"StoneMaster Stories" (Part 5) the epic continues


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Social climber
Mar 10, 2006 - 08:27am PT
About Henry; I always found in my travels locals in any particular area get a little ruffled if you challenge their traditions or test pieces. If you happen to push things ahead before their ready to pride can become a strong emotion. I remember Henry getting all us together probably 8 or so. Werner you were there. We all piled into my Toyota corolla and just as we were pulling out of camp in route to the fish crack for a group effort, Jim Donini stops us as tells me not to crash the car because it will set American climbing back 20 years. Made some of us laugh pretty good, Jim was always a serious guy. I halfway remember who all was there, Werner you remember? Anyhow it didnít get done that day but was a good show to witness. He may of felt that he was then involved in the project.

Whether or not anyone wants to hear it Henry was really a visionary. Rick Accomazzo and I first hooked up with him on a cold call, he wanted to climb Valhalla. He had just flown in from who knows where and we picked him up in route to suicide, Rick probably remembers where. Hanging over from the back seat of the Pinto he cracked us up with his British stories all the way to Idyllwild. For Rick and I we had at least done Valhalla twice and had lead every pitch so giving up the second one to Henry was a pleasure. Henry still to this day tells me thats the most he has ever fallen on the lead (a whole three times) he also says it was one of his funest days ever out on the rock.

After that when he visited the beach I remember him showing us the sit down deep cave start to the Iron Man which later became the Diamond Man. He did have some vision.

Social climber
The Past
Mar 10, 2006 - 08:34am PT
Given Gramicci's track record with Exhibit "R", I only have one thing to say about any other pictures of the weeping wall he promises: Hades will freeze over first!

Hey,... Speaking of Hades... Largo, tell us a story or two about doing the crux pitch, and what happened when some "famous hoties" showed up to repeat it. Good stuff that some people may not be aware of.

right near the beach, boyeee (lord have mercy)
Mar 10, 2006 - 09:08am PT
This sh#t is priceless.

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Mar 10, 2006 - 10:07am PT
I've got one Dick Shockley story. For some reason, I hardly ever ran into Dick, but he gave me a ride from Yosemite back to San Diego once, I believe just after Rick P. and I did the Dawn Wall - probably 1977.

So we smoke some herb in the car and Dick immediately challenges me to a game of mental chess. The idea is that you have to keep track of the board entirely in your head. Well, after maybe two turns, I'm already unable to "keep up". I've felt intellectually inadequate ever since.

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Mar 10, 2006 - 10:31am PT
Hades. Oh, yes. I was unaware that Darrel and Kevin had freed the first pitch and when we first did it I was psyched. It used to have a sketchy run out off a fixed blade but Johnny Woodward installed a bolt and now it's safer (but the first bolt is a ways up there). That first lead is one of the best pitches
5.12-) at Suicide, and really long. Once you know the sequence it's far easier but that traversing bit is tricky to dick first try. It's also very unusual climbing for Suicide--not thin hold stuff but strange cross countering and Gastoning off rounded shite.

The next pitch is sequency, real thin and almost impossible to keep your feet on the holds. There's a grim high step over a small ceiling that I bashed my shin on about 20 times. Above, it's grim to clip the last protection bolt and get set up on two sidepull dimes. From there you huck a big mo out right to a two finger scallop, stick it--if you can--and fire through.

I went up there two or three times and the last time linked all the moves but had to hang on the last bolt. Finally I returned with DB and got it, probably because I knew every crystal on that thing and also, we were bouldering a ton out at Roubidoux during that period. We were happy about our performance because we never top roped it or frigged around much. From the start we tried it from the bottom. It was really frustrating because I got to the very last move about four or five times and either my feet skidded out during the dyno or I couldn't stick the catch on that scallop. One time I stalled on the scallop, started to pull, and pinged. Jesus--that meant yet another drive out there from LA, reclimbing the first pitch, geting up to that last move and hopfully doing it. And we eventually did, on my third or fourth try.

A year or so later Skinner rolls into town and immdeiately raps down from the top and starts hanging and working out the moves on a TR. At that time (1980??) I thought it was needless and silly to use such a tactic on that route. Plus, he totally avoided the first pitch--coming down from the top like that--and the first lead is the best one, just not the hardest one. It also requires a touch of sac 'cause you gotta run the rope a bit here and there.

We never believed Skinner cleanly linked all those moves on the last pitch--but we don't know what really happened. One or two hangs on one or the other of those bolts and it's not the same fandango at all. It pissed us off because we'd put all this effort into doing it ground up and totally clean--no hanging or tensioning or anything.

Interesting note about this route is that this was the last time I was at around 200 pounds. After that I went up to about 210 and never got back down to a featherweight till I went to Borneo and New Guinea ate nothing at all for months.

Gotta wonder if that route sees any traffic these days. Crime if it don't, since that first pitch is spectuaular. The second pitch is basically a 30-foot, Roubidoux boulder problem.



Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Mar 10, 2006 - 10:36am PT
the very first time mike paul and i went to santee (we hitchiked all the way ther form,, this would have been sometime in the winter or spring of '73, shockly was there and he gave us the tour.

ran into him there (santee) again, winter before last, over christmas vacation. we got to talking and it's amazing how different the place looks now. housing and development right up to the boulders, the high school, all the graffiti....in '73 the place seemed like a wilderness area!

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Mar 10, 2006 - 10:40am PT
yeah, i remember when fraud spinner wrote up his ascent of hades as "an easy afternoon at 5.12c"

others who witnessed the "ascent" reported that our hero didn't do his momma proud and that he'd used every base trick in a cheat's repertoire to frig his way up the thing.

hangdogging at suicide???? jesus wept.

Topic Author's Reply - Mar 10, 2006 - 10:42am PT
Lets go to Part 6 it's getting long again;




Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Mar 10, 2006 - 10:56am PT
We met Shockley and Largo on our first ever trip to Stoney Point on one of the first boulders encountered. Our little group of Orange County teenage craggers were blown away when the real big boys took us for a tour through the boulders on that day in 1972 (or maybe 1973). Bacher had not yet discovered cragging so guys like Dick, Largo and Bob Kamps had the run of the place back then.

Bongs did not exist, so Largo took repeated hits off of a re-smoked (and resin soaked) joint that he had stashed in his pants. I quite clearly remember that neither of the rock stars had a chalk bag; instead leaving a partially used block of gymnastic chalk at the base of whatever problem they chose to impress us on.

Dick's flowing (ballet-dancer) style, his methodical and intentional motions on the rock were contrasted by John's intense and explosive dyno moves this way and that. We had never seen such experise on the rock before and it was inspirational!

Our three greenhorns hooked upward aghast at what we saw. We were also pretty excited that these two Stonemasters took the time to nurture us with new techniques and vision we had never experienced before.

Early memmories...


Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jul 23, 2008 - 08:48pm PT
holy frickin hand bags Joker! this here thread has a few things I missed on the first go around.

solid selection of pics in there offwhite!

major stories and general fun thread

bump for sure


Trad climber
In the mountains... somewhere...
Jul 28, 2008 - 08:29pm PT
I ran into Schockley at The Knobs in Tuolumne 2 weekends ago. He looked better than I have seen him look in a few years and it was heartwarming to see him climbing again.
Oddchick? Wingnut? Strangechick? Freakazoid?

Trad climber
Pollack Pines
Dec 20, 2008 - 11:16pm PT
This is an interesting thread.....

Dec 22, 2008 - 11:57pm PT
The Best read on the taco EVER!

Thanks Guy's


Dec 23, 2008 - 01:49pm PT
Back in part3 Henny wrote;

When I said in my initial post that the Stonemaster legacy would live on through the climbing of the people they influenced I wasn't kidding. Others like John, Ricky, and Mike had helped to get me kick-started. They did it for me, I was supposed to do it for others. Quite simple. So we see their influence twice removed. And you've probably done it for someone else. Three times removed. And so it goes on...

See what I mean? Is this stuff killer, or what?

The StoneMasters and You Henny have been the biggest influence on my climbing over the years.The face routes you guys put up at T & S have to be Among the best anywhere.

Thanks Bruce.

Trad climber
Feb 21, 2009 - 10:34pm PT
so what happened next?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 22, 2009 - 09:23pm PT
bump at part 5, follow the links backward... way to amazing to believe...

the reason why we all linger here on STForum, this sort of stuff is gold!

Trad climber
Jul 19, 2010 - 12:03pm PT
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 5, 2012 - 08:18pm PT
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 15, 2013 - 10:13pm PT

Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Jan 15, 2014 - 12:34pm PT
Messages 141 - 160 of total 161 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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