Found Gear Etiquette


Original Post
TheOregonDisorder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 0

My partner and I climbed Monkey Face over the weekend and there was a couple ropes that looked like they got stuck (they were really tangled through the anchor) when a party bailed at a weird location. We were afraid of our ropes getting tangled with them since our rappel would have gone over their ropes so we decided to drop them to the ground.

We were debating whether to just coil them and leave them at the base or take them and post / look out for the owners online. Well, while we were debating this, a couple was getting ready to climb and said that if you leave gear behind you're sacrificing it and whoever finds it should keep it. Not wanting them to take the ropes we decided to carry them out and put a post on here to try to find the owners.

What would you normally do in a situation like this? Leave the ropes? Take them and post online? Other ideas? We weren't really sure what the proper etiquette is. We know it's not taking other people gear when they lose it.

Zachary Hollifield · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

If you want to have to best chance of returning it to its owner, I'd say take it. At least you know your intentions are pure, the next people to walk along may not be quite so upstanding.

Wilson On The Drums · · Woodbury, MN · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 940

^^^ Agree. However, you'll probably get a few responses of 'finder's keeper's.' Now let's say it was a single piece of gear, like a stuck nut, or a biner left on a bolt, those I'd probably take and keep. But for a rope I think I'd grab it and post it up here or a local forum in hopes of getting them back to the owner.

n00b · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 40

Make a reasonable effort to find the owner. What is reasonable depends on your personal resources and the value of the found item.

If it's a $5 carabiner, a "reasonable effort" might not be more than asking the team on the climb next to you.

If it's a $230 rope, a "reasonable effort" is probably something more than that.

If you've made a reasonable effort, and haven't found the owner, then it's yours to do with what you wish.

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

answers always the same.....try "your" hardest to find the rightful owner(local shop, forum, bulletin board), if their not found(if their looking you'll find each other), do as you please with it.

mark felber · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 28

Passive gear and carabiners are "finders, keepers", IMO, although if I were to encounter the owner while I had the item in my possession I would return it. And yes, I would ask around in the parking lot before I left for the day.

Cams, ropes and other pricey items warrant at least a posting on MP, along with a note on the bulletin board at your local climbing shop or in the parking lot for that climbing spot. In a state or national park I would also contact the rangers and either hand it over to them or give them my contact info and a description of the item.

Years ago when MP was climbingboulder.com, I found a very nice technical ice axe on the Long's Peak trail while hiking out in the dark. I put a note on climbing boulder.com, and got a very grateful response the next day. He turned out to live pretty close to me, and I think the price of that ice axe represented a pretty good chunk of his earnings.

Alexander Stathis · · Athens, GA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 35

I wouldn't want to climb on someone else's ropes anyways. A cam, carabiner, or nut? Sure thing. A rope? Probably not.

McHull · · Fairfield, PA · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 250

booty pro is fair game.

But gear/ropes left behind due to misfortune(including stuck ropes), I like to keep a healthy flow of good Karma going and do my best to find the rightful owner.

my 2cents worth

n00b · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 40
mark felber wrote:Passive gear and carabiners are "finders, keepers", IMO, although if I were to encounter the owner while I had the item in my possession I would return it. And yes, I would ask around in the parking lot before I left for the day. Cams, ropes and other pricey items warrant at least a posting on MP, along with a note on the bulletin board at your local climbing shop or in the parking lot for that climbing spot. In a state or national park I would also contact the rangers and either hand it over to them or give them my contact info and a description of the item. Years ago when MP was climbingboulder.com, I found a very nice technical ice axe on the Long's Peak trail while hiking out in the dark. I put a note on climbing boulder.com, and got a very grateful response the next day. He turned out to live pretty close to me, and I think the price of that ice axe represented a pretty good chunk of his earnings.
This is roughly consistent with what "reasonable effort" means to me.
Adam Reke · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined May 2013 · Points: 10

Once upon a time I had a very hard finder's keeper attitude. Then, I accidentally left an entire rack in a parking lot after a 24 hour epic. Someone was nice enough to leave a note and get it back to me. Since then, I've kept the note on my shelf to remember how nice that was and that I need to pay it forward. This incredible act of kindness kept my trad climbing dreams alive.

That being said, I bootied a locker this weekend, and because of it's small value, I don't think it's worth spending tons of time trying to get it back to it's home. But, if you left the Omega pacific locker on the rap station on Turkey Rocks and live in Boulder, I'll get it back to you :)

Emmerson · · Portland OR · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 15

Someone posted about losing ropes on monkey's face in the Portland Oregon climbing community about a week ago. I sent the link to this thread to them, so hopefully they will reach out to you and be able to identify their ropes. Goodluck!

Mark Petitmermet · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

Hi The Oregon Disorder,
Wow, I am so stoked you rescued them and carried them out! The orange rope is mine and the green is my friends. We climbed Monkey face on 3/5 and had to bug out of the mouth due to poor weather conditions. We couldn't go back and get them because they were our only ropes and that was our last day there. I would be eternally grateful to get them back. I live near Portland and can drive to where you are. You can see my post on Portland Oregon Climbing Community Facebook page from last week. I can send you proof of ownership photos if needed too. Once again, thank you so much and I'm so glad you got them!
Mark

Nathan Self · · Louisiana · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 90

Great connect, Emmerson!

Travis Provin · · Boulder CO · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 105

Stuck gear is free game, but gear that was clearly used to bail (for who knows what reason) I'd at least try to return that.

There's a difference between getting a nut stuck in a wall and having to bail to be stay safe. Imagine if you were in their position, a nut or piece of stuck gear, sucks to leave but whatever. A rope or a full on bail anchor, deserves a bit more of an effort to return it.

Same goes with dropped gear. If it's on the trail it probably fell out of a pack or was forgotten. I'd at least try and return it, if they don't claim it at least you tried and you've got some new gear!

Gabe Cisneros · · Baltimore, md · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10

Still.waiting on someone to post they unstuck my rop from Rogers Rock....

Karma doesn't flow freely everywhere, apparently.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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