Rock climbing

Bad Decisions and the EDK

It is incredible that we are still referring to the Flat Overhand as the “EDK” let alone having Rock and Ice magazine tell people it is unsafe, should be thought of “like the 13th floor”, and not use it.

Rock and Ice Article

m28a0745I just went to some continuing education at the American Mountain Guides Association’s annual conference where I sat in on a great talk by Silas Rossi on how as humans we just make bad decisions. This clinic was held at the Petzl institute about a half hour after some of the worlds most experienced guides tested the flat overhand for the millionth time. Now Silas, as any good educator would, had tons of data to back up his belief that we make bad decisions. He also took us to real world experiences like this one:

Everyone knows that there are bad drivers in the world. Most people feel they are a decent driver. Everyone knows that texting while driving is a bad idea and that many people die from this. He then asked us to raise our hands if we had never texted while driving. Of course everyone has done this. It is a bad decision, but we still do it.

If we look at the Flat Overhand, that is well tied and used in proper situations like rappelling, it is a good decision. It is a bad decision to write for one of the leading magazines on rock climbing in the US and tell people it is bad luck. The statement “Since there are not any surviving whitnesses” is just false. Folks rappel on this knot all the time. Just like the news though, nothings reported if nothing happens.

I do hope this article was written in satire but even if it was you are confusing the climber that is looking to you for advice. This should be written in an opinions section and not in a how to section on your website or magazine.

Maybe in the end all of this is ok though. Rock and Ice will loose subscribers’ trust in the information that they put out there. Folks will turn to certified guides to get real data on the tools and techniques of climbing. Problem solved.

Now if we could only make better decisions…



Here is an article I wrote about the Flat Overhand

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