Anatomy of a Mountain Mugging

Great news!!
The mugger who pulled the knife out was just sentenced to 12 years in prison!!!!
This sends out a strong message to any other would be muggers.
Big up to the three guys who persevered and continued with the prosecution of the suspect/mugger.

Place:  Skoornsteenkop, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Date:  Saturday 20 June 2015
SAPS Case No:  CAS 192/06/2015
Author:  H
(further to this story, please see the authors comments in the ‘comments’ section below)

Warming-up with Disclaimers

  1. This is a personal account of a wild and serious situation and where there is a lot of room for subjective interpretation.  My companions may have seen things quite differently to the way I relate my perspective here.
  2. Unless there is prior agreement to actions and roles, it’s every man for himself.  We had no prior agreements.
  3. Mountain mugging is not new to Cape Town.  Hotspots have been the popular Lion’s Head hike, Sandy Bay, Rhodes Memorial and Peers Cave.  A famous Cape Town climber and his wife have even been mugged and stripped at Maclear’s Beacon on top of Table Mountain.
  4. Racism and other forms of prejudice have no place with me.  But neither has irrational ‘political correctness’.  I will use descriptive features.

Prelude

On a warm and sunny Saturday 20 June 2015 I parked my car on Whittlers Way and waited for my friend ‘G’.  While killing time two unknown climbers parked alongside and we introduced ourselves.  I immediately liked these men ‘R’ and ‘S’, and knew we’d become friends.

‘R’ and ‘S’ headed up the steep hill and ‘G’ and I followed 20 minutes later to arrive at the crag at around noon.  I had my small dog Gizmo with me.  ‘S’ was finishing with the warm-up route when ‘G’ and I got there – this is the second route along the wall and is called Stairway to Heaven.  ‘S’ lowered off and the two moved on.

Hout Bay Mountain Muggin

Skoorsteenskop climbing crag in Hout Bay

 

I led up Stairway to Heaven and belayed from the top.  ‘G’ came up so that we could walk across the top to try something new on the other side.  When he arrived, ‘G’ mentioned that someone had watched me climb.  I thought ‘hello’, and asked ‘G’ if it was from across the slope.  He said it was; I thought ‘hello-hello’.
A couple of questions in ten seconds clarified that a single black man had watched me climb then he had headed down the slope, presumably to Imizamo Yethu (“Imi”).  I told ‘G’ that the man was on the **muggers’ route – the route back to ‘Imi’ that is used after accosting victims on the cycle track up to the Constantiaberg mast.

[**Note: this route I refer to is not a path but a generalised route.  It starts up the burnt-out slope about 400m to the south of our approach route i.e. close to Imi.  The route gets closer to the climbers route as it gets higher up the mountainside, and at the elevation of Skoorsteenskop the distance closes to perhaps 200m.]

Hout Bay Mountain Muggin

14 Feb 2015 – Weekend Argus article regarding a mountain bike mugging at Tokai

 

‘G’ and I spent some hours top-roping potential new lines then headed back to our packs at the foot of Stairway to Heaven for tea and sandwiches and to spend some time with Gizmo.  ‘R’ and ‘S’ joined us and while we were chatting away we noticed two black men hiking up the ‘muggers’ route’.  Mental gears engaged and I mentioned that mugging was an issue and I told the story of Tommy Caldwell in Kyrgyzstan.

After a 15 minute break we scrambled up the rising rocky base of the cliff for 7m and then ‘G’ led up the fourth route along the wall – a route called Guru.  A further 10m of scrambling higher took ‘R’ and ‘S’ to the base of the fifth route where ‘R’ started up Lichen It or Not.

Action Time

While ‘G’ was climbing I looked across the slope of the mountain to do a spot check on the two men hiking up.  I noticed Gizmo standing dead still, with her ears pricked up, and gazing into the far distance where we had seen the men.  I thought ‘hmmm’ and I thought ‘okay, there’s lots of distance between us’.  A few seconds later Gizmo turned 90 degrees left to look up the hill with intend.  Uphill was mostly out of sight for us due to the boulders at our backs.  My instincts started buzzing.  I looked around behind us and saw two big black men approaching ‘S’.  As loud as I could, but without communicating to the visitors, I told the guys that it looked like a mugging coming.  I told ‘G’ and ‘R’ to come down urgently.  When the strangers realised that they had been seen they asked for cool drink.  ‘G’ and ‘R’ lowered off at speed and the men again asked for cool drink and ‘R’ said that we don’t have any.  By this time everyone was on the same page.

My guys left the ropes and draws hanging in place and scuttled over the rocks downhill to the backpacks where I now was.  I looked for rocks and told the guys to pick up rocks.  ‘G’ hastily got his approach shoes on.  I was wearing very loose slip slops and was about to reach down to my shoes when the guys rushed us from above with knives outstretched while shouting at us to ‘sit down, sit down’.  In floppy slops I bolted downhill for two metres then out on a rock ledge that ends in a rock platform the size of a garage overlooking the approach path and with 15m cliffs below it and a big climbing wall above on the side.
My three friends were right behind me.

On the platform we turned to see the men start rifling through our gear.  I yelled obscenities and hurled a big rock at the ring leader and narrowly missed him.  The rock exploded next to him with my dog at his feet.  The man bent down for a rock to hurl at us.  As he wound-up Gizmo went ballistic and he spun round and used the rock to try to kill her.  I realised three things: they had a lot more ammunition than us; we were very exposed; and my beloved furry friend was in mortal danger.

One of the men pursued us onto the dead-end platform.

Hout Bay Mountain Mugging

A picture showing the Dead End Platform and the direction that the muggers left.

 

I picked up two rocks and wound up to hurl a rock at him from close range. ‘S’ urged me not to do anything, to cooperate and to stay safe.  ‘G’ traversed the wall over the void and was not to be seen till much later.  The ringleader quickly went through all our backpacks while the accomplice had us corralled and repeatedly shouted ‘put the rocks down’ and ‘sit down’.
Like myself, or perhaps because of me, he was highly agitated. ‘S’ was of the cooperate-and-stay-calm school, I was of the angry take-them-on school.  I didn’t hear anything from ‘R’.

The man who had come at us had mounted a large flat boulder that occupies much of the platform and stands about 1.5m high.  From above us he waved his knife at me and ordered me to put my rocks down.  I shouted that he had a knife and I had rocks and that I wouldn’t put them down so that he can use his knife on me.

He ordered me to hand to him a little nylon bag, belonging to ‘R’, that was at my feet.  I put a rock down and was thinking here is my opportunity.  I handed the bag up to the man and was about to lunge at his jacket to yank him over the 15m cliff below but my body language broadcasted my intentions and ‘S’ shouted at me to stand down.  In the half-second that my resolve waivered the man moved to fend and the initiative was gone.

The ringleader had found all that he wanted and scrambled across the mountain at high speed.  Our assailant backed-up and left.  I ran to my kit and hastily put on my socks and shoes. ‘S’ said he hoped I wasn’t thinking of doing something stupid.  I said I was.

I picked up two rocks and set off after the second guy through the thick vegetation across the slope.  My plan was to get to the burnt-out section and then to a large horizontal rock shelf that is bisected by a gully down which the assailants would flee.  From the shelf I would shower the attacker with rocks when he was 30m below.  While in pursuit of the man he suddenly stopped.  He hadn’t seen me but maybe he had heard me.  I stopped in dense bush and slowly edged forward, desperately anxious not to bump straight into him.  I lost some time – I don’t know whether it was 10 seconds or 30 seconds, and cautiously moved out onto the shelf.  By the time I spotted the guy he was maybe 400 metres down the slope and about to get onto the pipe track. In a state of unquantifiable anger I watched him disappear into Imi.

On the walk back to the approach path I spotted a single young woman coming up the path.  I yelled down to her to ‘go down and call the police as we’ve been mugged’.  She beat a hasty, and smart retreat; and she did call Hout Bay Watchcon.

hout Bay Mountain Mugging

My furry friend ‘Gizmo’

 

I hiked back to the crag thinking of my dog and found her teetering on a rock anxiously watching for me and unable to move.  I recovered her, we had some love and then we walked up to our buddies.  ‘G’ was busy abseiling the route to recover our rope and quick draws.  We talked about all the things one would expect to be talked about.  We itemised the losses.  We packed and left.

Aftermath

Amongst the various items that were stolen was ‘R’ remote key to his SUV.  He wouldn’t be driving home.  We dropped ‘R’ &’S’ at a restaurant to await pickup by wives.  The guys also lost iPhones and wallets with a fair amount of cash.  I lost my one-week old phone for which I had paid over R12,000.  ‘G s’ old phone was missed by the robbers.  The usual follow-up hassles of reporting to the police, Hout Bay Watchcon and the mobile operators followed.
I for one had a bad night’s sleep, maybe two.

Reflections

We made so many mistakes because we didn’t take the situation seriously enough.  When we spotted the first single man we should have watched his movements and had a talk about actions.  When we spotted the two men hiking up we should have hit the “all stations alert” button.
We should have packed up, got our shoes on, positioned ourselves and our possessions on high ground in a defensive position, armed ourselves with a lot of missiles, put a call through to Watchcon and been ready to dispatch one member of the group as a solo runner for help.

We were seriously remiss in not watching the two suspicious hikers and allowed them to unnecessarily gain a massive advantage – that of surprise.  It is the element of surprise that gets the muggers a few metres from you where you cannot keep them at a distance, make a phone call or enaction other options.

At this point it’s down to cooperation or combat.  And second of all, we had no weapons.  I’m angry with the assailants and I’m angry that I made these mistakes that permitted their success.

Recommendations

The world is becoming progressively more dangerous and it is appropriate for the good folks to become progressively more tuned-in to the dangers and potential courses of action.
My suggestions, both general and specific to Skoorsteenskop are:

  1. Go as a group.
  2. Everyone to have the Watchcon number on their phones – 021 790 9333.  This excellent emergency response deals with ADT, the police, Neighbourhood Watch and other first responders.
  3. Have a designated lookout on rotational duty.
  4. Have a designated sprinter who will go for help.
  5. Do not take anything you really mind losing to robbers.
  6. If taking expensive personal items hide them in a black pouch in a crevice and leave decoys (old phones, wallet containing R20, etc) in your backpack to mislead the robbers.
  7. Have men outnumbering women as attackers love the fear that flows from the threat of rape.
  8. Know yourself and agree how you see yourselves handling a mugging – fight, flight or cooperate.  You cannot be a fighter if that is not in your physical or psychological make-up.  If it’s fight, know that there is going to be bloodshed and the fighters must be the ones that front-up to the assailants while the others get to a position of relative safety and get useful making emergency calls and dropping rocks on assailants if possible.
  9. Those who are fighters should take weapons that can dominate knives from a distance – my favourite is a heavy ebony stick of 1.2 metres that I usually carry on Sandy Bay walks: wielded with confidence, knife-bearing assailants are going to come second.  Others (but not for me) would be guns, tasers and (believe it or not) swords.  Don’t take weapons that require close-in, hand-to-hand combat e.g. stun guns, knives and pepper spray.  You’ll lose badly.  Importantly, a weapon that isn’t actually intended to be used in anger should stay at home.
  10. Weapons must be zealously safe-guarded so as to be useful and so as not to be transferred into the hands of the attackers.

Final word

A person cannot be that which they’re not.  With that out of the way, and spoken as the fighter that I am personally, I believe that it can only be a good thing if victims fight back and win (and don’t get hurt!).

When victims cave, perpetrators become emboldened – it’s a story of life and it bears a strong relationship to the concept of Cumulative Advantage.  Every successful mugging is a catastrophe because of that which follows down the line.

Lastly, know that these are ‘the good old days’ if victims don’t successfully fight back.  Imagine what another ten or twenty years of one-way dominance by the baddies will result in!

————————–

Related articles:

 

Skoorsteenskop, Hout Bay access details

A normal day climbing at Skoorsteenkop.

 

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34 Responses to Anatomy of a Mountain Mugging

  1. Zaid Jun 24, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    Thanks for sharing the story and lessons learnt. Glad you guys & Gizmo are all safe.
    Good thing that G and R were off the wall at the time. I can’t imagine what injuries may have happened if the muggers threatened them.
    This was really upsetting to read. We all need to be prepared, and limit what valuables we take with us.

  2. wes Jun 24, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

    Thanks for the story. Iphones are trackable, do you know if the police actually do this. Since the squatter camp is single story buildings, it would be easy to isolate where the signal is coming from.

  3. ingo Jun 24, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    Good story, very upsetting to read that 4 fit guys stand down and get frightened like chicken by two criminals. Learn from them, stand together don’t take expensive stuff up a “muggers route” be prepared when hiking in such routes. But above all, never stand down to a lesser force…how silly, and a disgrace…really!

  4. Paul Jun 25, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    Wow, you sound like a serious BADASS Ingo ? Well I’m terribly impressed…..

  5. Shaun Jun 25, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    Very real and scary stuff! I don’t hike or MTB cycle in Hout Bay without a firearm….then the story you can tell is very short and without all the fear and angst. It goes like this: “Never take a knife to a gunfight”

  6. Gunslinger Jun 25, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    And then the bad guys caught you in the act of belaying a lead climber, but hands busy. And now they have one more gun.

  7. Gregg Jun 25, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

    Well you know ingo would have handled them both easily. One hand tied behind his back and everything.

  8. Dark Horse Jun 25, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    I can’t agree with fighting back, I say it’s far better to pick your fights. I really am a fighter. I love a good scrap, but if you asked me if I would fight to death over some silly 12000 rand iPhone I most certainly wouldn’t….. but of course I’m not some desperate criminal (that might have killed before).
    I’m also not sure if fighting back will actually stop the crime or if it will just make the criminals come at you harder. I mean consider the average wage in South Africa and then think about what a 12000 rand cell phone sounds like to somebody on an average wage.

    When last were you actually in a real fight? and I’m not talking about an argument with your wife or fights over cyber space…

    Neels Havenga

  9. Henkg Jun 25, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

    Haha H, I like you stoning them, pity the first one missed.
    I’m a gambling man (in a sofisticated kinda way), and we have dictum: “there are old traders, and there are bold traders, but there are no old bold traders”. Survival first. Is your life really worth risking for something you can replace?
    What a tragedy that our mountains have become this!

  10. ChrisL Jun 26, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    Well done to the guys that resist. Our society is full of apathy which makes it way easier to become the victims. A mere cell phone stolen but actually its more than that, by not reacting we lay ourselves open to more attacks. How different it would be if the attackers became the victims and the roles were reversed. There are more of us than them and we should change the game. Dont roll over guys and possibly one day we will see a time where criminals think twice about the easy pickings. Its already violent out there and it will only get worse. Well done H !

  11. Mario Jun 26, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    To all the big men out there, the reality of a knife fight/attack

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCrulYp4uWw&feature=player_detailpage

    • Mario Jun 26, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

      I am a climber, not a constantly training self defence expert.

      How many climbers are well versed in self defence?

      If you have your own knife and willing to fight there will be one outcome to a knife fight;

      One of you is going to bleed and the other will be dead.

      Choose your battles wisely.

    • I love chimichurri sauce. If I had to pick one sauce to eat for the rest of my life, this would be the one. It’s so versatile. Though I’ve never tried it on crab cakes, which sounds delicious, I love it on meat and on roasted veggies. It’s even great as a bread dipper! Try it on pasta, with goat cheese, as a sandwich spread….

  12. Mario Jun 26, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

    For interest sake…https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=J_KJ1R2PCMM

  13. Mario Jun 26, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

    Glad you guys are okay!

  14. Schalk Jun 26, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    Hey Justin, would love to get in contact with you concerning this event. Please let me know if we can do so via email?

  15. Mokganjetsi (Willem B) Jun 27, 2015 at 8:26 am #

    I was fuming for a few days after hearing of this – luckily did not write anything at the time 🙂

    H, like you i don’t easily stand down and wish i was there with you to give those thugs hell! i get it – it’s not about the R12k vs. your life. It is about the violation, it is about not living in fear, it is about taking a stand so that our amazing natural environment does not become the trawling ground for muggers and murderers (at this point i would like to remind people of the 72-year old man that was fatally stabbed near Kalkbay in june last year – i can hardly imagine that he was taking the robber on!). I do not suggest you should take muggers on – assess the situation, make your decision, bless you. But don’t go around criticizing someone who has the courage to try and do something if the occasion allows for it.

    Be careful; be safe guys.

    • Mario Jun 27, 2015 at 10:52 am #

      One on one hand to hand – bring it!

      “if the occasion allows for it”

  16. Richard Jun 27, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

    So, I am R in H’s story. As with many stories, this is sadly one sided and only depicts H as the aggressor. Things went out of control very quickly. We were armed with rocks but were on an exposed ledge and ammo was scarce. At that point I backed up S in defusing the situation. I know there are many regrets on how it actually panned out as we were not in control of the situation. We will be back to climb at Skoorsteen but next time will be more prepared and aware.

  17. michael Jun 29, 2015 at 6:03 am #

    Very glad nobody was hurt. I use to adore climbing in these hills. Last time I climbed Skoorsteenskop the last thing on my mind was being mugged. Needless to say I don’t go into these beautiful hills anymore, and I certainly don’t take my children there either. From reading this story, what makes me sad is that all of the warning signs were there. You had enough ‘gut’ moments to feel to pending onslaught. Trust your gut. Its not some myth, its an ancient warning system, and it got us this far. It’s high time that limbers armed themselves. Head out climbing in big groups, one or two people armed and on the lookout. When a couple of these scumbags get shot down I think things can start to come right. Fight fire with fire.

  18. Warren Gans Jun 29, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    RE that 72 year old man: no one was there to witness that incident, but I bet he offered some resistance and was over powered. I have heard of far more tragedies associated with people not co-operating with assailants than those obedient.

    You have no idea of your assailants intentions are, nor what they have done in the past, is your phone worth that risk?

    • Climber Jun 29, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      More questions than answers here.

      Yes, it’s a risk if people fight back against muggers.

      Since the authorities are unable to stop these muggings, who is going to handle the situation?
      Perhaps we can ‘buy’ protection from the muggers themselves for a fee – could work out cheaper than loosing your mobile device(s) if everyone pitches in!!? (No, I am not being serious).

      If this situation is not handled, when will mountain users be able to go into the mountains again without the fear of being mugged?

      Perhaps the answer is to travel to more remote areas so that we can go for a hike or a climb without the fear of being mugged/killed (like the mountain bikers are doing)?

      Personally, if I am accosted and given the correct circumstances, I will fight back. I’m angry and fed up.

      Side notes:
      Waterval Boven is still dangerous in certain places and the Wave Cave in KZN remains ‘closed’ due to crime.
      A phone is very useful to call for assistance in case of emergencies, how many handsets should people plan on donating a year?

  19. Warren Gans Jun 29, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    You are a target when you both present the opportunity and offer something in return.

    Cape Town has a problem right now in that the majority of sport crags are officially closed, forcing climbers to the few areas that remain officially open: Peers Cave, Skoorsteen and Kalk Bay. All are weather dependent, and all have proven to be unsafe recently. This leaves three short term sport climbing options:

    1. go to these crags and deal with the consequences.
    2. Illegally go to the closed crags
    3. go further away.

    My vote is become comfortable with option 3, and enjoy Hellfire, Kleinmond and weekends further afield. Option two will fall away over the summer (we are told), and it would get you to enjoy these fantastic crags.

    For the record I took the fourth option and invested in a trad rack, but I understand this isn’t an easy investment. Fortunately most trad climbers would welcome the company of a keen sport climber, and this may be a good solution for the current situation.

  20. Climber Jun 29, 2015 at 7:51 pm #

    Sensible short term solutions. I hear you and agree.

    But what about our beloved Skoorsteenkop? == Read== Too bad we made the effort to re-bolt the place (ironically done for safety), if we’d known what was coming we never would have bothered because no one will ever go there again due to crime. So lets just discard the crag due to crime, the criminals can have it. Same goes for mountain biking up to the mast in Tokai.

    I realise the above is over dramatised.

    Essentially, you’re saying go elsewhere and to the crags that muggers have not visited. How long before crime becomes a problem at these places as well? It’s a short walk up to the Mine.
    When will it happen that your stashed bag on TM / Lions Head / Muizenberg (i.e. trad climbing areas) are no longer there when you finish your climb or worse that there is someone there waiting for you?

    If nothing is done to address this (ever growing problem of mountain crime) we risk losing local climbing and bouldering areas.

    Even more worrying, I don’t see a solution.

  21. Andre Jun 30, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    Thanks for the writeup. I would not advocate fighting someone who has a knife as they are nasty weapons and you don’t want to be stuck up on a mountain with arterial bleeding. Pepper spray, sticks etc are very dangerous against a knife. For the armchair warriors, look at the Facebook page ‘Active Self Protection’ and see what a knife attack looks like.

    The reality is that a legal firearm would have stopped this attack. Option one is the criminals see the firearm and stop their attack or option two is they don’t stop and get shot. Use it this info, don’t use it but dont come crying if you fall victim, knowing what the risks are.

    • Warren Gans Jun 30, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

      Andre: Firearms are fine when you can anticipate the situation, but there is a fair chance said firearm owner will be climbing at the time, and will have his gun confiscated by the criminals.

      Abandoning a crag would be a knee jerk reaction, and far from ideal. Working with authorities would be a more sensible solution. From what I gather there has been no theme, just random acts. This could have been opportunism plain and simple

      • Andre Jun 30, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

        My reading of the situation is that the attack was anticipated. Also, if you own a firearm for self defence, you carry it on you. ‘Working with authorities’ sounds great but when you are on the mountain being confronted by someone who is quite happy to end your life, it means very little. Like I said, the law is there, section 13 of the FCA allows for a firearm for self defence. If you choose not to protect yourself, whether its at home, on the mountain, or driving on the N2, then you are little more than a soft target – which these guys thrive on.

  22. Justin Lawson Jul 5, 2015 at 9:54 am #

    2 cyclists attacked at Blackhill yesterday morning. One rider was stabbed in the leg – http://www.climbing.co.za/2015/07/table-mountain-rider-stabbed/

  23. Justin Lawson Jul 7, 2015 at 7:50 am #

    The author has asked me to add his comments – see below:

    1. I had no wish to write this story. In fact I was opposed to it. But I received requests from three Mountain Club committee members to write this up and publicize the matter for the benefit of other climbers. They seemed to think I could help the community and the public. Personally, I am not so sure.

    2. To those who thought I was advocating that one should fight to the death over a R12,000 cellphone (or a R12 billion cellphone for that matter), read the story again, but this time first put your thinking caps on. (Mokganjetsi can also help you).

    3. To those who thought I was advocating that everyone must fight back – comment as above.

    4. Most importantly, to R – I intended the story to be entirely one-sided. I considered getting your, and S’s, input, but decided against it. The result would have been a watered-down committee report.
    I don’t judge you or mean to portray you in any negative (or positive) way – only as I recall the madness. There were no right or wrong responses and I could only assimilate my piece in the frenzy. For much of the time you were out of my field of vision and I couldn’t hear much because of the blood pounding in my ears. I have no doubt that your take on things would be very different to mine.
    I think you have every right to feel sorely aggrieved by some of the comments, especially the moronic comment by ingo – I know I do. Knowing that imbeciles would comment was one of the reasons for my reluctance to do this write-up in the first place. (The internet amplifies the imbeciles and discourages the discerning, doesn’t it?)
    R, from our couple of hours together I judged you and S to be first rate guys – smart, decent, kind, fun – the kind of guys I hope to have as friends for life.

    5. This story is very far from being over.

  24. Dark Horse Jul 7, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    For sure the crime in our country sucks. I”m glad nobody got hurt or killed. I’m sorry that you guys got mugged and had a traumatic experience.

    10 years ago a good friend of mine got mugged on the train on his way to work as a bouncer in Cape Town. He was the western province super heavy weight (100kg +) boxing champion. Two guys with knives took his cell phone and wallet. He didn’t fight back but handed the stuff over. It’s ok to walk away from some fights, don’t let the ego try and convince you otherwise.

    I think if you put something on the internet not everybody is going to agree with you and some people will make dumb comments. You shouldn’t take things so personally, it’s ok to disagree and don’t let the idiots comments get to you.

    I had read your article and thought I personally do not know a single climber that has been in a fist fight (of course some climbers have) and I don’t know anybody personally climber or not that has been in a knife fight. So I thought I too could share an opinion (feel free to disagree), that as much as the ego feels violated there must be other more productive ways to fight crime then to advocate taking weapons with you on your climbs. I don’t want to read about some climbers being stabbed.

    Peace and love 🙂

  25. Justin Lawson Jul 27, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    Great news!!
    The mugger who pulled the knife out (see above) was just sentenced to 12 years in prison!!!!
    This sends out a strong message to any other would be muggers.

    Big up to the three guys who persevered and continued with the prosecution of the suspect/mugger.

  26. Robert Jul 27, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    Great news. Where and how did you hear about this?

  27. Tracy Jul 27, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

    Just read the article and all the comments. Not a hiker or climber myself, but the ‘shark watchers’ came to mind.
    Guys who are on the look out for sharks from a high vantage point.
    Muggers route is obviously visible from above and below. Maybe need a “mugger watcher’
    Sad that its come to this.

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