Interested to know what people’s views are about parties climbing on the same route.
Arrived at a completely empty crag in Borrowdale today. Were just about to start the first pitch when another couple arrived and declared “hope you don’t mind us being a bit boystrous at the belays, we’ve got a boat to catch”. (Not posed as a question)
I set off and he sets off moments later so we’re both at the first belay at the same time. Quietly fuming I just tell them to climb through as I don’t want to be sharing belays all the way to the top and didn’t want the hassle to spoil our day.
Is there an etiquette here? Would I have been within my rights to ask them to wait, or do you just have to put up and shut up?
> Interested to know what people’s views are about parties climbing on the same route........ > Is there an etiquette here? Would I have been within my rights to ask them to wait, or do you just have to put up and shut up?
IMO they were completely out of order
We do "have to put up and shut up", because we don't own the cliff, but I would have asked them to wait till we'd done each pitch
The schadenfreude ending if you’ve ever climbed Troutdale Pinnacle is that she set off on P2, missed the 2nd belay by about ten metres, and they carried on to the top from there and in so doing missed doing the traverse pitch, the pinnacle, and the final arete… all of the interesting climbing….
Climbing ropes have an uncanny ability to develop a slipknot on a bight...
I personally know someone (I heard this first-hand from them - from their own mouth on a car journey) who was leading Great Wall (E4 6a) on Cloggy when a well-known climber (he told me his name but he shall remain nameless..... PS it wasn't Al Rouse) started soloing the route after he had started leading, climbing quite fast over his rope and clearly about to overtake him. He told them to p*** off, and made sure he did so, because - as he said - had the guy soloing fallen off, he would have grabbed his ropes to save his life, pulling him off
I don't blame the guy who was roped. Good idea
Did the same in Bosigran, to a bloke who thought this would be fine.
Starting immediately after someone, no. Long routes where you end up meeting due to different speeds of climbers, so be it. If the party in front don’t offer to let you over take you just have to wait.
Climbing alongside another party without clear agreement to do so, sharing pitches, is just fecking stupid. They should have asked to go ahead rather than just husstling you out of the way, that's rude.
I never minded sharing routes so long as it wasn't too risky or inconvenient but you have a chat about it and don't be a dick if others aren't as relaxed.
Chip and I did a slight variation to this unacceptable behaviour, years ago on the Tofana de Rosas in the Dolomites. He had decided the route would be popular so we organized all our gear the night before, racked our harnesses etc and arrived at the base with several parties queued but not ready to start, still faffing about. Nobody complained, at least not in English, as we tied on and set off up the first pitch.
We got to the summit with enough light to find the descent, no idea what happened to the competition.
We used the slogan 'Vorsprung durch Technic' to describe this slightly underhand technique - but we were by far the quickest party and it saved the difficulty of overtaking.
I don't think you've really given us the backstory - but I guessed it immediately. "Troutdale Pinnacle", obviously.
Look: it's a Classic Rock tick. And it's the only decent Severe on the crag. And it's always got at least two parties on it.
You might as well have written: "turned up to Windermere, only to find someone else was already feeding their offspring to the swans! We had to wait an hour before they were hungry enough for little Timmy. What's the world coming to?"
To put it as bluntly as possible, if you go around trying to tick Classic Rock routes in summer, you get everything you deserve. Especially during a summer where:
- retailers and (cough cough) climbing websites have teamed up to promote these overclimbed routes
- climbing semi-celebrities are doing some sort of mediatised extended holiday around the UK, ticking off this list of climbs that are so far within their ability that they struggle not to yawn mid route
- an almost two-year long global pandemic has led to overcrowding of our scarce green spaces
So... share nicely!
and I did “share nicely” by letting them climb through, despite my internalised annoyance.
What a lot of boll***s. Whether it was in summer, or whether the route was Troutdale Pinnacle or anything else in Classic Rock is not the point. The OP was at the start first and the second team was rude and out of order. The popularity of the route or the time of year is of no relevance.
Ah the irony of you ending with "share nicely"! Either it's a brilliant wind-up and you appreciate your own irony or it's amazing stupidity. The second team were clearly not prepared to "share nicely" were they?
>What a lot of boll***s. Whether it was in summer, or whether the route was Troutdale Pinnacle or anything else in Classic Rock is not the point.
Agreed - it is just rude. Watching someone pass you rather aggressively on Little Chamonix and then fall off from high on the route (soloing) made a big dent in my partners climbing confidence, but it could have been so much worse.
If you're on a tight schedule, limited grade range, then don't go to a classic route with very few routes you can get up. I may will have been less polite, their leader should have followed the second, so they are as quick as possible, whilst not getting in the way.
The problem with having folk at the limit of their ability, rushing for a boat etc near you is if it all goes wrong you could finish up in the mortuary, or in an obituary.
Or? I don't think these two things are mutually exclusive 😁 sorry, couldn't resist
Apart from that I agree with what you're saying.
> Or? I don't think these two things are mutually exclusive 😁 sorry, couldn't resist
> Apart from that I agree with what you're saying.
True, or a meeting with a mortician?
“If you're on a tight schedule, limited grade range, then don't go to a classic route with very few routes you can get up.”
And maybe consider getting to the crag before 12:30pm.
(If only so you have time to check each other’s knots, wait for the second to put you on belay, and maybe even check the topo at the stances so you don’t go completely off route and miss the three best pitches)
I think I should have looked at nearby routes BEFORE my previous post 😁
Having been overtaken, had parties share pitches and been the overtaking party I've made a few observations over the years.
Usually if a route is busy I'll look for an alternative, or agree to wait before starting. Sometimes on bigger all day routes waiting isn't an option as further parties can arrive and jump in front compounding the problem!
The best overtaking parties may link pitches or move together, possibly taking minor variations such that they are no problem at all which is great. The worst push is front of force their way through only to slow down and cause hours delay.
The best strategy is a early start and for really big routes, a check of the first pitch the night before etc. It's amazing how you can lose an hour on the approach if it's somewhere new.
> I think I should have looked at nearby routes BEFORE my previous post 😁
...I just threw them in there.. it's a morbid crag! It's the roll of a dice who'll turn up at the crag, shame they couldn't form a grand alliance. (Sorry)
Many years ago we were climbing the classic Snoopy directe (6b) at Ailefroide. We were just starting when a hard-looking pair turned up and made no attempt to hide how cross they were at not being first on the route. For the first three or so pitches they rushed up after us and crowded onto the belay with no communication bar the odd grunt. However, at the belay above the crux pitch we found ourselves alone. Looking down we saw the leader dithering, sketching and peeling off. Never saw them again.
> Would I have been within my rights to ask them to wait, or do you just have to put up and shut up?
I think "we've got a boat to catch" was telling you they couldn't wait wasn't it? You might have been within your rights to tell them they'd have to abandon the climb and go catch their boat, I'm not sure.
There seems to be a third option missing from this choice. As you were at an otherwise empty crag and apparently not in a particular hurry you could perhaps have magnanimously waved them on ahead of you at ground level instead of reluctantly and resentfully letting them overtake at the first belay.
> waved them on ahead of you at ground level instead of reluctantly and resentfully letting them overtake at the first belay.
If they looked they could gear up in 5mins or less and they asked politely if they could run the first two pitches together, then why not. For some their ability is on par with their etiquette.
Had many similar occurrences in the Dolomites, two particularly stick out though.
Via Maria on the Pordoi, I pitch up with a mate and we have the first few pitches clear. A guide turns up, just as we are about to set off. I ask them whether they want to go first as they will be faster. The guide says no, we should carry on. So I race up the pitch as fast as I can - I don't climb particularly slowly. Anyway, I belay my second and as she comes up, he sets off on her heels. He reaches the belay and I say "do you want to go ahead, or I can climb the Via Gross instead" which is directly next door, literally just a case of going right instead of left. He says no no, carry on. So I do the next pitch. As soon as his second arrives he then starts following me up the pitch, clipping the same (bad) pegs as me and clipping over the top of my ropes. I bring my second up who thinks screw this, I'm unclipping his ropes to unbury ours, reclipping afterwards. His second arrives and starts unloading on us about how irresponsible my partner was. I just couldn't speak I was so angry by this point, and just spat out that they should continue ahead of us. So he did, he clipped the rope through an HMS on the belay, and climbed. No belay, directly above us with no further gear. So I absolutely unleashed. Turns out the "client" was his wife and she was like "oh well he used to live in the hut at the top and has soloed this route many times". I don't care, rock breaks, stones fall, people make mistakes. The guy shouldn't be anywhere near a cliff let alone guiding.
The second time, was the Alvarez (I think) on Tofana di Rozes. We turned up and were behind a slovenian group. I said to them no problem, you crack on, we will wait. Then a group of 5 turn up, 2 CAI instructors and 3 "students". I climb the first pitch and same thing happens, with the first instructor climbing over the top of our ropes, only this time he threads through between our ropes like a total muppet. My buddy comes up absolutely fuming after having to untie and retie mid pitch to sort the cluster-youknowwhat out. He races up the crux pitch whilst the instructor climbs an alternate easy pitch to the left to overtake. He then catches up the Slovenians who had been struggling on the crux traverse. It's a V+ traverse with limited holds, gear and a small stance after it. So they had belayed mid pitch because the first guy couldn't climb the crux. So the Instructor now climbs over the top of them and starts bringing up his client. Rob my buddy was like "there is zero chance we are letting the second lot come through!" (who had now appeared) "GO and stop them!" So I climb up to the traverse to block them from causing more trouble. So I'm now right next to the slovenian belayer. The client is struggling at the crux with the slovenian leader directly beneath him, with the client falling off repeatedly, literally landing on the slovenians head. Finally the instructor pulls him up the crux and they all carry on. We all carry on, and eventually we get to the top, where the instructor is now waiting for his buddy. Looking down we can see them still stuck on the crux pitch with one of the clients unable to progress. We pack our stuff up, and walk off, all the way back down to the hut which is over an hours walk and when we get there we can see them all, just getting to the top...
Those are only the worst...
Is it a Dolomites thing? I suppose the routes are long and they don't necessarily have a lot of alternative lines for passing people and have a fair amount of fixed gear. I had a guide clipping my draws on Sella Towers once.
To the OP: the right thing for the other team to have done would be to explain their situation and politely ask if they could go first. Seeing as the crag was empty there would have been very little reason not to say yes.
Soloing is a tricky one. I really liked soloing, did it a lot, and felt I has as much right to be on a crag as anyone else. But I recognise others can be nervous around someone soloing. On single pitch crags its simple to avoid other teams, but on multi pitch routes it can be hard not to come across others sometimes; soloing is typically so much faster after all. I might have followed a second at some distance but would never have started up a pitch whilst someone was leading it. The aim would always be to pass another team when they were together on the same belay. I'd communicate with them as I approached, reassure them I was fine, and ask if they might wait at the belay a couple of minutes so I could pass. If I found I was approaching a second quicker than I'd expected I would find somewhere to wait. As I said, from time to time someone might seem a little uncomfortable about being on a route with a soloist but I think I only met actual hostility once.
> you could perhaps have magnanimously waved them on ahead of you at ground level instead of reluctantly and resentfully letting them overtake at the first belay.
Harsh to criticise the OP in this way, suggesting they lacked magnanimity. Perhaps the OP would have gladly and "magnanimously" waved them through at the start if the second team had actually shown some manners and asked politely.
As for the second team having a boat to catch, for which you seem to sympathise with them...tough! They turned up to do a popular climb on a very limited timescale. Bad planning. Should have allowed more time. Or at least been polite.
> What a lot of boll***s. Whether it was in summer, or whether the route was Troutdale Pinnacle or anything else in Classic Rock is not the point. The OP was at the start first and the second team was rude and out of order. The popularity of the route or the time of year is of no relevance.
> Ah the irony of you ending with "share nicely"! Either it's a brilliant wind-up and you appreciate your own irony or it's amazing stupidity. The second team were clearly not prepared to "share nicely" were they?
I both appreciate my own irony andI mean that you should expect to have people on the belay with you if you climb a Classic Rock route this summer. I think you're bringing your own assumptions to bear, here. I don't see the second team as having done anything wrong, even if personally I would have a) avoided TP under these circumstances; b) chosen a different route if I found another team already on the route.
> which bit of the story are you saying i’ve ommitted? I literally named the route in my second post.
> and I did “share nicely” by letting them climb through, despite my internalised annoyance.
I'm a local - I've already climbed the route twice, and I've already developed strategies for avoiding the southern hordes, driving 20mph along all the roads and clogging up the popular routes at the popular crags.
> Initially you omitted to mention you were talking about a Classic Rock route on a valley crag. The annoyance you've externalised in this thread would have been avoided by choosing a different route and crag.
The OP was in the right, and the other party were just being d!cks.
I'm not bringing any assumptions to bear here. Go back and read your first post. You did not say anything about expecting to share belays. Reconsider the unpleasantly aggressive tone of your post and see how many dislikes it got. Then consider if, just possibly, just a little bit, you've been a bit unreasonable.
"The annoyance you've externalised in this thread would have been avoided by choosing a different route and crag."
Imo the OP was displaying very little annoyance. In fact they said they were only "quietly fuming" so did not show any real annoyance to the second team at the time. And in the thread itself the OP just comes across as asking a very reasonable question about what the etiquette is. Doesn't come across as an annoyed rant at all. The only person in the whole thread behaving unreasonably or with any annoyance seems to be you. But perhaps you're allowed because you're local eh? Not one of the "southern hordes" clogging up your local patch?
> Harsh to criticise the OP in this way..
I think you're largely imagining that.
B-Team writes above:
And I completely agree with that. There would indeed have been very little reason not to say yes, so it's a shame that isn't how it played out.
The other team not asking politely is precisely the reason it would have been magnanimous to offer to let them go first anyway. An offer they arguably didn't deserve - but one which would have had the same end result while sparing the OP the experience of "quietly fuming" (not a good frame of mind in which to enjoy my day I find) after somewhat resentfully making the same offer at the first belay anyway.
> As for the second team having a boat to catch, for which you seem to sympathise with them...tough!
Empathise would be a better word I think. I do a bit in spite of their apparent impoliteness and see no reason to apologise or be defensive about that. Have you never pushed your luck slightly while trying to milk the last day of your holiday? I have.
> Bad planning. Should have allowed more time.
I've certainly done that too, with good and bad results. They turned up to do a very popular climb and almost found the place deserted. I like to think I'd have been a bit more polite and more willing to swallow the disappointment of having to back off, cut and run. Undoubtedly they could have handled it better, but nevertheless they were also a bit unlucky.
There are two that stick in my mind. Little Brown Jug at Bosigran. We amble up, no-one present although lots of people around. There is a coiled rope at the foot of the route. We unflake our ropes and are in the process of tying on when a young student type canters up, affronted that we should be jumping in front of him, his primacy marked by the rope. I give him a bit of a stare and tell him to get on with it (which means that we have to wait for his second, and for them to sort themselves out). Fast he is not and, despite giving him a big head start, I soon catch him up. I lurk out of range. His gear placements are not good, but they are imaginative so, by the time he has to try and pull onto the belay ledge, he cannot move for rope drag. I ask him if he would like me to pull some of his rope up for him, which I do. My second jumps the queue and off we go.
One glorious winter day on Ben Nevis, we thought that Orion Direct would be in mint condition. It might be busy too, but what a day. We were just about ready to set foot on the thing, when a party that had been chasing literally stepped over our ropes and got on 10 seconds before us. I let him get a decent head start and then caught him up. "Oh, you're quite fast" he said. No, pal, I said to myself. You are too slow. (I'm too polite sometimes). His two clients, for he was a well-known MIC, were even slower. We dawdled our way up behind them, doing our best not to spoil the clients' day - they were nice guys. It was a stunning day, and kicking around there was one of the finer places in the world to be that day. So we waited until the route opened out, before opening the throttles and getting ourselves some space (at least until we caught the next lot).
I don't normally get grumpy when stuck behind slower parties, but when they bloody start it......
Of course there's an etiquette in UK. The problem is not everyone knows it or wants to abide by it.
I usually avoid arguing but just carry on doing my own thing, letting the other lot be rude. It's just not worth the argument unless there's danger
On Saturday a team climbed round/over the top of me while the leader shouted "I love these huge runouts - it's great". He had about 30m no gear. I had to say to his second that he's putting me in danger by leading over me without gear. They didn't seem to understand that.
The next day a team crossed routes and I heard the second say "this runner (ie my runner) is in the way, should I take it out?". I politely suggested it needed to stay and he could duck under or over my rope.
Strikes me the problem is a lot of technically strong wall climbers taking their first steps on trad multi pitch without a fricking clue. Both teams spent ages rigging belays but whizzed up the pitches. I just try to stay chilled about it.
The solution to your problem would have been that the other team got up earlier.
> I'm not bringing any assumptions to bear here. Go back and read your first post. You did not say anything about expecting to share belays. Reconsider the unpleasantly aggressive tone of your post and see how many dislikes it got. Then consider if, just possibly, just a little bit, you've been a bit unreasonable.
I'm not being unreasonable. It's just that people are generally too dense to a) think something beyond the obvious; b) change their minds. (I mean... the UK has been ruled by the Tories for the last 10 years, despite the obvious injustices they have wreaked, and you think the majority disliking my post is something I should use as a guide?) Also, my first post was hilarious.... especially the bit about the swans.
I'm pointing out something very simple: the OP thinks someone else created a problem/unpleasant situation. But, they actually created the situation themselves by choosing the crag and the route that they chose. However (going back to points a and b) it is easier to blame others as being inconsiderate than to learn something and make better decisions.
Your assumption, by the way, is to presume that another party sharing a belay with you is an unreasonable thing to do. Another assumption you're making is that I'm a dick, whereas I'm just enjoying rubbing someone the wrong way to aggravate them out of their tedious opinions... We've already had someone a week ago wailing on here about a dog making their ascent of TP look less-than-heroic...
I was once roundly berated on here for having the gall, nay effrontery, to arrive at the base of green gully one fine winter's day on the Ben, probably two, or maybe three groups ahead of a pair of old giffers. I think we were gearing up just behind the first team, and chatting to their second when they soloed past most of the queue and then spent their time audibly harrumphing at all the dirty unwashed students who had managed to get out of bed before them, and commenting on the poor quality of our banter, and indeed crampon technique, which for someone with ankles in the state mine are in is pretty tolerable
I think the worst thing was then presenting themselves on here as the wronged party and generating an eighty odd post thread.
> and declared “hope you don’t mind us being a bit boystrous at the belays, we’ve got a boat to catch”.
I guess you mean "boisterous"? I've googled boystrous to check and it doesn't seem to mean something I didn't know. In which case, I'm confused - what has being loud got to do with catching a boat?
If the party in a hurry had just asked nicely it might have helped, and there’s scope for tactical use of the alternative start and running pitches together to minimise inconvenience - but that does require familiarity with the route or an ability to read the guidebook!
Yep be blunt and tell them to wait. Do not complain afterwards on an Internet forum when it’s all too late.
I stay chilled, if necessary say something, and make sure I burn off the transgressors to keep them in their place
> Is there an etiquette here? Would I have been within my rights to ask them to wait, or do you just have to put up and shut up?
Try telling them in no uncertain terms to f**k off. If they are British they will do so without complaint whilst quietly fuming and later post a rant about it on UKC.
> Yep be blunt and tell them to wait. Do not complain afterwards on an Internet forum when it’s all too late.
It wasn’t really a complaint seeing as karma realigned itself so quickly afterwards, i was mostly interested to know what others would have done.
Besides, isn’t this what internet forums were invented for?
> Another assumption you're making is that I'm a dick, whereas I'm just enjoying rubbing someone the wrong way to aggravate them out of their tedious opinions...
So, being a dick, then.
Etiquette would suggest that as the first to arrive you had priority, but in such circumstances I might have tried to establish how long they were likely to take? Were they geared up? Changed their foot ware into climbing shoes etc? If you had already done this then your party was clearly ahead and ready to go. Also, were they leading through? Were you leading through? Again this would establish which party was likely to be quicker, if either was intending to have the leader bringing up the second, then again they would be likely to be slower. Similarly if either party had more than 2 on the rope, then they would be slower.
All this could be established by a bit of polite chat, so you may or may not have decided to let them go first depending on the circumstances. Ultimately you had "priority" having arrived first, but it would have clearly been inconsiderate to insist on in circumstances such as you not intending to lead through, or being a rope of 3 or more when conceding to them would be polite.
> I'm a local - I've already climbed the route twice, and I've already developed strategies for avoiding the southern hordes, driving 20mph along all the roads and clogging up the popular routes at the popular crags.
Can’t call yourself a local if you’ve only done it twice
> Another assumption you're making is that I'm a dick,
It's not an assumption mate, you've provided plenty of hard evidence to support it as proven fact
> The solution to your problem would have been that the other team got up earlier.
There's a difference between being and playing, no? Everyone hates people climbing on top of them - it's obvious. So, someone comes on UKC for a good moan and good dose of confirmation. Do we have to give people what they want all the time? Apparently most people on here just want confirmation of the common sense. Shouldn't we say: well, look, perhaps you're wrong? Surely there's space to challenge the common sense? Well, if people don't like it, fk it. Honestly, I wasn't rude - it wasn't me saying "complete bollocks!" or "you're a dick". I was just being playful and humorous, but challenging. Apparently people can't take that. "But... how dare you challenge my opinion!" Too bad. I think the conformist confirmation of tedious nonsense is just tiring. If you climb a Classic Rock route on a bank holiday weekend, expect people to crawl all over you, you daft sod. Anyway - that's me out.
> Shouldn't we say: well, look, perhaps you're wrong?
Sez the guy flouncing off 'cos people have said "look, perhaps you're wrong".
> If you climb a Classic Rock route on a bank holiday weekend, expect people to crawl all over you,
I think that is realistic. I've done TP on a busy day where there were teams on every pitch and a queue at the bottom. However everyone was in the same situation. The party we were following and whose belays we shared were themselves snapping at the heels of the party above. We had teams below doing the same to us We were all to blame for the situation and everyone was good-natured about it. It was no less enjoyable in its own way from another time I did it when there was no one else on the crag, although the experience was very different
However that was a busy day, when most people realised they might have to compromise and accept some inconvenience if they were to get on the route at all. The OP is talking about a quiet day when there was no one else there. Should the etiquette be different in those circumstances?
The first team to arrive had priority and the onus was on the second team to fit in with it. The second team might have chosen a different route, but I can understand the wish to tick a classic. However with no pressure from other queuing teams I think they should have delayed their start to allow a gap between the teams and avoid having to share belays. The time pressure on them was entirely self-inflicted, but if they really couldn't wait they should have negotiated with the team already there rather than just assume it was OK.
I think I had been in the OP's situation I would have been as arsey and uncooperative as possible, without putting the other team in actual danger.
QQ, I had assumed that the first party to dump ropes at thd bottom of the route had priority. Are any of you of the opinion that the first party to be ready to climb should get priority?
Absolutely. Baggsying a route with a pile of kit at the bottom and then faffing around having a sandwich while other people wait is out of order.
> QQ, I had assumed that the first party to dump ropes at thd bottom of the route had priority. Are any of you of the opinion that the first party to be ready to climb should get priority?
If you dump your ropes then proceed to get your lunch out, faff around then you're fair game to be jumped ahead of.
What if someone turns up who wants to solo it sans ropes?
I'm also interested in this. Years ago I was just about to start South Gully of the Black Wall ( or something) on Beinn Ulaidh when some bloke insisted on nipping in front and soloing it. Which effectively meant that we had to stand and wait fir ages till he'd finished the route.
Is it acceptable to nip in front of someone and solo a route in a manner which means that if you fall you'll also [potentially] kill the people you nipped in front of?
Surely, like all these scenarios, you have a conversation? Some might be happy to let the soloist jump ahead and set off, others might not/get jumpy and maybe the soloist waits/goes off to do something else?
> What if someone turns up who wants to solo it sans ropes?
Surely that would depend on the route in question.
If it was one where, if the soloist was to fall, they would inevitably hit the party below - then allowing them in front would be dangerous to the second party.
If the route was one where any falling soloist would be unlikely to hit a following party - different.
The length of the route (or at least the initial section(s) relevant to the above also need to be take into account, along with the experience of all concerned, and the type (and hence solidity) of the rock.
It's not black and white.
Why is it that the people who use the 'don't be so thin skinned' argument are so often the most thin skinned.
With good etiquette the solo climber should ask the roped party whether they mind them "nipping in front" - and not be affronted if they do mind. On single pitch crags I tend to hang back (or go and do something else and return later) unless actually asked since the roped party may not want to have any beta forced on them from my solo ascent (having said that I'm usually soloing at a grade where people don't care so much about on-sight etc).
On multi-pitch I've been asked if I want to climb through and then usually have, otherwise I've patiently waited. There's also some sensible reasons for not going in front - say you get unexpectedly stuck by a tricky bit 1) it would be a bit embarrassing to then hold the roped party up, 2) no chance of a top-rope if you're ahead and you're really stuck and unable to climb down as well.
If I'm solo following a roped party then I make sure I never get close to their heels. Apart from not wanting the second to feel rushed, it would be remarkably stupid - second slips off with some slack rope...
Also, rushing whilst soloing is not exactly the best combination to ensure longevity.
To be clear I'm definitely of the opinion that as a starting premise it should be first come first served so to speak and the rest is negotiable
> QQ, I had assumed that the first party to dump ropes at thd bottom of the route had priority. Are any of you of the opinion that the first party to be ready to climb should get priority?
Absolutely. The first party ready to climb has priority.
But, all rules and norms of priority aside, it's always worth having an actual conversation with the other team. Most climbers are lovely and friendly people, and if — for example — they're planning a leisurely route and then heading to the pub, and you're planning to blast up it en-route to doing something else, most people would be more than happy to let you ahead. Even if only to avoid the stress of being chased up the route by a faster team!
Pragmatism wins over black-and-white rules every day.
My 2 cents:
There are as many views on etiquette as there are people who climb and your own view should be carefully matured, like a good cheddar, over several years. Drawing from your own experiences and the opinions of those you respect.
You have to accept that other people will have different etiquette and consider whether or not to get into a barney with them about it when their etiquette clashes with your own.
With the specific example you have given there are a huge number of things to consider in relation to someone essentially pushing ahead:
- Are they climbing significantly faster than you? If so, it might be nice of them not to be held up and for you not to feel someone is always at your heels and impatient the whole way up. If not, well, the reverse it true.
- How many parties are there overall - just two or loads? Does the route have loose rock someone ahead of you could dislodge? How long is the route? Is time before darkness/storms arriving a factor? How dangerous is the other party being? Are they clipping into your gear? Are they yanking your ropes (it happens!)? Is the route a wide-ish area of terrain where two parties can be climbing the same route but not in each other's way? Are there variation starts or other variations that would allow a party to pass more easily/safely? Are the other party being polite? Does the other party have any nice bums you would like to admire from below... wait, I lost my thread....
It's so context specific that for me there is no single best answer and it boils down to making case-by-case decisions based, in order of priority on:
1) The safest course of action for your party.
2) What is going to maximise your enjoyment of the route.
Most often it's probably best to get the other party out of your way unless there is an important time element.
I posted much higher in the thread on how I approached soloing on multi-pitch crags where I might encounter other teams, and it very much aligned with everything you've said here, except that I feel it is perfectly acceptable to ask if I can pass, when convenient (e.g. at a belay).
Ideally, roped teams should also give soloists some space too. I once, with permission, passed a team at a belay. On reaching the crux of the pitch/route the climbing wasn't immediately obvious so I went to step back down a move or two only to find the leader was about a foot below my feet, forcing me to head straight back into the hard bit.
> Another assumption you're making is that I'm a dick
> whereas I'm just enjoying rubbing someone the wrong way
I would suggest that finding pleasure from upsetting strangers on the internet correlates pretty strongly with being a dick...
My limited experience is.
1. Very rude in the UK .
2. Very normal in the Alps.
Likewise it is very rude for UK climbers to pitch snow plods in the Alps that skiers want to ski down. But at least in that scenario there is a difference in culture / expectations. The Uk climbers thinking the skiers are rude and vice versa
In your scenario they were just being very rude- I wonder if they have seen your thread and had a little think. I hope so.
But the karmic wheel turned.
Rubbing someone the wrong way is not the same as deliberately upsetting people. I didn't actually say anything out of the ordinary or particularly offensive by UKC standards; it's simply that, I got flack for what I had said and then people like yourself decided it was quite fun and pleasurable to join in with the pile on. It doesn't bother me, because I see you're just following the crowd and that's all I expected.
> > Shouldn't we say: well, look, perhaps you're wrong?
> Sez the guy flouncing off 'cos people have said "look, perhaps you're wrong".
I didn't flounce off. The two people I was in dialogue with had already decided not to continue the conversation, so I decided to do the same.
I didn't actually say anything particularly offensive by UKC standards; it's simply that, people like yourself decided that joining the pile on with comments like the above was the height of wit. Thanks for your contribution.