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Author Topic: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced  (Read 3956 times)

SA

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Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« on: February 12, 2013, 07:40:15 AM »

I had loaned this photo, a few years ago, to a girl working on a climbing movie. It popped up a few days ago, on the internet, and got me thinking about my lack of experience BITD.

This is a photo of a 1st ascent I did, with a few guys from the HMC, in 1967; only one year after I started climbing.  It is the South Ridge of Mt. Wallace, in the Bugaboos. There were 4-5 steep rock pitches, getting to this ridge, and we hadn't taken ice axes. There was no pro on the ridge, and in hindsight, we all were lucky nobody took the big slide.

I vaguely remember being worried about the exposure.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 07:16:27 PM by SA »
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Admin Al

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 07:45:18 AM »

wow - great picture, and definitely a great adventure. yes - you were very lucky. and since you guys were apparently roped together, a fall might have been catastrophic for all.
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Al Hospers
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strandman

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 07:55:45 AM »

A lot of those HMC guys learned as they went  ;)
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SA

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 07:58:03 AM »

I totally agree.

I remember having those thoughts , at the time, but I have also seen many similar photo's taken by our experienced alpinist,

here in the Northeast.

At my age, I wouldn't do this type of thing today.
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DGoguen

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 08:23:23 AM »

Nice Steve.
On my first trip to the mountains, I went to the East ridge Wolfs Head in the Wind Rivers. We figured it's only 5.5, it's easier than Thin Air for Gods sake, and we'll pitch it out, take our time and work it out. We arrived at the summit block at midday just in time for a spectacular electrical storm. I remember it like it was yesterday, after thirty years. Some of the best lessons are hard won I think.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 08:33:42 AM by DGoguen »
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Admin Al

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 09:14:00 AM »

Some of the best lessons are hard won I think.

++++
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lucky luke

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 10:03:57 AM »

I had loaned this photo, a few years ago, to a girl working on a climbing movie. It popped up a few days ago, on the internet, and got me thinking about my lack of experience BITD.

lack of equipment or knowledge, I can't understand.
Traveling on this arrete, in a sunny days, without signs of recent snow storm, look more amasing for me.

The step look like very well done, but we are far, you have a rope...soif someone fall, you can fall on the other side. It look like to me a second or third class snowfield on a ridge. I don't see corniches. If the climber know the ridge and someone did it before!!!

With a lot of experiences, one can decide that climbing with tools will make you slower and make you more in danger on the ridge. although I will prefer to have crampons and tools for at least one member of the party, the leader.

It is not a lack of experiences because you are in an exposed situation, what is the real danger here? and the way to protect your life??? 
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top-rope-happy

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 10:04:43 AM »

wow - great picture, and definitely a great adventure. yes - you were very lucky. and since you guys were apparently roped together, a fall might have been catastrophic for all.
Would jumping opposite of ridge work?  So if lead falls right of ridge, 2nd jumps to the left of ridge.
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DMan

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 10:42:21 AM »

With a lot of experiences, one can decide that climbing with tools will make you slower and make you more in danger on the ridge. although I will prefer to have crampons and tools for at least one member of the party, the leader.

I would love to see a roped group with only the leader wearing crampons and using an ice axe... pure awesome...
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DMan

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 10:44:15 AM »

Would jumping opposite of ridge work?  So if lead falls right of ridge, 2nd jumps to the left of ridge.

Thatís the general idea, though using a ice axe to self-arrest could really shorten how far down the ridge you must fall before the rope catches you, reducing the risk of injury in the fall... so as has been mentioned most modern climbers would be holding an ice axe in this kind of terrain...
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JJ Jameson

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 10:50:09 AM »

Awesome photo Steve. Did you guys at least have crampons?

@top rope happy:
Yes, that does work, I actually did that (once...) when descending a climb in Chamonix. We had done the North face of La Tour Ronde a classic moderate route, and were descending the SE ridge, still short-roped together. I was in front, and my rope mate stumbled off the side of the ridge at a pretty exposed spot. He yelled, and I looked over my shoulder, he was starting to roll, and I wasn't sure he was going to be able to arrest. Since he was behind me, I didn't think I could get myself set up in time to slow the fall. It was a really easy decision, and seemed to be made very quickly, I just hopped off the opposite side of the ridge and arrested about 5 feet below it. The rope dug down a little into snow on the ridge, I can't say I even felt any kind of a tug, but where we were was not super steep. Turns out the rope did actually stop him though, so I'm glad I did it, as he probably could have yanked me off with him. I climbed back up and poked my head over, and he was lying face down in the snow, cursing like a sailor because he was so jacked up on adrenalin, and super pissed at himself. He said, afterwards, that he tangled his feet with his crampons, and just tripped.
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DGoguen

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 10:55:11 AM »

Maybe it's too late but before it turns into another safety argument cage match.
OP
Dumb things you did when you were young and inexperienced.
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DMan

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 10:57:16 AM »

JJ, great story. Iíve always wondered how it would be if you had to pull this save on a corniced ridge, and the falling climber was going down the non-corniced side... THAT would be exciting!
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JJ Jameson

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 11:35:31 AM »

I'd say that story qualifies... :D
 I didn't even know the guys last name. English guy. We met in the Bar National, (English climbers' hangout spot in Chamonix) compared notes on what we wanted to climb, found that climb in common, and met the next morning for the first Midi telepherique.
Never having climbed together, had no clue as to each other's ability. Turns out, he wasn't too good at walking downhill in snow.
I'd say that qualifies as dumb!

Even dumber, I first started my climbing career using a goldline rope I removed from the back of the maintenance truck at my High School, tying in on a bowline on a coil, then graduating to 1" webbing tied into a swiss seat as a harness. We would go top roping on no name crags in the woods, taking turns giving each other hip belays. We figured out that is was better to walk down to take your turn to climb up, as lowering the other guy hurt too much.
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JJ Jameson

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Re: Dumb things you do when you're young and inexperienced
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 11:46:20 AM »

Only Picture I have of him, the guy closest to me, climb is in the background.
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