Last and First Ascents

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Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 2, 2006 - 01:06am PT
JB's belated posting on the St. Helens extrusion, and the possibility of an entirely new ascent, prompts me to ask about last ascents. That is, who amongst us can tell of having made the last ascent of a climb or better still an actual peak or mountain or pinnacle, before it succumbed to gravity?

I climbed Trigger Finger (Peshastin) before it collapsed in about 1978, and Positive Vibrations at Vantage, before it was carjacked in about 2002. (The latter was actually a basalt column/pinnacle, but was free standing for about 25 metres.) These weren't the very last ascents, but it's strange to think that no one can ever climb these again.

Conspiracy theorists have overlooked the possibility that Mallory & Irvine did in fact climb the big E in 1924, via the Second Step etc. Sure Conrad found it to be 5.9+ in 1999 - but in the meantime, there must have been rockfall or something, making it harder. No one can prove it didn't happen, so it must be true.

Anders
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jun 2, 2006 - 01:11am PT
I wonder who got the last climb of mickey's beach crack.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 2, 2006 - 01:14am PT
I climbed Popocatepetl (5452m) in the early 90's, it was closed to climbing sometime around then...

In 1992 the mountain began showing an increase in seismic activity and a noticeable increase in fumarolic activity in the summit crater. Throughout 1995 and early 1996, Popocatepetl produced occasional phreatic explosions accompanied by intermittent low-magnitude seismicity and anomalously high emissions of SO2. By the end of March, a new lava dome was identified in the summit crater indicating that a magmatic phase of the current eruptive episode had begun. Finally, on April 30, 1996, an explosion of the new dome killed five climbers who were at the summit and did not heed warnings that closed the volcano to climbers. They are the only casualties to date.

Check out this site.

I wasn't the LA, but close...
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
St. Louis
Jun 2, 2006 - 07:40am PT
Tony Barnes was the last to climb the Gendarme at Seneca Rocks. Pretty cool.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jun 2, 2006 - 07:50am PT
I did Popo in 1985 (and Ixta and Orizaba), but I didn't know about that 1996 incident.

Mt St Helens in 1972, obviously not the last ascent but interesting to think that one stood on ground that is no longer there.
elcapfool

Big Wall climber
hiding in plain sight
Jun 2, 2006 - 08:40am PT
I think I was the last one up SPACE before that pitch(8?)fell off.
And I definately had that "this isn't going to last long" feeling on Ancient Art in the Fisher's.
I was on North Howser Tower when so much rock came down, the first pitch became an excavation project.

Just waiting for the big one on El Cap, looks like the orange section of Iron Hawk/ AO is prime to rip, like a scab of good rock stuck on a base of diorite, and completely undercut. The finger of fate awaits it's fate in the talus field. The boot is actually pretty solid considering how it looks from the meadow.
Phantom Fugitive

Trad climber
Misery
Jun 2, 2006 - 10:20am PT
I got the last ascent of "Basilica", the tower that use to sit next to Castleton, on it's north side. This is now a popular place to rack up, take pics and stash your gear in the remaining base. Sad thing, too, cuz it was twice as tall.

PF
bachar

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Jun 2, 2006 - 10:30am PT
There was that Ray Jardine Route on the right side of Elephant Rock that fell off.
The Yaniro Route at Josh that became a Sharma boudler problem!

Anders - "No one can prove it didn't happen, so it must be true." Nice!
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Jun 2, 2006 - 10:33am PT
what's the name of that route on JT's Chimney Rock? Hard openening moves, then airy hand traverese above Space Station 27. RIP.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jun 2, 2006 - 10:47am PT
Which are the totally vanished routes in the Valley? I know that there's one (Werner's Crack?) on that trail beyond the Awahnee that is totally gone.

I sat on a giant boulder at Mecca at Lower Cathedral that was sporting a shiney new 3/8" bolt on top of it. Don't know which route it fell off of or how much of the route was affected.

What disappeared from Elephant?

How 'bout at GPA or Koko Ledge area? Are any of those routes gone or just "different" or dangerous.

Has Pegasus? been done since there was the rock fall. (Am I confusing that route with another?)
scuffy b

climber
Chalet Neva-Care
Jun 2, 2006 - 10:52am PT
I guess Russ may have bagged the last ascent of the
rockform personality formerly known as The FIN.
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Jun 2, 2006 - 10:54am PT
Haystack Block at Coopers Rock in WV has been closed for a couple years now. The bolts on a couple slab 10's have been chopped. Some day they expect it to plummet into the Cheat River.
zardoz

Trad climber
Austin, TX
Jun 2, 2006 - 10:54am PT
What was the route on Hallet Peak in RMNP that had a major collapse on the first couple of pitches? The mountain project site doesn't seem to mention it. I sold my old guide book foolishly, so I can't look it up.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Jun 2, 2006 - 10:56am PT
Something on Hallett's in RMNP fell off a few years back. And isn't there a crack on Half Dome that has gone from KB to 24", according to Jay Smith?

Robbins got the *only* ascent of the eponymous chimney on Tis-sa-ack. When Porter arrived on the second, the entire 150'+ flake was gone.

Mt. Cook pretty much fell apart, wonder who was the last one up there.

And I recall reading about some Swiss (?) dudes bailing off this big, groaning thing in Chamonix(?) that fell off a few days later. Several pitches' worth.


Could the Mecca boulder be a belay stance?

The current Climbing details the few stays enjoyed by Kor's Ledge on the Painted Wall before it mysteriously disappeared.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Jun 2, 2006 - 11:04am PT
Northcutt Carter. We did the 5.10 roof variation on the 2nd pitch unwittingly. I remember leading that pitch, taking a fall at the crux, coming back up to find the nut that caught me almost leveraged out, paniced the roof again and made it. I thought F*#K SAKE THIS IS HARD FOR 5.7.

It was a real ego boost when my vastly more capable partner fell following the roof. The "Dayum Dingus, what's got INTO YOU?" look was priceless, coming from my master like that.

The whole thing is gone now I understand. Weird.

DMT
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jun 2, 2006 - 11:10am PT
Sewellymon, Upthread:
Loose Lips in Josh on Chimney Rock.

Rhodo Upthread:
Hallets, Northcutt Carter -near the bottom (Still Goes).

In 1980, Rick Sylvester and a buddy of mine (Jerome Karlian -RIP) were talking about doing St Helens; I think that was just after? 'Fell inline with the Sylvester stunt mode.

Higher Spire, above the "Bathtubs": I crawled through the wreckage -wasn't that bad.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jun 2, 2006 - 11:17am PT
Great thread Anders. It shows us not to take anything for granted and the power of Gaia.

Since I haven’t been in the Valley for years, what routes, features, towers etc look the likeliest of falling, collapsing et al. Elcapfool mentions the orange section on Iron Hawl/Atantic Ocean on the Captain. Any other candidates in the Valley?

What about that pic on SuperTacos home page under ‘featured photo’ that occasionally appears (but when you click on it to enlarge it it’s not there, just the X?) The bloke climbing on some tower on Mt Whitney’s East Buttress. How secure is that puppy?

PS, for those of us who stood on St Helen's summit, can't we claim a first ascent of that Fin, even though it hadn't surfaced yet? ;-)
George Bell

Trad climber
Colorado
Jun 2, 2006 - 11:25am PT
What about the log on Royal Arches? It fell down over 20 years ago but I still remember crawling across that thing. I always thought we should hoist a replica in place so the original ascent line can still be climbed ...
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jun 2, 2006 - 11:27am PT
George, when I did RA in 1973, I was scared of crawling along that log. Somebody (Juanito?) some months back posted a thread saying he was going to make a duplicate log and haul it up there.
bachar

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Jun 2, 2006 - 11:31am PT
Patrick - that "piece" of rock that fell off Iron Hawk (?) up and right of the footstool almost killed Werner. He was right below when it came off!

Remember that one Werner?
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