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My recent, not so good, experience at Index


Sean C
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I recently just visited Index from Arizona for the first time per recommendations from various people who have climbed there. The climbing was definitely high grade and we had a great time on the routes we did. Most of the people we met were also very nice but there were a few instances we had of people being complete jerks to us or others for reasons that did not warrant such reactions. I won't go into details but these were for reasons as small as having to wait in line for a popular route (on a Sunday). I was pretty surprised to see this as I have never run into (multiple) climbers acting this way towards others. The really shitty thing was having two brand new cams stolen out of my backpack at the base of Godzilla while we did the link up. I know this probably doesn't happen often (I hope) at Index but I just couldn't believe that someone would go through someone else's pack while they were climbing and steal stuff. I wanted to say that I had a great experience at Index when leaving but I don't think I will ever be back or recommend the area to anyone else. Hopefully this isn't a common occurrence and we just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Just wanted to make everyone aware of our experience.

 

Sean

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That's a major bummer, sorry you had stuff stolen. I try to avoid Index on weekends but that's not always easy, especially when travelling.

 

This post hits home sometimes (maybe even the same people): http://nwgranite.blogspot.com/2014/05/climbers-and-assholes-who-rock-climb.html

 

I've had some awesome times out there, even on crowded days. Once I forgot my shoes and borrowed a spare pair that fit from a perfect stranger for the day, so there are cool folks too. Don't let your one bad experience keep you away!

 

I'll keep a closer eye on my pack out there though. There is a long history of car prowling/break-ins out there so maybe one of the meth heads is cruising the base now too?

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Sorry that happened to you Sean. I saw via Facebook that just the other day there was another case of thieves using the noise of the train going by to mask them breaking windows on all the cars in the parking lot to steal stuff out of them. Jerks and thieves do suck. That the gear was taken from your pack sucks, because that could be another climber. Seems like a meth-head would just take the whole pack.

 

FYI, I don't think anyone here has a problem with you not recommending Index. Seems like its crowded enough these days. I do suppose that more consistent traffic helps keep the moss at bay though.

 

It does seem like you're stating that we all might be jerks and thieves, and that because of that you're never coming back. I mean, probably not.....

 

Sorry that happened to you, good luck with your travels. Can you describe the gear on the off chance it might be recovered somehow?

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That's a major bummer, sorry you had stuff stolen..... There is a long history of car prowling/break-ins out there so maybe one of the meth heads is cruising the base now too?

 

The facts that the pack was still there, other things were not missing, and this happened in the middle of a very active climbing area would suggest that it was climbers who stole the gear, not prowling meth heads.

 

Very sorry for your loss. One would hope that climbers would help watch over each others' gear not rifle through it for booty.

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I've never experienced anyone there who have acted like assholes. Definitely climbers who have some attitude but I think that's too be expected anywhere. Funny though for the most part, those climbing the hardest routes are usually the nicest and most humble. The jerks are on the moderates that everyone does.

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I'm not at all suggesting that the climbers here are jerks, as I mentioned in my original post most of the people we met were super friendly. I know it's a busy crag too but I've been to quite a few other extremely popular climbing areas across the country and never come close to having multiple unfriendly encounters in one weekend.

 

I also don't want to say that I'd never go back. I'm probably still just a little frustrated at the whole situation. Having this many issues in one weekend kind of turns me off to the area when I can go somewhere where I don't have to worry about my stuff every second I'm climbing. But like I said, maybe we just got unlucky for our first visit.

 

The thieving happened on Saturday sometime between 6-9 PM. It was fairly empty at the time. It must have been climbers because I found the marking tape from the gear peeled off next to my pack... not sure if meth heads care too much about marked gear.

 

EDIT: The pieces were brand new Metolius off-set master cams yellow/orange with an orange biner and orange/red with a red biner.

 

Sean

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Hmmm...Hate to be devil's advocate but setting aside the issue of the cams being stolen (that sucks), seems like you're playing into the hands of the people who were being jerks by announcing you might not ever go back and that you won't recommend it to your "outsider" friends. It's not like they're going to lose money or anything if you boycott Index. It's not a climbing gym. I assume that's exactly what they wanted - for you not to be there. Better yet, post on a website so maybe others will see it and not go there also...more free routes for the jerks! Great! Being a jerk works.

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Due to the fact that car windows were smashed at about the same time as your gear was stolen I would surmise that the perpetrators were not climbers. Though luckily I have never experienced it at Index personally, theft and vandalism are unfortunately an ongoing problem there. Can barely blame local climbers for that.

 

Regarding your run-ins with unfriendly other climbers, that is indeed a poor representation of local climbers for which I apologize. Perhaps you can go into further detail about what happened so we can understand what the problem was?

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The break-ins didn't happen when his cams were stolen. I wonder if there is some way the climbing community could discourage this kind of theft and vandalism. The cameras seem like a good idea, even if the police won't get involved. We'd know who to look out for at least.

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Due to the fact that car windows were smashed at about the same time as your gear was stolen I would surmise that the perpetrators were not climbers. Though luckily I have never experienced it at Index personally, theft and vandalism are unfortunately an ongoing problem there. Can barely blame local climbers for that.

 

Regarding your run-ins with unfriendly other climbers, that is indeed a poor representation of local climbers for which I apologize. Perhaps you can go into further detail about what happened so we can understand what the problem was?

Keep in mind, just because someone is a climber, that does not preclude them from being a dick, a methhead, a thief, or all of the above. They come in all shapes, sizes and demographics. Sure, we all want to believe "we are all brethren of the rope" but crime and assholery is common, no matter where you are. Just watch the local news and it won't take long before someone says "I can't believe it happened here" Or, "I can't believe he/she would do something so horrendous... He/she seemed so normal." This is the world we live in.

 

As far as the never ending smash and grab affair there, seems like the good guys should set up some sort of neighborhood watch or something. Trail cams hidden but able to cover the parking lot? Rotating volunteer parking lot gaurds? Exploding ink dye packets/hydrochloric acid bated wad o cash? When is enough enough? Take your crag back, make a stand. I don't know how, but it seems so common that something needs to be done and who else is going to do it but the peeps using it the most? (IMHO)

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The facts that the pack was still there, other things were not missing, and this happened in the middle of a very active climbing area would suggest that it was climbers who stole the gear, not prowling meth heads.

 

Or that the OP in fact lost the cams, and they were not stolen

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The break-ins didn't happen when his cams were stolen. I wonder if there is some way the climbing community could discourage this kind of theft and vandalism. The cameras seem like a good idea, even if the police won't get involved. We'd know who to look out for at least.
:tup:
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Well, still doubt it was climbers that did it. Seems like a big assumption just because marking tape was taken off.

I had 4 draws taken a few years back, then a cam also near Godzilla, also on a busy weekend. Since I get bro deals from Metolius most of my gear is actually stamped with letters BOB, so there is no question about the gear ownership. And I am pretty sure my gear was not taken by mistake or lost.

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