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Smith Rock loose boulders
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By April Grisetti
Feb 5, 2014
Santa Fe, NM 2013
I'm in agreement with John R. I've been in touch with the beginner who accidentally dislodged the rock and I very much agree that the group leader should accept that some things could have been done with better technique and communication, and believe they could have used this as an excellent learning opportunity for themselves and a teaching opportunity for their group. I don't recall what blame and criticism was going around as I left, but I very much hope that our community of rock lovers can communicate and relate on a higher level than pointing fingers and threatening legal action. So no, despite the pending bills I'm not interested in financial compensation as much as I am creating a stronger, safer, more knowledgeable climbing community through education and dialogue. Also, I'm told that this group of beginner rappellers were using a common technique by hanging their packs from behind as they lower but I don't see how this makes sense or is safe; can someone comment on that practice?

FLAG
By Alex McIntyre
From Tucson, AZ
Feb 5, 2014
Bags hanging from the belay loop is the easiest way to rap with a fully-loaded haulbag, but if a backpack is small and light like you can see in the photo then it is just unnecessary.

FLAG
By Joel Thiessen
Feb 6, 2014
Quick repel in CA.
Wholeheartedly agree that the leader is the one with the responsibility. We actually had some dialogue with the girl that dislodged the boulder and she was only a beginner following instructions.

As far as revealing the name of the group that's entirely up to April. My only thought was that if they start to receive wide-spread backlash then they may go on the defensive and be less likely to cooperate. That's just human nature. The most important outcome will be, as April said, ensuring that things change in a way that will protect climbers in the future. If they're at ALL uncooperative then I say make it known.

FLAG
By Max Tepfer
From Bend, OR
Feb 6, 2014
While I don't think that outing anybody on MP.com is all that consequential, (sure, people would spray, but who's really going to notice besides the people that are doing it and a few lurkers?) I agree that, as the OP posted, this might not be the best time or place. That being said, if they don't take responsibility for their actions, own their mistakes, and don't seem to be growing from this experience, they should fully be outed. (plus it'd provide some entertainment around here...)

FLAG
By DavidW
From Portland, OR
Feb 10, 2014
Atman, 5.10 crack.
Thank you all for your comments and concern. This thread currently has 2,498 views, which tells me that rocks falling on people's heads is kind of a big deal to climbers! I think it's natural to look for "who's to blame" when bad things happen. It does seem like the rappel group in this situation could have taken many more safety precautions, and we will be following up with them to push for safer practices. Saying only that "it was their fault and it's their responsibility to change" however is simply not good enough for me. That's far too passive, and as a couple of people mentioned - calling them out on MP will not amount to much.

If you see people endangering other climbers, say something, maybe suggest an alternative. Ultimately if someone else is being stupid and reckless, "it was their fault" isn't going to soften the blow for the people in harms way.

Again, thank you all for your concern. We've started a YouCare fundraiser to help cover April's out-of-pocket medical expenses. If any of you can help please follow the link here: YouCare

FLAG
By Ridgecrest Mike
Feb 12, 2014
Here is a protocol that I've seen used by a few people setting up a rap for top ropes for groups of people:

1) Know the name of the route you want to rap
2) When you get to the top, loudly announce that you are intending to rap the route and that it will be occupied for some time and that there are many people above.
3) If people below are already gearing up, defer to them or find another route.
4) When you are about to throw the rope down, again loudly announce that you are about to throw the rope and will be occupying the route.
5) As your first person is about to start rapping, once more announce you are occupying the route.

It may seem a little overkill, but in busy areas it's appreciated.

FLAG
By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Feb 12, 2014
Middle
DavidW wrote:
Thank you all for your comments and concern. This thread currently has 2,498 views, which tells me that rocks falling on people's heads is kind of a big deal to climbers! I think it's natural to look for "who's to blame" when bad things happen. It does seem like the rappel group in this situation could have taken many more safety precautions, and we will be following up with them to push for safer practices. Saying only that "it was their fault and it's their responsibility to change" however is simply not good enough for me. That's far too passive, and as a couple of people mentioned - calling them out on MP will not amount to much. If you see people endangering other climbers, say something, maybe suggest an alternative. Ultimately if someone else is being stupid and reckless, "it was their fault" isn't going to soften the blow for the people in harms way. Again, thank you all for your concern. We've started a YouCare fundraiser to help cover April's out-of-pocket medical expenses. If any of you can help please follow the link here: YouCare


The group poses a danger to everyone around them. I want to know who they are so I can avoid them like the plague.

FLAG
By April Grisetti
Mar 19, 2014
Santa Fe, NM 2013
Hello everyone! I wanted to post an update, which is that I've been in touch with the group leader as to what the group has learned from this incident, (my getting hit by falling rock by a student rappeller), and I'm pleased to report that after weeks of their own internal investigation and dialogue among their group, they have acknowledged that their communication was inefficient if not nonexistent and that in the future they intend to be very clear about where they are, how many are in their group, what they plan to do and how long it will take them. They realized on their own that it is not only frustrating for climbers to see a large group taking up an area to practice, but downright unsafe if those below or around do not know the intents of the group, let alone the number of participants and location of the group. They have acknowledged that a group leader can and should be a positive, prompt & efficient communicator, keeping those around the group well informed as to the group's intentions, better minimizing risk but also allowing surrounding climbers to decide where they want to put their energies and safely pursue their own projects. I'm pleased and downright relieved that they determined this on their own and will make positive changes in the future for the safety of our climbing community. Thank you all for the thoughts and support.

FLAG
 


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