Runout classics - ever take the ride?

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GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 24, 2012 - 05:58pm PT
A few weeks ago I got on Diamondback (by Sidewinder in the Outback at Joshua Tree) because it was chilly and I wanted something sunny. Little did I know the wind picked up just above the canyon walls... reaching for that last little edge on the end of that 5.9 traverse I had to wait in between strong gusts and hold on real fierce to those (thankfully) incut edges.


After cursing my idiocy (and being psyched to climb a great route!) I thought to myself - has ANYONE taken the big whip on this route? I did Sidewinder last season and the traverse seemed a lot more mild than hyped, at least in average weather, but surely - SOMEBODY has to have biffed it.


Come to think of it, even at my ho-hum level I've been on a ton of routes that could have hilariously long plunges at tough moves, but everyone I've talked to skittered past as well.


How about these routes?

Hair Lip at Suicide - I'd love to know if someone took that ride, I had thought I got through the hard part only to find one last crux a good 10 feet out from an old bolt - Weeee!

Can't believe its a Girdle - yeah I almost hate to ask...

Guillitine Flake, Suicide - seem to remember a story of a guy taking a big fall on this route...

EBGB's?

Marginal, on the glacier point apron?


Gotta be some good stories out there...
NA_Kid

Big Wall climber
The Bear State
Nov 24, 2012 - 06:04pm PT
I would love to hear about someone taking the whipper at the end of sidewinder... can't be pretty.
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Nov 24, 2012 - 06:10pm PT
Larry Lloads on the Windowpane pitch of 10 Karet Gold

Jon Freriks yarded in a good 50' of slack whilst Larry slid and turned a 100 ++ footer into something much less dire.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 24, 2012 - 06:11pm PT
I remember talking about the whipper potential on Sidewinder with each partner I did the route with....that would be cataclysmic.

I epiced on EBGB's back in the late 70's. After finally working up the courage to do that initial mantle start, I traversed left and made the step onto the main face, then began pulling on those edges in earnest.

This was the first route I had ever used these new things known as "quick runners"....and I had them on a sling over my shoulder.

Halfway up the main face, nervously eyeing the next bolt as I drew closer to it, I suddenly heard my runners go clinking down the face....the knot in my sling had come untied, and I was a LONG way above the last bolt.

The only other biner I had was a locker holding my Sticht plate, and I could not let go to take it off my harness.

My partner begged me to "just jump". Not wanting any part of that, with full cottonmouth, I went to the top of the route.

My partner was so shaken he refused to follow the route.

The whole event still turns my stomach.
mountainlion

Trad climber
California
Nov 24, 2012 - 06:14pm PT
I indeed did take a
the classic "mosquito" bike January 2012 <br/>
the classic "mosquito" bike January 2012

Credit: mountainlion
ride on a classic "the mosquito" bike in JT...after losing a bet that is.




Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 24, 2012 - 06:15pm PT
This is going to be good.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Nov 24, 2012 - 06:20pm PT
Yeah, EBGB's is a stout looking route...but beautiful, almost perfect!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 24, 2012 - 06:23pm PT
My biggest "ride" was on the classic Suicide route, Rebolting Development.

On the second pitch, I had gotten up to the 3rd bolt, clipped a draw to it, and poppped....a 40+ footer. Got banged up a bit, and lowered down to the belay for some water. Anchored in, untied and pulled the rope through, then went back up again.

Got to the draw, and as soon as I lifted the rope to make the clip...POP!....off I went again, this time a little bit more controlled, but still some rash.

Back at the belay, my partner was pretty freaked out. I looked down to the base and could see my helmet on my pack. Told my partner maybe he should lower me and let me get it. He said, "If you go down, we go down."

Not wanting that, I pulled the rope through once more and went back up....and managed to actually make that clip while I was still moving, rather than stopped.

Still my longest whippers to date.
dave goodwin

climber
carson city, nv
Nov 24, 2012 - 06:24pm PT
Cragman-

That gave me sweaty palms.
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Nov 24, 2012 - 06:30pm PT
Yep, I've been for a couple overseas flights, curiously of similar length; but not curiously, both on slabs. First one was in 1969 on Coonyard Pinnacle, we had launched on this thinking we might get all the way to Glacier Point which had been done few if any times then. Pitch 4 or so, I think the last 5.9 pitch before it's easy to Coonyard, I wandered somewhere off route and glassed off in my non-sticky RD's from about 40 or 45 feet from the belay, zero pro. Partner hauled in a few feet but it was quite a slide: 70 or more ft factor 2 onto one single piton halfway in. Good thing it was a slab!

Decades later, failed to make the very last hard move (a thumb-toe mantle) on one of those mega-classic 11b R/X routes on Hammer Dome (at Calaveras) and butt-slid a good 75 feet there too. At that time, we had only a photo showing that pitch was supposed to be 5.8 (turns out that was a completely different route), and seeing that the 3 or so bolts were miles apart, I figured, well that's OK for 5.8 - my pitch. Ooops.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 24, 2012 - 06:39pm PT
RE: EBGB's......I've done the route at least a dozen more times since then, and I ALWAYS look at that fall line as I am approaching....the landing zone is not pretty.

It's no coincidence that I always carry MORE than enough draws on that thing as well.

:)
slabbo

Trad climber
fort garland, colo
Nov 24, 2012 - 06:42pm PT
good whip in the Valley- around '85 or so i'm leading Cllogdance, then 11C or so second pitch, which i had done befoer. My partner Kurt Winkler seemed thoughtful as always. i was jabbering at him all the way "ya, Ya , Ya.."

Reached up for the belay ledge and zoom off ! A nice one, maybe 40' or so. Kurt reals me in and asks if i wanna go again,, maybe, but we have to pull the rope.

Best whips have been in NH though 70' plus
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 24, 2012 - 06:42pm PT
It was Spring 1971. I think I had only been climbing a month or so and it was my second lead ever in my life (1st was Fingertip Traverse the week before). It was the Fingertrip Traverse at Tahquitz (5.7).

I was climbing in a new pair of RR blue boots and recall leading past a fixed pin about 15 ft above my belayer. That was probably the crux 5.7 lay-back. I kept lay-backing up and it suddenly starts to turn into an under-cling as it goes to the left. I only had about 7-8 pieces/nuts on the rack and it was very awkward trying to get something in while under-clinging with one hand and trying to place something with the other (blind placement) so I gave up.

I was getting incredibly pumped. I made it to the last under-cling move before you step up and left to the belay ledge. I was barely hanging on with two hands and with my feet frictioning on the face below the under-cling and was totally spent (had a lot to do with fear at that point i think). I must have been around 70 ft out or maybe more (not sure how long that pitch is) since i just had the one fixed pin as pro.

Just as I was about to step up with my left foot, my left hand slipped off the under-cling and my left foot swung out. I started to screen door. I got this intense rush of fear and adrenalin and slowly pulled myself back to the left hand pinch on the under-cling and managed to step up with my left foot. It was like moving in slow motion.

I am pretty sure that is about as close as I have come to taking the BIG one. I don't think I would have survived it (140/150+ fall). It shook me up pretty good. I never went back and tried it again. It would have been interesting to do again after I had gained more experience.

edit: that would have been one HELL of a whipper off that undercling into the dihedral that forms the layback, eh?

EDIT: GDavis: - Yep, a Hip Belay, and I had a 1" tubular webbing Swami Belt! (about 3 wraps around my waste/no legloops)!
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 24, 2012 - 06:57pm PT
150 footer onto I assume a Hip Belay...
slabbo

Trad climber
fort garland, colo
Nov 24, 2012 - 07:06pm PT
i did a 80 footer, hand over hand on the f/a of Reelin' In the Fears.. NH.. '81
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 24, 2012 - 07:12pm PT
I took a BIG whipper on Lichen Nightmare on the Apron ('73/'74?). The route was brand new at the time and was either missing hangers or only had one bolt at the time (i don't recall). There was just one bolt which was just above the belayer that I clipped and went straight up to the crux which is about one or two moves below the next belay ledge. I was right in the middle of the move (a crimp) and was looking for the next crimp for my left hand. I was looking to high, because just as I began to pitch, I saw it right in front of my nose. To late. I took a real winger and ended up way below my belayer. I think it shook him up more than me because as I climbed back up and was about to pass him (i guess he thought i was going to anchor in and give up) he shakes his head and says, "WELL, have you had ENOUGH?" I new I could do it and just climbed on past him as he started complaining about it being his brand new rope or something. lol It went rather smoothly since I new where the hold was.

It was the only time I climbed with the guy, but every time I would approach him and whomever he was talking to from a distance, I could see he would get all excited and start pantomiming my pitching over backwards and the big swing, etc! I'm pretty sure he thought I was either crazy or a badazz (or both) from that time on! lol
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Nov 24, 2012 - 07:15pm PT
Lots of folks have taken big falls on some of the classic routes that are known for being runout.

None other than Lynn Hill took a big fall off the top of EBGB's BITD. When I went up there to climb it, that story intimidated me, along with the broken Dave Hauser homemade bolt hangers, which are now long gone. I was so scared because back then in EB's, you didn't stick like you do now with modern shoe rubber.. I was slowly sliding off the sloping holds on the upper half and finally I had to smear a blackish knob thinking I was gonna die. I made it up without falling but was afraid to return until Fire's came out. When I did it again in the sticky boot, I laughed it was so much easier.

I saw a friend fall off Hairlip & I thought he was a gonner. He was sure to hit back on the arete/edge of the thing & be cleaved in half. NOPE!! His fall was all air & his feet just brushed the slab below as the rope came tight.

A woman I know whose husband posts here often, took a huge fall on Quicksilver in Yosemite & was badly injured including breaking her pelvis. She never did much on lead ever again. She got to the bolt stance but was too short to clip the bolt. She's only 5'2" & fell trying to get the bolt clipped.

One of my heros took a huge fall on You Asked For It in the meadows, he had done it previously. He flipped upside down during the fall & conked his mellon hard. They took him to Mammoth & I believe he may have had a depressed skull fracture.

We called I Can't Believe Its A Girdle "The Sound Of One Man Slapping" because of the Cole / Lewis route above "The Sound Of One Hand Clapping", after my friend fell on the 2nd or 3rd pitch & whipped across the roof & smacked into the gully on the other side. He was Ok but shaken up.

Another friend fell off the first pitch of Iron Cross, pulled the only fixed piton & fell behind the flake below. We thought he was dead for sure. He groaned & we thought oh no! Turns out that he was OK, just shaken up & humbled.



I'll think of more later.
slabbo

Trad climber
fort garland, colo
Nov 24, 2012 - 07:26pm PT
Levy- nice . I'm pretty sure I was in JT when Lynn rode off EBGB.. kept me off it for years.. broken hold ?
slabbo

Trad climber
fort garland, colo
Nov 24, 2012 - 07:27pm PT
You Asked for IT-- NOT a good route to fall off ! Great route though.. i guess I'm whacked, Iv'e doe it twice
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 24, 2012 - 07:31pm PT
Yeah Levy, I can relate on the shoe situation on EBGB's.

On that epic ascent of mine, I was in the green PA's, then did it a number of times in EB's.

When Fire's came out, that first sequence seemed worlds easier.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 24, 2012 - 07:48pm PT
I ground off half a butt cheek on Shakey Flakes
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 24, 2012 - 07:54pm PT
I got totally gripped when i led Hair Lip. It was either '72 or '73 and I was climbing with a friend and it was my lead. Tobin Sorenson walked up just as I was going to start and asked if he could hook up with us since he had gotten there a day early (before the rest of his crew).

I wear glasses and it was the only time I can recall climbing without them because I had either lost or broke them or whatever and was between pairs. I am blind as a bat and couldn't see sh#t. I just recall getting very gripped at one point, the crux i suppose, but I didn't fall.
(i remember trying to look for something for my left hand and not being able to see shit/sticks in my mind).

The only time I climbed with TS, was that day. Although we had bouldered together many times, etc! We did several other routes that day. I can't recall which. I think my buddy lead the flared chimney just to the right of Hairlip, Hot Buttered Rump since that was the original plan. I don't recall what other routes we did. TS wasn't famous then although he already had a reputation as one of the Stonemasters and up and coming climbers of our generation. We went for dinner in town that evening. I was living in Idyllwild that summer, they were groovy times, lol!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Nov 24, 2012 - 08:02pm PT
Don't know if it's considered a "Runout Classic" but the longest ride I took was 1974 at Josh near the top of Papa Woolsey 10b..
I had sent it previously 2 times without any issues but on this day I was 10 ft. above my last clip and pulling up slack to clip the last bolt (only 4 back then?) when one of my PA's popped from an edge and gravity took over. Took a 30 footer counting the slack I pulled, but failed to drop all that slack from my hand and when the rope went taught the extra slack ripped thru my hand over the back of my thumb resulting in a major friction burn. A 30 footer on what a 50-60 ft. route,glad I didn't deck.
I blamed the worn out
edges on my PA's for the pop,
but the quart of Schlitz Malt Liquor and the doobie before ropin up may have factored in as well.
Tad
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 24, 2012 - 08:12pm PT
I saw this guy take a chilling whipper on the last pitch of the Royal Arches. I was leading the hand crack right before it and he was just about to the end of the long traverse left on the last pitch and fell. There is no pro on the traverse so he took the long ride down and catapulted over the lip at the bottom of that slab. Screamed like all hell as he slid. He probably thought he was a gonner or something. I saw him in c4 the next day and he had these HUGE water blisters that covered both palms and all of his fingers. They looked like catchers mitts!! lol

edit: never tried EBGBs ...sounds WILD!!
ThomasKeefer

Trad climber
San Diego
Nov 24, 2012 - 08:23pm PT
I caught a pretty epic whip off EBGBs. My buddy Kevin (Monterey) was leading and was above the last bolt and just about to the top where he screwed up the final sequence. He took about a 35 footer off it and got to enjoy most of the route a second time. Epic. I was glad that I had slung into the boulder behind you as you belay the traverse.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Nov 24, 2012 - 08:34pm PT
"She got to the bolt stance, but was too short to clip the bolt."

That's why I never leave the ground without this:

http://www.supertopo.com/inc/photo_view.php?dpid=PD4_OTg3JyAj

froodish

Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 24, 2012 - 08:36pm PT
(Raises hand)

Worst fall I've ever taken was on EBGBs. Blew it right at the top. Was pretty unnerved by the time I got there from the insecure (for me at least) smearing on the way up. Did the classic mistake and leaned in too far searching for handholds and, poof! I was off. The toe of my right foot caught something as I swung through the bit of a pendulum that fall entails and wrenched my ankle badly. Ended up somewhere near the first bolt on the main slab facing outwards.

There was a family hiking around there when I fell, and I fear I traumatized the little boy with them for life. He saw the fall (I'm quite sure anyone within about a mile heard me yell when I came off ;-) and was crying when I passed them limping back to the car. Tried to reassure him that I was OK, but he didn't seem to buy it.

Took about a year for my ankle to heal (mostly, it's still only about 90% and is always the one I injure) and about 2 for my lead head to recover.

Oh, and this was post-fires and that thing didn't seem easy to me. I've never been back up on it. Every time I pass it, it gives me, well, the EBGBs.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 24, 2012 - 08:41pm PT
I saw this guy take a chilling whipper on the last pitch of the Royal Arches


Prime example of the fall never to take.


Chilling!
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 24, 2012 - 08:45pm PT
I took a hundred footer off of a .10b slab route when I was 18 or something. It is one of those routes without a crux. Every move is .10b. I smoked the hardest part and was pulling over the top when I skated a foot and went for the ride. There was only one bolt on the pitch about 20 feet off the belay.

It was rough granite like much of Josh.

Injuries: Loss of all skin on the pads of my hands. Any raised part of my hands was ripped clean.

Lost one ass cheek and various large sections of other body parts.

The worst was laying on a bed with my shorts around my ankle while Duane Raleigh's mom spent three hours picking lichen out of the wounds.

I healed up very nicely on the outside. On the inside I suffered from PTSD for years.

It would have been truly severe or death if Duane hadn't realed in armloads of slack as I was falling. He caught me after I was well past the first pitch belay.

It is a famous story around here that is still told. Not many people have done that route to this day. The horror story shuts down the v12 gym kids.

Come on. It only takes one draw. You don't even need a rack.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 24, 2012 - 08:46pm PT
yikes... whats the route? Not that I'll be getting on it any time soon, lol.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 24, 2012 - 08:46pm PT
Heard Clark fell on Hair Lip during a photo op or sumthin????? confirm/deny????
Eggstele

Trad climber
Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe
Nov 24, 2012 - 08:49pm PT
Always wondered if someone has actually pitched over the roof on
Fiddler on the roof at red rocks. I followed the traverse above the roof pitch and my partner was not courteous enough to place pro after the crux. I would have definitely pitched over the roof! It took me a good 15 minutes to commit to the fairly moderate moves. Next time I will try to make that pitch my lead.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Nov 24, 2012 - 09:25pm PT
Shakey Flakes is the Sh*t

Credit: StahlBro

EBGB's will make you clinch

Credit: StahlBro
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 24, 2012 - 09:30pm PT
I witnessed an horrendous fall on Guillotine, at Suicide, back in the early 80's. (perhaps the one you referred to GDavis)

The leader was quite a large guy...pretty fit, and very tall....but clearly a noob...his rack was ALL SHINY.

He began storming up the route, trying to lay away every move, and really struggled with placing pro. He was up a good 60 to 70 feet, when he ran out of gas.

With mouths agape (I was with Tim Wagner) we watched this guy bounce down the route, ripping every single piece he had put in, and deck right in front of us in a heap.

There wasn't a square inch of him that wasn't bleeding, but he appeared to have no broken bones, and actually walked back down the hill to the car....a bloody mess, but VERY lucky to be alive.
Rolfr

Social climber
North Vancouver BC
Nov 24, 2012 - 10:41pm PT
25 feet out from the last bolt on the 5.10D traverse pitch of Dream On at Squamish and I made a nooby mistake and stretched for the anchours!
Back then I knew how to run downhill on slabs and had a great partner who could suck in rope with a body belay, thanks Ivan!
I managed to flash the harder crux pitch but got schooled for having a big ego on the traverse pitch.

Reminds me of what my dad always used to say " there are no accidents, just stupid decisions"
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
I gotta give EBGB's a ride in this life!

I mean it's only 5,10 what?
bob

climber
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
Nope, no rides... :)
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
10c, Bluey.

I think the route's position makes it feel harder.

I recall one particular ascent, when the wind was blowing left to right, and I had to flag the right foot out considerably to check the barndoor effect.

I remember the sound of the wind whistling through the hanger holes.

YIKES!
skywalker

climber
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:07pm PT
Rosy Crucifixion,

Its not run-out if you do it the correct way but first time on it I linked P.1 and 2 and after the exposed first pitch I had dropped half my wires and half my brain. Heading up the second pitch (second half of my first pitch) I was about toast physically AND mentally. Not able to stop to place a bomber cam cause it would have taken all my strength to do it I gunned for the ledge. The ledge is sloppy and in classic feet "bicycling" I pitch. Flew 40ft to just below the anchor of the 1st pitch. You could probably hear my scream on the first flat iron! My sort of new partner as wide eyed as I was saw a guy peek his head around the corner and ask' "is everything O.K.?" he said "yeah, did you see that?" He said "no but I heard it!"

It was all clean and funny as hell!

S...
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:14pm PT
I hear ya, Dean. I aint' stupid. But EBGB's is a such a beautiful line and position.

The problem is if you miss that 2nd clip. Bad fall.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:15pm PT
splitter, I just about blew the beer out onto my iPad LMFAO...you'd be welcomed around my campfire. My dark humor I suppose but what is it about someone about to take the ride, like hey lets get the belt sander out and knock down some of those extremities.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:17pm PT
Steve, the 2nd clip is quite doable from a good stance.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:19pm PT
The route I took the hundred footer from is "The Big Bite." It was named after the name of an ice cream sandwich that was a favorite if you had any money.

At Quartz Mountain in Oklahoma. There are quite a few other routes there that are super crazy runout.

Nowadays few people do those routes. They TR them or do one of the five or so no pro routes that were retrobolted by broad concensus 15 years or so back.

Some of the hard men to that route. They walk right up it. I was in EB's. It dropped big time in difficulty when Fire's came out.

I had no idea of risk at 18. Duane would just hand me the rope and tell me to get after it. Sure!!! Boy did I get sandbagged. In the EB days it had spit off some really good climbers. I think that would have been the 2nd ascent if I had made it five more feet.
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:21pm PT
BASE104 - I took a one hundred footer off a 10b slab route when I was 18 or sumpthing.

Dang dood, talk bout "chilling". And on the LAST move, YIKES!

I had a very similar experience in TM ('76/'77?). We were climbing in two ropes of two. It was a 5.10c route that I forget the name of on the far right side of Stately Pleasure Dome or maybe the next dome over, that I don't recall the name of.

My two friends, Kevin L & Art H were on the first rope and ended up on a narrow ledge on a steep face. My partner, Rick L, took the lead up to them. I was the last person to get there and the three of them are clipped into one manky looking 1/4" bolt that was protruding and angled down and the hanger was a spinner/twirler. The ledge was about a 12-18" wide and Rick, who was belaying me up, was being braced/griped around the chest and shoulders by Kevin & Art who were on either sides of him to support him.

Grim situation since the sketchy looking bolt probably wouldn't even hold all four of our combined static weight, let alone should I fall and pull them off the the narrow stance applying a dynamic force upon it! So, I simply led on through to avoid the possible complications that could arise while switching belayers, etc!

There was a bolt at what we presumed was the crux about 15-20 ft above on the nearly vertical (very steep) face. I went up clipped it and climbed on through the 5.10 moves without much difficulty (as far as I recall). About 10-15 ft above the crux the steepness eased off and it became easy to moderate 5th class. It was up, up and away. No more bolts as far as I could see. No big deal, fairly customary for the TM at the time. It never got harder than maybe 5.5 or 5.6, just nice clean stone with an occasional slight bulge. That is until I got to about 100+ ft out past the one and only bolt I had clipped. I was sure I hadn't passed any bolts. Then, I suddenly came to this steep bulge with a stud and no hanger on it.

YIKES! I could tell the thin face moves were in the 5.10 category since i had done a fair amount of climbing in that range in TM and at Tahq/Suicide in the past. I quickley searched the rack we had thrown together looking for a small wired Chouinard stopper that could have been used as a hanger by slipping down the stopper so part of the cable protruded, then slipping it over the stud and sinching it back up tight and clipping into it. Better than nothing and hopefully it would hold at least a short fall.

No dice. There were three small wired stoppers, but they had all been epoxied/barge cemented into place so they would not slide around and be difficult to remove from a tight placement.

GREAT, I was pretty drained by that point. We had done a few different routes earlier in the day, I recall one being The Vision, and the whole fiasco we had just gotten ourselves into suddenly added an additional and significant burden. I was looking at a 200 ft plus fall. I was pretty certain their was little and most likely zero chance of me surviving it. There were ledges and flared dihedrals below the belay ledge which, itelf, was some 125 ft below.

Furthermore, I didn't have much faith in the single 1/4" bolt, that I had clipped into, being capable of holding both my fall and our combined weight (650+ lbs) once they were pulled off the ledge and their bolt most likely failed/pulled.

I made one move up past the stud, and checked out the scenario. It wasn't simply one 5.10 move, it was a sequence of moves. And there was more than one possible sequence, more than one way to solve the problem. I would have generally went up and felt out the most likely way to try it. Maybe tried the first move of the sequence and then backed off if I felt it was the best way, recouped my energy and then gone for it. Or, if it didn't feel quit right, maybe take a second close up look at it without totally committing. In other words, figure out the most likely sequence without totally committing, go back down and rest a few seconds and then go for it.

But not that day. I could literally feel my energy reserve draining like a thermometer slowly dropping on a cold winter evening. I new I had one, and only one shot at it. I thought of my three friends, fearfully gripping each other on the ledge far below, and new the were probably wondering why the rope had come to a sudden stop and was slowly rising and falling. I was certain they had figured out that I had encountered a sudden obstacle! And there wasn't anyway I could communicate with them, no voice communication because of the distance, and they were out of sight, and it was slightly windy.

I also new I couldn't hesitate any longer. I had to gather all I had, focus, and go for it. I did. I chose the right sequence out of a couple possibilities and pulled it off. It was a very close call. A classic TM runout, that, had I fallen, would have ended up in "the ride" of a lifetime. Without a doubt, it would have been my last ride!!

Btw, I was living on the eastside/Mammoth then. My climbing partner and friends still are.

And, if I had known then that I would have been posting to this thread I would have just gone ahead and taken THE BIG ride and won the contest for longest runout, longest ride! Wudda beat BASE104 even! AH SHUCKS!! ;)

Charlie D. - LOL,! it ( Fingertrip Traverse) is the calssic n00b tail of lack of forsight in that I waited tell it was to late to get some pro in safely and at the last moment I pull a classic YIKES move like in one of those old silent movies/comedy's, eh!! I learned a LOT that day! Glad ya got a chuckle out of it!!
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 24, 2012 - 11:26pm PT
Damn you guys making me feel like a wanker...

Can't say I'll be doing EBGB's anytime soon, LOL! How is it compared to Decompensator of Lhasa?
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:28pm PT
Decompensator is more of a friction crux...EBGB's is more edging....and more sustained.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 24, 2012 - 11:30pm PT
ahhh thanks. I love edges.


Splitter... Christ, man!

my palms....
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:30pm PT
It's 10c.....just a sustained route at that grade. And as I stated up thread, it's position makes it feel harder.
Heyzeus

climber
Hollywood,Ca
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:52pm PT
I also fell off EBGB's above the last bolt.

Didn't Tucker break his leg/ankle on it BITD ?
froodish

Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 25, 2012 - 12:34am PT
I don't remember a single edge on EBGBs after you 'round the corner onto the slab proper. Insecure smears in little dishes is all I remember.

IIRC, Vogel calls it 10d. 10c == sandbag IMHO.
Fogarty

climber
BITD
Nov 25, 2012 - 12:37am PT
EBGB,s BITD, I was told the crux was the start, WRONG it's at the top thats we're I fell on my first try in 1983. I took a wipper all the way to the bottom in the center of the face. I had a hip belay from one of my friends that had just started climbing weeks before. I climbed the route in EB'S and the new wave rubber I always thought the route to be 510D.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 25, 2012 - 01:42am PT
I have taken a bunch of falls on aid but most my gnarly freeclimbing falls have been on Middle Cathedral.

I was taking my boss from Curry Company, Tim Arnst, up FreeWheelin' on the Cathedral Apron. He only climbed with me but got pretty good as a second. I was one handhold away from completing the final move of the last 10b crux and the 1/4 inch bolt was down there somewhere. I leaned in a little too far (and the rock was gritty there) and my feet popped off. The rope caught under my led and flipped me upside down like a nunchuk just as I finished the 30 something foot arc.

Smacked my face in rock and felt half my front tooth sloshing in my mouth along with some blood. Took stock of my self and decided I was shook up but not otherwise hurt except the fat lip and tooth. Played it cool with Tim with a sorta "Pardon me, but would you have any Grey Poupon?" attitude. We bailed and I went to the dentist and got a crown. He emplored me not to bite the rope when I clipped.

Years laters I went back for "Revenge" on that route. Got up to our previous high point and was looking for the protection bolt I feel on the last time. Took forever to find the broke off stud even with the wall. No Thanks, revenge is not that sweet.

Bailed.

Took a long one way high on the North Buttress of Middle with Tim once. That 5:10 thin face/shallow corner before the squeeze chimney. Didn't have fancy pro back then if there is any. He wasn't a leader and going down seemed worse than sucking it up so I just had to go up and do it

Peace

Karl
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 25, 2012 - 01:46am PT
I knew this would be a good thread. Always wondered what pitching off the end of the plank on Sidewinder would do.

There's a 10c pitch high on Shakey Flakes where you'd fly over a roof after an infinite fall if you blew it.

Was taking some guys up Stoners and whipped off this committing lieback (not as hard as most stoners climbing but weird and steep. I flew over backwards again and almost crashed into my belayers. They joked later than one of them pulled me off. Later I found out he did indeed pull me off (Not intentionally of course) There was a sicking smack on my back when I hit upside down and backwards looking right at their faces. Wondered if I was hurt but turned out to my my camera punching into my back. It didn't survive

peace

Karl
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 25, 2012 - 01:58am PT
Does anyone notice that these are pretty much all on slabs?

You all know the old rules. All bolts placed on lead, often from stances that you had to peddle on to keep from falling off.

What sucks about slabs is that you bounce and slide the whole way down.

I think even Bachar said that soloing a 5.9 slab was spookier than a nice 5.11 crack.

I was raised on slabs, so when I first visited the Apron we did nigh every route harder than 5.9 on the whole thing, except for some that we didn't know about. It was in the old Reid binder guide era.

Later on my slab ability was of zero use. I had to start doing pullups.
Rudder

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Nov 25, 2012 - 04:09am PT
Three little ones I can remember...

1) Fred, out at Tahquitz, fell about 30' with only one piece in, an original #1 rigid friend... bounced on the end of the rope about 3' from the ground. The friend was bent like a C.
2) Run for your Life, out at Joshua Tree, fell about 35' getting ready to top out. Got startled by a girl sitting on top who gasped when she saw me and popped off.
3) Figures on a Landscape, Joshua Tree, fell about 20'. Amazing route. :)

When I was young I never worried about who was belaying me or how they were belaying me... how much rope was out or anything regarding the belay system. I just climbed and when I fell I took my licks. Oftentimes I fell way further than I would have with a great belayer. But, I didn't care or think about it... I do now. lol

One serious route for me, I remember, (sidewinder is exciting, but I can't imagine anyone coming off, nor would you want to, lol) is Cheap way to Die on Saddle Rock in Josh. I don't know if they ever put some bolts back on that thing, but when I did it you got one, maybe two, bolts right off the ground, in the first 10'. Then nothing but a rusty little stem (put a wired nut on it but it was good for absolutely nothing) for the next 70 or so feet... until you got to the roof. I put a cam under the super gravely crack under the roof... turned that roof knowing I was definitely going to deck from around 90' up if I didn't. Nothing after the roof for a few feet until you get to the hanging belay which was two rusty old 1/4"ers that look like they wouldn't hold my body weight, let alone a fall from my follower. Cheaply put up cheap way to die. lol The guidebook shows a bunch of bolts on it now... I don't know if they're really there or not. Anybody ever get on that thing?
gf

climber
Nov 25, 2012 - 08:30am PT
Hey Blue
rumour has it that a conservative approach won't cut it on EBGB's; you'll need to have confidence that government regulation (or at least those dreaded CEN standards) will stand you in good stead should things go a little different than planned.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Nov 25, 2012 - 10:03am PT
BASE104's fall on the Big Bite was legendary in the OK/TX area. Quartz slab routes were stout and run out. Some people claim they saw the smoke from the burning EB rubber all the way to Waco.

PTSS my ass. BASE went on to do a lot more radical things, like walls, jumping off cliffs and having kids.
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Nov 25, 2012 - 10:29am PT
Honestly never did take a big ride. A few 30' falls spead out over 25 years. Been scared to death a few times though.
bajaandy

climber
Escondido, CA
Nov 25, 2012 - 10:54am PT
Hey Rudder, I (almost) know the feeling on Run for your Life. I was at the top out move when my foot popped. I smacked my chin so hard on the sloping top that it split wide open and was spewing blood all over the rock, but I didn't fall. Blood on the rock, blood down the front of my shirt, blood on the sleeve of my shirt trying to stop the bleeding. My climbing partners were asking "What the hell happened up here?" I still have the scar on my chin as a happy little remembrance. But supper glad that I didn't take that whipper.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Nov 25, 2012 - 10:57am PT
Many moons ago a friend suggested I climb with Joe, a talkative large middle age man with a fair size front butt. Joe called both of us repeated in his quest for a climbing partner having just moved to the community and not knowing any of the local climbers besides my buddy Jon.

Finally Joe and I roped up at our local crag and I lead to a broken up section of rock on top of the first pitch. Joe scratched and cursed, kicked and gasped coming up the pitch arriving covered in persperation hyperventilating. I started to rack up for the second pitch which starts out in a steep off width when Joe says, let me lead this one. The ever talking Joe would hear nothing of my suggestion that I lead the OW and the sustained crack above insisting he take the sharp end. The idea seemed obsurd pointing out that the second pitch was harder and tricky, I finally relented to his repeated insistance.

I reexamined the anchors nerveously as I watched Joe feet road running in the poorly protected off width as my palms increasingly sweated as he gained more distance above his pro. Progress utimately stopped as poor Joe desparately fumbled with gear trying to protect the sustained crack above as pieces collected above my belay device. I realized if he were to pitch off which seemed imenant the landing in the broken rock was going to be horrific.

Poor Joe let out one last cry, "Oh God I'm coming off!" I turned my head away and yarded in the rope and on the second reel-in the rope refused me anymore and I looked up in disbelief to see Joe spread out nearly horizontal having pitched backward with his arms stemmed out catching the rock on the adjacent buttress a full body length and extended arms length away. Joe was over 6 feet in height with a huge reach.

Joe was in a hell of a fix, spread between two surfaces in what looked like the worse nightmare chimney you can imagine. Somehow the poor man managed to grab something on the butttress, let his feet drop, climb up and back onto the route. A physical feat that surely drained the last bit of energy he had stored in his body. I followed up and arrived at the belay where Joe sat silently with color slowly returning to his face. He finally mumbled, "Jesus, that was a close one."

My friend Jon later asked, "so how was it climbing with Joe?" and I replied, "really fun you should go out with him sometime" Joe never called me or Jon again.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 25, 2012 - 11:13am PT
GEEEEEZUS!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 25, 2012 - 11:52am PT
...ever take the ride? I failed to on my most recent attempt:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1617265&msg=1873491#msg1873491
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 25, 2012 - 11:59am PT
110 footer to the ground- first ever visit to rock and raps..


Two thirty plus footers on "set the control for the heart of the sun"

a forty footer on "nose bleed"

Dropped thirty five feet TWICE on sport routes where i "faded" at the anchors- stopped both times just before da ground..Now of course Dano was belaying on one of those so i thought it was just his normal belay flights..;-)

A few twenty to thirty footers on Al Swansons routes up on Mid dome and surrounds..When he says 11+ BET its 11++...

Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Nov 25, 2012 - 12:06pm PT
I took a runout 35 foot fall about 5 years ago.

The funny thing is, I was only 4 feet above my last piece of pro
and it didn't pull out.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Nov 25, 2012 - 12:14pm PT
Geebees Ron and you say your a Conservative. Sounds like you log pretty Liberal flight plans.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Nov 25, 2012 - 12:16pm PT
Big rides? I’ve had a couple, one on a slab, one not.

The first was on the “Wave” third pitch of Greasy but Groovy on the Royal Arches Apron. I had just gotten the first bolt in at the only possible foothold that allowed a stance from the belay. I was quite pleased to have gotten that bolt in, and the next part looked more featured. I took off on small edges, some good, and some that creaked a little. I got a ways above the bolt, maybe 15 or 20 feet, pulled off a handhold, and slid a true 30 feet. I was physically unhurt, but my “go for it” went and I put an intermediate bolt in rather than try it again.

On a trip to Europe in 1977, Al Harris was our host in North Wales and Rob, Gib and I had some of the times of our lives. Rob and I did an early free ascent of Great Wall on Cloggy, which had recently been freed. We also went to Dinas Chromlech and the famous Cenotaph Corner. After Rob led the Corner, I thought I’d give Right Wall a go. Right Wall is dead vertical for about 150 feet. It was a Pete Livsey creation first climbed after a rappel inspection.

There was the enticing prize of the second ascent and first onsight to be had, so with Rob belaying, I started up. I had no idea where it went and it’s not obvious. Some of the holds are pockets and holes that are hard to see until you get within 10 feet of them. I fiddled with nuts and craned my neck to find the line, until my strength was failing. But the stoppers and hexes in cracks and holes were solid, so rather than lower off, I figured I’d just try for some big holds a ways up. Melted off and took flight, say 25-30. The nuts held and I didn’t hit anything, but landed only a short ways above Rob, what with the rope stretch in the 9 mil double ropes. A little swing in the catch caused me to flip upside down in my Whillans harness and this turn of events caused us both to laugh uncontrollably as he lowered me down.

Here a video taken looking down in the same vicinity, only on a much harder route (E8) between the Corner and Right Wall. My fall was nothing compared to the one in the video, but it gives an idea of the situation. There is a really big ride at the end of the clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiLlxs0zP3E
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Nov 25, 2012 - 12:19pm PT
I knew this would be a good thread. Always wondered what pitching off the end of the plank on Sidewinder would do.

There's at least one account of taking the big fall on Sidewinder at mountain project:

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/sidewinder/105722086

Not trying to be hard man (I'm not), but I don't think that traverse is anywhere near 5.9. I thought it was 5.7, it just feels like 5.9 when you're looking waaaaay back there at that bolt. If it were really 5.9, there would be many accounts of people taking that whipper.

110 footer to the ground- first ever visit to rock and raps..

Uh, how'd ya survive that, Ron?
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Nov 25, 2012 - 12:43pm PT

My first trip to ERock was in 1986. I had just taken a two year teaching position at the Outdoor Education Center in Trinity Texas. My first weekend in the Lone Star StateI had been invited by Tom Lyde to experience Central Texas' best climbing area. By the time I got to Texas I was already a broke down has been of a once was but had enough huevos left to climb without embarrassing myself too badly. Right off the bat Tom suggest that Texas Radio is a classic and sics it on me. The lead went smoothly and as I was topping out I was hailed by the assembled Stupids and invited to join them for a guide's safety meeting at the anchors. They had no idea who I was but were immediately accepting and ingratiating to the dude from Colorado. From that trip on and for two years after I stayed at the Stupid house every weekend on the way to and from ERock. When my second Texas weekend was approaching I was planning on returning to ERock but I had no set partner. So the night before I taught one of my co-workers how to belay.
Having pulled off Texas Radio the week before I was fairly full of piss and vinegar and thought the French Route would be a good warm up. It was like a grade easier than Texas Radio so what could go wrong. In the parking lot that morning I was introduced to the quite talented and very gregarious James Crump. He said something about the Back Side being real slippery in the humid conditions at that time but I foolishly did not listen. At the base of the route I go over Belaying 101 with my partner one last time and launched off. Well I was climbing great and feeling self confident when I opted to forgo the little wired stopper in the overlap before the first bolt. Then, right as I was reaching for a quick draw, the most incomprehensible thing happened - both feet slipped and I fell. Incomprehensible to me at least as I just did not fall. In dozens of years of serious ascending I just never let myself log much airtime. In fact the fall from the French Route was likely only my 8th or 9th serious fall. So no one was surprised more than me when I so suddenly became a stunt dummy performing a gravity check. Well maybe my belayer. He was certainly surprised and sat helplessly watching me plummet, bounce and tumble a very long way before finally slithering to a disheveled stop way down below his stance.
The sound of a human body during a tumbling ground fall is disturbing to say the least. I can only imagine the thoughts running through the heads of James, the Stupids and their students as I plummeted like a haul bag just to the left of their class. One by one, with the guides leading the way, they scrambled over to see what was sure to be a mangled dead guy. Shaken not stirred, mangled not dead, I sat up and asked if anyone had seen my glasses. It was blurry but I do recall a few people crossing them selves having just witnessed a miracle and a few others making the cross with their fingers to ward off evil. I have a hard enough time believing it myself and believe me I was there. It went like this. When I slipped I immediately turned outward and hit my left hip harshly on a ledge 10 or 12 feet down. That impact eventually became a deep black and green horrid looking bruise from knee to armpit and wrapping half way around my body. But it was important to me to protect my surgically rebuilt right knee at all costs. So far so good but landing on my feet in the boulders below seemed impractical. So a few feet lower I thought I would tap off the wall with my feet and perform a tuck and roll onto my back into the one flat spot I could see below. Well anyway that was my plan. This was one of those times when time seemed to roll like a slo-mo replay and I had plenty of time to plan my next move. Somewhere along the line I just gave my self over to providence and accepted what ever outcome be fell me. Going limp like that kept me from completing my tuck but is probably what saved my live that day. It was either that or that weird space alien gravity that giant whacky batholith has. So as I was saying there I was, a Zen potato sack, half way through a tuck and with the ground the limit. I did at least manage to propel myself towards the door mat flat spot I had spied between the boulders but my futile half tuck had me making first contest with my face. And I mean I face planted hard. An improvement some would surely say but amazingly I broke nothing, not my face, my teeth nor even my glasses. In fact I bounced. I quite literally bounced five or six feet up landed on my back and poured like partially frozen pudding downhill for another 20 feet or so. I remember not wanting to fight it till I came to a complete stop come what may. And what came was the James Gang running to get there. Tyhe were all brought to a silenced stop when I unexpectedly sat up.Those guys were great, really really great. They were right there to help me when I so easily might have desperately needed it. When I stood up and started slowly moving it became clear I was hurt but that Flight4Life was unneeded and even Warren would not need to be disturbed. With my arms around their shoulders those big guys kept me from further injury helping me back to the campground and into semi legal delusions of painlessness. That was an interesting night at the campground and mind you this was just my 2nd time there. Surviving that fall made me a bit of a celebrity to the class of Yahoos until I passed out with a little help from my friends. In the morning I got up very, very slowly and took stock. I was beat down bad bad bad. Scathed but completely unbroken. I managed to stretch myself out by walking around to the back side again and checking out the hotties I mean students. No one seemed disturbed by thoughts of my fall the day before or my presence at that time. But then I might have gone just a wee bit too far. Having spent some good formative years with horses in my life I always viewed the "get back on the horse" adage as a sacred command. So I did. That wasn't the bad part. Most folks kind of thought it was good to see me facing my fears or what ever. What brought them to a second silence and had them crossing again was that in my process of getting back in the saddle I decided to solo ripple. Right in front of the same class I had cratered by the day before. Some surely thought I was insane or brain damaged most just sat there watching and waiting for the train wreck that never happened. By that time it was clear that for various reasons (which at the time I was not fully aware of) I was given the dubious distinction of being an Honorary Stupid Brother.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
SLO, Ca
Nov 25, 2012 - 02:19pm PT
I took the whipper off the Figures on a Landscape traverse. Minor leagues compared to some of the falls described on this thread, but thrilling nonetheless.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 25, 2012 - 02:22pm PT
I took a runout 35 foot fall about 5 years ago.

The funny thing is, I was only 4 feet above my last piece of pro
and it didn't pull out.


They call this the Locker belay.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 25, 2012 - 02:25pm PT
per Sidewinder - I looked at my climbing journal and the day I first led it I put down 5.8 as well, seemed much harder in the wind... sometimes things feel easier the first time because your psyched, and wayyy harder the second because you thought it was casual. Haha short sighted climbing, much like Onsigh climbing....

I'd say the scariest fall I've taken was actually seconding, on the second pitch moves right off the belay on The Vampire. Blew the first few crimps and went for a biiiiig swing down and around the corner, probably 12-15 feet down and another 10 sideways. Fun fun fun...
cliffhanger

Trad climber
California
Nov 25, 2012 - 02:36pm PT
I saw this guy take a chilling whipper on the last pitch of the Royal Arches

While it looks like the obvious way to go, the long, low unprotected traverse he took is off route. The real route stays very high, taking you thru some class 4 blocks followed by a short, well protected 5.4 traverse across the slippery water course and to the forest.

--


One time I was coiling up the rope in the forest as this guy's girlfriend leads across the low route. She freezes in the middle of the greasy water course, totally sketched out. The impatient, cocky boyfriend, comes walking out coiling the rope, no belay or pro, to see what's up. There was nothing to stop them from taking the final big ride to the Ahwahnee, if she slipped. She made it, however.
Rudder

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Nov 25, 2012 - 03:03pm PT
I smacked my chin so hard on the sloping top that it split wide open and was spewing blood all over the rock,

Yikes, Andy! I wanna check out that scar next time I see you. lol :) That is a cool top out on that climb... and quite a ways out. ;) When I went back up and turned it the girl was gone. Totally anticlimactic for me.
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Nov 25, 2012 - 03:09pm PT
Hey Base...I bet the strong head you gained from the slabs kept you well in tight situations in other endeavors. No other form of climbing can give you that mind edge. EBGB's is relatively safe compared to some others. Take some of the pad people over to Cyclops and have them jump from the boulder (unless your tall) onto the first move of Surface Tension. You can't clip the first bolt like EBGB's. Or jump on When sheep ran scared...Ran scared all the way up that thing. I did take a 50' of a route while putting up an FA in Tahoe...Was wearing a sport harness. Was using a Bulldog on lead from stances (I'd read an article about Johnny Woodward putting up routes like this in an old Rock&Ice in Joshua Tree. He called it "neo-trad") when a foot and hand hold blew. My belayer was belaying the drill through a pulley on the back loop with one device and me with a gri-gri. When I hit the end, most of the gear loops blew including the thick one with the drill. Almost killed him as the drill buried itself next to him. I have pictures of the FA and will post when I find them. Neat climb.
Edit: Rick A..went up the first three of GBG last month. How on earth did you put those bolts in on lead? Amazing!
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Nov 25, 2012 - 03:57pm PT
per Sidewinder - I looked at my climbing journal and the day I first led it I put down 5.8 as well, seemed much harder in the wind... sometimes things feel easier the first time because your psyched, and wayyy harder the second because you thought it was casual. Haha short sighted climbing, much like Onsigh climbing....

You're right about psyche and the bite of a climb scorned. I still think legit 5.9 in that section would yield a lot more whipper tales, but I've only climbed it once.

A lot of good whipper stories here!
ec

climber
ca
Nov 25, 2012 - 05:18pm PT
The last one I can remember was on a new route we were on at the obscure Bat Rock in the Kern (late 90's). I was at a point you get to during these endeavors where you have to just go for the next stance or go home; albeit a long way out from the last bolt. I came close, but lost traction while stretching for a hold and went at least 40-50 in a long downward, then sweeping arc and missed the deck by a foot with by shoulder and head; looking right into by belayer's astonished expression on his face. I went right back up to the last bolt, only to start feeling my scraped ankles and bruised knee. So, my partner Ron volunteered to finish it off, which he did in good style (he's taller, too). At the base of the route, there is a peculiar, natural intrusion that looks like the Roman Numeral, IX (or 'nine') which we named the route, not just for the inscription, but in jest as if Olympic judges had held up their cards to rate my fall. It definitely was a 'Nine.'

 ec
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Nov 25, 2012 - 05:26pm PT
Per Sidewinder - I was probably wearing EBs on the FA, and we rated the traverse 5.9. It's gotta be one of the harder routes to rate due to the lack of handholds, combined with abundant pucker factor. My partner, Eric Schoen was adamantly insisting the traverse was harder for him as he squeaked across it on TR, because his barrel chest pushed him out away from the wall more than mine. I was perched directly above him thoroughly enjoying his plight!

My biggest whipper was off The Slab at Tahquitz - I overlooked the exit right onto the slab, and placed a slung clog endwise in the splitter hand crack. Instead of climbing that crack to easier ground, I continued laybacking up the leaning OW and almost made the top before slipping on some mossy rock.

Solid 50 footer on a goldline rope with a bowline on a coil around my waist. If that clog had pulled, I probably would've decked, or come close to it. That was the first time I ever placed a nut...
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 25, 2012 - 05:37pm PT
Rick Sumner on "deadmans rapell" -Dinosaur rock aug -012  <br/>
 <br/>
steep f...
Rick Sumner on "deadmans rapell" -Dinosaur rock aug -012

steep featured face climibing with bolt and natural pro 5.7 these days. BUT the first two moves are 9-ish if you ask me.
Credit: Ron Anderson

climb2ski, the above is a photo of the route i fell down first time out. Rick Sumner is seen here leading the climb "deadmans rapell"- which wasnt even a route yet at the time i flew it. You cant see the top of the right pillar but i flew from there to where the pic is being taken from lol! DEADMANS clip with a single biner rap- where you accidentally put the wraps on upside down vs the anchor and weighting, and it flips the carabiner once fully weighted - releasing the rope and you go AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHTHUMP THUMP THUD. I came to,, and saw my three buddies faces all looking down at me- just like a hollywood movie lol!

I had hit the ledge on the left after about sixty five feet then continued down to the bottom. First thing i said was,, gotta get more and better stuff to do this shyt! Cracked ribs and a chunk outta my ass and assorted rasberries to the meat were the result. I walked funny on the way out that day- snow made us park the ol impala 1/4 mile downhill from dino..

And Philo, those are the memorable ones. I dont even count sport whiffers. Or AID fallz..



GNARLY stuff everyone!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Nov 25, 2012 - 05:43pm PT
So many stories here that make me cringe. Climb long enough, and you will likely have some air time. By God's grace, we live for another adventure.

It is rather sobering, however, when the outcome is different. On January 29th, 1996, I watched my friend Pete Schoerner take an 120 foot fall while attempting a first ascent of an ice route here in June Lake. He was on the 4th pitch, when the ice sheered off the wall.

Pete was killed instantly, and it was a horror show I will, unfortunately, never forget. Flanders and I recovered his body the next day.

This event really sobered me to the seriousness of what we do. When death knocks so close to home, it changes you.....sure as hell made me way more mindful of what I will and won't do.

And when I look back at the many near misses in my 38 years on a rope....I count my blessings.

Rest in peace, Pete.....you were badass....

photo not found
Missing photo ID#215684
ec

climber
ca
Nov 25, 2012 - 05:50pm PT
Cragman, you got that right...

Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

 ec
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 25, 2012 - 05:53pm PT
yep.^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Ol "426" was luck on day - we were working a new route when he did a small penji and the rope severed in an instant to the last few core strands- brand new 11 mm hit an incredibly sharp edge and SSSSSS.! Lowered him safe to the ground and we went whooooooooman check disout!


Crag,, horrible memory there...
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Nov 25, 2012 - 06:18pm PT
Hey Ron, I just heard a story that somebody is getting a permit to take out 500 tons per year for three years of granite from somewhere near crystal springs. hear anything about that yet? I'm hopin it's not true
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 25, 2012 - 06:21pm PT
HUH!???? no troll?!! have not heard that ,, and wholy sizzle a quarry in the canyon- riparian zone??
kennyt

climber
Woodfords,California
Nov 25, 2012 - 06:24pm PT
Yeah I heard that from somone who works for a local attorney somehow alpine county is involved but that's forest service land. I guess everything is for sale.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 25, 2012 - 06:26pm PT
crap.....just crap.. they probably wont make snot off the permit- i know those systems. then the inevitable court cases involving restoration not done. theres water shed concerns and Tribal lands right down stream. Hard to fathom, but ive seen stranger things..

.
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 25, 2012 - 06:42pm PT
cliffhanger - There was nothing to stop them from taking the final big ride to the Ahwahnee, if she slipped.
Wow, that must have been very unnerving to watch. I hope she found herself a new boyfriend/climbing partner after that!

Of course there was the young man (18) who did take that ride. If I remember correctly, him and his partner unroped at the belay where the traverse starts. Besides being "slippery", those little dished out pockets are often filled with dry pine needles and dust which have filtered down from the rim.

The guy I witnessed take the slider was sitting on his butt with his hands/palms pressed flat against the stone. Like a kid on a slide. It would be very natural to simply roll over onto your butt and use your feet and hands in an attempt to brake, like you would in dirt or sand. I suspect it is pure impulse to try and slow down or control your slide. He could see the lip approaching, and rocketed out over it into space and out of site. The rope jerked tight and then see-sawed back and forth on that rather jagged edge. I was breathless for a few moments, hoping that the worst thing imaginable didn't suddenly happen. But after a few moments he pulled himself up and over the lip.

I don't recall his name, but his partners name was Joe Royer, and was head of ski patrol at Snowbird. He invited me to come visit & work for him there, so I took him up on it for part of the following winter '71/'72.

I know that RA has become a popular solo, and I have gone cordless on more difficult rated climbs, but after viewing that fall and having personally encountered the "greasy" / "slippery" rock, dust, and pine needles on that traverse, there is no way I would have ever soloed it. The image I had of him sliding down on his butt, along with the knowledge that a very young man/climber had most likely took a very similar position there in his final moments in this world. And simply thinking about the fear and anticipation he must have felt as he approached that lip knowing that he was about to be catapulted into eternity, still gives me the willies.

edit: Sorry to here about your dear friend, Dean. Thanks for keeping his memory alive.

btw, Joe Royer started the 1st heli-ski/guide service to the Ruby Mts, back in the '70/80's! kool dude!
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Nov 25, 2012 - 07:15pm PT
seems I'm not the only one to have tested the bolt on the runout 2nd pitch of Ten Karat Gold at Suicide ... a scream of terror, frantic yarding in of rope, realizing we have not died, going back up and getting it right the 2nd time, etc.
Sheets

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 25, 2012 - 07:37pm PT

I took a fall on the last pitch of Royal Arches and didn't find it too bad aside from losing some skin on my hands, knees, and fore-arms. We were caught in the rain and needless to say I found slimy 5.4 slab a lot harder with water pouring down it. There was a huge pile of pine needles at the bottom that slowed me from chucking off the lip.
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 25, 2012 - 10:36pm PT
ThomasKeefer - I caught a pretty epic whip...
Dude, same here!

It was 1972 and I had been climbing about one year at that point. My partner (Steve Williams) and I spent the weekend at Tahquitz & Suicide. It was late in the day after a long day at Tahquitz & as we made our way down the slabs on the SoEast descent route we decided to fit one last climb in before we headed back to San Diego. The sun was quickly approaching the western horizon, so we decided on a climb that we had both done before since we didn't have much time. That was the Traitor Horn (5.7) a classic two pitch route.

Steve led off the 1st pitch and the plan was for me to switch leads with him at the belay/me lead on through. But when I got to the belay, which was a small block which had two fixed pins as anchors, he requested that I let him give the Pearly Gates a shot. The PG is a 5.10+ double overhanging layback just to the left of the TH! Although the light had already began to turn that amber color as it burns through the haze on the horizon. I said "Sure, go for it."

From the belay, to get to the TH, you layback/jam this right facing corner for about 20 ft or so to the base of a slightly overhanging 15-20 ft. tall headwall. At which point you then traverse right to the TH.

For the Pearly Gate route, you also follow the corner/crack, but rather than trverse right to the TH, you continue to follow it. It doglegs at the 20ft headwall and angles up into a double overhanging layback. Kind of intimidating and challenging, yet very appealing to a couple of young wanna be hardmen. We had talked about the day we would give it a go, and it was now here.

So off goes Steve. The corner is fairly easy, so i didn't say anything when Steve didn't stop to put in pro. He placed a medium sized Chouinard Hex above his head and just above where the crack doglegs up the headwall and starts to double overhang. Off he goes onto the double overhanging layback.

Steve was a pretty hefty/stocky dude! Probably around 180# or more. He was looking pretty strong and rapidly made it to about a foot or two before the top of the headwall/end of layback then suddenly came to a dead stop. And, DEAD SILENCE followed. He just hung there in a classic layback stance. I was thinking, "OH SH#T!"!

Of course we were using a Hip Belay, so I braced my left shoulder into the wall and pulled my right braking hand around to my left as firmly as I could and tightened every muscle in my body, anticipating the jarring impact which was about to come. And it came like getting slammed by a linebacker at full on attack mode! The full force of a 180
# person taking a 40 ft freefall.

It sounded like an explosion, don't recall exactly what caused the sound, but I suspect it was a combination of Steve hitting the lower face, me slamming against the wall, and the hex, that Steve had placed, ripping down the crack for about 10-15 feet before it miraculously reset itself. That's right, the hex was pulled down pass the dogleg and continued to follow the lower part of the crack for about 10-15 feet before it hit a narrow spot and reset itself.

SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!

And, not only that, the force had tweaked my position so much, and had pulled me away from my snug belay anchor by a foot or two that I new something wasn't right. I reached around as best I could and felt one of the two pins we had clipped into at the belay. It was loose and I could wiggle it back and fourth. I was braking with my right hand so I couldn't locate the other pin.

Talk about an "Oh Shit!" moment. Steve's blue RR boots were staring me in the face. And Steve was hanging free in space from his waist, wrapped in a 1" tubular webbing Swami Belt with his head hanging to one side. It was a 35-40 ft freefall.

I was doing all I could to just hold onto the rope with my brake hand. My mind started working quadruple time (or whatever) trying to assess what would be the best plan for getting our asses out of this jam before the friggin' hex pulled (at that point I couldn't even see it, since i was sitting to the immediate left of the right facing corner/dihedral it was in).

While I was determining what to do I recall momentarily glancing down the nearly vertical/very steep face to the ground below. Odd things go through your mind at times like that. I pictured our lifeless, crumpled bodies laying in a heap 140 feet below. And wondered how long it would be before they were discovered.

My left shoulder was throbbing. I always carried two 4mm purple prussicks in my pants pockets, one in either pocket. I started to dig for one, so I could rig a brake, but Steve suddenly started moaning and moving. He suddenly came to and within a few moments had pulled himself back into the easy layback crack and was ready to finish the pitch. But this time he wanted nothing to do with this set of Pearly Gates, since it had just about brought him to the doors of another set of Pearly Gates (lol)! So, after he put another peace of pro or two in, he finished off by leading TH.

Both of our belay pins had basically pulled. The one that I had wiggled with my fingers, pulled out with a slight tug. The other pin was cocked over to one side at an angle and also wiggled back and forth and easily pulled out. Had the Chouinard Hex not reset itself, we would have been toast!!

edit: lesson learned. don't trust fixed pins without esting them (we we wer'nt carrying hammers, btw). always back up fixed pins. dont trust yout partner to do this, always check the anchors. and he should have put multiple pieces of pro to protect a dificult lead, not just one.
Blodgett Goat

Trad climber
Missoula, Montana
Nov 25, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
I've always wondered about people taking the ride on some runout classics. Snake dike is super chill but if someone lost their sh#t and panicked that would be a nasty fall. Knuckleheads at Pat and Jacks is another.

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 26, 2012 - 01:16am PT
Ray Jardine is reputed to almost have launched off the pine needles on that last pitch of Royal arches while soloing. I think it put a damper on his soloing after that

Always felt if you started to fall on that traverse you could basically run for it and get to the forest at the end but who knows. I remember soloing it with needles and dampness and was gripped but going back with a rope and walking across it with basically no hands in approach shoes

Peace

Karl
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 26, 2012 - 01:37am PT
Does falling off of mountains without a rope count?
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 26, 2012 - 02:53am PT
The guy I talk about in my story above about Pearly Gates, Steve Williams, took a fall on th Nutcracker in Yosemite during the Spring of 1974, broke his leg and had to be rescued. He then moved to Seattle Washington area that summer with the people he met and was climbing with in the Valley. I never saw or heard of him again, but I am pretty sure he continued to climb. Anyone know or remember him?

EDIT: Oh yeah, I meant to mention that, I bet that Chouinard Hexcentric is STILL wedged into that crack going up to PG & the Traitor Horn. It became so hot from the friction it poduced while it slid down the crack, that it had melted and the aluminum had rolled up anf then re-hardened on the sides. I bet that it is still there, wedged firmly in that right facing corner/crack. It would probably be around in the middle of the crack/half way up it before the headwall. Maybe the next time someone is up there, they could look and see. I don't recall what mm perlon it was strung with, but I think it was a green 7mm! Of course that would probably be long gone. If it is still there, it would be really cool if someone could tke a pick of it! For memories sake!! THANKS!!
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Nov 26, 2012 - 02:23pm PT
Caught a big one on Jules Verne in Eldorado Canyon Colorado. I could not see my partner because there was a roof over my head, but at one point he stopped going up. Then a few minutes later, I see a biner with brass wires on it land on the ledge I'm on, bounce, then fall another 100' into the trees. It was getting dark. Then the rope starts gently moving, an inch at a time. A few inches later, I hear a Tarzan-like scream and get yanked off my feet, luckly the anchor had an upward directional. It was a very long fall, the classic one, I have no idea how long. 75'? It was a totally clean fall with no injuries. Luckily it was too dark for me to try to finish it for him! Although all I actually signed up for was to follow it. I never really wanted to do it afterwards, and at this point probably never will.

Longest fall I took myself was probably on the Good Book, about 30'. It's a layback and my hand came out, and I did a back dive. This was back in the days before anyone wore helmets. I can still remember seeing two tcu's pull out, with my feet in the foreground. For some reason my brain saved that memory for all time. I wasn't hurt at all but could have smashed my head easily.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Nov 26, 2012 - 03:18pm PT
Awww heck I feel like such a weenie after some of these tales.

I got off route on Pywiack Dike Route BITD. Went straight up where I should have banked left. Got a very odd feeling when I realized the little nubbins were getting even smaller. Then my PAs let loose. Whoopee.......sliding down about 25 feet past my last bolt......then on down. down. down. My two partners at the belay going wide eyed as I plummeted towards the bulge above their vestigial ledge. Don't know who was most frightened of the three of us. Just before they got my PAs in the face the rope stopped stretching. Thanks to wearing painters pants and a rugby shirt I was only slightly scuffed but my brain was screaming to me "NO I ain't going back up there again today". Then I couldn't get either of my buddies to take over the lead! Even though one had led it before!!
Went back a couple of years later and cruised it. It's MUCH easier when you follow the route!
Oh yeah, if you haven't climbed on those ancient PAs: they give you no warning when they're about to let go. Thank God for EBs.

Grack Marginal: I had a go at it this autumn. Could NOT get myself to go more than 10 feet beyond the bolt above the roof. Even downclimbed the roof move and went back up again, still the barrier. Even though I've led it a couple of times BITD and my shoes are way better than anything I had back then. I KNOW it's just a walk but my mind was NOT going there.
It's clear I need to keep in practice for slab/friction climbing.
A lot of it is in your head.
Rick Linkert

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills CA
Nov 26, 2012 - 03:50pm PT
High Traverse -

I should have taken a long ride on Patio Pinnacle as punishment for stupidity of Darwinian proportions - lathering up with sunscreen on a hot day and lacing on a brand new pair of Royal Robbins blue suede shoes. My right foot skated on the first move of the climb and I never felt like I was really on anything I could trust the rest of the climb. It made for an engaging afternoon.

Splitter-

I vaguely remember the climb with Kevin and Art - must still have some PTSD. I think it was a Clevenger route on Poly - high and to the right. Have you remembered the name? Very glad you pulled the last moves successfully.

Best

Rick
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Nov 26, 2012 - 06:37pm PT
Splitter..... so you have used up a life or two.


I took the fall 2 times on Rebolting. P1 getting to bolt 3 (if I recall)
Good belayer... run like hell downhill.


The longest was about 80, it was at the Weeler Ridge, I was climbing a Kamps climb on the west side of notch #2. 5.8ish.

I got to the stance they used for bolting, a diorite knob, I was chalking up and just relaxing my mind so I could do what looked like a 5.6 mantle onto the knob..... without any warning the knob popped!

The fall was almost over before I knew what was going on.

I reckon its the best way to go.... completly relaxed.

This is a really nice thread.





JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Nov 26, 2012 - 06:43pm PT
Since the OP specifically mentioned Marginal on the Apron, I held a 40-footer, as well as several others, when we first climbed it in March of 1972. We (Dan Smith, Art Brook and I) were climbing in RR's then, so we did much more edging than smearing.

I didn't fall on the traverse above the roof on the first pitch, but both of my partners did, in fact one more than once. Nothing particularly long, and the landings were safe for us. On the last pitch, Dan was about 20 feet out with nothing between him and me, and started sliding. After about ten feet of a s-l-o-w -- m-o-t-i-o-n fall, Art, who was about 40 feet below us, started heckling to the effect of "You call that a fall? You should be ashamed to call that a fall!" etc. Dan eventually took a couple of summersaults, climbed back to my stance, and did the lead without any further incident.

As an epilogue of sorts, most of us were a bit intimidated by Marginal back then, particularly the traverse on the first pitch. I described the fall over the roof as essentially harmless, because Dan and Art had fallen at least three times between them to no effect.

In any case, after no-names like us did it, several others decided it was doable. A few weeks later, I saw a friend of mine on crutches. When I asked what happened, he explained that the "harmless" fall over the roof wasn't. He ended up with a broken ankle.

John
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Nov 26, 2012 - 07:00pm PT
So now you really make me feel like a weenie
I described the fall over the roof as essentially harmless, because Dan and Art had fallen at least three times between them to no effect.

Well......maybe not so much of a weenie!!!
When I asked what happened, he explained that the "harmless" fall over the roof wasn't. He ended up with a broken ankle.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 26, 2012 - 07:01pm PT
Speaking of slow falls, I used to go do the first 5-7 pitches of Hall of Mirrors once in awhile. 5.10+ to 5.11 slab with some super runout 10 a and b in there.

The moves would be SO continuous and you'd be fully engaged right up until you got the next bolt so it was common to fall just before you were able to clip. It was so smooth and lowish angle (your shoes would squeak climbing it) that you'd fall pretty slow.

I'd have time to swing my leg over the rope (cause somehow I just didn't know to lead with the rope over my leg when off to the side of the last gear) and even catch the runner of the bolt on my way down (even after 10-15 feet) Saved a bit of rubber that way but you can tweak your fingers if you're not lucky

The sucking thing would be to have to climb all those continuous moves all over again.

Peace

Karl
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 26, 2012 - 07:23pm PT
Rick L,

I'm pretty sure it was 'Curve Like Her' (always what i thought, anyway)! So, I just looked it up again on RC.com and the one pic of the right facing dihedral looks very familiar (more on that in a second) and what little it has for a route description is right on target:

Curve Like Her - 10c - trad & one bad bolt.

Description: runnout sandbag!

LOL!

You are right, its on Polly Dome (i cudn't recall the name of the dome next to Stately Pleasure Dome) here is a pic of it from rc.com.!
it looks like it may have been taken from our perch on that narrow ledge with the "one bad bolt"!
Credit: splitter
I left part of the story out for the sake of brevity. But, actually, after I joined the three of you on that tiny ledge, rather than continue on up to the single bolt protecting the steep face moves, I thought it would be better to traverse right about 40' to a corner/different route that, as I recall, was rated 5.9 or so. From where we were it looked like it would take pro! So I followed the narrow ledge right and just before the corner (the ledge had, by then, stopped) I had to make this 5.9 face stem move over to the corner. I climbed up the corner for 10-15 ft and it became apparent that it was just a bottomed out groove that didn't take any pro and was wet to boot. So I back tracked.

When I went to reverse the 5.9 move, it was wet. I had somehow redirected the seepage from the corner, as it trickled down, over onto it. I can very clearly recall, while the three of you watched my every move, make a quick assessment of the situation should i had slipped/fell in the process of reversing that move; 1) i looked down the 'flight path' we would take to the ground below @250+ ft! 2) i looked over at that corner/dihedral, which, should the "bad bolt" not fail and actually hold our combined weight of 650# (my guess) and then followed the trajectory of my swing (i was directly to your left 40+ ft) and where i would slam into the corner/didn't look inviting. 3) i then looked at the three of you, and cracked up (well, i do remember a big smile and soft chuckle). I guess it was just the sight of three hardcore doods gripping/hugging each other and looking scared as sh#t. I wish I had a camera back then, lol! Now that I think about it, I probably could have weaseled something out of you guys, a complimentary dinner at least perhaps, ya gotta prepare for those situations (when opportunity strikes) oh well! lol I went ahead and reversed the move and, as I have already described, climbed "up, up and away"!

The other portion that I left out (for the sake of brevity) was, that after making it past the difficult face moves above the hangerless bolt, I ran out of rope. I came to a dead stop in the middle of nowhere. I new that I had nearly ran it out, but had hoped I still had enough line to make it to the left facing corner/crack which was still 25-30 ft away. No way!

There was ABSOLUTELY nothing I could do. Like I said, you guys were out of eyesight and hearing. I gave the rope a long and hard pull from my sketchy stance, and then let go. The universal climbing signal for slack/I need more f'n rope. I waited about a maybe 30 sec and did it again. No deal. I new there was only ONE thing I could do, and that was belay you from right there. ACTUALLY, there was one other thing I could have done, and believe me I did, and that was F'N PRAY! lol Believe me, I did.

That is, pray that you would pull off those steep 5.10 face moves that the bolt protected on the steep headwall right above the belay ledge. If you had slipped, even a slight slip which would have required tension, it would have pulled me (standing on the steep slab/no bolt or pro), you, and most likely, Kevin & Art into oblivion! BTW, thank you Rick for "pulling off those moves"!

So I gave two quick tugs, waited a few seconds, and gave two more quick tugs, the signal to come on up! YIKES!!! You can probably can imagine the "pucker factor" involved, that I was experiencing, for those extremely intense moments between pulling in the slack after you unclipped from the belay ledge and when you slowly made your way up to that bolt/5.10 face moves. I , personally, was looking at about a 250 ft fall, most likely to the deck, from that point. The first 100 ft or so would be sliding down the step slab and then I would have shot over the lip. That would have been one hell of a "ride"!! And, most likely for you, you may have been right behind me ... rather chilling possibility to imagine/picture, eh?

So, my prayers were answered, you made your way up over and past the 5.10 without incident, and I was able to proceed to the safety of the corner once you arrived at the stud missing the hanger!

So, perhaps I had a few more things to recall (speaking of PTSD, sheeesh). I do remember waking up at least one time late in the middle of the night in a cold night shouting, "DON'T F'N SLIP RICK, DON' F'N FALL...! LOL!!

Best also to you & yours,

Splitter

EDIT: You were between semesters at law school then. You had bailed on the eastside dirtbag existence after many years of honing it, gotten married and entered law school. And perhaps, you were lamenting a bit, in regards to "the way we were" when you were one of us! lol But, I was sure that after escaping that route in one piece, it was a sort of confirmation that you had made the right move in regards to getting married and going to law school! ;)

edit/edit: Also, I do recall that you did a write up on it for one of the climbing rags back then (maybe 'Climbing') in regards to people scarfing bolts off of climbs & perhaps the manky belay bolt, or whatever. I never actually saw it/read it, but several people approached me over the next couple of years, mentioning it!

SO, my synopsis or conclusion: that was the day that I found out why they call it "the sharp end"! ...lol!
Grampa

climber
from SoCal
Nov 26, 2012 - 07:27pm PT
No big rides.

Took a 20 off Flower of High Rank and nearly decked head first. Saved by a great belayer who cranked in a couple of arm lengths before the end.
nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Nov 26, 2012 - 07:29pm PT
The most classic one I've ridden is Coonyard Pinnacle. Fun times with davidji, we both took some long sliders:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=988294

Crest Jewel isn't known for its runouts, but end of linked P1+P2 I took 3 sliders in a row, ~20-25 feet. Partner wanted to bail, so I had to do it again if I wanted to climb more that day. 4th time's a charm! That was my first slab climb.

Ugliest and nearly life-ending one was an obscurity:
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/TR-2011-05-08-No-Way-Out/t11014n.html
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 26, 2012 - 07:34pm PT
Yeah, this was for real. I forget it it was in Rivendell or Mordor.

Credit: Reilly
Truthdweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Nov 26, 2012 - 11:22pm PT
I'm sure I told this story before...

I was lowering from about 40' off a boulder on TR, b.i.t.d. (80's, Full Moon Boogey, off-finger 11b, Campo, CA) when a long time friend of mine nearly dropped me seconds after I took tension at the anchor bolts. We had met eyeballs and confirmed with a head nod and verbal confirmation to each other that he was ready to lower me when I suddenly became weightless after leaning back, my focus becoming tunnel vision, and soon black, when I finally felt the rope become tight on my harness, my eyes opening and finding myself dangling about six feet from the ground. My belayer had taken a comfortable "sit" about thirty feet away from the base of the boulder, laying on his back, while he basked in the sun, thinking this was a safe place to belay. After the dust settled from the fall, I found him laying in the dirt, not far away from me, still holding on with his brake hand on the rope!

I asked him, after the fact, what had happened, and he told me that he figured he'd pay me back for a stunt I had pulled on him when we were kids growing up, so he gave me "some slack" to scare me. "I didn't realize I'd get lifted off the ground and you'd fall that far," he applogized. Thanks Joe!
tiki-jer

Trad climber
fresno/clovis
Nov 27, 2012 - 11:14pm PT
Came off of EBGB's from the last bolt. Took a 25' slider when lycra was cool.
Way Back Machine......note the Kinaloa chalkbag!
Way Back Machine......note the Kinaloa chalkbag!
Credit: tiki-jer
melski

Trad climber
bytheriver
Dec 5, 2012 - 07:39pm PT
for educational purposes only,,rob leshers first jug{pack on back}up washingtons colume didnt think to clip into anything,realizing at the top his folly and with last ounce of power ,cliped the anchor,first wall i belive,,mine was with rob ,and survial on tombstone wall ,smith rocks,having taped up,against my better judgment,AND getting up the perfect hand/to/wide trying to make an easy placment,but being so pumped ,letting go with one hand and the tape rolling off the other,i had to just let go,,fortunatly it was steep,,and now i had some pro above my head,,,
sowr

Trad climber
CA
Dec 5, 2012 - 10:36pm PT
Hi my name is Chris and I'm a fallaholic....I fell just before the last bolt on Solid Gold, it was a big one. I also fell just before clipping the post-crux bolt on Rebolting Development, cracking two ribs, I fell almost all the way down to the belay. Pitched off the third pitch of The Vampire about 10 feet past the crux trying to fiddle a small cam in. Fell off the first pitch of Valhalla to the ground (slid off the black glassy knob, unaware that it had a timer), no harm done. Fell multiple times trying to get the crux of Season's End, but that wasn't too bad. Did not fall off Sidewinder, or the first pitch of Rebolting Development. Did ooze off Arcy Farcy once but it was a benign slide. Missed a clip on Edgehogs but managed not to take the 100 footer. Missed a clip on Battle of the Bulge but managed to hold it together. Took a big plunge off Abstract Roller Disco after reaching the final bolt but too far to the left to clip it.

The only climb I didn't get right back on horse with was Rebolting, mainly because I was injured. But I did go back and do it a few years later. Onsights are always nice but sometimes it doesn't work out that way, these are all great climbs and deserve the big push as opposed to the big TR.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Dec 5, 2012 - 10:42pm PT
Nope.
Always eeked it out or pussed out.
Jorroh

climber
Dec 5, 2012 - 11:06pm PT
My first lead in Jtree was 29 Palms, after watching me wobble my way up that (at one point he shouted up "forrchrissake put some pro in"), my partner, Duncan, wanted a mellow end to the day so we thought we'd try that nice looking 5.10 slab EBGB's. Being from Scotland, we weren't used to Granite Slab climbing, but hey, its only 5.10 right?

Unfortunately for Duncan, when he got to the last bolt he realized that the hanger had been torn through. Downclimbing wasn't an option, and neither was falling back to the last bolt since it looked to be the same as the one that had already ripped through, so he had to wobble up to the top with that horrible feeling in the pit of his gut, knowing that if he fell he was going to die.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 5, 2012 - 11:21pm PT
None other than Lynn Hill took a big fall off the top of EBGB's BITD

Oh yeah Bill. Believe it or not I witnessed that fall, it was '77 or '78 maybe? She basically fell from the last move and went damn near to the bottom with a big swing to the right tossed in for bonus points.

I didn't do it until 1987, and I only did it once. Total psychological trauma.
yedi

Trad climber
Stanwood,wa
Dec 6, 2012 - 12:05am PT
I took a whipper off EBGB's in 81' I think it was. I forget which bolt it was, maybe half way up, but the biner blew right through the alum. I ended up hanging about 4' off the deck if I remember right!
yedi

Trad climber
Stanwood,wa
Dec 6, 2012 - 12:59am PT
1979 I was in the valley with a friend from so. cal. He wanted to do Apron Jam for our first climb. I was game so off we went. I had no idea what we were in store for. He wanted to lead and was not about to argue with him as I had imagined a jam crack and not this off width thing. Up he goes with large hexes which he could not get to stick. Down he comes and finds a suitable rock which he drags up and promptly ties off about 15' up. He sputters up and about 7 or 8' above that chockstone he placed starts to quiver and shake. Facing out in the off width he rattles out, slides down and just below him at about the height of the chockstone is a small ledge which catches his heels. He hits that at speed and gets pitched out in space, meanwhile I am taking up slack around my hip belay as fast as I can. Luckily the chockstone pro holds and he ends up with his face about 8" from the scree. Seemed like something out of a movie. The gentleman and his young son who were watching were aghast, and their eyes were as big as ours. Two sprained ankles and 1 lucky guy. That was the last time I climbed with that guy.
ianv

climber
Bellingham
Dec 6, 2012 - 01:36am PT
A little ways into the fall
A little ways into the fall
Credit: ianv
Not thinking, we set up the belayer where he couldn't see me past the first bolt or two. I was stepping up on a dish near the top and the rope went just tight enough to make my foot pop. Not sure how far I fell, but I ended up near the second bolt (first bolt on the face) A few hours later, had to drive for 22hrs with a couple of sprained ankles.
bob

climber
Dec 6, 2012 - 01:38am PT
Going for the ride!

Cool shot.
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
Dec 6, 2012 - 10:53am PT
Does ice count? I have pretty much viewed all ice climbing as run out. Years ago, I was climbing with my regular rock partner that was progressing on ice. We shot up Boulder Canyon as he was ready for an easy ice lead. Up Boulder Falls he went. He was out of sight when I heard the noise of whipping rope. I desperately was pulling in slack as I heard him falling/bouncing on the stepped ice above. He was ripping pieces as he went and I tried to reel in as much slack as possible. I bet I pulled 30'+ of slack in as he fell. I also back pedaled to take in slack. He ended up pulling 2 or 3 screws and was finally stopped by a tied off shrubbery/ his first piece of pro. He literally bounced on the rope directly in front of me and probably a foot or two above the ground/deck. He was looking at me like WTF as the screws he pulled lined up on the rope. Other than some good bruises to his body and ego, he was fine. Turns out the ice at the exit was rotten and failed with 4 points in. I do believe that he decided ice climbing was not part of his future from this incident.
Pappy

Ice climber
Warren, VT
Dec 6, 2012 - 02:40pm PT
Nice stories from Cali, but as everyone knows, NC is 'First in Flight.' My buddy Mark was doing Double Dihedrals, a six pitch classic, when his partner backed off the last pitch. This was pre any guide except Rotert's underground pamphlet (for that matter there is still no guide for Wildcat), and what no one realized was that the FA, who had put the route up rope solo, had TR'd the last pitch several times first. Now everyone goes left to a dirty corner, but at the time the description said straight up. It was getting dark, though, and mark does not back down, so he climbed up to the first (only) piece of gear, a #4 Camalot about 40' up, scoped the rest, spotted a horizontal about another 40' up that looked like it would take a 2 TCU. Also looked like hard 5.10 the whole way, so he puts the TCU in his mouth and takes off. He was sketching when he got there and when he tries to slot the TCU he discovers it's too big. "This no longer has any relevance to my life,' he said, throws the unit over his shoulder, then comes off trying to get a smaller one. He clipped a ledge near the Camalot, broke a few ribs, and winds up hanging upside down below his belayer after an honest 80 footer. 'Eric, (the belayer), looked a little fried.'

But that's not the story, that's the preamble. We were supposed to go do Fathom over on Laurel Knob, which is the tallest wall east of the Rockies, but was totally verbotten, all access illegal and a huge thrash, and the climbs were strictly poaching. Being a caver first, Mark had dropped his 700' caving rope down the short side to rap in (and even that just got you to a tree for a couple of more raps down to the ground), but being all banged up he knew he was out of the game for awhile, so got our friend John to help him retrieve it. A couple of months later he decides it's time to start climbing again, and the first thing he wants to do is Fathom, 'but it's my first time back, so I want to take it easy, you'll have to lead anything sketchy. And oh yeah, I want to haul a John up too to repay him for his help.' Well, John was at best a 5.7 climber, but supposedly Fathom had only one .10 pitch and was otherwise pretty mellow, and I figured, how much trouble could three of us get into anyway.

Again all we had for info was a hand sketched topo, and above the crux pitch it just showed about three water grooves above a slab as potential alternates to traversing off to the right, which I guess was what the FA did, but no indication as to which groove was best. Now that the crux is done and we just have the mellow top out, Mark takes off for his first lead after his fall and spots a quarter inch stud about 30' up one of the grooves. 'This must be it,' he figures, loops a nut over the stud and takes off. And he's climbing, and climbing, and there's no gear, which he is constantly informing us in a progressively higher pitch. Then the rope goes tight. 'You're going to have to start climbing, Jim, and don't fall or I'm a dead man.' I'm a little concerned, but hey, I'm still connected back to John and the two fat bolts at the belay, and I'm not figuring Mark to fall anyway. So I climb up in the groove, clip the nut on the stud to the rope I'm trailing for the sheer perversity of it, and start doing the water groove shuffle, where nothing is harder than 5.8 and there is nothing positive to hold onto for miles. I remember thinking that I could see where Mark could be freaking pretty good on this with no gear, and every once and awhile I'd call up, 'You near the top?'
'No.'
'Any gear?'
'No.'
Then the rope went tight between me and John and things start to get serious. 'That's all the rope, Mark, is there any gear?'
'Nothing. It's still fifty feet to a tree.' oh f*#k.
'John,' I call down. 'You're going to have to unclip and start climbing.'
'Whaaaat?' At this point I think he may have started crying. I know I wanted to.
'And John, I can't say this any other way: You can't fall. You just can't.'
Which is how I wound up tri-mul climbing 800' off the deck attached to a guy climbing at or above his limits with one old rusty 1/4" stud as the only piece in the system, trying to convince myself that if he did fall I could somehow attach myself like silly putty to this smooth ass granite groove and somehow hold it. I can't even imagine how Mark avoided melting down completely, 300' out (still using 50m ropes in those days) on his first climb back after that fall.
Well obviously, John didn't fall, Mark got to the tree, and the world started rotating again. We went to the BBQ joint in Cashiers and Mark and I were jazzed on the adrenalin hangover, but John just sat slumped at the table muttering, 'I can't believe we just did what we just did.' To my knowledge he never climbed again.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Dec 6, 2012 - 02:46pm PT
I think ice falls have a place in this thread because those of us that spend a lot of time doing it, know in the back of our mind that in this climbing scenario, the leader must not fall.

Bridalveil Falls, Telluride. My second time doing the route. My partner, who is one of those extremely good and extremely bold ice leaders, leading the second pitch over and around a roof of sorts. (I couldn't see him.). I had wondered the what'ifs about this partner, only because he tends to run it out big time on hard ice to get to stances. Good strategy as long as things don't go south. When things go south ice climbing, they can go really far south.

So my friend is moving along smoothly and quickly, as he always does on grade 5+ ice, me paying rope out and all of a sudden, with absolutely not the slightest sound, the little bit of slack in the rope whips up and across my left eyebrow. My only thought was "holy $hit, he's fallen. He never falls on ice." Once my brain processed that he had fallen, I look down and see one tip of a frontpoint, just barely visible below the ice ledge I was anchored to. To make an long story short, he had fallen perhaps 50 feet, although I don't know; I couldn't see him climbing from my belay. Neither does he because he was flipped upside down, broke his shoulder, a hand and suffered a concussion with subdural hemotoma, and was totally unconscious and hanging upside down. (Which is why I saw only a tip of a front point *from above*.)

This story has a happy ending, but my friend doesn't remember any part of it. Not my desperate and successful attempt to get him rightside up (there was nobody in the vicinity to yell for help to), not the slow walk out once I was able to get us both down to the ground, not his refusing to be taken to the clinic in T'ride, and not my begging him to go to the hospital in Montrose. My eye where the rope got me was black and blue, and badly burned by the rope. This all happened on the pitch where Jack fell last year.
climbera5

Trad climber
Sacramento
Dec 6, 2012 - 03:03pm PT
Enjoying my share of whippers, I've pushed my limits on stuff I didn't belong. Back in the day of 3 wrap swami belts, Gilje and I went to climb Giant Steps on the back side of The Warlock. Sustained 5.10 face with a few bolts requiring a lot of hunting and route finding. Half way up the first pitch the route traversed diagonally up and right and I spotted the next bolt 15' straight above. Gilje had done the route before and pointed up.

Of course I went straight for it and found myself on increasingly thin moves. Unable to move up, I attempted to down climb and pitched about 50' before coming to a abrupt stop, rearranging my organs and knocking the wind out of me.

Tom took the lead and attempted the same path, declaring it 5.12 before backing off and finding the correct route to the right. Tom later apologized, but I learned the value of leg loops and finding my own way on questionable ground.
plasticmullet

climber
Dec 6, 2012 - 03:57pm PT
Not a classic but I did take a monster whip on Repo Man, the climb to the left of Figures on a Landscape. Early in my climbing days a buddy and I went to climb Figures after doing Solid Gold the week before. Repo and Figures share a start and I knew the latter traversed right but for some reason that right turn just never happened for me. I climbed past three manky, manky bolts and soon found myself in territory I knew was not 5.10. I was way above the third (I think) bolt and decided to continue rather than bail. The moves were difficult and thin but I was progressing and it was fun and challenging. It continued to get even harder and I yelled out "this is hard, watch me! to my belayer. I made a couple more moves until right before the next bolt I blew. I weighed all of 140 lbs, my belayer maybe 135. I stopped inches from the ground thankfully due to my belayer who jumped as I was coming down, he ended up smashed into the rock close to the first bolt. Not sure how all that happened, but glad it did. It was a big fall, never forgot that one. I was okay, my belayer got hurt from smacking into the rock.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 6, 2012 - 04:10pm PT
This thread is good bed time reading.
melski

Trad climber
bytheriver
Dec 6, 2012 - 06:22pm PT
why is my stomack,rolling with convulsions???this post needs to be an ongoing thread,,do you believe in desteny??sooo freaking funny,,
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane ~:~
Jan 6, 2013 - 10:00pm PT
melski - this post needs to be an ongoing thread.

I agree, this thread has some spectacular climbing related stories, and we need to keep it rolling. So I will bump it, and in the process, add a few details to my last post that I feel are worth adding (& recounting) on the "runout sandbag" on Polly Dome - Curves Like Her (Vern Clevenger/FA).

I particularly want to give a little more detail) to the final & extremely precarious "belay" stance. Sorry if this seems a bit off topic (in regards to taking the "ride"), but it was about as close to taking the BIG ride as I have ever come, and it does qualify as a "Runout classics". And as I have previously noted, it has been labled as a "runout sandbag" relatively recently by several other "topo/climbing" sites & evidently hasn't yet (35+ years later) recieved an adequate belay station/bolt, etc, SO, I wanted to bring it up again/bring it to peoples attention (hopefully someone at least replaced the absent hanger on the 2nd crux bolt) and avoid a similar situation...

Rick Linkert - I vaguely remember climbing with Art Hannon & Kevin Leary...
I find that rather odd (the vaguely part) since you seemed rather upset about the whole situation back then (the bolt missing, etc) so much so that you wrote an article for one of the clmbing magazines at the time (Climbing or Summit, etc) & since I have such a vivid memory of that day. And also odd (humorous, perhps) that you don't seem to remember me being there. Well, that's not so unusual I suppose, since we hardly new eachother, eh? (lol) But that's okay, I can understand your being hesitant to acknowledge that (or so it seems)...wudevah!!

Anyway, I just wanted to give you a brief recap of what I recall from that afternoon, since being on the sharp end does seem to sharpen ones perceptions, etc!

Art & Kevin on one team/rope, ended up on the narrow ledge protected by the manky bolt. I then belayed you up the corner and you joined them there. I followed and found the three (3) of you in a precarious and rather perilous situation attached to one very questionable bolt on a narrow ledge. Art & Kevin were bracing / supporting your shoulders in the likelihood that I should come off or require tension since it obviously wouldn't have taken much to pull the three of you off the narrow ledge and onto the anchor and I sincerely doubt that it (poorly placed 1/4") would have held the weight (600+ lbs) of all four of us. An extremely sketchy situation.

So, I lead on through. I decided to traverse left on the ledge to a corner with what looked like a good crack, from where we were, that would take pro which was 35-40 ft to the left. The ledge petered out towards the end, and it required some delicate face moves (5.9) to reach it with out any pro available. I then climb up the corner for about 15-20 ft and it turns out to be more of a groove (water groove) without any possible nut/pro placements (it is also wet). I downclimb, and notice that I had redirected the water seeping down the groove onto the face & the .9 face crimps/moves are now wet. I inform you guys of the situation, which illicites broad smiles & chuckles (lol) and a casual "go for it, bro" which greatly increased my confidence and machismo (just kidding, lol).

The situation was indeed dire. I was, like I said, 35-40 feet out/directly to your left, with no pro between us. I didn't have much confidence it the bolt holding our combined weight should I have fallen. And even if it did hold, I would have pendlumed/swung 50-60 ft into the dihedral that was 15-20 ft to your right (dihedral pic is in my last post). Either way, I was probably toast...GRIM SITUATION # 1 for myself/us that afternoon.

Like I have already recounted, I managed to make the moves and continued on. The 1/4" bolt protecting the 1st crux just above your belay was well placed and I was quickly by that section and onto easier ground/face. BUT, I was hoping to get at least one more bolt or piece of pro in because I still doubted the ability of one single 1/4" bolt being able to withhold all of our weight (the manky anchor bolt would have surely pulled/failed with your/our combined static weight, let alone dynamic force, imo).

Then like I said, after about 120+ ft of runnout & no pro, I come to the second crux (10+) of the route where the bolt without a hanger was. GRIM SITUATION #2...! After getting by that, I thought it was over since the summit was about 30-40 ft away on easy face/ground.

But, the reason I am reviewing this is that I don't think you (nor anyone else) realizes the nature of and EXTREMELY GRIM situation that I/we got ourselves into next/after I got pass this second crux. And what I will refer to as GRIM SITUATION #3. After leading the afore mentioned steep 10+ face moves a VERY long ways out and feeling like I had cheated certain death (had I fallen) & most likely yours Art & Kevin's certain death, I was home free...that was short lived.

Just 10-15 ft above the unprotected face moves, the rope ran out. And, like I said, I had no luck in getting you guys to somehow feed me any additional slack. It was a good 15-20 or so feet to a corner with a good crack for pro. I was essentialy stranded on the steep face with nothing for support. I managed to turn around (back to the wall) and put you on belay. I leaned back against the rock and hoped & prayed that you wouldn't put ANY tension on the rope, let alone fall. Most likely your body weight would have pulled me off (your simply asking for tension), let alone a tug that would have come from slipping/falling at the 1st crux that you were about to encounter just above the precarious belay.

And, you guys were out of sight & out of hearing range. You began to climb, and I recall pulling up about 20-25 ft of slack and mentally picturing you climbing up to and stopping at those very steep face moves. Seconds ticked by and after a moment or two you started again (crux #1) and I started pulling in slack. Believe me, I was very relieved to see you come into view over the lip that afternoon and then proceed up the relatively easy ground (moderate 5th class) to the second crux just below me. You waited there while I traversed up and over to the belay corner where I finally got some pro in to belay you.

That last EXTREMELY GRIM SITUATION/belay is what I wanted to hilight in this post. Because, although it NEVER seriously crossed my mind, I could have easily untied at that point and continued on to safe ground. It was perhaps only 5.1/5.2 at the most, and merely 35 ft or so to the summit.

THINK ABOUT IT!!

I was standing/balancing (frictionioning), with ZERO protection/belay anchors, on a relatively steep face with my back to the wall.

I want to emphasize that there was no other alternative but to either belay you guys up from where I stood (on a typical 5th class friction slab) or untie and drop the rope, which would have left you guys to decide who wanted to take their shot of leading up to where I was (and you had NO clue what that would entail) which would have put you through & in the identicle situation I was in.


At that point I was essentialy home free should I have been only thinking of myself. Because, I could have simply untied and dropped the rope. I could have then, I suppose, circled back around and informed you of the/my/our desperate situation of being unanchored on a steep friction slab 135-140 ft out and having to belay you (Rick Linkert) up some very steep 5.10+ face while all the while knowing that you had done very little, (if any) climbing in the prior year or so (you had left the eastside and enrolled in law school) or so you had informed us.

But that would have taken some time (circling back down). I would have had to traverse along the top of Polly Dome over to Lambert Dome (I recall passing Death Crack on our descent that afternoon) down to the road and back over to Polly Dome. You guys would have most likely already started leading the pitch I had just lead and gotten into the same situation.

Like I said, I was essentialy home free, all I had to do was untie and scurry up the remaining easy ground. But like I just said, I NEVER even considered it. Well, I was certainly aware of it and it probably crossed my mind once, but I didn't give it a second thought. I didn't hesitate, I new what I had to do, and I believe I did the right thing.

Perhaps I should have just dropped the rope and circled around. But, it was very late in the afternoon, and I am pretty darn sure that I would have seen one of you (probably you Rick) either standing in the same exact pitiful stance and frightful situation that I was in, or just below it contemplating essentially free-soloing the 5.10+ face moves 120+ feet out like I had to do. Not cool. And if that was the situation (by then) there was no way we could have communicated with you from where I/we were (just like I couldn't communicate with you guys).

And even if I could have located another rope from someone and gotten back to the top, a lot of time would of transpired in the meantime (would have been dark most likely). And it was/would have been an extremely pathetic and life threatening situation to put someone else in (where I was at). All this ran through my mind that day. One hell of a situation, eh?

ANYWAY, like you said to me, "thanks for not falling", because it would have been a long and terrifying "ride" (275-300 ft) to certain death for me, and most likely something just slightly less terrifying and final for the three of you.

BTW, I am pretty sure that afternoon in TM ('77 i think) was the very last day/time that we crossed paths, good to hear from you and thanks for responding to my initial post.

Edit: the main reason for this post is, like I said, it has been over 35 years and this route hasn'st gotten upgraded 2 3/8 ths inch belay bolts at the single manky belay bolt ledge. Now days, a 60 meter rope would be sufficient to make it to the third belay ledge (or the top) and therefore would avoid running out of rope in the middle of nowhere. We were obviouslyu the second ascent. Butb it evidently has had at least one additional ascent in the mid 2000's. It needs to be upgraded before someone gets hurt or worse. It does NOT need any additional bolts. The "runnout" is primarily easy 5th class (5.25.3 with 5.4/5.5 max at 1-2 spots) and very typical of TM, bitd!!!
Rick Linkert

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills CA
May 22, 2013 - 04:08pm PT
Splitter-

Just ran across this thread and saw your above response. Thanks for the additional detail. You misinterpreted my post- of course I remember you were there. I was just acknowledging that Kevin and Art were there as well. While we were plenty entertained by all the horsing around close to the belay, I am thankful we could not fully appreciate what you were going through. I am especially grateful that I had no idea you were "belaying" me while simply smeared on a face with no anchors as I had done very little climbing the past year. I do remember being on a rant about people stripping hangars from bolts out in the middle of nowhere. I remember an even more vitriolic rant by Art about a claimed species of butterfly that he believed lived on Glacier Point Apron. According to Art, there was a diabolical black butterfly that looked exactly like a Leeper bolt hangar when it landed. He claimed to have had a very mentally traumatic off-route experience clawing his way to a bolt hangar that was light years above the last pro only to have it flap its wings and fly away as he almost got into clipping range. Pretty funny story as only Art can construct.

I suppose we should have been on notice since it was a Clevenger route - almost always a "heads up" in the Meadows. The usual drill was a three-step process for each bolt. 1) Where the hell is the next bolt? 2) How the hell do I get there? Then an interlude- "How the hell did he place the bolt? and, finally, 3) How the hell do I let go long enough to clip the bolt? Talked to Vern last week. He is still cancer free and viewed as a medical miracle by UC San Francisco. He is phenomenally fit and the Docs think he is lying about his age.

Take care-

Rick
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
May 22, 2013 - 04:37pm PT
Not much of a Whipper, but I took about a 16 ft fall a couple of weeks ago
on a brand new climb when a flake pulled off making a move.
I tucked my legs because I knew I was going to be close to the deck at the end of the fall. My Belayer says he saw my toes touched the deck at the
bottom of the rope stretch before I bounced back up a couple of feet.

If I hadn't of had my legs tucked, I'd probably be hurting right now
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 22, 2013 - 05:01pm PT
Sidewinder ... surely - SOMEBODY has to have biffed it.

In 1988 or so, a guy from the SF Bay Area took a leader fall from up there.
I didn't witness it, but he was at a campfire in Hidden Valley that night, in a fair amount of pain.
I don't remember his name.
He fractured his heel, I guess when he swung into the rock at the end of his fall.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2013 - 05:01pm PT
If I hadn't of had my legs tucked, I'd probably be hurting right now

And if I had wheels I'd be a wagon :)
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
May 22, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
In 1988 or so, a guy from the SF Bay Area took a leader fall from up there.

I might have seen that one, that's about the right time-frame. The guy I saw was all the way across at the end of the traverse. All he had to do was the easy exit move with good holds, but there is a little flake/crack there and he was hopelessly gripped and was trying to fiddle in some gear when he biffed. He took a huge swinging fall and cratered into the wall near the base.

A few daze later we watched some euro solo the thing. I'll bet that is pretty rare.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2013 - 05:17pm PT


Lucas Dunn on Diamondback, cool and confident (I broke a hold off following and took a lil plunge :3)
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
May 22, 2013 - 05:22pm PT

"And if I had wheels I'd be a wagon :) "





If I hadn't had my Legs tucked,
I'd most likely be on wheels right now! :)



Noncosmicwagonman



Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
May 22, 2013 - 06:26pm PT
I took a 6"er off of that first bolt on Black Tide. That's about it. I don't like falling.

After swinging leads on Prime Interest at Christmas Tree Pass with my buddy Don P. somebody asked if we had taken a look down while on the 30' runouts between bolts. Don's reply was classic: "No, there's nothing down there for us but death and dismemberment."
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
Nov 29, 2013 - 10:57pm PT

(staged) http://blog.jorgverhoeven.com/?p=493
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Nov 30, 2013 - 01:47am PT
Great bump.

Pappy, holy shit!
Duke

Social climber
PSP
Nov 30, 2013 - 02:34am PT
Kodye Taking Flight
Kodye Taking Flight
Credit: Duke

Monaco
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 30, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
I took a big whipper on Shakey Flakes. The road rash was so bad that I had to take off my pants 'cause I couldn't tolerate anything touching my leg. I even got onto one of the shuttle buses sans pantaloons.
Lasti

Trad climber
Budapest
Dec 1, 2013 - 08:52am PT
A few places in Eastern Europe are notorious for having "just enough" bolts. In Slovakia there is a place called Kalamarka that has been rebolted and rerebolted, but some routes are still quite bold. For full value, you can forgo the new bolts and do it in the original style. Here I fell off a sloping mantle top out trying to clean it from all the autumn leaves. Kicked my belayer in the head. Not long, maybe 30-35 feet. Went back for the send after changing my pants.

Lasti
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 1, 2013 - 09:29am PT
I am famous for screwing up:

THE BIG BITE by Duane Raleigh

I smelled Mark's shoes as he fell past the belay. Hot E.B. rubber smells like burning car tires. An acrid lingering in the nostrils that settles onto your tongue. It was the longest fall, somewhere around 100 feet, I had ever held. And still is.

I really thought Mark had made it up The Big Bite, a glassy stretch of granite immediately left of Quartz Mountain's popular S-Wall. He hiked the crux, a run-out stretch of dish smearing and single-digit crimping that had stopped power meister Jon Frank (he took a sweet 50-foot slider) that same season. But that section was nothing to Mark, and, I was a bit disappointed that he so easily dispatched what had given me the shakes the year before. "Can't he snivel, even a little bit?" I thought at the belay. Nope.

The last time I looked up to check, Mark's shoes were disappearing over the crest of the wall 60 feet above. "He's got the good edges on top," I told myself, then settled onto the belay bolts anticipating a cruiser top-rope run.

There was a scraping sound, then the shoes got big. And there was Herndie, skidding down the face, slow at first, then full bore. I've always admired the way he fell. Upright and in control. No scream. No whimper. Like a stone. He later told me he just popped off, started sliding, tried to catch himself on an edge but grazed it, and went on falling.

Forty feet into the fall and 10 feet above the belay Mark caught air where the wall steepens. There wasn't anything for me to do but to reel in arm loads of slack and try to keep him off of the lower knobs that would break James Dixon's ankle some five years later.

Mark hit the wall below the belay and resumed his grinding slide. There was surprisingly little jerk when the rope came taut -- skin and rubber make effective brake pads. By the time Mark stopped, his shoes needed a resole and wet strips of skin flapped off the palms of both hands. It looked like someone had taken a cheese grater to his butt.

I lowered Mark to the ground, then rapped off and drove us around in my old beat-up VW bug to Brent Choate's tailer, tucked in the cottonwoods at the other end of Quartz. I figured Brent had just what was needed for some quick pain relief. Mark wrapped his hands around a cool Bud, then off we went to my parent's house in Weatherford, 60 miles to the north.

That evening I had the pleasure of watching my mother pick lichen and grit out of Mark's butt and thigh. That probably smarted, but all I could think about was the smell of those stinking shoes.

Duane Raleigh was the leading force in pioneering many of Oklahoma's most difficult rock climbs in the Wichita and Quartz mountains during the late 70's and early 80's. Here, he recounts the now famous tale of Mark Herndon's 1981 attempt to repeat the still desperate "Big Bite" at Quartz Mountain. Duane is now editor for Climbing Magazine and resides in Redstone, Colorado.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Dec 1, 2013 - 09:34am PT
Did you ever get on it again, Base?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 1, 2013 - 09:50am PT
HELL no. I followed it a few times.

F'ing thing scarred me for life.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Dec 1, 2013 - 09:51am PT
Do you remember what was going on in your mind at the time?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 1, 2013 - 10:36am PT
Yep.

Oh Sh#t,...
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Dec 1, 2013 - 11:00am PT
Man mark, I looked over from s-wall, Jesus.

Not much to dwell on except to keep moving.

Such a proud showing in the middle of america.

Quartz would ruffle the feathers of many Cali slabmasters.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 1, 2013 - 12:16pm PT
Leversee, 200', Jolly Roger.
Larry Nelson

Social climber
Dec 3, 2013 - 06:39am PT
This is a great thread, reminds me why I was never much of a bold climber, and a bump is worthy.
Speaking of bumps, I always thought Snake Dike would be a bumpy ride, but never heard of anyone taking one on those long runouts.

Was on Dangling Woo li Master at Josh years ago and witnessed a guy on Caught Inside on a Big Set. He was runout pretty good over his last cam when he slipped, fell about 50' and ended up 5' above his belayer at ground level. The belayer enthusiastically said, "Let me know when your ready to go up again". The guy just said "lower me". Nothing but air, but he was done for the day, knowing that his cam was the best investment of his life.

Was belaying on Solid Gold once and heard a guy take the pendulum fall on "Figures on a Landscape". Don't remember it being real serious, but it can be.

One of my best friend's died on a pendulum fall in Alaska (not a long runout)when his rope was cut on an unseen flake he climbed past and over on a FA.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Dec 3, 2013 - 07:19am PT
Here is a funny one for ya,
last night while sleeping I took a 3 footer falling out of bed. fell on my ass, elbow hit the nightstand on the way down, gunna live but it scared the sh!t outta me. Can I get a spot?, sleepin is highball at my age.
PotatoHead

Trad climber
Nunya,ID
Dec 3, 2013 - 08:28am PT
Shout-out for Needles/Dome Rock runouts! Rogue 'breeze' took me off near the top of Scirocco in mid-high-step mode...40+ footer. Green Tide....staring at harrd 5.10 mantle 15-18ft(?) out to reach final bolt stance. So close to sliding off that one several times. Dome Rock...so many slippery scarefest's
bob

climber
Dec 3, 2013 - 11:54am PT
Not the big one, but damn close for my buddy.

Third pitch on the first ascent of Separation Anxiety on Fairview Dome. My partner Sean led out from where A Farewell to Kings crosses the dike. Its a beautiful stretch of slab to inch across. There are tiny, yet solid holds, but the problem was that he was leaving a right facing corner. The further he would get the smaller the holds were becoming. He slipped and fell back into the corner before going too far. It was a violent fall for how small it had been.

I could see that he was hatching a plan to try and start to get the bolt in off of a shitty stance.
He geared up and went for it again only to reach his far point with no available place for him to stance from. well, its Sean K. and he simply decided he was sick of coming back and didn't want that routine of over and over to happen so he simply went for it.

Every step he took further up and right on the dike set him up with an even worse fall. Every move.

I started to put it all together. Fun intensity went to a downright dangerous situation no matter how one looked at it.
Sean couldn't return. I could see that in his movement and breathing. So on he went even further………..this is 11- terrain for sure.
Just as he was to grab a hold that would guarantee success his feet slipped and my heart jumped from my throat. I thought he as off. His fall line looked to me like something out of a climbing horror movie. There wasn't a good thing that would come from this. He was going to get badly injured.
As he began his descent his feet miraculously (as does on slab) caught just enough to slow him to a point to gain enough of a stance to move from. He let out a funny noise and burst up to a ledge 10 feet above.

I sh#t myself so I can't imagine what he did to his mental pants. Sean is not one to show fear, or even feel it for that matter. He was shaken.

It was time for me to follow. Ugh.

Though my fall prospects did not involve a corner to rip into, I still felt very out there as I surveyed my landing path might I happen to botch it.

It wasn't over for me once I reached the point where things became serious for him. Once on that playing field I realized that I had my own ugly wipeout to keep from participating in. Whew, made it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I went back and put two bolts in that section later before we freed the whole route. Sean took the fall with the bolt in place later and gave himself a hipper that engulfed his entire upper leg. what would have happened if he took that fall the day the bolts weren't there? i don't like to imagine that.

The things we do…….

We felt the name Separation Anxiety fit and that's only one pitch of 14.

I like this thread.

Bob J.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 3, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
I'm always happy to see this thread get bumped back to the front page.


GERONIMOOOOOOOOooooooo!!!
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Dec 3, 2013 - 03:53pm PT
I ran it out on hard aid climbing at the Boise Quarry back in 77. I was at the top of the cliff, could have been 40 feet and zippered everything and hit the ground (zippered enough to hit the ground anyway). I was practicing for my Dihedral Wall solo. I punched a small hole in the side of my head above my left ear when I hit the ground. We were on the way to the hospital since it was bleeding quite a bit, but on the way canned that idea since I got the bleeding stopped. Over the next few weeks or months it seemed to heal up fine but a small bump started to grow there. I finally went to a doctor to get what I thought might be an infection cleaned out. They laid me down and slashed it open and everything and everybody, the nurse and the doctor and the wall got sprayed with blood! It was pretty funny really. I think I still had the stitches in when I soloed the Dihedral!

My latest fall was at the Alabama Hills in mid October and I'm healing up a nice broken ankle now. I missed the first clip on a crazy climb called Unknown (10b). On the climb it's really the second clip that I missed. The first clip just keeps you from tumbling down the approach slab. If I go back I will probably stick-clip the second bolt because it's a pretty dangerous setting!

Credit: McHale's Navy
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Dec 3, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
Hmmm. This thread really needs more photos!

Photo taken by Charles Cole.  Fall started about a body-length above m...
Photo taken by Charles Cole. Fall started about a body-length above me, directly on to the two-bolt belay. Quarter inchers! Accomazzo yarding it in...
Credit: CC III Esq.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Dec 3, 2013 - 05:19pm PT
My goodness, Pappy that is a horrific story I missed amidst so many other great stories.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Dec 3, 2013 - 07:33pm PT
great stuff Bob J!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Dec 3, 2013 - 10:16pm PT
BASE-

Thanks for posting that one up. I was tempted to do it myself, but figured it was not my call.

Hope you are well.

Cheers!

John

edit:
There wasn't anything for me to do but to reel in arm loads of slack and try to keep him off of the lower knobs

A requisite belay technique for Quartz. After all, the routes were so run out you actually had time to yard in a few yards of rope.
Crump

Social climber
Lakewood, CO
Dec 4, 2013 - 12:53am PT
I was on my Honey Moon doing the climbing thing back in the early '80s. Being plugged into the C-Springs clan, hanging with Muff, etc., and being a bit of a slab dude...

Muff sent Karen and I up onto Pikes and the Crags, and some nice slabs on Old Ironsides...
What. Beautiful place, alpine, nice scenic approach... Pikes Granite... Simply Honey Moon heaven...

First we did Excitable Boy, classic C-Springs 5.10 slab... First pitch, 150 feet of no pro 5.8... To a double split-rivet belay to a stellar 5.10R pitch to the top... Loved it and he were having big fun.

So the route Muff was actually sic-ing me on was Keelhauled... Which started from the same first belay as Excitable Boy. It took off to the right with a 40+ foot run out to the first bolt.

My Dearest and I descend off off E-Boy and set up again on the two 1/4" split-rivet bolt belay and I set out on Keelhauled... Very thin, sustained, complex, right leaning... So focused on my moves in this sea of featureless slab... I find myself even with the first bolt 40 feet above and right of my wife... 8 feet left of the bolt.

Oh sh#t, i am off route! Only thing to do is work farther right to the bolt... And sh#t it is really f*#king thin... My tips are going numb, this hasn't been climbed much so lichen is an issue... My world starts to deteriorate. I realize that I am not going to get to the bolt... As my tips start melting i open up a dialog with Karen.

"Hey Honey, i am going to fall." She says "OK, what should I do?"

I say, "take in the slack". She immediately takes both hands and pulls the rope through the draw clipped into the belay, dropping the 8-ring she was belaying with...

I say, "No, pull it through the 8-Ring!" This she does all the while i feel the skin separating off my fingertips. She does it and I tell her, "Put both your hands behind the 8-Ring, she does and as I see she is set, i let go...

I surf some 60 feet riding my toes and hands down the smooth slab, right foot low, heels down, left foot and right hand controlling my balance, my left guarding my face...

Right when the rope tightened, I popped up on to my feet and run the arc of my swing out... Karen was slammed, 8-ring into the draw on the belay, and I mean seriously she hung on! I don't think an inch slipped through as I was taking 15 foot strides to run out the swing. Best belay I ever had!

As my nerves were shot and my feet were blown up, we (I) limped out to our car... Me blubbering about her great catch... Of course years later she realized I wasn't such a great catch and threw me back...

On all my other slabs I was always too afraid to fall, but on that day I had been Keelhauled.

Muff just chuckled when we told him about it.
okie

Trad climber
Dec 16, 2013 - 03:45pm PT
Yeah, Johntp, the hip belay was a good way to go. Duane saved me from the evil pit beneath the headwall with that quick-reel method once when I came off in a dumb spot.
I've never led Big Bite. Followed it once or twice. I recently mini-traxioned it when I was back there visiting. Modern rubber has made the moves easier but I would have to spend a lot of time getting dialed into the place to have any business with that one. You also have to take into account things like temperature and humidity which really influence how hard things are there.
It doesn't surprise me where Base fell. That climb isn't over until you get to the belay. In fact the top is the least secure spot for me.
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