The third Oh Shit Award is another simple one and one that ties into my feature “The Problem with Skinny Singles’, the issue of how easy - and dangerous - it can be to take a sport crag mentality onto ‘adventoruous’ (i.e. loose and dangerous) multi pitch routes. Most sport pitches are going to be less than 30 metres high, often far shorter, and so the gear (single ropes, belay assist devices like the GriGri) and techniques have evolved for single pitch climbing. Heading off up multi-pitch routes with single pitch gear and mentality, the sun in your hair, the thrill of the drop, is fantastic. It’s just one single pitch on top of another right? You feel free and bold and unencumbered, free of alpine clothing and gear, no climbing pack filled with survival gear, just shorts and t-shirt. But, we all know how this story eventually plays out, when playing out crashes into the ground truth, when it gets dark and you’re nowhere near the top and have no torches, or the storm hits and you find your clothing no fitting for survival, or you get lost and don’t know how to go up or down.
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