Author Topic: Bonehead in VT  (Read 1542 times)

Offline Derek Doucet

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Re: Bonehead in VT
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2004, 11:03:48 AM »
Here's a little perspective on the pins on HMT for you. About 6-7 years ago, a climber fell at the first mini roof, ripped both the pins in the little left leaning ramp (where there is a fantastic small cam placement in excellent rock that needs to be gardened out everytime I do the pitch), and was finally caught, upside down, helmet in his pack at the base, by a wire placed at the top of the initial wet crack.

After that incident, I placed the lost arrow in the horizontal above the mini-roof as a public service. It made ALOT more sense than the old pins in the ramp, where there is adaquate gear if you look for it, and protected the moves above the roof, arguably one of the cruxes. Shortly thereafter, someone else replaced one of the unnecessary pins in the ramp, apparently not seeing the cam placement.

At any rate, the key pin, the one above the roof, sang all the way in when placed, but I'd bet it's sh*t now, 6-7 years later, and you climb a fair ways above it before there is any more pro to be had. I'd put a screamer on it if you think there's ANY chance you might fall. Better yet, someone should replace it. I don't live nearby anymore, or I'd do it myself.

BTW, I'd say the climbing is more like hardish 5.7 on HMT, but the somewhat spicy gear makes it feel a bit harder. It's not a great entry-level lead.

« Last Edit: August 13, 2004, 11:19:53 AM by C.F._Nubbler »

Offline df

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Re: Bonehead in VT
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2004, 12:34:44 PM »
I think it's worth pointing out here to all involved that LWB crag is owned by a non-profit group (CRAG-VT, ) that exists solely to work on access for climbing in Vermont.  If we all don't do our part (including pointing out dangerous practices when we see them), potentially someone could be hurt.  I simply don't want some boneheads mistake to result in anything happening that could result in a lawsuit requiring CRAG-VT to defend itself, which could be an issue for the climbing there.  
I know it's not always easy to approach a stranger like that, or the famous mountaineer mentioned above, but if an accident can possibly be prevented by a polite "question" or a pointer from a more experienced climber, it may be not only someones ankle, spine or life you save, it could be the entire crag too.

Offline Schandy

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Re: Bonehead in VT
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2004, 02:00:34 PM »
Just for clarification-
  I thought there was a law in VT that stated: if you get hurt while on someone elses private property you can't sue them.  Does this apply to non-profits letting you use their land?  In the case of LWB crag-VT does own the land and should be ok. Not that I am advocating letting people kill themselves- in retrospect I should have said something to those idiots, but I think organizations like crag-VT are protected.  Is there a VT lawyer in the house?  Am I just pulling this out of my @ss?
     I think there is a fine line between being concerned and confronting those who are climbing dangerously because they don't know any better, and those whom make the choice to.  I am pretty sure I know who the 'famous' mountaineer was, and frankly he should have known better.  The two idiots I saw running it out, should have known better.  We all make choices while climbing and accept a certain amount of risk.  Who am I to question the choices of another climber?  Granted this is a gross oversimplification, because if they die I have to help with the rescue and access could be jeopardized.  
    Part of what makes climbing appealing to me is the need to make good choices and the freedom to do so.  I don't want to see anyone get hurt, but I think its the perogative of experienced climbers to asses risk as they see fit and act acordingly.  I've stopped and helped new climbers set up safe TR's before, I'm not talking about them.   I'll admit to being uncomfortable aproaching someone who know what they are doing and in my assesment is doing it dangerously.  I have also been made to feel really uncomfortable when I show up at a crag and find people soloing right next to me.  I wouldn't hesitate to help them if they were to crater, but that doesn't mean that I want to.  Granted I've never seen people solo at lower west, but I have seen it in the winter at the quarry and at other VT crags.  I don't really know where I'm going with this, but I guess what I am trying to get across is that when you are actualy there at the crag it isn't always so simple.  Something to think about.

Offline df

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Re: Bonehead in VT
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2004, 03:09:36 PM »
Of course you're correct, we all ultimately need to be responsible for ourselves, and the issue is never as simple as we want it to be.  I wasn't there, and I don't mean to question what you did--I apologize if it sounded that way.

The law in Vermont protects landowners to a large degree, but it doesn't protect you from a lawsuit--you still have to defend yourself.  Also, a private landowner could be seen as a bit different than an organization devoted to climbing.  CRAG-VT is theoretically protected, but it doesn't stop someone from sueing when they're faced with a six-figure hospital bill and think someone should have warned them about x, y or Z.

We all  still need to evaluate whether what you're seeing is a newbie asking for an accident, or an experienced climber being an idiot and setting a bad example.  Our friend is part of the problem, and needs to be reminded that others look up to him, the same as a new climber needs to be reminded that boldness through ignorance is a recipe for problems.  I'm all for letting people learn for themselves and be responsible for themselves, but there's more at stake than the injury any one person may suffer--we all could lose the right to go there, and I'm willing to push my "interpersonal comfort level" a bit to let someone know I think they're messing up.  
I'll let you know when I think you are messing up, and I expect you to do the same for me.  Again, It's more complicated than this, but please make as much of an effort as possible to stand up for your own interests.  

If you're an experienced climber, and someone questions something you're doing, you also need to take it in stride--tell them why it's ok, rather than telling them to piss off.  Remember, they're looking out for you--if you wanted a wilderness experience, you should have gone somewhere else.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2004, 03:20:57 PM by df »