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Lambone

Gym Climbing Ethics

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It's obvious that most of us are sick of the old bolt/no-bolt ethical debate. So while pulling plastic last night, glen and I came up with a new hot topic of discussion.

 

What sort of ethical standards need to be addressed in today’s climbing gym scene? Here is a list glen and I came up with, feel free to add to it or offer your opinion in general. Don't be shy...gym climbing is not a sin, everyone does it sooner or later.

 

Gym Climbing’s leading Ethical Debates, Should you…

 

1. …eventually throw those rotten shoes out, just because your partner keeps bugging you about it?

 

2. …try to look experienced by leaving all your quickdraws and cordellets attached to your harness..?

 

3. …tell a route setter that there new climb sucks cause it’s a reachy sandbag?

 

4. …bring your barking dog to the gym with you..?

 

5. …bring your crying baby to the gym with you?

 

6. …give the birthday party kids more sugar?

 

7. …convince birthday party kids that they are going to die?

 

8. …convince birthday party kid’s parents that their children are going to die?

 

9. …pretend that you know how to belay if you just learned in the car?

 

10. …use the wire toothbrush or the nylon toothbrush on that new Pusher sloper?

 

11. …steal the gyms rental chalk bags while no one is looking?

 

12. …steal your partner’s chalk when they aren’t looking?

 

13. …use the gyms finger tape instead of investing 1.50 on your own supply?

 

14. …sneak that one extra move above the bouldering height limit?

 

15. …wear that new tight spandex even though you just began your diet program?

 

16. …force your kid to “make it to the top or else…!”?

 

17. …look bored when belaying? After all, attention while belaying makes the gym seem like a dangerous place.

 

18. …carry a selection of colored tape on routes with you? Never know when you might need another hold…

 

19. …leave your rope and other gear on the floor for the staff to store in the lost ‘n found for you? You’ll be back in two days anyway right…

 

20. …pretend that you know the local old school cascades hard men/women to impress your girlfriend?

 

21. …should you throw your newbie boy/girl friend on your latest project just to show them how hard you climb?

 

22. …rat on the staff because they are bouldering or reading magazines while you need help?

 

23. …leave any slack in the TR. This may force a climber to climb a move twice while 'working' a crux.

 

24. …complain about the music again?

 

25. Finally, should you spin a hold after a route has been set? Changing the landscape of the climb to fit your needs is both unaesthetic and indicates that you will stoop to over-wrenching rather than rise to the challenge of the climb.

 

[ 05-16-2002, 03:46 PM: Message edited by: Lambone ]

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european techno should be banned from all climbing gyms. the task would be monumental, but it is necessary.

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...Climb in your bare feet, being sure to smear ample amounts of creamy foot goo onto holds that you know folks are going to put their hands on thus ensuring an irratating and nasty skin rash and the possible abscence of those climbers from the already over crowded gym for several weeks after.

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quote:

Originally posted by Lambone:

[QB

 

Gym Climbing’s leading Ethical Debates, Should you…

 

1. …eventually throw those rotten shoes out, just because your partner keeps bugging you about it?

 

Make them buy you new ones if it's such a problem for them.

 

2. …try to look experienced by leaving all your quickdraws and cordellets attached to your harness..?

 

only if the price tags are still attached.

 

3. …tell a route setter that there new climb sucks cause it’s a reachy sandbag?

 

yes, but expect to be told to go fuck oneself.

 

4. …bring your barking dog to the gym with you..?

 

only if attacks the kids in the birthday party.

 

5. …bring your crying baby to the gym with you?

 

only if it gets attacked by the barking dog.

 

6. …give the birthday party kids more sugar?

 

i've found that they like speed better.

 

7. …convince birthday party kids that they are going to die?

 

well, it's inevitable, isn't it? see 6 above.

 

8. …convince birthday party kid’s parents that their children are going to die?

 

definitely. that way they won't come back.

 

9. …pretend that you know how to belay if you just learned in the car?

 

belaying is for sport climbers.

 

10. …use the wire toothbrush or the nylon toothbrush on that new Pusher sloper?

 

"Pusher sloper" sounds like a disease. Use whatever it takes to get rid of it.

 

11. …steal the gyms rental chalk bags while no one is looking?

 

it's called "loaning" damnit.

 

12. …steal your partner’s chalk when they aren’t looking?

 

only if they stole their chalkbag from the gym.

 

13. …use the gyms finger tape instead of investing 1.50 on your own supply?

 

that's what the $50-70 a month membership fee should buy rather than some shitty muzak system.

 

14. …sneak that one extra move above the bouldering height limit?

 

only if you fall on a birthday party kid or a crying baby.

 

15. …wear that new tight spandex even though you just began your diet program?

 

if wearing a thong, it's perfectly okay.

 

16. …force your kid to “make it to the top or else…!”?

 

tough love is what today's whiny little anklebiters need.

 

17. …look bored when belaying? After all, attention while belaying makes the gym seem like a dangerous place.

 

I thought that was part of the gym culture.

 

18. …carry a selection of colored tape on routes with you? Never know when you might need another hold…

 

perfectly legal.

 

19. …leave your rope and other gear on the floor for the staff to store in the lost ‘n found for you? You’ll be back in two days anyway right…

 

the staff should be able to keep whatever they like, then give the rest back.

 

20. …pretend that you know the local old school cascades hard men/women to impress your girlfriend?

 

have you ever read anything on this board?

 

21. …should you throw your newbie boy/girl friend on your latest project just to show them how hard you climb?

 

only if you set the route.

 

22. …rat on the staff because they are bouldering or reading magazines while you need help?

 

why not. you guys are highly paid, right?

 

23. …leave any slack in the TR. This may force a climber to climb a move twice while 'working' a crux.

 

slack is for kids.

 

24. …complain about the music again?

 

see #13 above.

 

25. Finally, should you spin a hold after a route has been set? Changing the landscape of the climb to fit your needs is both unaesthetic and indicates that you will stoop to over-wrenching rather than rise to the challenge of the climb.

 

it's a fucking gym climb man. it's all artificial.

 

Let us know what you think,

Lambone + glen[/QB]

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Topic: Gym Climbing Ethics

-----------------------

 

Oxymoron: A rhetorical figure in which an epigrammatic effect is created by the conjunction of incongruous or contradictory terms.

 

Examples: airline food * sanitary landfill * Amtrak schedule * cheerleading scholarship * comfortably dressed * educational television * french deodorant* instant classic * non-alcoholic beer * climbing gym ethics *

 

[Wink]

[big Drink]

 

[ 05-16-2002, 06:04 PM: Message edited by: Uncle Tricky ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Uncle Tricky:

Topic: Gym Climbing Ethics

-----------------------

 

Oxymoron: A rhetorical figure in which an epigrammatic effect is created by the conjunction of incongruous or contradictory terms.

 

Examples: airline food * sanitary landfill * Amtrak schedule * cheerleading scholarship * comfortably dressed * educational television * french deodorant* instant classic * non-alcoholic beer * climbing gym ethics *

 

[Wink][big Drink][Wink]

Nice...don't forget "sport climbing", which might very well be defined as that brand of climbing from which sporting elements (adventure, route finding, risk) have been filtered.

 

One time, me and my buddy Dwayner was over to the climbing gym in Ballard see, and they wasn't going to let Dwayner do any rope work in there (since he was a guest of mine, not a regular) unless he passes a belay test. Anyways, Dwayner's been climbing for a couple of decades and has instructed professionally under Big Jim DeWeeWee and so forth, and this gym rat feller is axing my buddy to take a belay test. Now Dwayner is understanding of liabilities and agrees to take the test see, and things is going pretty well until the gym rat decides to simulate a situation requiring tension. He axes Dwayner to "take" and Dwayner just doesn't respond, and so the gym rat axes him again and then 'splains to Dwayner that "take" is a request for the belayer to lock it down. Now Dwayner at this point has had enough and splains to the rat that he doesn't operate under those commands, and that "take" is a bastardization of the command "tension" and that perhaps the gym rat should be the guy under scrutiny.

[Wazzup][Wazzup]

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[sleep] really pope, I'm disappointed...I thought for sure you'd come up with something better then that. That kinda thing happens every day at the climbing gyms across the country. Nothing gives a 20 year old disgrunteled gym employee more joy and satisfaction than failing an old-schooler on his belay test, especialy because they never heard "take." It's just greqat when they have never seen an atc before, nothing gets 'um more frustrated. Or when they are so comfortable from belaying for sooooooo many years that it doesn't bother them one bit to take the break hand off the rope, they've got it all under control [Roll Eyes] . My personal favorite was when a guy tried to give me a hip belay...ohhh that made my day!

 

Give it another shot there pope, and this time give it more than a half hearted effort. I know you can give us all a good laugh [big Drink] Cheers

 

[ 05-16-2002, 08:49 PM: Message edited by: Lambone ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Lambone:

Nothing gives a 20 year old disgrunteled gym employee more joy and satisfaction than failing an old-schooler on his belay test, especialy because they never heard "take." (blah blah blah)My personal favorite was when a guy tried to give me a hip belay...ohhh that made my day!


I'm pretty sure Dwayner had heard the word "take" previously, and I'm also sure that hearing his evaluator utter the word "take" was Dwayner's first sign that the gym rat wasn't qualified to be evaluating Dwayner's skills.

 

Hip belays make you laugh? I saved Mike Massey's life with a hip belay (a fall of over 100 feet).

 

BTW, I like your thread, although I think a more appropriate topic title might be something like "Gym Etiquette".

 

You married yet? Just curious about whether you were able to employ all of my ceremonial suggestions (groom meets bride under arch of ice axes, unity candle lanterns, bride feeds groom Power Gu (he reciprocates on honeymoon), etc.)

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"My personal favorite was when a guy tried to give me a hip belay...ohhh that made my day!

 

I actually teach my students the hip belay first. Not only do they learn the fundamentals of belaying in a classical way, but it frees them from being a slave to a piece of gear they might drop, lose or forget, thus becoming potential rescue bait or a hazard to themselves or others. When they are competent with the fundamentals, I then add the "toys" [ATC, etc.] which they appreciate for their ease and convenience, but with the knowledge that they could get by without such if they absolutely had to. I actually prefer and use the hip belay on short practice crags [usually top roping], for quick, informal belays, and would do so in a gym (if I frequented such places) were it not for the "rules" [which do seem to be prudent given what can go on in there.]

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Do you lower people w/ the hip belay when they reach the chains? I would think that would be annoying to do repeatedly. I use the hip belay all the time to reel in climbers to group up in alpine situations, never really considered it for cragging.

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All I can say is ouch! Actually, the funiest thing I saw during a belay test was when a person tried to combine both the hip belay method, and the ATC. Picture that...yes both methods at once, rope went in one side of the ATC, around the waist, then out the other side of the ATC! Classic...Reinforces the importance of strict belay tests eh...

 

Then just last week there was the 6 year old girl that decided she didn't need a rope! We had to run up and snag her 15 ft up the wall! Gotta love those kids! They put the B in Bold....

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JK and I were short a harness one day, and waiting for a friend to show... Had some time, so I whipped a hip belay. thaught it was awsome! I would love to be taught how to do it. i just read about it and went with it, It worked. I lowered J with it as well. Old school rocks! [big Grin]

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In the gym its all about looking good and showing off(This is an action suit). Too bad seeing the hoof is more of a draw than the actual climbing. mattell.jpg

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Doesn't all this crap from Lamb, making fun of his customers, really give you the urge to go plunk down 15 smackers for a couple of hours of breathing gravel grit?

 

One more free bit of advice Lamb. While making fun of your customers/clients is a time-honored tradition, it is usually done discreetly. Belittling the clientelle who are indirectly paying your wage on a public forum (that many of your clientelle might actually read!) is just plain hazardous to your employment status.

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quote:

Originally posted by Lambone:

All I can say is ouch....

Lambone,

This highlights a serious gap in your climbing skills. Please contact an old schooler to fulfill this requirement before your privilege to climb in the alpine is revoked. Overdependence on a piece of equipment/lack of knowhow to get along without it makes you an unfit partner more than 1-pitch off the deck. While you're at it brush up on the dulfersitz. [big Grin]

 

While drinking beers on the deck of a friend's A-frame that he was building, a pair of us Old-Schoolers [big Drink][big Drink] noticed a rope fixed from the peak of the house to the ground. Casually, we Old-Schoolers wrapped the rope around us and slid off the deck to the ground. Our buddy followed. Just as he was easing past the point of no return, the grimaces started [Wazzup] . About a foot lower the profanity began to flow freely [Mad] . By the time he hit the ground, we were howling in laughter [laf] and he in pain [Eek!] . He's still got a scar on the side of his neck.

 

Respect old-school, Boner [Wink] .

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quote:

Originally posted by chucK:

Doesn't all this crap from Lamb, making fun of his customers,
really
give you the urge to go plunk down 15 smackers for a couple of hours of breathing gravel grit?

 

One more free bit of advice Lamb. While making fun of your customers/clients is a time-honored tradition, it is usually done discreetly. Belittling the clientelle who are indirectly paying your wage on a public forum (that many of your clientelle might actually read!) is just plain hazardous to your employment status.

[Roll Eyes] what ever dude...if people are so sensitive that our little list realy offends them, well then thats too bad. Are you an unhappy person? Look around, smile once in a while...realize that you yourself constantly belittle people on this public forum before you start accusing other people of it.

 

Retro, I got plenty of respect for the old school. But I think hip belays are best saved for alpine situations when anchors are less than adequate to hold the increased forces of a fall that result from the static nature of belay devices. I'm just sayin that I wouldn't want to catch leader falls in the gym with a hip belay, not that it is impossible.

 

You guys neeed to lighten up. If you do not see the humor in that list, then your are probably better off, it means you don't spend much time climbing indoors. Good for you.

 

[ 05-17-2002, 10:03 AM: Message edited by: Lambone ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Lambone:

[Roll Eyes]
what ever dude...if people are so sensitive that our little list realy offends them, then they got other problems.


There's often a difference between "really offended" and "I think I'll just drive down the street to the competitor instead".

 

But you know Lamb, after thinking about this, I might be totally off base. Since they already got all the customers they need (it's always packed in there), your employers might be trying to foster an atmosphere of elitism and cliqueishness. If that is the case, you are helping them out, and doing a good job. Nevermind.

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Lamb is right -- lighten up!

I go to VW and am glad to know that the people working there find some of the lunacy as laughable as I do.

And to the degree that I am part of "the scene" it's good to be reminded to laugh at myself... [laf][geek][laf][geek]

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quote:

Originally posted by chucK:

your employers might be trying to foster an atmosphere of elitism and cliqueishness. If that is the case, you are helping them out, and doing a good job. Nevermind.[/QB]

Once again I roll my eyes at your lame comment [Roll Eyes]

 

As if every climbing gym in the counrty doesn't foster elitism and cliqueishness. This is no secret man...get over your resentment.

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