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micah humphrey

The Thief of Theft at Little si speaks

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Last Tuesday, 4/21/09, I made a short trip out to Little si. There was noone there on this beautiful day and to my surprise someone had left draws up one of the most traveled 5.11b’s of the crag, Aborigine. My first thought was, “What happened?! Why would someone leave all of their draws on a climb like this?” My second thought was, “Sweet! Free gear!” They were nice draws two of which were nice petzl draws and the rest metolius extended draws, 7 draws total but the extended draws had several beaners and slings to each of them. My friends Mika, and Kyle showed up later and I pointed out that there were draws hanging on Aborigine, a route I’ve done 20 times or so. I kept on convincing myself that taking these draws was justice in itself since I’ve been to this crag hundreds of times and have never seen hanging draws on Abo., especially in the middle of the week, no matter what the circumstances are. But, in the end it was a very wrong thing to do. Taking anything that does not belong to you, whether intentional or un-intentional is just plain wrong, and generates some bad karma. I stripped the draws off the climb and we split them up between the three of us with the stipulation that if anyone came up that day we would ask them if the draws belonged to them. No one came up for the rest of the day and we left.

Well, here is where the story gets interesting and I’m not surprised if anyone out there reading this is shaking their heads in disgust at my actions, but tonight, Friday, 4/24/09, I just checked cascadeclimbers.com, a popular climbing forum for the PAC NW, and to my surprise Bret Johnston had left a thread labeled ‘Theft at Little si!’. My heart leapt into my throat and I knew it was about those draws. I had just gotten off the phone with my friend Dom who chastised me and berated me for taking the draws in the first place so I was feeling pretty crappy after seeing this thread. I read all the posts, most of them stating that I was a rotten, immoral, thief and that I should be banned from climbing and life on this planet. I’ve posted a few comments from the site about the incident:

 

“No disrespect intended ot either the botty hauler or Mr. Johnson.

But we are talking 5 or 6 slings and the accompaning biners. (if they were mine I'd actually know the number missing)

At least two of them were "sponsored draws". In the grand scheme of things not that much money even for a "non-working" climber. For someone that is at least particially sponsored and willing to freeely replace old gear on the wall not much of a ding in the pocket book.

Our shit being ripped from the base of a climb or out of a car is one thing, leaving your gear hanging on MODERATE climbs by sport standards is another.

Just an FYI but if I had seen a half dozen draws hanging on a moderate 5.11, mid week, I might have taken the time myself to hang my way up the thing just for the fun and the free booty.

But I don't score booty these days. Bad Karma, IMO. I've had enough stuff ripped off over the years. Found a bunch as well. With the ability to communicate via the Internet these days everyone seems to think what they "leave" should be returned. I've picked up 3 sets of leashless tools this winter at rap stations. Gave them back when I could. But if someone started bitching about "loosing" them and DEMANDED them back I'd sooner give them away to a good home. You'd have to be kinda a dumb ass to leave them there in the first place.

My guess is the poor bastard that did score your gear had no clue why you left it but I bet he didn't think it intentional. Bitching about it here might seem like an educational opportunity for some. The real lesson for me anyway is, don't be leaving your shit on "easy" climbs. Some climbers (looks like 50% from this thread) seem to think anything not locked up, nailed down and with a Rottweiler guarding it as free for the taking.”

 

“Whoever took the gear deserves a time out.

And no ice cream after dinner.

And give him his toys back.”

 

“OMG, so I left my wallet on the sidewalk outside my favorite beer store so that it would be there when I came back in a few days for another sixer and somebody totally stole my shit! WTF? THEFT ON 148th!!! Plus, those cards totally have my name on them. I go shopping all the time -- unless you intend to keep them in your wallet, I will see you!!”

 

“Exactly. I know at least 10 people who have redpointed extensions to abo. and none of them left draws up over night. Its seems that if you are working the 13d or even the 12c you could just put the draws up on your first trip up for the day and take them down on the way down at the end of the day. In general you don't see fixed draws on anything easier than 5.12 usually not anything easier than 12C. Little Si has routes that have fixed draws on them and abo isn't one of them. Again sucks someone took your draws it just not that surprising I guess.”

 

 

“it is stealing and if i caught you with my stuff, i'd kick your ass...end of story...”

 

“Taking draws off a sport route is bad form and stealing. If you see several draws on a route it is obvious that the person didn't leave them there as a bail bineer.

if the draws have been up all year and becoming worn, by all means take them down and stack them on ground next to the route. I would agree that fixed draws are sort of an eye-sore and should be used sparingly only for routes that is being actively projected at sport crag.

Also, just because you hiked a route with fixed draws doesn't mean you get to steal the draws.”

 

“Gear left on a climb is trash. Someone was kind enough to, hopefully, recycle your trash for you. Litterbug.”

 

“I am very disapointed at the level of discourse by many of the people in this discussion but it is CC.com what do you expect. I am a trad and alpine climber so I am well versed in bootying gear. However, when I see fixed draws on a route (overhanging or not, if I sent the route or not) I know to leave them in place. Someone obviously is serious about pushing their ability level. How can something be wrong with this. You would really have no knowledge of modern sport climbing tactics or no morals to believe it's OK to take multiple fixed draws off a route. IMHO It's the same as stealing fixed lines off a project.”

 

In the end I feel pretty bad, especially after reading what a lot of these guys say and realizing that my actions in this matter are not indicative of the kind of person I am, or want to be. I agree with the last comment posted above. At the time it did not cross my mind that this was considered stealing at all, but now I do and maybe that is the positive light that comes out of this shit storm. If the draws had belonged to some gumby climber who just left them there and didn’t care, me and my friends would be 7 draws richer and I would still think it’s okay to strip a full line of draws off a route, well traveled or not. However, they belonged to a well known climber who was projecting a 5.13d called Pornstar who trusted that noone would take his draws because why would any sane climber do that?! When it comes to the end of the day, it’s wrong to take draws(or anything that doesn’t belong to you) no matter if it’s Sharma, or climber X who can’t even send 5.9 on top rope. I’m putting the draws back, or giving them back in person, whichever comes first, and I’m revoking my membership to the climbing community of moral ethical people. From now on I vow to leave any, and everybody’s stuff alone, lesson learned. My apologies to the climbing community, and to Bret Johnston. I love Little si just as much as the next climber and have never taken draws before and again want to reiterate that I did not mean to cause anyone harm or distress and take full responsibility if I did. Please feel free to leave comments about what an asshole I am, or any other thoughts you have about this situation.

 

 

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Don't beat yourself up. You are doing the stand up thing now. It is obvious to me that the "right" thing needed some definition. Booty or thief? No one was 100% right/wrong in this one.

 

Good lesson (and a good public discussion imo) for everyone and hopefully an even better lesson for both climbers, leaver and taker.

 

Good on ya, Micah for standing up in public.

 

 

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I can see how you would think they were simply abandoned on Abo.

 

I think it was kind of lazy for the climber to leave them to begin with, considering its not that hard to remove draws on that route --- everyone else seems to. We are talking about a heavily trafficked sport climb, not fixed lines on a big wall.

 

Anyway, I think there is little to fault you with since you are claiming responsibility and are returning them in light of the new information you learned.

 

That climb sees dozens of ascents most weeks. I think its pretty lame to hog up a popular sport climb with your tat expecting others to clip it and leave it be. He's lucky you didnt leave it at the base of the cliff. He likely never would have seen it again and I hope he apologizes to you.

 

One other curiosity Micah: You climb with another guy named Mika??? I know another Micah, if you want to become a trio ;p

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WTF did someone leave draws up on a freaking 5.11 (especially after saying that he was working a 5.13). If you leave your shit out, your gonna lose it. Did you leave a not to let everyone know that you were projecting a very popular climb for a week and left your shit on it all week? Huh, Good on Micah for comming forward. Bo for all the bitching about acting like a sniveling brat after your shit got stolen after you left it in the woods for a few days (who woulda thunk it)?

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I'm glad you came out and posted this. This has been a really interesting discussion for me to observe from afar. The discussion turned nasty for a bit, but it seems like everyone has gotten a chance to come to a better understanding of the ethics on this.

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In the end I feel pretty bad, especially after reading what a lot of these guys say and realizing that my actions in this matter are not indicative of the kind of person I am, or want to be. I agree with the last comment posted above. At the time it did not cross my mind that this was considered stealing at all, but now I do and maybe that is the positive light that comes out of this shit storm. If the draws had belonged to some gumby climber who just left them there and didn’t care, me and my friends would be 7 draws richer and I would still think it’s okay to strip a full line of draws off a route, well traveled or not. However, they belonged to a well known climber who was projecting a 5.13d called Pornstar who trusted that noone would take his draws because why would any sane climber do that?! When it comes to the end of the day, it’s wrong to take draws(or anything that doesn’t belong to you) no matter if it’s Sharma, or climber X who can’t even send 5.9 on top rope. I’m putting the draws back, or giving them back in person, whichever comes first, and I’m revoking my membership to the climbing community of moral ethical people. From now on I vow to leave any, and everybody’s stuff alone, lesson learned. My apologies to the climbing community, and to Bret Johnston. I love Little si just as much as the next climber and have never taken draws before and again want to reiterate that I did not mean to cause anyone harm or distress and take full responsibility if I did. Please feel free to leave comments about what an asshole I am, or any other thoughts you have about this situation.

 

Clip them in a chain and whip yourself with them. 5 lashes should do it if you are earnest.

Then take up alpine. Better karma all around.

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Micah,

I wouldn't beat yourself up too much, i am sure plenty of people on this site, myself included, have gotten some booty at some point in their climbing, pro, draws, biners, whatever. I know i justified it by calling it "booty"

 

just drop them off at VW seattle and bret will be happy

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Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone will stand up and admit it when they do and then take action to make it better. You're a stand up guy Micah, hope to see you in Tenino again soon.

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I don't know micah well but I know his friend Dom and that is a very fine group of climbers. He should definitely get a do-over.

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Micah...

 

Man, i just gotta say that you are first class for coming clean! Big ballz and some serious humility...

 

Props to you and i think you'll find brett a really good guy...

 

cheers

Rudy

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Wow. The cc.com community just when up a notch in quality.

 

People learn. Great stuff.

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well can you at least change your avatar image to a scarlet T? :)

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I went out to little si today with Micah and Mika and we returned the draws. Bret wasn't there so Micah replaced them on Abo, a couple of Brets buddies, Patrick and Jake were there and they said they'd take them down and return them to Bret, we were able to have a laugh about it. Micah made a mistake, but he did the right thing and made up for it. I hope we can put this behind us now.

 

By the way Little Si was perfect today, bone dry and good sending temps, good time to get out there.

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whats done is done. thanks for putting them back. i appreciate it, and no hard feelings. this will probably be my last post on cc.com. i cant stand the amount of spray that goes on around here. you all have to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and nothing can be changed about that.

 

thanks for doing the right thing guys. hopefully ill see you out at little si and we can have a laugh about this.

 

bret

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this will probably be my last post on cc.com. i cant stand the amount of spray that goes on around here.

 

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

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whats done is done. thanks for putting them back. i appreciate it, and no hard feelings. this will probably be my last post on cc.com. i cant stand the amount of spray that goes on around here. you all have to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and nothing can be changed about that.

 

thanks for doing the right thing guys. hopefully ill see you out at little si and we can have a laugh about this.

 

bret

 

 

What, are we growing thin skinned? Come on...learn to take the piss! Thats what makes this board fun!

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Everybody has their own sense of what is fun around here and you're right, Tim, a good old fashion train wreck can be lots of fun -- but it was also apparent that lots of folks, while they may have had something to say on the topic, were largely just bored and looking for something to jump on. Maybe Brett can show up at the climber's picnic on Thursday and meet Micah in person. How about a couple of Aborigine slides and we can revisit the whole thing over a couple of hot dogs?

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Micah...that confession was a bit much. Were you raised in a North Korean re-education camp?

 

Here's my two cents:

 

a) leaving draws on a route, in my opinion, is selfish and poor form. The sport bolts are bad enough but leaving junk attached to them to return at one's pleasure is rude and laughable, no matter who one thinks they are.

 

2) that being said, taking the property of others, unless it is clearly abandoned, is a kind of stealing. (and in this case, given the stupid practice of leaving draws, it's likely someone would be coming back for them). In your case, you seemed to be well-intentioned, but hadn't thought through some of the implications.

 

If it were me, on principle, I'd probably clean the junk left hanging on the bolts, link them together and leave them at the bottom of the climb indicating that they weren't intentionally abandoned yet at the same time keeping the "route" clean for others.

 

So, give the gear back if you can and maybe this incident will inspire people to consider how they treat a climbing area and how they deal with other people's property.

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Micah...that confession was a bit much. Were you raised in a North Korean re-education camp?

 

Here's my two cents:

 

a) leaving draws on a route, in my opinion, is selfish and poor form. The sport bolts are bad enough but leaving junk attached to them to return at one's pleasure is rude and laughable, no matter who one thinks they are.

 

2) that being said, taking the property of others, unless it is clearly abandoned, is a kind of stealing. (and in this case, given the stupid practice of leaving draws, it's likely someone would be coming back for them). In your case, you seemed to be well-intentioned, but hadn't thought through some of the implications.

 

If it were me, on principle, I'd probably clean the junk left hanging on the bolts, link them together and leave them at the bottom of the climb indicating that they weren't intentionally abandoned yet at the same time keeping the "route" clean for others.

 

So, give the gear back if you can and maybe this incident will inspire people to consider how they treat a climbing area and how they deal with other people's property.

Very thoughtful post, Don...

 

 

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