Today I went out to Brady's Lookout to try an old project up the steeply overhanging face on the south side of the cliff. I'd been on the route previously and due to the difficulty, steepness, and lack of good lower-off anchors I had chose to leave my draws on it for easier access on my return. It's been a couple months since then (damn near impossible to convince someone to come give me a catch out there), but I made it out today only to be disappointed by the discovery that someone had taken my draws. Now this route isn't exactly popular or on the beaten path, in fact as stated it's yet to be climbed (probably 30/31) and off by itself. This means that whoever took those draws didn't just snag them in opportune passing but specifically rapped or aided the line with the sole intention of plundering the gear. Of course this realization left me a little bitter, but rather than mentally labelling the individual straight away as a thief I considered that maybe this person just didn't know any better and wasn't yet privy to the 'code of conduct' as it were among climbers for gear that's been left behind. You don't often see fixed routes here in Tasmania and obviously there's local ethics to take into account, but I've found in all the countries and areas that I've climbed there are some general guidelines climbers follow which I've shared below. If you're the person who took my draws and after reading this would like to repent your actions then you can either a) replace my draws where you found them, b) use someone else to anonymously return them to me, or c) email me directly at markpolinski at hotmail dot com. If on the other hand you read this post and still choose to keep what you stole, consider that I will recognized those draws (or biners for that matter) if I see them again, the tassie climbing community is small, and although I may not actually brand you as done in Inglorious Bastards, there will be retribution.
What you CAN take:
1. Single Carabiners on any bolt other than the anchor. This usually indicates that someone couldn't get past this point and had to bail. A 'bail' biner is fair game for the taking.
2. Single piece of gear on a route. Sometimes people get nuts or cams stuck and after failing to get them out abandon them. If your savvy with a nut tool, they're all yours
3. Slings or draws on anchors. Unless it's there to even up height difference, equippers will only put the minimal (i.e. single biners) on an anchor. If there are slings or draws left behind it usually means they've been forgotten.
-Now of course you could be generous and try and return this stuff to the original owner, but that's for you and your karma to decide.
What NOT to take:
1. Single carabiners left on the anchors of a route. These are not booty, they were intentionally left to make yours and everyone else's life easier so leave them alone.
2. Tramming carabiners. Although you won't see this much in Tassie apart from maybe on a traverse or something, in areas with lots of steep climbing you'll often see a single biner on a bolt partway up the climb. This is because when your trying to clean your draws on steep terrain sometimes it's quite handy to have something midway to run your rope through to make cleaning those last few draws easier. I suggest using it as it's intended before you get all exited to get another bail biner for your rack.
3. Draws left on most (if not all) the bolts of a route. Some people, such as myself as I indicated above, leave the draws up on their projects so they don't have to bother re-hanging them each time they go try it. Maybe the first draw will be removed to keep people from just walking up and taking it, but this is not a sign that it is abandoned. Rest assured the owner will return. Feel free to clip them, fall on them, put them through there paces; but don't steal them. If someone spots you doing it you might end up like this guy: http://www.dpmclimbing.com/articles/view/smith-rock-quickdraw-thief-caught-video
-If safety, aesthetics, or some other reason warrants the above gear be removed you should make a good effort to return it to the owner if possible or replace it with something better.