Devil's Lake Wisconsin Climbing History

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 12, 2009 - 12:33am PT
To start things off, an overview of Devil's Lake climbing by Dana Lawrence from Climbing July/ August 1981. Lots of climbing history for a relatively small and isolated area, the best of the midwest.









hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Dec 12, 2009 - 11:32am PT
DLFA
I want to hear stories of the impure, debauchery, bold leads on 5.8, top roped 5.10
Who was that guy who soloed SuperPin by default? Pete Skinner? Skin Peter?
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Dec 12, 2009 - 11:37am PT
Cool, that's where I taught myself to climb. Thanks Steve, brings back a lot of memories.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 12, 2009 - 11:39am PT
Nice Steve! I basically learned to climb at Devil's lake.
Swami Jr.

Trad climber
Bath, NY
Dec 12, 2009 - 12:36pm PT
Devil's lake was my Chicago's Yosemite.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Dec 12, 2009 - 12:41pm PT
I basically learned to climb at Devil's lake.

I got yr number now, Jaybro. You're another one of those Madison radicals.

Heh.

Sometime Crack is one of my all time favorites. I'd really love to get back there.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 12, 2009 - 12:42pm PT
Pete Cleveland is the name you are looking for HD.
Mimi

climber
Dec 12, 2009 - 12:55pm PT
Too bad not even this article could lure Billy to the campfire.
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Dec 12, 2009 - 01:00pm PT
I tied on with the Sierra Clubbers there in '67. They didn't coddle us. The second or third climb was up some pinnacle. Standing upon the top which was about 2' x 2' you had to let yourself fall across the void until your hands hit the other side and you could make the step. Pretty heady stuff for noobs in Keds!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Dec 12, 2009 - 01:02pm PT
I remember that article, had it in my magazine.

I lived in LaCrosse, Wisconsin for the first half of 1983, and climbed at Devil's Lake a bunch. Man, those climb ratings were harrrrrrrrrrrd. Really sandbag, like Seneca Rocks. I wonder if they have increased any of the ratings? Are they still F9 in the guidebook, or changed to 5.9 which usually means 5.10? Man, I got my ass spanked there lots of times.

You almost never saw anybody [else] leading there. Guys would show up with tons and tons of webbing to set up topropes. Quite often, you'd be standing at the base racking up, and someone would walk by and whisper in amazement, "Ooooooh, he's leading...."

{snicker}
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Dec 12, 2009 - 02:19pm PT
Lori and I have visited Devil's Lake twice. The climbing on the pink quartzite is excellent. The ratings are the stiffest anywhere, at least two grades.
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Dec 12, 2009 - 02:24pm PT
I have an old "On Belay" mag somewhere around here that had an article about some 60 year old Devils Lake climber entitled something like "So & So, the Doyen of the 5.10 Climb."

Something like that, anyways, but I can't find it at the moment.

Never climbed there, personally.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Dec 12, 2009 - 08:45pm PT
A charming climbing garden. I visited Devil's Lake several times during fall of 1958 and spring of 1959, usually in the company of my friend Michael Fain (of the novelist "Judith Michael" fame) and several others. fellow members of the University of Chicago Mountaineering Club. I brought the use of chalk to the slippery quartzite, and had my first experience of mild disillusionment regarding the value of muscle in rock climbing: I took to the Lake a young gymnast from the University - a slim but powerful high bar performer - along with a skinny Israeli in his late twenties who had no athletic background except an occasional game of tennis. Guess which one of these novices excelled? (Gave me pause to reconsider my perception of climbing as an athletic pursuit, but not so much it discouraged me from continuing my gymnastics and subsequent bodyweight exercises. Both were important, and I decided I'd rather maintain proficiency in each even if it meant relinquishing a bit on the climbing side.) I also had the privilege of meeting Joe Stettner and other luminaries of the Chicago Mountaineering Club. Several years later Pete Cleveland made his appearance there, and although I never was with him at the Lake, we bouldered and did a little climbing together in the Tetons and Black Hills in the mid 1960s. He was a wonderfully focused competitor, and a scholar as well, earning both a PhD in chemistry and later an MD. Good memories . . . thanks for initiating this thread!
Scared Silly

Trad climber
UT
Dec 12, 2009 - 08:58pm PT
I have had the opportunity to visit the Lake once. Got lucky and was able to hang with some locals one day. That was a hoot as they got me on some the classics. I remember one route I lead, thought I was going to peel by the time I finished it. It was a nice little 5.11-. I thought cool especially because it was a Gill route. Then they told me he did the FA as a solo. Then I felt small. a couple of years later I got to hang out with Gill and told him the story - he laughed. Then we talk math and physics.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 12, 2009 - 11:35pm PT
To start things off, an overview of Devil's Lake climbing by Dana Lawrence from Climbing July/ August 1981.

'81? Pretty late in the game for DL.

...the best of the midwest.

Those of us from SoIll would tend to take that statement as ignorant in the extreme.
franky

climber
Davis, CA
Dec 13, 2009 - 12:14am PT
bah, southern illinois is more south than midwest.

I've spent a bunch of time at devils lake, but never climbed there, it was before my intro to the sport. Watching people climb there is kind of like watching people boulder, it seems trivial until you try it. doesn't really inspire people to learn to climb.

Anyways, it is a pretty place and i look forward to climbing there to relieve my sorrow at being stuck in wisconsin again for whatever reason.

(I love wisconsin in some ways, but it is tough to be too outdoorsy there)
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Dec 13, 2009 - 12:31am PT
I've climbed there a few times, and thought the ratings were overall pretty dang stiff.

jogill - I hopped on some stuff you FA'd there, and my already hearty respect for your abilities grew! So ahead of your time!

Devil's Lake is a great place. Great rock, Cool CCC-built trails, Wisconsin scuba-diving, and something about Ringling Bros nearby in Baraboo.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Dec 13, 2009 - 01:01am PT
Not to quibble, Steve, but Dana's article has no history as far as I can tell, just an enumeration of climbs.

Here are some Devil's Lake photo's from BITD, early to mid-sixties. We had no guidebook, just did climbs, and so seem to have been part of the pre-history of the area. From what I can surmise, many climbs that we did have since been renamed, so the fact that I can't remember our names for a number of the shots below shouldn't matter too much. Maybe someone familiar with the current scene can ID them?

Steve Sharnoff on Birch Tree Crack:


???
The climbing shoes are Solda's


Roger's Roof:


Steve Derenzo on Flyfoot Slab:


Berkeley:


Two shots of two Pines Var.:




Steve Derenzo on ????


Sewing Machine?


Two shots of Steve Derenzo on Brinton's Crack:




Ray D'Arcy on D'Arcy's Wall:


The justly fabled Dave Slinger on ????



Steve Derenzo on Peter's Project?


???
MH2

climber
Dec 13, 2009 - 01:45am PT
I had a lot of great times at Devil's Lake from '73-'79 but can't quite see them as history. I enjoyed the hospitality of Dave Slinger and Pete Cleveland thanks to a friendship with Bill Dietrich of the University of Chicago.

On one visit Pete offered me a top-rope on his latest send. I innocently walked up and hurt a finger on the opening moves of Bagatelle. From Bill Dietrich I heard that Pete had been inspired to free it by a recent Steve Wunsch effort on it.

I'd like to see and hear more from others.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 13, 2009 - 01:45am PT
Rgold- I post articles as I find them and hope for the best with respect to history until I find something else to add. The OP is definitely written from a guidebook writer's perspective and not from a historian's.
Not very many articles about Devil's Lake come to mind but there is plenty of history worth discussing. If you recall anything of better quality please let me know or post it up. Thanks for posting some of your pictures and recollections.

Here is one of John Gill from the second version of Pat Ament's Master of Rock, 1992.

MH2

climber
Dec 13, 2009 - 01:50am PT
Ha! That looks like Devil's Doorway with the block at the top of the wide crack seen in 1872 missing.
Chinchen

climber
Anacortes, wa
Dec 13, 2009 - 03:59am PT
I dont think most people know how gnarly that place is. The rock is so slick. Scary trad.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 13, 2009 - 06:27am PT
bah, southern illinois is more south than midwest.

True enough, in the same way SoCal is more Southwest than West Coast.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 13, 2009 - 06:36am PT
I posted these a while back but this seems like the place for a repost. Two from the Lake, 1966;
10 yr old Jaybro Climb?



My Dad Carl the same day climbing the Wyde with pride (Climb again unknown.)
If my math is correct he was 43, tren years younger than my present age



Bill Thompson

Ice climber
Marquette
Dec 13, 2009 - 10:08am PT
Love this thread! Keep the stories coming!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 13, 2009 - 07:01pm PT
Nice kid bowline tie-in Jaybro! I was two years older when I started climbing. Great photo!
ericulner

climber
Southern Illinois
Dec 13, 2009 - 07:41pm PT
<bah, southern illinois is more south than midwest.>

Education for you is available here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midwest

and:

Mid·west (md-wst) or Middle West
A region of the north-central United States around the Great Lakes and the upper Mississippi Valley. It is generally considered to include Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. The area is known for its rich farmlands and highly industrialized centers.

and:
IL - a midwestern state in north-central United States
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 13, 2009 - 08:06pm PT
Cool. I have never climbed there, but one of my old roommates, Dennis Drayna, climbed there a lot back when was a Hoofer at U of Wisconsin, in the early 70s. He told us stories about Sometimes Crack ("Sometimes you make it, sometimes you don't...), and getting the first lead of a route right after Chouinard started selling the 5 1/2 or 6 1/2 Stopper.

I always liked that F9b rating!
Classic ratings isolation problem, too.

Bagatelle B1, then F10c, now 5.12c/d

Phlogiston B1, then F11, now 5.12d

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/wisconsin/devils_lake/east_bluff__east_rampart/105730622
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 13, 2009 - 08:20pm PT
And here are the comparison photos from Steve's post from Master of Rock


and MH2's post on Devil's Doorway in the Same Scene Years Later? thread.


Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 13, 2009 - 08:45pm PT
Growing up in Chicago we always kind of thought of So ill as more like the south than the midwest....
Shrug

Trad climber
The hell that is the midwest...
Dec 13, 2009 - 09:04pm PT
Thanks for posting, this is great stuff.

Devil's Lake is my "local" crag and I try and get up there every weekend. About 95% of folks TR in masses. I learned to avoid the masses after about my 2nd trip.

I rather enjoyed these comments:
"I dont think most people know how gnarly that place is. The rock is so slick. Scary trad."
and
"Watching people climb there is kind of like watching people boulder, it seems trivial until you try it."

and to clear up: "bah, Southern Illinois is more south than midwest."

If you're from the Chicago-area, "Southern Illinois" is "The South" Hell, Kankakee is the south. If you're from Southern Illinois, it's the Midwest. Having lived down there for years (Around Carbondale) and meeting my wife down there. I'll say a couple things... Most folks around there don't drink "sweet tea" or eat "grits". They do drive pickups though. The climbing down there is great though. (Except for the recent closing of Drapers Bluff, great trad area).

Anywho, Back to Devil's Lake stories. My favorite story about the Lake takes place on the East bluff around the Rainy Wednesday Tower, I forget which climb exactly. My partner and I were had sat down to grab a bite to eat before we headed up some climb. A little ways away was this group of folks in the 60s and 70s climbing (top rope) using old nail boots. It was like watching folks shoot the sh#t Sunday morning at a small diner. They'd be making small talk and the person climbing would occasionally stop and yell back down. They were passing around food drinking coffee, tea what have you.

Couple of my favorite pics from my travels up there:

Devil's Lake - Old Sandstone Area - Wobbly Dihedral 5.9
Devil's Lake - Old Sandstone Area - Wobbly Dihedral 5.9
Credit: Shrug

Devils Lake - Kenosis
Devils Lake - Kenosis
Credit: Shrug

Devils Lake - West Bluff - Pork Chop 5.5
Devils Lake - West Bluff - Pork Chop 5.5
Credit: Shrug

Devils Lake - Can-Can 5.5
Devils Lake - Can-Can 5.5
Credit: Shrug
franky

climber
Davis, CA
Dec 13, 2009 - 09:26pm PT
Defensive about being a southerner? Southern Illinois doesn't feel like the midwest, it feels like the south.

While not everyone eats grits for breakfast they are available, it doesn't get cold in the winter, there are f*#king chiggers everywhere, there are lots of baptists, etc...

Everyone knows southern illinois is a different state from chicago, even if the boundaries don't honor that.
Shrug

Trad climber
The hell that is the midwest...
Dec 13, 2009 - 09:31pm PT
Oh... the bugs... ya, can't forget about the bugs.

Shrug

Trad climber
The hell that is the midwest...
Dec 13, 2009 - 09:36pm PT
rgold,

I'm 99% sure that's Sewing Machine 5.6


Might be "Cheetah"
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Dec 13, 2009 - 10:48pm PT
Thanks, Shrug. I think the one you called "Cheetah" we might have called either "Peter's Project" or "Michael's Project."
matty

Trad climber
los arbor
Dec 13, 2009 - 10:49pm PT
No pics of the needle yet? Great summit! Brittons was my first lead there, followed by congragulations.
Shrug

Trad climber
The hell that is the midwest...
Dec 13, 2009 - 11:07pm PT
Here ya go:





rgold, I think you're right that that's peter's here's a shot from right below, the crack looks a lot like the one in your pic:

Nudge Nudge

Trad climber
WI, now CA
Dec 13, 2009 - 11:22pm PT
H.H. Bennett shot, so sometime pre-1908. Stop by the H.H. Bennett museum in the Dells for some amazing stuff.
matty

Trad climber
los arbor
Dec 14, 2009 - 12:30am PT
^^^^^^
Great shot. Love the scarf/flag/streamer in the wind.
Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Dec 14, 2009 - 02:24am PT
Getting ready to lead the Bone 5.5 at Devil's Lake, Pork Chop buttress
Getting ready to lead the Bone 5.5 at Devil's Lake, Pork Chop buttress
Credit: Bill Mc Kirgan

Hey now whadda know... Pork Chop is where I did my very first trad lead: The Bone. I think that's the same route you posted a picture of Shrug. Funny, after I led it there was a slight sprinkle of rain and the rock became too slick for my friend to climb on top rope. The rock is slick, and sharp, but once it gets wet it's impossible.

The Bone is a DL 5.5 that is more 7ish to me.
The Bone is a DL 5.5 that is more 7ish to me.
Credit: Bill Mc Kirgan

The sand stone area is great for those rainy days. I went there with the CMC on such a day. No one was there to mind when we set up about 14 top ropes and sampled the easy and hard routes. While it looked like it would rain all morning by noon the sun was coming out and the climbing was fantastic.

Me on Alligator &#40;5.9&#41; where climbers are encouraged to pet the...
Me on Alligator (5.9) where climbers are encouraged to pet the alligator for good luck when pulling to the left of the roof.
Credit: Bill Mc Kirgan

There's a few places to get some multi-pitch simulation / practice. My climbing partner and I had a fun time moving up Turk's Head Ridge. So much so we decided to make it a regular training circuit where we will try to go faster, and take harder routes to the finish at Turk's Head.

Misery area with CMC
Misery area with CMC
Credit: Bill Mc Kirgan

Misery Rock area was my very first DL experience as a guest of CMC. The Chicago Mountaineering Club is a fun and diverse group of people of all ages. CMC has been a fixture of Devil's Lake climbing since the 1940s.



MH2

climber
Dec 14, 2009 - 11:52am PT
And there's a lake, too!

Looking down at the top of Cleopatra's




Dave Slinger ran around the lake most mornings, about 3 miles. I believe he was 67 when I first encountered him.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 14, 2009 - 01:07pm PT
Any lakeside outcrops for some nautical nonsense?
prunes

climber
Dec 14, 2009 - 01:23pm PT
Cheap thrills 5.12
Cheap thrills 5.12
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 14, 2009 - 01:25pm PT
Cheap Thrills 5.12
Cheap Thrills 5.12
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 14, 2009 - 01:27pm PT
Tommy Duechler stopping for refreshment
Tommy Duechler stopping for refreshment
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 14, 2009 - 01:28pm PT
Congratulation crack
Congratulation crack
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 14, 2009 - 01:30pm PT
American dream roof
American dream roof
Credit: prunes
MH2

climber
Dec 14, 2009 - 02:16pm PT
Tommy Deuchler(sp?).

Now we are talking some good history. Can you tell us anything, prunes?

Tommy was the first met-him-in-person climber who might have climbed the Eiger NF.

Did some unprotectable hard leads at the Lake.

Thanks for the pictures.


Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Dec 14, 2009 - 02:25pm PT
Devil's Lake KICKS ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you have never been...do yourself a favor and go in the fall during the week!!!

SO COOL!! The rock is awesome, Madison is sweet, and the beer is tasty!

Being from Chicago, I spent a bunch of time up there. My favorite times were aid soloing in the winter. Nobody around but us Norwegians! Ufda!

CLASSIC AMERICAN CRAG!!!!!

WOO HOO!!!

Jeremy
Shrug

Trad climber
The hell that is the midwest...
Dec 14, 2009 - 03:14pm PT
I kinda want a go at the "America Dream Roof" now.
Hard Rock

Trad climber
Montana
Dec 14, 2009 - 07:09pm PT
I put my 15 years at DL. Steve no climbing out of boats but I suppose there could be something under water.

Rich - Roger's Roof. I see Roger every couple of years. I think it was about 4 years ago he did his 40th aniversay ascent of Roger's Roof. He still climbing and has a place out in Este Park.

MH2 - I guess I had the first ascent of Sometimes Direct (overhanging) but the better story is another Steve Wunsch story. He and local hard man Scott Stewart (early free attempt on Half Dome with Jim E) were TR climbing and Scott had a sore finger so he was taking it easy. As soon as Steve completed the first ascent of Somethimes Direct Scott had to go up. He goes for a big lunge, hits it, feet swings out 5 feet and he has one change on the swing in to stick it - which he does - gets back on his feet and completes the climb.

Clint - Climb a bunch with Dennis Drayna. Dennis would hang out and chalk up on the smallest holds (these were the days that some people had chalk bags and some people - Scott - still put chalk into their blue jean pockets.

Tom Kelly and I did do the only 2 ascents of Brinton's with a hanging belay - standing on the beer barrel. This was before sport climbing so we had a 700 foot approach. Lots of people came down on rap. I was told the anchor systems on top was pretty interesting.

-Kurt

Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Dec 14, 2009 - 07:31pm PT
Cheese, Wis. Devil's Lake climbing looks great!
Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Dec 14, 2009 - 09:06pm PT
I understand Cleo's Needle is a bit of a wobbler at the top. Has it been that way for a long time?
matty

Trad climber
los arbor
Dec 14, 2009 - 10:19pm PT
No wobble when I was there 98/99. Fitting the second on the summit may have been the crux.
Mimi

climber
Dec 14, 2009 - 10:39pm PT
Wow! What an amazing looking area! Steep, cool looking rock. Gotta get there and get a TR. LOL!

Where the heck is Mr. Midwest?!
Shrug

Trad climber
The hell that is the midwest...
Dec 15, 2009 - 05:51am PT
I was up on the needle about 2 years ago and there was a wobble on the top block.

Euroford

Trad climber
chicago
Dec 15, 2009 - 09:30am PT
yeah, its pretty gosh darn wobbly.

i'd climbed these almost every weekend for several years. always ground up leading or following, no toproping. this training regime severed us very well, being used to leading devils lake 5.9s, heading out to colorado everything would feel soooooooo easy!!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 15, 2009 - 12:35pm PT
Time for some wooden bongs folks... Sling them with bungee cord so everybody gets the point! LOL
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Dec 15, 2009 - 12:42pm PT
Never been.

But day before yesterday I went shooting with Mike Clifford and Bill Russell.



Mike is getting to be a fairly good rifle shot BTW, but Swilliam,.....


Anyway, they still look back fondly on days in the Fukness.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 15, 2009 - 01:19pm PT
Get Bill on this thread! We have his back and CF won't likely give him any BS here anyhow!!! Mr. Midwest----enter and sign in please??? You got a show to do!
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
Dec 15, 2009 - 02:21pm PT
Rock of the Gods alright!
Learned to climb there in the late 70's
Once witnessed Swilliam lead Congrat's using opposed Cack-n-ups for the entry moves, showoff!
That was a crack-up.
I wrote and article for Rock and Ice a few years back if anyones interested in some history.

Prunes; is that first photo of Cheap thrills actually All the Way?
Alan Rubin

climber
Amherst,MA.
Dec 15, 2009 - 06:46pm PT
Damn, I'm away from my computer for a few days and a Devil's Lake thread pops up!!!! Devil's Lake was my climbing cradle, and I had the good fortune to learn how to climb there in the mid-60s with such fantastic mentors as rgold, Dave Slinger, Jim Erickson, etc.I could go on forever about the Lake, but will just elaborate on a few points. While obviously H.H. Bennett and his peers must have done some pretty impressive climbing much earlier, "modern" climbing at Devil's Lake started with the Stettner brothers (Joe and Paul) in the mid-1920s after they emigrated to Chicago from Germany. They already had considerable climbing experience before they came to the States and similar to other emigres of that period--such as Wiessner and Kraus, were climbing at a more advanced level than most "native" climbers, so that the routes they established at the Lake were very difficult for the era. I have a book at home (sorry, I don't remember the title) that describes their careers and gives some good early history of climbing at the Lake and of the CMC, though little actual detail on what they climbed there.Subsequent visitors, such as Wiessner also added a number of high quality routes during the '40s. However, it was his "visits" which John Gill so modestly refers to in the late '50s that really set the course for the future of climbing at the Lake. During those visits John established what was undoubtedly the hardest collection of climbs in the country at the time. Often done solo, some of them would be rated 5.11 in most other areas, at a time when elsewhere the "first" 5.10s were just being ascended. The Lake's isolation and "unique" grading system have kept these routes from attaining the wider recognition they deserve. Though short, these were and are routes, not boulder problems, (though John did several of those there as well), even by today's "highball" standards--and he used no pads!!!! No one else, with the possible exception of Dave Slinger, could come close to repeating his routes for a number of years, but Slinger and U. of Chicago climber Pete Gardner kept their memories of his routes, and in the mid-'60s passed this information on to a group of highly capable and motivated climbers who were students at that insitution including Steve Derenzo, Rich Goldstone (ST's own rgold),and Ray Schragg, and others such as Bob williams of Northwestern U. These climbers trained hard, repeated many of Gill's routes, and added their own, further consolidating the high level of free climbing at the Lake. This was during a period when much of the focus in US climbing was on aid and big walls rather than on pure free climbing. (I recall that when I was a brand new climber, the faculty advisor of the U. of Wisconsin Hoofers Mountaineers telling me that Devil's Lake (maybe 60' at the tallest) was a place to practice mountaineering not rock climbing!!!! What I think he meant was that "rock climbibng"=big wall aid, while mountaineering=free climbing.)Over the next few years a number of other groups and individuals also began to push their free climbing at the Lake--including the Racine Crag Rats--a group of high school kids including Jim and Dave Erickson and the late Sheldon Smith, Pete Cleveland--a recent arrival from Boston, and a revitalized Dave Slinger. Slinger is worthy of specific mention as he was in his 60s during this period(and looked older), was believed to be an onion farmer (he was in fact a retired banker who owneed a farm) and would dress the part in overalls and work boots. His "party piece" was to hang around the crags so dressed watching hapless climbers struggle on certain climbs. He would then offer "advice" in his exaggerated midwest twang, and then once his advice was ignored, as it routinely was, would solo the route in his boots to "show them how" to do it. They would usually give up instead!!!! There were other "interesting" groups and individuals in the relatively small Devil's Lake climbing community of the era--including the Terrible Trio Mountaineering Club--membership in which required one take a leader ground-fall(all 3 took several and came close on too many other occasions to count). Amazingly all 3 survived(to the astonishment of their peers), and one has since won an Oscar (Errol Morris--who also authored an unpublished guide to the Lake full of Trio black humor--a collector's item par excellence). By the late '60s most of this group (except for Cleveland and Slinger) had moved on, but many used their Lake-honed free-climbing skills as leaders in the nationwide free-climbing explosion of the late "60s/early '70s--Goldstone in the Gunks and Needles, Jim Erickson in Colorado,Cleveland in the Needles and Tetons, etc.Of course, later generations of Devil's Lake climbers have kept up the traditions of off-beat personas and hard climbing--the DLFA, for example. I've gone on too long, so I'll stop for now--but hope this gives you some history Mr. Grossman!!!!
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Dec 15, 2009 - 07:22pm PT
"Mr. Midwest----enter and sign in please??? You got a show to do!"

Rotsa Ruck with that one.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Dec 15, 2009 - 07:50pm PT
One of the difficulties in sorting out Devil's Lake history is the number of groups climbing there that didn't communicate with one and other. Before, during, and after the period Al mentions, there was an active Chicago Mountain Club; I remember names like Bill Widule and Olle Swartling. The brash youths from the Universities of Chicago and Wisconsin tended to think of the CMC group as a sort of midwestern Appie clone, forever engaged in taking beginners up the same small list of climbs. But I don't know if this was true or fair, and we'd have to hear from them on the subject. One climber who was certainly very good was Roger Wiegand (first ascent of Roger's Roof); I'm not really sure who he was associated with.

A tiny correction to Al's account: the climber he refers to as Peter Gardener actually spells his last name Gardiner.
Geno

Trad climber
Reston, VA
Dec 15, 2009 - 08:09pm PT
Steve, Thanks for starting this.

Rgold, Your pictures are priceless!

Al Rubin, Great history.

Geno
fosburg

climber
Dec 15, 2009 - 09:46pm PT
What about that guy Jack Ness? Seems like he was in on a bunch of fa's there back in the day.
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Dec 15, 2009 - 09:52pm PT
I spent one day at Devil's Lake several decades ago. I remember leading several climbs graded 5.9 that definitely would be 5.10 elsewhere, and one 5.10 that I would have called solid 5.11. But, once you get the picture, the grades are straightforward. Just round up a number or two to any of the local grades. There you go!

-Jello
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Dec 15, 2009 - 10:15pm PT
This guy's so ugly he coulda been a D.L. Crag Hag, and probably why we won't see him in this thread.

Photo W.J.F
prunes

climber
Dec 15, 2009 - 10:36pm PT
If Mr Midwest was to grace us with his banter on this thread it would turn into endless pontificating about a certain wall route on El Cap. Perhaps he could sign in under a presumed name.
prunes

climber
Dec 15, 2009 - 10:42pm PT
Mr Midwest on the left
Mr Midwest on the left
Credit: prunes
lightboi

Trad climber
MN
Dec 15, 2009 - 10:43pm PT
One of the things that kept my intrest in climbing at devils lake in my teens was the great route names that matched my adolescent brain.


climbs such as:

Degrade Your Sister

Foreplay/orgasam/second coming

match the snatch

milking the bull

wild west homo

Mammalary Magic



These creative names made me realise that even the old crusty drunk men who had conned me in to packing up a case of old style, had something in common with me.

prunes

climber
Dec 15, 2009 - 10:55pm PT
Do not forget other classics such as

Blinded by lust
between the cheeks
the vulva Named by a famous climber of the CMC
No stranger to the fist
Tomb of the unknown homo
The man with the golden penis
the yeast infection
shaking hands with the chimp
Mimi

climber
Dec 15, 2009 - 11:45pm PT
Hilarious route names. Would make the Verm proud.
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 15, 2009 - 11:49pm PT
yo punters, Yep Devil's lake is a great place to learn how to climb,to have fun and party. Al Rubin,s post did an excellant job covering the history of D.L. A slew of very good climbers have cut there teeth so to speak at DL. From the stettners to john gill,jim erickson,tommy deuchler,rich goldstone ,bob williams, bob horan,ralph schmidt,dave slinger,the dlfa, etc. But undoubtly the best was Pete Cleveland. The man was pulling down at a very high standard in the 60,s and beyond. On site first ascent of Son of Great chimney 5.11c in 1967. First tr of bagatelle 5.12d in 1967 or was it 1973. The list goes on .He still climbs at DL to this day.
Of note is the fact that most of us who remember the lake as a great place to climb also moved away ,to save ourselves somehow from the torture.
I climbed there from 1973 to about 1985 before i moved to colorado. I climbed with the DLFA and the likes of Prunes Bechler,Billy Russell,Dave Salisbury, Barry Rugo,mike clifford,rob lemon,brian simes,dale moir,Bill McChesney(chez),keith ned guy ,tommy deuchler,pigs in space,arturo,dean ailer, dave groth,and a host of other derelicts whos names escape me right now. we had the time of our lives.no doubt. Ionce saw billy throw up no less than 4 times in 24 hours. Some of the antics that prunes did were pretty out rageous too.lots of twisted stories and escapes from the law. and some hard climbing to boot.pull down cut loos , throw up. peace and fuk-nes steve s.
prunes

climber
Dec 16, 2009 - 01:36am PT
the punter known as steve the drug machine
the punter known as steve the drug machine
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 16, 2009 - 01:40am PT
Steve on the day the entire dlfa soloed past carrottop on Lasalle fall...
Steve on the day the entire dlfa soloed past carrottop on Lasalle falls and then chopped a hole in the ice to drain the falls on carrottops head
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 16, 2009 - 01:47am PT
target practice at hippy grove campground.Just one of many disciplines...
target practice at hippy grove campground.Just one of many disciplines to become a well rounded fuk nes clubber. this shot is of a well trained clubber putting a can of Miller Lite out of its misery with a AMT backup
Credit: prunes
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 16, 2009 - 10:28am PT
Nice pics prunes. we need more of the firearms type and maybe some puking.
Anyway did we mention that not only is there killer climbing on the multi-colored quartzite and 2 sandstone areas,but there is a lake with killer swimming also. Great on a hot and humid midwest day after climbing to freshing up before going to the bars. I remember when D.Cilley came to visit and we would go swimming but Dick would always hold his hands out of the water so as not ruin his callouses. When the lake would freeze we would ice skate on it, or brian sime would drive his car out onto the ice and billy would solo aid the cesarian tower while brian and dave shot holes in the door of his car and maybe a few shots towards bill too. Only a 22 cal at the time so relatively harmless.
Some climbers I forgot ot mention , John Baldwin,Barney schaffer, Leo h., and Ken Sals(2 time everest summitter,solo ascent of iron hawk on el cap and all around bad ass) Fuk-nes now,fuk-nes forever an df-nes for the revolution. peace steve s. aka Jack Ness
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 16, 2009 - 10:57am PT
Al- That is history in spades!!! Just what I was hoping for...Would you care to post some of those early guidebooks if they will take being scanned? It would be very cool to see who did what. Any John Turner routes here?

The Dave Slinger, Mr. Greenjeans sandbag story is priceless! He must have had a blast burning off those college kids...LOL

Anyhow, thanks for fleshing the place out historically. Lots of love for this spot!!!

Alan Rubin

climber
Amherst,MA.
Dec 16, 2009 - 12:16pm PT
Hi Steve, Unfortunately I have neither the tech-ability nor the equipment to scan Errol's guidebook. Maybe I'll be able to figure out something eventually, but not in the near future--sorry.A fair number of his route descriptions are contained the Swartling guidebook.I agree with Rich, that we had little contact with the CMC climbers.They kept largely to themselves and had little interaction with the college-age "regulars(and there were only about 20 or so of the latter at any one time in those days--a far cry from the crowd scene only a few years later).It did appear, from the times that we did run into them, that guys like Ollie Swartling and Bill Widule were good climbers, but still weren't climbing at the level of Goldstone, et al.Roger Wiegand was climbing pretty much at that level, but during most of those years was away from the Lake (grad school?)so wasn't climbing there regularly. I'm not aware of any Turner routes at the Lake, and think it is highly unlikely that he would have ventured there from Montreal, especially when he had such a wealth of potential available in eastern Canada and the US northeast. There were a number of other visitors, or temporary midwest residents, who did make important early contributions to Devil's Lake climbing. In addition to Wiessner (who also put up some routes on the very-Dresden-like towers near Camp Douglas in western Wisconsin visible along I-90), Bob Brinton(sp?), a southern Californis climber who was on the FAs of a number of the early routes at Tahquitz(and was notorious for his punning route names, i.e.;From Bad Traverse)made the 1941 FA of the classic Brinton's Crack at D.L.. This climb was rated 5.5 BITD, is 5.6 in the current guidebook, but if my decades old memories are correct is more like 5.7 or 8. A later visitor from California was a young Steve Roper, who is credited with the FA of Berkeley, another classic sandbag. Another interesting visitor in the mid-'60s, was Jim Swallow, a very experienced English climber(he had been on the team that made the FA of Nuptse with Bonington et al). He was a doctor who spent about a year working at the Mayo Clinic. I don't know what his "doctor's persona" was like, but amongst climbers he surely had the grizzled, British hardman attitude, and was particularly noted for his "colorful" language (rgold can tell a great story re:such language when they were in the Tetons together). Anyway, in '64-'65 Jim introduced us to the use of nuts for protection--one of the earliest examples in this country I'm sure. He used reamed-out machine nuts, and had strong possessory feelings about each one. I remember clearly his refusing to let me move on until I was able to retrieve one of his nuts jammed deep in a crack somewhere at the Lake. He'd given me a piece of wire or old coathanger that he used to manuever the nuts out of such placements, and after much struggling on my part and much "colorful encouragement" from Jim, I finally got it out.Following his example a number of us obtained our own nuts and brought them with us(though realistically rarely relied on them)on the relatively rare occasions when we would lead routes. The book I mentioned yesterday about the Stettner's is entitled The Stettner Way, by John Gorby and published by the Colorado Mountain Club. It doesn't contain much detail about the climbing at the Lake but does confirm that the Stettners believed that they were the first to climb there. The article about Dave Slinger that "Edge" referred to was in the Aug.,'77 (#34)issue of Off Belay written by Eric Bjornstadt. That would be another good one to scan in by someone who has both the article and scanning capabilities.
MH2

climber
Dec 16, 2009 - 03:26pm PT
Well done, Mr. Rubin.

I associated with Bill Widule and Ollie Swartling, at least at the CMC campground. Friendly and unassuming types. Ollie was a mason, the bricklaying kind, and took a large format camera into the Italian Group of peaks in British Columbia.

I understood that Dave Slinger had had a seat on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and made a lot of money in pea futures before it was ruled too speculative. I remember him saying that you could expect to make money on 6 out of 10 trades.

Roger Weigand and his wife were both mathematicians, I think. I remember her saying, "I'm in rings."

Laura Jasch should get mention for strong climbing, uninhibited cussing, and the piece in Games Climbers Play. On a trip to Devil's Tower she asked me to "watch the knot" joining the ropes as she started on rappel. It wasn't clear what I was supposed to do if it started unravelling, so after she was down a few feet I yelled "OH NO!" to find out. Didn't learn what I expected.


Then there was Tommy Deuchler associate Dan Freida. Living proof that it is impossible to smoke too much pot. Lived in a teepee, scavanged road kill, got a degree in fine art and taxidermy, was flying through Washington when St. Helens blew and the pilot circled the spectacle for the benefit of the passengers. Also saw Dan Frieda at the Gunks and he gave a demo of the mystical in bouldering. Definitely a big inspiration to me.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Dec 23, 2009 - 08:01pm PT
Al Rubin wrote: Another interesting visitor in the mid-'60s was Jim Swallow, a very experienced English climber(he had been on the team that made the FA of Nuptse with Bonington et al). He was a doctor who spent about a year working at the Mayo Clinic. I don't know what his "doctor's persona" was like, but amongst climbers he surely had the grizzled, British hardman attitude, and was particularly noted for his "colorful" language.

I loved climbing with Jim; that hard-bitten British attitude was so different from the emerging hippy ambiance of the sixties climbing scene. We did some nice routes in the Tetons together, including the North Face of the Grand and the South Buttress of Moran.

Here's a picture of Jim in the Jenny Lake campground, submitting to a course of carbohydrate replentishment therapy:

Jim Swallow, Tetons 1965
Jim Swallow, Tetons 1965
Credit: rgold

On the the Grand, a large flake in a crack crashed down on my foot when I tested it, crushing a toe. (Had I been wearing something less than mountaineering boots, it would have destroyed my entire foot.) So I take off my boot and my toe is now mushroom-shaped with, as it turned out, chipped bones at the tip. Jim the doctor has a look, clucks disapprovingly, and says, "it'll probably turn black and fall off by the morning." Having dispensed with medical matters, we went back to climbing, and that was that.

Here's a shot of Jim leading the crux roof on the North Face of Disappointment Peak (graded 5.8 as I recall, but softer than a baby's bum, as were all Teton grades at the time.) What you can't tell in the picture is that everything is soaking wet from a melting snowfield higher up. Note that the protection Jim arranged consists entirely of threaded runners in true old-school British style.

Jim Swallow on the North Face of Disappointment Peak
Jim Swallow on the North Face of Disappointment Peak
Credit: rgold
Alan Rubin

climber
Amherst,MA.
Dec 24, 2009 - 12:39pm PT
Rich, It was great to see those pix of Jim Swallow--it sure has been a long time!!!! They also presented me with a graphic illustration of the different perspectives that time brings. I remember, as a 19 year old, how "old" Jim seemed when I climbed with him, but now, too many decades later, he seems so youthful!!!! Happy Holidays. Alan
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Dec 24, 2009 - 04:20pm PT
Yeah, we'd be happy to be as "old" now as Jim was in 1965. Oh well, time is like a river, and you can't step in the same spot twice (unless, as in the famous---I think Mike Nichols Second City comedy routine---you run like hell downstream).
Weenis

Trad climber
Tel Aviv
Dec 24, 2009 - 07:14pm PT
Hey Prunes. Nice posts. You Know I think that guy that standing with SWiliam is Peter Chesko. (posted 12/15/09) What's with the knickers? Austria? Chamonix? Naperville?
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 24, 2009 - 08:24pm PT
Yeah that's a Naperville thing, used to be big in Gary Indiana, as well.
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
Dec 24, 2009 - 11:44pm PT
One of the only 2 bolts at Devil's Lake, both of which are on this route.And actually the bolts were re drilled from a guy from Naperville, it took 2 bits and over an hour? beleive it or not.Dave Groth on Flatus.
gro on Flatus
gro on Flatus
Credit: chez
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 25, 2009 - 12:29am PT
From Naperville really? too funny!
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
Dec 25, 2009 - 12:30am PT
Really!
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 25, 2009 - 01:10am PT
yo, the guy in the picture with Prunes and wearing the knickers is none other than Billy Russell from Madison,Wisconsin and now from ....?
I only wore wool knickers in the late 70,s ice climbing at starved rock.
Weenis, are you "the" Peter Chesko? I think maybe so. Long time.
Peace and fuk-nes, steve s. formerly from naperville 26 years ago.
NOW PUKE!
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
Dec 25, 2009 - 01:21am PT
^^^^^^
Jaybro,
There is that guy from Naperville. Weenis does sound a bit familiar, and thats Prunes with Swilliam.

Steve, how long did it take to drill the bolts on Flatus?
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Dec 25, 2009 - 03:14am PT
Wow, Devil's Lake!

What a great area. I spent a year in grad school at Marquette Univ in 64-65 and I would venture out there whenever possible. I remember what a beautiful area, the climbing was stiff but fun and the locals were friendly. Beer was excellent and cheap, the cuisine was Polish -German to the core, the drinking age was 18 and Wisc ladies knew how to have a good time. My biggest complaint was having to commute to the area on an old BMW motorcycle in Oct and Nov and it was cold. Ah, Madison, the Berkeley of the midwest!

Guido
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 25, 2009 - 08:01pm PT
Chez, When I replaced the upper bolt on Flatus I swear it took me 3 hours and 2 drillbits to drill a 1/4 inch hole in the bullet proof quartzite. Hand drill. I don't know how Pete cleveland placed the 2 bolts back in 1967 when he did the fa. Hope you and the family are having a Merry x-mas/Happy holliday. Peace and f-nes. steve s.
MH2

climber
Dec 25, 2009 - 09:05pm PT
The story I heard was that Pete originally led Flatus on a knifeblade, took a good fall, and wanted to save other people's necks. The work it took to put in the bolts may have been enough of that kind of thing for him. He said that top-roping and leading, and to a great extent soloing, were the same to him. Subjectively speaking.
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 12:13am PT
Punters and the paying classes, here is a pic of Pete Cleveland
pete cleveland at dl photo by pigs in space
pete cleveland at dl photo by pigs in space
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 12:15am PT
Pete Cleveland
photo by pigs in space
photo by pigs in space
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 12:17am PT
Pete,s House at devils lake
photo courtesy of pigs in space
photo courtesy of pigs in space
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 12:20am PT
The DL clowns
crawford,russell,cleveland,salisbury,pigs in space.  photo courtesy of...
crawford,russell,cleveland,salisbury,pigs in space. photo courtesy of dave langhoff
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 12:22am PT
more clowns, dlfa in baraboo
clubbers!!!
clubbers!!!
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 12:24am PT
the infamous Tommy Deutchler
photo courtesy pigs
photo courtesy pigs
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 12:25am PT
tommy d.
photo by pigs
photo by pigs
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 12:27am PT
Rob lemon having a bad hair day.
rob and steve s.   photo pigs
rob and steve s. photo pigs
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 12:29am PT
Scott Backes and steve s.
photo pigs
photo pigs
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 12:32am PT
Yo punters, I hope that isn't to much info/photos, but these are some of the character of DL history. If its okay I have some excellant photos of prunes and other assorted dlfa fugitves.....maybe even some actual climbing photos!peace and the usual steve s
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
Dec 26, 2009 - 12:42am PT
Zschieschie soloing Congrat's
Z solo's Congrats
Z solo's Congrats
Credit: chez
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
Dec 26, 2009 - 12:48am PT
Gro on Flake Route sans flake.
Dave Groth on Flake Route
Dave Groth on Flake Route
Credit: chez
Merry Christmas to you and your family to Steve. Give Jack Ness a little pat on the head for us.
Hi Janet.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 26, 2009 - 01:57pm PT
Nice face shots of the usual suspects!

Any thoughts on the origin of the DLFA walrus oooof call or whatever it is?!?
Weenis

Trad climber
Tel Aviv
Dec 26, 2009 - 02:11pm PT
There are two (2) official DLFA "calls". the one you're asking about is now and has been titled the "GUTTERAL UTTERAL" or just a "gutteral". I first heard this call back at The Lake around '77 and quickly named it as such.
The other is the "WHOOP-WHOOP". These have been used as belay signals for years, especially in bad weather, high winds and such. Quite helpful.
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 10:19pm PT
This is Rich Bechler.Prez of the DLFA. He has also contributed greatly to the HIGH standards of leading at DL fom the late 70's and onward. He has done more hard first leads at DL than anyone .Probably even more than Pete C. He was one of the best climbing partners I ever had at DL. WE were always pushing ourselves to lead harder and harder stuff.I could not match his bold style though or his consuming of consumables,Ifna ya know what I mean. CLUB SALUTE.
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 10:23pm PT
Rich Bechler on the first lead of LSD 5.11D ?
LSD first lead Rich B photo by steve
LSD first lead Rich B photo by steve
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 10:25pm PT
DLFA 1981
photo by steve s
photo by steve s
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 10:27pm PT
Bill on belay
swilliam on belay
swilliam on belay
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 10:29pm PT
First lead o Flake route steve s. 1979
Flake route
Flake route
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 10:31pm PT
Pete Cleveland workin Peyote Blues 5.12
Pete C on peyote
Pete C on peyote
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 10:32pm PT
This Is WISCONSIN !!!!!!
the real deal in wisc
the real deal in wisc
Credit: steve s
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 26, 2009 - 10:35pm PT
Keith GUY and
punters keith ned guy and john baldwin
punters keith ned guy and john baldwin
Credit: steve s
John Baldwin, Bagatelle
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Dec 28, 2009 - 08:14pm PT
I had a dream last night of people doing the 2nd Ascent of the "Pillsbury Towers" in Downtown Mpls. I blame it on this thread.
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
Dec 29, 2009 - 04:07am PT
I thought the first ascent was thwarted?
Got to ask Rudotis about that cause tommy ain't talkin'
JeffV

Trad climber
Baraboo, WI
Dec 29, 2009 - 09:39am PT
I've been climbing at DL since the late 1960's. About 20 years ago I moved across the street from the park (from Idaho). I've climbed many wonderful areas elsewhere in the world but none with as excellent quality rock and views that are almost demi-Yosemite. One of the best things about climbing here is bolting has always been banned (or just extremely difficult to do by hand). Climbs that where obscenely difficult in 1960 are still just as @%$##%$ hard! Even though the lake is a high traffic climbing area on summer weekends, there are LOTS of out of the way climbing areas that rarely feel a climbing boot. There are many places you can still put up virgin routes if you don't mind a little bit of a hike. Remember Batso's Rule: "Population Density Decreases With the Square of the Distance to the Nearest Road and the Cube of the Distance Above It!"
RhoadsClimbs

Trad climber
Madison, WI
Dec 30, 2009 - 05:26pm PT
Excellent history gentleman and I'm proud to say that "DL Style" is still alive and well.
Party on,
Rhoads!
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 07:07pm PT
Weenis that is Bill Russell on the left and myself on the right on the lower saddle in the Tetons.This was on a aborted attempt on the Black Ice.Many people in Cali did not know Billy was a closet Alpinist and quite good at it.Went to the Canadian Rockies 3 times with him,climbing with or just being around him was always a adventure.
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 07:13pm PT
Billy and Prunes Mt Andromeda,C Rockies,early 80s
Billy and Prunes Mt Andromeda,C Rockies,early 80s
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 07:14pm PT
Dave Saucebury on the Tunnel Lunge Devils Lake
Dave Saucebury on the Tunnel Lunge Devils Lake
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 07:17pm PT
Prunes on the first ascent of Rich and Famous 5.11+
Prunes on the first ascent of Rich and Famous 5.11+
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 07:18pm PT
Tommy D stopping for a call of nature
Tommy D stopping for a call of nature
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 07:20pm PT
Road trip to Southern Ill !st ascent Emperor of the north 5.13
Road trip to Southern Ill !st ascent Emperor of the north 5.13
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 08:02pm PT
Stevie in his backyard Eldorodo canyon.Do not for any reason climb wit...
Stevie in his backyard Eldorodo canyon.Do not for any reason climb with this man in the vicinity of Eldo. He has everything completly wired and will pummel you. SDS I salute your Fuknez!
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 08:09pm PT
Dave Groth having a refreshing after climbing beverage at the import b...
Dave Groth having a refreshing after climbing beverage at the import bar Northside of Devils Lake
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 08:11pm PT
Dave Groth off his meds somewhere in the West Texas desert
Dave Groth off his meds somewhere in the West Texas desert
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 08:41pm PT
Prunes leading the 1st ascent of yet another obscure 5.11 crack on a o...
Prunes leading the 1st ascent of yet another obscure 5.11 crack on a obscure crag in Wisconsin
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 08:46pm PT
Another cold day in Wisconsin
Another cold day in Wisconsin
Credit: prunes
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 30, 2009 - 08:49pm PT
Thanks, Prunes - great photos!

Did "Tommy D" know that he was also peeing on his jeans and feet, or was he too far gone for it to register?
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 09:45pm PT
MH Thats howhe kept clean
prunes

climber
Dec 30, 2009 - 09:49pm PT
Tommy D hitchhiking rural France. <br/>
6 days of hitching netted about 25...
Tommy D hitchhiking rural France.
6 days of hitching netted about 250 ks gained
Credit: prunes
duke of puke

climber
boulder, co
Jan 5, 2010 - 11:04pm PT

okay, just trying to regain my composure after laughing so hard I've sh#t my pants.

First off, the picture of prunes on LSD is a CLASSIC! Looks like Cross Town Traffic to me though. Must have been renamed after the motivation to lead that damn thing. Maybe two rusty pins on it, and the rest is simply psychological. Leading Edge!

Also, for MH, I believe that is Dave Frieda you mean, not Dan, unless Dan has a brother. Mr. Midwest and Sime and him used to share a house in Whitewater. Apparently, throwing fluorescent light bulbs down stairwells was one of their favorite past times.

But least we forget, DLFA-ers owe a Club Salute to Vinnie! Always drunk, always grumpy, but he never let us down at the Square Tavern, where a lot of inspiration was conceived of and had!

As for names, Ed Wright should be mentioned. Never met him, but he lived on the square in Baraboo and apparently did something. Also Ubber wall climber Chesko cut his teeth at the Lake too.

Oh, and Growth. He was sending sh#t on Flagstaff that I couldn't touch after working years on them, dirty bastard.

Those are my additions to this HOFer thread. I'd have more if I wasn't so drunk.



MH2

climber
Jan 6, 2010 - 04:09am PT
Thanks, duke. Dave Frieda.



Speaking of laughs, anyone know Bob Rossi's whereabouts?
prunes

climber
Jan 8, 2010 - 07:22pm PT
Dale Moir on the Eave of Destruction 5.9
Dale Moir on the Eave of Destruction 5.9
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 8, 2010 - 07:25pm PT
Keith Ned Guy doing a dam good job impersonating a alpinist
Keith Ned Guy doing a dam good job impersonating a alpinist
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 8, 2010 - 07:30pm PT
A rare photo of Chez with a assist from Prunes at bouldering
A rare photo of Chez with a assist from Prunes at bouldering
Credit: prunes
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jan 8, 2010 - 07:30pm PT
F*#kin' cheese heads...
prunes

climber
Jan 8, 2010 - 07:32pm PT
The esteemed Dr Clifford enjoying a rest day in Juarez
The esteemed Dr Clifford enjoying a rest day in Juarez
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 8, 2010 - 07:33pm PT
Ned Guy bivy Leaning tower
Ned Guy bivy Leaning tower
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 8, 2010 - 07:36pm PT
Bill and Prunes Big Sandy ledge
Bill and Prunes Big Sandy ledge
Credit: prunes
duke of puke

climber
boulder, co
Jan 9, 2010 - 12:35am PT

Yea.. but as all us fine socialites know, cheese is an excellent condiment with beer.

Excellent photos Prunes! Thanks!
MH2

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 12:37am PT
Yes!

Beer and cheese for prunes!
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:09am PT
starting the flake route
starting the flake route
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:10am PT
members ofthe DLFA under Gills Nose
members ofthe DLFA under Gills Nose
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:12am PT
The Duke Of Puke on the 3rd pitchof Over the Hill
The Duke Of Puke on the 3rd pitchof Over the Hill
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:14am PT
Keith GuY on the 1st pitch ofOver the Hill Eldorodo Canyon
Keith GuY on the 1st pitch ofOver the Hill Eldorodo Canyon
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:16am PT
Prunes on the 1st ascent AAA 5.12 Devils Lake
Prunes on the 1st ascent AAA 5.12 Devils Lake
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:18am PT
Prunes on Dave Groths test piece Here comes the Snakes 5.12 Jackson Ho...
Prunes on Dave Groths test piece Here comes the Snakes 5.12 Jackson Holler S. Ill.
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:19am PT
Mr Midwest directing traffic in AZ
Mr Midwest directing traffic in AZ
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:21am PT
A passle of DLFAers in Huecho
A passle of DLFAers in Huecho
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:22am PT
Dave Groth on Blue Velvet 5.11+ S. Ill
Dave Groth on Blue Velvet 5.11+ S. Ill
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:24am PT
Ned Guy waking up a little cranky on peanut ledge Zodiac
Ned Guy waking up a little cranky on peanut ledge Zodiac
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:27am PT
Dave Groth !st ascent Bucther of Bagdad 5.13 S. Ill.
Dave Groth !st ascent Bucther of Bagdad 5.13 S. Ill.
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:29am PT
Billy crossing rivers in Canada
Billy crossing rivers in Canada
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:31am PT
Bar dinner in Nattimuck Austrailia
Bar dinner in Nattimuck Austrailia
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:33am PT
The Co Prince of Fuknes at a bivy in Argenteire Basin,Chamonix France
The Co Prince of Fuknes at a bivy in Argenteire Basin,Chamonix France
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:38am PT
Prunes on the 2nd ascent of All the Way,the first time RPs where used ...
Prunes on the 2nd ascent of All the Way,the first time RPs where used at DL.Thus making the first clean lead of All the Way and opening up a whole new world for us at D.L.
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:42am PT
Billy Russell on The Grand Teton
Billy Russell on The Grand Teton
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:43am PT
Credit: prunes
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:44am PT
Was checking this thread because I knew our own Bill Russell haled from that area and he had told me of the fine rock quality there...But when I came across this shot...

Of Jaybro my interest was peaked for sure, and the superb ol' timey shots that have been posted afterwards are indeed stellar! Cheers DLFA!
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:45am PT
PRunes on Anxeity Nerosis Arapillies,Melbourne Austrailia
PRunes on Anxeity Nerosis Arapillies,Melbourne Austrailia
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:49am PT
Direct start American Dream Roof
Direct start American Dream Roof
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:50am PT
Old Sandstone area DL Back in the day the farmer would run us off with...
Old Sandstone area DL Back in the day the farmer would run us off with a shotgun
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:53am PT
Groth and Prunes enjoying a snippet of Jagermeister in Wolfsburg,Frank...
Groth and Prunes enjoying a snippet of Jagermeister in Wolfsburg,Frankenjura,West Germany
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:58am PT
DLFAer Pat Hayes on the Flying Buttress,Mt Meeker,CO
DLFAer Pat Hayes on the Flying Buttress,Mt Meeker,CO
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 02:59am PT
Old time clubber John Baldwin on the first pitch of the Nake Edge
Old time clubber John Baldwin on the first pitch of the Nake Edge
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 03:11am PT
target practice moments before being  arrested
target practice moments before being arrested
Credit: prunes
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 03:12am PT
Prunes 2nd ascent Flake route&#40;photo credit Bob Horan&#41;
Prunes 2nd ascent Flake route(photo credit Bob Horan)
Credit: prunes
Weenis

Trad climber
Tel Aviv
Jan 9, 2010 - 11:20am PT
Tom M. Winter 1977 Devil's Lake, East Bluffs
Tom M. Winter 1977 Devil's Lake, East Bluffs
Credit: Weenis
Prunes, Thanks for all the posts. Weenis
prunes

climber
Jan 9, 2010 - 12:58pm PT
Classic shot Weenis.Also thanks for hiking up to the East Ledges descent and placing those icecold beers at the tails of the the last rappell ropes Club Salute
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 12, 2010 - 11:43pm PT
NICE!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 4, 2010 - 02:16pm PT
A Devilish little bump!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 27, 2010 - 01:45pm PT
More effort in the pursuit of extreme ignorance...

A really interesting Eric Bjornstad interview with Devil's Lake icon, Dave Slinger from Off Belay, August 1977!







rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jun 28, 2010 - 10:13am PT
Steve, thanks for finding this article! I'd never seen it, and it fills in many things about this legendary guy.

One of the more hilarious quotes is that (as of the date of the interview, 1977) "there are no 11's yet at Devil's Lake."
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 28, 2010 - 10:35am PT
And the joke of it is that the routes in the near future were likely closer to 5.12 by the time the unattainable lower grade was bestowed upon them!

Concensus in an area with no locals does pose a problem! LOL
Hard Rock

Trad climber
Montana
Jun 28, 2010 - 10:43am PT
Forget any new routes at Devil's Lake - the best thing I every did at the lake was when I reach 6 inches over and higher for a better hold and Dave (on the ground watching) said: "I didn't know that hold was there".
AM

climber
DLFA
Jun 28, 2010 - 11:30am PT
Classic classic stuff. Thanks for sharing all these great pics and stories.

Anyone know Adam Remus? Tell that dude to hit me up!
Alan Rubin

climber
Amherst,MA.
Jun 28, 2010 - 12:54pm PT
Steve,thanks for posting the article. Dave was a true Devil's Lake "original", though it is amazing how many really unique characters there were in the small D.L. climbing community of the era. It is also pretty amazing that "rgold" and I (and plenty of others on here)are now older than Dave was when we climbed with him back in the day. Then, in the arrogance and short-sightedness of youth, we undoubtedly thought that it was pretty amazing that someone his age could walk, let alone climb, let alone climb hard----but now here we are.....!!!!! Though there was surely something about Dave's "total package"--the overalls, work boots, the "country drawl",his weathered appearance, the soloing--more than just his age that made him such a unique individual. He was an inspiration to us all, who showed us that we could "keep at it" long after the heady days of our youth.
prunes

climber
Jun 28, 2010 - 01:10pm PT
When Dave was getting on in years he would give you really bad beta on how to do climbs and I still remember climbing things like Gills Nose and being up there for ever
MH2

climber
Jun 29, 2010 - 03:44am PT
I believe that Dave Slinger was 67 when I first met him. As well as for his climbing he was notable for having made enough money to retire at 45 and divide his time between Aspen and Devil's Lake.

67 years still seems signficantly older than I presently am, but that could change.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 30, 2010 - 12:28am PT
Dave was an amazing guy. I had a lot of admiration for him, scampering up his tough test pieces in crepe-soled boots! Scared me a couple of times, following him around. May his memory live on . . .
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 30, 2010 - 05:58pm PT
What did Dave do for a living to retire so young?
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jun 30, 2010 - 10:38pm PT
He was an honest-to-god farmer but got rich by astute plays in various futures markets.
MH2

climber
Jul 2, 2010 - 11:04pm PT
He was an honest-to-god farmer but got rich by astute plays in various futures markets.


Until someone with better information comes along:

Dave Slinger was an onion farmer who bought a seat on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He told us that you could expect to make money on 6 out of 10 deals. He did very well in pea futures before the regulators ruled them too speculative.

Although very quiet he had great curiosity, liked to play bridge, ran the 3 miles around the Lake in early morning, and played tennis.

He said that municipal bonds were a good way for the rich to get richer and that the US should consider luxury taxes like the British used after WWII.

He described a too-good-to-be-true trip that American advisors made to a backwards area of Mexico in the Peace Corps era. The Americans told the locals that if they built some roads, dams, and generating stations, then they wouldn't need to work so hard. "We don't work hard, now," was the response.

He canoed down the Mackenzie River (it flows north to the Arctic), was taken captive by men with rifles, but escaped, as he told it, by back-paddling while pretending to follow the other boat and then zipping up a tributary and hiding as darkness came.

He was generous and opened his cabin to many of us for overnight stays when climbing.

The last person to see him that I spoke to was Dick Cilley, who said that Dave was still strong and active but under the implacable comes-on-cat's-feet attack of dementia. That was at least 20 years ago.


Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 17, 2010 - 12:48am PT
Bump for a Cilley testimonial!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 8, 2010 - 10:13am PT
Cilley story Bump!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 8, 2010 - 03:03pm PT
Cilley has dementia?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 28, 2010 - 10:51pm PT
A very early article from Summit November 1957.



LongAgo

Trad climber
Aug 29, 2010 - 03:19am PT
I climbed a bit there in the late 60's and could not agree more with posters who note some of the ratings seemed, well, conservative. Maybe they since have been changed.

Also found the rock quite varied, some like sandstone, some like glass. I recall one wall where you could see the transition from one quality to another in a matter of 20-30 feet.

And, hardly needs saying, but for the record Pete Cleveland was very able and gutsy, as I found climbing with him a little there. No news really - one need only look at his ascent of Superpin in the Needles to know his ability.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 29, 2010 - 12:33pm PT
Tom- How did you hear about Devil's Lake as a climbing destination?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 15, 2010 - 08:49pm PT
Rockin' Walleyed Cheesehead Bump!
kfons

Trad climber
Madison, WI
Nov 10, 2010 - 10:21pm PT
Rich Becheler (Prunes) passed away this morning at age 50. I do not have many details but he has been having health problems the last few years. When I have details of the service I will post them. I will miss him, he was a very close friend. My prayers are with him and his family
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 24, 2012 - 06:43pm PT
Memorial Bump for Prunes...
RhoadsClimbs

Trad climber
Madison, WI
Apr 13, 2012 - 12:40pm PT
Anyone have a copy of the Pete Cleveland interview from Climbing Mag a while back?
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
Apr 13, 2012 - 05:47pm PT
Prunes bump
MH2

climber
Apr 13, 2012 - 07:31pm PT
Amen bump
RhoadsClimbs

Trad climber
Madison, WI
Jul 2, 2012 - 11:16am PT
See this link to support a DLFA Documentary!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2126892908/the-dlfa-a-documentary-film
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Sep 28, 2012 - 11:33am PT
i plan to climb here saturday and sunday. the university of wisconsin climbing club will be there saturday, of which my young friend, josh l. of calabasas, is a recent member.

if you're near, come on out. looking forward to a close look at this legendary quartzite.
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Sep 28, 2012 - 11:51am PT
LAKE BUMP!
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Oct 2, 2012 - 09:01pm PT
in a word--WOW.

there's nothing quite like this rock. if you haven't climbed it, you owe it to yourself to go out of your way and see what devil's lake is all about. it's hard, hard, hard, protects like a dream, and poses some superb problems, unlike any area i've been to before.

devil's lake has 1,700 climbs. most are 100 feet long or less, many can be led, but there's a strong tradition of toproping, i think because the forest comes right to the bluff edge, offering handy anchor trees.

i tried to play the apostle of lead climbing for awhile and drew some curious onlookers, but the respectable toproping that went on, including many 5.11s, convinced me that i was in rome and should do as the romans do.

thanks to the UW climbing club and my friend josh of calabasas for taking me under their wing, and cheers to brian of milwaukee, three years older than me, relentlessly cranking 11 after 11.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 5, 2013 - 06:25pm PT
A Devil's Bump for 2013!
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 5, 2013 - 06:37pm PT
Had a chance to climb with my daughter over there one day in October last year. I found out that the rock was excellent but slippery. VERY stiff rating. Fun!


My daughter was cold most of the day.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#267408


This 10a almost kicked my ass. On top rope!
photo not found
Missing photo ID#267409
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 2, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
Climbing Bump
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 11, 2014 - 09:31pm PT
DLFA hits the BigTime! LOL

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2137380/DLFA-documentary-by-Darin-Limvere
feralfae

Boulder climber
in the midst of a metaphysical adventure
Jan 12, 2014 - 12:14am PT
Wow!
Climbed here during a summer term break in the 80s while I was doing archaeology research out of Northwestern's Center for American Archaeology. I remember that the first night we were camped there, probably more than one raccoon tried to get in the pick up bed box to eat our rations. We went into Baraboo for pizza a couple of nights, nice town.

That is a beautiful and challenging place to climb.

Thank you for the great photos and memories.

feralfae
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 12, 2014 - 01:45am PT
In the sixties it was absolute heaven on earth. And the climbing was great, too.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 12, 2014 - 01:39pm PT
Devil's Lake = Heaven on Earth.

I detect a bit of sideways thinking here. LOL
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jan 12, 2014 - 02:34pm PT
In the sixties it was absolute heaven on earth. And the climbing was great, too


The fifties were even better. Like climbing on sculptures.


;>)
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Jan 12, 2014 - 05:52pm PT
awesome thread!
thank's for the info!
Jimmy1938

climber
Wisconsin / California
Jul 16, 2014 - 12:40pm PT
What a delight to discover this thread, reminding me of my teen years climbing at Devil's Lake. Even more special are the many people who remember and refer to my father, Dave Slinger. We started climbing at Devil's Lake in 1951, when I was 13 and my father was 42. He had bought a cottage at Devil's Lake a few years earlier. We were at Devil's Lake most weekends each summer until I went away to college in 1956. Dad kept climbing, I gradually stopped.

Climbing has changed enormously, of course. In those early 50's years, we climbed in tennis shoes and had not heard of chalk. Still, our skills increased and we kept doing harder climbs, not always approved of by the Stettner brothers. Partly, they objected to even attempting climbs that could not be led. (We top roped almost everything.) We viewed rock climbing as a sport and end in its own right, while they viewed it as a skill developing means to becoming a better mountaineer. What was the point of working at climbing something that no one could lead in climbing a mountain? They, somewhat pejoratively, characterized it as "acrobatic climbing." But, more importantly, they strenously objected to Dad's penchant for solo climbing. They were appropriately in the business of teaching sound and safe mountaineering practices.

A few years after I went to college, Pete Çleveland moved to Devil's Lake/Baraboo. This gave Dad a wonderful climbing partner. Many fine climbers came to Devil's Lake, but Dad always considered Pete the best. Not better than John Gill, of course, but Gill rarely came to Devil's Lake. Gill was practically a god, and his exploits were a source of countless barely to be believed stories. My favorite: On his first trip here, upon reaching the Leaning Tower, Dad showed him the severe overhang route, and proceeded to solo it. Of course, Dad had climbed it countless times. It is not a hard climb, but I would think anyone, anyone, would want a rope their first time up. But Gill proceeded to follow Dad up unroped, except that when his hands were on top, he turned around and jumped down (onto a jumble of rocks), at least 15 feet. I still have trouble believing the jump down part.

I very much appreciate all the remarks about my father, many true and many not correct, and I will finish by correcting a few of the errors for those interested. Alan Rubin, in a superb account of the time, says Dad was believed to be an onion farmer, but was "in fact" a retired banker who owned a farm. Rubin has it backwards: Dad was an onion farmer who bought a small town bank when he was retired from farming, but even then he did not run it on a daily basis. Nor did he make the money he had by investing in commodity futures. He did have a seat on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, but only invested small amounts, and that was nearly always restricted to spreads, a particularly conservative form of trading. He was a very innovative and successful farmer, highly intelligent and competent, and he was able to start from nothing and retire at age 45/50. He was far more sophisticated than he sometimes gave the impression. Later in life, starting about 1975, Alzheimer's began affecting him and consumed his later years.

My strong thanks to all of you who remember him. Jim Slinger.


Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 16, 2014 - 06:54pm PT
A Big ST Devil's Welcome to You Jim!

Splendid addition to this thread. Thanks for posting it!

This is a good place for stories and photos. As you recall and chuckle write them down. If you have slides get them scanned or contact me and I will help you do so.

This is the biggest little area in the USA with lots of fantastic history.

Your favorite Pete Cleveland story perhaps...
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 16, 2014 - 07:34pm PT
Wow Jim! Your Dad was a Demi-god to me when I was a wee little sprout with the CMC in the mid / late sixties...
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 16, 2014 - 07:45pm PT
But Gill proceeded to follow Dad up unroped, except that when his hands were on top, he turned around and jumped down (onto a jumble of rocks), at least 15 feet. I still have trouble believing the jump down part

Me too. I recall reaching the top and grabbing a greasy handhold, which I was certain I would slip from. Since my hand was greasy, climbing down the overhang didn't seem like a good option - so I jumped, spraining my wrist slightly!

Your dad was a great guy and a marvelous climber (with his waffle-soled shoes)!
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 16, 2014 - 08:04pm PT
Jim, I met your dad on numerous occasions at Devil's Lake in the sixties, and posted a picture I had of him soloing in those work boots upthread. I was then and remain now in awe of him. How sad for him but especially for you that he succumbed to Alzheimers, but whatever he may have forgotten, we still remember.

A toast to Dave Slinger!
MH2

climber
Jul 17, 2014 - 08:10pm PT
Thank you, Jim Slinger. Good of you to set us straight on your Dad's careers in farming and trading.

It was wonderful to stay in Dave Slinger's cabin by the lake on our trips up from Chicago.
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