Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
crimper

fixed line cut by psycho; i coulda died

Recommended Posts

the title might be dramatic but that's what i experienced last saturday at an unnamed crag - not madrone or carver - along the Clackamas. i am posting this as a warning to anyone who climbs at this crag, or who might in the future, and also to anyone who has ever left a fixed line anywhere.

 

the crag has its own section in tim olson's latest portland rock guide, which is why i'm writing this. if you have the guide, you can figure it out pretty easily. so i want to make sure people know of the issue here before they wander into danger either from climbing or leaving fixed gear here.

 

in brief: I had left a fixed single line on a tree so i could use it to rap down to a bolted anchor for a 100 foot climb i'd recently established. A few months ago 2 or 3 of us had our fixed lines stolen off nearby trees, but i re-set this rope much further downhill and hidden near the very edge. i used it once a month ago without incident, and upon seeing it still there i assumed it was safe in this new location.

 

Since you may be thinking this: I have never left fixed lines anywhere else I have ever developed, but this crag is a fair hike and has some involved bushwhacking and appeared so remote and private that we felt OK leaving lines there.

 

Anyway, I got there saturday and prepared to rap in with a gri gri when I noticed what seemed like a frayed end of the rope, mixed into the middle of my rope pile. i briefly inspected, and it seemed to be a frayed end, which i thought was odd because i didn't remember ever cutting this rope short. in hindsight, i must not have looked carefully enough, because as i would soon find out it was not an end, but rather a knife cut in the rope 25 feet down from the knot at the tree.

 

i then pulled out some slack because I needed to traverse 20-25 feet to use another tree as a directional and didn't want the tension of the gri gri while i traversed (remember, i had put my rope on this tree because it was hard to see, not necessarily convenient). This saved my life because at that 25 foot mark I saw that the "frayed end" in fact was a clean cut in my rope, yet the cutter left one single core strand still connecting the rope. I think the perpetrator wanted the rope to appear intact when i threw it over the edge, with the cut being invisible below the lip - and then rap off to my death.

 

they also were giving me a fighting chance because if i saw the cut i would live. if not, i would die.

 

if i hadn't noticed the partial cut, you all would be reading that my rope "failed" or "was sliced on a sharp edge" as i rapped over the edge. it's doubtful there would be evidence that the cut was manmade. scary shit, huh, that someone would set a lethal trap for a total stranger just to be territorial?

 

i am also positive as i can be that no animal chewed through the rope. the cut was in the middle of the pile, stuffed into the pile in a way inaccessible for any mammal's teeth to reach. only a human with intent to hide the cut could have hidden the cut back in the middle of the pile. i've heard mice chew on ropes in the desert for salt, but it has been raining constantly this spring, and my 10.2 rope was cut down to one tiny strand. the strand was also 6 inches long, which is what happens when a rope is cut suddenly with a knife and the ends spring apart from each other. in connection with the stolen ropes and everything else, too many coincidences for this not be done by a person.

 

so:

 

if you ever leave a fixed rope out there, ALWAYS inspect every inch of your rope for animal or man-made damage. if i had been rapping down, and thrown the rope casually over the edge, i'd b dead right now.

 

also, there is a murderous psycho feeling territorial about this crag and he (probably not a she, i'm thinking) clearly has no problem with someone dying in order to discourage climber presence at this crag.

 

send me a PM if you live around here and feel you need to know more. i'm thankful to be around to tell about this, and feel obligated to try and warn people about what happened or could happen out there.

Edited by crimper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i can't stop thinking about the mindset and mentality of the cutter and i wonder if he watched us on other days while we climbed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy crap! Is this the private property where the owner has been totally pissed that climbers have been ignoring his "please don't climb here" riff? If it didn't set you up for a trespassing charge, I'd think that a call to the sheriff is certainly in order!

 

Congrats on surviving so that you can raise your kids. Christ!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yep.

 

i was able to snap the uncut strand - and thus the rope in 2 - simply by holding the bulk of the rope in my arms and walking uphill, then straining backwards to make that strand break like a guitar string. twing! that would have been the last sound i heard.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't think so, bill. it's not carver. and i don't know of anyone else climbing here or any issues with the owner. this place was developed in the mid 1990s with the owner's permission. Pm me if you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

why be so secretive?

 

i'm not sure how this will all play out on down the road and for now i'd like to not name the crag. further, i'm trying to perform a public service by telling people:

 

1)in general they should always inspect fixed gear left at a crag, no matter how remote or "safe" seeming because you have now introduced uncertainty and a lack of control into your safety system, and

 

2) this happened at a crag within 10 miles of carver and madrone. if you climb in that area, or plan to, you should know this happened and perhaps re-think a visit there, or at least not leave any gear there. if you don't plan on climbing around this area, then only 1) above applies and there's no need to know the name in order to learn the lesson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was trying to dig out my banjo to deliver[ance] an audio response, but then I saw a couple of the dang strings wars busted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i don't think so, bill. it's not carver. and i don't know of anyone else climbing here or any issues with the owner. this place was developed in the mid 1990s with the owner's permission. Pm me if you want.

 

have you spoke to the current land owner recently?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

jeebus.

 

not much of a warning however if you don't name the place. not that i'm thinking of expanding my horizons anytime soon :)

 

feel free to kill the first stranger you see there in retribution!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no, i didn't try to contact the owner. i also think it near impossible that the owner cut the rope to cause a murder and possible lawsuit on his property.

 

we can debate my actions all day, but my point in posting here is that this crag is described in olson's most recent guide - with 8 or so route descriptions - and there is no mention of access issues (that i can remember), so i want to provide a warning to anyone who owns the guide and wants to check the crag out like we did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you read this and want to avoid the crag, 5 minutes with olson's guide will conclusively show you where it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holly shiz dude

 

Why don't u give Ivan that rope, he'll take it on his next big wall trip :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Holly shiz dude

 

Why don't u give Ivan that rope, he'll take it on his next big wall trip :)

 

:lmao:

 

 

And holy f'in shit, that is messed up!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crazy!

 

I frequently leave static lines for long periods partially hidden when opening new routes. I've had snaffles chew on stuff but nothing like what you speak of!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Holly shiz dude

 

Why don't u give Ivan that rope, he'll take it on his next big wall trip :)

 

:lmao:

 

 

And holy f'in shit, that is messed up!!

awww, that was just sour grapes - 1 pitch up prodigal sun we both noticed the complete lack of kermantle at the 20 m mark and spent the rest of the wall, leading or jugging, fretting about where the fuck (!) the bad part was :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deliverance is honestly the first thing i thought.
I bet you have a real purty mouth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

damn, that's some scary stuff.

 

regardless of what has been published, I'd think you should contact the land owner - to let them know what's happened (ropes stolen, rope cut), but also to ensure that climbing is still okay there. A lot of time has passed since the land owner originally gave the blessing for climbing to occur there - don't take it for granted that that is still the case, especially if traffic could increase in a couple years.

Just because Olson published it in his description doesn't mean that it is still valid info (it's not like he updated any of the route descriptions or any of that stuff since the original guide).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i talked with the owner today.

 

the ropes were taken by a metro survey crew, who gave it to the owner to hold on to. so that solves that mystery.

 

the owner also said that apparently metro owns a portion of the crag, and the remainder - while still owned by him - was granted by him as an easement to a conservation group. the conservation group apparently does not currently "allow" climbing there and the owner made clear that until talks can develop, no climbing should occur there.

 

however, the owner felt there was a possibility for climbing to be allowed there in the future with some restrictions and i am going to do what i can to achieve as much access as possible. wish me luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×