Rick Piggott


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Trad climber
mt. hood /baja
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 7, 2010 - 07:51pm PT
I learned to climb at Mt. Woodson in the mid 70's ... like most newbie high school kids I gleaned any info on "how it was done" from the older ,
more experienced climbers. One of those was Rick Piggot , my neighbor
in Poway. Piggott was one intense and interesting dude and obviously a
helluva climber. I spent my high school summers in camp 4 amidst the best
climbers of the 70's and Rick seemed to be one of them ... just curious
as it seems I rarely hear mention of him . I would be interested to hear
any stories anyone might have , or contact info.

Thanks in advance

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 12:59am PT
Wow, what a Woodson fixture he was back in the early 80's! Rick was one of those names that most of the rumors were about in one way or the other.

Here's one:

"Did you hear about Piggot soloing Lie Detector? A photographer was supposed to record the ascent but stood him up with a no-show. Piggot soloed it anyways!"On more than one occasion I'd see him walking the road with his walkman on his hip, the headphones on his head with the Scorpions, "Hear I am, rock you like a hurricane..." screaming loud enough for me to hear clearly from fifty feet away. I can't imagine what it was like for him!

On day, he quietly appeared while we were TRing the twenty five foot problem, Go With The Flow, 5.11c, and asked, "Do you mind?" pointing up at the rock face. "Uh, not at all," I replied nervously, sincerely hoping that he wasn't implying to solo the thing (this was an example of one of the rumor's that floated up and down the mountain but few had ever witnessed).

Rick took both strands of rope off the rock, handed them to me to move them to the side, then took his position at the pyramid of cheatstones at the base of the face. He leaned his head back with his mouth slighty agape and with his small, beady, evilish looking eyes open, he shook his long, naturally kinky, mane of hair back with a quick shake from side to side. At the same time, his hands were behind his waist in his chalkbag. He would bring them forward rubbing the dust between his fingers until they were completely white.

The three of us managed a quick look at each other, dumbfounded, and turned our eyes back at what was about to transpire. The rest was poetry in motion. I don't think I saw him after he topped out. He disappeared as mysteriously as he arrived.

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:09am PT
He did the same on Werner's Wish. This one really bothered me for some reason. It was hard to watch him, probably because how insecure it was for me!

Social climber
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:15am PT
hey there say, wow, illusiondweller, thanks for the profound history notes, to yet another name that i do not know yet....

oh my... :O

skills are to be honored, for sure, and a fine salute to those that have such... but even those that dont have those specific skills, or choose to walk in such, STILL have high clasic skills, in their own right, too...

and, wow, i salute you all...

but always love to hear these tales, as well...
thanks, once again...


Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:16am PT
I came flying off the lip of Driving South one day, hitting the ground just as Rick appeared from around the corner. "Sorry man, you okay?" he appologized. "Ah, you didn't do anything," I said back while hanging my head. I got back on it and finished it though and received a, "Nice work" from him when I came back to get my pack. As a kid that was a pretty historical thing from "The Man"!

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:20am PT
After our first El cap route (Aquarius, '82) when we sat out a storm, dropped a sleeping bag, each falls, went 24hrs w/o food or water. Rick was the guiding light who showed Colonel Sanders and I to the East ledges descent and eventual redemption.

Ten years later in Reno we renewed our aquaintenceship and ran into each other climbing at RockSport, Cave Rock and Donner Summit.

i heard he's mostly into motocross, these days. Though I haven't seen him in years.

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:26am PT
It's funny, when searching for an "identity" as a youngster, how we magnetize toward the names that make up, or are associated with a particular sport, maybe hoping that someday we'll be like, or be as good as them. Then, as we get older we look back and realize that we all have our own story, that we are no different than those that made us wonder in awe, and that we were being watched by those around us as well.
Brian Biega

Truckee, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:40am PT
Hey Ground-up-

I climbed with Rick on a regular basis in the Tahoe area for a number of years and I too would like to say hi!

Maybe Rick is around and he can share his early ascent of the Nose before cams and freeing the Stove Legs with a rack of pins and hammer. Like so many others around here I am sure.



Jun 8, 2010 - 01:53am PT
Rick is the stuff of legends, obscure but significant deity in the SoCal Pantheon.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 8, 2010 - 04:39am PT
Where is Rick these days? Just wondering.


Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jun 8, 2010 - 04:12pm PT
He was my mentor and sometimes climbing partner from about 1971 to maybe 1978. Saw him at the first Woodson shindig for a short time in 2007 (honest bvb). I believe he is still living at or near Lake Tahoe.

Social climber
if anybody can a republican
Jun 8, 2010 - 10:17pm PT
Rick is a great guy and an awesome climbing partner. I climbed with him in the late 80's and 90's. He always instilled confidence when I climbed and taught me alot. The last time I saw Rick was in Las Vegas back in 96.
Way cool dude!

Mountain climber
Jun 17, 2010 - 01:22am PT
hey everyone. stumbled across this and thought it was too good to pass up! i met rick for the first time when I was about 12 years old in the rocksport climbing gym in reno. Im 18 now, and i was just giving rick a hard time about checking into all this business. haha. for those of you who are wondering how he's doing, he's doing great. really into motorcycles and what not, but still a mountain man! anyway rick took me climbing a lot the past 6 years when he started dating my mom and i learned a ton. really chill guy. i love hearing all the old stories on here from the 70's. keep 'em coming!

Social climber
if anybody can a republican
Jun 17, 2010 - 03:59am PT
Pothead, Tell Rick, Donny from woodson says hello!

Hobart, Australia
Jun 17, 2010 - 08:34am PT
there was always a good Piggott story going around Camp 4. I don't think I ever met him, but he sounds like a wild man.

Mountain climber
Jun 17, 2010 - 08:51pm PT
hey donny, I told rick whats up for you:) he showed me a bunch of old climbing photos from back in the day, pretty sweet stuff
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Seriously, Man, I didn't know she was Your sister.
Jun 17, 2010 - 11:44pm PT
I've heard a choice Rick tale or two.
Sounds like my kinda guy.
I'm glad those guys choose to be about. It inspires us all.
Phantom X

Trad climber
Honeycomb Hideout
Jun 18, 2010 - 12:08am PT
Hey Pothead, tell Rick to get a helmetcam an post up some action.

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 18, 2010 - 02:05am PT
Hey pothead, tell Rick he was missed at the 2010 Woodson Shindig. I was really hoping he would show. Thanks Rick for the memories.

Trad climber
Jun 18, 2010 - 08:05am PT
I bouldered with Rick quite a bit at woodson in the 80's, and found alot to admire about him. As a climber he is supremely skilled, ridiculously powerful and has no visible ego. He is a driven explorer and has a list of cutting edge, classic first ascents that few others can approach.

Piggot is about deeds rather than words, and his deeds speak for themself.
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