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Climbing ethics

I was once again listening to the dynamic climbing duo [1] while working out in the backyard [2]. Now they’re complaining that, if you roll up to one of the most popular crags in the US, in prime season, with four kids [3] and a huge posse, you get to be all pissy if the group that got there before you doesn’t want to let you and yours into the line-up.

The more stupid one ranted about isn’t it climbing ethics that everyone gets a turn? How dare they say, well, we got here first, and we have four people climbing this, so if you and all your crew takes a turn, we all get one burn and that’s it. Oh my god, how rude can these people who woke up early and got here before me be? I shall post a strongly worded 140 character twit about this. Or spend 20 minutes of an hour-long podcast crying about it.

Well, no. No it is not, and never has been. If you walk up to Nutcracker on a Sunday after a late morning brunch at the Ahwahnee, do you get a turn? No you do not. You go back to your Sprinter van, and get up earlier tomorrow, hipster.

If you walk up to the Grande Grotta at 10 am, should you be surprised when you find out there are already five people in line on the route you wanted to do? Should they let you in, given that a burn might take 40 minutes? Would you demand your rights as an American? Or would you skulk off and just find another damn route?

Because the rule is, and has ever been: First Come, First Serve, baby.

Even if they’re your draws [4]

At some point you get up earlier, or come later [5], if you don’t want to wait in line on a popular climb.

And oh by the way, the super boss climbers who wanted to get on the climb, and were super pissy and rude about it to the people who got there before them, still got to get on the climb before the end of the day. Just not when exactly they first wanted to. And though these super boss climbers who were pissy and rude were walking around like, well, I’d just onsight this, if you’d let me take your turn, peon, on the climb that you woke up early to get to, you peasant, the super boss climbers did not in fact onsight the climb, and had to come back the next day to try to send again.

But somehow that was the fault of the folks who woke up early to get on the climb they wanted to do, and not the fault of the people who rolled up late with four kids and who knows how many other people long afterwards, for not letting the late comers just jump in line and screw you and your needs and wants.

Really, is this how it is in Colorado? Because it ain’t like that anywhere else I’ve ever been. It wasn’t even like that in Colorado when I was climbing there. I know these are Famous Writers and Podcasters who have traveled all over the world and Climbed With Their Famous Friends Who Can’t Be Named At Sekrit Crags You Peons Aren’t Invited To, but to me they just sound like entitled jerks.


[1] it’s a motivating hate-listen
[2] because I don’t want to catch delta from the mouth-breathers at the local gym, which doesn’t even begin to enforce masking. When will Large SoCal City implement the same vaccine mandate that SF has? It’s a forgone conclusion that that’s where all sane places are headed. Why not bow to reality and implement it? Oh yeah, the same reason that hundreds of school kids are exposing themselves to disaster one block away now. We Must All Be Sacrificed for the God of Convenience and Capitalism.
[3] Climate change anyone?
[4] Well, maybe you get a little slack for that. But not infinite amounts.
[5] A little known fact: The best temps, and times, are often at dusk, so if you can hang around reading a book all morning, and time it right, you can be warming up, and getting your burns on your proj, when the sun is gone, the temps are dropping, the humidity is just right, and all the people who started climbing in the sun are smoked and have gone home and taken their annoying little rug rats and badly trained mutts, both of whom should be tied to a tree, back to the Sprinter van.