/ Routes that attract stuck gear
Recently, the last routes I have climbed have all had at least an item of gear left behind from someone else’s previous attempt.
What routes have you found that seem to attract in situ gear? Perhaps it’d help prevent getting some bits stuck in the future.
Left Holly Pillar Crack (S 4a) Always seems to have something stuck at about mid height.
Flying Buttress (HVD 4a) The crack just above the slab is littered with cams
The saddle belay on Little Chamonix had three cams stuck in it when I did it.
Wilton 1 seems to be littered with stuck nuts.
Left hand side of Pisa buttress up on Shining Clough is littered with old stuck cams. Could do with a clear out at some stage.
It's quite tragic how careless people are with cams, particularly on easy routes (perhaps because they're not very experienced at using them properly). So many of those routes are perfectly protectable without cams anyway. I haven't been climbing for a long time, but fear that not many people are using the superb Hexcentrics any more.
> It's quite tragic how careless people are with cams, particularly on easy routes (perhaps because they're not very experienced at using them properly).
I suspect it's more inexperience than careless.
They might be concerned about falling and don't extended the cam, easier routes often twist about so when the rope is pulled through cam walking is more likely. The second may be even less experienced at removing gear, they might not have a nut key that can reach in to the hook the trigger... so before you know it the cam is in the back of a crack fully contracted.
Had an SPA assessor/instructor almost get one of my cams stuck in a belay when he decided to force some free instruction on my less experienced partner. Patently the wrong size (the correct having been placed on the route), but he literally took it out of her hands to place on her behalf, in a pod pretty much the exact size and shape of the fully-contracted cam. After a perfectly functional belay had been built. End result: partner couldn't actually retrieve the cam when done, and it apparently took some serious effort on the part of the instructor to get it back. I say apparently because I had to walk off to avoid causing a scene.
Who on Earth thinks it's ok crag conduct to go and start instructing random groups of competent climbers who have nothing to do with you?
Definitely partly due to extension. Also I'd suspect people who're inexperienced in cam placements may feel inclined to overcam it as it feels like a much stronger placement, which is all great until their second vows never to climb with them again.
Yes, using a cam that's too big and so overcammed. And, putting too deeply into a crack (should always be as near the front as possible.)
Do you think it's a coincidence that it was a woman on the receiving end of this?
We were both on the receiving end, as I was doing a bit of belay-building because there was a sparsity of gear. I left him to it after seeing the mega-overcammed cam because I think I might have been tempted to lauch him off the top of the crag by the time he'd finished talking down to my partner. We went elsewhere after that route.
Instructors with delusions of grandeur: please 'ck off. You're not God, you're not the Messiah, and you have no right to molest competent climbers at the crag. Mind your own business.
(Apologies for the temporary thread diversion)
2 cams stuck in one pitch, although it looks like they were from the same person
Put cam in (as a chockstone) under the rope (which I presume will be fiddly) but then your second will just have to get the cam out
Punter routes 🤭
>>>>>> guaranteed swag (especially after bank holiday weekend)!
No word of a lie we have a spare rack purely made up of plundered swag. Unfortunately we don’t climb too many of these routes anymore, saying that I found a screw gate attached to a rock 12 jammed in at Barmouth slabs today. I didn’t even have my nut key, but managed to find a suitable sized rock to bash it out. I’d never leave swag behind; where there’s a will there’s a way! (I’d also never leave swag, no sir this is a one way street!)
The "obvious" abseil line on savage slit
I found a fist jammed at the back of crack once but I couldn't remove it.
I did havea good day on Bludgers Rev,Slime wall made better by removing 2 good wires,well chuffed.
Last two times I've done Morpheus in the Avon Gorge, there's been an over-cammed purple totem at the belay before the last pitch. I got one out one November, only to find another one in the exact same placement, six months later! It's a magnet I tell you.
A mate of mine is fond of saying that if you do enough laps on Morpheus you can build your own rack fairly quickly, and thinking about my collection of crag-swag...yup, all of it from Morpheus!
After this thread there are probably going to be a few routes experiencing a massive increase in popularity from those wanting free gear.
Having said that it sometimes seems a bit illogical when someone wastes valuable weekend climbing time, fuel money etc retrieving a £10 wire.
To be fair, I think I crossed one of the parties who lost a purple totem there and they were climbing Gronk, so don't blame it all on poor old Morpheus!
Try Emulator on Main Cliff at Gogarth. I did it a couple of years ago and found a new camalot 3, and then again this weekend when I found another number 3 in almost exactly the same place.
It would be nice to think that the talented extractors of fixed gear maybe able to clear some. I try but am not very specialist. It bothers me as i find them a little bit of an eye sore.
Don't take this the wrong way but you represent all that is so terribly wrong about the world currently. We are here to make the world a better place not to steal from those who are not so capable as ourselves. Why are the poor always shafted by those who have so much? Remember that 'Though the lambs might be silent they will not always remain thus'. Do you really want to be the UKC version of Melissa Trump? If you do then at least don't boast about it.
You're an arse. Rachel I'm with you. Take only photos, leave only footprints. The more I like the stuff you leave the better.
It’s the weekend folk who leave all the gear, just in time for me to go hoovering it up on a Monday!
> It's quite tragic how careless people are with cams, particularly on easy routes (perhaps because they're not very experienced at using them properly). So many of those routes are perfectly protectable without cams anyway. I haven't been climbing for a long time, but fear that not many people are using the superb Hexcentrics any more.
So many dislikes for this comment. So many easy routes being climbed by people who are inexperienced when it comes to placing cams. Especially on routes that can be easily well protected without cams. I know a lot of people like to buy nice shiny new gear as soon as it is on the shelves in the shop, but learn to use the basics first, walk before you run and all that. Learn to use nuts rocks and hexes before you try to use cams, learn to use an ATC before using a grigri or clickup, it's just basic common sense that a lot of people seem to be lacking. You have spent the money on decent gear (or not in some cases) at least make sure you go home with everything you came with.
Hope this thread doesn't doesn't affect your harvest. I'm pretty sure there are others like you who haven't posted for that reason!
> Learn to use nuts rocks and hexes before you try to use cams, learn to use an ATC before using a grigri or clickup, it's just basic common sense ...
Although that matches my climbing apprenticeship, , and that of most of the people I climb with, Its also a very UK centric view of the climbing world.
> Don't take this the wrong way but you represent all that is so terribly wrong about the world currently.
Considering that there is famine, civil war and genocide, this statement is sheer lunacy. Have a dislike!
Mincer (and smear test) was my pick as well. the crack is deep enough for a rope to force cams to walk right to the back of it. I think there's a red dragon been there for several years. That crack has also had a good go at eating up two of my ropes when they got stuck behind the cams.
Please don’t take this the wrong way; I’m sure you think Bob Dylan is a poet, but he’s not; he’s a prophet. Times they are a changin’, that’s the reality.
It’s dog eat dog, and sandbagging randoms at the crag, swagging lost gear or even taking coffee from some generous unsuspecting souls is all in a days work.
The poor steal from the poor, the rich steal from the poor (and very occasionally the poor steal from the rich, but you normally go to jail for this though). You can sit there (probably in the south) mounted on that nice horse beside your keyboard, but riddle me this bilbo, next time your on a route and there’s a nice jammed in red dragon winking at you deep in the crack, your going to do your damm best to take it out and rack it on your harness. Grateful for your new addition to your rack. Your not going to spend the next three weeks running around trying to find it’s owner. I know what you sneaky habits aren’t like! There’s a good chance you’ll lose it next week anyway!
My second couldn't get a Number 1 wire out of the first pitch of Noah's Warning yesterday, right next to where someone had lost a Number 2.
It doesn't take a prophet to notice that times are a changing. Changing is what times do.
The main reason I never return gear is that I tell myself its owner might be a Dylan fan.
Fair point well made.
Maybe if you spent a bit more time training you would spend less time stealing other people's gear. Just a thought.
I have thought about building some wide boyz style cracks in my attic, that way I can get training.
Im hoping to see some solid results after 6-8 weeks and will be retrieving cams that have gone so far into cracks no one would ever think possible they would see the light of day again.
Previous methods I had deployed for retrieving deep lost cams have involved towing a stick up with me in order to reach the lobes of the cam and get some movement. This was successful.
> Mincer (and smear test) was my pick as well. the crack is deep enough for a rope to force cams to walk right to the back of it. I think there's a red dragon been there for several years. That crack has also had a good go at eating up two of my ropes when they got stuck behind the cams.
Yup. I had tried Smear Test and my second came off below the roof, pulling the ropes tight and losing me a cam... boohoo.
edit: not my red dragon....think I added my green to it Did my absolute best to retrieve on abseil, including a bodged extraction device of a stick with a nut key taped to the end for extra reach.
Right on sister. If someone can't remove a stuck piece of gear or can't be bothered to try and you can, it's all yours The same goes for a piece of gear someone has left behind to ab off a route. We are all good people but as you said no one is going to go to the effort of returning a piece of retrieved gear. Simply add it to the swag pile
You come across as quite a smug person, am I right? All this talk of punters, the arrogance of the blessed! I climb with a friend called Phat and he would most definitely be quite upset to be called a punter by you. He tries hard and teaches me patience so don't slag off people like him so gratuitously.
Maybe have a look at some facts:
1) There are about 3,000 views on this topic so say 750 unique visitors and only a mere handful have given you a thumbs up so that makes the vast majority supporting me or at least not supporting you.
2) Jeeeez maybe improve your listening skills, the times they are a changing is a song full of optimism about the world becoming a better place, not a place where thieves, sharks and jezebels rule.
Hopefully an apology will be forthcoming?
> Right on sister. If someone can't remove a stuck piece of gear or can't be bothered to try and you can, it's all yours The same goes for a piece of gear someone has left behind to ab off a route. We are all good people but as you said no one is going to go to the effort of returning a piece of retrieved gear. Simply add it to the swag pile
That's absolutely right. It has always been considered fair game to keep any gear you manage to remove that is very badly stuck (or not badly stuck). All gear left behind is litter, and to some extent a mark of failure. I would feel quite embarrassed about leaving gear behind, on the few occasions that I did. General feeling has always been: you lose some, gain some.
Obviously, if someone ahead of you drops a piece of expensive gear, and you are able to find the climber and give it back to them, you do so. But that's a very different matter from jammed gear, or gear that's obviously been there for a long time. (Sometimes for example you'll find a piece of gear just lying below a boulder/ somewhere not at all visible, that's obviously been there a long time.)
Pull your head out of your arse and wipe the shit out of your eyes man. Why do you keep banging on about thieves? No one has stolen anything. Taking items of gear out of someone's bag would constitute a thief, not retrieving gear left behind on a route for one reason or another. You come across as quite the inexperienced muppet who has on several occasions left gear behind on a route, gear that finds it's way on to the rack of the next climber to do that route and this pisses you off, am I right?
You can recall figures of how many have viewed this thread and replied all you like. There will be many who believe the finders keepers rule and many that don't. But a lot of those that do might fear the negative comments they get from idiots like you and so refuse to comment themselves or click the like button for comments they like or agree with.
Guys before people go crazy at mike we are good buddies, he is only pulling my leg!! He even shared his coffee at the crag the other day and is a top chap! Bit of banter !
I think he does only climb vdiff though :/
It's not rocket science as long as:
A) You don't get carried away and damage the rock banging away to retrieve it, after all the next person to come along might be an even better cam whisperer than you.
B) You're not a complete posterior and return the gear to whoever stucked it if they are still hanging around.
Then fill your boots and swag away.
I have a loverly ancient size 3 rock I 'rescued' years ago with such a severe bend in its wires that you can sometimes get it into positions that no other nut will go, sure it's got to be atleast 25ys old and will most likely snap if I boing on it but whatho.
Phew, thanks Rachel. Apologies to anyone offended by my utterly inane windup of my dear and wonderful friend Rachel, who in all honesty does make me look a punter.
Not to mention the other one a bit higher up.
Going on from this talk of cams getting stuck, there does seem to be a perception among some people that they are necessarily better than passive gear. There was a group on a route at a local crag the other day trying to help their leader protect a crack and the only gear they talked about was cams even though the crack takes bomber wires. It's not the first time I've seen/heard people with that attitude
And, fwiw, if anyone wants the #3 wire that's right next to the belay on Spider Wall then be my guest. It took a pretty big lob on Sunday and I couldn't shift it after that
Troutdale Pinnacle Superdirect last Saturday was littered with 2 wires and 2 cams in the 2 5a pitches alone. They were neither retrievable nor worth retrieving. There'll soon be nowhere left to place your own gear!
Ok, you were joking, but here are my crag swag principles, which I suspect most people (even Trump) follow.
Stuck gear has essentially been abandoned. Not simply lost but deliberately abandoned because the owner (or the owner's second) didn't have the skill or time to remove it. May be they didn't even care about leaving it because they're loaded. Moreover, it's an eyesore and makes the route easier than it should be, so needs to be removed (especially after you've done the route as clearly you want it to be harder for your mates who haven't done it yet).
If I know whose gear it is (for example if the owner is still at the crag and tells me about the stuck gear) or if there is a tag with contact details, of course I would try to return it (if it's got a tag, I would hide the gear somewhere and contact the owner to say where I had hidden it). But 99% of the time you have no way of knowing who the owner is, so what are you supposed to do?
Finding stuff which has been obviously lost/dropped is different in that the loss was accidental as opposed to deliberate abandonment. I'd put a post on the lost and found forum or, if it's particularly valuable, leave it at a local police station.
Excellent - 'cam whisperer' and 'swag away'.
Sounds pretty spot on, have a like.
Of course as has been discussed many times before on these forums, if you take and keep something that's been lost (as opposed to abandoned), then technically it's theft.
If you want to see the arguments about this and the practical and moral aspects then search for those threads, it doesn't all need repeating yet again.
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