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Welcoming in 2007 (Rave)
Submitted By: John McNamee on Jan 3, 2007

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Well, another year has passed and it is time to reflect on the past year and move on to the new one. Hopefully, 07 will be a better year. I've got plenty of projects that are unfinished and it can be a real juggling act with, work and recreation vying for limited time. Sure, I could make up plenty of excuses, including surgery on my elbow and more recently a shoulder injury, but really I just didn't get them done, I wasn't good enough.

However, when I look back on the year, it's not the personal things that I dwell on, but on the nature of climbing and how it seems to be changing faster than ever. And with that, greater numbers and more accidents. Or maybe it is a sign that I'm getting older and know more people! The number of people I know that have either had a serious accident or died seems to be greater than ever. Lowering off the end of the rope all too common.

Over on Supertopo there is a thread that sums up the loss very well. Please take the time out and read through the posts. It is very sobering.

Alpinist wrote it up very nicely: "The news of the disappearance of these two competent, dynamic and charismatic individuals came at the end of a tragic year for climbers. An immensely poignant post on lists the names of those who died in 2006. It is with great sadness that we note Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff's passage to this list."

I'm not someone who really believes in New Year's resolutions, but I'm making one this year. Whenever I see someone do something that is unsafe at the crags, I'm going to speak out. I stopped offering kind advice because I usually got flak for it. But after this year I'm going to be start doing it again. We have to start looking after each other again.

Although we climb very much by yourselves or with a couple of main partners, in some way the internet and sites like mountainproject and supertopo have made the climbing community even closer. For example, take a look at the of people that passed away in 06 and I'm sure if you don't know someone personally at least they will be a friend of a friend or someone that you borrowed cams from at the Creek or Yosemite.

So that's my rave. Let's try to make 07 a fun and safe year.

Comments on Welcoming in 2007 (Rave) Add Comment
By Buff Johnson
Jan 4, 2007
Well said, John.

Everyday we all help others to climb, ski, & hike for the next day is a good day in my book.
By Ryan Brough
From: Arvada, Colorado
Jan 4, 2007
My partner and I made a similar resolution after a close call. A group of kids was top-roping to our left. I noticed that the belayer had one hand on the rope, but not on the brake end of the rope. I pointed out the potential problem, and let them be. About five minutes later, his climber took a nasty pendulum fall (she was way off route) and he caught her about 8 feet from the deck. My partner and I decided to speak out whenever we noticed unsafe climbing practices. This came in handy a few months later when I noticed a climber backclipping on lead. It turns out that it was her first lead climb and had no idea. I'm glad that I said something, because she may not have had a chance to learn from someone else had I not said anything. It still makes me uncomfortable to point out others' mistakes, but it sure beats feeling guilty if someone gets hurt. Climb safe.
By Kevin Craig
Jan 8, 2007
You're right John. Over the years I've gotten my share of grief over ragging on people about safety - to the point that I'd quit doing it as much (not that I *ever* ignored an imminent threat to life or limb). I need to revert to my old ways again. Thanks for the reminder.

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