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Etiquette Reminder

Original Post
Chris Duca · · Fayette, ME · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 2,110

The gunks are an exceptionally popular place to climb, especially on beautiful fall weekends. This is just a gentle reminder that monopolizing a route with a top-rope group is poor form and generally frowned upon. Please respect those who would like to lead the route (e.g. Ken's Crack today) and either pull your rope or move it aside.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 276

What do you mean by "monopolizing" the route? Were they taking more than one lap each? Were they lollygagging?

M Mobley · · Bar Harbor, ME · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 911

how many were staring at their new gunks app while shouting beta and high fiving each other?

Luc-514 · · Montreal, QC · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 11,363

Leaders have priority. If people are top-roping a route and a leader shows up, they should let the leader climb the route.
A practical option is to pull and lead on the top-rope, clip the anchor and you're done, you can clean while lowering or have someone else clean on the TR.

I've had a confrontation with a group hogging Strickly, their group leader had setup the route with a bunch of directionals and left them there to go climb elsewhere.
Bunch of gym climbers that rudely answered it was their rope, their climb and would wait for their "leader" before allowing something to be done.
The worst part is that they had stopped climbing it...
Went to climb something else instead of arguing with stubborn newbies.

michael s · · Denver, CO · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 80
Luc wrote:Leaders have priority. If people are top-roping a route and a leader shows up, they should let the leader climb the route.
What? LOL. Sounds like the leader needs to go find another route to lead.
FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 276
Luc wrote:Leaders have priority. If people are top-roping a route and a leader shows up, they should let the leader climb the route.
If I set up a toprope, with the intention of my partner and I climbing it once, I'm not going to defer to someone that wants to lead it. You can wait your turn. I'm not going to do multiple routes or multiple laps, because I know other people are waiting. But I'm sure not going to pull my rope before we finish.

Find another route. Get up earlier and be the first on the climb.
Trad Princess · · Not That Into Climbing · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 1,175

I hate new climbers too!

Rob D · · Queens, NY · Joined May 2011 · Points: 30

story time:
the group yesterday actually tossed a rope on top of my leader.
The group (from West Point) showed up and told us they were going to drop top ropes on every route from the flake, down past harvard. We told them that was fine, but we were in the middle of leading Ken's and were planning on both leading it. Ten minutes later a rope gets tossed down the the left o Ken's Crack, no warning given on what route the rope was coming down, just "rope" as it landed on our third's head. Then a few minutes later they started putting the rope on Ken's. Told them to pull the rope because our leader was working through the crux.

That was at probably 9/930. When we walked by at dusk the same group was still on the wall.

I think it's great groups are coming climbing, but it seems much more responsible to come in a group of 4 and teach on a single line than it does to come in a group of 10+ and claim ownership over a whole swath of the trapps. Obviously the answer to everyone else is "keep walking", but its bad practice on their part.

Trad Princess · · Not That Into Climbing · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 1,175

All kidding aside - we refer to most/all employees at my company that reside/work east of the mississippi, as the "east coast douche bags".

As a joke, of course.

MarcHL · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 0

We need to refer to Golf etiquette...play through? True, golf is a bit more social, maybe some bumper stickers would work, beer cozies, and chalk bag buttons.

NC Rock Climber · · The Oven, AKA Phoenix · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 60
Luc wrote:Leaders have priority. If people are top-roping a route and a leader shows up, they should let the leader climb the route...
Bullshit! Utter Bullshit and arrogance.

You have NO right to tell others how to climb or to assume a superior claim to a route because you can lead. A courteous group might very well let you jump in front, and there are a lot of situations where they should, but they are not "required" to do so.
Chris Duca · · Fayette, ME · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 2,110

For clarity's sake, the group was comprised of 6 people, including the person relaxing in the hammock. Upon asking politely if we could lead the route, their group leader said that a person in their group was out on a run and also wanted to climb the route. He also asked if we would be fast. To this I replied that it is best practice to let those wishing to lead the route to do so, and that a route cannot be reserved for someone who is not present.

This is much more than a right-of-way issue--it's common courtesy and common sense.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 276
Chris Duca wrote:For clarity's sake, the group was comprised of 6 people, including the person relaxing in the hammock. Upon asking politely if we could lead the route, their group leader said that a person in their group was out on a run and also wanted to climb the route. He also asked if we would be fast. To this I replied that it is best practice to let those wishing to lead the route to do so, and that a route cannot be reserved for someone who is not present. This is much more than a right-of-way issue--it's common courtesy and common sense.
Thanks for telling the rest of the story. Yeah, no one should tie up a route because they are waiting for someone to arrive. That's just plain rude.
csproul · · Pittsboro...sort of, NC · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 330

I don't believe leaders have any more right to a route than top-ropers. I do think it is pretty poor to gang rope and monopolize a popular route for extended period of time, especially if that route is commonly led. Leaving a top-rope unattended, unused, or waiting for someone to return and climb it later...pull it, climb through and if you're feeling nice, replace their top rope.

Will Cohen · · Denver, Co · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 80

I've been waiting to climb Ken's for 2 seasons now. It's not something I feel the need to climb up early in the morning when I have bigger fish to fry, but it is something I would like to lead.

There are hundreds of routes at the Trapps. If one is taken I walk a little down the road and do another. Try a lesser known line with fewer stars, head to the nears, go to Millbrook, Bonticou, Triple Right, Lost City... There are plenty of areas that you can have all to yourself.

Even in the Uberfall head up eyebrow if you want a lead in that grade range with NO ONE ever on it! If you explore a bit you'll never have to wait on the gumbies in the gunks. That said, if you really want the popular routes or ken's get there before 9 AM.

Doug Meneke · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 10

After those 6 could be a group of 4 waiting to toprope it. After than another group of 2 waiting to toprope it. After that, maybe ME waiting to toprope it. If you think I am going to let you walk up and say "mine", you are NUTS.

However, the example Chris mentioned...folks should be courteous. I would let you use my rope, or simply move it aside if I am done. Very poor form having the leader of the excursion NOT within shouting distance.

Adam: I call them "co-workers", too.

Paul H · · Pennsylvania · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 5
Luc wrote:Leaders have priority. If people are top-roping a route and a leader shows up, they should let the leader climb the route. A practical option is to pull and lead on the top-rope, clip the anchor and you're done, you can clean while lowering or have someone else clean on the TR. I've had a confrontation with a group hogging Strickly, their group leader had setup the route with a bunch of directionals and left them there to go climb elsewhere. Bunch of gym climbers that rudely answered it was their rope, their climb and would wait for their "leader" before allowing something to be done. The worst part is that they had stopped climbing it... Went to climb something else instead of arguing with stubborn newbies.
Yeah I would definitely disagree with the 'leaders have priority' statement. If a group is top roping and actively climbing, then you get to wait. If they just have a rope up and no one is using it then I would politely ask if you can pull it and climb.

The only time leaders have priority is when someone is rapping down from above.
Luc-514 · · Montreal, QC · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 11,363

Sorry if I was quoting an old Gunks guidebook about lead vs top-rope, of course you don't pull someone off a climb to lead it.

If people are hogging a popular route, not just a couple ppl doing a couple laps but a group just plastering TRs all over the place, then within reason they should allow other climbers to get a go at the route.

There's a hell of a lot of climbs to do in the Gunks, I won't bother doing routes in the Uberfall if there's someone there, I'll find some other climb and keep the Uberfall routes as an early morning warm-up or late evening cool-down.

camhead · · Vandalia, Appalachia · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,240
pjheinz83 wrote: Yeah I would definitely disagree with the 'leaders have priority' statement. If a group is top roping and actively climbing, then you get to wait. If they just have a rope up and no one is using it then I would politely ask if you can pull it and climb. The only time leaders have priority is when someone is rapping down from above.
Well, the "leader has priority" is one of those elements of Gunks tyle and ethics that sets the area apart from a lot of other places, and which is important in keeping such a heavily populated area from becoming even more like an outdoor gym.

That said, the "leaders' priority" as described in the Williams guide's intro does not necessarily mean that whenever a group is TRing a line, someone can just come up, claim leader's privilege, and force the TR party to pull their rope. What it does say is, if "parties using each of these styles [leading and TRing] arrive at an area simultaneously," or if a party is about to drop a TR on an adjacent line from a led line, the leader should always have priority.

The cool thing about the Gunks, I've found, is that it has one of the lowest barriers to entry of any area I've ever been to. If you lead 5.9 or harder, you will almost never wait in line, as opposed to how you have to wait in line for even 5.13s at the RRG.
reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125
camhead wrote: The cool thing about the Gunks, I've found, is that it has one of the lowest barriers to entry of any area I've ever been to. If you lead 5.9 or harder, you will almost never wait in line, as opposed to how you have to wait in line for even 5.13s at the RRG.
But isn't Gunks 5.9 like, at least 5.13 everywhere else?
javd von dauber · · East Brookfield MA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 91

Can't we all just get along?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northeastern States
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