Royal Robbins Falling while Soloing I-12 at Indian Rock


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 121 - 140 of total 195 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Trad climber
Jun 4, 2010 - 01:31am PT

Thank you. I don't know very many climbers who quote Wordsworth straight away. Well, there was Bruce Cooke, friend in my day. I found Wordsworth wrote your quote in 1805, enamored by the French Revolution, it seems. Excerpt:

OH! Pleasant exercise of hope and joy!
For mighty were the auxiliars which then stood
Upon our side, we who were strong in love!
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!--Oh! times,
In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
The attraction of a country in romance!
When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights,
When most intent on making of herself
A prime Enchantress--to assist the work,
Which then was going forward in her name!

Poem goes on from there, but there's the gist. As a fogy, I get to say climbing once was something of revolt from "the meagre, stale, forbidding ways of custom, law and statute." But of course it is what we make of it ourselves, no matter how mainstream and commercial it has become.

Tom Higgins

climber a single wide......
Jul 8, 2011 - 02:00am PT
One of the best threads ever bump.

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Jul 9, 2011 - 10:27am PT
Agreed. A superb thread bump...

Peter, I do recall you and Chris using that resin. You pofster, you! One of you had a sticky little block of it that didn't seem to help much, when I tried it.

I'd always wondered how, or when, that flake came down on Watercourse. It seemed like such a fortuitous event to have such a positive edge there. It never occurred to me that what was there before would have been better.

I remember seeing Royal visiting the Watercourse area several Saturday mornings during 1969-70. Rumor was that he was driving in from Modesto just to work on Left Watercourse... He was that frustrated with it! Seemed silly to me, but I did notice that he almost never spoke to anyone. :-)

Trad climber
Imperial Beach California
Jul 9, 2011 - 12:04pm PT
Really great thread!

Sidebar question:
anyone know what "type" of hat this is?
Where can I get a cool hat like this?
Where can I get a cool hat like this?
Credit: edited
Or, what this type of hat is called, commonly?

I'd like to look for one, and am wondering
what they (hats of that type) are called...


Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jul 9, 2011 - 02:36pm PT

You mean one of these hats?
Guido looking for the Lost Arrow.
Guido looking for the Lost Arrow.
Credit: guido
Credit: guido

Popular in the early 60s and commonly referred to as Tyrolean Hats. Back then, readily available at the Ski Hut etc. Today? Maybe try Sporthaus Schuster in Germany?

Trad climber
Imperial Beach California
Jul 9, 2011 - 02:40pm PT
cool guido!

yes, those hats. ;-)

having seen enough of them (in pics) worn by climbers in various photos from that era (including John Salathe, I think) started to wonder what they're called.

Thanks for the feedback; Tyrolean hats. They look like they're made from felt?

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 9, 2011 - 02:47pm PT
I often pine for the old days but I definetly don't miss those silly hats.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 9, 2011 - 02:53pm PT
Easy hat to make so find youself a felt artist and show them a shot of one. Felt is a hot material these days so it shouldn't be hard.

Trad climber
Imperial Beach California
Jul 9, 2011 - 02:55pm PT
guido, Tyrolean hats they are!

google search:
google search: tyrolean hats
google search: tyrolean hats
Credit: google screen capture

I say we take up a fund and get one for donini!

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jul 10, 2011 - 03:50pm PT
Ah Donini, you may not miss those silly hats but there were other assets in wearing them. Perhaps you missed out ?
Camp 4 hostess back in the day.
Camp 4 hostess back in the day.
Credit: guido


Boulder climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Jul 10, 2011 - 05:09pm PT
If you want to see one of those hats in use. This is Al Steck giving instruction in rapelling without any of that new equipment in 2008. He was totally in his hat.

Credit: FredC

We did not try this out on this occasion. I am waiting for a big overhang.


PS: I went to Indian Rock yesterday and can report that gravity has indeed increased in recent years.


Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 10, 2011 - 05:34pm PT
Guido, when you cut Lederhosen that close to the bone, the silliness quotient is nullified.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jul 10, 2011 - 07:43pm PT
Captain Long and Tyrolean Steck
Credit: guido

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 18, 2012 - 10:34am PT
So, what's new at Indian Rock?
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Sep 18, 2012 - 12:18pm PT
This is wonderful stuff, gives me insight into Indian Rock's
golden era. I remember when Higgins first took me to Indian Rock
and showed me literally every route and more... I got
a little perspective, since we had so much much more rock near Boulder
at that time and had our own parallel history. The rock
seemed polished from
lots of activity. Amazing what creative people can do when given
so small a resource as Indian Rock. And then to be shown Yosemite,
by contrast! No wonder they were all so great.

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Sep 18, 2012 - 09:11pm PT
Must be a nice view at this moment... misty fog settling over SF, but the bridge is still visible and the sky is clear up higher.

What is the route that starts on the northeast side of the I boulder? (near the entrance to the tunnel that is the easiest way to the top) By extrapolation, I'm thinking it would be about I14 or I15, with a committing swing up and right over the overhanging arete, but then it's pretty easy slab to top. Probably 5.8-5.9 but unacceptable to fall.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 18, 2012 - 09:28pm PT
I-14 was what happened if you kept going left from I-13. The arete route we used to call I-15 but knew we probably were making it up.

Social climber
Sep 19, 2012 - 01:51am PT
hey there say, just a bump...

saw some interesting things here...
i don't know much about royal robbins and always
like to read these...



Trad climber
Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Sep 19, 2012 - 02:22am PT
I have never been to IR, but use to occasionaly see RR soloing in the Valley in the early seventies. The open books behind C4 and elsewhere. He never said a word each time he walked up or passed us. Except for one time he got up to the crux of this new route down at Knob Hill. It was obviously an 'on sight' for him, I believe it was .10a or .10b! After a few moments of contemplation he called down and asked if anyone of us would like to rope up and do the climb with him. We responded, "GO FOR IT YA BIG CHICKEN SH#T!" in the spirit of Frank Sacherer!

Just kidding! lol

One of our crew, a young lady, gladly joined him and they ended up doing several routes together that day.

Pat - that was around '73. and it was at the 'New Diversions" cliff (i guess that is a different area then Knob Hill/i forget?). He was able to down climb since he hadn't commited to that move. I believe his quiet demeanor had a lot to do with his intense focus. He was the epitomy of control and conservation of movement, imo! Very fluid. A master on stone, and we were all eyes and ears (should he have spoken).
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Sep 19, 2012 - 03:51am PT
Funny how the legends grow...

Splitter, what year roughly would that have been with Royal
on Knob wall? One year I "rescued" Heinz Mariacher off that wall.
He went up to solo the obvious nice line, and it's all pretty straight-
forward except one move that is a bit committing. He made the
hard move, and there was another one just past that, so he decided
to climb down but couldn't reverse the first hard move. I don't think
it's 5.10 but approaches that... and Heinz politely saw me down
below with Luisa Iovane and asked if I would like to do the climb
with him (translated, come and give me a belay). So
Luisa belayed me up... Sound a little similar...

I would bet one or other Peter and Higgins (and others, Beck,
Guido, etc.) could speak about
Pratt's climbs at Indian Rock. I just know he was immediately
identified as an exceptional climber, virtually in a league of
his own. If I recall, there are a few little testpieces named
after him at IR. Chuck was never a fanatical boulderer but had such
a natural gift he would casually visit some boulder and
more or less set a new standard. He always viewed it more or
less as play.... I speak about the late '50s
and early '60s.
Messages 121 - 140 of total 195 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews