All done!


Original Post
Robin S · · OR · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 30

I'm deleting this post. It ended up off topic my original statement about multipitch behavior. Thanks for all the input though! I appreciate all the responses, whether they agreed with me or not, about the behavior of this group. 

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

That is super frustrating. Sorry that you had to deal with that. I don't think we'll ever eliminate the problems that newer climbers create on busy long routes. My solution is to alpine start EVERYTHING. You can't get slowed down if you are the first on the route!

Jan Tarculas · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 808

This has been discussed a million times over. Some people will argue you should've woke up earlier and gotten to the climb first if you're complaining about them holding you up.

That being said, I would be totally pissed off about a helmet falling from the sky without anyone shouting Rock to gives parties down low a heads up.

Robin S · · OR · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 30

I'm absolutely taking responsibility for our less-than-alpine start. We didn't expected the crowd we encountered on a Tuesday morning. It was certainly a learning experience, and in the future I'll be the first one there.

diepj · · PDX · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

I have been in your position many times and understand your frustration.

It seemed that the party lacked some basic skills which they should have been dialed in on single pitch routes first. (Anchor building, helmet chin strapping, etc.)

However I feel like the perennial suggestion that beginners should learn multi pitch climbing somewhere else is off base. The routes are popular generally because they are moderate grade, well protected and have straight-forward descents. Where are you suggesting that a beginner should learn multi pitch climbing? On some forgotten, filthy, run-out horror show with 4th class descent?

Of course beginners are responsible for having basic experience and climbing techniques appropriate for the climb. But assuming they do the climbing ethics shouldn't dictate that only people who can onsight the climb with 100% dialed transitions etc. be eligible to make an attempt.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135

Though an inexperienced shit show they were there first. Get up earlier if you want to be first on popular routes. And with some routes where you can not pass be prepared to wait. About the only misstep is the dropped helmet and not saying anything.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 478

Amateurs at twelve o'clock! Check your safety!

Did any of you actually go speak with them at the Bivy? If no one had the guts to inform them of why their actions were wrong than I can't say that I feel sorry. The thing is that most climbers, even gumbies, are pretty damn nice when you talk to them. That doesn't mean they aren't ignorant though. Sounds like the group had no idea how their inexperience affected others.......and if you didn't tell them they still don't. This post on the internet isn't getting the message to them.

When parties are a few pitches up a route it's hard to tell, but if you can see them at the base there's some telltales. Things that make me run for another route:
Shiny anodizing on a whole rack, no fraying on any slings, shiny rope, BD momentum harness with a gym belay tag hanging off it, tarantulaces on the whole crew, non dirty PAS thong, everyone in a crooked helmet, follower bringing a denali appropriate size pack up a 5 pitch route.

Robin S · · OR · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 30
Allen Sanderson wrote:Though an inexperienced shit show they were there first. Get up earlier if you want to be first on popular routes. And with some routes where you can not pass be prepared to wait. About the only misstep is the dropped helmet and not saying anything.
I think the anchor building thing, which really ate up time, was a misstep. I have no problem waiting for people to climb. That's just part of climbing popular routes. But I don't think it's okay to make others wait because you lack very basic skills, which is what happened.
Mike Mellenthin · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 70

Just a thought: if they truly were clueless to the fact that they were being dangerous and you overheard them talking about it, the most useful thing to do would probably be to gently let them know this.

This topic has been beaten to death. The one thing everyone seems to agree on is that talking to the other parties on the route and being honest about your ability level, intention to pass, etc. is a good thing.

Edit: Nick beat me to it.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 478
diepj wrote:\Where are you suggesting that a beginner should learn multi pitch climbing? O\
First kiss, a short walk away, is a great 5.7 for someone to learn multipitch skills with a walk off that isn't bad. While wherever I may roam is just a 9, it's got some exposure on a traverse that would probably scare a new leader or follower. First kiss is much more of a cruise.

On the note of weekdays, never count on anything. Last sept I went to do outerspace on a wednesday. We made the same mistake, got to the base of the wall at 10:30. Party 1 was on the normal start, party 2 was just getting on remorse variation, and party 3 showed up behind us. We took the RPM roof hoping to beat both of them to the base of P3, we failed. Party 2 bailed at two tree, Party 1 was slowly going through the 5.9 traverse.
At the P5 belay party 1 was nice enough to let us pass, we cruised through both handcracks in an hour. After a casual descent/repack we looked up to the route. It appeared party 1 had just topped out the handcracks. Party 3 was still waiting.

Wake up early for classics or you're gonna have a bad time.
Chris Fedorczak · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

Hi Robin,
Sounds like a very frustrating scenario. What you are describing sounds like combination of immaturity, inexperience, and inconsideration.

After nearly 15 years of single-pitch sport climbing, I was fortunate to learn how to multipitch at Smith this weekend. While our group was definitely NOT the climbers you described in your post, we did climb WIMR very early on Friday morning and had a great time (we were the first to the crag and the only climbers there for hours). It was well within our limits and tons of fun – even when we bailed at the 3rd pitch due to hail :)

However, the day before we had enough foresight to practice building anchors, belaying from above, and safely rappelling on easy 2 pitch routes like Ancylostoma (P1)/Bookwarm (P2) over in the Dihedrals.

I'd direct all sport climbers looking to practice multi to those type of easy 2 & 3 pitch climbs.

Chris Fedorczak · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0
Nick Drake wrote: First kiss, a short walk away, is a great 5.7 for someone to learn multipitch skills with a walk off that isn't bad.
Totally agree. We were actually going to head over to First Kiss instead of WIMR as our first true mulit, but it's closed right now due to the Falcons.

Nick Drake wrote:Amateurs at twelve o'clock! Check your safety!
Ah, Vertical Limit. It's the gift that just keeps on giving.
Ryan Bowen · · Bend, Or · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 85

Isn't First Kiss closed for raptors?

Either way, I still have never understood not buckling a helmet. I have seen many mountain bikers have full face helmets ripped off in a crash because they didn't want to thread the strap through the buckle. Darwin did have a theory though.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530
Robin S wrote: Popular routes are NOT the place to push your limit, introduce new climbers to multipitching, or learn new technical skills. I know my frustration is shared with the 6 other people held up by these inconsiderate climbers, and I hope this story is cautionary to both potential new multi pitchers and to climbers like me, who should stay away from crowded popular routes.
I would argue that popular routes are pretty much where everyone goes to learn new skills and push their limits. Why? Because popular routes are popular for a reason- usually because they are easy-ish for the grade, well protected, and classic climbing.

Expecting anything but this sort of thing on a trade route is setting yourself up for disappointment. We got turned around two weekends ago after getting stuck behind a couple of newer folks on a trade route, and while it definitely sucked, thats how it goes sometimes. We should have gotten up earlier...
caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470
Nick Sweeney wrote:That is super frustrating. Sorry that you had to deal with that. I don't think we'll ever eliminate the problems that newer climbers create on busy long routes. My solution is to alpine start EVERYTHING. You can't get slowed down if you are the first on the route!
This is the great paradox. The most nervous, unskilled climbers will alpine start routes that don't need the alpine start.
caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470
Robin S wrote: I have no problem waiting for people to climb. That's just part of climbing popular routes.
Maybe you should reevaluate that.
Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650
caughtinside wrote: This is the great paradox. The most nervous, unskilled climbers will alpine start routes that don't need the alpine start.
I have also used the "lazy-ass" start, where I don't start hiking until 2 or 3pm to reach routes where the descent is different than the route up. It actually works great for alpine rock routes.
Brian Carver · · Boulder, Co · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 30

Those routes are what they are. I climbed in Eldo for months before I ever attempted to climb The Bastille Crack or Rewritten. I waited until that perfect day when all the stars aligned and there wasn't a traffic jam in sight.

I've found that less experienced climbers tend to get on trade routes at first light. 10 or 11am has worked great for me.

RangerJ · · Denver, CO · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 65

Seems like this topic was well covered here:

mountainproject.com/v/getti...

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,005
Nick Sweeney wrote: I have also used the "lazy-ass" start, where I don't start hiking until 2 or 3pm to reach routes where the descent is different than the route up. It actually works great for alpine rock routes.
dude, i think i recognize you. were you and a young gal hiking in to do the West Face of NEWS last july, around 2 in the afternoon? at first i thought it was kind of odd, but then i looked up and it was in the sun. which looked a lot more pleasant than when i did it :)
Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 478
Chris Fedorczak wrote: Totally agree. We were actually going to head over to First Kiss instead of WIMR as our first true mulit, but it's closed right now due to the Falcons. Ah, Vertical Limit. It's the gift that just keeps on giving.
Ah I didn't realize there was a closure, I've only been at smith in the fall. You guys did well if you've been climbing longer though, wherever is a much more memorable route. We ran up first kiss afterwards because it was 5:30 and we wanted an excuse to drink more beer that night.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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