millions." The total damages were reduced by the judge to $640,oo0.

P.S. I am all for personal responsibility, and I don't totally agree with the outcome of the case. I'm not training to be a PI lawyer- I'm learning environmental law. My point is that every time you hear about some outrageous tort, realize that there is more to it than the media reports and that the damages are almost always reduced by the judge.

Sorry for all the text...must be the coffee....


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By phil broscovak
Sep 22, 2009
Dreamin' Dawg

Having been involved in more carnage than most people would care to thing about I can empathize with the OP's concern. His words were simply a reminder to be smart. He wasn't condemning soloing or soloists. But a few people got their Y fronts in a bunch and jump on him with poorly thought out rebuttals. Very distasteful behavior.


Tim and Steve if you ever want to talk to someone who knows what it was like to go through what you did please feel free to contact me through this site. You guys did a good job in a bad situation.


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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Sep 22, 2009
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!

apeman e wrote:
Yes, I think he was being serious. When I first heard about this case, I thought it was ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. After I studied it in law school, however, you realize there are two sides to the story. The proper brewing temp is not 195-205, and even if it was, that does not mean it's the proper serving temp. In fact, at the time, McDonald's coffee was significantly hotter that any other large business' coffee. In trial, McDonald's revealed they had knowledge of more than 80 other severe burn cases. People truly had no idea that they could suffer such serious burns within 2-3 seconds of contact. McDonald's admitted they weren't concerned, even though drive-though coffee is more likely to end up on your lap. Anyway, the damages weren't "millions." The total damages were reduced by the judge to $640,oo0. P.S. I am all for personal responsibility, and I don't totally agree with the outcome of the case. I'm not training to be a PI lawyer- I'm learning environmental law. My point is that every time you hear about some outrageous tort, realize that there is more to it than the media reports and that the damages are almost always reduced by the judge. Sorry for all the text...must be the coffee....


Suing anyone because you dropped hot coffee on yourself is ABSOLUTELY F'N rediculous.

195-205 IS the correct and proper brew temp, commercial restaurants generally use coffee makers like commercial Bunn machines which insure proper brewing temperatures.

What the hell are you arguing? That if the coffee was 185 degrees the person would only get 2nd degree burns? WTF??

Guess this is why I am not a lawyer.


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By Monty
From Golden, CO
Sep 22, 2009
Just a teaser

take it somewhere else guys

this loss is not personal to me, but it is personel that we have lossed another climber in our community, on a route i have climbed numerious times.

please be respectfull to him and to those who may be reading this who WERE close to him and don't want to hear about your coffee burning people and lawyers debate.

This is rude and disrespectful


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By J. Thompson
From denver, co
Sep 22, 2009
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.

Monty wrote:
Ok this is getting ridiculous. A fellow climber has died, and a family is mourning their beloved loss. Please keep your opinions to your self



It needs to be pointed out.....the OP should have kept his opinion to himself. If this was to be a discussion concerning the accident and it's victim, than the OP should not have been scolding Free soloists.
You don't get to share yours and then expect others not to share there's. Although I'd argue that he did expect it.

josh


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By Monty
From Golden, CO
Sep 22, 2009
Just a teaser

I'm not hear to argue, i'm just trying to be respectful, so please Take your Debate Here , i created a forum for you to debate about your soloing ethics, and park closures and burning coffee.
please take it somewhere else.


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By Tim Kline
From Littleton, co
Sep 22, 2009
Classic climb called Gossamer in the monster area of Rushmore

J. Thompson wrote:
It needs to be pointed out.....the OP should have kept his opinion to himself. If this was to be a discussion concerning the accident and it's victim, than the OP should not have been scolding Free soloists. You don't get to share yours and then expect others not to share there's. Although I'd argue that he did expect it. josh


Point taken, I apologize for viewing my opinion in this particular forum. I will take the blame for this thread and I do sincerely apologize for that. If any of you have issue with me or my opinions please feel free to take this offline and you can send me an email directly to tim@climbtherock.net. It was not my intent to start a huge debate over the ethics of soloing or to judge soloists, just to share my experience. Thank you all for the kind words you have said and likewise for the people who are passionate about debating this. But I do agree with Monty in saying this is probably the wrong place to debate this and I will take the blame for starting this.

Thanks

Tim


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By JSH
Administrator
Sep 22, 2009
JSH @ home <br /> <br />photo courtesy of Gabe Ostriker

I disagree, Josh, I think it's okay for the OP to vent a little. He's the one that found a dead body, and that's sucky.

That's how I took it - those who are involved in an accident need to process it and get it out. I think he gets a little leeway within his description of the accident.

I do agree that further discussion within the peanut gallery needs to happen in a different thread.


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By Mike Carrington
From Centenntial
Sep 22, 2009
Stemming up the chimney

His name is Barry Bremstellar and was a dear friend of mine. He climbed much more when he was younger especially aiding in the desert, having a third ascent of a tower after Layton Kor. His personality and antics are unforgettable. Once climbing Electric Aunt Jemmima in Eldorado canyon Barry took the lead for the crux. This was one of the first times I had climbed with Barry and to put it lightly I was not impressed. Barry hooked carabiners to carabiners, slung loose blocks and shook through every tough move. I broke my ankle on this climb some years earlier completely tearing my foot off in the fall. When Barry was in the same spot I was when I fell he was shaking violently, totally run out. I couldn't even watch! He went for a nut and ended up dropping every one of them. The nuts flew though the sky like rain. Somehow he had one nut left in his hand, the one that fit. He lowered off after sinking the nut. I could go on for hours about the way he was, showing up with mismatching socks, starting conversations with total strangers, using empty booze flasks for water bottles, falling into every creek we ever crossed. I have the last video of him expressing some of his political views when we were ice climbing. vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoI>>> He was going through a troubling time in his life and I'm happy he died doing something he loved.


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By Tony A. Davis
From Drake, Colorado
Sep 22, 2009
Pic

Very sorry to hear about your friend.


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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
Sep 22, 2009

Mike, thanks for sharing that. I am so sorry that you lost a dear friend. He sounds like a hell of a guy. I am happy to know he had people in his life, like you, who think so highly of him.

Bobby


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By Tim Kline
From Littleton, co
Sep 22, 2009
Classic climb called Gossamer in the monster area of Rushmore

Mike Carrington wrote:
His name is Barry Bremstellar and was a dear friend of mine. He climbed much more when he was younger especially aiding in the desert, having a third ascent of a tower after Layton Kor. His personality and antics are unforgettable. Once climbing Electric Aunt Jemmima in Eldorado canyon Barry took the lead for the crux. This was one of the first times I had climbed with Barry and to put it lightly I was not impressed. Barry hooked carabiners to carabiners, slung loose blocks and shook through every tough move. I broke my ankle on this climb some years earlier completely tearing my foot off in the fall. When Barry was in the same spot I was when I fell he was shaking violently, totally run out. I couldn't even watch! He went for a nut and ended up dropping every one of them. The nuts flew though the sky like rain. Somehow he had one nut left in his hand, the one that fit. He lowered off after sinking the nut. I could go on for hours about the way he was, showing up with mismatching socks, starting conversations with total strangers, using empty booze flasks for water bottles, falling into every creek we ever crossed. I have the last video of him expressing some of his political views when we were ice climbing. vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoI>>> He was going through a troubling time in his life and I'm happy he died doing something he loved.


Mike once again thanks for taking the time to talk earlier. I appreciate you informing me more of Barry. Like I said if the family or any of his friends wants to talk to me you can give them my info. Once again my condolences to you and his family and friends!

Thanks again

Tim


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