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 between—which Phil also polished off with his shiny red-canvas high tops—did 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
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?
henny

Social climber
The Past
Apr 24, 2012 - 02:52pm PT
I did manage to get the FFA of A Major Concept. Good stuff if one goes left at the top of the lieback, then turns the roof with the rurp crack going back right.

That problem was part of the last major problem explosion that I'm aware of. The place was scoured pretty good, lots of new stuff was done in the Wild West area, overlooked gems were ferreted out from one end of the mountain to the other, and some long-standing business wrapped up. Good times, those were.

Being as urban as Rubidoux is, you would see some strange stuff at times. Cars stopping directly under some of the road boulders so they could gawk while people were on the problems (who needed a pad when you could just step off onto the car roof?). Or the intoxicated dude walking off the top of Joe Brown. Bit through all but a shred of skin on his tongue and broke multiple fingers so bad they were touching the back of his hand. He kept wiping his eyes with the back of his hand, repeatedly poking himself in the eyes. And he didn't seem to think he had the slightest need for a hospital visit. Or the day the transvestite went ballistic (thanks for the help Sketchy/KP - not). Fortunately, once the road was closed to vehicle traffic most of that kind of thing seemed to fade away.
On-Site Flasher 69

Sport climber
Riverside
Apr 24, 2012 - 04:12pm PT
Nice work Henny. I bet that was a proud day. Did many people have their eye on this one? A Major Concept is the proudest line at Mt. Roubidoux IMO. Nice photos Dr.F.
henny

Social climber
The Past
Apr 24, 2012 - 10:14pm PT
Agreed that A Major Concept is one of the best at Rubidoux. Great rock, some length, some crack, and good moves if doing the roof exit. Not the hardest, but definately one of the best up there.

There wasn't much "competition" for any of the later stuff. Easy pickings in that respect for the few of us who were really active during that time.

I think the problem most competed for was probably the Autopilot. There were quite a few more people active and it seemed that several people focused in on it at about the same exact time. I don't even remember who bagged it now, maybe John or Robs remember.
henny

Social climber
The Past
Apr 24, 2012 - 10:31pm PT
A few pictures of a green mountain, always the best time of year.

Weinberg on The Ex.
Weinberg on The Ex.
Credit: henny

Weinberg on Flabob.  Impeccable razor blades.
Weinberg on Flabob. Impeccable razor blades.
Credit: henny

Copilot.  Hoping to stay off the road.
Copilot. Hoping to stay off the road.
Credit: henny

Middle of the Road Madness.
Middle of the Road Madness.
Credit: henny

That paint at the Island is way bogus. They did a decent job sand blasting some of it, but still annoying as all get out.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Apr 24, 2012 - 10:34pm PT
What is it with all the pads?

We didn't need no Stinkin' pads.







































No wonder Werner's a grouch.
Climbing-Impaired

Social climber
Grass Valley, CA
Apr 25, 2012 - 12:39am PT
I too began my climbing at Roubidoux in the mid-70's, even then it was a place of legend where you could catch a glimpse of some of the true masters. One Saturday my friend Neal Konami and I went out for a day of bouldering and Neal had brought along a cute girl from school that he was interested in. She was a gymnast and had a brother who climbed but it was still a bit of a new experience for her. We started with some of the classic 5.6-5.8 cracks and face boulders and she seemed to really enjoy it.

I don't remember the name but there was a boulder (5.9 or 10a) move over on the west side - sorry age taking its toll - that involved a short vertical crack and then you manteled up onto the top of a flake and from there reached out and around an overhang to the top of the boulder. Neal and I would get as far as the top of the flake but kept dropping off trying to make the overhang move. Then this girl tries it and due to her small size and great strength ratio - stands up on the flake under the over-hang, then using both hands reaches around and pops over the top. Neal and I were nothing short of amazed.

That girl really took to climbing in the years that followed while Neal and I faded into climbing obscurity. Her name you ask? Lynn Hill.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 25, 2012 - 12:00pm PT
Great vintage comp thread here...

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/The-1984-Mt-Rubidoux-Bouldering-Contest-with-some-Legends/t11301n.html#comments
BillO

Trad climber
Yachats, OR
Apr 25, 2012 - 12:34pm PT
My favorite story from my friend Tony Condon was about him out bouldering with Robs Muir at the finger crack by Smooth Sole. A couple of climbers were working on the crack and Robs ask if he could jump in and try it. He then proceeded to climb it one handed to the shock of the other climbers. I've run into Robs a few times out there and was always impressed how smooth and easy he makes everything look.
Credit: BillO
rurprider

Trad climber
Mt. Rubidoux
Apr 25, 2012 - 01:02pm PT
John....Thank you for starting this thread. Without contributions like this much of the history of Mt. Rubidoux could be lost. There seems to be a trend on MP and in guideboooks to rename many of the problems, as the poster/author doesn't have the history and facts. Again, many thanks!!!
henny

Social climber
The Past
Apr 25, 2012 - 02:42pm PT
Nice picture BillO. You can see Skidder and The Transvestite on the boulder to the right as well.
BillO

Trad climber
Yachats, OR
Apr 25, 2012 - 02:49pm PT
Thanks Henny it was borrowed from MP.
As far as the climbs to the right all I've ever seen is blank rock. LOL
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Apr 25, 2012 - 03:41pm PT
I remember being a youth and seeing a dude send that thin crack one-handed. Not Muir though, kind of blondish, way buff, real quiet. Impressive though. I still remember it some 30 yrs. later.
REIGN 1

Social climber
Las Vegas, Nv
Apr 25, 2012 - 09:20pm PT
In the early 90's Henny and Powell invited Mike Verdugo and me up to do some bouldering. As we started walking up the hill we run into Tim Powell and not knowing who we were ask's Powell "did those woodson guys your going to sandbag ever show up?" Right then we knew we were in for a long day. They put us on pretty much every hard problem on that damn hill.
Mike pulled off some hard stuff and I floundered the whole day. After that we went back to woodson to find harder problems to burn them off on.
Lots of fun hanging with those two and listening to their sh#t talking. They are great motivators and can take it as well as dish it out.

jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 25, 2012 - 11:07pm PT
I think it was the contest (Western Bouldering Championship?)in 1979 where the winner, Mike Freedman, just happens to be one of the most outstanding mathematicians in the world. Didn't he try a boulder problem others hadn't wanted to try, including Bachar, and succeed?

(Just another plug for scientists/mathematicians!)
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 25, 2012 - 11:39pm PT

Do any of you know where-tf Ben Borsen is now days? I ran into him in the '80s (like at Glen Park Canyon in SF?). This is a photo I took at Indian Rock around 71. I just figured since he had a Rubidoux wall named after him. ...

Credit: Darwin
henny

Social climber
The Past
Apr 26, 2012 - 12:00am PT
After that we went back to woodson to find harder problems to burn them off on.

It was the Pink Bug that finally pushed you guys over the edge. Something about having blunt aretes like that a dime a dozen at Woodson, only longer and harder. All that was needed was to find one and do it. We're thinking, "yeah, right." Got a call a couple of weeks later that Slap You Silly was ready for us, so come on down.

Gotta admit, Slap You Silly does trump the Pink Bug. SYS may have been one of my more focused efforts, probably directly related to desperately trying to avoid getting burned off.

Great, great times Donny.



Didn't he try a boulder problem others hadn't wanted to try, including Bachar, and succeed?

I think the 79 contest was at Santee (San Diego.) That's more or less what happened. How funny, I was one of the others, haha. Three of us tied for second (JB was one) because we had seen someone zero on the problem early on and didn't want to risk it. He (Mike Freedman) did the math and figured he could win without having done as many hard problems because the hard problem offset things pointwise enough. He then waited until the very end of the contest to ensure no one would have any time after he did it. He calculated his way to that win, in more ways than one.


Never met Borsen, I was a few years later on the scene. Kind of wish I had met some of those that went through earlier. Heard a lot about them from people like JL, but never had the pleasure.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Apr 26, 2012 - 12:17am PT
How many times have any of you gone to BeeHive wall, and there were no bees?

Anyone?

Ever?


Always freaked me out going out right on that feature.




How many folks would finish their day on the the traverses at the bridge?



What does the bridge go at, if you don't use any part of the vertical sides, just the underside of the arch? Does it go?!



rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Apr 28, 2012 - 11:38pm PT
^^^^ Perhaps it's still true... I think those critters have become Africanized, as I got stung twice in the face a while back. BITD they were never a problem and we climbed on the Bridge Wall all the time.

Harrison told me once that seven laps was his record. My tips were always fried by the time we hit that part of the Circuit.

Love the above story, but I certain your talking about Paul. He had that "bulldog tenacity" when it came to working problems.

Thanks Phil. Of course, I meant to say Paul Gleason! But I've exceeded the ST statute of limitations, so I can't go back and edit it.

Paul told me that he went back after doing Center Smooth Sole and proved to himself that it was climbable in lugged boots, 'though he continued to use PAs as his regular bouldering shoe.

Do any of you know where-tf Ben Borsen is now days?

Ben and I spoke not too long ago... He's doing quite well, and I was amused to learn that after 30 years of no contact each of us had named one of our sons Galen. Although he never was able to become a medical doctor, he's got credentials and honors galore. You might want to check out borsonlaw.com
neversummer

Trad climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Aug 8, 2012 - 04:24pm PT
BUMP..
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Aug 18, 2012 - 11:58am PT
love this place.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 3, 2012 - 09:34am PT
I do believe Roubidoux season is about to enter it's prime, right? Has it rained much in Riverside lately?
Johannsolo

climber
Soul Cal
Dec 3, 2012 - 02:44pm PT
Rubidoux in the Winter
Rubidoux in the Winter
Credit: Johannsolo
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Dec 3, 2012 - 02:59pm PT
real nice shot Johann
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 3, 2012 - 02:59pm PT
^^^
Awesome shot. I think this year my two oldest kids will be ready to tag along and discover the place for themselves.
Johannsolo

climber
Soul Cal
Dec 3, 2012 - 08:14pm PT
Wild West area.
Wild West area.
Credit: Johannsolo
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Dec 3, 2012 - 08:45pm PT
The old stompin grounds,
last climb there 1976.
Tad
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Nov 23, 2013 - 12:21pm PT
Rubidoux Bouldering Contest
Rubidoux Bouldering Contest
Credit: Yafer collection

See any familiar faces???
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Nov 23, 2013 - 01:32pm PT
Damn! Looks like me right in the middle and Dick Cilley just to the right. The chick down and left might be The Creature and bottom left corner might be Banny Root? Is that Loomis down there too?

The lower right hand corner looks like a couple of kids we called the Bowling Ball Twins. Just left of them looks like the Rubidoulux aka Chris Hartfield or maybe Dave Tapes.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Nov 23, 2013 - 02:10pm PT
Russ thanks for that.... Jeff tells me that day is sort of blurry in his memory... LOL
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Nov 23, 2013 - 07:11pm PT
id have guessed you were charles cole in that shot russ

CC3 is 6 inches shorter than Russ and Russ' fists are bigger than Largo's.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jan 11, 2014 - 12:45am PT
Rubidoux, the one place besides Yosemite where you can climb "Half Dome" and at 5.8, no less. How about them apples?
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Jan 26, 2015 - 05:21am PT
Great video of John reflecting on the spiritual aspects of the place, and giving a tour to some some pro boulderers. Some nice sequences of Teflon and Autopilot.

http://vimeo.com/98184304

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Jan 26, 2015 - 05:38am PT
Nice video share Rick.
TFPU
Tad
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jan 26, 2015 - 08:01am PT
Beautiful, nice job. Thanks Rick.
Some great early photos of Phil Haney (what ever happened to that dude?).
My fingertips were hurting by the end of the session.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 1, 2015 - 08:34am PT
Borson Wall, 1981/1982:


photo: Walling
BBA

Social climber
Feb 1, 2015 - 05:45pm PT
BITD, before freeways through Riverside, we used to drive through town to get out to Tahquitz, and the Robidoux hillside looked mighty interesting. I thought it would be a cool place to live with all those boulders, but never imagined it would come to be famous with Largo, et. al. They were lucky ducks to have lived near there!

Edit: 1958-1960
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Feb 1, 2015 - 07:32pm PT
I loved Rubidoux...Use to ditch work early , boulder , then watch the sunset...
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Feb 1, 2015 - 07:58pm PT
I remember a few things about Rubberdux.

Running into a really hot friend of C. Cole. Never saw her again. Her mom pretty much read me the riot act. Nothing happened; she was too sweet.

The other was sitting at the top of the hill during the riots after the Rodney King verdict. Scary stuff. In those daze there was not as much development as today. The fires in LA were quite clear. I had to stop for gas on the way home. The gas station was interesting to say the least. I was not sure if I would get out of there alive.

DonC

climber
CA
Feb 1, 2015 - 08:23pm PT
Missed this the first time around. I starting going to Rubidoux in 1968 and was there a lot for several years, mainly with Doug Tilleskjor. We spent a lot of time there and did a lot of stuff. I really like working on what later became called Smooth Sole Wall. Lots of fun stuff there and all over the hill.
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Feb 1, 2015 - 08:27pm PT
Hey DonC!
Lots of great evenings up on those noble stones.
DonC

climber
CA
Feb 1, 2015 - 08:34pm PT
For sure Phil. I remember spending a fair amount of time there with you, Paul, Phil, Ketih, Jim Barker, Bernie McIlvoy, and others. I spent some time with Jim Hoagland, Ben B, Robs Muir, Largo - but they probably don't remember Doug or I. We were there a lot but generally were off by ourselves.
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Feb 2, 2015 - 09:06am PT
Nice video Rick, John. Has anyone posted the link to John Gill's website.

http://www.johngill.net/

John Gill's website
John Gill's website
Credit: John Gill

Paul Gleason and I met around 1959 in AP math classes at Azusa High School. Here's another view of the day we were doing laps on TD ca 1970.
We frequently teamed up in friendly competition with Haney and Barker in the '60s.
Paul on Turtle Dome ca 1970
Paul on Turtle Dome ca 1970
Credit: Keith Leaman

We rarely saw anyone else, but I do recall a day when two very talented young climbers (probably John & Rick) showed up in alpine attire - ticking off problems in mountaineering boots. We didn't name many of the boulders before then - only a select few.

I remember first going there with Schnurr in the mid-to-late '60s and I'm sure he has some firsts here. As I recall someone had recently done something left of Half Dome, probably for the first time, a thin diagonal crack and a smooth face nearby, then Candlesticks.

Most of the climbing concentrated on the summit area. The Island, Hardy Boys and other areas came rapidly thereafter, as I recall. Climbing became more active there when construction on the Lake Perris Reservoir began in 1970.

Hard to imagine crowds of thousands trampling those prickly pear forests.
rbolton

Social climber
The home for...
Feb 2, 2015 - 10:48am PT
Roubidoux style
Roubidoux style
Credit: rbolton
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Apr 8, 2015 - 09:26am PT
Candlesticks, vintage May, 1972.
Candlesticks, vintage May, 1972.
Credit: rmuir

Taken the month after the Stonemasters began doing Valhalla… Please note the Berkeley-styled, lace-gusseted shorts, the requisite headband, PAs (with socks), and the decided lack of chalk bag. De rigueur.
xCon

Social climber
909
Mar 12, 2018 - 10:08pm PT
its mid 80's and I'm teach myself how to climb

there is this cavish feature around the left from the smooth sole with an old ladder going out it

a few hangers at the start but it turn into quarter inch studs with nuts on em

after girth hitching several I passed an empty hole with a hook

the line had turned back to vertical and this natural vertical slot was offering enough purchase for my hand that I was suddenly tempted to leave the top step of the my aider

which was clipped to this jingus no hanger bolt id somehow thought it ok to move up and above

I still remember that minute I took deciding whether to try getting above 25 feet off the ground or backing off

I managed the retreat



Roots

Mountain climber
Redmond, Oregon
Mar 13, 2018 - 09:03am PT
I learned to climb at Rubidoux June 1995. Took about (3) progressive classes there and then a couple of years later a lead class. All with Pacific Wilderness; Dave Harine and sometimes with Gary from REI (Santa Ana. Now at HB).

It used to be 30 minutes from my house so needless to say it was my go to. It is an excellent spot with diverse problems/routes. I sought out and climbed the classics and obscures for over 20 years..It's a great, great place.

In 1995 it was still somewhat popular with climbers. By 2000 it was a ghost town and all mine. But by 2010 the look-at-me-selfie, social media-out-door-craze had taken hold and the place was and still is an urban hikers magnet..."walkers" everywhere. On top of the Island, Sunday sermons are common with a group of Mexican Indians. They chant, sing and burn incense/sage..it's a nice diversion while taking a break.



T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Mar 13, 2018 - 11:49am PT
I was raised in Riverside and also learned to climb there (71-72) under the tutelage of Jim "Rubidoux" Wilson.

Many great memories of the characters and climbing there BITD.

Anyway, one day after school Jim and I are up there bouldering and he takes me to Turtle Dome for the first time.

When we get there a couple other dudes are there workin the crack problem. One a big buff curly haired blond dude (Long), the other
a taller thin darker haired dude (Muir, Accomazzo, ?).

Both floated the problem a couple times then stayed to watch Jim and I give it a go.

Jim also floated it easily then I jumped on it and 2 moves into it I was off, tried again this time with beta from the guys and once again I popped off at the same move, oh the shame this noob felt. :(

Long and partner, whom ever it was, moved on to the next stop on their circuit while I gave it a couple more unsuccessful goes.

I finally got up the rig weeks later with more strength and better technique. :)

FWIW the sketchiest stuff I did there was racing up and down the road on either my motorcycle, my parents Pinto or my Sunbeam Alpine, timing myself
from the up road gate to the top lot, then down road to the spikes.

And thanks to whom ever stashed the board for the down road spikes, I used em a few times myself. ;)


English Smooth Sole Slab and Crack <br/>
Mount Rubidoux Riverside Ca.
English Smooth Sole Slab and Crack
Mount Rubidoux Riverside Ca.
Credit: T Hocking
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Mar 13, 2018 - 07:43pm PT
Use to ditch work early and drive from Long Beach , boke a smole , and boulder till the sun set...Remember seeing Largo and his posse jamming that turtle dome fist problem... Good times...
Roots

Mountain climber
Redmond, Oregon
Mar 14, 2018 - 10:59am PT
Guide
Guide
Credit: Roots
Roots

Mountain climber
Redmond, Oregon
Mar 14, 2018 - 11:00am PT
Contest Map
Contest Map
Credit: Roots
Roots

Mountain climber
Redmond, Oregon
Mar 14, 2018 - 11:03am PT
Contest Problem List
Contest Problem List
Credit: Roots
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Mar 14, 2018 - 11:35am PT
^^^
Always heard about the McKay guide but don't recall ever seeing it. BTW, I learned to climb at Rubidoux as well through a course advertised at the old Holubar store in Santa Ana/Costa Mesa.
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
Mar 14, 2018 - 11:37am PT
I did my first climbing there as well 1975. Converse tennies IIRC.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Mar 14, 2018 - 04:49pm PT
Nice post Roots!

Rubberdux, many fond memories. First time assistant guiding, aka set top ropes and encourage noobs AND get paid $80 to do it in the 1980s.

T_Hocking, where was said board stashed? I missed a good opportunity, me thinks. Mostly the road was closed in the 80s. Sundays I recall it being open.

I don't think they allow vehicles on it any more?
henny

Social climber
The Past
Mar 14, 2018 - 06:36pm PT
Thanks for posting the contest problem list.

Haha. That's messed up. Coathanger and Flabob were both 19 points and the Bullethead was 20. There's plenty of hilarious ratings on that problem list. Never trust Randy.

For a long time prior to spikes they closed the up gate and left the down gate open. The solution to that was obvious. Up the down road. Standard practice was to go up the down, and since no one else was likely coming up, park on the road right under Borsen's and crank the tunes.

Good times.

Edit: Rubberdux? There was a common, slightly vulgar variation, on that theme.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Mar 14, 2018 - 07:17pm PT
T_Hocking, where was said board stashed? I missed a good opportunity, me thinks. Mostly the road was closed in the 80s. Sundays I recall it being open.

I don't think they allow vehicles on it any more?

Munge,
I last climbed there and used the board in 76, I don't remember it being hidden so much as just thrown up on the hillside near the spikes.

BITD they opened the up road gate at like 9 or 10 AM daily, or when ever the city employee eventually showed up to open it.
They would then lock the up road gate at dusk or whenever gate keeper showed up.
They would not close the gate on the down road where it intersected the city street, just the one way fold down spikes.
This allowed cars that were up there when they closed the up road an exit later, or if ya knew the board trick access anytime you wanted.

Most of the local climbers then knew this trick. :)
If you did have to use the board you took the chance of having one-way traffic comin down road while you were headed up or a cop seeing ya pull the wrong way stunt.

I would use the board in the mornings if the up road gate was still locked.;)

Good times,
I knew that road like the back of my hand.

I do believe it's now closed to all public traffic.


Edit; I see Henny knew the drill bitd,
Henny any Dane Scott memories ya wanna share,
I got him started climbing up in Susanville 76-78.
Tad
henny

Social climber
The Past
Mar 14, 2018 - 09:27pm PT
When I started at Rubidoux (73) it was vehicles at any time. Then it went through the cycle described where it was sometimes not opened. Then, I'm guessing 80's, something like Sun-Wed open to vehicles and Thu-Sat foot traffic only. Weekend parking had become a horrific PITA in both the upper and lower lots.

I believe it was ~95 that there was a harsh winter with mega moisture. That washed out huge sections of the road, in particular a major blow out below the upper lot on the west side. The road was closed for many months while they repaired. When the road did reopen it quickly went to allowing no vehicle traffic - period.

Pretty obvious why it became foot traffic only. Although broken glass and graffiti continued to be problems anyway.

The place could be quite nice really. In cool weather. On a clear day. Poppies along the base of the hill blooming. All the hillsides covered in green grass.

I only bouldered for a couple of years up there with Dane. Fun times. The Pink Bug, Middle of the Road Madness, and Octopus problem names originated from the Gun (aka: Mulli-gun for his habit of taking Mulligans while golfing, aka: Dane)

There was also a string of problems that were named playing on Danes "Gun" name. The Pop Gun, The Muzzleloader, The Musket, The Squirt Gun, The Machine Gun, ..., quite a few actually. He was bouldering there at a good time - he helped ferret out a bunch of new problems mid 80s.
Craig Fry

Trad climber
So Cal.
Mar 15, 2018 - 09:21am PT
I remember my Dad driving me and my friends up the road when I was about 16 and I thought for sure I was going to die.
There were sections that were to narrow for normal cars, and one tire would be off the side of the road here and there, but if you kept the speed high enough, you would float over those sections.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Mar 15, 2018 - 09:47am PT
^^^
Thanks for the reply Darrel,
sounds like "Guns" left his mark on the Rubidoux bouldering circuit. :)
You guys do any roped routes together or just boulder?

Dane was a good friend back then and as a noob climber accompanied me on many FA's in the Susanville area.

Pigeon Cliff;
http://www.mountainproject.com/route/109505853/river-view-crack
http://www.mountainproject.com/route/109505878/family-route

Tom's Thumb;
http://www.mountainproject.com/route/107941862/skateing-away
http://www.mountainproject.com/route/107941849/guides-route
http://www.mountainproject.com/route/107941746/flashback
http://www.mountainproject.com/route/107941733/thumbelina

Funny thing, we were both Riverside raised but met each other in Snoozenville.
Last time I saw him was at my wedding in 82, we've exchanged a few e-mails over the decades, the last being about 5 years back.
He's married, has a couple grown kids, a professor in Montana and was still putting up FA's at Mill Creek Montana. :)

A few BITD photo's of Dane;

Dane Scott at Tom's Thumb <br/>
Skating Away
Dane Scott at Tom's Thumb
Skating Away
Credit: T Hocking

Dane and I at J-Tree <br/>
1980
Dane and I at J-Tree
1980
Credit: T Hocking

Dane Scott J-Tree <br/>
Headstone <br/>
Dane Scott J-Tree
Headstone

Credit: T Hocking

Recently at Mill Creek;

Dane Scott  <br/>
Mill Creek MT.
Dane Scott
Mill Creek MT.
Credit: T Hocking

Dane Scott <br/>
Mill Creek MT.
Dane Scott
Mill Creek MT.
Credit: T Hocking

Sorry for the "Guns" thread drift,
carry on...







xCon

Social climber
909
Mar 15, 2018 - 10:21am PT
didn't make the place a habit but when did never found any locals

that would be the 80's 90's period
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Mar 15, 2018 - 10:47am PT
Only visited once. Passed by a hundred times on way to Tahquitz. The only time I stopped to climb was on maybe some Sierra Club sponsored outing.

Drove up to some large expanse of rock, don't know the names or places out there. Lo and behold, there was Royal Robbins half way up the cliff/slab(?). He yelled down for me to come up and threw me a rope. When I got up to him he remarked, wryly, "I didn't mean for you to bring me a beer!" I had carried my open can of beer up in my free hand.

We drank it.
henny

Social climber
The Past
Mar 15, 2018 - 07:51pm PT
T Hocking:

We did do roped climbing as well. Around that time even though I was bouldering quite a bit I was still viewing it as a means to another end - roped routes. We (along with Kevin Powell) did a fair amount in the Whitney Portal as well as at Tahquitz/Suicide.

I happened to be at Tahquitz the day he twisted, and broke, his ankle at the base of Traitor Horn. Total fluke accident. He was eating an apple while looking up and stepped on a rock wrong. Really wrong. I remember three of us helping him hop down the trail to his truck. His partner was supposed to drive while he rode. As I was getting in my car his truck blasted by, with him driving of course. When he got to Riverside he knew the hospital visit would be slow so he went home first and had chocolate chip cookies and milk before going to the ER. He ended up with a cast, hobbling around on crutches for a few months. I'll always remember my surprise at seeing him driving as the truck went by in the parking lot. Broken ankle and stick shift, didn't make much sense.

Yeah, there were some good trips with the Gun.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Mar 15, 2018 - 08:15pm PT
Speaking of Rubidoux, did anyone ever hear of the myth that there was a secret tunnel from the Tower on Rubidoux to one of the churches in Riverside?
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Mar 15, 2018 - 08:24pm PT
Thanks Henny,
Never heard about that near epic.
Was he still drivin that old tan colored 64 Chevy 1/2 ton PU?,
blazed a few bowls in that rig. ;)


xCon

Social climber
909
Mar 15, 2018 - 10:12pm PT
looked into that dwain,
never found any information which would substantiate it

knowing what I do, a tunnel would cost an insane amount of money to push it up a rock hill so I'm inclined to dismiss the rumor
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Mar 15, 2018 - 10:45pm PT
How about down from the tower?

Man HAS tunneled thru some extreme territory.
xCon

Social climber
909
Mar 15, 2018 - 10:53pm PT
there is certainly a pit dug down from the tower

the question is where it leads and who spent the coin it took to forge it


at the time the money was into building causeways so the the local stream could be best utilized
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Mar 15, 2018 - 11:05pm PT
Oh well. I just remember hearing that story back
in the late 60s and 70s.
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Mar 16, 2018 - 07:53am PT
Ah yes, the Rubidoux Bouldering Contest…

That contest guide was a YUGE work of fiction, and most of the characters were given names which nobody had heard of. There were a few villains contained therein, but it really was a tall tale.

Case in point: Route #121 "Sliding Glass Door", seventeen points.

Now, Vogel had publically forbade us from competing, so those on the banned list spent the morning cruising around scoping the scene and pulling down on all the routes… We just couldn't carry a scorecard. Down at the Wall of Glass, there was a crowd inspecting the so-called "Sliding Glass Door' which no one wanted to try since there was a penalty if you touched the route, made an attempt, and failed. Loss of points, maybe? (I forget.) Many folks, though, were interested in the high points…

I casually mentioned that this tiny thing was a 'standard' problem first found by Paul Gleason, and it was also possible to snag the sloping jug on the summit by making a quick run up and a leap. Hint, hint. Within two minutes, about a dozen lads had bagged the points, since there wasn't a prohibition in the rule book. Hah.
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Mar 16, 2018 - 07:55am PT
And the goat. The Rubidoux Goat!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Mar 16, 2018 - 08:06am PT
Robs,
who else and why did you guys get banned?
Had all the probs wired maybe. :)
Did my buddy Dane "Guns" Scott compete?

Craig Fry

Trad climber
So Cal.
Mar 16, 2018 - 08:37am PT
The Contest Guide was pretty useless when I was working on the Rubidoux Bouldering Guide, as well as the Mackey Guide.

I had to check out everything myself and then get Henny's input and approval.

Rubidoux was always special to me because it where I learned to climb, where I would go anytime I wanted some real rock with the shortest drive, where I met many new friends, like Largo, Robs, Acomazzo Henny, Dimes, Charles Cole, Mike Paul, Todd Battey, Spencer Lennard, RV, DEE

I had a good grasp on the main areas, but on the North Western lower areas I just made up names and ratings on some of the crap.
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Mar 16, 2018 - 08:46am PT
Ha ha- "Route #121 "Sliding Glass Door", seventeen points"

Yup.

It was like a gold rush during the '83 contest. I was hard- pressed to capture anything harder than 14 points (V3ish?). That moderate leap and those 17 points helped me get a semi-decent final score. Thanks, Robbs.
Touque

Trad climber
Santacruzcalif
Mar 16, 2018 - 12:26pm PT
Just wanted to say bouldering at mount rubideux in the 70s with randy Vogel Bruce nyberghoward king and spencer Leonard were some of the best days ever .randy would drive or I'd take the bus from Tustin boulder for hours go to del taco and always head home stoked with a good day of bouldering and GOOD friends. Matt
Craig Fry

Trad climber
So Cal.
Mar 16, 2018 - 01:13pm PT
It was a Noggles back then


edit
Naugles

I loved them back then

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Mar 16, 2018 - 02:18pm PT
^^^
Yup, I luved those Naugles combo burritos after a Rubidoux session.
Roots

Mountain climber
Redmond, Oregon
Mar 16, 2018 - 02:25pm PT
North Western lower areas I just made up names and ratings on some of the crap.

Hey Craig! ^well that's probably why I had a hard time topping out on some of the stuff that I thought I could based on your ratings. LOL.

I spent a lot of time combing those hills for all the named (in your book) 5.10s and under. I think there are +80..it took me a while to get them all but I eventually did.



One of my top Rubidoux favorites was Antennae Roof. Hella fun!
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