So the situation: we’re cragside and I was belaying my partner on a route and was having a think about what I’d like to finish the day on. We finish up and wonder over the route I’ve got in mind. Upon arriving there’s a nice line of draws with a top rope left in tied off. I have a hunt around for the owners, someone mentions they haven’t seen them for half an hour. I really want to do the route, especially now that someone has abandoned the top rope on it (i don’t mind people leaving top ropes up, but you can’t expect them to stay there if you’re not around).
So, I did what I’ve always dreamed of doing. I undid the knot, and pulled it down. Now I’m committed. I have a dilemma: climb on my rope (then they don’t have a top rope) or climb on there rope and put it back up. I decided on the latter, because I thought it better to leave it as I found it. So I got tied in quickly and set off as fast as I could putting as much space between me and the ground as possible. Leaving George to deal with the inevitable fallout.
We figured it would go one of two ways: they’d be reasonable or seriously pi*sed off (not my problem anymore, I’m already 30 feet and counting, luckily George is considerably more diplomatic than I am). They returned, and as half expected were pretty pi@*ed off. We said we couldnt find them and explained the situation, and that I wouldn’t be long. All they said was “you have 5 minutes”. It’s about a 35m endurance 7b+ with a hard crux right at the top (which you can’t aid). At this point I knew I couldn’t cock it up, and was only a third of the way up.
I could hear George trying to make small talk down on the ground. It wasn’t going well for him. I scratched my way through the crux, just about hung on and avoiding the whipper. Threaded the rings again like they had done (no draws had been left: this is a topic in itself which I have previously covered in the forums a few years back) and lowered to the ground.
I think I exceeded my allotted 5 minutes possibly by another 5 minutes, but it wasn’t long. Thank god I onsighted it otherwise it would have been even more awkward.
So the big question: who is the b*stard here.
Thumbs up if you think people tying off top ropes and going elsewhere are in the wrong.
Or thumbs down if I’m the b*stard…
I wouldn't have used their rope without permission, I don't think using someone else's gear is OK, though I realise it's de-rigeur to use someone else's quickdraws if they've been left in the route.
Leaving a top rope, buggering off and subsequently telling you that you have "five minutes" is also not OK.
Sounds like you’re in the right to me. This other pair sound like tossers, so many of them out there haha. I wouldn’t sweat it.
Also onsighting 7b+ is mega , good stuff !
I think you were perfectly reasonable.
More importantly, you have now found a sure fire way to guarantee you onsight hard routes. Go and find top ropes, pull them and have no choice but to onsight the route. Cunning plan on your part.
> All they said was “you have 5 minutes”.
If I were feeling particularly belligerent I might be tempted to respond to that with, "or what?" Probably best just to let it go, though.
If they really were nowhere to be found I'd have pulled their rope and used my own, and not particularly worry about putting theirs back up. If they wanted a conversation about it I'd just ask what they were expecting to happen and say nothing more.
I wouldn't be happy at all to find someone using my rope without me knowing what they'd been getting up to. But then I wouldn't walk off and leave it in everyone's way and expect that not to happen.
I did try to entertain them by shouting up to rach 'you better be quick' to which she replied 'im going as quick as I can...'
we were really in two minds about using their rope (ideally not have used it, or at least asked them what they wanted us to do) but they obviously wanted a top rope left in so that was the priority. it was 4pm, they had clip-sticked their way up the route already so I think it would have added petrol to the fire having not returned to rope to the rings....
I definitely wouldn't have used their rope but I still would've pulled it.
If you were finishing up it would be easy to get it back up for them, if you'd finished before they got back it's their tough shit for leaving a rope in and wandering off.
> If I were feeling particularly belligerent I might be tempted to respond to that with, "or what?" Probably best just to let it go, though.
Your partner at the sharp end might be less than thrilled to hear you say that while you're belaying.
I voted thumbs up, but I'm not sure leading on their rope was cool. Better to pull it and lead on your own. Then if they arrive before you've finished perhaps offer to reinstate it afterwards (especially if they ask nicely).
But if they're going to leave it there and wander off for ages they're not really entitled to moan too much about somebody pulling it down imo. (*Especially* if they were planning to top rope it on the fixed gear.)
More than a little hypothetical this, given my chances of onsighting a 7b+! (So kudos for that.)
Fine to pull their rope but a bit iffy using it without permission. Even though I understand why you did and it was for a good reason I can see why they might be annoyed. Still, if they didn't want that to happen they shouldn't have left their rope there and buggered off for ages.
That said, if they were top-roping off the fixed gear the best solution would've been to set fire to their rope as they don't deserve to get on the route.
> I wouldn't have used their rope without permission, I don't think using someone else's gear is OK, though I realise it's de-rigeur to use someone else's quickdraws if they've been left in the route.
> Leaving a top rope, buggering off and subsequently telling you that you have "five minutes" is also not OK.
Another agree to this. What Rachel ended up doing was more curteous in it's own way but I would have pulled their rope and let them deal with it.
Either way they did nothing wrong, and I would love for the other party to come on here and try to explain how they were in the right.
There was a classic thread where someone had booked a climb 'because of covid' so I'll nip out for some popcorn just in case.
Completely agree that what you did was perfectly reasonable, and how thwy behaved was anything but.
However, in that situation what I probably would have done is to have used my own rope, then afterwards taped the end of their rope to the end of mine and pulled it back through.
Also, presuming you are in Geyikbayiri (as per recent logged ascents), we really need to know the nationality of the other climbers, otherwise how are we to engage in the popular sport of confirmation bias, a.k.a. castigating a whole nationality based on a poorly evidenced but persistent stereotype ?
> Also, presuming you are in Geyikbayiri (as per recent logged ascents), we really need to know the nationality of the other climbers, otherwise how are we to engage in the popular sport of confirmation bias, a.k.a. castigating a whole nationality based on a poorly evidenced but persistent stereotype ?
So, basically, was it Jonny Foreigner? If so, definitely a complete bastard.
It was a cool down after getting a lucky rp on an 8a+ with one day left of our trip here 😉. I was probably more scared about dropping the top of this route than the 8a though by the time I got there 😅
I know this adds to the weight, and faff, but why not lead on your own rope and trail their rope on the back of your harness to rethread at the top? Or is that too simple a solution?
I'd never imagine onsighting 7b+ (kudos) but if said route was at the limit of my onsight grade (no comment on that) I guess I wouldn't add the extra weight, which perhaps was your predicament?
Where did they get "5 minutes" from 😂 ? I would've told them their time ran out whilst they were away and i've got it booked now! I would't have used a rope I couldn't trust.
> It was a cool down after getting a lucky rp on an 8a+ with one day left of our trip here 😉. I was probably more scared about dropping the top of this route than the 8a though by the time I got there 😅
Good skills. Stay injury free.
Obviously if they put a top rope up and then buggered off, pulling it is fair game and they can't complain.
But I'd be pretty pissed off if someone climbed on my rope in that situation; it would have been better to leave their rope on the ground (if they climbed it once they could get up it again) or to have pulled theirs up once you were done.
They're definitely bastards for top roping for the lower-off though
You can do the route on your rope and thread theirs without faff if you have some tape.
When you pull your rope, tape the end to the end of the other rope, neat and tight. That rope will then pass through biners all the way up and back down to you where you can undo the tape.
I would have pulled their rope, led on mine and put theirs back up afterwards.
if it had been my rope, I wouldn’t have minded you leading on it, but then again I wouldn’t leave a top rope and disappear for ages.
If I had been belaying and they said 5 minutes I would have told them to fug off and probably got into a fight, which isn’t appropriate at my age.
> If I had been belaying and they said 5 minutes I would have told them to fug off and probably got into a fight, which isn’t appropriate at my age.
I think I probably would have just laughed at that, with the same result possibly. But it really isn't appropriate to get into a fight at any age while you're actually belaying.
You should have neatly coiled their rope, led on your rope, taken their draws out on the way down, pulled your rope and said: “There you go, I got all your gear out for you.”
On a serious point, leaving the rope up and wandering off at (presumably) a large crag is rather selfish. At the same time, pulling someone else’s rope is also rather selfish. I’d have just done another route, especially as it was only a warm down. More to the point, if I’d onsighted an 8a+, I’d have gone straight to the nearest bar / restaurant.
I’ve been in this position a few times…..
Firstly, I would probably have climbed a different route.
If however, its a classic 3 star route I desperately ‘had’ to do, I would have pulled the rope and lead on mine as that’s fair game IMO if you leave the area and can’t be found. I would have left it on the ground or in the 1st clip and walked away, and I would not mind at all if someone did that to me.
I would not have lead on an unknown rope, even if it looked ok, and I wouldn’t like someone to do that with my rope without asking first.
I have noticed recently that some nationalities idea of crag ethics vary wildly from what most consider the acceptable norm (Sign of the times?) and that can lead to some bad karma at times, so, I go back to my first point and choose another route.
This is a very upper middle class type of problem, so probably not worthy of too much emotion either way.
Similar too; O jolly someone's left there golf ball on the green and it's blocking my shot.
I wouldn't have done what they did, but also wouldn't have done what you did either. If someone did use my rope by some strange set of circumstances, I would probably just ask to use there's for a while I suppose?
Everyone must be friendly if we're use each others kit, which is the important thing.
> I’m sorry I don’t get this ?!
And yes, the inconsiderate people who hogged the route by leaving their rope in situ and disappearing for a long time are the bastards.
In this situation I do think it's poor ethics to do what they did. Generally speaking if it took so long to hang a rope in the first place it's either not a viable project or they would need a longer rest so either scenario speaks against them getting so angry and trying to apply some vapid time limit on you climbing the route - especially since they have no control over how long you take and can do nothing about it without escalating the situation significantly. Perhaps a middle ground would have been to take their rope with you attached as a tagline but to climb on your own rope - obviously this adds a little extra weight but ultimately is unlikely to be the deciding factor on an onsight.
But, Rachel - this being the second time in the last year or so that you've posted a similar story, I wonder if you could be investing a little too much emotion in these sort of situations? I genuinely mean this in the nicest way possible - I've personally found that it can be generally helpful to reduce daily life-stress to attach less importance to small frustrating scenarios such as this. I'm not being sanctimonious as I also get easily annoyed by the actions of others but certainly for myself it's been very relaxing to adopt a more uncaring attitude even if I'd feel like getting properly pissed off. It's a sort of synthetic calm but helps to stop getting annoyed enough to post a 450 word essay about it on UKC.
Anyway maybe I'm wrong and obviously don't know you so feel free to tell me to piss off
Leaving ropes and QD's in situ and walking away from that immediate area is selfish unless there are some mitigating factors. I see no problem in calling out selfish behaviour and advertising the fact may help dissuade people from doing it. It's difficult to have a reasoned conversation with someone, which I am all in favour of, if they are nowhere to be seen.
If I felt in a mood to deal with the hassle, I'd have pulled their rope, lead it on mine, and if they came back in time dropped a loop of rope from the anchor and offered to put their top rope back up if they attached two quickdraws/carabiners and their rope.
They were out of order. And pulling their rope and using their draws should be accepted by them. But I do think you using their rope gave them grounds to feel aggrieved. You say you knew they were going to be pissed off if they returned while you were climbing.
I know you told them you wouldn't be long. But they might not have realised that you had a good chance of onsighting it and thought that they might have to wait 20 or 30 mins or more if you had a bit of a struggle. If you had pulled their rope they could have tried another route while they were waiting, if they had spare draws or you lent them yours, if they were happy to use it. I think quite a few people wouldn't be keen on using a stranger's rope.
I think she posted this just because she was bored but totally agree on your wider point about not getting worked up about such things, even if you end up at a disadvantage. Just walk away with a sense of I’m right and they’re wrong (then on reflection you might actually decide that it’s shades of grey after all…).
I recon if you don't want people climbing on your gear, be it rope, quickdraws, ab rope or whatever.
Take it away with you.
Personally I would have absolutely no problem with someone climbing on my gear or rope.
Part and parcel of sport climbing, particularly at popular crags.
We thought it would make a funny story on here and might ruffle a few feathers in a joking kind of way. Seems it’s brought the team together though?! No one was annoyed the rope was up, but I was a bit worried they would be annoyed when they found it down! It took her ages to clips stick up the route, there was about an hour of light left. In the end I think the climber only made it 1/3 way up and maybe they bailed? God knows?
The reason Rach picked that specific route was because we’d done virtually every route in that area 7a-7c and it did look good. We weren’t just hunting something that had draws on. In an ideal world we’d have left it alone and climbed something else. It was also the last day we would be climbing in that area so....
That thing about taping the ropes together sounds ninja beta. Should have done that, we didnt WANT to climb on their rope but it seemed the best option at the time.
Oh no I wasn’t annoyed. In fact the opposite, I laughed and said I’ve always wanted to pull a rope down that’s been left abandoned and tied off!
yeah I shouldn’t have used their rope. But my thought was I’d get tied in and climbing as fast as possible and their rope would be back in place maybe even before they got back.
yeah I was bored and thought it might make a funny story. Maybe I was wrong…
> yeah I was bored and thought it might make a funny story. Maybe I was wrong…
Nah, it was a good bit of entertainment. Also it seems there's a pretty solid consensus on here, which hardly ever happens so it's good to know that's even possible. And you snuck in a crafty little humblebrag about your onsight. And you might very well have set a new record for the most likes on a post.
Win win win win.
Anyone else desperately hoping the "5-minute" boys come on with 'Their Version' of these events?
Perhaps they will tell us that the OP told them their car was on fire. They rushed down to the car park and when they got back, there she was shuffling up their project on their rope...
Or something else... But we need to know
Well done on the 7b+ OS.
As others have said, and I'm sure you know, it's routine to use someone else's draws if they are not around.
I'd have lead on my rope. As a thought-experiment, what would you have done if you had damaged their rope? Unusual but it does happen.
After telling my belayer exactly what I was going to do, I would have pulled the original rope and lead the route on mine. At the anchors I'd go in hard keeping tied in and pull my rope up through the draws, then drop the far end back to the ground. Your belayer ties their original rope to it. Haul up the original rope, untie it, thread the belay with it, and tie in to it. Untie from and drop your rope (to avoid any confusion about which rope you're lowering on) then lower on the original rope.
> Threaded the rings again like they had done (no draws had been left: this is a topic in itself which I have previously covered in the forums a few years back) and lowered to the ground.
How did you thread the rings with no draws?
Pulled their rope through , stuck a few knots in it, then got on with your climb. When they turn up, just say their rope was on ground, tangled as it is, when you turned up.
My rather simplistic view:
Them route hogging=bad
You pulling the rope after making an effort to find them= OK but not a way to make new friends!
Leading the route with their rope=really not cool and not sure why this was even considered??
So basically I think you're both wrong...
Think I'd have pulled their rope, used mine for the route, but I'd have tied theirs to my harness and rethreaded on the way down.
It might have been a really shit rope and you don't know how it's been treated / stored etc.
Nice one though.
> I recon if you don't want people climbing on your gear, be it rope, quickdraws, ab rope or whatever.
> Take it away with you.
> Personally I would have absolutely no problem with someone climbing on my gear or rope.
> Part and parcel of sport climbing, particularly at popular crags.
Quick draws - of course. Rope? Nope.
Wrong to hog routes, but also I wouldn't climb on someone else's rope if only for my own safety! I have no knowledge that it hasn't been kept in a bucket of battery acid (slight exaggeration).
I think if I was going to trust their draws I'd probably climb on my rope but carry theirs up tied on as a "tail" and put it back through the top when I got there. But I appreciate that on a very hard route that might make it more difficult (I don't climb anywhere near 7b+).
Fundamentally they shouldn't have left it.
> How did you thread the rings with no draws?
Presumably had her own to clip on while threading? I think the point being made there was that you shouldn't be top-roping through the lower-off as it causes unnecessary wear, it's only there for the last person to descend.
As long as you had a krab and could hold on long enough you could do it, though.
> I think if I was going to trust their draws I'd probably climb on my rope but carry theirs up tied on as a "tail" and put it back through the top when I got there. But I appreciate that on a very hard route that might make it more difficult (I don't climb anywhere near 7b+).
My thoughts exactly. I pretend to myself it's big wall training whenever I have to do this.
(I've never climbed a big wall.)
Leading on their rope, really not cool.
If you were adamant that you HAD to do the route, then pull their rope, climb on their draws (probably acceptable to many/most sport climbers); reinstate their top rope.
Also, if it was just an end of day warm-down route well within your grade, then why not just do another route, even if it was repeating one you'd done before, rather than risk a confrontation with other climbers? (even if they could have been viewed as 'being-in-the-wrong'). Especially as you knew they'd most likely be p*ssed off if you climbed on their rope.
Or were you just trying to prove a point about leaving a top-rope in place unattended?
Thinking on, as long as you had a krab which you would as you need it to do the threading unless you want to risk dropping the rope and being stranded...
1. Clip krab to chains and put rope through that
2. Get belayer to lower you to the next bolt down (or maybe the second one down if there are just two bolts rather than chains and you're concerned about the risk of one failing).
3. Recover the quickdraw from there
4. Climb (or dog) back up to the top
5. Clip quickdraw between harness and top bolt
6. Thread as normal
Optionally 7. Put quickdraw back where you got it on the way down
This is all correct, and I've done things similar, but I'd imagine the OP just a cow's tail on their harness so this whole "how did you thread the rings" debate may just be conjecture!
> This is all correct, and I've done things similar, but I'd imagine the OP just a cow's tail on their harness so this whole "how did you thread the rings" debate may just be conjecture!
Most probably I do know some people use quickdraws to clip themselves to the chains, though, so I was assuming I was replying to someone who did that.
I'm normally a cow's tail man, but the amount of times i've climbed a route, used up every single draw on my loops and then realised it's closed rings at the belay and I've forgot me cow's tail!
No biggie though, I've normally clocked what going to happen before it does and been able to reach down and retrieve a draw after I've clipped the bolt above it and get one back.
Whilst I very much agree that leaving up top ropes and disappearing is not on, I think it also depends on the size of the crag. If it was a crag with 10 routes and they were on the only top 50 route, or the only 7b for example, then yes, that is crap. But if you're at a huge sector, why not just accept the route isn't free and climb something else? I don't think I would have climbed on someone else's rope though. But saying someone has 5 mins is ridiculous! If they have said you can carry on and not come down, why give a time limit?
As per a few, I think you're both in the wrong.
Them - leaving a rope in is not a huge crime, leaving the crag so no one can ask your plans not so good.
You - pulling the rope, can't really see a problem since they weren't there and appears they hadn't been around for some time. Climbing on their rope without asking, not really on, and to be honest can't see why you would do it other than to save yourself 5 minutes faff pulling up their rope to reinstate the top rope, or to try to make a point, neither of which is a great excuse imo.
Sport climbing seems to work pretty well with this sort of thing most of time based on most people trying to behave reasonably.
Also- I think if I'd done this and and just left my climbing partner to deal with the fallout while belaying me I'd lower down to an earful and swiftly be looking for a new sport climbing buddy!
> Yeah, and it was a classic and I had wanted to do it for a while. It was our last day at this sector too.
But why didn't you do it on your own rope? Not being argumentative (I hope), but seems a slightly strange decision.
Was talking with my friend yesterday who got his bag stolen from a crag.
Apparently when he went to talk with the police someone else nicked his rope, and was just climbing with it.!. Didn't even stop when he came back 😕.
He doesn't speak good English, but apparently they used the word flash way to much, which he found scary for obvious reasons.
Anyway, hes afraid to go back to the crag now poor lad.
> But why didn't you do it on your own rope? Not being argumentative (I hope), but seems a slightly strange decision.
To be fair, if I'd somehow ended up in the rope-owner's situation, perhaps by being detained at a nearby sector longer than expected, I don't think I would be upset at all if someone had used my rope, given that the intention was to leave it as they found it. All part of the give and take that makes sharing a crag with like-minded people so enjoyable.
> To be fair, if I'd somehow ended up in the rope-owner's situation, perhaps by being detained at a nearby sector longer than expected, I don't think I would be upset at all if someone had used my rope, given that the intention was to leave it as they found it. All part of the give and take that makes sharing a crag with like-minded people so enjoyable.
Personally I wouldn't either (and have let people use my rope at the crag quite happily) but not asking creates a situation that could lead to argument. And totally agree on give and take, the majority of people are pretty reasonable in these situations.
Basically my thoughts on it, if the climber isn't clearly dogging their way up the route I wouldn't have any problem using my rope at all. But equally I wouldn't leave my rope up on something unattended either, and if I was working something I would happily pull it down and ask if they wouldn't mind reinstating after they were done.
So I don't think you said in the OP, which bit were they annoyed about?
Someone pulling their rope to do a route or someone they've never met deciding to use their rope to lead a route.
If it was me the first one would make me go "Ooops, shouldn't have left the rope up.." the second one "Oi! who are you and why the f are you leading on my rope!"
Tell you what, nobody has mentioned that there may have been an added level of saltiness from the people who left up the rope when they returned to it to find someone onsighting their project. Some people can be dicks like that.
Probably exacerbated by the onsighter being a woman (I'm assuming it was men) , and worst of all a British one (I'm further assuming they weren't Brits and you are!?)
We aren't told whether the various parties involved were already known to one another to any degree; however, if you arrived at a crag and simply saw somebody climbing a route you wouldn't normally have any way of knowing, unless you were specifically told, whether you were watching an onsight ascent or a successful redpoint - the latter, possibly, after weeks of projecting!
Earlier in the thread George wrote: "It took her ages to clips stick up the route, there was about an hour of light left. In the end I think the climber only made it 1/3 way up and maybe they bailed?" I assume that he was relating the activity of the owners of the rope. "Her" suggests that at least one of them wasn't a man.
Ah, ok. Not men then, missed that sentence. My bad.
If I was projecting a a route and had been around it it long enough to leave my rope up and hadn’t seen the OP on it at any point during that day (and she did mention it was the end of the day) then I’d assume it was a flash or onsight (or at the very worst an ascent after relatively few tries).
> Yeah, and it was a classic and I had wanted to do it for a while. It was our last day at this sector too.
Then I'm with you. I wouldn't have thought about them too much and just pulled the rope. If they were top roping through the anchors as well, then you had two good reasons to do so!
If I was on a three month sport climbing trip in Europe I probably would not risk upsetting someone for the sake of a warm down two grades below my best on-sight grade. If the route is worth that risk its probably worth the ten minute walk to return to the next day. If I inadvertently upset them, even if my entitlement to upset them was greater than their entitlement to be upset, I'd probably feel a tiny bit contrite.
In answer to the original question, no one was a bastard but both parties were maybe a bit unthinking, this often happens.
Edit to add: I probably should not comment as I got into a massive ding dong with my climbing partner in this exact sector for a simialr-ish reason!
I'm amazed to see so much support for the OP because, to me, it sounds like shocking etiquette. If this had been on Yorkshire lime I expect it would have gone down just as badly (notwithstanding that in this case the rope shouldn't have been threaded through the rings).
Leaving a rope up on a project is not unusual at crags where people are projecting; it isn't considered hogging a route because everybody understands that a rope can be pulled. Normally you'd ask the person before pulling it - they might be just about to go for a burn - but if they're not around then go for it. You'd never lead on their rope without asking, and you'd always replace their rope after you were finished. You can either trail it or you can haul it up to the chains once you're done - it's not difficult and a common courtesy to another climber. Being away from your route for half an hour at such a crag isn't unusual - they may have been at another sector belaying their partner on a long redpoint; time between burns on such a long route will probably be more like 45 mins, if not 1hr+. The OP states that the final crux of the route can't be aided - not hard to see why they'd left a top rope up if they're working it.
It took the OP 10 mins or less to climb the last 25m or so of the route - if they're at 10m when the other climber shows up then they can't have been more than 5 mins away. Sounds like OP didn't really try to find the other climber. The tone of their post implies at a number of points that OP knows they're doing something wrong and relishes the ruckus: "I did what I'd always dreamed of doing", "putting as much space between me and the ground as possible. Leaving George to deal with the inevitable fallout", "seriously pi*sed off (not my problem anymore.".
The other climber might have been curt but I think I would also have been had I returned from belaying my partner to find somebody using my rope without having made anything more than a superficial attempt to talk to me first. If he'd found the OP halfway up an onsight on their own rope the rest of the interaction may have been entirely different.
So somebody who warms down on a 7b+ is really rude towards a less able climber, then comes on UKC to not-so-humblebrag about it, and everybody applauds? I'm stunned. And people wonder where sport climbing gets its elitist reputation from.
> It took the OP 10 mins or less to climb the last 25m or so of the route - if they're at 10m when the other climber shows up then they can't have been more than 5 mins away. Sounds like OP didn't really try to find the other climber.
1. They shouldn't have to, if you leave the rope and go even just around the corner it's fair game to be pulled.
2. Your reasoning isn't right. The person whose rope it is was maybe 5 mins away when she started climbing it, that isn't to say she didn't walk 10 minutes off in the direction they were, 10 minutes back, then 10 minutes in the other direction then ten minutes back. Few minutes to pull the rope, check the guide, look at the book, put her climbing shoes on, tie in and go... by which time the guys whose rope it has have been walking for 45 minutes to get within 5 minutes of her.
All that would have been more than enough effort in my book. More effort than I would have spent anyway!
> 1. They shouldn't have to, if you leave the rope and go even just around the corner it's fair game to be pulled.
This is precisely what I said.
To be honest if it's a big crag then I wouldn't expect somebody to come and find me before pulling a rope, but the OP makes a point in their post about trying to find the other climber - from the tone of the rest of the post, I don't buy it. The real thing that went wrong was to climb on the other person's rope without asking their permission - that sets the whole encounter on a different trajectory. To then come online to show off about it is some real brass neck.
My view is that if a rope is left up then it's completely fine to pull it down if the owner isn't obviously close by.
It's not OK to use that rope for your climb. (In this case it's clearly a non issue since you're shit hot, but using someone else's rope for a lead isn't really on generally.)
The obvious question is whether you are OK to do 2, given 1, with the expectation that 3 you will put the other person's rope in afterwards.
In my view you have no obligation to put their rope back up if you made reasonable attempt to find them ( quick scan around and a general " anyone know whose rope this is ")
Impatience is one of the most underrated virtues IMHO, and for someone to expect you to spend valuable time because they needed to go off elsewhere isn't on.
> This is precisely what I said.
Yes you did say rope is fair game to be pulled, we're in agreement there!
But what you also said was "if they're at 10m when the other climber shows up then they can't have been more than 5 mins away." which, if you read the possible description of events I gave in my previous post, is not necessarily the case.
To then go on to say "Sounds like OP didn't really try to find the other climber." & "...without having made anything more than a superficial attempt to talk to me first" is a little unfair, as the reasoning you used to reach that conclusion isn't quite right as you seem to have forgotten the other group could also move and the distance between them isn't a constant.
The way I suggested it could have gone down they OP would have spent 40 minutes looking for them, which is a little more than a superficial look.
I think we're at cross purposes. I said:
"Normally you'd ask the person before pulling it - they might be just about to go for a burn - but if they're not around then go for it."
If you're stood around at Directissima Buttress or on the Catwalk and the person is right there then you'd go, "mind if I pull this rope?" to whoever's it was. That might start a conversation: when are they next planning to get on it; are they going up dogging or are they going to pull the rope and try and redpoint; are you wanting to dog or onsight, etc. Then the two people can come to a mutual understanding. If they're not there then it's not for you to go and try and find them.
The reason I mentioned it is because the OP suggests that they tried to find the other person. In the context of everything else they said I found this a bit weak. It doesn't excuse the main issue of leading up something on somebody else's rope when you've got your own right there and putting their rope back up afterwards would have been trivial.
Yeah we are a bit, I'll put it simply...
"It took the OP 10 mins or less to climb the last 25m or so of the route - if they're at 10m when the other climber shows up then they can't have been more than 5 mins away. Sounds like OP didn't really try to find the other climber."
This sentence isn't correct. They could have been much, much further than 5 minutes away and the OP could have made a really genuine effort to find them.
Regarding the rights and wrongs of pulling the rope and climbing on it I agree with you, however!
Not sure I'm with you on the tone, humblebraginess or showing off elements. Didn't come across that way to me, but that's all subjective anyway so no biggie!
Fully agree, in hindsight 100% should not have climbed on their rope. To be clear, we did have a good runabout for the owners and asked others in the area who said they hadn’t seen them for half hour or so. The idea wasn’t to lead on the in situ rope to be honest; it was dead old but it wasnt really worn out, it’s not like it looked like it was as going to snap! There’s been a couple of instances recently with top ropes up and in both cases the owners said climb on their rope, with permission / suggestion of course. Rachel didn’t want to trail a rope on her harness incase it snagged or something weird in the case of a fall. Also didn’t want the added time of getting to the chains, untieing , lowering the end, attaching the original in-situ rope, pulling it back up and returning it in. As Steve said, taping would have been really quick and easy but that’s the first time I’ve ever heard of that idea! I guess Rach thought she’d do the route, leave the rope how we found it and move on. Lesson learned. It won’t ever happen again (leading on someone else’s rope!) but had there been any question of damage etc obviously it would have been replaced (possible win for the owners?) no questions asked! I do attempt to treat others as I expect to be treated
Edit: not didn’t want to lower the rope to replace the old one / more worried that the added time of doing so may upset the party even more. The idea was to just get it back to how it was asap
> Totally agree. John Arran may be fine with it but I can't imagine many would be happy to find another team leading on their rope. It's just not on.
Wouldn't bother me tbh, as long as they had a half decent rope there for me to use in the meantime if I wanted to go climb something else.
Likewise. It'd probably strike me as a bit odd, but unless they were belaying with an Italian hitch or something I certainly wouldn't get the hump about it. (Especially if I'd been caught red handed top roping through the lower off anchors - jeez, embarassing or what?)
It seems a bit arbitrary to be precious about the rope but not bothered about the quickdraws.
Pull their rope; lead on their draws; replace their rope
Pull their rope; strip the draws; tow a car with the rope; put the draws on e-bay; hunt them down with dogs and nobbly sticks; pee in their lunchboxes
depending on which side of bed you got out I guess
I wouldn’t be bothered if someone climbed on my rope if I’d left it hanging and they put it back up for me.
The taping ropes together thing sounds like a good way of leading it on your own rope and getting the other rope back up. I’ve never seen it done before.
Personally I wouldn’t climb on someone else’s rope unless they had said this was okay. Plenty of other routes at any crag to climb.
If we were talking about a lower grade (for you) would you still have insisted on climbing this route with rope already insitu?
> Totally agree. John Arran may be fine with it but I can't imagine many would be happy to find another team leading on their rope. It's just not on.
I'd get annoyed by someone who found the route challenging taking a lot of falls on my rope without permission but if they are basically scooting up the route with a couple of grades in hand and the result is I get my top rope back and see some good beta I'm going to be pretty happy they've done it that way rather than pulled it and left me to put it back.
Everyone else has replied so I might as well too. If it was my rope and draws and I'd sodded off for half an hour then I'd be totally happy for you to do what you did, whether I was projecting or not.
If I had been in your shoes and been your belayer and the rope owner had returned and adopted a snotty attitude rather than the contrition they should have exhibited, then I probably have been super rude and aggressive (not saying that's a cool way to respond, it isn't, but that's the way I am at the moment).
The rope shouldn't run over any sharp edges on well bolted sport route so I don't see what difference someone taking a few falls makes, other than the time taken of course!
I must have taken hundreds of falls on my own rope, can't see what difference someone else taking a half dozen more on it makes? It's not really going to make any tangible difference to the longevity of the rope.
Not saying I'd be happy to find someone climbing on my rope of course, but if they seemed a friendly enough bunch I don't think I'd be particularly vexed for long.
You both are
In my humble opinion:
You shouldn't climb on someone else's rope without asking.
They shouldn't leave a rope up on a climb and leave the area for ages.
They should have taken the rope down or left one of their party there.
You should have pulled it and climbed on your own rope. (if you were feeling charitable you could have put their rope back up after you reached the anchor, how much effort and how easy that would have been to do depends a lot on the character and length of the route).
In the end, if one abandons one's rope on a route, one has to accept that it may be neatly coiled at the bottom of said route by the time one comes back.
> The rope shouldn't run over any sharp edges on well bolted sport route so I don't see what difference someone taking a few falls makes, other than the time taken of course!
> I must have taken hundreds of falls on my own rope, can't see what difference someone else taking a half dozen more on it makes? It's not really going to make any tangible difference to the longevity of the rope.
> Not saying I'd be happy to find someone climbing on my rope of course, but if they seemed a friendly enough bunch I don't think I'd be particularly vexed for long.
As much as it pains me to go down the "It's the principle of it!!" route I wouldn't dream of using somebody else's kit (whatever that may be) without asking them first, especially if I didn't know them.
That's the difference for me.
> Is it just me or how can people get excited about this. Maybe they should go and do some real climbing!
It's mid week in February, the weather is pish and the OP asked for people's opinions.....
I agree with your last point there I think Martin. I wondered when someone would bring it up. The most startling or disturbing part of this thread for me at least is the willingness for an individual to simply use a stranger's rope with no hesitation not knowing the condition or background/history of the same. Anyway, totally not cool for people to set up a rope on a route and then disappear however.
That is hilarious, its made me laugh loads, brilliant to stitch george up thanks for posting! Unless you are looking at this from the point of view of an ant then clearly you are in the right. Totally your call as to whether to trust their rope. A bit disappointing their response when they came back but hopefully on reflection they will see how poor their behaviour to you was and see it as a great life lesson?
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