3rd ascent of the WOEML,, who did it?

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TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jan 1, 2011 - 04:22pm PT
i think Royal should be granted a reprieve by the climbing community for his role regarding this climb

i think it will say a lot about the maturity of the climbing community to do so

Royal had a long struggle with the philosophical quandary of climbing as an art form vs over-engineering

there is an old saying that you shouldn't criticize someone until you have walked a mile in their footsteps

it says a lot about Royal that he was able to set aside his ego and original intense feelings and deferred to Warren's mastery

Warren made a statement by the way he established this climb and Royal seconded that statement by his change of attitude in the course of repeating the climb. Together they made a statement that has helped shape the future of the sport.

there are still lessons to learn from them, going beyond how someone can get up a big rock
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 1, 2011 - 08:34pm PT
I don't believe Royal was reviled for his actions on WOEML. Partway up he realized that Harding in fact had done some brilliant climbing, and accordingly he decided the route did have merit, and did not attempt to erase the rest of it. He should have, however, replaced the bolts he chopped.

Jim Beyer, on the other hand, is a total wanker and had no business doing what he did.

I repeat my offer to be part of the team re-replacing the bolts that Beyer chopped. We could make a huge big wall camping trip out of it. Beer will probably be involved.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jan 1, 2011 - 09:05pm PT
If I had the time, I'd take you up on that one, Pete.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jan 2, 2011 - 03:45pm PT
sounds interesting!


can someone remind me where John Harlin's original route went and how far he got with it?
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 3, 2011 - 12:55am PT
One time bump..hoping to learn a little more history.
Jack McBroom

Trad climber
Hemet, Ca.
Jan 3, 2011 - 01:21am PT
The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pitches were rebolted in June 1992 (the first pitch is just up a free climbing slab). I heard about it a few weeks later and my partner Rick Skidmore (Hippie Rick, with long hair, glasses and a chevy van from West Virginia) and I jumped on it to make the 4th ascent of the "original line" which we did the first week of July 1992. We laughed a lot about this because, come on now, it was only a difference of those 3 pitches.

On the subject of Royal's chopping them, it seems to be a very minority opinion today, but I think he was right. It is very hard to judge the past but at some point, somebody has to draw a line in the sand. Royal, in his ethical righeousness, said "enough!" and he did it. We think today it was arrogance, etc., but he has written a lot about it and he certainly does not come across like that. He apparently was very, very conflicted about it. But he wanted to make a point. 3 pitches did that quite well.
What we forget is that it worked! Afterward everyone worked hard to not cross that line and for the next 30 years each new route was evaluated partly by how many "holes" were drilled.

I think it is terrible that he was regretful and I think it is terrible that everyone was so hard on him for it. It's typical of us though.
We bitch and bitch about something like Cesare Maistre's bolts on Cerro Torre then bitch and bitch when someone chops them.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jan 3, 2011 - 01:36am PT
Royal did not make an lasting impression on Warren by chopping his route.

That is why he walked over to the porcelin wall, with 2 young guns, Steve and Dave, and proceeded to mock Royals handiwork.

Drill, jug, and chop.

That is by far and away the most controversial ascent in yosemite's history.

Jack McBroom

Trad climber
Hemet, Ca.
Jan 3, 2011 - 01:43am PT
Ha ha. Yes that's true. I'm sure Robbins never dreamed he would make any "impression" on Harding himself. Kind of had the opposite effect apparently.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 3, 2011 - 01:47am PT
For what my opinion is worth, I second Jack's thoughts about Royal.

It was obvious then, and obvious now that the rock is a limited resource and without self imposed ethical rules we run the risk of bringing the rock down to our level and not reaching our potential or growing more as a person. Minimizing hole counts is one way of trying to adhere to the spirit of adventure, but just getting up El Cap is also one way of adhering to that spirit.

Holding both the position of Harding and Royal in a philosophical tension keeps the lessons of those that have gone before us more crisply in mind when we are tasked with the same ethical dilemma today.

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 3, 2011 - 01:49am PT
2nd Mucci's statement about controversial climb as well.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jan 3, 2011 - 02:06am PT
Munge-

I think you hit the nail on the head with your last statement.

ETHICS were the issue then. Yet the scope of the practice was indiscernable.

Today we value style over ethics, the later residing much deeper in ones soul.


Never again have we resorted to such GRAND examples of destruction in the climbing community.

They both made thier impression upon us.

T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Jan 3, 2011 - 09:37am PT
Rick Lovelace and I did an ascent of the original start shortly after Gerby re established it in the early 90s. It may have been the next ascent after his.
BASE104

climber
An Oil Field
Jan 3, 2011 - 10:52am PT
Well, from Hockey Night, you are right next to the original WOEML start. I mean you can look at it. I don't think there was a rivet ladder until you join Mescalito. The stuff below, that was chopped, was pretty natural. If they weren't using copperheads, it would have been pretty hard, I think. Hockey night used a lot of heads, but they were really bomber. Looked like WOEML was about the same on the first couple of pitches above the slab start.

Beyer going up and chopping a lot of stuff on routes. What an ass. They should just be replaced.

If anyone has read his little piece about the measure of a man in that Alpinist issue with the article on the Titan, it explains a lot.

edit: On the part of WOEMl that I did from the Hockey Night start, there were no bathook holes. Harding had these weird mushroom rivets. I think he had left bathooking behind at that point, or something.
wildone

climber
Troy, MT
Oct 24, 2011 - 07:00am PT
On which route was it that Beyers version of "chopping" the bolts was to just wail on the hangers and bolt with a hammer and leave the smashed-flat mess? (insert mental image of an emotional two-year-old having a temper tantrum)
ec

climber
ca
Oct 24, 2011 - 09:01am PT
Regardless of outcome I think its obvious that Robbins' actions DID deeply affect Harding and he carried the scars of the whole thing to the end of his days.

DMT

WOEML & WoS and their FAists generated similar reactions from the 'court of my opinion' didn't they?

 ec
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Oct 24, 2011 - 10:04am PT
Charlie Porter and I went up there with the intention of reestablishing the bolts that Robbins and Lauria chopped and then finishing with the third ascent of that route.... We ended up climbing the Right Side of El Cap Tower and completed bolting the traverse until we connected with WOEML.
We got burned off with the July heat and so came back down. Afterwards, I think in the Fall,
Charlie went up there by himself, repeated the pitches we climbed and then finished on WOEML,
So, Charlie did the third ascent solo.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 24, 2011 - 10:17am PT
Who did the third to last ascent?
BASE104

climber
An Oil Field
Oct 24, 2011 - 10:24am PT
Wasn't you?
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Oct 24, 2011 - 12:17pm PT
There was a 6ft tall, paper thin flake, barely attached to the wall, that you had to try to avoid touching (rope running over it). Probably not there anymore
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Oct 24, 2011 - 01:49pm PT
most people don't seem to realize that Mark Powell and Harding weren't the first to make a serious attempt on the wall

the first time i walked up to the base of El Cap in about 1960 there was an old rope hanging down far clear of the rock from up on the WOEML area

someone at the time told me that it was left by John Harlin retreating from attempting the first ascent prior to Harding's efforts

does anyone know more about this?
Messages 21 - 40 of total 40 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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