whatever happened to Matt Cox?

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hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 19, 2006 - 01:47pm PT
Any search through the archives of post-stonemaster history reveals that a Matthew Q. Cox did many hard, dangereous asnd crazy first ascents, repeats and first free ascents in Joshua Tree, Idlywild, Yosemite and elsewhere in the 70,s and early 80's.

Matt's hair was a type of afro and his body stout, muscular and always tanned. On weekend's in the 70's, Matt's fingernails could be heard grinding as he crimped hard on any number of dime thick edges adjacent to Hidden Valley campground, or high on Suicide rock. Beneath him was the required manky sideways # 2 stopper in a grainy slot, followed 30 feet below by another one.

After a day in high school in Orange county, Matt could often be found training on the drainage ditch near his house. He used a a hammer and chisel to chip tiny edges that he used to tune up his specialized crimping and edging techniques.

To this day, and I have never seen anyone (even french superstars at Smith Rocks and Owens Gorge), crimp harder than that studly teen.

Has anyone else got any interesting stories about Matt Q. Cox, the specimen of extra-human genetics?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 19, 2006 - 04:05pm PT
Hey, HashBra:
Didn't he do Tubular Balls out by the Comic Book?
'Never could find that thing.
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 19, 2006 - 04:10pm PT
I forgot to mention that Matt a;ways left him finfernails long enough to create a quite audible scraping sound as he clamped onto the archtypal 1/16" holds he favored.

As testiment to Matt's crimping abilites, if you are ever well behind the Orange Curtain, go check out the lower wall at Hart park in Orange (on Chapman ave). I'm sure no one boulders there these days, but Matt's long traverse on the "lower" utilized some of the sharpest, smalled and most ridiculous edges we'd seen at the time.

I remember hearing that unsettling grinding sound as his nails went from micro-edge to micro-edge, his PA'd feet dancing on ugly micro-slopes below.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Mar 19, 2006 - 04:27pm PT
I caught Matt on one of the most horrendous falls in my life--2nd pitch of The Edge out at Tahquitz, the guy leaves off lybacking the edge and goes on straight dimes on the left wall, pings for about 50, then scampers right back up and dicks the lead. The lad had some sac!

JL
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 19, 2006 - 05:01pm PT
Well said John!

Funny, Matt never mentioned the 50 footer to me.

Tarbuster, I believe Tubular Balls was one of Matt's firsts including Tresspassers will be violated, Illusion Dweller and magical Mystery Tour On Tahquitz (with Tobin).
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Mar 20, 2006 - 05:35pm PT
Didn't Belezzi tell me he was banging nails these days?

I could check if you're really in need...
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Mar 20, 2006 - 06:34pm PT
K-man...yes we care, trying to get the old band together for a world tour.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Mar 20, 2006 - 07:53pm PT
Ah, Matt Cox. Did he have a perpetual tan or what?!?!

My partner and I teamed up with Matt to do an early repeat of Fairest of All on Fairview. This was way before much was known of the route except that it was pretty runout. Matt was our ace in the hole for all the hairball leads.

As it turns out, Matt never led a pitch! My partner and I sketched our way up the rock as Matt sunned himself on the belay ledges.

Bruce
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Mar 20, 2006 - 08:04pm PT
Though Matt was younger than most of us, he was by far the best and boldest climber in our group. He was always game for the sharp end. As a result, it was easy to cruse along on, getting a TR on routes I should have been trying to lead. It was only after Matt took off for No. Cal. that I began to really lead things.

Ah, yes. The scraping of Matt's fingernails on small edges...I can still hear them now...



hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 20, 2006 - 08:09pm PT
Matt also did an early scent of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride on Fairview, among other scary stuff. He clearly thrived on runout and very thin slab routes, unless of course he was sunning.

He actually did not need the sun to stay tanned, I suspect due to some genetic abnormality (that probably also created his boldness and brute strength).
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Mar 20, 2006 - 08:24pm PT
Aw man, my source is bust--no news on the Cox.

And I guess BruceH doesn't have the scoop...
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Mar 20, 2006 - 08:45pm PT
The scoop? What about that ascent of Mr. Toad's?

Matt did the climb with my climbing partner, Jeff, and had to be rescued 2 pitches from the top when they got off route right of the normal route and were hit by a thunder and lightening storm. Jeff had a very poor belay, a #2 and #3 stopper in a small crack, and Matt was 30' out when he slipped and came sliding down and managed to grab Jeff as he went by.

They yelled for help and a bit later, Alan Bard rappeled down from the top. AB took one look at the anchor and instead of clipping in, drilled two bolts. They jumared to the summit and got helicopter ride off the top.

Bruce
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 20, 2006 - 09:08pm PT
How very odd! Like the 50 foooter on the Edge, I never heard about that fiasco.

Let's give Matt the benefit of the doubt though; maybe he had a successful ascent some other time. Remember the statute of limitations has long past.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Mar 20, 2006 - 09:22pm PT
I give Matt every benefit of the doubt. On Mr. Toads, they were way past the hard climbing and just trying to take a more direct line on the last couple of pitches (this was before there was a guidebook). If they hadn't been hit by a thunderstorm they probably would have made it since the climbing at that point, according to Jeff, was only in the 5.9 range.

Chapeau to both of them!

Bruce
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 20, 2006 - 10:33pm PT
Bruce, I was trying to be humorous about any sort of judgement on their ascent.

Ya never know what others go through on their own epics and of course we should "judge not and ye shall not be judged."
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Mar 20, 2006 - 10:50pm PT
Spoke to Matt last year, he seems to be doing fine. He's still around in Santa Cruz area.
de eee

Mountain climber
Tustin
Mar 21, 2006 - 12:29pm PT
I spent alot of time with Matt in those early years but don't remember much. I do remember our first El Cap attempt. I don't think we had our drivers licenses because my mom dropped us off in The Valley on her way to the bay area. It was Easter week and the weather wasn't looking too good. The top of The Captain was festooned with hideous ice formations whiched caused some trepidation. We tried not to think about them. Our plan was to try The Nose clean. Soon after our arrival we hooked up with the much more mature climber Ken Cook who greatly strengthened our team. He decided that The Salathe was a better choice considering the conditions. So, up we went to fix a few. It was cold and wet but the day warmed slightly as we climbed the first few, Matt leading the 10c finger pitch. A pitch or two higher and we were startled by a sound like thunder and looked up to see a VW van sized piece of ice break off the top and come hurtling down. It hit the rock and shattered into many pieces all of which headed our way. We ducked and covered getting pelted by small pieces, some of which hurt. The decision to descend was made immediately. We jettisoned all extra gear and down we went. Large ice chunks continued to break off during our terrified rappels and we were lucky indeed to survive.
henny

Social climber
The Past
Mar 21, 2006 - 09:30pm PT
Matt's crack climbing rack. All of about six nuts. Didn't matter how long the route was, or what size the crack was. He'd pull out the same rack every time. You knew you had two choices. One, pray that you could fit the gear in somewhere on the pitch, or two) save the gear and hope you could get it in at the belay. Thing was, you knew there wasn't enough gear to do both, even if it all did fit by some chance. Never seemed to bother him though.
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 22, 2006 - 01:50pm PT
Darrel,

I know Randy and Dave remember this clearly (and I mentioned it earlier) but is worth repeating, that Matt did many hard leads while over sideways placed stoppers, nuts placed in opposition and reverse cammed stoppers. Many of these placements in grainy and erroding Josh monzonite.

The guy was friggin crazy.

looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Mar 22, 2006 - 03:17pm PT
OK, here is a Matt story...

Matt, Jim Dutzi and I were over at Hemingway and at the time we were always looking for new face climbs to do...(don't ask).

Anyway, we look at the face to the left of White Lightning and Matt grabs the assortment of stoppers and hexes and bolt kit and heads out. After a bit of gritty climbing and some stoppers under loose down-pointing flakes, we convince Matt to place a bolt.

After the bolt is drilled (a spinner), Matt continues up placing marginal pro here and there and tops out.

Following the pitch, I can remove all the gear by basically jerking straight down on it. The only decent piece (other than the bolt) was about 10 feet from the top.

Thrity years later, Pig In Heat still is rarely done (despite decent climbing).
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Calif
Mar 22, 2006 - 08:07pm PT
I heard a rumor that he's gonna attend the JT Stonemasters renvedaux at KP's in April! Do you think he'll be sporting the low hanging boxers like back in the day? Kids today are emulating his style with their pants hanging so low their boxers show. Fashoins do come back into vogue eventually.

Levy
henny

Social climber
The Past
Mar 22, 2006 - 08:46pm PT
Spencer: Maybe the reason he used so many creative nut placements was to make the few (all six of them) nuts that he had on his rack fit the crack? Like I said, he sure didn't let things like that stop him, or even slow him down...
kevin Fosburg

Sport climber
park city,ut
Mar 22, 2006 - 10:10pm PT
Just gotta say that the Hart Park traverse is super bad-ass. We used to speculate that even that french heavy Ed Lingerie probably couldn't send it first try.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 22, 2006 - 10:19pm PT
"JT Stonemasters renvedaux at KP's in April!"

After all these threads it's good to hear you folks are actually going to try to get everyone together in the flesh. We did the same last fall and it was a great time - enjoy yours...
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:50pm PT
Huh? How can you have a bouldering session when you cannot even hang onto the holds

It was an acquired taste (or skill). We (mortal folk) used to be happy just cranking some of the short vertical problems, the traverse required fingers of steel which Matt had in spades.
hashbro

Trad climber
Mental Physics........
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2011 - 01:01pm PT
Matt Cox



has been invited to:




http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1412917&tn=240#msg1418038
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 20, 2011 - 04:32pm PT
he's living in Scotts Valley area of Santa Cruz. His wife Kelley used to do my hair. Susan
JJCox

climber
Santa Cruz, ca
Apr 20, 2012 - 12:47pm PT
Hey this is Justin cox I'm sitting here with my dad Matt and we just found this! He says he's doing good and misses climbing with everybody. He's planning a trip to the sierras to the evolution treverse in August. Thanks for all the good writings! He was more than happy to see it. His cell is 831-227-5418. He's still got his Afro, still tanner then an Indian, and stronger then ever!
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Classroom to crag to summer camp
Apr 20, 2012 - 01:42pm PT
From the sound of the crimping stories, he sounds like the perfect candidate to free Wings of Steel. Move over Tommy!
Touque

Trad climber
Santacruzcalif
Mar 16, 2018 - 01:55pm PT
Hi everyone from my past climbing days just read all my post thanks for the good words.im missing climbing right now I'm 60 now but feeling good and ready for an outing if anyone wants to get together or just talk I'm at matthewcoxconstruction@gmail.com. Or 842-337-6418 thanks I'd like to hear from everyone
Touque

Trad climber
Santacruzcalif
Mar 16, 2018 - 01:57pm PT
I'd also like any info on Howard king
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Mar 16, 2018 - 02:19pm PT
Hi Matt,

You probably have heard that Howard unexpectedly passed away very recently. There are a couple threads about this here:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/3065827/Howard-King

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/3065824/Old-Stone-Master-Passes

Glad to hear you are doing well.

Randy
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Mar 16, 2018 - 05:33pm PT
Matt...Watched you lead a cool looking lie back on Tahquitz back in summer 1975...El Camino Real...It looked like an easy 5.7 route so i couldn't wait to come back the next weekend and lead it...Next weekend i got on it and came flying off of it ...LMAO...I found out later it was 5.10a... you made it look like 5.7... rj
Touque

Trad climber
Santacruzcalif
Mar 21, 2018 - 04:56pm PT
Mattis alive and well still bouldering castle rock ,has a family1daughter,1son,and 2 grandkids he is a general contractor in Santa Cruz and enjoys mountain biking and working on his 8 acres in the Santa Cruz mountains he would like to reconnect with climbing friends from the past. 831-227-5418
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Mar 22, 2018 - 10:54am PT
Matt....always good to learn the whereabouts of old friends and to find out they turned out better then expected.

Keep climbing ... maybe see you around... is that Afro grey?

Guy Keesee
G_Gnome

Trad climber
Cali
Mar 22, 2018 - 11:42am PT
Matt, many of us get together in Tuolumne Meadows every August for a week or two of climbing and other fun. You should come up there sometime.

Jan McCollum
dee ee

Mountain climber
Of THIS World (Planet Earth)
Mar 23, 2018 - 04:25pm PT
Hey Matt, I am glad to hear you are alive and well! I hope to see you some day.

DE

That "chorts" mantra you used bitd still comes into my head occasionally!!!
Messages 1 - 37 of total 37 in this topic
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