*So* many ways to do it wrong

*So* many ways to do it wrong

Post by Marshall Pea » Wed, 09 Dec 1992 07:01:18


Wayne & Jim have more or less got the point that I intended
with my little morality play about the busted quickdraw sling.
For me, that revenant is an object for just such a meditation:
momento ***up.  Of *some* kind, surely.

(Eric sent me a post offline doubting that a half-twist in a
quickdraw sling would make any practical difference.  Anybody    
have an opinion on that?  This was a *short* sling, about 6".
Anybody in San Jose Ca area interested
in rigging a drop test over the holidays?)

One *does* see all *kinds* of interesting stuff as one wanders
about looking over people's shoulders, looking at the tracks they
leave behind.  Some good thoughts; some no-thoughts-at-all.    

So also on Thanksgiving, I'm watching a pair go up Swan Slab Gully,      
5.5, right off flat sandy ground next to Yosemite Lodge.
With enough on the rack to be doing Steck-Salathe, or something.  
He's putting in pieces about every two feet.  Maybe he's just
practicing with the gear, but he's not testing it, just throwing it
in and climbing up past it.  Now I guess my *point*, is, if the
guy has so little confidence in himself that he needs pro every
other rung on a stepladder, what *can* he be thinking all that pro
is gonna *do*?  How can he have confidence that he did it right?
It must be some kinda mojo for him.

*My* problem (aside from not enough time to travel to where the
rocks are, nearly often enough) is that emotionally I don't trust
the pro at all.  I guess I could overcome that, but it's not clear
to me how to *intellectually* evaluate my safety, either, or how
to go about learning more.  Hooo do you trust?  *So* many ways
to do it wrong.

So what I'm *doing*, which approach might be of interest to other
learning climbers, is to consider exposure and solo within
my limits (about 5.8).  Builds judgement, brains, and maturity.
Gets me to plenty interesting places.  Provides good adreneline
from time to time.  Saves *lots* of time and money.
And I *am* getting better.

I *sure* understand where are the places where I *want* pro.
(And I intend to learn how to do some.  Little by little.)

But the main thing is, it keeps that attitude Wayne was talking
about right there in your face:

Quote:
> Climbing is a deadly and dangerous game.....
> Meditate constantly on the danger.
> Think about it at night.  Meditate on it on the approach.  Face the risk
> squarely.  Constantly evaluate whether it is worth it.  Some might argue
> that this is a distraction from making the moves.  To the contrary,
> it is an integral part of making the moves....

Sine qua non.

      -mars
*

 
 
 

*So* many ways to do it wrong

Post by Scott Li » Wed, 09 Dec 1992 09:56:37

:
: So also on Thanksgiving, I'm watching a pair go up Swan Slab Gully,      
: 5.5, right off flat sandy ground next to Yosemite Lodge.
: With enough on the rack to be doing Steck-Salathe, or something.  
: He's putting in pieces about every two feet.  Maybe he's just
: practicing with the gear, but he's not testing it, just throwing it
: in and climbing up past it.  Now I guess my *point*, is, if the
: guy has so little confidence in himself that he needs pro every
: other rung on a stepladder, what *can* he be thinking all that pro
: is gonna *do*?  How can he have confidence that he did it right?

First, I'm not condoning his not testing the pro... bad practice.

What you think of as a stepladder, someone else thinks of as a great
challenge.  You say you solo 5.8;  5.8 makes a good lead for me, even
with lots of pro.

If I try to lead a 5.9-5.10, I want lots of good pro.  If I climb a
5.4, I may not need so much.  It's all psychological.  Why does it
bother you so much that the guy was putting in a lot of (clean) pro?
He's not hurting anyone...

Scott Linn


 
 
 

*So* many ways to do it wrong

Post by Andrew Michael Woodwa » Thu, 10 Dec 1992 20:51:07

Quote:
>*My* problem (aside from not enough time to travel to where the
>rocks are, nearly often enough) is that emotionally I don't trust
>the pro at all.  I guess I could overcome that, but it's not clear

Dont worry about this. You'll stay alive longer your way. An appreciation of
what'll hold will come as you find yourslef unexpectedly dangling
on the rope.

Quote:
>So what I'm *doing*, which approach might be of interest to other
>learning climbers, is to consider exposure and solo within
>my limits (about 5.8).  Builds judgement, brains, and maturity.
>Gets me to plenty interesting places.  Provides good adreneline
>from time to time.  Saves *lots* of time and money.
>And I *am* getting better.

But you may not for long! Be very careful about learning this way. I did much
the same, and sure enough if you survive the first couple of years you'll get
good.The problem is, that as time passes, you come across enough random
elements to suggest that habitual soloing is not good. (unexpected loose holds,
 folk dropping stuff from above, dynoing to hold occupied by bees [real side-
splitter this!]). No matter how good you may be, there are always things you
havent
calculated in.I also know, sorry - knew, a couple of folk who were a> very good
 and b> habitual high standard soloists. They died from serendipity on routes
around five grades easier than their maximum.

Until you have enough experience to do otherwise, regard the gear as there to
protect you not from your own mistakes (thought will prevent these) but
from the whims of capricious gods.