Drinking and climbing


Original Post
sfotex · · Sandy, UT · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 225

Fell clipping the 3rd bolt on a route at the Industrial Wall. Supposedly had polished off a handle of Vodka between the two. I've been known to polish off a beer or three when bouldering, but that's a lot of Vodka. 

https://www.ksl.com/?sid=44504974&nid=148&title=man-suffers-critical-head-injury-in-little-cottonwood-canyon-fall

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 140

The article (and the commentary below it) seem to suggest it was a non-climber.... who tried to climb.   It said he had "no safety equipment."    Where do you see anything about a 3rd bolt?  

Just wondering.  I've never heard to boozing like that by climbers.

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

I've never heard to boozing like that by climbers.

Photo courtesy of the D.L.F.A.

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 230

I thought beer was a requirement to climb. I guess I am guilty of doing this but we were just bouldering but ended up passing out on a trail after going the wrong way when trying to get back to the campsite. This is where good friends come in handy after he spent 4 hours finding the way back to our campsite he brought me and the girl that passed out with me on the trail our sleeping bags, backpack with water etc, and my cellphone which he texted instructions for us to find our way back when we woke up the next morning.

percious · · Bear Creek, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,185

sigh.  I've been seeing this a lot with 20-somethings at the crag lately.  

Here's a brief encounter I experienced the last time I was at East Colfax:

1) Drunkard repeatedly tries 11a crux on a SINGLE draw attached to a spinner bolt, doing 25 ft above two small children playing below (not my children).  Then his friends do too.  They give up trying to get the draw back eventually.

2) Drunkard then proceeds to tie in and climb up a much easier route handing his never-before belayer a grigri telling her it's bombproof.  I help her and back her up while belaying my wife.  He gets to the top and she doesn't know how to lower her, finally another friend comes over to help her lower so I can focus on my wife.

3) Drunkard proceeds to apologize to his belayer that he probably shouldn't have had her belay 5! beers in.

I can't make this shit up.  This is not my only interaction with folks drinking and climbing.

Drinking AFTER climbing is what I prefer.  Drinking while climbing is dangerous to yourself and those around you.  

</PSA>

Mike Mellenthin · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 70

All I'm saying is that if you're trying to finish a beer between the ground and the chains use a second chalkbag to hold your drink.

Climbing has a long history of drunks getting rad while drunk. Such is life.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
sfotex wrote:

Fell clipping the 3rd bolt on a route at the Industrial Wall. Supposedly had polished off a handle of Vodka between the two. 

Source of this info?

The most I've been able to find is from Salt Lake County Sheriff's Search and Rescue FB page and a comment on it:

RESCUE REPORT: 06/03//2017

 RESCUE: Fallen climber with a head injury.

 CALL OUT TIME: 3:25 PM

 DURATION: 3 hours 19 Minutes

 WEATHER: Sunny, warm

 OTHER RESOURCES INVOLVED:
 UPD, Unified Fire, Life Flight

 WHAT HAPPENED: Search and Rescue got called out around 3:25 PM on June 3rd for a fallen climber in Little Cottonwood Canyon at the Industrial Wall area. One was belaying the other while climbing one of the routes in the canyon.  It’s unknown what caused the climber to fall to the ground. The patient fell between 25-30 feet.  Unified Fire had two Medics on scene.  The patient had substantial head and shoulder wounds and was unconscious but breathing. It’s suspected that one or both the climbers may have been intoxicated while climbing and the patient was not wearing a helmet.

Comments:

Brittany Anderson:  That was my brother. He and his friend didn't make a very smart decision Definitely a learning experience. Hope it teaches others that extreme outdoor sports and drugs or alcohol do not mix, even if you are experienced. I'm so very thankful for Search and Rescue. Thank you guys! You saved his life.

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

There is huge difference between an accident involving alcohol when the injuries involve the little head versus the big head. From the AAC ANAM:

INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT FOR NOCTURNAL DIURESIS, WEATHER 

Washington, North Cascades

On August 19, 1988, four veteran mountaineers set out to ascend the West Ridge of Eldorado Peak in the North Cascades of Washington. ...

http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13198907601/Inadequate-Equipment-for-Nocturnal-Diuresis-Weather-Washington-North-Cascades

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

A handle of vodka? Were they getting ready for the prom?

Apacheclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

Anybody else crack open a cold one at the crag like this? i.imgur.com/kPKqm5P.gif

Robert Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 116

This poor thread never had a chance.

Hobo Greg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110
percious wrote:

sigh.  I've been seeing this a lot with 20-somethings at the crag lately.  

Here's a brief encounter I experienced the last time I was at East Colfax:

1) Drunkard repeatedly tries 11a crux on a SINGLE draw attached to a spinner bolt, doing 25 ft above two small children playing below (not my children).  Then his friends do too.  They give up trying to get the draw back eventually.

2) Drunkard then proceeds to tie in and climb up a much easier route handing his never-before belayer a grigri telling her it's bombproof.  I help her and back her up while belaying my wife.  He gets to the top and she doesn't know how to lower her, finally another friend comes over to help her lower so I can focus on my wife.

3) Drunkard proceeds to apologize to his belayer that he probably shouldn't have had her belay 5! beers in.

I can't make this shit up.  This is not my only interaction with folks drinking and climbing.

Drinking AFTER climbing is what I prefer.  Drinking while climbing is dangerous to yourself and those around you.  

Sounds like you were pretty distracted, you even say "...so I can focus on my wife" which obviously implies that you weren't doing that. No matter how much beer I've had, I'm always focused on my climber. What folks to my left and right do usually doesn't affect me.

Ken Graf · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

I've seen it and have been surprised by it. Personal choice I guess, but in my mind you want to be clear-headed and 100% on your game out there. An even more important aspect of this is that, even if you know how YOU are feeling, you have NO IDEA what the dude holding your rope may be feeling. 

I'm not opposed to a beer with lunch if you are hiking back out to a climb or whatever, but I think it's tough to draw a line between acceptable and unacceptable levels of consumption. 

At the end of the day, why not just save it for the post-climb festivities?

Dow Williams · · St. George, Utah; Canmore, AB · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 240

so much morality infused into climbing today...astonishing....sport climbing considered an "extreme outdoor sport"...enlightening

Fehim Hasecic · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 75

Eldo, Gill boulder; when I talked to these guys they were pretty gassed 

Ken Graf · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0
Dow Williams wrote:

so much morality infused into climbing today...astonishing....sport climbing considered an "extreme outdoor sport"...enlightening

Not morality from where I sit so much, just a matter of safety. Whether or not you want to call sport climbing "extreme" doesn't change the fact that not paying attention can get someone banged up. 

I only drink heavily when I play disc golf   

Creed A · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 740

I became involved in the rescue that the OP mentioned. My wife and I arrived at Industrial Wall about 15 minutes after the injury. I was confused why the sheriff said they didn't have safety equipment. They did. They had a rope, draws, harness, atc, etc. They did not have helmets. Maybe that's what he meant.

Here's what I understand: The belayer told SAR that he and the climber split a fifth of vodka throughput the day. They started drinking at 9 am. The accident happened about 3 pm. The climber had clipped the first two bolts and fell at the third bolt before he had a chance to place a draw. The belayer said he "looked away for a second" and then his friend hit the ground. The route was low angle and the climber flipped backwards so his head hit the rock first.

Eric D · · Gnarnia · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 230

What an idiot.

Paul Deger · · Colorado · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 35

The first thing alcohol impairs is the ability to assess how impaired I am - downhill from there as far as judgement and safety.

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 175

climbing friend,

do not take the alcohols, take the LSD or mushroom, especially for the free solo solo free the happiness like you are the honnold and you may imagine you have omnipotent, omnipresent spotter that they catches you when you do the falling. (also for probably you shall not do this either unless you are quite special.

Idaho Ian · · Pocatello, ID · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 5

Aleks spits da wisdom again

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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