This inaccurate topo is based on dim recollections, half-baked guesses, and outright lies. In NO WAY does it tell the full story. You would probably be better off just trying to find your own way, than using this topo. But that statement in no way implies that I am in any way responsible if you don't use the topo, and something bad happens anyway.
Nature is unpredictable and unsafe. Mountains are dangerous. Many books have been written about these dangers, and thereís no way I can list them all here. Read the books.
The area depicted by this topo is covered in steep terrain with loose, slippery and unstable footing. The weather can make matters worse. Sheer drops are everywhere. You may fall, be injured or die. There are hidden holes. You could break your leg. There are wild animals, which may be vicious, poisonous, hungry or carriers of dread diseases. These may include poisonous amphibians, reptiles, and insects; insects to which you have allergies, or whose multiple stings can cause anaphylactic shock; mammals which may include skunks, badgers, marmots, lions, tigers, and bears; predatory birds, and all other manner of beasts. Plants can be poisonous as well, and even when not poisonous, can inflict serious injury like a sharp stick in the eye. This topo, and the author of this topo, will not do anything to protect you from any of this. I do not inspect, supervise or maintain the ground, rocks, cliffs, wildlife, vegetation or other features, natural or otherwise.
Real dangers are present even on approach trails. Trails are not sidewalks, and folks have died and been seriously injured even on sidewalks when they have tripped on cracked concrete, plunged into meter boxes with missing covers, been mugged, hit by cars, had pianos fall on them... Trails can be, and are, steep, slippery and dangerous. Trail features made or enhanced by humans, such as bridges, steps, walls and railings (if any) can break, collapse, or otherwise fail catastrophically at any time. I donít promise to inspect, supervise or maintain them in any way. They may be negligently constructed or repaired. In summary, trails are unsafe, period. Live with it or stay away.
Stay on the trails whenever possible. The terrain, in addition to being dangerous, is surprisingly complex. You may get lost. You probably WILL get lost. The chances of getting lost multiply geometrically after the sun goes down, due to poor visibility. The sun goes down at least once a day in this area. Not to say that you won't get lost during daylight hours. In either event, carry a flashlight, extra bulb and batteries, compass, GPS, altimeter, cellular phone, food, water, matches and first aid supplies at all times. My advising you of this does not mean there are not other things you should be carrying. Carry them all as well, and know how to use them. I am not responsible for the consequences if you fail to heed this advice. In fact, I am not responsible for the consequences even if you DO heed this advice and, for example, end up in an unplanned bivy because you were carrying too much g*dd@mn stuff, stumble into the bivy fire at 2 am when you get up to take a p!ss, and severely burn the flesh on your hands. You have only yourself to blame, so leave me out of it.
Rocks and other objects can, and probably will, fall from the cliffs. They can tumble down slopes. This can happen naturally, or be caused by people above you, such as climbers. Rocks of all sizes, including huge boulders, can shift, move or fall with no warning. Use of helmets is advised for anyone approaching the rock formations. As a matter of fact, approaching the rock formations is not advised. That is pretty stupid too. But if you DO choose to risk your worthless scrawny neck by going near rocks, shoulder pads, knee pads, elbow pads, athletic cups and supporters and other body armor may be handy as well. These items can be purchased or rented from mountaineering shops and athletic supply stores. They wonít save you if you get hit by or scrape against something big or on another part of your body. A whole rock formation might collapse on you leave nothing but a grease spot. Donít think it canít happen. It does, and it probably will.
Weather can be dangerous, regardless of the forecast. Be prepared with extra clothing, including rain gear. Hypothermia, heat stroke, dehydration, frostbite, lightning, ice and snow, runoff from rainstorms, flashfloods, etc. can kill you. Rain can turn easy terrain into a deathtrap, can drown you if you're looking up into the sky with your mouth open, and vastly decreases traction on pavement. Snow is even worse, the hazards ranging from snowball fight injuries to avalanches.
If you scramble in high places (scrambling is moving over terrain steep enough to use your hands) without proper experience, training and equipment, or allow children to do so, you are making a terrible mistake. Even if you know what youíre doing and are the most experienced and safest climber the world has ever known, you are still making a terrible mistake: lots of things can and do go wrong and you may be injured or die. It happens all the time.
This area, and this route, are not provided with any rangers or security personnel on any regular basis. The other people in the area, including other visitors, USFS employees, foreign agents, biologists and nature freaks, and anyone else who might sneak in, may be stupid, reckless, a religious fanatic, or otherwise dangerous. They may be mentally ill, criminally insane, drunk, using illegal drugs and/or armed with deadly weapons and ready to use them. I'm not going to do anything about that. I refuse to take responsibility.
Excessive consumption of alcohol, use of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and/or legal or illegal controlled substances while frequenting this area can and probably will affect your mental state, alertness, and decision-making abilities, and could make an already dangerous situation even worse. Even abstinence won't protect you from the actions of others under the influence of such substances. Tough luck. Not my fault.
The driveways, freeways, highways, streets, alleys, back roads and unimproved 4WD tracks leading to this area kill hundreds of folks each year. You could get killed driving to the trailhead. Wearing your seatbelt tightly fastened with the lap belt low across your waist improves your chances of survival, in most cases (except that one steep section of road) but does not and cannot guarantee your safety. You might die before ever stepping out of your vehicle at the trailhead, or on the way home. It can happen any time. If you think you are immune from this kind of thing, you're fooling yourself.
This is not a sterile environment. Bacteria, viruses, protozoa, protoviruses, fungi and other forms of life and protolife which may or may not be currently included in either the plant or animal kingdom are capable of causing you serious bodily harm, illness, or death. These kinds of biological agents are both endemic in the area or present in the plant and animal populations; and are also capable of being carried or transmitted by your climbing partners and travelling companions. I'm not going to take responsibility for this, either. My advice for you to treat drinking water, wash your hands before and after going to the bathroom and before eating, and to not indulge in unprotected sex in this area, in no way obligates me to be responsible for the consequences if you fail to do so, nor does it mean that even if you DO take these precautions and something happens anyway, that I am to blame. Not so. Forget it. Nada. Negativo.
If you climb, you may die or be seriously injured. And the longer you climb the greater your risk of bad luck, which may or may not be compounded by hubris, catching up to you. This is true whether you are experienced or not, trained or not, and equipped or not, though training, experience and equipment may help. Itís a fact, climbing is extremely dangerous. If you donít like it, stay at home. You really shouldnít be doing it anyway. I do not provide supervision or instruction. I am not responsible for, and do not inspect or maintain, climbing anchors (including bolts, pitons, slings, trees, etc.) As far as I know, any of them can and probably will suddenly fail without warning and send you plunging to your death with a bloodcurdling scream, likely pulling your partner to his or her doom as well. There are countless tons of loose rock ready to be dislodged and fall on you or someone else. There are any number of inobvious, extremely and unusually dangerous conditions existing in this area. I probably don't know about any specific hazard, but even if I do, donít expect this topo or its author to try to warn you. Youíre on your own.
Furthermore, the fact that I'm not trying to stop you from being in this area in no way implies, nor should it be inferred, that I approve, recommend, advocate, or otherwise in any way affirm that such action on your part is anything but incredibly stupid.
Rescue services are not provided by anyone near this climb, and may not be available quickly or at all. In fact, if anything really serious happens to you in this area, you'll probably be dead before word ever reaches civilization. Local rescue squads may not be equipped for or trained in mountain rescue. They probably won't be. If you are lucky enough to have somebody try to rescue you or treat your injuries, they will probably be incompetent or worse. This includes doctors and hospitals. I assume no responsibility. Also, if you decide to participate in a rescue of some other unfortunate, thatís your choice. Donít do it unless you are willing to assume all risks, and don't blame me when it goes bad and you end up getting yourself sued in the process.
By using, or even just looking at this topo, you are agreeing that I owe you no duty of care or any other duty, you agree to release me, my relatives, heirs, dependents, and anyone else I care to name, now and forevermore, from any and all claims of liability, even though my actions may be grossly negligent and/or be construed as reckless endangerment, manslaughter, or other misconduct up to and including premeditated murder. By consulting this topo, you agree to waive forever any rights that you, your partners, dependents, heirs, inlaws, and others known or unknown to you may have, to legal compensation resulting from anything that has anything to do with this topo, including but in no way limited to paper cuts from the edge of the topo itself. If you try to sue me in spite of all this, you agree to pay my lawyers fees regardless of the outcome of the suit, and you expressely agree to re-imburse me for any loss or injury, be it financial, physical, emotional, or imagined, which I may experience as a result of such lawsuit.
I promise you nothing. I do not and will not even try to keep the area safe for any purpose. The area is NOT safe for any purpose. This is no joke. I wonít even try to warn about any dangerous or hazardous condition, whether I know about it or not. If I do decide to warn you about something, that doesnít mean I will try to warn you about anything else. If I do make an effort to fix an unsafe condition, I may not try to correct any others, and I may actually make matters worse! I may have done things in the area that are unwise and dangerous. I probably did, but I don't remember. Sorry, I'm neither competent nor responsible. The topo gives you bad advice. Donít listen. Or do listen. It's your choice, but you face the consequences either way, whatever they may be.
In short, CLIMB AT YOUR OWN RISK. If you, or your heirs, relatives, dependents or others known or unknown to you; your partner or your partners heirs, relatives, dependents, or others known or unknown to your partner, are the slimy kind of lawyer-touting parasites who would try to sue the author of a topo, If you can't take responsibility for your own decisions, knowledge, routefinding and plain dumb luck, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stay far far away from this route, give up climbing, and die of some completely natural, painful, and slowly progressive disease.
Thank you, climb safe, and have fun!
END of Disclaimer
Modified from the original document written by Bruce Binder. Bruce credits Russ Walling for the original inspiration, and a rumored sign at Seneca Rocks.
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