Obscure - Elliot Robinson

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socialclimber

Mountain climber
CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 28, 2009 - 06:27pm PT
So for a couple years Elliot has been climbing at my gym and our families hang out a bit here and there and occasionally we squeeze in some climbing time. Elliot has some great stories and has been around the climbing world from Yosemite to the Greater Ranges for a long time. A couple months back Elliot brought me a Ron Olevsky(sp?) homemade cam for our history case and it got me wondering wether anyone from around Supertopo has any memory or stories of Elliot from back in the day?

Charles
Edit: Not Ron Olevsky cam, a Rob Orvitz(sp?) cam
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 28, 2009 - 07:32pm PT
Is this Elliott Robinson, who was an undergrad at Stanford in the mid-1980s, and climbed quite a bit with Greg Murphy? A little later got his MSW at UC Berkeley? If so, Greg would have the best stories, and I recall they had some good adventures together.
socialclimber

Mountain climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2009 - 12:28am PT
Yep, that sounds like Elliot's resume. Elliot is becoming a bit of a role model for me, and in turn I keep him up to date on popular music so he can have good talks with his kid.

We had a great trip up shasta in september and we are plotting a east face of whitney/fishook arete climb.

Charles
Urmas

Social climber
Sierra Eastside
Apr 29, 2009 - 11:10am PT
Elliot and I had a good adventure doing the second ascent of Escape From Freedom (V 5.11+A0) on Mount Watkins. He started wandering up a 5.10b pitch where the bolts were too far apart to see, got off route and took a 50 footer, almost cratering on a dike. I was impressed, and amazed that he would push himself so hard that far above the pro! The rest of the climb went smoothly enough. It's good to hear about him after so long!
G Murphy

Trad climber
Oakland CA
Apr 29, 2009 - 01:02pm PT
Oh my goodness, where to start with the Elliott stories.
socialclimber

Mountain climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2009 - 02:31pm PT
Elliot talks about escape from freedom a bit, seems like a turning point for him in climbing. These days he boulders a lot, built a little wall in his backyard. One time though, I caught him top-roping in the gym and all he was using was a swami that I am pretty sure was made before I was born, true old-school.

Charles
G Murphy

Trad climber
Oakland CA
Apr 29, 2009 - 02:50pm PT
We did an early ascent of Power Point on Higher Cathedral. Elliott was into OW, so he gets the 5.11 OW pitch. At the big ledge before the OW, he eats a box of these grim jam-filled cookies and drinks a whole can of Mountain Dew. He gets up into the OW and starts heaving and vomit spray is raining down on me at the base. Nevertheless, he styles the pitch. I get up there and have to arm bar and squirm through the crux with my chest pasted to this section of rock covered with his regurgitated snack.
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Apr 29, 2009 - 02:59pm PT
I knew Elliot when we were at Stanford together, we would boulder together occasionally. He was a very good climber. A good friend of Bob Palais also if I recall correctly. Please give Elliot my regards--it would be great to hear what he's up to.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 29, 2009 - 03:13pm PT
Great laugh, Greg! I thought one of those Elliott hurling stories might "resurface". :-)

One thing I remember is when I lent Elliott my old 280Z so he and Greg could get to the Valley. I had to make him a long list of what was wrong with the car and how to work around it (like how the key did not work in the doors and you had to go in via the hatchback, the headlights worked only on bright, etc. ...). They had a great adventure of course and the car made it back unscathed too.
socialclimber

Mountain climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2009 - 05:38pm PT
anyone have any pics? I tease Elliot regularly about how he climbed before cameras, but even on shasta with two cameras over two days we took a whopping 4 pics.

Charles
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Apr 29, 2009 - 06:03pm PT
I have an Elliot tale but there's no vomiting involved.

I forget how we hooked up but Elliot, Dan Hershman & myself did Blind Faith together. As mentioned above, Elliot was way into wide cracks, and he wanted the crux OW pitch & said it was OK if Dan & I led the rest of the route. I led the 5.11D finger/thin hands pitch & found it about right at the grade. Difficult 1-1/8 jamming got me to the belay.

Above, lay 4 pitches of OW climbing, 5.10 B, 5.11A, 5.10D & the 5.10A exit pitch shared by the regular Rostrum North Face route.
Dan led the 5.10B pitch easily, and because we had combined gear racks with Elliot, we had lots of big cams for all the OW pitches & the anchors for the 2nd pitch. Elliot styled the OW pitch, and was quickly at the little proud perch, also shared with Rostrum N.F. (1 pitch below the roof). Hershman led the 5.10D flare/OW pitch and I took the last easy one to finish.

Somewhere I have a photo of Elliot hiking down the approach gully with our combined OW rack. We had about 8 to 10 cams up to 8", and Elliot looked like some kind of gnome of the forrest. He was fun to climb with. I saw him a few times afterwards but we never managed to climb together again. I hope he is well.
G Murphy

Trad climber
Oakland CA
Apr 29, 2009 - 06:20pm PT
The first time I drove to the Valley with Elliott in his old Rabbit, we were rounding a corner and this huge rooster-tale of sparks came shooting out from his rear tires. I about flipped but he calmly noted that all the tires were worn down to the steel belts. Every time we hit a corner the steel belts sparked off the pavement. I was glad it was winter; I could imnagine a string of fires in the dry grass along every coner on 120. No brakes, no insurance, cracked windshield, etc.
socialclimber

Mountain climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2009 - 06:40pm PT
Elliot has fairly mastered the art of looking like a forest gnome/ battle dwarf, the comment, "we are very powerful over short distances" is right up Elliot's alley. He boulders hard. Though he can push hard in alpine. Geared up for Shasta with poles and ax and skis he looked formidable.

We have a kid who used to work at the gym and now just climbs and works out of Fresno, but anyway, Elliot knows this guys dad and one day they ran into each other at the gym. After talking Kevin walks up to me and says, "My dad says he knew this climber guy...I thought it was some random dude, I didn't realize he was a legend!"

Charles
socialclimber

Mountain climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2009 - 08:47pm PT
bump to front page

Charles
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Apr 30, 2009 - 12:39pm PT
yo, i knew elliot back in the day. he would purposedly seek out totally obscure routes to do early repeats on. one time he went up on the flue on sentinel, don't know if he summited, but he was into adventure...that's for sure. ciao, shipoopoi
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Apr 30, 2009 - 12:59pm PT
i climbed with elliot a few times and shared many a beers in the parking lot with him.
super good guy and always motivated.
ks
socialclimber

Mountain climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 30, 2009 - 09:56pm PT
so I finally got Elliot to log on and read this thread, he laughed heartedly. He wants to re-connect with some of the people on this forum and I am trying to get him to just sign up and start lurking but for right now the big question he has is who is "Levy"?

post up and I will have him read it. he mentioned something about a bad memory due to something so he may not fully recall all his adventures. He did start to say something about rappeling in a blizzard, I want to hear more about that if anyone can summon that story

Charles
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 30, 2009 - 10:22pm PT
Levy = Bill Leventhal

rapping into a blizzard - that might have been when Greg and Elliott did the Kor-Beck in a snowstorm.
G Murphy

Trad climber
Oakland CA
Apr 30, 2009 - 11:32pm PT
We actually rappelled in a blizzard more than once in Yosemite. The most epic was on the Kor-Beck. We climbed through a snowstorm (freeing everything!) until we got to this short slab at the U-shaped bowl I think. We couldn't do the slab moves, so Elliott starts making snowballs, pasting them to the slab, and trying to stand up on them. He got a one or two snowball moves up and would slide down when they failed. We started rapping at that point with avalanches sloughing off to either side of us.

After that, we actually practiced the snowball technique on slabby boulders just in case.
E Robinson

climber
Salinas, CA
May 1, 2009 - 01:16am PT
Well I suppose I could chime in with memories too...but there's still some fog left over from the Reagan-Bush years and way too many wild adventures.

Charles, thanks for twisting my arm to log into this forum. It brings back many great times, friends and general wildness of life. Back in the day I never would have guessed that I'd spend middle age as a staid county bureaucrat.

Levy, I looked in my old guide to figure out Blind Faith and with Clint's post the fog lifted a bit...the off fingers first pitch though sticks...I did my best to make an off fingers on my backyard cliff. I love the experience of lifting clouds.

Clint, are you at Stanford these days?

Deuce, it wasn't too many years back that I finally tossed the ancient green North Face polarguard sleeping bag I got from as you were packing out of Stanford.

Steve, still dream of beating you at Scrabble...no that'd be way too much of a long shot...So on the Flue, Steve Annecone and I summited, but didn't free a 5-10 foot section of crack that didn't look too dicey...but the rain stumped us. My favorite obscure lines though were East Arrowhead Chimney and Chockstone Chimney. Never found the Inconsolable Buttress.

Kurt, still think of jamming through the park with the B-52s and Talking Heads blasting. Did my best to remember the High Profile Knobs when stuccoing my backyard not quite real cliff. I looked at Reach for a Peach last summer on a rare trip to the Meadows...WTF.

Greg-man one of these days you, Annie, Peter and Alex have to stop by Prunedale. Heck, come on a monster hike across the Santa Lucia's we can get 10,000 feet of uphill in and more poison oak and ticks than you can shake a stick at. I promise no heaving. BTW I would do almost anything to stand in the Gunsight by the light of a headlamp during a blizzard and watch the snow blow straight up the face of Middle Cathedral.
E
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