Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

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quantum7
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Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by quantum7 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:21 pm

I had a very unpleasant experience on the Apron yesterday and thought I would share it in an attempt to encourage climbers to discuss when it is/isn't okay to pass on a multi pitch and for some to think twice before heading up a route like a drunken toddler.

I took a friend for her first Apron experience. We set out to climb Rambles and Diedre with a healthy dose of patience given it is summer (sort of) in Squamish. We had one party ahead of us and it was a beautiful morning. As I was bringing my friend up p.3 of Diedre another party started up behind us on p.2. Not much of a problem as I figured he would belay at the top of p.3 while I climbed up p.4
I set out climbing again and shortly after saw that he passed my belayer and was heading up behind me (linking the two pitches). I wasn't sure why as we had a group ahead of us anyway, so no one was really getting anywhere too fast. As I set up my belay and started to bring up my friend again, this climber got within about 5 metres of the station and started to clip my gear , laughing and saying "Ha! I cheated." Am I wrong in thinking that #1, he should have asked to climb ahead of my partner and #2 he should not be clipping my gear?? After a few words about clipping my gear, his belayer yells up to him that he has run out of rope. He is still about 4 m from the belay and my partner is just below him as he is trying to figure out what to do. Eventually, his partner has to start climbing in order to give him enough slack to reach the belay. My partner had to climb around him to reach me.

I start out on p.5 while listening to him tell me I can connect the last two pitches. Ignoring that, I reach the belay and bring up my second. As I am unsecuring myself to lead the last pitch, he reaches us and says "Do you mind if I climb past. I won't be placing any gear." I said to my partner "Would it matter if we minded?" I gave him some distance and started up...perhaps this was a mistake on my part, but I feel if you are passing somebody you should be fast and efficient and able to climb the route with some ease. I hoped he would be off the climb quickly. As I reach the slab before the final move off of Diedre I hear him yell "sh*t!" and watch as he almost bails. I yelled to my partner that I was going to stop because I didn't want someone falling on me. Then his belayer yells up to ask us if her partner was done climbing (remember she is two stations down). I yelled back that he was still climbing, just having an issue. She yelled up again that he was out of rope.Yes, for the second time that day!! He secures himself to the piton and tells me to climb past him (why thank you) which I do. He proceeded to belay his second up there and then do a final 2 metre pitch. I asked him "have you never climbed this route?" as he claimed to be a local with lots of experience on the Apron.

Needless to say, this episode definitely took away from what was a fun experience for my friend and I. I understand that passing is acceptable in certain instances, but there must be some guidelines we should follow?? Being on one of the most popular, if not the most popular route in town, you have to expect delays and be aware that there are beginners out there who don't need to be spooked by some moron's antics.

Are there hard and fast rules out there that people want to share?

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by natsdad » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:52 pm

Hi Quantum 7:

What a bummer. It is very unfortunate that you had to endure that annoying and potentionally dangerous behaviour.

My view is that clipping another party's gear, without permission, is totally unacceptable. And climbing through past part of your party, again, without permission, is very poor style and just plain rude and possibly endangers you and/or your partner.

I have had other parties pass my party when it was clear that they would be moving faster. They have asked us to allow them to pass, and realizing that they are faster, we granted permission. And on other occasions, I have asked permission to do the same and have been granted permission. Communication and respect are the keys. In none of these cases did any party clip the others gear. That is so lame.

And to add insult to injury, there is the excellent route "The Passing Lane" right next door, so that faster moving parties don't have to be held up on Diedre.

Steve

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by scrubber » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:35 pm

Wow. That's too bad you and your partner had such an experience at the hands of that moron. I've seen a scattering of that type of behavior over the years, but fortunately there never seems to be much of it. The most popular routes seem to attract most of this idiocy.

I've also been passed by very good and arrogant climbers and that was even worse. The guy (who is also still a Van local, but shall remain nameless), climbed up through me at a belay on Mercy Me while approaching the grand wall. He refused to even talk to me, and just gave me a scowl as a asked him what he was planning on doing, and that most folks at least have the decency to ask to pass.... His partner was very apologetic.

It's really hard to stand your ground in that situation. I usually just ask them to give us a few pitches, then if we're still holding them up, they can pass at the next roomy belay ledge.

I'd never do this, but I've thought it would be very satisfying to clove hitch the middle of their rope to a piece of their gear as they try to simul-climb past me.

K

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by psi4ce » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:17 pm

I'm hearing more and more of these types of stories these days.

More and more people I see out there climbing are complete and utter idiots with no real idea what they are doing or how it impacts other people, let alone themselves.

I think they should stop giving away belay devices as cereal box prizes and we'll all be better off.

Either that or people should have to pass a basic climbing exam before they are allowed access to the Chief.

Nuff said.

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by Lurch » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:12 pm

The first time someone tries to pass my belay without my permission Scrubber's suggestion will be my solution. That is BS and will not be tolerated. Clove hitch will be my friend. Very sorry to hear of this experience Quantum.

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by jefffski » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:24 pm

Clipping my gear will get your rope cut!

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by NateDoggOG » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:59 pm

Quite right. If someone had climbed through my belayer and was clipping me gear behind me, I would have no problem with downclimbing enough to unclip their rope from each piece of mine it was clipped to.
I agree with Lurch. That's bullsh*t. There's no way that guy is local or can claim to be one while displaying that lack of courtesy, particularly on that route.

quantum7
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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by quantum7 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:27 pm

@scrubber: i do find it hard to stand my ground when a situation like this arises probably due to the fact that i am relatively new to climbing (5 years) and dont have the biggest physical presence. But people like that need to be called out on their sh*t before someone gets hurt. I know i will next time.

@natedogg: i question whether he truly was a local too. This is because when we topped out and were relaxing on the ledge he and his partner were wondering how long to get to the ferry because they were going to try to climb the ultimate everything and then catch the 5 pm ferry. This was at 2 pm. I had a little laugh to myself as they headed up boomstick.

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by relic » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:11 pm

Hey that was me!








joking...




Sorry that you had to deal with that idiot. Hopefully he didn't sketch your partner out too bad out of her first multi experience. Doubt he was a "local" if he had no clue how to lead Diedre. But I don't think being "local" absolves you of being a dangerous moron.

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by climbdan » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:24 am

maybe it was the same idiot who left their sh*t right where climbers come up on the first pitch of Angel's crest. I got their excrement on my rope and hands...

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by marc_leclerc » Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:31 pm

Sorry to hear about your experience, whoever it was is clearly an imbecile. If it happens again just grab his rope and pull really hard, unless he could fall on you or your partner, then just do the clove hitch method. If you are one of those people who climb multi's with a gri-gri, it makes an excellent clubbing device, as do #3 camalots. This is just another reason to carry a sharp knife while climbing, the most you'll get for manslaughter in Canada is a few months so I wouldn't worry. Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by jonny2vests » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:57 pm

I was on outer space at Leavenworth at the weekend. There were 4 parties in front of us. The top party in their wisdom decided to lunch on a belay ledge, but wouldn't let anyone pass them. If I'd been behind them, that is one scenario in which I would seriously consider passing without permission, but obviously I wasn't there, so it's hard to be certain of the circumstances.

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by harihari » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:20 pm

Speaking of Leavenworth...this is the most f**ked thing I have ever seen:

We went to do Outer Space. It was crowded so we did a couple of other routes and came back around 3. As we got to where that amazing 5.7 handcrack is we noticed a party on the 10D route to the left of O.S. The leader, a girl, was having some troubles and they decided to bail onto the much easier O.S.

As I was seconding up, the girl handed the lead over to her boyfriend. (They were at a pretty good smallish ledge, ie a comfy stance). Boyfriend then led into O.S.-- without asking-- so now I had this douche leading above me, placing gear etc, while I am following. If he'd waited 3 minutes he could have climbed below us no prob. He belayed somewhere in the crack, and I passed him and joined my leader. I asked him to please wait while we finished the last pitch. I told him (I was super polite) that there would be safety issues with two people simultaneously leading the same crack. His girlfriend said "no prob we can wait".

I set off on the last pitch (was movign fast-- it's pretty easy) and next thing I knew, Douche was leading behind me. At this point I pretty close to lost it but set up my final belay with Douche leading away about 15 m below me. As I put my partner on belay and he started moving, I heard Douche cussing away about a stuck rope.

My partner seconded up and passed Douche. After my partner passed , he told Douche "Looks like your rope is stuck" and came up to me. He'd grabbed a bight of Douche's rope and clipped it to one of Douche's pieces right beside his GF :) , so we were now both above and beyond the reach of Douche. We climbed the last 10 meters and walked down.

Later that evening we ran into Douche and his girlfriend in the Subway. He said "I ought to kick your f**kin' head in." To which we said, whatever you do, don't endanger yourself, your partner and other climbers by pulling dumb unnecessary stunts like that. Douche headed for the washroom and his GF came over. I told her, sorry about the drama, but your partner was being an A$%^#@ and unsafe. She responded with "yea, he's a jerk, I just broke up with him."

I've been passed a few hundred times, passed others a few times, never met a guy like that before or since.

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by Lurch » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:47 am

LOL! thanks for the laugh man. Clove hitch is your best friend or your worst enemy if you are a douche.

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Re: Passing etiquette on a multi pitch

Post by coastal_climber » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:53 am

You didn't finish the story!

Theres some single climber chick wandering a subway aimlessly

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