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Somebody stole my cam at Mescalito


Original Post
Pavel P · · Portland, OR · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 0

I was so baffled by this incident that I feel I must post it. Here is the sequence of events.

March 5, 2019, afternoon. I was climbing Y2K route on Mescalito in Red Rocks. The route is 4 pitches, and you cannot see the base from above the first belay station. My partner had a hard time removing the very first cam right off the ground, so we decided to leave it with the intention to clean it later. We still had all our belongings sitting at the base of the route, and we were shouting to each other every now and then, so our presence was pretty clear. Besides us, there was only one other groups of climbers on east face of Mescalito. They showed up after us and were in the Dark Shadows area. They played loud music through a pretty powerful speaker filling the entire canyon with this noise pollution. By the time we finished the route and rappelled to the ground, they were gone. It was getting dark and started raining. To top it off, our rope got stuck when we tried to pull it after the last rappel. We spent some time trying to recover it – to no avail. In the dark, I did not look for the cam and just assumed it was still there. We realized that we needed to hurry to get out of the park by 7 pm to avoid a fine. So we decided that we would come back the next day to retrieve the rope and the cam. So we left. By that time it was already pitch-dark. A heavy rain continued throughout the night and most of the next day (March 6). I was positive that nobody would show up there on that day for climbing. On the following day (March 7) we went there first thing in the morning. The scenic loop was closed for flooding and debris, so we walked in from the highway. The loop reopened a couple of hours later. We definitely were the first party at the cliff. The rope was still there. But the cam was GONE! With the approach being as long and difficult as it is, it is totally improbable that somebody would be at the cliff between the time we left and the time we came back. It could only be a climber who had no intention to climb, but made the approach in the rain just for fun. So the only possibility is that somebody stole the cam while we were still climbing the route. As I mentioned, it was right off the ground. But our belongings were still sitting at the base, so nobody could be mistaken about the ownership of the cam. As I understand it, some gumby from the party with the loud music figured it’s OK to steal a cam since no rope was clipped into it. I cannot find any other explanation of what happened. I have always been thinking of the climbing community as a tight group of like-minded people who have some moral rules. I never hesitated to leave my backpack at the base of a multi-pitch route. I guess I was wrong. It’s very disappointing. The whole thing is not about the cam, which is 18 years old (hey, gumby, hope you now know that it still has a lot of useful life left in it and will serve you well for the rest of your short climbing career). It’s about the integrity of the climbing community. We cheer for each other on a crux move, and I cannot see how the same people would steal a piece of gear from each other.

Eric · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 10

This must be what it's like to be unemployed.

Todd Ulz · · oakland · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 5

damn.  i just have one question...

how's that route?  was thinking of getting on it soon

carla splitter · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110
Todd Ulz wrote: damn.  i just have one question...

how's that route?  was thinking of getting on it soon

Let's do it, bud.

Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 113

Dirtbag ninja'd ur cam bro.

Cool story.

Condolences, bro-ntosaurus.

Paul Morrison · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 0

Wet rock police enforcing asset forfeiture?

Rprops · · North Las Vegas · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 1,063

I just want to be on record, that I didn't do it.

Mike Knight · · Canton, Mi · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 50
Pavel P wrote:  "I have always been thinking of the climbing community as a tight group of like-minded people who have some moral rules. I never hesitated to leave my backpack at the base of a multi-pitch route. I guess I was wrong. It’s very disappointing. The whole thing is not about the cam, which is 18 years old (hey, gumby, hope you now know that it still has a lot of useful life left in it and will serve you well for the rest of your short climbing career). It’s about the integrity of the climbing community. We cheer for each other on a crux move, and I cannot see how the same people would steal a piece of gear from each other"

First mistake. Climbers are rarely cool people. I usually find it to be opposite. 


Sloppy Second · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 0

Please consult the The Climbing Rules of Booty, section 4, subparagraph 3.2

Josh Janes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 8,960

“Hey gumby”,

I would count my blessings your rope wasn’t removed as well.

Also: The word “stole” in the post title is incorrect.

This has nothing to do with the “integrity of the climbing community” - it is a long standing tradition in climbing that gear left behind in situations like these is no longer yours. You should re-evaluate your sense of entitlement - not the nature of climbers - and rejoice in being able to participate directly in the Booty Circle of Life.

Stuck gear can happen - it doesn’t make you a baby. Sadly I can’t say the same about your long-winded complaint about losing a 15-year old cam.

David Bruneau · · St. John · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 1,376
Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,415
Pavel P wrote: I was so baffled by this incident that I feel I must post it. Here is the sequence of events.

March 5, 2019, afternoon. I was climbing Y2K route on Mescalito in Red Rocks. The route is 4 pitches, and you cannot see the base from above the first belay station. My partner had a hard time removing the very first cam right off the ground, so we decided to leave it with the intention to clean it later. We still had all our belongings sitting at the base of the route, and we were shouting to each other every now and then, so our presence was pretty clear. Besides us, there was only one other groups of climbers on east face of Mescalito. They showed up after us and were in the Dark Shadows area. They played loud music through a pretty powerful speaker filling the entire canyon with this noise pollution. By the time we finished the route and rappelled to the ground, they were gone. It was getting dark and started raining. To top it off, our rope got stuck when we tried to pull it after the last rappel. We spent some time trying to recover it – to no avail. In the dark, I did not look for the cam and just assumed it was still there. We realized that we needed to hurry to get out of the park by 7 pm to avoid a fine. So we decided that we would come back the next day to retrieve the rope and the cam. So we left. By that time it was already pitch-dark. A heavy rain continued throughout the night and most of the next day (March 6). I was positive that nobody would show up there on that day for climbing. On the following day (March 7) we went there first thing in the morning. The scenic loop was closed for flooding and debris, so we walked in from the highway. The loop reopened a couple of hours later. We definitely were the first party at the cliff. The rope was still there. But the cam was GONE! With the approach being as long and difficult as it is, it is totally improbable that somebody would be at the cliff between the time we left and the time we came back. It could only be a climber who had no intention to climb, but made the approach in the rain just for fun. So the only possibility is that somebody stole the cam while we were still climbing the route. As I mentioned, it was right off the ground. But our belongings were still sitting at the base, so nobody could be mistaken about the ownership of the cam. As I understand it, some gumby from the party with the loud music figured it’s OK to steal a cam since no rope was clipped into it. I cannot find any other explanation of what happened. I have always been thinking of the climbing community as a tight group of like-minded people who have some moral rules. I never hesitated to leave my backpack at the base of a multi-pitch route. I guess I was wrong. It’s very disappointing. The whole thing is not about the cam, which is 18 years old (hey, gumby, hope you now know that it still has a lot of useful life left in it and will serve you well for the rest of your short climbing career). It’s about the integrity of the climbing community. We cheer for each other on a crux move, and I cannot see how the same people would steal a piece of gear from each other.

Wait, how was this other party supposed to know that the cam was yours and hadn't been stuck there for the past 3 years?  

Chad McChadface · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0

You left a cam on a route overnight and someone else took it. Sounds like booty to me.

shredward · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0

No one stole your cam.  You abandoned it there when you kept climbing p2, then again when you came down at the end of the route, then again for more than 24 hrs while it was raining.  Did you hate this cam or something?

SeƱor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

I'm really a glass-half-full kinda guy and just think it's miraculous that your stuff was still there and only a cam was bootied. 

Warriors · · Rock City, GA · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 310
"Amateurs at 12'o'clock (high?), check your safeties!"
DaveBaker · · Durham, NC · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 140

I had something similar happen while climbing Wailing Wall at Moore's, but without the overnight delay.

The proverbial "we" dropped a biner from high on P1, and watched it land on the ground about 10 feet away from our packs.  These packs all had a number of cams laid out on top from when we worked out what to take and what to leave for the climb.

We continue climbing out of sight of the ground, finish P2 and rap down to find someone had "stolen" the biner.

In someone's mind, the loose biner on the ground was booty but the packs and cams on top were not.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

I can get you a similar cam for 70 - 100 dollars, depending on the size. No need to thank me for this incredibly generous offer.

I just thought you needed to hear another unhelpful comment, so I dogpiled. I apologize for my insensitivity:


Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 456

The very concept of booty has been killed off by a generational and internet-enabled "do unto others" moral imperative...

T A · · Denver · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 10

This is fun :)

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 877

I really don’t think you’re claim the they must have known it was yours is accurate. They don’t know if you left it or the party before or the day before or the week before. All they know is that someone left it behind sometime in the past.

 I witnessed a much more shitty situation several years ago in red rocks. A regular climber and guide in the area went up into a two pitch climb behind a party of gumbies. There was one competent leader and several other beginners in the party. They weren’t able to clean two cams unbeknownst to the leader who was belaying at the top. This climber guide snagged the two cams and rapped off the first pitch and then took off before the party finished the walk off.  The party was pretty bummed that the leader didn’t even have a chance to rap down to get them.  

This was shitty IMO. He was with a client to boot. This guy posts here often, even today, even in ...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Nevada
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