There's a rattlesnake in my crack! Little fella was minding his own business between the first and second bolt but still killed the onsight attempt...

Put my hand on top of a ledge above my head. Put my other hand on top of the same ledge. Pulled my head up over the ledge and staring me in the face is a rather large snake. It slowly slithered back into a crack. I suppose we were both equally surprised to see each other. New River Gorge.
Always snake check at the new.
First Steps?
Have only been to NRG once but was stunned by the number of snakes I saw that weekend.
Was elbow deep in the cave at the start of Beetle Byway, pulled the roof on to the slab and then lowered off because it was wet. Someone else stick clipped a draw at the roof and then we see a snake about 6ft long on the ledge under the draw where I had just had my whole arm in. He wasn't too happy about having to climb up and get his draw back.
Pretty sure those black rat snakes are harmless but still freaky in the moment
Same happened to me in Ohiopyle, pulled myself up and I was damn near nose to nose with a copperhead. I decided I wanted to let go and just hang there for a while and reconsider my life.
Similar story at RRG. The whole time I was talking about cottonmouths and my buddies were giving me shit. I go to lead some warm-up and pull up onto a sunny ledge after first bolt and there is a cottonmouth just chilling staring at me. Immediately let go. He didn't bother me, but he scared the shit out of me.
This one time I climbed at a crab I’ve never been. Started climbing, well there was a hold that was part of a big hole in the wall. I could not for the life of me look inside of it. So I just put my hand in anyways. A snake hissed at me. Never going there again.
This is why always bring my periscope to the crag
Cool to find symbiotic snakes, didn’t know that crabs were so happy to have things living in their carapace.
Wow you were gonna climb a crab? Must have been a big one :p
Its okay if you lose the hand since using hands is aid anyway
"Snake" is a pretty legitimate reason to take. Did you get around it or had to bail?
I just bailed. The onsight was dashed, and there were plenty of other new routes to enjoy -- didn't feel like it was worth pushing on.
fuck taking, time to whip!
And its things like this that make me wonder why anyone would ever freesolo anything. You never know what's hiding in cracks.
You're probably not gonna find a rattlesnake a 100 feet up, I would be worried about bees though
As frustrating and dangerous as situations like this can be I think it’s important to remember that you are a guest in this guys house. That rattlesnake isn’t in your way, your way goes through his home, and I honestly can’t blame him for hiding in a spot like that.
Completely agree! Glad to let him have the spot :)
where was this? cool snake
Apple Valley, CA
My question is why are there bolts next to a crack that looks perfect for taking gear?
Someone thought this was a good alternative to chopping those bolts.
Bolts should still be chopped, whoever put one next to a crack like that is too dumb to be trusted properly bolting anyways
The missouri river flooded like no other last summer. Pushing all the wildlife back from the river by maybe half a mile. All the way right up to the base of the crag. My partner and I hiked up to the wall. Saw 5 snakes on our way to the wall. The wall was covered in snakes, we could see plenty from the ground. We just bailed on the entire crag.
That's insane. Every monsoon season in southern Thailand we'd always find big snakes showing up in people's houses trying to escape the rain -- who can blame them, right?
what crag ?
Sweet bolted crack!
No one is trad climbing apple valley, couple of guys developed that entire area, they can do what ever the fuck they want mate.
Can snakes climb almost vertical walls? Do they have good friction?
I mean, could you free solo and suddenly meet a snake far above the ground?
There are no dumb questions
Does this answer your question?
Yes, however, the venomous snakes of North America are fairly terrestrial. If you meet a snake halfway up a face, chances are it'll be nonvenomous. Actually, pretty much anywhere you are, if you meet a snake the odds are it'll be nonvenomous. That said, if you have to ask, it's always best to assume a snake is venomous and leave it be.
Splitter crack on bomber rock with bolts.....................
Ya gotta be careful what cracks you stick your fingers into. It'll get you into trouble every time lol.
Anyone else wondering what bolts are doing so close to such a splitter crack?
That's pretty cool, but why are there bolts on a crack climb?
because there are fucking snakes in the cracks!
the snake is almost as scary as the bolt next to the crack!
Oh fuxk no
And I thought a wasp nest sucked! Stuff like this reminds me why soloing is a bad idea!
At least snakes you can move a few feet away from and they will leave you alone. Some wasps will chase you a long way.
"There's a snake in my route!" -Sheriff Woody
I know I’m in the minority here, but doesn’t the aversion to bolting routes seem a bit gatekeepy? Not everyone is able to buy a full rack of gear for every route. Just an honest take, can someone explain why sport/bolts are so frowned upon?
Impact reduction. Trad gear is expensive, but it’s mostly up-front, much like PC gaming. Since Royal Robbins brought chocks back from overseas, clean, gear only ascents have been the gold standard. Why bolt when you don’t need to? Climbers get enough scrutiny.
If you want to play, you have to pay.
Not everyone who wants to kayak can afford a yak. Not everyone who wants to ski or snowboard can afford lift tickets. Not everyone who wants to sky dive can afford the 'chute or hire a plane.
Why should climbing be an exception that is dumbed down for the masses?
There are plenty of sport routes. Not every route needs to be bolted.
You could protect every inch of the crack in the picture with a single set of nuts. Maybe $60? Less than a six pack of draws. You don’t need lots of expensive gear to climb trad. Sure, cams make it easier, but they aren’t required. And a single rack of C4s will get you up a lot of climbs for less than $250. Compared to most outdoor pursuits, that’s pretty cheap.
Bolting is a necessary evil to provide reasonable safety on otherwise unprotectable climbs. There’s a perfectly protectable crack in this picture.
Paving a road to the top of a mountain would mean more people could go up there, but does that mean we should do it to every one?
Some gates are worth keeping.
It's honestly not all that expensive, and most hobbies are expensive. The real cost of climbing is in the ropes and shoes, not the hard goods that last ages
nope nope nope
I found a scorpion in a hold while night climbing in Arco last summer, I don't think I would have continued with a rattlesnake though. Sounds scetchy...
I'd like to know if this is New Jack City as well, heading there in March. Assuming this guy was alive?
The Snake
Type: Sport
Grade: 5.10d | 6b+ | VII+
Height: 60 ft/18.3 m
Rating: 2.6/4
Located in
He was alive. After looking it up might have been a Liar Snake, not a rattle snake... It was at Horsemen's
What route?
Risky hand jam.
Reminds me of that time I was climbing in the Red River George and had to climb over a bee nest to clip.
Note: I’m allergic to bees
This is my worst nightmare. Gives me chills, just thinking about it.
Are the crack lines bolted because of the snakes?
This is how I'll die one day. Due to a heart attack, not a bite.
Memories of Joshua Tree and close encounters spring to mind...
There's no bad conditions.
There's only weakness.
Imagine being a snake, soloing your futuristic crack climb. And some other climber starts the route below you, following you right up to your full body jam. Jeez 🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍
He’s positively chillin my dude
Just one more reason for me to not climb outside.
Yes. Stay inside. Please.
Don't let that deter you! Wildlife is just another reason to be out there -- and be respectful of the place you're in.