Music at the crags: Soothing or annoying?


Original Post
Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240

Sure, that island vacation can be exciting and exotic. But is there such a thing as too much local flavor?

Also, what is up with this belaying technique? Is it funny that you just dropped your partner?


What I think of:

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

The instrument is a hang drum.  It's not an island instrument.  So local flavor isn't the issue.  If no one else is around, and music doesn't distract you, why not play some?  Hang drum music is really soothing, so I would be too distracted for climbing.  Like at work, I want heavy driving beats to push me through the day.  

I can't comment on that belay.  Looks sketchy to me

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240

It's appropriately called a hang drum, because that extra guy is obviously a hanger-on and not a real climber. Get some real climbing friends, lady, and take this thing more seriously.

unemployed astronaut · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

You're trying way too hard to be outraged here

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 888
eBaba Fats wrote:

The instrument is a hang drum.  It's not an island instrument.  So local flavor isn't the issue.  If no one else is around, and music doesn't distract you, why not play some?  Hang drum music is really soothing, so I would be too distracted for climbing.  Like at work, I want heavy driving beats to push me through the day.  

I can't comment on that belay.  Looks sketchy to me

She's not belaying.............she's rappelling, that hang drum guy is keeping the rope she's rappelling from suspended into thin air (like the Indian rope trick). If he stops playing she'll fall. She's smiling cause she made the deck safely......... ;)

This can be done with the hang drum (why do you think they call it a hang drum?), a turban and little flute (careful of cobras with this one), aboriginal instruments or Tibetan throat singing. 

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

What's wrong with the belay?  It looks like she just caught a lead fall and was lifted, or the climber is taking and she sat back to weight it.

As far as music at the crag...no no no.  It seems to just be the three of them so I guess it's up to them, but music can be distracting and can make it hard to communicate between a belayer/climber.  It seems to be the hip thing to always have edgy music playing at the gym nowadays, but my gym has 60' walls and you often can't hear your climber over it, which sucks.

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,037
Stich wrote:

Sure, that island vacation can be exciting and exotic. But is there such a thing as too much local flavor?

Also, what is up with this belaying technique? Is it funny that you just dropped your partner?


What I think of:

Personally, I wouldn't care about someone playing a hang drum at the crag, lots of other annoying music out there that I'd prefer not to hear at the crag though.  I would hope that the guy playing at least asked the other parties at the crag if they would be okay with him playing first though.

As for the belayer, maybe I'm missing something, but how do you know that she just dropped her partner, and what exactly is sketchy about what she is doing.  It looks to me like the climber is hanging and she is just relaxing waiting for the partner to be ready to start climbing again, both hands are on the brake strand, so I really don't see a problem.

Beean · · Canmore, AB · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0

I too have never climbed outside of a gym and think the lady's belay technique is sketchy because it's not the same as what I learnt for my TR certification. 

tim · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 50

Yeah, what is wrong with the belay? Too much smiling?

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15

Finally, after all these years, someone brought up music at the crags. I only wish someone would bring up dogs and babies at the crag. More subjects that need discussion! (yawn)

Fritz N. · · Durango, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 50

It was a beautiful day on the Diamond. I was belaying my partner up the crux pitch of Pervertical when all of a sudden I heard a familiar refrain waft up from below ...

Uptown girrrrll, she's been livin' in an uptown worrrrrld ....

This old man in spandex rocking a Bluetooth speaker pulls onto a ledge on Casual, sweatin' to the oldies, bountifully bestowing the beauty of Billy Joel upon Broadway and above.

Bad form, Jack.

So to preempt forthcoming comments, it's not just damn millennials and their rump-wriggling jungle beats polluting the pristine alpine air.

I say no speakers on mutipitch climbs, especially in Wilderness areas. Even if you're listening to something meaningful like this:


Wesley K · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 15

A sad attempt at a controversial MP thread.  Better luck next time. 

Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 449

The best climber is the one having the most fun

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 50

My music is soothing, yours is annoying. It's pretty simple, really.

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 15

have all the fun you want, just do not impose your noise on other people.


Mike Mellenthin · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 0
Stich wrote:

It's appropriately called a hang drum, because that extra guy is obviously a hanger-on and not a real climber. Get some real climbing friends, lady, and take this thing more seriously.

Hahaha the dude who wrote the Shuteye Ridge guidebook makes/sells those hang drum things. I can confirm it's pleasant to be drunk and hear one played around the campfire.

K. Le Douche · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 65

The problem with the belay is obvious.  She is using a GriGri, which has been proven, time and time again, to be FAR more dangerous then an ATC.  Clearly, she thinks that the GriGri is an "auto locking" belay device, and doesn't realize that it's a "brake assisted" device...that's why she's smiling.  She probably short-roped the shit out of her boyfriend (obviously he's the one leading), because she didn't even hold down the camming device with her brake-hand while pulling slack out so he could clip.

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240
Ted Pinson wrote:

What's wrong with the belay?  It looks like she just caught a lead fall and was lifted, or the climber is taking and she sat back to weight it.

As far as music at the crag...no no no.  It seems to just be the three of them so I guess it's up to them, but music can be distracting and can make it hard to communicate between a belayer/climber.  It seems to be the hip thing to always have edgy music playing at the gym nowadays, but my gym has 60' walls and you often can't hear your climber over it, which sucks.

The photographer is the fourth, and obviously he or she is providing an editorial viewpoint of this scene. I think they condone it.

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 0

climbing friend,

no music, unless it is quite loud and is my new brand uberklingentechno, driving on the beats oh so real oh so deep

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240
Fritz N. wrote:

It was a beautiful day on the Diamond. I was belaying my partner up the crux pitch of Pervertical when all of a sudden I heard a familiar refrain waft up from below ...

Uptown girrrrll, she's been livin' in an uptown worrrrrld ....

This old man in spandex rocking a Bluetooth speaker pulls onto a ledge on Casual, sweatin' to the oldies, bountifully bestowing the beauty of Billy Joel upon Broadway and above.

Aw, shiiiiit. I feel for you. I had to listen to Best of Billy Joel 4 CD set on a JTree road trip. Vomit constantly bubbled up into me throat.

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240
tim wrote:

Yeah, what is wrong with the belay? Too much smiling?

Some people smile during accidents or even have fits of laughter. I think that's what is going on here.

Sad.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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