cost benefit analysis: boat vs. rap

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Posted by JRM on April 23, 2001 at 17:01:46:

In Reply to: its no joke, some people actually rapell to ab sites posted by RaiderKarl on April 23, 2001 at 13:42:10:

I had to read this three times. The first time I thought you said that buying a boat is more economical than rapping. Then I read it again, and it still appeared the same. The third time it finally sank in, yes indeed, you did make that assertion.

First, the rap is the most dangerous part of any climb. I'll agree to that stipulation. I've been up on the big stone many times, and the rapell always gives me the willies. Of the 26 or so people who have died in climbing accidents in Yosemite in the last 50 years, almost all have been rapelling errors (including two people who drowned after rap'ing into a waterfall during a descent).

I figure over the years I've probably dumped $6k- $7k in climbing gear. I've never seriously injured myself during a rapell (a couple of falls, yes. Raps, no). However, the cost of good rap gear, about $500 (static line, harness, ascenders, aiders, brake, couple of locking biners). That's it. Replace the rope ($150) every couple of years or if it gets worn. Find me a zodiac for that. I don't pay registration on my gear ($50 per year for the all access national parks pass :-). I don't have to put fuel in it. I don't have to tow it behind my truck.

Decent launches are few and far between in most places. I'm already driving 6-7 hours one way (sans trailer), why do I want to add a good two hour (each way) boat ride. I can rap down in minutes, and the ascent takes no more than 10 (worst case). Besides, there's something to be said about having a rope to grab on the rocks (on those spots where applicable).

I'll also argue that more young people die by falls. I believe MVA is number one, followed by drowning, electricity, and then falls (if memory serves, according to the Red Cross, although electricity and falls could be reversed).

Rap'ing is also not more dangerous than shark diving. Sometimes, sh!t happens, but most of rap deaths are people rapping off the end of the rope (tie knots, people), or gunning down off a single anchor point (back it up). Basically, they die because of their own stupidity. You can't predict what a natural animal is going to do. Especially when you prevoke it (read, feed it).

I guess I could probably combine a kayak with a rap. Heck, I've hauled a 150 lbs. pig up a wall before, I 50 lbs. kayak shouldn't be that hard. Just require a bit more gear. Imagine the looks on the people's faces (not that anyone would see it, because if there are people around, it isn't a good ab spot). Good idea Karl, I think I'll look into the feasibility of that. In fact, I'm supposed to head up to Yos here in the next few weeks, I think I'll take a kayak up with me and see if I can haul it (the shop has a couple of busted ones). I'll let you guys know how it turns out...


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