Wings of Steel (continued)

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WBraun

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 1, 2005 - 05:05pm PT
Continuation of the original thread:

Please continue post here as the original thread is getting as big as El Captain. Thank you
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Nov 1, 2005 - 05:14pm PT
"I think I read this entire thread (which takes way to long to load now), and up until that post I don't think anyone mentioned shitting on ropes."

It's there.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 1, 2005 - 05:24pm PT
I've been refered to this thread on another that was focused on me but I can't get half the posts before my dial up seizes.
Could it be divided?
Darnell

Big Wall climber
Chicago
Nov 1, 2005 - 08:14pm PT
Richard or Mark, did you use any other type of hooks for the slab other than the narrow Leeper?
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Nov 2, 2005 - 01:01am PT
Darnell, I think that all but three hook placements were Leeper hooks, with a very small number of those being broads. So, the vast majority of the hook placements were Leeper narrows. Now and then an edge was flat enough for a broad, which, of course, distributes the forces better, but most of the edges were too irregular for a broad. The, I think, three other hook placements were Chouinards on larger ledges. Mark can correct me if necessary, but that's how I remember it.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Nov 2, 2005 - 01:03am PT
Here are the passages from Yosemite Climber (p.86) that I had been talking about earlier. These are both from Bill Westbay, discussing the FA of Pacific Ocean Wall.

Discussing the contents of his lead rack, he says, "It also includes some extras we'd found necessary on big wall routes: a chisel for cleaning out incipient grooves..."

Regarding prepping the first placement of his first A5 lead on the route, "a No. 2 copperhead pasted in a two-inch corner," he states, "weather-worn flakes are cleaned with the chisel."

"Enhancing to bring the climb down to [their] level"??? Is "enchancing" always a matter of "bringing down"?
WBraun

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 2, 2005 - 01:49am PT
Richard & Mark

I humbly suggest you go on the offense and steer away from defense. You’ve done this climb and its history and stands as testimonial to your hard work. Let it stand. Some day someone will do it and then it will resolve itself, either positively or negatively or both combined. You will now have to let the route speak for itself. Ironic?….What will El Cap say? There is not much else for you to do. Stand proud that you climbed to the best of your abilities and that’s that. The past can not be changed, but the future will hold what you deserve. The truth will always reveal itself eventually. You will not be able to force it one way or other, and I know you are not trying to do that.

Let it go and go forward to the future lessons that await you.

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2005 - 01:59am PT
All in all these WoS threads have been the best 'political' discussion of all - old school Yosemite politics. Very enlightening for those of us that were staying entertained by our own antics on lesser stone elsewhere at the time...

[Werner, if El Cap or any other rock could think I can't help but suspect there would probably be a lot of talk among them about 'stone fleas'...]
WBraun

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 2, 2005 - 02:06am PT
healyje

Can't you see it is none other than a reflection of ourselves.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Nov 2, 2005 - 03:07am PT
You should have named the route:

"Ropes of Shit"
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2005 - 03:20am PT
"[werner:] healyje - Can't you see it is none other than a reflection of ourselves.

Of course I can, and what a perfect mirror it is! We make our passages across the beast as best we can. Sometimes we bite, sting, and cause the occasional conniption, but what a patient host - the only complaints to be heard from our stoic beast [of burden] are from the fleas themselves...
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Nov 2, 2005 - 10:03am PT
The Captain doesn't give a sh#t.

DMT
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Straight Outta Squamton
Nov 2, 2005 - 10:08am PT
I think it's important to at least have a link to the original thread for context,
which incidentally was/is one of the better discussions ever seen here. Good stuff! Here it is:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=72849&f=0&b=0
Ben Rumsen

Social climber
No Name City ( and it sure ain't pretty )
Nov 2, 2005 - 12:06pm PT
"You’ve done this climb and its history and stands as testimonial to your hard work. Let it stand. Some day someone will do it and then it will resolve itself, either positively or negatively or both combined. You will now have to let the route speak for itself. Ironic?….What will El Cap say? There is not much else for you to do. Stand proud that you climbed to the best of your abilities and that’s that. The past can not be changed, but the future will hold what you deserve. The truth will always reveal itself eventually."-

This post says it all, not only concerning W o S, but about who Werner is as a person. I hope to meet you some day Werner and share a beer - bravo!!
jeff benowitz

climber
Nov 2, 2005 - 02:00pm PT
So how many posters here have put up two new el cap routes? Or willing to confess to such in a public forum(see below)?
-------------------------------------------------------


To start with we all know that aid climbing is dead(and werner doesn't drink beer), and that if we could free-climb as hard as tommy we'd rather be caught riding a moped(obsure joke reference) than standing in aiders. That said.
Bringing up others actions to justify one's own is not and has never been an excuse for what we do-this type of thinking has led to countless wars. By mentioning what happened on the po wall or the sea of dreams does not in anyway increase the style of your ascent. Why not mention that the salthe was done with 8 bolts, that messner never placed a bolt in his life if others actions are to be used. On the subject of self-promotion-you made a topo and put it out "in the community." This by defintion is self-promotion. Keep in my mind that the Ultimate Solo is the one that you don't tell anyone about. I won't even get into the writing a book about a climb is self-promotion argument.
That said, someone repeating your route will not end the controversy, on part because there is no "real" controversy(besides the fact that you were wronged when you were putting the route up). If the second ascent says it was easy, it might be hard, if they say it was hard it maybe easy, if they say it sucked, it might be awsome, etc. These are all subjective(hope thats the right word)descriptions up to personal preference. I think the prowl on the column is a drill up-lots of bolts for such a short route, but thats my opionion and not very relevant.
Style and ethics are for those that tell others about their ascents. If you climbed a new route on watkins, solo, and did the whole route using drilled bathooks and didn't tell a soul, no one would care. (for you werner-)Well okay the rock may care, but that is an unfalse-afiable discussion. That is I can't prove that the rock thinks and I can't prove the rock doesn't think so not much point and going around the ring with that one. On that note, remember the year of the flood, when the park was closed, but the weather was good? Did anyone hear the tap, tap going up near abstract expressionist? Oh yeah the daily buzz of heli-copters and the pounding of the falls must have blocked out the sound of the man in black heading up through the black rock....wearing a black hat, carrying a black drill bit, tap, tap, tap...I think it was a guy named walt, or was it warren, oh I think it might have been the guy who put installed the rappel route for the nose, you know that old crazy guy, or maybe it was...makes your skin crawl, makes ya want to go look for the holes yourself-they start 200 feet up to the left(could have been to the right, hard saying cause it was in the dark dyslectic few days)-or you can let it rest and go do the el cap lay back-the one in the meadow-and enjoy the view...
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2005 - 03:20pm PT
Werner: "… history … stands as testimonial …. Some day someone will do it and then it will resolve itself …. You will now have to let the route speak for itself. …What will El Cap say? … The truth will always reveal itself eventually."

Ben’s reflection to Werner: “This post says it all, not only concerning W o S, but about who Werner is as a person. I hope to meet you some day Werner and share a beer - bravo!!”

Ben, truth is no more of an animate object than El Cap, something inherently unable to promote itself. Sometimes we find truth by investigation or accident, but most often truth is revealed because someone makes the decision to make it known. Truth doesn’t just happen because of some cosmic law of revelation, it happens when self-aware beings choose to advance it. When those around us broadcast error or neglect to correct error when it comes into their domain, it makes it hard if not impossible for us to know truth. This thread was spawned last May and before going dormant had about 30 posts in which about the only truth was who did the climb, that it caused a big stir, and that it happened on El Cap. However, posts also included, “I heard the team drilled their way up the thing then chopped the bolts while cleaning,” “There was a streak of feces and trash 200 meters long below their hangin' bivy camp,” and “Drilling 150' of bat hooks up a blank face,” just to cite some choice quotes. Werner posted six times but never saw fit to address any of the outrageous statements which he knew were false because he was there when Wings of Steel went up. Instead of saying, “Bad climb, in my opinion, but x, y, and z are bogus rumors,” he chose to remain silent on all but what he wanted to discuss. No, I don’t believe “truth” is destined to come out. It comes out when we individually make a commitment to bring it forward. Werner wasn’t obligated to correct the erroneous posts, but I hope you can understand if I’m not enthusiastically behind your assessment “This post says it all … about who you [Werner] are as a person … bravo!!”

I’ve tried to wink at this “What would El Cap think?” stuff but it just keeps resurfacing. Before we can say what El Cap would think, we need to personify El Cap. Personify with what or whom? If El Cap is Muhammad Ali, El Cap is likely to think, “Get the #*&% off me.” If El Cap is Mother Teresa, I would expect something more like, “Mark and Richard, if this climb can lead you to a deeper understanding of yourselves and your own fulfillment, please climb my Great Slab.” Personification doesn’t work here because we can do little more than project ourselves on El Cap, getting back our own reflection.
WBraun

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 2, 2005 - 03:39pm PT
"Werner posted six times but never saw fit to address any of the outrageous statements which he knew were false because he was there when Wings of Steel went up"

Those outragious statements were your problems. And now you are saying that I knew? How would I know? I've never climbed your route.

I'm not you're lawyer. It was for you and still is to clear up.

Angry men at the world Mark and Richard, just don't try to drag me into your sorry despair.

EL Cap will speak .......




Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Nov 2, 2005 - 03:42pm PT
I like Werner, at least the persona I know through this screen...

But often when I read his posts I'm thinking to myself that he is trying way to hard with his smoke and mirrors sage advice...statements that mean everything and nothing at the ame time. For example, "In time the truth will reveal itself."

Bravo my ass, more like puke down my throat.

And as far as the avengelical dudes, I think they are trying too hard to stand up for their hook/bolt fest route as well. But it's all good, makes for interesting reading which is a refreshing change around here.

My only question:
Did you use the ropes that somebody sh#t on, or did you throw them away and buy new ones? And who sh#t on them anyway?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2005 - 04:22pm PT
After all this talk, it surely would be interesting to hear what someone like Ammon who has solid 'contemporary' skills thought of the route. It also doesn't seem all that surprising that, with regard to traffic, an all-slab route would be about as popular as an all-chimney one, i.e. not very.
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Nov 2, 2005 - 04:34pm PT
i think it's pretty damn funny that you guys have gone for decades (for whatever reasons) without managing to clear up your own FA legacy, and now all of a sudden, you think it's werner's job...

"Werner posted six times but never saw fit to address any of the outrageous statements which he knew were false because he was there when Wings of Steel went up"


my thoughts:
a) right or wrong, fair or not, it sure seems like most who were "there when Wings of Steel went up" actually share the same (poor) opinions of the route.

b) who says werner (or anyone else) even cared to determine what was true or not ("outrageous statements which he knew were false") about the route? the collective opinion of the other climbers at the time was apparently fairly low, so hardly anyone was (or is, apparently) interested in climbing it.

c) guess what, while the conversation on the whole is interesting, the FA was yours, the reputation is yours, and the legacy is yours (not werner's or anyone else's). if you want to clear it up, that job is also yours! seems you got a late start on that one, good luck, but bitching about everyone that doesn't champion your efforts, be it on the stone or on the internet, won't help your cause.

d) the other guys doing FAs at the time weren't one hit wonders, they were generally among the guys we now consider to be icons of the game. they contributed with their vision to their community, and by extension, to those who now follow. rarely were their respective legacies in yosemite lore based upon one ascent. (in the same vein, ben doesn't want to buy werner a beer because of what he posted in this one internet thread about your one magical, life changing slab route)

e) if you are truely seeking a definative resolution, maybe you'll just have to sit and sulk until more folks w/ nothing but free time get a hardon for aiding up slabs in general- who knows, the whole overhanging thing might just be a fad.

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2005 - 04:46pm PT

"c) ...and the legacy is yours."

It's pretty clear from this discussion that while the FA is theirs, the legacy is clearly shared by the words (and so far anonymous) deeds of everyone involved at the time. If it weren't you folks wouldn't be onto a second thread on the topic of that legacy...
Rock!...oopsie.

Trad climber
pitch above you
Nov 2, 2005 - 04:52pm PT
Uh, I think a bunch of you are missing MSmiths point in his last post. Seems pretty clear to me that he wasn't saying that Werner had any obligation to clear up the crap. He was simply providing an example to counter the idea that the truth will come out by itself if he and his parter chose to just sit quietly by and wait. Seemed clear enough to me.

-Bob
WBraun

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 2, 2005 - 05:32pm PT
This is strange Mark: ”but most often truth is revealed” these were your words.

I said: "What will El Cap say? … The truth will always reveal itself eventually."

As we can see the word "reveal" is there. Just as we are hearing certain truths revealed about what happened in these threads. One can manipulate any of these posts in these threads and distort them for something else easily.

What are you “really” doing to yourself?
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2005 - 05:47pm PT
Werner, Looks like a previous post pretty much covers my thoughts. But just to confirm, you had no obligation whatsoever to try to correct erroneous posts. None. (I do find it amazing that you claim to have not known whether statements such as '200m feces streak' and 'chopped the climb as we went' were false.)
WBraun

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 2, 2005 - 06:03pm PT
"I do find it amazing that you claim to have not known whether statements such as '200m feces streak' and 'chopped the climb as we went' were false."

I never knew my friend I heard that here on supertopo and that is the truth. I was into my own thing back then when you guys were doing that climb WOS. I just heard bits and pieces from those guys. I wanted no part of it.

The truth is I don't care if you blow the whole valley up. It's not my problem, I probably will tell you it's not such a good idea, but if you need to do it go ahead.

I told you guys the exact same thing the day you guys came over to the SAR cache to have some big meeting with your detractors. Remember???? I said maybe if you are getting so much heat and anger towards you maybe just drop the whole idea. But if you need to do it it's your choice. Remember?????

Then during that night the sabotage happened by the perpetrators and I did not have any idea about that until someone told me the next day.


Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Nov 2, 2005 - 06:10pm PT
Did you use the sh#t ropes?
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2005 - 06:38pm PT
"bitching about everyone that doesn't champion your efforts ...won't help your cause."

Matt, the point was not complaining about Werner. I'm neither mad nor miffed that Werner didn't dive in to help. Not his job! I didn’t expect it. My point was that truth doesn't just happen. To say that truth will happen while you exercise your personal option of passivity is incongruous.

PS, in support of Werner, if everyone in the Valley had acted as he did in ’82, we wouldn’t be having this discussion today. If it wasn't for climbers like Werner, things might have been much worse.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Nov 2, 2005 - 06:57pm PT
I'll take that as a yes...
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Nov 2, 2005 - 07:26pm PT
"Matt, the point was not complaining about Werner. I'm neither mad nor miffed that Werner didn't dive in to help. Not his job! I didn’t expect it"


that's not how it sounded to me when you wrote this:

"I hope you can understand if I’m not enthusiastically behind your assessment “This post says it all … about who you [Werner] are as a person … bravo!!”"

cause that sounds like you are holding a little grudge, but whatever, best of luck.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Nov 2, 2005 - 09:59pm PT
Lambone, since you reeeaaalllly want to know :-), yes, we did use the sh#t-on gear--after washing slings, ropes, etc. in a washing machine several times. 'Biners and other hard items were a bit more of a pain to clean up, but we weren't about to throw away hundreds of dollars in gear due to a little bodily waste. You know, what's a little hepatitis (or who knows what else?) between friends... uh... or enemies. Oh, whatever. :-)
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Nov 2, 2005 - 10:17pm PT
yuk, I feel for ya man. that's a really lame thing to do to someone. I'd have to have some seeerious issues with somebody to do that to their stuff...
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Nov 2, 2005 - 10:24pm PT
Hmmm... it seems that we're back to the problem that it is impossible for us to have "defended the route," or not "hyped the route," or "waited all these years before defending the route," or "been too defensive," or "been too offensive," or... on and on... in such a way as to make everybody happy with the way we've handled things. Straining... blood pressure rising... hands sweating... bowels moving... trying soooo hard... but... no... just... can't... get... it... done. Just can't please everybody.

To those who think we have "hyped the route," or "not defended the route in all these years," or... well, you get the idea, sorry that we couldn't handing things just right to please you. The posts reveal contradictory expectations, and pulling spherical-cubes out of thin air just isn't our forte. So, we've come up short. :-) Hope you'll cut us a little slack about that.

I AM with Mark on his response to "letting the truth come out," though. Our experience has been that no amount of effort on our part could get the truth out, Slater couldn't get the truth out, and I have little hope that even a repeat of the route now will get the truth out.

Who would it take to get the truth out? Slater was certainly credible, and he was very vocal in saying that the route was not a rivet ladder and that it had the most technical hooking he had ever seen. THAT wasn't good enough. Who would have to do the second ascent to "prove" the same things that Slater said.

Witness also the MANY bails on the first pitch. Witness other routes Mark and I have done. I mean, really, what does it take? The TRUTH about the route has been available for a very long time already. It seems overly simplistic to me to suggest that the truth will just "come out" someday. There is too much subjectivity in perception, and no second ascent, third ascent, or even multiple ascents are going to satisfy people about what "the truth" is, because it's just too easy to "have problems" with whoever it is that does the ascent and gives the report.

People sure haven't believed us, although we HAVE established that we are not liars and that we know something about hard aid. People didn't (and even on this thread, haven't) believed Slater about his report. Really, what would it take?

What should WE be doing now? Honestly. Should we stop posting, having said enough (or maybe too much)? Are we "hyping the route" at this point? Should we just sit and not "defend the route" anymore and await "the truth coming out," or should we be actively and vociferously defending our skills, our attitudes, and our characters against all attacks.

I know this, however we choose to handle things, there will be credible and vocal critics. We DO feel that we owe the climbing community the candor and forthrightness we've tried to exhibit in this thread, as we recognize that a FA on the big stone is not JUST a private matter. We have tried to be accountable for our actions, and in a sense we have been willing to submit ourselves for scrutiny by the court of public opinion (even though that has largely not gone our way over the years). But, honestly, I have no idea what it would take at this point for "the truth to come out."

Enlighten me, please.
HalHammer

Trad climber
CA
Nov 2, 2005 - 10:33pm PT
2nd nomination for Route Name: Ropes of Sh#t!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2005 - 10:45pm PT
Hard to imagine Warren with a devout Seven Day Adventist and vice-versa. Someone must have been having some sort of religious experience...
Russ Walling

Social climber
NOT FOR LOAN™ CC3
Nov 2, 2005 - 10:48pm PT
WoS Guys,

You have done your bit to get the truth out, at this point ad nauseum.

People will take from this what they want to believe. You are not the first guys to have a malodorous taint follow you around for something you did or did not do. Get over it. Your real story is out there now, and you can turn the page on the whole deal and keep what memories and demons you have contained within yourselves.

I have personally changed some opinions I had of you guys (for the better) and some acutally got worse the longer you rattled on.

For the record, I think the route is a POS that is forced (hard to do on an expansive slab) contrived and done a poor and suspect style as far as I'm concerned. I think a second ascent would really prove nothing, and as I noted before, the 2nd ascent team would never be able to do "the same route" as you guys due to the minefield of hook moves with some natural, some enhanced and some gone (by now) features. This is the main sticking point with me. Keeping count of the failures also attaches a bucketful of pride to the route, yet it seems you are trying to convince us that you did the wall for yourselves. I don't really know what to believe anymore, nor do I really care. What I think don't mean sh#t. The route is there, you guys did it, and that's that. Get on with your lives and drop the 20 year baggage.

Side note: I was there for the entire WoS event, went to the meeting at the rescue cache, and had no prior knowledge of them as#@&%es that sh#t on your gear and all the rest. That is not something I would condone in any arena.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Nov 3, 2005 - 01:02am PT
Wellll... Warren. What to say, particularly since both my mom and Warren are dead now.

My mom and I met Warren a couple of years after Wings. Right away, Warren and mom seemed to understand each other. As their relationship developed over the years, I don't think she moved him one inch toward being religious, and I know he didn't move her one iota toward believing as he did that "there are no objective truths." But we all had great discussions, and, without making it sound cheesy, they seemed to see into each other's hearts.

Of course, my mom wasn't the first or the last woman in Warren's life, so it's hard to know how meaningful things were in the grand scheme of relationships. I know that my mom cherished that relationship until she died. Warren was a wonderful man in many ways, but that's not news.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Nov 3, 2005 - 02:42am PT
Fish, your last post is an example of what's been so frustrating over the years. In fact, as will become clear in this post, your post has actually finally pissed me off. I don't say that to grant "victory" to you (like, damn, you finally succeeded in breaking my cool), but only in deferance to the many other people who have engaged in an otherwise largely enjoyable, worthwhile, and increasingly productive thread to this point.

You speak very paternalistically, telling us to "get over it," but then proceed to spew forth a bunch of crap, which, by the way, we've heard from you and many others over the years "ad nauseum," and much of which is already addressed even by OTHERS on this thread. This is your "parting shot" that we're apparently supposed to "get over" also. You urge us to "turn the page," while at the same time "adding to the story" your own misinterpretations and speculations about who we are and what we think. In this last post, you in effect call me a liar, and that's just a small part of the trash you tritely toss off in a few sentences.

What exactly do you expect us to "get over"? You are a classic example of people who continue to whip the dead horse, never letting US quit responding to the fresh garbage you keep slinging, even blaming us FOR not "defending ourselves" if we back away from the crap to take a break from "defending ourselves," and then have the gall to tell us to "get over it". Give me a break. Stop spewing crap, and we'll stop "defending ourselves," and then the route can fade into the obscurity we expected it to enjoy when we started it and which people like you claim that you wish for it. We've done several other FAs on El Cap, and those have remained obscure, which is just fine with us. But you just won't let Wings alone!

"Bucketfulls of pride"??? What a pile! WHEN we did the route, as we have said, we did it for ourselves. People like YOU are the ones who were determined that the event would become public and escalate! So, yes, later, AFTER the ascent (which we did for ourselves), we started to keep track of failures, because then we had an objective response to the lies claiming the route was a rivet ladder: "If it's a rivet ladder, why can't some very well known climbers seem to get up even the first pitch?" I well remember Mike Corbett's famous and oft-repeated line, "My grandma could do that route in a few days," so, yes, we loved seeing well-known people who were among our critics climbing worse than Corbett's grandma! I fail to see how that's "bucketfulls of pride." Seemed like delicious irony to me! People like YOU pushed us to become responsive to bucketfulls of crap (even literally), and then you chastise us for responding!?!

And the ROUTE isn't the half of it. I have no problem with people deciding that the route is a POS. I am well able to separate the route from my own self and my own life. But people like YOU go farther; YOU have to keep speculating publicly about who we are, what our motivations, hopes, intentions, etc. are. THAT requires a different sort of defense than just defending against claims about the route. And you always have the advantage, because you can spew crap in a few sentences, and then it is a lengthy project to adequately respond.

"Drop the 20 year baggage"??? Psycho-babble! Yet again, I am boggled as how crassly you speak. Even in your latest post, YOU won't let it drop; you insist on "ending" the fiasco with your own twisted take on who we are! People like YOU have heaped "baggage" on us, and, yes, you WERE present at that rescue cache meeting, and YOU (we remember very well) were yelling at and insulting us along with the others, so don't now pretend that you knew nothing! You might not have had PRIOR knowledge of what people were planning, but you knew Mike Corbet (another sacred cow), and you, along with everybody else at that meeting knew EXACTLY who had chopped our route and sh#t on our ropes.

You're pretty blithe telling us to "get over it," when you have no idea what it's been and continues to be like on the receiving end. Books on big wall and aid climbing since that route reference the route and us in the most derogatory fashion, and these references are always based upon speculations, fabrications, and misinformation. Repeated articles in the mags have referenced the route and us, also in defamatory fashion. Attempts to set the record straight have been surpressed. There were many years in which no matter where we went to climb, literally, people would gather around us, surrounding us, to scream, yell, and curse at us, threatening us with violence, and we were always outnumbered. Yet, we refused to be cowed and so continued to go out climbing, even in the Valley, refusing to be, as one book says, "Banished forever!"

And we take NO responsibility for this treatment because the fervor was based upon lies and misrepresentations, which we did our best from the beginning to expose, yet the people milling around us in mobs always refused to hear us. We have seen firsthand the mob mentality over and over and over, and there is NO rationality in it. There is SO much more to say about how we were treated, but suffice to say that our treatment goes FAR beyond (both in scale and in scope of time) anything else you might trot out as an example of other guys who "have a malodorous taint follow them around". I have never heard of another story in all of climbing lore as ridiculous as the fiasco that has centered around us and this route, so don't make it out like we're just two other guys who have gotten bashed on a bit like many others. That's so pathetic that it's a complete non-starter.

You attempt to immerse our experience in that of many other as though that is supposed to make it all ok, when actually the very fact that others have had to endure anything like this at all should show the climbing community that something is VERY wrong! What was done to us, and has been done on an ongoing basis, is wrong, and if similar things are happening to others, then that is wrong! You don't make it ok BY saying, in effect, "Well, it happens all the time... get over it."

NO! I will NOT get over it! It's wrong, it's ridiculous, and I just wish there was some means by which the sacred cows who perpetrated all the crap (and have continued to do so) could be made accountable for it all. IF the route is a POS, as you say, it is NOT so for the reasons YOU have given, and even if it is a POS, that does NOT justify how we have been treated over the many years. So, DON'T have either the stupidity or the audacity to say "get over it," when you yourself keep such ridiculous comments flying!

If there's "baggage," it's only because, like with your last post, the crap never ends. If we attempt to respond, then it's "ad nauseum" (although YOU spewing more of the same old speculative crap is somehow not "ad nauseum"), and if we don't respond, then we get criticized later with something like, "Well, you had nothing to say in response to Fish when he wrote...." See, we've been there and done that for so many years. The game you guys play at our expense is outrageous, and I can't believe that the climbing community stands for it.

So, if we say we won't play anymore, then the years go by and we keep hearing more and more crap said about us. There are a few people who have been so publicly outrageous that my attorney has told me we could have easily won suits against them for defamation, but these guys are too poor to be worth the trouble, and the mags that publish such tripe are almost untouchable. So, it goes on.

In this very thread, I was prepared to "get over it," and move on to what I consider more productive, general ethical issues. And it seemed like the whole thread was starting to lighten up. Then comes your retrograde post!

For people claiming that YOU wish the route would just fade into obscurity, people like you sure keep spewing. So, to save you future nausea, the plan is quite simple: ALL you have to do is quit giving us so much to respond to. Your call, Fish.
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Nov 3, 2005 - 08:19am PT
Hey Fish, is that POS "Piece of S.", or "Pile of S."?

I have always felt the same way about the rope choppers as you mentioned above, that it was uncalled for no matter what was going on, etc., but I'm finally understanding how it happened, how those choppers were worked up into a frenzy.

As my mama always said, it takes two to tangle. Not that it justifies the chopping, of course.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Nov 3, 2005 - 10:26am PT
Wow, John, it appears that you've found the one situation in the universe in which the law of causality works backwards!

As this very thread clearly shows, Mark and I have only responded to pre-existing defamation, and, although I have gotten a bit more testy with you and Fish as you keep repeating the same old speculations, Mark and I have have continued to respond by arguments based on facts, not by lies, speculations, "frenzy," threats of violence, etc. You suggest that we were the cause of (or the primary contribution to) the choppers being "worked up into a frenzy," which is a fascinating reversal of causality, because that have our responses causing the events we responded to. I'm baffled, but, then, I'm an "arrogant dimwit" too, so I guess that's to be expected; the whole escalation just seemed to be a case of mob-mentality, which, as history clearly shows, needs no external cause in order to work ITSELF up. But, again, what do I know?

Maaayyyybbeee some people got "worked up" because they couldn't find any rational response to our efforts to explain what was happening and our requests to "just go up and LOOK at it," but SURELY we were wrong in what we were doing, so lies, threats, and chopping WERE the only available responses. So, yes, I guess you're right: our very efforts to respond to defamation CAUSED more lies, and our very responses to those lies ultimately CAUSED the chopping, the years of further abuse, and the escalating additional lies and speculations. I'm dim, but now I think I get it. It WAS our fault after all. Thank you for the clarity you've introduced to this situation, John.

Is it "arrogance" to respond with sarcasm at this juncture?
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Nov 3, 2005 - 10:37am PT
Could the Great Slab be free climbed with modern sport tactics?

DMT
pc

Trad climber
Thousand Oaks, CA
Nov 3, 2005 - 10:46am PT
A bit.

As I read Russ' post I don't see anything in it that should provoke the kind of response you gave. He was just giving some "big brotherly" advice.

I'm the 7th of 7 boys in my family and one thing I learned over the years was, make the story/argument crisp and get out. You guys did a pretty good job of that in the first 100/150 posts. Now you're testing the tolerance of a "not as intolerant as the rest of society" group.

Peace.

Peter

Gunkie

climber
East Coast US
Nov 3, 2005 - 11:02am PT
This dialogue has become stacatto questions followed by overtures for answers.

Sometimes a simple yes or no or short concise rebuttal is the best way to resolve these things. Otherwise you [WOS FA folks] create more debris than you clear.

JMO.
the Fet

Trad climber
Loomis, CA
Nov 3, 2005 - 11:14am PT
Guard against the prestige of great names; see that your judgments are your own; and do not shrink from disagreement; no trusting without testing.
Author: John Dalberg Acton

If you have learned how to disagree without being disagreeable, then you have discovered the secret of getting along -- whether it be business, family relations, or life itself.
Author: Bernard Meltzer

Sorry for the misinterpretation of the climb name before, I'm not a Kansas fan, but I can see how these lyrics inspired:

Kansas Icarus--Borne On The Wings Of Steel lyrics

Early in the morning sunlight
Soaring on the wings of dawn
Here I'll live and die with my wings in the sky
And I won't come down no more
Higher than a bird I'm flying
Crimson skies of ice and fire
Borne on wings of steel I have so much to feel
And I won't come down no more
Sail on, sail on, I will rise each day to meet the dawn
So high, so high
I've climbed the mountains of the sky
Without my wings you know I'd surely die
I found my freedom flyin' high
I've climbed the mountains of the sky
Floating on a cloud of amber
Searching for the rainbow's end
Earth so far below me,
I'm here alone, free
I can't come down no more
yo

climber
NOT Fresno
Nov 3, 2005 - 11:17am PT
What Fish said. Exactly.

YOU CAN'T CONTROL WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT YOUR ROUTE.


Let's put it this way: If I were a wholesome Adventist girl you met at a barn raising, and you wanted to marry me, and I declined your offer...you would keep calling and keep calling and keep calling. You can't make me love you. In fact, the more you call makes me love you less and less.

Thanks for the discussion, boys. Congrats on your El Cap FAs. I'm out.
jeff benowitz

climber
Nov 3, 2005 - 11:26am PT
two small things, yes it takes two tango, but it only takes one to dance-or sh#t for that matter. causation is a very complicated matter(no pun intended).
Russ Walling

Social climber
NOT FOR LOAN™ CC3
Nov 3, 2005 - 11:29am PT
WoS guy...

Here is the part you don't get. I really don't give a sh#t and neither should you. I'm flattered by numerous uses of YOU, meaning me in your post. But, I'm not the one putting the kinks in your warped view of the world... YOU are. I posted my opinion, and YOU decided to go mental. As for psychobabble, here is some more: GET HELP.

Let me restate it for you: I don't give a sh#t about your route, and my opinion is just that my opinion.
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Nov 3, 2005 - 11:59am PT
this thread has become like a traffic accident, i really don't want to look anymore, but...


hey, did warren ever tell you that you should have hauled the slab w/ a cart?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 3, 2005 - 12:19pm PT
Regardless of the disclaimers to the contrary it's pretty evident from this thread that a lot of the ill-will and bad vibes still shining through all these years later isn't coming from the WoS crew. I can only imagine how much worse it must have been back when it was going down. And this isn't the first time I've heard about sh#t being used as the root form of communication down there.

Just curious what Warren thought of the route and all the excrementive fandango around it..?
darod

Trad climber
New York
Nov 3, 2005 - 12:21pm PT
"Regardless of the disclaimers to the contrary it's pretty evident from this thread that a lot of the ill-will and bad vibes still shining through all these years later isn't coming from the WoS crew. I can only imagine how much worse it must have been back when it was going down. And this isn't the first time I've heard about sh#t being used as the root form of communication down there."

I have to second that. Very clear, and very dissapointing too.
Tork

climber
Yosemite
Nov 3, 2005 - 12:33pm PT
Largo,
Call your boyz in Hollyhood, I think we have a great action/drama /love story here. Complete with evil villains, misunderstood do gooders, and even a superhero. We will let the audience figure out who's who. I can see it now WINGS OF STEEL aka POS. Even the thought of the soundtrack is giving me goosebumps.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Nov 3, 2005 - 12:36pm PT
Well, they're all old men now. Saints, shitters and fence sitters alike.

DMT
TradHog

Trad climber
Yellow Rose of Texas
Nov 3, 2005 - 12:41pm PT
I was with you Wings guys in the begining. But the more ya'll talk, the less I'm hearing. Yall are like a retarded pitbull that wont let go of its own tail.
WBraun

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2005 - 01:27pm PT
Well I’ve done new a route here or there also that I’ve thought was a piece of sh-it when we finished. I thought why the hell did we even come here to do this dumb ass thing. I’ve done other peoples routes that I thought were a total; piece of sh-it. I’ve told people who put up a certain route and asked me what I thought and told them it’s a piece of sh-it.

That was my opinion about the route not about them.

Is there a case of mistaken identity here? Now I could do a route and Russ will tell me my route sucks and is a total piece of sh-it, and It wouldn’t faze me the slightest why should it? I’ve done routes that I’ve thought where great and other people told me it was a piece of sh-it.

The route and the person are two different identities.

Someone is becoming one?
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Nov 3, 2005 - 01:45pm PT
This one is tenacious. So I guess it has never been repeated. Which I suppose means nobody has ever done it in a day. But somebody cares about it, or this thread would have died. But who the hell is keepin' score anyway. I suppose the FA's must have liked the route, or been impressed with themselves. Or scared too shtless to do it again. On the other hand, if it was done in Warren's day and nobody has raised the style since then ... Guess that speaks for itself, regardless of what any individuals might think.
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Nov 3, 2005 - 01:49pm PT
I guess I'm baffled about what is it these guys really want?

Do they want us to believe it was in fact done in good style?
--Because it seems with hooking standards set by people like Grossman in the same era without ever using a hammer and chisel, that is difficult.

Do they want us to say it was classic natural line?
--Because with 145 bolts for 13 pitches, that comes out to about 11 bolts per pitch, exceeding even Harding's Wall of the Early Morning Light of some 300 bolts for 30 pitches, or 10 bolts per pitch (course, Harding didn't give a damn what anybody thought, that's why we all loved him as a hero).

Do they really want us to believe it was purely for the personal quest when they write a book calling the route a "World Record" in its title?

Do they want us to collectively live the sins of people who perpertrated offenses toward them back in 1982?

Do they just want to lash out at anyone who doesn't praise them as the almighty?

I just can't figure out what they actually want.
Not that I really give a flying rat's ass anyway.
YVParkBum

climber
Las Vegas
Nov 3, 2005 - 01:56pm PT
Very interestng. Back in the day I was at that meeting too and in the park when all this sh#t went down. Your biggest detractors are not even here and trying to roast the Duce and Fishy for all your problems is way off dude. As I remember there were other guys yelling and going off the deep end over your route and it was not those two or Werner doing any of the crazy stuff that you are saying here. Me thinks you have the Russells mixed up, and i have not seen any of your other foes chime in on the subject yet in this forum. I wonder why they are all hiding as i know a few of them are on this forum and laying low. After all Ive been through the last 20 years i dont really give a sh#t either. bye.
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Nov 3, 2005 - 02:13pm PT
Werner,

That's the most intelligent reply I have read during this entire thread. Time to put this baby to rest,
Jack
darod

Trad climber
New York
Nov 3, 2005 - 02:38pm PT
"Well I’ve done new a route here or there also that I’ve thought was a piece of sh-it when we finished. I thought why the hell did we even come here to do this dumb ass thing. I’ve done other peoples routes that I thought were a total; piece of sh-it. I’ve told people who put up a certain route and asked me what I thought and told them it’s a piece of sh-it.

That was my opinion about the route not about them.

Is there a case of mistaken identity here? Now I could do a route and Russ will tell me my route sucks and is a total piece of sh-it, and It wouldn’t faze me the slightest why should it? I’ve done routes that I’ve thought where great and other people told me it was a piece of sh-it.

The route and the person are two different identities.

Someone is becoming one? "

Werner, I couldn't agree more with your point about "two different identities" here, but there's a huge difference, IMHO of course, between climbing a route and thinking is a piece of sh#t, and just "thinking" is a POS, but have never been on it.

Any thoughts on that specifically?
Russ Walling

Social climber
NOT FOR LOAN™ CC3
Nov 3, 2005 - 02:52pm PT
Hey Darod, here are some thoughts on it:

I will think a route is a piece-of-shit without doing it by applying these criteria:

Location: do I like where the route is located?

Style of Ascent: is it a botch job or done in good style?

Type of climbing: Steep and with features or slabby and devoid of features?

Rock quality: Good rock or bad rock?

Who put it up: Track record of FA guys.

I apply this to all kinds of routes in lots of locations, not just El Cap. Many the time I've gone to a route, looked up at a hanging garden of choss and said "man, this is a piece-of-shit". Of course some people may love the hanging garden of choss and have an entirely different opinion. But IN MY OPINION it is a POS. Neat huh?
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Nov 3, 2005 - 02:55pm PT
Deuce, regarding Harding not giving a sh#t what people thought...

I felt it was pretty clear from that last interview with him in Camp 4 when you orchestrated saving the camp ground, that the criticisms of overbolting stung him badly and even at that late date he felt an urge to defend himself, set the record straight. But he stuck to HIS WAY in the face of that criticism, despite the fact it bothered him and came from people he admired as climbers. Hmmmm. WE Americans have always respected the lone-hero huh?

I don't think any of us, not a damn one of us, punters like me and sinners all, can take the criticisms of people we admire and look up to without some sort of hit to the ego.

Its bound to hurt. Its bound to linger.

If some of the climbers I greatly admire, you for example, deigned to pull my ropes and sh#t on them, I promise you, my hard feelings would long outlast 20 years.

But I'm a loser that way.

Imagine, having Royal Robbins chop your route! That's like god defrocking a parish priest... by ripping his robes off and tossing them in the toilet.

Anyway, I'm getting carried away again. I just thought Harding's sense of hurt had survived the intervening 30 years and it came through in that interview loud anc clear.

So I can relate to these guys not 'getting over it.'

DMT
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Straight Outta Squamton
Nov 3, 2005 - 02:56pm PT
"I wonder why they are all hiding as i know a few of them are on this forum and laying low"


Very, very interesting...

LOL!!

Come on man, give us some names.

Sounds like they deserve to be outed.
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Sonora, California
Nov 3, 2005 - 03:03pm PT
Duece4 and Fish can act dumb about what these guys want, but it isn't hard to figure out. They want the condecending, "I'm-part-of the-in-crowd-and you're-not-so-I'm-better-than-you-attitude" to stop. The first ascentionists are human. They're imperfect and their efforts were imperfect. But what they did was no worse (and no better) than many things the Yosemite Valley "in crowd" of the time did. (Really, shitting on someones gear, what IQ did that require of whoever did it?) They want the attitude that they're inherently your inferior to stop. This doesn't seem unreasonable. If you really had wanted closure you could have simply posted: "I disagree with you and I always have and will." Pretty simple. Instead you "sign off" by pointing up again that the fact that you've listened to their comments at all is a gift to them. Trying to establish some superiority in a second grade playground style that is easy to see through. Argue clean guys, or fight nasty but in the open. Either way, knock of the arrogance that assumes a superiority that just ain't there.
darod

Trad climber
New York
Nov 3, 2005 - 03:18pm PT
Russ, as you've said earlier, that's your opinion, and that's all. You have a criteria for judging routes without climbing them, fine by me too. IMO, you're probably right on many occasions, but maybe in others you just might be missing out, but hey, that's you. I grew up climbing in the central Andes, where the rock (if we can call it that) is a real piece of sh#t, so for me, everything granite is excellent quality; so some of the concepts you use might have very different meanings for differente people I guess is what I'm trying to say here. Very subjective.

Anyway, my question was really directed to Werner, since he said he climbs routes before judging them good or bad (which in my opinion makes more sense).

Cheers,

Darod.
the Fet

Trad climber
Loomis, CA
Nov 3, 2005 - 03:29pm PT
"They want the condecending, "I'm-part-of the-in-crowd-and you're-not-so-I'm-better-than-you-attitude" to stop."

It's probably even simpler than that. I don't read that they're trying to say that they are as good or better than anybody else, although they are using comparisons to defend what they did.

I think mainly they just want to clear up the mistruths (rivet ladder, streaks of feces, etc.). I can't blame them. Unfortuneatly when you come of as confrontational the content your words are usually lost.

I think the title of the book does indicate the target audience:
Wings of Steel: A Climber's Perspective of the Christian Life, and the Story of a World Record 39 Continuous Days and Nights on the Side of El Capitan

And questioning the style is a reflection of the climbers not just the route.

I'm curious to what people think what was bad about the style? Edit: I guess beyond the number of holes, enhanced hooks, forced line, time spent on wall? Which it seems wouldn't be known until they got down and reported it (I guess forced line could be claimed from the start).
Gunkie

climber
East Coast US
Nov 3, 2005 - 03:32pm PT
"Really, shitting on someones gear, what IQ did that require of whoever did it?"

The bigger question, at least for me, is: How can anyone time their BM to coincide with a nighttime raid?

    Was the poop pre-packaged and carried in by some poor sot?
    Were laxitives used at any point during the running of the scheme? And if so, that's like Barry Bonds using steroids. No Pooping Hall of Fame for you.

OK, enough from me. Just bored @ work.
Russ Walling

Social climber
NOT FOR LOAN™ CC3
Nov 3, 2005 - 03:37pm PT
Hey MtYoung:

Maybe you missed this part from my post above:

"What I think don't mean sh#t."

I have never heard anything so elitist in my life! C'mon....
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Nov 3, 2005 - 03:38pm PT
"I think mainly they just want to clear up the mistruths (rivet ladder, streaks of feces, etc.)"

did the huge feces streak ever actually get denied?
i think they just claimed to have tossed their poops as per the style of the era, and then to have cleaned up after themselves (at the base) when they were done.

that said, a month of tossing poops over slabs adds up to what, if not a big long streak of poop?
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Straight Outta Squamton
Nov 3, 2005 - 03:39pm PT
"The bigger question, at least for me, is: How can anyone time their BM to coincide with a nighttime raid?


Uhh, maybe the Evildoers™ did the evil deed while on an alpine start to somewhere else?
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Sonora, California
Nov 3, 2005 - 03:57pm PT
Russ, I didn't miss that part, but the remaining parts of the messages (and Duece's more than yours, its true) weren't consistent with the disclaimer. And your opinion does matter. It matters as much as that of any other interested party, not more and not less. As far as "elitist," you lost me there. did you mean I'm elitist, or you are or they are? If you meant me, I'm amused. I guarantee I'm not in the elite in any catagory (except maybe as a husband and father, but that's not this).
And Gunkie, I gotta admire your sense of humor. I don't often laugh out loud, but I did. I'm glad you're bored at work.
darod

Trad climber
New York
Nov 3, 2005 - 03:59pm PT
"Gunkie, I gotta admire your sense of humor. I don't often laugh out loud, but I did. I'm glad you're bored at work."

Same here.... lol
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 3, 2005 - 04:00pm PT
Although it may not seem like it, we have not intended to go on a belly-aching rant or diatribe against our detractors. I think that mtnyoung and others make some insightful observations about the backdrop which no doubt has influenced what Richard and I think and write. The cutting down of our ropes in '82 was just the start of years of stuff, most of which hasn't come up on this thread, nor does it need to. The bad-blood with several of the major players on this thread comes from more than just the summer of '82. So my apologies if quality of the thread has deteriorated because I've become angry from recent posts. There are several statements out there that beg a response, but maybe it's time to let them go. Best wishes and good climbing.

--MS
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Nov 3, 2005 - 04:01pm PT
LOL. Someone once sh#t on the hood of a friend of mine's car. I always marvelled at that wonderous capability - SOD, sh#t on demand. A highly prized bodily function in certain circles.

DMT
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Nov 3, 2005 - 04:03pm PT
that's a fine ending-
as for me, whenever i get around to putting up a controversial climb on el cap, i will be sure to put glue all over my ropes!
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051103/ap_on_fe_st/toilet_seat_lawsuit
Russ Walling

Social climber
NOT FOR LOAN™ CC3
Nov 3, 2005 - 04:16pm PT
MtYoung writes: As far as "elitist," you lost me there. did you mean I'm elitist, or you are or they are?

Great question. I was not refering to you, though it seemed you were refering to me, but I was thinking it was them, even though it sounded like me. Hope that clears it up.
aldude

climber
Nov 3, 2005 - 04:44pm PT
When the pendulum swings - and it will - This slab wil be the host of the world's first 5.16 and Yosemite will again be the center of the universe! SLABS RULE.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 3, 2005 - 04:47pm PT
MSmith - Would still love to know what Warren thought of the whole affair, surely you guys discussed it with him at least once didn't you? Also give me a shout if you want to go out to Beacon if we ever get a break in the weather...
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 3, 2005 - 05:25pm PT
I've met Warren (perhaps no surprise) and talked with him extensively on one occasion. Honestly, I don't recall discussing Wings Of Steel in any depth. Looking back, I guess that's kind of strange.
the Fet

Trad climber
Loomis, CA
Nov 3, 2005 - 06:26pm PT
I had a whole 5 gallon bucket of piss/shit we filled up in the barn/garage we used to party in. I was going to dump it in the sunroof of a guy's car who got caught stealing from me. But even I was not that immature (about age 17) and ended up deciding that since the guy didn't get away with it I wouldn't do it. Later I finished off a wall and left the bucket boarded in under the eaves where it sits to this day, decades later. I hate to think of the person that opens that time capsule some day.
WBraun

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2005 - 07:36pm PT
darod ( you asked :-) )

Well I just came back from climbing an excellent route but the route next to it looks like a definite piece of sh-it. Now I’ve never climbed that piece of sh-it darod that I called a piece of sh-it but that’s how it looked with all the choss all over it.

Seriously now darod, we’ll go to the used car lot and I’ll pick out a piece of sh-it car for you to buy. You’ll defiantly take one look at this rust bucket that I picked out for you to buy for yourself and say what a piece of sh-it even before driving it.

Some people here will say oh my god darod, terrible terrible that you have these bad thoughts about something you haven’t even driven yet. Meanwhile you definitely know you don’t want it. Still dudes are coming around trying to drag your ass over there verbally to that rust bucket to get in it against your will. This hot rod is just not you baby and you know it.

Well some clever folks will say how do you know you don’t want it if you haven’t even driven it yet? Finally you say after all this verbal bull sh-it now fu-ck off people I don’t want this piece of sh-it, but the one over there across the street in the other lot that you’ve been eyeballing all along.

So you troop over there and buy the car you like. Mean while the guy selling the cars in the lot you went to originally and me now thinks we are a piece of sh-it because you said his cars are on his lot suck. Ha ha ha ha

Do we see how this bullshit’ is playing out and how it goes on and on …..stupid!

Now those two knuckleheads that somehow took it upon themselves to be rock cops back when Richard and Mark where trying to do their thing on El Cap, their actions which no one condoned whatsoever except for the perpetrators themselves who chopped and defecated Mark and Richards equipment was high treason and crimes against their fellow man.

I believe if those perpetrators had not done this foolish nonsense that most of what we are witnessing here now in these threads would not be occurring.

So sorry for my bad English composition, as I’m a piece of sh-it writer.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Nov 3, 2005 - 09:15pm PT
Some final, short comments to tie up a few loose ends.

There was no streak of feces on the slab. Even from the top of the slab it was easy to throw the bags out far enough to make the base. The base was a mess until we cleaned it up, but the slab was always clean. Don't know why that matters to anybody, but, anyway, that's the fact of the matter.

When Warren wrote the forward for my book, we talked quite a bit about how things had turned into a fiasco. I actually have a taped interview with him, which has never seen the light of day. His summation of the valley boys' attitudes and the escalation of hostilities was, and this is a quote, "It's like dogs pissing on trees.... Things never change."

Anyone who has gotten a book published will know how little control you end up having over a host of editorial decisions, and, if you don't want to just pull the plug, you make compromises that you are very unhappy with. For the record, I thought the title was over the top, but my protests were ignored, since the bean counters decided how to market the product, and naming is part of marketing. In various exchanges with the editorial committee, the book became MUCH more religious and MUCH less a climbing story than I originally wrote, but it WAS a religious publisher. I sent the manuscript to many publishers, and I have many rejection letters. Not a single rejection critiques the writing or the story; the problem was always that the whole thing was too controversial. I named names, etc., and publishers were afraid of defamation suits. The usual suspects for outdoor publishers ALL rejected the book on the basis of things like the editor being friends with some valley boy who dissed the route, leading the publisher to think that our side of the story was nothing but frothy hype. So, there are many things I wish were different about the book, but it was our one avenue for getting any PART of our side of the story out there.

Now, I'm with Mark on the exit strategy, so to the relief of some, this will be my final post. The thread has really had its highs and its lows, so I guess it's fitting to end my involvement while it is currently neither.

I've been pissed here near the end, but even that has passed now. Overall, I think there has been a refreshing level of charity on the part of most contributors, and for that I thank you. I leave feeling better than when I came, which I did not expect, so, again, thank you. Good climbing to you all.
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Nov 4, 2005 - 09:11am PT


Another "valley boy" conspiracy in the end....again.
Ahwahnee Bartender

Big Wall climber
Fog Town
Nov 4, 2005 - 11:07am PT
I just bought the book (Amazon - used *cheap). Will report in with my review for those who care.

Theo
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Nov 4, 2005 - 12:34pm PT
I think the first thread was better than the sequel.
James

Social climber
My Subconcious
Nov 4, 2005 - 01:10pm PT
John,
I concur. The dialogue was better, the characters were flushed out well, and there was a greater sense of setting.
the Fet

Trad climber
Loomis, CA
Nov 4, 2005 - 02:37pm PT
I just bought the book (Amazon - used *cheap). Will report in with my review for those who care.

Ditto.
Huge Balls

Big Wall climber
Darkside of the Moon
Nov 5, 2005 - 01:12am PT
Hey Madbolter1. Can I get a topo and a list of people who bailed off the route. Also interested in your other topos for my own historical references. I keep a huge file of bigwall topos from all over and would be very greatful for them. Thank you very much for the info on the route.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Nov 16, 2005 - 11:46pm PT
My gosh! Too funny! I've been away down south for two weeks and look what happens! Russ and John, you guys had me pissing with laughter! But not so much as the madbolter himself!

This has been an interesting thread, a great study of human nature. Initially, the much-maligned villains managed to establish a reasonable degree of credibility for themselves. We were all nodding along and saying, "Geez, maybe these guys are OK after all...." Then two weeks later, they have managed to re-plant the goat horns firmly upon their heads. How is this possible?

Answer: in Salesman's Parlance, it is called "talking yourself out of the sale."

When the client says something like, "that looks good, what do we do now?" you simply shut up, hand him the pen and get him to sign. The last thing you want to do is continue trying to sell something that he already accepted.

These guys seemed to be winning, but they just didn't know WHEN THE HELL TO SHUT UP! And because they WOULDN'T shut up, they have gotten themselves right back into the hot water. There is a lesson here, one of introspection and perhaps an examination of one's self-worth. [If anyone should know about this sort of mistake, it's me....]

Or as Willie-boy once said, "Methinks he doth protest too much."
Landgolier

climber
the flatness
Nov 17, 2005 - 01:05am PT
Total madness all around, I don't think anyone ultimately had a cool temper about this, including a lot of people I respect. I'd kill to do this route just to see WTF is up there, though I don't have the skills and it wouldn't be any kind of a measure of the route even if I did.

I hope Ammon is sharpening hooks right now, or that the Dr. is prepping for his first speed record (oh man I'm sorry, I really am, that one was just too easy).
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Nov 17, 2005 - 02:25am PT
I haven't posted in this thread yet, have I?
Ammon

Big Wall climber
Lake Arrowhead
Nov 17, 2005 - 03:17am PT

Ok guys!! Did Warren really nick-name your mom “Mother of Steel” (No disrespect, just what I heard)

AND….. everyone wants to know about “Rimming OUT”. I heard there was a BIG discussion in the SAR cache about it.

Exactly, what do you consider a bat-hook hole? They are there. Who put them in?

Oh yeah… any other topo than the Donny guide? And, did you draw that one?

Cheers, Ammon

mynameismud

climber
backseat
Nov 17, 2005 - 10:49am PT
Someone please, PLEASE, go climb this piece of sh#t and send a trip report and pictures. Now when I say piece o sh#t I do not in any means use it in a critical sense. Since anyone who has done some of my routes know that if someone can put up a piece of sh#t route it is I. If the said route truly is a piece o sh#t I give a hardy congrats. If not I say, DAM POSERS.

Going Crazy.
mynameismud

climber
backseat
Nov 17, 2005 - 10:58am PT
Just a curious question. How big of a transgression is it to put up a new route on EL Cap and bring a chisel? How many FA's that go through blank sections of rock go up without one? Also, how many routes have gone up without the use of hammer and steel?

I remember reading about guys shitin on those dudes ropes and thinking, Dam never thought of that. On the hood of someone's car, that is one thing. Butt their rope? That is some cold hearted sh#t.
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Nov 17, 2005 - 10:59am PT
Before this continues as another "Valley Boy" conspiracy thread, where the emphasis is on convincing everyone that the Camp 4 society was an elitist brotherhood who collectively plotted the control of others, one aspect of valley life that should be pointed out is the majority of people in the valley climbing scene who were naturally accepted, with the clear notion that the park belongs to no one.

There were plenty of people who did things differently but nevertheless became an integral (and often well-loved) part of the local climbing community. Bob the Aid Man comes to mind: he was always doing strange things on the cliffs that weren't considered the "norm," but nobody bothered him.

Then there were people who came and went and did something that people didn't like, but unless it was thrown in the face of the "locals", nobody bothered them either.

Perhaps it is true that some people were ostrasized. I never really saw it, I wasn't around when the incident this thread is about took place.

Fact is, I still have people who come up to me (a lot of Europeans especially) who remember me from back then, and express appreciation of support back when I was a valley "local", whether it was about loaning them some gear they needed, or providing information, or inviting them over to my camp for dinner to talk climbing, or whatever.

The conflicts I remember were generally between two vocal opponents who were each promoting their own way as it had to be. One, for example, was between Roland Arsons and Jim Beyer who were both prostelitizing, loudly, about their own climbing style. It came to blows.

Based on my experience in the Valley, I can only assume that the incidents described in this thread were escalated by both sides who were both trying to make a point and wouldn't stop until the other side "came around", and not because there was some conspiracy to shut out the non-"locals."

For certain, I got sucked into that phenomena in this thread, responding to what I considered contradictory statements and trying to define (defend?) style myself. So I see how it could have happened back then too.

But this is the online pseudo-climbing world. In the real climbing world, like in Yosemite, people who were primarily interested in climbing were more admired than anything else, irregardless of their climbing style.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 21, 2005 - 04:15pm PT
deuce4

I sure know how it goes trying to let the tread be, then someone says something to which you think “That’s bogus, got to get the facts out.”

Hey, I have no doubts about the honesty of your last post and it’s a good contribution to this thread as it gives a description of some of the more noble facets of the local Valley community of the 80’s. Still, I do think that the Valley was dominated by an “elitist brotherhood”, to use your phrase, although the “brotherhood” was certainly not “collectively plotting the control of others.” A conspiracy is a group of people who secretly hatch a sinister plot. To restate my view of WoS in terms of a conspiracy overstates the situation, thereby opening the view to ridicule.

“Based on my experience in the Valley, I can only assume that the incidents described in this thread [1982] were escalated by both sides who were both trying to make a point and wouldn't stop until the other side "came around"."

John, I can see how, based on your Valley experiences, your assumption seems reasonable. In May of ’82 I was 20 yrs old with no agenda other than climbing the Slab, no chip on my shoulder, no care of making others think as I thought. Richard and I did all we could to keep our heads down. When challenged we fought for the right to do the climb, but beyond that we keep to ourselves as much as possible. I do see the Valley society we faced as a group of locals who dominated at their whim. Note that Werner didn’t advise us to go do our thing but keep to ourselves. Rather, he advised us to get off the rock. I can give another 6 or 8 good examples of this, but here are two. Circa 1988 Richard wrote an article on hooking which he submitted to Rock & Ice. At that time he may well have had more A4/A5 hooking experience than any Valley local. He had studied, designed, and built hooks. Richard invented and built the first hook now commonly known as the Fish hook. Rock & Ice seemed quite interested in the article. Eventually a rejection letter came back. Surprised, Richard called them up. He was told that (unspecified) climbers had questioned his standing to write on the topic, so they decided to not go with the article. If that doesn’t make the point, consider this: In about 1990 a big wall how-to book came out. Maybe someone out there can find this on your bookshelf and post the name of the book, author (Grossman?), and quote the passage which references WoS and concludes by stating that we were, and I quote, “banished forever” from the Valley. That’s right, “banished forever”, written by a Valley insider. So a conspiracy? No. A brotherhood of elitists? At least in our case it would seem to be an apt description. Hopefully our treatment was an anomaly, as your own observations suggest.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 21, 2005 - 04:43pm PT
Ammon wrote "Exactly, what do you consider a bat-hook hole? They are there. Who put them in?"
A bat hook hole is a hole you drill in blank rock to place a hook. Pretty straightforward. Perhaps the definition gets tricky if the hole is at the top of narrow ledge or on a sloping shelf, but there are no such holes on WoS.

"Oh yeah… any other topo than the Donny guide? And, did you draw that one?"
Looking at Meyers/Reid guide, it looks to be our topo or an accurate adaptation. I don't think there is a better topo out there.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Nov 22, 2005 - 02:16am PT
Did Roland Arson do the "Roland's Hole Route" on Knobby Wall?

"The conflicts I remember were generally between two vocal opponents who were each promoting their own way as it had to be. One, for example, was between Roland Arsons and Jim Beyer who were both prostelitizing, loudly, about their own climbing style. It came to blows."
JIMB

Trad climber
Dec 21, 2005 - 11:19pm PT


I heard Todd Skinner is going to add some bolts via rappel and free it.
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Dec 22, 2005 - 04:42am PT
Madbolter1:
Was your Valley Name "The Madbolter"?
That name surfaces with regularity, usually in a variety of 'back in the day' stories in different contexts. I didn't climb in the '80s so I have no first hand knowledge whatsoever. But whenever I've come across that name I've always formed the image of some sort of oddball kook. I mean no offense whatsoever ... I'm just trying to put the pieces of the history together.

MSmith:
What was your Valley Name?

No matter how you slice it 39 days on the wall in and of itself sounds pretty fuçkin' rad to me!

PS: I never thought about WOS until I read this behemoth thread. I recall my first season in the Valley hearing about a wall that was 'chopped behind itself' as it was ascended. I recall being told it was done by foreigners (Italians, Eastern Europeans?) I just never cared that much at the time, I merely noted it and went about my business. Does such a route actually exist or is this 17th generation slander that was originally aimed at WOS and somehow got way off course through repeated tellings?
Btown

Mountain climber
Grand Junction, CO
Mar 13, 2011 - 12:18am PT
"I think the first thread was better than the sequel"

"John,
I concur. The dialogue was better, the characters were flushed out well, and there was a greater sense of setting. "

Awesome.
Pate

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 12:54am PT
a supertopo noob doosh comes in 5 years too late to get in on the weakest thread ever, about the weakest climb ever that was put up by the two weakest jesus freak members of the SuperTopo forum.

bwaha-friggin-ha.


this thread and the topic itself should eat sh#t and die.

justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Mar 13, 2011 - 12:59am PT
Nope Munge- you hadn't BTW ;)

Naw- I love a good WOS thread. An indelible footnote in Yosemite's history book.
treez

climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 12:59am PT
Damn, Pate. Project much?
Pate

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 01:03am PT
i don't like dumb-dumbs.


justthemaid- going by your taste in men, you're taste is..............questionable....................
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 13, 2011 - 01:04am PT
Project much?

Doesn't need to, onsights everything.
Pate

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 01:05am PT
projecting is for gyms right? pretty radical.
tooth

Trad climber
The Best Place On Earth
Mar 13, 2011 - 01:07am PT
If the crappers hadn't done their thing, had the 'locals' accepted the climb, we would have had other people accepting that it was possible in their minds, and would today have seen not only a second and third ascent but more routes along these lines...





Just like the 4-minute mile.

If someone had crapped in Roger Bannister's shoes and influenced society to think that it was no fun, bad style, or too scary to run then it could have been at least 30 years before anyone else would have seconded a 4-minute mile. Like sport/bouldering etc, people simply would have started running off-road, or uphill without fully pushing the limits of track running.
Pate

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 01:12am PT
WOS threads are like crap on this forum. Crap with nuts and corn in it.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Mar 13, 2011 - 01:15am PT
Pate- remind me again... how many wives have divorced you?
Pate

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 01:19am PT
I'm pretty sure it's 2, and the 3rd has one foot out the door.

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