Unbelayvable: Bouldering is Not a Team Sport

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Kevin Corrigan
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Every Monday we publish the most unbelievable stories of climbing stupidity submitted by our readers. See something unbelayvable? Tell us in the comments and your story could be featured in a future edition, online or in print. For more Unbelayvable, check out the Unbelayvable Archives.

>>We saw a climber being “assisted” through the crux of the 25-foot highball Heavenly Path (V1) in Bishop, California. She used a guy’s legs as handholds to pull herself onto the delicate slab toward the top. He was hanging below the lip in order to assist her. Before that it would’ve been an easy downclimb. After, she found herself in a committed position from which a fall would have been dangerous. And, once again, she was unable to climb it. She had to continue climbing the guy to reach the top. I know of at least two people that had to be carried out on stretchers by Search and Rescue from falling off the top of this very climb, and one broke their back.—Denise Tucker, via email

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LESSON: There are situations where it’s OK to use artificial means (usually pulling on draws or trad gear) to skip a difficult section of a climb. Highball bouldering is not one of them. If you can’t finish a tall problem, just quit and downclimb! Don’t lug yourself to higher, more dangerous heights. And don’t yank on people above you. A big fall is dangerous enough without another climber taking the same fall and landing on top of you.

Dumb Anchor of the Week

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What’s wrong with this anchor? Tell us in the comments, then see more awful anchors at the Dumb Anchors blog. Photo: John Gregory/Dumb Anchors. (Click for full size.)

We want to hear your unbelayvable stories! Tell us in the comments and your story could be featured in a future edition online or in print. Got an unbelayvable photo? Send it to unbelayvable@climbing.com.