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Terminal_Gravity

Irresponsible Posts

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About five weeks ago on a thread about fear ( and how to overcome it when leading on trad rock) I was accused of making an irresponsible post. I shared my thoughts on free soloing well within ones limits to overcome the mental crutch of reliance on gear as a way to deal with fear. Certainly, a bold technique and one that is arguably un-safe.

 

Anyway, Peter Puget called me on it and accused me of being irresponsible and, I assume of being reckless with advice that may endanger those that took it. Peter was obviously upset. For the record... Thank you Peter, you brought up a very good point and I, for one, appreciate your concern. Maybe I did err.

 

A large number of the valuable posts on this board contain advice. Just as equipment manufacturers give the standard "mountaineering is dangerous" and "know how to use this gear" disclaimer, I think it is assumed that the advice freely offered on this board should have a disclaimer. "Use it only if you know it is right for you"

 

To think that anyone will take advice from this board as set in stone doctrine and then go out and endanger themselves is disturbing to me. I suppose it is possible, but I hope that climbers are more able to make their own choices and be more responsible for themselves then the typical sue happy consumer public.

 

Clearly, the sharing of views, experiences, mistakes and opinions on this board is what is valuable to the readers. So, where is the line drawn on irresponsible posts, or is there such a thing??? What are your veiws and opinions on this subject?

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I don't think your post was irresponsible. Someone who asks a question should be open to all the answers that they receive. It all lies in the eye of the beholder. Disclaimers are only posted to save someones ass from beign sued. Seriously, tell me who here didn't know that climbing was dangerous before they started to climb. People need to know what to do and what not to do by themselves. [sleep]

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Can you direct me to the thread in question Terminal Gravity?

 

I thought this was the internet. Everything on this damned computer thingy should be taken with a grain of salt.

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You will be a much better climber if you give me all your money and then jump off a bridge. GUARANTEED! [Roll Eyes]

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Originally posted by Stefan:

Can you direct me to the thread in question Terminal Gravity?

 

I can't...I am way too much of a computer gumby and can't find it...maybe someone else can.

 

I thought this was the internet. Everything on this damned computer thingy should be taken with a grain of salt.

 

Exactly, my point. Be responsible for your self. Still, I think Peter brought up an interesting point.

 

[ 09-24-2002, 09:04 AM: Message edited by: Terminal Gravity ]

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TG, I confess I was a little shocked to see you advocate free soloing as a way to advance one's climbing skills, but this advice in the context of the thread I would not consider irresponsible. The thread was for the purpose of soliciting different opinions from a wide range of people, and the poster did not come across as a completely gullible newbie, ready to blindly follow bad advice. I hate to think that anyone would take up free soloing just because someone in this forum suggested it. I guess I presume we're all adults and capable of making our own decisions. These days people get criticized for making that assumption, but to single out your reply as irresponsible, considering some of what gets posted here, is a little off base in my opinion. That being said, I generally agree with the viewpoints of Peter Puget, and I believe that further dialogue on this subject would be worthy.

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It seems to me that having a site disclaimer might be a good idea leagaly for jon and tim... but we are all individuals. although there are climbers that claim to be more experienced no one has there resume' posted and is claiming to be this sites expert on any given subject. we are just individuals telling other individuals what works for us.... I have learned alot here and I would hate for anyone especialy the more experienced climbers to "watch" what they say for fear that an inexperienced climber will get hurt. just because you, TG, and the likes are perponantes of free soloing and solo mountain trips.... doesn't mean that my first outing into the mountains ought to be solo...hopefuly we as a group are smarter than that. In addition to that, it is rare that some one asking a legitamate question about gear or how to do something, gets only one answer... so because we are all on here all day [Wink] we are looking out for eachother. With the thred about fear there were many options choices and ideas for the person to pick threw and use or not use depending on experience and personal style.

 

[ 09-24-2002, 09:30 AM: Message edited by: sk ]

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Disclaimers - what the hell? Why is it so bad to answer a question with your honest feelings? Most of all I hesitate from saying what I truely think because of the tidal wave of spray that comes about on this site. TG - if you truely feel that way then I for one respect your viewpoint. I have some wacky training methods that folks have laughed and riduculed for years. Bottom line is that I've climbed at a very high level (in all disciplines) for a very long time. That doesn't make me a wiser/better man than anyone, it just demonstrates that those particular things work for me.

 

I've been traveling solo this year more than ever. There are many reasons why, but I couldn't have done this as safely years ago. Bur I now have the confidence, background, and experience (see definition) to go out alone. I vote your response wasn't irresponsible.

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It seems to me that the example of a 'problem' you've brought up was largely taken care of by the (ugh... [Roll Eyes] ) "community."

 

If someone sent a PM with their advice, I'd say there's more culpability. Most postings, however, are not clearly directed at one person (battlecage cries aside), but are rather directed at the entire posting population. Hence, the preponderance of chestbeating...

 

Of course, some people will always misconstrue what they hear or read. I take a position somewhere between WWJS and WWNS (What would Nitzsche say? on the latter...). You post for your own benefit, even if you think otherwise. If it bothers you to give unsound advice, then post to correct it. If you don't know your advice is unsound, then join the club... If you post to fuck people up, reap the whirlwind.

 

-t

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I know it is overused but I have to write it: "Irresponsible is like porno; I know it when I see it." Sometimes I even like it but not all the time and in all situations. I do not recall being "upset" but do remember thinking the advice was irresponsible. In a given context many factors might contribute to something being deemed irresponsible. One important factor is the appearance of authority the person uttering the advice has or lacks. In my perspective TG has usually acted with more restraint and has offered more real advice on this site than many others. In view of this I felt his advice was more likely to be taken and thus in this case irresponsible. Had a goofy sprayer written the same thing I would not have responded.

 

Not wanting to look back at the original thread, I will simply state that as I remember it a frustrated climber was suffering from nerves leading and was seeking a remedy. TG suggested a remedy that worked for him. To me advising a unknown person who is becoming scared to the point of failure on stuff they should be able to lead to solo easy stuff is simply irresponsible. Whether we like it or not our advice and actions do have unintended consequences.

 

Back in the 70s I had a partner who use to solo all the time. We got into many arguments when I would ask him to stop if others were around. My reasoning was that he was being a jerk to risk falling in front of others who had no say in his actions. If we were by ourselves, I let him solo away. As with posting advice the context was everything.

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If you are soloing, the last thing you should think about is if there are other people nearby watching you or not*. In your landing zone is another matter, even then, you could ask them to move, or whatever. I have passed roped parties while soloing on the Apron. What would you have me do, turn around and downclimb?

 

* Although it would be worse to only solo with others watching than the other way around. HEY LOOK AT ME IM A HARDMAN AND I SOLO THIS!!! [laf][Roll Eyes]

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there has to be a balance somewhere between being helpful...ie. advising a less experienced climber... and being a noisey pain in the ass.

 

Many people free solo at our local... it's not high and there are easy 2nd and 3rd class scrambles to the left of the 5th class climbing... I have seen someone fall about 30 feet, bounce twice and walk away. I can usualy tell as someone walks up to the crag if they know what the fuck they are doing or not. if they don't I just make sure I know where the nearest phone is so that I can call for help when the time comes. I can sugest that some one not climb... but it never works... I would be upset if some one tried to tell me not to free solo something that I have worked for a long time on and have totaly dialed... what do you know about me????

 

TG should talk from his experience... as others should speak from their own... we can be concerned about our fellow climbers with out being the fricking secret police... or the mommy patrole.

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part of climbing safely is learning to evaluate hazards and form your own opinion as to the level of danger they pose. some of the hazards it is important to learn to evaluate are other climbers, other climbers, and other climbers.

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I agree. But I don't think that the crag is a place to have a fist fight over who is doing what. I have asked people to NOT belay across the whole area so they can sit on a stupid bench... but I can't make them stop... well maybe I could if I was Cavey [Wink]

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Do you try to talk to people near you who you believe are belaying poorly, etc? I could see running into some static if I tried to do that at smith dihedrals, for instance. Takes some political skill!

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Consider: would you really want someone following the advice that you're giving? I think advocating free soloing verges on irresponsibility, IMO. I've done a bit of soloing, sometimes getting myself in situations that I now feel fortunate to have come out of alive. I doubt I did this because someone advocated soloing, but regardless, I'd never advocate something so inherently dangerous. I think I'd be a bit horrified if someone died due to my "advice".

 

So what are these "wacky" training principles you've used for years, ropegun? I promise I won't laugh, unless they've only taken you to 12d, after years of application! [big Grin]

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"Excuse me, Im not very experienced - can I ask you why you are [doing that unsafe thing] that way?"

 

Insert some excusde here from unsafe climber.

 

"Because, I was wondering why you aren't concerned about [consequence of unsafe thing] - couldn't that happen if [something goes wrong]?"

 

Then sit back and listen to the rationalization and excuses. Or maybe you will make them think about it!

 

Also having spare chunks of rope to do the 'loaded rope swas thru a sling' demo is always useful. [laf]

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My soloing example was only to show how I view my responsibilty to the "unknown" other.

 

Dru - Sometimes and in some areas soloing just isn't proper.

 

Sk - Not sure what your post was replying to. The person I advised not to solo was a friend climbing with me at the time the advice was given. Let me add that I have soled a bit myself and I would and have chosen to do so in a manner that conforms to the advice I gave to my friend. Having seen a crumpled body at the base of a cliff I know some of the effects. You're right I know little about you. But I do know you seem to think it proper to solo a route after someone has expressed discomfort with you doing so. Simply put to solo so trivial or not so trivial route if I was causing distress to others is something I would not choose to do. This would be especially true if the route in question was something I had "dialed'.

 

PP

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quote:

Originally posted by iain:

Do you try to talk to people near you who you believe are belaying poorly, etc? I could see running into some static if I tried to do that at smith dihedrals, for instance. Takes some political skill!

I have tried in the past, and probably will again if I see something so awful I just can't help myself

[Embarrassed] but it is challenging [Eek!]

 

I wish I could show you a picture of what thease guys were doing.

 

BTW I am advocating FREE WILL, not free soloing.

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quote:

Originally posted by Peter Puget:

My soloing example was only to show how I view my responsibilty to the "unknown" other.

 

Dru - Sometimes and in some areas soloing just isn't proper.

 

Sk - Not sure what your post was replying to. The person I advised not to solo was a friend climbing with me at the time the advice was given. Let me add that I have soled a bit myself and I would and have chosen to do so in a manner that conforms to the advice I gave to my friend. Having seen a crumpled body at the base of a cliff I know some of the effects. You're right I know little about you. But I do know you seem to think it proper to solo a route after someone has expressed discomfort with you doing so. Simply put to solo so trivial or not so trivial route if I was causing distress to others is something I would not choose to do. This would be especially true if the route in question was something I had "dialed'.

 

PP

I guess I am just wondering what makes you think you get to tell any one what they should or should not do....? I don't mean to be a bitch but realy? I don't free solo, but I know someone who does.. I have never feared for my safety while he was on the rock and often let him climb threw as we change shoes or take a break when on top rope with others. HE DOES NOT SCARE ME. It is the ass hole who can't give a good belay or make a safe anchor that scares me. The free solo guy will probably only kill himself... that is his choice... and his to make.

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quote:

Originally posted by Peter Puget:

My soloing example was only to show how I view my responsibilty to the "unknown" other.

 

Dru - Sometimes and in some areas soloing just isn't proper.

 

PP

Give me some examples PP. When you say isnt proper you sound like you are judging how I should climb. My point is, when soloing, I'M the only one who shoul be judging how I climb, not you or any one else. Otherwise its not soloing. One of the reasons to solo is to make all decisions your own responsibility.

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Obviously he will only kill himself if no one's in the line of fire, but the psychological consequences of a body raggedy-anning down a cliff or ice face in a bloody heap are something to consider. It's enough to leave some mental scars. Someone headed up to solo Moscow at Smith, an easy 5.6/7, while his friends asked him not to do it. He was fine, but if he wasn't, I think it would caused some serious issues with his significant others. I don't really have a problem with it, but it's just something to consider.

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I have seen some one fall, before I ever started climbing. And you are right it is awful... and it was someone I cared about and it was the worst sound I have ever heard, he was lucky and was totaly fine.

 

but on the other hand...NO one can know if someone else is capable of a climb. SOLOING is about the individual experience.

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