From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

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From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by kidandrew » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:31 am

SO! I know this question may get a fair amount of sarcastic responses, being sarcastic myself I can appreciate that, so flame on, but:

I manage a gym with proximity to the red and hearing climbers talk of all their fancy new draws, and ropes, and assorted climbing business, realized I was indirectly spurring a (relatively small by comparison to the whole) onslaught of new folks climbing at the red. They may do their homework, they may not, they may be total screw ups. With that, we're launching a series of workshops to help folks make that transition. It will be launched under the guise of technical instruction, but subverted in that will be as close to a fatherly lecture on environmental and climbing ethics as we can muster. Yes, it would be the tits if they could all have some crusty old mentor in high tops to take them around, but the new to crusty ratio is not in favor of this.

So I ask to you all, climbers of the red, if you had a top five list of things you'd like to advise them to do/not to do, what would it be?

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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by Ascentionist » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:28 am

1) Be cognizant of group size.
2) The woods are not the gym or a city park, encourage them to be mindful of noise levels and emphasize Leave No Trace to them.
3) Do a clinic on leading, cleaning anchors, self-reliance, decision making in emergencies, first aid, make them all get their Eagle Scout rank (even the goils), orienteering, interpreting approach and route descriptions, make sure they understand how to prevent car break-ins by leaving all their expensive stuff at home (or just drop it off at the pawn shop on the way through town), Leave No Trace, limiting group sizes, and for crying out loud never give in to the urge to bring back lycra as a fad.
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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by pumpout2004 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:31 am

Interesting topic. It took me a year, a botched rappel, and a broken leg to admit to myself that I was not as competent as I thought. I wish this sentiment could be conveyed without the hospital bills and the month and a half in a cast.
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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by Cocoapuffs1000 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:33 am

Before the avalanche of sarcastic responses, I'll try to give a constructive one.

I'm hesitant to give safety advice so I'll stick to courtesy i.e. not pissing people off

- Stay in small groups. 6 or less would be ideal. Do not show up with 20 people to one crag

- Share routes. Don't monopolize popular climbs, don't leave ropes up when not climbing. If another group is waiting for the climb, don't sit around for 15 minutes without climbing (or offer to let them cut in if you do). They can always leave a top rope up for you when they finish.

- DO NOT POOP UNDER TWINKIE AND PHANTASIA

- No music

- Keep dogs on a leash, or leave them home

- Be open minded and willing to accept advice from more experienced climbers at the crag

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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by SpikySkaKid » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:24 pm

I would highly suggest the use of helmets, especially for newbies. They will likely not want to wear them because they don't look "cool" and you don't wear them in the gym, but outside is different and all it takes is one fall with a weird spin to knock your noggin on the rock. Save the killing of brain cells for the beer after you are done climbing.

I would also emphasize belayer attentiveness outside. There are many more distractions outside and the consequences to the climber are far more grave. Remember, the belayer is responsible to check to make sure the climber's knot is good and their gear is safe. And a helmet is also advised for the belayer. Catching a dropped biner or rock on the head isn't good for the belayer or the climber.

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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by MrFizz » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:28 pm

SpikySkaKid wrote:I would highly suggest the use of helmets, especially for newbies.
I agree you never know when someone might take a shit off the side of the cliff.
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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by whoneedsfeet » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:33 pm

Wear matching tank tops. If one of your group strays away we can quickly get them back to you.
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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by lena_chita » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:54 pm

1)Safety. This is obviously a big issue that can be sub-divided into many more. But If I had to boil it down, I would say, If you can still count the number of times you have been outside, yourself, you shouldn't be bringing climbers newer than yourself, and trying to teach them stuff. Even more narrowly, if you are talking someone through how to clean the anchors for the first time, WHILE they are at the anchor, you are doing it wrong.

2)general outdoor skills/preparedness. Stuff like... You CAN make an effort to go to the bathroom in the morning, so you don't need to poop at the crag; How to poop at the crag, if you have to; what to bring with you to the crag for a day, from trash bags, to snacks, to water, to first aid kit.

3) etiquette:
Don't put your packs right on the trail. Contain your stuff, don't spread around the entire crag.
Don't tie your hammock across the trail, or where it would interfere with someone's belaying.
No music of any kind, if there is anyone other than your group present.
Try to NOT be the loudest person at the crag, unless it is a safety issue that needs immediate attention from everyone.
Do not yell beta to anyone you don't know, without asking if it was O.K., first.
Large groups need to be split up, if you have more than 3 top-ropers in your group per one leader, it is too big.
Be polite, don't monopolize routes, let other people get a turn if you are not planning to climb in the next 10 minutes.

4) Leave no trace.
Avoid trampling vegetation. Don't cut across slopes, stay on trails.
Yes, the little corner of the Cliff bar wrapper is STILL litter. And so is the little zip-tie that attached the tag to your quickdraw. And the tape on your finger. Pick it up. Pick it up even if it wasn't YOU who dropped it.

5) Your dogs and your children are very cute. But neither one is allowed access to my backpack. And yes, it is YOUR job to make sure they don't get into it.

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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by Yasmeen » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:30 pm

whoneedsfeet wrote:Wear matching tank tops. If one of your group strays away we can quickly get them back to you.
:lol: Thank you for this amusing mental image of you steering a cute girl in a neon orange tank top by her upper arms back to her group.
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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by tpowell » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:00 am

Go over cleaning with them. A lot. Like, they should be able to do it in a vegetative state. I hate listening to people scream to their partner how to clean.

Leave No Trace. Those cigarette butts may not seem like much to you, but it's the little things like that that piss people off.

Leave the hammocks at home. They generally lead to either destroying cliff side vegetation, and blocking approaches or routes us try hards wants to get on.

Proper belay techniques. You'd be amazed how many people take their hand off the brake line.

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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by KD » Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:08 pm

be patient ...you have conjuored the sage of postsers and he will make his appearance soon ...await anxiously for the gospel rambling :)

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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by whoneedsfeet » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:34 pm

Yasmeen wrote:
whoneedsfeet wrote:Wear matching tank tops. If one of your group strays away we can quickly get them back to you.
:lol: Thank you for this amusing mental image of you steering a cute girl in a neon orange tank top by her upper arms back to her group.
Sorry you looked lost. The neon YOLO tank threw me off and I couldn't adjust my eyes to see who it was.
Skipping cruxes is a way of life.

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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by Yasmeen » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:59 pm

whoneedsfeet wrote:
Yasmeen wrote:
whoneedsfeet wrote:Wear matching tank tops. If one of your group strays away we can quickly get them back to you.
:lol: Thank you for this amusing mental image of you steering a cute girl in a neon orange tank top by her upper arms back to her group.
Sorry you looked lost. The neon YOLO tank threw me off and I couldn't adjust my eyes to see who it was.
You can't graciously give me hand-me-downs and then act all confused when I wear them, man!
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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by whoneedsfeet » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:51 pm

Skipping cruxes is a way of life.

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Re: From the gym to the crag: The revenge of the gumby

Post by Yasmeen » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:26 pm

Image
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