Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » dont chuck rocks off cliffs ...


Display Avatars Sort By:
eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
dont chuck rocks off cliffs ... on 12/12/2011 21:41:16 MST Print View

DROPPED
“I just lost my husband and the father of my child, and I’m mad and sad," Molly Absolon says. "I’m struggling with this feeling that Luke Rudolph has gotten off really lightly.”

By: Alan Prendergast
Hanging 800 feet above Leg Lake, ten hours into a long summer's day of climbing in Wyoming's Wind River Range, Steve Herlihy was just starting to get comfortable. Getting into the bubble, he called it. He was tired but focused, feeling good about this latest adventure with his friend and mentor, Pete Absolon.

They were at the southern end of the Winds, three-quarters of the way up an enormous cirque that flanks the lake like a half-mile-wide backstop. Close to 12,000 feet above sea level, the cliff could be glimpsed from Absolon's house on the outskirts of Lander, 15 miles away, a stumpy tooth among more sensuously contoured peaks. In 17 years of climbing the area, Absolon had never tried the cirque before; there was better rock not much farther away. But late in July he'd gone camping at Leg Lake with his wife, Molly, and their six-year-old daughter, Avery. He'd studied the cirque, particularly a long shadow where the wall turned a corner as it wrapped around the lake. Two weeks later he was back with Herlihy to try a line he'd found.

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/rock-climbing/Dropped.html


*****
The remainder of this post has been removed for being in violation of copyright law. Should you want to read the rest of the story, please visit the site above.
-Addie Bedford
Forum Moderator

Edited by addiebedford on 12/13/2011 11:34:48 MST.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Like a drunk driver. Just like a drunk driver. Who killed someone. on 12/12/2011 22:20:04 MST Print View

This is a tragic story.

40 years ago, if you drove drunk and killed someone, it was "an accident", "a tradegy" or, perversely, "an act of God".

Then, as a society, we decided that someone who risked others' lives in order to get a buzz on, WAS guilty. Not death-row guilty, but maybe, after a few offenses, they needed to not drive for a few months. And things improved a bit. Later, we took it a bit more seriously and fines got a little harsher and licene suspen sions came sooner. And things improved more.

But for decades now in the USA and decades longer in Europe, if you kill someone because of risks you voluntarily imposed on them, you were guilty of manslaughter.

Luke Rudolph should have been charged with voluntarily manslaughter. He still should be. That he prays to a particular God shouldn't effect criminal proceedings. That he served in the military shouldn't count for or against him. His co-operation with authorities could and should be factored in at sentencing. The DA should be drummed out of office.

I do feel better about the times that I've lit into a (always) white-trash hiker tossing rocks off a high point when there could be people below. But I feel much worse about what happened to this family.

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
8-page/5000-word copy and paste on 12/12/2011 22:24:42 MST Print View

Maybe you could give a quick summary of the article or give your opinion as a starting point for discussion? I'm not sure what you aim to do by just copying and pasting an eight page article from Outside magazine.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: 8-page/5000-word copy and paste on 12/12/2011 23:25:18 MST Print View

dont chuck rocks off cliffs ...

;)

im more interested in what other people think about the article should they care to read it ... ill comment latter

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/12/2011 23:25:51 MST.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Re: 8-page/5000-word copy and paste on 12/13/2011 08:17:01 MST Print View

If that is the case Eric then why don't you take a page from Majid's playbook and simply post a link to original story?

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Re: 8-page/5000-word copy and paste on 12/13/2011 08:55:17 MST Print View

Not only is that a long article to post in a forum, but it's also a huge copyright violation to post the entire article. You can post a couple of paragraphs as a teaser, but the whole thing is a no-no. This is the sort of thing that has the potential to get the entire website in trouble.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Good article on 12/13/2011 09:15:14 MST Print View

Thank you for posting it, and for the URL. That's a well-written article that I have just posted to my Troop's website. Spitting and tossing rocks off high places are just natural and fun. Knowing the risks and navigating them is the trick.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Re: 8-page/5000-word copy and paste on 12/13/2011 10:21:34 MST Print View

the URL is at the bottom

if someone decides that the story "violates" something ... then the mods can easily delete it ... go right ahead ...

interesting how there are more "comments" on the posting of the story than the story itself ..

thanks to those who have posted their thoughts ...

my view is simply that it could easily have been a hiker that was on the receiving end of the rock ... it was also a hiker that threw it ...

climbers may "sign up" for the risk of rock fall, though not for the risk of deliberately thrown rocks ... but how many here who hiked under a cliff or hill expect rocks to be thrown at em ... yet chucking of rocks by kids or even adults off hills is not uncommon

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/13/2011 10:45:34 MST.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Re: 8-page/5000-word copy and paste on 12/13/2011 10:54:06 MST Print View

Eric wrote:
"interesting how there are more "comments" on the posting of the story than the story itself .."

I think that says a great deal about how 'important' we thought your article was. ;)

Rocks fall, rocks get thrown off by people. Their is a reason when climbing / hiking at the base of a cliff informed people wear helmets. Not much we can do about the rock falls and not much we can do about people throwing rocks; other than educating them why it's a bad idea to throw rocks.

Then again this is something that was taught to most of us when we where five years old so I doubt any further education will help. :P

Charles Henry
(Chuckie_Cheese)

Locale: Arizona and British Columbia
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 8-page/5000-word copy and paste on 12/13/2011 11:07:43 MST Print View

On my first multi pitch alpine climb, I was climbing a pitch belayed but without any protection. Basically I was climbing above my belayer and if I fell, I would take a 40 foot whipper. The route was easy but there was a hard move with lots of loose rocks. It was really awkward to climb past them.

I took one of the rocks in my hand and was about to throw it off to clean the route but asked my leader first, and he firmly said no.

We were in wilderness and it was a shear 1000' drop. There was little chance the rock would land near a trail, much less near people, and it was basically an urgent safety issue to trundle the rocks, but I was still forbidden.

So yeah, tourists randomly throwing rocks off a mountain is a no, no.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
one more... on 12/13/2011 11:22:07 MST Print View

... for the chaffstarta.

Sharon J.
(squark) - F

Locale: SF Bay area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 8-page/5000-word copy and paste on 12/13/2011 15:24:36 MST Print View

"Rocks fall, rocks get thrown off by people. Their is a reason when climbing / hiking at the base of a cliff informed people wear helmets."

But the man who was killed was wearing a helmet. You're right that there's not much more he could have done, but it's good to remind people to think before they throw "bowling ball-sized" rocks off a cliff.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 8-page/5000-word copy and paste on 12/13/2011 16:12:55 MST Print View

You forgot the end of my post Sharon:


"Then again this is something that was taught to most of us when we where five years old so I doubt any further education will help. :P"

People that need to be reminded not to throw rocks off of cliffs where people may be below aren't going to listen anyways.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F

Locale: Northern Utah
Thanks for posting the article on 12/13/2011 16:19:49 MST Print View

Eric - Thanks for posting this article. I work as a volunteer with the Boy Scouts and articles like this are great to show youth how important it is NOT to roll large boulders off of cliffs. What a sad event that could have been prevented.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 8-page/5000-word copy and paste on 12/13/2011 16:31:27 MST Print View

"Rocks fall, rocks get thrown off by people. Their is a reason when climbing / hiking at the base of a cliff informed people wear helmets."

Not to give the idiot who lobbed the rock in this sad case a pass, but it has been my strict policy for nearly 40 years in the mountains not to walk at the base of cliffs, period. Mother Nature lobs a lot more rocks than humans and if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, your number's up. Climbing is a whole different story, for you choose to go in harm's way, and rock fall is an accepted objective hazard. That said, anybody who tosses rocks off cliffs in a known rock climbing area ought to be charged with manslaughter, at the very least, IMO.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Thanks for posting the article on 12/13/2011 21:31:21 MST Print View

The problem isn't that they threw rocks off a cliff. Its the fact the idiot threw a rock off the cliff without looking first!

You will note that AFTER he threw it they looked and WATCHED as said rock hit the man in the head or were able to see said men afterwards. The fool never looked. It was a 100% avoidable accident if the stupid idiot had looked first.

Because of this it is not involuntary manslaughter. Its criminal negligence and for this reason should be tossed in the clink to serve as a statement to others to LOOK before doing.

If you can't see the entire rock rolling path, then don't throw/roll/push. If you can see the entire path, throw/roll/push away.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Thanks for posting the article on 12/13/2011 21:57:19 MST Print View

>If you can see the entire path, throw/roll/push away.


When it involves cliffs, loose material, or steep grade, I'd stay away from rolling, pushing, or throwing anything.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Like a drunk driver. Just like a drunk driver. Who killed someone. on 12/13/2011 22:50:42 MST Print View

"Luke Rudolph should have been charged with voluntarily manslaughter. He still should be. That he prays to a particular God shouldn't effect criminal proceedings. That he served in the military shouldn't count for or against him. His co-operation with authorities could and should be factored in at sentencing. The DA should be drummed out of office."b

Tragic incident.

The question to me is what would be accomplished by the DA prosecuting? Probably 99% of the population does not frequent wilderness areas, so punishing him would not likely impact the behavior of many people at all, as does drunk driving convictions. We need to remove drunk drivers from the streets. And voluntary manslaughter could result in prison time which costs the taxpayers money, and Rudolph has remorse. He will never throw another rock off a cliff... so prison is not going to rehabilitate him.

Now the family of the victim suffered a loss. They can pursue this further through civil proceedings if they deem appropriate and probably win. No matter what they do, it will not return their loved husband/father to them.

Just food for thought.

To be honest it has never occurred to me to throw a rock off a cliff, nor have I ever been told/read about the danger of doing so. I do tread carefully when near a base and try not to walk next to it, but my only thought has been natural rockfalls... never even thought about the likelihood that someone might toss something from the top.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
No perfect answer. Only a horrible incident. on 12/13/2011 23:56:58 MST Print View

>The question to me is what would be accomplished by the DA prosecuting? Probably 99% of the population does not frequent wilderness areas, so punishing him would not likely impact the behavior of many people at all, as does drunk driving convictions.

Nick: I agree that this yahoo isn't going to be throwing any more rocks off of cliffs. Almost no one who - drunk drives / randomly shoots a gun / drives 100 mph / leaves their babysitting charges near the pool / leaves high-voltage wires uncovered / etc - and kills someone will ever do that particular action again. In all those cases, you could say, they'll never do it again, they've already suffered, there's no need to rehabilitate him, it would cost money to prosecute/incarcerate.

> We need to remove drunk drivers from the streets.

Agreed.

Even though 99.9% of drunk drivers get where they are going without killing someone. But as a society we've agreed that drunk driving is unacceptable and we do that through fines for first timers, stiffer fines plus jail for repeat offenders, and manslaughter charges for people who, for a thrill or their convenience or pleasure put others at risk and wind up killing someone.

No one was being evil or intentionally violent in this incident. But Rudolph was taking needless risks - risks to other people - AND the very unlikely happened. That's the definition of manslaughter.

Maybe I was reading too much into it, but it seemed the DA felt sorry for Rudolph and that was part of the reason not to prosecute. What if the perp hadn't been a local? Was a minority? Had unpopular political views? Hadn't cranked up the remorse so much or had been unable to express his sorrow as well? DAs prosecute. PDs defend. It takes 12 citizens, none of whom have a reasonable doubt, to convict. There are a lot of safeguards in that system. If the survivors didn't argue against it, I'd say let the system work as intended and lead where it leads.

> To be honest it has never occurred to me to throw a rock off a cliff

It doesn't occur to me to DO it, but I'm very aware that people do, because I tell them off fairly often. Typically, the person throwing rocks has a very poor sense of the setting. I often know that there is a trail or a swimming hole or a fishing spot right below them. More worrisome is that they are often packing a .357 or .44 as "bear protection" raising serious questions about their firearm knowledge and wisdom. Interestingly, but maybe predictably, the rock throwing stops 5 miles from the pavement.

And yet, I don't disagree with your points and I respect your conclusion.

And I'm sure part of my reaction is because (regarding the climber): "That could have been my wife or daughter!" Whereas of the thrower, "That's not anyone I know."

I wonder if this is true: Kill a climber and get off - Outside magazine readers (1 million?) will learn about it. And some will wear helmets more often. Throw a rock and go to jail - People and USA Today and Paul Harvey listeners (40,000,000?) will hear about it and some will throw rocks less often.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
rocks on 12/14/2011 00:16:50 MST Print View

ive caught some kids and adults throwing rocks off cliffs ... often they claim they are unaware that any trails or climbs are down there ... this may be true, or it may just be an excuse

i personally find it very hard to believe that any person who isnt crazy would throw rocks down a cliff knowing that there may be climbers or hikers down there ... though anything is possible in this day and age

IMO there is no good reason to throw rocks off cliffs and mountains for "fun" ... it stops being fun when it hits someone ...

the worst ive seen however came from a "climber" ... some young person threw down a 70L+ pack full of gear down a busy climbing area because he didnt want to carry it down ... there were kids at the base of the cliff ... there was no call of "ROCK" or anything similar ... it narrowly missed some people ...

as to helmets ... the people in this story had helmets, one still perished ... i suspect a decent amount of people on BPL do go through canyons, pass by hills and cliffs on their hikes ... i havent seen too many UL helmet threads these days ... i suspect many dont wear one unless they are doing mountaineering, scrambling or climbing ....

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/14/2011 00:19:39 MST.