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Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality
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Partner rrrADAM


May 6, 2011, 4:54 PM
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Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality
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http://www.vcstar.com/...-to-save-his-friend/


ClimbClimb


May 14, 2011, 7:33 PM
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Re: [rrrADAM] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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Actually, that title is both disrespectful and misrepresents the story. Among other things, it's a heroic story of one guy trying to save his falling friend.

The sheriff said it best: "We've all done things maybe we shouldn't have and we've escaped unscathed".


tower_climber


May 14, 2011, 9:04 PM
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Re: [ClimbClimb] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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I disagree. The story explicitly states that the pair had "limited" experience and that they had no rock climbing gear with them at all. No rope, no pro, no harnesses, not even shoes. Ill-equipped and inexperienced sounds about right.

I am saddened by the death of a fellow adventurer, but those two had no business climbing 50-100 feet off the ground with nothing between them and injury. The survivor did a heroic thing trying to break his friend's fall, but that doesn't change the circumstances of the accident any.

Bottom line: if a fall means serious injury or death, it is best to use safety equipment unless your extreme amount of experience allows you to comfortably tackle the climb without gear.


(On an unrelated note, "Underlin said" is used in that article far too many times. It made my head hurt.)


jackmarr


May 14, 2011, 9:37 PM
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Re: [tower_climber] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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I think this is a tragedy. People instinctively know what can be climbed and what is dangerous. My 2 year old knows this, and that is what gear is for.

I just think free soloing by top climbers is not just tragic, as in the case of Michael Reardon and John Bachar, but it is irresponsible at a high level if used in the mass media.

Several years ago, the English language TV station came to my local gym to do a feature about climbing. Good idea. But the dude they picked, not a friend of mine, decided to free solo a 5.6 and then do a dulsifersitz rappel back to the horizontal. He was a 5.12 or so climber, so obviously this was not dangerous to him. But to the young new viewers of climbing, it was.

We all stand in awe of Alex Honnold's solos on El Capitan. What disturbs me is that the North Face decided to take an image and a video from one of his epics and use it as the main image in a typical shopping mall where most people buy Gore Tex to stay dry on urban Sundays.

We at this site are for the most part people with a bit of experience. There will be many more to come, but they have to survive the first phases. Let's send the message to the new community that a rope and solid gear are a good idea.


Rudmin


May 15, 2011, 6:10 PM
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Re: [tower_climber] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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tower_climber wrote:
I disagree. The story explicitly states that the pair had "limited" experience and that they had no rock climbing gear with them at all. No rope, no pro, no harnesses, not even shoes. Ill-equipped and inexperienced sounds about right.

I am saddened by the death of a fellow adventurer, but those two had no business climbing 50-100 feet off the ground with nothing between them and injury. The survivor did a heroic thing trying to break his friend's fall, but that doesn't change the circumstances of the accident any.

I think it's funny for a rock climber and self described adventurer to point the finger at another for taking a risk. As far as most of the public is concerned, all of rock climbing is an unnecessary risk.

I say, let people take the risks they want to take. There is never a clear line between safe and unsafe.

None of the firsts to do anything notable had any experience or much in the way of equipment either.


(This post was edited by Rudmin on May 15, 2011, 6:11 PM)


billl7


May 15, 2011, 6:40 PM
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Re: [tower_climber] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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I think we're really scraping the bottom of the barrel if we're going to analyze this one. The majority of folks on here can relate to these two and the moments before the fall ... perhaps when we were young and maybe not so young.

... only the best wishes to those close.

Bill L


olderic


May 16, 2011, 10:16 AM
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Re: [jackmarr] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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jackmarr wrote:
I think this is a tragedy. People instinctively know what can be climbed and what is dangerous. My 2 year old knows this, and that is what gear is for.

I just think free soloing by top climbers is not just tragic, as in the case of Michael Reardon and John Bachar, but it is irresponsible at a high level if used in the mass media.

You need to rethink what you want to say - you're first two paragraphs are contradictory. FWIW I agree with your first statement. There may be a few cases of your second sentiment - someone's basic instincts being overridden by some media sensation - but I have to say that the individual that is susceptible to that is likely to be a good candidate for a Darwin award. Do you think that all images of someone going after big waves at Mavericks, or big air on a bike, skis or board or a big drop in a kayak are irresponsible? Someone might try and emulate them you know...


jackmarr


May 17, 2011, 6:34 AM
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Re: [olderic] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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I do take your point, but my point is that climbing is a bit different. I have taken huge falls skiing, big washouts surfing, and one really stupid fall trying to impress a group of 12 year olds by taking huge air on my mountain bike. In each case, I basically walked away with a broken ego. Taking a climbing fall at anything above 15 m or so (unless it is DWS, which gives you a few more) is basically a death sentence with no chance of a pardon. But you are right, these images sell papers.

If published in Climbing, R&I, Alpinist, or other specialist mags it is one thing as your average Wal-Mart shopper does not generally pick these things off the rack. But if put in an English-learning TV show for Chinese (as I mentioned, viewed by mostly young people) or on an American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Shanghai (where I first actually saw the video of Honnold's big FS) it is a different matter. That is the point I am trying to make.


taydude


May 17, 2011, 7:08 AM
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Re: [jackmarr] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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jackmarr wrote:
I think this is a tragedy. People instinctively know what can be climbed and what is dangerous. My 2 year old knows this, and that is what gear is for.

I just think free soloing by top climbers is not just tragic, as in the case of Michael Reardon and John Bachar, but it is irresponsible at a high level if used in the mass media.

Several years ago, the English language TV station came to my local gym to do a feature about climbing. Good idea. But the dude they picked, not a friend of mine, decided to free solo a 5.6 and then do a dulsifersitz rappel back to the horizontal. He was a 5.12 or so climber, so obviously this was not dangerous to him. But to the young new viewers of climbing, it was.

We all stand in awe of Alex Honnold's solos on El Capitan. What disturbs me is that the North Face decided to take an image and a video from one of his epics and use it as the main image in a typical shopping mall where most people buy Gore Tex to stay dry on urban Sundays.

We at this site are for the most part people with a bit of experience. There will be many more to come, but they have to survive the first phases. Let's send the message to the new community that a rope and solid gear are a good idea.

I disagree with your outlook about solo climbing. When people see someone surfing a 50ft wave or riding a snowboard off of a huge cliff they don't say "wow that sponsored athlete can do that, I surely can too". They say, "wow that's awesome and relevant to my interests, I should find out how to learn that sport"

I think the north face ads are promoting our sport and showing people that what we do is real. I'm so sick of telling people I climb and they ask me about Everest or they tell me some story about a birthday party at a gym and how all the ropes were easy. Promoting climbing and informing the general public about it will only help our sport. We can't make exceptions for some idiot that went off adventuring without proper equipment.


jackmarr


May 17, 2011, 7:32 AM
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Re: [taydude] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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taydude wrote:
jackmarr wrote:
I think this is a tragedy. People instinctively know what can be climbed and what is dangerous. My 2 year old knows this, and that is what gear is for.

I just think free soloing by top climbers is not just tragic, as in the case of Michael Reardon and John Bachar, but it is irresponsible at a high level if used in the mass media.

Several years ago, the English language TV station came to my local gym to do a feature about climbing. Good idea. But the dude they picked, not a friend of mine, decided to free solo a 5.6 and then do a dulsifersitz rappel back to the horizontal. He was a 5.12 or so climber, so obviously this was not dangerous to him. But to the young new viewers of climbing, it was.

We all stand in awe of Alex Honnold's solos on El Capitan. What disturbs me is that the North Face decided to take an image and a video from one of his epics and use it as the main image in a typical shopping mall where most people buy Gore Tex to stay dry on urban Sundays.

We at this site are for the most part people with a bit of experience. There will be many more to come, but they have to survive the first phases. Let's send the message to the new community that a rope and solid gear are a good idea.

I disagree with your outlook about solo climbing. When people see someone surfing a 50ft wave or riding a snowboard off of a huge cliff they don't say "wow that sponsored athlete can do that, I surely can too". They say, "wow that's awesome and relevant to my interests, I should find out how to learn that sport"

I think the north face ads are promoting our sport and showing people that what we do is real. I'm so sick of telling people I climb and they ask me about Everest or they tell me some story about a birthday party at a gym and how all the ropes were easy. Promoting climbing and informing the general public about it will only help our sport. We can't make exceptions for some idiot that went off adventuring without proper equipment.
In reply to:

I am not against free soloing, although I think it is ill-advised. I was putting up a new trad route recently and soloed to the first big pro (a hunker tree) about 10 m up. Once I reached the ledge and realized it was a 5.10a move to actually get the tree, I was scared. I felt stupid. I definitely didn't want to be on TV.

My intro to rock climbing was from Wales and Snowdonia (Tolkien country) when I was studying in the UK way back when. I was told the only real way to climb was to FS, using the locally proliferate mushrooms as a backup. Even though I was 19 at the time, I decided this was not for me and stuck to skiing, MTB, mountaineering, and surfing. It was not until years later when I realized that systems of pro existed that I immersed myself in it. But at 19, who knows? If my girlfriend just blew me off or I just flunked a class, maybe I would have taken a different path. And maybe I would not be around.

One thing Michael Reardon said, who I have great respect for but sadness for his kids, is that you only FS for three reasons: (1) angst. (2) pride. and (3) zen. And if it is not zen, it is not right. To me people doing it for photo ops are clearly in (2). So I think Michael would support me on this point. Best,, Jack


Partner drector


May 17, 2011, 8:34 AM
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Re: [taydude] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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taydude wrote:
I disagree with your outlook about solo climbing. When people see someone surfing a 50ft wave or riding a snowboard off of a huge cliff they don't say "wow that sponsored athlete can do that, I surely can too". They say, "wow that's awesome and relevant to my interests, I should find out how to learn that sport"

Too many people are really dumb. Just plain old dumb. How many teenagers end up in the emergency room because they tried some trick they saw, heard about, or just made up? They try everything from pro wrestling to "ow, my balls" skateboarding.

Most people don't try to mimic what they see on TV and those who do are on their own. It's their own fault, not the medias fault and not the guy on the TV or YouTube performing the stunt.

In regards to this specific accident, people, are constantly free soloing stuff in campgrounds and on hiking trips every day. Most do fine. It's sad but it's not the fault of rock climbers or the media. They tried the climb and they failed and it sucks. If they did it because they saw it on TV or YouTube, that was another mistake mistake.

Dave


Rudmin


May 17, 2011, 8:35 AM
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Re: [drector] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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drector wrote:
Too many people are really dumb. Just plain old dumb. How many teenagers end up in the emergency room because they tried some trick they saw, heard about, or just made up? They try everything from pro wrestling to "ow, my balls" skateboarding.

If teenagers weren't dumb, adults wouldn't be wise


notapplicable


May 17, 2011, 6:04 PM
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Re: [jackmarr] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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jackmarr wrote:
One thing Michael Reardon said, who I have great respect for but sadness for his kids, is that you only FS for three reasons: (1) angst. (2) pride. and (3) zen. And if it is not zen, it is not right. To me people doing it for photo ops are clearly in (2). So I think Michael would support me on this point. Best,, Jack

Reardon soloed for the camera all the time, which, according to your reasoning, clearly makes him a (2) as well. Of course I see nothing wrong with that. People are complex and so are their motives. Nothing wrong with being proud of an accomplishment.

I think you analysis overlooks some very real motivations to solo for the camera that may fall outside of the pride category though. I would say it's likely that some folks allow the cameras access to their climbing to share what they know to be noteworthy and interesting ascents with their fellow climbers, folks like myself who enjoy the footage. They also do it to support a lifestyle which enables them to achieve amazing climbs the rest of us can only dream of. As a means to an end, if you will.


jackmarr


May 17, 2011, 6:48 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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Notapplicable--

That is a very good point, and perhaps Reardon did not live up to his mantra. But as T.S. Elliot quipped, "Mistah Kurtz, he dead..."


viciado


May 19, 2011, 7:25 AM
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Re: [jackmarr] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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Not to put too fine of a point on it, but didn't Reardon drown?


Rudmin


May 19, 2011, 8:33 AM
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Re: [jackmarr] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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jackmarr wrote:
But as T.S. Elliot quipped, "Mistah Kurtz, he dead..."

Joseph Conrad wrote those words.


sp115


May 19, 2011, 9:27 AM
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Re: [Rudmin] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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Rudmin wrote:
jackmarr wrote:
But as T.S. Elliot quipped, "Mistah Kurtz, he dead..."

Joseph Conrad wrote those words.

Yes, but also quoted by T. S. Eliot referencing Conrad's work.


jackmarr


May 19, 2011, 10:44 AM
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Re: [sp115] Inexperienced and ill equiped ends in fatality [In reply to]
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(1) Thanks for pointing that out, I should have. I know the origin of the quote is from Conrad. I just thought Eliot's footnote was more striking. As was the scene in Apocalypse Now when Brando reads from the Hollow Men... This seems to belong more on a post devoted to literary history though :)

(2) Yes, Reardon did drown but I believe he was free soloing off the seacliffs of Ireland at the time. I also believe he did say he would not die free soloing, in which case he was correct on a technicality. But I do not believe the grim reaper pays too much attention to technicalities...


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