"StoneMaster Stories" (Part 6) the epic continues

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Tan Slacks

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 11, 2006 - 10:37pm PT
from the FISH catalog

Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Mar 11, 2006 - 11:27pm PT
Careful who you call old there, Hashbro. Mike’s a year younger than me. For all you cheeky youngsters like Hashbro, I pass on this bit of advice from a wise Scottish climber, Tom Patey:

Live it up,
Fill your cup
And sow your wild oats while you may,
For the toothless old tykes of tomorrow
Were the Tigers of Yesterday.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Mar 11, 2006 - 11:28pm PT
To Honor Inspiration--

In Honor of the Stonemasters and the Poway Mtn. Boys.

The following article from Summit Dec. ’73 was from my first climbing periodical I ever purchased. Only 75-cents, what a deal, very affordable even for a 10 year old. Fate would have it that within the pages of this classic issue would be the article “The View from Strawberry Valley” by Mark Miller.

My inspiration . . .

1970 Saw the movie “Solo” by Mike Hoover at the Ski Chalet in Point Loma. Little League never held the same intensity for me after that. That movie blew me away – wow.

1971 Cub Scouts
1972 Family moved to Poway and I started scrambling and climbing big rocks in Garden Road area and on Twin Peaks Mtn. near our house.

1973 Boy Scouts, Troop 608, never made it past Tenderfoot (pretty lazy when it came to merit badges), but I never missed a back packing trip (frustrated climber). Summer of ’73 took Geography of CA for summer school that my 5th grade teacher taught prior to attending middle school. I was bouldering all over Twin Peaks Mtn. by this time. The objective at the end of the class, before the end of summer, was to do Whitney via the tourist trail. The class did a training back pack trip that summer of ’73 out of Humber Park heading to the summit of San Jacinto, a class of about 24 students made-up of primarily 10 – 12 year olds. We heard voices on the rocks of Tahquitz and Suicide Rock. I sat there watching trying to figure out where they were coming from. Many of us made the summit of Whitney. Bought my first “Summit” climbing periodical. Sat there reading it cover to cover in my sixth grade class, especially during sex ed. Fascinated by the article written by Mark Miller.

Asked my teacher Mrs. Bunshaft (not her real name), what the meaning of this one route called “Fallatio” in the article meant. It was a teachable moment. (OK, I made this last part up. But I would have liked to have asked her had I a clue then. She was very pretty and hormones were raging.)

1974 More Scouts and lots of trips. My father, older sister and I, took the Sierra Club course “Basic Mountaineering” and finally learned to use the rope, some of the gear, and how to belay out in the boulder fields of Jacumba. I read the little red book produced by the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club over and over again.

1975 Finally a few friends and I, when we could convince our parents to drive us there, started going to Mt. Woodson. I would never be the same. I blame the Stonemasters for inspiration and the Poway Mtn. Boys for all the brilliant climbing I witnessed and occasionally emulated.











healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 11, 2006 - 11:33pm PT
And a few of you tykes-that-were are showing that not all tigers lay down and die quietly before taking a bite or two out of the young ones. That and the young only get to be tigers by surviving the claws left on the rock by those that came before them. The ones that linger should still be treated with respect and caution.

[That roof is the spitting image of one in So. Ill. called "Fear of Flying"]
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Mar 11, 2006 - 11:43pm PT
Well said Grippy (Rockamazzo). I don't really think ya all are old, just wise. I quite remember that you, Mikeand my elders taught me everything I learned at the crags and beyond.

Thanks, by the way, for Annabelle!

Hey Klimmer, thanks for the Summit mag article; it was my first climbing text and really motivated myself and the bros to get out to Ilywild for our own fun, and maybe a bit of sandbagging by the Stonemasters.
Gramicci

Social climber
Ventura
Mar 12, 2006 - 01:54am PT
Hey Spence, this ones for you.

Annabel right, from an old surfer


I wish I had shots of the direct, it was harder than Gil’s Nemesis tower
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Mar 12, 2006 - 02:11am PT
swear to god, this pic of tobin drilling on season's end still makes my heart race.

last time i was at suicide was a sunny mid-winter day in 91 or 92, me and the wife went up and did pink royd, down and out, and valhalla. only peeps at the crag, perfect bluebird day, cool but not cold and the edges felt SO crisp and the friction SO good...gotta go back...

Gnat Arson

climber
Mar 12, 2006 - 02:23am PT
Klimmer says: "1973 Boy Scouts, Troop 608"

Whoa, I was in Pack 608, but it was the Cub Scouts. We lived in the Green Valley area of Poway from 1959-66. There were fun boulders in our back yard consisting of the highly coveted Woodson Granodiorite. Difficult with PF Flyers.

Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Mar 12, 2006 - 12:28pm PT
Hashbro had me scratching my head over the reference to “Annabelle Overhang”. Thanks, Mike for clearing that up. When I saw the picture, it brought back all the moves, as well as the fine- sandpaper feel of SoCal gritstone.

I have a vivid memory of Matt Cox bouldering at Pirate’s Cove. A couple had set out their beach towel and chairs with their backs to the entrance of the big overhang where City Ordinance crack is. Matt starts climbing in the cave way behind the couple and works his way up the overhang onto the vertical face above. Suddenly he falls from about 20 feet up. The result is a spectacular, sandy crash landing right next to, I mean within inches, of the couple’s beach towel. Matt brushes the sand off and walks away without a word, leaving the couple wondering how it came to be raining men at CDM.

Spencer-Can’t agree that Henry Barber was “spanked” at Pirate’s Cove as mentioned upthread. It’s true he didn’t fire off many problems, but most of those sandy gems took a lot of time to figure out in the first place. Like Gramicci, the part I remember best about Henry’s visit was that none of us had ever thought to lengthen the cave problems through the use of sit starts way back in the caves. Henry asked me if anyone had ever started deep in the waist-high cave to the right of the stairs and when I said no, his eyes lit up. He immediately crawled back into the cave, sat down and started bouldering out. Fortunately for local pride, Henry wasn’t able to do that day what later became Diamond Man (because it added a series of hard moves to the existing Iron Man Traverse) but he opened our eyes to new possibilities. I, for one, was impressed with this small example of Henry’s great creativity as a climber.
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Mar 12, 2006 - 02:38pm PT
Ricky,

Memories sure do get fuzzy as at least 30 years have passed since Henry's visit to Pirate's cove. It is absolutely true that Henry did in fact pionmeer the numerous sit starts at the "Beach." He actually did kick ass that day and massively impressed us all.

I believe our (as inexperienced 16 year olds)Matt and I somehow though Henry would flash all of our test-peices. We hadn't figured out that local knowledge of Beta, sequence and subtleties have a huge influence in completion problems. When Henry did not flash (or if my memory serves me right, he could not do)the Hinge. We wondered how this, the world's "best" climber would flounder on our well worked out locals problem.

After years of sandbagging and being sandbagged we understood that local knowledge is 90% of getting up stuff like that. Hence we developed a massive respect for the flash over all other styles of climbing.

Ya all were our teachers and grand masters of such ethos.
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Mar 12, 2006 - 03:19pm PT
Thanks for the image Mike. Yeah I quite recall the Annabelle direct problem, and the numerous kinda long sand falls many of us took figuring it out. Also remember the "face" to the left of the cave and the technicals moves there.

Returning to check all those problems out in recent years had me gagging though. The current condition of the problems sure did not match my memories as greasy holds, lots of trash and sandy eyes were the norm. I recently heard they outlawed bouldering there as well.

And by the way Mike, thanks for all of those gusseted crotches!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 12, 2006 - 04:07pm PT
Anyone seen Hot Henry chew a wine glass?
It's quite a parlor trick.
'Real hardd too debunk it!

He didn't actualy eat the whole goblet, but started right in on a fresh glass from our cupboard and took 3-4 good, seemingly well masticated bites. He stared right at us, chomping away.
rmuir

Social climber
the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Mar 12, 2006 - 07:14pm PT
Anyone got a photo of Diamondman? (Or even Ironman?) That was just a classic Beach test piece...

Ricky will remember the extensive work we did on getting the right sequence for Diamondman... At one point, we unlaced our boots, and tied a 1" loop in the center of the lace. Then we'd relace the boot. As I remember, we'd actually hook that loop of lace over a little horn so that the first moves off the sand would rely on this shoe hanging from the horn! Never seen anything like that, before or since.

That hook didn't last too long, as we all eventually worked-out a more traditional sequence without the boot foolery.
Blinny

Trad climber
NorthWestMontana
Mar 12, 2006 - 07:44pm PT
Gramicci

I know the feeling of the receding hairline.

Perhaps this will help...

Mark

hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Mar 12, 2006 - 08:51pm PT
Rob,

I believe Craig Fry had a bunch of good beach images including Diamondman and Ironman. I also remember using the shoelace loop for a few of those sit ("Yabo") starts as well.

And then there was the famous City Ordinace crack andf of course the highball "Brain" at the far end.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Mar 12, 2006 - 09:06pm PT
I made a special trip down to the Beach just to do the Brain. The City Ordinance Crack was tricky but the Brain was the shizat so far as excitement. Gotta wonder if anyone ever fell off those routes, which were not only sandy, but loose as well.

There was another classic problem called "Big Ricky," named after graffiti ground into the soft rock. We accused our own Ricky A. of scribing said graffiti, since "Big Ricky" was Ricky A's problem. And a good one, as I remember. There was also that crack (left of the stairs) that exited onto a highball face on sandy flutes that felt like soap. Don't fall . . .

It was all good.

JL
Gramicci

Social climber
Ventura
Mar 12, 2006 - 10:33pm PT
Hey Mark! Where did you find my hair piece?

I lost it about 20 years ago…it does help thanks.


The BRAIN! More like a solo at 50 feet than a highball Before any of you could climb there you had to be briefed on how pull on those fins, any other pressure than pulling straight out would break them off. It was for your own safety it could have been ugly if that happened to you on the BRAIN! Couldn’t climb for 3 days after a rain either, for fear of breaking off a crucial hold on any of the problems.(sorry, I meant to say solutions Robs)

I’ve got more great shots, city ord, the Nose, topping out on Anna, blindfolded on the hinge…kidding, never took a photo of that. None of the traverses though, weren’t very photogenic I guess, being so close to the ground.

One tourist encounter was pretty funny. Rick I think you were there. This black couple comes up kind of checking out the scene. I jump up on to the hinge for the 8 thousandth time and the guy asked What’s that guy doin, Rick says climbin…I’m just topping out and the guy says “that aint climbin that’s dancin” Rick says yeah its in our blood.

Thought the guy was going to drop everything and start bouldering with us.

Yeah bouldering at the beach, the conditions had to be just right. Always a big surprise if that last hold was covered in sand, thank god the landings were decent. You wouldn’t believe how much school I ditched during the week to go there. Always had it to myself.
rmuir

Social climber
the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Mar 13, 2006 - 12:42pm PT
Yeah, Mike. You may never live down that Mountain Magazine fandom rag photo. And since Gramicci sounds pretty darned Italian to me, here's another photo you certainly may never live down either!



No wonder Graham could boldly boulder... Check out the size of those hands!

And thanks for all those crochety gussets, too, Big Guy. Hugs and kisses.
Gramicci

Social climber
Ventura
Mar 13, 2006 - 02:40pm PT
OMG! Largo called me about this didn’t quite catch what he was talking about until now!

Too funny Robs!


Thanks for covering the fig by the way
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Mar 13, 2006 - 03:17pm PT
Hey, MG and other Beach regulars. Did many folks actually climb the Brain and some of those other highball dandies? The first time I climbd the Brain I immediately got in my car and drove off at about 100 mph, thinking I'd gotten away with murder. It's hard to imgine those beach highballs ever being popular, though locals can get really dialed in on stuff. I remeber your boots were like 25 feet above the sand on some of those problems--or am I imagining things?

And what about some of those high balls on the little-known Buffalo Chip? Ricky took me there once and I felt lucky to survive that place as well.

JL
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