*Cosgrove Radio Interview: Stubborn Trad Guy Cleans up Act!


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right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 29, 2013 - 12:07pm PT
Kath you are such an all-around bust up!
Portuguese Water Dog a.k.a. Portagee; Yep, similarities w/Mare right down to the ultra-curly mop top and shaved legs!

... er did you just mean she's Portuguese. Heh.
Ain't no dog that's for sure.

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 29, 2013 - 12:17pm PT
Coz hanging some sky on the Free Muir/Shaft:

photo by Epperson? Or did The General snap this one?

... And judging by that post-mullet mop, maybe he's got some Portagee in him ...
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Mar 29, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
So I went to the gym yesterday, and guess what I found? Found the original magazine with the story about almost free Muir wall ascent (one you guys posted in this thread)! Great read, really liked it. Have some questions for the author...

1) Scott, when did you start climbing? (Seems like you did midnight lightning when you were 20!)

2) In photos, I noticed you guys had pre-placed pro, at times with a longer and a shorter draw on it. Is that because aid routes usually only have a few solid placements on some pitches?

3) Did you ever make up with that guy from Muir wall FA team who refused to go to your slide show?

4) When you mention that at the time your new line was harder than anything on El Cap including the Nose do you mean it was much more sustained than anything? Since the nose is 5.14 and I think you guys free climbed to 5.13b, but had much more sustained climbing in 5.12 range...

Loved that this article was honest, and revealed some of the lows you guys had on the wall...funny how at that time people were bashing you for using a power drill to replace anchors and add some bolts to your variation. Can't even imagine how annoying that must of been after being on the wall for a long time and creating an almost free route up el cap!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 29, 2013 - 12:34pm PT
"Established first ascents of four-A5- Grade Six rock climbs."

Scott- A quick pass through the 1996 Reid guide shows nothing in Yosemite that meets that description so where are these routes?
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Mar 30, 2013 - 01:23am PT
Thanks a lot for clarifying, Scott. Loved the article and again congrats on your climb, even if it wasn't as perfect as you wanted, it is an amazing accomplishment to free so many HARD new pitches up there!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Mar 30, 2013 - 08:58am PT
Clearly there has been a pointed need established here for a T-shirt kiosk and dog care center setup at the toe of El Cap.

Maybe too Patagonia can replicate the Portugese Water Dog "surface" in some of their limited-to-100 outerwear items.

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2013 - 03:47pm PT
Thanks for the detail on that pitch Coz.
Anything to flesh out real living and tell the tell is great stuff in my book!

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2013 - 03:51pm PT
Joe Hedge said:
I could go on

Dude, by all means go on; after all this is the unofficial, underground, fully dirtbag sanctioned Cosgrove Appreciation Thread.
There's no better place or time than right here, right now to kick out those rhythmic Cozzy-Jams rattling around in your head!

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2013 - 03:52pm PT
Coz holds forth on Southern Bell

Extracted from this here supertopo wunder-thread:

Southern Belle

It loving memory of my friend, mentor and bad-ass human, Walt Shipley.

This story is for supertopo; any reproduction in any mag will be a violation of the Che Guevara power to the common people act.

I'll write as much as I can when I can, that's all I can do. The whole climb was an idea of Walt's, (Walt Shipley) he - in a mad bender - soloed the South Face Harding route, and in the process saw the line that would become Southern Belle.

He recruited, the boldest slab climber ever to grace planet earth to join him. Dave (Iron Monkey) Shultz. Dave had skipped bolts on the Bacher Yerian on-sight, and on a regular basis soloed 10 plus slabs in bare feet, up and down.

In a four - five day, ground up, big wall style push, the two climbed the Southern Belle, they tried to run it out as far as they could taking advantage of the plentiful and giant stances, all over the South Face. Years later, others would claim there are no stances; that is pure BS and an out right fabrication of the truth.

Walt and Dave both thought the line would go free, but Walt felt he lacked the free climbing skills to pull off the hard sections. Dave decided to fly to Boulder, Colorado and asked me to join him the following spring to free the thing, an offer I could not even consider turning down.

Between myself and Dave, we had climb almost every scary climb we could think of and wanted to do something beyond, something that would in the long run prove that the media darlings of the time, where not the only ones doing scary stuff.

Dave and I loved the idea of adventure and the beauty of the South Face-alone- above our own glory was really behind the idea of free climbing it; the magic dome truly seemed to be the greatest thing we could do with all the skills we had manage to muster.

It was a hundred degrees in the Valley, the day we hike to the base, sporting 100 pound packs and two girlfriends carrying their share. The girls-sun themselves as Dave and I thrashed up the first few pitches of the arch. I boulder out the first aid section and Dave had a go at the third pitch ( long OW to finger crack) falling short, pulling the rope and trying myself, I failed one move from the top.

We bailed and return the following weekend and stayed for four days, climbing the crack and launching onto the face proper only to be stop again at the crux 12d slab. The climbing to this point had been fairly safe and the quality- out of this world, we where adrift on a massive featured face. Dave manage to red point the crux slab and the 12a death-slab crack above. I lead the next pitch through some dam scary sections, I remember climbing one crack and then pimping to the next as the sun started to set.

The following weekend we climbed what remain of the aid climbing, except high on the upper pitches were - laid in wait for us, two more sections of aid.

I cried out in fear as we Jumared up our fixed lines and faced what Walt had named the Cuntress, a fine etch seam of tips lay backing and the rare bomber stopper. The Iron Monkey just dropped in stopper after stopper and floated the seam for a hundred and fifty feet of what must have been one of the best pitches on earth. I followed more marveling at the beauty of the climbing and location. It is like being in a golden desert surrounded by beautiful golden earth worms disturbing the surface in their sub-terrianing wanderings. Joining the smiling Iron Monkey at the belay, he said how hard do you think it was. "11b," I said, although I knew it was way harder.

It fact, Croft wanted to punch me after he failed on the pitch years later; for my sand bag. But, for the life of me it seemed just like a beautiful experience to climb. Then we ran out of fixing rope and decide to rap back down to camp for the night and rest the following day. I spent the day laying on my back looking up at the summit, the birds and the blazing hot sun and thought to myself, this could be my last day on the planet.

Dave assured me the following pitch, the one Hank would get off route on and break his leg was the most scary of his life. Walt had told the story of how Dave on that pitch, looking at a death fall from 12a moves, was calling out,"watch me, I could come off here." Walt said that he could only laugh, because the only thing he could do was watch him die.

I couldn't sleep, many aid section lay above, possible death and to make things worse I had lost my glasses. But I would wake, try or fall and die, there was no bail in my brain at that time. Dave just snored away and I was getting so pissed at him, that I threw a rock to wake him up, "What's wrong Coz." "I'm gonna die tomorrow and all you can do is sleep." "You can sleep too, just relax, you'll be fine, it's not up to us what happens." And with that he started to snore again as I toss and turned and dreaded the raising of the sun.

At first light we busted up our tattered lines, and drop them, committing to the summit. Traversing out a long dike I got to a blown out section with no bolt, f*#kers! I thought to myself as I balanced to the next section of dike. I threw in some bad gear and punch it up 40 feet of glass 5.11 to a big ledge with a bolt. The first in a 130 feet! A few easy moves, another ledge and another bolt and the wall steepen above me. Bouldering up twenty feet, now looking at a very bad fall... back down onto the serpent like dikes, mantling on a small ledge to my horror no bolt greeted me.

I was in a trance and committed to the 12a/b moves above, unsure of the next move, I felt like I was in another world, no thoughts, no fear, just pure survival, having been willing to fall and die I had no second thoughts, with a final slap I reached what I thought would be a good hold and wasn't, another three feet of hell finally got me gripping a large ledge and the belay. A changed man, and surely one of the only humans willing to do that section.

Little did I know the real amazing climbing lay above. Shultzy took off and flew up an easy but run out pitch that put us in the pot holes. Just huge scooped out holes of rock. Galen Rowel, said on the first ascent of the South Face that, a door would open, we'd walk inside and the key to all knowledge would be printed on the walls. But all I found was the crazed Iron Monkey with an old sling tied around a horn of diorite, that he called a belay.

I knew this was the second to last aid section left on the wall. Shultz and Walt both thought my size would help. Climbing up the outside of the first pot hole I reach up on to the blank vertical wall and found a small hole about 12 inch in diameter, pulled up, mantle, reach as high as I could and found another hole the same size. I repeated the mantle and looked in depression as the four feet to the next golden dike was overhanging and blank. I dime edged out of the hole, searched for an edge and to my complete shock found a four finger crimp. I pasted my feet high and threw a four foot dyno just grabbing the dike, mantling and walking the the top of the dike to the bivy ledge on the South Face route. I couldn't believe our luck and the beauty of the line, so impossible and improbable that if just a single feature where missing it would never go free.

I was near blind from the sun as Dave took over for the final aid section, a desperate slab in the horrible blinding heat, he fell off three times and we stop and ate our remaining food. I could almost not open my eyes, but Dave tried again this time nailing the crux and the 90' run out to a 11a mantle, the rock above the mantle turns to an overhanging dike, the rock by magic had large in cut jugs and you really couldn't believe the feeling of climbing through blank rock on overhanging jugs two thousand feet off the deck.

Walt's pitch at 11c was next and my nerves, eyes and mind had had it, I surge through not thinking or caring like a well oil robot just wanting off, 30 feet above my last bolt just cupping slopers and hoping for the best, I fell into the trance again and before I knew it the belay was in front of me.

I'd had it, my nerves where shoot and I couldn't open my eyes, Dave led the last two pitch that had one bolt for pro the last being 10c and has no gear, Leo Holding, years later, would lead this pitch with a rattled Dean Potter, and call it a life changing experience. The Iron Monkey just Laugh and joked and made it look easy.

I followed and soon found my friend at the summit, we knew we had done something amazing, something special. Walking down the outside of the cables with the amazed tourists watching, I remembered an old, overweight guy looking at me and saying,"you two are crazy," I look into his eyes and said," no my friend you are crazy."

We talk and dream of going back but never did and the years past and people tried to repeat the climb, we thought of bolting it to make it safe but when Walt died, we decided to leave it. We where very proud of our climb and thought that the next generation would certainly complete the many other possible (easy to see) lines on the face. We'd never imagine that in the future the boldest climbers would barely repeat the thing.

I remember being with my old friend soloing in Malibu Creek when we heard some guys had rap bolted a line next to ours and claim you couldn't do it on stance, I think I saw the Iron Monkey almost cry at the news,"It's just bullshit Coz," was all he managed." I said, "aw well, f*#k those guys," and my friend agreed.

Anyway, brief story hope u folks like it. Just my musing, if it means something to you then it means something. It's my hope you'll raise to the level of the past instead of beating it down with a heavy hand.

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2013 - 04:04pm PT
Nice job on the extemporaneous report Scott.
My "Drool Cup" runneth over ....

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2013 - 04:08pm PT

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2013 - 06:39pm PT
Coz-Athon Interlude: the How and Why of the Mullet Qualifying As a "Helmet".

Vitaliy asked:
Is there a photo of coz climbing in a helmet anywhere?

Well Vitaliy, deep down in my memory banks lies a late 1980s/early 1990s image from a Patagonia or Access Fund advertisement featuring Cosgrove sitting on a portaledge wearing a helmet. (Maybe someone can dig that up and post it!). Maria always adored Scott and once confided in me that in her esteemed position as mover and shaker of the industry, she wanted to help support his bad self and his ballsy goals. I always figured she helped kickoff that ad.

Think about it Kideos: the mullet really is rather like a certain kind of helmet. Dig: a mullet protects the wearer’s identity, securing her/him in a particular place and time, safe from the onslaughts of hundreds if not thousands of years of other temporal possibilities. Anyone known for the mullet is safe and secure as having flourished in the 80s and 90s. The only thing that can come close to destroying the personal reality of those having worn the mullet is a giant asteroid from deep space striking EARTH in a dead on hit. That's one bad ass helmet!

But this development is fully and completely beside the point.

From Wikipedia:
The mullet is a hairstyle that is short at the front and sides, and long in the back.[1] The mullet began to appear in popular media in the 1960s and 1970s but did not become generally well known until the early 1980s. It continued to be popular until the mid-1990s

Greg Epperson captures the rare 100% purebred CanisYosemitusPortagis® mullet:

Then ... from Bakersfield's Free Press Newspaper:
In the western world, the mullet – long in back, short on top, is usually the sign of a blue collar Joe who likes nothing more than to play air guitar to his favorite Eighties rock groups. In fashion, it’s the sign of a clueless guy and signifies “slacker” or “loser.” The nation of Iran has taken that one step further and has outlawed the hairstyle for men altogether.

Again, from Wikipedia:
The Roman emperor Nero may have at one time adopted a hairstyle that resembled a mullet, judging from the writings of the ancient biographer Suetonius:
"He was utterly shameless in the care of his person and in his dress, always having his hair arranged in tiers of curls, and during the trip to Greece also letting it grow long and hang down behind".

Digg that shizzel friends, what do they know in Bakersfield or Iran anyhow, our man Scott's got loose curly ties to Roman Emperors!!!

Mar 30, 2013 - 07:02pm PT
Ah hahahaha LOL

Yer killing me Roy ......

The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Mar 30, 2013 - 07:31pm PT
Seen the guy doing some amazing things in "The Land of the Big Stone" back in the day. Man, those were some good times.. Scott was (is) an amazing climber, for sure.

The bad boys that de-flowered the Southern Belle.. She was never the same.
Credit: Walleye
Orangatun Arch
Orangatun Arch
Credit: Walleye
Credit: Walleye

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Mar 31, 2013 - 08:50pm PT
This thread deserves a good bump.

Social climber
Mar 31, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
Listened to the interview for the second time on the drive up to Josh with my partner. Still blown away at what a mellow, cool f*#kin' dude you are Coz.

Social climber
Oct 5, 2014 - 05:23pm PT
hey there say, just a bump...

inspiration, i hope to 'hang on to the trail'
at hand now, got get well...

maybe some good stuff in here, for his friends to
mention or read to him??

not sure, you know like:

you got this stuff done, NOW, let's get the job of getting well, to hand, too...

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 25, 2016 - 08:57am PT
Bump for the Coz.
The radio interview shows him at his best.
Listen up!

We will miss you Scott.

Trad climber
New England
Feb 25, 2016 - 07:14pm PT
Can't seem to download the podcast...

right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 25, 2016 - 08:31pm PT
Wanderlust MD said:
Can't seem to download the podcast...

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

I have contacted the site administrators and asked them to revive the podcast.

Apologies to all who have been disappointed by the link.
Hopefully Hard Knocks will fix the problem.

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