MISSING: Rack from near the top of Washington Column


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Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
Topic Author's Original Post - May 23, 2016 - 05:14pm PT
On Sunday, May 22, my partner and I did the Royal Arches -> Crest Jewel linkup. At roughly 12:30p, we stashed a single rack of gear on the west slope of Washington Column near its summit (see red blob on topo) since we did not need it for Crest Jewel. We left the rack clipped all on one carabiner, at head height in a tree. We did not hide the gear since only climbers --- if anyone --- would pass that spot, and we didn't want to have a hard time finding it ourselves if we were descending in darkness.

When we returned at roughly 7:30p, the rack was gone.

I can only hope that some well-intentioned climber saw the gear, thought that it had been inadvertently left up there, and would like to get it back to its rightful owner. Every piece of gear was painted with yellow-green nail polish. The painting is ample, not just a dot or two. Here is the complete list of gear:

6 CAMP Nano 23 carabiners
1 BD Neutrino carabiner (yellow)
2 CAMP Photon carabiners
#1-5 Totem Cams
#2 BD C4
#3 BD Ultralight
1 set of DMM nuts, with DMM aluminum offsets interspersed, and a couple of BD nuts thrown in as well.

If you have this rack, I very much appreciate you dropping me a line to arrange its return, and I'm happy to send some beer your way in exchange.

Also, if you are reading this post and know anyone who was on Royal Arches or North Dome on Sunday, 5/22, please, please let me know so that I can contact them and inquire. We didn't see anyone else up there all day, and I doubt there were many people given the cool temps and waterfall running down Royal Arches. I've always found the climbing community to be honest and good in the past, and have had luck finding owners for gear I've stumbled across or bootied; I'm hoping that karma will come my way in this case.

Please reply to this thread or drop me a note using the supertopo email feature or directly to me at goran.lynch@gmail.com

Location of the stashed gear:

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
May 23, 2016 - 06:19pm PT
Sorry to hear about your gear and I hope that you get it back!

Just some food for thought...next time you need to stash some weight, set up a solid cairn next to a big landmark that won't easily get knocked over. No one will think that it could mark the path to something other than the trail that they are on. Then make a mental note, "XX paces up the hill from the cairn."

I'll never stash gear unless I'm deep in the backcountry. I don't trust anyone, climbers included, especially in Yosemite where dirtbags are lurking around the base of routes for gear. I've heard more stories than I can remember of stolen gear, even blantly out of locked cars. Desperate people will do desperate things.

Trad climber
May 23, 2016 - 06:19pm PT
Good luck. Seems like a silly thing to do.

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
May 23, 2016 - 07:18pm PT
A bump for missing gear in what I would think is a remote area, only visited by climbers & bears.

But bears do like salty treats, like gear slings.

Big Wall climber
May 23, 2016 - 07:28pm PT
Delhi Dog

Good Question...
May 23, 2016 - 07:57pm PT
Bummer. Hope you get your gear back.

Maybe next time (?) you may consider leaving a note with the gear letting whoever know what's up. Just a thought. Good luck!

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
May 23, 2016 - 08:00pm PT
Best of luck getting your rack back. Unfortunately, the Valley is probably one of the worst places to leave gear unattended.


Trad climber
May 23, 2016 - 08:37pm PT
Oh sorry to hear. That really blows!

Given that it rained in the days prior, I suspect the passer-by would be from a one-day ascent. Astroman? South Face? Any other routes that might lead climbers that way?

Best of luck in getting the gear back!

Trad climber
bay area
May 23, 2016 - 09:44pm PT
Holy Crap Goran! I really hope someone does the right thing and turns it in to you guys. I figure its not the 3 d#@&%ebags that stole my gear from Donner a few years ago because I figure karma has already gotten them somehow....maybe they are now meth addicts working the rides at some roadside carnival. Anyway...good luck!

Big Wall climber
salinas, ca
May 24, 2016 - 12:34am PT
You didn't happen to lose 1 TC Pro, size 11.5 did you? I found it near the top of WC early on the 20th and dropped it off at the ranger kiosk at Camp 4.
Edit: just saw the date. I'll leave it up in case someone else recognizes it.

Trad climber
Upland, CA
May 24, 2016 - 07:32am PT
There is a lost and found office somewhere in the Valley (I cannot remember the physical location and it's probably moved anyway.) I accidently left gear in the Meadows once and when I called Valley lost and found It had been deposited there. I got everything back.

Trad climber
San Francisco, USA
May 24, 2016 - 12:01pm PT

Trad climber
Fresno CA
May 24, 2016 - 12:50pm PT
I hope you get that gear back. Please let us know if you do, since that might restore a bit of faith in the climbing community. It saddens me to say this, but "two-legged bears" have been known to take seemingly unattended climbing gear in the Valley since at least the early 1970's.

Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
May 24, 2016 - 03:25pm PT
Keep us posted, please

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
May 24, 2016 - 06:32pm PT
In the glass half full scenario some good samaritan found the rack and assumed somebody accidentally left it and is now diligently trying to find the rightful owner.

In the glass half empty scenario some dirtbag found it and your gear is gone.

In either case, it seems the most prudent course of action if you are going to leave gear is to hide it carefully so that no one else finds it and you can find it when you come back.

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2016 - 07:11pm PT
Howdy y'all,

Thanks, everyone, for taking a look and keeping an eye out. Hindsight being what it is, I certainly wish I had stashed the rack away out of sight. The prospect of any visible gear being fair game really is pretty lousy, though. For instance, how often do we remove all things of value from a tent in the backcountry? After all, this location is surely more remote and less likely to see traffic than many backcountry sites.

In any case, to clarify the location of the gear, it was west of the summit of the Column, that is, away from North Dome Gully. It seems likely that anyone walking by would have been heading toward NDG from Royal Arches or North Dome; I can't imagine any other scenarios that make sense. But if you know anyone who was on that bench from any direction this past Sunday, please send me their contact info so I can inquire if they saw anything!

And if you see a rack of yellow-green tagged Totems and an ultralight #3 C4 amidst a bunch of gear of other tag colors, well, that'd be neat to know as well. Those pieces are pretty distinctive.

Jim Clipper

from: forests to tree farms
May 24, 2016 - 08:40pm PT
Never really considered it, but why not accessorize your rack. If you get desperate you could write your last will and testament on the back of the address label. Multitask, put some rolling papers behind the label. Fishtag?

the Fet

May 24, 2016 - 08:51pm PT
If you are still in the valley put a note on the camp 4 kiosk bulletin board. Make it positive (don't accuse of theft) and offer a reward.

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
May 25, 2016 - 05:25am PT
You're from Philly, I'm in Philly. You know, if you catch the bum, accidents happen; fires can start anywhere.
Flip Flop

Earth Planet, Universe
May 25, 2016 - 08:56am PT
There are full time Racoons in the Valley now. You can see them lurking through the campgrounds every morning. My guess is that there is a 'fence' willing to buy good gear from the sneaky little bandits.
If the park wanted to catch these guys, it wouldn't be too hard. I've thought about messing with them on my off days.
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