Occupied Routes & Ethics

Posted: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 22:25

I've been lucky enough to have only good experiences while climbing in Montana, both with the climbing itself and other climbers, until today.

Hyalite in particular has so many options that if someone else beat you to your intended destination, it really isn't too difficult to readjust your plans and find something else to climb. Or simply wait until the first party has completed the route and is safely out of the way before you give it a shot.  

While on the second pitch of Cleopatra's Needle, a party of two men decided to come up and climb behind us. And then follow my line. I was leading and my two partners were below me. This holier-than-thou fella was now between me and my partners, on top of our gear and knocking ice onto my two partners. I don't care if other idiots are ok with this kind of behavior, but it is unacceptable and should never be repeated. 

If someone is on the route you want, BACK OFF! Sometimes it can be ok to climb to the side of another party, but it is just not ok to embed yourself between a party that is on route. This climber knowingly put the safety of my partners and myself at risk. Sir, if I ever meet you, yours is the safety we will be unsure of.  I don't care if you have time restrictions and we are slow. I don't care if you are simply impatient and we are too slow. If you are in a hurry, get your butt up there early.

We ended up finishing the climb and traversing over to Twin Falls for our descent, so as to prevent any potential injuries from tossing ropes and rappelling onto the other party. 

As climbers we trust one another with our lives and although we may not be partners on a particular day, I'd like to trust all of my fellow climbers to look out for the safety of each other. Be safe and respect fellow climbers.