The five stages of “backing-off” climbs.

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neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jan 5, 2010 - 12:23am PT
hey there say, also, as to "backing-off"... and the huge vastness of seeing yourself have to retrace-back-down (hard work, etc, all seemingly being for naught) without the goal in hand, can sure be a huge let-down, unless one sees the adventure within THAT, as well...

thus... when-and-if the time comes to do it again, there seems to be a greater powerer to re-take what was lost, but in new and fresher ways...

kind of like in the "daily life" issues too...

that is, unless one looks at the "retracing back" too deeply in the wrong ways... ;)


*i suspect many a back-off climbs, would not deter one for the true conquer, yet to be, if one was truly living for the rocks... his gut would bring him back, until he had his "trophy" and his life, from said adventure, and an inner joy, far to meaningful and hard to explain...

*though, i am surely NOT knocking the vast experience of roughing it out, in the midst of adversity--as that equally had a power to work in a man's heart, for needed stamina and insight, for the inner man, too--though in other ways...

wow, you all... which ever is at hand, i really cheer you all on!!!
:)
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 28, 2010 - 09:53pm PT
More research today in my 70's & 80's climbing literature-----on "Backoffs".

It appears Baron Von Mabel knew of the joy of suviving to backoff: after "A SUFFERFEST!"


Captain...or Skully

Social climber
You wanted to!
Jan 28, 2010 - 09:57pm PT
Hiya, Stein.
You guys have some good tales between ya, I'll warrant.
tinker b

climber
the commonwealth
Jan 28, 2010 - 10:21pm PT
i usually hand draw the topo of the route the night before the climb. i have a collection of topos from the routes i have backed off of that i carry around for when the time is right. the latest has my partners blood on it from his fatal fall. i wish i had known to walk away from that one.
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 28, 2010 - 11:18pm PT
Tinker B:
I remembered reading about the accident that took your friend, and I appreciate your ongoing mental pain.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=946005&tn=80

I think working through the pain is the healthiest path, as opposed to suppressing the ugly memories.

Please let me share advice that I have learned.

You need to express yourself, as you are doing tonight. It is also important to get out with others. Have a few drinks or tokes. Talk about life and loss.

There are others on the ST, that are working through their own losses. They want to share and help people that are feeling their pain.

Keep talking about life and loss----but remember that you need to live for your friend now.

I commend you for sharing your trauma and your feelings. Fritz
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Topic Author's Reply - May 14, 2010 - 09:40pm PT
This thread works very nicely with Melissa's Five Reasons to back-off climbs.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/798086/Top-5-reasons-for-bailing-Humor-please

Somehow: I had not seen her thread until today. Great fun!
Mimi

climber
May 14, 2010 - 09:44pm PT
Besides being yeller, none of those reasons really fit for me. Sometimes circumstances were such that a powerful thirst prevailed after having severe route finding difficulties on a north facing route in early spring. Having to retreat for any reason is a dreadful thing.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 14, 2010 - 11:46pm PT
Most of my Bails are Ice climbing. If you perfect the art of bailing you can do it before you even suffer the approach. It is critical to keep the binoculers away from your partner when roadside bailing unless your partner is a gung ho rope gun.

So many excuses to be used roadside.

Wow! It looks rotten up there!
See how white that ice looks, it's a death trap!
man when the sun hits that thing its gonna get super scary up there! Supposed to be 35f today....

Looks like those guys ahead of us are pretty slow. No point waiting in line on a cold day like this.

P2 looks like theres no pro and with all that snow up there the upper gully could slide....


Then we went and learned how to make V threads and now we can bail from almost anywhere with only the cost of some accesory cord...

Man, did you hear that pillar crack? I am out of here!

Too many good reasons to bail from ice climbs to even begin to list them all ;)
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Topic Author's Reply - May 15, 2010 - 12:16am PT
Tradman: My last frozen-waterfall “backoff” was from a ski-trip up Little Cottonwood Canyon above SLC, UT.

I lived in SLC the winter of 1983-84 and hosted an old climbing & ski buddy from Alaska for a few weeks mid-winter.

At that point: I had been surviving waterfall climbs since 1974 with no “ugly incidents.”

There had been a lot of “close calls & hanging it out.”

So-------we were driving up Little Cottonwood to go ski powder at Alta, and Mark notices the easy looking frozen-waterfalls on the other side of the canyon.

I am dealing with traffic and icy road-----and concentrating on those problems.

After Mark repeatedly brings up climbing the waterfalls --------from out of my subconscious, I answer:
“I think I’ve used up my luck.”

When I thought about the subconscious reply: I decided to listen to my subconscious mind.

I had used up: “a lot of luck.”

I have not climbed frozen water, since that day.

tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 15, 2010 - 09:17am PT
Thats pretty cool. I will say that the modern gear has made ice climbing a lot more tolerable, fun and safer than it was in 1983!
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2010 - 10:36pm PT
Well now! It has been a summer of "challenging conditions" in much of North America for climbing.

Perhaps we at Super-Topo should consider adding a "backoffer of the year" award to the annual recognition on this site.

Please review the thread on the subject of “Backoffs” and post-up your thoughts------or award-winning backoff epics.

Maybe even two categories would merit awards:

1. Most Backoffs in 2010. (One pitch routes don't qualify).
2. Most spectacular Backoff in 2010.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Oct 22, 2010 - 11:45pm PT
THE CRAVEN (adapted by Karl Baba from Edgar Allen Poe)

Once upon a rockclimb dreary, while I floundered, weak and weary,over many hard and crimpy moves that almost made me soar.
While I trembled, nearly crapping,
suddenly I dreamt of rapping,
instead of falling, arm’s a flapping,
rapping to the valley floor.
"Let’s bail this epic" thus I muttered,
"let’s rap right to the valley floor!"
"Only bail, and climb no more!"

Ah, distinctly I remember,
it was in the bleak September,
And each separate, desperate pitch,
kicked my ass upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;
vainly I had fought to follow
Splintered cracks that caused me sorrow,
but not my partner Leonard.
The bold and well-honed cranker
whom the devil named Leonard,
fearless here forevermore.
And the sickened, churning brewing,
of my guts before their spewing,
filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart,
I stood repeating,
"Let us get our butts retreating!
Rap down to the valley floor!'—

Deep into that abyss peering,
long I stood there, gripping, fearing,
Visualizing screamers no-one ever whipped before;
Come on Dude, let’s save our asses!
This is not Grandes Jorasses!"
the only other word I mentioned
was my frenzied plea for "Tension!"
This I yelled, and his echo countered back,
the word I feared he said was "Slack!"
Merely this, and nothing more.
Back up to the belay turning,
all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I dreamt of rapping,
to save my life and pants from crapping,
rap down to the valley floor.

Finally then I made the belay,
when, with hardly any delay,
Up there climbed my macho partner
of the old school days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he;
not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with quiet disdain,
he clipped into the bolt belay,
Perched upon a ledge of shale,
mocking me in my dark hell,
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this old hardman was frowning,
at the fear in which I was drowning,
By the grave and stern decorum
of the countenance he wore,
"Though your chest is ripped and hairy,
why must we do climbs so scary?
Ghastly, grim, and ancient wall rat,
living like a climbing whore?!"
"Tell me what your ego game is,
on Grade V’s with rock this poor?"
Quote my Partner, "One pitch more!"

"Bullshit!" said I, "the climb is evil!
Bullshit still, if sport or traditional!
If we send this climb or rap and bail,
hang on gear, or aid and nail,
Desolate and fully daunted,
this is not the fun I wanted!--
On this climb by horror haunted,
tell me truly, I implore,--
Are there -- Are there -- brews in store?
tell me,--tell me, I implore!"
Quote my partner, "One pitch more!"

"Bullshit!" said I, "the climb is evil!
Bullshit still, if sport or traditional!
I’m quite finished, no more pitches!,
I won’t climb with sons of bitches,
Tell this soul with sorrow weary,
what’s so fun in flail and fearing?
Will you score a red-hot maiden,
just by climbing like a whore?
No one here will even pay us, greet us, like us,
much less lay us!"
Quote my partner, "One pitch more!"

And my partner, never flinching,
his stubborn buttocks still is sitting,
on the belay ledge, far above the valley floor;
I had to leave his ass up there,
I lost my mind, was so damn scared,
And the headlamp from him streaming
throws light upon the valley floor;
I took my rope and rack to bail,
just survive, admit I flailed,
and I rapped down to the valley floor.
I hope his eyes will see the morrow,
and that SAR his chalk will follow,
and yet I hope and pray
that his vengeance won’t be sore.
If I offer some repentance,
I already hear his sentence,
to amend for rapping down,
after climbing once so poor.
He will get me on the sharp end,
if I want to make his amends,
he’ll demand and I will quote him,
we will just climb "One Pitch More"
The Lisa

Trad climber
Da Bronx, NY
Oct 22, 2010 - 11:59pm PT
A respectful lurker here, I MUST post my awe and appreciation for Karl Baba's 'The Craven' - that is inspired!!!!!
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 23, 2010 - 12:06am PT
Karl: Full moon tonight and it is almost Halloween!

Awesome backoff climbing poem contribution!

Dude! You are phenomenal at literary adaptations!
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 23, 2010 - 12:41am PT
I have suffered the author's guilt of never wanting to bump my thread without someone posting on it.

Damnit!

I'm bumping for Karl Baba's backoff poem!
kc

Trad climber
sj, ca
Oct 23, 2010 - 12:48am PT
Absolutely awesome. That needs to be published somewhere!

Nice job!
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 23, 2010 - 01:00am PT
One more bump for Karl Babas "Backoff poem."

It is just "too cool." Original is on the previous 20 posts!


Karl Baba


Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca Oct 22, 2010 - 08:45pm PT
THE CRAVEN (adapted by Karl Baba from Edgar Allen Poe)

Once upon a rockclimb dreary, while I floundered, weak and weary,over many hard and crimpy moves that almost made me soar.
While I trembled, nearly crapping,
suddenly I dreamt of rapping,
instead of falling, arm’s a flapping,
rapping to the valley floor.
"Let’s bail this epic" thus I muttered,
"let’s rap right to the valley floor!"
"Only bail, and climb no more!"

Ah, distinctly I remember,
it was in the bleak September,
And each separate, desperate pitch,
kicked my ass upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;
vainly I had fought to follow
Splintered cracks that caused me sorrow,
but not my partner Leonard.
The bold and well-honed cranker
whom the devil named Leonard,
fearless here forevermore.
And the sickened, churning brewing,
of my guts before their spewing,
filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart,
I stood repeating,
"Let us get our butts retreating!
Rap down to the valley floor!'—

Deep into that abyss peering,
long I stood there, gripping, fearing,
Visualizing screamers no-one ever whipped before;
Come on Dude, let’s save our asses!
This is not Grandes Jorasses!"
the only other word I mentioned
was my frenzied plea for "Tension!"
This I yelled, and his echo countered back,
the word I feared he said was "Slack!"
Merely this, and nothing more.
Back up to the belay turning,
all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I dreamt of rapping,
to save my life and pants from crapping,
rap down to the valley floor.

Finally then I made the belay,
when, with hardly any delay,
Up there climbed my macho partner
of the old school days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he;
not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with quiet disdain,
he clipped into the bolt belay,
Perched upon a ledge of shale,
mocking me in my dark hell,
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this old hardman was frowning,
at the fear in which I was drowning,
By the grave and stern decorum
of the countenance he wore,
"Though your chest is ripped and hairy,
why must we do climbs so scary?
Ghastly, grim, and ancient wall rat,
living like a climbing whore?!"
"Tell me what your ego game is,
on Grade V’s with rock this poor?"
Quote my Partner, "One pitch more!"

"Bullshit!" said I, "the climb is evil!
Bullshit still, if sport or traditional!
If we send this climb or rap and bail,
hang on gear, or aid and nail,
Desolate and fully daunted,
this is not the fun I wanted!--
On this climb by horror haunted,
tell me truly, I implore,--
Are there -- Are there -- brews in store?
tell me,--tell me, I implore!"
Quote my partner, "One pitch more!"

"Bullshit!" said I, "the climb is evil!
Bullshit still, if sport or traditional!
I’m quite finished, no more pitches!,
I won’t climb with sons of bitches,
Tell this soul with sorrow weary,
what’s so fun in flail and fearing?
Will you score a red-hot maiden,
just by climbing like a whore?
No one here will even pay us, greet us, like us,
much less lay us!"
Quote my partner, "One pitch more!"

And my partner, never flinching,
his stubborn buttocks still is sitting,
on the belay ledge, far above the valley floor;
I had to leave his ass up there,
I lost my mind, was so damn scared,
And the headlamp from him streaming
throws light upon the valley floor;
I took my rope and rack to bail,
just survive, admit I flailed,
and I rapped down to the valley floor.
I hope his eyes will see the morrow,
and that SAR his chalk will follow,
and yet I hope and pray
that his vengeance won’t be sore.
If I offer some repentance,
I already hear his sentence,
to amend for rapping down,
after climbing once so poor.
He will get me on the sharp end,
if I want to make his amends,
he’ll demand and I will quote him,
we will just climb "One Pitch More"
jmap

Social climber
NC
Oct 23, 2010 - 01:19am PT
That's very funny, but I think you're UOTC of bargaining.

1. If it quits raining in the next *.* minutes, I'll never take a surface dump again.

2. If that lightning storm stays away from us, I'll clean up all the messes I leave when dumpster diving.

3. If my partner gets up this lead, I'll never wear spandex again.

4. If there's a place for a belay on top of this pitch, I'll drink nothing but water for a year.

5. You get the point.
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 23, 2010 - 01:41am PT
Jmap: UOTC???

I like your bargains, but can we just rappel?




Now??






There is a funnel cloud coming up the valley!
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Oct 23, 2010 - 01:44am PT
Thanks for the good vibes on my poe rip-off!

The original is on my site at

http://www.yosemiteclimber.com/CravenClimbingPoem.html

if anybody wants to bookmark it

Peace

Karl
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