MISSING: Rack from near the top of Washington Column

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Messages 1 - 38 of total 38 in this topic
glytch

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:
PAUL SOUZA

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.
johntp

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

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.
pyro

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

climber
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!
Kalimon

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.

Mei

Trad climber
mxi2000.net
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!
Manhands

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!
yo-so-mighty

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.
phylp

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.
Nkane

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

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.

John
Sierra Ledge Rat

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

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.
glytch

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.

Goran
Jim Clipper

climber
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

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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.
Gunkie

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

climber
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.
glytch

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2016 - 08:05am PT
Great news! Someone dropped me a line, has the rack, and is sending it my way. Faith restored in the climbing community. I don't know if the person who grabbed the rack wants to be identified, but here's part of the note they sent: "I was really wondering how someone would have lost a whole rack. There were climbers walking off in front of me, so I thought maybe they had clipped it in the tree to make it more visible, but I thought it would be more helpful for me to take it down."

Not that gear doesn't get stolen in Yosemite, but I'm pretty happy that in this case there were no two-legged-bears or shady morning transactions in Camp 4, just someone thinking gear had been dropped.

But regardless, next time I'll tuck any gear well out of sight :)
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
May 26, 2016 - 08:09am PT
f*ck yeah!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
May 26, 2016 - 08:28am PT
I remember a time when I left my rack hanging in a tree in Camp 4 when I went swimming in the Merced for the day.

Then people started jugging fixed ropes on El Cap to steal racks.

Maybe we're coming around again?
Alpamayo

Trad climber
Davis, CA
May 26, 2016 - 08:34am PT
Glad you got it back! I have to admit, if I came across a rack up there, I might wonder if a person just put it down and then walked off without it. I'm not sure it would have crossed my mind that it was left intentionally while you did ND.

I might have done something similar years and years ago when I found a rope at Chasm View on Long's peak. THinking it had been accidentally dropped or left behind I took it down. I left it at the Ranger's and never heard what happened to it (pre-internet days). I started wondering later if someone had intentionally stashed it there for some reason and how pissed they might have been to hike all the way up there to find it gone.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 26, 2016 - 08:38am PT
Nice to know there are still some good people out there.

I had $10K worth of gear stolen from my car. Ranger said 15 other cars were broken into that day.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
May 26, 2016 - 08:51am PT
Awesome!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
May 26, 2016 - 09:07am PT
Good to hear this gear will soon be back home.
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
May 26, 2016 - 09:23am PT
Great news!
Yeah, I think most people would assume the rack had been left by accident, if it was just hanging there, and would naturally want to bring it down to try to find the owner. I would have done the same thing.
brotherbbock

climber
Alta Loma, CA
May 26, 2016 - 09:41am PT
Congrats!!
willm

Social climber
Oakland
May 26, 2016 - 09:56am PT
Hey Glytch -- how wet was RA and the slabby traverse to the rim at the end of RA? Seems the water is the real crux of the RA/CJ linkup this time of year. I'm planning to head out there mid-next week.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
May 26, 2016 - 11:36am PT
Excellent news, Glytch!

willm, you can often get a decent read on the water content of Royal Arches from the Ahwahnee Meadows web cam linked on the ST column marked "climbing areas." I haven't been up that way this year, but base don previous years, there will still be some water on the route, but not enough to make a material difference on the upper slabs.

John
glytch

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2016 - 12:00pm PT
Will, the route was comically wet last Saturday. The gully on the first few pitches was a waterfall, the rope swing traverse was sopping, and when we were near the top (morning after a day of rain) there was still significant water on the final slab. We threaded the quicklink on the bolt to avoid any unpleasant watersliding falls. The 3rd/4th class slab after the end of the roped climbing, well, ended up being another bit of roped climbing for us. Low angle and easy, but flowing with water and covered in moss.

That said, while Arches took much more time than we were expecting due to all of the water, there was still ample time for the CJ linkup.
willm

Social climber
Oakland
May 26, 2016 - 01:34pm PT
Thanks for the reply. Hopefully these few days of sun will make for a drier experience up there. Glad you got your rack back!
squishy

Mountain climber
May 26, 2016 - 01:34pm PT
next time pick up yer own trash, lol
Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
May 26, 2016 - 02:01pm PT
Cool beans!

I have long been in the habit of hiding stuff when stashing gear, even when only climbers will see it. Best not to tempt fate.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 26, 2016 - 02:04pm PT
Great news!
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
May 26, 2016 - 02:15pm PT
Yeah! Faith in humanity restored(for now)
Mei

Trad climber
mxi2000.net
May 26, 2016 - 07:06pm PT
Awesome! I could feel your pain blaming yourself for the decision made. We all learnt something from this experience. Kudos to the person returning the gear.
Messages 1 - 38 of total 38 in this topic
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