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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
lets talk about lost gear 1-Mar-2004 At 9:13:36 AM IdratherbeclimbingM9
On 25/02/2004 trent wrote:
>I heard a story about someone swiping fixed pitons off a climb
>at the Warrumbungles. Aparrently there were two pitons in situ and the
>climber removed one so that it could be rapped off lower down the climb.
> When climbing in the bungles pitons are like a gift from the gods and
>for someone to take one so that they didnt have to sacrific their own gear
>down lower is just plain rude and selfish.

I heard that story too, and I also heard that the knifeblade piton in question was 'non original' (a retro-piton to the original ascent); a poor placement; and even though a 'retro', it was replaced on a (soon after) subsequent ascent of the line by that climber.

A few points can be learnt from this.
* Never assume fixed gear is still in-situ. Especially on adventure climbs.
* If fixed gear is insitu; then never assume it is OK to use as its placement could have deteriorated over time.
* The nature of the face below which they retreated off, lent itself to blade type pitons rather than nuts or larger pieces.

I have a few questions from this incident too.

If a climber feels the need to leave or re-use gear, to safely get off a climb, ... are they litterbugs, "rude and selfish" vandals, or basically capable self-reliant climbers?

Whatever the answer to the above, how does this fit with that same party having to be rescued by not leaving gear to retreat or worse still, suffering an accident through 'moralistically' trying to use what turns out to be inappropriate retreat gear, (rescue again?) if they did not take that self reliant action??

On large adventure climbs,
>bungles pitons are like a gift from the gods
would not a 're-used' piton fall into this catagory if one came across it in the middle of a large relatively blank expanse of face?

When is gear fixed anyway? A piton may not be 'modern gear' but when is a retro-piton (obviously newer than other types on a given climb) given the same status of 'rude and selfish if removed', if someone feels a genuine need (as opposed to souveniering [sp?]) for it?

For my 2c worth, it can be summed up by saying the Warrumbungles IS adventure climbing (with ALL that adventure entails), and
> (Trent again) "Booty is BOOTY. If you decide to leave it then you decide to LOSE it.
Once left, you have little call over what happens to it.

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