Who Did The First Ascents At Big Rock- A Historical Survey

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 12, 2012 - 12:34am PT
Since this seems to be a matter of mystery, who established the routes at Big Rock? Most are bolted and likely pretty memorable so unless somebody already has this information recorded chime in.

This miniguide might be a good place to start. I am unsure of the date on this one too.

An early G.Cobb guide to Big Rock with typography by J.Leisher no year listed.







So we have as of 3/18/1012:

E) English Hanging Gardens FA John Gosling no date
N) Vigin FA Lee Herrell as party aid climb no date
FFA Phil Gleason
M) Crater Maker FA Darrell Hensel no date

Not shown in topo is:

The Nose FFA John Long and Tim Powell 1973
Sickle 5.11+ FA Phil Gleason and Keith Leaman 1968



Only one aid route left when this guide came out. Hopefully, the author might have some of the historical background and weigh in. Anyone know G.Cobb?

Cheers
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 12, 2012 - 12:43am PT
It has been a VERY long time but I liked the place and memory waits for no one...A dedicated thread is easy to update since edit access to the OP isn't limited by posting date. Easy to put a list together with the resources on this forum if it doesn't already exist.

THE BIG LIST---Who's On It?????
T H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Jan 12, 2012 - 02:53am PT
Big Rock recent history http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/764974/Locker-and-Cosmic-does-PARIS-On-Topic
neversummer

Trad climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Jan 12, 2012 - 10:10am PT
Bump...
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Jan 12, 2012 - 10:36am PT
I think Jerry Lillegard, whose dad owned Pack and Piton, may have done something out there. Pat Merril, I think made bolt hangers in home ec and did African Flake. The Brothers Gleason may have had a hand in things as well. Robs Muir posts on here and may know more.
henny

Social climber
The Past
Jan 12, 2012 - 10:49am PT
Crater Maker, 5.7: Darrell Hensel, Bob Kessinger. around '74. Not the name we gave it, not sure how it ended up Crater Maker but that's OK.

I always liked Mind Bender, the hole is a cool feature.
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jan 12, 2012 - 11:15am PT
Steve:
I think Keith Leaman might be the best source for Big Rock info. The ones I know for sure is: John Gosling did the FA of English Hanging Gardens. Paul Gleason did the FFA of the Virgin. Lee Herrell (sp?) had done the Virgin first as an aid route (RURP practice).
Lee, Pat Calis, and Charlie Raymond were quite active at Big Rock in the early 60's and most likely did many of the easy routes along with the Riverside Mountain Rescue Team. This early SAR team used Big Rock for a practice/training area. It was "common" knowledge when we started climbing there that the Trough was put up by the Air Force who also used the area for training.

Credit: PhilG

Kieth's photo of the Virgins FFA
neversummer

Trad climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Jan 12, 2012 - 11:20am PT
Henny...what was the O.G name of "crater maker" ?
EdBannister

Mountain climber
13,000 feet
Jan 12, 2012 - 11:27am PT
What about No Hope without rope?
(traverse touching the first bolt of each climb...

was that Royce Carlson?
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jan 12, 2012 - 11:55am PT
I believe the diagram in the later guide was almost identical to the two page copy that was available in the very early 70's and perhaps even earlier.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 12, 2012 - 12:27pm PT
Place is literally right down the road from me and I've never climbed there. Last spring and summer I was in there lot, riding my road bike out the door I would be inside the gate in about 5min. Just can't get psyched for a bunch of easy slab paddling. Nice place to ride though.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 12, 2012 - 12:31pm PT
When do folks think that the miniguide in the OP came out?
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Jan 12, 2012 - 01:18pm PT
A variety of Big Rock guides, Topo Maps were "published" over the years.

The progenitor of these was likely a one page mimeo created by Pat Merrill in the early 1960s (8.5 x 14).

Mike Wise came out with a reprint version of Merrill's guide in about 1965. It too was on a 8.5 x 14 sheet.

In 1973, Steve Mackey, through the Backpacker Shop, came out with a two sided sheet that was an somewhat updated redo of the Merrill/Wise map. (8.5 x 14) It was a freeby handed out at the store's 3 locations.

The tradition of Outdoor Shop free topo guides was continued in 1976 (though the size was reduced to 8.5 x 11) by FarWest Wilderness Recreation in San Bernardino. Printed in brown ink, it had some minor updates.

G(ary?) Cobb's guide was the first "commercially" produced guide (1981). It utilized the format and information of prior guides with some updated or changed information. It was printed on a single 8.5 x 11 sheet of light grey heavy paper stock, that was folded to a 5.5 x 8.5 size. Not sure of the price ($2?).

In 1986 another Big Rock Climbing Area sheet was produced (8.5 x 11) which directly used the cliff diagram of the Cobb guide. Not sure who produced this one.

Since that time, Big Rock has been included in various regional guidebooks and I am unaware of any Big Rock specific guides/sheets produced -- though I could very well be wrong about this.

neversummer

Trad climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Jan 12, 2012 - 01:25pm PT
I know the so. cal. spurt climbing guide has a couple of pages on BR including the spurt boulder on the eastside of the hill...
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Jan 12, 2012 - 02:03pm PT
Cross clip here; rope drag optional.
henny

Social climber
The Past
Jan 12, 2012 - 09:53pm PT
Dark Side of the Moon. Kind of a long name and given relative to the era, Crater Maker works for me.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2012 - 12:33am PT
Survey of the Bump...close to the road!
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jan 16, 2012 - 10:51am PT
Agree, Steve. I'll give Keith a call and see if he can add some names.
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Seattle
Jan 16, 2012 - 12:42pm PT
Most of my photos from those days were taken with a box Brownie camera stuffed inside a coffee can on a sling, and haven't survived. I did this drawing of Paul Gleason from one of those photos about 1968 on a FA of a route we did there called the Sickle. It was to the right of the Nose, and involved a bit of a runnout start to a RURP which we first aided, placed one bolt, then Paul later freed past. I was unable to free it, and thought it harder than English Hanging Garden. Note the worn Kronhofers, wool knickers, and cap. We adopted the use of army fatigue sleeveless shirts with many pockets to hold the Marlboros etc... while doing FAs at Granite Mtns near Amboy.
Paul Gleason on FA of "Sickle".  Big Rock ca. 1968
Paul Gleason on FA of "Sickle". Big Rock ca. 1968
Credit: drawing by KL
The route went up the curving flake on the right.
Keith - Big Rock on the "Nose" 1966.  The "Sickle" went up the dark st...
Keith - Big Rock on the "Nose" 1966. The "Sickle" went up the dark streak on the right, undercling right and up the face above 5.11+R.
Credit: Keith Leaman
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2012 - 01:11pm PT
Welcome fellow Drizzletowner! How's the frozen shizzle where you are this morning?

Any idea when the guide in the OP came out?

Thanks for posting!
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