Pot and Slab climbing


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Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 21, 2012 - 02:37pm PT
Was reading the wonderful thread on "Hoodwink" and the ethics debates of the time. The use of pot on the the FA got me to thinking of pots place in climbing and the fa's of slab climbs of the 70's. And since I regard a lot of those climbs to be some of the greatest mental challenges a climber can face, I wonder about pots place in them. I remember meeting a climber from Tahoe who put up most of my favorite lines there and he said all of them were put up stoned, otherwise he would have been too scared to do them.
I try to do these climbs on site, and have never smoked so I'm usually scared shi*less on them but love the rush of doing it. Not here to judge as I'm sure some climbs were put up strait, others not. There are many here who were there in the day. Your thoughts?

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:41pm PT
The Bird (on Hoodwink) might have been stoned on something other than ganja.

The Granite State.
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:45pm PT
There is an article in an earlier Alpinist that discusses this.

I'd have to be more used to it than I am now, to climb while dosed though.

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:47pm PT
Also, it makes it easier to just visualize that the nano-scopic mineral that you are stepping up on is actually quite a large foothold, and to focus intently on the immediate area to the exclusion of the sea of blankness in which you are adrift.

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:47pm PT
Performance enhancing substance?

The Olympic committees think so.

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Jan 21, 2012 - 02:51pm PT
How about beers? I have done onsights in both conditions. Helps a bit, especially to quell the snaileye...

EDIT: I recently had half of my crew, who were belaying me on an onsight, giggling like school-girls because they were shrooming. I do not recommend leading with with a giggling, shrooming belayer.
Sam E

Boulder climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 03:00pm PT
These are a few of my favorite things...

nicely put mongrel.

+1 for the zen state of belief slab requires.


Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 21, 2012 - 03:11pm PT
Good point Kalimon....Should read "stoned" instead of pot..please carry on. Too funny mongrel.....
Sierra Ledge Rat

Social climber
Retired to Appalachia
Jan 21, 2012 - 03:14pm PT
Back in the '70s I used to free-solo all kinds of slabs with the help of some ganja...

Free-soloing Patio Pinnacle &#40;5.8&#41;, Glacier Point Apron <br/>
Free-soloing Patio Pinnacle (5.8), Glacier Point Apron
Long-haired hippie freak
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat


Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:22pm PT
Heh, this reminds me a of fun day on the Apron in July '77. The Scumbags (Off White, Guy Andrews, Galen Kirkwood, me, Mike Paul, and I think maybe "Flower" DeBell) were doing a mass assault on Hoppy's Favorite (or was it The Mouth? The one with a full-length 5.9 pitch with one bolt, where your EB's made that marvelous squeaking sound on the polish) and there were I guess 5 or 6 of us climbing in a giant group. We smoked up at every belay, and I do mean EVERY belay. We we loud, young, exuberant, had Apron climbing ruthlessly dialed and were having the time of our lives. A perfect day, back when a single 1/4 inch bolt and a couple of #2 stoppers seemed like a perfectly bomber belay.

A party of two women (a rare sight back then) were on an adjacent route and wordlessly observed our travelling circus for as long as they could stand it, then one of them snapped and yelled over to us "Jesus! They should make you people get licenses before they climb!" Or words to that effect. They were joking of course, and we all howled with laughter. What a great memory.

Good times! I bet Off White has a photo or two of that marvelous debacle in his archives somwhere...

Social climber
Eastside (of the Tetons)
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:54pm PT
back in the 70's the pot was a lot weaker....'jus sayin. I never could climb fer sh#t on the stuff, bitd or not.

Trad climber
Jan 22, 2012 - 01:03am PT
Weed is weed........

Good strong buddy of mine used to spin a fatty at the base of many famous routes in RMNP and Edlo up The Naked Edge rating and Vertigo...........

He's still alive, doesn't burn up anymore and still solo's

So go figure........

Sierra Ledge Rat

Social climber
Retired to Appalachia
Jan 22, 2012 - 08:50am PT
BITD I used free-solo laps on the Great White Book. I had an old tape deck in a fanny pack with some Jimi Hendrix blasting, toked a couple of doobies at the base, and then carried an open can of beer all the way up the climb. It was always interesting passing other parties. (:

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Jan 22, 2012 - 09:05am PT
My first visit to Yosemite in 1978 was a complete revelation to a nave young Brit. I can remember clearly (which is more than most of my friends) standing at the bottom of the Apron watching two Americans ready themselves for, I think, Ankles Away (have I got that right?). The leader was sucking vast quantities of something from a small clay pipe and holding it in his lungs... When his eyes were glazed enough, he set off up the pitch like a rocket, hardly noticing any of the moves... but as he neared the belay slowed dramatically until he was stationary, at which point he turned and said to his partner 'guess I shoulda smoked another bowl...' The final couple of moves involved more time than the rest of the pitch, and much shaking.

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Jan 22, 2012 - 09:05am PT
good show rox. i liked that, essay.
..' iam your father.."

all good stories, fellas.

i never smoke when climbing.
i don't rarely smoke, period.

all my stoner friends say that im already there.

god sent me here stoned.
i must have paid her well before i departed her company.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Social climber
Retired to Appalachia
Jan 22, 2012 - 09:16am PT
Ankles Away

Anchors Away, named as such because climbers fell to their deaths on that route when the belay bolts failed. I think I did that route, isn't there a 5.11a move right before the first belay?


Trad climber
Placerville, California
Jan 22, 2012 - 09:20am PT
me and mucci and clance were drinking up breakfast beers
in hidden valley camp, bullshittin thru;
a tiny solar charged ghetto-blasting out the classics,
we stroll over to intersection and mucci has
eyes for the flake, only just before we bust
the squat start,
a fella and his dog march up in front of us.

im thinking that he's trying to steel the route right
off our face, and that his partner will soon show.

i mutter quietly to mucci,
"you want me to take him down?"

but josh doesn't reply,
instead he extends introduction and kindness at this man.

i stand quiet and forget all social gratuities,
and dive back into my can,

a minute or two later i realize that we're all chilin
and i completely missed my que for an introduction
so im the endless-nameless fella of the crew, so i rebound,

"hey. my parents never gave me a name at birth. they were
horrible at compromise and they couldn't agree at something
to hang around my neck. so i don't have a name and that's why
i don't have a proper introduction."

the fella, who never was trying to hole-shot our pitch, says,
"well, you are Blond #2."

"thanks", say's i.

he doesn't want one of our coors, cause he has standards.

josh goes up the flake, i follow carrying beers
in the pockets of my women's pants and i proceed to drop
my #3 from about 70' up.
i was my fault. i was and is a droolin' fool.

beers on the summit and new plans hatched..

so around the corner im half way up another pitch and the same
fella raps by. just as im whale humping onto a ledge that
i couldn't quite execute the proper and photogenic heel hook.

he tells me that more and more he relys on this maneuver, in that i'm engaged.
i look down from my stance,
and i realize that i completely garage-saled my shite show
all over the base of this climb.

jackets. spare rack. beer cans. other random-pack-shite.

the guy walks over to josh, and see's my well-worn silent
partner amidst my heap-o-shite and asks to check it out.

josh is wearing my puffy jacket, which actually was my wife's cause
we sport the same digs and i accidently packed hers so josh that why
of all the girly shite stuffed in the pockets.

so i be blonde #2.

and that fella was none other than hip shipoopi.

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Jan 22, 2012 - 09:27am PT
Anchors Away, named as such because ...

Yes, I've done Anchors too, but don't remember that much about it. I thought there was also a route named Ankles Away, as a pun on the original, somewhere in the vicinity?

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 22, 2012 - 10:00am PT
Anchors Away, if I recall, was so-named because while working on the FA one of the guys was severely injured or bought it while jugging up on a single bolt that failed. Or something to that effect. Some sense of black humor those climbers have...
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 22, 2012 - 10:19am PT
Pot can make you sorta psychotic and good pot can completely destroy your ability to regulate fear. The idea that getting high made scarefests somehow easier doesn't hold water with me. Them that could do the big runnouts could do em high, sober, bent sideways and upside down too, prolly. Don't let em kidjya, the pot won't help.

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