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goatboy

Another Smith Rock Etiquette Question

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I was at Smith a few weeks ago with my wife and father-in-law. We rapped off of Cinnamon Slab and there was a party of two -- one male, one female -- hanging out. As we started getting ready to get on Karate Crack, I asked them if they were planning on doing it (they were nowhere near it at the time). They responded that they were in fact getting ready to climb it. We told them we'd wait, or go elsewhere. They did not seem to be in much of a hurry, so we decided to go elsewhere after a snack.

 

The fellow lead it and his partner followed. Done with our snack, we decided to go ahead and climb the route instead of leaving. This was to be my wife's first time leading Karate Crack, or any 5.10 crack for that matter.

 

The female climber in the party ahead of us had reached the hand traverse section at the top of the route and I suggested that my wife go ahead and get started, as there was no chance in hell that she was going to catch up to or get anywhere near the climber ahead of her.

 

My wife went ahead and lead the route, resting a few times on gear . . . not a bad effort for her first shot at leading such a steep, strenuous route....Meanwhile, the female climber ahead rested on the rope a few times at the strenuous hand traverse section, but otherwise climbed through and down to the belay station just fine, not saying anything to us.

 

Anyway, when the other party rapped off, the female climber was visibly and verbally upset with us for starting up the route while she was still on it.

 

I was surprised, and apologized to her. She stated that we had "gotten right in the middle of her climb" and "completely blown her concentration" and continued to mutter to herself the word "lame" afterwards. When I apologized again, she stated that "this is the reason why I don't climb at Smith."

 

What I learned from this encounter is that it would have been best for us to ask her if she minded us following her up the route, though it seems like a pretty standard practice to me to get started up a popular route as long as you're not breathing down someone's neck, climbing over them, or endangering them.

 

My question for the cascadeclimebrs is: Were we in the wrong to have started up the route as the other party neared the end?

 

If the party referred to in this post reads this message, I apologize again for negatively impacting your climbing experience. It was not my intention to do so.

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ahhh...just tell her to chill out...if that's the reason she got bouted, too bad...she could go find sumpin' in the gorge if she's all uptight about other climbers...

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I don't think there is a set rule on this, because I have had people at Smith and other areas lead right up behind me or a partner on route...even during multipitch climbs, and have rarely been asked if it is alright with me.

 

IMO it is always a good idea to ask the party ahead if it is fine with them. If you think it is unlikely that you will get to the anchors before they have rapped then I'd tell them that in the exchange too.

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i've had people coming up under me unclipping bolts and reclipping in on my draws...production line, baby!!!!

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next time tell the bitch with pms (yeah, the name mad cow desease was taken!) to go and fuck herself. and i am dead serious obout this. smith is not "private idaho" for climbing and if you go to the park on the weekend, specially to the dihedrals you have to have quite fucked up idea to expect to be "on your own". she was weak and wanted an excuse and blame someone else for her failure.

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next time tell the bitch with pms (yeah, the name mad cow desease was taken!) to go and fuck herself. and i am dead serious obout this. smith is not "private idaho" for climbing and if you go to the park on the weekend, specially to the dihedrals you have to have quite fucked up idea to expect to be "on your own". she was weak and wanted an excuse and blame someone else for her failure.

E X A C T L Y!!! thumbs_up.gif

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I don't think there is a set rule on this, because I have had people at Smith and other areas lead right up behind me or a partner on route...even during multipitch climbs, and have rarely been asked if it is alright with me.

 

IMO it is always a good idea to ask the party ahead if it is fine with them. If you think it is unlikely that you will get to the anchors before they have rapped then I'd tell them that in the exchange too.

 

If it is multipitch trad there is nothing wrong with this... if anything climbers should be aware of thier surrounds (other parties) and be realistic and capable of recognizing and identifying parties that are faster climbers then them. If another, faster party is spotted… you should have the courtesy to wait at the anchor and allow the other party to pass.

 

If you are not willing to wait then you should be aware it is perfectly legit to pass on route… and don’t roll your eyes and whine about safety when you get passed… its not my fault you are a bumble fuck leader that can’t place a nut in two tries… if you don’t like getting passed stay off the multipitch and go practice some more so it doesn’t happen again… and if you have never been passed you haven’t been climbing that long or you don’t climb that much.

 

first on a multipitch trad route doesn’t entitle you to being first to the top.

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I always assumed it was standard practice to follow another party up a route. Keeps things moving along that way. I also don't mind if I'm passed as long as the passer is nice about it and doesn't kick me in the head on their way.

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It's obvious to me from the tone of your post and your description of events that you are/were a pretty considerate guy.

 

Starting up a single-pitch route when the team ahead is not yet finished would generally be pretty annoying because the first team would have to rap on top of the second team. However, in the case of Karate Krack where the rappel does not go down the route, this is no big deal. I don't think you did anything wrong, but if the woman seemed nervous/scared on the climb (shaky follower), I probably would have given her more space.

 

Congrats to your wife on her first 5.10 trad lead!! thumbs_up.gifrockband.gif

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Just 'cause a place is crowded you don't have to be rude. Climb straight through her and be rude if you want and call her names...just don't expect any respect from people around you. rolleyes.gif Having a minimum amount of respect for the other people around you might make everyone's climbing trip a little better.

 

Maybe she did use the fact they led up the route when she was near the end as an excuse, and maybe it did make her nervous. You are not her and were not in her head at the time. It is possible depending on how much gear the leader put in the traverse, to take a longer fall and either pendulum towards the belay, or possibly fall onto/next to someone leading up the crack below. This might have been on her mind. Give people a break once in a while. And I am not talking about cracking their skull. thumbs_down.gif

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It sounds to me as if they were more than polite. They wanted to climb Karate Crack but asked the other party if they were wanting it first? Then they waited elsewhere? Then they didn't start up it 'till the follower was almost done with it? I'm sorry but it seems to me as if the other party ought to go somewhere else besides the most crowded area in the busiest climbing Park in the State if they can't handle other people sharing a climb with them.

 

Most of us would prefer to have all the ***** routes to ourselves, but the fact is that we don't. If you go somewhere that is crowded, be prepared to be patient and friendly when someone is in your way, or comes too close behind for your own sense of comfort, but we really don't have much to complain about unless they are really being aggressive or dangerous or seriously inconsiderate about it. Allowing someone to go first and then waiting patiently is not being aggressive, dangerous, or seriously inconsiderate.

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whatever, chelle...go ahead and roll your eyes at me, but he had already expressed an interest in doing the route and they made themselvesbusy eating their picnic and the other party didn't get their stuff into gear...plus, he said she WAS ALREADY AT THE TRAVERSE when his wife started the route...yeah, you are right, maybe with 45 feet of slack there might have been a problem... rolleyes.gif

 

If someone asks me for a turn and i'm not tying in or getting my stuff ready to go that second, i readily turn the route over...in fact, if i'm working a route, or have already done it before and there is someone going for a flash or a redpoint, i step aside...and i expect the same from others...smith is not the wilderness and has many routes but not that many compared to the gazillion people that climb there...additionally it pisses the livin' hell out of me when a group of 6 or more people work a route w/o letting outside climbing parties circulate through...

 

get real...

Edited by RuMR

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How did the first party complete the route with your wife on it. Did your wife clean the first party's gear, or did the first party's belayer second the route, passing your wife?

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first party follower was on a tr cleaning the route...second party wife was leading behind follower of the first party....

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The female climber of the first group was the follower, not the leader. He says the "fellow lead it" . . and the follower rested a couple times on the rope (presumably next to a gear placement) on the traverse.

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All the answers so far have been inadequate. When climber complains about ruined headspace after being followed up Karate Crack, your proper response is to say "Well won't this mess with yo po lil head then!" and free solo Firing Line. Then rip shirt off to reveal corporate logo on chest, yell loudly to disrupt send-sessions from there clear over to Phoenix, and make quick base jump.

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and howl loudly to set all the dogs onto a 30 minute cacaphonous chorus that will linger long after you've galloped into the dusty sunset.

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Wow, sounds like an overwhelming response, so far, of "She was being a little uptight."

 

Thanks for the reality check. I guess we didn't do anything SERIOUSLY wrong, this time at least.

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just because you were there a bit earlier doesn't give you right to slow everyone else. that is for s ingle pitch and for multi pitch routes. and if you climbed in europe for a day- you'd agree with me. this is typical west coast passive-agressive-fuck-the-rest of the world mentality. i climbed several times with other parties around. the only few times i did run into this sort of crap behavior was by fumbly-gumbly-hidden-chip-on-my-shoulder-bar-spewer. bacause if you spend enough time at the crags you'll see that it is impossible to avoid sharing routes in most of the popular areas.

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Just 'cause a place is crowded you don't have to be rude. Climb straight through her and be rude if you want and call her names...just don't expect any respect from people around you. rolleyes.gif

 

hey rolleyes, rude is not getting your shit together. rude is bringing your fucking dog to smith. rude is top-roping route over and over by a large group. boxing_smiley.gif

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All the answers so far have been inadequate. When climber complains about ruined headspace after being followed up Karate Crack, your proper response is to say "Well won't this mess with yo po lil head then!" and free solo Firing Line. Then rip shirt off to reveal corporate logo on chest, yell loudly to disrupt send-sessions from there clear over to Phoenix, and make quick base jump.

 

LMAO

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I was surprised, and apologized to her. She stated that we had "gotten right in the middle of her climb" and "completely blown her concentration" and continued to mutter to herself the word "lame" afterwards. When I apologized again, she stated that "this is the reason why I don't climb at Smith."

 

I would love to hear the conversation if she said that to Coach.

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This post reminded me of the beginning of the year when I was in the same situation as that woman. It was the second time I'd ever gone rock climbing, and for some reason I decided to follow Karate Crack. All I knew was that I'd climbed one 5.7 crack and that this 10a was 'kinda hard'.

 

Man did I get my ass kicked on that climb. I slowly flailed my way up it, with numerous takes and falls. Still a ways below the hand traverse, I looked down and saw another party coming up below me. I'd never encountered this before, but I thought, "Well I suppose they know what they're doing.".

 

Before this turns into a TR I'll shorten things up: They suddenly realized that people were already on the route. The leader lowered off from where she was, and when we finally rapped down they apologized for crowding us. It was no big deal; I certainly didn't blame them for my lovely showing of gaperosity and all turned out fine.

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