Rubidoux History

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Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 9, 2012 - 07:16pm PT
Many of us (Stonemasters) grew up and learned how to climb here. I was fortunate to get scads of hand's on instruction from Paul Gleason, starting when I was a soph. in high school and Paul was one of the great boulderers who had visited Ft. Collins and other places and knew what Gill was up to. Many from Paul's generation including his brother Phil, Phil Haney, Jim Barker, the incredible Ben Boreson and more established most of the classic problems out there but nobody is sure which ones and by whom. So I'm starting this thread to try and unearth a little history on what is a very historical local site and watershed area for 70s So Cal hardcore.

The Bridge area. A fantastic back story on this Monument to Peace.
The Bridge area. A fantastic back story on this Monument to Peace.
Credit: Largo

Our Mentor: Paul Gleason
Our Mentor: Paul Gleason
Credit: Largo


Teflon, in the old PAs, circa 1971.
Teflon, in the old PAs, circa 1971.
Credit: Largo


JL
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Apr 9, 2012 - 07:22pm PT
I've got nothing to contribute in terms of history; only love for the place. I learned to climb at Rubidoux at 13. I still love going there.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Apr 9, 2012 - 08:22pm PT
Largo, dig the so cal threads. thx for keeping the climbing content rolling.

It was the first place I climbed with my uncle about the same age as Fat Dad's. Our next trip after this was Tahquitz. He wanted to see what I could do before getting on the real rock, I think. He let me TR the 10c Smooth Sole - Right. I damn near pulled it off without hanging. But it was thin, even in the 80s.


I would occasionally see Jean Fradette out there. That guy was a hero to me because he could traverse that wall at Hart Park in his street "shoe" which were boots. Loved chatting him up in REI Orange store, back when that store was in the mall.

He's pictured in the Hellweg guide to Southern California, IIRC, on that same slab. "English Smooth Sole Slab" - looks like hes' doing the 11a though.

As for pics, I got nothing old old, but a pic from the early 90s, I think...



It's on the West Side of the hill, not too far from that massive parking (heroin needles) lot. Forgot the name again.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 9, 2012 - 11:59pm PT
Been a few times over the years. Fun spot.

Joe Brown at Rubidoux
Joe Brown at Rubidoux
Credit: Brian in SLC

Jam Crack at English Smooth Sole at Rubidoux
Jam Crack at English Smooth Sole at Rubidoux
Credit: Brian in SLC

Rubidoux...indeed...
Rubidoux...indeed...
Credit: Brian in SLC
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 10, 2012 - 01:07am PT
climbed there 1970-1972, but not very much...
remember getting there on my buddies Kawasaki 90, the two of us... from Claremont...

also driving up the down road when the gate was locked

but I don't remember a lot of the bouldering, Jam Crack yes, Candle Sticks yes... but that's about all I can dredge up

great thread, hopefully it will expand to describe the history of an important center of SoCal climbing.
Mark Not-circlehead

climber
Martinez, CA
Apr 10, 2012 - 01:38am PT
Just down the road is Roubidoux wall (aka the quarry), where I performed my very first lead, back in 1984.
neversummer

Trad climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Apr 10, 2012 - 10:19am PT
I got no history either but damn the place is awesome to hone yur chops and talk some shite with yur buds...

Greetings from Riverside.
Greetings from Riverside.
Credit: neversummer
bc

climber
Prescott, AZ
Apr 10, 2012 - 11:15am PT
I grew up in Riverside and learned to climb at Rubidoux in the late 70s. I used to go several days a week. One time a friend and I ducked under a boulder during a storm, another climber was nearby and he dove in also - it was you, Largo. We had a board hidden at the road exit that we'd use to cover the spikes so we could drive up the down road when the road was closed. The road on Mt. Rubidoux was designed by Brigadier General Hiram Chittenden who built the Yellowstone Park roads and was commissioned by the Secretary of the Interior to determine boundary changes for Yosemite National Park for the U.S. Government. Rubidoux is a great place to boulder and I try to get up there when I'm back in the southland visiting family. I've explored every square inch of that hill and most of the other nearby hills like Box Springs Mt., Pachappa Hill, Olive Hills, etc. Lots of granitic desert funk. I even had a little guide to Riverside I was putting together but ditched the project when Fry's So Cal bouldering guide came out. As kids we heard a rumor that there's a tunnel from the Peace Tower down to the Mission Inn downtown. At the time the Inn was run down and kind of haunted looking. Fun to explore back then.
The only other link to Rubidoux that I have is to the Ben Lewis bridge on the side overlooking the Santa Ana river. Ben H. Lewis was a three term mayor of Riverside from 1965 to 1978, but more importantly he was my grandpa. "Papa" was also an actor and artist (made Woody Woodpecker cartoons). He died in '85.
I bet it's nice up there now. Found a link to the Friends of Mt. Rubidoux. A bit of history. but no mention of climbing.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 10, 2012 - 11:32am PT
Great stuff
Great stuff
Credit: Largo
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Apr 10, 2012 - 11:34am PT
John:
Thanks for starting this thread. I trust it will grow with interest as some of the other SoCal threads have.
I'm afraid I have very little history to add. Problems and routes I did were well established. I mostly just followed Paul, Phil Haney, and Keith Leaman around. I fired off an email to Keith to see what he can recall (his memory is holding up better than mine).
My impression was that Rob Muir added a lot of problems when he got there. Prior to our group climbing there it was a freq practice area for the RCS of the Sierra Club and the Riverside Mountain Rescue team.

Credit: PhilG
Tripod? Swellguy? Halfwit? Smegma?

Trad climber
Wanker Stately Mansion, Placerville
Apr 10, 2012 - 11:55am PT
My old good friend Doug Chalker won the Jr division bouldering competition or something similar. He was about the best person on thin face I ever saw. It was certainly a great place to hone those skills.
I do vividly recall going up with my brand new 5.10 shoes when they came out with the first generation of sticky rubber in 86. I was on my own and feeling very on. I decided to solo the crack to roof to the left of Teflon which I had done on TR a couple of times before. I pitched of the roof and landed 15 feet (?) below on the boulders wedged between 2 of them (no crash pads of course). I was stunned that I wasn't smashed up too bad and limped off back to my car convinced I was the luckiest MF around. Those very near misses are defining moments in our climbing careers.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 15, 2012 - 07:31pm PT
Rubidoux Bumpfest...
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Apr 17, 2012 - 09:12pm PT
more bumpage...

I came to UCR in 1970 from the hallowed walls of Indian Rock in Berzerkly. Borson and I were good climbing buddies there and I was absolutely thrilled that Ben came down the following Winter quarter. We shared a love of quality bicycles and had similar bouldering styles which I mostly learned from Borson, Vandeveer, and Hahn, etc. Clevenger, Bard, and I were the younger proteges at the time.

I was there when we named the Smooth Sole Wall. I bouldered a lot with Phil Gleason, and we had a regular Tues/Thurs afternoon bouldering routine when Phil got off work at the Backpacker (?) Mtn shop in downtown Riverside. Ben and I brought down our PA sensibilities, yet when we started working the center route of the Wall, Phil was still wearing his blue suede Royal Robbins. He was convinced that his boots were just fine, so when I turned the problem into a "solution" Phil worked it for days. And days. He just couldn't see it. Frustration was building, he denied it was the boots, but the hooting continued. Finally, he broke down and got some PAs and topped the thing on his first try! The name was born. After we did left-, right-, and many variations and eliminates in betweenówhich Phil also polished off with his shiny red-canvas high topsódid Jim Hoagland come back and do the center route in Super Guides. Phil never lived that one down!
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Apr 17, 2012 - 09:23pm PT
Gallenkamp Scats...

Credit: Photo by John Harlin III.

Bouldering the Joe Brown Wall. (Ask KP about the shoes!)
jmes

climber
Apr 24, 2012 - 10:42am PT
bump.
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Apr 24, 2012 - 10:56am PT
Rob:
Love the above story, but I certain your talking about Paul. He had that "bulldog tenacity" when it came to working problems.

By-the-way, did I thank you for getting me in touch with Clark?
Phil
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Apr 24, 2012 - 11:47am PT
There was another thread that Largo started that made it to 81 posts.
There was some great Content
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1656688/Old-Roubidoux-Photos

Here I am on the same climb as Robs is on above.
Power Pac, 5.11
Credit: Dr. F.
Credit: Dr. F.
1976, I was 17.

In fact, 6 months before, my third time on rock, Largo comes bouldering by with brand new Alpine Mountaineering boots on, getting ready to go to the Alps and become a Big Alpine climber.

He flashed the Power Pac, then soloed the rest like a smooth Jaguar climbing a tree.
Well that was it for me, I was going to climb 5.11, and become a real climber,
With the obsession fully implanted, I went to work on becoming a better climber, worked the moves on Power Pac, and there I was, a skinny lanky nerd doing his first 5.11 6 months later, Yea.
TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
Apr 24, 2012 - 11:58am PT
Phil Haney Overhang Feedback Direct, maybe '73 or so.
Phil Haney Overhang Feedback Direct, maybe '73 or so.
Credit: TYeary
Sometime before the dawn of time.
Sometime before the dawn of time.
Credit: TYeary
When I could climb.
When I could climb.
Credit: TYeary
Check out those OP shorts! Wow
Check out those OP shorts! Wow
Credit: TYeary
Credit: TYeary
Concerning the above photo: My climbing partner today was so much better than me. He mocked me with every effortless move he made. He never failed, was lightning fast, never needed water and ate only a few high protein snacks. He was a bit hurky -jerky, but I figured it was his superior strength to weight ratio. He didn't waste energy on idle chat, just did his problems and moved on.


I love Rubidoux. I remember driving the road up to the cross parking area in my Lotus just as fast as I could! I still get out there once in a while.Lots of great memories!
TY
On-Site Flasher 69

Sport climber
Riverside
Apr 24, 2012 - 01:09pm PT
Does anyone know who made the FFA of A Major Concept?
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Apr 24, 2012 - 01:35pm PT
I'm pretty sure it was Henny
Credit: Dr. F.
Henny on A Major Concept, 5.12
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