ALL INDIVIDUALS USING, REFERRING TO, TALKING ABOUT,
OR MERELY THINKING ABOUT THESE TOPOS MUST READ THIS!!!
These inaccurate topos are based on dim recollections, half-baked
guesses, gossip, blind speculation, and outright lies. In NO WAY do they
tell the full story. You would probably be better off just trying to find
your own way up the mountain, than you would be if you used these topos.
But that statement in no way implies that we are in any way responsible
if you don't use these topos, and something bad happens anyway.
Nature is unpredictable and unsafe. Mountains are dangerous. Many books
have been written about these dangers, and there's no way we can even list
them all here, let alone discuss how to reduce risk from these dangers.
Read the books.
The areas depicted by these topos are covered in steep terrain with loose,
slippery and unstable footing. The weather can make matters worse. Sheer
drops are everywhere. You may fall, be injured or die. There are hidden
holes. You could break your leg. There are overhanging outcroppings and
low-growing tree branches where you could bump your head. There are wild
animals, which may be vicious, poisonous, hungry or carriers of dread diseases.
These may include poisonous amphibians, reptiles, and insects; insects to
which you have allergies, or whose multiple stings can cause anaphylactic
shock; mammals which may include skunks, badgers, marmots, lions, tigers,
and bears; predatory birds, and all other manner of beasts. Plants can be
poisonous as well, and even when not poisonous, can inflict serious injury
like a sharp stick in the eye. Mushrooms growing in this area are very likely
extremely poisonous. These topos, and the authors of these topos, will not
do anything to protect you from any of this. We do not inspect, supervise
or maintain the ground, rocks, cliffs, wildlife, vegetation or other features,
natural or otherwise.
Real dangers are present even on approach trails. Trails are not sidewalks,
and folks have died and been seriously injured even on sidewalks when they
have tripped on cracked concrete, plunged into meter boxes with missing
covers, been mugged, hit by cars, had pianos fall on them... Trails can
be, and are, steep, slippery and dangerous. Trail features made or enhanced
by humans, such as bridges, steps, walls and railings (if any) can break,
collapse, or otherwise fail catastrophically at any time. We don't promise
to inspect, supervise or maintain them in any way. They may be negligently
constructed or repaired. Some trails in these areas are only maintained
by Nelson Bighorn Sheep, who have little regard for human life or human
safety, or any humans whatsoever. In summary, trails are unsafe, period.
Live with it or stay away.
Stay on the trails whenever possible. The terrain, in addition to being
dangerous, is surprisingly complex. You may get lost. You probably WILL
get lost. The chances of getting lost multiply geometrically after the sun
goes down, due to poor visibility. The sun goes down at least once a day
in these areas. Not to say that you won't get lost during daylight hours.
In either event, carry a flashlight, extra bulb and batteries, compass,
GPS, maps, altimeter, cellular phone, food, water, matches and first aid
supplies at all times. Our advising you of this does not mean there are
not other things you should be carrying. Carry them as well, and know how
to use them. we are not responsible for the consequences if you fail to
heed this advice. In fact, we are not responsible for the consequences even
if you DO heed this advice, nor are we responsible if you carry so much
stuff along that you end up moving so slowly that you get benighted. Tough
Rocks and other objects can, and probably will, fall from the cliffs. They
can tumble down slopes. This can happen naturally, or be caused by people
above you, such as climbers. Rocks of all sizes, including huge boulders,
can shift, move or fall with no warning. If you don't believe us check out
the talus slopes at the base of some of the rock walls. They didn't just
grow there. Use of helmets is advised for anyone approaching the rock formations.
In fact, you shouldn't really be approaching the rock formations anyway.
That is a really stupid thing to do. If you do decide to approach the formations,
shoulder pads, knee pads, elbow pads, athletic cups and supporters and other
body armor may be handy as well as helmets. These items can be purchased
or rented from mountaineering shops and athletic supply stores. They won't
save you if you get hit by or scrape against something big or on another
part of your body. A whole rock formation might collapse on you and squash
you like a bug. Don't think it can't happen. It does, and it probably will.
Weather can be dangerous, regardless of the forecast. Be prepared with extra
clothing, including rain gear. Hypothermia, heat stroke, dehydration, frostbite,
lightning, ice and snow, runoff from rainstorms, flashfloods, etc. can kill
you. Rain can turn easy terrain into a deathtrap, can drown you if you're
looking up into the sky with your mouth open, and vastly decreases traction
on pavement. Snow is even worse, the hazards ranging from snowball fight
injuries to avalanches.
If you scramble in high places (scrambling is moving over terrain steep
enough to use your hands) without proper experience, training and equipment,
or allow children to do so, you are making a terrible mistake. Even if you
know what you're doing and are the most experienced and safest climber the
world has ever known, you are still making a terrible mistake: lots of things
can and do go wrong and you may be injured or die. It happens all the time.
Furthermore, scrambling amongst the huge boulders in these areas, even without
exposure of high places, can result in serious physical and/or emotional
injury, or death.
These areas, and these routes, are not provided with any rangers or security
personnel on any regular basis. The other people in the area, including
other visitors, USFS employees, foreign agents, biologists and nature freaks,
terrorists and anyone else who might sneak in, may be stupid, reckless,
or dangerous. They may be mentally ill, criminally insane, drunk, using
illegal drugs and/or armed with anything from nail clippers to deadly weapons
and ready to use them. We're not going to do anything about that. We refuse
to take responsibility.
Excessive consumption of alcohol, use of prescription drugs, over-the-counter
medications, and/or controlled substances while frequenting these areas
can and probably will affect your mental state, alertness, and decision-making
abilities, and could make an already dangerous situation even worse. Even
hyperventilation or spinning around rapidly and repeatedly can affect your
equilibrium to the point that even on a flat paved surface you may fall
and injure yourself. Even abstinence from consciousness-altering substances
and actions won't protect you from the actions of others under the influence
of such substances or actions. That's your problem, and yours alone. Not
The driveways, freeways, highways, streets, alleys, back roads and unimproved
4WD tracks leading to these areas kill hundreds of folks each year. Many
of these fatalities are folks who aren't even on their way to these areas,
who in fact have never heard of them, but are simply innocent victims. Not
so you. You have been warned. You could get killed driving to the trailhead.
Wearing your seatbelt tightly fastened with the lap belt low across your
waist improves your chances of survival, in most cases (except that one
steep section of road) but does not and cannot guarantee your safety. You
might die before ever stepping out of your vehicle at the trailhead, or
on the way home. It can happen any time. If you think you are immune from
this kind of thing, you're fooling yourself.
These are not sterile environments. Bacteria, viruses, protozoa, protoviruses,
fungi and other forms of life and protolife which may or may not be currently
included in either the plant or animal kingdom are capable of causing you
serious bodily harm, illness, or death. These kinds of biological agents
are both endemic in these areas or present in the plant and animal populations;
and are also capable of being carried or transmitted by your climbing partners
and travelling companions. We're not going to take responsibility for this,
either. Our advice for you to treat drinking water, wash your hands before
and after going to the bathroom and before eating, to not breathe hunta-virus-contaminated
dust, and to not indulge in unprotected sex in this area, in no way obligates
us to be responsible for the consequences if you fail to do so, nor does
it mean that even if you DO take these precautions and something happens
anyway, that we are to blame. Not so. Forget it. Nada. Negativo.
If you climb, you may die or be seriously injured. And the longer you climb
the greater your risk of bad luck, which may or may not be compounded by
hubris, catching up to you. This is true whether you are experienced or
not, trained or not, and equipped or not, though training, experience and
equipment may help. It's a fact, climbing is extremely dangerous. If you
don't like it, stay at home. You really shouldn't be doing it anyway. We
do not provide supervision or instruction. We are not responsible for, and
do not inspect or maintain, climbing anchors (including bolts, pitons, slings,
trees, etc.) As far as we know, any of them can and probably will suddenly
fail without warning and send you plunging to your death with a bloodcurdling
scream, likely pulling your partner to his or her doom as well. There are
countless tons of loose rock ready to be dislodged and fall on you or someone
else. There are any number of inobvious, extremely and unusually dangerous
conditions existing on and around the rocks, and elsewhere in these areas.
We probably don't know about any specific hazard, but even if we do, don't
expect these topos or their authors to try to warn you. You're on your own.
We won't even begin to discuss rappelling. If you are thinking of travelling
here for the express purpose of rappelling, do us all a favor: Just take
a nice nap in the fast lane of an interstate truck route. But be advised
that, if you do, we are in no way responsible for the consequences of that,
Furthermore, the fact that we're not trying to stop you from being in these
areas in no way implies, nor should it be inferred, that we approve, recommend,
advocate, or otherwise in any way affirm that such action on your part is
anything but incredibly stupid.
Rescue services are not provided by anyone near these climbs, and may not
be available quickly or at all. In fact, if anything really serious happens
to you in these areas, you'll probably be dead before word ever reaches
civilization. Local rescue squads may not be equipped for or trained in
mountain rescue. They probably won't be. If you are lucky enough to have
somebody try to rescue you or treat your injuries, they will probably be
incompetent or worse. This includes doctors and hospitals. We assume no
responsibility. Also, if you decide to participate in a rescue of some other
unfortunate, that's your choice. Don't do it unless you are willing to assume
all risks, and don't blame us when it goes bad and you end up getting yourself
sued in the process.
By using, or even just looking at these topos, you are agreeing that we
owe you no duty of care or any other duty, you agree to release us, our
relatives, heirs, dependents, and anyone else we care to name, now and forevermore,
from any and all claims of liability, even though our actions may be grossly
negligent and/or be construed as reckless endangerment, manslaughter, or
other misconduct up to and including premeditated murder. By consulting
these topos, you agree to waive forever any rights that you, your partners,
dependents, heirs, inlaws, and others known or unknown to you may have,
to legal compensation resulting from anything that has anything to do with
these topos, including but in no way limited to paper cuts from the edge
of the topo itself. If you try to sue us in spite of all this, you agree
to pay our lawyers fees regardless of the outcome of the suit, and you expressly
agree to reimburse us for any loss or injury, be it financial, physical,
emotional, or imagined, which we may experience as a result of such lawsuit.
We promise you nothing. We do not and will not even try to keep these areas
safe for any purpose. These areas are NOT safe for any purpose. This is
no joke. We won't even try to warn you about any dangerous or hazardous
condition, whether we know about it or not. If we do decide to warn you
about something, that doesn't mean we will try to warn you about anything
else. If we do make an effort to fix an unsafe condition, we may not try
to correct any others, and we may actually make matters worse! We may have
done things in the area that are unwise and dangerous. we probably did,
but we don't remember. Sorry, we're neither competent nor responsible. The
topos give you bad advice. Don't listen. Or do listen. It's your choice,
but you face the consequences either way, whatever they may be.
In short, CLIMB AT YOUR OWN RISK. If you, or your heirs, relatives, dependents
or others known or unknown to you; your partner or your partners heirs,
relatives, dependents, or others known or unknown to you OR your partner,
are the slimy kind of lawyer-touting parasites who would try to sue the
author of a topo, If you can't take responsibility for your own decisions,
knowledge, routefinding and plain dumb bad luck, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stay
far far away from these routes and these areas, give up climbing, and die
of some completely natural, painful, and slowly progressive disease.
Thank you, climb safe, and have fun!
THE STAFF OF BIGWALL.COM
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(With Thanks to Brutus of Wyde)