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Dear Wig: Sleepy belayers.

24 June 2009 2,484 views 9 Comments
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Sometimes I get the occasional email asking for help. I don’t mind this. Despite looking like a selfish, self-absorbed bastard (I mean look at the photo I used. It’s me. I guess I do see why people think that), I do in fact like helping others. I have no idea why people think my advice is worth shit, but I’ll dish it out like bread sticks at Olive Garden any day. Check it. Our first letter comes from Ms.Dyan

Hm. Well, maybe you have ideas on how to keep yourself busy when belaying….Here’s the story.

I’m not an alpine climber. Never was, never will be. The approach kills me (asthma, I swear). And the “alpine start”…WTF!?  Anywho, I went on a climb a few days ago with my friend Kevin, which was pretty epic, but I was so damn tired at the belay, I couldn’t help but nod off. I know, I fucking fail at life. I started whistling, then I realized I suck at whistling, then I started singing…..and then I started getting angry. Like, what the eff is Kevin DOING?
So maybe you have some more ideas for us belayers who are helplessly narcoleptic.

Yours trulee,
Ms. Dyan

Alright Ms. Dyan. You just shut your lips and learn. I am not so certain how alpine climbing got brought up in this letter. Have you read our site before? We don’t like it. You have to walk. You have to like… be cold. No. Next time Kevin calls  you to Alpine with him, you tell him you have to wash your hair or whatever other bullshit excuse girls come up with.

Now as far as your belaying problem goes. I have a few solutions that I use a lot.
1) Don’t wake up in the single digits. I read in the medical journal somewhere it’s good for people to sleep past 10. Always. No matter what. If you wake up and you’re still drunk this is a problem. It’s an awesome problem but a problem all the same.
2) Drink some fucking coffee. It’s the nectar of life. You should consume at least one pot of coffee each morning. And that’s IF you slept your full 8 hours the night before if not, you need to add an extra 16 oz. for every hour you missed.
3) Smoke cigarettes. I also read somewhere that these are good for you. I can’t remember where though. They keep you awake. Certainly.
When Kevin reads this he will likely never let you belay again. I certainly wouldn’t
4) Buy a grigri so that if you do fall asleep your leader won’t hit the ground when/if they fall.

Now that I think about this I can’t even believe you climb… You FALL ASLEEP WHILE BELAYING?!
Are you kidding me?
I think you answered this question in your email “you fail at life.”

Send any inquiries or questions to [email protected] and I will be happy to solve any of your problems.

Tags: belaying, fail, sleep


  • Dave Erickson said:

    I think the answer is in Ms. Dyan’s own letter. A properly selected alpine climb shoud be cold enough to prevent even a hint of drowsiness.

    • Penny said:

      Awesome advice! Ms.Dylan should stick to bouldering… or maybe just, like, knitting or something?

      • AB said:

        I suggest that Kevin just coil the rope around Ms. Dylan. Then, Ms. Dylan can just go to sleep on the ground. When Kevin needs slack, he can just tug hard on the rope, and Ms. Dylan will turn over once, giving out the perfect amount of slack.

        That’s the belay method I employ when I go climbing with babies and it works.

        The other option is to place a noose around Ms. Dylan’s neck. People tend not to go to sleep when they’re afraid of being hung.

        I’m Andrew Bisharat, and I approve these belay techniques.