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Dilemma, what would you do?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jeff Schaber, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Jeff Schaber

    Jeff Schaber

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    So I have this dilemma and I need some advice. Sorry for this long post but not sure how to ask without some background:

    There's an acquaintance of mine (co-worker) who asked me for pictures I had taken of slot canyons I've done (which aren't many as I consider myself a novice) he said he "wanted to see what they looked like" because he was interested in doing some. I then found out that our local Outdoors store, via Face book, was hosting a "Canyoneering Event." My first reaction was "Cool! I wonder who's giving the talk?" I was shocked to see that this acquaintance of mine was leading it, that's when I realized what he wanted my pictures for. Let me just state that I feel this person is unnecessarily unsafe and a bad choice to lead an event like this never mind his lack of experience, and his sneaky way of asking for my (and my other friends) photos.

    Last year he joined our Zion portion of our trip to Utah and did the following:

    Jumped of the boulder in Orderville and encouraged others to do the same after the Back country desk said it was unsafe and we urged them not to (he got pissed because we were "spoiling his fun"). I was leading this group through Orderville as many of them had no experience and we wanted to give them a taste of canyoneering.

    He and his friends Violated closed trails to hike Lady Mountain and Hidden Canyon even posting pictures of the trail closed signs on Face book. We told him before they went that the trails were closed as this was just after the big rock fall in September, didn't care.

    He ignored my, my other friends, and the Back country Desks suggestions not to do Pine Creek slot due to a High risk of flash floods (it had been raining the last two days and the guy at the Back country desk said he wouldn't be caught dead in Pine Creek, they went that morning and it flashed that afternoon). I hiked the West Rim instead and it poured. He mentioned the night before that he was going to do it anyway because it was his last day there. We told him and his friends on multiple occasions how stupid it was. This was the first technical slot he's ever done, before that, he hiked Orderville and the Subway with me (that's it!). He does have a climbing background (although he just started last year) but he said they could get it done before the rain. We told him how Pine Creek was the drainage for many other canyons and we were ignored.

    None of use will associate with him due to his nature and others have flat out said he makes them feel unsafe. He does things like this locally as well however the dangers of dying in a flash flood in the midwest aren't too great. He has pretty much alienated all his friends including me by his narcissistic personality and his unsafe antics and his encouragement of other people to do the same.

    I'm tempted to go to the store and fill them in on how this guy has no clue about safety and little to no experience canyoneering. I have to work with the idiot so I know I'd get blow back from that. My friends who I travel to Utah with were also surprised at this, they plan to attend this event to actually see what he's planning but I'm torn with what involvement I should have short of calling him out at a public event. My photos were up on Flickr so I'll definitely say something if he tries to use them for this as I did not give him permission.

    My guess is that he's trying to get more people to join him canyoneering as he's already mentioned that he was looking at heading back there this year. Id' just hate to see him get someone hurt, or more.

    Problem is, most people in this area (Cincinnati) would have no clue if he was filling them full of B.S. as he does know how to talk the talk. The store is publicizing this as a how to and a way to get into the sport.

    So, what would you do?

    The event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1010439842677143/
    Yellow Dart and hank moon like this.
  2. Bosco

    Bosco

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    Jeff,

    This sounds like quite the individual and I would also have the desire to fill in the gear shop owners, although, I know many who would advise against it. I'm still learning to pick my battles but unless the outdoor store was sponsoring and or marketing for this individual I would probably try my best to save my energy for another project.

    While I find it challenging due to the nature of canyoneering and safety considerations not only pertaining to the sport in general, but also as to the apparent, or lack thereof, risk management tactics that are reportedly rather "special". It hurts me to say this but his decisions will catch up with him, hopefully not impacting anyone else when they do.

    At least for now, this is my stance - a difficult one to settle on. I look forward to seeing others' thoughts on the matter.

    I just visited the event via. the link you provided. I am surprised that the shop would support this without having checked his resume and experience. There seems the possibility that something more may be going on behind the scenes?
  3. Jeff Schaber

    Jeff Schaber

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    Thanks Bosco, Right now the plan is to attend the event and speak up if something is blatantly wrong. I may pull the shop owners aside afterwards and fill them in on the situation so they don't repeat the mistake. I think that since it's already been advertised it would be hard to cancel it without a good reason which may or may not present itself during the event.
    darhawk likes this.
  4. Bosco

    Bosco

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    Sounds like a solid plan!
  5. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    If you are going to be there anyway, why not just ask your acquaintance/coworker if you could "help" with the presentation. You could give the presentation together, if he would be OK with that.
    ratagonia likes this.
  6. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    Thanks for bringing this up. A good starting point for plan A is to talk to the presenter about your concerns, including safety and use of your photographs. Going to the store sounds dubious as they (apparently) have no desire/means of evaluating the quality of canyoneering-related information. In the end, irresponsible people do lead the unwary, and accidents do result. C'est la vie.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
    Bosco likes this.
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