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Gunks: Ribs / Middle Earth Rappel Traffic


Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
SethG wrote: People always like to talk about "these climbers today..." but in my experience it has been been the same for thirteen years. Just as crowded, with just as many dummies. 
Newbie youngster!


David K · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 145
Marc801 C wrote:

WTF??!?

That’s not crazy - that’s just plain idiotic!

Yeah, I was taking a new (to trad) climber up Easy O next door and got to watch the entire thing unfold. We had even offered to just let them rappel on our 70m rope (which reaches) but they declined. I decided not to go up the second pitch of Easy O and get stuck behind them since the climbs share an anchor.

Someone from the ground also climbed up to the girl to help, not sure exactly what he did. I think everyone around was just praying they didn't do something even dumber and die.
J Z · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0
David K wrote: The crazy was really out this weekend in the Gunks. I saw a girl on Son of Easy O rap to the knots on her ropes despite multiple warnings that they didn't reach. She could have easily swung in to the midpoint ledge the first time she was warned, and it wouldn't have been very hard the second time she was warned. She definitely heard, because she responded. And yet, she continued rapping. Her plan, apparently, was to go in direct (to a single piece of gear, until people advised her otherwise), have her partner rap down to the ledge, then pull the rope to the ledge, have him set up a belay, belay her to climb up to the ledge, and then rap.

I was in the party at the base of Son of Easy O when this happened. She didn’t go all the way to the knots,  but was like 4 ft below the ledge, so maybe 50 feet off the ground, when she decided to stop rapping. Then she put in gear (I hope it was more than one piece, but I couldn’t see) and took her rap device off the rope, which swung out of reach due to the overhang. I saw her put in another piece after that, so she was on at least two at this point. We were going to run up Easy O to get her, but then her partner came down.

So the dude came down to the ledge and when he pulled the rope IT GOT STUCK on the piton that’s like 15 feet off of the ground. My partner climbed up and unstuck it for them. I talked to them after they got down while my partner was leading P1 of Son of Easy O- they went up Easy O (5.2), not Son of Easy O (5.8). 

They remained adamant that they had a 70m. I genuinely don’t think that stupid fucking couple knows how close the girl came to dying. To those two, if you’re reading this: we literally moved our bags back from the wall so our gear wouldn’t get covered in blood after you decked.
SethG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 253

If you'd like to see some similar craziness from the past:

Screaming Girl High E

Unfortunately the similarly involved and lengthy thread on gunks.com seems unviewable.

Live Perched · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 11
Joshua Z. wrote:

I was in the party at the base of Son of Easy O when this happened. She didn’t go all the way to the knots,  but was like 4 ft below the ledge, so maybe 50 feet off the ground, when she decided to stop rapping. Then she put in gear (I hope it was more than one piece, but I couldn’t see) and took her rap device off the rope, which swung out of reach due to the overhang. I saw her put in another piece after that, so she was on at least two at this point. We were going to run up Easy O to get her, but then her partner came down.

So the dude came down to the ledge and when he pulled the rope IT GOT STUCK on the piton that’s like 15 feet off of the ground. My partner climbed up and unstuck it for them. I talked to them after they got down while my partner was leading P1 of Son of Easy O- they went up Easy O (5.2), not Son of Easy O (5.8). 

They remained adamant that they had a 70m. I genuinely don’t think that stupid fucking couple knows how close the girl came to dying. To those two, if you’re reading this: we literally moved our bags back from the wall so our gear wouldn’t get covered in blood after you decked.

People not knowing how long their ropes are is nuts.  And people not knowing how to convert feet to meters, so they don’t deck is another wonder.  Googling everything fails when you don’t or can’t.

I have done my fair share of stupid/ignorant stuff climbing.   There really is an aspect of luck...when you start leading it’s easy to get in trouble.  Planning, studying etc are critical but not doing the wrong dumb things can be just a matter of luck. 
JSH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 1,072

... and not recognizing that they have traversed ~30' over a pitch, and the next anchor is not always straight below you, so you may well be stranding someone if you tell them "just place something and clip in" ...

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

There was this time when we were on something to the left of High E. A party of three was climbing High E and the leader had just reached the GT ledge. We didn't pay a lot of attention to them until it was time for the 3rd person to climb. That's when we realized that the party only had one rope and were trying to toss the end down to the 3rd who was at the P1 belay. What's more, they were intending to do the same for the third pitch. The final straw was when the first two had to verbally coach the 3rd on tying in.

Bill Kirby · · San Francisco CA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

I was climbing the first pitch of Betty one day when some jackass rappelled down and dislodged a small tree. Dude threw it to the ground and laughed. They gave me a dirty look then ignored me when yelled WTF is your problem! That was years ago so..

David K · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 145
J Z wrote:

So the dude came down to the ledge and when he pulled the rope IT GOT STUCK on the piton that’s like 15 feet off of the ground. My partner climbed up and unstuck it for them. I talked to them after they got down while my partner was leading P1 of Son of Easy O- they went up Easy O (5.2), not Son of Easy O (5.8).

So that's what happened! I was wondering why someone had climbed up. And I should have realized they must've gone up Easy O. We were the folks who came down and discussed the crux beta for Son of Easy O. You guys seemed friendly. I'm glad you didn't get blood on your gear!
bridge · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined May 2016 · Points: 10

If we've moved on to simply sharing Gunks shenanigans: I once saw an older party of 2 on Jackie sling the small tree about 20-25 feet off the ground as the sole anchor for multiple top-rope laps.

Nick Woodman · · Saco, ME · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 1

The gt ledge is definitely a rough spot and it only took one trip to the gunks for me to find that out. A party above blew a pretty large rock off and I didn't know until I heard it shatter on the ground as we climbed Shockleys. The rap line on ribs was pretty easy to manage with saddlebagged ropes which imo should be standard for descending that line. Wish there was a good way to let people know that it's a climbable line without going all nannystate and putting a sign on the ribs upper rap station. 

Live Perched · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 11
Nick Woodman wrote: The gt ledge is definitely a rough spot and it only took one trip to the gunks for me to find that out. A party above blew a pretty large rock off and I didn't know until I heard it shatter on the ground as we climbed Shockleys. The rap line on ribs was pretty easy to manage with saddlebagged ropes which imo should be standard for descending that line. Wish there was a good way to let people know that it's a climbable line without going all nannystate and putting a sign on the ribs upper rap station. 

They know Ribs is climbable.  It’s got climbers on it who you can see from the ledges.  See no climber, hear no climber, say rope!  That dumb deaf and blind kind sure played some mean pinball. 

Rob D. · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined May 2011 · Points: 30

Why are people still climbing a one or two star 5.4 if it's a known rappel funnel?  There are plenty of easy routes in the gunks that don't involved climbing up while some other 5.4 climber blindly tosses a rope on your head.  I'm not saying it's right to kill a route for a rappel line, but I'm saying if your choice is walk a bit further or climb something a little less known, or climb something that is definitely going to have someone rappelling down it, why choose the latter? 

Erik B · · New York, NY · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 91
Rob D. wrote: Why are people still climbing a one or two star 5.4 if it's a known rappel funnel?  There are plenty of easy routes in the gunks that don't involved climbing up while some other 5.4 climber blindly tosses a rope on your head.  I'm not saying it's right to kill a route for a rappel line, but I'm saying if your choice is walk a bit further or climb something a little less known, or climb something that is definitely going to have someone rappelling down it, why choose the latter? 

Probably most people still leading in that range don't know or fully understand the rope trap they’re walking into here.

Live Perched · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 11
Rob D. wrote: Why are people still climbing a one or two star 5.4 if it's a known rappel funnel?  There are plenty of easy routes in the gunks that don't involved climbing up while some other 5.4 climber blindly tosses a rope on your head.  I'm not saying it's right to kill a route for a rappel line, but I'm saying if your choice is walk a bit further or climb something a little less known, or climb something that is definitely going to have someone rappelling down it, why choose the latter? 

Fair point.  Personally, I like Ribs and probably because of its rappel traffic it’s more likely to be open.  (Fool’s gold.)  But you and rgold are right.  It’s not really a climbing route anymore. 

Bill Kirby · · San Francisco CA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
Rob D. wrote: Why are people still climbing a one or two star 5.4 if it's a known rappel funnel?  There are plenty of easy routes in the gunks that don't involved climbing up while some other 5.4 climber blindly tosses a rope on your head.  I'm not saying it's right to kill a route for a rappel line, but I'm saying if your choice is walk a bit further or climb something a little less known, or climb something that is definitely going to have someone rappelling down it, why choose the latter? 

Yea let's have less moderates for the weekend hordes to climb.

Live Perched · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 11
Bill Kirby wrote:

Yea let's have less moderates for the weekend hordes to climb.

I am with you brother but it’s hopeless.  Folks climbing 5.9 and 5.10 are also frustrated with crowds and have either done their best to make things better or given up caring about newbies crowding in. 

Insert name · · Conway, New Hampster · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 65

You are at the Trapps that’s what you expect.

I have had multiple ropes thrown on me (middle earth, three pines rap, etc). I had a French Canadian couple rap down on me mid climb and yell at me when they didn’t know what to do when their ropes didn’t reach the ground. I have witnessed two ground falls, someone try to booty my cams while teaching someone to pace gear 10ft away (by double clutch).

If you want to avoid idiots walk 15 minutes and you will have tons of climbs with less of a crowd

Live Perched · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 11
Insert name wrote: You are at the Trapps that’s what you expect.

I have had multiple ropes thrown on me (middle earth, three pines rap, etc). I had a French Canadian couple rap down on me mid climb and yell at me when they didn’t know what to do when their ropes didn’t reach the ground. I have witnessed two ground falls, someone try to booty my cams while teaching someone to pace gear 10ft away (by double clutch).

If you want to avoid idiots walk 15 minutes and you will have tons of climbs with less of a crowd

You describe three idiot encounters is three 15 minute increments.  

Insert name · · Conway, New Hampster · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 65
Live Perched wrote:

You describe three idiot encounters is three 15 minute increments.  


I learned that if I don’t want to witness a bunch of near misses, accidents, clusterfuck I had to avoid the trapps and Pkill on weekends.

I worked SAR and saw less disturbing stuff. Owens river gorge is the only other place I regularly saw this stuff. That’s what happens when you are a few hours from a major city, at a famous crag and at accessible grades.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northeastern States
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