Welcome to SP!  -
HAZARD. Jerkoff posing as a Guide
Trip Report

HAZARD. Jerkoff posing as a Guide

 

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Wyoming, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 44.59060°N / 104.715°W

Object Title: HAZARD. Jerkoff posing as a Guide

Date Climbed/Hiked: Aug 28, 2003

 

Page By: small timer

Created/Edited: Sep 10, 2003 /

Object ID: 169074

Hits: 5438 

Page Score: 72.08%  - 2 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

We had just gotten all three of us to the Teachers Lounge bolts and had just clipped into the anchor bolts and lowered Bob over the side to check out the second pitch of New Wave while on top rope from Teachers Lounge. No one was around these climbs and we were not interfering with the routes for anyone.

When, after about five minutes a climber appeared above the second pitch of Patent Pending. He was clad in multiple accessory bags, climbing gear and was wearing a helmet camera. And without a seconds thought he was clipping over our carabiners into the bolts. Not giving a care about what we were doing or if we had someone climbing/weighting the bolts. Bob was still climbing the second pitch of New Wave and now we had three people clipped into the bolts and two people climbing on them as the primary security. This climber didn’t even say a hello and ask if we could share the bolts? From what I have observed, learned and adopted as a “general climbing code” was totally disregarded by this climber. It was evident that this climber was all business and had three clients with him. Next he proceeded to demand that I move my climbing rack from where he wanted to stand. I told him no problem, but give me a minute to adjust the anchor system. And not even allowing me ten seconds to do anything he forcefully grabbed my climbing rack and sunglasses and directed them into my chest. Now the air had a sense of tension. He then proceeded to ask us why we had “so much gear”? Bob and I both had our own climbing racks, as we each just wanted to use our own equipment on Patent Pending. Our answer to him did not satisfy him, because a few minutes after that discussion, he asked the same question again. He was vividly attempting to “belittle” us as climbers for the amount of safety gear we were wearing. It was a pretty pitiful attempt at easing his disturbed mental state. We made it a point to get down from Teachers Lounge as safely and quickly as possible to avoid any more interaction and harassment from this climber. This guide was acting like we were on “His Tower” and using “His anchor bolts”. He was a strange person to run into on the Tower. His demeanor was something uncommon from the positive and energized climbers one meets on the Tower.

Upon getting down to the ground, at the starts to routes Broken Tree and New Wave. We could not get away from his harassment. After he had ordered his clients in a condescending manner to sit about 50 feet away and take their shoes off, he proceeded to ask us how long we had been climbing and some other small talk about rope lengths. We gave him short answers just to avoid more conversation. Doug then asked him if he was part of a guiding service and how much a trip to the summit would be. This guide immediately went on an aggressive defensive stance insisting that he could not solicit clients on the tower. Completely forgetting the fact that Doug had asked him about his guiding services, not the other way around which we viewed as solicitation. We figure he was taking his clients for a $$$ ride, and ripping them off. At this time we had our ropes bundled and bags packed so we proceeded to the visitors center to check in. At the check in I commented on our negative encounter to the ranger on duty, and we checked the climbing registry, and was informed his name was Andy Petefish of Ouray and Tower Guides.

This entire incident was very out of the ordinary in regards to how I have experienced our National Monuments and Parks, including other rock climbing areas. Everyone knows someone who has had a problem here and there, but nothing this hazardous. I have three problems with this guide and his actions in late August, 2003.

First, there is the problem with him connecting into the Teachers Lounge anchor bolts without discussing this with us to see if that was ok. My view on the Tower anchor bolts. Which could be wrong, as pertaining to Devils Tower, but it is that they are for the party clipped into them and not a community anchor. This seems to be a prevalent climbing code at many climbing areas across the United States. When it was all said and done, Petefish and the three of us composed a group of seven people sharing the same two Petzl triangular eye bolts. A potentially dangerous situation with a simple remedy.
Why wouldn’t this guide, build a gear belay in the box formed by Assembly Line and other cracks? There are endless gear placements in these cracks and plenty of room for 4 climbers at this position. No one was climbing Assembly Line or any climbs in the near or distant vicinity. It seemed to us that he was in a hurry to make some money and was giving no regard to other groups in his vicinity.

Secondly, the grabbing and forcefulness with our climbing equipment is an issue. None of us had ever seen anything like this. When it is happening, you are just bewildered to a certain point, and let it go if all looks safe. We had a rack clipped into one sling, which he picked up. We ask the question, what would have happened if some gear was not secure and when he picked up our gear some pieces fell from the ledge? Possible injury/death could of easily happened to someone at the bases of these climbs if gear fell to the ground. As experienced climbers, there is a rare moment when my friends and I might not have gear clipped into something, we practice very safe climbing techniques, but no one knows without communicating what is secure and what is not. This guide had no want or respect to communicate what was going on with our gear and anchor.

Thirdly, this climber profoundly tried to belittle and harass our group. Never have I been the target or witness of such a distraught conversation while climbing at any of our country’s climbing areas. Andy Petefish is the farthest personality type one associates with a “guide”. A guide of what you ask? Maybe this joker can climb a crack or two, but his personal skills and social tact are lower than a piece of trash you would expect to meet elsewhere. Why not try another profession if “working” on the Tower puts one in such a bad mental state.

Please do not let this happening sway anyone from enjoying the Magical Devils Tower. Just be aware that when you see some “guide” wearing a helmet camera and sporting a bad attitude, its probably Andy Petefish, and its just best to safely avoid him at all costs. But by no means let him alter your climbing enjoyment and plans.

Concerned,

Small Timer



Comments


[ Post a Comment ]
Viewing: 1-2 of 2    

Liba Kopeckovaguide

Liba Kopeckova

Hasn't voted

I hired Andy Petefish for my guide. He was a very nice man, and very pleasant to fellow climbers. He even took photos of them and made them a CD for free. He gave them an advice on which route to take and what gear they might need. He was an excellent guide. Andy has been guiding at Devil's Tower for over 25 years. He placed many of the anchors in the walls there. He has a lot of respect among local people.
Posted Jun 10, 2009 11:35 pm

Rock41guides with personality disorders

Voted 10/10

We climbed DT with a guide circa 1999. The guide name here sounds familiar but after so much time I can't be sure. anyway, he was definitely a skilled climber, a good guide as far as knowing routes and we felt safe climbing the easy 5.6 route under his lead, but he had a serious antisocial personality disorder and was very confrontational when it came to conflict. All was pleasant enough during the climb until he told my partner repeatedly to take off the only piece of jewelry she was wearing which was her thin gold wedding band because it was a safety issue, which she wouldn't do. From that point on, he was unfriendly, bordering on acerbic. Visibly annoyed, he rushed the rest of the climb and the descent, commenting at one point when we wanted to take a picture that ~"this was a climb not a photo essay." Those words still ring in my head, and I'd advise anyone thinking about getting a guide to question the guide beforehand (and carefully listen to the answer) and ask how they handle conflict.

In response to the initial poster; Here's something for the back of your mind. If placed in a situation that you feel threatened while climbing. "Sir, I feel that you are threatening my safety and endangering lives. Unless you immediately back down I intend place you under arrest for reckless endangerment and accompany you to the ranger station for processing. If I place you under arrest and you do not immediately accompany me to the ranger station I will also charge you with felony eluding." You are well within your rights to do so, and a guide with paying customers in tow, no matter how personality deficient, would do well to back off. grabbing a picture of the aggressor might not be a bad idea either. if you actually do need to follow through, ask the rangers to summon a federal law enforcement (if you are in a national park) agent (via phone, you don't need for them to show up in person) and explain that this guys actions made you reasonably fearful for you life and or the lives of others. Personally, I'd use my cell phone on the way down before getting to the ranger station and get transferred to the regional fbi office covering the area, and explain the situation and ask them to take my report (i would do this because I'd guess the guide would be semi-familiar with the (national park service)rangers in the area whereas I would be a stranger to them, and this would be uneven ground).
Posted Apr 15, 2010 3:37 pm

Viewing: 1-2 of 2