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Marylandclimber


Aug 26, 2012, 9:16 AM
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To inform or not to inform...
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If you are climbing next to a group of teenage beginner's on top rope and they are doing many things wrong (and not taking climbing seriously at all), should you feel obligated to inform them what they are doing wrong and fix it? Or leave them be? Nobody wants to see somebody fall and get injured but if they wont take your input seriously what more could you do.

I was climbing lead next to a bunch of teenagers doing this and they knew nothing at all. They were on a 60ft top rope and were saying things like "slack" when they wanted to get tension. I told them politely that you should say "up rope or tension". They started continued laughing and making jokes about it. The climber was roughly teaching the "belayer" how to belay as he was 20ft up. if the climber fell, he would've taken a 10ft fall onto a ledge. After I tried to help them I just ignored them because they didn't take me seriously, probally because I was younger then them. I figured the only way they would learn is when one of them breaks their leg and moved on.


Mark_Hudon


Aug 26, 2012, 9:24 AM
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At Smith Rock years ago, when I climbed there a lot, I used to tell groups when I saw them doing something unsafe. I always tried to be nice but I got so much grief for it that unless something they were doing was absolutely going to cause an accident, I didn't mention it.
It's your call but be ready to be surprised at their reaction.


bearbreeder


Aug 26, 2012, 10:13 AM
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ditto ... unless i see something clearly and immediately dangerous i dont usually yap

the thing about telling them is that now youve likely contradicted their "expert" and theyll go off on denial trying to insist he knows what hes doing ...

conversely there are people who run around telling you that your 2 opposed quickdraw TR anchor aint safe Tongue


majid_sabet


Aug 26, 2012, 10:18 AM
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I normally pull the leader or instructor to the side and I'll explain why his way of doing it its wrong but I'll leave it up to him to either correct it or continue.


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Aug 26, 2012, 2:49 PM)


doogievlg


Aug 26, 2012, 11:29 AM
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damn teenagers


iknowfear


Aug 26, 2012, 4:52 PM
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Marylandclimber wrote:
If you are climbing next to a group of teenage beginner's on top rope and they are doing many things wrong (and not taking climbing seriously at all), should you feel obligated to inform them what they are doing wrong and fix it? Or leave them be? Nobody wants to see somebody fall and get injured but if they wont take your input seriously what more could you do.

I was climbing lead next to a bunch of teenagers doing this and they knew nothing at all. They were on a 60ft top rope and were saying things like "slack" when they wanted to get tension. I told them politely that you should say "up rope or tension". They started continued laughing and making jokes about it. The climber was roughly teaching the "belayer" how to belay as he was 20ft up. if the climber fell, he would've taken a 10ft fall onto a ledge. After I tried to help them I just ignored them because they didn't take me seriously, probally because I was younger then them. I figured the only way they would learn is when one of them breaks their leg and moved on.

If i see something dangerous, I always speak up. And I have yet to have a truly negative reaction.

When commenting on such situations I try to speak politely and gently and only in factual statements.

A typical exchange goes like this:
"Sorry do you mind if I make a comment about your belaying" (if they do not want my comment, I leave it at that)
"It is physically impossible to hold a fall in the way you hold the break strand of the rope while giving slack - this means if your partner falls, he falls down 15 m. it might be better to do it that way... "

And again, if people reject my advice (like a guy who let go of the break strand to put on his sunnies and later to sort some knots ) - I'just try to deescalate by saying, well if you already know that, then thats ok, never mind me.

(Because in my opinion, if people are aware of the risks they are running, they are entitled to take that level of risk without me getting in the way)

edited to clarify first sentence


(This post was edited by iknowfear on Aug 26, 2012, 4:53 PM)


olderic


Aug 26, 2012, 6:48 PM
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When you really are experienced enough to be useful you won't be posting here looking for advice,


Marylandclimber


Aug 27, 2012, 4:17 AM
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Go away


Marylandclimber


Aug 27, 2012, 4:19 AM
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That's what I was thinking you could try and comment to change what there doing but it's really just their choice. At the same time you don't want to see somebody die. I think pulling the leader aside and commenting would be the best solution.


shotwell


Aug 27, 2012, 6:25 AM
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Normally olderic and I see different points of view, but in this case he is right. No one can tell you what is right for you; you're just looking for approval for what you want to do anyway. Say something or don't, but don't pretend you're some sort of hero.


AZwolf


Aug 27, 2012, 4:26 PM
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As I have gotten older, I notice more and more that I am wrong about things. I don't believe that I wasn't wrong about stuff before, I just was unaware of my errors. Now I'm not saying that the climbers next to you were doing things correctly, but you may not have had all the information. A good way to come at something like this is to assume that you are wrong and start asking the guy questions about your observations. For example, it seems like letting go of your brake hand could put your climber in a very precarious situation if he fell. Is there something I'm not seeing here? Are you using a belay device that auto brakes? Magic rope? Your climber wants to learn to solo and doesn't want you on belay except for the really hard parts? You have an insurance policy on this person? Your climber wants to be injured so he won't have to go to work on Monday? If they tell you to F off, which is likely, at least they will start to think about what they are doing wrong. Or perhaps you are wrong and will learn something new.


USnavy


Aug 27, 2012, 10:31 PM
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I used to inform climbers of any dangerous mistakes they were making, but then it started to become a full time job. I dont think I have climbed at a popular sport crag but more than a few times and not noticed someone doing something stupid. Because of that I have stopped informing them. But if I ever see someone doing something that is critically dangerous and puts themselves or their partner in imminent danger, then I will speak up.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Aug 27, 2012, 10:33 PM)


marc801


Aug 28, 2012, 7:00 AM
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Like many others, I generally keep quiet unless there is something they are doing that is obviously, horrifically wrong and creating imminent danger. It does depend on how receptive they are, and it takes some talent on your part to be able to offer advice in a manner that doesn't result in defensive behavior or hostile rejection. It's not always possible. There have also been times were I've observed a situation and decided to move on to another route that is not so near.

As Bill Ravitch (for those who remember him) once said, "Don't be a witness."


curt


Aug 28, 2012, 8:35 AM
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marc801 wrote:
As Bill Ravitch (for those who remember him) once said, "Don't be a witness."

It was hard not to run into Bill on any given trip to the Gunks. That's pretty much my philosophy as well--particularly if the behavior in question makes it fairly likely that I will need to be involved in the rescue.

Curt


JasonsDrivingForce


Aug 28, 2012, 12:39 PM
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I couldn't tell from your post if this was at a gym or outdoors. If it is at a gym I would just tell someone who works there especially if it wasn't an immediate life threatening situation.

You never want to see someone get injured or killed. However, involving yourself in the situation does open you up to getting injured or sued. They waved most of their rights to sue the gym when they signed the waver. However, they didn't sign any of their rights away to sue you.

I am not sure if everyone read the part where you said they are teenagers but they were also older than you. If that really is the case then you are probably a young teenager.

You really shouldn't assume that everything you have been taught is the single best way to do it. If you are really that young then you haven't been in enough situations yourself to know what the answer is.

To you, it may sound like what olderic said was rude and insensitive but I think all he was trying to say is that you don't have enough experience to know that what you are telling them is truly the right thing to do. When you do have enough experience you will know when you need to speak up to that person and when not to.

Normally, I wouldn't have bothered commenting on this because I think what olderic said is correct. However, I get the feeling that you are younger than some people here realized and this board does tend to be direct and to the point even if their words seem to be insensitive.

The bottom line is worry about whether you are doing everything safely for yourself and not so much about other people that are not climbing with you. There are so many things that could go wrong while you are climbing. I would hate to compound that with worrying about nit-picky things with someone else who isn't even climbing with you.

When the time does come where someone's life is in imminent and immediate danger you won't have time to ask what you should do. Either you will react or you won't but in all likelihood you won't even have enough time to think about it.


(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Aug 28, 2012, 1:04 PM)


Marylandclimber


Aug 29, 2012, 5:00 PM
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They didn't even have climbing shoes and this was outdoor. Don't assume just because I'm young I know nothing. I never try to be a know it all and always try to learn from people whenever I can but hate When people assume I know nothing and that I'm going to die. It was obvious danger these teenagers were putting themselves in and I really didn't want to ruin a nice day climbing with my father because somebody got blood over the crag.


ObviousTroll


Aug 29, 2012, 6:14 PM
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Did they die? Did your dad say something to them? Did they get injured?

If nobody got hurt and you still have all your gear, sounds like a good day of climbing to me.


Gmburns2000


Aug 29, 2012, 7:12 PM
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Marylandclimber wrote:
If you are climbing next to a group of teenage beginner's on top rope and they are doing many things wrong (and not taking climbing seriously at all), should you feel obligated to inform them what they are doing wrong and fix it? Or leave them be? Nobody wants to see somebody fall and get injured but if they wont take your input seriously what more could you do.

I was climbing lead next to a bunch of teenagers doing this and they knew nothing at all. They were on a 60ft top rope and were saying things like "slack" when they wanted to get tension. I told them politely that you should say "up rope or tension". They started continued laughing and making jokes about it. The climber was roughly teaching the "belayer" how to belay as he was 20ft up. if the climber fell, he would've taken a 10ft fall onto a ledge. After I tried to help them I just ignored them because they didn't take me seriously, probally because I was younger then them. I figured the only way they would learn is when one of them breaks their leg and moved on.

Not only is Eric right, but this subject is about one level below "what kind of shoes should I buy" on the list of "most often asked questions."

Lots of good answers here, but really, it depends on you, who you're with, what the other folks are doing, who they're with, your attitude, how you approach them, how they respond, etc.

Again, alluding to eric's comment, not only does it depend, but what you do is probably determined by what you think or know already.


vinnie83


Aug 29, 2012, 9:25 PM
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JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
They waved most of their rights to sue the gym when they signed the waver. However, they didn't sign any of their rights away to sue you.

This is a little off topic and I'm not a lawyer, but I used to work for someone who was sued and/or asked to testify multiple times in situations that would be similar to a customer getting hurt at a climbing gym. The waivers you sign at climbing gyms and other similar places are about as useful as used toilet paper. If someone is going to sue you they are most likely to sue you for negligence and fortunately you can't waive negligence.


JasonsDrivingForce


Aug 30, 2012, 6:16 AM
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Marylandclimber wrote:
They didn't even have climbing shoes and this was outdoor. Don't assume just because I'm young I know nothing. I never try to be a know it all and always try to learn from people whenever I can but hate When people assume I know nothing and that I'm going to die. It was obvious danger these teenagers were putting themselves in and I really didn't want to ruin a nice day climbing with my father because somebody got blood over the crag.

Nobody said "you know nothing". However, I do know that you don't have enough experience to know when someone isn't criticizing you and is giving you good sound advise based on years of experience dealing with people.

Just because they aren't wearing shoes and they aren't doing everything "By the book" in terms of safety doesn't mean they are going to spill blood all over your precious crag.

There are a lot of climbing spots in Europe that will not allow you to use chalk, bolts, or any protection at all that could damage the natural state of the mountain.

There are a lot of very experienced and very capable climbers that free solo there without shoes. If you tried to lecture any one of them on how they should climb they probably would not appreciate it.

In the end it sounds more like you were intentionally ruining their climbing experience more than they ruined yours.

You may or may not take our advice. That is fine. That is part of growing up and learning from your mistakes. Just like those teenagers may or may not learn from their mistakes one day.

Again the best advice I can give you is to worry more about yourself than other climbers that are not part of your climbing party. I know more climbers who have witnessed their own death than climbers who have witnessed someone else's death.


JasonsDrivingForce


Aug 30, 2012, 6:19 AM
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vinnie83 wrote:
JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
They waved most of their rights to sue the gym when they signed the waver. However, they didn't sign any of their rights away to sue you.

This is a little off topic and I'm not a lawyer, but I used to work for someone who was sued and/or asked to testify multiple times in situations that would be similar to a customer getting hurt at a climbing gym. The waivers you sign at climbing gyms and other similar places are about as useful as used toilet paper. If someone is going to sue you they are most likely to sue you for negligence and fortunately you can't waive negligence.

You are absolutely right on this. However, the gym is definitely better equipped financially to handle the lawsuit than an individual is. Put the burden on the gym when it comes to enforcing safety if it is not an immediate and life threatening situation.


AZwolf


Aug 31, 2012, 1:28 PM
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Marylandclimber wrote:
They didn't even have climbing shoes and this was outdoor. Don't assume just because I'm young I know nothing. I never try to be a know it all and always try to learn from people whenever I can but hate When people assume I know nothing and that I'm going to die. It was obvious danger these teenagers were putting themselves in and I really didn't want to ruin a nice day climbing with my father because somebody got blood over the crag.

My question is why isn't your father the one to talk to the teenagers? His advice would have to be considered by the teenagers, even if you know more than him. Most teenagers know this at their core because they have listen to their parents and other authority in their lives. Those that don't get their punk card pulled and end up having to skulk away from the crag.

Why didn't your dad take the advice to the teenagers??? This would have been the proper way to work a dangerous situation. Could it be that your dad saw something that you didn't and pulled your punk card? I don't know, I wasn't there, but I may have suggested that you say something if you were my son and I thought that you might learn something from the experience.

At the very least, I have to wonder if your dad didn't go down that road so if you were there without him sometime you would know not to approach some punks and get your ass handed to you. I have a feeling there is more to this thing then orange safety vests and boy scouts. Like I said though, I wasn't there.


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