whatever happened to Matt Cox?

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 20 of total 37 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 19, 2006 - 01:47pm PT
Any search through the archives of post-stonemaster history reveals that a Matthew Q. Cox did many hard, dangereous asnd crazy first ascents, repeats and first free ascents in Joshua Tree, Idlywild, Yosemite and elsewhere in the 70,s and early 80's.

Matt's hair was a type of afro and his body stout, muscular and always tanned. On weekend's in the 70's, Matt's fingernails could be heard grinding as he crimped hard on any number of dime thick edges adjacent to Hidden Valley campground, or high on Suicide rock. Beneath him was the required manky sideways # 2 stopper in a grainy slot, followed 30 feet below by another one.

After a day in high school in Orange county, Matt could often be found training on the drainage ditch near his house. He used a a hammer and chisel to chip tiny edges that he used to tune up his specialized crimping and edging techniques.

To this day, and I have never seen anyone (even french superstars at Smith Rocks and Owens Gorge), crimp harder than that studly teen.

Has anyone else got any interesting stories about Matt Q. Cox, the specimen of extra-human genetics?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 19, 2006 - 04:05pm PT
Hey, HashBra:
Didn't he do Tubular Balls out by the Comic Book?
'Never could find that thing.
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 19, 2006 - 04:10pm PT
I forgot to mention that Matt a;ways left him finfernails long enough to create a quite audible scraping sound as he clamped onto the archtypal 1/16" holds he favored.

As testiment to Matt's crimping abilites, if you are ever well behind the Orange Curtain, go check out the lower wall at Hart park in Orange (on Chapman ave). I'm sure no one boulders there these days, but Matt's long traverse on the "lower" utilized some of the sharpest, smalled and most ridiculous edges we'd seen at the time.

I remember hearing that unsettling grinding sound as his nails went from micro-edge to micro-edge, his PA'd feet dancing on ugly micro-slopes below.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Mar 19, 2006 - 04:27pm PT
I caught Matt on one of the most horrendous falls in my life--2nd pitch of The Edge out at Tahquitz, the guy leaves off lybacking the edge and goes on straight dimes on the left wall, pings for about 50, then scampers right back up and dicks the lead. The lad had some sac!

JL
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 19, 2006 - 05:01pm PT
Well said John!

Funny, Matt never mentioned the 50 footer to me.

Tarbuster, I believe Tubular Balls was one of Matt's firsts including Tresspassers will be violated, Illusion Dweller and magical Mystery Tour On Tahquitz (with Tobin).
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Mar 20, 2006 - 05:35pm PT
Didn't Belezzi tell me he was banging nails these days?

I could check if you're really in need...
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Mar 20, 2006 - 06:34pm PT
K-man...yes we care, trying to get the old band together for a world tour.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Mar 20, 2006 - 07:53pm PT
Ah, Matt Cox. Did he have a perpetual tan or what?!?!

My partner and I teamed up with Matt to do an early repeat of Fairest of All on Fairview. This was way before much was known of the route except that it was pretty runout. Matt was our ace in the hole for all the hairball leads.

As it turns out, Matt never led a pitch! My partner and I sketched our way up the rock as Matt sunned himself on the belay ledges.

Bruce
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Mar 20, 2006 - 08:04pm PT
Though Matt was younger than most of us, he was by far the best and boldest climber in our group. He was always game for the sharp end. As a result, it was easy to cruse along on, getting a TR on routes I should have been trying to lead. It was only after Matt took off for No. Cal. that I began to really lead things.

Ah, yes. The scraping of Matt's fingernails on small edges...I can still hear them now...



hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 20, 2006 - 08:09pm PT
Matt also did an early scent of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride on Fairview, among other scary stuff. He clearly thrived on runout and very thin slab routes, unless of course he was sunning.

He actually did not need the sun to stay tanned, I suspect due to some genetic abnormality (that probably also created his boldness and brute strength).
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Mar 20, 2006 - 08:24pm PT
Aw man, my source is bust--no news on the Cox.

And I guess BruceH doesn't have the scoop...
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Mar 20, 2006 - 08:45pm PT
The scoop? What about that ascent of Mr. Toad's?

Matt did the climb with my climbing partner, Jeff, and had to be rescued 2 pitches from the top when they got off route right of the normal route and were hit by a thunder and lightening storm. Jeff had a very poor belay, a #2 and #3 stopper in a small crack, and Matt was 30' out when he slipped and came sliding down and managed to grab Jeff as he went by.

They yelled for help and a bit later, Alan Bard rappeled down from the top. AB took one look at the anchor and instead of clipping in, drilled two bolts. They jumared to the summit and got helicopter ride off the top.

Bruce
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 20, 2006 - 09:08pm PT
How very odd! Like the 50 foooter on the Edge, I never heard about that fiasco.

Let's give Matt the benefit of the doubt though; maybe he had a successful ascent some other time. Remember the statute of limitations has long past.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Mar 20, 2006 - 09:22pm PT
I give Matt every benefit of the doubt. On Mr. Toads, they were way past the hard climbing and just trying to take a more direct line on the last couple of pitches (this was before there was a guidebook). If they hadn't been hit by a thunderstorm they probably would have made it since the climbing at that point, according to Jeff, was only in the 5.9 range.

Chapeau to both of them!

Bruce
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 20, 2006 - 10:33pm PT
Bruce, I was trying to be humorous about any sort of judgement on their ascent.

Ya never know what others go through on their own epics and of course we should "judge not and ye shall not be judged."
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Mar 20, 2006 - 10:50pm PT
Spoke to Matt last year, he seems to be doing fine. He's still around in Santa Cruz area.
de eee

Mountain climber
Tustin
Mar 21, 2006 - 12:29pm PT
I spent alot of time with Matt in those early years but don't remember much. I do remember our first El Cap attempt. I don't think we had our drivers licenses because my mom dropped us off in The Valley on her way to the bay area. It was Easter week and the weather wasn't looking too good. The top of The Captain was festooned with hideous ice formations whiched caused some trepidation. We tried not to think about them. Our plan was to try The Nose clean. Soon after our arrival we hooked up with the much more mature climber Ken Cook who greatly strengthened our team. He decided that The Salathe was a better choice considering the conditions. So, up we went to fix a few. It was cold and wet but the day warmed slightly as we climbed the first few, Matt leading the 10c finger pitch. A pitch or two higher and we were startled by a sound like thunder and looked up to see a VW van sized piece of ice break off the top and come hurtling down. It hit the rock and shattered into many pieces all of which headed our way. We ducked and covered getting pelted by small pieces, some of which hurt. The decision to descend was made immediately. We jettisoned all extra gear and down we went. Large ice chunks continued to break off during our terrified rappels and we were lucky indeed to survive.
henny

Social climber
The Past
Mar 21, 2006 - 09:30pm PT
Matt's crack climbing rack. All of about six nuts. Didn't matter how long the route was, or what size the crack was. He'd pull out the same rack every time. You knew you had two choices. One, pray that you could fit the gear in somewhere on the pitch, or two) save the gear and hope you could get it in at the belay. Thing was, you knew there wasn't enough gear to do both, even if it all did fit by some chance. Never seemed to bother him though.
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 22, 2006 - 01:50pm PT
Darrel,

I know Randy and Dave remember this clearly (and I mentioned it earlier) but is worth repeating, that Matt did many hard leads while over sideways placed stoppers, nuts placed in opposition and reverse cammed stoppers. Many of these placements in grainy and erroding Josh monzonite.

The guy was friggin crazy.

looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Mar 22, 2006 - 03:17pm PT
OK, here is a Matt story...

Matt, Jim Dutzi and I were over at Hemingway and at the time we were always looking for new face climbs to do...(don't ask).

Anyway, we look at the face to the left of White Lightning and Matt grabs the assortment of stoppers and hexes and bolt kit and heads out. After a bit of gritty climbing and some stoppers under loose down-pointing flakes, we convince Matt to place a bolt.

After the bolt is drilled (a spinner), Matt continues up placing marginal pro here and there and tops out.

Following the pitch, I can remove all the gear by basically jerking straight down on it. The only decent piece (other than the bolt) was about 10 feet from the top.

Thrity years later, Pig In Heat still is rarely done (despite decent climbing).
Messages 1 - 20 of total 37 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta