Steve Grossman care to reflect for us on Turning Point?

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T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 29, 2009 - 11:34am PT
I am curious about this route. There is not alot out there about this one.

Is it a independent line, I believe it ascends somewhere around the nose but really have no idea. Is there a topo available?

I did see in another thread that you kept a diary of your ascent. Would you be kind enough to share some of that with us?

How did you scope the line? How long were you on the route?

Please share.

seamus mcshane

climber
Nov 29, 2009 - 12:04pm PT
T2- check with Alpinist #25.

There's a short blurb with 1 photo regarding Turning Point.
rick d

climber
ol pueblo, az
Nov 29, 2009 - 12:36pm PT
there is a start (free?) from nose, but from the half dollar on free blast, go right and up. Follows cracks to left of Muir Dihedrals.

All bolts are 3/8"

If you second it, don't say anything to anyone just nod to Grossman while you two sit down and drink. (or you can write a book about the 23,000#'s of gear and modified hook moves to get up the thing and how you shiat on your own ropes)

Same goes for False Shield as Cole was on it same time and let Grossman have the Muir details.

Charles said Steve read a lot on the route and even just took rest days reading.
T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 29, 2009 - 02:07pm PT
I just read the "Iron Spell" Thanks Seamus!

Great read Steve. Please give us more. I am curious how many holes there are? With the advent of all the new style clean gear these days (ball nuts, aliens and what not) compared to 84' do you think an ascent today would be as demanding as it was 25 years ago?

I want you and everyone else here to know my intentions with this enquiry are sincere and I have no motives other than wanting to hear about this climb.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 29, 2009 - 03:35pm PT
While doing the Free Blast, you can look over to the right and see the (rather few) 3/8" bolts on Turning Point.

A few bits of info on the climb can be found in posts in this forum, by doing a google search on
site:supertopo.com "Turning Point" Grossman
.
They probably don't tell you much about the overall route; just a nonrandom sample.

---

(in the "Welcome to Kevin Worrall" thread)
Steve Grossman
Sep 17, 2006 - 04:33pm PT
Mike and Kevin,
Your stories about doing the Graham Traverse en route to a chopfest on the lower Salathe jogged my memory.
Back in 1983, I climbed through that area while putting up The Turning Point. The second pitch ends at the belay where you guys began that huge sweeping downward traverse to the left to reach the Salathe.
After rappelling at the end of the day, Yosemite caretaker John Bachar, approached to ask if I was aware that I had been on hallowed ground. I said yes, and told him that I had added a bolt to protect the very last 5.11a sequence to reach the belay. I watched as his jaw tightened and he pondered his response to the indiscretion. Only after I pre-empted his certain sneer by informing him that fifty feet of runout 5.10 all the way up the down ramp had left The Graham Traverse, with its enormous windshield wiper pendulum fall, essentially intact, did he smile. "Just checking," he said as we parted company, just a little closer for having shared an obscure bit of history that few would know or appreciate.
We old guard carry around a lot of great tales. I thought you guys might appreciate this one.
Cheers-Steve

---

(in the "Steve Grossman appreciation" thread)

Steve Grossman
Feb 18, 2009 - 09:26am PT
Thanks for the glowing words Paul! You certainly were around for lots of the serious fun.

Regarding the "bad bolts" on the Turning Point. Mostly 3/8" split shafts with plenty of old Leeper hangers and therein lies the problem. As Paul well knows, those rusty old Leepers can be deadly and split shafts are simply not reliable even if 3/8"!!!

A bolt failure on any of the Superblast start would be very bad.

The TP is hands down the best bolted VI anywhere. I only mucked up two or three holes on the entire route! The only exception is a drilled angle that I was forced to place just below the connection point with the Muir up high (just past The Point of Caring). All my drilling gear was toast by then and few options were available. Anyone doing the Muir with a 1/2" drilling setup please pluck the drilled angle and put in a better bolt here. Lots of parties likely have their traversing hauls hang up on that silly pin so I would love to see it cleaned up.

--
and a few photos of the starting section at:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=787585&tn=80
---

(in the "Ever been rescued?" thread)

Steve Grossman
Jan 7, 2007 - 04:07pm PT
Great stories from both sides Kevin and Jeff! A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Though not exactly rescued, I have been helped out by friends big time along the way.

I had one pitch up the Muir remaining to cap a fourteen-day solo odyssey on The Turning Point. I was collecting what remained of my wits to do an end around past the last huge overhangs that cap the sweeping corner below. "Black death!" said a familiar voice from way out over my head. "You gonna finish this thing today?" he grinned. I didn't have much light left and expressed my doubts. This prompted Fig to spur me on with a "Well, I guess I will have to eat this cheesecake and drink these cold beers myself then."

I got my act together and began traversing out left. I was wearing a pair of ultra comfy, full steel-shanked leather Galibier Sassous. Two weeks of drilling and boot stacking in top steps had completely worn away the toe of the boot, exposing the end of the shank. As the angle finally eased off and the sun was setting, I was faced with a dreadful situation to climb the last twenty feet to reach the beginnings of a manzanita patch and security, pure friction! Every time that I would try to settle onto the inclined toes of my boots in a dish, the steel would contact and skate. I had no protection anywhere nearby and things looked grim until the light came on. "Fig, ahh, any chance that you could toss me a rope?" "Sure thing, Steve," he said sounding a little puzzled that 5.7 slab moves were giving me trouble. I explained the situation as I tied in and finished the biggest adventure of my life while he laughed away at the absurdity of it all.

Soon, we gave each other a hug and took stock of the situation. My haulbag was almost directly beneath us, but oh so far away, and we laughed some more about retrieving it. So we opened the beers and built a roaring fire in a perfect spot just back from the lip. We consumed everything he brought and talked late into the night, eventually splitting up one set of warm clothes to sleep a little by the fire.

The next day, I finished cleaning the last pitch and, with Fig's much appreciated assistance, hauled everything up, over and down to the Valley floor. The Turning Point was the first full length solo first ascent on El Cap in the dozen years since the first two in 1972. While reacclimating in the Camp Four parking lot sombody handed me a can of beer in celebration. I fumbled with it weakly for a while before before comically handing it back to the donor to finish the job! That pretty much summed it up. My bandaged and wasted hands would no longer cooperate! The wall rats all around roared with laughter at my pitiful state!

-----

(and The Iron Spell, from Alpinist 25)
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 29, 2009 - 03:43pm PT
I have too many writing assignments right now to put together a long account of this one. It starts on Pine Line and joins up with the Salathe on the pitch six bolt ladder. The third pitch aids up a clean corner just left of the second pitch of the Nose. The rest is hard free climbing with a couple of bolts per pitch.

The route swings away right from the bottom of the Half Dollar and climbs directly to Band of Gypsys ledge on the 3D. It climbs systems left of the Muir and crosses it briefly before exiting and staying left until the last couple of pitches.

All freeclimbing and belay stance bolts are 3/8/" placed on stance. This is the best bolted grade VI anywhere although the mild steel split shaft bolts and Leeper hangers that were used have proven themselves to be sketchy. The route required about 125 holes and all of them are filled with steel but not stainless.

I don't enhance hook placements, chisel copperheads or resort to any trickery and never have. The lower free pitches were established with a belayer and no chalk. These pitches need to be retrofitted BY ME before they are remotely reasonable for a repeat. I should be able in the process to produce an all free start to the Free Blast at 5.12a or so. I have to respectfully ask people to stay off the route if they are not up for the demands of the lower pitches. These pitches are the reason that the route remains unrepeated in its entirety.

I have never released a topo because I have held out some hope that this route and my typical micronutting efforts might survive some repeats if my climbing style is better understood and respected. With so many wall climbers willing to chisel and stuff copperheads into everything they see, my concern is well justified.

The Central Scrutinizer has only one repeat and is already trashed and I am sick of this sort of mindless route degradation by climbers that can't be bothered to try a nut before slamming in a head. When I asked the second ascent party about the extent of their nutting efforts, the conversation ended. In their defense, some local Valley climbers shot their wad before even reaching Dolt Tower and may have left them nothing to nut by the time they got there.

Improvements in hardware aren't going to lessen the technical challenge posed by the Turning Point and the party to repeat it should be skilled enough to have put it up. Runout 5.11+ is part of the picture and some old school A4+.

The Alpinist article has several errors. The route was the first item of business during the 1984 (not 1985) season. The Competitive Edge (aka Real Nose) and the Horseplay variation of the Horse Chute also went up that season. The begining and ending are the editor's work and the remainder is my writing. I did keep a journal and a detailed topo. I never had the time to read a book and took one rest day on Band of Gypsys after weathering two storms below it. The final push took two weeks after one false start as the article mentions. Hard to do this route justice with an 800 word limit but I tried to give folks a taste.

I hope that provides some insight and information. This was the grandest adventure in my climbing experience.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Nov 29, 2009 - 04:24pm PT
Steve,

I just realized we share an old friend! Blanchard and I have known each other since nursery school! We started climbing together, did our first walls together, etc. Small world!
T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 29, 2009 - 07:01pm PT
Thanks Steve for sharing some insight on this incognito El Cap route.

Cool Stuff
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 29, 2009 - 07:36pm PT
When that article came out in Alpinist 25, I was a bit amazed that only one or two STers ever let me know that they liked it. One was Guido!

The Turning Point was the first full length solo FA that had been done in quite a while on El Cap along with Charles' effort on the False Shield that was going on at the same time. He ended up bailing out over to the Muir several hundred feet above me when his hopes of another set of Shield cracks didn't pan out. It was a bit strange having my regular partner nearby in the midst of a solo and I wasn't too upset when he finally disappeared and solitude returned. Soloing as a style option took off big time after 1984.

Mark Blanchard is a master wall man and a big influence on my decision to solo this route. Initially, the excitement of a new route of my own discovery was all that I needed. When Mark had to return to Santa Cruz late in the 1983 season, I started to solo the TP but got chased off by the closer storm that year. Once the seed was planted, I couldn't really consider any other option for the following season and jumped on it.

After finishing the Jolly Roger with Charles in 1982 it was clear to me that a strong team could overcome any obstacle that a wall could throw at them. Uncertainty is the core of adventure so as most committed wall climbers come to realize, the way of the soloist was the next step. Having said that, however, I also came to know that I learned what I needed to from the experience and that I really value partnership and the time for contemplation that climbing as a team allows you. Though you own the route in the sense of doing all the leading and work, savoring just being up there does get lost in the necessary toil and business of it all.
MattB

Trad climber
Tucson
Nov 29, 2009 - 09:32pm PT
Awesome job, Steve, Beautiful routes, this and JR and CE are SOOOOOO visible, hundreds climb/rappel near these routes every year yet they remain smooth, imposing, sweeping, clean. Thanks for sharing. Any way you can post anything about the golden days on the Lemmon? You guys really were up there with the big boy cali stonemaster crew. I'm jones'n for some gneiss, old pictures...
T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 29, 2009 - 10:19pm PT
I am ashamed to admit that I thought I read Alpinist #25 cover to cover but had missed reading your page on the Turning Point. When it was brought to my attention earlyer today I got that issue out and was amazed I never read it. (All though it was a tasty, left over tid bit to read today.)
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 29, 2009 - 10:44pm PT
MattB- I haven't even begun to dig into my slide box from the old AZ days.
I will do so when time permits. You just have to stick around.

We really had a great climbing scene in Tucson and more stone to explore than we could ever want.
Hummerchine

Trad climber
East Wenatchee, WA
Nov 30, 2009 - 09:17pm PT
Steve:

I hope you don't mind me saying so, but soloing a new route on El Cap is pretty much the coolest thing I can possibly imagine in rock climbing. And to have done one this hard, over two weeks, in what I am sure was impeccable style...wow! Most impressive. No response sought, just had to comment.
Fuzzywuzzy

climber
suspendedhappynation
Nov 30, 2009 - 11:35pm PT
SG -

Thanks for the input. Nice job.
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Dec 3, 2009 - 09:55am PT
SG,
So in the copious amounts of free writing time that I know you have, penning a "Grossman Mouths Off: Advanced Nut Craft" would be a marvelous addition to any climbing bookshelf, let alone crag. I'll place my order now if it comes with a chapter on CrackNUps!
VLG
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 14, 2010 - 11:44am PT
I would be happy to share some tech tips on nutting once the Frost book is finished. Learning how to sling test and set brass is really the key to moving with confidence on the tiny stuff. You have to be willing to step out on true bodyweight placements that will not withstand the agressive bounce testing that everbody has become addicted to.

The real thrill in aid climbing has always been mastering the bodyweight game! If you are not going to crash and burn get creative up there!
T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 14, 2010 - 11:59am PT
I definitely fall into the over testing bracket. After doing a couple of the moderate, thin, clean lines in Zion last year were there is maditory thin nutting, and you don't want to bounce test them for fear of breaking the rock and placement, I will make an effort to take this practice to the granite. Plus it just jacks your nuts up getting them back out. I look forward to experimenting more with thin nutting on the granite. I was programed to bounce test evrything suspect early on in my aid climbing and that practice allowed me to get through some difficult stuff. I want to make more of an effort to not just bust out the hammer this year.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 18, 2010 - 12:51pm PT
Big Solo Bump!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Apr 18, 2010 - 02:49pm PT
Hmmm. I guess I have to go back and dig out #25
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Apr 19, 2010 - 12:17am PT
When I moved to Tucson in the winter of 85 as my then girlfriend (now wife) went to grad school, before I'd even met Steve I'd heard that ever since the Turning Point he'd started to hug everyone. I've never actually discussed it with you Steve, but I assumed the rumor was true as you've always been the biggest hugging guy ever since I've met you, and that's a good thing too.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 21, 2010 - 09:23pm PT
I hugged people on principle long before the TP so I don't think it changed me that way although my appreciation for climbing with partners never has let up! Don't think I'll be driven to solo again...ya never know.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Apr 21, 2010 - 11:10pm PT
Yeah, it seemed like you were experienced, but I always thought it made a great legend.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 7, 2012 - 03:35pm PT
Solo Bump...
nature

climber
SoSlo, CO
Jul 7, 2012 - 05:19pm PT
you never hugged me! mimi did... but you... WT?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 7, 2012 - 05:36pm PT
Not even on Sushi Night???
Brandon Adams

Big Wall climber
Monterey, CA
Feb 5, 2014 - 11:49pm PT
Bump for a great thread.

Long live the Grossman ethic and ideal!
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 6, 2014 - 02:24am PT
Yeah, I saw the Nature-Grossman hug. Dougie was talking doo-doo.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 6, 2014 - 12:06pm PT
Right back at ya Brandon Adams!

I'll have to make sure that nature gets the Special Club Hug next time. LOL
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Feb 6, 2014 - 12:27pm PT
I had no idea. Wow!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Feb 6, 2014 - 12:33pm PT
Ryan, you had no idea that Steve was a hugger?
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Feb 6, 2014 - 12:39pm PT
It's true Reilly, he always struck me as the firm grip, 2 pump handshake kinda guy. I always thought you'd be more the hugging type. You never can tell thru the Internet though.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 6, 2014 - 12:51pm PT
Thanks Kevin!

I was buying beer at a quickiemart long ago and the gal checking decided to see my ID. She took a look and declared "Wow, you look kinda scary."

"Don't be fooled, honey," I said with a cheshire grin. "Once you get to know me, I'm a real pussycat." The big burly bearded biker next in line started laughing first but we all had a good one.

A hug is the perfect litmus test when meeting strangers. I haven't gotten punched yet...LOL
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Feb 6, 2014 - 02:23pm PT
Steve - can you please post up a topo for TP, or a link to it?

Cheers.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 6, 2014 - 04:23pm PT
I'm sure that you can figure it out, SpacePig. LOL

Here's the pin list though.

2 baby angles

2 Leepers ST & SM

3 Lost Arrows

2 Bugaboos

6 KBs

2 RURPS
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 6, 2014 - 11:01pm PT
Band of Gypsies Ledge on the Triple Direct was named long before I got there.

Deluxe accommodations with the Chopping Block and The Pillar of Strength looming overhead left of the Muir corners. The Chopping Block is very sharp and the Pillar of Strength above it was named tongue-in-cheek when I got spun upside down after losing my grip on the Jumars with a Forrest Grade V pack loaded with cans on my shoulders.
kaholatingtong

Social climber
Nevada City
Feb 6, 2014 - 11:20pm PT
Damn, surprised I missed this till now. What a proud sounding line and story of first ascent. Respect!
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Feb 6, 2014 - 11:59pm PT
A great depiction of an ethical standard!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 8, 2014 - 01:32pm PT
On walls more than most other types of climbing, you frame your experience with the decisions that are made before you leave the ground.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Feb 8, 2014 - 04:38pm PT
Climber as artist / artist as climber.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Feb 14, 2014 - 09:01pm PT
Ekat! Pull em out! Pretty please!!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 15, 2014 - 03:30pm PT
Good historic images are pure gold when you are trying to convey an experience.

I would be curious what you come across. Get Mark to post about soloing the Magic Mushroom WBITD along with many other fine adventures in big air!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 15, 2014 - 05:32pm PT
Mark might have been more concerned with catching big fish than taking pictures. LOL
pk_davidson

Trad climber
Albuquerque, NM
Mar 3, 2014 - 08:32pm PT
Bachar once wrote about the Turning Point:
"Turning Point.... yeah.
That thing is insane. ..."

From some accounts, it's a bit like stacked pitches of the BY
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Nov 24, 2014 - 08:17pm PT
Style bump
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 25, 2014 - 08:47am PT
Pablo- The BY is in a different league of commitment being much steeper and having much more difficult moves way out from protection. The runout sections on the bottom of the Turning Point are on 5.10/5.11 climbing and not nearly as badass even if Bachar was impressed by my efforts when those pitches were going up.

I really need to get those pitches rebolted so that the kids can have some fun up there.
BrandonAdams

Big Wall climber
Oakhurst, CA
Nov 25, 2014 - 02:11pm PT
Hey Steve,
I've been interested in your routes (central scrutinizer, jolly roger, turning point, etc) and appreciate your emphatic support of clean climbing. I would appreciate, as I know others would as well, the opportunity to experience turning point. I know you have expressed the desire to retrofit the route personally. Please contact me if you need any help or support to do so.
Brandon
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Dec 17, 2015 - 09:39am PT
Bump, due to some "interesting" posting by the Wootboy Sloan on MtnProj.


Sloan wrote:
Now don't tell Steve Grossman about this one, definitely don't tell Stevey about this:

The new free route being put up on El Cap this year, 39 pitch 5.13d, climbs right up Steve's 'supposed' route that he wanted to call Turning Point. The route has shiny bolts every 10 feet now. I say 'supposed' route because Steve refused to release a topo to his route Turning Point, so it doesn't really exist. A couple proud American climbers crushed that sh#t. I think they're gonna call it the Platinum Wall.

Did these latest free El Cap bigwall climbers contact Steve Grossman and Charles Cole(founder of 5.10) before they set off up there route, asking permission to add bolts where they needed them? Did they come on this or other online forums and ask permission from the general climbing public to do so?

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/the-erik-sloan-ethics-thread/111301228__8#a_111430085
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 17, 2015 - 11:10am PT
So many things wrong with that post. 39 pitches and no names...hmmmm.

Erik Sloan really seems to be spinning in the drain if he is trying to stir up sh#t this way. I am certainly easy enough to find if there is any truth to this BS. Naked modernist delusion is more likely as Sloan continues to lose it.

Pretty soon Nanook will cease to exist here.
Trashman

Trad climber
SLC
Dec 17, 2015 - 11:30am PT
To add more speculation to the fire, Kevin Jorgeson supposedly has some new project on the cap and was looking to take Sasha Digiulian up it. Modern bolted .13+ slab wouldn't be a stretch for that crew.

Red bull and Addidas marketing push vs disorganized and fractured opposition. I wonder how this will turn out.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 17, 2015 - 11:37am PT
Until the Turning Point hits the Grey Bands it is a good prospect for a gnarly slabfest but nowhere near 13d. Hopefully they would want to find out a bit about what goes where before heading up. The Turning Point is pretty easy to spot in the right light.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 9, 2016 - 02:24pm PT
This all turned out to be a bunch of Sloan BS.

When I was establishing these lower pitches with John Steiger as my partner, I crossed a small overhang at my high point and placed a 3/8" bolt on desperate smears before taking several long falls attempting to keep free climbing as the angle increased just slightly pushing the climbing into 5.12. Above me was several hundred feet of beautiful clean slab approaching the Grey Bands. The incipient cracks that I needed to reach were about a long rope length away up and left, but rather than step into slings and start aiding I gave a nod to the future and left the canvas clean.

I unclipped from my hard won bolt and climbed down before traversing left to reach the last of the original Salathé Wall bolts eventually swinging right out of the Half Dollar to get the job done once I got back on the route alone to finish it.

This notion that me or any of the climbers of my generation have some beef with progress and the inevitably stronger climbers that would follow soon enough is just more self-serving nonsense from idiots like Mr. Sloan.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 12, 2016 - 09:31am PT
Idiot, just as I said.

Produce a topo of this supposed route if it is "real" there Laughing Boy.

Let's see it. Ten foot bolt spacing and all.

You will never see a topo of any route that I have done because I categorically don't support you or your geek guidebook. Clear enough?

The Turning Point is far more real than you are.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Jan 12, 2016 - 09:49am PT
Wait, this is what makes it a route : " for others to climb and enjoy" ???

You lost me there E.

Steve climbed up a specific way. This fact is not in dispute, last I checked. He wrote a magazine article about it, eventually. But because no topo has been released to the world at large, there is no route? I don't buy it.

Now whether he gets to cry about this route getting retrobolted because no one else really knew where it went- that's another question. (It sounds like he isn't) But no topo= no route? No way.
F

climber
away from the ground
Jan 12, 2016 - 09:53am PT
It's 2016 boith! If it's not on Facebook, it never happened! YAY! XOXO!
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Jan 12, 2016 - 01:00pm PT
Once again, Erik Sloan's beliefs are at odds with those of other climbers.


By extrapolating his "No Topo = No Route" concept a tiny bit, we get:

If someone writes a song, but doesn't release it on CD, then it doesn't exist. And, therefore, anyone is free to plagiarize it, and call it their own.


Lorenzo

Trad climber
Portland Oregon
Jan 12, 2016 - 01:10pm PT
If someone writes a song, but doesn't release it on CD, then it doesn't exist. And, therefore, anyone is free to plagiarize it, and call it their own.

Probably a bad example.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Jan 12, 2016 - 03:09pm PT
Sounds like a proud line Steve. Here's to adventure and keeping it wild.

It is most unfortunate this thug Sloan has taken it upon himself to rape Yosemite / El Cap as he sees fit. I feel sorry for the young man with his mental illness and hope that the authorities are able to apprehend him soon. He has already admitted to power drilling in the park which apparently is illegal. It will be a good day in the history of Yosemite when Erik Sloan is arrested and eventually booted out of the National Park System. Sloan, put the drill down you A-hole! Learn to respect those with more talent and vision than yourself.
BrandonAdams

Big Wall climber
Yosemite, CA
Jan 14, 2016 - 01:44pm PT
A route is a social construct? Perhaps sometimes but it is certainly not one of the defining characteristics of a route.

Insane. Why does Eric keep attempting to independently redefine climbing?
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jan 14, 2016 - 01:53pm PT
How can you know where the route is if you can't know where the route is?
Seems to me if you are worried about someone else putting up a route over yours, then you need to publish a topo.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 14, 2016 - 05:39pm PT
I have written a fair bit about this route on this forum and anyone can contact me if they need more information. I have released topos to routes that I have done just none to Sloan as I said up thread.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Jan 14, 2016 - 06:09pm PT
Would you send me a topo if I wanted to climb it? I've always wanted my first El Cap experience to be memorable, with a high probability of failure. I used to think Wings of Steele (sorry) or NIAD but they've been done.

Maybe this should be a PM...
F

climber
away from the ground
Jan 14, 2016 - 07:42pm PT
An ascent is undeniable. You said it there. What was ascended..... A route. You dumb SHI T egomaniac. Sloan, you are bat sh#t crazy.

It's not on a blog, so it never happened? Really?

The Schrodengers cat argument isn't applicable.
Just because you aren't privy to the details, doesn't give you the right to rewrite history.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Jan 14, 2016 - 08:13pm PT
Ahhhhhhhh, I can't help myself....

I have written a fair bit about this route on this forum and anyone can contact me if they need more information. I have released topos to routes that I have done just none to Sloan as I said up thread.

Steve has released topos just not to you.
And he's willing to share, just not to you.
And he's published info. about the route, just not to you.

See there's a pattern...get it?

If a tree falls in a forest...
Spiny Norman

Social climber
Boring, Oregon
Jan 14, 2016 - 09:48pm PT
I find it very weird that Steve Grossman is contesting the authenticity of this new route

We can add poor reading comprehension to the growing list of Eric Sloan's faults.
DaveT.

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
Jan 15, 2016 - 05:51am PT
Wait a minute....

A proud line, I'm sure of it. Difficult? You bet (my guess). A clean and elegant line up one of the biggest pieces of stone, yes. A solo ascent? Sure, except those pitches that you climbed with a partner, and the one that you never climbed up top. The last pitch of the route has never been climbed?


This reminds me of when I tried for the third ascent of the Tempest. After fixing two pitches (solo) I blasted for another 12. On the morning of my 13th day, a big October storm came and killed a few of the other climbers on the wall. During the five day storm I was able to climb 80 feet from the top, spread over many hypothermic attempts and lead falls while trying to crest the top. I couldnt make it.

The rescuers came to the top to retrieve the dead. They asked if I wanted a rope thrown down. I said no, but by the end of the day I said yes. I knew right there that my solo was absolutely ruined and voided. This stuck in the back of my throat like a bad taste, untillfinally I went back and did the right thing, and climbed that damn last 80 foot pitch. From the ground.


From Steve:
The lower free pitches were established with a belayer

Though not exactly rescued, I have been helped out by friends big time along the way.

where nearby and things looked grim until the light came on. "Fig, ahh, any chance that you could toss me a rope?" "Sure thing, Steve,"

We consumed everything he brought and talked late into the night

with Fig's much appreciated assistance, hauled everything up, over and down to the Valley floor.



And one about Erik trying to tell Steve about the free route that climbs some of his route, the PreMuir:

So many things wrong with that post. 39 pitches and no names...hmmmm.
Idiot, just as I said.

Produce a topo of this supposed route if it is "real" there Laughing Boy


So, wait. When the pitches are hard, even on a 'solo' I can have a partner come climb the first pitches with me, and I dont have to include them as a first ascent participant? How come no one helped me top out any of my walls in Patagonia or Baffin? I never would have fallen onto that piton and sliced my fingers open (risking being able to make the summit push later that day) if I had someone helping me top that one sketchy ramp out. it would have been a whole lot easier if someone belayed me on the first pitches and then helped me finish it!
DaveT.

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
Jan 15, 2016 - 05:56am PT
p.s.- That previous post was neither a pro-Erik or anti-Steve effort. In fact, If I could name twenty of the more influential hard aid climbers of the Captain, Steve would be right in there. This is nothing personal, just giving my opinion about a style of ascent. In fact, I think it looks like one of the better El Cap lines...

DaveT.

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
Jan 15, 2016 - 06:07am PT
http://web.stanford.edu/~clint/yos/longhf.htm

http://www.climbing.com/news/the-premuir-5-13cd-on-el-cap-gets-second-ascent/
nopantsben

climber
europe
Jan 15, 2016 - 06:09am PT
I have seen those bolts to the right of free blast. I thought the preMuir was a different line. I was pretty baffled when I saw how close they were - was it drilled by hand? Hard to believe ...

Anyway I find that such crag-style bolted routes shouldn't be on El Cap. Then of course I have only seen half a pitch here and there of this route so I can't really say anything. Who did the FA?

edit: preMuir is indeed a different line, it follows the Muir to Mammoth. This is much further right.
DaveT.

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
Jan 15, 2016 - 06:16am PT
Hi Ben!

Yeah, i'm not exactly sure where turning point is in relation to the other routes, all I know is that robs free route takes parts of it, and those parts were free climbed. When I was referring to the portion that have been free climb, I was speaking about the headwall pitches.

Thanks again for letting me stay at your place in Austria last summer, I'll be there again this summer! Maybe not that far north/east though.
DaveT.

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
Jan 15, 2016 - 06:22am PT
Those bolts could also be Quo Vadis, Medetterainio, or Grape Race.
nopantsben

climber
europe
Jan 15, 2016 - 06:23am PT
Hi Dave!
Was good to see you last summer! Let me know when you are in Austria, would be great to meet up! Maybe we can even fly, if I get to take the course this spring. First I need to nurse my broken scaphoid bone back into shape :)
Rob's route makes use of TP higher up but the thing Erik refers to is between Salathe and Nose and some times very close to the free blast so you can see it from there. Lots of fat, new bolts iirc.
I hope all is well with you!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 15, 2016 - 08:27am PT
The TP starts up Pineline for about 30' and goes left past two bolts to the belay (5.11a) The second pitch climbs up and right past three bolts ending at the end of the first technical pitch on the Nose (5.11cR). This second pitch follows the right angling ramp down climbed by Mike Graham when he and Worral(?) tried to do the Salathe free that way. The third pitch aids up a conspicuous left facing corner to a bolt and a swing to 5.10 and ends on the tiny Companeros Ledge. The fourth pitch starts with a short tension traverse and then climbs up and right before moving well left under a small roof to reach the top of the original bolted section on the Salathe Wall. The TP then follows the Salathe for a pitch before swinging out of the Half Dollar to reach intermittent cracks leading to Band of Gypsys Ledge. A conspicuous thin right facing corner shaped like half of a bishops Mitre is the only clear feature in this section a pitch below BOG Ledge.

The route was started in 1983 with Mark Blanchard who had to leave to get back to work and convinced me to go solo but I got chased off by a storm from my high point bivy under the Half Dollar and came back the following year to finish it. The final push had one retreat after I took a fifty footer and briefly psyched out just above where the TP crosses Mediterraneo. I had a belay on the first four pitches of the TP.

Sounds like this other route is to the left of the TP for the most part at the bottom and likely starts up Reeds Leads.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 15, 2016 - 09:19am PT
Kevin- No offense intended on the history of the Graham Traverse. "Tried" only means that you guys didn't free the rest of the route.

While I was doing these pitches Bachar came by to make sure that I knew about your efforts. I said that I did and assured him that I had run out the entire ramp that Mike down climbed to pass through that section except for the very last moves to the belay which were solid 5.11 smearing and needed a bolt to avoid a 120' screamer.

Apparently Royal got fully pissed of when Mike told him that he had chopped some of the bolts on his route and demanded that Graham surrender his hammer as the story goes. Royal unfortunately didn't remember the incident once I got a chance to ask him about it directly.

"Give me your hammer, son!" LOL
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Jan 15, 2016 - 09:34am PT
Okay E: so we got ascents, the specifics of which are known only to the ascentionist (until shared), and routes, which are the shared, public idea of said line of ascent.

I am not at all clear that this parsing of the concept is widely shared, but I understand now where you're coming from.

You have also asserted elsewhere that once the drill comes out and public lands have been thusly altered, the ascentionist owes the public a record of the ascent. There is arguably some merit to this idea, but I'm not sure that this standard might not be met by a description as simple as a Roper-style "follow corners for several hundred feet, swing left to another corner which is followed to the top." The demand for a more granular level of detail seems to be a problem mostly for people writing guidebooks. Don't get me wrong, I like beta, and the more the merrier as the route and rack get bigger, but I can appreciate as well the impulse to leave room for a bit of mystery, privacy, and head-free nutcraft in this world.

I kind of like it that some routes are vague. People who want ST-level detail can go climb Mescalito with a stack of topos and mp. beta, and people who want a bit more uncertainty of outcome can have a go at the Turning Point. I don't see this as a big deal.

PS You're not winning any friends by referring to really proud ascents as "alleged." Just sayin'.
nopantsben

climber
europe
Jan 15, 2016 - 09:36am PT
Erik, an ascent is done via a route. If I drive from SF to LA and tell no one about it, I still followed a certain route. Who cares anyway. I think there is only one person who believes a route is a social construct, which is enough for that person, -i reckon. Calling tp not a route is kinda hilarious. Oh well .... Besides that, I hope you're well Erik.

What's all the secrecy on this new route about? Who is the FA party? Where does it go higher up?
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Jan 15, 2016 - 09:39am PT
(Ben, that's a traverse)

But I have to agree, an ascent is done via a route.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jan 15, 2016 - 09:49am PT
I don't enhance hook placements, chisel copperheads or resort to any trickery and never have.

Should be the standard practice.

In the end, whether or not Steve Grossman climbed a route or not is debatable. He did ascend the mountain known as El Cap, but a route is something of a social construct - a line that is delineated by an individual, or individuals, for others to climb and enjoy. If there is no route description, no topo, arguably there is no route.

What kind of f*#king sh#t is this guy on? I am new to this thread, but did he really say someone placed a new bolt every 10 feet on Steve's established pitches? God, that's messed up, if true. No matter how difficult is the climbing higher on the route. Pitches that WERE climbed without 15 bolts, but with 3, should be let alone unless the party that HAVE CLIMBED them allows the addition. Not out of some purist ideology, out of respect. There are some unspoken rules when it comes to the conquest of the useless. No idea what was the style of Steve's ascent, or if he completed ALL the pitches on his route, but what he DID do should be respected. F-ing it up is not something to brag about Erik, even if it was not you doing it.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Jan 15, 2016 - 10:06am PT
There are an awful lot of routes out there that are not defined by a "topo". The "route description" is used to define many routes. Although, I will be the first to admit that poor route descriptions often leave the line's location open to interpretation. I am particularly thinking of a few routes on Hallet's in RMNP, I've done several "ascents" up several classic "routes" and I don't think I was "on route" more than 60 or 70 percent of the time.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 15, 2016 - 01:14pm PT
The funniest part is I think that Mike did hand it over if I remember correctly.

Do you recall how many of the original 13 bolts you tigers deigned to leave in place during the upgrade?
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Jan 15, 2016 - 04:12pm PT
I've been a part of at least nine grade V or longer new routes with only one or two of those even briefly mentioned in the "climbing media" with a few vague sentences at most. All of these ascents were on little known mountains with little published or known about the areas. Among many reasons we didn't feel the need to be validated by reporting our climbs other than to a few trusted friends. For more than half those routes we did not draw topos and hardly discussed any sort of ratings. In general these big wall routes follow natural lines (cracks) and we tried our hardest to keep the bolt / hole count low. This route list includes several difficult free climbs with most routes involving several pitches of nailing.

It seems laughable that a person who admittedly never does first ascents should be leading a discussion on the meaning of "an ascent" or "a route". It makes me sad to know this person has taken it upon himself to modify existing routes by adding bolts to bolt ladders and establishing bolted variations to crux pitches, to make it easier for ill prepared climbers to complete the route.

I am not an El Cap climber. From the description Grossman provided in Alpinist (printed some 8-10 years ago) it seems that someone who was familiar with the features of of El Cap would have a fairly good idea where his line would go, particularly since it was done in the early days when natural lines still were for the picking. SG said the line could be seen in the right light. If I were a 5.13 climber looking to establish a bolted (or natural line) up El Cap it would seem prudent to ask around, study topos and do a little research. Hopefully the team of this much hyped new route did their homework.

Anyway, Steve it sounds like a most proud route you put up on El Cap. Thanks for keeping some mystery and adventure alive.

Albert
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jan 15, 2016 - 05:09pm PT
Not siding with Sloan here but....

If you put up a route following the faintest of features, running it out, miconutting, and keeping fixed pro to the absolute minimum....

if you do this on THE most famous cliff in the world...

one with a hundred other routes on it...

and choose not to publish a topo....
(to discourage pinning or bolting, correct?)

Well, I guess your damned if you do
Damned if you don't.

Steve, I hope your proud route didn't get "reworked"
but if it did.....
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Jan 15, 2016 - 06:04pm PT
Jeff makes a very valid point.

You are damned if you do,
you are damned if you don't.

My experience has been the time I sold out I made a couple hundred bucks.
The times I haven't sold out, the people that sold out my work made a couple hundred bucks.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Maybe only the worse thing to come of it is to be damned by someone who doesn't give a damn.

Ryan Tetz

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Jan 16, 2016 - 04:43am PT
A game of broken egos
Heisenberg

Trad climber
RV, middle of Nowehere
Jan 16, 2016 - 07:55am PT
Those bolts need to be placed for someone who is 5'-7"
If they are not placed for that height Erik is going to have another project on his hands.
Someone needs to tell people who put up any new routes on El Cap..(Tommy and Kevin included) that bolt placement is every 5'-7".
Erik Sloan

Big Wall climber
Yosemitebigwall.com
Jan 16, 2016 - 09:22am PT
Yo Gang!

Albatross - interesting take. So your 'routes' became routes to your friends you shared them with, and the rest of climbers (who might find a piece of webbing on a ledge, or a top of tin can) who came after you they are just ascents.

I have put up FAs. I put up an awesome Grade VI on the Camp 4 Wall here. I've also put up some small climbs. I'm just not into putting up knew routes, so almost never do it (people who put up new routes tend to be pretty active in their respective climbing areas).

Walked the base yesterday. Looked good! Even after a good rain it was dry up to the base of the Nose.

Won't be too long before you can climb up and check this out for yourself.

Woot Woot!
E

ps. I hope the thrust of my comments here are clear(as I don't have a horse in this either, having not climbed or made plans to climb either of these, supposed 'routes') - it is unfortunate when people alter public lands and do not report their efforts. That's all I'm saying. I don't care if you don't tell anyone but climb all over. Totally cool - I have friends who do that. But if you want to brag about it, spray all over your social media, then produce some description(i'm not saying there has to be a topo - that is dependent on the type of documentation at the area where the 'route' exists. On El Cap, for example, it's the accepted norm).
Spiny Norman

Social climber
Boring, Oregon
Jan 16, 2016 - 11:25am PT
^ pathetic
Mike.

climber
Jan 16, 2016 - 04:16pm PT
Wootles wrote:

it is unfortunate when people alter public lands and do not report their efforts

Listen to the self-proclaimed steward champion transparency while dummying up about his own alterations. A fraud and an embarrassment to climbing. You do not represent us.
Heisenberg

Trad climber
RV, middle of Nowehere
Jan 16, 2016 - 05:41pm PT
I'm just not into putting up knew routes, so almost never do it (people who put up new routes tend to be pretty active in their respective climbing areas).

What you meant to say Erik is : You are into retro bolting and altering other people FA's and routes to a height requirement of 5'7"

it is unfortunate when people alter public lands and do not report their efforts.

Please then provide a detailed report of the 2000 bolts you have placed and altered on said public lands. As you stated in previous posts one NEEDS to report these routes, alterations to someone for it to be a legitimate route/ascent.

I know you will not provide a list like that. You have become a narcissistic ass clown Erik. Name dropping people who won't even come here to support you i.e Scott Stowe.

Karma is a bitch. When is happens this year don't be surprised. Maybe someone should chop or alter his route on the porcelain wall.... hint hint.....
Spiny Norman

Social climber
Boring, Oregon
Jan 24, 2016 - 09:00pm PT
Someone has poor reading comprehension.
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