Sentinel Rock Summit Register- Classic Who's Who 1934-1976

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 19, 2011 - 02:57pm PT
Quite a while ago Ray Olsen mentioned finding a very cool Yosemite summit register while rooting around in Yvon Chouinard's attic while he was working for him. Well, here it is! Royal set this register and transcribed and added to the contents in pen fortunately. I am not sure where the original register has ended up. Royal couldn't recall but hopefully the Bancroft ended up with it. Guido? The Sentinel register is really a Who's Who in Yosemite climbing! Enjoy it!




















The last of Royal's entries is in black ink.
























The two Sentinel routes that this young man did with Chuck Kroger shown in the register page above were certainly the high points in his life. Ernie Milburn was killed not long after these climbs when an old sling broke on him while rappeling from Goodrich Pinnacle. Chuck subsequently partnered up with another Stanford alum Scott Davis and the rest...is history!
























































That is the last entry!

Quite the list of familiar names of accomplished climbers that grace the ST. Hopefully this will pull some of these folks back to this climber's forum. Routes, tales and history are the gifts that keep on giving...

Al Stecks superb account of the first ascent of the Steck- Salathé is posted on post #101.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jun 19, 2011 - 03:09pm PT
Some serious history there. Thanks for sharing.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jun 19, 2011 - 03:12pm PT
Now, that is a walk down memory lane!

As always thanks Steve and this might, just might, induce some of the old boys to open the archives of antiquity and contribute before it all turns to dust.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 19, 2011 - 03:17pm PT
The names of ST posters that I recognize so far include Tom Cochrane, Royal Robbins, Bill Amborn, and Joe Fitschen - although some are infrequent. And maybe a lurker or two is in there, too.

Interesting that the "Chouinard-Herbert" is generally referred to as the "Chessman Route".
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 19, 2011 - 03:21pm PT
most recently I've heard the Chouinard-Herbert referred to as the "Cherbert", like the refreshing dessert...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2011 - 04:14pm PT
This register came my way because of a correspondence with Steve Roper about the order of ascents on the Steck- Salathé Route. I was trying to place Tom Frost's ascents. Here is the chronology that he sent me. I asked if he would be willing to scan and post the register contents and he sent the register my way instead. This is primo historical material.

Big thanks to Roper!!!

Early Ascents of Sentinel's north face (Steck-Salathé), 1950 through May 1974:

(Information from notes taken by Steve Roper in 1961/62 and, mainly, Sierra Club Register # 318, from top of Sentinel, given to SR by Yvon Chouinard, 11 Oct 93. Early ascents, before 1963, were copied into this register in 1963 by Royal Robbins, so some of these earlier dates may be suspect. And, of course, not all climbers found or signed the register, especially those in a hurry near dusk.)


1. John Salathé and Allen Steck. July 1950. 5 days.

2. Royal Robbins, Jerry Gallwas, and Don Wilson. 2 days. July 5-6, 1953

3. Royal Robbins and Mike Sherrick. Aug. 11-12, 1956. 1.5 days. (Register, copied years later, says 1955; Ament claims 1954 in his book; SCB 57, p. 57 says 1956; Mugelnoos says Aug 11-12, 1956)

4. Mark Powell and Chuck Wilts. June 22-23, 1957. 1.5 days.

5. Dave Rearick and Bob Kamps. June 21-22, 1958. 2 days.

6. Yvon Chouinard and TM Herbert. June, 1959. 2 days.

7. Chuck Pratt and Charlie Raymond. August, 1959. 2 days.

8. Royal Robbins, Pete Rogowski, and Lin Ephriam. Sept. 6-7, 1959. 2 days.

9. Joe Fitschen and Tom Frost. Sept. 6-7, 1959 (Separate rope with above team.) 2 days.
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Jun 19, 2011 - 05:35pm PT
lets see more pages!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
Jun 19, 2011 - 05:42pm PT
Fabulous! TFPU!!!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2011 - 07:48pm PT
Ten more pages in the OP...
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 19, 2011 - 07:52pm PT
"13 Oct 64 - Tom Cochrane - 2' 3" - via fixed lines on west face"

Then you read the entry above, and get the picture. LoL!
yo

climber
Mudcat Spire
Jun 19, 2011 - 07:54pm PT
Royal 3:35

Oh noes, what if something bad happens????? Please rope up!!
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 19, 2011 - 08:45pm PT
Many thanks to Royal for recopying this, to Steve Roper for sending his information and most of all to Steve Grossman for posting it! It was so interesting to see the succession of climbers as one generation replaced another on those climbs with the exception of Royal and Chuck who seemed to keep coming back.

I was surprised to see the Dornan brothers from Wyoming up there in 1968. I somehow thought they had climbed in the Valley earlier. I guess I got this impression because I knew Dave and Reed in Boulder in 1963 and 64 and always thought of them as older than me and also more experienced from their descriptions of Devil's Tower and the Tetons. Now I remember that Dave did visit us in Berkeley in the late '60's.

I last saw Dave and Reed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysisa in 1973, where he was doing a public health internship for a graduate degree and I was passing through on my way to Nepal for the first time. Does anyone know what they are doing now?
BBA

climber
OF
Jun 20, 2011 - 12:07am PT
I did a write up on this a while back. Guido had said it was the 9th ascent, but I was sure it was the 11th. In deference to Guido, I started the write up as the 9th ascent, even though I felt that deferring to him is probably always the wrong idea. Nice picture of me and Foott in that thread.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=724360&tn=0

I don't remember signing the register, maybe Jeff did it for us.
10b4me

Ice climber
Happy Boulders
Jun 20, 2011 - 12:52am PT
classic
john hansen

climber
Jun 20, 2011 - 01:38am PT
Very good history. One of your best ever.

I like the entry Sept 9 / 66. 3 hours 35 minutes. Where is the entry a couple days before from Roper and Sacherer?

Is the Gobi Wall and Psychedelic wall in there somewhere?

Thanks Steve.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jun 20, 2011 - 01:55am PT
Dang! Third ascent of Chessman Pinnacle route [later Chouinard-Herbert] in only eight hours in 1963 by Sacherer and Roper.
SeanH

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 20, 2011 - 03:39am PT
So cool, thanks for posting. So many big names there. One of my favorite things about climbing is when you do a route and know that in a way you're sharing an experience with so many other people. It's a weird comparison, and I haven't owned a piano for a few years, so I don't play often, but, in a way...if you play classical music, it's kind of interesting to think how you can be playing something beethoven, chopin, or bach wrote 150-200 years ago, and you know you're fighting the same difficulties and enjoying the same things that so many countless other students have dealt with for generations. Looking forward to steck salathe some day in the future.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2011 - 11:28am PT
Great thread BBA!

Don't know how I missed that one...
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Jun 20, 2011 - 11:33am PT
Jeff Lowe (16)

I love it!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 20, 2011 - 01:45pm PT
Thanks much. I love these old register reproduction threads.

John
Scott Thelen

Trad climber
Truckee, Ca
Jun 20, 2011 - 01:55pm PT
Its great to see Tony Qamars name. He stayed at my house a couple weeks before he died. F*#king loging trucks.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2011 - 02:46pm PT
I started a thread about Tony...Check it out!

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=107615&tn=0
frog-e

Trad climber
Imperial Beach California
Jun 20, 2011 - 03:10pm PT
Check it out...3rd ascent Chouinard-Herbert: 8 hours!

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2011 - 03:15pm PT
Ray- Is this the register that you were talking about?
frog-e

Trad climber
Imperial Beach California
Jun 20, 2011 - 03:42pm PT
Pretty sure it is, Steve.

Pulled the thing out of a box of old patterns and stuff. Opened it, realized it was THE summit register from Sentinel. Put on YC's desk and mentioned it. Really cool to see the thing here in all it's glory. Very motivational and instructive document, IMHO.



TomKimbrough

Social climber
Salt Lake City
Jun 20, 2011 - 03:50pm PT
Very nice! I was sure I had climbed the S/S in Sept '65 with Roman Laba but here I see it was Sept '67.
Plus I did the East Arete in Aug '67 with Tom Likinzapfel??? A real name? I have no memory of him or the ascent. Sorry Tom. I expect I was checking out the descent in case Roman and I were late getting to the top.
But sad that I have forgotten so much.
I dam- sure remember falling out of the Narrows on that climb with Roman.
I dropped my legs and was spit out like a cherry pit. And with nothing in I fell right by Roman, banging on down the chimney below. There is still a scar on my left arm from the scrape. I was a good deal more careful on my second try.
frog-e

Trad climber
Imperial Beach California
Jun 20, 2011 - 04:27pm PT
Bad ass...

Credit: frog-e
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jun 20, 2011 - 05:10pm PT
Beck and Sacherer. First one day ascent of a Grade VI.

Eric tells good stories about that climb. Some of them are on the Sacherer thread.
LongAgo

Trad climber
Jun 20, 2011 - 07:55pm PT
SeanH says, "So cool, thanks for posting. So many big names there. One of my favorite things about climbing is when you do a route and know that in a way you're sharing an experience with so many other people.."

Indeed, as I think I said elsewhere, as opposed to a wave surfed, a ski slope skied, even a mountain cornice traversed, rock as the medium of rock climbing insures you hands and feet travel over the same or very nearly the same matter as those before. Well, one might make a move slightly differently than some or most predecessor, and rock too changes, but many superior routes like the Steck Salathe remain largely as they were, insuring we feel strong kinship with those who grunted (or flew) up the Narrows, and who looked out from shadowy chimneys at the same ageless Valley, and watched their watches and the sun, or perhaps spent a cool night under the stars. And so, while it's impossible to sign the water wave or snow slope, signing a rock summit register is not only possible but potentially transformative beyond mere recording. Even here, my eyes scanning an electronic form of the old register, I felt something akin to holding the real thing: a linking of hands across time, across faces and people known and honored, now etched again in memory, companions in the pursuit of high and beautiful places, each in their time blessed by health and determination and chance too, by a body working to its best, mind ablaze or fearful or anxious, but vital, alive, purposeful, and again and again awed by the beauty and power of vast stone spaces everywhere in view.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 20, 2011 - 08:13pm PT
Summit of Sentinel Rock. L. to R.: BowDawg, Kim Schmitz, Conrad Willet...
Summit of Sentinel Rock. L. to R.: BowDawg, Kim Schmitz, Conrad Willet, Don Lauria (red shirt) Jim Madsen. Sept., 1966
Credit: BooDawg
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Jun 20, 2011 - 08:40pm PT
Really GREAT thread, Steve! Thanks so much to all who had a hand in bringing the register here! It sure does bring back the memories and is one of the aspects that I love best about S.T.

Thanks, Anders, for reposting that summit shot, tho I'd have done it here.

John H: Psychedlic is here 9/10/66. Gobi came a year later in July, 1969.

Are there more pages to post, Steve?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2011 - 08:42pm PT
I'll get there lads...LOL

A few pages short of half way at 22 pages posted.
F10

Trad climber
e350 / Bishop
Jun 20, 2011 - 08:42pm PT
TFPU cool stuff...
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Jun 20, 2011 - 08:49pm PT
Great thread.

Tom-In the same way that rock provides a connection with all those who have done a route before before you, rock is also a personal time machine. It allows you to relive the exact same series of movements you made the first time you climbed a route, say 20, 40, or 60 years earlier, and test your old memories against the new experience.

Thanks for a beautifully expressed post.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2011 - 09:02pm PT
It was a BIG thrill to crack open this time capsule!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tom!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2011 - 10:33pm PT
Eight more pages!
Dolomite

climber
Anchorage
Jun 20, 2011 - 10:38pm PT
Shameful that Steve has to bump his own thread. This is the best thread I've seen here in a long time. It should stay on page one forever. Thanks for posting!
john hansen

climber
Jun 20, 2011 - 10:49pm PT
Boo dog, I saw your route but it had no name yet. When did you name it
"Psychedelic Wall" ?

I like the April 8 1970,, Doug Scott, Royal Robbins, and Tony Willment.
Johnny K.

climber
Southern,California
Jun 20, 2011 - 10:57pm PT
Wow,just amazing to read all the entries.Steve,thank you again for such an awesome post!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2011 - 11:04pm PT
John- Tony Willmott was a very talented Brit who died far too young...

Cool to see his name again.
john hansen

climber
Jun 20, 2011 - 11:07pm PT
Steve, that seemed to happen to a lot of young Brits that hung around with Doug Scott..
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jun 20, 2011 - 11:26pm PT
Wonderful thread! Susan
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 20, 2011 - 11:45pm PT
Talk about a who's who. The following, at least, are also people who sometimes post to SuperTopo, although in a few cases infrequently. In order of appearance of name: Royal Robbins, Joe Fitschen, Bill Amborn, Steve Roper, Tom Cochrane, Ken Boche, Eric Beck, Dennis Hennek, Don Lauria, Chris Jones, Jeff Lowe, Pat Ament, Phil Gleason, Rick Sylvester, Ed Drummond, Barry Bates, Dick Erb, John Stannard. And maybe some others I don't remember, or whose names I couldn't read.

That, and Tom's poetic post, really show how coherent our community is, and what we have in common.
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Jun 21, 2011 - 12:03am PT
Here's a bit of trivia; Roper did the first ascent of Chessman Pinnacle before the entire Chouinard-Herbert route was done. Many assume that the name derives from a fancied resemblance to a chess piece. Rather, it was named for Caryl Chessman, a tragic figure, then on death row in San Quentin, who was subsequently executed.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 21, 2011 - 12:34am PT
Thanks for that Roper history on Chessman, Eric!

Who was he climbing with at the time?
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jun 21, 2011 - 01:04am PT
Yes Roper has the original and used to read from it to me
in phone calls. I see I failed to list the route, when
I did Sentinel in June 1967 with Ruwitch. We actually did the West Face,
about 12 hours of climbing. We were ready for a big two day
affair, started up two pitches, bivouacked, then made it to
the top with plenty of time to have done those two pitches. Oh
well, live and learn. It was great, beautiful climbing, though,
which is all that ever matters... When Pratt and I did the
Salathe-Steck in about five hours, I wasn't ready to be done
with the climb. I was having so much fun and with such a great
friend. On the other hand, earlier doing it with Fredericks,
he kept us moving slow, and I was ready to be done. Yet I still
value that friendship and that ascent as well.
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jun 21, 2011 - 01:41am PT
Thanks Steve.
Thank You doesn't seem to cover it.
It's more than just the memories. It re-ignites a certain fire.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 21, 2011 - 02:09am PT
It's interesting that at the start, all ascents were listed, even those from the backside. Later the record is limited to technical climbs. Is Sentinel still often ascended from the Pohono trail, or whatever the proper approach would be?
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jun 21, 2011 - 07:44am PT
Fun stuff!
east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Jun 21, 2011 - 09:59am PT
Thanks Murry, very enjoyable . Cheers
Barry Bates

Boulder climber
Smith River CA
Jun 21, 2011 - 01:25pm PT
Thanks for the post Steve brings back a lot of good memories, I've always been impressed with Robbins three hour thirty-five minute ascent of Steck Salathe way back in 66 seems way ahead of its time.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 21, 2011 - 02:00pm PT
I read every entry in that register, lost as I was in a wrinkle in time. Like Phil said, those yellowed pages ignite a certain kind of fire.

These charmed pages are, I think, true talismans, are what Hammerstein was driving at with My Favorite Things, and what Ira Gershwin was chasing down in, I'll build a Stairway to Paradise:

I got the blues
And up above it's so fair:
Shoes,
Go on and carry me there!

For the lack of "shoes," we have a register, and black lines dashed off on white paper. So many familiar names. A shared history spanning time and generations. We read and we shape shift. And the past catches fire in the present.

JL
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 21, 2011 - 02:04pm PT
These two speed ascents are my favorites. From the Sentinel chapter in the Frost book.

Two years later, Tom and Henry Kendall repeated the Steck-Salathé with a single bivouac. A week later, Steve Roper and Frank Sacherer climbed route without a bivouac. In Camp 4, Roper recounts, ”We did Sentinel in eight and a half hours, strolling into Camp 4 well before dark, disguising our tiredness with a jaunty swagger. Robbins strode over to our table with a bottle of champagne in his hand. ’That was well done, you guys! I watched you all day. Congratulations! Drink up!’ We found this act commendable indeed. Sacherer, an unsophisticated lad, took his first-ever sip of bubbly, scrunched up his face and said, ”It tastes like Coke.”

“Robbins had been generous, but he was not about to allow two twenty-year-old punks to retain the Sentinel speed record. He politely waited a full day before swinging into action. Then it was our turn to watch through binoculars as he and Tom Frost raced up the wall, often climbing simultaneously, the first time this tactic had ever been done on a big climb. Three hours and fifteen minutes after starting, they stood on the summit. They nonchalantly strolled into camp in time for a late lunch. So shocked was I by this feat that I neglected to buy champagne.”
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 21, 2011 - 02:10pm PT
I just wanted to note that the link up above for Tony Quamar isn't right. This is the link to the thread about him after he was killed by a logging truck.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=107615&tn=0
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 21, 2011 - 02:14pm PT
Jan- Thanks for the correction!

I changed my post...
neversummer

Trad climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Jun 21, 2011 - 02:28pm PT
Awesome...thanks
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Jun 21, 2011 - 02:52pm PT
Here's a couple shots from the Coonyard-Herbie. Was my very first route in the Valley and I spent my first night ever in the Valley sleeping on the Chessman Pinnacle.

This is the 4th class pitch headed toward the top of Chessman. Seems like there was one more 5.8 pitch that actually got you to the bivy, but I don't have photos of that... my buddy does and I don't know if I've ever seen them.



This is a shot at the belay looking up past one of my partners at the rope stretched out across the Afro Cuban Flakes pitch.


Inner City

Trad climber
East Bay
Jun 21, 2011 - 03:29pm PT
What a cool piece of history here. Thanks!
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jun 21, 2011 - 03:55pm PT
Tom Evans is in there - 1969 - too cool.
yo

climber
Mudcat Spire
Jun 21, 2011 - 04:34pm PT
"So shocked was I by this feat that I neglected to buy champagne."

lol classic
Dennis Hennek

climber
Jun 21, 2011 - 05:05pm PT
I can't remember all of the details of my climb of the Steck/Salathe with Pratt in 69. Needless to say, anyone who has climbed this route with Chuck was given the chance to share time with a someone who is one of the most natural climbers i've ever known. Chuck had done the route several times and said that all that we needed were 9 pins and two payday candy bars. We could find water on the way up, and on the decent. This sounded logical to me as a beginner because I was climbing with Pratt. We left camp 4 after breakfast, climbed the route, and returned to camp 4 for dinner and probably wine. I didn't get to climb as much as others did through the years with Chuck, but those times will always remain to me, to be some of my best memories from the Valley and my friends.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 21, 2011 - 05:15pm PT
The evolution of things is obvious in this thread. Take the Chouinard/Herbert, the 2nd route up the North Face, 1st ascent 1962, repeated probably 30 or 40 times before British climber Pete Livesy and I freed the route in 6/76, making it the 2nd free climb of a Yoz big wall (the 1st was the East Face of the Column - Astroman). Last week, with CBS anchor Laura Lohan, I co-hosted a 60 Minutes show on Alex Honnold free soloing the route.

JL
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 21, 2011 - 09:04pm PT
Ho Man!

With all due respect, Juan Largo, there were quite a few walls freed before those- NEB of Higher Rock, The DNB, East and North Buttress of Middle, East Buttress of of El Cap, The Steck Salathe, YPB to name a few.

Not quite as steep or hard as Astroman, but jus sayin...
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 22, 2011 - 01:06am PT
Caryl Chessman's trial, conviction, appeals and execution were a major reason why the US ended capital punishment from the 1960s through 1977. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caryl_Chessman

Who named it Chessman Pinnacle? It must have been before 1960, when Chessman was executed. Was it Steve Roper, or was that before his time? He seems to have some interest in civil rights, as he talks in Camp 4 about participating in a march in 1965 in Selma, Alabama, with Ralph Bunche and Martin Luther King.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jun 22, 2011 - 02:37am PT
I think it was Chouinard who named it the Chessman Pinnacle.

When Royal and I repeated the Chouinard-Herbert, we free soloed to the top of the Chessman Pinnacle. Royal thought it was 5.9, near the top of the scale at the time. He asked if I wanted a top rope and was impressed that I was comfortable without it. [Edit: I think Royal was somewhat testing me regarding the fact that I had recently free soloed the Grand Teton North Face including 5.9 on the upper Pendulum Pitch.]

We bivouacked on a small ledge a couple of pitches above the pinnacle. We climbed around the bivouack area ropeless, and gathered enough twigs to start a small camp fire in the evening chill. I recall sleeping with my head on a small lip of rock at the edge of the ledge with the sheer drop below my face; and feeling very at home there.

This was also the climb where I gave Royal one of the two sets of nuts that I had obtained from Joe Brown parcel post from England. We tried the nuts for the first time along with parachute cord slings to pretty much eliminate using pitons except for belay anchors. We were impressed at how the nuts worked better than pitons in the expanding flakes.

I used my new Jumars to climb the fixed ropes on the West Face during a rest day in the filming of “The West Face” with Roger Brown. For decades I thought that was the first use of Jumars on a Yosemite wall. However here on ST I’ve learned that Guido may have gotten there ahead of me. Anyway as I approached the top of the wall; I climbed up a rope that was nearly chewed through by rats just below the anchor. Then as I climbed the next rope, I realized that it had been chewed all the way through and was just snagged on a flake. So I switched to free soloing in my Terray mountain boots. I couldn’t make it past the 5.9 squeeze chimney free soloing with those big boots, and so spent the night jammed in the base of the chimney and listening to the big rats scurrying around.

The next morning I heard Tom Frost’s cheerful ‘Good Morning, Tom’ as he tossed a top rope down for me to finish the climb. I never felt that waiting for a top rope from a friend constituted a ‘rescue’; particularly since the camera team could have wound up prussiking an unsafe rope if I hadn’t pioneered exploring the rat invasion and warned them about it. However your opinion may differ...(lol). At the time Royal was furious with me for embarrassing him during the filming schedule and he made the summit registry entry about it. Then he tried to outrun me on the descent down the boulder field; but I stayed shoulder to shoulder with him all the way to where Liz was waiting on the trail. So I never got credit for demonstrating the value of Jumars and the incident put a cloud over our relationship for quite some time. Now we both agree the incident was hilarious.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jun 22, 2011 - 02:57am PT
I made several attempts on Sentinel that only went a few pitches. I was secretly trying to solo a first ascent of a route to the left of the Chessman Pinnacle. Just above the big overhang there was a guillotine flake jammed in the crack. I went up there twice by myself trying to figure a way past it. However it seemed unstable and was pretty intimidating to stick your head out from under the overhang and face up to this big loose flake.

Later in Camp 4 I talked about it to Kim Schmitz who hadn't yet done a Yosemite wall; and he took this as an opportunity to go up there with me. He took the lead over the overhang and agreed with me that this flake was best left to itself.

While we were up there, Kim dropped his sleeping bag, when it slipped out of the straps on his pack. This was a major disaster to a young climber with plans to climb all summer. We searched the ledges below the climb for hours and days and never did see where it went.

Another time I went up to do the Steck-Salathe with Chris Frederics. We were not feeling great and moving slowly and Chris got all bloody scrunching up one of the chimneys. We came down, and I still have never done that route.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 22, 2011 - 01:32pm PT
Thanks, Tom! Good stories. It is amusing how in the entry relating to your 'rescue', someone noted the various climbers' heights - real and apocryphal, apparently.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jun 22, 2011 - 01:42pm PT
I relate to your comments, Dennis, about climbing with Pratt.
I did Sentinel with him the year before you did and cherish
that memory. I honestly can't recall now if we brought water.
I have trouble imagining we didn't, but since we made it in about
five hours it's possible. I've said this before, but at one point
up in the Narrows Chuck told me Sentinel (we didn't call it "the
Steck-Salathe" then), was one of his three favorite climbs. He
mentioned the Lost Arrow Chimney and the Salathe Wall as the two
others. I find it unique to Pratt, perhaps, that he could see
Sentinel in such a special light. I believe it had lots of the
kind of climbing he enjoyed but also may have been a place of
great history of the area, a place where one can go and feel
the spirits of all those predecessors, from Salathe to Royal and on...
Pratt, as irreverent as he could be at times, had a notable reverence
for the Valley's history and its people...
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Jun 22, 2011 - 02:22pm PT
It is amazing to see how many times people were drawn back to that rock. Robbins, Frost, Pratt, Kor, etc... it is as if they could not get enough. I was also surprised to see Barry Bates up there three times in less than a year with two ascents coming within weeks of each other.

Nice stuff!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 22, 2011 - 02:29pm PT
Anders and Tom,

I think Roper said that he named it Chessman Pinnacle, and climbed it before Chouinard and Herbert did their eponymous climb.

John
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jun 22, 2011 - 03:58pm PT
John, you could well be right on that. I was just going by recalling a comment from Royal as we were climbing it all those years ago. I didn't know about Roper's early ascent until reading this thread.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 22, 2011 - 05:12pm PT
With regard to the question raised by John and Kevin, what is a Yosemite "big wall"? Bearing in mind that the definition may change with the passing of time.

My simple definition would be that a (medium) big wall is one that usually requires at least one bivouac, possibly two, and is rarely done in one day. (Assuming ground up, no fixing or trickery.) A big big wall usually requires two or more bivouacs. Perhaps there would be some element with regard to length of route, difficulty, getting to top of a formation, etc. Given this, what was the first Yosemite big wall to be done free, based on the route fitting the definition of and being considered a big wall at the time it was freed?
ddriver

Trad climber
SLC, UT
Jun 22, 2011 - 05:17pm PT
Caryl Chessman sniffs the air and leads the parade. He knows in a scent you can bottle all you made.

...had to.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 22, 2011 - 05:58pm PT
I mentioned the Northeast Buttress of Higher Cathedral Rock - according to my 1987 Meyers/Reed guide, it was first freed by Frank Sacherer and Jeff Dozier in 1964. The route has 12 pitches and climbs the highest part of a major Valley formation and was originally done with lots of aid. At the time it was freed, there were no other routes on the wall, not even Braille Book had been done.

Astroman is also 12 pitches, originally named The East Face Route, climbs the highest part of a major Valley formation, and was originally done with lots of aid. At the time it was freed, in 1975, the wall had no other free routes on it - seems to me if Astroman is a free big wall, so's The NEB.

I tend do think of a wall as being a major formation, more than defining it by how many days it takes (or took) to climb it. Times on routes will always be shortened, the wall remains unchanged.

Other routes which fit into the category:

The East Buttress of El Cap is also 12 pitches, also freed by Sacherer and Wally Reed in 1964.

North Buttress of Middle, 18 pitches, Sacherer and Bridwell freed it in 1964.

Direct North Buttress of Middle, 17 pitches Sacherer and Eric Beck in 1965.

East Buttress of Middle, 10 pitches, Sacherer and Ed Leeper in 1965.


Frank Sacherer seems to be the guy who led the push to free long routes in the Valley, and to free big walls in the Valley.

Depending on your definition of "big wall".

Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Jun 22, 2011 - 07:26pm PT
Mighty, JL, Warbler, et al...

I wondered this same question when the new Big Walls guidebook came out and there was NOTHING between Liberty Cap and Leaning Tower.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 22, 2011 - 08:15pm PT
What most people call big walls are long aid routes. The rack and the baggage is really the only thing bigger than the free walls those same folks probably wouldn't include in the category.

"Big Wall" does sound more impressive than "Long Aid Route".
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jun 22, 2011 - 11:40pm PT
Caryl Chessman sniffs the air and leads the parade
Excuse the thread drift but 51 years later and we are 1 of only 5 developed nations with capital punishment (Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea)
We're right in there with Communist China, Libya, Sudan, Yeman, Iran, Iraq, Somalia......
you get the picture.
Caryl Chessman actually never killed anyone, not to excuse his brutal sex crimes. He may have missed another stay of execution literally at the last minute by a secretary misdialing the Chamber phone number.
(end of rant)
In "Camp 4" Roper mentions that he specifically named it as a protest against capital punishment and Chessman's impending execution.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jun 23, 2011 - 02:24am PT
26 pitches Sacherer and I did up GPA in 1964...
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 23, 2011 - 11:35am PT
Interesting....

Which Apron route is that, Tom?
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 23, 2011 - 01:54pm PT
Tom,

Was that the Glacier Point -- NE Face route from the Red Roper Valley Guide?

As to Valley "big walls," I'd always thought that the Lost Arrow Chimney was the first Valley "big wall" climb. If so, Sacherer and Pratt's one-day free ascent needs to be on the list.

Many of these FFA's were evolutionary in nature, in the sense that most of the routes were already largely free climbs. In contrast, to my mind, Sacherer and Beck freeing the DNB eliminated a lot (maybe 100?) of aid placements. Admitedly, the FA was done in wet weather, but that's still a lot of aid eliminated.

John

Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 23, 2011 - 01:59pm PT
The story of Frank and Tom's long climb on Glacier Point may be somewhere in http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1116586/The-Tom-Cochrane-Writings-and-Recollections-Thread But I don't have time to look for it right now.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 23, 2011 - 02:10pm PT
Here is a link to Tom Cochrane's great story of the Sacherer-Cochrane Direct on Glacier Point Apron:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=268647&msg=1112472#msg1112472
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Jun 23, 2011 - 03:05pm PT
If Warbler is right...
The rack and the baggage is really the only thing bigger than the free walls those same folks probably wouldn't include in the category.

The why are Astroman, El Corazon, El Nino, The Nose, Salathe, RNWF, and Quantum Mechanic (there may be more)included in the "Big Walls" book? I agree to the definition that a BIG WALL is one that is BIG. If you climb it in a few hours or a few weeks the mass of the wall does not change. If you yard on every piece you can find or float past them on dimes the wall is still massive. Only your experience has changed.

If we include WFLT and SFWC in the definition of "big wall" then we MUST include Sentinel and perhaps others.

Then again... whatever.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 23, 2011 - 08:18pm PT
It does seem a nebulous question, and there's no obvious objective measure. I always associated "big wall" with aid climbing (nailing), hauling, bivouacs, and so on. In other words, a stout effort, involving time and suffering. But then people start freeing them in a day - is it still a big wall? Bearing in mind that the biggest big walls, in places like Baffin and the Karakoram, take a month or more. (Does that mean El Cap routes are medium big walls?) Maybe it's like what was famously said of pornography - I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.
Timid TopRope

Social climber
Paradise, CA
Jun 23, 2011 - 08:36pm PT
To continue the Caryl Chessman thread drift a bit more: Johnny Mathis recorded a cool country song about him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYbuo3zvQPE
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jun 24, 2011 - 04:53pm PT
Thought I'd add a few old slides from a 1960's ascent of Sentinel.

Credit: PhilG
The "mandatory" rack-up picture with Pat Merrill and a rather youthful Barry Bates.

Credit: PhilG

A pitch that probably now goes free by grandmothers in tennis shoes!

Credit: PhilG
Standard haul bag in those days

Credit: PhilG
Largo made a rather insightful comment about the evolution of climbing. When we climbed the Chouinard-Herbert in the 60's it took 2 1/2 days. When my son climbed the same route he did it in the afternoon after first climbing the Steck-Salathe in the morning!

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 24, 2011 - 05:12pm PT
Nice shots Phil!

The rest this weekend...
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Jun 24, 2011 - 06:39pm PT
What a great thread!

I didn't even know there was a summit register or to be truthful; my memory
is lacking of late, so I can't remember if I signed the thing or not.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Jun 24, 2011 - 07:59pm PT
Phil... Perhaps the most amazing thing in your recent shots is a picture of Barry! I have perhaps a dozen shots of him from the mid-70s on the approach to Watkins and bouldering in the Meadows and that is it. Everytime I ask people if they have shots of him from days gone by the answer is always the same...

If you have more let's see them!
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Jun 24, 2011 - 09:11pm PT
PhilG, that pitch in your photo went free in the early to mid 70's at around 11ab or something if I remember correctly.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 24, 2011 - 09:44pm PT
Ten more pages just posted...nine more left after that!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 24, 2011 - 10:55pm PT
Steve, why not post them a few at a time, at the end of the thread, to keep it bumped to its proper place? Or perhaps add them to the first post, so it eventually contains everything, but also bump with a few at a time, which you remove when you post the next bunch. Or something like that.
scuffy b

climber
dissected alluvial deposits, late Pleistocene
Jun 25, 2011 - 01:13am PT
For a little while there it was all the rage with the G&E Buff crew,
C. Jennings, Black, Black, Roberts (bldrjack), Hanbury, Bartlett plus
semi honorary member Steve Eddy. Dave Black, Al Bartlett and Steve Eddy
were among my very first partners, along with Guck.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 25, 2011 - 01:45am PT
Climbing was such a small world back then -

I wonder how many ascents a season the SS gets nowadays.

This is a sweet reminder of the days when all climbers started on easy routes in the mountains, and worked their way through the grades slowly, learning more about the many facets of climbing and the ways of the mountains in the process than most modern climbers do.






Sentinel occupies a unique place in American climbing history.

TFPU, Steve!


Mellow Brutus Schoen ... anybody know what Eric's up to?

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 25, 2011 - 12:43pm PT
Small world with a lot of people funneling through the Great Chimney!

The SS is certainly the most enduring early Golden Age route!
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Jun 25, 2011 - 02:28pm PT
After reading this-- I want to go back up there and do it again! Funny I don't remember signing the register, but I guess this thread proves my memory sucks.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 25, 2011 - 02:55pm PT
Join the club...LOL

Tom Frost got a laugh when I reminded him that he did the Steck- Salathé with Tex Bossier on 5/30/75.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 25, 2011 - 03:37pm PT
Since this thread is keeper...The Al Steck account of the 1950 first ascent of the Steck- Salathé, Ordeal By Piton, is an all-time classic! This version appeared in Galen Rowell's Vertical World of Yosemite.






Ed Cooper photo.









Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 25, 2011 - 05:23pm PT
June 7, 1963
Bob Tripp
Herb Steiner - N.E. Arete


professors of physics, UCB....

Bob Tripp
Herb Steiner

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 25, 2011 - 05:46pm PT
Bummer I never saw, nor ever looked for, that summit register. I probably climbed Sentinel five or six time by 1973 and never once saw that register. I remember finding a register on top of Middle Cathedral after doing the DNB with Will Tyre in 1972, and another time on top of Arrowhead Arete with Phil Gleason - who is all over this Sentinel registry - but I never saw another one anywhere. I think it's a great tradition and should be brought back on places like Lost Arrow, etc.

I still wonder how Carson did the Dogleg crack on the West Face, clean, and solo, back in 1973. I must have done that climb like ten times trying to free it and never seemed to get much of anything in the Dog Leg for pro - not with the old Hexes. Must have been tripy solo, sans pro.

JL
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 25, 2011 - 05:47pm PT
If they did a new route together, it could be The Herb Tripp

Seems to me Higher Spire and maybe Higher Rock had registers, John


Barry Bates

Boulder climber
Smith River CA
Jun 26, 2011 - 12:14pm PT
John,

I agree with your idea of bringing back summit registers on some of the routes. The first time I did the Arrow tip in '67 there was a summit register I don't know how long after that it stayed in place, but that would be a great piece of history to see. The time capsule element is what I find most fascinating. Seeing peoples' signatures, dates and short comments about their ascent seems to make those ascents come alive again in a way that reading about them in a book, magazine or internet article can't touch. History certainly doesn't end with a first ascent; seeing a wall's history condensed into 20 or 30 pages is really something special. It would be great to be reading the Sentinel summit register 40 years from now and see Alex Honnold's name along with a his comments about free soloing Chouinard-Herbert. Just as interesting will be the names and comments of the hundreds of people who will climb Sentinel in the next 40 years and all have their own personal adventures.

Barry
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 26, 2011 - 12:19pm PT
When Tom lead the first Dog-leg Crack on the FA, Chouinard said in his AAJ route description,“Frost made the finest lead I have ever seen up an 80-foot long 8-inch wide jam crack with only a wooden block for protection.”

A wooden block! Way out there!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 26, 2011 - 12:35pm PT
some of the old registers are still out there, and when you find them it sure is a marvelous read...
Pohono Pinnacle, top of the Ski Jump above Andy's Inferno... I worry that they might be attractive objects, however...

...I've taken to making photos of the pages when I run across them... catch-and-release policy... and also to have some sort of pencil in my kit to sign them....

Barry Bates

Boulder climber
Smith River CA
Jun 26, 2011 - 12:56pm PT
Ed,

I found a summit register on top of the Owl Cliff in the early 70s it was a 35mm film can with Frank Sacherer Glen Denny and some other names from that period, late 50s early 60s. I don't remember what route it was for but it seemed an unlikely place for a register to show up. I don't know what ever happened to it.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 26, 2011 - 01:50pm PT
I already have my hands full historically but the Golden State Registry would be a fascinating project for an information hound. It would take a formal project to get the registers out of private hands to be documented. That would really be the crux of the biscuit. Without the concerted efrort of the Sierra Club in placing proper summit registers this one wouldn't have come into being. They come in all manner of sizes and condition.
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jun 26, 2011 - 02:00pm PT
HA! Well this is kind of fun....seeing my name in the register after all these years. I do seem to remember that all of us (Dave "Cool Head" Black, Jimmi Black, Dave Hanbury, Greg and Craig Jennings, Michael Graber, Alan "Big Al" Bartlett, Steve Eddy, ) had a thing about Seninel. I climbed the Wet Face about three times with various partners as well as the Salathe-Steck, Gobi Wall, Chouinard-Herbert, tried to do the second ascent of In Cold Blood but retreated instead with chopped ropes............Summit registers are a tradition that should be maintained.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 26, 2011 - 02:01pm PT
I'm with Barry - reading these makes us all time travelers, whereby the register is a kind of magic lamp that once rubbed, evokes some of the actual life of the thing. A strange but powerful mojo. I'd love to see a book made of choice pages from registers around various US crags, with modern day photos and short anecdotes from those listed. Quite a research project but what an interesting kind of time capsule.

JL
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Jun 26, 2011 - 02:06pm PT
DE and I did a "clean" (no hammer) ascent of the West Face Nov 1 & 2, 1976. Hoping that we signed the summit register and that it shows up when Steve finishes posting the pages (through 76?)

We were able to protect the wide cracks because Mike Graham loaned us two custom nuts he had made (#11 Hex stock cut extra wide). These fit nicely in a couple spots (and were very stable) in the wide crack and made these pitches seem reasonable. I seem to recall we had a single Tube Chock as well, but that it wasn't very stable.

As noted in Bruce Carson's summit register note, the expanding "crux" flake traversing pitch was partially fixed and -- except for the first few placements getting to the traverse -- was very secure on nuts.

Bruce Carson's clean ascents on Big Walls was a big influence on us and we were psyched to be able to follow his example.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 26, 2011 - 02:22pm PT
Largo has a great idea...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 26, 2011 - 02:24pm PT
You two are the very last entry!

In my never-ending drive to keep Anders content...the back nine!



















That's all folks!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 26, 2011 - 02:49pm PT
there's Kim Grandfield, July 5, 1976... he is the owner of Sunrise in Livermore...
F10

Trad climber
e350 / Bishop
Jun 26, 2011 - 04:00pm PT
I'm with Largo, never saw the summit register in 75' but then it was dark when we topped out on the second day. The Steck/Salathe had a big wall feel back then.... sure was a blast for a nineteen y/o punk and his seventeen y/o partner

Awesome thread Steve
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Jun 26, 2011 - 04:02pm PT
Pretty neat to see one's name from 35 years ago. The CH and West Face were pretty cool times.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 27, 2011 - 12:56am PT
Now to go back and find all the SuperTopian names... Those I know, anyway - not all noms de plume are transparent.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jun 27, 2011 - 12:33pm PT
John (Long), you mentioned Will Tyre... Is he still around?
I remember him being a psychic and predicting all our fates...
Some of it came true...
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jun 27, 2011 - 04:21pm PT
Talking with Foott last night before his annual pilgrimage from Moab to Jackson Hole, he reflected on the June 25, 1965 rescue where Pete Spoeker broke his femur when a #500 block pinned him.

Faint placed a bolt in the block, two angle pins in a nearby crack, connected two aids slings between the bolt and the angles and twisted the entire unit with a piton hammer-a la Spanish Windlass.

Funny thing was it was quite unusual for Faint to carry a bolt kit.

Brilliant!

Climbing and creativity.
Climbing and creativity.
Credit: guido
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 27, 2011 - 07:18pm PT
Thanks Joe!

I was hoping for some sort of a tale about that rescue.

Superb methods Mr. Faint!

How did the rescue turn out for Pete? Had to be a helicopter ride, at least...
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 27, 2011 - 09:05pm PT
SuperTopo names from the complete list, although I may have missed a few that were unreadable, or where I don't know the name/pen name link. And some are infrequent posters.

Royal Robbins
Joe Fitschen
Bill Amborn
Jeff Foott
Steve Roper
Tom Cochrane
Ken Boche
Eric Beck
Dennis Hennek
Don Lauria
Chris Jones
Jeff Lowe
Pat Ament
Phil Gleason
Rick Sylvester
Ed Drummond
Barry Bates
Dick Erb
John Stannard
Tom Kimbrough
Rich Goldstone
Jim Donini
Anne-Marie Rizzi
Rik Rieder
Doug Robinson
Kevin Worrall
Michael Kennedy
Marty Garrison
Randy Vogel
Dave Evans
+ Jeff Dozier
+ Stephen McCabe
+ Darrel Hensel
+ Eric Barrett

The earliest ST ascent was in 1953, by Royal - apparently the second ascent of what was then called the north face. The north face seems to have become the Steck-Salathe, and the Chessman Route the Chouinard-Herbert, after the 1964 guide. Some ascents in the later 1960s and 1970s by those active earlier still use the original terms. Sentinel does seem to have been a popular place for medium to medium-large walls.

The Stonemasters must have climbed various routes on Sentinel during the early to mid 1970s, but their names don't often appear.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jun 27, 2011 - 09:55pm PT
As so often happens after 45 years the memory on some aspects is vague. Jeff believes Peter was taken off the top by helicopter and the main participates were Fredericks, Evans and Foott. It was a rather large team but three members at least were rangers, ie, Anderson, Huson and Shackelton.

It was probably the most sophisticated rescue to occur in the Valley up to that date?

Rick Anderson was the Valley District Ranger during that era and hired Foott for his climbing experience. Later when Foott took off to guide for Exum I was given the job for several years. Rick was unique for his positive attitude towards the climbing community in contrast to the piss-poor approach of the majority of NPS personnel.

Huson could be a jerk sometimes and Shackelton was more involved with fire control so he was easy to get along with.

Wonder if Denny has any photos?
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jun 27, 2011 - 10:34pm PT
What a great history recorded in individual notes. I think my favorite is the connection between a 3rd class ascent on July 4th, 1948, and the Golden Age heroes on the filming of the West Face. In 1948, the ages of a bunch of kids are listed with the height of one Billy Finney listed as 4'11"; followed by the ages and heights of Frost, Chouinard, Pratt, and Robbins on the day they returned to their filming and plucked Tom off the West Face. I think I recognize Royal's handwriting in that bit of humor spanning back to the beginning.

I also like the comment Chris Jones wrote when he and Pratt climbed the SS in 1967' "Hard for foreigners," followed in 1975 with "Very pleasant" when he climbed it with George Lowe.

Royal was looking ahead to his future, when he noted in 1970, "Hope to get down before dark - looking for wine + steak."

To a comment Anders makes above, until Roper's 1964 guide was published, it doesn’t seem that any of the North Face routes had names. It seems that Steve named them all by their first ascent team in his 1964 guide.

I was sort of hoping that Dave Bircheff and I had signed in and that it would show up the final pages of the summit register and on Ander’s list above—stellar company. (I only climbed Sentinel once--the Steck Salathe, clean and all-free). But I don't remember looking for the register, much less signing it (as is the case with several other posters). It was a long shot since generally I didn't take much interest in signing registers by the time Dave and I climbed the SS.

Again to Anders comment, Sentinel was climbed by the early and mid-70s climbers, but there was something déclassé about signing a register on a Valley climb. The exclusivity was gone and the number of ascents was way past any sense of uniqueness. Maybe up to the 10th ascent of a major route was something to speak of in the late 60s (as a practical matter in the early 60s there were probably only 10 teams that could climb Sentinel) but by the middle 70s only the first and second made the news, so to speak. For the same reasons, replacing the registers fell off and, I think, many were liberated in one form or another. Last year, a climbing friend of mine from 40 years ago sent me the register for the Lower Cathedral Spire which had been recently given to him by someone who neither of us can figure would have come by it. The last entry was in 1973. I was happy to scan and post it here and send the book to Ken for the Climbing Museum.

Great read. I especially like the textual bits: Whose handwriting can I recognize? Who wrote comments? Who corrected the spelling of Jim Madsen’s name (I think it was Madsen himself on a later ascent) only have another partner later misspell it. Eric Beck’s and Sacherer’s one day ascent of the West Face (the first grade VI in a day) and Steve Wunsch and Jim Ericson’s all free ascent of the SS after several notations on all-free except the headwall entries, the first of which is noted in 1963.

I'm with Long: Who would have believed that a register would be so evocative.

(Edited 28 June)
east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Jun 27, 2011 - 10:41pm PT
you left jeff Dozier off your list - aka Dr Deeg :)
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jun 27, 2011 - 10:54pm PT
Shackelton
The same Shackelton who is/was head of park security?
Faint placed a bolt in the block, two angle pins in a nearby crack, connected two aids slings between the bolt and the angles and twisted the entire unit with a piton hammer-a la Spanish Windlass.
Hardcore!
And a good trick to remember if you're unlucky enough to need a boulder moved.

A few of my climbing partners from the '70s in there.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 28, 2011 - 12:04am PT
Joe Faint told me that story way back when, with much detail and enthusiasm. I had nearly forgotten it. I was probably 18 years old and thoroughly impressed!

This thread is great even without that classic tale, but that story is one of my favotites.
DrDeeg

Mountain climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Jun 28, 2011 - 12:19am PT
Thanks east side. For reasons mainly involving partners excusing themselves, I never did the Steck-Salathe. Tom Gerughty and I did the Chouinard-Herbert in 1966, and he had done the SS that year (a summer in which he climbed more than a mile of squeeze chimneys).

Earlier in this thread, The Warbler mentions the FFA of the NE Buttress of Higher Cathedral Rock with Frank Sacherer in August 1964. With Frank, the climb was straightforward. For breakfast, we had a few swallows of red wine that had turned to vinegar. We took 1 rope, 1 quart of water, and a minimal rack. It took us about 6 hours. I was terribly thirsty, but Bridwell and Bircheff had hiked up later in the day to watch, and they had brought water that we drank after descending the Higher Rock Gully. I was most grateful, but I don't recall Frank being especially thirsty.

I occasionally have delusions about trying to do the climb on its 50th Anniversary in 2014, when I turn 70. Unlikely! But the idea at least gives me motivation to get in better shape.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 28, 2011 - 12:28am PT
if you're looking for a partner Jeff, I'll volunteer!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 28, 2011 - 12:54am PT
How about this one folks!!!

July 26,1971

Simultaneous solo ascent of Steck-Salathé in 2 hrs, 10 min, 52.5 seconds

Jim Bridwell

Rik Rieder

(We dropped our rope!)
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 28, 2011 - 12:57am PT
A cool detail which I remember from Joe's story is that he arranged the rigging with two slings passed under the block and then running double up the wall to his anchors. He was only able to twist one sling at a time with a hammer handle, but could lock the handle against the wall while he spun the other hammer handle on the other sling. By going back and forth between the two he gradually lifted the block off his partners leg in more or less complete control.

Hardman award goes to Joe Faint!

His partner probably deserves one too

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 28, 2011 - 12:59am PT
And somewhere down in the talus is a block with a bolt in it...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 28, 2011 - 01:00am PT
1071, that throws off the statistics...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 28, 2011 - 01:05am PT
Fixed that one!

William the Conquerer came over from the Glacier Point Road...
50

climber
Stumptown
Jun 28, 2011 - 01:09am PT
July 31, 1973
Chouinard Herbert
Rupert Kammerlander
Craig MacKay

NIce to see this reference to an old acquaintance. Craig MacKay taught me how to climb and, more importantly, how to appreciate the mountains. I was 13 years old and signed up for his week-long climbing class in the Cathedral Peak area near Tuolumne Meadows - also in the summer of 1973. I believe the organization that offered the class back then was called the Wilderness Center located in San Jose, California. Not sure what happened to Craig over the years or some of the other climbers associated with the organization. Great thread. Thanks for posting Steve.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 28, 2011 - 01:15am PT
Mighty - you missed the 7-7-76 entry of ST contributor Stephen McCabe on the Steck-Salathe with Frank Brown III
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 28, 2011 - 01:30am PT
May 16, 1959
Spiral Staircase

Sherman Lehman (math prof. UCB)
Willy Rorden (?)
Bob Kincheloe (?)
Hugh De Witt (has an office down the hall from me... I'll ask him tomorrow)

Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 28, 2011 - 01:50am PT
Corrections/additions made. And if Ed can persuade his colleague to post up, I'll add another.
Stephen McCabe

Trad climber
near Santa Cruz, CA
Jun 28, 2011 - 03:48am PT
Ed,

Thanks for finding that in the notes before I did. The rope barely grazed one of the old hand made hangers somewhere above the narrows and it broke off right across the carabiner hole. I'm pretty sure I was leading and had skipped clipping it. Frank had scouted the descent up and down several times ahead of time and that was handy for saving time on the way down.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 28, 2011 - 04:29am PT
Ed,

Sherman Lehman and Bob Kincheloe were in the Stanford Alpine Club, but Lehman got his PhD in '54 and by 1959 Kincheloe had probably graduated, too.
There's a fun story about Lehman and a climbing stunt at Stanford (placing giant footprints on Hoover Tower in 1950 when he was an undergrad):
http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/1999/janfeb/articles/sheer_madness.html
scuffy b

climber
dissected alluvial deposits, late Pleistocene
Jun 28, 2011 - 11:55am PT
Also nice to see the entry from Rupert Kammerlander (sniff)
The epitome of enthusiasm.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Jun 28, 2011 - 06:48pm PT
Wow, how cool!

Jim Wilson and I must have missed the register in 8/74 when we did our first grade V (Steck Salathe).I would have spent an hour or so perusing it. I love old summit registers.
I'm glad RV and I found it.
In '74 we were both 16 yrs. old. I see quite a few young entries. Mr. Ament, how old were you the first time?

Bruce Carson was a great clean inspiration.

Saw Hensel in there, forgot he beat us to it.
Mighty, you could add Hennie to the ST list.

edit: Oops DH, you were in 9/26/74, beat'cha by a month!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 28, 2011 - 07:33pm PT
I don't know if Hugh will post, he climbed with the Stanford Alpine Club from 1948-1951, and he would go out with them when he visited California, that entry was on one of the visits. He is still good friends with Sherman Lehman.

He was quite delighted to see the register record now 50+ years later.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 28, 2011 - 08:43pm PT
Strolling down memory lane with a guest list...this is great fun!

More on Bruce Carson and the other pioneering clean wall climbers...

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=445546&msg=1276971#msg1276971


Bruce in the Pamirs.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 28, 2011 - 08:49pm PT
dee ee: Darrel Hensel?

I wonder how many SuperTopians made ascents of Sentinel via technical routes up to 1976, but aren't in the register?
Gene

climber
Jun 28, 2011 - 09:02pm PT
Slightly off topic, but....

Why has the West Face of Sentinel lost its popularity in recent years?

g
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Jun 28, 2011 - 10:48pm PT
Hey Mighty, how goes it, eh?

Yes, it is Darrel Hensel, AKA The Master, AKA The Rooster...AKA The Chicken....not sure about that last one.


When I started my Big Wall life there was the list in the coffin in Camp 4 that documented clean routes and walls. Then soon after came the Bruce Carson article. People still were seen carrying piton racks around.
All the first big wall routes that I did clean were some of the ones he did first. I repeated the ones he did before discovering the awesomeness of where the piton could take you, i.e. the most exposure packed locations in Yosemite.
The first clean ascent of Watkins took clean to a new level but the movement kinda' ended there.
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Jun 29, 2011 - 12:58am PT
Great thread!

The Valley really was Mecca to a teenager from Utah back in the 60'S. I had my introduction to big walls, pot and acid there, and my world expanded beyond my wildest fantasies. I soon discovered that the drugs were unnecessary, but the climbs were essential.

-JelloDigsSentinelRock
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 29, 2011 - 01:04am PT
Jeff,

Didya see Kevin Donald's name in there with a couple of your Colorado buddies?

May 20, 1970.

Guess he took a day off from charming the girls
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jun 29, 2011 - 03:17pm PT
Photo bump...

Bonnie Kamps took this picture in 1959 or 60. She passed a copy along to me with the idea it might belong on this thread.

Yvon Chouinard, TM Herbert and Dave Rearick are watching a party climbing the Sentinel.

Chouinard, Herbert and Rearick observing an ascent of The Sentinel, 19...
Chouinard, Herbert and Rearick observing an ascent of The Sentinel, 1959 or 60.
Credit: Bonnie Kamps

Special thanks to Peter Haan for a great restoration job on this image.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jun 29, 2011 - 04:31pm PT
Is Yvon wearing suspenders with his shorts?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 29, 2011 - 05:14pm PT
When I started my Big Wall life there was the list in the coffin in Camp 4 that documented clean routes and walls.
-----


I remember that too, Dave. We all wanted to get a first clean ascent and went to extremes to get one. A really proud one was Ricky A., Tobin S., and Gib L.'s clean and mostly free ascent of Watkins, with only the old Hexes and Stoppers.

The first time I did the Steck/Salathe with Jim Orey in 1972, we used a few pins on the headwall, and the next year on the West Face, with Kim Schmitz, we drove a pin or two on that expando flake. Doing total clean ascents BITD on the old nuts could be harrowing.

My first trip up El Cap, Ron Fawcett and I used hand placed, tied off pitons, and that felt plain wrong. But I went with it all the way to the pitch off Camp 6, and I banged a few home.

It's really a shame that the glacier didn't do a little more work on the left side of Sentinel. A couple splitters over there - instead of the incipient grooves that dominate that face - would have been helpful and welcomed.

JL
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 29, 2011 - 06:51pm PT
Alas and alack...for woe is the tale of the Nut Book!

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=520875&msg=520875#msg520875


A Henry Kendall photo of the first pitch from Climber's Camera, Sierra Club Bulletin 1962.
pix4u

climber
Sonoma, CA
Jun 29, 2011 - 10:11pm PT
Regarding Dave Dornan, I was in touch with him a little over 3 years ago. He is living in Michigan and his email at that time was dornand@hotmail.com
I'm attaching a photo of him from 1958.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Jun 29, 2011 - 10:27pm PT
Sketchy: one correction. I believe we did have a couple of pitons. The definition of clean climbing at the time meant no hammer or tool to bang on stuff. We never used nut cleaners, hand removal was de-regure (sp?). A hand placed piton was and is clean (by B. Carson's definition). I always brought the best rack I could for "clean" climbing and to the best of my memory always included a few pitons, a baby of each size, a 3/4" and 1" angle, a couple of fat and long arrows, every hook made (back then that meant the standard Chouinard hook, maybe 2 of them), and crack-n-ups as soon as they were available (those things were GODlike).

Thanks for reminding me of those custom Mike Graham extra long hexes Mike lent us. No wonder I got good pro on the Doglegs. Thanks Mike!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 29, 2011 - 10:42pm PT
I always heard rumors that some extra long hexentric sections were out there ahead of tube chocks but this is the first confirmation. Cool!
Ghoulwe

Trad climber
Spokane, WA
Jun 30, 2011 - 02:16am PT
Hey Mighty Hiker:

If you're editing the list of Sentinel Supertopians, add me in as an occasional poster. 1976 - man that was a long time ago. My first of 2 Steck Salathe ascents. Quite a day for us. Thanks for the memories Steve Grossman!

Eric Barrett
pix4u

climber
Sonoma, CA
Jun 30, 2011 - 11:22am PT
Regarding Dave Dornan, I was in touch with him a little over three yea...
Regarding Dave Dornan, I was in touch with him a little over three years ago. He is living in Michigan and his email at that time was
dornand@hotmail.com I'm attaching a photo of him from 1958.
Credit: pix4u
Regarding Dave Dornan, I was in touch with him a little over 3 years ago. He is living in Michigan and his email at that time was dornand@hotmail.com
I'm attaching a photo of him from 1958.
jstan

climber
Jun 30, 2011 - 12:01pm PT
Do you suppose some of the unreadable entries could be photoshopped?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 30, 2011 - 12:20pm PT
John- I need to go back through and transcribe the faint pencil entries page by page. That should do it once I get a big magnifying glass!
Axis

climber
San Jose, CA
Jun 30, 2011 - 04:51pm PT
This is superb. Thanks for posting it.
CaNewt

Mountain climber
Davis, CA
Jun 30, 2011 - 07:10pm PT
I really did enjoy reading through this. I climbed mostly in Yosemite in the late '60's. I particularly remember in 1966 wandering over to Pratt's site in Camp 4 to watch him conducting to Beethoven that was playing on his very small portable battery operated record player. Pratt was waiting for climbers to arrive for the weekend so he would have someone to climb with. I did a couple of Sentinel ascents with John Howard in '68 and John Svenson in '69.
pix4u

climber
Sonoma, CA
Jun 30, 2011 - 08:59pm PT
Funny you should mention that. My wife, Debby, and I backpacked into the Cirque of the Towers in 1969, and as we approached the campsite, we heard music. It was Chuck Pratt conducting one of Beethoveen's Symphonies on his battery operated record player with a spoon while he fixed a dinner. Small World!
pix4u

climber
Sonoma, CA
Jun 30, 2011 - 09:25pm PT
Here are some of my favorite Sentinel Rock photos, showing the magnificence
of the rock. It shows many of the routes clearly.
Credit: pix4u
Credit: pix4u
Credit: pix4u
Credit: pix4u
Credit: pix4u
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jun 30, 2011 - 09:30pm PT
Hi Ed

Pratt was in the Winds with Hennek and Mavis and I was there at the same time with my lady Carol, "dah judges daughter." We use to borrow his record player and carry LP albums with us but the biggest problem was that machine ate up batteries! Those were good times indeed. Now these "kids" have I Pods and the like. Have to admit I to have one. Sure beats lugging a pack full of LP records.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 30, 2011 - 09:43pm PT
You got a great eye, Ed Cooper - inspiring photos, all of them.
Carmel Climber

Mountain climber
Carmel California
Jun 30, 2011 - 11:15pm PT
It's amazing the all these early ascents were done for years by just a hand full of people (Chouinard, Robbins, Pratt ect) that could handle this type of climbing.
Dennis Hennek

climber
Jul 1, 2011 - 11:20am PT
Chuck's favorite that summer was Beethoveen's Piano Concerto No. 5, the Emperor Concerto.

We packed six LP's and a ton of D batteries into the Cirque that summer.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 1, 2011 - 11:43am PT
I'm sure that Norman Clyde would approve!

Substituting Beethoven for Plutarch, that is...
Bruce Berryhill

Trad climber
Tulare California
Jul 1, 2011 - 12:52pm PT
Would the custodian of this register consider allowing the Yosemite Climbing Association to archive the original register for safe keeping?
Dave Davis

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 1, 2011 - 01:30pm PT
I heard a few inquiries as to the whereabouts of Will Tyree,whose actual name was Bill Cockerham(I'm still a bit unclear as to why he changed it).I climbed a bit with Will both here in Washington and Yosemite back in 71. Didn't see him again until 74 when he showed up in the valley after living on nothing, but fruit for the previous year. He showed all of the classic signs of malnutrition-distended belly, sunken chest. I wasn't back in the valley until 79 when out of the blue Will shows up. He was in a bad way-basically a homeless guy dumpster diving and even more bizarre than before. He said that he had been in the Army,stationed in Germany,but had gotten kicked out.He seemed to be on a rapid downward trajectory and I suspect if he's still alive he's living on the street somewhere.
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jul 1, 2011 - 02:58pm PT
Dave:
Thanks for the update on Will Tyree. Like others on this thread I wondered what happened to him.
Interesting what an impression he made on many of us.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 2, 2011 - 01:41pm PT
Summit Bump!
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jul 4, 2011 - 02:52am PT
Thanks to Ed Cooper's referral, I was able to contact Dave and Reade Dornan who are indeed living in Michigan. Super Topo reunites lost friends once again!

I'm hoping Dave will contribute to this thread and others eventually. Brokedownclimber just reminded me that Dave wrote the first guide book to Elodorado Canyon.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Jul 4, 2011 - 05:07pm PT
Legendary thread. Thanks much one and all.

D. Hennek wrote:

I can't remember all of the details of my climb of the Steck/Salathe with Pratt in 69. Needless to say, anyone who has climbed this route with Chuck was given the chance to share time with a someone who is one of the most natural climbers i've ever known. Chuck had done the route several times and said that all that we needed were 9 pins and two payday candy bars.

Deep satisfaction in learning that a personal hero of mine shared my taste in candy bars.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Jul 4, 2011 - 05:54pm PT
I climbed the west face of Sentinel with Bud (Ivan) Couch June 18-19, 1973. Somehow, don't ask me how, we didn't sign the register (at least, I can't find it in the register). Just thought you ought to add Bud Couch to the "list".
LongAgo

Trad climber
Jul 4, 2011 - 06:49pm PT
I'm with a couple of others here who never found the register in the early 70's. Did the Steck Salathe with Loyd Price but never saw the register and am still trying to find the ascent date in my falling apart pencil-pen diary book, but believe early 70's.

If registers make a comeback, maybe there should be solar powered hi tech versions where key ins go wirelessly to some off-site server in the cloud for recording and posting in cyberspace. Imagine a site of registers for Yosemite and the Sierra, heck, all U.S. peaks of some stature - virtual registers instead of physical ones fallen away, corroded to bits, lost or sitting in someone's attic. Of course, no guarantee a solo powered station would last very long I suppose.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 4, 2011 - 07:00pm PT
The Dawn of the Summit Kindle...LOL

Discuss the route with a hologram of the first ascent party.
LongAgo

Trad climber
Jul 4, 2011 - 09:11pm PT
Summit Registers and Beyond (again)

Here on the 4th, I should be watching fireworks and will, in a while.

Steve: Hologram discussion with the FA party - indeed! Cyberspace summit registers or nuts and bolts registers of old: they all tell the same essential story of us mortals knowing too well about our end and thus trying to hold onto the past, honor and appreciate those we love, the sport we love, the way we ourselves were, grip it all tight. And we try to project into the future from the same motive we hold the past, offering a bit of ourselves for those to come who we trust will have our same hearts about climbing something we climbed. On we go recording in guide books and journal articles, taking the pictures, posting to discussion sites, maybe personal web sites, blogs or Wikipedia, and saving the little brain bursts to hard drives and sticks and disks, and gabbing around campfires, and gabbing right here, right off our keyboards.

With these thoughts just now, I look at my old climbing diary trying to find when I did Sentinel with Lloyd Price, seeing maybe I didn't record the day, and so thumb the pages for another memory, another side of me thinking I could toss this little book with a laugh, maybe somewhere on a long hike in Tuolumne.

I think I hear the boom of fireworks starting.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Jul 4, 2011 - 09:25pm PT
Dave Davis...there's a familiar name...Did you teach at Long Beach city college in the mid-70's?....RJ
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 4, 2011 - 09:31pm PT
Tom- If you are going to toss your climbing diary blithely off the trail please give me a heads up so that I can recover it...from a discrete distance...while no one is looking! LOL
dogtown

Trad climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Jul 5, 2011 - 12:29am PT
Robinson and I did it in a afternoon, 79 I was stoned!
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jul 5, 2011 - 01:02pm PT
The little orange/yellow book by Dave Dornan was the first
nice gathering of climbing routes around Boulder, with a
section on Eldorado including many of the first ascents. Of
course others had gathered and written about routes in the
Trail and Timberline and other publications for years, but Dave was
up on Kor's activities and the little elite of "the Marmots,"
what a few of them named themselves for a time... Within a
day or ten of having my own cherished copy of Dornan's little
pamphlet/book, dozens of new routes started taking place...
Every guide to the area that has ever been written was
instantly out of date, for the large amount of activity...

Higgins, I guess I knew you had climbed the Steck-Salathe,
and I knew you had done a fair number of big walls on the
Cathedrals, but we all knew that wasn't your cup of tea, that
you loved the shorter, more intense things... Lloyd Price...?
I would have thought you had done it with Bob. What's become
of Lloyd? I remember a difficult boulder problem he did, and
Royal showed it to me. It's just a few inches to the right
of what they call "Ament's Arete" and mantels/balances up onto
that sloping horizontal ledge. With the advantage of seeing
Royal do it first, I too did it. But everytime I return I
glance at that thing and believe it was the work of some kind
of real good climber... It feels he and I climbed together,
but I can't for the life of me remember what...
LongAgo

Trad climber
Jul 5, 2011 - 03:39pm PT
Pat,

Re Lloyd Price and climbing records (diaries):

One poster (Warbler) in 2007 Supertopo thread claims to see him in back row (2nd from rt, black shirt) in one of the pics here, so maybe around then and still around now, or not. Here:

http://dev.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/434711/Historical-pictures

Talk about time warps and time passing, check these old photos on the thread. Wonder how many of these people have old diaries like mine and what becomes of such old paper, passed to loved ones, passed to attics and the rats, probably. Maybe AAC library gets and keeps climbing diaries of the famous ones and someone could photo pages of some and post here and we could discuss and ... what am I saying! No way to stop time, though sure fun and terrible to look back on it.

LongAgo

oldguy

climber
Bronx, NY
Jul 5, 2011 - 07:20pm PT
One thing that stuck me reading the register is that it provides a chronology of when many climbers, who later became big names, came on the scene. The SS was a must-do climb and should be still. Also, given that RR copied the early entries, I was amused that there is no 10th ascent listed. In fact that was when RR and I did the first one-day ascent in June 1960--about ten hours I think because we were back at the Lodge in the late afternoon to the surprise of another climber who casually asked, "What did you do today?" It was also the first time the route had been done all free except for the headwall. I remember a lot of loose rock on the penultimate pitch (the last steep pitch as I recall) that made it a bit dicey, but RR led through with his customary aplomb.
BBA

climber
OF
Jul 5, 2011 - 07:38pm PT
I wondered about that 10th ascent.

I tossed my climbing notebook one day in the mid 80's when I was thinking how stupid it was to cling to old stuff. I still think that, but am gratified to see that others do not as some of it makes for interesting reading. One effect of aging (on some of us) is to become a historian, or a fan of history, and that's as good a way to spend ones time as any. In personal terms, I remember Seth Kovar asked on a thread for photos or memories of his uncle, Dave Craft of Gunks and Vulgarian fame. I felt gratified I could post a few photos for him, as well as pen a few lines. So my climbing efforts may have been puny and my ability nothing great - in the scheme of things - but that's life for all of us but the truly talented few.

As to what happens to stuff, just consider Lewis Clark's photos that Michael Rettie found, and what may have been lost had he not found them.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 5, 2011 - 07:44pm PT
Joe- Your second trip up the SS and Royal's fifth or sixth?

Such a fast time makes the 3:14 that RR and Frost pulled off a bit more reasonable! LOL

Make sure to consider "discarding" your photo and paper records in my direction. Write me off forum about it.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jul 5, 2011 - 09:19pm PT
Big Joe-what is the status of your book? Many of us are anxious to see it in print.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Jul 6, 2011 - 12:44am PT
I saw Shawn Curtis in for an ascent of the West Face in 7/5/76. I thought that was odd because I was sure he did the route with E and Bob Harrington. There is an amazing story associated with their ascent.

E please weigh in.

Are you out there?
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 6, 2011 - 02:04am PT
Back at post #122, there's an incomplete list of names of known SuperTopians who appear in the register. Who needs to be added?

For those who climbed Sentinel within the dates of the register, but didn't find or sign the register, I'd be happy to add them also, perhaps with an asterisk* to indicate same. But perhaps the Morals & Ethics Committee wishes to comment on this?
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jul 6, 2011 - 11:01am PT
Joe:
I'm with Guido, when is your book going to be published? Look forward to reading it!
Urmas

Social climber
Sierra Eastside
Jul 6, 2011 - 11:52am PT
Mighty Hiker, I did the SS with Ruprecht Kammerlander (second to last entry) in Oct.'76. It was my first grade V, and a very memorable one. We went so light, we didn't even bring approach shoes - did the descent in our EB's, with no flashlights on a moonless night. Actually, now that I think about it, I wore EB's... He wore Hush Puppies!!

Ruprecht (Rupert for Americans) was an unforgetable character (RIP). I can't think of anyone with more lust for life and passion for climbing than he. In hindsight this intensity was not destined for longevity. Shortly after soloing the West Buttress of Denali the following summer, he died in a motorcycle crash.

I miss him!
Brock Wagstaff

Trad climber
Larkspur
Jul 6, 2011 - 02:05pm PT
Hey Urmas - Nice of you to remember Ruprecht. He was an amazing guy with incredible energy. He and I guided for Tony Sottile's "Matterhorn School of Mountaineering" back in the mid 70's. If I remember correctly he once broke his leg trying to run down the descent slabs at Lover Leap, just to see if he could do it! I too miss him!

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 6, 2011 - 02:21pm PT
Ruprecht is singular enough to make a really good route name. You're always putting stuff up Urmas.

Ruprecht's Rubric...
LongAgo

Trad climber
Jul 6, 2011 - 02:59pm PT
Steve,

I did name a first ascent after Kammerlander, as I also was taken with his joy in climbing and the mountains. It's "Kammerlander" on Fresno Dome which we did together. A description is buried in an old AAC journal with pics (he tilted the camera for effect, he said, so the route looks way steep but isn't THAT steep), and lo and behold I found it in my tattered journal as Aug 14, 1978. We also did another new route next to it called "Water Music," after some of his favorite music.

My occasional inclination to toss my journal and all my pondering of the value and meaning of summit registers as at once glorious and useless is not to discount the value of any written word in climbing or any human endeavor. Great to share and remember, link hands over time as I said, uncover lost or forgotten names and history, compare and contrast events. But there are times when I see all writing, art, music, the entire collective communication and interaction among us humans as paltry little thrusts to preserve and unravel meaning against the backdrop of all huge and imponderable in time and space, and our very short existence on the old globe. But then I slap myself, tip my hat to death and the vast canopy of stars, laugh and enjoy the day.

What it comes to: I hold my days on the walls with deep reverence, and a wry smile.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
LongAgo

Trad climber
Jul 6, 2011 - 03:06pm PT
Holy crap. Old journal is worth something after all. Found it:

"Regular route on Sentinal with Price. Leave Village at 6, back by 5. June 18, 1967."

LongAgo
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 6, 2011 - 03:16pm PT
So, can we have your liver then...

Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Jul 6, 2011 - 04:42pm PT
Wonderful to see all these names and stories bound together in that summit register. Richard Harrison and I climbed the Steck Salathe and the West Face, if memory serves, around 1973 or 1974, but we just weren’t into registers, man.

Seriously, I had no idea there was one up there (I don’t even recall a distinct summit). And those of you who know Richard will understand that he would have cruelly ridiculed me, had I tried to delay the descent to look for it.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 6, 2011 - 04:50pm PT
Since I can readily access the OP over time I will try to put together an ascent chronology for the various routes. That way unsigned talent can be recognized...Sentinel Idol, if you will. LOL
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 6, 2011 - 05:07pm PT
I'll try to update the "list" later, based on the various posts. Maybe I'll distinguish between those who made ascents, but didn't record them in the register, by using a + or something by their names.

Tom, those are some nice poetic posts. One often wonders about the meaning of it all, and whether our struggles to do first ascents, have them recorded, squabble about them in journals and her, and so on, have any real meaning. Are we all just saying "look at me!", or "remember me!"? Some pretty fundamental human questions.
LongAgo

Trad climber
Jul 6, 2011 - 08:34pm PT
Steve,

Guess so, but keep it in the fridge in case I need it again later..
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jul 6, 2011 - 11:11pm PT
I can't recall if I saw Kor and Hempel, their names in the register,
but both told me their story of doing Sentinel together via the
Steck-Salathe, even though it wasn't called that back then. Kor told
me how tight he was in the Narrows, and how he yelled "Pull," and Hempel
pulled as hard as he could, as Layton inched upward... Hard to
imagine Layton would go up, knowing there was a tight squeeze. There is
more to their story, but that's enough for now. Two great old friends.
oldguy

climber
Bronx, NY
Jul 7, 2011 - 12:29pm PT
Just for the record. My second and Royal's fourth. The nice thing about that was that I got to lead all the pitches Tom led on our first trip. In Sept. of '61 (maybe '60) Roper and Sacherer did it in 8 and a half hours, but where possible the second yarded on the rope, saving some time. Still . . .

As to the book, which by now some may think is only a wild rumor, it is currently being considered by the Mountaineers. Largo said he would write a forward and suggested sending it up to Seattle. I think that part of the problem with getting it published is that in many respects it is quite different from the usual mountaineering literature, so the question of audience comes up. Glad to hear there are a few prospective readers.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 7, 2011 - 12:52pm PT
Count me in!
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jul 7, 2011 - 02:30pm PT
What is the book?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 7, 2011 - 02:36pm PT
Joe Fitschen's memoirs.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jul 7, 2011 - 02:48pm PT
Roxjox,

You aren't alone in missing the register. Mike Caldwell and I did In Cold Blood in May of 1973, and headed straight down without looking or signing. Boy did we miss out. What a register!

John
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 7, 2011 - 02:59pm PT
How was that route? Way obscure...
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jul 7, 2011 - 03:04pm PT
Steve,

To which route do you refer?

John
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 7, 2011 - 03:16pm PT
In Cold Blood.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jul 7, 2011 - 03:25pm PT
We did it about three years after the FA, and there were already several chicken bolts near the pendulums. Mike and I are both short, and the pitch below the pendulum required a wired nut placement a long ways away (we used a hammer as an extension arm).

There is an amazing bivy ledge about half way up -- big, flat and sandy. the pitch after that was wet when we did it, and Mike took a bad fall trying to free climb it (that ended up breaking off a small chunk of his hip). This was around the rope-toss over the flake.

We were able to free climb (well, more exactly, Mike was) much of the lower part of the route. That ended after his fall.

Overall, it wasn't as clean as the West Face, but not bad, had some good ledges, and was much easier, but it is still a beautiful wall. I enjoyed the climb, but haven't been back.

John
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 7, 2011 - 07:03pm PT
Thanks for the report. You are the first party that I know of that has repeated that route.
Dave Davis

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 7, 2011 - 11:07pm PT
For what it's worth, Greg Markov and I did the steak/salad route in the spring of 74 and also missed the register.
I think a book from Mr. Fitschen would be wonderful. It would be nice to get the perspective of someone who was so involved in that era of Yosemite climbing that we haven't heard much from.If you can't find a publisher how about an extra long post?


Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jul 7, 2011 - 11:14pm PT

All this talk of preserving history, reminds me of how many people have suggested we need a separate section of this forum just for history. Has anybody actually approached Chris Mac about that?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 8, 2011 - 03:56am PT
Jan,

It could be rephrased as having a separate section for non-climbing (political?) threads. I believe it has been on the wish list for awhile, but it involves work and there are other disadvantages.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jul 8, 2011 - 05:35am PT

Trip reports have a separate tab, why not history?

The political threads evidently keep the number of hits high which is good for attracting advertisers, but the history threads are of lasting value. If they keep the money earners on the front page, those with historical interests can easily click one more tab?
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Jul 8, 2011 - 06:15pm PT
Roy Naasz [Derrick Starr] -- who has posted here a couple times in the past -- should be added to the list.
john hansen

climber
Jul 9, 2011 - 01:13am PT
I think Largo chimed in..
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 9, 2011 - 01:29am PT
Updated list. Da roolz:
 Ascents up to autumn 1976.
 Recorded in register, or by claim here.
 SuperTopo posters only.

I may have missed a few that were unreadable, or where I don't know the name/pen name link. And some are infrequent posters. Also, a few rather obscurely said they'd done it, but didn't quite say who they were. Please be a little more direct - remember, I'm Canadian.

Royal Robbins
Joe Fitschen
Bill Amborn
Jeff Foott
Steve Roper
Tom Cochrane
Ken Boche
Eric Beck
Dennis Hennek
Don Lauria
Chris Jones
Jeff Lowe
Pat Ament
Phil Gleason
Rick Sylvester
Ed Drummond
Barry Bates
Dick Erb
John Stannard
Tom Kimbrough
Rich Goldstone
Jim Donini
Anne-Marie Rizzi
Rik Rieder
Doug Robinson
Kevin Worrall
Michael Kennedy
Marty Garrison
Randy Vogel
+ Dave Evans
+ Jeff Dozier
+ Stephen McCabe
+ Darrel Hensel
+ Eric Barrett
+ John Eleazarian
+ Steve Arsenault
+ Jeff Dozier
+ Lance Lynch
+ Tom Higgins
+ Rick Accomazzo
+ Knut ?
+ Dave Davis
+ Roy Naasz (Derek Starr)
+ John Long

Anyone else? Come out and play - even if you were too shy or proud to sign the register 35+ years ago, or simply couldn't find it, you can 'virtually' sign it now.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Jul 9, 2011 - 11:44am PT
Bud (Ivan) Couch should be added to your "virtual" list.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 9, 2011 - 03:46pm PT
Thanks - does he post here? Anyone else to add? Not that the list is intended to be definitive or anything, but it's still interesting.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Jul 9, 2011 - 05:43pm PT
Ivan Couch is no longer with us.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 9, 2011 - 08:50pm PT
Should I add to the list the names of those who are no longer with us - that is those who signed the register, and would post here, but can't? If so, I may need some help, as some are unfamiliar to me.
Dave Davis

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 9, 2011 - 10:08pm PT
Anders- I believe I saw Pat Timson and Pete Doorish signed in about 1970.If I just hallucinated that I do know for a fact that they did do the SS that very year as I climbed with those guys a fair amount back then and actually remember when they went down and climbed it.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 9, 2011 - 10:18pm PT
Dave,
You remember when they went down? Man, I want what you've been drinking!
I don't even remember when I went down.
LongAgo

Trad climber
Jul 10, 2011 - 02:16am PT
Mighty,

So for the list you have, should add my partner for the climb, Lloyd Price, still with us I think, as I am as of this second..

Even LongerAgo
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 10, 2011 - 02:36am PT
Well, I could make two lists, or have one list with two or three subsets. The original idea was to list only those persons who signed the register and who now post to SuperTopo. I thought it would be interesting to see the overlap. An alternative would be a list of every readable name, perhaps with asterisks beside those who post here and signed the register, and another symbol beside the names of those who post here, did Sentinel from 1934 - 1976, but didn't sign the register. (Was Steve doing a complete list?)
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jul 10, 2011 - 04:50am PT

I like the idea of a comprehensive list with subsets.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 10, 2011 - 01:40pm PT
You folks are going to force me into buying a magnifying glass!

Sentinel is a unique situation for an outstanding register. A Who's Who was advertized...LOL

I wonder where the Middle Cathedral registers are? I never found that one.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 10, 2011 - 02:19pm PT
My first trip up the Steck/Salathe was in '72 (I think) with Jim Orey (I know). In the following years I did it most every year with a stack of Englishmen including Chris Gibb, Jerry Peal, Ron Fawcett, Pete Livesly and others I can't remember. I first tried to free the West Face, in 74 or 75, with Gibb, later with Hugh Burton, still later with Kauk and various others and that was all before 76. As mentioned, I never looked (too impatient) for a register in all those ascents (at least a dozen before 76) and have to think MANY others missed it or couldn't be bothered as well.

So the list is interesting reading but I have to believe there are many more of us who got up Sentinel before '76. For instance, when I first tried to free the Chouinard/Herbert with Kauk in '75, it was already a trade route - quite possibly with 50 or more ascents.

So for me, the real history here concerns the ascents before my generation came along (pre-1971). Before this era, I think the list might be fairly inclusive and accurate. After about 1970 - not so much.

JL
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jul 10, 2011 - 03:47pm PT
I agree with John's post just above. Just about everyone in the 70s climbed Sentinel by one or many routes, but not many bothered to look for a register. I think that maybe the actual register, as it stands, sums it up: it was very cool and a big deal before about 1970 and just good, no-big-deal climbing after about 1970.

So, Steve, where would the register have been on the top of Middle? It never even occured to me that there was at top, much less a register.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 10, 2011 - 04:49pm PT
Roger- Just a query because I never found one the handful of times that I didn't go down the Catwalk (Edit: Kat Walk).

If the Sierra Club set registers early on, a record of the locations should be part of the public record sitting somewhere in the Bancroft boxes!
LongAgo

Trad climber
Jul 10, 2011 - 05:26pm PT
I think Roger hit it, pre-70 maybe the most interesting just because then it was still considered a significant challenge and notable climb of the day with less frequency of ascent, me suspects, so also more likely the register got signed then too, though still not perfect record obviously...
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 11, 2011 - 02:46am PT
Katwalk?

Anyway, it looks like Steve and I may have to enlist Patrick Sawyer's help, in figuring out how to get some help whitewashing our wall/register. His distant relative Tom had that one all figured out.
BBA

climber
OF
Jul 11, 2011 - 11:07am PT
Steve - It's the Kat Walk, not the Catwalk. Named for William Kat who told Brower how to get up Middle Cathedral Rock on that side without using pitons. Small point, I know, but he was my grandfather.

Bill Amborn
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 11, 2011 - 11:24am PT
Bill- Small point taken and I certainly know better...

What do you consider to be Grandpa Kat's best route? The Kat Walk would have to be up there for a scramble.
BBA

climber
OF
Jul 11, 2011 - 01:04pm PT
Thread drift alert.

Steve: I nominate the Gunsight. When I was working on a biography of my grandfather, I tried to contact people in the old Starr King register and got this in return:

Credit: BBA

Credit: BBA
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 11, 2011 - 01:18pm PT
Thanks for posting that letter Bill!

Cool that some of your grandad's contemporaries are still around to provide historical background and accounts. Amazing...

The Gunsight is classic for an outing in that era.

What thread drift...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 14, 2011 - 03:12am PT
so Hugh de Witt came into my office on Monday... he had been in contact with Sherman Lehman, apparently they spent a few hours recalling the past and concluded that they weren't on Sentinel Rock on that date... and though they knew Bob Kincheloe (who has since died) they have no idea who Will Rorden is... they concluded that Royal must have miss transcribed the register...

now there's an interesting puzzle...

Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jul 14, 2011 - 09:19am PT
Shhhhhhh.....
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2011 - 11:33am PT
I would really like to see the original register and that would be necessary to solve the puzzle. Interesting thing to transpose...

Clearly some chronology issues on this pair of pages!

Unfortunately, to ask Royal would be to torture him with yet another fugitive detail. LOL
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 14, 2011 - 02:30pm PT
I don't think Royal would remember that sort of detail, he might remember transcribing the register... if anything, and assume, as we all would, that we did it correctly...

and as Hugh and Sherman are probably as distantly removed in time from that register as Royal is, they too may not have precise details of their climbing exploits... but the fourth name is a pretty strong indication that something is amiss.

Mysteries are wonderful things, for sure, and "primary source" information is not always as definitive as we'd like it to be...

I know that I've put incorrect information in registers I've written in, incorrect name spellings for partners, incorrect dates (usually get the month right, but the day and year can be problematic), and incorrect route descriptions...

...I do manage to sign my name correctly, at least I don't recall not doing it correctly, and I do get the number or people in the party correct even with mis-spelled names.
F10

Trad climber
e350 / Bishop
Jul 14, 2011 - 02:43pm PT
Couldn't find the register when we topped out in July 75'

It was the end of our 2nd day on the Steck/Salathe, we were out of water and it was dark. Ended up spending a cold night on top in down jackets with cold legs. So happy to find water on the way down, felt like we both slurped down a gallon.

James Barnett F10
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 15, 2011 - 05:01pm PT
This has to be the youngest ascent of the Steck- Salathé and Half Dome!

http://vocr.sri.com/herson/climbing/tr/halfdome-kara.html

Amazing, Jim and Kara!

Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Jul 15, 2011 - 05:21pm PT
This has to be the youngest ascent of the Steck- Salathé and Half Dome!

http://vocr.sri.com/herson/climbing/tr/halfdome-kara.html

Amazing, Jim and Kara!

I am now officially a nobody.

That is a real nice piece of work by that young lady!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 16, 2011 - 05:18pm PT
That's quite alright fella, a "girl" also freed the Nose. Kara is off to a stellar start thanks to her father Jim!

Bonnie Kamps wrote me this morning with a link to a website for summit registers in the Tetons. The link is:

http://www.tetonclimbinghistory.com/

She was informed about the site by Dick Williams who saw his name in the Sentinel register. Bonnie was trying to recall a few Teton dates and found it more than helpful.
DrDeeg

Mountain climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Jul 30, 2011 - 09:54am PT
Tom Gerughty (Chouinard-Herbert & Steck Salathe)
Henry Barber (free solo of SS)
Larry Marshak (forgot who his partner was, but they bivy'd on the C-H unroped because of the nice lip at the outside edge)
F C

Trad climber
south lake tahoe,ca
Jul 30, 2011 - 03:52pm PT
Thank you for sharing..amazing.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 10, 2011 - 12:46pm PT
Classic thread bump!
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Sep 10, 2011 - 11:59pm PT
I love summit registers! They are indeed a time capsule.

I had no idea that there was a summit register at the top of Sentinel, but apparently Stannard signed us in two of the three times we were up there (Salathe-Steck twice, one of my all-time favorite climbs ever) and the West Face of Sentinel once. I couldn't find our second ascent of the SS.

For those of you who wandered East from California, there is an analogous gold mine in the Teton Summit register archive at http://www.tetonclimbinghistory.com/ Well, it has been a goldmine for me, partially because I did so many climbs in the Tetons, but primarily because that is where it all started for me. The following page from the Grand summit register from 1957,



contains, in my 14 year-old hand, my signature at the summit of my first climbing experience, a moment that started me down a 54 year path that hasn't quite come to an end yet and has shaped almost every aspect of my life. I can't find the words to describe the feelings brought up by looking back to the very beginning of this nearly lifelong journey.

Who knew, when we deigned to take a moment to scratch our names in these registers, the richness of the experiences to come, viewing these traces of our first steps from so long ago?

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 2, 2012 - 12:23pm PT
Bump for the best of 2011...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 4, 2012 - 09:50pm PT
Sentinel bump...
gonamok

climber
dont make me come over there
Mar 4, 2012 - 11:29pm PT
priceless...
John Marts

Mountain climber
Edmonds, WA
Oct 25, 2012 - 12:52am PT
Jim Langdon and Marts are in the Register for the SS ascent free in Sept '70. It was "one of those" classic approaches when one of us discovered that a hammer had been left in Camp 4 after the first chimney was led. Is that why you left us out of the list? <g>
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 27, 2013 - 06:08am PT
Great thread.
Here's my version of the Steck-Salathe' ascents, up until the free variation ascent by Erickson and Wunsch in 1970.
Using Steve Roper's statement about 14 ascents by Sep 1961, the unlisted Robbins-Fitschen 10 hour ascent in 6/1960, and the speed climbs of Sep 1961, I tried to fill in those ascents as best I could.
I'm still missing 2 in the first 14 known to Roper, though.

It might appear that a page with ascents 12-15 (between 8/60 and 10/61) is missing. But this appears to be a transcription error by Royal, or perhaps the original page was missing. He appears to have edited or added some dates (given the different dates for the 3rd ascent listed by Steve in the initial post). The 2 colors of pen he used suggests he was trying to edit things. Looking at the writing which shows through from the opposite side, all the scanned pages in that date range link together.

Originally called the North Wall, but as other North face routes appeared, several names were used.
The 1964 Roper guidebook did not name the climbs by the FA party; he used "North face - left side", "North face - direct", "North face - center", and "North face - west side (Regular route)".
A few register entries (one by Chuck Pratt) called it the Steck-Salathe' in 1967-68.
Then many register entries called it the Salathe'-Steck.
The 1971 Roper guidebook called it the Steck-Salathe', which became common use.

John Salathé, Allen Steck, FA, 5 days, 7/1950
Royal Robbins, Jerry Gallwas, Don Wilson, 2A, 2 days, 7/6/1953
Royal Robbins, Mike Sherrick, 3A, 1.4 days, 8/12/1956
Mark Powell, Chuck Wilts, 4A, 1.5 days, 6/23/1957
Dave Rearick, Bob Kamps, 5A, 2 days, 6/22/1958
Yvon Chouinard, TM Herbert, 6A, 2 days, 6/1959
Chuck Pratt, Charlie Raymond, 7A, 2 days, 8/1959
Royal Robbins, Pete Rogowski, Lin Ephraim, 8A, 2 days, 9/7/1959
Joe Fitschen, Tom Frost, 9A, 2 days, 9/7/1959
Dick Long, Gary Hemming, 10A, 5/1960
Royal Robbins, Joe Fitschen, 11?A, 10 hours, 6/1960
Bill Amborn, Jeff Foott, 12?A, 2 days, 8/1960
?, 13A
?, 14A, "The wall had been done fourteen times by September 1961, but without a bivouac only once..." Camp Four, p.133
Steve Roper, Frank Sacherer, 15A, 8.5 hours, 9/1961
Royal Robbins, Tom Frost, 16A, 3 hours 14 minutes (simulclimbing), 9/1961
Royal Robbins, solo, 17A, belayed on 3 pitches, 9/1961
Chuck Pratt, Chuck Ostin, 18A, 11 hours, 10/3/1961
Layton Kor, Jack Turner, 19A, 12 hours, 4/1962
Layton Kor, Mort Hempel, 20A, 7 or 8 hours, 5/1962
Herb Swedlund, Bill Briggs, Warren Harding, 21A, 9/1962
Layton Kor, Galen Rowell, 22A, 5 or 6 hours, 9/22/1963
Al Steck, Dick Long, 23A, 2 days, 9/29/1963
Chuck Pratt, John Evans, 24A, 6/5/1964
Gordon Webster, Charlie Raymond, 25A, 13 hours, 6/12/1964
Chuck Pratt, Layton Kor, 26A, 9/1964
Chris Fredericks, Pat Ament, 27A, 2 days, 10/1964
Richard C. Williams, John Hudson, 28A, 5/15/1965
Pete Spoecker, Steve Herrero, 29A, 20 hours, 6/14/1965
Chuck Pratt, Frank Sacherer, 30A, 9/13/1965
Chuck Pratt, Steve Roper, 31A, 8 hours, 5/18/1966
Chris Fredericks, Jim Bridwell, 32A, 10 hours, 5/20/1966
Tom Gerughty, Eric Beck, 33?A, 8.5 hours, 8/26/1966
Royal Robbins, solo, 34?A, 3 hours 35 minutes, 9/9/1966
Chuck Pratt, Chris Jones, 35A, 6/13/1967
Tom Higgins, Loyd Price, 36A, 6/18/1967
Roman Laba, Tom Kimbrough, 37A, 9/1967
Mike Yates, John Gosling, 38A, 10/8/1967
Pat Ament, Chuck Pratt, 39A, 5/2/1968
Loyd Price, Martin Epp, 40A, 7/2/1968
Edwin Ward-Drummond, Royal Robbins, 41A, 9/3/1968
Barry Bates, Philip Gleason, 42A, 5/17/1969
Dennis Hennek, Chuck Pratt, 43A, 6/1969
Bob Summers, Bugs McKeith, 44A, 8/ or 9/1969
Jim Bridwell, Dick Erb, 45A, 8/ or 9/1969
Doug Scott, Tony Willmott, Royal Robbins, 46A, 4/8/1970
WC Roberts, Dave Hampton, 47A, 5/5/1970
Mead Hargis, Mark Weigelt, 48A, 8.5 hours, 5/17/1970
Jim Erickson, Steve Wunsch, 49A, all free, 5/1970
Al_Smith

climber
San Francisco, CA
Feb 28, 2013 - 11:49am PT
Another interesting observation...

While this may have been pointed out already elsewhere in this thread (I haven't had the time to read through all the posts, only the register itself), its a puzzle nonetheless...

In Camp 4 Roper tells the following story:

”We did Sentinel in eight and a half hours, strolling into Camp 4 well before dark, disguising our tiredness with a jaunty swagger. Robbins strode over to our table with a bottle of champagne in his hand. ’That was well done, you guys! I watched you all day. Congratulations! Drink up!’ We found this act commendable indeed. Sacherer, an unsophisticated lad, took his first-ever sip of bubbly, scrunched up his face and said, ”It tastes like Coke.”

“Robbins had been generous, but he was not about to allow two twenty-year-old punks to retain the Sentinel speed record. He politely waited a full day before swinging into action. Then it was our turn to watch through binoculars as he and Tom Frost raced up the wall, often climbing simultaneously, the first time this tactic had ever been done on a big climb. Three hours and fifteen minutes after starting, they stood on the summit. They nonchalantly strolled into camp in time for a late lunch. So shocked was I by this feat that I neglected to buy champagne.”

So, in Roper's account, he has Robbins 'waiting a whole day' before swinging into action.

The register lists the two climber's ascents as being several months apart...

Pratt & Roper - 5/18/66 - Time of 8 hours
Royal Robbins - 9/9/66 - 3 hrs, 35 minutes

It could be a transcription error, an error on my part in reading the entries, or it could be possible that in the romanticized memory of Roper that Robbins pulled such a grand feat. It's also possible I suppose that Roper - like all great story tellers - had presented (whether intentionally or subconsciously) the tale with the timing the way he did in order to provide the reader not just with the facts of the Valley happenings, but also in a way that would capture the essence of the incredible momentum of guys knocking off harder and harder climbs in better and better style all within a marvelously condensed time frame.

I do notice that Clint Cummins has these two ascents listed above as being one day apart. So perhaps Robbins' register transcription is off, but some other more formal record (would there be one more formal than the register itself? Maybe Roper's written notebook history?) has it more accurately recorded?

It would make sense for Robbins to go right out and make that climbing statement the next day while the challenge was still fresh, but why would Robbins himself enter it into the register incorrectly...especially given that it was HIS feat?

Regardless of the facts, its a sort of compelling question...
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Feb 28, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
That is an interesting observation, A_S. I like Roper's version, hope it isn't apocryphal, but I wouldn't mind it if it were.

Had no idea that the Steck-Sal went unrepeated for 3 years after the FA.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 28, 2013 - 05:52pm PT
Al_Smith,

So, in Roper's account, he has Robbins 'waiting a whole day' before swinging into action.

The register lists the two climber's ascents as being several months apart...

Pratt & Roper - 5/18/66 - Time of 8 hours
Royal Robbins - 9/9/66 - 3 hrs, 35 minutes

No.
You seem to think the speed ascents mentioned in the Camp Four book were in 1966.
They were in 1961.

They are in my transcription/edit, but not in the register scans (they are apparently on the "missing original page").
This is probably the source of confusion.
Registers are often incomplete, as some people don't sign in, or pages go missing/unreadable.

Roper's (1961) partner was Frank Sacherer, not Chuck Pratt.
Robbins' partner was Tom Frost, not solo:

Steve Roper, Frank Sacherer, 15A, 8.5 hours, 9/1961
Royal Robbins, Tom Frost, 16A, 3 hours 14 minutes (simulclimbing), 9/1961
BBA

climber
OF
Feb 28, 2013 - 06:44pm PT
In the 3 hr 14 min trip it was Robbins fourth time up, and for Frost his second. IMHO that says a lot less than the time of Roper and Sacherer doing it on sight in a day, considering the state of hardware and lack of route knowledge. First time and on sight makes a big difference.
Al_Smith

climber
San Francisco, CA
Feb 28, 2013 - 07:03pm PT
Clint - Thanks for clearing that up for me. I had assumed that I must have somehow been mistaken.

The two times - 8 hrs and 3:35 - being listed by those two climbers within months of each other was close enough to the account in Camp 4 that I had mistakenly assumed those were the ascents in question.

I suppose that if nothing else, its interesting that both men repeated their two times 5 years later (but with different partners or solo) and still decided to record their now (in Roper's case w/ a partner anyway) obsolete times in the summit register.

(Note: I don't mean 'obsolete' in a negative sense, as I obviously couldn't even get up the N Face of Sentinel if there were a million dollars and Penelope Cruz waiting for me on the summit but that's a different tangent altogether...)

Cheers and thanks, Al
Al_Smith

climber
San Francisco, CA
Feb 28, 2013 - 07:07pm PT
Also, Steve Grossman - Thanks for scanning this and posting it up. What an absolute treasure this is to behold.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 28, 2013 - 07:10pm PT
As i recall the summit register was papyrus and took blood much better than ink.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Feb 28, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
Started reading through the whole thing; I'm only up to '75. Amazing how
many old homies' names are in there. It seems like Julie Brugger and Nancy
Marcquardt were the first 'girls'? Hard to believe Tex Bossier didn't do it
until '75 but he did it in good company - Tom Frost.

It was also odd that right after John Marts and Jim Langdon did it in '70
the next ascent was by an Egon and Joanna Marts with Robbins.

HaHaHa - Dave Anderson did the W Face with Karl Kayala and said of his good
buddy Bruce Carson "How the f*#k ?!? did Carson nut the 10th pitch?"
(referring, of course, to Bruce's hammerless solo the year before)
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 28, 2013 - 09:21pm PT
Bill,

In the 3 hr 14 min trip it was Robbins fourth time up, and for Frost his second. IMHO that says a lot less than the time of Roper and Sacherer doing it on sight in a day, considering the state of hardware and lack of route knowledge. First time and on sight makes a big difference.

I agree that it's hard to set a speed record onsight.

However, there are 2 ascents missing from the transcribed register.
Steve Roper might have been on one of them, prior to his speed record.
Although he also had good speed, so he may have been onsight.
Since he knew about the 14 prior ascents, he would be a logical person to ask about the 2 missing ascents.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Feb 28, 2013 - 11:12pm PT
Yes, as I said way upthread, Roper has the old original
register. He and I often got on the phone, and he
would read various entries to me... I'm still unclear as to how
this version came into being, without that original version?
Or did Royal copy from that original one? Maybe Steve could clarify. I
admit I'm a little slow probably...
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 28, 2013 - 11:35pm PT
Pat,

Yes, as Steve Grossman described,
Steve Roper got the register pictured here in 1993 from Yvon Chouinard,
after Ray Olsen found it in Yvon's attic.
This version of the register had the data through 1963 transcribed by Royal Robbins from an earlier register.

When I referred to the "missing original page", I meant this earlier register. The one Royal transcribed from.
It appears to have been missing a page with ascents from 8/1960 to 10/1961,
since those were not in Royal's transcription that we see here.

The handwriting in Royal's later register entries matches the handwriting in the transcribed entries.
For example, he dots capital I, and the R is partially cursive.
The 29 SEP 1963 entry appears to be signed by Al Steck and Dick Long, so I wonder if Royal finished the transcription shortly after that ascent, and had them sign it before he placed it on the summit?

It looks like Royal added more transcriptions/entries (in pencil, from Sep 63 and Sep/Oct 64) in Oct 1964 when they did several trips up to fix lines for filming the West Face. Perhaps he discovered a second temporary register, and merged it with the one he had earlier transcribed.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 1, 2013 - 12:01am PT
Steve Roper, Frank Sacherer, 15A, 8.5 hours, 9/1961
Royal Robbins, Tom Frost, 16A, 3 hours 14 minutes (simulclimbing), 9/1961


These must be the correct dates as I know that Frank did not do any climbing in 1965 later than June when I met him. I hiked up to the base of Half Dome with another girl who worked at Curry as Frank and Chuck were going to try for a speed ascent of HD. They woke up late and then Chuck half heartedly fiddled around on the first pitch, and then they called it quits and he and the other girl took of down the trail while Frank and I did the cable route up Half Dome. That was Frank's last attempt at serious rock climbing in the Valley. We spent every weekend after that up in the meadows.

Later in the fall he and I tried climbing together a few times and in early November we were married. From then on, he was totally immersed in physics except for weekend trips to hang out with friends or hike in the Valley. He didn't rock climb again until the spring of 1970 on the Saleve outside Geneva.
Dave Davis

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 1, 2013 - 12:05am PT
I believe Reilly, that Ms. Brugger climbed Sentinel with Larry Marquardt, a climber from Boulder that she climbed with quite a bit back then. Did he sign his name Nancy or do you need some new glasses?










Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Mar 1, 2013 - 12:10am PT

"Larry" does look a lot like "nancy" here - handwriting can be tricky!
Doesn't look that much like "Nancy", though.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 1, 2013 - 12:15am PT
I remember when Steve Wunsch and McHardy did the SS. Steve told me that Richard said he would bring the gear. Steve questioned him about why he thought that 6 or 7 nuts was sufficient for the task. Richard's response....well you see mate, too much kit lowers me standard.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 1, 2013 - 12:41am PT
Dave, as we all know we often see what we want to see. But I'm not good at
deciphering cursive. In Russian cursive his 'Larry' looks like 'Ratsu'. :-)

I'm sure Julie had no problems on the SS.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Mar 1, 2013 - 09:11am PT
Great thread. Another history bump

PS Definitely looks like "Larry" to me.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 1, 2013 - 10:53am PT
I like that Fred's wife free soloed the thing behind Bruce and Dave! With a potted plant in her rucksack no less...
TMJesse

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Mar 1, 2013 - 02:31pm PT
With joy, I discovered the name of my uncle, Dick Brown, included in the list of names for the 19 October 1963 accent of Circular Staircase by the Loma Prieta Rock Climbing Section from Palo Alto.

Here he is about 1962 along a Cathedral Range traverse with my dad.
Echo Peaks - Cathedral Range, early 60's
Echo Peaks - Cathedral Range, early 60's
Credit: J. F. Runner
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2013 - 02:13pm PT
We came
We climbed
We scribbled
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 14, 2013 - 01:44pm PT
And we bumped...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 12, 2014 - 11:54pm PT
Proudly...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 23, 2014 - 02:50pm PT
just a little melancholy update to the thread pertinent to my post
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1533071&msg=1552926#msg1552926
that Hugh DeWitt died on March 28th of this year.

It was amazing that bringing up this thread to him and see his eyes light up, and when he reported back on his discussion with Sherman Lehman it was clear they had a very good time discussing this small bit of Yosemite climbing history that they had so long ago, and inadvertently, participated in.

The truth is that even the tiny, in-the-moment act of signing the Sentinel Rock climbing register in 1959 sets a mark in time and space that persists. They signed that register on Saturday, May 16th. I've been up that route and I'm sure they had a great day. I'm guessing that when Gary and I did it (in this decade) it was more remote than when Hugh and Sherman did it, as it was one of less than 100 routes available to do back then... of course there were a lot fewer climbers too.

Anyway, not a notable passing in the climbing community, but I'd thought to report it here.

eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Apr 23, 2014 - 03:19pm PT
Wow. . . how did I miss this?



"Kevin Worall and Mellow Brutus Schoen"

VERY NICE. . .

And that one line about Bacher [sic] and Lylod [sic] Price is pretty weird. . . interesting to see people trolling back then! (5/21/76)

HA!

TFPU!

HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Apr 23, 2014 - 04:02pm PT
Historical trivia confusion: Spiral or Circular Staircase?

When Brower and Morgan Harris first climbed the west face in 1940 they didn't give the route a name.
The first time I see it named is 1957 by Mathias and Weightman: "Spiral Staircase".

Then in '63 TMJesse's uncle's ascent it's now "Circular Staircase"
Roper (1971) calls it Circular Staircase
I haven't read through the entire register but when/how did it get renamed?

On July 4 '48 the Stanford Alpine Club took nine "kids" to the top of Sentinel.
"No ropes, no pitons"
Richard Williams - 14
Bill Finney - 15
Bill Kershaw - leader?
Donald Rogers - 14
James Burgard? - 13
Walter McClary - 14 1/2
Jerry Insco, Don Yocke - 15
Doug Williams - 13
Wesley Kinsel - leader?
Walter Isle - 14
Peter Hese? -14
BBA

climber
OF
Apr 23, 2014 - 07:41pm PT
Everyone is worthy of note in the climbing community when they go to the big valley in the sky. The names Lehman and DeWitt tickled my memory...

Mowat was on the first ascent of the Southwest Arete, West Side, of the Middle Brother in Yosemite Valley with Nick Clinch, Dave Harrah and Sherman Lehman. A Climber’s Guide to Yosemite Valley, Steve Roper, 1964, p. 158

Also, from the Starr King Register:

May 19, 1951 Absolutely perfect day.
John Mowat S.A.C.
B Vogel SAC
Hugh DeWitt, SAC
BBA

climber
OF
Apr 25, 2014 - 12:39pm PT
The date given on the Sentinel register at the start was August 1960 for Jeff and me. I found my old Climber's Guide to the high Sierra (the only Valley guide at the time) with the dates. For what it's worth...

Credit: BBA
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