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madturtle


Sep 20, 2002, 12:12 AM
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passing a slower party
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What are your thoughts on passing slower parties on long multipitch routes? As far as ethics of it and actual technique.

What about leading between the slower leader and his/her second (basically climbing over the other party's rope but placing your own gear) so as to minimize down time?


nailzz


Sep 20, 2002, 1:57 AM
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There's a lot of variables involved in those questions.

Quote:
What are your thoughts on passing slower parties on long multipitch routes? As far as ethics of it and actual technique.


Passing them, in my opinion, is perfectly acceptable. Especially on longer routes.

Technique, try as hard as you can to not pass the leader (of the slower party) on a 'scary' section. Passing while they're both at a belay would be ideal I suppose, but would take really good timing. But most likely since you'll be passing belayer and leader, try to do it on an easier section of the climb.


zee


Sep 20, 2002, 5:10 AM
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Depends on the area and route. For example, in Yosemite on the long routes, acceptable practice due to bomber rock. Potrero Chico in Mexico, absolutely unacceptable, due to shite rock. If there is any possiblity of tearing rock, then my feeling is that passing or even climbing beneath another party is a dengerous practice and should be avoided.


tradklime


Sep 20, 2002, 8:36 AM
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If possible, ask the slower party to allow you to go ahead from a belay station. Assuming the belay is relatively safe from rock fall, this helps to avoid some of the complicaitons and safety issues.

In my opinion, especially on popular routes, it is unethical and just plain rude for a slow party to not let you pass them when it can be done safely. I once spent 8 hours on the Durance route on Devils tour behind a slow party. Drove me nuts.. apparently it still does.


offwidth


Sep 20, 2002, 9:48 AM
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I think it depends on the route. If you have to climb over them then you should ask. They may have gotten on early start to avoid people dropping rocks and gear onto their heads...

But a lot of climbs have many variations that make ideal "passing lanes" (Southeast Buttress of Cathedral Peak comes to mind) I wouldn't ask in this case.


(edited for spelling)

[ This Message was edited by: offwidth on 2002-09-20 09:49 ]


thrillseeker05


Sep 20, 2002, 10:10 AM
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I find it funny that anyone would think that it would be rude for a “slower” climber to not let you pass.. I personally feel the other climbers are the rude ones. If you don’t want to wait for them then go to a different route or get up earlier and be the first on the rock. Everyone climbs a different pace once you are on the route the last thing you need to worry about is some show off crossing over you. Since you can see someone at the belay station belaying a climber.. then that route is busy at the moment .. either wait or go somewhere else.


tradklime


Sep 20, 2002, 10:44 AM
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Personally, I don't advocate crossing over anyone on a route. That's why I suggested trying to work it out at a belay, if and when it is safe.

The reason, and the situation, I think it's rude is often a slow party can pause for 5 minutes to let a faster party pass. When the faster party can quickly climb out of your way, it seems like a completely reasonable thing to do. Especially on trade routes when everyone knows there will be a lot of traffic. In my opinion, the "I got here first attitude" isn't always appropriate when you can reasonably work it out. Of course, there are always exceptions, just generally speaking.


thrillseeker05


Sep 20, 2002, 10:51 AM
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Trad you make so very good points and it still is a matter of opinion. Although I am still going to disagree I value your argument to be well thought out. I still just feel that there a ton of routes out there and if you were dead set on that one particular route… well you can wait or get on it earlier.

Still it’s all just a matter of opinion. And I don’t think anyone is right or wrong.

Peace


rocks4jules


Sep 20, 2002, 11:09 AM
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  I'm with thrillseeker05 on this one. I agree -- "the early bird catches the worm" and in climbining it would be rude for others to assume its okay to pass anyone else on a multipitch. Climbing is suppose to be fun, and if I were on a climb where I was feeling pushed/rushed (just as in traffic), I would be nervous and pissed that someone was pushing me either to pass or to go faster than my pace. There are so many places to climb, I highly doubt everyone needs to be climbing the same route at the same time.

JUST HAVE FUN AND CLIMB ON!!!

JULES


Partner drector


Sep 20, 2002, 11:19 AM
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I've only overtaken a party once. There were two routes that converged on the last pitch. We could belay from a position next to but not on the belay for the other route but since there was a few (10) feet of shared route below the belay, the belayer there gave our guy (I was not on lead) a hard time when he asked to pass. We waited nearly an hour. W climbed the last pitch in about 10 minutes.

They were slow and had 6+ people. we were fast and on easy terrain for us. I feel it was his perogative to say no but that he was a jerk for doing so.

I sat for a 1/2 hour once to let a party pass becaue they were way way faster than us. I was not obligated but then I'm also not obligated to do other things like open the door for a lady, let a person merge in front of my car, return found gear, not spit on the sidewalk, etc... you can be nice or you can be rude but it's really hard to be nothing at all. You have to pick one.

My statements are about passing in a situation where it makes sense, is safe, and is fast. If there is real (not stupid imaginary paranoid) danger then it should not be suggested or accepted.

Dave


hallm


Sep 20, 2002, 11:19 AM
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Either (1) climb around, and not through, a party, leaving the prime belay spots for the slower party until you are sure you won't run into each other (if the next few pitches have only bolt belays which would have to be shared, you probably shouldn't pass, also don't pass if cutting rock loose is a good possibility), or; (2) ask for permission to pass, and if permission is denied, suck it up and enjoy the view while you wait.


thrillseeker05


Sep 20, 2002, 11:28 AM
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drector
dude that sucks but look at it this way. You made your choices both times and you should feel good about that. Just because that guy denied you doesn’t make him a jerk and just because you let someone pass doesn’t make you an angle. Its all relative anyway. I tip my hat to you for being a good person.

what makes sense to you, is safe to you, or fast for you, may not be for them

[ This Message was edited by: thrillseeker05 on 2002-09-20 11:31 ]


mikedano


Sep 20, 2002, 11:49 AM
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This is a tough question and I think it all depends at the situation and the time and place. In CO you get lots of people on the popular routes, and you have to share a lot of the belays. However, little actual passing goes on, I think.

In one situation, a guy asked me if he could lead next to me as I followed a pitch. He was nice about it. I said no because I didn't want him to do that, and I knew I could climb the pitch really fast, and then go fast on the next pitch. He was fine with that.

In another case, some guy was rocketing up
behind us and I fully wanted to let him pass because it was such a nice day, but my partner wanted to get to the top so we did.

I've also been the fast one in some cases, but I usually just sit back and relax, unless the party ahead of us asks if we want to pass.

Also, I figure, you've got to wait at least until the second is at the belay before you start the climb. Don't go leading right behind the second. My partner calls this practice "licking ass."


tradklime


Sep 20, 2002, 12:33 PM
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Well first off, I'm glad this has remained a polite discussion, it's refreshing.

Anyway, in my opinion, the real problem are on long popular moderates. This is where allowing faster parties to pass really makes sense. While there are a lot of climbs in the world, there are not a lot of quality mega-classic long 5.7's. And these climbs are enjoyable for everyone, in a large range of abilities. If you are pushing yourself, that last thing you want is feeling pressure to climb faster. Why not just let a faster party pass you? It makes it more enjoyable for everyone involved. Any heck, mabey you'll pick up some tips watching some more experienced climbers. In my opinion, the first example drector gave is an absolute disgrace and an example of some people who never learned to share.

BTW, in the days of the gun fighters, there was always a faster gun. And unless you pitch your tent at the first belay or climb in the dark, despite your best efforts, there will always be someone who gets there before you. At least in my experience.


thrillseeker05


Sep 20, 2002, 12:53 PM
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Just wanted to say that this is a great thread. I really enjoyed reading everyone’s opinions.


madturtle


Sep 20, 2002, 1:21 PM
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Thenks for the info.

What do you think of haveing the second leader climbing over the first leaders rope, on fairly moderate terrain? Just so I can explain it we'll say the slow party consiste of leader A and follower A and the passing party is B's. Leader A heads up the route. Leader B let's him get maybe 1/2 way up the pitch and then begins climbing placing his own gear and being careful to keep his rope on the same side the of leader A's the whole way up. Leader B then runs out his rope to get above leader A, or simulclimbs to the next anchor. Then both party's belay there seconds to the belays.

I did this on a trade route a few months ago and another guy told me I we were crazy. Not the party we passed, they were cool with it.

What do you think?


mikedano


Sep 20, 2002, 1:54 PM
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I personally think that's a good way to get hurt. The first leader could fall on you, you could fall, your ropes could get tangled, seems like a fair amount of things could go wrong. If I were the first group and you really wanted to pass, I would just let you pass at the belay and make it simple.

However, I have been in these types of situations and it wasn't too bad. It's just not the greatest...


tradklime


Sep 20, 2002, 1:58 PM
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I'd say that on easy terrain you'll get away with it 99.9% of the time. However, if the higher leader falls, you'll likely hit the guy below you.

My opinion, if you pass someone while climbing, you should be on a different route.


froggy


Sep 20, 2002, 2:32 PM
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Well I have a strong opinion on this one, because I was stuck behind a slow party at Tahquitz a month or so ago and ended up getting lost in the dark trying to find the cars because we decided not to pass these slow people (and the REALLY SLOW people did not ask if we would like to pass either)...

Next time I am going to pass them even if I have to use there head as a foot hold. We were waiting 30 minute to an hour at each belay! That is just plain rude! It was relatively safe, obviously we were climbing right below them. We even waited till they were two pitches up to start climbing!

Slow parties, except that you are slow and let people pass, k?!?

[ This Message was edited by: froggy on 2002-09-20 14:48 ]


thrillseeker05


Sep 20, 2002, 3:30 PM
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froggy is it?
Dude, take responsibility for your OWN actions. You almost got lost because you started too late on a route that was being climbed. .. if it was so important for you climb that ONE route then get there earlier or go a different route. you chose not to .. it wasnt anyones fault but your own.
dont be such a victim.




froggy


Sep 20, 2002, 3:44 PM
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thrillseeker - you are wrong.. Sorry.

You should not be on a climb in a popular area taking 2 hours to complete a single pitch! It is obviously to high above their grade. We gave them ample time to keep moving. We even took our time and they still were going WAY TO SLOW. Sitting a hour waiting for someone to finish leading a pitch, then taking the time to bring their slow second up, and then finally getting to move again is rediculous!

PS I am not a dude, thanks

[ This Message was edited by: froggy on 2002-09-20 15:50 ]


froggy


Sep 20, 2002, 3:48 PM
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Oh and I will take responsibility into my own hands - next time I will climb through if I have to, so I don't have to deal with their slowness and take responsibility for their actions..

I am not getting lost in the dark because they are too slow


hallm


Sep 20, 2002, 3:54 PM
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Froggy,

I'm sorry to inform you, but thrillseeker is correct.

The party above you got on the route first. According to climbing etiquette, they had complete rights to the route, including the right to take two, three or four hours a pitch. In fact, if they decided to bivy half way up, that is their choice, and just because you happen to want to climb the same route does not give you any right to pre-empt their early arrival by unilaterally deciding to climb through.

Others do not get to be the arbiter of what routes a particular party should be on (to use your terminology, whether a route is above their "grade"), and whether they should allow another group to pass. It is extremely presumptive of you to believe so, and such an attitude is indicative of a lack of experience and extreme carelessness.

Either get there earlier, go around (not through), ask permission, wait, or find another route to climb.


hallm


Sep 20, 2002, 3:57 PM
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Froggy,

one more point, if you don't want to get lost in the dark, bring proper gear (read, headlamp).



Partner drector


Sep 20, 2002, 4:03 PM
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froggy,

In an earlier post, I suggested very strongly that a party that doesn't let you pass is being rude but... If you didn't ask then you take what you get. And even if they say no, you are still responsible for your own outcome. If you didn't ask then I don't think they should be paying any attention to how *you* are climbing. They should be focusing on, and enjoying their own climb. And even if you had asked and they had denied you, their only error in my mind is not being polite (or being rude if the pass is an easy one). They are certainly not responsible for the outcome of your climb.

I'm all for etiquette in climbing but you are still responsible for yourself and your actions. You are the final authority and must take full responsibility for the outcome of your climb (unless they started to throw rocks at you, etc...).

Dave

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