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What do you do at the crag when a class "reserves" TR routes that they're not climbing?


NegativeK · · Nevada · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 40

Summary:
Be nice.
Talk to the person in charge.
Remain polite, even if they aren't.
Talk to their manager if you can't get anywhere.
Get angry on the internet if none of that works out.

It sounds like you skipped steps 1-4.

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 50

Had this situation once at Table Mountain. I just climbed at another part of the crag. Kind of a pain but figured it's just some poor guide trying to make a living and a bunch of folks wanting to have fun and learn to climb, so not worth creating a fuss over it

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 1,698
Noah Roulat wrote:

If we are gonna argue semantics here, I actually said in my post, "more like" which is quite different than "Exactly the same" 

Totally see your point, I dont think comparing a guided rock climbing class to anything is really gonna be a perfect match.

I have never had a real problem with a class getting in the way of my climbing, becasue as I mentioned above I am just really nice and understand that it is their job to teach people how to safely climb. When you give respect you get respect.  

In reality, I am just fortunate that I was able to learn from experienced friends and not spend money on an REI class. 

Fair enough. I've never had a problem sharing routes, either. I've found that being friendly and striking up a conversation goes a long way to helping everyone have a good time at the crag. (This is spoken  both as someone who's climbed at a crag where a class was taking place, and as someone who's been part of a large group with multiple ropes.)

Fehim Hasecic · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 155
curt86iroc wrote:

hmm, i'll bite...

here's a scenario. you walk into a crowded bar and you really want that special seat in the corner. you woke up extra early to get it, and you just have to sit there.  upon approaching the seat, you see a half empty beer glass with a coaster on top. the waitress politely informs you that someone is sitting there and just stepped out for a moment.  do you:

a) steal their seat because you think you have "equal rights" to it
b) move along and find somewhere else to sit
c) when the person returns, ask them to share their seat and if they refuse, sit on their lap
d) offer to buy my mom a drink after the horrible session you and your "pet rock" gave to her?

first come, first served. crags work the same.

Except one is a public space, other is not. Why would you wanna sit on someone’s lap in any scenario?

don'tchuffonme · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 25

Yes, you should be polite.
Yes, you should climb harder.
Yes, you should approach the 'group leader' and engage a dialogue.

No, you shouldn't have to.  A rope on a route is not a reservation of that route.  Not in CA, not in WY, not in NH, NC or WV or anywhere else.  The fact that so many people are saying "just go talk to them" or "leave" and not pointing out that this occurrence is pretty regular now, is a sad testament to the state of things.  It's one thing if it's one route.  NBD.  Hop on something else.  But if it's multiple routes and no one's climbing anything, that's just nonsense.  If I have more than 2 people on a route, or if I'm top roping something and I see a party of two come up and eyeball the route, I offer to pull my rope as long as they agree to hang it back up when they're done.  This used to be the norm, now it's not.  Now it's "tough shit" and "get stronger" and "we were here first" that has replaced the unspoken, polite and generally adhered to principle that leaders take priority.  I realize I sound like a curmudgeon.  I don't care.  If it was once in a while, I wouldn't say anything, but this shit is rampant.

I'm not saying don't be polite and engage the group in friendly dialogue.  I'm not saying not to train and get stronger so you can warm up on routes that are above the guided neophyte level.  By all means, do that.  What I'm saying, is that it's a general flaw in the way outdoor ethics have evolved into thinking that a rope hanging through an anchor with no one climbing reserves a route indefinitely.  It was bullshit two decades ago, and it's bullshit now.  Some people will be polite and have some sense of the importance of sharing a resource with smaller parties.  Others act like they own it.  It's the latter that I have a problem with, and from my experiences, that group seems to be growing.  Not calling that out, and not making an attempt to dispel this sense of entitlement is a mistake, and it's exactly why the problem is becoming more pervasive.

Steve Marshall · · Concord NH · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 42

If I'm at a crag to top-rope that means I am probably going for a bunch of mileage. I have engaged groups by being friendly and offering to share top-ropes with them. That way we all save time from having to build fewer anchors and I can get more climbing done! Most of the time, a large group isn't climbing a whole lot because they are new and get tired easily and take time between climbs to have instruction from the guide.

Also if a group sets up a TR and isn't using it, I've never had one refuse if I asked to pull their rope so I could lead the climb and put the rope back up when I'm done.

NegativeK · · Nevada · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 40
don'tchuffonme wrote: Yes, you should be polite.
Yes, you should climb harder.
Yes, you should approach the 'group leader' and engage a dialogue.

No, you shouldn't have to.  A rope on a route is not a reservation of that route.  Not in CA, not in WY, not in NH, NC or WV or anywhere else.  The fact that so many people are saying "just go talk to them" or "leave" and not pointing out that this occurrence is pretty regular now, is a sad testament to the state of things.  It's one thing if it's one route.  NBD.  Hop on something else.  But if it's multiple routes and no one's climbing anything, that's just nonsense.  If I have more than 2 people on a route, or if I'm top roping something and I see a party of two come up and eyeball the route, I offer to pull my rope as long as they agree to hang it back up when they're done.  This used to be the norm, now it's not.  Now it's "tough shit" and "get stronger" and "we were here first" that has replaced the unspoken, polite and generally adhered to principle that leaders take priority.  I realize I sound like a curmudgeon.  I don't care.  If it was once in a while, I wouldn't say anything, but this shit is rampant.

I'm not saying don't be polite and engage the group in friendly dialogue.  I'm not saying not to train and get stronger so you can warm up on routes that are above the guided neophyte level.  By all means, do that.  What I'm saying, is that it's a general flaw in the way outdoor ethics have evolved into thinking that a rope hanging through an anchor with no one climbing reserves a route indefinitely.  It was bullshit two decades ago, and it's bullshit now.  Some people will be polite and have some sense of the importance of sharing a resource with smaller parties.  Others act like they own it.  It's the latter that I have a problem with, and from my experiences, that group seems to be growing.  Not calling that out, and not making an attempt to dispel this sense of entitlement is a mistake, and it's exactly why the problem is becoming more pervasive.

Them some good points. I left out that OP has a reasonable expectation that the group leader needs to share. If they politely decline, OP should politely and firmly get after their superior.

Alex R · · Golden · Joined May 2015 · Points: 17
Sloppy Second wrote:I will setup dozen or so topropes on popular easy routes the evening before.
I'll admit that I have wondered one or twice if this is dick move, but I'm reassured by the consensus here on the MP community that I'm totally in the right when I do this.

Just remember, if you are letting MP dictate what is allowed, all those ropes and anchors count as abandoned and are thus booty.

m Mobes · · MDI, ME · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 905

How about when I'm climbing with your mom? Do I have to jump through all these hoops to TR some SEMI classics without interrupting the obvious flow of the day? If I yell at some n00b SPI I'm not sensitive enough. If I ignore it and post on the internet about it I'm a snowflake.

WWARM do?

Julian H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 5
curt86iroc wrote:

that's because the ice park is run...wait for it...as a park...and the park has specific rules about leaving unattended ropes meant to "hold" a climb. http://ourayicepark.com/rules


Wasn’t the a ice axe fight over top ropping? Not a at Ouray because they have rules. 

Climbing crags are getting a lot more crowded and this kind of situation will lead people to fight over climbs.  I stoped going to beginner areas over the weekend years ago. 
gs goodyear · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Go to another crag and enjoy.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,510
gs goodyear wrote: Go to another crag and enjoy.

Wrong answer.

Groups hogging routes is unacceptable, especially groups that people are making money on (guiding).

These people (guides) are obligated to yield to regular climbers who are using their hard earned weekend to get their climb time in. The clients can wait, they aren't jonesen for particular routes anyway.
Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 200
Tradiban wrote:

Wrong answer.

Groups hogging routes is unacceptable, especially groups that people are making money on (guiding).

These people (guides) are obligated to yield to regular climbers who are using their hard earned weekend to get their climb time in. The clients can wait, they aren't jonesen for particular routes anyway.

Open question to all, what is the legal liability for guides when letting others climb on your ropes? Alternatively, if they pull your rope, what do they use for an anchor if the cracks are limited? Let em clip into yours? I imagine this varies area to area and company to company?

Chad N · · Central California · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 2,067
  1. Hobo Greg wrote:

Open question to all, what is the legal liability for guides when letting others climb on your ropes? Alternatively, if they pull your rope, what do they use for an anchor if the cracks are limited? Let em clip into yours? I imagine this varies area to area and company to company?

Warming up in the AM at Pixie Rock (Jtree) a couple years back, local guide outfit comes in to set up some ropes for clients. Offered us some laps. We declined. Went elsewhere. 

It was that super nice guy Seth though, top notch guy imo. 

On the lead vs. TR debate, I always heard lead should get preference, that is if the guide offers, which they should, if the route isn’t going to be used for a bit. Fine line though, I could see some n00ber coming in for a mini epic, now the guides anchor is still up there. 
Leaning toward the 1st on scene now.
Some variables there, but moving on always a good idea. 
don'tchuffonme · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 25
Chad N wrote:




On the lead vs. TR debate, I always heard lead should get preference, that is if the guide offers, which they should, if the route isn’t going to be used for a bit. Fine line though, I could see some n00ber coming in for a mini epic, now the guides anchor is still up there. 

Absolutely.  It works both ways.  If a party has a rope up, and if no one's on it and they're getting ready to climb, or give you the right of way so you can get on it, you better lead and clean it and not struggle on it for an hour, or even a half hour.  Definitely a fine line.  This isn't to say you can't work together either-  I've pulled my top rope so a couple could quickly lead, then clean the route.  The leader finished quicker than anyone in my party could climb it.  The follower struggled from the start.  The leader, realizing this was a bit of a predicament, offered to lead another route with my rope and anchor gear in order for us to have something else to climb while his follower worked on the route we were on originally.  Again, this was all established by striking up a friendly conversation and having two competent parties that are well educated in typical outdoor ethics and both parties realizing how important time on quality routes for weekend warriors is.

However- in the past few years, at various areas (in different states- primarily at single pitch areas) I have found almost as many people that think a rope = route reservation whether someone is climbing or not, and are not willing to share, as people that are 'in the know' and are willing to work together.  Sometimes being right is more important than being happy when all other options that are kinder and softer haven't panned out.  I'm as nice as can be until it doesn't work, then I'm pretty candid and will tell you you're wrong, and I think everyone else should too.  They may not learn that day, but they may remember the contentious situation and bring it up to other climbers, some of whom will tell them "yeah, you were in the wrong there."  It's either that, or just shrug your shoulders and let these entitled folks impose their will on you.  I'm not really into turning the other cheek, unless it means avoiding physical confrontation and not engaging in criminal conduct.  If you're wrong though, I'll let you know.  And all you experienced climbers out there that have just shrugged your shoulders and walked away and inconvenienced yourselves because of someone else's entitlement-  why are you training hard and saving money for trips and watching the weather and organizing logistics just to get there and let people that view climbing as just a "cool way to stay fit" run you off?  Stop doing that.  Good on you for being the adult, but sometimes adults have to teach kids the right way.  Also, hats off to the folks that manage large groups and are friendly and willing to work together.  I still think that the majority of you do the right thing and are willing to work together.  

The groups I mainly see engaging in this entitled behavior aren't organized/guided groups.  It's a group of people being taken out by a person solely for purposes of adoration and attention.  It's self-aggrandizing behavior.  It's usually one guy, exceptionally strong, hasn't been climbing all that long, is still in the "climbing is awesome omgwtf I want everyone to see how awesome it is and how awesome I am at it" phase, and so he spends the day or the weekend climbing things below his level and hanging top ropes for his "crew".  And because he wants to see everyone fail where he succeeded, he's resistant to have his crew see someone else float up a warmup like he did.  The response I most often get is "Nah man, sorry.  I just put this rope up and they're going to get on it in a few minutes." or "nah man, we got like 4 people left after these two that want to climb it".  Invariably, 30 minutes later there's still a group of giggling early 20s people talking about whatever, not climbing anything and not really concerned about the volume of climbing they're getting in or volume others are not getting because of their actions.  Not really malicious, but oblivious.  But the attention seeking leader, he knows.  All I'm saying is when you come across this nonsense, and I know plenty of you have, don't just walk away.  As tactfully as you can, let them know it's not acceptable.  I can't be the only one that's seen an increase in this behavior and this type of scenario in the past few (say 5) years.
m Mobes · · MDI, ME · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 905
don'tchuffonme wrote:

Absolutely.  It works both ways.  If a party has a rope up, and if no one's on it and they're getting ready to climb, or give you the right of way so you can get on it, you better lead and clean it and not struggle on it for an hour, or even a half hour.  Definitely a fine line.  This isn't to say you can't work together either-  I've pulled my top rope so a couple could quickly lead, then clean the route.  The leader finished quicker than anyone in my party could climb it.  The follower struggled from the start.  The leader, realizing this was a bit of a predicament, offered to lead another route with my rope and anchor gear in order for us to have something else to climb while his follower worked on the route we were on originally.  Again, this was all established by striking up a friendly conversation and having two competent parties that are well educated in typical outdoor ethics and both parties realizing how important time on quality routes for weekend warriors is.

However- in the past few years, at various areas (in different states- primarily at single pitch areas) I have found almost as many people that think a rope = route reservation whether someone is climbing or not, and are not willing to share, as people that are 'in the know' and are willing to work together.  Sometimes being right is more important than being happy when all other options that are kinder and softer haven't panned out.  I'm as nice as can be until it doesn't work, then I'm pretty candid and will tell you you're wrong, and I think everyone else should too.  They may not learn that day, but they may remember the contentious situation and bring it up to other climbers, some of whom will tell them "yeah, you were in the wrong there."  It's either that, or just shrug your shoulders and let these entitled folks impose their will on you.  I'm not really into turning the other cheek, unless it means avoiding physical confrontation and not engaging in criminal conduct.  If you're wrong though, I'll let you know.  And all you experienced climbers out there that have just shrugged your shoulders and walked away and inconvenienced yourselves because of someone else's entitlement-  why are you training hard and saving money for trips and watching the weather and organizing logistics just to get there and let people that view climbing as just a "cool way to stay fit" run you off?  Stop doing that.  Good on you for being the adult, but sometimes adults have to teach kids the right way.  Also, hats off to the folks that manage large groups and are friendly and willing to work together.  I still think that the majority of you do the right thing and are willing to work together.  

The groups I mainly see engaging in this entitled behavior aren't organized/guided groups.  It's a group of people being taken out by a person solely for purposes of adoration and attention.  It's self-aggrandizing behavior.  It's usually one guy, exceptionally strong, hasn't been climbing all that long, is still in the "climbing is awesome omgwtf I want everyone to see how awesome it is and how awesome I am at it" phase, and so he spends the day or the weekend climbing things below his level and hanging top ropes for his "crew".  And because he wants to see everyone fail where he succeeded, he's resistant to have his crew see someone else float up a warmup like he did.  The response I most often get is "Nah man, sorry.  I just put this rope up and they're going to get on it in a few minutes." or "nah man, we got like 4 people left after these two that want to climb it".  Invariably, 30 minutes later there's still a group of giggling early 20s people talking about whatever, not climbing anything and not really concerned about the volume of climbing they're getting in or volume others are not getting because of their actions.  Not really malicious, but oblivious.  But the attention seeking leader, he knows.  All I'm saying is when you come across this nonsense, and I know plenty of you have, don't just walk away.  As tactfully as you can, let them know it's not acceptable.  I can't be the only one that's seen an increase in this behavior and this type of scenario in the past few (say 5) years.

Ha, don't forget all the attention given to the hot YP. Everyone else- on your own !

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 1

I think everyone (with a couple exceptions) has a good point about guided parties dominating a limited resource at local crags. IMO if you show up with the right attitude, and don't be a spas about it, you can co-exist with guided parties. I don't know how hanging a rope and then having multiple people climb is any different from the dude at the sports crag working a project for an hour, swearing and acting like a ten year old.

I am lucky that in the hinterlands of MN, I know/are known to most of the regular guides. Not that we are on a first name basis, but if you hang around the same rocks and gyms, you recognize people. They are always super cool to me, know that I'll rope solo something and then move on. Sometimes I'll set two anchors and hang two climbs rap down, climb one, rap and climb the second and then break down my anchor(s).  I'll be there maybe an hour...the clients haven't even tied in by then.

I have even run into a former local guide out in the Needles (SD) who had guided the previous weekend and was waiting for another set of clients to show up and was just doing some light soloing. He showed me and my partner a couple routes in the Sylvan Lake area, we led a few and he rope gunned a harder route we would not have led. All he wanted was a cold beer. He was grievously injured by a drunk driver 5 years ago and I hope he is doing OK.

Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 133
don'tchuffonme wrote:

Absolutely.  It works both ways.  If a party has a rope up, and if no one's on it and they're getting ready to climb, or give you the right of way so you can get on it, you better lead and clean it and not struggle on it for an hour, or even a half hour.  Definitely a fine line.  This isn't to say you can't work together either-  I've pulled my top rope so a couple could quickly lead, then clean the route.  The leader finished quicker than anyone in my party could climb it.  The follower struggled from the start.  The leader, realizing this was a bit of a predicament, offered to lead another route with my rope and anchor gear in order for us to have something else to climb while his follower worked on the route we were on originally.  Again, this was all established by striking up a friendly conversation and having two competent parties that are well educated in typical outdoor ethics and both parties realizing how important time on quality routes for weekend warriors is.

However- in the past few years, at various areas (in different states- primarily at single pitch areas) I have found almost as many people that think a rope = route reservation whether someone is climbing or not, and are not willing to share, as people that are 'in the know' and are willing to work together.  Sometimes being right is more important than being happy when all other options that are kinder and softer haven't panned out.  I'm as nice as can be until it doesn't work, then I'm pretty candid and will tell you you're wrong, and I think everyone else should too.  They may not learn that day, but they may remember the contentious situation and bring it up to other climbers, some of whom will tell them "yeah, you were in the wrong there."  It's either that, or just shrug your shoulders and let these entitled folks impose their will on you.  I'm not really into turning the other cheek, unless it means avoiding physical confrontation and not engaging in criminal conduct.  If you're wrong though, I'll let you know.  And all you experienced climbers out there that have just shrugged your shoulders and walked away and inconvenienced yourselves because of someone else's entitlement-  why are you training hard and saving money for trips and watching the weather and organizing logistics just to get there and let people that view climbing as just a "cool way to stay fit" run you off?  Stop doing that.  Good on you for being the adult, but sometimes adults have to teach kids the right way.  Also, hats off to the folks that manage large groups and are friendly and willing to work together.  I still think that the majority of you do the right thing and are willing to work together.  

The groups I mainly see engaging in this entitled behavior aren't organized/guided groups.  It's a group of people being taken out by a person solely for purposes of adoration and attention.  It's self-aggrandizing behavior.  It's usually one guy, exceptionally strong, hasn't been climbing all that long, is still in the "climbing is awesome omgwtf I want everyone to see how awesome it is and how awesome I am at it" phase, and so he spends the day or the weekend climbing things below his level and hanging top ropes for his "crew".  And because he wants to see everyone fail where he succeeded, he's resistant to have his crew see someone else float up a warmup like he did.  The response I most often get is "Nah man, sorry.  I just put this rope up and they're going to get on it in a few minutes." or "nah man, we got like 4 people left after these two that want to climb it".  Invariably, 30 minutes later there's still a group of giggling early 20s people talking about whatever, not climbing anything and not really concerned about the volume of climbing they're getting in or volume others are not getting because of their actions.  Not really malicious, but oblivious.  But the attention seeking leader, he knows.  All I'm saying is when you come across this nonsense, and I know plenty of you have, don't just walk away.  As tactfully as you can, let them know it's not acceptable.  I can't be the only one that's seen an increase in this behavior and this type of scenario in the past few (say 5) years.

TL;DR "GET OFF MY LAWN".

What's the point of climbing if you can't flex for the bitches?

Get in line sucka...lol

Hold my shirt and pass me my beanie. Kthx.
Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,040
don'tchuffonme wrote: Yes, you should be polite.
Yes, you should climb harder.
Yes, you should approach the 'group leader' and engage a dialogue.

No, you shouldn't have to.  A rope on a route is not a reservation of that route.  Not in CA, not in WY, not in NH, NC or WV or anywhere else.
Not calling that out, and not making an attempt to dispel this sense of entitlement is a mistake, and it's exactly why the problem is becoming more pervasive.



I completely agree with you. I think people saying “talk to them”, etc, is more of a realistic c assessment of what you could do, rather than endorsement of the thing that caused you to go talk to them in the first place. 

I tell my teenager who is learning to drive: Always look both ways when you are pulling out of the driveway, look out for the kids who may be riding their bikes, they might not see you, they might not stop and let you go first...

But when she was a little kid riding her bike on the sidewalk, I would tell her, ALWAYS stop when it looks like the car is pulling out of the driveway, don’t assume that they would see you and stop. 

It’s the same thing here... if the guide posted the question about the same situation, people would say, don’t hog the routes, go to less busy crags, pull your ropes and offer people a chance to climb on the routes you aren’t actively using...

But the question was posted from the other side, So advice is things that are in the power of the person asking the question to actually do. 
Sloppy Second · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 0

Possession is 90% of the law of the crag, and many guide services abuse this reality.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Sport Climbing
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