Offwidth tips and The Twilight Zone

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 195 of total 195 in this topic
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 11, 2005 - 07:29pm PT
Hi wade et al

There is no road to the Twilight Zone, for most climbers. It is a sophisticated 5.10D offwidth with some significant perils. Even with modern wide protection techniques, it is likely to command the full attention of any climber regardless of level. I did the fourth ascent of this route in 1971, and know it well. It is 3 pitches. It enjoys a unique place in the history of Yosemite free climbing.

There is a sharp guillotine flake in the vicinity of the belay for the crux, so as you are climbing it, your prospect is maybe landing on the thing at speed. I think Pratt said the worst thing that could happen to you on the crux is that you would live. It is quite continuous, but if you don’t get tunnel vision---many miss these--- you will see crucial edges for your right foot that intermittently help you develop a lot of pressure against the book with your back; you are left side in and your left knee is fitting in the crack some or most of the time. There are better sections than others. The crux narrows, and for me it became sort of fists/forearm jams for a few moves, and is overhanging. Fortunately the rock is quite good and the crack has a defined edge. And in general, it does not look real friendly; it’s a hard climb in a scary place.

We used to do it with a couple of bongs, one at the little pod and one in the overhanging crux, which we had to climb over while doing the hardest moves. The last pitch by the way is serious also; there have been some wild falls on the surprise lieback!

You have to be in superior cardiovascular shape to climb offwidths of this sort, and have an awfully powerful core, as it is mostly counterforce climbing with few if any real holds in the usual sense and rests that are hardly that for most climbers. I think everyone is of the opinion that it is Pratt’s most important offwidth.

Advice:
Do Generator crack many times (TR) using both left side and right side in approaches, get to the point that it is easy, almost so you feel you could unrope it---we sure did. As Karl said, you can toprope Chingando, but it is a gross, granular thing that is not likely to encourage you to return often. Develop a list of ascending difficulty of the following climbs: Pharoah’s Beard; Secret Storm; Moby Dick left; Rixons East chimney; Cookie Center; do Ahab a few times; Edge of Night; Absolutely Free right; Peter Pan; Peter Left (first pitch is offwidth); Slack left side; worst error both sides; Hourglass right; Narrow Escape; Crack of Despair; Crack of Doom; Lost Arrow Chimney. If you can do these reasonably well and still want to do TZ, you are ready. Offwidths equal to or harder than TZ are: Steppin out, Cream; Basketcase; Hourglass left; the first section/pitch of Sky (TRable), for example. I would recommend Basketcase as the finest offwidth climb I have ever done, and it is actually safe. Its crux is surprising too, insanely smooth and clean. It just has a big approach.

Other tips: wear about half an ace bandage on each of your knees, under your pants. Tie in long or in such a way you can shift your knot from in front of you (various schemes like old fashioned swamis which were just wraps of webbing around the waist). Harnesses don’t work in squeeze/offwidth climbs, especially with gear loops. Don’t climb it with shoes that are not stiff enough to do oblique heel&toe and edging with real power. You have to wear a tight long-sleeved turtleneck type of shirt. I recommend fairly loose cotton pants that have some friction and structure, but not too much, and with little bulk. In climbing offwidths, many make the mistake of trying to move upward either too quickly or with upward movements that are too large each. There is usually a very delicate balance of friction and freedom that you have to monitor very very carefully. With too much friction and pressure, you can’t move or will exhaust yourself to the point of failure. With too little friction, you will come flying out of there. So the challenge is to set up systems of pivots and pressure points that can be caterpillar-style released and set as you make maybe only 1/2”” movements towards the top of the pitch. Be happy with these tiny moves---they are all you can do in the circumstances. This is counterforce climbing and requires lots of practice to work as second nature while you are in these big cracks with yourself essentially really in the way.
Best PH
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 11, 2005 - 08:54pm PT
Peter, Absolutely Free, Right has an R/X gear rating... and Roper's guide is dramatic:
"From the yellow patch of the left side route, climb a terrifying, overhanging flake for a pitch. Walk down and right 40 feet to a tree at the base of a long, curving chimney visible from the road. The chimney soon turns into a 5.10 jamcrack. Belay at its top, below the roof. The next lead (5.9) turns two roofs on the right..."

I have never talked to anyone who has done it... what's it like? do you remember?
Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
Dec 11, 2005 - 09:50pm PT
Glad Peter mentioned Slack Left. Shorter and easier, but definitely similar climbing.

A TR of the first two pitches for your enjoyment.

TWILIGHT ZONE 5.10d
August 5, 1994
Paul Jacobs and Bruce Bindner

"This year's crop of kisses is not for me... for
I'm still wearin' last year's love...." (Billie
Holiday)

Sport climbing is the rage. Most folks I know
spiel a rap about crimpers, side-pulls, drop-knees,
dead-points, even figure-fours. As I tie into the
rope at the base of Cookie Cliff in Yosemite, I
reflect that one of my few loves has always been wide
crack climbing. It's difficult to find partners for
cracks where one wears padding similar to that of a
Hockey Goalie, and the most elegant movement is a
strenuous, desperate thrash.

Oak tree ants run a highway from branch to
granite, fascinating me, while above, Paul Jacobs
negotiates an overhanging, loose hand crack. "Watch
me!" floats down.

"No problem. I got you." I glance momentarily up
to where Paul is light years away from his last
protection, one foot swinging a barn-door arc in the
shadowed evening air. No problem. He'll handle it,
somehow. He always does. (I hope.)

The ants are unconcerned, furiously transporting
the last segments of a dismembered beetle across the
rock. Most of the beetle is gone when "Off Belay"
echoes down from above.

I sigh and heave another full rack of huge
protection onto my shoulder. Above Paul, the fissure
widens obscenely to just under body-width. No body
part will fit. At least, I reflect, this monster
won't be loose and grim like Instant Espresso two
weeks ago. I still bear the scars on my forearms
from the roof on that climb.

Paul's pitch is a signpost to the void. At one
point, my foot peels away from the rock and I barn-
door out of the corner, hanging only by jammed hands,
one foot kicking in the shadowed evening air. Whew,
glad Paul was watching me there!

Above the belay, I lead slowly up the crack,
savoring the last 30 feet of easy moves to a nest of
horrifyingly loose, garage-door-sized flakes. I test
each in turn, drumming a tune on one-ton granite
blades poised above Paul's head. I stand on the
guillotine with the nicest harmonics, set an 8"
piece, and begin to climb for real.

Twilight Zone is a one-move climb. (one move,
repeated without respite for 120 feet: Pick your nose
with the pinkie of your left hand. Pinkie still in
your nose, raise your elbow to the level of your
face. Now, spread your fingers as wide as possible,
with the left thumb pointed toward the ground.
Insert that arm, still in that position, in the
crack, and you are doing a chicken-wing. Problem is,
the chicken-wing move doesn't work in this crack. My
right hand alternately claws the edge of the crack,
or splays out to small edges on the face, or fumbles
protection. Right foot does one of two things:
Scrabbles against vertical edges far outside the
corner, to my right, or pops off unexpectedly,
repeatedly, eliciting small screams of terror in the
deepening twilight. ) The move gains half an inch. 119 feet,
11.5 inches to go: 2,879 repeats of the same, one move
that doesn't work.

The sunset is invisible and forgotten. As I
reach the top in the early evening, head exploding in
pain, the world fades into a dim twilight of misery
and success, ants, oak leaves, dust and solid
anchors. Paul guides my rappel back down the
Elevator Shaft to the ground, and shepherds me out to
the car, staggering toward darkness and a campsite
full of friends.

We stand in darkness at the car, almost done
puttering gear. The smell of formic acid is
overpowering, and I brush hundreds of ants off of
Paul, who is standing like an ant-bridge between the
ground and the berry pie on the hood of the car.

"That is one of the hardest things I've ever
done" says this 5.11-5.12 climber.

I brush off a few more ants.

"Thats OK, its a pretty casual technique, once
you get the bugs out." I smile past my headache,
reach back, and ease the berry pie out of ants'
reach, into the trunk.

END

It turns out that the day I climbed this, I was coming down with the flu, hence the headache.
Thanks for the memories!
Brutus of Wyde
Old Climbers' Home
Oakland, California
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 11, 2005 - 10:14pm PT
Brutus, great TR, really. Thanks! I can't agree with the notion it is a one-move climb, though. That is what I was referring to when I mentioned tunnel-vision. It is actually a complex climb involving some variety. But again, great TR, really.

Ed,

Rt Side of Absolutely Free was overrated. It looks badass from below, but is kind of simplistic and if you keep your wits about you it is not R/X. I can't remember much about the route; I did one of the very early ascents early 1971-2. It was coarse, granular, not that interesting, and because it is not that steep and in that rough granular area of the Brothers ends up not that technical. Just because it was a Jim and Mark route does not mean it had to be hard; we all did easy stuff too. I think we all thought it was kind of gross. We were in kind of a mode then of fighting to just find stuff to climb with the equipment and mindset we had. So The Brothers.... But I mention it because it IS one of the offwidths, in an unusual area, and requires some attention.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 12, 2005 - 06:53am PT
Addendum: I forgot to add the Left side of Reed's Pinnacle. A really clean classic offwidth.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Dec 12, 2005 - 11:20am PT
New year's resolution;
Go to the cross roads, pimp my soul to whomever, to gain the ability to write (esp about ow) like Brutus.




If you like the 'same move thing' you'll love Wide World of Sports @ Patterson flake.
Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Victorville, CA
Dec 12, 2005 - 11:32am PT
There is nothing sophisticated about an offwidth.

If you seek to punish yourself, cause your circulatory system to leak, and get frightfully little air in the process, just go do the aptly named: Human Sacrifice

or go do something more friendly, or get some welders gloves and tape'em on good and tight, an ole'largo technique he used on some italian overhang.

or for sicknesses sake, just watch Ron Carson fire off a solo at dome rock, there is only one offwidth there so there can be no doubt about which route.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Dec 12, 2005 - 11:45am PT
I'm guessing you aren't 'into' offwidth.
Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Victorville, CA
Dec 12, 2005 - 11:56am PT
Jaybro-

I confess.
some former climbing partners would not comprehend my failure to appreciate, but, you are correct.
spyork

Trad climber
Fremont, CA
Dec 12, 2005 - 02:01pm PT
I have to confess I have an interest in Chimneys and offwidths. My friends think I'm nuts. I was in the valley yesterday but my partner's car blew a gasket on the way there so my boys and I were left to our own devices.

I setup a toprope on a short swan slab climb and put my older boy on it. Later we wandered a bit and I was eying the offwidth and chimney on swan slabs.

Anyway, I liked both your stories, Thanks!

Steve
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Dec 12, 2005 - 02:09pm PT
OK, Peter, et tu Brute. Nice stories. Post some pics! Want to see your smiling faces.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Dec 12, 2005 - 03:55pm PT
Peter, you forgot Mental Block, a fine one indeed!

Nice to see your posts...


:- Kelly
Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
Dec 12, 2005 - 06:39pm PT
"Addendum: I forgot to add the Left side of Reed's Pinnacle. A really clean classic offwidth."

Especially if you do it right-side in.

Having done it both ways, I must say that doing it left side in is really missing out on all the fun.

Brutus
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Dec 14, 2005 - 10:11am PT
Ed, Abs. Free Right was a v. tight squeeze tunnel-through crux for J and I. I struggled to worm through, so if you're much bigger you might have to go on the outside (enhancing the R/X factor as I couldn't imagine falling out of the squeeze...I was freaking out that I'd get stuck). I think it took cams in the back of the wider chimney part, but I had the TR, so the pro didn't make as much of an impression on me. It didn't seem X, and huge gear would probably work even if you had to go on the outside.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Dec 14, 2005 - 10:58am PT
The best way to train for OW is to do friction and slab routes. This is because both OW and slab basically involve utilizing friction techniques and moving upward very, very slowly in small increments so that you don't tire yourself out. The slower the better. If you start breathing hard, stop right there and rest until your wind comes back. Never get tired. OW should be relaxing like TM.
WBraun

climber
Dec 14, 2005 - 11:08am PT
Bruce

Are you sure that's the "Best way to train for Off Width" is to do friction slabs?

Seriously, I had to laugh pretty hard about that tip.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Dec 14, 2005 - 11:37am PT
Then what's the best way to train for slabs? If it was ow's, I'd be a better slab climber!
WBraun

climber
Dec 14, 2005 - 11:42am PT
I think you are right Melissa according to the Bruce Morris logic :-)
Wade Icey

Social climber
the EPC
Dec 14, 2005 - 12:11pm PT
Thanks all esp. Peter for the excellent advice. I really appreciate it. I've been looking at that 'thing' for years. Uh Oh...morbid curiousity shifting to actual interest...Keep the beta and stories coming please.

Re: the harness tip- I still have my old swami and that makes sense but begs the question- What do I do with those big camming units (the ones I haven't placed yet)? Seems that if a knot is in the way then a bandolier full of big cams is going to be a real...um drag. I've got a sinking (slipping) feeling I know the answer (leave 'em on the ground?). Is there some kind of arcane OW racking trick?

Re: "Best way to train for Off Width"- I think you're serious Bruce, if so I appreciate the advice. I've been climbing slabs (read-avoiding offwidths) for almost 30 years so I've got a good start on my OW training. It took me a minute to figure out "OW should be relaxing like TM." (...Herbert? Tuolumne Meadows? acronym for Too Much?) and that makes sense also.

Brutus- would Paul Jacobs be the Paul J. of Berkeley/Marmot? if so small world, he taught me to Fly cast and I worked with him for years.

Thanks all

You've renewed my faith in the forum

The 'real' Wade Icey

Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Dec 14, 2005 - 12:44pm PT
er- you're not racking big cams on your harness? are you?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 14, 2005 - 01:21pm PT
TM = Transcendental Meditation... an extremely good name for a heinous offwidth climb, I will hold it in reserve.

I think that Bruce is correct with regard to the technique. I find that I use a lot of friction and slab foot work when doing offwidth, squeeze and chimney routes. The thing you have to have in addition is the ability to do counterpressure, which is much more strenuous then slab and friction, where gravity provides the "normal force" generating the friction. The advantage in counterpressure is that you are not limited by gravity, you can generate higher forces pushing, and thus higher frictional forces.

I am often amazed that I can hold myself up on just a single arm chicken wing...

And I am also convinced that the real key is learning how to rest. Once you can rest you can get up a lot of stuff you would never be able to do in a single push (at least not me).

Melissa, thanks for the beta on Abs. Free Right, I am bigger than wither you and Jay, so I would be outside... can't wait.



Wade Icey

Social climber
the EPC
Dec 14, 2005 - 02:30pm PT
Jaybro-

"er- you're not racking big cams on your harness? are you?"

No. Up to this point in my not so illustrious career. big cams have been left in the haul bag until the last possible moment and then racked on my A5 Double gear sling.

For free climbing I do rack as much as possible on my harness and rarely carry anything bigger than 3.5 camalot. ( I wasn't kidding about avoiding OW for thirty years).

The new big cams -and the aforementioned temp insanity- are what's got me interested in this stuff. Seems like modern gear might make these wide things a bit less horrific. Am I dreaming?

So, I take it that 'sewing it up' isn't a big tenet of OW climbing? I have heard of the 'moving toprope' method of OW climbing. Swilliam told me about it. I thought he was kidding.

BTW I read 'Lucille' (again, yesterday and back when it was first pub'd.) (That's you right?) and you've either already been to the crossroads or you're selling yourself short. nice work.

Wade
Russ Walling

Social climber
NOT FOR LOAN™ CC3
Dec 14, 2005 - 02:46pm PT
Wade,

Lose that double gear sling..... go '70's style with an over the shoulder sling. I've guessed "wrong side in" numerous times and have needed to put the rack onto the other side while hanging upside down by my feet. Not pretty.... Kinda like Houdini over a gaping crowd in Times Square.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 14, 2005 - 05:57pm PT
Even with the big gear, unless you go to Valley Giants (and even then) there are going to be stretches with no pro....

...get the technique wired and it will pay big dividends! On the other hand, if you don't like to run it out, you may not like OW at all. But you must run out those face/friction/slab routes? no?
Wade Icey

Social climber
the EPC
Dec 15, 2005 - 10:54am PT
No. Er..Yes. But I don't have to like it.

wade
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Dec 15, 2005 - 11:57am PT
With modern pro, the technology exists to 'sew up, almost anything. The logistics are another matter. Even tieing in is an epic while wearing a rack of five or more giant peices (I'll look for the photo). So eventually you end up running it out, again. One exception is Trench warfare. That roof is so low to the ground that you have to protect it like crazy to avoid the cranium leveling potential. I guess you could wear a helmet, but you might not fit in the no hands rest chimeny in the middle. We even taped enoslite pads over some of the more threatening death edged boulders.

Resting IS the key, till you rest too much and move too little.

Thanks Wade, and Robert Johnson says hi, too.
Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
Dec 15, 2005 - 09:12pm PT
Regarding slabs and OWs:

As Greg Opland once said, the best way to train for the Steck-Salathe' is to take off your shirt, strip down to your shorts, and crawl on your elbows and knees across a parking lot in 115 degree heat.

I would add: drop occasionally to your belly and try to crawl underneath sports cars.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 15, 2005 - 09:17pm PT
Brutus... didn't you also write:

"I've seen 5.11 divided into 11 different grades of increasing difficulty, as follows: 5.11a, 5.10d, 5.11-, 5.11b, 5.11, 5.11c, 5.9 squeeze, 5.11+, 5.10 OW, 5.12a, 5.11d"
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 15, 2005 - 09:37pm PT
my offwidth partner Gary:

WBraun

climber
Dec 15, 2005 - 09:39pm PT
Good grief Ed, what are you guys climbing with all that gear?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 15, 2005 - 09:45pm PT
I think we were mostly weight training that day Werner...


...this is so embarassing...

Ivory Tower, Left, Olmstead Area, Tuolumne Meadows (5.8)

we probably didn't need all of that, but it was good exercise to haul it up the crack.
AlexC

climber
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 15, 2005 - 10:21pm PT
Ivory Tower, Left, Olmstead Area, Tuolumne Meadows (5.8)

I thought that was a pretty good 5.8 OW actually.
KarlP

Social climber
Queensland, NorCal, Iceland
Dec 16, 2005 - 05:11am PT
ed: you mean this?

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.climbing/msg/cf2cd68726d539a7?dmode=source

deja...google?

aieeee, it's all been said before.... when time becomes a loop, when time becomes a loop, when time becomes a loop
LongAgo

Trad climber
Dec 16, 2005 - 05:04pm PT
Tom Higgins gives tips from quirky love of off widths:

General

 technique: involves separate movement of lower and upper body: if right arm straight in, right leg is in and cocked up, foot and leg torqued; left arm is bent and holding crack edge near head; move by shifting hips out and pumping up off left foot heel-toe at outer edge of crack; hold self in with arms but don't try to drag body up; arms stabilize, legs do push up, then arms move up to hold in for next pump; motion is sideways coma, straighten, comma, straighten; don't pump unless have good pump foot as will waste energy and cause, uh, panic.
 rest: if heel toe is good, left edge sharp, and not overhanging, one can rest between pumps (e.g. Crack of Despair); other rest can come from chicken wing arm in crack, if crack and upper arm length match.
 flares: where bombay or flare won't allow heel toe pump, try feet in a T position for double leg pump (e.g. short wide 5.9 section on Traveler's Buttress, Lover's Leap).
 helpful to have sling for hardware, hanging from outside side, versus hanging stuff on harness or swami which blocks hip area; other posts make same point too.
 protection: long ago, used bongs, t-bars and tubes; t-bars were tempting choice since have slim profile compared to tubes; work OK (e.g. Crack of Fear, Colorado) except for flare and bombay places; tubes also OK, but need to fiddle to get just right size and avoid pivoting; all why Bigbros and big Friends are preferred (but didn't have them long ago).
 rack: try to get rack recommendation from trusted, experienced friend so don't take too much or little as either is vexing.
 reversing: when practicing, try down climbing a little to know it is possible and how to do it; helps reduce fear to know (or fool yourself) you can go back to a "secure" point.
 body size: important are distance from shoulder to elbow, knee width and hand size for transitions into hand cracks; in time, will learn favorite and hated widths and be able to "read" cracks for rest points (see "chicken wing" above).
 pacing: very important not to rush, take time, rest, think about body position, as other posts suggest; beauty of off-widths is how impossible and possible they are all in a matter of moments; very satisfying to make it; very disconcerting to retreat, a most quirky love.
 crack machine: consider building crack machine since hard to practice on real thing; once put up wooden plank job on side of three story house; planks supported by 2 X 6's (probably overkill) on edge to give stiffness; third story porch and railing allowed top to be moved easily along railing so whole thing could be vertical, less or overhanging and any width; climbed between planks (didn't have plywood then) and stucco house wall (reminds me of English "grit").

Notes From Old Diary

 Cream: hard part is early while still fresh; secure higher with good knee fit; tube chocks up to 6 inches were cumbersome, but pretty secure; nice line.
 Twilight Zone: t-bars and tubes did not work well; felt mostly 3rd class; quite insecure and strenuous all the way until, strangely, crux where pinches down and is more technical (getting around pro) than scary; key lore is Pratt hung at crux, yelled to T.M. Herbert to run to car to get bong, hauled it up, finished climb; some say big friends make this much easier on the mind, but talk to trusted ones before go as climb has ugly, knifing flakes at bottom.
 Left Side of Slack: tubes and bars did not work too well, but climb felt much more safe than TZ with no fall prospect onto piercing flakes; crux creeps up, wearing you out if don't go easy; overall, good, stiff starter off-width given easy access too.
 Despair: quite secure off width; sharp edge to grab, good heel toe with right side in, stronger side for most; good bolt protected it in old days; key lore - here Frank Sacherer nearly pulled Tom Gerughty off because young, inexperienced Tom stepped on a bolt to rest; some old mentors were pretty strict about free being free.
 Edge of Night: very hard technically due to nasty flare; easy to flail and try to overpower; again, bongs and bars not good; modern big friends probably much better.
 Hourglass: right side has pretty short crux and not too hard, but hard to protect with bars and tubes (left side crux is very hard undercling, not off width); remote, peaceful feel to Ribbon Falls area and views to soaring west wall of El Cap.

Hope this helps.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Dec 16, 2005 - 06:20pm PT
Of all those off widths you mentioned, I thought Edge of Night was the hardest (for me), but I did it really early on and never went back. I couldn't fit into the thing and climbed it left side in, face climbing with my feet and melting out every move. Cream and TZ and Slack L side and Hourglass R side and all the rest you can really plug into, and if you're in shape, you just concentrate on pacing and not burning out or losing focus.

Also, I remember the Left Side of Absolutely Free as having only two nuts in the whole pitch (when we did it). Plenty secure and not real hard (5.10b I think), but don't fall. I can't get my knee in Bad Ass Momma and if you straight arm bar that route, sans knee locks, it's horrendous.

JL
wildone

climber
right near the beach, boyeee (lord have mercy)
Dec 16, 2005 - 08:33pm PT
I loved seeing Pharoah's Beard in the list. No-one is ever there, and it's so much fun.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 16, 2005 - 10:28pm PT
OK, Gary wasn't happy with his picture appearing above...

Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 07:10:38 -0800
From: Gary xxxxxxx
X-Accept-Language: en-us, en
To: Ed Hartouni
Subject: OW Picture

Ed:
You're in big f'n trouble!!!
G

To: Gary xxxxxxx
From: "Edward P. Hartouni"
Subject: Re: OW Picture
Cc:
Bcc:
X-Attachments:

dude, it was posted for "educational purpose" with no personal gain involved...
just an example of a large cam rack...
I would have posted the other one (with George and Me) but I couldn't put my hands on the negative quickly...

Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 13:55:44 -0800
From: Gary xxxxxxx
X-Accept-Language: en-us, en
To: "Edward P. Hartouni"
Subject: Re: OW Picture

I don't give a flyin F about educating those suckers on ST!! I repeat You're in big f'n trouble!!!

Maybe rain Sunday....Climb tomorrow instead??
I'm your belayer!!

G

-----------------------------------------------------


so now I'm in trouble with my best partner after posting to the OW topic in ST!
This is a picture Gary took at Olmstead Pt. in TM. Gary would want you to note that the license plate and the fact that I'm not a 5.10 OW climber (yet!)... I'm the one on the right, George is on the left


Leroy

climber
Jan 26, 2006 - 03:33am PT
Funny story about I think Edge of Night.I was struggling on it and I yelled down to the Fish.U want to come up and take a look? He asked ,How is it?I looked down at the pro and said,Itś death Russ.He said ,Naw thats allright.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 26, 2006 - 08:10am PT
I believe I remember a sequel to resolve that one.

Ed, I saw your car, somewhere last summer.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 26, 2006 - 09:42pm PT
Where ever the car is, I'm somewhere in the area (Debbie doesn't take it out, probably because is smells like climbing shoes too much of the year)...

...sort of like Mineral's rig, which is actually much more distinct.

Last summer we were in TM a lot, and the Valley running up to the 120 opening... back in and around the Valley these days.

If not climbing, then around the bay area mostly in the Livermore valley area.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 27, 2006 - 01:15am PT
Ed-Valley, meadows, circa one week after tioga opened?
My partial TR from then;

"Jerry, check out the plates on that rig"
"Cool, let's do Galen's and then head down for Lobster Tacquitos."
"'s long as nobody's chopped the bolts.'

Russ Walling

Social climber
This space for rent
Jan 27, 2006 - 10:24am PT
Hey Jay,
Who is that aiding that crack?
WBraun

climber
Jan 27, 2006 - 10:26am PT
Hey hey what route is this?
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 27, 2006 - 03:36pm PT
Some knucklehead trying to hold together a set of evulsions, protuding bones, and existing gobis, as a curtesy to a squemish partner. Said partner drove, after all. I, I mean he, hadda do it! 'least I- HE, damn it, had a cool chalk bag!

galen's crack
Russ Walling

Social climber
This space for rent
Jan 27, 2006 - 03:55pm PT
As long as there is major carnage under that tape I guess it's ok then ;)
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Feb 3, 2006 - 11:15am PT
Hey! Does anybody do the Burner anymore? This is an alternate way of climbing up to El Cap Tower (I can't even remember what pitch(s). As I recall, it's a pretty stiff offwidth. I did this in 1975 with Rick Piggot when we did the New Dawn.
WBraun

climber
Feb 3, 2006 - 11:28am PT
Me and Dale bard did the FA of burner, not to many people do it any more Grug, I wonder why, actually I don't blame them.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 3, 2006 - 04:36pm PT
The Burner is the pitch above Nose #7 and the pendulum point above Dolt Hole. Incredible rock, awesome location!
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Feb 5, 2006 - 09:09am PT
Thanks for the clarification - and it's never too late to say, good job on the FA, Werner. I do remember this pitch as being pretty serious - My overall recollection is of burning more calories on it then maybe any other pitch of offwidth I can think of, and I've done most of the ones mentioned in this post.

Hardest Valley offwidth that I knew of and tried, a nemesis of mine, really, is the Owl Roof.

Oh, and funny story Leroy!
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 6, 2006 - 12:11am PT
My vote for hardest valley ow would be Elephant's Eliminate, though I couldn't do it the time I tried it so I don't really know. The crux, (or as far as I got) seemed similar to the Owl; flaring and suddenly wide at the lip.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 6, 2006 - 07:53am PT
If you want more information on Peter's recommended routes for TZ training, they are at this url: [url="http://home.comcast.net/~e.hartouni/doc/PeterHahn-TZ.htm"]Peter Hahn's NOT the Road to Twilight Zone[/url]

Rack and stack as you please... don't know what is easy and what is not, and I didn't put anything much harder (e.g. Owl Roof, Elephant's Eliminant) because this list would be a good life's accomplishment for a weekender like me.
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Feb 6, 2006 - 08:58am PT
So Jaybro, did you do the Owl Roof?
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 6, 2006 - 09:55am PT
yeah I climbed it in the mid nineties, made a special trip down from Reno. I'd tried sporadically over the years, since maybe '83,
probably 4-5 times in all.
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Feb 6, 2006 - 10:43am PT
Damn! I guess Elephants Eliminate is one that I never did get around to trying. I'm pretty sure that of the Valley wide cracks I tried, the Owl Roof was the only one that I couldn't do. I attempted twice. The second time -- in 1976 I think, I took a fall, landed on my tail bone, and could barely walk for a week!
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 6, 2006 - 10:55am PT
Greg, I don't know if you ever did paisano, but, for reference, I thought the Owl was harder.
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Feb 6, 2006 - 11:40am PT
No. Couldn't do Paisano either. Also, couldn't do Death Crack in Tuolumne. Come to think of it, there's kind of a pattern here. It's those really overhanging wide cracks that I can't do!

By the way, I just now read accounts from an earlier Forum topic on the Owl Roof. So, my old buddy Rick Piggot may have been the first person to flash it. Go Poway Mountain Boys!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 28, 2007 - 01:42pm PT
another favorite with lots of interesting history
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Jan 28, 2007 - 05:53pm PT
Really good original post, Peter, and Brutus' story had me right there. I always liked offwidths. I thought they separated the women and men from the girls and boys. But they're an acquired taste, like beer. Remember when you were twelve years old and you and your buds got hold of a six-pack? Didn't taste too good, then, did it? Now, however, a good brew tastes like nectar after a day out on the rocks. Offwidths are like that. In fact I named one in Moab, Acquired Taste. Really good route, and one of my better route names, I think. Another thing about offwidth technique is that it is absolutely essential for an alpinist to be in possesion of those skills. Many big alpine testpieces have a wide-crack crux somewhere along the way.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 29, 2007 - 09:14am PT
Great thread! A TR from Mental Block and Fallout and I think about every great OW in the Valley has been dusted off and held up proudly. Truly inspiring! Glad that I have been practicing my slab technique so diligently to prepare. LOL
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 29, 2007 - 06:37pm PT
yeah, offwidths taste good, between beers.

Steve, there is some Mentalblock feedback around here somewhere.
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Jan 30, 2007 - 04:30pm PT
Several years ago in Joshua Tree, Bridwell mentioned that "Mercifully, offwidths have gone out of vogue."
KP Ariza

climber
SCC
Jan 30, 2007 - 07:44pm PT
Grug, liebacking Death Crack may not save face but it'll save ya some skin-
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 30, 2007 - 08:02pm PT
So you can lieback Death Crack? Overhanging fist to just a bit bigger than fist is what I vaguely recall from my one attempt, probably in 1977. I wonder if it gets done much anymore?

-grug

Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 30, 2007 - 08:08pm PT
I last climbed (death Crack) Summer '99. My three partners all liebacked it. I gave them much sh#t, in a nice way.
Mimi

climber
Jan 30, 2007 - 08:24pm PT
"Me and Dale bard did the FA of burner, not to many people do it any more Grug, I wonder why, actually I don't blame them."

Werner, you are so darned cute.


Something about offwidths and the men that climb them. Ooooaaahhh! Where's the calendar?
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 30, 2007 - 08:31pm PT
Now there is a project for a publisher that needs to lose money!
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 30, 2007 - 08:33pm PT
Yeah Mimi. I too very much liked that line from Werner
Mimi

climber
Jan 30, 2007 - 09:26pm PT
I bet more than just the ladies would buy an offwidth climbing calendar.

What are the top thirteen NA wide cracks? Break it down by grade if you like.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 31, 2007 - 05:03am PT
I'll bite on this one and suggest one obvious standout, (haven't done it) Excaliber. Two others come to mind; Basket Case in Yosemite and Air Voyage in the Black Canyon.

The above routes are all multipitch affairs. For a single pitch of offwidth, how about Lucille, first done by Jaybro.
Walleye

climber
Yosemite Valley
Jan 31, 2007 - 02:07pm PT
Has anyone actually done Elephants Eliminate without hangdoggin it? I don't know anybody who has. Anybody???????

Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 31, 2007 - 03:10pm PT
Likely someone, but not me, I failed on my attempt. I'm pretty sure Leroy told me Rick Piggot did it, though maybe that was just an account of an attempt. I talked to Rick later about the Owl (he did it) and forgot to ask about EE. There was a thread here that addressed this a while back.

Leroy?
Rick? - does he use a computer?
Walleye

climber
Yosemite Valley
Jan 31, 2007 - 04:05pm PT
So Jaybro
How wide is that sucker in the roof section? A downward sloping roofcrack off-width, seems like a nightmare. Would you care to enlighten us about your attempt or experiences? I am most interested.

Regards
WJF
WBraun

climber
Jan 31, 2007 - 05:36pm PT
Ivo said Potter has done the Elephants Eliminate.

I failed also. I made it to the lip twice and failed there.
Walleye

climber
Yosemite Valley
Jan 31, 2007 - 05:39pm PT
well, if anyone seems capable it would be he....
Mimi

climber
Jan 31, 2007 - 07:52pm PT
That is such a neat formation. Thanks Walleye.
Leroy

climber
Feb 1, 2007 - 01:16am PT
EE. is a handcrack.I,m pretty sure Rick told me he didnt do it.Its basically along reach for a figer jam at the lip.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 1, 2007 - 06:38am PT
Dang!I wish you'd showed me that move when we were there!

Glad you haven't lost your sense of humor, Dick.

Thanks for the update on the rick thing I've been misquoting for years, though.
Cuckawalla

Trad climber
Grand Junction, CO
Feb 1, 2007 - 07:28am PT
Great topic. Coming from Grand Junction, CO I have been trying to get all the sand stone offwidth I can handle. When it gets cold around here offwidths become the style for us. Here is a picture or two of Tuesday's escapades up Oliver Perry Smith Buttress. Awesome climb. Apparently Charlie Fowler had the second ascent of this climb. For Carrying Gear, I sometimes girth hitch a sling to my harness and then clip it to a point on my gear sling so that when I get to squeezes or chimneys I can throw off the sling and let it dangle between my legs. Then hoist it up when I need to place.
cheers,
Jesse



And my Buddy Matt trying to get his way up a climb in Escalante Canyon.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Feb 1, 2007 - 08:21pm PT
When Pratt and I did both left and right side of Reed's one day, he had me lead both crux cracks, I found those very enjoyable but very different in nature -- left side has left side of body in, and right side has right side of body in, and left side involves the strange heel-toe stuff, while right side is more a flare leading to a cross-pressure move at the top. Ahab I found very easy, for some reason, but Pratt said it was very hard for him, because his feet were small and didn't heel-toe there very well. The last pitch of Twilight Zone is not so difficult as a bit deceptive and possibly dangerous. I recall going up, not thinking it too hard, then making a move that was harder than it looked, yet I hadn't put much or any pro in. It tricks you that way, if I recall from so long ago. If you simply put something in, anticipating a little crux section, then that little move isn't so bad. We always did Generator Crack as one of the first warmups, when arriving in the Valley, to get into the feel of off-widths, and facing both ways (I think facing left was more difficult). When I led the Left Side of Slack, with Higgins, I made a lieback move at the crux and probably eliminated the hard off-width move. One might not think it would be possible to lieback there, but it felt fine. I have led the East Chimney of Rixon's several times and always am amazed Royal did that way back when. I point out in my history of free climbing that it was the first actual 5.10 in the Valley, rated by mistake 5.9 at first. Royal did a scary lieback and, at some point, in the middle of the overhanging section, swung into an offwidth position with his right side in -- a really bold thing back then, no chalk, stiff Spiders for shoes... I think all of these cracks depend, to some degree and after a certain point, on each person's size. Everything fits differently for different people. I did one off-width I thought was 5.11, but my partner, thinner than I squeezed into it and had little trouble. I was doing horrid cross-pressure on the outside, with nothing much to hold onto. Another crack I know of allows one with a long arm to get a key finger hold inside and crank right over the crux. Etc. etc. Sacherer was really skillful, but he was also thin. On something like the Right Side of Hourglass I wonder if wasn't able to somewhat fit into it. I tried that route once and found my chest didn't want to fit at all, and I wasn't in good enough shape, I guess, at the time to risk climbing all the way up that more or less on the outside. I saved it for a rainy day. By the way, I guess I didn't know there was a difficult offwidth on Left Side of Hour Glass. I thought it was a wild undercling, so that's interesting to know. Have you ever heard the story of Barry Bates "free-soloing" the Left Side of the Slack? Well not exactly. He told me he went up on the crux pitch and, at the fixed piton, accidentally clipped in the haul rope instead of the lead rope, and well above all the hard moves realized what he'd done... I loved bouldering with him, a really fine person. By the way, Pratt did Twilight Zone without any of the modern big bongs, big-pros, cams, clappers, whatever, one of the great leads of all time, in my estimation.

Pat Ament
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Feb 1, 2007 - 09:54pm PT
I always felt on Crack of Fear, which I did something like 15 times, that my best pro was the shape I was in, and my head -- where it was at. I never did believe in trying to protect runout cracks with tube chocks or big friends, etc., because really they get in the way but also degrade the whole sense of these off-widths. On the other hand, a point of pro now and then is wise and feels very good. No sense in killing oneself, At the same time, though, one should at least somewhat respect any given achievement. I mean, I'm sure many now have gone up to "repeat" Pratt's Twilight Zone and made it well protected with all sorts of big things, but somehow it isn't the same climb. It's another climb, a better-protected climb. As long as someone knows that and doesn't feel they repeated Pratt's route, that's all ok. It's a way of preserving our heritage, to respect those whose shoulders we're standing on to see the horizons of today... The way Higgins always hated bolts, I kind of hated those big protection devices to reduce the difficulties of these incredible psychological masterpieces...

Pat
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Feb 1, 2007 - 10:01pm PT
One of the most incredible things I ever witnessed was the day Henry Barber led Twilight Zone. I've never seen an off-width climbed so easily and with such mastery. I had a bad case of the flu that day and was trying to keep from passing out even on the approach, but I held the rope as he led swiftly and gracefully up. He used only a point or possibly two of pro on the crux off-width. He rappelled down to me over the big chimney to the left, and the rope got stuck. He free soloed then the wall to the left (can't think of the name of that route right now) and fixed the rope so it would pull, then rappelled again. Henry was bad, in the true sense of the word great.

Pat
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 2, 2007 - 08:07am PT
Elevator Shaft 5.8 is to the left of Twilight Zone....

Jaybro told an interesting Henry Barber story last weekend, also concerning offwidth... (actually didn't check to see if he posted it above).

I agree with Pat that the climbs with modern gear are very different then they were when first done. On the otherhand, the climbs are hard enough (at least for me) that I would be happy, as a duffer, to get up them. It is not a given that I will even if I have all the advantages.
Rick L

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Feb 2, 2007 - 08:50am PT
Chuckawalla-

You post was sure a blast from the past. I did the first ascent in 1972 with my friend and roommate at Berkeley, Tom Kaufman, whose family lived in Grand Junction. I had recently read an article about the Olivery Perry-Smith and his exploits on Dresden sandstone during the early 1900's. For some reason, his amazing accomplishments were virtually unknown in American climbing history. Anyway, we thought it might be nice to name the climb after him as a tip of the hat.

We did the climb in three pitches. A very short first pitch ending in a chimney, I think. The second pitch was the crux. I remember chinmneying out horizontally and up into an off-width. We had only a few bongs but the crack was too wide. Once committed to the OW,I recall being a bit disappointed when the right hand edge grew rounded the highter I got. No bolts were placed on that pitch. Years later, when Eric Bjornstad published "Desert Rock" he reported the second ascent as having occurred 15 years later and the topo showed a number of bolts on the off-width pitch. I don't have any idea who placed them or when. On the last pitch, I placed a star drive-in about mid pitch. Turned out to be worthless as it came part way out when I tugged on the 'biners after clipping in. As I recall, the last bit of rock is like rotten, stacked newspapers. I spent a long moment looking at the final sequence. I was very glad to wrap a hand around the trunk of a little pine at the rim. Colorado National Monument is a great place- I miss the sights, smells and the quiet of the desert.

Do you have any photos that show the entire climb? It's funny, in my mind's eye, I would not have recognized the photos as being the climb we did.

Thanks

Rick

Off-Width Loving Crack Whore

Trad climber
SLO
Feb 2, 2007 - 11:13am PT
Narrow hallways and just about any doorway are great for OW/Chimney training. If you have a long narrow hallway, traversing back and forth is a fun and easy way to get in OW shape.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Feb 2, 2007 - 11:17am PT
Yeah, but how do you FEEL about offwidth cracks OWLCW?
katiebird

climber
yosemite
Feb 2, 2007 - 12:34pm PT
At the start of winter I decided to dedicate it to off-width training. Anyways, did TZ early last week and found it to be a semi-grunt fest but not too bad. However, a few days ago I went out and did Vendetta. That thing had me way more worked then TZ. Think it was the first 10b in the park...so guess that says something in itself. Anyone else done it?
scuffy b

climber
The town that Nature forgot to hate
Feb 2, 2007 - 01:16pm PT
Darwin's done it.
Peter's done it.
Werner's done it.
Probably a bunch more.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Feb 2, 2007 - 01:38pm PT
Vendetta: me and Doug VanGina.... last pitch was interesting... big loose flake wiggling in the crack.... dirty top out in a small roof. Went and asked Klemmens about it.... he says, "you guys did that thing???..... probably the second ascent.... nobody does that last pitch!" Then he started laughing.....

Way easier than the TZ though IMO.
katiebird

climber
yosemite
Feb 2, 2007 - 01:46pm PT
yeah, dirty top-out for sure. the roof/cave was pretty rad. I had trouble coming off of the horizontal ledge down on the second pitch (think it was the second - we linked it all up). Its full on pressing off-width style right there. Felt that TZ was easier 'cause the smearing on the outside right seemed to help in the moments where my left foot was too small to heel toe. Plus, my left side is wrecked from days of left-side in off-widths.
Anywho, yeah Vendetta, it's an obscure one I think.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Feb 2, 2007 - 02:05pm PT
How about Steppin Out??? Is that one on your list? Great climb....
katiebird

climber
yosemite
Feb 2, 2007 - 02:08pm PT
Steppin Out...no, haven't heard about it. I'll check it out.

Thanks Russ.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Feb 2, 2007 - 02:18pm PT
Yeah.. it's a good one. Not real hard, but a great crack... golden wall, slightly overhanging? First pitch is a chossy approach. Steppin Out seemed easier than the grade given. (10d?)

I used to write in my book the pro for these things, so here is what I used in order of appearance: (size refers to inches and number of WC rigid Friends)
Left side in.
#4 cam
#2.5 cam
#5 tube
#5.5 tube
# 6 Cam
Slings
Cuckawalla

Trad climber
Grand Junction, CO
Feb 2, 2007 - 02:18pm PT
That is interesting that you didn’t place the anchors. There is one about every 25 feet or so. When it gets real wide they are a bit closer. They are all baby angles. Great climb. It is now done in two pitches. First pitch is ~120 feet. You have to climb until it gets chimney wide. We actually tunneled into the back of it and found a hand crack and got as high as possible and placed some gear where it pinched down. We then down climbed a bit and chimney traversed out and into the offwidth. The second pitch is crumbly. Do you happen to know they history/were a part of the other climbs on the buttress? This photo of the whole route is borrowed from a friend/mountain project.
On Mountain PRoject it says 5.11 but I dont think so.
Let me know if you are ever in the area and want to hit some classics.
JEsse.

{edit} you can see a blown up version and the route in better clarity if you go to http://mountainproject.com/v/colorado/grand_junction/colorado_natl_monument/105905598
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 2, 2007 - 02:50pm PT
Hi,

Right. I think Vendetta is a really great climb. It is best done in 5 pitches. I did it twice. The first time was a very early ascent. I climbed it with Schmitz in 1970. And then again with Vandiver in something like 1973. It should be noted that the first ascent party of Lloyd Price and Roger Gordon aided out of the triangular hole/roof (1967), only to be transcended by RR and Rowell a year later who freed it. Thus the name, Vendetta. If you do the route, you will understand why they initially aided it, as it is kind of a shock, suddenly being out on that overhanging face facing a finger crack.

I gather that this route doesn't get done much any more. But for god's sake it should. It is quite classy and interesting and it is reasonably safe, especially today. The really fun pitch is in fact the triangular hole exit: belaying deep inside this hole, you chimney and then make a couple final moves of undercling out of it, suddenly facing dramatic exposure, then fingerjam up over the overhang to the left and above, to easy rock and a ledge type of belay. And the pitches below are really clean and fairly interesting. The last pitch has two variations also 5.10b-ish. And Bruce Morris did a 5.11 finger variation on the second pitch

Kim Schmitz could get severe tunnel vision and become basically pretty hysterical at times on climbs. We climbed together for a few months in the spring and summer of 1970. He often screamed, and I mean really loudly and his climbing would deteriorate dangerously. Bridwell had warned me to be ready to deal with it. Eventually I couldn't cope with it though; it was hard figuring out what to do about it.

So, anyway, when he went to lead the very dramatic and bold Vendetta exit from the triangle/roof with me, he ignored the fact that for the first 10 feet or so off my belay, he could just chimney sideways easily. He instead is underclinging this bitchy, sharp and very thin crack under the roof (maybe 5.10b or worse) and well above his body, and begins to scream, doing the watchme-watchme practically in my face. All back in the dark hole, a couple of hundred feet off the ground. He has forgotten that the opposite wall is only inches away from his back! Shortly he does in fact fall, but fortunately his hands pop first, his back hits the opposite wall, his feet stay put, and he goes nowhere since he finally is in the chimney position he should have been in all along. He turned to me, extremely embarassed and continued on to do the pitch in otherwise splendid style. All of this only a few feet from me.

Here is a photo of me back (73?), climbing it a second time, about 5 feet further from where Schmitz had his pseudo-fall about to turn the corner out on the overhanging face.

[url=[/url" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://img172.imageshack.us/my.php?image=peterhvendetta19711mw8.jpg][/url]
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 2, 2007 - 02:53pm PT
Steppin' out had a rep because that Rhodes scholar/MD, guy didn't like it. A very good climb, that reminds you why you got into climbing stuff like that in the first place.

I'm bummed that I left greenieland before doing those climbs that Chuckawalla showed us at the (other) monument :( Have to settle for medicine man, one of the best four(?) pitch climbs anywhere.

The Henry Barber story; (I did post it , asimilar recounting, anyway, a few years back)
Fall '77 We were supposed to meet him in Vedauwoo, he was to do a slide show later that night. We (Pete Dorsa, Hi Pete!)were liaison. He arrived late.

"Let's do mainstreet." -a 10a OW that had previously repulsed me.

He went to rack up -grabbed EB's and a seven mil.
"er, there is a bad bolt you can clip and you can get some tubes in," I said.
"Nah, if I can't solo it I'll downclimb."

Well, he didn't have to downclimb. I followed it (on the 7 mil) with the juju I got from watching, it almost seemed easy. A whole new world opened for me, the next time I went to generator crack it, too, was almost easy.


I climbed vendetta about '78, after lots of vedauwoo ow 'training for the valley'. It went well, and I was happy, but those brain cells are too long gone to recall the details.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Feb 2, 2007 - 11:10pm PT
I seem to recall climbing Vendetta. Doesn't it start with an angling hand crack and go up under a big alcove and out? I had to haul my two partners, as they were gripped and not as good as I thought, though fun guys, and I think somewhere high up I got tired and worn out with that hauling stuff and rappelled, but I don't remember anything up there being harder than Twilight Zone. I don't even remember an off-width, now.

Pat
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 3, 2007 - 07:46am PT
Vendetta does have an adventurous feel to it, seldom trodden as it is, even with the lichen and sometimes gritty rock, the jams are pretty solid and the position stimulating; the smooth jams of the first pitch, the stable and continuous OW and the cool tringular feature up high make a classy combo.

Billy Russel, Russ Walling and I had been touring a few of the OW standards and obscurities and I was a littled knackered the day of Vendetta; the standard arm bar technique was wittling me down, in fact I had just done Steppin' Out with Russ on the occasion he noted upthread, wherein he rather perfunctorily just punched up it using stacks and knee locks, so my tour up the Vendetta with Billy was the first time I tried stacking which worked like a dream.
Rick L

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Feb 3, 2007 - 07:58am PT
Jesse-


Thanks for the photo and the additional info. I do not know anything about other climbs on the Buttress. We were taken with the line and decided to give it a go. I did exactly the same thing- climbed up and placed some pro and then down, chimneyed sideways and up to get into the OW. Once in, there was no pro to the belay ledge- making me wonder what I had gotten myself into. When Tom came up, I recall that he thought I had taken leave of my senses. Fortunately, I always seemed to favor left side in. I agree that the climb is not 5.11.

As far as the issue of training for OW's, my pal, "Animal" Art Hannon, thought the best thing would be to get a job moving upright pianos and refrigerators in buildings without elevators. That about sums it up for the uppoer body. The footwork, however, is both subtle and critical and must be learned through "on the job training". This, of course, was in pre-"Leavittation" days.

Regards

Rick
chappy

Social climber
ventura
Feb 3, 2007 - 08:54am PT
The Vendetta is a Valley classic. Certainly the first three pitches. The first time I did was many years ago with the Warbler and Mellow Brutus. Donini and I did a last pitch variation--the obvious right facing corner to the left of the normal finish. It was a 5.10 something chimney/off width thing. A bit dirty at the top from debris and brush collecting in it from above. Any one else ever done this pitch??
Chappy
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Feb 3, 2007 - 08:58am PT
Yo Happy Chappy.....

I'm pretty sure that is the finish me and Doug VanGina did... plenty of dirt and leaves.... right facing corner with a big loose flake inside the thing. Sweet!!!

Stemming at the top of it I had my knee pop out of joint and I had to shake it at the roof to get it back in the socket.... then crawl into the trees to belay.... NIce!
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 3, 2007 - 09:09am PT
Rick L:
You post was sure a blast from the past. I did the first ascent in 1972 with my friend and roommate at Berkeley, Tom Kaufman, whose family lived in Grand Junction. I had recently read an article about the Olivery Perry-Smith and his exploits on Dresden sandstone during the early 1900's. For some reason, his amazing accomplishments were virtually unknown in American climbing history. Anyway, we thought it might be nice to name the climb after him as a tip of the hat.

A blast from the past indeed! Hi Rick, I hear from Tom now and then but lost track of you what, 30 years back? cheers, LH

I just read this whole thread for the first time -- great stories from many, SuperTopo at its finest.
WBraun

climber
Feb 3, 2007 - 09:37am PT
So the last several days as I have walked by this vendetta climb, I could hear the faint moans, groans and screams from the past ghosts above who've all been there.

Good on ya all, it's a beautiful classic.

chappy

Social climber
ventura
Feb 3, 2007 - 10:54am PT
Oli,
Did that Crack of Fear thing years and years ago with an old timer named George Hurley (I think that was his name) Pretty cool crack system. Wasn't it first done by a Valley guy Chris Fredricks?? Can't remember my history... Good job on that last pitch Fish! You're the only other person I know besides Jim D. and myself that has done it...
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 3, 2007 - 11:11am PT
Did that Crack of Fear thing years and years ago with an old timer named George Hurley (I think that was his name) Pretty cool crack system. Wasn't it first done by a Valley guy Chris Fredricks??

That's right, FFA Chris Fredericks and Jim Logan, early 60s. As for George Hurley, I have a photo somewhere of the handmade wood nuts, including a wooden camming device, that George used to make the "first all-wood ascent" (with Dave Rearick) of Twister, another runout offwidth/squeeze chimney on the Owls -- 1973.
chappy

Social climber
ventura
Feb 3, 2007 - 11:17am PT
Chiloe,
Good info. 1973 was when we did our ascent. Unfortunately, (or should I say fortunately) this was before George made his wooden gear. Bongs and balls got us up it!Didn't George do some climbing with Kor back in the days? The other route I wanted to do when I was there was Turn Korner or Turn Corner or something like that. I believe Robbins did the first free of that one??
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 3, 2007 - 11:25am PT
Didn't George do some climbing with Kor back in the days?

George climbed quite a bit with Kor, many classic routes such as the FA of the Titan (Kor, Hurley & Huntley Ingalls). He's put up many hundreds of FAs over the years, still going strong.

The other route I wanted to do when I was there was Turn Korner or Turn Corner or something like that. I believe Robbins did the first free of that one??

Turnkorner, a pun on the FA party Kor & Turner. Robbins did the FFA, maybe he came up with that name (Oli?). That's the third classic old Lumpy Ridge offwidth/squeeze chimney, along with Crack of Fear and Twister. I felt proud to thrash up all three back in the tube-chock era, but Turnkorner was the one I'd call "fun."
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 3, 2007 - 11:42am PT
Turkorner is pretty cool to look at and climbs well too, with a slightly overhanging OW/Squeeze crux.

For me, Lumpy's Crack of Fear was most difficult at the left leaning exit of the first (second) pitch; it seemed it would be real tough right at that spot in the old footwear.

Mental Block was one of the few climbs I recall doing with Werner. I remember the first pitch had a weird down pointing flake that formed the thin jams before the long right facing OW corner, then a bulging sort of wider OW bit on the upper pitch.

Then there is that clean OW splitter on Rostrum's Blind Faith...
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 3, 2007 - 12:12pm PT
For me, Lumpy's Crack of Fear was most difficult at the left leaning exit of the first (second) pitch; it seemed it would be real tough right at that spot in the old footwear.

I thought the last pitch, the flared 5.9 chimney, was the fearsome part of the Crack of Fear -- always got my partner to lead that ("Hey, I'll lead the crux!"). The only pro on the last pitch was couple of tube chocks and they were just bunk.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 3, 2007 - 12:56pm PT
Shoot, I don't have any vivid recollection of the upper section; maybe being wafer thin the tight squeeze stuff usually feels secure to me.
(If I tie in with a single wrap bowline on a coil, I can get my hips in Oompf Slot at the Dome in Boulder Canyon)

But the left leaning undercling following the crux has that transitional feel, from burly OW to a quick delicate/power footwork maneuver, which can be weird after settling in to OW mode, much in the way that transitioning from aid to free can feel strange.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 3, 2007 - 01:20pm PT
Hey Peter, your story about Kim falling out a hard move into an easy chimney position on Vendetta is great. I can visualize both of you and the whole sequence, even though I have never been on the climb. Laughed out loud.

I don't get the connection of the name 'Vendetta' with Lloyd's and Gordon's aiding the first ascent and then Royal and Galen freeing later. Unless Royal and Galen renamed it.

More generally, when I was thin and on-width, I liked off-widths. Now that I am off-width, I don't fit so well.

Great thread.

Roger
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Feb 3, 2007 - 03:57pm PT
Roger. Compared to face climbing or climbing thin cracks, I'd have to think that size/weight is not as big an issue with offwidths. Personally, I'm closer to my best offwidth shape than to those others.

I always figured having a bit of extra mass, particularly in the shoulders area, actually helped in offwidths - gives you something to stuff in the crack.
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 3, 2007 - 05:05pm PT
Chiloe-

Turncorner, Crack of Fear and Twister are all great routes. Jimmy Dunn's route, Peaches and Cream (about 1974?), between Twister and CoF, is excellent, too, but a number grade harder, as is the crux of my route, Icarus, which goes wide through the big overhang 500 feet off the deck about 20 feet to the right of Turnkorner (1980).

I remember hiking up to repeat Jimmy's climb with him shortly after he had done the first ascent. We were discussing climbers we knew who might be candidates for best free-climber in the country. Jimmy was adamant that John Bachar was the best. I hadn't climbed with Bachar, but I had climbed with Henry Barber, so we argued the merits of those two greats all the while we were climbing. At the time, Jimmy himself was one of the best. I was honored that he wanted me to repeat "Peaches", and confirm its' quality. In retrospect, how could you choose between two great artists - Barber and Bachar - both absolute masters?
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Feb 3, 2007 - 05:22pm PT
Peaches and Cream is HARD. I remember absolutely cruising Crack of Fear and struggling on P & C the following weekend. I'd like to give Icarus a look.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 3, 2007 - 05:38pm PT
Icarus is one of the coolest looking things at Lumpy.
What size is that roof crack Jeff?
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 3, 2007 - 05:47pm PT
I think it's about 5" or so, Tarbaby. I remember I couldn't get a fist jam, so had to improvise some stacks, with a 180 to get a foot over the lip. Someone else (a better climber!) could probably do it in a more straight-forward fashion.

-TwistedJello
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Feb 3, 2007 - 09:57pm PT
Going back a bit in the thread, I see in my old climbing ledger that I led Edge of Night, but I can't remember anything about it for some reason. I usually remember every climb. I suppose if I could remember where in the Valley it was I'd remember it all again.

About Crack of Fear. That was my favorite climb for a long period of time, and I did it about 20 times, with Bill Briggs, Charlie Fowler, Dave Rearick (who, by the way, invented and gave some of us those wooden nuts -- George H. didn't produce them), and Rearick gave them to various people. He gave me one wooden nut I still cherish that is perfectly round, the size of a baseball. I've never wanted to use it, for fear of scratching it. The Crack of Fear is a perfct climbing lesson from top to bottom, starting as a hand crack (or a difficult finger-tip lieback variation), then a knee size crack, then stemming, then arm bars, then arm locks, then face climbing, a lieback move, then an offwidth (going up to the crux), and then a sweet face climbing move (the crux), and later a mantel followed by an overhanging flare, and by the time you get to the top you've done just about every kind of move a climber can do. That's the kind of route I love and will always remember... I never used the tube chocks, big friends, or such, because that's part of the climb, getting in enough shape to feel good and feel free on those moderately scary runouts...
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 3, 2007 - 10:08pm PT
Crack of Fear was good fun and pretty straight forward even in EB's. Peaches and Cream, on the other hand, was horrendous.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 4, 2007 - 06:40am PT
Oli:
...Dave Rearick (who, by the way, invented and gave some of us those wooden nuts -- George H. didn't produce them), and Rearick gave them to various people. He gave me one wooden nut I still cherish that is perfectly round, the size of a baseball. I've never wanted to use it, for fear of scratching it.

You're right, I should have credited Dave Rearick as the artist behind these nuts. Here's my old photo of their rack, right after George Hurley and Dave made the First All-Wood Ascent (FAWA) of Twister.

eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Feb 4, 2007 - 07:52am PT
I started off with wood on Peaches and Cream...but quickly went flaccid.
E.L. "One"

Big Wall climber
Lancaster, California
Feb 4, 2007 - 09:39am PT
Eeyonkee,

One of the classic lines of all time!

Cracko
goatboy smellz

climber
boulder county
Feb 4, 2007 - 10:45am PT
Hmmm... a 5.f#ck me desperate thrash fest, why not, I'll add it to my summer tick list under Testes Parked.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 4, 2007 - 11:01am PT
Those are saweet, Chiloe, how big a screamer has anyone take on those? What a scary project that would be.

EEyonk, that must have before enzyte, Viagra, priapisms are us, etc.
BTW how are the pullups coming?
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 4, 2007 - 11:09am PT
Those are saweet, Chiloe how big a screamer has anyone take on those? What a scary project that would be.

That I don't know, but on Twister (apart from the low crux) I think nobody wants to fall. It was a lead to take seriously in the old days. What's the mood about that route today?

And to connect the wood-nuts photo to several other themes upthread ... it was taken as we hiked down after climbing Crack of Fear. My partners that day were Tom Kaufman (mentioned by Rick L regarding the Oliver Perry Smith FA) and Joe Herbst, a man fluent in the language of offwidths.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 4, 2007 - 12:19pm PT
I was looking for the B&W photo which depicts a 60's climber's footwear for Crack of Fear:
a Kronie on the left foot and something like a Cortina on the right.
I bet Oli has it.

Anyhow, from Godfrey & Cheltons, Climb!

Here are Crack of Fear & Turnkorner:


Jim Erickson on Crack of Fear


"The crux crack on Turnkorner from which Robbins took a number
of short falls before making the first free ascent in 1964."

Each of these climbs has in its vicinity some OW which would challenge most of us "modern" aspirants and the climbs have been referenced upthread. Both climbs are on my wish list, given some sort of miracle recovery:

1) To the right of Turnkorner is an offwidth roof, "Icarus", which caps a few pitches of very interesting looking terrain,
done by Jeff Lowe and Sandy East.

2) To the right of Crack of Fear and left of Twister is "Peaches & Cream",
a line Jimmy Dunn is quite proud of and which is by all accounts pretty stiff.
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 5, 2007 - 11:17pm PT
Here's a couple of pics of Sundance and Icarus, Tar:

The pitch below the roof, which is actually the crux.


Looking up TurnKorner, which goes up slightly left. The Icarus roof is top left of dead center.

eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Feb 6, 2007 - 06:33am PT
She's a beaut. You take care of that miracle recovery and we can go try some of these Tar!
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 6, 2007 - 07:41am PT
Wow, how hard/wide is Icarus?

There just
isn't
enough
time.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 6, 2007 - 03:01pm PT
Jay,
The times of looked up at it I'd sooo hoped it was a perfunctory hero fist section, but knew better because of the distance some 3 pitches off the deck.

Jeff confirmed that it is about 5".
So there: she's the real deal.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Feb 6, 2007 - 11:53pm PT
Just now back on the thread. Someone mentioned Fredericks and Logan doing the Crack of Fear free in the early '60s. That was incorrect, of course. They did it in the late '60s, around 1968, or even maybe '69 without looking at my books and records. Logan could fit in all the route's off-widths and hammered the big bongs they used from the inside out! He is a skinny bugger, not to be disrespectful. Fredericks is just a very very slow plodder but a good climber. He was the slowest climber I'd ever been with when he and I did Sentinel, but a few years later he'd been doing so many Yosemite cracks he took a very logical crack (so to speak) at the one point of aid remaining on the Crack of Fear. Robbins, in shorts (!) had done the route all free but for one point of aid, when he got turned around or something at the crux. I don't know how he did that thing in shorts. His knees must have been hamburger, but Fredericks, a fair bit below Robbins in actual ability, was skilled enough to hone in on that one point of aid. Logan was just learning then and followed along, like a worm deep in the crack.
That photo of the rack of wooden nuts looks a lot like the very nuts Rearick gave me once, a whole set, and even more. I still have them. They're amazingly strong, actually. How did this thread get off Twilight Zone? I guess comparing different offwidths. Anyone with a fairly husky, strong, big upper body ever try to do the Umph Slot in Boulder Canyon? If you do it on the outside, as I have had to do, it's solid 5.11 or better. That was one of the first climbs I did with Pete Cleveland. He'd never seen such a thing. I took several very good climbers up who couldn't touch it, even following, such as Erickson. That may be the hardest off-width I've ever done, far more difficult than any mentioned so far, but it's shorter and more intense, and it's well protected. If you fit inside, it's about 5.9, as it was for Pratt who had a fairly thin width chest (but wide shoulders).

Pat
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Feb 7, 2007 - 06:19am PT
Yeah, Pat, Umph Slot is probably technically harder than even Peaches and Cream if you can't fit in it. When I did it back in, maybe 1989, it was rated 5.9. I know there must be lots of contenders, but I always thought of it as a good contender for the hardest 5.9 anywhere.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 7, 2007 - 06:41am PT
Heck, Umph Slot even has a hand jam in the back, if you're skinny enough to climb through there--as once upon a time I was. I recall thinking that if I ever soloed a 5.10, which I didn't, Umph Slot would be the one I chose.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 7, 2007 - 06:49am PT
I free soloed Umphslot onsight when I was about 21. I was pretty skinny then.
Fortunately I've been able to avoid it in these days of my more 'Manly', 'mature' physique
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 7, 2007 - 08:16am PT
my thoughts exactly on the slot: if you can't fit in, there are no knee locks, it overhangs, so stacking is out, it would be pretty darned burly. as mentioned earlier, after pulling off my harness and going with a single wrap bowline on a coil, my hips popped in and up I went at about 5.9.

sibley heard the report and stuck with his opinion:
because i could fit in, i didn't actually do the climb!
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Feb 7, 2007 - 08:35am PT
buncha skinny bastards :)
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 7, 2007 - 08:36am PT
The only climb I ever did with Jeff Long, the Boulder climber/writer, was the Umph Slot. I couldn't fit in and found the lead desperate, but anyone who knows how big Jeff Long is (bigger even than John Long), would think he'd never have a chance at following that thing. But amazingly he did. It was like watching Hercules tackling one of his great challenges. He didn't fall or weight the ropes, as I remember. He's a great guy, an awesome writer and he was a good climber, too. He organised and lead the first attempt on the West Face of Makalu, in the mid-seventies.
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 7, 2007 - 11:11am PT
Jay, I think Icarus is a little harder than Peaches, but it's hard to compare, exactly. If you have a really big fist, you might be able to do straight-forward jams on Icarus. It would still be hard, but not as hard as having to stack, swing and turn. The exhilarating thing is, you're hanging over 400 feet straight above the ground, so you have that nice "light and airy" feeling.



Cuckawalla

Trad climber
Grand Junction, CO
Feb 7, 2007 - 11:16am PT
Oli, you ever go to the Hot tomato on Wednesdays from dollar pints, giant cal zones, and some blues?
Cheers,
Jesse
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 7, 2007 - 08:43pm PT
Per that roof on Icarus,
I once heard tell of a skinny guy making his scrawny fist bigger with welding gloves...
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 7, 2007 - 09:01pm PT
I don't think that guy was so scrawny and skinny, Roy. Really, I think he was rather Largo. At least that's the legend, Paisano.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 7, 2007 - 09:53pm PT
Ho Man!
OK, not so thin a man recalled I must confess...
But, the stuff of legend for sure.
Even before I met the guy, that story loomed larger than life.
guycan

Trad climber
flagstaff
Feb 8, 2007 - 02:57pm PT
Has anyone done TZ as well as "Abracadaver" in Cochise? I'm wondering how it compares. Also noteworthy to OW-afficionados are some other "awesome OW's" in AZ located in Sedona. Ck out the "fat bastard", the "prosecuter", "praying hands", and the "ultimate off width".
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 8, 2007 - 04:32pm PT
Why yes, Mark. Abracadaver (the ow part) is about a letter or two easier and much more secure. A spectacular, fun, must-do route all the same.

sadly, have not done those others.
K. Fosburg

Sport climber
park city, ut
Feb 8, 2007 - 05:41pm PT
Hey Jay,
How does the OW pitch on Powerpoint rank in your opinionation? Got back on that last fall and it felt horrendous. What a striking feature though!
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 8, 2007 - 08:42pm PT
Slightly easier, but more to the point it's of a different nature. I've thought that there are basically two kinds of long continuous odubs; The ones where it is mostly work to progress upward but are still pretty secure, as opposed to the insecure ones where you feel like you could pop out and perish, at least at points. I thought TZ was an insecure, and Powerpoint was a keep plugging.

at roughly that same difficulty;

Pluggers
-Powerpoint, Tooth Fairy -indian Creek, ist pitch of Tricks of the trade-Zion,

Insecure,
-TZ, PlumbLine, Chopper, Edge of night (though those last two have definite cruxes and aren't as continous)


Jump Back Jack @ Granite Mtn is a meld, three(?) distinct, popable cruxes but you definity feel a cumulative burn by the end
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 8, 2007 - 09:39pm PT
The offwidth on Abracadaver was originally lead by Dave Baker (a skilled wide crack man) and rated 5.9! He ran the thing out from the bolt to a sideways #11 hex once it hit fist size. Combining the second and third pitch is definitely the ticket to a stellar lead on this classic line.

Jump Back Jack Crack is probably the best wide crack in AZ and talk about striking. I did the right side start for some extra pumpage but wilted above the crux bulge when faced with the long upper squeeze. I can still hear the clink of the tube chocks. Love to give it another try decades later!
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Feb 8, 2007 - 11:56pm PT
Tarbuster, sorry getting slow at getting back. Your comment on the photo with one Cortina and one Kronhoeffer. Yes that's a photo of me looking down at my feet, and below Roger Briggs coming up the first pitch of Crack of Fear, in about 1965 or 66. I used the two different shoes because the right side is in the crack, better for jamming with a stiffer shoe, and the left is stemming on holds on the left wall in places. Seemed a good strategy, but not so good higher up.

The Umph Slot. If you fit in, you solo it anyway -- as it's not hard to do it at all with just an inch difference in chest thickness. And some think they do it on the outside but probably are half in and not all the way out, the latter of which is about 5.11+. But I took a 14 year old kid up it one day who wiggled up through and found it easy. I actually did it that way, crushing myself into it when I was young and thinner, and I tied the rope around my ankle so it wouldn't get in the way, but then I got kind of husky (fat) and had to do the outside thing, a really tough though artful challenge.

Every climb is different really, for every person. I once climbed Super Squeeze (up left of Umph Slot), actually did its first free ascent, and though I did the route several times over the years, this one time I slipped a little at the hole you have to squeeze through and my head stuck. I was hanging there by my head and nothing else for a second. It slammed my jaw shut. That's a wild pitch, 5.11, and if I had died there it would have been cool to leave my body hanging right there by the head, a ghostly dark thing climbers would note while doing other routes nearby...

Pat
guycan

Trad climber
flagstaff
Feb 9, 2007 - 11:55am PT
Steve-
I realize Abracadaver was originally rated 5.9, what is the current accepted rating? When I did it I tied pitch 1 & 2 (the OW) together. I followed the 3rd pitch (11c) which I found felt somewhat easier....
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 9, 2007 - 11:58am PT
Pat said:
"I once climbed Super Squeeze (up left of Umph Slot), actually did its first free ascent, and though I did the route several times over the years, this one time I slipped a little at the hole you have to squeeze through and my head stuck. I was hanging there by my head and nothing else for a second. It slammed my jaw shut. That's a wild pitch, 5.11, and if I had died there it would have been cool to leave my body hanging right there by the head, a ghostly dark thing climbers would note while doing other routes nearby..."

Wonderful - if a bit grizzly - image, Pat! I agree, Super Squeeze is almost as hard as Umph Slot. Kind of unique to have two such unusual little climbs in close proximity.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 9, 2007 - 12:05pm PT
Wonderful - if a bit grizzly - image, Pat! I agree, Super Squeeze is almost as hard as Umph Slot. Kind of unique to have two such unusual little climbs in close proximity.

I used to like both of them. And in the same vein -- aren't By Gully and Coffin Crack pretty wonderful little side-by-side 5.9s? Prolly not 5.9 anymore, but they were in Pat's blue book (I think Umph Slot was too).
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 9, 2007 - 12:37pm PT
You're right, Chiloe. I'd kind of forgotten about By Gully and Coffin Crack. 5.9 used to be hard, didn't it?
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 9, 2007 - 04:15pm PT
Hell, 5.6 used to be hard. Cussin' Crack? Cozyhang? Empor?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 9, 2007 - 09:36pm PT
I didn't climb Chopper's crux, I laybacked it, haha.
Same with the OW crux on Free Stone, oops.
Got a mild groin pull on TZ from working that right leg.

Shoot, I forgot about Powerpoint (Higher Rock); the OW was as Jay described. I couldn't free the face move which pops up right after leaving the corner, right at a junk bolt. That bit of crack higher up, I think it went from 2", to 1.5", then down to fingers and finally spits you out on a beautiful arete right where it finaly joins the Crucifix, man that's a cool spot.

The 'lil bit of OW on Crucifix is a pleasure.

Hey Jay, speaking of Powerpoint, did you check out the jumbled overhanging wide roofy bit there on the rest of the Pratt-Kelsey? As Powerpoint heads right, I recall Pratt Kelsey keeps slugging upward through that stuff; it looked challenging to do free.

Here's a couple other longer routes with niceley positioned OW pitches:
Blind Faith, Rostrum.
W Face Castleton.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 9, 2007 - 10:09pm PT
That was the photo Oli,
When I was Pulling that layback/undercling bit on Crack of Fear, that was the footwear I imagined doing it in and thought, wow.

Bye Gulley and Coffin Crack!
Haven't even done them...
But soon I may be healthy enough; Yipeee!
And they are 7 minutes from my porch.

'Just lead a couple pitches of WI 3/4 today and I haven't done that for 23 years...
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 9, 2007 - 10:44pm PT
My remaining brain cell has too little ram to recall all of the Powerpoint details, Roy. I remember there was a lot of cool stuff around, up there, maybe what you mentioned. I followed that 11c mank bolt protected traverse, and though I was too terrified to fall, I could not swear there was no tight rope.

I lead the crux ow on Blind Faith (my Rope gun, Lynn Wheeler led the 11+ thin hands pitch, much to my delight) and remember it as a keep on plugging kinda deal and hard not to get Boysin-ized in. Also got clunked on the head on follow by a home made big cam higher up.

West face of Castelton was the last route I climbed with the late great Bill Bradshaw, spring -03 (?), I think. I led the wide pitch, humpy and dumpy, but just for a few moves; Left side in elbow locks with right hand gaston. Bill found no problem with liebacking the sharp edge and I actually could find only style-istic, fru frou, pro ow, flaws, with his approach. I wish it wasn't too late for me to climb as well as he used to.

I ~onsight freesoloed Bye Gully and Coffin crack (I think I had previouslly bouldered the bottom of at least one of them before) when I was young and foolish and had just spent a stir-crazy, on and off again spring climbing season, in Vedauwoo.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 9, 2007 - 11:15pm PT
Here's Blind Faith:
Crux

The upper flare:


Looking down the easier 10- OW on Castleton's W Face, my buddy following a direct finish:


A short & sweet bit of 5.10 on Higher Rock's Crucifix:


The Lower Portion of Chopper Flake:


And Crack Wars, (near Castleton, The Rectory, left of Fine Jade) which has some nice long moderate OW:
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 9, 2007 - 11:56pm PT
'Buster, those pics you posted show me why off-width in all its' variety is so compelling.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 10, 2007 - 05:33am PT
Nice pics, Tarbuster! We've been too long without your photo threads.
Have a good time when you try By Gully (a funner route than slippery Coffin Crack, IMHO).

I've posted this before, but it's one of my favorites.
Steve Wunsch runs out a pitch with no pro, blue sky and clouds below his feet.
North Sixshooter Peak.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 10, 2007 - 07:19am PT
Thanks fellas!
Oh that's right, another one I never got "into", that Pratt OW on the "Backside" of N Six Shooter; what an all time classic looking thing.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 11, 2007 - 02:38pm PT
guycan, I think 5.10- is fair for the second pitch of Abra which is a squeeze problem for the most part and fairly secure. Did you find the stem rest part way up the layback section? 5.11c seems harder than my recollection for the linkup.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 11, 2007 - 04:29pm PT
Hey Roy, nice pictures. And everyone looks like they are having fun.

Roger
WBraun

climber
Feb 11, 2007 - 04:35pm PT
Very early ascent of Cream, Yosemite Valley. John Bachar is the climber.

guycan

Trad climber
flagstaff
Feb 11, 2007 - 05:19pm PT
steve-
yeah that stem rest on Abra makes the pitch a lot easier, as I recall I actuall found several stems on which to get off my hands.

here's a link to "the other site" w/ some good OW pics.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/tags/all/offwidth/
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 11, 2007 - 07:28pm PT
Having fun on one of my last wide-crack climbs. Bats in the Bellfry, Arch Tower, 1999. Just like a ballerina!


Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 11, 2007 - 07:35pm PT
Looks like yer so on it ya cud do it in yer sleep.
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 11, 2007 - 10:01pm PT
Yeah, Tar, I was just takin' a little nap before the hard part.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Feb 12, 2007 - 07:58am PT
The key to offwidth is to make the Most of available rests. It may take longer but generally works out better, as long as the belayers is not likewise resting at the wrong times.
Kofi Donny Annan

climber
darkest of africa
May 2, 2008 - 07:54am PT
just bumpage for a very wide thread
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
May 2, 2008 - 09:35am PT
But, has Bachar climbed Cream Naked?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 2, 2008 - 11:47am PT
maybe we can take some swabs, do a DNA analysis on them and determine who has left DNA in Cream...

...ok STForum, who's going to give us samples?

eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
May 2, 2008 - 12:18pm PT
I would assume I've left a little DNA on every hard OW I've done, including TZ.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
May 2, 2008 - 12:42pm PT
The Rock Police will be taking DNA samples at the top, bottom and middle, to verify all ascent claims. For accurate results, they recommend that all OW's be climbed in shorts.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
May 2, 2008 - 01:03pm PT
One of the things rarely mentioned about the Zone is the top out, which used to be via a big loose hummock with deep rope burns grooved into the thing. I must have done that last pitch a dozen times and always wondered when the hummock was gonna blow.

JL
martygarrison

Trad climber
Modesto
May 2, 2008 - 02:45pm PT
good god, a post on ow from Pat Ament. Early on ow was my thing. Pat was always a hero to me from guide books etc. What a great site that brings us together.
nutjob

Stoked OW climber
San Jose, CA
Nov 12, 2008 - 05:33pm PT
Bump for fertilizing my OW wet dreams
martygarrison

Trad climber
The Great North these days......
Nov 12, 2008 - 07:30pm PT
Great pics of Blind Faith and Cream, never did either. Can anyone compare to Steppin Out which I did climb? Also, way back in this thread someone spoke of liebacking death crack..Onsighted this one and was way too scared to lieback, jammed that whole thing.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 12, 2008 - 07:54pm PT
Right Marty, you had to protect it and we all know how hard that is on a double overhanging lieback. You did great.
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Feb 21, 2009 - 10:50pm PT
OT-climbing bump
WBraun

climber
Feb 21, 2009 - 10:59pm PT
Death crack --- I jammed it too

grover

Social climber
Canada
Feb 22, 2009 - 12:11am PT
How did i miss this............?

Nice.




Strider

Trad climber
one of god's mountain temples....
Feb 22, 2009 - 12:51am PT
Your face in that picture is FIERCE Werner.

Good stuff, nice bump.

-n
Stephen McCabe

Trad climber
near Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 22, 2009 - 11:58pm PT
On the first on-sight lead of Death Crack, Dale Bard liebacked a short section. After placing a #7 or #8 hex at the base of the main difficulties, he jammed up the crack and placed another hex or two. When he got just above where Werner is in the photo, Dale reached up to that edge of the flake and started liebacking for a move or two and then pulled right back into the crack. What was remarkable was that he looked so casual while grabbing a lieback hold, calmly putting his foot out on the face above his head, doing a move or so and pulling up into the off-width. He made it look like it was the natural way to do it. This was probably the third lead of the climb. It was about 7 days after the first ascent.
P.Kingsbury

Trad climber
the jeep
Mar 12, 2009 - 10:18pm PT
did i beat ed to the bump?

the race is on!!!!!!!!!!!1



edit: the front page is almost 25% wideness right now!!!

cheers!
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Mar 12, 2009 - 10:23pm PT
Mc succulent, now that, is the stuff we tune in for, most of us, anyway, I think.
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Mar 12, 2009 - 11:37pm PT
are the kings bros making it to the josh, 'he has risen' event? We may need ropeguns

!
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Mar 19, 2009 - 03:42pm PT
classic

"Bottom line is if people demand more climbing sh#t, they'll bump it."
bump


Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Mar 21, 2009 - 10:16am PT
never gets old
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Mar 21, 2009 - 10:31am PT
I'm trying to recall a Animal Nickname story about a Spanish CaveDweller on acid, on all fours, having an epic at the base of Death Crack. Animal guy simply stands up, grabs a few cams and jams--"only large paws"--to the swing through. It'd be nice to have actual confirmation of any such validity.

I tried it once with the Leader of the Blue Balls Conga Line who, despite claims of having mastered handjams with her then North Face-sponsored love associate, couldn't get a single jam in. Might have had something to do with the full sleeve of tape. Anyhow, it was a sad display on both our parts.

Where's Vern to recount the FA?
Fuzzywuzzy

climber
suspendedhappynation
Nov 9, 2009 - 09:14am PT
Steve -

didn't you do the Rt side of Absolutely Free? Tell us, does it live up to roper's description?
Great posts from all!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 21, 2011 - 07:37pm PT
great pix and everything else bump
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 21, 2011 - 08:20pm PT
Wyde wednesday style bump
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Dec 21, 2011 - 08:36pm PT
creek wide seems so much more accessible than valley wide

tooth fairy 11-

Credit: snowhazed
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Dec 22, 2011 - 08:34am PT
skating on stilts
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 5, 2012 - 09:13pm PT
bump
dhayan

climber
los angeles, ca
Nov 22, 2013 - 03:46pm PT
Bump!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Feb 2, 2014 - 09:50pm PT
Bump
Messages 1 - 195 of total 195 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews