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Aug 8, 2012
This thread has absolutely assured that I will never go climbing in AZ or Cottonwood canyon.

I had never seen a rattlesnake in person until last spring when I almost stepped on one while out trail running in San Diego. I did not go trail running again while I was in San Diego.

"Snakes, why's it always gotta be snakes?"
Nick K
From Somerville, MA
Joined Jul 27, 2011
30 points
Aug 8, 2012
Not a good photo, but a week ago we found this dude chillin at the start of a climb in Courtright.

Rock Climbing Photo: Snake in the crack
Snake in the crack

I don't know anything about snakes so I have no idea what type it is, but I think it's harmless.

I've seen a couple king snakes (I think that's what they are) in the talus this year here in the Valley, but no rattlers so far.
Bryan G
From Yosemite
Joined Nov 17, 2007
4,928 points
Aug 8, 2012
That looks like a rubber boa. They are also pretty prevalent at Lovers Leap along with rattlers. That place is sanke heaven, but not nearly as bad as AZ or cottonwood from what it sounds like. They are crazy snakes though, I have ran in to ones off the deck on belay ledges. Matt..C
From South Lake Tahoe, CA
Joined Apr 26, 2011
10 points
Aug 8, 2012
I grabbed a snake in a horizontal in the Gunks climbing by headlamp at night. Man was I glad the rope was above me. KevinF
From Granby, CT
Joined Mar 9, 2010
0 points
Aug 8, 2012
Nick K wrote:
"Snakes, why's it always gotta be snakes?"

"That's just my pet snake Reggie."
Best movie OF ALL TYME!

Edit to add: "Asps, very dangerous. You go first."
matt davies
Joined Mar 9, 2007
0 points
Aug 8, 2012
I was leading a group of 5 down the trail to the falls at Fosters this past spring/summer and happen to stop to look back at everyone. I heard, what to me sounded like a katydid (i'd never heard a rattler). I look 3'-5' off the trail and there is a good 3.5' ft rattle snake. Beautiful

For the rest of the weekend I was scared of stepping off every overhanging boulder in the trail. also saw a baby copper head on the trail in front of white wall.
Joined Sep 16, 2011
0 points
Aug 8, 2012
Josh Kornish wrote:
My partners in Yosemite had some fun encounters with king snakes. Nothing like reaching up to a hold and grabbing a snake. They love to chill under packs as well. A friend of a friend topped out a boulder problem here in Montana and was bitten by a rattler. He had to get a heli evac and once at the hospital was just recommended to ride it out instead of fork up the cash for anti venom.

Ride it out? I was bitten by a rattler in JTree and I'm pretty sure if I'd have ridden it out i wouldn't be typing this - even with the horse serum it was pretty disturbing. But fortunately not permanent.
Chris Owen
From Big Bear Lake
Joined Jan 1, 2002
9,488 points
Aug 9, 2012
That's the story. I don't much detail beyond that.

I sure don't ever want to find myself in that situation.
Josh Kornish
Joined Sep 16, 2009
240 points
Aug 9, 2012
I agree with Chris. NEVER try to ride out a venomous snake bite. Even a copperhead, which will certainly not be fatal, can cause permanant disfigurement & morbidity than could seriously affect your lifestyle to say the least. Bites for N.A. rattlesnakes have ~5% mortality without treatment, so you could realistically ride it out and live. HOWEVER, the tissue destruction can be absolutely devastating & also cause damage to organs that could be permanent. The longer you wait to get antivenom on board, the more tissue destruction you are looking at.
Also, new antivenom (CroFab) is made with sheep serum instead of the old horse serum. This makes for much less risk of anaphalactic reaction, but is WAY more expensive to produce. The wholesale on a vial is $900 & expect a minimum of 7-10 vials for a bite. Do the math.... think how much aspirin costs in a hospital. People I know who have been bitten in Colorado average between $150-200k hospital stays with an average 3 days in intensive care.

As a note, to avoid lifelong health & financial problems NEVER EVER EVER pick up a rattlesnake as Zach did in the above post. I have worked with & handled venomous snakes on a daily basis for 15 years & would never attempt to pick up a rattlesnake by the tail. Their body musculature allows them to easily whip around & nail you. If they do not, it is only because they chose not to. Keep this in mind, over 90% of venomous snake bites in the U.S. are to males between 18 & 32 & are to the face or hand. Only ~5% are considered "legitimate bites," where the person was not doing something foolish to get nailed. Avoidance is the best bet.
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Joined Jan 21, 2006
0 points
Aug 9, 2012
timt wrote:
As a note, to avoid lifelong health & financial problems NEVER EVER EVER pick up a rattlesnake as Zach did in the above post.

Or at least wear a helmet...
matt davies
Joined Mar 9, 2007
0 points
Aug 9, 2012
Back in the '70s, two pioneering Texas climbers, John Sanders (aka Goomba John) and Lauren Clayton caught enough rattlers and sold them to the San Antonio Zoo to buy their first cars in high school...

Was climbing at Hueco Tanks, spring break '79 and was bouldering the split boulder crack at the base of All the Nasties on the Front Side of North Mountain... Looked into the crack and thought I saw a snake... Being stupid I climbed it again and noticed the pits of a pit viper looking at me...

I holler and Lauren comes over and pokes it out of the crack... And it is a 4 foot albino rattler... He catches it and keeps it in a pillow case under a boulder in the campground for a couple of days... It was cool enough that the snake would basically hibernate...

Every morning for kicks, he would release the snake with all of us gathered round... All sleepy ans slowly warming up... Somebody hollers to Mike Head, and without thinking Mike crosses the circle and the snake strikes his pants leg... We had theses special desert pants made for us by Steve Cheney out of 20oz Duck... Fangs bounce off leaving a wet spot...

Lauren then hitch hikes home to Austin with is girl friend Sabina... And the snake... In a pillow case.... They would get a ride... The driver would ask "What's in the sack?". "A rattle snake...". Brakes, out of the car.... Outside of Fort Stockton a helicopter was flying along the interstate and Lauren tells Sabina to show them her tits.... The helicopter lands, picks them up... Flies awhile, until the pilot asks..."what's in the sack?". Helocoptor lands.... And they were hitch hiking again, but 100 miles closer to Austin....
James Crump
Joined Dec 17, 2008
65 points
Aug 9, 2012
I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane! MountainManny
From Idaho Springs
Joined Mar 20, 2012
1,085 points
Aug 9, 2012
lots of snakes in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in SW OKLA.
Rock Climbing Photo: snake

Rock Climbing Photo: rattler
Brent Butcher
Joined Nov 18, 2010
195 points
Aug 9, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: L. zonata
L. zonata

Lampropeltis zonata

California mountain kingsnake observed at Calaveras Dome. Saw another of the same species at Tahquitz on Sunday. Snakes are pretty cool..

Nice ringneck snake Brent.
Joined Feb 15, 2008
30 points
Aug 9, 2012
@Bryan G:

Yes, a Boa in N. America. Snakes are pretty cool..
Joined Feb 15, 2008
30 points
Aug 9, 2012
I have heard from multiple people that the base of Stained Glass and Fly Boy boulders in the Buttermilks is a massive rattler den that becomes active with hundreds of baby rattlers during April. Can anyone confirm or deny this and do you have a picture? Rob Gordon
From Hollywood, CA
Joined Feb 2, 2009
80 points
Aug 9, 2012
Greg, that's a Pituophis, which (bull, gopher) would depend on where you found it. I found a beautiful female a couple weeks ago, I scooped her up off a road to relocate her after helping with a bad shed. While dealing with the shed I noticed she was gravid so I hung onto her until she laid as I will get a 100% hatch rate in my incubator and I will let the babies go after they hatch (I found a dead female in the road with 7 eggs shot out behind her from a car). I absolutely love them!

I have seen almost all of the snakes in AZ at some point and will attach a photo of the last one I found at a resort. I had a crowd of people watching me as I wrangled him into my Klean Kanteen water bottle to relocate (I'm certain the resort would have killed this AMAZING snake), they thought I was INSANE!

I used to breed snakes as my sole source of income prior to the hobby turning into a mess I didn't want to deal with. I still have friends that breed reptiles and are pulling in 7 figures a year!

Rock Climbing Photo: Found late July 2012
Found late July 2012

Rock Climbing Photo: July 2012
July 2012
Adam Block
From Tucson, AZ
Joined Jul 5, 2008
1,155 points
Aug 9, 2012
Greg D......that's a Gopher Snake, Bull Snake, or Pine Snake. Unfortunately, some uneducated Creton killed it, but once their home/neighborhood is overrun with rats, mice, and other rodents the reality of their ignorance may set in. Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Joined Jan 2, 2007
12,887 points
Aug 9, 2012
Out of curiosity, would the typical health insurance plan cover any share of the crazy expensive anti-venom? Lots of Copperheads in the Gunks... Logan Schiff
From Brooklyn, NY
Joined Jun 18, 2012
45 points
Aug 9, 2012
Matt Collins wrote:
That looks like a rubber boa. They are also pretty prevalent at Lovers Leap along with rattlers. That place is sanke heaven, but not nearly as bad as AZ or cottonwood from what it sounds like. They are crazy snakes though, I have ran in to ones off the deck on belay ledges.

Rubber boas are awesome. I just came across the biggest one I've seen yet, at Ten Sleep last month.

Rock Climbing Photo: rubber boa
rubber boa

Sucks about the gopher snake in the original post. I used to always have a couple of those as pets when i was growing up. Cool animals, and fairly mellow.

As for other snake stories, I've had too rattlesnakes fall on my head while climbing, had to climb past on wedged in a crack two pitches up in Red Rocks, taken a near groundfall that left me dangling two feet above a copperhead at the RRG, and been confronted by an inbred kid in Crawford, TX, who had nothing but a stick, a pair of boxers, and a half-head-bashed-in, twitching, striking, water moccasin.
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Joined Jun 27, 2006
1,190 points
Aug 9, 2012
This guy was climbing a vertical crack in Penitente. They can climb!
Rock Climbing Photo: Western Diamondback
Western Diamondback
Michael Roadie
Joined Jul 11, 2011
0 points
Aug 9, 2012
Snake I saw up in Eldo Canyon last year.. I think it's a garter snake.
Rock Climbing Photo: Snake
From Eldorado
Joined Oct 11, 2006
35 points
Aug 9, 2012

Rock Climbing Photo: Water Moccasin at The Church.
Water Moccasin at The Church.
From Dallas, TX
Joined Apr 1, 2011
940 points
Aug 9, 2012
I like snakes. I think they are really neat. Although I must admit i do jump of I encounter one unexpectantly. Nonetheless, whenever I do see one I am pretty stoked.
A few years back while climbing in Yosemite a "fake coral" snake came rIght out of the crack I was climbing. Although not poisonous I shit my

As for creepy crawly things I prefer spiders. Have raised several over the years. But I guess we need a spider thread for that.
Princess Mia
From Vail
Joined May 22, 2006
30 points
Aug 9, 2012
Greg D wrote:
Now that he is dead are there any good uses for it after I scare the pants off my gf? Etc.

Be sure to get a picture of that too.
Chris Horton
From Tucson AZ
Joined Jul 3, 2010
100 points

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