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TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Nov 2, 2005 - 11:13am PT
Nice recovery.
eastsidedirtbag@hotmail.com

climber
Mammoth Lakes,CA
Nov 2, 2005 - 05:48pm PT
The ability to push wide cams ahead of yourself makes them, at least in my cowardly and whipper-avoidant mind, far superior to tube chocks.
dmitry

Trad climber
Chita, Russia
Nov 2, 2005 - 05:55pm PT
I am in the Big Bros suck camp.
Not a reassuring piece of gear: very insecure placements.

They mostly just suck the money out of your wallet.

Cheers,
d
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Nov 2, 2005 - 06:11pm PT
Glad I didn't pay for mine. Least I got my money's worth.
dmitry

Trad climber
Chita, Russia
Nov 2, 2005 - 06:22pm PT
Just my honest opinion, Jay.
Cheers,
d
dmitry

Trad climber
Chita, Russia
Nov 2, 2005 - 06:26pm PT
I would be at a good stance, really wanting to work in a piece, struggling with a Bro for 5 minutes and then finally giving up and just running it out. What am I missing, Jay?
Watusi

Social climber
Joshua Tree, CA
Nov 3, 2005 - 12:04pm PT
Tube chocks Rocked!! I remember a super placement for one on "The Castaways" Roof at Josh, and it was a 7" bottleneck and only a Tube would stay in! I just had to give it a good kick to set it as I was passing it to prevent rope movement from dislodging it!!
LongAgo

Trad climber
Nov 5, 2005 - 02:07pm PT
Ibeams held a couple of my slithering falls. Less bulky than tubes. However, I always wondered if they would stab me to death in a big tumbler.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Nov 5, 2005 - 03:00pm PT
Dmitry, Droog
I'm not a big fan of bigbros (bolshoye brati?) either. they work best in parrallel sided palcements, but I'm not usually patient enough to place them unless I feel I REALLY need one. I prefer the runout or the cam-slide. I have placed them and felt they would catch me, though.(only weighted them experimentaly, though, never a whipper.
I press the none trigger end against the rock, press the button and let the other sidecontact the other end of the gap, fiddle to satsifaction and crank down the ring. Some placements are way better than others.
couple of routes @ Patterson flake area they are good for, though.
Do you know of a free Cyrillic codex that works on OSX?
WoodyS

Trad climber
Riverside
Nov 5, 2005 - 04:34pm PT
I own one Big Bro, and I'll never buy another. I wandered around one morning in JT trying to set it in various cracks so I was satisfied that it would hold a fall. I never could.
ChrisW

Trad climber
boulder, co
Nov 5, 2005 - 11:11pm PT
Tube Chocks are good. (Not BigBros) I brought a set from a grad student at CU my second year of climbing. He handed them over to me and said with a big grin..."Have fun". They work great in Sandstone and smooth rock. They seem not as solid in granite that have big crystals in it. I Have never actually tested this observation. I prefer the "Human Chockstone" method in offwiths anyways.

It takes a whole different attitude towards climbing for me to battle offwiths. The more you struggle and get upset and curse the more punishment the crack gives you. Gotta almost meditate and of course levitate to get up those wide things. Breathing slow and moving slow and only a little bit at a time seems to work.
ChrisW

Trad climber
boulder, co
Nov 5, 2005 - 11:15pm PT
I guess any crack thats Parallel and not flaring They work good in. Maybe, a Offset Bigbro will go on the market sometime in the future? When all the young boulders get into the new in thing and start climbing offwiths.....Yeah right.....
Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
Nov 5, 2005 - 11:53pm PT
"Since then it's been evolutionary, not revolutionary. "

As in,

Natural Selection.

Big Bros work.

But not in Josh. Too flared.

Used two on a lead just last month.

Brutus

Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 6, 2005 - 02:55pm PT
RE: Sky.
This was one of my last projects; it’s fun that you are talking about it! We were the first to work on it, 1973-74, one day only. It is accessed via rap from the top of Elephant.

It was two short pitches. I onsighted the first pitch, a ferocious 5”-7” (varying), offwidth, perhaps 5.11c-d? It turned out to be harder than Basketcase’s crux. The last pitch was this (pictured) 4” crack with a slightly granular edge. The main wall overhung perhaps 15 degrees; the book wall must have been 25-35 degrees. The section was about 20-25ft long, to easy rock and the top. I tried to offwidth this last part, but at 4”-4.5”, and so very overhanging doubly, I couldn’t get it. I showed it to Dale B., and I think he soon named it Sky (before the FA) since it was so overhanging, and so high up on Elephant. A few days later we had dinner at the Four Seasons, our name on the wait list, “Sky, party of two”.

Hell-bent-for-leather liebacking was the solution, and that is how it was eventually climbed two years or so later. Protecting on lead by this approach was of course a huge issue.... I heard they had rehearsed it---it would have been easy since you rap the route to get to it. I don’t know; ask Ron. Yes and Ray knew about it apparently also; he had been studying Elephant for a couple of years by that point. There are some more projects like this in the Valley still, too.
Roger Breedlove

Trad climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 6, 2005 - 03:34pm PT
Hi Peter. It has been a long time since I have heard your 'voice.' The last time may have been when you dragged me up 'Secret Storm,' (1970, I think) behind Camp Four--my first off-width.

Nice bit of historical perspective on Sky. (I never tried it.)

Welcome to ST. I think that you know some of the folks who post here occasionally, although most a bit younger.

All the best, Roger
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 6, 2005 - 07:43pm PT
Hi Rog and Kath,

Thanks for the hellos. Living in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, still contracting. Not climbing much, but reading ST. Great to hear from both of you, and thanks Kath for the url, I had lost it. Hope all is well.

Roger, I do remember that Secret Storm ascent; that was the FA. We had fun.

It derived its name from Fredericks' wonderful, much classier, harder, earlier climb next to it: Edge of Night. Buddhist Chris hadn't been near a TV in decades probably. So I had to explain that since his romantic, evocative climb name was also the title of a big soap opera in the sixties we had followed suit with Secret Storm, another one. Klemens thought this one up; he has always been incredibly good at poking fun at stuff. Chris was scandalized, and pleaded the case of getting up his route just at the "edge of night" and that he had not named his baby after a TV show. It had been a severe epic for him, and for years it was thought of as one of the really serious offwidths, kind of a test piece. Perhaps Chris' one of his most important free leads on his own.

Did you know that I did Secret Storm several more times in the 70's and 80's, the last time with Russ McLean? Most interestingly, I rescued Eric Schoen's little brother on it with Werner, about 1975 in summer I think. While on lead Schoen had allowed himself to drop down a bit at the crux in the offwidth narrows, and had nutted his knee in there perhaps 50 feet above the ground and his belayer. That was a clear hazard most leaders would have immediately sensed as they entered that section. To make matters even funnier and radically embarassing for his young self, he had developed during his struggles, a huge rip in his pants at the crotch with nothing else on underneath, kind of suddenly climbing an offwidth nude! Needless to say, I got right below him while on lead; then he could stand on my outside shoulder human-pyramid-style, lift himself out of there then continue up to the anchors. He was just fine, though really blown out. They had been screaming for help for quite some time. Fortunately it was not with night approaching. Going into that situation, Werner and I were quite serious, ran up the damn talus from Camp and everything, having no info at all on what was really going on.

best to you, PH
loads

Trad climber
Phoenix AZ.
Nov 6, 2005 - 07:58pm PT

Yep they were great...
WBraun

climber
Nov 6, 2005 - 08:06pm PT
Hello Peter good to hear from you again. It's been a long time. That incident on Secret Storm was funny. I just ate a big bowl of spaghetti when we ran up there. I think Pete Livesly was there too? He went to the top as I remember.

I never forget all those days we listen to your stereo in your VW Van, Cream, Hendrix, and real LOUD!

Thanks for all the great days back then and teaching me how to climb.

Best Werner
Roger Breedlove

Trad climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 6, 2005 - 09:15pm PT
Hey Peter:

That is a great story about Schoen’s little brother. The imagery of you climbing up and getting him to stand on your shoulder with his private parts exposed is too funny. Somehow it seems so typical of off-widths. It would make a good scene in ‘the’ Yosemite movie.

I didn’t know that “Edge of Night” was not named after the soaps nor did I know Mark named ‘Secret Storm.” I absolutely agree with you on Mark’s route naming abilities—I don’t know which he is responsible for but—“Quickie quizzes,” “Final Exam,”--about as far away from the entrance as you can get--(“Application” by Barry and you is great also) “Bongs Away,” “Cartwheel,” “Gripper,” “Cream,” “Jam Session,” “Narrow Escape” are all classic.

With “Secret Storm” and “General Hospital,” Chris must have felt like serious climbing was going to hell in a hand basket. Although he did name another of his routes on the Camp Four wall Doggie Do. (BTW, have you seen Chris lately?)

I am not so sure that I would classify my seconding you on the FA of “Secret Strom” as fun. I had never been on an off width up to that point that I could not reach past or stem or face climb around. Also,it was one of my first 5.10 climbs. I had no technique and remember some exhausting thrashing. You were very patient. Eventually, I figured out how to do them, and enjoyed my subsequent ascents of “Secret Storm.”

When George was writing his first guide he asked me to look over the routes that I had been party to. He had ‘Secret Storm’ rated 5.8 or 5.9. I thought it was just a sandbag and told him so. He protested that the chimney was only 5.8 or 5.9 and seemed sincere. I said, “Come on, George, there is a hard section getting into the chimney—it is hard to get into to it and it is easy to get stuck.” George sort of had a blank look on his face—we were very good friends and knew each other’s modes of reacting—so I gave some more description of the section. Then the light went on—and he exclaimed, “Oh, yeah, that’s 5.10, for sure.”

ST can be a fun place not to climb. We trade stories—some of which are undoubtedly true--and sometimes interesting tidbits come out—Werner has lots of them. So do John Long and Kath. Lately, more of the old crowd has shown up. Tom Higgins has posted a bit recently. I hope Tom sticks around. And, I always encourage everyone to join in. At its best, it is like an evening around a camp fire in the Valley. It is starting to feel like a multi-gererational community.

It is also pretty neat to get to ‘meet’ climbers who came after I let the Valley, mostly folks I know about only by what I have read. Obviously a lot has changed since the 1970s and it is interesting to hear people’s views in the first person.

I hope all is well with you. Great to hear from you.

All the best, Roger
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Nov 6, 2005 - 10:40pm PT
Great to hear some history of those climbs. Edge of Night was my first foray into 10c ow back as a wee sprout (I can still feel the moves twenty odd years later); two weeks after seceret storm. thanks for the stories and the routes.

I always figured someone had been watching TV with my mom.
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