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Difficult Situation With a Newbie

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Difficult Situation With a Newbie

Postby azureabyss » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:20 pm

Hey there - long time lurker, (very) infrequent poster.

So I have a problem: a friend of my brother's lives in the Front Range and has now expressed his strong desire to do the "mountain that is on the Coors Light Can" aka Wilson Peak, on his FB page.

And he wants to do it now...as in early December.

He readily admits that, "...it seems to be actually a pretty dangerous climb, especially this time of year. Going to need ice ax's, crampons, and rapelling (sic) gear. And some brass balls to make up for my zero knowledge of mountaineering skills."

I personally am no expert; I've done all of the 'easy' 14ers, plus more then a handful of class 3 13ers and 14ers, and am Avy Level 1 certified, backcountry skier, blah blah blah. All that stuff doesn't make me anywhere near an expert, or even the best arm-chair quarterback, but I do have some experience on my side. That's all I'm sayiing.

So, I've tried to explain to him about how long the climb is, about how it's definitely one of the 'harder' 14ers in the state via the Standard Route, in the Summer no less, about how a majority of the FS roads to the TH are probably closed by now...and on yeah, it's a minimum of an eight mile approach and a 16 mile climb.

In the winter.

So, in lieu of that, I got this response: "ha, its funny you write this because about an hour ago I got the "eff- it" attitude at the gym and talked myself into going alone if know (sic) one else is going to join. Appreciate the opinion, warning, and advice. I'll survive, I always do... must not have pressed the envelope far enough yet..."

Then when I told him about how you have to think about whoever may be rescuing you OR recovering your body when you're dead, and how you would be putting their butts on the line as well, I got this: " I wont get lost or dead. I will not fail. I'll walk my a$$ out of there if anything happens. I didnt grow up infront of an Xbox like the rest of my generation, I know whats goin on in the outdoors. I wouldnt try it if i knew i couldnt do it. I may not be comfortable but I'll be fine."

I can't argue w/ him being of a diff breed then a lot of kids his age (he's 22) and I'm the old man at 32, but dang it, this is scary.

So I guess this is fair-warning for anybody who's in/around Wilson Peak, El Diente, etc the next week or so, and also, to see if anybody has any advice...what to say/do/not do/not say.

Thanks.

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Re: Difficult Situation With a Newbie

Postby rpb13 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:17 pm

I wouldn't worry too much. My guess is that the approach this time of year will sufficiently kick his ass and change his attitude long before he actually tries to climb the peak. The mountains aren't the gym!

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Re: Difficult Situation With a Newbie

Postby jaymz » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:32 pm

Wow.

"I wouldn't try it if I knew I couldn't." That's the problem - he needs to be confident he can do it, not cocky that he doesn't think he can't. And if the rest of his comments are any indication, he has no justification for being confident that he can climb Wilson Peak in the winter... alone.

"Going to need ice ax's, crampons, and rapelling (sic) gear. And some brass balls to make up for my zero knowledge of mountaineering skills." I probably have the worst experience/length of time as 14ers.com member ratio of anyone here, yet even I know that "zero mountaineering skills" translates into those pieces of equipment becoming liabilities rather than advantages. What exactly is he planning on doing with his "ax's"? And how's he going to rappel, by tying one end of a rope around his waste and the other end around a rock?

"I didnt grow up infront of an Xbox like the rest of my generation, I know whats goin on in the outdoors." So not wasting your childhood playing video games automatically makes you invincible?

DAMN YOU SUPER MARIO!!!!

Good on you for trying to talk some sense into him. I just hope some of it sinks in before he gets into a real predicament.

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Re: Difficult Situation With a Newbie

Postby justiner » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:38 pm

Well, good for him.
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Re: Difficult Situation With a Newbie

Postby RoanMtnMan » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:04 am

jaymz wrote:"Going to need ice ax's, crampons, and rapelling (sic) gear. And some brass balls to make up for my zero knowledge of mountaineering skills." I probably have the worst experience/length of time as 14ers.com member ratio of anyone here, yet even I know that "zero mountaineering skills" translates into those pieces of equipment becoming liabilities rather than advantages.


That is oh so true jaymz.

My experience is to give people, that ask for it, as much good advice as reasonably possible, and give those that don't, as much as they can tolerate. However in the end it is a free country based on making your own individual decisions and dealing with the outcome. I have made some good and some bad, and youth has played a serious part, but in the end you shouldn't feel responsible once you have played your part azureabyss. At 22, perhaps he will end up learning, loving and contributing to the sport. Not much you can do beyond what you have stated in my opinion, but it is great that you
care. Mentors are an important part of everything in life.

I suspect rpb13's thoughts are correct. I have seen a lot of emboldened heads on a mission (including mine), only to have the better part of their brains take over after a while, and retreat with only experience and lust.

I get your dilemma though. We learn through experience and if we don't, we fail terminally, and terminal failure in the mountains can have very harsh consequences, but again it is his journey.
Always follow the 7 P's. Proper Planning & Preparation, Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

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Re: Difficult Situation With a Newbie

Postby Matt Lemke » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:27 am

jaymz wrote: by tying one end of a rope around his waste and the other end around a rock?



Not sure what good this will do, Unless he plans to rap as he is doing the deed...and he can somehow manage to keep it attached :lol:
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Re: Difficult Situation With a Newbie

Postby ThuChad » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:43 am

I think the best way to go at this point is to educate him on what situations he may encounter, not in a condescending way. Tell him while you don't approve you understand the appeal that the mountains have and why he would want to attempt this climb. Give him your blessing without really giving him your approval. Does that make sense?

I've had a few solo journeys from OKC planned that were not the smartest. Two times I had my truck loaded in the driveway. Stuck my keys in the ignition to go then decided there would be a better day. Odds are he will come to the realization that it's not a good idea but in his own time... and he will have some other reason unrelated to mountain conditions on why he didn't go. :lol:
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Re: Difficult Situation With a Newbie

Postby summitstep » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:12 am

Pass this to your friend:

"Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation."

How many Coors mountains did he down before he made this crazy decision!
I am far from an expert, but also far from an idiot. Don't coddle his balls and hubris; the consequences are too great. Talk him down from this ledge of lunacy. Beer Mountain isn't worth his or anyone else's safety. aAnd we don't need to read another "missing climber" thread.

So I have a problem: a friend of my brother's lives in the Front Range and has now expressed his strong desire to do the "mountain that is on the Coors Light can

So, in lieu of that, I got this response: "ha, its funny you write this because about an hour ago I got the "eff- it" attitude at the gym and talked myself into going alone if know (sic) one else is going to join. Appreciate the opinion, warning, and advice. I'll survive, I always do... must not have pressed the envelope far enough yet..."
"In this high country that we love, trails are steep. We climb each mile, breath by breath, and at the threshold of pain, bliss overtakes us."

"It's called CRAZY. And somehow, when you are bent over your poles, staring at your boots- heart heaving and trying not to cough your lung onto a rock= you look up...and you are looking down over all those beautiful mountains....and you wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

"For all the richness of normal, everyday life, it is good sometimes to trespass high in the sky, and live with uncommon intensity, experiencing something that gets close to the sublime."

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Re: Difficult Situation With a Newbie

Postby Dave B » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:25 am

rpb13 wrote:I wouldn't worry too much. My guess is that the approach this time of year will sufficiently kick his ass and change his attitude long before he actually tries to climb the peak. The mountains aren't the gym!



Bingo.

I say let him go.

Just encourage him to bring an extra cotton sweat shirt.
"There is no cheating in climbing, only lying." - Semi-Rad

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Re: Difficult Situation With a Newbie

Postby kansas » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:37 am

Dave B wrote:
rpb13 wrote:I wouldn't worry too much. My guess is that the approach this time of year will sufficiently kick his ass and change his attitude long before he actually tries to climb the peak. The mountains aren't the gym!



Bingo.

I say let him go.

Just encourage him to bring an extra cotton sweat shirt.


Yup, he has been warned and my guess is he won't get very far beyond the saddle before he realizes this is a bad decision.
"In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams."
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Re: Difficult Situation With a Newbie

Postby Hungry Jack » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:42 am

The fact that he was inspired by a Coors Light can says it all.

Have him read this thread.

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Re: Difficult Situation With a Newbie

Postby kbmiller » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:09 am

I recommend you encourage him to go. Might be able to get him removed from the gene pool before he breeds.

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