UKC

Men Behaving Badly Pembroke

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 Emma Alsford 14 Jul 2021

When to trundle and when not to trundle.. 

I was climbing at St Govans on Monday (12th July) and was quite shocked at the behaviour of two older (and what I assumed to be experienced) male climbers who had just finished an ascent of Quiver, which is an E3 a few metres to the left of The Arrow.

It was a busy day at the crag, with a few parties under the Deranged Wall and a few parties over below the popular abseil area..and plenty of rucksacks at the top..you get the picture. These guys had even abseiled in a different place (The Test Case area), I assume to prevent their rope getting multiple use etc..so one would assume they knew the crag fairly well.

On finishing their route they proceeded to chuck a load of rocks off from the top. First a few small bits came down, then a few larger ones...at which point I was shouting up to "STOP CHUCKING ROCKS OFF"...after which a larger than television sized block was hurled over..  by this time the parties over at the abseil area were also yelling at them to stop as they could clearly see me belaying at the bottom of the Arrow, a few metres away.

I don't think it needs explaining to anybody what happens when a massive block hits a solid rock platform from 40 metres up. It doesn't matter if you're a few metres or 15 metres away..Rock shards are catapulted and ricochet everywhere, very capable of taking eyes out, mine included.

As you can imagine I was pretty pissed off..Clearing loose blocks from any top in Pembroke is not an activity that should be done on a busy day at a popular crag, especially with someone directly below. And from the top of St Govans it is not even possible to see everyone who may be below, or who may suddenly appear from behind one of the large boulders after relieving themselves etc.

It was the response that totally shocked me, from two climbers quite evidently in their later years, who really should have known better.

Firstly, a party of 3 passed me and I asked them if it had been them chucking rocks off..they said no way, "but we saw the guys who did and they were stood on a ledge..I mean it's one thing pulling a loose block off by mistake, but they looked totally comfortable, having finished the route etc etc..." we all agreed on the reckless behaviour and they went off to do their route..

I was also told by my climbing partner on the following day (different climbing partner) that he was one of the guys shouting at them from the top, and he could clearly see them taking rocks from the back of the ledge and lobbing them down..

Ok, maybe they thought they were doing everyone a favour getting a few loose blocks out of the way...but on a busy day, with someone belaying (and therefore with little room for manoeuvre) on one of the most popular routes at the cliff, only a few metres away ??

I also know these cliffs pretty well, and whilst the top of Quiver (also Cupids Bow etc) isn't the nicest and cleanest top out, it's certainly easy enough to make your way up the relatively slabby, block strewn slope without knocking anything off (if you're experienced that is!)

So..when this pair finally came down..(around the time my climbing partner had just finished The Arrow) I said, as calmly as I could muster..."was it you trundling blocks off just now? It's really not a good idea on a busy day at a popular crag" to which he responded.."not me, it was my partner and he had to remove it out of the way.." I responded that there was no way that was "one or two blocks that needed removal" because of the sheer amount of blocks that came down, and the size and weight of the huge one that finally smashed onto the rock platform next to me etc (knowing they were not climbing at the time but clearing blocks from a ledge). He went quiet and sheepish but remained firmly unapologetic. 

When his partner arrived it got worse..they were clearly staying there, as it seemed as if they were getting ready to do Rising Tide. Again, I repeated to the second guy "you know it's really not a good idea to throw rocks down with someone right below you..." to which he responded "Are you complaining...?" 

Mmm.. it really is quite hard to know just how to respond to such an ignorant remark..

I was pretty stunned to say the least, but somehow not entirely surprised, as it was obvious to me what was going on. Two male climbers who think because they climb a couple of hardish routes they are beyond reprimanding for bad behaviour(especially from a younger woman, no doubt), and so arrogant and proud that they are incapable of simply apologising and seeing the error of their actions.

After trying to explain to the guy that I was in the firing line (especially when the result of a large block landing on the ledge was to sending dangerous shards of rock in every direction) he kept repeating "it needed to come off and I could see you" and "I know, I know..." type of responses ?? (Which was pretty stupid seeing as I couldn't see them in my line of sight..and totally lying because I already knew they'd been retrieving rocks from the back of the ledge...and if "he knew" I was down there, all the more reason not to do it!!).

I think it was the sheer arrogance and unapologetic stance, from 2 climbers who'd been caught out doing something unthinking and very stupid, that shocked me the most.

Shame on you two, men behaving badly.

Learn to apologise when you make a silly mistake that could have ended up so much worse.

Staff Edit: The other side to the story is here.
6
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Why didnt anybody stick nut on them?  Easy fix to being a nob

19
 jon 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Well said, Emma, and well done keeping your temper. 

 Ged Desforges 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

What a pair of idiots. Well done for staying calm. There's no accounting for arrogance like that.

In reply to Juicymite: 

What a stupid response. 

4
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Lobbing rocks off busy crag is idiotic and somthing that scares the shit out of me as it's so dangerous.  either these guys were total incompetent punters or arrogant idiots. This kind of no backing down even though you've clearly made a mistake attitude seems to be horribly common nowadays and I think sometimes people need to do a bit of self reflection, think about their actions and apologise.

I mean quiver is a pretty popular route I find it unlikely it was in such a dangerous state this was necessary. I hope the culprits have the guts to either explain there actions or apologise. 

Post edited at 18:02
In reply to ebdon:

Reminds me of an incident at Leonidio a few years ago where a leader pulled off a big microwave sized block and loads of smaller ones at the top of a busy crag.  He heroically managed to cradle it all on his lap, clearly suffering a great deal of discomfort, and lower to the ground. That's how it's done guys!

 C Witter 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

I'm not sure I'd have been able to speak in that situation. I'd have probably punched them or burst into tears of rage. Well done for being civil!

7
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Although I'm in no way trying to justify their actions, sometimes people find it very difficult to apologise for getting things wrong when challenged.

We tend to far too easily go immediately into defensive mode (anyone in a long term relationship should recognise this).

Hopefully they will on reflection realise the error of their ways.

20
 Pedro50 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Did they shout "below"?! This gives legal protection for any idiocy.

Post edited at 18:56
10
 The Pylon King 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

I think there are times in life when not being civil and punching someone is the best course of action. That was one.

15
 Ciro 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Jesus, that sounds petrifying. I've trundled blocks on an empty day there and the explosion when they hit the ground is fierce.

Glad no-one got hurt but I hope someone shows them this thread and they realise the seriousness of what they were doing, before they do it again.

Post edited at 20:54
 crayefish 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Surprised you stayed so calm... I would have totally lost my rag with them.  Couple of total plonkers.

 gravy 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Pedro50:

It only gives legal protection if you follow this procedure:

Throw rocks

Shout below!

Look to see if anyone is in the fall zone

In reply to Emma Alsford:

That sounds utterly terrifying. Sounds like they were lucky you were able to challenge them, rather than that task falling to a judge presiding over a manslaughter hearing.

 GrahamD 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Is the fact they were men the most significant thing here ? I mean I've been under an ab rope chucked off |Mother Careys by you and Paul.  I don't think the gender of the idiots is that significant.

85
 Nigel Coe 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

One only has to remember the young Cornish guy at Mother Carey's who died after being hit by the 'shrapnel' when a falling rock hit the ground to know you were in danger and they were ignorant tw*ts.

 Wainers44 14 Jul 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

> Is the fact they were men the most significant thing here ? I mean I've been under an ab rope chucked off |Mother Careys by you and Paul.  I don't think the gender of the idiots is that significant.

Are you really being serious? Female climber's quite reasoned and reasonable comments about stupid behaviour of two male climbers and the response is "are you complaining...".Sounds a bit threatening doesn't it?

Gender not relevant? B*llocks. They both should be ashamed of themselves and have hopefully seen the outing of their stupidly in the OP.

 Taking of b*llocks,  wonder if they have ones sufficient to attempt to explain their actions here..?

13
 Emma Alsford 14 Jul 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

No the most significant thing is unnecessarily chucking blocks off in the first place. And no they didn't shout "below". If I throw an abseil rope down I always shout below, even if I can't see anyone. I don't know if you're referring to me or Paul, as we've never thrown a rope off a crag together. But I've had plenty of abseil ropes sail past me and I'd choose that any day over blocks. And it's a necessary part of sea cliff climbing unfortunately. I do make a point of not throwing excess ropes down though and using ones that are already there, which most climbers don't mind

In my experience men are usually worse at admitting an error, especially when they think there're talking to an inexperienced climber of the opposite sex, who is also younger - and that's just the vibe I got from his tone (especially one of them, not so much the other one). But my apologies if me saying that offends you.

7
 Emma Alsford 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Many thanks for all the supportive replies. 

I do understand that it can put people on the defensive when challenged, but the response was completely offensive and uncalled for..and it really did ruin our climbing day, as we finished early because my climbing partner said he was likely to hit them if he saw them! 🤭😳

But I just hope it makes them think about it, and prevents it happening again.

We all make mistakes after all.

1
 Wicamoi 14 Jul 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

Don't be purposely dim. We all know that two female climbers would, in all probability, have behaved entirely differently. Chances are, they'd not have been tempted with the idiocy in the first place, and if they had somehow been so tempted, they'd have listened to the OP and apologised. If you can't understand why the OP, a woman, might want to emphasise the gender of the pair, it's not because you are stupid: it's simply because you don't want to.

But you're right of course, their gender isn't their most important quality.

And on that note, a rope, when falling, has importantly different qualities from a TV-sized rock. I don't know either of you, but I think that if you want to argue about what the most important ones are with Emma you should probably do it privately.

27
In reply to GrahamD:

> Is the fact they were men the most significant thing here ? 

I (seriously) assumed Emma was merely referencing the title of a popular 1990s BBC sitcom, and not in any way claiming that this happened because the “culprits” were men. 

1
In reply to Emma Alsford:

And two dislikes now. I wonder if it’s the dynamic duo…? 

9
 olddirtydoggy 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

There was an article in Outside magazine a couple of years back about a pair of climbers in the States going up a multi pitch route somewhere remote'ish. Up at the top was a young man casually throwing rocks off the top of the summit. By complete bad luck, one of the stones hit one of the climbers and killed him. The climber who managed to top out ended up spending the night out with the kid who killed his partner until they both got back.

Lobbing rocks off a top is a dangerous thing to do, even if you think you can see everybody below.

 henwardian 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

A couple of years ago I left a supermarket and when I arrived back at my van there was an angry woman who accused me of causing a dent in her car by opening my door into it. I said "hmm, I don't think so", then opened the door carefully to see where it would touch her car.... well away from the mark it turned out. She then got much more angry and told me I shouldn't have parked so close to her car (I was parked exactly centred in a marked parking place), got in her car and drove away.

The moral of this story, and probably yours too is that there is a subset of humankind who are incapable of acknowledging that they might have been wrong (thankfully a lot of this subset will realise laterally when they mull it over later outside of the stress of the situation). Assuming you are not a vengeful type of person (in which case there are any number of types of retaliation you could consider), probably the best you can do is make sure the problem is laid out plainly and hope the penny drops later on.

Hmm.... Last point, how to put this tactfully.... Was there any evidence that they were sure they were right because they climbed hard? Or that they dismissed you because you were a younger woman? I mean, these things might be true but it's hard to imagine how you would know this. Are you sure you are not just assigning negative personality traits to people with whom you are (justifiably) annoyed?

26
In reply to henwardian:

Emma’s “younger woman” comment was in parentheses accompanied by an “especially” and is therefore optional. Read the post as if that bit weren’t there. Does it change much? (no comment from me on the “hardish routes” aspect of the OP)

1
In reply to Emma Alsford:

> especially when they think they're talking to an inexperienced climber of the opposite sex

In Pembrokeshire, they really couldn't have got that bit more wrong however hard they tried. I hope you're (in retrospect) able to appreciate the staggering irony of that part of the situation.

Hopefully they've seen this thread and learnt something.

1
Blanche DuBois 15 Jul 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

> Is the fact they were men the most significant thing here

Er, how on earth did you get from her post that this was the most significant thing? Remarkable how you, and one other, respondent are taking exception to the fact Emma identifies the perpetrators as male.  Presumably you feel she should have adopted gender neutral pronouns.  Which is kinda hilarious when you consider how the gender of any women transgressing in any way is seized upon in it's reporting.

> I mean I've been under an ab rope chucked off |Mother Careys by you and Paul.  I don't think the gender of the idiots is that significant.

Why you making such a big deal about it then?  You wanna find me any thread on here invloving a woman where her gender isn't specifically rereferenced?  Good luck with that, especially if the individual involved has acted in a way construed as negative.  The pronouns "she" and "her" will be thrown around gleefully like oestrogen soaked confetti.

11
In reply to gravy:

> It only gives legal protection if you follow this procedure:

> Throw rocks

> Shout below!

> Look to see if anyone is in the fall zone

Should the order be reversed?

6
 neuromancer 15 Jul 2021
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Whoosh

In reply to neuromancer:

> Whoosh

The correct order:

Check to see if anyone in the fall out zone. (don't throw rocks if there is) 

Shout below.

Throw rocks.

Not as suggested above which would apply to accidentally knocked off rocks.

14
 neuromancer 15 Jul 2021
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Whooooooooooooooooooooosh.

In reply to neuromancer:

Whoosh to to you to.

27
 Richard Horn 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

> Er, how on earth did you get from her post that this was the most significant thing? Remarkable how you, and one other, respondent are taking exception to the fact Emma identifies the perpetrators as male. 

I dont think the issue is the fact that they are identified as men, but the fact that the OP makes quite a big deal about them being men, and then goes on with a bunch of yawn inducing stereotyping comments ("me the younger female" etc). Quite a blatant attempt to kick off a men vs women rant and based on the comments some success on that front.

Sure men and women might react on a general basis differently if challenged but men and women are both equally capable of idiotic actions in the first place.

62
 Mick Ward 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

> In my experience men are usually worse at admitting an error, especially when they think there're talking to an inexperienced climber of the opposite sex, who is also younger - and that's just the vibe I got from his tone (especially one of them, not so much the other one).

Would agree with this. Thankfully, really bad behaviour on crags seems to be pretty rare these days. But, certainly when I come across it, the perpetrators are invariably male. (Maybe women have more sense?) They tend to be pretty inexperienced or pretty experienced (though one might question the value of their 'experience'). The former tend to see sense; the latter less so. Maybe they feel that their 'experience' entitles them to do what they want?

Obviously all of us - no matter how experienced - make mistakes or even do bloody silly things, from time to time. Best to own up to them and (re?)learn. More experience!

Although you've not dwelled on this, I know how terrifying being in the line of fire can be. Afterwards you're pulsating with adrenalin. And when people don't see reason, it's easy to have more adrenalin! You behaved far better than, I suspect, most of us would have. Hopefully the guys will read this, reflect and change their ways. And maybe others will read this and also reflect...

Mick

1
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

He means the gravy is perfectly aware of the correct sequence, it's meant as a joke (the joke really being the correct sequence is in reality often not followed and it's the sequence gravy describes and it only really works as a joke when you realise this is the case so sorry for spoiling that for you).

In reply to Richard Horn:

Allthough I've no wish to get involved in a debate on sexism or ageism (I'm a man in my late 30s) and cant comment on what the OP meant or didn't mean I thought it worth saying almost all my female climbing friends have noted one or more incidents where they have been patronised or had sexist comments by (usually old) men whilst climbing. Like it or not there is a big enough subset of climbers who think this is ok to make it a common thing. Weather its relevant here I don't know but don't dismiss it out of hand.

In reply to MeMeMe:

> He means the gravy is perfectly aware of the correct sequence, it's meant as a joke (the joke really being the correct sequence is in reality often not followed and it's the sequence gravy describes and it only really works as a joke when you realise this is the case so sorry for spoiling that for you).

Fair enough. Just me being obtuse.

In reply to GrahamD:

> Is the fact they were men the most significant thing here ? I mean I've been under an ab rope chucked off |Mother Careys by you and Paul.  

You seem to have spectacularly misinterpreted Emmas OP if you think she was trying to make out that the gender was the most significant thing. Clearly from reading the post the most significant thing was that someone was chucking large rocks off a cliff without sufficiently checking that it was safe to do so.

The tops of quite a few routes at St Govans could do with some significant tidying/cleaning to make them safer, so I imagine there was a good motive, but doing this on a busy day without being certain there was no one in any danger was daft.

I can't understand why you would try and equate someone dropping an end of an ab rope with someone dropping large rocks. An ab rope is unikely to hurt you and certainly isn't going to kill you.

 SAF 15 Jul 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

> Is the fact they were men the most significant thing here ? I mean I've been under an ab rope chucked off |Mother Careys by you and Paul.  I don't think the gender of the idiots is that significant.

I read the article and the first thing that came to my mind was whether the men knew that SHE was there and trundled regardless.  But then I'm looking at it with the cynical perspective of a 40 year old women.  But when you read articles like this one 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/swimming-pool-west-london-attack-b1875453.html

and then reflect on ones own experience in climbing and listen to friends expereinces across a rang of situations, it is hardly surprising that the thought that they knew full well that there was someone, a women, below but did it anyway isn't so far fetched!!

23
 FactorXXX 15 Jul 2021
In reply to SAF:

> I read the article and the first thing that came to my mind was whether the men knew that SHE was there and trundled regardless.  But then I'm looking at it with the cynical perspective of a 40 year old women.  But when you read articles like this one 
> https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/swimming-pool-west-london-attack-b1875453.html
> and then reflect on ones own experience in climbing and listen to friends expereinces across a rang of situations, it is hardly surprising that the thought that they knew full well that there was someone, a women, below but did it anyway isn't so far fetched!!

I think it's rather far fetched to believe that they threw the rocks down just because the person below was a woman.

 SAF 15 Jul 2021
In reply to FactorXXX:

> I think it's rather far fetched to believe that they threw the rocks down just because the person below was a woman.

Maybe not because she was there, but they may well have considered the consequences of their actions more if it had been a man.  From some of the replies to this thread they may well have been knocked out had they done similar to a male climber.

22
 stubbed 15 Jul 2021
In reply to ebdon:

> Allthough I've no wish to get involved in a debate on sexism or ageism (I'm a man in my late 30s) and cant comment on what the OP meant or didn't mean I thought it worth saying almost all my female climbing friends have noted one or more incidents where they have been patronised or had sexist comments by (usually old) men whilst climbing. Like it or not there is a big enough subset of climbers who think this is ok to make it a common thing. Weather its relevant here I don't know but don't dismiss it out of hand.

I agree - I think there is an element of women being sensitised to micro-aggressions, due their experience of 'everyday sexism' and that feeling of being patronised by older men is one I'm very familiar with from when I was younger. Now I'm old I guess I am just more used to responding to it.

2
 Lankyman 15 Jul 2021
In reply to SAF:

Blimey! This thread is now morphing into what motivated a pair of misogynistic, elderly male attempted murderers (allegedly).

3
 Moacs 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Rock tossers

In reply to Blanche DuBois:

> You wanna find me any thread on here invloving a woman where her gender isn't specifically rereferenced?  Good luck with that, especially if the individual involved has acted in a way construed as negative.  The pronouns "she" and "her" will be thrown around gleefully like oestrogen soaked confetti.

I really don't think that is the case. 99% of the time female pronouns are used simply because someone happens to be a woman (or male pronouns used simply because someone happens to be a man). 

1
 SAF 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

> Blimey! This thread is now morphing into what motivated a pair of misogynistic, elderly male attempted murderers (allegedly).

Murder would suggest that they thought through the possible worst consequences of their actions, I doubt this very much.

The idea that 2 elderly misogynist would think it was 'hilarious' to intimidate a young female is hardly "way out there". It's pretty standard behaviour for far too many men to get a kick out of scaring women.

28
In reply to SAF:

I don't think we should get too hung up on the misogynist theme. Behaving like a prick is an equal opportunities pastime.

The reason more male climbers are seen behaving badly is down to the gender profile of climbing. 

3
 wercat 15 Jul 2021
In reply to SAF:

I've always leant to the thinking that you should be presumed to intend the "natural and probable outcome" of your actions except in extreme circumstances and should be held culpable accordingly.

Post edited at 12:58
 wercat 15 Jul 2021
In reply to SAF:

plus I don't think you have made a case for the M word, just for the Stupid Lout element and there are plenty of stupid louts of both genders around.  Perhaps less usual in the climbing world because of the tendency to win a Darwin Award that comes from such behaviour in that contex, but climbing makes no one a saint.

Post edited at 13:01
1
 SAF 15 Jul 2021
In reply to wercat:

> I've always leant to the thinking that you should be presumed to intend the "natural and probable outcome" of your actions except in extreme circumstances and should be held culpable accordingly.

Wouldn't the world be lovely (and so much safer) if everyone applied that thought process to their actions and there would be no need for manslaughter or death by dangerous driving offences anymore.

 wercat 15 Jul 2021
In reply to SAF:

it would indeed

 FactorXXX 15 Jul 2021
In reply to SAF:

> The idea that 2 elderly misogynist would think it was 'hilarious' to intimidate a young female is hardly "way out there". It's pretty standard behaviour for far too many men to get a kick out of scaring women.

Except that the OP states that the climbers doing the trundling wouldn't have been able to see if anyone was at the base of the cliff and having been there myself would tend tend to agree with that statement.
Not wishing to derail the thread as the people doing the trundling are obviously idiots of the highest order, but to suggest once again that there was some sort of concious decision made to deliberately target a woman for a laugh with potential lethal consequences perhaps indicates that you have a real problem when it comes to how you regard men.

7
 Lankyman 15 Jul 2021
In reply to SAF:

> Wouldn't the world be lovely (and so much safer) if everyone applied that thought process to their actions and there would be no need for manslaughter or death by dangerous driving offences anymore.

I was being tongue in cheek with my earlier comment. To be fair to you 99% of bullying and violence I've encountered in my life has been from men. It's self evident that most w@nkers by far are men. Ironically, last year I was tailgated and then scraped by a 'little old lady' who then blamed it on me.

1
In reply to Emma Alsford:

There is a trend for "trundling", what used to be called "scaling" years ago when I did it professionally (roped access work) where things were removed very carefully and only *if* needed. Recently "trundling" has become a thing.

A quick look on YouTube you'll see examples of people doing really beneficial safety work but also as many video maybe more, of giggling idiots pushing relatively stable big boulders down slopes or cliffs -- just for fun not for any necessity.

From experience of doing this safely, it's not the kind of thing that should be done at a crowded crag and only done when unavoidable/essential for safety. From your description that the rocks were from above where they topped out, it's hard to interpret this as essential safety work.  It's a shame there weren't people physically equipped to give them a "robust" response, the story sounds like they'd deserve it.

In reply to CantClimbTom:

Yes, trundling has recently been encouraged and lauded. The block on the Fang, swindale. This trundle was necessary and done responsibly.

Reporting of such events needs careful packaging to avoid what has happened here.

Under the right circumstances, trundling can be quite a thrill. This should also be accounted for and climbers encouraged not to get too over enthusiastic with it. The effect on the crag environment of a trundled block, I guess is similar to gardening and/or winter ascents.

All factors to consider. 

 Michael Gordon 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Wicamoi:

> We all know that two female climbers would, in all probability, have behaved entirely differently.

Well, we also know, with probably equal confidence, that two male climbers selected at random would also in all probability have behaved differently. I don't think many climbers engage in this sort of behaviour when there may be others nearby who could be in the firing line.

"If you can't understand why the OP, a woman, might want to emphasise the gender of the pair, it's not because you are stupid: it's simply because you don't want to."

The only reason I can think of is to try and make some sort of point about men being more likely to throw rocks? But since very few folk would do such a thing, it would seem a strange point to try and make.

Post edited at 16:05
10
 Michael Gordon 15 Jul 2021
In reply to henwardian:

> Hmm.... Last point, how to put this tactfully.... Was there any evidence that they were sure they were right because they climbed hard? Or that they dismissed you because you were a younger woman? I mean, these things might be true but it's hard to imagine how you would know this. Are you sure you are not just assigning negative personality traits to people with whom you are (justifiably) annoyed?

Well put. A lot of supposition going on in the OP.

16
 Michael Gordon 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

> ...Remarkable how you, and one other, respondent are taking exception to the fact Emma identifies the perpetrators as male.  Presumably you feel she should have adopted gender neutral pronouns.  Which is kinda hilarious when you consider how the gender of any women transgressing in any way is seized upon in it's reporting.

> ...You wanna find me any thread on here invloving a woman where her gender isn't specifically rereferenced?  Good luck with that, especially if the individual involved has acted in a way construed as negative.  The pronouns "she" and "her" will be thrown around gleefully like oestrogen soaked confetti.

The above is a curious post. You seem to suggest that "men", "he" and "him" are always used entirely factually, and "women", "she" and "her" are always used "gleefully" to make some sort of gender-based point. May I suggest that it may not be quite so black and white?

 Andy Hardy 15 Jul 2021
In reply to mountain.martin:

> The tops of quite a few routes at St Govans could do with some significant tidying/cleaning to make them safer, so I imagine there was a good motive, but doing this on a busy day without being certain there was no one in any danger was daft.

Is it necessary to lob the rocks over the cliff rather than back towards the land?

3
 Wicamoi 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Well, we also know, with probably equal confidence, that two male climbers selected at random would also in all probability have behaved differently. I don't think many climbers engage in this sort of behaviour when there may be others nearby who could be in the firing line.

Most men aren’t idiots, but they are about 22 times more likely to do stupid reckless things than women. My point was not on the likelihood of any random climber throwing rocks…. it was that we all know, as soon as the rocks are being thrown without due diligence, that it is a man and not a woman throwing them. And that therefore, instead of quibbling about whether the fact that the offenders were men has had too much attention drawn to it, we should be simply supporting the OP.

> "If you can't understand why the OP, a woman, might want to emphasise the gender of the pair, it's not because you are stupid: it's simply because you don't want to."

> The only reason I can think of is to try and make some sort of point about men being more likely to throw rocks? But since very few folk would do such a thing, it would seem a strange point to try and make.

Here’s another reason I can think of: women get really tired of being patronised by idiots, nearly all of whom are men, and that this woman in particular might conceivably be feeling rather passionately about this issue, just now, when she has been nearly killed, then patronised and conceivably even threatened by a pair of them.

Hmm. That said, I should probably have held my tongue last night, and certainly made my point more politely. Men are probably 22 times more likely to be a bit rude in late night posting. I apologise for being unnecessarily abrasive to GrahamD. Sorry Graham.

2
In reply to the thread

I am absolutely loving the way loads of men here are simultaneously suggesting the OP (an incredibly experienced climber) is overreacting, and dismissing her opinion (probably because shes a daft women eh guys!?) Whilst simultaneously advocating violence against the perpetrators. Nice one, vive la patriarchy!

7
 deepsoup 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> A lot of supposition going on in the OP.

None whatever about the extraordinarily stupid and potentially even murderous (manslaughterous not being a word) actions of two men who were apparently quite unrepentant about it when challenged though.

But hey, lets focus on the more important issue here.  Recklessly endangering people's lives when they should so obviously know better and then lacking even the good grace to apologise for it is one thing, but the OP seems to have made some assumptions regarding the men in question which, while it's entirely possible they're correct, is the sort of thing we simply can't put up with on here!  It's just sexist innit.  They might have risked killing or maiming her through their stupidity and reacted to having that made plain to them with indifference at best, but they're still old male climbers so god forbid she fails to talk about them on here with the respect that demands eh?

Jesus H Christ on a bike, would you look at this thread!  What an absolute shit show.  Some of the posters here should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves, and probably would be if they had an ounce of self awareness. 

How on earth you can read that OP and find yourself itching to post that "Ah, no, she's being a bit unfair to those blokes there!" defeats me.  I'm embarrassed and ashamed, reading some of the posts above.  No wonder this forum is populated almost entirely by old men, why on earth would anyone else want to stick around here and post regularly?

5
 overdrawnboy 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Nigel Coe

If that was back in the 1980's I was there that day. This incident brought it all back, dreadful experience for all involved but at least an accident unlike this case. 

 Michael Gordon 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Wicamoi:

> instead of quibbling about whether the fact that the offenders were men has had too much attention drawn to it, we should be simply supporting the OP.

I don't think anyone has tried to defend the culprits. That it is idiotic and dangerous scarcely needs saying.

> Here’s another reason I can think of: women get really tired of being patronised by idiots, nearly all of whom are men, and that this woman in particular might conceivably be feeling rather passionately about this issue, just now, when she has been nearly killed, then patronised and conceivably even threatened by a pair of them.> 

I've re-read the OP and can't see anywhere where she suggests they were threatening (other than in the trundling). Being patronised isn't good but the main thing is their actions before that. Hopefully they'll think a bit more carefully in future re the wisdom of such. 

1
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Being patronised isn't good but the main thing is their actions before that. Hopefully they'll think a bit more carefully in future re the wisdom of such. 

Actually, I'd argue that it's far from the main thing, as their reaction would suggest that they will *not* think a bit more carefully in future as they don't think they did anything wrong.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

“Are you complaining….?” Could be interpreted as threatening, I don’t know I wasn’t there, but that is how I interpreted the OP.

It would have got a reaction out of me, possibly one that I wouldn’t be proud of on reflection.

2
 Michael Gordon 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Alkis:

> Actually, I'd argue that it's far from the main thing, as their reaction would suggest that they will *not* think a bit more carefully in future as they don't think they did anything wrong.

But they may reflect on it afterwards. As some have said above, it's sometimes hard to admit to others when you've made a mistake, but that doesn't mean you can't learn from it.

 Michael Gordon 15 Jul 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

> “Are you complaining….?” Could be interpreted as threatening, I don’t know I wasn’t there, but that is how I interpreted the OP.> 

It's a really weird and vacuous thing to say isn't it. The OP just puts it down to gross ignorance. Not sure what my reaction would've been; quite possibly I'd be similarly lost for words.

In reply to thread:

It would be interesting to hear the other side of the story, I wonder if the climbers involved use UKC. If they're old, male and white they must surely be on here as 'UKC's law' dictates. 

It sounds so obviously wrong. I can only imagine they thought the area was clear enough, there are a few routes in between and the OP mentions a distance of 15m.

I've never trundled anything truly large, but at TV size you're talking 100kg plus so it does seem to be completely reckless. 

 FactorXXX 15 Jul 2021
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

>  but at TV size you're talking 100kg plus so it does seem to be completely reckless. 

Flat screen or CRT? 🙄🖥📺🤕

In reply to deepsoup: 

> How on earth you can read that OP and find yourself itching to post that "Ah, no, she's being a bit unfair to those blokes there!" defeats me.  I'm embarrassed and ashamed, reading some of the posts above.  No wonder this forum is populated almost entirely by old men, why on earth would anyone else want to stick around here and post regularly?

That's how it strikes me, a lot of it based on people not getting the rather obvious 'Men Behaving Badly' reference.

That the OP is female is irrelevant.  What might be pertinent is that she happens to be an extremely able and experienced local first ascensionist with a detailed knowledge of the area and who is unlikely to be over-reacting to what happened.   

 Michael Gordon 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> That's how it strikes me, a lot of it based on people not getting the rather obvious 'Men Behaving Badly' reference.> 

I had heard of the TV program but also thought the gender aspect of the OP was over-emphasised. 

24
In reply to FactorXXX:

> >  but at TV size you're talking 100kg plus so it does seem to be completely reckless. 

> Flat screen or CRT? 🙄🖥📺🤕

32" or up to 88"? 1 cubic foot of limestone should be around 70-80ish. 

 Stichtplate 15 Jul 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

>I'm embarrassed and ashamed, reading some of the posts above.  No wonder this forum is populated almost entirely by old men, why on earth would anyone else want to stick around here and post regularly?

Get a grip. The vast majority of the posts are entirely supportive (quite rightly) and the few that haven't been 100% supportive have mainly been quibbling.

Current like to dislike ratio: 249 to 2, which kind of speaks for itself.

6
 Misha 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

I would have been less tactful...

On the plus side, you’ve got a great name for your next new route. 

 Offwidth 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

An experienced climber trundling big blocks, without checking the area below is completely clear, is such an exceptionally moronic thing to do that I really suspect their reflection will be more like Peter Cooke said " I learn from my mistakes, I can repeat them exactly".

 Trangia 16 Jul 2021
In reply to CantClimbTom:

> There is a trend for "trundling", what used to be called "scaling" years ago when I did it professionally (roped access work) where things were removed very carefully and only *if* needed. Recently "trundling" has become a thing.

Actually "Trundling" is the correct term, and there is nothing new about it.  If you read Whymper's "Scrambles Amongst the Alps" it was being regarded as a "sport" over 150 years ago!

 steveriley 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

woman: crikey, I could have died.
ukc: let's pick at the language.

Stay safe everyone!

 Richard Horn 16 Jul 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

>  I'm embarrassed and ashamed, reading some of the posts above. 

You didnt write them, so what are you embarrassed about?

11
 FactorXXX 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Is it necessary to lob the rocks over the cliff rather than back towards the land?

Most of the stuff people would consider trundling for safety reasons will already be teetering on the edge of going down the cliff by virtue of looseness, proximity and gravity, etc.  One quick push and down they go.
To try and drag them over the cliff edge landwards would require a massive effort and would probably need at least a winch for the bigger stuff.

In reply to FactorXXX:

Indeed.

A lot of the loose blocks at St govans are often 5ft or 10ft below the cliff edge. Trying to lift these up on to the cliff top by man power would be very hard and have a good chance of the block being dropped down the cliff unexpectedly rather than at a chosen time.

 Holdtickler 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

I had a situation last year where I challenged a climber over their behaviour on the crag and got a similar defensive, proud unapologetic response. On reflection afterwards I thought about it like this:

Did you mean to cause harm/distress/offence (or risk it) to another by your actions?

No (99% - non-psycho person) - simply say sorry, learn

Yes  - not sure what to recommend really, avoid people, seek help

It's a worrying thing if someone's ego is more important than other's safety. They will have known for sure they were in the wrong (at least once challenged), just too proud to admit it I daresay. 

 deepsoup 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Richard Horn:

> You didnt write them, so what are you embarrassed about?

It's a kind of empathy.  I also can't watch certain kinds of 'cringe' comedy, the kind of thing where Ricky Gervais is playing a character who makes an utter dick of himself for example.  I feel the embarrassment that the character should feel but doesn't, and it's unbearable.

Not everybody has it (even if they have a perfectly normal helping of the other kinds of empathy).  If you don't, I envy you.  This is an extraordinarily difficult time to be English if you do.

Also I really miss some of the regular posters who've given up on the place over the years, female ones especially (most recently Marsbar), and I think this kind of nitpicky bollocks ("Oh - it's a woman talking about something incredibly serious, let's ignore the important stuff and focus on how she's being a little bit sexist and it's not fair to some of us blokes!") is a large part of the reason why.

2
 Michael Gordon 16 Jul 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

> I think this kind of nitpicky bollocks ("Oh - it's a woman talking about something incredibly serious, let's ignore the important stuff and focus on how she's being a little bit sexist and it's not fair to some of us blokes!") is a large part of the reason why.

The irony of such of course is that if the situation had been reversed and it was 2 women throwing rocks and the thread title read "Women behaving Badly", I can guarantee it would've take far fewer responses before someone questioned whether the gender was really important (and rightly so!). No doubt the OP would've been accused of sexism etc.  

38
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Sorry to hear that, very restrained response. I was climbing there recently when a hold came off and smashed on the rocks below, i wouldn't like to have been near the explosion. 

 deepsoup 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> The irony of such of course...

The irony of course is that you think you've made a good point there, whereas I am absolutely mortified on your behalf.  Christ, reading that post was worse than David Brent's dance scene.  I'd better turn off my laptop now and go do something outdoors before I cringe so hard I fold up like a deckchair.

5
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Your responses on this thread make me sad

3
 nniff 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

This post exposes some interesting issues. Firstly, Emma is a regular setter at one of the walls I go to and I know her routes are going to be outstanding - and I’ll either be able to do them, or see what I’m supposed to be doing and get shut down firmly. I hold her in the highest regard and wish that I had her talent. 
 

I am sure that she has had her fill of ‘mansplaining’ and is sick of it. 

So, when she gets a couple of mouth-breathing imbeciles like this, what is she to do? The closest parallel I can draw is, as a cyclist, accosting a driver who close-passed you. Most of them claim to have given you loads of room, despite ypu telling them the precise opposite. There’s no explaining it. But, whoever it was, you are ……. well, fill in the blanks yourselves. I can’t be bothered with you either in person or to produce an epithet both derogatory and publicly acceptable. 

1
 kaiser 17 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Despite their lack of contrition at the time I reckon that when the 'mouth-breathing trundlers' lay awake that night in a cold sweat they will have admitted their mistake to themselves, and will never do it again.

The OP has achieved her goal and done others a great service 

 Nigel Coe 17 Jul 2021
In reply to overdrawnboy:

> In reply to Nigel Coe

> If that was back in the 1980's I was there that day. This incident brought it all back, dreadful experience for all involved but at least an accident unlike this case. 


I'm sorry for reminding you. I only heard about it, but it together with accidents at Swanage made me more aware of the risk and choose the safest spot to belay from.

 Neil Foster Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

I’ve just returned from a great week in Pembroke, only to scroll back through the UKC forums where I spotted this thread.  Having just read it, I’ll admit I am aghast.

To lay my cards on the table, I am one of the pair of climbers involved in the incident Emma describes.  And whilst I am not trying to justify what happened, I do think that people may be interested to read a different perspective, because many of the presumptions made in the responses to Emma’s original post are way off the mark.

However, before I explain what happed from at the top of the cliff, I must make it clear that I’m not saying that Emma’s post was incorrect (though it included a couple of inadvertent, irrefutable mistakes).  I’m sure that what she described was exactly how it felt from her perspective.  And given that people seem to be using UKC and social media to communicate nowadays, I’m going to address part of this post directly to Emma, but first you’re going to have to read what we actually did, and why we did it.

Fundamentally, as I see it, there are 2 quite distinct plausible scenarios for what happened at the top of Quiver, and unfortunately Emma (and the vast majority posting on this thread) believed it to be ‘Scenario 1’, whereas it was actually ‘Scenario 2’.  Let me explain.

Scenario 1 is where a climb has various sections of loose rock and some climbers, in a moment of totally misguided altruism, decide that this loose rock needs to be gardened and trundled to the bottom of the cliff, on a day when there are lots of other climbers around.  My conversation with Emma indicated that this is what she believed had happened, whereas it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Scenario 2 is more of a one-off situation where the outcome doesn’t feel like a matter of choice.  As it wasn’t me that pulled the block off Quiver, it might be better to describe an equivalent situation which did happen to me, albeit about 20 years ago.  I was leading a route called Misty Mountain Hop on B Buttress at Dow Crag, when suddenly a block I touched detached itself and rolled off the crag.  Fortunately I caught it, though it was a reasonable size (perhaps similar to the Quiver block, though I can’t exactly remember).  It was a busy weekend day at Dow, with lots of people milling around the bottom, as well as climbing various routes.  I wasn’t next to a runner, couldn’t reverse, and there was nowhere to put the newly detached lump of rock, so I started shouting to those below me to move out of the way.  At first everyone ignored me(!), but the clock was ticking and I couldn’t hold on forever. Eventually the message got through, folk ambled (no-one ran!) away, and I hurled the offending block as far off the crag as I could, and it crashed into the scree, exploding close to where a group had just been standing.  All I remember about the next moment was that a momentary silence descended on the crag…  (who knows, perhaps someone reading this was there?).

So what actually happened on Quiver last week? I’ll admit I found the upper third of the route a little unnerving, as the rock was pretty unsound, and on quite a large scale.  It was also very wet after the sudden downpour which had hit when I was halfway up the route.  So I climbed very carefully and apart from one small block which moved slightly just below the top, I topped out without incident.

I was about to warn my second about this loose hold, when he pulled on a different one just to the right, only this time it detached from the rock.  The block in question was perhaps 8” by 6” in old money, so not really TV sized.  Fortunately, he managed to stop it falling, but we then needed to decide what to do.  It couldn’t be replaced, like the loose one I’d touched, and there was no convenient niche to stash it in, as there sometimes is.  Rightly or wrongly we made the decision that it needed to be at the bottom of the cliff where it couldn’t (ironically) cause further harm.  The issue was that, unlike on that day on Dow crag, we didn’t have sight of the whole cliff base, though I thought that there wasn’t actually anyone climbing between our route and the base of the normal abseil (ie. Quiver to Clean Hand Blues Band, inclusive).  A mate of mine happened to be standing on the clifftop, near the normal abseil, in full view of this area, so I shouted over to ask him if it was clear.  He confirmed that it was, though he said we needed to throw anything to our right (looking out) ie. back towards where he was standing.  We then decided to chuck the offending block off.

Before he threw anything, my partner shouted ‘below’ at the top of his voice, as everyone from my generation was taught to do from very early in their climbing careers.  The first stones he threw off were the small ones which were left when the block fell out.  No other loose rock apart from that from the immediate block location was removed – and believe me, there would have been plenty to go at.  My partner then shouted ‘below’ at the top of his voice for a second time and chucked off the main block.

Here for the first time, things didn’t go exactly as I had anticipated, as the block didn’t land as far to the right as I expected.  My partner said he thought he had chucked it to the right, but that wasn’t quite how it looked from where I was standing.  At this point there were shouts from over below the abseil. Clearly some people had seen what was going on, perhaps from a position where they could also see Emma, and wanted to warn us to stop – certainly understandable given that we had absolutely no idea Emma was there.  But in fact our task was complete.  The whole of the offending block and any associated debris had been removed and we never had any intention of cleaning off any other loose rock.

1
 Neil Foster Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

Let’s consider St Govan’s cliff for a moment, because it is possibly the most popular cliff in Pembroke (Emma will know much better than me).  I first climbed on St Govan’s in August 1982.  In fact The Butcher was the first route I ever did in the whole of Pembroke.  Since then I’ve climbed 39 (I think that’s right) different routes there, including lamented classics like Face Value, Conscientious Objector, Lost Leaders and Wicked Gravity – all of which are now nothing more than a pile of jumbled blocks at the base of the cliff.  I bet Emma, one of the most experienced Pembroke climbers, has climbed quadruple that number, but these experiences mean I know exactly what the rock at St Govan’s is like, particularly that loose band just below the top.

I’m also, sadly, old enough to remember that dreadful incident at Mother Careys, which Overdrawn Boy witnessed.  Nick – I’m sorry you had to be reminded of what must have been a truly horrendous day.

I have also seen St Govan’s far busier than it was last week – I bet there were 10x the number of climbers there on some bank holiday weekends back in the 80s and 90s – and I am also aware that when the tide is encroaching, climbers heading for the higher shelf under D-Day and Deranged often run the gauntlet of the waves through a narrow gap exactly beneath where the Quiver block became detached. Had it been possible to somehow leave it detached but still in place (which it wasn’t) then any poor unfortunate who happened to be passing though that gap when the next leader was exiting Quiver – well basically the consequence would have been curtains.

It was the desire to avoid such an accident, plus the fact my partner couldn’t put the block back, which was the sole motivation for our actions last week.

Of course what happened at the top of the crag was only half of the experience Emma described, so I want to also address what happened down on the ground.  I was first to bottom (via the normal abseil, incidentally – I wouldn’t dream of setting up an alternative abseil down a 3* route which someone might want to do.  That rope certainly wasn’t ours).  When I arrived under Arrow I found Emma belaying.  Clearly, we had absolutely no idea she had been there, and wouldn’t have dreamt of throwing anything off if we’d realised anyone (of whatever gender!) was in the vicinity. The comments in the thread where people were speculating that we threw off blocks because there was a woman below, are so utterly fanciful that I wonder just what planet those posters were on.

Emma immediately asked me if we had been on Quiver, which I confirmed, and she then said she thought it wasn’t a good idea to be trundling blocks on a busy day on the crag.  I was a bit confused by the ‘trundling’ terminology, so tried to explain what had happened – ie. Scenario 2, and categorically not Scenario 1 (in the terms outlined above), but Emma clearly thought we were just trundling’ in some deranged, rock clearance exercise, stating that lots of the cliff top here is loose, and whilst it is good to clear it off, it shouldn’t happen on such a busy day when a flying shard could have blinded someone.  I tried a second time to explain what had actually taken place, but got a similar response, so decided not to continue.  It is worth noting that the whole conversation took place in a perfectly normal tone.  Clearly Emma was annoyed, but she didn’t raise her voice at all, and equally my replies were polite and offered with no hint of threat or (I believe) arrogance.  But what I failed to do was apologise, and we’ll come onto that later.

My partner then arrived and Emma addressed him in just the same way, saying, quite calmly, that she didn’t think it was a good idea to be trundling on a busy day.  My partner’s reply ‘Are you complaining’ actually came as as big a shock to me as it did to Emma!  Indeed, I was so shocked that I instantly jumped in and explained to him what had happened, and that Emma had been quite close to the impact zone, without us realising it.

I’ve thought a lot about that comment since, not least because it was so out of character, and whilst I’m not defending it, I do have one possible explanation.  My partner arrived into a conversation which was already underway, and I think he may have just been seeking to understand what the situation was, but it was certainly a very clumsy choice of words, even if that was the case.  The reason I think that may be have been the situation is that on the face of it ‘Are you complaining’ sound like a threat, yet it wasn’t delivered in any threatening way – it was actually delivered as a simple question, and my partner’s follow up conversation with Emma – when like me, he tried to explain the situation we were confronted with at the top of Quiver - was conducted in his normal, polite, softly spoken tone.  He also didn’t say ‘we could see you’, as clearly we couldn’t.

6
 Neil Foster Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma Alsford:

So, even with a comprehensive (!) explanation of what happened from our perspective, it is obvious that we made mistakes that day.  Given that we had to get the block off, our attempts to ensure a safe landing zone were clearly inadequate, despite our best intentions.  Our attempts to shout the accepted ‘below’ warning also didn’t work, because Emma (who we didn’t know was there) didn’t hear them.  (Equally we didn’t hear Emma’s “STOP CHUCKING ROCKS OFF", so we all underestimated the way sound was carrying that day).

Ebdon, early in the thread, referred to an incident in Leonidio, where a climber pulled off a block and managed to cradle it whilst he was lowered to the ground.  That’s a good point, and with hindsight - even though it would have been very awkward (much easier on a sports climb) and I wouldn’t really have wanted to lower my partner and the block through all that loose ground in the top third of Quiver - perhaps that is what I should have done?

But I also failed to apologise to Emma, and whether or not her understanding of the situation was wholly correct, that was unforgivable.  So Emma, I’m truly sorry for any danger we inadvertently put you in last week, and for spoiling your day.  If you’ll let me buy you a pint next time we meet, then hopefully we will be able to move on from this.

Finally I’d like to make a plea to the users of UKC.  Believe me, it would have been a lot easier to just keep my head down, rather than reply to a thread where I have been vilified by numerous people who weren’t there, don’t know me or the true facts, but instead chose to lash out in the most vile terms without really considering how this might make people feel.

In this thread, I’ve been called A nob (sic), an idiot, a total plonker, a misogynist, a prick, a stupid lout, an idiot of the highest order, extraordinarily stupid, potentially murderous, exceptionally moronic, a mouth-breathing imbecile.

And whilst I might not get everything right, I don’t actually believe any of those is fair.

Neil

5
In reply to Neil Foster:

Thank you for that. It just goes to show that as always there are two sides to every story.

Although I don't believe I used any insulting terms in posts I made, I certainly made assumptions which weren't properly justified and for that I apologise.

 Lankyman 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Neil Foster:

Hi Neil

my 'potential murderers (allegedly)' comment was very much tongue in cheek. Sorry if it was misconstrued. I was just trying to inject some humour into what was looking like a typical UKC pile on. I've had the odd close shave gardening myself. On my old crag, Lazonby, I was about to hurl a large chunk into the Eden when two canoeists paddled straight under me. I managed to cradle it in my lap just long enough to avoid depth charging them but it landed right behind them with a lovely big splash. They didn't even look back! I still sweat when I recall the potential court case.

12
 oureed 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Neil Foster:

> In this thread, I’ve been called A nob (sic), an idiot, a total plonker, a misogynist, a prick, a stupid lout, an idiot of the highest order, extraordinarily stupid, potentially murderous, exceptionally moronic, a mouth-breathing imbecile.

My son is mentally-disabled and probably what some people on here refer to as a "mouth-breathing imbecile". The idea that these people use my son's disability to insult people they don't know with regards to an incident they didn't witness makes me despair. UKC can be a cesspit. The moderators might want to question their priorities...

39
In reply to oureed:

> The moderators might want to question their priorities...

There's a lot of active threads on site and it's a difficult (potentially even impossible) task to keep on top of them all. In the case of the current thread, I'm inclined to agree - it would have greatly benefitted from better moderation; however, we didn't receive a single report - hence we never had reason to delve deeper.

As such, my plea to everyone reading this message would be if you see inappropriate posting, please, please, PLEASE report it. That way it'll be brought to the attention of the moderators who will, generally speaking, have a pretty rapid response time.

Message Removed 20 Jul 2021
Reason: Tidying up replies to oureed
Message Removed 20 Jul 2021
Reason: inappropriate content
 Jim Nevill 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Neil Foster:

As said, there are always 2 sides, but having skim read your lengthy reply I wonder if you'd like to address these points from Emma's post?

On finishing their route they proceeded to chuck a load of rocks off from the top. First a few small bits came down, then a few larger ones...at which point I was shouting up to "STOP CHUCKING ROCKS OFF"...after which a larger than television sized block was hurled over..  by this time the parties over at the abseil area were also yelling at them to stop 

 a party of 3 passed me and I asked them if it had been them chucking rocks off..they said no way, "but we saw the guys who did and they were stood on a ledge..I mean it's one thing pulling a loose block off by mistake, but they looked totally comfortable, having finished the route 

I was also told by my climbing partner on the following day (different climbing partner) that he was one of the guys shouting at them from the top, and he could clearly see them taking rocks from the back of the ledge and lobbing them down..

was it you trundling blocks off just now? …..I responded that there was no way that was "one or two blocks that needed removal" because of the sheer amount of blocks that came down

it's really not a good idea to throw rocks down with someone right below you..." to which he responded "Are you complaining...?" 

So was it just one 4 x 6 lump?

Just curious.

32
 oureed 20 Jul 2021

In reply to wintertree:

> This is one of the covid deniers I think.  

This is the modern version of being accused of witchery!

22
 MonkeyPuzzle 20 Jul 2021
In reply to oureed:

> This is the modern version of being accused of witchery!

When people were accused of being witches, did everybody just think they were a bit of an idiot and mostly carry on with their days?

Message Removed 20 Jul 2021
Reason: inappropriate content

In reply to Blanche DuBois:

They have been banned from this thread.

 Timmd 20 Jul 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

> Is the fact they were men the most significant thing here ? I mean I've been under an ab rope chucked off |Mother Careys by you and Paul.  I don't think the gender of the idiots is that significant.

[I was pretty stunned to say the least, but somehow not entirely surprised, as it was obvious to me what was going on. Two male climbers who think because they climb a couple of hardish routes they are beyond reprimanding for bad behaviour(especially from a younger woman, no doubt), and so arrogant and proud that they are incapable of simply apologising and seeing the error of their actions.]

https://metro.co.uk/2017/03/11/what-one-man-learned-about-sexism-from-swapping-names-with-his-female-colleague-for-a-week-6501842/

You might find this account of a man in an office accidentally signing off as his female work colleague and being treated less respectfully than usual enlightening, if you take issue with the OP's mention of their gender, and herself as being a younger female.  

The two colleagues did an experiment after his mistake, in swapping online identities, and  a consistent pattern of different levels of respect/assumed credibility emerged.

I would imagine that the OP commented on their age and gender as a result of sexism experienced (and that those and the related feelings came to the fore in that tense situation), rather than from assuming irresponsible behaviour/doofus-ness in every man who happens to be sharing a crag.

Edit: Ah, the helpful and erudite click of the dislike button, now I'm viewing my post in a different light, it's such a worthwhile thing, to click the dislike button.

Post edited at 13:54
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 Brown 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Neil Foster:

If you manage to throw off the small blocks before the large one it does slightly beg the question where was the large one whilst you were throwing off the small ones?

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 Timmd 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Neil Foster:

It's a credit to you that you've posted on here, you come across as decent and considered in how you go about things.

Edit:  In this, especially. 

My partner then arrived and Emma addressed him in just the same way, saying, quite calmly, that she didn’t think it was a good idea to be trundling on a busy day.  My partner’s reply ‘Are you complaining’ actually came as as big a shock to me as it did to Emma!  Indeed, I was so shocked that I instantly jumped in and explained to him what had happened, and that Emma had been quite close to the impact zone, without us realising it.

Post edited at 14:12
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 crayefish 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Neil Foster:

Well, that's a surprise turn out for the thread!  Goes to show that there are two sides to every story.

Very brave/honourable of you to stick your head above the trenches with the barrage of UKC machine-gun fire ongoing.

3
 Timmd 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> It's a really weird and vacuous thing to say isn't it. The OP just puts it down to gross ignorance. Not sure what my reaction would've been; quite possibly I'd be similarly lost for words.

I find it can depend on whether one is shocked/taken aback, or angry, that words can seem to come differently. Losing my Mum (the feelings have long since settled) seems to have meant I 'stand on my square' more, especially when it's wellbeing related (one's voice needs to be heard in this world). I think the OP was admirably restrained, I'd have probably shouted and been unproductive, kudos to her, and to Neil Foster for posting too. They're both examples of the best kind of approach.

Post edited at 16:22
1
In reply to Timmd:

> I think the OP was admirably restrained, I'd have probably shouted and been unproductive, kudos to her, and to Neil Foster for posting too. They're both examples of the best kind of approach.

I completely agree.  I only know Emma by repute, but Neil has always struck me as a thoroughly decent sort and polite to a fault.

 Emma Alsford 22 Jul 2021
In reply to Neil Foster:

Hi Neil,

Many thanks for being big enough to come on to this forum to explain things from your point of view, and for the (eventual!) apology, albeit having to "come onto that later".

I do feel that a response is needed, as there are also some inadvertent and irrefutable mistakes i.m.h.o, but whether we continue to disagree about the 'relevance of the rock shower', the main point here is the attitude and response of your climbing partner (who is obviously not in agreement with owning up to any errors, as he is remaining nameless and absent) - who was utterly rude and unapologetic, and I would certainly not describe his response to me as you have - there was definitely a patronising arrogance in his "I know, I know.." and "are you complaining" statements (nothing polite about it). And as you have admitted, "it came as a big shock to me..." yet you go on to (what feels like) justify it, instead of simply accepting that it was unacceptable. That then feels like a rather "backhanded apology" for his behaviour (but he should be doing his own apologies anyway, so let's not dwell on this!).

"As it wasn't me who pulled the block off Quiver..." I'm not sure the relevance of describing a completely different situation, as this topic is about the incident that happened at St Govans that day. It was also, as I have explained previously, not "one block" which came down (with a few small stones) - even now it is still possible to see some of the shattered blocks at the base of the cliff (many of which are still 8" by 6", some having smashed into smaller pieces after breaking up on impact), so please don't underplay the volume of rocks which came down.

'So what actually happened on Quiver last week?..." - Much more relevant. I must admit I didn't find Quiver how you describe, when I last climbed it, but as you pertained to in your thread, rock climbs can change hugely in Pembroke over the years - but you certainly looked very confident when we saw you on the route, and made short work of it, but then I know you are a very experienced and talented climber, but nevertheless I am sorry that you found it so unnerving.

"I was about to warn my second of this loose hold..." I'm really interested to know exactly where this was, as the climbers at the abseil (2 separate groups said this to me) saw you both "stood on a ledge". Now, there are sloping, rock strewn ledges above Quiver, Cupids Bow, Kraken etc, unlike the top out of routes like The Arrow, which finishes directly at the cliff top proper, so you do have to be careful making your way up these, and obviously stay roped up (so a climber would still be described as seconding at this point). And as you say, "there is plenty to go at.." in these sloping sub cliff top areas (or ledge(s), as the other climbers described). The reason I'm interested, is because it's one thing attempting to hang on to a block while dangling on a rope (another situation which you have referred to in your thread) - in which case how exactly do you do this, while clearing a few small stones off first? But standing on a ledge (which I was informed was the situation, surely it is possible to put a rock down somewhere on it. Anyway, I do know the tops of these routes pretty well, so that's why I'm interested, especially as your description doesn't quite tally with theirs. The amount of rock at the bottom of the cliff doesn't quite relate either.

"He confirmed that it was, though he said we needed to throw anything to our right (looking out)...."  Why?

"Here for the first time, things didn't go exactly as I had anticipated, as the block (again reference and implication to "one block") didn't land as far to the right as I expected..." Why was this such a concern to you when you thought no one was below?

"Clearly some people had seen what was going on, perhaps from a position where they could also see Emma..." Yes I could see everyone at the top of the abseil, and the platform below (Butcher area) the whole time I was belaying, so I'm pretty certain they could also see me - and after many blocks had come down I started shouting because that's what felt unnecessary ..with one or two I would have just thought "oops someone pulled a block off, that was close..." but it continued, which was exactly why I had to shout up..and I actually also shouted "they need to stop chucking blocks off..." towards the climbers at the abseil, because I knew that they would be able to see you.

"Lets consider St Govans cliff for a moment..." and "I have also seen St Govans far busier"

These statements feel like slightly patronising justifications, and somewhat belittling my experience, especially followed by "clearly, we had absolutely no idea she had been there, and wouldn't have dreamt of throwing anything off if we'd realised anyone (of whatever gender) was in the vicinity..." yet earlier "it couldn't be replaced...and there was no convenient niche to stash it..." 

"I was a bit confused by the trundling terminology (really, honestly?) so tried to explain what happened..."  I agree with you, Neil, that the exchanges were calm but there were certainly not two attempts at some long explanation as implied..both of you responsed with "it needed to come off" and when I responded with "that was not an "it" as a lot of rock coming down over an extended period..there was no continued response. However when I started to explain about rocks going everywhere when they smash into a hard rock platform, this is when the second (unknown guy) started responding with a dismissive "I know, I know.." etc and I certainly wouldn't describe his tone as polite and softly spoken.

Let me be clear though Neil. I am completely happy to accept a difference of opinion here in terms of the necessity of the blocks which were removed. And I was certainly not terrified for my life or anything that dramatic. I was just a little astounded at choosing (or not) to remove a load of blocks at that time, and without knowing if climbers were below (the climbers at the abseil were obviously aware of me, which is why I assume they told you to throw them to the right) - And as soon as you were shouted at to stop, you did, which I assume means that everything had come off that you thought was necessary. Interesting timing that!

My main beef (and only reason I posted this thread in the first place) was the attitude of your climbing partner (not you).

A simple "gosh sorry we had no idea you were down there and we felt that they really needed to be removed.." would have prevented any of this public forum (and back lashing).

Just an acknowledgement and apology at the time would have sufficed and probably would have resulted in me sympathising with the situation which you had been in, and the choices you made.

And I never say no to a pint! Thanks 👍

29
 nniff 22 Jul 2021
In reply to Neil Foster:

Fair enough and thank you for stepping forward. My apologies for my comments, which now seem unwarranted  

It can be difficult to apologise for things that you did not know that you had done, and there is a lesson for everyone there
 

 StuPoo2 22 Jul 2021
In reply to Emma UKCStaff:

> Staff Edit: The other side to the story is here.

The staff edit to the OP and link to the other half of this story half way down the thread is a positive change to UKC forum moderation.  It adds balance to this thread that is otherwise not visible once the thread has collapsed down hiding the latest responses inc the accused response(s).

Maybe Wikum worth a play around with to try and automate forum summaries? http://wikum.csail.mit.edu/

I appreciate that it will be time consuming and not always possible but it is a step forward and something we should try to keep if/when possible.

Big thanks!

In reply to Neil Foster:

Hi Neil - I haven't commented on the thread until now as I wasn't there and I'm too old to start jumping on bandwagons driven by the outraged & misinformed when I don't know the facts.

The positive outcome is that no one was physically hurt, and it has given me (and hopefully others) cause to wonder what we would do in those circumstances. I've been in that situation on Gogarth, Carn Gowla & the Lleyn where holds have detached when I've been using them and - on a busy day at the crag - it's a genuine dilemma with potentially very serious consequences. Fortunately in those situations there was no one around so it was fine, but you were in a very different situation and I suspect you dealt with it as thoughtfully as anyone else would have done.

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