more on obscurity

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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 13, 2005 - 02:28pm PT
Last weekend (11/5&6/05) I was out with my favorite Obscurista doing a route on Parkline Slabs... and on a low energy Sunday at Reed's... "Andy's Inferno" which is a sandbag 5.7 not in any guide book since Roper's.

Andy's Inferno pg. 52

I, 5.7. Sheridan Anderson and others, 1964. This route lies on the east
side of a block which is located almost directly above the westernmost of
the two short tunnels near Reed Pinacle. Seen from the road below the Iota,
the route is clear and involves a right-curving crack. After two short pitches
in the crack, climb a right-facing open book (5.7).


This is a climb which is in plain sight from the Reed's pullout... yet no one seems to have done it (recently... I know of only one party, and I was up with one of them). I led and failed ot pull the crux, which is "sort of" an offwidth. From what I have heard about Sheridan Anderson, it is an unlikely FA.. so my guess is that and others played a larger role in the FA then would be indicated... also, I think the rating is sandbagged, but I'm just getting back into Valley climbing after a glorious summer in Tuolumne Meadows... and I ain't proud.

Anyone done it?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 13, 2005 - 02:34pm PT
OK, more on the obscurity rating

first mention: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=42866#msg42869

in that thread coiler states: I cant take all the credit for the Obscurity scale. It was started about 6 years ago with Ben "Benwa" Zartman, Jay"Shaggy" Selvidge, Brian "Mr. Way" Knight and myself. We were all on the quest to find the least traveled routes. the scale worked something like this:

O0 being routes that are in the guidebook,usualy right next to something that gets done too much, like "Lemon" at sunnyside bench. It's the route you do when the old classic is crowded.

O1 is the route at the cliff thats in the guidebook but nobody does, like, "inner reaches".

O2 it's in the guide book and it still never gets done, I mean never. A good example of O2 is "Alley cat" on middle cathedral.

O3, it's in the guidebook still, but nobody knows much about it, but Tucker Tech has done it; ex:"Phantom Pinnacle", or the "Flakes" on middle cathedral.

O4 routes, they aren't in the guidebook but it's on the obscurist's tick list ,like "Via Aqua" or "church Tower".

O5 routes, Little is know, but the consensus among obscurist's is that it IS there. Record shows there have been ascents. an O5 could be something like, "Spireview point" or Pohono pinnacle".

O6 is getting tricky, It's definately not in the guidebook, and little is known about it. No know ascents among the Obscurists' circuit, "Willow th'-whisp" is a great example of this. Lynea Anderson and I have made several forays into the area of obscurity looking for it. Still we've never found it.

O7 like I said is a route that doesn't exist anymore or maybe never did. Like "promulgated pinnacle" (which fell over in '98) or "Werner's Crack" which fell off in '97.


In that same thread, Karl Baba adds a "quality rating" Q followed by a number of stars....

My obscurity rating for Andy's Inferno would be O2 Q*, it will be down rated once it cleans up (the GI Joe on-your-belly-elbow crawl is priceless, especially in the lichen).

k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Nov 13, 2005 - 04:13pm PT
Obscurity Scale, that's great.

The Reid guide can be helpful weeding these out--it lists all the know first ascents, I believe, even if they're not otherwise in the guide.

Take, for example, Cascase Crack, FA listed as "Unknown, early 1970s".

We know it's there, but now the trick is to find it!

:- k
scuffy b

climber
S Cruz
Nov 14, 2005 - 11:48am PT
I watched a couple friends climb Andy's Inferno
in 1973. I (slightly injured) scrambled around
and met them at the top. There was a summit
register with an original Sheridan illustration.
I hope you found it and signed in.
steve m
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2005 - 11:51am PT
holy shizzle... I didn't think to look... now I have to do that bastard again!
cintune

climber
Nov 14, 2005 - 11:55am PT
This is a great thread title.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 14, 2005 - 12:10pm PT
Gotta say, Sheridan was a pretty good illustrator/artist in my opinion. I enjoyed his work. Wonder what he is up to?
scuffy b

climber
S Cruz
Nov 14, 2005 - 03:22pm PT
Unfortunately, Patrick, like a few others you've asked about,
Sheridan is deceased. A lot of us wonder what he is up to.
Sorry.
steve m
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Nov 14, 2005 - 04:04pm PT
If there is an original Anderson drawing in a can down at Reed's(highly unlikely at this late date), someone should remove it and donate it to whoever is working on the climber's museum before it ends up in a private collection.

If you get an urge to start fly fishing, check out Anderson's Curtis Creek Manifesto.
scuffy b

climber
S Cruz
Nov 14, 2005 - 04:15pm PT
Well, it's actually a pretty obscure location.
Something like a peanut butter jar as I recall.
Sheridan as devil.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Dec 7, 2005 - 01:43am PT
Coiler or Ben,

If you're still reading this stuff...

I don't understand the nuances that seperate O2 and O3. Is it that one is likely to have passed Alley Cat without intending to climb it that it's merely O2?

And at 07, is any distinction made between climbs that were popular before they disappeared and those that were obscure and have since falled off.

What about climbs, former classics or obscurities, that probably still exist although perhaps in a state that has been altered by catastrophic rock fall with no reported post-catastrophe ascents?

It's all so complicated...
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Dec 7, 2005 - 08:19am PT
Did Werner Heisenberg originate the obscurity rating?
Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Dec 7, 2005 - 08:25am PT
If an obscurity is observed, or even known of, it is by definition less obscure. I think the Obscurity Principle states this. It's one of Heisenberg's lesser-known (ahem, obscure) ideas.
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Dec 7, 2005 - 08:38am PT
Thought so. I think it was something like ΔO ΔF ≤ h,
where O is obscurity and F is frequency of climbs per unit time. Just do not remember for sure what h is here though.

There is a management one too. Measuring a performance metric of a working population disturbs the measurement in such a way that over a short period of time all measurements equilibrate at the value desired by management. Its corollary - the belief in the accuracy of the measurement is inversely proportional to the height in the management heirarchy.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2005 - 11:13am PT
this is the year of Physics... the 100th anniversary of Einstein's annus mirabilis

so a more appropriate principal:

The Principle of Dilbert Equivalence:
at every management level in an arbitrary organization it is possible
to choose a “locally inertial management system” such that, within a
sufficiently small region of the organizational chart, a particular manager
believes that he/she is Dilbert.


Because management is a quantum theory, there are implications of having a quantum theory of management gravity... I'll be looking forward to an invitation to pick up an IgNobel prize next year...
ablegabel

Trad climber
Livermore,Ca.
Dec 7, 2005 - 11:59pm PT
When your ready Ed, I've got some obscuritys for you!
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Dec 8, 2005 - 06:19am PT
Ed, that is really old school. Management is a part of chaos theory. But those prizes are handed out so far after the fact, you probably are still in the running.
lucho

Trad climber
San Francisco
Dec 9, 2005 - 12:39am PT
Ablegabel? You are the master of obscurities! Wow, I cant believe you're even on supertacos.
ablegabel

Trad climber
Livermore,Ca.
Dec 9, 2005 - 02:37pm PT
Lucho,good to hear from you.Sorry to hear you've got a broken bone.What did you do? As far as me being on ST, I'm just keeping an eye on the rest of the world from the underground...New Obscuritys,coming soon !!!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 9, 2005 - 04:06pm PT
I am willing and able, Gabel, to embark on any production of obscure routes...

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