Rubidoux History


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Dr. F.

Ice climber
Apr 24, 2012 - 01:42pm PT
I got this sequence of some unknown dude that made this look sooooooo easy
Credit: Dr. F.
Credit: Dr. F.
Credit: Dr. F.
Luckily, I have my guidebook handy so I can give the name
"In the Picture", 5.11 something

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
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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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

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!!!

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.

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.

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.


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!)

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

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.

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?



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?!


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

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