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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 2 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 64
Author
The most dangerous time of your life!!?
kieranl
Online Now
16/03/2012
10:12:36 PM
Certainly the most dangerous time for me were the times when I tried to become an alpine climber.I luckily never got too deep into it. The strange thing is that the cumulative loss of many friends wasn't the trigger for giving up. It was the eventual realisation that the fear outweighed the enjoyment for me.
That's not to say that normal climbing is low-risk. And when you've been around climbing for a long time, complacency is a big hazard. It's easy to stuff up an abseil or trip when close to the edge.

miguel75
16/03/2012
10:33:20 PM
On 16/03/2012 bomber pro wrote:
>You are pushing for a FWOTW award if you keep this one up.

It's about time!

I did confirm my belief that alpine mountaineering is mucho deadly but disagreed with the premise, "To equate the risks of mountain sports to everyday activities like driving or even the chance of death from cancer is completely idiotic. Every friend on my list drove to the mountains a lot, and some even wrecked vehicles and spent time in the hospital from those crashes. But they died doing mountain sports."

Alpine mountaineering = crazy risks, aka 'crap shoot'
Mountain sports = climbing, whitewater kayaking and paragliding(?) elevated risks maybe but not guarenteed death on a stick.

Macciza
16/03/2012
10:40:36 PM
On 16/03/2012 Macciza wrote:
>Either that or it's the times when we are being transported to go climbing
>and our lives are completely out of or hands and we equally risk death
>at every moment but with nowhere near the control we have when soloing,
>now that's dangerous . .
>And seriously would you prefer it to be a drunk driver, food-poisoning
>or industrial accident?

Good thing I didn't just say 'Drivin' to the crag . . .'
Or even worse 'Being driven to the crag . . . by an American . . . Sport climber . . .'

Cheers
MM

Macciza
16/03/2012
10:52:02 PM
And yes Miguel, the Weekend Warriors mostly die of 'WeekDay Type' deaths, which I guess they find quite acceptable - or something like that . . .

I accept that death is a possibility and would prefer it climbing to a car accident.

Cheers
MM

The good Dr
16/03/2012
11:24:07 PM
On 16/03/2012 bomber pro wrote:
>Quite frankly miguel you can't compare a weekend warrior with people who
>spend time in and push boundaries in the mountains.
>
>You are pushing for a FWOTW award if you keep this one up.

Miguel will never manage to wrest the FWFL award from you though as he at least has basic comprehension and context skills.

And Macciza, I don't know what super extra special powers you have, but for all of the rest of us, death is a certainty not a possibility. Elegant proof that you are a vampire, or another form of the undead!

The good Dr
16/03/2012
11:25:18 PM
Playing' the man, not the ball :)

cruze
17/03/2012
7:15:52 AM
While I agree with the sentiment, I think it is a bit black and white to say "mountaineering" is dangerous and cragging is less so. Yes the objective dangers are typically a lot greater, but bear with me: since moving to NZ I have tried to get a solid base in variable conditions in different seasons on quite a lot of grade 1 and 2 peaks (typically with big vertical gains from valley floor, loose rock, variable snow, etc). Some people (possibly those that chopper into huts where grade 1 and 2 peaks are the bumps you go over on the way to get to more technical objectives) will scoff at these efforts. But I have done this to build a base for the future and have become quite sceptical of those that fly over and do a TMC and then start looking for grade >3 objectives for their next season. IMHO that is a dangerous way of doing "mountaineering" particularly in NZ where weather and conditions change so quickly. Perhaps akin to "I climbed a 21 in the gym the other day, now I am off to climb Auto da fe/Janicepts/etc with these shiny wiggly things"

Pat
17/03/2012
8:25:47 AM
I have been climbing for 31 years. When I was young I was stupid and used to blurt about how driving to the crag was the most dangerous thing I did. But at the time I was full of myself and insecure (bad combo) - I think that all the talk was actually trying to deny my fear when I climbed. Now I realise a few things differently:

1. I was such a bad driver it really was the most dangerous thing I did on a day at the cliffs.

2. Every day climbing can potentially be a dangerous day and the consequences are serious - consequently I am very careful and with a fair bit of experience under my belt (but always still learning) I can mitigate most of the risk and can accept that risk that I can't eliminate.

3. In light of all in point 2, now that I am older, balding and wear a cardigan without shame, driving is the most dangerous thing that I do because of the other drivers on the road. For example - last long weekend going to the Gramps actually squeezed off the road twice by trucks (for the first time ever). Maybe I should get a beige Camry sedan and put a tissue box on the back shelf.

So climbing is dangerous, but at my level managable, driving can be dangerous, there are some aspects that I can't control - but life in Australia is a teeny bit safer than Mogadishu.
One Day Hero
17/03/2012
1:27:15 PM
On 16/03/2012 Useful wrote:
>
>I've personally always been of the opinion that alpine mountaineering
>is just rolling craps. Where weather can kill you at any moment you are
>running a risk above and beyond the risk of being incapable of doing what
>you need to do to get up the climb.

What does that even mean? Its almost what I'd expect if someone asked this chick http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=stupid%20beauty%20pagent%20contestant&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCkQtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dlj3iNxZ8Dww&ei=xfJjT465OczomAXTp6yoCA&usg=AFQjCNH4OqC5fWM-rF9nJ3yqFAcJ1OUDrg&cad=rja to discuss risk!
>

>As for soloing, climbing sketchy run-out trad climbs with dangerous fall
>potential, etc...

Don't worry dave, I'm pretty sure the chances of you getting hurt trad climbing are 0


>it's like playing roulette versus bridge. If you play roulette enough,
>you will lose, period. If you play bridge well, you may not lose.

You lost your period playing roulette?
One Day Hero
17/03/2012
1:52:49 PM
On 16/03/2012 miguel75 wrote:
>
>When I first read Will's article I was slightly peeved by his tone, and
>I can't really vocalise why. Maybe it will come later...
>
Allow me to assist.

Gadd's article is annoying because he's written so much stuff in the past about how awesome and cool his dangerous shit is, and now he's questioning whether its worth it. Was he right before or is he right now? To paraphrase Yoda, "It all depends on your point of view"......or to paraphrase me "you can't have your fuching cake, and stuff your fuching face too"

Its ok to be gung-ho and ignore risks, and its ok to be sensible and cautious, but not both in the same lifetime!........and pretending you're the first person who's done risky shit in their youth only to wise up later is just pathetic!

I much prefer the Euro-hardman approach to risk......I think they're just better at math. They know mountain shit is risky but do it anyway. There seems to be much more of an acceptance of people getting whacked in the hills, without the north american style soul searching.

vwills
17/03/2012
2:51:44 PM
On 16/03/2012 oldtraddad wrote:
>The forum on the solo rockclimbing death at camels hump refered to a 47
>year old who tragically died climbing.
>I am 47 and am pondering the losses of Athol Whimp, John Bachar, Kurt
>Albert, Col Reese and in fact many more within my age profile that have
>passed away climbing and mountaineering.
>I used to think of how much luck I had to survive the learning years,
>the gung ho years and the consolidation years.
>
>It ponders the question; When is the most dangerous time in our lives
>as climbers??

The most dangerous time is when you make a bad decision.

The gung ho years and probably the first year of getting into climbing, or these days transition from gym to outdoors would have to be the most dangerous.
You can only recall all the 40-50 year olds because they have reached a remarkable level of proficiency, are still out there doing it, develop a name for themself, so that when they made a bad decision and their time is up everyone gets to hear about it. You dont usually hear about the unknown from the gym accidents or deaths (on a global scale).

davidn
17/03/2012
3:17:49 PM
On 17/03/2012 cruze wrote:
>While I agree with the sentiment, I think it is a bit black and white to
>say "mountaineering" is dangerous and cragging is less so.

To the stats, batman! The climbing accidents in Australia report (Iain Sedgman: http://uob-community.ballarat.edu.au/~isedgman/climbing/Accidents.pdf indicates that of the injuries recorded in a 49 year period, over 69% were rock climbing injuries, and 21% were mountaineering injuries. Yet 55.4% of the deaths were mountaineering-related. Australia is by no means a go-to destination for mountaineering, of course.

To quote another site that keeps evidence on climbing fatalities and injuries (http://climbing.about.com/b/2010/09/06/will-2010-be-a-record-year-for-climbing-deaths-in-the-united-states.htm :

"The statistics from the past 50 years as well as from this year indicate that mountaineering is much more hazardous than rock climbing. If you go climbing in the mountains, it's more likely that accidents will happen. Climbers travelling across snow slopes and icy terrain account for a lot of accidents and deaths due to avalanches, falls, and falling objects. Mountains also have lots of loose rock, unstable slopes, and danger from weather."

So cragging is less dangerous than mountaineering. Black and white, but then that's not saying cragging isn't dangerous.

Back to Gadd's point. Anyone can talk about what they think is dangerous based on their own experience or a throwaway line they heard once, but... imagining something to be true doesn't make it true. To assert that Gadd is trying to have his cake and eat it too is just inflammatory for the sake of it. He's telling people to stop deluding themselves into believing crossing the road is more dangerous than mountaineering (as well as obviously having some personal crises of faith in his chosen religion of climbing). So essentially... "It's dangerous, make your decisions on that basis" - isn't that the European approach?

davidn
17/03/2012
3:31:32 PM
On 17/03/2012 vwills wrote:

>The gung ho years and probably the first year of getting into climbing,
>or these days transition from gym to outdoors would have to be the most
>dangerous.
>You can only recall all the 40-50 year olds because they have reached
>a remarkable level of proficiency, are still out there doing it, develop
>a name for themself, so that when they made a bad decision and their time
>is up everyone gets to hear about it. You dont usually hear about the unknown
>from the gym accidents or deaths (on a global scale).

I'd love to see some solid stats on this. It sounds intuitively true, but there are many intuitively true ideas that don't work in real life and vice versa.

How many people get hurt (or even just scared, for example by being dropped onto a gym floor but not hurt, or falling off an easy climb and breaking an ankle) and give up climbing early on? Does that serve to winnow the climbers with any reasonable longevity into a group of people with enough experience (and good sense, and ability to use consistently good judgement) to offset those 'beginner' type issues? What about Neil's suggestion - that with longevity comes the dangers of complacency - does this create a level of danger equal to being a new climber? How many oldtimers have been belayed or climbed with someone who is new and therefore potentially dangerous?

No one can really prove anything. The most dangerous day is tomorrow, because today nothing seems to have killed me (unless I caught Ebola Zaire and didn't realise it and in 10 days time I'm going to slough my skin and vomit my intestines up - but then, if I caught Ebola today, did it kill me today...??)
One Day Hero
17/03/2012
4:11:20 PM
On 17/03/2012 Useful wrote:
>On 17/03/2012 cruze wrote:
>>While I agree with the sentiment, I think it is a bit black and white
>to
>>say "mountaineering" is dangerous and cragging is less so.
>
>To the stats, batman! The climbing accidents in Australia report (Iain
>Sedgman: http://uob-community.ballarat.edu.au/~isedgman/climbing/Accidents.pdf
>indicates that of the injuries recorded in a 49 year period, over 69% were
>rock climbing injuries, and 21% were mountaineering injuries. Yet 55.4%
>of the deaths were mountaineering-related. Australia is by no means a
>go-to destination for mountaineering, of course.
>
>To quote another site that keeps evidence on climbing fatalities and injuries
>(http://climbing.about.com/b/2010/09/06/will-2010-be-a-record-year-for-climbing-deaths-in-
>he-united-states.htm :
>
>"The statistics from the past 50 years as well as from this year indicate
>that mountaineering is much more hazardous than rock climbing. If you go
>climbing in the mountains, it's more likely that accidents will happen.
>Climbers travelling across snow slopes and icy terrain account for a lot
>of accidents and deaths due to avalanches, falls, and falling objects.
>Mountains also have lots of loose rock, unstable slopes, and danger from
>weather."
>
>So cragging is less dangerous than mountaineering. Black and white, but
>then that's not saying cragging isn't dangerous.
>
>Back to Gadd's point. Anyone can talk about what they think is dangerous
>based on their own experience or a throwaway line they heard once, but...
>imagining something to be true doesn't make it true. To assert that Gadd
>is trying to have his cake and eat it too is just inflammatory for the
>sake of it. He's telling people to stop deluding themselves into believing
>crossing the road is more dangerous than mountaineering (as well as obviously
>having some personal crises of faith in his chosen religion of climbing).
> So essentially... "It's dangerous, make your decisions on that basis"
>- isn't that the European approach?

then
>On 17/03/2012 vwills wrote:
>
>>The gung ho years and probably the first year of getting into climbing,
>>or these days transition from gym to outdoors would have to be the most
>>dangerous.
>>You can only recall all the 40-50 year olds because they have reached
>>a remarkable level of proficiency, are still out there doing it, develop
>>a name for themself, so that when they made a bad decision and their
>time
>>is up everyone gets to hear about it. You dont usually hear about the
>unknown
>>from the gym accidents or deaths (on a global scale).
>
>I'd love to see some solid stats on this. It sounds intuitively true,
>but there are many intuitively true ideas that don't work in real life
>and vice versa.
>
>How many people get hurt (or even just scared, for example by being dropped
>onto a gym floor but not hurt, or falling off an easy climb and breaking
>an ankle) and give up climbing early on? Does that serve to winnow the
>climbers with any reasonable longevity into a group of people with enough
>experience (and good sense, and ability to use consistently good judgement)
>to offset those 'beginner' type issues? What about Neil's suggestion -
>that with longevity comes the dangers of complacency - does this create
>a level of danger equal to being a new climber? How many oldtimers have
>been belayed or climbed with someone who is new and therefore potentially
>dangerous?
>
>No one can really prove anything. The most dangerous day is tomorrow,
>because today nothing seems to have killed me (unless I caught Ebola Zaire
>and didn't realise it and in 10 days time I'm going to slough my skin and
>vomit my intestines up - but then, if I caught Ebola today, did it kill
>me today...??)

This bit got me.
>So cragging is less dangerous than mountaineering. Black and white, but
>then that's not saying cragging isn't dangerous.
>
No, its not that black and white. Some mountaineering is quite safe, some cragging is really dangerous. Shit, if you get someone stupid enough, they can make anything hazardous.........take you and bouldering, for example.

You must be using some pretty kooked statistics if it shows a bunch of mountaineering deaths in australia. Where is the mountaineering in this country? (b.t.w., those links don't work)

lacto
17/03/2012
4:19:58 PM
In the early 70's with PAs , laid 120 ft rope , slings , engine nuts and waist loops and maximum grades below 20 and the mantra of leaders shouldn't fall very few accidents . Now gear is lightweight , extremely versatile and grades into 30's and accidents appear too frequently though mainly seem to be on the grade of climb below 20
dmnz
17/03/2012
5:41:58 PM
On 16/03/2012 miguel75 wrote:
>
>Alpine mountaineering = crazy risks, aka 'crap shoot'
>Mountain sports = climbing, whitewater kayaking and paragliding(?) elevated
>risks maybe but not guarenteed death on a stick.

Maybe a different shade of grey as are things like ski mountaineering/ real big mountain skiing, speedflying etc but if risk isn't your cup of tea maybe you shouldn't get into that. Otherwise have a look at why you do it and decide if it's worth the risk.

I would think living next to a nuclear plant in Japan would be much more deadly
widewetandslippery
17/03/2012
7:03:31 PM
I do not know who you get this but will gadd says stuff to make money. Pretty sure he studied business in boulder. Gotta keep your name in the media. Location, location.

cruze
17/03/2012
7:47:13 PM
On 17/03/2012 Useful wrote:
>On 17/03/2012 cruze wrote:
>>While I agree with the sentiment, I think it is a bit black and white
>to
>>say "mountaineering" is dangerous and cragging is less so.
>
>To the stats, batman! The climbing accidents in Australia report (Iain
>Sedgman: http://uob-community.ballarat.edu.au/~isedgman/climbing/Accidents.pdf)
>indicates that of the injuries recorded in a 49 year period, over 69% were
>rock climbing injuries, and 21% were mountaineering injuries. Yet 55.4%
>of the deaths were mountaineering-related. Australia is by no means a
>go-to destination for mountaineering, of course.
>
>To quote another site that keeps evidence on climbing fatalities and injuries
>(http://climbing.about.com/b/2010/09/06/will-2010-be-a-record-year-for-climbing-deaths-in-
>he-united-states.htm):
>
>"The statistics from the past 50 years as well as from this year indicate
>that mountaineering is much more hazardous than rock climbing. If you go
>climbing in the mountains, it's more likely that accidents will happen.
>Climbers travelling across snow slopes and icy terrain account for a lot
>of accidents and deaths due to avalanches, falls, and falling objects.
>Mountains also have lots of loose rock, unstable slopes, and danger from
>weather."
>
>So cragging is less dangerous than mountaineering. Black and white, but
>then that's not saying cragging isn't dangerous.

I googled and found the report. I appreciate Iain's efforts but if I were to be critical I feel uncomfortable with how the data was collected and how it was reported. It was collected from a number of sources (including word of mouth) and seems (at least for mountaineering) to relate to Australians anywhere in the world having an accident. I don't know the last time someone died in Australia of altitude sickness (the example given is pulmonary oedema) - there are three listed fatalities in the report! Mountaineering also included deaths on approaches but not for appraoching rock climbing areas. I would be interested in knowing whether the avalanche deaths included any ski tourers/mountianeers.

One thing that I am aware of is how people that partake in risky behaviour often divert attention away from themselves in order to justify their risky behaviour to themselves, such as saying the drive is the most dangerous part of the activity, or saying inactivity leads to heart disease, that base jumping is more dangerous than climbing. etc. I am not trying to say that "mountaineering" is safe, just that it isn't all as dangerous as you might imagine. eg there is a big difference between a new route on an 8000m peak in winter and what most Kiwis would call a weekend tramp up a >2000 m peak.

The second quoted report highlights the objective dangers in mountaineering. Not a lot of dispute there. But I reckon the average rockclimber exposes themselves to a greater level of subjective danger than the average person spending time in the hills through being so inexperienced they don't know how inexperienced they are and regularly expose themselves to hazards they wouldn't even know about. This is evident in the high number of reported (Iain's report) rock climbing falls requiring hospitalisation, or worse. Just a thought.

Anyway, sorry Adam, didn't want to thread highjack. I hope you resolve your initial conundrum. This life isn't a dress rehearsal. If you're not living, you're dying.

davidn
17/03/2012
8:44:37 PM
Fixed the links. Apparently pre-parentheses are fine, trailing parentheses are not.

Agree w/cruze. There aren't very good stats about climbing in general, accidents in specific. Everything is arguable. I would love to see some stats about injury rate per occasion of rock climbing versus bush walking, or rogaining, whatever; I suspect it would show what you say (climbing is more dangerous than strolling about in the bush). Doubt we'll get any soon.

Say what you like about specific exceptions (there are exceptions to every rule, but there's not many reinhold messners out there); if you want to argue that *on average* cragging is more dangerous than mountaineering, show me the data. I promise I'll be persuaded if you can.

stugang
17/03/2012
9:19:25 PM
On 17/03/2012 Useful wrote:
>Fixed the links. Apparently pre-parentheses are fine, trailing parentheses
>are not.
>
>Agree w/cruze. There aren't very good stats about climbing in general,
>accidents in specific. Everything is arguable. I would love to see some
>stats about injury rate per occasion of rock climbing versus bush walking,
>or rogaining, whatever; I suspect it would show what you say (climbing
>is more dangerous than strolling about in the bush). Doubt we'll get any
>soon.
>
>Say what you like about specific exceptions (there are exceptions to every
>rule, but there's not many reinhold messners out there); if you want to
>argue that *on average* cragging is more dangerous than mountaineering,
>show me the data. I promise I'll be persuaded if you can.


the most annoying thing about that article is that it isn't really that annoying. I was looking forward to being able to take the piss out of a whole bunch of seppo psycho babble about life death an risk but ended up reading a pretty ordinary story about a guy who saw a mate cop it and now is having second thoughts.....(hey that angle hasn't been tried before). How Miguel managed to get peeved is truly perplexing.

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