Devil's Lake Wisconsin Climbing History

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Messages 201 - 218 of total 218 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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 «leveland 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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