Wings of Steel (continued)

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healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2005 - 01:46pm 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 - 01:52pm 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 - 02:32pm 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 - 02:47pm 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 - 03:03pm 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 - 03:10pm PT
Did you use the sh#t ropes?
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2005 - 03:38pm 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 - 03:57pm PT
I'll take that as a yes...
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Nov 2, 2005 - 04:26pm 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 - 06:59pm 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 - 07:17pm 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 - 07:24pm 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 - 07:33pm PT
2nd nomination for Route Name: Ropes of Sh#t!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 2, 2005 - 07:45pm 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 - 07:48pm 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 2, 2005 - 10:02pm 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 2, 2005 - 11:42pm 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 - 05:19am 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 - 07:26am 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 - 07:37am PT
Could the Great Slab be free climbed with modern sport tactics?

DMT
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