Rick Piggott

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ground_up

Trad climber
mt. hood /baja
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 7, 2010 - 07:51pm PT
I learned to climb at Mt. Woodson in the mid 70's ... like most newbie high school kids I gleaned any info on "how it was done" from the older ,
more experienced climbers. One of those was Rick Piggot , my neighbor
in Poway. Piggott was one intense and interesting dude and obviously a
helluva climber. I spent my high school summers in camp 4 amidst the best
climbers of the 70's and Rick seemed to be one of them ... just curious
as it seems I rarely hear mention of him . I would be interested to hear
any stories anyone might have , or contact info.

Thanks in advance
illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 12:59am PT
Wow, what a Woodson fixture he was back in the early 80's! Rick was one of those names that most of the rumors were about in one way or the other.

Here's one:

"Did you hear about Piggot soloing Lie Detector? A photographer was supposed to record the ascent but stood him up with a no-show. Piggot soloed it anyways!"On more than one occasion I'd see him walking the road with his walkman on his hip, the headphones on his head with the Scorpions, "Hear I am, rock you like a hurricane..." screaming loud enough for me to hear clearly from fifty feet away. I can't imagine what it was like for him!

On day, he quietly appeared while we were TRing the twenty five foot problem, Go With The Flow, 5.11c, and asked, "Do you mind?" pointing up at the rock face. "Uh, not at all," I replied nervously, sincerely hoping that he wasn't implying to solo the thing (this was an example of one of the rumor's that floated up and down the mountain but few had ever witnessed).

Rick took both strands of rope off the rock, handed them to me to move them to the side, then took his position at the pyramid of cheatstones at the base of the face. He leaned his head back with his mouth slighty agape and with his small, beady, evilish looking eyes open, he shook his long, naturally kinky, mane of hair back with a quick shake from side to side. At the same time, his hands were behind his waist in his chalkbag. He would bring them forward rubbing the dust between his fingers until they were completely white.

The three of us managed a quick look at each other, dumbfounded, and turned our eyes back at what was about to transpire. The rest was poetry in motion. I don't think I saw him after he topped out. He disappeared as mysteriously as he arrived.
illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:09am PT
He did the same on Werner's Wish. This one really bothered me for some reason. It was hard to watch him, probably because how insecure it was for me!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:15am PT
hey there say, wow, illusiondweller, thanks for the profound history notes, to yet another name that i do not know yet....

oh my... :O

skills are to be honored, for sure, and a fine salute to those that have such... but even those that dont have those specific skills, or choose to walk in such, STILL have high clasic skills, in their own right, too...

and, wow, i salute you all...

but always love to hear these tales, as well...
thanks, once again...
:)

illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:16am PT
I came flying off the lip of Driving South one day, hitting the ground just as Rick appeared from around the corner. "Sorry man, you okay?" he appologized. "Ah, you didn't do anything," I said back while hanging my head. I got back on it and finished it though and received a, "Nice work" from him when I came back to get my pack. As a kid that was a pretty historical thing from "The Man"!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:20am PT
After our first El cap route (Aquarius, '82) when we sat out a storm, dropped a sleeping bag, each falls, went 24hrs w/o food or water. Rick was the guiding light who showed Colonel Sanders and I to the East ledges descent and eventual redemption.

Ten years later in Reno we renewed our aquaintenceship and ran into each other climbing at RockSport, Cave Rock and Donner Summit.

i heard he's mostly into motocross, these days. Though I haven't seen him in years.
illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:26am PT
It's funny, when searching for an "identity" as a youngster, how we magnetize toward the names that make up, or are associated with a particular sport, maybe hoping that someday we'll be like, or be as good as them. Then, as we get older we look back and realize that we all have our own story, that we are no different than those that made us wonder in awe, and that we were being watched by those around us as well.
Brian Biega

climber
Truckee, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:40am PT
Hey Ground-up-

I climbed with Rick on a regular basis in the Tahoe area for a number of years and I too would like to say hi!

Maybe Rick is around and he can share his early ascent of the Nose before cams and freeing the Stove Legs with a rack of pins and hammer. Like so many others around here I am sure.

Brian

Chief

climber
Jun 8, 2010 - 01:53am PT
Rick is the stuff of legends, obscure but significant deity in the SoCal Pantheon.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 8, 2010 - 04:39am PT
Where is Rick these days? Just wondering.

JL
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jun 8, 2010 - 04:12pm PT
He was my mentor and sometimes climbing partner from about 1971 to maybe 1978. Saw him at the first Woodson shindig for a short time in 2007 (honest bvb). I believe he is still living at or near Lake Tahoe.
REIGN 1

Social climber
if anybody can a republican
Jun 8, 2010 - 10:17pm PT
Rick is a great guy and an awesome climbing partner. I climbed with him in the late 80's and 90's. He always instilled confidence when I climbed and taught me alot. The last time I saw Rick was in Las Vegas back in 96.
Way cool dude!
potthead

Mountain climber
reno/tahoe
Jun 17, 2010 - 01:22am PT
hey everyone. stumbled across this and thought it was too good to pass up! i met rick for the first time when I was about 12 years old in the rocksport climbing gym in reno. Im 18 now, and i was just giving rick a hard time about checking into all this business. haha. for those of you who are wondering how he's doing, he's doing great. really into motorcycles and what not, but still a mountain man! anyway rick took me climbing a lot the past 6 years when he started dating my mom and i learned a ton. really chill guy. i love hearing all the old stories on here from the 70's. keep 'em coming!
REIGN 1

Social climber
if anybody can a republican
Jun 17, 2010 - 03:59am PT
Pothead, Tell Rick, Donny from woodson says hello!
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jun 17, 2010 - 08:34am PT
there was always a good Piggott story going around Camp 4. I don't think I ever met him, but he sounds like a wild man.
potthead

Mountain climber
reno/tahoe
Jun 17, 2010 - 08:51pm PT
hey donny, I told rick whats up for you:) he showed me a bunch of old climbing photos from back in the day, pretty sweet stuff
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Seriously, Man, I didn't know she was Your sister.
Jun 17, 2010 - 11:44pm PT
I've heard a choice Rick tale or two.
Sounds like my kinda guy.
I'm glad those guys choose to be about. It inspires us all.
Cheers.
Phantom X

Trad climber
Honeycomb Hideout
Jun 18, 2010 - 12:08am PT
Hey Pothead, tell Rick to get a helmetcam an post up some action.
illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 18, 2010 - 02:05am PT
Hey pothead, tell Rick he was missed at the 2010 Woodson Shindig. I was really hoping he would show. Thanks Rick for the memories.
gonamok

Trad climber
poway
Jun 18, 2010 - 08:05am PT
I bouldered with Rick quite a bit at woodson in the 80's, and found alot to admire about him. As a climber he is supremely skilled, ridiculously powerful and has no visible ego. He is a driven explorer and has a list of cutting edge, classic first ascents that few others can approach.

Piggot is about deeds rather than words, and his deeds speak for themself.
potthead

Mountain climber
reno/tahoe
Jun 19, 2010 - 11:57am PT
a helmet cam would be pretty awesome, and i'll tell him he better show at the next Woodson gathering!
REIGN 1

Social climber
Carlsbad, Ca
Jun 20, 2010 - 04:39pm PT
Potthead, tell Rick I've been racing jetskis and motocross the last ten years and just got back into climbing. Me and dan just went up snake dike for my first climb back. I'm worked. Hahaha
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Sep 25, 2010 - 08:40pm PT
RP "The Man" bump...
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Sep 25, 2010 - 09:49pm PT
Check out this photo:
Credit: Photo by Brian Biega, Rock Climbing Lake Tahoe, Carville

My Rock Climbing Lake Tahoe book calls the man in this photo "Rick Picket." Should it actually read Piggot or Piggott?

The man in this photo (after the crux of Karncave, 5.13b/c at Caverock) mentored me as well back in the day. In the gym in Reno!

If it's Piggot or Piggott, not Picket, nice to know the truth.
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Sep 25, 2010 - 09:59pm PT
Sure looks like Ric, but it's a little difficult to make a 100%/lay my money on it ID.

Ric had the same physic; tall, about 6'4"-6'6'(just guessing/i'm 6'2" and he towered over me). very slim/ripped. Always had long, black hair from the first to the last time i saw him('71-91)...and very mello personality/intense focus.

my 2pennies worth...

edit: and i always thought it was spelled Picket, as in Wilson Picket, but then, i never asked him how it was spelled.
Brian Biega

climber
Truckee, CA
Sep 25, 2010 - 11:04pm PT
Hey Footloose-

The spelling may be off there. If so, my mistake.

Hi Rick-

Hope you are well!

Cheers, Brian
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Sep 25, 2010 - 11:09pm PT
Rick's a cool dude for sure!!
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Sep 25, 2010 - 11:30pm PT
Brian, thanks for the clarification.

Hey, come on down to Woodfords Canyon, sometime,
let's climb.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Sep 26, 2010 - 12:28pm PT
It's RP for sure. Rick must be 57 now.
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Sep 26, 2010 - 01:01pm PT
Ha, ha. I think I remember you, pothead. Say hi to Rick and tell him I still climb up and down (fun strategy from Rick) as part of my workout. Happy times.

I'm at High Altitude Fitness now in Incline Village, winter season - tell him to drop by sometime for a visit.
Tahoecedar

Mountain climber
Tahoe City, CA
Dec 9, 2012 - 09:31pm PT
I have a couple of photos of Rick on summitpost.org...he was a great inspiration! That is him climbing at Cave rock in the photo, and it's spelled Piggott...not like the fence...
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Jan 9, 2013 - 02:20pm PT

Hi All, The Poway Mountaineers are planning a reunion in the Fall. Any leads on contacting Rick are surely appreciated. Thank you. -Bruce Adams
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Jan 9, 2013 - 02:52pm PT
I remember seeing Rick a lot at Woodson in the late '70s, and early '80s. My description would be similar to the one above: "mello personality, intense focus." Incredible skill demonstrated on incredibly hard problems.
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Jan 9, 2013 - 02:57pm PT

Hey Mooser! I sure liked your "Thankyou" article on your coaching page! Guess I'll even say it : Thank you! Hope Friction KIng brings you to the event! Thanks for the bump. B
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 9, 2013 - 03:49pm PT
The most awesome Piggot story I ever heard was the one story I actually heard him tell himself. The first ascent of The Last Bonus at Corte Madera. He rode in by himself on a motorcyle, soloed the FA, then rode out. Simple and direct tale of what must have been his version of an epic. I'm not sure that climb has ever been repeated after some 40 years.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/routes/North_America/United_States/California/San_Diego_County/Corte_Madera/Main_Wall_Right/Last_Bonus_42141.html

"Fall will likely kill or maim. Rated X." I like that.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 9, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
Another great story involves the brief, forced cohabitation of Piggot and Dick Cilley at my place in El Portal. Dick was dossing at our place. Piggot was coming up to see about soloing Sunkist and needed a place to crash. I told Cilley that Rick would be joining us and he muttered "Oh Golly", or words to that effect. I believe it was shortly after this experience that Dick made his famous remark about how Piggot "could fill a room with his silences."
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Jan 9, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
Thanks, brunosafari! I assume that Friction King knows of the event? I don't really qualify to show up, though, since even though I'm a Poway climber from the '70s, I was never a PMB. But I sure hope Tim goes!
ground_up

Trad climber
mt. hood /baja
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 9, 2013 - 07:35pm PT
A quick silk banana story..

AS 15/16 year olds we were at woodson as much as possible
and whenever possible would tag along with eeyonkee (Greg)
or Rick cuz they were "the guys" and they were puttin up
and could do the shiz....anyway , one day Rick tells me
I gotta check out a new one he just did....so we walk to
this "thing" ....I'm thinkin this ain't a crack , not a
mantle..what the heck is this...Rick chalks up and does
a casual lap ... my turn...now Piggott is about 6'-5" ish
and could kneebar the thing..just hiked it..me 5'-9".
didn't happen... I thought How the hell did he even think
of this thing..the guy had Vision.

I'm sure Greg has done that one , love to hear his take
on it.

Bruce, good on ya for puttin that together !
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:21pm PT
Here's my take on Silk Banana...I was closer to being President of the United States.
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:08pm PT
^^^ :-)
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:10pm PT

Rick Piggot, ZigZags, Tahquitz, ~'71
Rick Piggot, ZigZags, Tahquitz, ~'71
Credit: Brunosafari
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane ~:~
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:43am PT
I first met Rick in 1971 (my first year climbing). I had already heard of him and the PWMB's (since I lived in San Diego) and therefore readily identified him as he approached a friend and I working on some face problem at Woodson. I never really got to know him very well, but he would always stop to say hello & just the usual climbing banter that was customary. A very casual, mellow and likeable dood. It sure would be awesome to have him join the ST campfire! And as far as the PWMB's go, imho, the doods are legendary. I hope this get together is a successful one!!

edit: as far as SB goes, I have already sprayed extensively about my sending it and so forth on the "Woodson 2012" thread. Perhaps, if this thing is a go, I'll show ya all how it's done, with no kneebars (I'm not tall enough either at 6'1"). I did it as a pure undercling, and it was BRUTAL.

;)
David Wilson

climber
CA
Jan 10, 2013 - 10:23am PT
Here's my take on Silk Banana...I was closer to being President of the United States.

that's hilarious Greg
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
Splittster -- everyone does Silk Banana as an undercling. It's the only way to make progress. The whole kneebar thing is just a quick stabilizer to set up for the next few powermoves. It's not like you walk casually across on kneebars. Once you're about half way into the problem even a midget can get that dicey "kneebar." Git 'er done, slick.
F10

Trad climber
Bishop
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:03pm PT
"The most awesome Piggot story I ever heard was the one story I actually heard him tell himself. The first ascent of The Last Bonus at Corte Madera. He rode in by himself on a motorcyle, soloed the FA, then rode out. Simple and direct tale of what must have been his version of an epic. I'm not sure that climb has ever been repeated after some 40 years."

bvb thanks for the story

Years ago I backed off at the crux, looked scary as hell
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:22pm PT
Yeah, we were out at Woodson and I'd always wondered so I asked him about it. He sort of smirked and spelled the whole thing out for me in maybe 50 words. He was never one for overstatement, so I decided on the spot to never, ever get on it.
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Jan 10, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
that's good thinkin' BVB!

splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane ~:~
Jan 11, 2013 - 12:04am PT
bvb -
Everyone does Silk Banana as an undercling.
I'm aware of that Bob, it's just that the rests, which are possible with the kneebars, would seem to help since it is strenuous (to say the least). I am not discrediting the kneebar approach (when possible), in fact since I have never used it (other then that first kneebar "halfway across" which, like you said, everyone can use i suspect that you/I are referring to the same kneebar). But, it comes before the first really strenous clings & from that point continuously strenous, fatigueing undercling/it is much harder to undercling from this point on.

BTW, I have no idea how hard it is if you can do a combo of kneebar/undercling. And I have not seen anyone else do it that way (neither in person or by vid) I am just guessing/surmizing that it is easier. I have watched the vid of the 'Pullharder' boys attempting to do so at a criticle moment and failing. And I vaguely recall attempting to do so (in my initial attempts) and failing, so I resorted to the only other way possible (straight undercling).

Like I said, we stopped at SB a few times on the way back down the mountain after a day of climbing. I never got past the first few hard moves (after that initial kneebar rest that "everyone" can do). It was a good final overall workout/pump, if nothing else.

A year or two later, when I started going up a few times a week on my own, I managed to get one (1) move further than I had previously had. I then decided to focus on it.

Like someone said, "most peole try it a few times and lose interest in it."
I think that is unfortunate. Because, like i said, it is an excellent core body workout at the end of the day, if nothing else!

I am just saying that it does go as a pure undercling (no kneebars) for what it is worth. If I can manage to do it (granted, a LOT of effort & a fair amount of time was required on my part) ... ANYONE can!!!

edit: i did eventually eliminate that initial kneebar, and was also EVENTUALLY able to lap it (across & back) & then do multiple laps.

But, as far as i can recall, no one ever saw me, no one took any pics, and, for that matter, no one would have given a f*#king sh#t (back then).

And for that matter, neither did I (give a f'n sh#t about anyone else knowing). I did it for myself. isn't that what bouldering/climbing is all about (or at least was back then)? I still don't give a sh#t, but, I do feel a certain responsibility for simply "keeping things real" generally speaking. Perhaps I should have just left it as it was. BUT, some people started spraying that it was a piece of cake (or whatever) and I feel otherwise, and therefore took action/said something! Wudevah ... !

baba long

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, CA
Jan 11, 2013 - 12:15am PT
Climbed and belayed Rick one winter In J Tree. A Zen master in terms of climbing and life. It's in the details of what is happening. Don't think he ever lost sight of that. Thanks Rick!
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Jan 11, 2013 - 01:04am PT
Ground_Up, credit for this killer event goes to Duke #1, David Goeddel.

Mooser- If Friction King doesn't dust off his EB's his position is "up-for-grabs."

I remember Rick showing me slick banana, right on the ground, ha. I filed it under "never." I told him, "weird."




bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 11, 2013 - 01:27am PT
Really? The Insulin/Genentech guy?!
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane ~:~
Jan 11, 2013 - 02:28am PT
Didn't the PWMB's have some rivalry /one upmanship going at Suicide/Tahquitz with the Santa Monica Moutaineers, seems as though I recall some good natured bantering going on between them on a few occasions?
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Jan 11, 2013 - 11:10am PT
BVB "The insulin guy" and the Goeddel's Move guy are one and the same. He and Dennis Adams began the Poway mountaineers about 1966. Yea Splitter, the Buffers and Dukes had laughs, especially on the Poway side. Ha ha!

Notable Buffer, Dave Black, and I teamed up and climbed the Lost Arrow Direct in '71- He must of been a new college student and I was still 16. I still have to show him some of the pictures. oops

Dave (edit )Goeddel, climbed the Nose with Rick later the same year. Rick was still pretty inexperienced and had no big wall experience at all. He unexpectedly led his pitch in the Stovelegs entirely free, according to Dave, with no rests at all and with the entire wall rack of bongbongs and big angles swinging from his neck, twenty or thirty pounds I guess.
Phantom X

Trad climber
Honeycomb Hideout
Jan 11, 2013 - 09:03pm PT
I have a seldom told Piggott story. This may sound fantastic but I swear it's true. I can't even remember exactly when, I think it was the summer of 1970. I was with a high school summer school class that had spent two weeks in the Sierra backpacking and climbing. I was a very handsome freshman and Rick was a grown senior. On the return trip home I sat by Rick, he had a window seat and was pretty content to be viewing the east side view of the Sierra when I, being very observant, noticed that in the two weeks that we were roughing it that Rick had grown a pretty decent five o'clock shadow. At the time there were many great shaving cream commercials, I can't remember which one but I started singing it and was cracking myself up when he turned and gave me a funny look. I could tell he really liked it and so I pointed out that he had grown a beard. Without saying anything Rick reaches over and with his fingernails grabs the ever so delicate tiniest strand of peach fuzz from my boyish chin and pulls it. Yiyiyi-yiyi!!! It was very, very painful. Those days I was also somewhat resilient and went on to whistle a couple more commercial tunes while Rick surpressed his happiness.
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Jan 12, 2013 - 12:21am PT

I knew Colin, Rick's brother, before I knew Rick. We played trumpet in the fourth grade band. Colin was a pretty scrappy kid. For a long time I thought freckles had something to do with it.


Has Anyone Seen This Man?  Contact Brunosafari!!!
Has Anyone Seen This Man? Contact Brunosafari!!!
Credit: Brunosafari
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 12, 2013 - 12:56am PT
Piggot had family? Swear to got I thought he'd been raised by Wolves. Or Sasqatch.
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Jan 12, 2013 - 01:56am PT
Yea Bob, Colin, Duke #11, began climbing at the same time Rick did. Rick could blend into the bush alright, but actually he was raised by a very sweet mother.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 12, 2013 - 08:12am PT
Rick always did like you best Phantom X. All I ever got was the Clint Eastwood glare - which I'm not complaining about.

On a completely different topic, if Dennis Sullivan is out there in cyberland, he's also invited to this gig, so send your number or email.
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Sep 10, 2013 - 11:51am PT

Hello Supertopo! Thank you for bearing with me while I bump this thread today. We are still trying to Locate Rick, or his brother Colin, to let him know about The Poway Mountaineers Reunion, Fall of 2014 in Yosemite.

If any of you super rad climbers know anything at all which might help us find him The Poway Mountaineers would be Mega grateful!!!!

Thank You!

brunosafari@gmail.com



Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Sep 10, 2013 - 07:46pm PT
Another bump for optimism.
Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Sep 11, 2013 - 08:38am PT
I'm bumping this again so some East Coast morning sippers can look for Rick today. Possible rumor he is located on the Southern Seaboard.

Rick is mason by trade by the way, somewhat itinerate, matching his climbing and motocross lifestyle perhaps. Thanks again all.

Tall, freckled, tough inside and out, kind hearted, but you didn't hear it from me.

MUST FIND RICK PIGGOTT! had to shout - east coast is a long ways away. Txks All, Bruce
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