Generator Crack


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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 16, 2005 - 03:53am PT
A few Sundays ago Gary, Aaron and I were finishing up the day beating ourselves up on Generator Crack, trying to become masters of the wide. We pulled into the power station driveway and there looked to be quite a crowd. Anyway, we took a peek around the corner and there was no one around! Strange, but we felt lucky and put a rope on it, lucky us.

Aaron went first and got a very good workout... his first time grappling in that slot, trying to unlock the secrets.

Next was Gary, who has got the middle to top sections pretty well down by now. While Gary was inching his way up a young woman came round looking for her friends, "no one around when we got here" and off she went. A bit later she returns with her gear, "couldn't find anyone", "would you like a ride?" and she said yes.

In the conversation that took place while Gary was finishing up, we learn that Lisa had only been on Generator Crack once and that she felt it was very strenuous. Gary gets lowered and Lisa ties in. Part of her prep is to shed her pull over and pull on her mocassins... not the "standard" offwidth equipment. Then she ascends... not fast but in great control. The whole pitch. Some where in the first third she is resting and states "gee, this is strenuous", but she isn't out of breath, she isn't sweating, indeed, she doesn't seem to be working very hard at all. Lisa is making this look very straightfoward and easy.

Quite an inspiration!

I was next and she watched until I came out the first time, then she had to leave... her friends, who had found us in the meantime, where off to Crimson Cringe and she was psyched to do that. Off she went...

If anyone knows her she might want to look at the pictures and arrange to get some copies from me...


Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Nov 16, 2005 - 11:02am PT

You will likely never find Lisa, as it seems that you have encountered the "generator crack angel". You lucky soul, it is a rare appearance, indeed.

She is the maifestation of the tortured soul every young climber girl who has been taken to the base of the Generator Crack by some dude who has toproped it into submission (nothing wrong with that) over four grueling years and then brings his "young miss" to see him at his finest. He then pretends to go for the onsight.

Next, of course, he cheritably offers her "a ride", just to show what a burly manly man he is because, like, the climb is so hard.

Anyway. I'm surprised she showed up in photos at all. Usually we just see a rope and a locking caribiner dangling in the crack.

So nice shots.


Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 16, 2005 - 11:18am PT
possibly so, but instead of wings she drives a Subaru stationwagon with Utah plates and is, by her own account, hanging out in the Valley ("until the weather changes").

But you may be correct... on our account (and I am being a bit defensive here):

1) a better description of Gary is "grizzled" and of me "Jerry Garcia teddy bear", not burly;

2) we are the submitted, Generator Crack has resisted our attempts to send it clean and has scraped more than a pound of flesh from each of us in the proceess (I know, a gross image, but I started taping my ankles because my partners objected to climbing up in my blood);

3) I offered Lisa a ride before me in the hopes she would depart before seeing just how un-elegant my technique is in it, I was in no rush to get on the bastard, however, and this indicates your angelic hypothesis may have some legs, she stayed for my attempt and actually shouted encouragement as I musculed my way up the bottom part of the crack, and only left after my fall (not from grace for sure, my feet stuck, her parting encouraging words: "great foot jams Ed!").

I do feel lucky to have got the pix though... and if anyone sees her about the Valley, I'd be happy to give her copies.

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Nov 16, 2005 - 01:49pm PT
Hard to disagree with Kate, but I believe hers is a very nice fairy story. If Lisa where an angel, her wings would be pretty apparent in the two photos.

The kind words for Ed before her departure suggest very strongly that the apparition in question is the goddess of off-widths. I am sure if Ed posts the pictures in an appropriately reverent location in his home, his crack climbing will surely improve. With sufficient and frequent practice and continued humility, there is surely a good chance that he will soon meet this goddess again.

Oh, and Ed, you did not mention that you had her sign the normal model release before her departure. Of course, if she is in fact a goddess, that does not matter, since she has no legal rights.

Social climber
The West
Nov 16, 2005 - 02:57pm PT
sigh, the offwidth angel, I've searched for her, my whole adult life.

Trad climber
Nov 16, 2005 - 03:27pm PT
hehe, that ain't no angel, just another rat. the faded red shoes are a dead giveaway.

not only are they dangerous on off-widths, but beware the invitation to ". . take a lap on this great hand crack" especially if you're in indian creek and she's not wearing tape.

Social climber
The West
Nov 16, 2005 - 04:12pm PT
"". . take a lap on this great hand crack" especially if you're in indian creek and she's not wearing tape.""

People use tape in handcracks in Indian Creek?

Trad climber
Nov 16, 2005 - 04:17pm PT
people use tape on face climbs in indian creek. you're not even allowed to camp in the bridger jacks anymore w/ out tape gloves on, they've got a LEO and everything

Social climber
The West
Nov 16, 2005 - 04:22pm PT
Damn rangers

My scar tissue thanks GAWD I never camped at bridger Jack.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2005 - 12:14am PT
TIS - no commercial interest - however, if I ever do communicate with Lisa and she doesn't want to have her image public I will certainly comply.

Schmutz - to quote Leonard Cohen from Sisters of Mercy

"And you won’t make me jealous
If I hear that they sweeten your night
We weren’t lovers like that
And besides it would still be all right"

All I needed out of our encounter was the inspiration to send the crack in the same style as she did... she was good.

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Nov 17, 2005 - 09:20am PT
So how tall is Generator Crack? I did it once in the early eighties, and have no recollection even though I still consider it my proudest highball send. Thanks.

Nov 17, 2005 - 11:13am PT
That is just one of the Generator Crack Angels. I climbed Generator Crack with another one. Then went home with her, well ok I tried. She sent me on my way. So I stalked her untill her will weakened. She made me a beautiful dinner last night. She is mine now and you cannot have her. PPPHHHHHHTTTTTTT.
That is all. Have a nice day.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2008 - 02:11am PT
bump for WideWednesday™ chatter....

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 18, 2008 - 02:21am PT
hahaha, didn't see the mynameismud post before. too funny

good bump
Trusty Rusty

Social climber
Tahoe area
Jan 18, 2008 - 02:59am PT
Women Ninja the generator crack and dudes thrutch & punch the anchor. I don't know how much blood you shed in there, but each time I've topped out, I coulda starred in any Sam Pekinpaw film.

The mysterious budding porn star is gone Ed, she's bunking with Jon Krakauer somewhere in Port Alexander. I hear their writing a new crime novel based on the Laci Peterson murder. Who knows, maybe John Travolta will direct it?

Crestline CA
Jan 18, 2008 - 10:53am PT
Yeah good stuff.. I climbed it back in 71 when it was rated 5.9 and it was pretty stout for the grade... seemed that doing it in the RR blue boots made it even more fun... of course that was 60 less pounds and many years ago! Don't think I will be going back.....

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 18, 2008 - 11:39am PT
I tried it once or twice in 1970, and concluded that I would need several pints of plasma on hand right there at ground level in order to make it back to Camp 4. I don't think a full King Tut tape job would've spared me.

I'd like to plead EFI (Eastern Face-climbing Ignorance), but unfortunately I was in the presence of, well, not exactly a crack angel, but the next best thing (from a climbing perspective, mind you): Peter Hahn, who was kind enough, after demonstrating just how easy the whole thing is, to lavish praise on my "sophisticated" (meaning ineffective) footwork and "creative" (meaning wrongheaded) body positions.

Oh, I know, it was those damn Robbins Shoes...

susan peplow

Jan 18, 2008 - 12:37pm PT
Cute blonde dusts up WideCrack Rock Stars like Hartouni wearing a sports bra and moccasins.

Normally I'd claim Urban Legend, but there are the photos! Good on ya Lisa the Angle of GC.

Nice report. As for her not being cold...hard to get cold while doing the W I D E.


Social climber
A prison of my own creation
Jan 18, 2008 - 12:39pm PT
Still cant get up that frickin thing. I'm gonna blame something, just give me a minute to come up with it.

Never saw any angels myself, just sweaty bleeding self. But maybe I wasnt looking hard enough!

Recently unshackled climber
the Gunks end of the country
Jan 18, 2008 - 12:42pm PT
Sports bra. check. Moccasins. ok, better eye for shoes.

Cute? Ed said "young".

But what do we see in the picture to support cute?

uh huh. OK.
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