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Gym climbing: Dropped intentionally?!
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abkaiser


Aug 28, 2002, 7:37 AM
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Gym climbing: Dropped intentionally?!
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I was getting a belay in a gym from a guy I just met. After I got to the top, he started to lower me... then faster and faster... and *wham*, my ass hit the ground with a rather painful thump. At first, I thought it was an accident, because I knew he was new, and when I hit he said "Oh god - are you okay?". And I actually was fine, so I brushed it off.
Then a few minutes later, he says "Really, are you okay from that fall back there? I meant to do it as a joke - my friends and I do that to be funny." And if I was thinking, I probably should've said something that stuck in his mind, but I didn't. It was only after I left I actually thought about what happened:

Is this a common occurance - where a belayer, trying to be "funny", drops their partner unusually fast?

Obviously a stupid thing to do, and maybe I'm venting more than asking a question, but there it is.

Andy "Just because it's a grigri doesn't mean you're safe" Kaiser


Partner sauron


Aug 28, 2002, 7:51 AM
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Bitchslap him/her.

Dicking around when there's a possibillity for bodily injury, is not funny.

I would have him (and his friends) kicked out of the gym for making it unsafe to climb.

- d.


abkaiser


Aug 28, 2002, 8:10 AM
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Actually, for some reason it reminds me of the plot of "Airframe" by Michael Chrichton.

***
Spoiler ahead - Only read if you want to know the ending to Airframe!
***




















It was where people were freaking out the entire time about a horrible airplane crash, because the problem pointed to equipment failure. However, it turned out (and here's the climbing connection:) that the equipment was super reliable, and could be trusted - the problem was due to irresponsible humans who were just acting without thinking!

Good book, though it made me not want to fly planes for about a year.

***
END SPOILER
***





Interesting situation - I'm not usually into bitchslapping, but maybe I should've made an exception with this guy.



psych


Aug 28, 2002, 8:16 AM
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  I've seen it happen a few times in the gym here...not too cool. But then again, no one actually hits the ground.

Actually my climbing partners and I tend to accelerate the lowering process sometimes to each other, just a bit of a faster lower, but by no means out of control or "hands off the rope" lowering.

Mike...


msecoda


Aug 28, 2002, 11:20 AM
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Normally I would say return the favor but that is insane. Even in a Gym (where the environment is more controlled) why ask for trouble.

This guy is either
1. mentally challenged
2. totally nuts

either way I would stay away...

After I wrote this I thought of another explanation.

It could have truly been an accident and the story that he thought it would be funny was a cover up. So you did not think he was incapable of belaying you....

Just an Idea
Climb safe


Partner sauron


Aug 28, 2002, 11:42 AM
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Andy,

My comment about having him (and, potentially his friends) kicked out of the gym (for life, for all I care) - still stands.

Purposefully being unsafe in an environment that could potentially kill you, should be instantly punished by chlorination.

- d.

(Yes, you might not die in a gym - but the day he lowers you too fast outdoors, you knock your head open on a stone, and bleed to death from brain hemhorrage - you'll agree with me.)


sportgirl


Aug 28, 2002, 11:57 AM
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I would have been EXTREMELY pissed off if he was serious and I don't think it is at all funny - REALLY STUPID in fact. I see people (especially beginners who must think it is cool) lower their partners so fast I can't believe it. I think it is the most irresponsible thing. That rope goes so fast through your hand that you may not be able to lock it off when you need to. I do most of my climbing outside and if that were to happen outside, you'd probably bust your head wide open or flip upside down, head a ledge - who knows. It is extremely dangerous to do that outside. Next time I see someone do that, I will diplomatically suggest that that is unsafe and using poor judgement.


xen_monkey


Aug 29, 2002, 2:32 PM
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I have a belayer who will crank open the device at the top and gradually decelerate as I approach the bottom. He knows I hate it, but does it anyway. So I like to stop him just above the ground and let him dangle. The Bastard.

But I'd never let him hit the ground hard, he could twist his ankle or something. That's just plain mean


climbitup


Aug 30, 2002, 8:03 AM
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Joke or not that is in-excusable. I work at a local climbing wall and that is completely wrong. Its a professional setting where people's lives are in your hands. Joking can be done at the bottom "OFF-BELAY". He would definately be out the door for that one. Even if its the millionth time lowering the same person there is still safety steps that should be adhered to. It sounds very strict and possibly too much. there is a big difference between fun safe joking and dangerous stupid joking...


marcel


Aug 30, 2002, 8:27 AM
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I use to manage a gym. If I saw someone do something that dumb I would kick them out. Always safety first. No horse play ever in a gym!


maddie


Sep 1, 2002, 4:11 AM
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downshift


Sep 1, 2002, 6:22 AM
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Being dropped accidentally once it's not really that funny. But, then again I'm told I have an odd sense of humour so maybe I don't get it.

I have to agree I think they should be kicked out of the gym for it. Gyms have alot of kids and newbies if they see climbers dropping each other for kick its a potential habit that they may start picking up.


bouldertoad


Sep 1, 2002, 6:51 AM
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If someone dropped me on purpose there is no question I would go and punch them right in the mouth. THere is no excuse for that kind of crap. This is part of the problem of a gym, people get complacent and lazy and think nothing can happen. And obviously there is no way I would let him belay me again.


gakin


Sep 1, 2002, 7:40 AM
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There is no excuse for that kind of behavior, regardless if it is in the gym, or at the crag. It is morons like that that help contribute to injuries. A situation like that should be addressed to the manager of the gym that you climb at to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Even though you are climbing in a controlled environment, the opportunity for injury is still high.

My advice to you is to stay away from him/her. Also, I would make sure that anybody that you know is aware of thier carelessness, and hopefully would not allow that person to belay them.

And in refernce to the earlier post, a nice hard bitchslap would not be out of line!!!!!


cragchica


Sep 1, 2002, 8:34 AM
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I was at the gym with a friend of mine who insisted on waiting for me to change and put my harness on so that I could belay him even though another friend of his was standing right there with nothing better to do. Than belay. He explained to me that he did not want his other friend belaying him while he was on lead be cause he liked to drop him... "He 'likes to drop you'?" I asked, confused. "Yes, last time as I was clipping the anchors, he fed out about 20 feet of slack. With the rope stretch, when I let go I fell within 5 feet of the ground. I screamed like a girl. He's a real @sshole." I agreed. However, later I noticed this guy climbing as my friend belayed and what did he do? - the exact same thing.
How immature!
Must be a guy thing... I never see women doing such stupid @ssholish things to their friends.


squirrelgirl


Sep 1, 2002, 8:55 AM
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That guy must be pretty stupid to just drop someone on belay like that. Sometimes, at the gym I go to, one of the belayers may let you down especially fast, but it never really bothered me. I suppose it can be dangerous if you're not expecting it. Not to say that you're at fault or anything. You're belayer was definately out of line. As soon as he said, "My friends and I do it to be funny," or whatever, I would have said, "Funny my @$$," while rubbing my sore rear and glaring at him. I've been told I give good glares. See? Anyway, hope the guy who dropped you gets his belaying priviledges revoked. Seeya!


mcsosar3456


Sep 1, 2002, 9:09 AM
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thats a good reason to boulder


doosh


Sep 2, 2002, 9:25 AM
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I am going to go against teh grain and say:

You should never have been belayed by someone you don't trust 100%.

Indoors, outdoors, grigri, ATC, toprope, lead... it makes no difference.

You got on the rope with him, without knowing how trustworthy he was. And you paid a price for it.

Ask the gym to ban that guy for life.

They will laugh at you.


bigevilgrape


Sep 2, 2002, 9:38 AM
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the guy is a moron. but i have to admit that i have "droped" my friends on belay as a joke. but thats only a foot or two and way above the ground


cass


Sep 2, 2002, 9:42 AM
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Quote:but i have to admit that i have "droped" my friends on belay as a joke.
well remind me never to ask you to belay me


iridesantacruz


Sep 2, 2002, 9:42 AM
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iv seen people do things like that, but it isnt very good especially for you and teh equipment. Though they never drop eachother. It would be like lowering faster tahn normal then slow down and as soon as the person is ready to hit the ground stop and other things like that, but no one hit the ground


bigevilgrape


Sep 2, 2002, 10:23 AM
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you mean to tell me none of you have done a little drop in the middle of a lower?
feed through a foot of slack and let um drop a little. its not like i let people come anywhere near theh ground


likethegoddess


Sep 2, 2002, 10:33 AM
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Abkaiser, I'm so sorry this person dropped you like that. For me, a belay is not only supposed to help keep me safe up there but help me *feel* safe. I probably would have said "I can't climb with you" and explained why. But I'm sure the shock of the situation makes it hard to get any words out at all.

I have to say that I doubt the "joke" part was a cover story. He may well think he'd look worse if he didn't look like he knew what he was doing. So he confessed that he was actually joking. That's my best guess.

I chafe at all the name-calling going on in this thread. Yes, I'd say this person did something uninformed and dangerous. Doing something stupid doesn't mean you *are* stupid. I feel that everyone should be given the oppportunity to learn and grow. That includes growing out of these kinds of pranks.


gemma


Sep 2, 2002, 10:55 AM
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that happened to me on satday-this guy was belaying me using a gri-gri and he decided to yank the handle thing right back, so he could lower me down really fast,for a joke i think(scared me to death!) i was literally a couple of feet away from hitting the floor-the only reason i didnt was that the guy supervising us(its a kids club) saw what was happening and made him stop. i refused to climb with that guy again.


overlord


Sep 2, 2002, 12:15 PM
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me and my partners tend to lower quite fast, but only when it is safe, like no obstructions and stuff. you know, you just push against the wall and he belayer feed slack. oh, me and my friens never allow anyone to hit the ground.

CLIMB ON


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