Tse-n-t'ytl

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survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 14, 2009 - 01:23am PT
Story by Brian Povolny
Ascent Vol. V

Tse-n-t'ytl means "High flat rock".

A super cool story which includes many references to our very own Todd Gordon on the first ascent?

Maybe Todd will reprint it for us here?

I could even scan it and post it if I had permission.
It's a great story.

"That evening Todd led the roof pitch. It was engrossing to watch him delicately place and test pieces that seemed ever ready to pop. On the ground, Todd reminded me of the "before" picture in a comic book bodybuilding ad: he was just plain skinny. But once on the lead, he became a master in his medium. His smooth deliberate technique deceived me into thinking he was on easy ground."

I got an almost mint copy of Ascent Vol. V in a funky little bookstore in ABQ for $5!!!

How many of you have read it?
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 01:35am PT
Done in the early 80's....and yet to have a 2nd ascent......that I have heard of , anyways....



[Click to View Linked Image]


Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 14, 2009 - 01:37am PT
"Tse-n-t'ytl!"

Why, bless you! My allergies are bothering me, too. It's that time of year.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 01:37am PT
[Click to View Linked Image]
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 14, 2009 - 01:41am PT
Thanks Todd!!

I was hoping you'd see this and chime in.

More pictures please? Any idea about the legality, since that part was never actually fully answered in the write up?
What were your impressions of the climb?

More pictures please?

It would be pretty sizeable to post the whole thing on here, but I'd be willing to try....

More pictures please?

Thanks for jumping in here!!!
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 01:49am PT
It's the giant mesa to the right of Spider Rock......It's illigal to climb or even hike in Canyon De Chelly without a Navajo Guide.....and to make things even more restricted, much of the canyon is also overseen by the Nat. Park Service too;....so you have that element to deal with as well......the climb is really in a very isolated area with little or no humans nearby........it's a 3 hour approach to get to the base from the east , and an hour or two from the Spider Rock overlook Bat trail......it's a big adventure.....We fixed for 2 days, then Brian went back for one more fixing day (only got 40 feet higher), then we went back and climbed for 3 days, spending 2 nights on the climb.....total of around 9 or 10 pitches.....and then we rapped the route to get off....Big scary adventure for Brian, Dave Evans , and myself.....

[Click to View Linked Image]

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 01:55am PT
Here's Dave Evans and I on the untrodden summit;...a proud moment for us......I had a really good time on this climb;...it really pushed us and challenged us, and we made it to the summit. Dave and Brian were great partners for this climb;...it was Brian's climb mostly, and Dave and I were the shipmates while we called Brian " The Captian."......

[Click to View Linked Image]
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 14, 2009 - 02:00am PT
That is flat out awesome. What a great picture!!

I was sure that it was a pretty deep experience for all of you.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 02:19am PT
Dave was probably 24, I was 26, and Brian was the old man at age 28.....the climb went up crack for nearly 1000 feet, except for the first 40 feet;....Brian stood on our shoulders to drill the first bolt right off the ground, which really hurt and started the suffering off from the very first placement.....there were 8 bolts at the start to get to the crack system, then a 200 foot wide crack...

Dave on the raps down....I think Brian can be seen a few raps below Dave....


[Click to View Linked Image]
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 02:30am PT
Before we ever roped up, we hired a guide to take us legally into the canyon, to scout out a route up the unclimbed mesa;...we told him of our intentions, and he didn't seem to care....he just wanted to get paid for that day, and went out of his way to make sure we had a great day hiking in the canyon with him, so we would give him a big tip at the end of the day....( which we did....).....Then, after we found our killer line to climb, we rented had a friend rent an airplane for us (I have my pilot's liscense too), so we could scout a way off the climb....which we found out there was none other than rappel the route.......We had 7 ropes, maybe a hundred cams, and probably 50 pins.....and all sorts of food and drink....it was a mobile party.....

[Click to View Linked Image]
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 14, 2009 - 02:44am PT
How cool!

Have you posted this stuff before?
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 03:05am PT
After the climb, we had a mountain of gear for the 3 of us to carry out;.....it was a slow painful walk out, but we were happy to have completed our adventure, and psyched for burgers in Chinle........We had planned to fix for 2 straight days, and spent the night in the Canyon, and we were also with this dude Jeff from Ganado......after one day, he missed his girlfriend too much, and talked us into hiking out.......after a 3 hour hike, we got to the top of the plataeu, but couldn't find our car....after another hour or two, we found it....that night I went to a party, and I hadn't had much to eat or drink that day;....a full day of humping loads, hard climbing, and more hiking......then I did what Michael Phelps does sometimes.....and I started to faint.......I was in someone backyard, and I grabbed a fence to steady myself;......but I felt my legs going....I started to get tunnel vision, and with one last effort, I threw myself up and over the fence...sort of like a blanket drying on the fence.......I was slumped over the fence barely able to talk;.....a Navajo neighbor came over to me , and was laughing saying "Dude;...you had too much to drink......you are wasted......."....to which I replied;....go get the white guy with the glasses....quick.......".......Brian carried me out to his car, took me to his house for a meal, lots of liquids and and bath....and the next day we got us WAY early to return to the canyon without Jeff, and continue fixing our route........I have posted these pics on Mtn project and maybe here on supertopo a few times, but never gave my version of the climb....Brian is a very good writer and a better speller too......my version would be more gritty, adolescent, and raw.....

[Click to View Linked Image]
MH2

climber
Apr 14, 2009 - 03:15am PT
Brian Povolny, eh? I knew him in Seattle. I think he told me that Todd Gordon, "loves loose rock."

I called up Brian once in the very early days of answering machines and listened for 5 minutes to a splendidly erotic ode to "her curves" before realizing it was about skiing.

Seemed like a creative guy.
pip the dog

Mountain climber
planet dogboy
Apr 14, 2009 - 03:17am PT
outstanding thread

(i've seen that wall up close - had a friend working at an archeological dig nearby in the late 80's. you softstone people are kinda different than my people. though impressive stuff, surely.)
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Apr 14, 2009 - 03:28am PT
".Brian is a very good writer and a better speller too......my version would be more gritty, adolescent, and raw..... "


Me likey gritty, adolescent, and raw... Besides, even if he writes it up, its great to have different perspectives.

survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 14, 2009 - 03:29am PT
Todd,

Your description is excellent. I'm stoked to have dragged this much out of you. It's great to relive those old routes eh?
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 09:44am PT
Brian and I were way in over our head......and Jeff was not so interested anymore in the climb;.....it seemed an overwhelming task for just Brian and I;....we had been on the thing for 3 days fixing now....and still sort of just nibbling at the toes of the formation.......so I called up Dave Evans, who was in California;...we were living 20 miles from the canyon...but Dave was 600 miles away, and never climbed on sandstone;.....as soon as I told Dave about our climb, he got his gear together, hopped into his VW van, maybe a couple dozen Old English Malt Liquors, and put the pedal down...(that meant 50 to 55 MPH).......he arrived maybe 15 hours later, ....the old E was gone, and he was fired up to go...We drove over to a friends place to relax....(ie. shots of tiquilla and other party favorites.....)..then...got in the car for Moab and maybe 3 hours of sleep...for a warm up, we climbed the Finger of Fate route on the Titan (and got stuck over night without bivy gear...that's another story...it was getting on winter too, and cold..)....and a few days later, hopped on the Mesa with Brian......With Dave, we were more confident and less scared, and ready for anything.

Dave fully psyched to be near the summit......he's so happy his eyes are bleeding.....

[Click to View Linked Image]
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 09:57am PT
OUr bivy spot had only enough room for 2, so Brian climbed higher, and bivied about us.....that night he fired up the stove and made us hot chocolate to go with the beer, and sent it down on a rope to us.......the Captain looking after his shipmates.....That night it rained, and I didnt' have a bivy bag.....just as the sun came up, my bag was soaking through...so I was OK......above this pitch, the rock widened to a massive chinmey with many teetering blocks and climbing that looked way too dangerous.......that's where we found a worm-hole that lead to another chimney system that went deep into the bowells of the mesa, and was the key to our victory......

[Click to View Linked Image]
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 10:05am PT
After Dave's first trip of local cragging, The Titan, and The Arachnid Mesa, he got addicted to the sandstone towers....and took many many many more trips out to the soft rock;.....for new routes as well as the classics......and Dave, myself, and Brian Povolny would go one to climb again together for many more big adventures...

Here's is Dave's mode of transportation at my hogan......life was simple then.....

[Click to View Linked Image]
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 14, 2009 - 11:12am PT
Sweet!!

Todd, this has been even better than I'd hoped for.

Your reference to the worm hole is timely. I was wondering if you'd mention it, or if it made as big an impression on you as it did on Brian. I was sure that it had.

I guess the story has not been read by as many sutopians as I'd expected. Surely you have a copy of it?

Your account is better because it includes the photos to increase the "feel" of the thing. In Ascent there was only one B&W and it wasn't even your route, right?

Living history on Supertopo again. It's what makes the site!
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