Climbing etiquette question

12:52 p.m. on July 6, 2010 (EDT)
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Climbibg the well-worn steps up the false summit of Mt Adams I pondered a question.

While climbing a crusty snow route and others behind us were catching up to us we often stepped to the side to allow them to pass, using the established steps. Others chastised us, saying that if someone wanted to pass they could jolly well step off-line and go around. They used the word jolly, not me.

So, who gets right of way? I don't mind letting them pass but if they are in better shape they can they bear the discomfort of cutting their own steps for a while?

1:55 p.m. on July 6, 2010 (EDT)
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3,550 forum posts
Re: Climbibg etiquette question

You need only cut a few steps to get out of the way of a party overtaking you; however if you refused they would need to break trail for the duration of whatever it took to get by your group. That would entail defacing a greater portion of the snow slope, as well as impart greater hazard for all in involved. Hence your gesture to step aside is both more polite and safer. Of course there are situations where neither is safe, in which case they would have to settle for going your pace until an appropriate place to pass is encountered.

11:44 p.m. on July 7, 2010 (EDT)
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202 forum posts
Re: Climbibg etiquette question

One other point to make; uphill hikers always have the right of way. If you are approaching an uphill hiker on your way down step aside... unless of course like me, as the uphill hiker, you would like to use it as an excuse to take a short breather as the downhillers pass... and if your really lucky they will want to stop and talk thus extending your breather just a bit longer :)

May 24, 2020
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