Competing for first to route


Original Post
Kirtis Courkamp · · Golden · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 384

Wondering what the ethic is in competing for the first spot on a route, usually in the alpine setting, but long trad routes or even sport routes with approaches might apply to this. 

Let's say me and my partner arrived at the trail head at the same time and a party starts up the approach just ahead of us.  On the approach, the party in the front stop to remove jackets/pee/rest and my partner and I pass them. Now the approach becomes a race, we have passed the party and they want to be back in front because no one likes to be second on the route. Especially in the alpine where lightning and weather and being first is a safety issue. We don't want to be second so we pick up the pace and now it's a full-on speed hiking race in the dark over rocks and snow to the base of the route.  I want to know what the ethics are for the approach of climbs. Once you are on the route you have all the rights in the world, but on the ground is it just a free for all, or is there a code of ethics that I need to know. 

DavisMeschke Guillotine · · Pinedale, WY · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 200

"If yer not first, yer last."

curt86iroc · · Golden, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 63

*face palm*

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265

Disclaimer: I would opt for live/climb where it is less crowded.

But, if the four of you all went to the effort of a true Alpine start, why can't you talk to them about being a party of four, or rock paper scissors, or....???

JFM · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 1,828

I'm slow AF on hikes, so you're gonna beat me to the route every time -- but if I was in good enough shape to jog up the trail faster than you, you better believe I'd work to beat you there and get on route as fast as possible, esp when time is of the essence anyhow.  

Is this even a thing? 

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265

Or. Live in an open carry state with something impressive on your hip.

:-)

Jplotz · · Wenatchee, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 940

When competing in a  first-on-route-k I like to build a complex labrynth of off-route cairnes as I go, thereby assuring my victory at the base. 

Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 509

Exchange plesantries en route and wish them luck as you pass. If they catch up and somehow are racked and ready to climb then they can climb first, but ultimately whomever gets on the rock first is going to be the first party up. I don't think it's a matter of right and wrong, just time and efficiency. Something I heard when I was a kid that stuck with me "You ain't fishin if your line's not in the water."

This ain't the wild wild west but I'm sure OLH and her friends with those impressive "pieces" will be first on any route I'm trying to get on!

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

Whoever is racked at the base and ready to go first goes first.

Even if you make it second to the start of the climb if you take to long to rack up and get ready to go you will get passed. I will give the first team at the base a little extra time even if they are slow racking and preping but if they are sitting there getting ready for 5-10mins after I am ready you better bet I am going to start climbing.

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 290

It goes to whoever was racked first....no, at the base of climb first...no, whoever left the trail head first....no, at the parking lot first...no, whoever left their house first....no....none of that.  

Chris Duca · · Havertown, PA · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 2,095

Good.  Fucking.  Lord. 

JKeller · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

How about when the party lounging and eating their lunch at the base without even having harnesses on pops up their heads and says "We we're going to go up that route next."  Are you wrong for choosing an alternate first pitch and arriving at the first belay before them?  

According to said party, you are wrong.  

Lena chita · · Cleveland, OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 240
Jim Turner wrote:

It goes to whoever was racked first....no, at the base of climb first...no, whoever left the trail head first....no, at the parking lot first...no, whoever left their house first....no....none of that.  

Come on, people, in this day and age, it OBVIOUSLY goes to whoever made the online reservation first!

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

How about when the party lounging and eating their lunch at the base without even having harnesses on pops up their heads and says "We we're going to go up that route next."  Are you wrong for choosing an alternate first pitch and arriving at the first belay before them?  

According to said party, you are wrong.  

lol, Id reply ... "you're right you are going up this route next".... and start climbing ;)

Mike McKinnon · · Golden, CO · Joined Aug 2003 · Points: 65
Kirtis Courkamp wrote:

Wondering what the ethic is in competing for the first spot on a route, usually in the alpine setting, but long trad routes or even sport routes with approaches might apply to this. 

Let's say me and my partner arrived at the trail head at the same time and a party starts up the approach just ahead of us.  On the approach, the party in the front stop to remove jackets/pee/rest and my partner and I pass them. Now the approach becomes a race, we have passed the party and they want to be back in front because no one likes to be second on the route. Especially in the alpine where lightning and weather and being first is a safety issue. We don't want to be second so we pick up the pace and now it's a full-on speed hiking race in the dark over rocks and snow to the base of the route.  I want to know what the ethics are for the approach of climbs. Once you are on the route you have all the rights in the world, but on the ground is it just a free for all, or is there a code of ethics that I need to know. 

Be in better shape and hike them into oblivion that is what I do. i just keep picking up the pace and push and push until they cannot keep going. This is the benefit of being in shape. I know they will break before I do and stop for rest. If I am behind them relentlessly push them into a pace they cannot keep up. If you are ahead of them set a pace that they cannot match. 

In my book it is whoever is at the base first. If I get to the base of a climb  and someone is there, I dont start to rack up in hopes of beating them in racking. I just either wait or move onto another route. 

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340
Mike "the crusher" McKinnon wrote:

Be in better shape and hike them into oblivion that is what I do. i just keep picking up the pace and push and push until they cannot keep going. This is the benefit of being in shape. I know they will break before I do and stop for rest. If I am behind them relentlessly push them into a pace they cannot keep up. If you are ahead of them set a pace that they cannot match. 

In my book it is whoever is at the base first. If I get to the base of a climb  and someone is there, I dont start to rack up in hopes of beating them in racking. I just either wait or move onto another route. 

cant wait to hear who wins when you run into Aleks on the trail 

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

When competing in a  first-on-route-k I like to build a complex labrynth of off-route cairnes as I go, thereby assuring my victory at the base. 

Throw some more in to the white slab at snow creek with signs that say "outer space this way"

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 250

"He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! That's the Chicago way..."

Emmett Lyman · · Somerville, MA · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 355

In the Northeast we make sure all new gym-to-craggers know to be at the base of classic multipitch/alpine routes by 6am so they don't get stuck behind experienced climbers. This way they have a full 16 hours to climb the route before getting benighted.   

Kirtis Courkamp · · Golden · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 384
Mike McKinnon wrote:

Be in better shape and hike them into oblivion that is what I do. i just keep picking up the pace and push and push until they cannot keep going. This is the benefit of being in shape. I know they will break before I do and stop for rest. If I am behind them relentlessly push them into a pace they cannot keep up. If you are ahead of them set a pace that they cannot match. 

In my book it is whoever is at the base first. If I get to the base of a climb  and someone is there, I dont start to rack up in hopes of beating them in racking. I just either wait or move onto another route. 

This is generally what I do to the point of almost running. But I'm asking if this is going against the ethics of climbing in general. We're not supposed to be competing with each other, but competing aginst one's self and the rock that we climb. I like climbing because I'm not weighing myself aginst other climbers but instead putting myself up aginst the rock.

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

This is generally what I do to the point of almost running. But I'm asking if this is going against the ethics of climbing in general. We're not supposed to be competing with each other, but competing aginst one's self and the rock that we climb. I like climbing because I'm not weighing myself aginst other climbers but instead putting myself up aginst the rock.

start timing yourself, than you can just rationalize by saying...."I'm just trying to beat my own  PR"

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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