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Jul 20, 2009 - 06:48pm PT
setting the bar pretty high there cragman.

california boy, borrowed gear, trudging up slope below my first and almost only waterfall ice as the caboose. all kinds of sharp stuff strapped to my pack. as the creek narrowed and steepened i "stemmed" across to a little snow topped mushroom and instantly launched on a luge run involving a little air between the turns. to this day i have to pause and be sure before i speak the word sacrum or talus. even though i'm quite clear about the meaning of each, those words got knocked into each other's cubby hole in my brain. (which must have been in the region at the time) all the more mysterious since the last word on the subject belongs to my coccyx

somehow i never screamed, neither did i peep. under the power of adrenaline, i caught up with the others though my shame was overwhelming.
if there's ever a thread about confessing our most deceitful omission, i'll have to repeat this story.

i know that's kind of weak, but mr. magoo probably filed some pretty short trip reports too

edit: it strikes me,
after straining a little harder to distinguish a hasty from an honest response,
that successfully executing a dumb plan, rubs out the dumb.
summiting in some of the most heinous conditions,
and returning to bask in the glory,
might be my dumbest

Not here
Jul 20, 2009 - 06:55pm PT
Dumbest? Heck, I am still improving on that.
How about getting my hair caught on the dang hanger I was clipping in? Or when I decided to onsight solo, miscalculated and howled before the crux like a cat stuck in a tree?


Trad climber
Jul 20, 2009 - 07:08pm PT
no way am I going to tell you about it, my wife reads this forum.
Scared Silly

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2009 - 07:08pm PT
Lets see:

Started a rappel, did not like how I was starting. Decided to start over, dropped the rap line to belly flop back to my stance, lost my footing, promptly fell 60 feet to the deck.

Hand Stands on the top of Prusik Peak (sans rope). It has a very small summit.

Walked across a crevasse bridge solo in a white out at over 6000m, got to the other side and the bridge collapsed. Was now stuck on the uphill side. Decided to continue to the summit and deal with the implications on the way down.

Played "Climb that Climb" (Think of the old game show "Name that Tune). See if you can lead a climb with fewest pieces of gear. Got to the point we were basically soling 80 foot 5.10 routes.

Let my partner start climbing before they were on belay. Watched him take a 150' fall while I jumped off the other side of the ledge to catch the fall. An oh only one piece of gear in.

Decked while climbing, thinking I was okay I drove 12 hours to home. Unloaded my truck then decided to have my shoulder checked cause it hurt. Had a broken facet on one vertebra.

There are probably a whole host of other dumb things that I have done while climbing. As a good friend said we all do dumb things, most of the time we get away with it. Sadly though not always.


Trad climber
Jul 20, 2009 - 07:15pm PT
I have wanted to do Frigid Air Buttress, but now I am a little gunshy of it, stuck ropes in red rocks, you can count on it. Anastasia howling like a cat stuck in a tree while soloing, now that must have been a sight to behold.
Dumbest thing I ever did was about 30 years ago climbing the west ridge of Prusik Peak with 3 guys, one rope and a couple hexs. I had done it several times before, and since it is a long hike in we went ultralight. Final pitch we anchor off a block on a ledge and the most inexperienced guy leads off thinking it is a easy cruise, but instead fires up this 5.9 crack. He gets one piece in, and then as he is struggling over the crux in tennis shoes 40 feet up the piece slides out and down the rope. The other guy on the ledge with me who is tied into the block starts untieing from the rope as fast as he can. I kept the belay on, but I learned that day it doesn't pay to be casual, even on the easy stuff. My friend made the lead without falling but it was touch and go and both feet came flying off several times scaring the bejesus out of us. The block I am sure would have gone off if he had pitched with me attached to it.
Josh Nash

Social climber
riverbank ca
Jul 20, 2009 - 07:20pm PT
Took up climbing.....

East Coast US
Jul 20, 2009 - 07:35pm PT

East Coast US
Jul 20, 2009 - 07:54pm PT
I don't know, Cragman, your story freaked me out pretty good and sounds like something I would have done in the past.

Trad climber
slowly dying in the OC
Jul 20, 2009 - 08:06pm PT
My first ice climb. I decide to lead. I couldn't get my crampons to bite. I took a mighty kick only to have the front points bounce off. Now pissed, I take another mighty kick...right into my calf. Front points stuck. Oops! I pull them out.
My partner, 15' below immediately starts getting a shower of freezing blood. "You wanna bail?" he asks. His suggestion sounded like a good idea.

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jul 20, 2009 - 08:09pm PT
soloing coonyard. also one of the most satisfying things i've done climbing, btw.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jul 20, 2009 - 08:14pm PT
About an hour and a half ago I hit myself in the leg with a wall hammer to KILL a black fly.....

Trad climber
The Great North these days......
Jul 20, 2009 - 09:23pm PT
Many dumb things I guess but the dumbest has to be doing the west face of sentinal in 72 or so as a dumb 17 year old. After the first dogleg pitch I ran it out past the belay and ended up out of rope in the middle of the following pitch. Lucky for me there was a quarter inch bolt where I proceeded to hang, haul and have my partner jumar off of......One quarter inch bolt. In those days we thought they were bomb proof.

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 20, 2009 - 09:29pm PT
I've done nothing climbing that comes anywhere close to you folks, but perhaps thats because I took up climbing after learning a lot of lessons the hard way. When I was younger, I basically crashed my way through life because my energy and enthusiasm (and ego) greatly exceeded my skills and abilities (and judgement). We won't talk about my VERY brief hang gliding career...


Trad climber
slowly dying in the OC
Jul 20, 2009 - 09:29pm PT
Cut the lead line? That's sick. They cost money.

Legs heal.

Trad climber
Morgantown, WV
Jul 20, 2009 - 10:01pm PT
Had a friend who was terrified at the idea of micronuts. Placed one in a seam, clipped my aiders to it, stepped up, said, "see? no--"

The piece popped. I decked from three feet up and blew my PCL. Never got to say "--big deal."

Not terribly epic, but pretty damn dumb.

Trad climber
One Step Beyond!
Jul 20, 2009 - 10:47pm PT
Almost died or got paralyzed 4 times, and somehow didn't.

I have posted all four at various times here - see if I can dig them up.
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
way, WAY out there....(OMG)
Jul 20, 2009 - 11:16pm PT
I didn't clip all those fixed heads, & woke up in a litter......
Pretty dumb. Was lucky(?) to wake up at all.

Gym climber
Jul 20, 2009 - 11:47pm PT
back in mid-70's, Pete Livesey coaxed me into following him up Hairline, 11b, westside of Elephant Rock. Start at top, rappels, then a start from a tree, with hundreds of feet of exposure instantly. First, a steep 10b? corner that leads to the crux, a short curving crack, very steep...Pete is in his element and cruising. I am not. Can't make it up the crux, no matter what. So it bacame apparent we had to retreat. think he rappeled from a small tree to my stance. Not wanting to leave expensive gear, he assured me a # 9 hexentric in the crack at our feet would do nicely. Didn't seem adequate...but think it was largest nut we had. My nut, with 8mm. cord. very scary rappel but I trusted Pete, who had more experience. OK, we obviously made it, despite my being afraid while rappeling, but not letting on. Next day, someone we knew repeated the route and found us to return the hex. They said they couldn't believe we trusted it. it didn't seem that good to them.

The lesson I never forgot was that despite someone having more experience, reputation, etc....go with your gut. We could have backed it up. This of course is only one of many rappel stories that illustrate how easy it is to die trying to get down. I've lost two friends in rappel accidents.

That story of retrieving, or trying to retrieve the umbrella off the roof had my wife and I in stitches. Fantastic piece of writing ! Gene Drake

Iron Mtn.

Trad climber
Corona, Ca.
Jul 21, 2009 - 12:23am PT
August 1994, I dropped my shoes off in the city of Joshua Tree with the Late Jules George to get resoled for my trip to the Cascades in a month. We have a full rack in the car, extra shoes, and the J-Tree guidebook. My partner suggests that since we are already out there, why don't we climb the SW Corner on Headstone Rock, to which I readily agree. Never mind that it's 105 degrees. We get to the climb and do a successful ascent. The guidebook says to rappel off the north face, it looks very exposed and scary so we rappel of the south face instead. I start to pull on my rope to no avail as it's stuck. After 45 minutes of trying everything in vain to get my rope unstuck. I call out to some campers at Ryan Campground to ask if anyone is a climber and has an extra rope to which (I assume they were from Europe because who else would be crazy enough to camp in J-Tree in the middle of August)they replied "What is Climber?". Much to my frustration, I decide that a $150 rope is worth more than my life, so I decide to French Free Solo the SW Corner(I am no Bachar). As I start the route, my foot slips on the initial slabby part below the overhang. My partner says "This isn't worth your life!" to which I reply "Shut the f*#k up!!!". I pull up the arete and top out, scream at the top of my lungs and flip that rope over to the north side (which in hindsight, doesn't seem that scary anymore), have my partner check to see if the rope will pull out and rappel off. I always check the rope movement before the second rappels off and I follow what the book suggests. I cheated death once, I figured the next time I wouldn't be so lucky.....

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Jul 21, 2009 - 12:27am PT
^^^^Oldcragster Those Brits are the cheapest sob's! I loved climbin' with 'em except for their low evaluation of human life.

This thread should prove to have serious 'legs' if we're at all honest. I, for one, much prefer hearing about how others may remotely approach the depths of my extreme 'tardedness over the return of baby jeebus or how retarded the politicos are on both sides of Neanderthal Line.

I think I already set the bar pretty low with my story of putting in my first bolt...
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