Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

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Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby Alpinestar18 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:29 pm

While rock climbing, how often do you become dangerously close to being bite by a snake? I'm totally new to rock climbing and I've got a fear of getting too close to a venomous snake from being seen too late. I've been into kayaking/hiking and somehow I hardly even spot a snake. EDIT: Of course I'm talking about starting April/May.
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby KD » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:29 pm

You'll see lots of them in the summer but just keep your distance and respect for them. Dont pick them up or try to move them. Keep your pack closed in snake country. Ive seen dozens of rattlers climbing in Oregon but they let you know to stay away. Copperheads have no way to warn and people usually get bitten by accidently stepping on them. Just dont be a dumbass and you'll be safe. :)
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby MrFizz » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:13 am

It's not snakes you got to worry about, it's bears. My partners bag got shredded by one in Yosemite a few tears back. But I think the only bear in the red is the one that escaped from the top of Raven rock.
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby whatahutch » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:25 am

I went to take a wizz once while at the crag and stepped right over a copperhead. I've seen two other copperheads on the trail to crags while in the Red. All were in the Southern Region.
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby Willy » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:57 am

Yes, what KD said. They also camouflage themselves really well and most of us come near them on a regular basis without ever knowing it. They also tend to slither away rather than try to stand their ground when people get close. Curious dogs seem to get bit far more often than we do. I'll never forget watching my huge dog go up to a little tiny corn snake to sniff it and getting whacked on the nose about scaring the fur right off her. It was way to small to have possibly hurt her but I'm hoping she remembers it and stays away from all snakes now.
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby Alpinestar18 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:40 am

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=spo ... tedIndex=0

Yes, a snakes camouflage is incredible.. I've probably gotten too close a few times myself without knowing.

Any other stories or tips on being safe at rrg, much appreciated.
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby Chip » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:31 am

This past year i saw a copperhead while taking a piss told my friends they went over to look at him and apparently i had walked right over another one. Have went looking for them in my belay spot said all clear and friend is lacing up right next to one. Dog walked over a three and a half footer. The list goes on. Just from this year alone. All of these experiences were copperheads. In fact i only saw 2 snakes this year that werent copperheads both of which were at muir.
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby SpikySkaKid » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:03 pm

This fall at the Zoo wall I was belaying my friend who was taking a small rest on a ledge about 20 feet up. A two foot long snake came towards him on the ledge, so he moved a little and it "jumped" off the ledge. From below I heard "Snake!", looked into my belay specs and saw a black snake floating down. I quickly backed away, giving a little slack in the rope and the snake landed exactly where I was standing. It slithered off down the hill. We all had a good laugh except for my other friend who is deathly afraid of snakes. He was just glad he wasn't belaying at the time.
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby Flunker » Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:18 pm

It's extremely dangerous out there, not only due to the snakes, but also due to the bees, poison ivy, mud, bears, wolves, honey badgers, and whatnot...
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby RRO » Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:05 pm

I'd worry more bout the gym climbers and yanks if it were me.....and rest stop trouser snakes
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby Alpinestar18 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:53 am

RRO wrote:I'd worry more bout the gym climbers and yanks if it were me.....and rest stop trouser snakes


What's gym climbers like? I just started climbing and hardly run into anyone from the cold weather but I'm sure that's going to change here in a few more months...
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby lena_chita » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:44 pm

I only came close to grabbing a copperhead while actually climbing a route once. (It was on the start of Ruby Slippers at the Emerald City, the snake was inside a deep slot, and I would not have seen it, before grabbing the slot, but fortunately I was too short to reach for it. One of the few times I was thankful for being short.) I have seen more while hiking to or from crags, walking around, belaying, etc. etc. And i ma sure there have been many more that i have not seen.
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby Alpinestar18 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:05 am

At Cave Run, a local guy I use to know was bitten by a copperhead on the neck which I'm thinking is one of the worst places to be bitten and a rare place to be bitten but his drinking habits most likely had something to do with it.. and he didn't even go to the hospital which has me thinking, how painful is a copperhead bite? I understand that copperheads don't have enough lethal venom to kill or cause too many complications and I've also heard stories about people laying in bed with the worst pain they have ever felt for days but It seems like people always tend exaggerate. Anyone know anybody that they can trust to give accurate measure of pain from a copperhead or timber where venom was injected?
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby Syt » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:44 pm

Could have been a dry bite. Not all bites end with the same volume of venom injected. A young snake is gonna fill your ass good however.
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Re: Are there many snake encounters while rock climbing?

Postby Alpinestar18 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:24 pm

Yes, copperheads don't look at us as they do prey and try to conserve there venom by not injecting venom (believe this happens around 50% of bites) while the younger copperheads hasn't developed that control yet, they'll attempt to inject venom every time. Correct me If I'm wrong but don't young copperheads have less venom? and if the young has recently injected there venom into prey (believe it takes a week to replenish venom) would that not result in a dry bite?
Also read that copperheads venom capacity (45-75mg) which is pretty low and timber rattlers (100-200mg) which is also low if you compare it to it's eastern or western diamond back relative that can hold as much as 850mg.
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