Seldom Climbed Idyllwild Classics

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Messages 1 - 58 of total 58 in this topic
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 21, 2006 - 02:03pm PT
I'd be interested in hearing stories (epics??) about the following seldom done and all but forgotten routes:

Suicide:

Wild Gazongas
Obscured by Clouds
Drain Pipe
Iron Cross
Sugar Magnolia
Godzilla's Revenge

Tahquitz:

Frightful Fright
The Sham
The Flakes
Stairway to Heaven
Direct start to the Vampire (5.12 crack--The Pharoah??)

And any other route that has been lost in time . . .

JL
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 21, 2006 - 02:23pm PT
"Direct start to the Vampire (5.12 crack--can't remember the name)"

Isn't that The Pharoah? I have never seen anyone on that thing. And as far as the upper part of Stairway to Heaven goes, mostly when you see someone up there it's because they missed a turn on Vampire. Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire...

Iron Cross is a personal fave of mine. I do recall one time my old bud Charlie was leading the 1st pitch and fell on a pin which pulled. He scared us as he dropped into the slot behind that giant flake/pinnacle. He spoiled a new shirt but was otherwise ok.

You'll still see someone do Obscured by Clouds every once in a while, but how about that Tangled up in Blue just left. That was a one timer for me. Yikes.
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Mar 21, 2006 - 02:26pm PT
John...most of those climbs get done all the time...sort of.

Charlie Christ (sp?) The worlds tallest climber, fell on the first pitch of Iron Cross, pulling the manky fixed pins. He went down behind the big flake! The partners just sat there in silence.....after a while they herd...heay! I'am OK - help me outa here.

The Flakes...one of the best, IMHO. If I can get Kris to lead the overhang, I am always down to run the 5.8 flake pitch.

John...with the advent of sport climbing T/S is sort of a back water climbing spot. You get lines at the base of Open Book, Finger trip, Angeles Fright and Whodoneit? Gram Crackers and Surprise but that is about it. Somebody made a comment to me: "with williamson closed I bet Taquitz will be packed this summer"....LMFAO...only if trad climbing comes back into style and looking at most of the sh#t I see at the sport spots, I figure this will never happen.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 21, 2006 - 02:41pm PT
I remember pairing a couple nice leads one afternoon with Mari and others: Chisolm Trail and Obscured by Clouds. Neat stuff, did the pair a couple times. Can't remember much about Obscured, except that it had a bit of a rep when first done. Chisolm had an enhanced edge after the crack...
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 21, 2006 - 02:52pm PT
Yeah, the reason I thought those routes never get done is that nobody every goes to T/S anymore. I don't. But I rememvber those climbs I mentioned as being pretty good stuff at the time. I suspect someone will someday "rediscover" how good they are.

I'm surprised no one has ever been seriously injured on that first pitch of Iron Cross. That's a very weird and inobvious lyback on the first pitch and how you don't fall onto that flake is bewildering.

JL
Murf

climber
Mar 21, 2006 - 02:56pm PT
I've done the Flakes a number of times, mostly 'cause it took me 3 times to get the 1st pitch. Funny, but the 3rd pitch never seems too bad.

I've toproped the 1st pitch of Stairway. Funky, tenous, and scary climbing is had on that thing.

If Godzilla's Revenge is that .10+ face to roof thing, I've done that a couple of times. Or maybe not, I've always headed left after the roof, skipping the unprotected groove. Offhand, I'm not sure which is the "official way".

I had a buddy toss on the first pitch of IC. Landed flat on his back on the boulder below ( or so the story goes ), completely unhurt.

Murf
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 21, 2006 - 03:15pm PT
"Chisolm had an enhanced edge after the crack..."

You mightbe thinking of "Man Who Fell To Earth," right next door..?

LOWERme

Trad climber
Santa Fe N.M.
Mar 21, 2006 - 03:21pm PT
Back in the 80's I watched a guy from a distsnce one day on godzilla's. Every time I looked over, he was still frozen beneath the crux, the only thing moving were his hands, trading in and out of his chalkbag. After a 1/2 an hour of this, I looked up and he was gone..hopefully up!

Did obscured twice, and seem to remember a teetery bolt stance after the crux overlap that felt worse the 2nd time. Fun route!

Only did the 1st pitch of stairway. The thing I remember most was that rusty old spinner below the crux.

fareastclimber

Trad climber
Hong Kong & Wales
Mar 21, 2006 - 04:04pm PT
Just curious, what is the origin of the name Idyllwild? There is a small valley of rock up in North Wales called Idwal and I wondered if maybe there is some relation?
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 21, 2006 - 05:58pm PT
For obscurities, how about Black Harlot's Layaway. At least I think that's what it's called. I wish it wasn't so reachy - I spent a whole day falling off that thing once. And I wasn't alone...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 21, 2006 - 06:18pm PT
Ksolem: Man who fell to Earth, correct. So much for my memory.
Chisolm and Man Who Fell.

So, Mikes Books and the Bong is a good pairing as well...
haha.

John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Mar 21, 2006 - 06:23pm PT
A little history from the ether:

"George B. Hannahs and his wife, Sarah came to Strawberry Valley in 1889 and built a sawmill on upper Dutch Flat. In the summer of the next year, 1890, they opened a 'resort' on a forested bench west of Strawberry Creek. The name they chose was Camp Idylwilde. The location of this tent resort was about where the Idyllwild tree monument now stands in the middle of town. Now long afterward, George, never content to be idle, opened a general store in the lower Strawberry valley. March 3rd, 1893, saw the opening of a post office in Idyllwild. It was at the Hannah's store. George was the first postmaster. George and Sarah decided to name the store and the post office Rayneta. Their young son was named Raymond.

"Dr. Walter Lindley, a physician from Los Angeles, and several other doctors announced plans to build a sanatorium here. They built a large, two story building and called it the Idyllwild Sanatorium. It opened in June 1901. Ralph Lowe was manager and Charles Rutledge as bookkeeper and secretary. At some point, probably around the time of the post office change in June of 1901, the name of the Rayneta post office was changed to Idyllwild. The e was dropped from the name of Idyllwild. Some people believe the town was named by Laura Rutledge in 1901 when the name change occurred, but facts show that the Hannahs used the name first in the summer of 1890."

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 21, 2006 - 08:29pm PT
Thanks for that John.
mtwoodsonguide

Big Wall climber
San Diego
Mar 21, 2006 - 10:13pm PT
Can't speak for Suicide since it's alot hotter so I don't go there as much, Done The Drain Pipe, and Know Iron Cross gets Done.

Stairway To Heaven and The Flakes get done alot. The pin at the crux of The Flakes was replaced with a bolt making it "more accessable". The others neally never get done.
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 22, 2006 - 12:07am PT
Stairway to Heaven gets done a lot?

Like in who's dreams?
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 22, 2006 - 12:26am PT
Woodsonguide wrote: "Stairway To Heaven and The Flakes get done alot. The pin at the crux of The Flakes was replaced with a bolt making it "more accessable"."

Who's adding bolts to 50 year old Tahquitz routes? Do folks have no pride at all? More accessable? Huh? Pretty soon The Edge will be sport bolted for accessability purposes? I mean, hey--why shouldn't anyone be able to enjoy it?

JL
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 22, 2006 - 12:29am PT
Here's Doug Munoz.
The Flakes, '82.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 22, 2006 - 12:35am PT
1st Pitch of Green Arch.
Munoz, '82
I popped once on the crux corner above,
pulled the rope and lead clean to the top.
I had these early Fires, a size too big,
so I stuffed foam behind my heels.

The bit of edging up high felt weird.
todd-gordon

climber
Mar 22, 2006 - 01:43am PT
Obscure for a reason( But THAT is what makes then appealing....)....Wild Gozongas;....over where all the ants, poisen oak, and bushes are. Obscured by Clouds;...lots don't dig that run out top....( Most do the better protected "new" var.) Drain Pipe;....bolt ladder section is a turn off. Iron Cross; Fixed pin is gone???... still one of the best climbs at Suicide. Sugar Magnolia;....aren't the bolts in wierd spots? Godzilla; climb up that gully for that scary climb? Frightful Fright... that one move is too hard. Sham;.....aid section? Flakes;...that gets done, I believe? Stairway......hard rating, tricky wide lay-back at start, Pharoah.... WAY too hard.................Hell;... these climbs Rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!What you talking about, Willis?
Loosemonkee

Trad climber
sthlm, SWE
Mar 22, 2006 - 09:12am PT
Woodsonguide wrote: "Stairway To Heaven and The Flakes get done alot. The pin at the crux of The Flakes was replaced with a bolt making it "more accessable"."

I hate to be a lurker but this thread was too interesting for me to pass up. I did the Flakes 3 times and the first time was like 9 years ago, and my memory is slipping, but not that fast; there was a bolt at the crux even then. So has there been more bolts added to it, or have they just replaced the one bolt that was there when I first climbed it? BTW, liked the route but found it wasn't really worth the hype for a 1 move boulder problem to get 11c grading (which can't explain why I did it 3 times. . .), but the part that always scared the bejeezus out of me was the runout upper pitches after the crux.

Second question, Largo said something about the direct start to Vampire was 12-? You mean to tell me that I've been climbing 12's all these years and never knew it? Damn. Unless I'm totally off, I thought the direct start to the Vamp was like 10d or something? Because I climbed that route from the bottom about 5 times, and it still rates as one of my favorite routes ever.
So as not to confuse anyone, I'm talking about the crack that starts after you solo up 50m+ of approach ledges until you come to the last ledge that has the tree and there you rack up. Then you skirt up some slabby thing for 3m or so, pull up on a good size flake and start jamming your way up the crack/right facing diehedral until you meet up with the bottom of the V. which most folk start on top of the big ledge boulder and traverse right into. We are talking about the same spot right? I hate to sound uniformed but I haven't been back to taqhuitz in 5yrs and left all my US guidebooks in the US., so it's a little hard to double check for me, but I think that's what your talking about.
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Calif
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:21am PT
The Pharoah is the curving crack that starts to the left of the "Direct" start(which is much more popular). It is a thin flake/crack that sits right on the rounded buttress seperating the From Bad Traverse start & the afore-mentioned "direct" start. I did it W/ EE a few years ago and was I ever glad that he led it. Thin jams & liebacks with poor feet make up the crux but it's protected by tiny RP's and stoppers. I would say it's kind of a cross between "Tar & Feathers" and "Pirate". Great stuff but I've never seen anybody else on it.

I have a friend Bill Lebens who fell on the 1st pitch of Iron Cross and whipped behind the flake. Like Kris said, down on the ground we all looked at each other, fearing the worst, then a sound emerged and we realized he was alright but shaken up a bit. Ho- Man!

I did Sugar Magnolia with Mike Paul in 1989 or so and we moved left at the 2nd or 3rd bolt and it was much easier(5.11 b). We also climbed a line that had been bolted by the Chongo brothers across the gully from S.M. that had not been free climbed yet. I believe we called it "Steal Your Face" (5.12b)in keeping with the Grateful Dead themed names.

Another route I rarely see traffic on is "Double Exposure", which is a scary route for its grade of 5.10b(after the A1 start). The direct start was led by Terry Ayers at 5.12 but is a pretty serious proposition as you can hit the ground from several places if you fall, Yikes!

Levy

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:33am PT
LooseMonkee:
You are refering, I believe, to the "Bat Crack", which is a 5.10 extension start...
Murf

climber
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:43am PT

I got suckered onto that Double Exposure by a buddy. He couldn't commit to getting onto the arete and bailed on the gear. I commited to getting onto the arete and wished I hadn't.

An obscure link up is the Z Crack to Zeno's Paradox. The Z crack doesn't get a ton of traffic and can be dirty, but is a good pitch. Zeno's Paradox has some fun laybacking, to some face climbing. Have to admit, never did the face ( crux ) of ZP cause the bolts look so shitty. Kris, did you ever replace them?

Murf
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:52am PT
The first time I did Iron Cross (or was it Drainpipe?) was with Mike ands Mari, on one of there first vists to Idlewild in 76'(?).
A classic south Suicide day.

Randy and I did the odd, but classic My Pink Half of the Drainpipe on Tahquitz (mid 5.10). I think that route involved technical liebacking and some thin jamming on the north side of the wall.

Then around the same year, Kevin Powell and I did the very cool Zeno's Paradox on the central part of Tahquitz. That route had a really cool and long wide hang crack way up on the wall. What do you remember Kev?
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 22, 2006 - 01:08pm PT
I was doin' Zeno's back in about '84 or so with Warren Egbert, and while I was leading up the layback section I hear someone yell "rooock!!" from up high. Looking up I watched a chunk the size of one of those six pack coolers come sailing down. It must have taken a bounce from a sloping ledge 'cause it was in the clear all the way down to the belay ledge at the top of pitch 1 of the Long Climb, where it impacted like an artillery shell right next to some guy who never saw it coming. He was freaked, just sat there screaming, and sucking for air and screaming some more.

Ho man!

Yeah Murf - it would be nice to know there were new bolts on that thing (but my lazy ass hasn't done anything about it.. let me know if you want to do that this summer..)
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Mar 22, 2006 - 01:41pm PT
Largo asks: "Who's adding bolts to 50 year old Tahquitz routes?"

My guess would be Bob Gaines, or another guide. The pin under the overlap on Blanketty Blank was replaced by a bolt too. And there's a bolt on Sahara Terror that wasn't there in the old days, close to a crack, that looks like a convenience anchor.
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Mar 22, 2006 - 01:56pm PT
Hey John. I hope you're still out there climbing the classics at Tahquitz and Suicide.
bsmith

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Mar 22, 2006 - 03:08pm PT
Done the 1st pitch of obscured by clouds a couple times in the last few years. Nice climb. There weren't no chalk.

TR'd the 1st pitch of Frightful Fright numerous times as an end-of-the-day-last-climb. Have been meaning to give that a go on lead.

Done the Flakes 3x in the last 10 yrs. That one does get done. Had some severe problems with rope drag once on the last 5.7 pitch. The direct finish which climbs out of the corner on to the slab to the left is a better finish. The Price of Fear at .10c.

Followed Iron Cross back when the pins were there. I won't touch it until the pins go back in. I'm surprised that they didn't get replaced with bolts a few years ago when the 2 pins at the start of The Blank were replaced with bolts, and the 2 pins at the start of Man Who Fell To Earth were replaced with bolts. Now I'm not suggesting that it be bolted, but I bet some pins were used on the FFA. Anyone out there think the gear placements, as an alternative to the pins, are good? You can't tell from below.

Man Who Fell to Earth is a classic that I've never seen anyone else on, and there weren't no chalk when I did it.

Double Exposure: nice climb but kinda scary leaving the aid bolt to get on the arete. no chalk.

Z-crack/Zeno's: don't remember the bolts being bad, but then again, I didn't lead that pitch. I've wanted to go back up there for the lead, but maybe I'll wait for the bolt replacement.

Some good climbs for the diehard crack addict that also don't get done much, but ought to are: Munge Dihedral, Miscalculation, BCs Ouch Chimney and Wet Dreams.

I'm happy to say I can't tell you of any epic I would have been involved in. You'll probably find a lot of epics for Angel's Fright, Maiden's Walkway, etc. I did have a guy who bailed on Maiden's Walkway ask me the best way to tie into his anchors. Apparently he was having trouble reaching and seeing the tie-in loop on the back of his harness???
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Mar 22, 2006 - 03:14pm PT
Greg,
I've had to adjust my goals and expectations a tad down the scale. When Largo said unappreciated classics at T/S, what came to my mind was The Swallow, Illegitimate, The Pearly Gate, and Right Ski Track. Most of the stuff on JL's list I couldn't do even when I was a Woptown Hardman. But I did manage a no-falls lead of Valhalla at 40-something, and a wall in Mexico in '99. I've got a few hard .10s at Mission Gorge ruthlessly wired.

I may have another charge left in me. BVB is inspirational, pullin' down Woodson "hard .11s" for 30 years.
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Mar 22, 2006 - 03:48pm PT
I think it would be a shame if the first pitch of Iron Cross were to sprout bolts. I've done that thing a fair number of times with and without the fixed pins. Patience and a good selection of small wires make it safe. It certainly is the kind of climb where getting the protection right is a big part of the difficulty. Bolts would reduce the challenge ...
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Mar 22, 2006 - 10:11pm PT
Though not in Idlewild (sorry about the thread violation) Agony Arch, near Mt Roubidoux is a steep Yosemite-like crack on an obscure crag in the town of Roubidoux. I believe Jim Wilson and Chris Robins pioneered the mid 11 route in the 70s, which is very reminiscent of Leaning Meanie and Orangatan Arch.
todd-gordon

climber
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:46pm PT
Looking Backward to Zenos is one of the best links on the stone...
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Mar 23, 2006 - 12:09am PT
Done Man Who Fell to Earth several times, a total classic (notwithstanding the chipped handholds).

Looking Backward to Zeno's is a great combo. The bolts on Zeno's are still original 1/4 inch jobs, but so what? While they should be replaced, they aren't even 30 years old. Any fall would be short, and coming near the end of the pitch, the force generated would be small. Pretty unlikely they would fail... jeez, get a life.

The pin(s) on the 1st pitch of Iron Cross have come and gone several times over the years. But as Kris points out, you can get good thin gear a bit below where the pins are (were). No need to place a bolt.

But, in general, I'm not against replacing old fixed pin placements with bolts, provided the pins are/were the only pro available. Its all fixed gear and the pins nearly always work loose after a while. The replacement of the two pins on the first pitch of Blankety Blank hasn't changed the character of the pitch at all (except the 2nd bolt is in a poor location -- should be up and over to prevent rope drag).

Unlike days of yore, The Vampire sees a lot of traffic, and for good reason... probably the best few pitches of climbing in So Cal.

BTW: I find it highly unlikely that many people are doing Stairway to Heaven.
Murf

climber
Mar 23, 2006 - 11:16am PT
Hashbro-- Agony Arch is indeed now surrounded by "The Quarry", Riverside's premier nature conservatory and sport crag. This piccy shows it in part.

Edited to say: According to comments I've read, the bolt line is a .13a variation and is supposed to be 25' away. Obviously, fish-eye lens or not, the last bolt is substantially closer than that.


Kris -- I'm in, we'll set something up.

Sketchy -- I'm a not so well known candy ass, scared easily ( insert some sort of grimacey thing here ).

Haven't done the Looking Backwards pitch, now on my list.


Murf
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Mar 23, 2006 - 11:59am PT
Wow, Agony Arch looks pretty good. Certainly was a bit more awesome without bolts though.

Jim, you sandbagged me into doing the first lead on it after you and Chris had "equipped" it. I apologize to E for "stealing" the FA
of Man Who Fell to Earth.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 23, 2006 - 01:20pm PT
Agony Arch: a surprisingly good little side show.
E had that thing too wired, I was leading it one day and E was calling out every move and placement as I progressed.

Randy: I remember the day you and Grandstaff "put up" Looking Backwards. Grandstaff, at that time, was pretty psyched on all of us coming out to play in the Red Rocks. He said "Yeah, Cali Boyz go Sandstone!". (I think I referenced this way early in the SMasters Thread...)

My only ascent of Zenos was with DE and Lechinski: Mike used mostly big hexes on the fist crack, which we laybacked on the follow and I had the face bit on the next pitch.

Hey what about "Rosetta Stone?". Never got around to it, but that looked to be a stiff side show...
itso

climber
Mar 23, 2006 - 09:19pm PT
bsmith, ditto for Wet Dreams. I love this climb. Never seen anyone on it although the flower is the most traveled route in the area. Best if done in one pich. Another rarely climbed gem at Suicide is Low Pressure.
Frightful Fright is awesome climb. Some of the best moves on granite I've seen!
I tried Agony Arch last Sunday. There were at least 10 swallows in wide section...

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 23, 2006 - 09:26pm PT
itso:
Ya babee,
Wet Dreams.

But fer serious obscurity: The Spooge.
Olden' Days Mandatory #1 Stopper Pro.
Dimes

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 23, 2006 - 10:07pm PT
Want obscure and desperate-Chin Strap Crack-way bad bolts atop a way loose flake with funky liebacking and some off width thrown in to really mess up your mind. Another funk one-Big Daddy-just plain weird and done originally back in the 60's. No need for bolts on 1st pitch of Iron Cross. Goes with gear. Second pitch has had 2 bolts added up in the dihedral. One next to a good cam placement. If you wanna sport climb go elsewhere!
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 24, 2006 - 12:25am PT
Dimes wrote: "Want obscure and desperate-Chin Strap Crack-way bad bolts atop a way loose flake with funky liebacking and some off width thrown in to really mess up your mind. Another funk one-Big Daddy-just plain weird and done originally back in the 60's. No need for bolts on 1st pitch of Iron Cross. Goes with gear. Second pitch has had 2 bolts added up in the dihedral. One next to a good cam placement. If you wanna sport climb go elsewhere!"

Now what the hell was anyone thinking by installing bolts on a route (Iron Cross) first done in the 60s and freed in '73 (with no pins in the first pitch). The corner's like 5.9. Jesus.

Big Daddy is plain weird alright. First led free by T. Fronst in 1959 and repeated two years later by Kamps and Higgins.

JL
todd-gordon

climber
Mar 24, 2006 - 01:22am PT
Did the Chin Strap with The Troll and the late Kenny Black (AKA Psycho Kenny) in 1983. We, and everyone else , had been eye-balling the Chin Strap for quite some time..... you can see the thing perfectly from lunch rock and all over the West Face. It looks WAY harder and scarier than it really is....all wide, slanting, a slick looking. I think it had an ancient bail sling hanging from a bolt on the O W section....flapping and all sun-bleached like a pirates flag on a pirate's ship....daring climbers to try their luck. Once we decided to hop on the thing, it actually turned out to be sort of a paper tiger....a bit of grinding/grunting, but definately no horror story. We were curious about ALL climbs on Tahquitz, and wanted to eventually do all the climbs that we could.
bsmith

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Mar 24, 2006 - 01:27am PT
Tar:

No gear needed on Spoodge these days. There's a bolt and a pin.

JL and KS:

If the FFA of Ironcross was pinless, and there's gear to be had, I'm game.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Sep 8, 2012 - 09:26pm PT
Climbed The Flakes this morning. Fell on the first pitch right before the roof when I leaned too far over to look at the placement and just freakin fell off...no botched move or sequence, no pumped out.

Took many, many attempts to pull the crux on p3, which my partner followed with different beta and made it actually look 5.11 (and he wasn't tall enough just to reach for it either).

As for me, I did a ridiculously hard boulder problem, off possibly the smallest foothold I've ever attempted to use for anything in 20 years of climbing, with an off balance dyno to get through it, and thought is was significantly harder than all the V6s I did in the Valley last weekend...but in the end I was able to climb it that way. Might actually write up a TR on this one...great route.
Fogarty

climber
BITD
Sep 8, 2012 - 10:16pm PT
Grace Slick, at only 10.b I don't think it gets many sends. What is your opinion of this old school classic?.

Largo, chime in?
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Sep 9, 2012 - 02:54am PT
My friend Mark Wagner and I climbed the Reach on Taquitz. Had heard Eric Erickson had put it up. The bolts were home made aluminum angle iron with steel button heads. They were so bad that Wagner told me not to fall seconding the thing. I later saw and met Eric at Mickey's Beach and mentioned the climb. He looked at me sideways and couldn't believe anyone had done it.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 9, 2012 - 06:35pm PT
You want obscure? How 'bout "Cause for Alarm," "Bitchen Litchen," or the "Chronic Dislocator?"

OK, I might be biased.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Sep 9, 2012 - 07:21pm PT
And there's a bolt on Sahara Terror that wasn't there in the old days, close to a crack, that looks like a convenience anchor.

The bolt is there because the crack it's next to is really a big perched block that is slowly loosening.

You shouldn't place gear there lest the routes alternate name "Farewell to Arms" proves itself apropos once more.


Speaking of obscurities in the sub nosebleed ratings category, has anyone done The Rack? (just right and part way up the Trough)

That's one of only a handful of 10a's I never ticked.

Couldn't ever find the first bolt.

Did do Grace Slick with "Andy the Pakistani"

I got off route on the first pitch following a berm that goes left and got to where I couldn't clip the last bolt and ended up making a big dyno for the wad of old slings on the anchors after what seemed like hours of contemplating my fate if I missed.

There was a father and son team below that must have figured it looked like fun and started up the route after us. Andy led the second pitch and about half way up as my nerves began to recover I noticed that pa and scion were no longer below. The reply from Andy complete with the Pak sing song intonation was,

"I think he fell off."

The kid took a 50-60 ft winger.













\

Never follow sucker chalk!

Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Sep 9, 2012 - 09:32pm PT
I never thought the Flakes was all that obscure. I've done probably three times, though admittedly most of the time because there was someone on the Vampire. That third pitch feels impossible until you figure it out, then it's pretty solid.

I've done Godzilla's, which I thought was great, though I can't say I've ever seen anyone on it, ever. The last time I did it, a hold on the first pitch seemed to have crumbled some, leaving it feeling harder. I didn't do the direct .10d on the second pitch though but chose the runout 5.9 on the left.

I remember Grace Slick being good. Last time I did it was probably 20 yrs. ago though. I'm surprise to hear it doesn't get done often.
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Nov 15, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
BBST-
Scanning some old slides and came across this one of the late Paul Gleason, which is labeled "Flakes-Pitch one" 1972. Our goal was to be the first to free climb the route and we had some limited success. We also wanted to make the climb longer so we started in a right facing dihedral on a 150' buttress between the "Trough" and "White Maiden".

As I recall the route turned 3-4 small roofs, one of which could be tunneled under (visible above Paul?). Maybe 5.8 but it's been a while since we did it. Can anyone confirm this, or has anyone done this variation? I think it took us to "From Bad Traverse" and where the 5.11 crack begins (Wilts says 5.10 in my old guide).
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Nov 15, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
Has the Innominate been mentioned? I could not find it mentioned here. Seems like it was a tester BITD. Wasn't it rated 5.9 back then? It was probably my first real pump on a lead. I remember sitting at the top having to wait till my forearms calmed down to bring my partner up. That was probably about 1968 or 69 ( I would have been 17 in 69 ) and was a game changer for me as far as commitment went. I hadn't followed it before leading it.
Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
Nov 15, 2013 - 02:04pm PT
What about Magical Mystery Tour? Does that thing see much activity these days?

Curt
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Nov 15, 2013 - 02:29pm PT
McHale - RE: Inominate...Another puzzler for me has been this photo by Larry Reynolds of the Inominate which appeared in the early guides. According to Harrell, I think Phil Gleason and I got about the 3rd or 4th ascent in 1967-68. Before we started up the route, we talked briefly to Reynolds on the trail, and I recall him later saying he got some good photos of us. Sure looks like us that day. I could be wrong. Anyone know?

Later, while having dinner at the "Black Forest"-I think it was called-It was either Kamps or Powell who mentioned they thought it should be rated 5.7! Ha! I have an original print which I found at a yard sale in Venice in the '80s.
Johnny K.

climber
Nov 15, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
Direct original finish to the vampire?

It seems the climbs like iron cross,etude,green arch etc.All those climbs which were once originally protected with pins are protected safely with tiny cams of today.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Nov 15, 2013 - 03:16pm PT
Keith, That's probably not my team. Isn't there a lower belay position? I guess that just looks like a belayer in the middle of the photo? I don't remember the climb being technically difficult, but it's probably best to not rate it 5.7! It was more or less a double-overhanging corner as it was described. That photo doesn't really show that aspect of it. If I recall, it was overhanging lower down and the upper section straightened out.

Here's a shot Larry Reynolds got of me following Traitor Horn in those same years.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Nov 15, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
Kieth, that picture looks a lot like Super Pooper, well above From Bad Traverse, just left of the Flakes.
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Nov 15, 2013 - 03:56pm PT
Kris, Yeah, the dihedral looks like this pitch on 'Super Pooper'. But...
Here's Paul again on the pitch above the 5.11 crack/roof on the same day. Part of 'Stairway to Heaven' too, I believe. Thanks for the input. Helps jog the memory. I think we climbed around the 15 foot tunnel part on the 3rd roof mentioned on the previous page.

Edit:
Kris, Just found a photo that shows it could either be a lower pitch to 'Super Pooper' as well as 'Flakes'. The pitch goes through the three consecutively larger, evenly spaced roofs in the dihedral-middle of the picture. Thanks.


Dan, I agree that 'Inominate' is 5.9. That would be me on top of the pedestal belaying Phil. I thought getting up to the top of the pedestal from the left side was just as hard as the book above. Nice photo on 'Traitor Horn'. Wonder where Reynolds is these days?

Good pic below, Craig.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Nov 15, 2013 - 04:43pm PT
Yeah, that first section; the leaning corner thing was deceptive because the hands end up overhanging the feet because the ramp drops in and under? I can't remember what the pro was at the point where the route went straight up. Seems like the crux was getting some pro in there. Seems like it may have been a big nut but Hexentrics weren't even on the market yet - maybe a 2" bong? Seems like there were large angle pitons at the very beginning with a good finger/hand crack.

Somebody here must know the whereabouts of Larry Reynolds.

What's the sanitation situation like up at the rock these days?
craig morris

Trad climber
la
Nov 15, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
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