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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 69
Author
Soloing - A question of ethics?
mpage
23/10/2006
3:13:38 PM
Interested in others opinion on the topic of soloing, not the practice itself but rather the 'soloists' relationship to other climbers sharing the cliff. The following scenario occurred over the weekend:

I was starting off seconding the first pitch of a route at araps and a fellow started soloing up and past me, when I reached the belay and was ready to lead off on the next pitch, this person was blocking the line of the climb while trying to retrieve a stuck nut that had been left apparently a few days previously. I was happy to let him hang around trying to get it out as the view was nice and we were on a lazy pace that day anyway. 10 minutes later the nut was retrieved and the fellow starts soloing up again after placing a half kilo rock in his pocket? asking what he's doing he just says "Don't worry about me, I won't fall" after a minute puzzling this development I realise that he is chasing after another nut 10 metres above me and starts bashing away with his rock. At this point I decided that I wasn't particularly comfortable with someone of unknown ability swinging a rock above my head and moved out of the fall line. After a few minutes bashing around he gave up and yelled out to look out because he was on his way down again. So after about 25 odd minutes I was on my way again up the route with this incident far from my mind while enjoying yet another great pitch at araps. But the question remains in my mind as I think back to the climb, why put an unrelated group of climbers in a position where your actions could potentially risk their lives unnecessarily?

Normally I'm happy for people to climb in their own style, as long as that style doesn't effect my ability to also enjoy the cliff, so what is the prevailing ethic out there?

-- Faster group (roped or not) should ask permission to pass slower group.

-- Slower party must give way because ....

-- Relax, if they are confident in their abilities you should be too, oh and rock never breaks anyway;

-- Soloing should be done at obscure remote places so that other climbers / public need not discover mangled bodies at the base of cliffs.
Pommy
23/10/2006
3:43:14 PM
Soloing above somebody else is just plain stupid, no matter how good how good they think they are. It's like drink driving, where your stupidiy can harm others.
3 star wanker

nmonteith
23/10/2006
3:50:49 PM
On 23/10/2006 Pommy wrote:
>Soloing above somebody else is just plain stupid, no matter how good how
>good they think they are. It's like drink driving, where your stupidiy
>can harm others.

Soloing above someone is not that dangerous. What IS dangerous is soloing BELOW people. One slip
from a leader or second and the soloist can be knocked off to their death. Same deal with loose rock or
dropped gear. If you are soloing and get hit by these you are dead. I'd always give way to a soloist...

simonu
23/10/2006
3:53:16 PM
If you're going to solo, don't do it on a route that somebody is already climbing. It's that simple.

Breezy
23/10/2006
4:02:50 PM
On 23/10/2006 nmonteith wrote:
>On 23/10/2006 Pommy wrote:
>>Soloing above somebody else is just plain stupid, no matter how good
>how
>>good they think they are. It's like drink driving, where your stupidiy
>>can harm others.
>
>Soloing above someone is not that dangerous.

I can sorta agree with this statement, although i wouldnt like someone soloing to fall and collect my belayer on the way down.

nmonteith
23/10/2006
4:03:05 PM
On 23/10/2006 mpage wrote:
>I was starting off seconding the first pitch of a route at araps and a
>fellow started soloing up and past me,

This is very dangerous as the rope between the leader and second can knock the solist off - especially in
a fall. Suddenly it is up to the roped team to look out for the soloist. Dumb. Solists should stear clear of
roped parties as they don't have control over the abilities of the roped group.

nmonteith
23/10/2006
4:08:48 PM
On 23/10/2006 Breezy wrote:
>I can sorta agree with this statement, although i wouldnt like someone
>soloing to fall and collect my belayer on the way down.

That would be pretty unlikely! There aren't many solo deaths recorded in Australia. You are much more
likely to get hit by falling rock or (worst case) a climber whos rope has been cut!

peachy
23/10/2006
4:12:34 PM
I was guiding a group of university students up a climb at araps two weeks ago and had a soloist smooth on by. I found it a little rude actually, he knew we were on the climb and it's not like there is a lack of options at Arapiles! In my experience soloing is very personal and I wondered why someone would intentionally choose a climb that a group of inexperienced, new climbers were learning on.

bluey
23/10/2006
4:17:38 PM
Doesn't seem like a question of ethics to me. Seems like a question of common sense and looking out for your own and others safety. One's ethics may be that you solo everything you climb, but common sense dictates that you don't lug up a great big rock above someone's head when they have no option but to sit under you. And this applies whether you're roped up or not.

Sounds like a twat.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
23/10/2006
4:28:19 PM
>so what is the prevailing ethic out there?

Who was it that once said (?); ‘Ethics are like a**holes; everyone’s got one.”

I think it was inconsiderate of the soloist who did that to you.

I preface my remarks by stating that I occasionally solo.
When climbing at any time (solo or otherwise) I go out of my way not to inconvenience others. This is easy enough to do since I prefer untrammelled places anyway.
Whether roped or not, I hate climbing below others and because of this I avoid congested climbs and also when doing popular climbs, try to do them at unpopular times.

>Faster group (roped or not) should ask permission to pass slower group.
Yes. This is common courtesy as well as common sense.

>Slower party must give way because ....
No. The party there 1st should have 1st call on the route if they have embarked upon it.

>Relax, if they are confident in their abilities you should be too, oh and rock never breaks anyway;
Possibly; but it would depend upon many variables; like party size, rock type, weather, daylight remaining, etc.

>Soloing should be done at obscure remote places so that other climbers / public need not discover mangled bodies at the base of cliffs.
No; (besides, they would be discovered sooner or later anyway. Heh, heh, heh.)

If the soloists intention was to booty gather or collect gear that they had previously left then they should have bought a nut tool with them at least to do the job easily?
It would not have hurt them to inform you of the fact so that you did not clean the gear, as long as they waited till you were above it before they set off; as if they wished to climb below you then that is their call.

>But the question remains in my mind as I think back to the climb, why put an unrelated group of climbers in a position where your actions could potentially risk their lives unnecessarily?
The soloist probably did not see it that way, but you were perfectly at liberty to point this out to same, and expect a considerate response to this action.

peachy wrote
>I wondered why someone would intentionally choose a climb that a group of inexperienced, new climbers were learning on.
Sounds like the same person? An exhibitionist perhaps?

thatguy
23/10/2006
5:03:45 PM
You know, he probably didn't see it that way. But that's sure the way it was. Irresponsible. Wether I'm
soloing (only infrequently), or part of a roped team I've never passed or been passed without a discussion
first between groups, let alone to find someone park atop you for the caveman act.

I can't stand wankers that race in front of my car only to drive much slower than me once they're in the
lead.

Eduardo Slabofvic
23/10/2006
5:48:21 PM
In Australia, this kind of thing sucks. If someone is on a route, then let them finish, there are heaps of
other routes to do in the mean time. If your after booty, then it's first in first served, that's the law of
booty.

Don't go to Europe if you don't like having to fight to stay in front or be first on a route.

By the way, which route was it????????.....booty time, booty time......

rodw
23/10/2006
5:51:06 PM
Mark, just move back to NSW mate, you wont have that issue here..the rock is just to friable to solo.

Zebedee
23/10/2006
5:54:56 PM
Not ethics this just sounds dangerous. Though of the options I would probably go for "-- Soloing should be done at obscure remote places so that other climbers / public need not discover mangled bodies at the base of cliffs." I don't like watching people solo. I once saw a pretty good climber solo a route that had completly spanked me. He looked too comfortable and eased through steep ground that had me grunting and cursing. Then at the top he stopped and said "Take" before effortlessly mantling off. (You know who you are.) So I had been made to look like shti and then scared all because they were way better than me. Mandatory top ropes are the only solution.

Eduardo Slabofvic
23/10/2006
7:54:19 PM
On 23/10/2006 Zebedee wrote:
So I had been made to look like shti and then scared all
>because they were way better than me. Mandatory top ropes are the only
>solution.

So, your obviously after the mythical “level playing field”, where really strong people are required to wear
an assemblage of weight belts, roller skates, and boxing gloves, and where you and I get to wear helium
balloons and super sticky gloves and shoes.
rolsen
23/10/2006
8:06:28 PM
We were climbing trapeze (edit: changed from swining to trapaze) many years ago and while I was setting up belay, Simey having soloed another proceeded to downclimb "our" route. We had to wait for him but we didn't mind, it was just awesome to witness his his skill and bravery :)

mousey
23/10/2006
9:45:41 PM
soloing hmmm...tricky business

certainly it is irresponsible to solo with other people around- you're putting the responsibilty onto them iff something happens to you...
(actually, i suppose soloing AT ALL is unfair to loved ones/dependants)
also soloing is a very personal thing- sometimes its unavoidable that others will be around (eg. araps classics) but for me personally, soloing in front of people (as well as reporting on solo ascents) also makes it very hard to clearly distinguish that you are doing it ONLY for personal reasons and not for anyone else... i dunno...



fyi- 'fall of the phantom lord' by andrew todhunter is a good read that deals with the responsibilties issues a bit (in relation to dan osmans jumps but almost exactly same arguments apply to soloing)- actually after i read that book is probly when i stopped soloing so much, it used to be 'just a thing that i did' (probly recklessly at times) whereas now i only solo very particular routes and spend a while preparing etc and the whole process is a lot more 'sacred' for want of a better word


simey
23/10/2006
9:46:50 PM
On 23/10/2006 rolsen wrote:
>We were climbing swinging many years ago and while I was setting up belay, Simey having soloed another proceeded to downclimb "our" route. We had to wait for him but we didn't mind, it was just awesome to witness his his skill and bravery :)

I think you must be talking about someone else, because there is no way I would solo down Swinging (17) when Trapeze (11) is the logical choice if you are on top of Castle Crag without a rope.

As for the original discussion. I'm guessing that the person in question probably raced ahead to claim the booty before you got to it. Like Eduardo said, 'First in, first served' and I'm guessing that is why they probably climbed in front of you.

As for soloing with other people in the vicinity... well that all depends on what is motivating the soloist in question and how comfortable they appear on the route.

I don't enjoy watching someone shake their way up something without a rope, but if they are totally in control, then they are probably far safer than many roped climbers. My guess is that many roped climbers bumbling up routes probably have such shit gear that they are effectively soloing, but they just don't know it!

I know I am guilty of the crime of soloing near roped climbers, but there are a few climbs that I enjoy soloing on a regular basis and so I don't see why I shouldn't be able to do that just because there are other climbers nearby.

I recall my bumbly days of top-roping the easier routes at the Plaque Area and then watching in awe as Stefan Glowacz whipped up Dramp (21) unroped. To see someone that in control was in stark contrast to the thrashing around that I associated with tackling higher grades.

Soloing is a part of climbing and can be practised very safely. The major rule always being, 'Can I downclimb anything I climb up?'.

Anyone who has done any mountaineering will probably have a different attitude to soloing. Speed is safety in the mountains and one needs to become comfortable with climbing unroped on easier terrain. Should people pass you on easier routes at Arapiles then I wouldn't get too hung up on it.



lacto
23/10/2006
10:16:31 PM
have alook at youtube.com/watch?v=zPZix-_Xs2NO dont think a roped group would be in his way 400 ft in 4 minutes
prb
23/10/2006
11:28:20 PM
On the Pharos once I soloed past a couple of teams on Spiral Staircase to reset my ropes after they wouldn't pull on the BIG abseil. Everyone was cool. I tried to be friendly and polite and I hardly slowed them down. I guess it helped that I was there for a particular reason.

A lot of soloing through goes on in the European Alps, it's just part of what happens. A couple of solo climbers went past us on the Matterhorn, on rock around grade 12. You don't move while you're being overtaken. I climbed past a guided group in the Aiguilles Rouge with the blessing of the guide. Friendliness and an air of confidence will get you a long way. You just need the party (and their ropes) to stay put for a minute as you pass.

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There are 69 messages in this topic.

 

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