UKC

Crag Swag

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.

I don't want to sound like a miserable git, however I can't help noticing how often there are posts on climbing forums about 'lost' gear ?!   Things like 'Found, Rock 4 under Morpheus, at Avon Gorge, tell me what colour ID tape and I will return it'.  Hilarious, just clip it on your harness and keep it, that is crag swag!  I lose odd bits of gear occasionally, someone else picks it up, fair enough.  I find bits of gear sometimes, and keep it, that's always been the way, balances out.  Different if you find a rope or pair of shoes....   

In reply to HappyTrundler:

Couldn't agree more.

More often than not, my gear has been lost by partners: they pay the cost of their stupidity or laziness and replace it, I get a shiny new bit of gear and a fortunate random person wins and gets a useful keepsake. Everyone is happy! Only the once have I left gear behind to bail: I paid the cost of my overambition, and a fortunate random person won and got a useful keepsake. A couple of times nuts have gone missing from my rack, presumably dropped from the krab: I paid the cost of my incompetence, and a fortunate random person won and got a useful keepsake.

You can see where I'm going with this; if it's been abandoned on route through stupidity, laziness, clumsiness or deliberately, and it's not a bank-breaking piece of gear that you really can't afford to lose, then it's part of the cost of climbing. If it's been left behind at the bottom of the crag that is less on, but that's because it's probably a big chunk of rack or a rope, left accidentally, and not a single piece of gear.

Consider it the cost of people picking up your litter...

Post edited at 15:07
In reply to HappyTrundler:

That is a very noticeable feature of these forums, even a small wired nut is offered back if anyone has lost.

As well as being astonished by this... (having seen this as fair game as crag-swag before) I like it. Good for those people who are so unusually honest and helpful.

 wercat 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

I had my much loved first rope "acquired as wall swag" at Penrith Wall back in the early 90s - I suspect a group who were the only others in there that night

 Jon Read 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

Given this forum exists, and even misanthropes like you read and post on it, it would seem there is little excuse *not* to post up your crag findings and give the gear a chance to be returned. No harm in being nice, is there? 

 gethin_allen 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

Do you really want some random persons gear on your rack or just cluttering up your house if you don't trust it enough to climb on it? If the answer is no then why not waste those five seconds to post on here and if the owner is found and want's their gear back that's great as they know the history of the gear and can continue using it happily. 

You probably spent longer typing your opinions on this thread than you would have to try and return some found gear to someone.

If you wanted to be litigious you could also consider theft by finding, and if you want to consider the whole then this is also good for the environment as no new gear is made to replace the lost item.

 Iamgregp 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

I think there's a certain level of crag swag though... If someone's just dropped or forgotten something, say guidebook or their shoes or something, I reckon it's good form to try and get them back to their owners and would hope that other would do the same if I'd forgotten something.

On the other hand, if I find a mallion, quickdraw or screwgate clipped on to a bolt where someone's obviously had to bail from a route then that's going on my harness and getting kept.  It's the price of failure.  if I had to leave something on a route in order to bail, I wouldn't expect it back. 

 Ciro 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

Here we go again.

In UK law, any gear that you have left at the crag is yours unless you have deliberately abandoned it.

Abandoning it means not just that you left it there, but also that you do not intend to return and collect it.

Taking gear without taking reasonable steps to trace the owner and determine whether or not they intended to return and collect it leaves you open to a theft charge.

"We have a tradition of theft in the climbing community" would not be a viable defence in law.

What constitutes reasonable steps would obviously have to be decided by a judge, and would probably depend on circumstances.

If you were to find an entire rack and two half ropes in a rucksack, I'd suggest posting on here and then handing in to the police station as lost property if not claimed.

A shiny new cam, maybe asking around the crag and then posting on here might be considered sufficient.

A single wire of low monetary value at a busy crag, I imagine a judge might accept asking around the crag before adding to your rack, and the same piece at a deserted mountain crag I suspect the judge would happily accept that you were cleaning up litter, and checking there wasn't anyone around to claim ownership was sufficient.

Obviously, you're unlikely to ever end up in the dock for picking up gear at the crag, but be honest with yourself about the offence you are committing if you're in the habit of lifting gear at the crag, and not bothering to spend two minutes posting on a forum you frequent to check if the owner can be identified.

Post edited at 15:56
In reply to HappyTrundler:

I lost a lump of chalk at Avon Gorge the other day - about the size of a knob of butter. Pls. return to me if found.

 chris_r 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Purple:

I lost some skin at Higgar Tor.

Please return to me if found.

 jimtitt 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Purple:

> I lost a lump of chalk at Avon Gorge the other day - about the size of a knob of butter. Pls. return to me if found.

You eat butter? Do you know the CO² balance of mistreating animals fed on soya from a cleared rainforest, you really aren't with the UKC zietgeist are you?

 Andy Johnson 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

The tradition of crag swag pre-dates the era of widespread internet use. As such, I've always felt it to be more of a pragmatic recognition of the difficulties of returning left/lost gear in that previous era, rather than some unbreakable law of nature. I don't have a problem with it, but I feel it is a personal decision.

Yes, some people post here about the single sling or krab that they left wherever, and that always seems a tad optimistic to me. But the barrier to positing is pretty low, and kind people frequently go out of their way to get found gear back to its owner. I think its good that we now have a simple way to show such kindness tbh.

Post edited at 16:24
 Jamie Wakeham 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Andy Johnson:

Exactly this.  The 'ethics' of crag swag evolved because three or more decades ago, you had little practical way to find the owner of lost kit.  Now it is generally trivial, and I see absolutely no reason not to post on here offering found kit.

It's not foolproof, and I have various bits and bobs that I've picked up and had no takers on here, including an almost brand new static rope! I'd feel uncomfortable keeping anything without making a reasonable effort to locate the owner.   

 DaveHK 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

> Taking gear without taking reasonable steps to trace the owner and determine whether or not they intended to return and collect it leaves you open to a theft charge.

Never happened, never going to happen.

 DaveHK 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

The mistake that some people make is to think that they own items like nuts. We don't own them, we just have them for a bit and then they move on.

 Lankyman 26 Apr 2021
In reply to chris_r:

> I lost some skin at Higgar Tor.

> Please return to me if found.

I found my freedom on Blueberry Hill. It was a while back now.

 gethin_allen 26 Apr 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

> Never happened, never going to happen.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/woman-nicole-bailey-kept-ps20-note-one-stop-burton-stoke-trent-criminal-record-staff-poketed-a7603576.html

It does however seem that the threshold for chasing up such cases is rather low, although admittedly the evidence in the case highlighted in the link above is pretty solid and unlikely to be similar at a crag.

In reply to DaveHK:

> The mistake that some people make is to think that they own items like nuts. We don't own them, we just have them for a bit and then they move on.

Yes. Some nuts come your way, others move on. Just go with the flow; it is a rather beautiful mutual arrangement which traditionally brings us together as climbers. Absolutely absurd to be posting about and then posting the things.

 olddirtydoggy 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

Since we're on the topic of lost and found you won't mind me advertising a piece of gear I found on Friday that I'm willing to reunite with it's owner.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/lost+found/found_piece_of_gear_on_gillercomb_buttress-734061

 wercat 26 Apr 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

I lost my bottle in various places.

In reply to DaveHK:

> The mistake that some people make is to think that they own items like nuts. We don't own them, we just have them for a bit and then they move on.

If my MOAC on rope ever parts company with me I would be GUTTED. We've been together for a long time and on an easy mountain route with big gear placements it just fits (no quickdraw needed too) and it is totally bomb proof. It knows I care about it, it won't walk out on me for another.

 tingle 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

Bumping because I lost a brand new atc in langdale the other week, it never felt the loving touch of a rope and I want it back. 

In reply to HappyTrundler:

You have the energy to support a climbing forum and whine on it about people reuniting climbers with their gear, but you can't find the time to post a quick ad to see if someone dropped their stuff before you keep it? 

 alan moore 26 Apr 2021
In reply to gethin_allen:

> Do you really want some random persons gear on your rack or just cluttering up your house if you don't trust it enough to climb on it? If the answer is no then why not waste those five seconds to post on here 

There are two IKEA bags full of crag swag in my attic that is too good to throw away but not quite good enough to make it into my rack.

Stitched slings(some faded), nuts, RP's hexes, a couple of Friends, a tricam, a couple of Moacs on rope, some rusty ice screws, a bent warthog, some Prussic loops, a nut key, a harness with a  broken gear loop, a 17 metre rope and about 50 knotted slings.

If the owners would like to be reunited with their stuff, PM me here.

 olddirtydoggy 26 Apr 2021
In reply to alan moore:

Why not give the lot away. We've given good swag to younger climbers starting out. Naturally we don't give away trash and always stress that there is a degree of risk with used gear and all the usual disclaimers.

We find there are more swag on the longer, easy mountain routes. We found 3 new slings and 3 new screwgates on a ridge in Wales but nobody claimed them when we put it up. A friend of ours now owns them, saved him a few quid.

 Michael Gordon 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

I love finding gear on the crag! I've also backed off plenty routes and lost gear. I wouldn't expect most of it to be returned. As you say, it balances out.

 Webster 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

i see crag swag as a bit like golf balls. i loose some and i find some. its been a good day/week/trip (or round of golf) if i finish up with more than i started but thats usually not the case!

i tend to draw the line on individual items at cams/screws in terms of making a concerted effort to get it back to the owner, and obvously if i found a whole rack/rucksack full of stuff i would try and hand it in to a police station or local climbing shop. small items you just have to accept that you win some, you lose some, but it generally evens itself out over a lifetime.

Post edited at 20:34
 Rick51 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

There is surely a difference between true crag swag, ie gear found en-route, and lost gear, ie gear found at the bottom of a crag and most likely mislaid or forgotten. If I have to go to the effort of getting a stuck nut or cam out of a crack then it's mine. If I find gear at the bottom of the crag then I will try and find the owner. The greater the value of the gear the greater the effort I will put in. If it's a single nut or Krab then it's unlikely that my effort will be too arduous, if it's a pair of shoes or half a rack then I will make much more of an effort to find the owner.

In reply to wercat:

I lost my marbles - can’t remember where.

 LastBoyScout 26 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

I have a few items of "crag swag" in my bag, the most valuable being a couple of WC Friends I found left on a rock at Stanage. Back then, we didn't have sites like this and, the etiquette was broadly that if the owner had not returned by the end of the day, it was fair game (as was the case for those) - especially if you'd been the one to dig it out of the back of some nasty crack.

These days, I'd try and return any significant finds, but probably wouldn't bother for the odd wire, as not worth the cost (postage or environmental).

Sometimes wonder if anyone now has the #6 Hex I left hammered into a crack somewhere up the Devil's Kitchen after we ran out of ice and had to escape.

In reply to DaveHK:

> Never happened, never going to happen.

I once had a casual conversation about crag swag while hillwalking with a Sheriff.  Obviously not a formal legal consultation but he picked up on the lost golf ball analogy and wasn't that convinced by the 'theft by finding' argument for bits of climbing gear left hanging out of cliffs.  My impression, is, at least in Scotland, the legal system would apply some common sense about the value of the item and the location.

In reply to HappyTrundler:

What’s the cutoff point between rope/shoes, and gear presumed “abandoned”, then, HappyTrundler? 

I’ve posted about abandoned gear that a lot of the posters on this thread would arrogantly declare to be “fair game”, and found that the owners had bailed their climbs to assist with a rescue or injury and got caught up with the whole situation and forgot their gear in the distraction of working with MRT. According to this thread, it’s tough tittie on them and I should have kept (for example) £109 worth of two brand new helmets belonging to Spanish climbers visiting the Peak District, who possibly saved someone’s life. Blitz Spirit, I’m alright Jack. 

 Misha 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

That might work for gear dropped / left behind. What about gear left in situ? That would presumably count as abandoned. And I think anyone who is able to retrieve it is doing the rest of us a service by keeping the crags free from unnecessary and decaying ‘fixed’ gear. 

 Misha 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Finding a load of gear on a pitch and an in situ belay would be pretty rare and would suggest an accident. Getting in touch with the local MRT would be sensible as they would probably have contact details for the owners. Finding a random ‘bail belay’ could mean a number of things - accident, too hard, out of condition, out of time, couldn’t be bothered to finish, even guiding. I’d class it as ‘abandoned’.

Two helmets would be a very interesting find. I think most people would seek to make reasonable enquiries.

The other thing with low value items is the owners won’t bother collecting them. They might or might not pay for the postage. If I found something actually valuable (two helmets for example), I’d either stash them at the crag and post about it (I’ve done that with a pair of rock shoes I’ve found) or take them to a local police station.

I also once found a single glove and a screw falling down the same winter route. Managed to reunite the glove with its owner (posted here and then posted the glove) but no one ever claimed the screw. I’m definitely in a net deficit on lost ice screws though. I hope someone has found the ones I’ve lost as that’s much better than them rusting away... Going round the base of popular winter crags with a metal detector in spring would be a public service!

Post edited at 01:26
In reply to Misha:

How about an easy-to-remove (from a neighbouring line) cam three quarters of the way up a route at Stanage? No quickdraw. As it wasn’t stuck I would assume the route was abandoned before topping out, and as I found it at about 3pm or earlier on a long summer day, I assume there was a very important reason that the people  involve did not have the luxury of being able to go and set up an abseil or whatever, to retrieve it. Like they’d received notification of some major mishap that meant they had to leave the crag immediately.

Despite struggling for financial buoyancy at the time, and having a gap in my rack which this cam filled, I made efforts to find owners. Nobody came forward. 

 DaveHK 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> What’s the cutoff point between rope/shoes, and gear presumed “abandoned”, then, HappyTrundler? 

Jesus Christ, does this really need to be explained again?

Pieces of stuck or otherwise left on route pro are crag swag. Other items, items obviously forgotten and items left as a result of an accident are not. But of course you knew that already didn't you?

>  I assume there was a very important reason that the people involve did not have the luxury of being able to go and set up an abseil or whatever, to retrieve it. Like they’d received notification of some major mishap that meant they had to leave the crag immediately.

Do you often construct elaborate tragedies around workaday occurrences? 

Post edited at 06:45
 Michael Gordon 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

This has a similar ring to it as the going out in the hills during lockdown thing. If it makes you happy to try and return every nut you come across then crack on, but don't expect everyone else to do the same. 

In reply to DaveHK:

> Do you often construct elaborate tragedies around workaday occurrences? 

It's a workaday occurrence, DaveHK

In reply to Michael Gordon:

>  If it makes you happy to try and return every nut you come across then crack on

I don't, and I did not imply this, Michael Gordon

but don't expect everyone else to do the same. 

I don't, and I did not imply this, Michael Gordon

Post edited at 08:44
In reply to HappyTrundler:

I acquired most of my first winter rack by beachcombing under the North Face of the Ben one summer's afternoon. Came away with a useful assortment of screws and pegs, although one warthog was bent through 90 degrees.  We also found a single boot, which raised some questions.  There wasn't a foot in it, we checked.

This seems to be a generational divide.  The older generation, from a time when gear couldn't easily be returned, seems to be fairly relaxed about both finding and losing gear, knowing you win some, lose some and confident that over time it more or less balances out.  

To us, the younger generation seems to be overconcerned about losing items of fairly low value (is it really worthwhile returning a nut after the cost of postage and a drink for the finder?) and not sufficiently concerned about making sure it doesn't get stuck in the first place. 

 Dave Todd 27 Apr 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

> Consider it the cost of people picking up your litter...

A couple of years ago when I drove to Burb North in the rain and ran down the valley to retrieve your rope from the bottom of Long Tall Sally where you'd inadvertently left it - then walked back to my car, drove home, hung your rope up to dry so that it could be collected - I wasn't considering the cost of picking up your litter.  I was just doing what I consider to be the right thing.

In reply to Dave Todd:

Fair point Dave, and I did and still do really appreciate that you did that for me, but I'm talking about nuts in cracks on routes and not expensive and obvious bouts of stupidity. If I found a rope, or half a rack, or guidebook, cam, set of nuts, helmet — whatever — at the bottom of the crag, I wouldn't hesitate to everything I could to return it to its rightful owner. I'd like to think we'd all have that understanding.

Single low-value bits of gear, abandoned or stuck on routes? I see that as fair game, and I have no double standards. Whenever I lose gear on a route, I post here specifically to point out that it's fair game for whoever finds it. I like the idea that my small loss may make someone else happy when they find/unstick it.

I have no problem with honest people doing the right thing and trying to return even trivial bits of gear, I just don't understand it. And more so, I don't understand the corresponding 'lost: #4 rock' posts.

 PaulTanton 27 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

Some stuff is valid crag swag, a jammed wire for example. In-situ jammed gear can be a pain when it rots through.  I think once you’ve abandoned it you don’t have a claim on it.


 I’ve found loads of stuff at crags. Put it on here. Most times alive managed to get it back to the rightful owner.  Ended up binning some stuff.  TBH  I get fed up with some of the time wasters blatantly quizzing you about found stuff. I found a fleece once, some guy was asking me the size, make colour. Get real

 Misha 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Reasonable to make enquiries for a cam left like that but I wouldn’t necessarily assume there had been an accident, especially with a single piece left behind. Could just have been ‘too hard’ and then lacking the skills or motivation to retrieve. Why anyone would lower off a single piece is another matter...

Which reminds me of another story. A mate had decided to lower off a single in situ wire on a winter route. The wire broke and he took a mega lob but luckily the only injury was to his Decathlon day sack. Their team of three decided to bail, leaving behind a belay made of three offsets, tat and a krab. We did the route a few days later and hoovered up the swag, thinking “punters” (seeing as we knew the back story). I didn’t know the guy whose gear it was but got put in touch. However we didn’t manage to be in the same place at the same time for the handover and don’t live anywhere near each other, so I still have it, except I’ve probably lost those wires anyway now as it was a few years ago...

 lithos 27 Apr 2021
In reply to LastBoyScout:

> These days, I'd try and return any significant finds, but probably wouldn't bother for the odd wire, as not worth the cost (postage or environmental).

a new rock/wallnut 4 is about a tenner (9.90 on rocknrun). Postage for  returning it would be about a quid and it would save making another one so better for the environment i'd have thought.  When you are starting/flat broke out maybe these things are significant

 nniff 27 Apr 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

A couple of things surprise me about stuck gear these days -

1) ridiculous cam placements - these days I suppose one should say 'use cases', which covers both obvious cam-eating placements and obvious cam-eating placements with inadequate structural strength.

2) the inability of people to get wires out.  In one notable case recently, the stuck wire was even mentioned in the log book here.  Descent was via abseil, straight past the wire.  All it needed was a suitable rock placed in a chalk bag at the top and a simple tap with the rock on a nut key.  All of 15 seconds, most of which was wrapping the ab rope around a leg.

 Misha 27 Apr 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

That’s a good summary and I think ‘my loss, their gain’ is the right attitude when you knowingly leave something behind (perhaps less so in an accident situation but even then presumably you’d be mostly focused on other things and the loss of gear will be a small consideration). It’s great when stuff gets returned but I wouldn’t expect it. 

 Misha 27 Apr 2021
In reply to lithos:

Except you’d need a Jiffy bag or bubble wrap, plus you’d need to go to the post office. A bit of a hassle really. As for environmental, if you keep the wire, that’s one less number 4 wire you’ll need to buy yourself in future (when you loose or damage one of your existing ones), so it doesn’t really make any difference.

I’d be happy to hand over a wire in person but I think it’s on the other person to make an effort to collect it rather than on the ‘finder’ to hand it over. If it’s say a cam or a screw, I’d be more willing to post it if the postage costs are covered for me. It’s just not worth the hassle for a wire or a biner. 

 Offwidth 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

Here we go again. All that legal hot air isn't worth anything as no legal action is ever going to be taken about a stuck runner. It's up to climbers who retrieve it what they do with it (I think retrieval is good as it keeps the crags clear of unsightly litter). I'd just hope people would post online about expensive gear in good nick.

 lithos 27 Apr 2021
In reply to Misha:

just stick it in an envelope, don't do anything fancy and i reuse padded ones that are sent to me and paypal makes payment easy. I am not sure what LastBoyScout meant by environmental so took a guess, but yours is a justificcation IMHO 

I'm not arguing what you (or me or anyone else) should do and what you think is hassle - I'm just quoting directly and offering refutation of the costs of postage and environmental

>For me it’s just not worth the hassle for a wire or a biner.  FTFY

In reply to lithos:

I am with you on this, including politely not telling others what to do or think! But yes I often see the argument that “it’s not worth the postage” which does come across as “assuaging one’s guilt”. Thanks for posting the figures (£1 vs £10). 

 Donotello 28 Apr 2021

I find it quite ridiculous that I found a surfboard, in a body glove surfboard bag on the side of the motorway and have yet to reunite it with the owner. Surely they’re looking out for a hint of its whereabouts on social media but nothing whatsoever. 
 

Yet I leave a shoelace at a crag and it’s online within an hour. 
 

I once saw the rope I was using at a crag posted on the South Wales Facebook page as found when I was 10m away having a coffee break. 

 Misha 28 Apr 2021
In reply to lithos:

> >For me it’s just not worth the hassle for a wire or a biner.  FTFY

That is correct. It really isn’t worth the hassle.

I’m not sure the post office sorting machines would like a normal envelope with a wire inside but fair point on reusing padded envelopes. It’s more the hassle really. Just not worth it. I’m not trying to justify anything or assuage guilt, as Blue Straggler puts it (guilt about not trying to return a stuck wire, really?). I’m just saying this is the reality of the situation. I think most people would adopt this common sense approach with low value items.

In reply to Misha:

> or assuage guilt, as Blue Straggler puts it (guilt about not trying to return a stuck wire, really?). 

You have completely misunderstood me and that is completely my fault 

 lithos 28 Apr 2021
In reply to Misha:

i am not after an argument over this, as I am pretty much aligned with your view but bigger picture (IMHO)

hassle is constant (for wire i'd argue less than a cam)

value is relative-a wire to you is nought to someone it maybe valuable (monetary not emotional) You seem to see it as absolute, you are making assumptions of others views or rather using your own (you wouldnt think twice about a lost wire) but other people may feel differently, thats all,

I don't expect the finder to have to pay for postage etc but i have in the past, and also i had a complete rack which i returned but was quite a lot of hassle for me.

 Jon Read 28 Apr 2021
In reply to lithos:

I do think the idea of it being too much hassle is an excuse. Holding doors open for people, or letting traffic through is a hassle, but it's a good thing to do. It basically comes down to how kind you are and want to be to others, people who may not be able to afford a replacement for the Rock 6 that fell off their krab by accident.

My experience of diligently posting everything I've found on this forum for the past 15 years is that they get claimed only about 10% of the time. Such a hassle!

 Misha 29 Apr 2021
In reply to lithos:

I know that the cost of a wire is meaningful to some people but it’s still not going to break the bank (especially considering that the cost of a climbing trip for most people will be at least equal to the cost of a wire and probably significantly more).

If I were to find an entire rack or (more likely) a pair of ice axes, I would of course try to trace the ower and if possible would leave it at a local police station for the owner to collect.

The other point to bear in mind is that, in my experience at any rate, the vast majority of swag is stuck gear, plus the occasional bail biner / maillon on sport routes, which falls into the category of abandoned rather than lost. I guess I don’t tend to go to very popular crags, where there might be more lost items. I did find a pair of shoes last year - left them at the crag below a boulder and posted here. If something has been abandoned, I really feel under no obligation to try to return it.

Post edited at 00:28
 overdrawnboy 29 Apr 2021
In reply to alan moore:

> There are two IKEA bags full of crag swag in my attic that is too good to throw away but not quite good enough to make it into my rack.

> Stitched slings(some faded), nuts, RP's hexes, a couple of Friends, a tricam, a couple of Moacs on rope, some rusty ice screws, a bent warthog, some Prussic loops, a nut key, a harness with a  broken gear loop, a 17 metre rope and about 50 knotted slings.

> If the owners would like to be reunited with their stuff, PM me here.

You have my full rack that vanished from East Buzzard Crag during the total eclipse of August 1999. If you leave it behind the clump of heather 40 yds east of the top of Right Unconquerable on the night of the next new moon I will be prepared to forgive and forget.

In reply to Jon Read:

> I do think the idea of it being too much hassle is an excuse. ...... My experience of diligently posting everything I've found on this forum for the past 15 years is that they get claimed only about 10% of the time. Such a hassle! <

I try and find the owner of any lost and expensive stuff. The odd wire etc I haven't bothered with apart from asking nearby climbers at the time. I would return even those items if I saw a posts from the owner. But surely if its not worthwhile the owner posting then is it really worthwhile for the finder to do so? I suppose that is hard on an impecunious climber who hasn't heard of UKC etc.  

In reply to HappyTrundler:

If someone found my favourite item of cheap gear that saved my life and posted it up I would be tremendously grateful.  Many items of crag swag have sentimental value far outweighing their material value, it's not appropriate for the finder to decide on its value and worth of returning. The right thing to do is to make an appropriate effort to do so - post on here, post on a local FB group, email/call the local police station if you're able to. It's not like it requires much effort and the owner of the gear may well be tremendously grateful.

Post edited at 13:52
 alan moore 29 Apr 2021
In reply to overdrawnboy:

> You have my full rack that vanished from East Buzzard Crag during the total eclipse of August 1999. If you leave it behind the clump of heather 40 yds east of the top of Right Unconquerable on the night of the next new moon I will be prepared to forgive and forget.

Consider it done Sir!

 GrahamD 29 Apr 2021
In reply to alan moore:

Woo hoo ! More swag to pick up.

In reply to Toerag:

>.....  Many items of crag swag have sentimental value far outweighing their material value, it's not appropriate for the finder to decide on its value and worth of returning. The right thing to do is to make an appropriate effort to do so ....  <

But why isn't it appropriate for the owner? Surely the only person who really knows the sentimental value etc of an item is the owner. Its quite possible that they would be more likely to get the sentimental item returned if its value was advertised.

 Ciro 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> Here we go again. All that legal hot air isn't worth anything as no legal action is ever going to be taken....

When I was 14, my attitude to theft was "do it if you think you won't be prosecuted", but with a bit more life experience I've done an about turn and try my best not to thieve simply for the sake of not being a thief - and that includes theft by finding.

The reason for pointing out the legality was not to suggest anyone is going to be punished for it (in fact I clearly stated it's not going to happen), it was to clarify that theft by finding is theft.

If you're happy to commit petty crime, then clearly my argument isn't going to sway you. The point was more for those who might not have considered that when you find something, not taking reasonable steps to identify the owner is theft.

 DaveHK 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

>If you're happy to commit petty crime, then clearly my argument isn't going to sway you.

Its nothing to do with people's attitude to petty crime, it's because your argument is bollocks.

Post edited at 21:37
 GrahamD 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

It's not theft, it's litter collection.

In reply to GrahamD:

> It's not theft, it's litter collection.

Yes. This is pretty much the whole point. Legitimate swag is gear that has been knowingly abandoned (jammed nuts, abseil anchors), NOT gear that has been accidentally lost.

In reply to HappyTrundler:

In strict legal terms this may well be theft by finding, but it is highly unlikely to be prosecuted.  You may, quite rightly, say that's not the point.  However as a community, climbers can be quite selective about which laws they choose to obey, in particular the law of trespass (OK a civil rather than a criminal matter, but still unlawful).  We're quite happy to go onto land where we may not have access rights if we think the owner won't be do anything about it.

The discussion is more to do with custom and practice within the climbing community.  There was a time when "finders, keepers" was widely accepted, even when there might have been a possibility of returning it.  The ethical onus was on the original owner not to abandon it in the first place, and once they'd done so it was understood to be fair game.  Clearly the pendulum has now swung the other way, and people are going to have to get used to that.

I remain surprised that some people seem so concerned to recover lost items of fairly low value like wires.  No doubt for some the cost is significant, but looking around at fellow climbers' clothing, gear and phones I doubt that applies to many.  Losing and damaging gear is part of the game, and this applies to many sports  - cyclists get punctures and break chains, golfers lose balls, fencers break blades, squash players break racquets.  Not just sports - the cost of a broken violin string is outrageous.  I get "sentimental value" too, but everytime you go out you risk breaking or losing something, and if it means that much to you then retire it. 

 Misha 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

Would you consider removing a piece of stuck gear to be theft? I think most people would disagree with you there. I can't see how you can steal something which has been abandoned. I don't necessarily disagree with the principle of what you're saying regarding finding stuff which appears to have been simply lost but I would argue that it's not unreasonable to take a pragmatic view regarding low value stuff (unless it's been tagged, such that the owner could be contacted).

An interesting extension of your argument is whether people should just leave stuff that's been lost where it is. A bit like people putting a single lost glove on a branch in the hope that the owner might come back for it. Your view is that picking up a single wire that's been dropped below a crag is effectively theft. However there's nothing in law to require someone to pick it up and try to return is. So if someone isn't going to try finding the owner (which would probably be futile anyway), should they just leave the wire to rust away in peace?

As I've mentioned above, last year I found a pair of shoes, left them at the crag and posted about it here. It seemed like a sensible thing to do, on the assumption that a pair of shoes is sufficiently valuable for the owner to come back looking for them. I doubt the vast majority of people would come back to look for a wire and even if they did they probably won't find it anyway at most crags. So it would just sit there rusting away...  

Post edited at 22:32
 Cobra_Head 29 Apr 2021
In reply to Purple:

> I lost a lump of chalk at Avon Gorge the other day - about the size of a knob of butter. Pls. return to me if found.


chalk!!!

In reply to Misha:

> However there's nothing in law to require someone to pick it up and try to return is.t

If I understand correctly, the law does not require you to pick it up, but if you do you must then make reasonable efforts to try to return it. Only then can you keep it.  But it's not that straightforward.  Theft requires dishonest intention - is repurposing abandoned gear dishonest? This is why we have courts, because every case has to be decided on its merits.

However whilst this would no doubt make an interesting essay topic for law students, this is a red herring because the law is unlikely to come into it.  What is far more relevant are the expectations of the community, and those don't seem to be decided yet.  As I said a couple of posts above, the pendulum is swinging but we don't yet have a consensus.  That leaves it up to personal interpretation and personal conscience.

In reply to HappyTrundler:

I do seem to see a lot more stuck and abandoned gear these days.  What could be the reasons?

  • are people being more careless about placing gear because they're less worried about losing it?
  • are they making less effort to remove stuck gear as they have a greater expectation that it will be returned to them?
  • are finders making less effort to remove stuck gear left by others, since after all their efforts they'll only be expected to give it back, so why bother?
 Misha 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Howard J:

I agree. Though I'm not sure the pendulum is swinging that much. This thread isn't necessarily representative of the wider climbing community...

I'd be interested to know, out of academic interest, whether picking up something which has effectively been abandoned could constitute theft. I'd be very surprised if that were the case. I suppose it might come down to whether someone intended to abandon it.

"M'lord, my second couldn't get the wire out and we didn't have the skills / time to abseil for it (or we abseiled for it but still couldn't get it out). However we didn't intended to abandon it. It's just that we effectively had to. So that thieving so-and-so who managed to get it out the next day must give it back and pay me damages for emotional distress!"

 Misha 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Howard J:

As to why there might be more stuck gear, I suspect (1) more climbers around, especially in popular locations, (2) more climbers with poor gear removal skills and (3) the cost of a wire really isn't a lot of money to most climbers these days. 

 DaveHK 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Misha:

> I'd be interested to know, out of academic interest, whether picking up something which has effectively been abandoned could constitute theft. I'd be very surprised if that were the case. I suppose it might come down to whether someone intended to abandon it.

I don't think the law really covers the situation of crag swag and so to talk about crime or legality here is meaningless. Swag has usually been knowingly but perhaps unwillingly left behind. There's also the fact that the owners often haven't taken every effort to retrieve the items. For example I have not been back to get the 2 nuts and crab below the massive cornice on Coire an Lochain. You're welcome to them if you pass that way.

​​​​​​Being the pedant that I am I googled Scottish Law on this. What it says (IANAL) is not that one should make efforts to return lost or abandoned items but that one should report finding them to the police, the owner or the landowner of the property they were found on. I can see that becoming pretty unpopular pretty quickly!

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1982/45/part/VI?timeline=false

Post edited at 07:27
 GrahamD 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Howard J:

> I do seem to see a lot more stuck and abandoned gear these days.  What could be the reasons?

More people with bigger racks, most likely.

 Michael Gordon 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

A nut left on the crag is litter from an environmental point of view, irrespective of the reasons it has for being there. How is the finder meant to know how important it was to the emotional well being of the person who had to lower off it or who's second was unable to remove it? By your argument every plastic bottle found should go on a UKC thread, after all perhaps they didn't mean to leave it lying by the crag.  

In reply to HappyTrundler:

It's a bit sad but maybe if people are getting legalistic we should have some convention like a bit of green tape means 'if you find this in a cliff it is OK to keep it'.

When I've needed to leave gear behind I really hope somebody who climbs better than me took it and used it.   Good for them.  Better it gets some use.

 wercat 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Howard J:

you do not have to take reasonable steps at all.  Theft is "Dishonest appropriation" and the dishonesty element has statutory exceptions that vitiate dishonesty  including a belief that property has been abandoned by the owner or a belief that the owner won't be traced by taking reasonable steps.  You don't need to take those steps if you think there isn't a good probability of tracing the owner or abandoner.

I know now from personal experience that the police in England are no longer interested in receiving lost property (a personal electronic device I found - I still managed to get them to keep it in case someone walked in asking) unless it is something like live ammunition, which they did accept.

Post edited at 09:40
In reply to HappyTrundler:

In the interests of full disclosure I suppose I should admit that seeing the way the wind is blowing I've taken to tagging the higher-value items on my rack. I haven't bothered tagging wires though.

If I were to lose something I would of course be glad to get it back, but I don't really expect to.  Especially if it's something I've allowed to get stuck, or had to abandon when escaping a route, I see it as part of the risks of climbing.  It's annoying, especially when you come to pay for its replacement, but that's life. If someone with more patience or more skill than me is able to retrieve it, it's up to them to decide whether or not to try to return it. I'm not going to lose sleep over it. I can confess to acquiring a few items over the years (alas, no shiny new cams) so its all karma.

Gear which has clearly been accidentally forgotten or lost should never be considered crag swag, and it's in those circumstances I would hope that a finder would return it, and tagging helps with that.  But if they don't, I've really only myself to blame.

 Offwidth 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Toerag:

Most police stations cant afford that service anymore. They usually won't take lost property. 

In reply to Jon Read

If someone posted that a lost nut has sentimental value I'd try and return it but it's not the postage cost it's more the time and hassle, as I sometimes struggle to find time to update our crag notes after a day on the crag (a public service). Just as I'd stop and hold hold a gate open if someone was near but not otherwise, if the owner of a nut in good nick isn't around they normally won't be getting it back from me. Yet if some climbers have just finished a route I fancy I'll often lead it to clear stuck gear and give it back. I've also given crag swag mini racks to new climbers on a tight budget.... in particular slightly damaged nuts make useful winter gear so you don't need to trash your best rock rack.

I simply don't feel any guilt for not making disproportionately pointless acts of kindness.

 GrahamD 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

Sentimental value ? for a nut ? if it really is that valuable it should be in  a display cabinet.  Otherwise its an ordinary, easily replaceable, wire.

 Offwidth 30 Apr 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

I have a lucky hex, although I know it's a daft concept! I can't see anyone leaving perceived luck in a display cabinet.

Post edited at 12:04
 fred99 30 Apr 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> I have a lucky hex, although I know it's a daft concept! I can't see anyone leaving perceived luck in a display cabinet.

It's certainly not a daft concept, at least not for me.

I've had my drilled hexes (on cord) since the mid 70's, and they're still my favourite runners whether cragging, on a mountain route or even winter. (Dread to think how many times I've replaced the cords).

(And NO, those of you wanting them for a museum CAN'T have them !!)

If I get "concerned" and can then whang one of these in, then I know I'm safe - could even set up a comfy mid-point belay and be relaxed.

Post edited at 18:09
 GrahamD 30 Apr 2021
In reply to fred99:

But don't you take extra care of 'special' geat, or just suck it up if you lose it ? 

 wercat 01 May 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

Failure [to recover] is not an option

In reply to wercat:

I'm not a lawyer.  I was basing that on a blog by a firm of solicitors, which said:

"The Theft Act 1968 dictates that a person is not acting dishonestly where they appropriate “the property in the belief that the person to whom the property belongs cannot be discovered by taking reasonable steps.” Therefore, should the specific circumstances place an onus on someone to consider taking reasonable steps, and they fail to do so, they cannot benefit from this piece of legislation."

My interpretation of that is that you should make reasonable efforts to return something before you're allowed to keep it.  The question, m'lud, is whether the specific circumstances of retrieving a piece of stuck and abandoned gear removes that onus to take reasonable steps.

Value is not necessarily a consideration. The blog was commenting on a case where someone was convicted for keeping a £20 note she'd found.  However keeping money is perhaps more obviously dishonest (some will disagree).  It is perhaps not impossible that someone could be prosecuted for crag swag, but I think it is probably unlikely.  However, this is less a question of legality than one of ethics and expectations within the climbing community, and the consensus on this is clearly still in a state of flux and has not yet been settled, as this discussion has shown.

 Ungabunga73 01 May 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

Lost my sunglasses at Hindu Kush last weekend, probally because I was distracted by putting other peoples litter in my bag before I left...........Karma never works ha !!!

In reply to wercat:

> I had my much loved first rope "acquired as wall swag" at Penrith Wall back in the early 90s - I suspect a group who were the only others in there that night

Loughborough Uni club removed my climbing rope, which we were using for an ab, and took it in Pembrokeshire. Luckily, although they were at a different location the next day, we had chosen the same crag. We got it back after some initial resistance. IMO that's straight up theft, particularly annoying as it was the only owned a few 1970s nuts and had saved my small 15yo wages for months to buy it and they had cams on their racks! Long time ago know though. 

 wercat 01 May 2021
In reply to Howard J:

Keeping money is very dependant on the circumstances.  Finding a £20 note lying in the deserted  street early on a Sunday morning has almost zero dishonesty unless it was in a wallet or labelled by the owner with a return address.   If you were standing in a checkout queue and picked up a £20 that suddenly appeared without asking the rest of the queue whether someone has dropped it would to me be extremely dishonest and would be theft.

I think value comes into it mainly in considering the likelihood of tracing the owner - if it is something of a type that would be looked out for then yes it would be dishonest not to take some steps to advertise its finding.

The onus is definitely on the finder to consider whether the owner is likely to have abandoned the property and if not whether there is a good chance of tracing the owner.  It's also pretty clear that reasonable steps would be dependent on the value of the item found.  Noone is going to criticise someone for picking up and pocketing a biro on the fells but someone who just pockets an expensive GPS might justifiably feel a little guilt in not considering what steps could be taken to find the owner.

In the case of a stuck wire, keeping it when you can still see the party who lost it at the foot of the crag would, I think, be very bad form and close to theft but not necessarily so in different circumstances where the owners are not close by.

Stuff found at the foot of the climb (that hasn't obviously fallen from it) I think should be treated as lost property and definitely not crag swag.  Lost property of any appreciable value really needs different consideration from stuff that has been abandoned and not collected by abbing down etc.

In reply to wercat:

Homeless man drops £20, it's all he has. He walks to the police station round the corner to see if anyone handed it in, but you didn't because you didn't think it was significant. 

Man gets a gift of climbing gear from his parents who then die in a car crash, he loves using it. He has to bail for safety reasons and intends to come back the next day to retrieve his gear. But it is not there because you thought it was yours now. 

Value is not just monetary. All your family photos have no monetary value, but if I nicked them you might not be impressed. You do realise you are not OBLIGED to take stuff you find in a public space right? 

 wercat 01 May 2021
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

>You do realise you are not OBLIGED to take stuff you find in a public space right?

An extraordinarily offensive and silly comment.

I think I knew that at primary school.  If not then I'm sure that knowledge was assumed before studying Law at university.

I think you've widened the scope beyond things that are not unique.

Who said £20 is insignificant?  To me it is an appreciable sum.  You're confusing value with likelihood of being able to trace the owner.

A large number of police stations have closed.  Many are unmanned on Sunday mornings.  The police do not accept lost property in England  (I've tried to hand it in, FYO).

In the example I quoted (where incidentally I envisage no open police station, shop or any establishment except perhaps an open petrol station several miles away, and, say no other people about, it would be entirely reasonable to assume that the owner could not be traced by taking reasonable steps. 

Please give me credit for providing an example at the other extreme where it is almost certain the owner is still around and can be found in seconds, and please give me credit for the not very hard assumption for you to pick up or consider that there is a WHOLE SPECTRUM of situations in between.

Your point is???

Post edited at 14:00
 GrahamD 01 May 2021
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

> Man gets a gift of climbing gear from his parents who then die in a car crash, he loves using it. He has to bail for safety reasons and intends to come back the next day to retrieve his gear. But it is not there because you thought it was yours now. 

Are you serious ?

 fred99 01 May 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

> But don't you take extra care of 'special' geat, or just suck it up if you lose it ? 

Used it as a belay at the top of a route at the Roaches once, and my clown second walked past it and completely inverted the thing, jamming it well and proper. Took me well over half an hour but I got it back.

Haven't climbed with the plonker since !

 fred99 01 May 2021
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

> .... . You do realise you are not OBLIGED to take stuff you find in a public space right? 

I trust that next time you walk down the street, and see ANYTHING on the floor, that you will pick it all up and carry it to the local cop shop, together with a notepad on which you have listed EVERYTHING and also where it was found. A clue - you'll need a ginormous bin bag, a new notepad, and a paper of rubber gloves. Assuming you find the cop shop actually open, you'll also need a decent excuse as to why you're wasting their time and filling up their cop shop with rubbish.

Post edited at 18:51
 fred99 01 May 2021
In reply to :

All this talk about people who take gear being thieves is a bit rich.

What about all those people who litter the countryside with their rotting cord and rusting wires ?

And wires etc. left in the only decent slot on a climb can be dangerous, as it's only a matter of time before they become both useless and prevent someone putting their own gear in.

It's about time climbers, particularly seconds, learnt the art of runner removal, something we were far more interested in back in the days when gear could only be bought at a small number of outlets. As such we made sure stuff was retrieved, no matter how long the second had to dangle on a tight rope, or the leader hung around on an ab rope.

Note: This is here my favourite hex comes into it's own - it makes a great hammer to use on my nut extractor.

In reply to fred99:

> And wires etc. left in the only decent slot on a climb can be dangerous, as it's only a matter of time before they become both useless and prevent someone putting their own gear in.

And this is another reason why the great swagging ethic should be upheld in the face of all this nonsense about thievery - it provides a good incentive to get abandoned nuts and cams out as well as for people not to abandon them in the first place.

Post edited at 19:17
 Misha 01 May 2021
In reply to wercat:

A few months back I was walking in a park when someone cycled past me and a fiver fell out of his pocket perhaps 20m ahead of me. Fortunately he was cycling quite slowly while talking on the phone, so I managed to catch up with him and hand it back. Interesting hypothetical question what I would / could have done if he had been cycling above running speed and didn’t hear me shouting. It would have been reasonable to keep it I think. 

In reply to fred99:

You seem to have missed the point that not being obliged to pick up things that are not mine means I don't have to pick up literally everything on the street.........

In reply to GrahamD:

People attach sentimental value to things, people lose things, people can't find their lost things if you take them for yourself and don't try to find the owner. 

Yes I'm serious. 

In reply to wercat:

You studied law and you think that finding cash on the street without a wallet and a name on it means you're entitled to it? I find your combination of ignorance and hubris offensive. 

https://www.met.police.uk/ro/report/lp/lost-or-found-property/

https://west-midlands.police.uk/your-options/found-cash

The police do indeed take valuable items of lost property, and money (see the above links). Just because you can't locate the owner of the cash doesn't mean the owner can't walk into a police station with the serial numbers of the lost notes. Unlikely, but not impossible. 

If you don't feel like taking on all the hassle of going to the police station, the answer is simple as I previous stated. You are not obliged to pick up lost property. 

 Misha 01 May 2021
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

That answers my hypothetical question as to what to do with money found in a street / park. Of course if it’s somewhere like a rail station I’d just hand it in to someone who works there and then it’s no longer my issue.

I think your idea of someone producing serial numbers is not very realistic but I guess someone could claim it if they are quite specific about where they lost it.

Still, your idea of removing stuck / abandoned gear constituting theft / depriving people of possible sentimental items is a bit silly. It’s cleaning up the crag. Unless it’s tagged or obviously looks like the aftermath of a rescue (trail of gear plus a belay), I don’t think there’s any obligation to contact the owner. I do think it’s good to remove the gear if you can because we don’t want trad routes festooned in unnecessary fixed gear. Items which have obviously been lost / dropped merit reasonable steps to trace the owner. Sometimes it might make sense to leave the items at the crag (eg a pair of shoes).

Post edited at 23:22
In reply to Misha:

> Unless it’s tagged........ I don’t think there’s any obligation to contact the owner.

So do you think people should be able to opt out of the swag system by tagging their gear?

In reply to Misha:

> I don’t think there’s any obligation to contact the owner. 

The police make it quite clear that taking reasonable steps to contact an owner regarding low value items is expected before keeping it. Like posting on a climbing forum...

 Lankyman 02 May 2021
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

> You studied law and you think that finding cash on the street without a wallet and a name on it means you're entitled to it? I find your combination of ignorance and hubris offensive. 

> The police do indeed take valuable items of lost property, and money (see the above links). Just because you can't locate the owner of the cash doesn't mean the owner can't walk into a police station with the serial numbers of the lost notes. Unlikely, but not impossible. 

> If you don't feel like taking on all the hassle of going to the police station, the answer is simple as I previous stated. You are not obliged to pick up lost property. 

Where do you draw the line? What amount of cash (if any) do the police recommend lugging over to your nearest (open) police station? We must have clear rules not wishy-washy guidance. I need to know this in case a friend of mine finds a suitcase full of used notes whose owner may be a homeless person who needs it more than him.

In reply to Lankyman:

> Where do you draw the line? What amount of cash (if any) do the police recommend lugging over to your nearest (open) police station? We must have clear rules not wishy-washy guidance. I need to know this in case a friend of mine finds a suitcase full of used notes whose owner may be a homeless person who needs it more than him.

I hope the homeless person who lost the suitcase full of used notes has a notarised copy of all the serial numbers.

In reply to Lankyman:

Incredible the amount of excuses you guys are coming up with as to why you absolutely can't manage to take any action on lost property. 

You're spending all day arguing on this forum but suddenly posting a 20 second ad or popping into your local police station is more drama than taking the ring to Mordor. 

 Lankyman 02 May 2021
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

> Incredible the amount of excuses you guys are coming up with as to why you absolutely can't manage to take any action on lost property. 

> You're spending all day arguing on this forum but suddenly posting a 20 second ad or popping into your local police station is more drama than taking the ring to Mordor. 

Quit stalling and answer the question

 Lankyman 02 May 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I hope the homeless person who lost the suitcase full of used notes has a notarised copy of all the serial numbers.

I would imagine so if they want it back? Otherwise, it's mine. I mean my friend's.

 GrahamD 02 May 2021
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

We aren't talking about 'lost' property.   We are talking about abandoned property. Anyone leaving a bit of gear on a route knows exactly where it is.

 wercat 02 May 2021
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

your replies to my posts are dishonest and display an almost wilful and quite dismal disregard for what I have said.

Plus, you are wrong in law.  It is not the duty to take reasonable steps that vitiates the dishonesty element of the appropriation in theft.  It is an honest belief as to the likelihood or otherwise of tracing the owner by taking reasonable steps.

I'm not making any other reply as you have chosen a particularly antagonistic way of disregarding what my words were intended and did actually convey?

Are you dense?

Do you have any knowledge of the steps I've taken to return property in the past?  You would find in the archives of the Keswick MRT of the reporting of an entire rucsac full of stuff at the bottom of Great End that I reported in person to the MRT base after returning from soloing several routes there.  They were reunited with their owner, from NW England iirc.

Please engage brain before you reply again and make sure you have read carefully and understood what it is you think you are replying to as your current failure so to do doesn't make you look good.

Post edited at 09:33
 Offwidth 02 May 2021
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

How many times do you need to be told the police don't usually take lost property anymore. Going in to the police station (if you can find one that is open to the public at the time) is wasting their time as well as yours.

Everyone here has said they will try to return expensive gear left somewhere. The only significant argument here is really about returning cleared nuts that were stuck on climbs.

In reply to HappyTrundler:

There is much talk of the moral, and possibly legal, responsibility of the finder to return crag swag.  What about the moral responsibility of the loser not to leave it behind, cluttering the landscape and potentially blocking crucial placements?  By definition it was retrievable, so the only conclusion can be that they didn't try hard enough. It can also be concluded that they made a conscious and deliberate decision to abandon it.

Is it littering?That's also a criminal offence. Litter isn't defined in law, but can interpreted widely.  Whilst we wouldn't think of it in those terms how would someone from outside the climbing community regard it?

In reply to thread:

There's been a lot of discussion on this thread about the value of found/abandoned items and that there may be significant personal value even if the monetary value is low.

I would have thought that if you lose something of value (however defined) that you'd quite like back, then you'd make efforts in that direction. So whilst we're all wittering on about posting on here when you find something, surely you'd post on here (and anywhere else relevant) that you'd lost something, and that you'd be happy to pay P&P for the finder to get it back to you.

Obviously this doesn't affect the "finding is theft" argument, but morally, surely the loser needs to put some effort in and not just leave it the finder to make that effort (we may all have been assuming this anyway, but I don't think the point's been explicitly made upthread).

 Misha 02 May 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

It’s an interesting one. If it’s tagged, it feels remiss not to contact the owner. At the same time, it feels a bit presumptuous for people to tag low value items. Seems reasonable for a cam or a screw. Not many people do it though.

Coming at it another way, given that tags are available, if people are really bothered about getting their stuck (or indeed lost) stuff back, they should tag it really.

I sort of assume that anything I get hopelessly stuck (which is very rare) or leave behind on a belay (which is rare) or loose (which happens, especially in winter), I won’t be getting back and I just hope someone else gets it so it doesn’t litter the crags. I’m not sure I’ve ever lost anything of sufficient value to make it worth posting about (have certainly lost a few screws over the years but don’t bother posting about them as it sort of feels like fair game...). 

 Misha 02 May 2021
In reply to wercat:

A good example - if you find a whole rucksack of gear, it’s a fair bet that there was some kind of accident involved so reporting it to the local MRT / police and here would likely trace the owner.

There’s a sliding scale of what’s reasonable depending on the circumstances and the value. Lost, particularly anything more valuable than a wire or a krab - report here and on local FB group if there one. Stuck or otherwise abandoned - crag swag, unless you’re feeling charitable... (assuming the owners aren’t around - if say a beginner can’t get a piece out, I’d happily helped it’s feasible to do so).

 Misha 02 May 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

Re police stations - if I found say an ice axe, I was thinking I’d hand it in at say Aviemore or Fort Bill police station and post here and on FB groups. However thinking about it, somewhere like Glenmore Lodge or, in Wales, PyB would be a better bet (if they agree to take it). I really don’t want to faff about with posting an ice axe and would rather leave it somewhere for the owner to pick up.

 bpmclimb 03 May 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> So do you think people should be able to opt out of the swag system by tagging their gear?

I think calling it a "system" and talking about "opting out" gives it more legitimacy than it merits, these days. You seem almost to be giving it some sort of official status! There are obviously many of today's climbers who don't subscribe to the notion, and they are no more "wrong" than you are.

Personally, I dislike the term crag swag. That's not to say that in general climbers don't apply the idea sensibly and proportionately, limiting it to obviously abandoned stuck nuts, for example; unfortunately, giving it a label can help to legitimise more dubious actions in "grey area" cases. 

 Ungabunga73 03 May 2021
In reply to bpmclimb:

I remember a post on Facebook about somebody leaving their draws on a route overnight as they were projecting, to discover they had been taken the next day..............

I think it was not the best plan, I do think that it would of been obvious that they were not abandoned either.

I have got some bail biners and mallions that people have left but consider this fair game, the occassion I mention above I feel is theft.

A clip stick should get you up most routes to clean your route (sport anyway)

In reply to bpmclimb:

> I think calling it a "system" and talking about "opting out" gives it more legitimacy than it merits, these days. You seem almost to be giving it some sort of official status! 

Traditional status.

Ok, to put it another way, should I feel any more obligation to return a tagged abandoned nut than the zero obligation I feel to return an untagged one?

 Blanche DuBois 03 May 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Traditional status.

> Ok, to put it another way, should I feel any more obligation to return a tagged abandoned nut than the zero obligation I feel to return an untagged one?

You can't possibly know it's been abandoned, unless the owner has told you so.  The owner may be intending to return to collect it.  I've certainly been in the situation where I've left a bit of gear I've abbed off, intending to return to retrieve it. I haven't abandoned it, any more than when I left my car parked unattended about a mile from the crag.  I not saying you necessarily have to bust a gut to return every biner or small nut you come across, but it's disingenuous to claim that it's definitively abandoned.

 bpmclimb 03 May 2021

> Traditional status.

> Ok, to put it another way, should I feel any more obligation to return a tagged abandoned nut than the zero obligation I feel to return an untagged one?

Not everything traditional is worthy. Circumstances alter cases, and decisions whether or not to keep gear can be made on a case-by-case basis. There's no need for a stupid little rhyme.

I would simply say just make an attempt to return gear if there's any doubt at all about it having been abandoned. It's the decent thing. The tagging just makes the returning a bit easier.

Post edited at 14:26
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

> You can't possibly know it's been abandoned, unless the owner has told you so.  The owner may be intending to return to collect it. 

So we should leave every stuck nut or abseil bailing anchor we find littering the crags just in case the owner might be planning to return at a later date?

And your comment about a car is not really equivalent; nobody generally abandons their car like they do stuck nuts.

Post edited at 14:53
In reply to bpmclimb:

> Not everything traditional is worthy. 

Well there is clearly a split between those who think the swag tradition is worthy and those who don't! 

In reply to Blanche DuBois:

You must admit, though, that if you leave something nondescript in a public space with no indication of whether you will be returning to collect it, it's foreseeable that someone may make an assumption and remove it?

To put it another way: if I left my water bottle or coffee mug on site (I work in other people's workplaces, generally in a different place most days), my expectation of being reunited with it would be low. I don't think that is particularly surprising, to be honest. If I left my wallet or my labelled car key, my expectation would be higher for hopefully obvious reasons.

I think the same principle applies to gear. If I left my rope at the bottom of the crag (thanks again Dave), I'd have more hope of it appearing on UKC than if I left a tricam welded in the belay of a route (thanks to the unnamed gentleman yesterday for ensuring I didn't have to put my gear where my mouth is) and left the crag.

If someone loses a personally-valuable piece of gear at the crag, I'd expect a lost post to appear here or elsewhere on the Internet. If I happened to find a vintage MOAC at the crag and subsequently spied a 'Lost: MOAC' post on UKC, I'd happily return it. Or any gear, really. But I wouldn't post up after finding a nut stuck in a crack halfway up Tryfan. And I wouldn't expect anyone else to do the same with my own gear. I'd be miffed at myself for leaving 'a trace' behind more than anything else.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> And your comment about a car is not really equivalent; nobody generally abandons their car like they so stuck nuts.

Have you been to Stanage lately?

 bpmclimb 03 May 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Well there is clearly a split between those who think the swag tradition is worthy and those who don't! 

Well it can be either, of course - depending on the worthiness of the individual acts. That's what it boils down to - individual judgements in individual cases, many worthy, some less so.

What bothers me about "crag swag" is that it encourages use of a "code" where there's no need for one. It's just normal human stuff, isn't it - you do the decent thing, or you don't. Which leads me to wonder - what function does it serve, why do climbers seek to perpetuate it? Is it that warm and rebellious feeling of belonging to a clan with rules slightly separate from the rest of society? Sometimes, probably. Does it get used to legitimise what would otherwise be theft, or something close to it? Sometimes, definitely.
 

In reply to bpmclimb:

>  Which leads me to wonder - what function does it serve, why do climbers seek to perpetuate it? Is it that warm and rebellious feeling of belonging to a clan with rules slightly separate from the rest of society? Sometimes, probably. Does it get used to legitimise what would otherwise be theft, or something close to it? Sometimes, definitely.

I think it's primary function is to incentivise not leaving abandoned nuts and ab points littering the crags. It avoids the faff of posting nuts around the country. It is a fun game which climbers play - yes, I feel it does bring us together a little in a way. 

 bpmclimb 03 May 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I think it's primary function is to incentivise not leaving abandoned nuts and ab points littering the crags.

That doesn't need incentivising with a special rhyming phrase. There are plenty of climbers, myself included, who will routinely strip out/replace old tat and remove obviously abandoned stuck wires, motivated purely by keeping the crags clear of litter, not by the chance of landing themselves a freebie. The two motivations are completely different, in my view.

 deepsoup 03 May 2021
In reply to bpmclimb:

Absolutely right. 

The OP starts with the phrase "I don't want to sound like a miserable git" - anyone who may have suggested above that they won't bother stripping a stuck wire out of a route unless they can keep it has seriously failed on that score imo.

Also this:
"Ok, to put it another way, should I feel any more obligation to return a tagged abandoned nut than the zero obligation I feel to return an untagged one?"

Jesus wept.  "Tradition" getting perilously close to "miserable git" territory there!

Post edited at 18:25
In reply to deepsoup:

> Also this:

> "Ok, to put it another way, should I feel any more obligation to return a tagged abandoned nut than the zero obligation I feel to return an untagged one?"

> Jesus wept.  "Tradition" getting perilously close to "miserable git" territory there!

The miserable gits are the ones anal enough to tag their name and address on every wire. I think I have concluded that swagging their wires would be particularly satisfying 🙂

In reply to bpmclimb:

> That doesn't need incentivising with a special rhyming phrase.

Eh?

> There are plenty of climbers, myself included, who will routinely strip out/replace old tat and remove obviously abandoned stuck wires, motivated purely by keeping the crags clear of litter, not by the chance of landing themselves a freebie. The two motivations are completely different, in my view.

The two motivations complement each other very satisfyingly.

Post edited at 19:49
 Misha 03 May 2021
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

If you ab off a nut and don’t retrieve it that day, that counts as abandoned in my book. How are people supposed to know you’re intending to come back for it? Should people just leave it to rust away?

 Misha 03 May 2021
In reply to bpmclimb:

I think the principles of crag swag are just common sense - depends on the circumstances and the value of the item.

Post edited at 20:11
 Misha 03 May 2021
In reply to HappyTrundler:

Incidentally, this is a very UK centric discussion (fair enough, it’s called UKC for a reason). In the Alps, no one would bat an eyelid at retrieving and keeping gear which has been stuck or left at a belay (unless it serves a purpose, eg a maillon or krab to ab off at an in situ belay or a nut to reinforce an in situ belay). People also readily accept that they might have to abandon a fair bit of gear if they have to bail off a route which doesn’t have in situ belays or after going off route etc. Someone else might or might not pick up the gear - on less popular routes it may be years later! The only time I’ve returned a piece of gear in the Alps was when I happened to know whose it was.

What I’m getting it is that in the UK we have generally easily accessible and well travelled routes. This creates an expectation among some people that someone else will get their abandoned gear back for them. If we had Alpine type routes, I don’t think we’d be having this discussion.

In reply to Misha:

> What I’m getting it is that in the UK we have generally easily accessible and well travelled routes. This creates an expectation among some people that someone else will get their abandoned gear back for them. If we had Alpine type routes, I don’t think we’d be having this discussion.

I'm not sure that 'in the UK' actually covers it.   Scotland isn't the same as England, it has a different legal system, different attitude to the balance between property rights and societal benefit and different geography.   If the trip to the crag is a multi-hour weekend expedition it is a different situation from a crag close by to a city with an established group of regulars.  It's not surprising if there are different local ethics with regard to crag swag in different locations.

 Michael Gordon 04 May 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> It's not surprising if there are different local ethics with regard to crag swag in different locations.

I don't think there are (in the UK). Misha's point was that since our routes are generally not very long or committing and there isn't a light and fast mindset due to onset of bad weather, some are perhaps less likely to happily accept losing their gear than in bigger mountains. The legal system and property rights have bugger all to do with it.

 GrahamD 04 May 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> The miserable gits are the ones anal enough to tag their name and address on every wire. I think I have concluded that swagging their wires would be particularly satisfying 🙂

Juse selfish, IMO.  Not only do you have to retrieve the abandoned item, you then have to spend 5 minutes taking the tag off.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I don't think there are (in the UK). Misha's point was that since our routes are generally not very long or committing and there isn't a light and fast mindset due to onset of bad weather, some are perhaps less likely to happily accept losing their gear than in bigger mountains. The legal system and property rights have bugger all to do with it.

Right and I disagree on two levels:

1. Someone in Edinburgh taking a multi-hour drive and spending a fair bit on fuel to go to a crag in the highlands isn't feeling the same way about swag as someone going out to Stanage from Sheffield.    It's a completely different set of circumstances.

2. It's a fact that the English have a different relationship to landowning and property rights to the Scots.   You can see it in the way a lot of not particularly well off people in England vote Tory.

 Michael Gordon 04 May 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

> you then have to spend 5 minutes taking the tag off.

Dunno, it would work fine in a rack without having to do that

 Michael Gordon 04 May 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> 1. Someone in Edinburgh taking a multi-hour drive and spending a fair bit on fuel to go to a crag in the highlands isn't feeling the same way about swag as someone going out to Stanage from Sheffield.    It's a completely different set of circumstances.

But there may be a similar feeling about having their gear returned to them.

> 2. It's a fact that the English have a different relationship to landowning and property rights to the Scots. 

I don't disagree, but that has nothing to do with crag swag.

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> 1. Someone in Edinburgh taking a multi-hour drive and spending a fair bit on fuel to go to a crag in the highlands isn't feeling the same way about swag as someone going out to Stanage from Sheffield.    It's a completely different set of circumstances.

I can see that the remoter of Scottish venues might have an ethos closer to Misha's alpine one.

> 2. It's a fact that the English have a different relationship to landowning and property rights to the Scots.   You can see it in the way a lot of not particularly well off people in England vote Tory.

I think your Tory comment might be mixing up correlation with causation 😁

In reply to Michael Hood:

> I can see that the remoter of Scottish venues might have an ethos closer to Misha's alpine one.

Even the less remote ones.   If you live in Edinburgh and want to go to a crag with a decent number of low grade sport routes you can end driving up past Dundee.  That's not a trip you are going to do that often.   If you leave gear behind you're not going to expect to go back and get it and if you find gear the chances are the guy who left it doesn't live anywhere near you..

> I think your Tory comment might be mixing up correlation with causation 😁

It appears to me that a lot of English people on UKC thread sweat stuff like minor crag swag or camping on some rich guy's land a lot more than I would think was normal in Scotland.

In reply to GrahamD:

> Juse selfish, IMO.  Not only do you have to retrieve the abandoned item, you then have to spend 5 minutes taking the tag off.

No, the selfish ones are those wasting peoples' time having to remove tags as part of their worthy efforts to preserve the great swag ethic.

 bpmclimb 04 May 2021
In reply to Misha:

> I think the principles of crag swag are just common sense - depends on the circumstances and the value of the item.


Couldn't agree more.

The bit that bothers me is the choice of words - I don't believe that it's always just a bit of fun. Swag, after all, means stolen goods. It may be that the majority treat crag swag as a harmless rhyme, and apply the "principles" honestly and sensibly, but there are definitely climbers out there who are too quick to grab gear, and use the rhyme as part of the  process of self-justification.

I'm reminded of other words behind which antisocial behaviour can hide. These days, schoolteachers discourage use of the word "banter". That word may often apply to completely benign and acceptable behaviour, but only a fool would claim that it's always harmless - the fact is that a lot of very unpleasant bullying is justified in the name of banter.

The word "blag" also occurs to me - I'm not sure, but it may be similarly suspect.

 wercat 04 May 2021
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

the world we are discussing isn't governed by knowing - it is governed by reasonable belief or assumption - what the "Man on the Clapham omnibus" might find reasonable.

In reply to Misha:

> It’s an interesting one. If it’s tagged, it feels remiss not to contact the owner. At the same time, it feels a bit presumptuous for people to tag low value items.

Just noticed this. My entire rack is tagged, to the last karabiner. It has nothing to do with the expectation that the gear will come back to me though - on the low-value items it's so that I can ensure they stay on my rack and don't accidentally migrate over to my mates' racks, or in previous times the club racks. No point tagging gear differently depending on whether you want it back if lost (shoes, ropes, whatever) or not - it all gets tagged consistently and can be identified as mine on the basis that it has a green labelled sticker on it.

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> 1. Someone in Edinburgh taking a multi-hour drive and spending a fair bit on fuel to go to a crag in the highlands isn't feeling the same way about swag as someone going out to Stanage from Sheffield.   

It seems to have escaped your notice that many parts of England are considerably further from the mountains than is Edinburgh.

Secondly, if you're climbing on a local crag where you don't have to get away for a multi-hour journey or worry about getting off a difficult mountain in the dark there's even less excuse for not making a proper effort to retrieve it the same day.  

 Michael Gordon 04 May 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> if you find gear the chances are the guy who left it doesn't live anywhere near you..> 

there is something called the postal service...

 Misha 04 May 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Scotland doesn’t have Alpine routes but there are certainly longer routes and approaches. Do you think Scotland has a stronger crag swag ‘tradition’ as a result?

I get what you’re saying about infrequent visits to further away venues, though your example of Edinburgh to somewhere past Dundee isn’t the best - a couple of hours is standard for me living in Brum and Londoners will normally travel for considerably longer. Edinburg to Torridon might be a better example. 

Post edited at 23:37
 Misha 04 May 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

To be fair, the light and fast approach in the Alps also dictates that a lot of the time you can’t spend longer than a minute or so trying to get someone else’s stuck gear out, even if it’s a cam...

 Misha 04 May 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

Fair enough. I tag my stuff as well but the tags don’t have anything written on them. If I loose it, that’s just fate... if it’s particularly valuable, I’d post about it. The main risk is gear getting swagged by my climbing partners 😂

Post edited at 23:39
In reply to Howard J:

> It seems to have escaped your notice that many parts of England are considerably further from the mountains than is Edinburgh.

Obviously.  But Stanage isn't exactly a mountain.  Climbing near major cities is a different criterion from major cities near mountains.

I'm just wondering if people who's normal experience is a crag fairly close to where they live and often meeting people they know have a different mindset with regard to crag swag than people whose experience is going somewhere a fairly long distance from home, where they are unlikely to meet people they know and unlikely to go back again for quite some time.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> there is something called the postal service...

Sure there is.  But there is also something called 'can't be arsed' which kicks in when it comes to spending time and money to post a not particularly valuable object back to a stranger who abandoned it.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> > I think it's primary function is to incentivise not leaving abandoned nuts and ab points littering the crags. It avoids the faff of posting nuts around the country. It is a fun game which climbers play - yes, I feel it does bring us together a little in a way. 

It's an interesting point to define the 'swag' system as an accepted part of the sport because the law often takes account of the rules of sports.   

For example, boxers and footballers don't get arrested for behaviour which would be classified as assault if it took place off the field.   Sports like golf have similar issues to climbing with regard to equipment which gets lost or abandoned being appropriated by other players.  There's a clear social advantage to a convention which allows abandoned equipment to be collected and used by others rather than left to rot.

I'm wondering if the strict interpretation of theft laws for sporting equipment is actually legally valid or whether it could be argued that by participating in the sport you are accepting a convention that equipment abandoned in crags can be collected by others and have implicitly given consent - in the same way as a boxer has given consent to getting punched.

 Michael Gordon 05 May 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Sports like golf have similar issues to climbing with regard to equipment which gets lost or abandoned being appropriated by other players.  > 

Are you just talking about golf balls? Not clubs surely? 

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Are you just talking about golf balls? Not clubs surely? 

I don't think its likely an entire golf club will get lost.  They are visible from space.


Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
Loading Notifications...