Honor Among Climbers - Or Lack Thereof

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Sierra Ledge Rat

 
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Honor Among Climbers - Or Lack Thereof

by Sierra Ledge Rat » Thu Aug 12, 2021 1:22 pm

This is about the change in climbers and the change in American society that occurred in the early 1980s.

I was fortunate to cut my big wall teeth in Yosemite Valley in the 1970s. We were homeless Camp 4 bums, living in Yosemite Valley for months at a time. We ate out of dumpsters, scarfed abandoned food in the cafeteria, collected bottles and cans for the nickel deposit, and hitch-hiked everywhere.

Life in Camp 4 was great. On rest days, we left our climbing rack and rope hanging from a tree branch, and went out to the Merced River or the spray at Lower Yosemite Falls. We never worried that anything would ever get stolen, and nothing was ever stolen. Climbers - and people in general - were honorable people.

Then something changed around 1980 or a bit later. Climbers started stealing from climbers. Camp 4 bums started breaking into cars. Hitch-hikers started to get murdered at alarming rates. By the mid-1980s it was nearly impossible to hitch hike anymore. Climbers even started jugging fixed lines on El Cap and stealing all the gear. If anyone remembers the names of these criminals, post them here.

WTF happened to climbers and people?

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Woodswalker

 
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Re: Honor Among Climbers - Or Lack Thereof

by Woodswalker » Sun Aug 15, 2021 10:45 am

1972 - We had a bag of food stolen at the base of Half Dome. My dad was pissed. Yosemite was filled with hippies at that time. Many were thieves.

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phydeux

 
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Re: Honor Among Climbers - Or Lack Thereof

by phydeux » Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:37 pm

Yosemite got really crowded in the spring-summer-fall months in the 1980s when there were no day-use limits. You couldn't see the forest through the trees through the fields of people. More people coming into the valley to site-see, and a lot coming to the base of El Capitan by walking through the climber's camps. And with all those people you know there were a few with 'sticky fingers', so I'm not surprised at all that some theft started to happen. I stopped going to Yosemite Valley during high season about 1990, and have only been there in the winter 2-3 times since then. To me its lost its magic, its shine, its mystery.

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Silvia Mazzani
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Re: Honor Among Climbers - Or Lack Thereof

by Silvia Mazzani » Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:56 pm

phydeux wrote:To me its lost its magic, its shine, its mystery.


Not only Yosemite changed! Sadly several mythical mountain places in the world have lost their shine due to overcrowding. The world unfortunately is enormously overpopulated, and not from today, but today people also overrun the mountains.

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Re: Honor Among Climbers - Or Lack Thereof

by Alpinist » Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:26 pm

There seems to be a worldwide pandemic of mental illness. The terrible things people do to each other aren't limited to simple theft, and they aren't done exclusively by strangers. The news is filled with horrific things that family members and friends do to each other; assault, murder, rape. It's so common that we've become numb to it.

You know there is something truly and seriously wrong with people's mental health when a third of the people in the US can no longer distinguish between reality and fantasy. The popularity of QAnon is clear evidence of this.

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Marmaduke

 
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Re: Honor Among Climbers - Or Lack Thereof

by Marmaduke » Thu Aug 19, 2021 4:59 am

Am I not understanding SLR's post?, is he asking for people to call out names of people that stole shit from camp 4 from 40+ years ago?

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Re: Honor Among Climbers - Or Lack Thereof

by jdzaharia » Thu Aug 19, 2021 3:05 pm

Marmaduke wrote:Am I not understanding SLR's post?, is he asking for people to call out names of people that stole shit from camp 4 from 40+ years ago?

That's how I understand it. Except it's not really an ask, but more a demand. At the very least, he could post his own name.

He also seems miffed on how a large homeless camp, with such an excellent quality of life that members are eating out of dumpsters, is not compatible long-term with the goals of a National Park.

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Bob Burd
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Re: Honor Among Climbers - Or Lack Thereof

by Bob Burd » Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:59 pm

I think with enough time, we imagine much of our past to be better than it was. People being sucky has been going since, well, forever.

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Sierra Ledge Rat

 
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Re: Honor Among Climbers - Or Lack Thereof

by Sierra Ledge Rat » Thu Aug 26, 2021 7:52 pm

marmaduke, no you're wrong
go crawl back into your cold, dark hole

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Marmaduke

 
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Re: Honor Among Climbers - Or Lack Thereof

by Marmaduke » Fri Aug 27, 2021 3:43 am

Don't be an ass SLR, you did, you edited your post. Another person here said the same....... guess one too many that night?

Sierra Ledge Rat wrote:marmaduke, no you're wrong
go crawl back into your cold, dark hole

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Craig Peer

 
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Re: Honor Among Climbers - Or Lack Thereof

by Craig Peer » Thu May 12, 2022 11:13 pm

I had my truck broken into parked on the side of the road while climbing Manure Pile Buttress back in the late '70's / early '80's. They stole a ton of climbing gear. You have to get a long way from the road before you can trust folks. Dirtbags are too lazy to walk a long ways.


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