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Jens

Mountaineers Leaders?

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And they are too nice to not turn anyone away...

 

I heard that one of Jens's regular partners flunked outta da Mounties.

 

The Mounties regularly have a graduation rate of something like 1/2 to 2/3. And they do kick out people who have been warned about fitness, safety, etc., and don't get better.

 

He didn't flunk out. Tell it as it is.

 

The fact that they did had issue with him yet he continues to complete climbs at a level very few other mounties currently do says a lot about their conclusions.

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If you want my 2 cents:

 

Some may know this story, but for the rest who actually care I learned to climb from my Scoutmaster when I first moved to Seattle. After bolt-clipping for more than a year at Exit 38 and climbing Rainier, four of us (ages between 15-16) decided to take the basic course through the Tacoma Branch. Since we were under age at the time, we had to jump through many hoops to get into the course. Once in at first I was excited and then that turned to disappointment, mainly because I was just relearning what I already knew. When I asked to move ahead, I was repeatedly turn away more than likely due to my age, though that is an assumption. On the first day of one of the weekend rock-climbing outings in Icicle Creek (can't remember if it was the first or second), a female student got their hair stuck in their device while rappelling. Needless to say (being that my hair is now longer than hers was), this was a very stark memory and a bleak reminder I use today so that I tuck mine away HCL.gif. The next day, the senior climbing leader fell 20+ feet on Ski Track Cracks and shattered both ankles pretty badly. I will always remember that weekend, and fortunately graduation was not many more weeks off. I completed the course and immediately discontinued my membership, never looking back. I don't know if it was something with that years' leader from the Tacoma Branch, but I felt at the time that the instruction was definately sub-par at the time.

 

I have several friends in the Mounties that I climb with regularly currently, though none from the Tacoma Branch, and I believe they are safe and respectful climbers. Knowing then what I know now, there would have been many instances where I questioned the manner and methods in which things were taught. Just because they have a little badge that says they are the "Climbing Leader" for the weekend doesn't mean you should follow them like a herd of sheep. Use your brain, all the time, because ultimately you all the only one who really cares about whether you live or die. thumbs_up.gif

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And they are too nice to not turn anyone away...

 

I heard that one of Jens's regular partners flunked outta da Mounties.

 

The Mounties regularly have a graduation rate of something like 1/2 to 2/3. And they do kick out people who have been warned about fitness, safety, etc., and don't get better.

 

He didn't flunk out. Tell it as it is.

 

The fact that they did had issue with him yet he continues to complete climbs at a level very few other mounties currently do says a lot about their conclusions.

 

Level of climbing has nothing to do with safety or survival.

 

"I never expected to live to 30." - Guy Edwards (1972-2003)

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Unfortunately, it only takes a few people to give an organization a bad reputation. Once hiking out from an easy alpine outing we caught up to a mtrs scramble group who we had listened to yelling "rock rock rock rock rock" all afternoon long on the peak next to us. Their leader made some comment about the 3 of us sharing a rope, then asked what took us so long hiking out. It was apparent to me that she hadn't been laid in quite some time. Her companions looked a little embarassed to be with their irritating 'leader', who was killing the buzz of a great afternoon. I responded that we had "stopped to take big long shits" (which we had, well, at least two of us), and we continued merrily along. Perhaps a rude reply, but I was so taken aback and instantaneously irked that I just blurted it out. That was years ago, but those little memories stick with you.

I know a lot of great people who are in the mounties, it's the stupid little run-ins and condescending comments that give them a bad rap in my book.

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I know a lot of great people who are in the mounties, it's the stupid little run-ins and condescending comments that give them a bad rap in my book.

 

I climbed near a cc.comer on day and he was an asshole.

 

You are all assholes because it it your culture.

 

I've been at this game for long enough and had enough encounters to accurately make this correlation. I probably shouldn't have made this post as it is inflammatory in nature but the correlation is so strong that it does make for very interesting food for thought.

 

wave.gif

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You find hyperbole and broad generalizations to be

...very interesting food for thought {edit]?[/edit]

 

???????????????????????????????????????????

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You fit right in.

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If you encounter a problem with them and can't resolve it in the field, then please notify a higher-up in the Mounties so that action can be taken.

 

"Alright listen up! In future, when rapelling down a steep trail, try not to look like such a dork! Mountie High Command, signing out!"

 

Why rappel , when you can ride the train!

 

248431450_b0f6c846a5_o.jpg

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I am surprised so few were self-taught. The adventure of learning the basics with my friends was a great experience and I think for the most part a fairly safe way to go, however, looking back I would say that glacier travel/route finding training is best (ie most efficiently)not learned at the school of hard knocks.

 

Pretty much anyone can become an “exceptional” climber simply by applying themselves. I think it might be harder to become an exceptional instructor in a formal environment.

thumbs_up.gif

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And they are too nice to not turn anyone away...

 

I heard that one of Jens's regular partners flunked outta da Mounties.

 

The Mounties regularly have a graduation rate of something like 1/2 to 2/3. And they do kick out people who have been warned about fitness, safety, etc., and don't get better.

...and he's prolly progressing at a faster rate than had he stayed in that clownclub...my guess...

 

Jens, you should have the guy referenced write a nice "thank you" note to the clown club for letting him go! yelrotflmao.gif

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Gary, I think one of the biggest problems associated with these organizations is that they don't teach self trust. There is no "textbook" to climbing. Every situation is different. For me, my big problem was leading. I knew all the safe things to do but couldn't push myself therefore I got into bad situations. A short, bald, fatman (aka RUMR) took and put all my gear at the top of a route that was over my head. The route was safe but I had to force myself to go get it. I fell quite a few times but after that I was comfortable leading and could get myself out of bad situations because I was confident in myself and my knowledge. That is the problem I have with these groups. They are so worried about curriculum that they fall short of teaching the things that are really going to save you. That is problem solving skills and self confidence. What I focused on when I taught is giving people a base of knowledge but allowing them to hone their skills in such a way that they can utilize them in many different situations. An example is, teach somebody the proper way to build an anchor but then ask them what they would do if they came across a situation where they do not have the right gear to build a perfect anchor. We all can read a book and figure out how to equalize an anchor with perfect gear, but the true test comes when you have to get yourself out of a situation that doesn't have a textbook answer.

Hey bitch... i resmemble that remark! errrr resent..whatever, shit...dammit... wave.gif

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it does make for very interesting food for thought.

 

I disagree with you Mr_Phil. None of this is very interesting, but it can be kind of fun. I bet most of us would get along famously anywhere besides the internet.

I didn't mean to disparage an entire organization, only to point out that a few negative personal encounters with a group's 'representatives' (aka leaders) will sour one's perspective of the group as a whole.

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I know a lot of great people who are in the mounties, it's the stupid little run-ins and condescending comments that give them a bad rap in my book.

 

I climbed near a cc.comer on day and he was an asshole.

 

You are all assholes because it it your culture.

 

I've been at this game for long enough and had enough encounters to accurately make this correlation. I probably shouldn't have made this post as it is inflammatory in nature but the correlation is so strong that it does make for very interesting food for thought.

 

wave.gif

 

what's wrong with being an asshole??? Many good people are assholes until you get to know them...there's usually a reason someone's being an asshole, maybe its you, maybe its not...

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Ohh Ohh Mountie bashing can I play??

 

This is sooo much fun.

 

Ya know the reason the mounties suck is because they have a top down organizational structure which attracts people who want to be 'leaders'. These 'leaders' have an innate need to be seen as more than who they are. It's not about 'teaching the love' (gag me with a pitchfork) it's about being the 'leader' and nothing more.

 

This kind of lemmings aproach to learning isn't just issolated to the mounties but is the normal route that people with no self confidence or sense of adventure get into things that they probably shouldn't, while being led by people like themselves who've gained an unjustified sense of importance and ability from their new found 'adventurousness' and therefore shouldn't lead. The mounties want such people to believe that by following their 12 step program and carrying the 10 essentials the mountains can be encountered safely, and that once the coolaide has been injested they are in a position to judge all and instruct all who might deign to enter their domain. fruit.gif

 

Ahhh the satisfying release of yet another rant about anonymous people who annoy me...

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most people become assholes when an asswipe nears.

 

Finally I have an excuse. And here I always thought it was my fault.

 

I guess I should disband Assholes Anonymous :-( It was a good club while it lasted with many members who didn't even know they belonged.

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Chris, I agree. And if you have any advice for how to address this issue for when we're teaching in winter/spring, I'm all ears.

Gary and CBS, if I understand the curriculum progression Intermediate students are expected to assist teaching a Beginner course within 5 years of attending the Beginning Course themselves, and that many do so at the first opportunity. REquire a minimum amount of time to pass after the Beginning Course, a minimum number of days climbing, and a minimum number of climbs at a certain length and of a certain difficulty. You can mitigate the lack of experience in the instructor corps by requiring it as a prerequisite. Just my $0.02...

Edited by mtnfreak

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Good idea, but I wish it were that easy, Chris. I think that if we "forbade" instructing until already two years into the program, we'd probably have an even harder time finding sufficient volunteers to instruct! Also if you have ideas for incentives to keep the good instructors coming back year after year...

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Good idea, but I wish it were that easy, Chris. I think that if we "forbade" instructing until already two years into the program, we'd probably have an even harder time finding sufficient volunteers to instruct! Also if you have ideas for incentives to keep the good instructors coming back year after year...

In medical school they have a saying about the teaching/learning of various procedures:

 

"watch one - do one - teach one"

 

There is nothing better than teaching to make your own skills stronger. They are teaching basic skills after all, not hardcore advanced alpinism. tongue.gif

Edited by Maestro

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Good idea, but I wish it were that easy, Chris. I think that if we "forbade" instructing until already two years into the program, we'd probably have an even harder time finding sufficient volunteers to instruct! Also if you have ideas for incentives to keep the good instructors coming back year after year...

In medical school they have a saying about the teaching/learning of various procedures:

 

"watch one - do one - teach one"

 

There is nothing better than teaching to make your own skills stronger. They are teaching basic skills after all, not hardcore advanced alpinism. tongue.gif

This is basically a dumb ass statement...its basic skillz whether moving or protecting that keep you alive...duh yelrotflmao.gif

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Good idea, but I wish it were that easy, Chris. I think that if we "forbade" instructing until already two years into the program, we'd probably have an even harder time finding sufficient volunteers to instruct! Also if you have ideas for incentives to keep the good instructors coming back year after year...

In medical school they have a saying about the teaching/learning of various procedures:

 

"watch one - do one - teach one"

 

There is nothing better than teaching to make your own skills stronger. They are teaching basic skills after all, not hardcore advanced alpinism. tongue.gif

 

Perhaps Maestro has a better idea. The instructors should be required to observe one Basic Climbing Course before teaching it.

 

Gary,

 

The common opinion on this thread is that the Mountaineers have unqualified instructors teaching students in the basic course. Its not the students responisbility to distinguish between qualified and unqualified instructors amongst an organization. Its the organization's responsibility. If you want to do something about it, there needs to be more requirements to teach the Basic Climbing Course than just having attended the Basic Climbing Course.

 

If a year is too long, than don't use a year. Jesus, man, you asked for suggestions and I gave them.

 

Here's a more concrete example:

To teach the Basic Climbing Course, you need to have:

 

1. Passed the Basic Climbing Course no sooner than 6 months ago

2. 20 days climbing since the Basic Course - this averages to less than two weekends a month, and documentation will use an honor system for validity - believe us, it will be apparent who has padded their books!

3. Climbed at least three II routes or longer since the Basic Course

4. Lead at least 3 trad climbs of at least 5.6 since the Basic Course

5. At least two days of glacier travel since the Basic Course.

 

Now, I don't know what someone who has finished the Basic Course is actually expected to be able to do. Just consider requiring SOMETHING like this...

 

And watch what words you use - you don't FORBID someone, you simply have PREREQUISITES.

Edited by mtnfreak

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This is basically a dumb ass statement...its basic skillz whether moving or protecting that keep you alive...duh yelrotflmao.gif

Well, then it should fit right in with most of what is posted on this board! moon.gif

Edited by Maestro

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Kids, kids, kids, play nice. Actually, knock it off.

 

Lots of misinformation spouted as gospel above.

 

The YJT fatality in May involved a stroke. The doctors do not know if the stroke caused the unroped fall, but he was exhibiting unusual behavior and mentioned weird pains the night before the accident. The accident thread that began immediately afterwards turned into a spray fest so quickly that it was really embarrassing. I didn't bother sharing this information because I was, umm, a little disturbed at the armchair swaggering that followed.

 

The greater climbing community could learn from the Sharkfin Tower accident, particularly because it involved a fairly skilled party including a former military man trained in hostage extraction from technical terrain. If anyone wants more details, PM me. (Although I'm not sure when I'll actually log in again after this goob-fest.)

 

Yep, a woman got her hair caught in her belay device on rappel a few years ago (oh, not the *only* thing she got caught wink.gif. Does that indicate the course is bad? No. IMHO, she was more interested in personal appearance than in seriously developing climbing skills. She was actually a pretty good scrambler, but technical climbing wasn't for her and she dropped out.

 

Is there one person, climber, leader, or bozo who represents all of Cascade Climbers? Of course not. Are there bozos on Cascade Climbers? You betcha, but there are some reasonable people out there who are part of CC because they're interested in sharing information about actual climbing experiences. Are there technically skilled and experienced* climbers willing to volunteer countless hours of their time to teach the fun of alpine climbing? You betcha, and a bunch of them are Mountaineers.

 

Offers of help developing courses on this forum aren't often taken seriously. If you are serious, PM me.

 

* yes, that means more than one year, you punks who were thinking that!

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I think the Mountaineers often get a bad rap because of a few bad apples. Often the bad apples aren't doing anything that is really that disturbing technically, but instead are rude to parties outside their circle. I think this has led to more Mountaineers bashing than anything else.

 

I truly believe that this has been happening less and less over the last few years. Ten years ago it seemed that I encountered rudeness from Mountaineers leaders on a regular basis. Hardly at all these days.

 

The question is, why were they rude? I do think that sometimes people have been put in leadership positions in climbing clubs before they were ready. As such, they may have felt a little more defensive about their techniques. This may have led to rudeness in the past. Are people still being put in leadership positions before they are ready? Maybe. But maybe not as often as before...

 

People on this website have been very down on the skills of Mountaineers leaders. I have to wonder what level of skills they expect these leaders to have... Mountaineers leaders are not professional climbing guides...but neither is the guy who brings out his girlfriend for the first time, or the college student who brings out his buddies. Are these individuals proficient enough to take on this responsibility? It's likely that the Mountaineers leader has a more rounded experience than many of those who are doing this.

 

I have seen some seriously dangerous things going on in the mountains from those who "taught themselves." Things that were not mildly bad, but indeed things that were extremely dangerous in that exact moment. Climbing clubs often provide a nice groundwork for individuals to start from. Teaching techniques and climbing club politics aside, this groundwork -- wherever you get it -- is necessary for a safe introduction into a dangerous sport.

 

Most Mountaineers club leaders are bringing people up easy peaks. Are they doing it in the most proficient and modern way? Maybe not, but neither are a large portion of those complaining about them. Mountaineers become an easy target because they are a visible climbing club in the Northwest. Some arrogant yahoo on the Beckey Route carrying a big wall rack and caterpilliaring 6 people up the climb on different ropes doesn't get nailed. But the guy on his first multi-pitch climb as a Mountaineers Leader does because of his affiliation...even if the Mountaineers Leader was totally cool and allowed faster parties to pass.

 

So here's yet another reason people get upset with beginner level climbers whether they are in a club or not...if the party behind you is faster, let them pass! Don't get pissy about it. In the real world, everyone gets passed sooner or later.

 

When all is said and done, the Mountaineers is a good club that has introduced countless people to the mountains. For the most part these individuals got the groundwork they needed to go out and have a good time. It's hard for me to find fault in that...

 

Jason

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