What's the most dangerous thing you've ever done?


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Sep 4, 2013 - 07:40pm PT
Oh yeah, the boobs are a close second though.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Sep 4, 2013 - 07:51pm PT
There's a difference between the most dangerous thing that I've ever done, and something that I've done that scared me the most.

Free-soloing was probably the most dangerous thing that I've ever done, but class 5 whitewater kayaking scared me a lot more.

There's also a difference between the most dangerous thing that I've done voluntarily, and the most dangerous thing that I've ever done under duress.

The question in the OP is a bit vague.

Sport climber
Sep 4, 2013 - 07:54pm PT

This weekend I witnessed the biggest d#@&%e bag I've ever encountered climbing, and I mainly boulder.

I was at Auburn Quarry, I show up with a couple of buddy's around 11am. There is a group at the Scale Wall, (first wall on the left), right where we are gonna warm up and play around on. (By the way, some REALLY fun easy routes there.)

I can see he's the alpha male in his group, which are a new guy, and a girl, aside from him. They are toproping a 5.8 as we are about to climb up some 5.7 or something to the right.

I climb up with no problem, fun movement, fun route, clip my draws into the chains that are hung from the hangers(The anchros were about 1.5-2 feet apart) and through my quick draws, I lowered. Mistake on my part? (someone please let me know if I should have NOT gone off of the chains, and instead gone off of the draws that would have been pulled tight towards each other, instead of equalized, opposed, and angled down.)

Captain Safety - "Hey man, you should not lower off the chains, they're not rated for falls."

This completely caught me off guard, as I have taken up to 30 foot falls on chains at places like Gold Wall, Jailhouse, Red Rocks, etc.

But I can tell this guy is a know it all, going to show his group that he is the next Tommy Caldwell (and his beginner friend the next Alex Honnold, as I'll get to later in this story.) I just say "ah, okay." to avoid anymore confrontation. I don't like talking to people I guess.

OH, LETS BACKTRACK 2 minutes, I'm at the second to last bolt BEFORE the anchors, Captain Safety, which should be his new name from now on, is topping out after he clipped into the anchors. He reaches down, pulls all of his gear off the anchors, and his belayer at this point yells up

Belayer - "Do you want me to take you off belay?"

Captain Safety (Not clipped into anything at this point) - "Umm, it doesn't matter." - (Sets up toprope on 10b, proceeds to flail all over the 10b, i don't judge)

I look down at my belayer, roll my eyes, we both laugh, I finish.

Sometime later after we've all toproped it, my buddy is going to teach his cousin how to rappel. As my buddy is climbing up, Captain Safety is about to rappel off the 10b. He's coming in hot. He free falls from about 15 feet and JUST MISSES breaking his ankle on a rock. Horrible landing. Not very pretty.

Captain Safety - "Oww the rope got hot"

Me - "Dude you were 3 inches away from snapping your foot in half"

Captain Safety - "yeah, I know."

Skip to sometime later, after he spews about all his trad knowledge of spending all summer at the Leap and in the Valley doing all of the 5.9's (his magical footwork on 10b face made me a little skeptical, but I can't climb crack so what do I know)

We're on the other side of the quarry, at this point there are multiple groups on the same wall as them. Captain Safety's new friend / belayer is topping out some climb after toproping, and decides to undo the anchor.

He's climbing next to a group, and trying to top out at the Auburn Quarry. I wouldn't have noticed if the kid he was climbing next to didn't yell "Stop knocking rocks on me please." really loud.

At this point, about 20 people are watching this kid beach whaling on top of a choss pile, 60 feet up, kicking sh#t all over the place, and Captain Safety doesn't worry one bit. Just keeps belaying him, like it would matter. (NO PROTECTION)

I was more surprised the kid actually made it up, then decking. I have never felt so sure in my entire life I would see someone die.

Not much more to add after this except they wandered around looking for routes to try.

This post was for you, Captain Safety.

Credit: michaeld

Top Red Circle - Newb, Not Next Alex Honnold, Almost Died, Dumbest Thing Ever Seen
Bottom Red Circle - Captain Safety, Best Belayer Ever, Mr. Safety, Valley Climber, Greatest Rapper of All Time
Green Arrow - Where Top Circle topped out, kicking all of the rocks left as his feet flailed trying to find placement
Blue Circles - Kids who got pelted with top out rocks and dirt.

Sport climber
Sep 4, 2013 - 07:57pm PT
Most dangerous thing I've done-

Learning to drive stick on Salmon Falls road at midnight when I was 18 with a couple of friends in their cars. I had just bought a CRX and stripped the interior, put a strut bar in it, and somehow made my way up Highway 50, grinding my clutch and stalling, to Salmon Falls road.

I only spun out twice. :)
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 4, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
I have to admit - I have been 'That Guy' at Auburn Quarry, more than once.

Which 'That Guy?' Well not the blabbering know it all sort, I'm usually fairly quiet at crags. And I don't presume to tell other people how to climb.

I did run a top rope through to Metolious rap anchor hangers once. Some guy rather nastily said to me, 'you know, you're not supposed to TR through those things.' I blew him off but had to admit, he was right.

Another time I showed up with two of my kids - both can climb reasonably but neither can lead belay... safely. Kaity hadn't climbed in a while and hadn't belayed anyone in a long time.

So We walk up to the base of Scale Wall, 4 or 5 parties already there. We squeeze in near your green dude there. And right there at the base, I give Kaity a remedial lead belay course.

'If I fall make sure and pull the rope back like this.'

'When I need some slack feed it out like that.'

And finally,

'Never let go with your brake hand.'


That's it. 20 seconds instruction and I place foot to stone. I glance up as I do so... and notice a couple of horrified looks on my cliff mates faces. I guess I traumatized them all with my lackadaisical approach to safety and protocol.

But I knew Kaity had my back.

Did a bunch of routes that day, it was great!


That guy.

Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Sep 4, 2013 - 08:25pm PT
Most dangerous thing I've ever done:

Descended the North Dome gully in complete darkness without a headlamp with a haul bag on my back.
Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
Sep 4, 2013 - 08:27pm PT
I backtalked my Momma once.

Only once.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 4, 2013 - 08:29pm PT
One of my closest calls ever was white water Kayaking. SCARY stuff!

I routinly TR directly through metlouis rap hangers or quick links or rings for one reason or annother. They are my anchors. I bought em, I placed them and most likly I will be the guy who has to replace them.. I try not to do it with other folks anchors but would not lose too much sleep if I did.

from out where the anecdotes roam
Sep 4, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
hitchin'/beggin' drunks for mercy, eye to eye from the backseat @140km/hr
on foggy hard glazed snowpack, south bound four lane outta edmondton

Social climber
Golden, CO
Sep 4, 2013 - 08:57pm PT
Taught my Wife to BASE jump..
Baluarte Bridge, Durango Mexico
Baluarte Bridge, Durango Mexico
Credit: Avenfoto

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Sep 4, 2013 - 09:27pm PT

Like Paul said, gettin' on the Taco stand!

Sep 4, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
Getting a full time "career" job.

Social climber
Sep 4, 2013 - 09:33pm PT
hey there say, hankster, check your email..

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Sep 4, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
SLR,When i came down to WV some years ago,with Jim,that experience of Squirt boating still gives me nightmares.I thought I was a competent kayaker ,yet never squirtboated.Then being in Banos "spare" pry on ,pry off squirt boat,never having seen the Gauley River, I was shaken.

I wake up in the middle of the night remembering,seeing, the surface of the river,stuck in an undertow 7 - 10 feet down,knowing there was a swim and you die rapid just around the corner.Literally.

I remember trying to paddle to the surface,rolling yet still well underwater,there is no air volume in a squirtboat.No floatation

Then narrowly escaping that cast to get to the surface for air ,let alone retrieving the boat and paddle and swimming to a rugged shoreline that was not completely safe.

That was a very dangerous thing to do.

I returned 2 years later to run that river,in Plastic.But that vision haunts.


Trad climber
Sep 4, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
I moved to Dallas/Ft. Worth in the early '90s


Now that is funny!

edit: I moved to Kansas in 1979. Beat that!
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Sep 4, 2013 - 10:01pm PT
Being a teenager in the 60's running around LA and starting to climb at the same time. I'm convinced I must have had a guardian angel, my goodness the things we did....part humor, part tragedy all true.

Sport climber
Tucson, AZ
Sep 4, 2013 - 10:35pm PT
I moved to Kansas in 1979. Beat that!

You win ... hands down.


Edit: I'm a CA girl so moving to DFW was a shock. After two years, I was OUT OF THERE. (And I insist my son simply say he was born in Tucson and not Texas.)

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Sep 4, 2013 - 10:44pm PT
Probably a bunch of moments while rock climbing, where screwing up for a quarter of a second would end it. That's the usual stuff of most people around here, but doesn't make for as good of stories unless lots of details filled in.

Boogie boarded by myself in burly winter storm waves at sunset. Dropped into a double-up set, pulled into a huge dark close-out tube, whipped around, driven deep in the water and smashed my face on the bottom, blood spattering everywhere by the time I popped up on the surface. If I had been knocked out, I would probably be dead. Nobody around to grab me.

REALLY the most dangerous thing I ever did, was reaching this philosophical decision after breaking up with my college girlfriend: "any two people can have a happy relationship and make a life together if they just are committed and try hard enough." That dangerous thinking led to a decade-long difficult marriage with a person who was not a good fit for me, and the last 5 years of emotional turmoil figuring out how to stay connected to my kids in the aftermath of that mess with a person who is ambivalent about my parenting role at best, and quite possibly spiteful and vengeful and vindictive much of the time.

I'm very happy with my life right now, but some baggage acquired while figuring out life just stays with you a long time.

mars...it's near nevada...
Sep 4, 2013 - 10:44pm PT
smoking cigarettes - they damn near killed me at 40...

Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Sep 4, 2013 - 11:28pm PT
Crawling around inside if this thing for an hour looking for a short circuit ranks up there in my top 5.

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