"Bootin' Up in The Rocky Rockies" (Scrambles Part 3)

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Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 21, 2006 - 03:53pm PT
Its not whether you win or loose,
The summit is not so important as the journey,
But whenever possible, try to look cool for the camera:
This is the place to post photos and stories.
Share your hip and daring exploits amongst the Rockies.

Here's part1:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=196724&f=35&b=0
(Indian Peaks B&W Photos, Canada, and the Like, Plus Some Hooey Mixed in Fer Good Measure...)


Here's part 2:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=204602&f=0&b=0
(Fun B&W photos, San Juans, RMNP)
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jun 21, 2006 - 05:21pm PT
So, raise your hands if you've ever climbed the Mosquito Wall on Flattop. What, no one? Another lost route.... In Walt Fricke's 1971 guidebook, Mosquito Wall was the only technical route on the mountain. Fittingly, it tackles the the steepest wall, on the right side of the center buttress below.


Fricke rated the climb III, 5.8, A1 and included this colorful description of the crux from the first ascent (Mayrose and Bradley, 1964):
"A solid bolt was placed here for aid, but may be eliminated with two 3" bongs. Above the bulge are two small handholds, upon which it is necessary to do a lovely hanging pulling -up, followed by a stand on your own right hand and a mad thrash into the upper part of the jam crack in a most unflattering series of moves."

We thought that sounded worth the approach. Here is John Byrd at those two small handholds, making the first (AFAWK) free ascent in 1974:


Before Gore-Tex, when it rained, you got wet. Gary Hall (lower right) experienced a thunderstorm double whammy of contact lense trouble and hypothermia.

mcKbill

Boulder climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Jun 21, 2006 - 05:26pm PT
Tarbuster,

I've been enjoying this thread very much as RMNP is a favorite place for me and my wife to hike. Now that you've started part 3 I feel it is okay for me to share a link to our Longs Peak scramble page.



Longs Peak Scramble



This, above, is the marmut who inspected our packs as we rested near the Agnes Vaille shelter at the Keyhole formation. She was bold and was determined to inspect EVERYTHING. I had to tug my pack out of her little marmut claws.


Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Jun 21, 2006 - 07:06pm PT
The cure for that marmot issue:


If we can't have wolves, at least we can keep the little buggers on their toes with domesticated animals.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 21, 2006 - 08:32pm PT
Cool.
Load it up folks, my chamber is empty.
Except for what is still on a roll of unfinished film in my 23 lb Nikon FE2...

Chiloe!
Is the Fricke guide the white one? It comes after the green one right?
At any rate I think we are talking about a really cool book, 'cuz it is like, the missing link to the RMNP region when looking for free ascent type stuff from the 70's.

I have photo-copied most of Don Petersons copy. Of note are things like a burly 3 pitch 5.11 on Storm Peak plus stuff such as the things you have trotted out for us. These things are missing in modern guides...

Rossiter does list Mosquito Wall, but does not list your pals as doing the FFA.

He may be calling Storm Peak "Half Mountain", and the route I'm talkin' he says is a Snively Westbay creation (a likely story, no foolin').

Any body done the Direct N Butress on Chiefshead? 5.8.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jun 22, 2006 - 09:07am PT
Chiloe!
Is the Fricke guide the white one? It comes after the green one right?
At any rate I think we are talking about a really cool book, 'cuz it is like, the missing link to the RMNP region when looking for free ascent type stuff from the 70's.


Fricke's original 1971 guide has a green plastic cover, with B&W photos of Longs Peak front and back. The first printing was notorious for falling apart, but it was invaluable as the first general guidebook to RMNP.

Rossiter does list Mosquito Wall, but does not list your pals as doing the FFA.

In the 1971 guide there are a number of old routes, now described as free climbs, that originally involved a bit of aid. In addition to Mosquito Wall (III, 5.8, A1) on Flattop and Mayrose-Bucknam (III, 5.7, A1) on Hallett, these include Kors Door (II, 5.7, A1) on Longs, the Flying Buttress (III, 5.8, A1) on Meeker, and Optimismus (III, 5.8, A1) on Notchtop.

At a time when free climbers with actual talent were concentrating their efforts on the Diamond, some friends and I went hiking around to clean up these less notable routes. We did some research at the time--talked with Covington, Westbay, Fricke and others in Estes, checked the route book at Komito's--so AFAWK these were FFAs, but of course that's an uncertain claim. Later guidebooks just listed all of the routes as free.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jun 22, 2006 - 09:41am PT
High altitude groundhogs, like their flatlander cousins, must die!

Tar-baby, no way you can be out of bullets.

Guess you will jsut have to make some more.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 22, 2006 - 09:45am PT
gotcha chiloe,
i've perused the fricke book.

i'm thinking about the next book; published probably in 79 or about the time jim erickson put out rocky heights.

AFAWK works just fine in terms of a fresh experience.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jun 22, 2006 - 12:53pm PT
AFAWK works just fine in terms of a fresh experience.

Definitely. And for extra freshness these were possibly the first hammerless ascents as well. It was that post-pitons, pre-Friends era where stoppers and hexes were all that you carried. On routes with no topo, rating or fixed gear, that could add to the adventure level too. One upside was that you mostly left no trace. We had no idea what the Spearhead route below might be called, and whether ours (1974) was the first or fifteenth ascent.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 22, 2006 - 02:33pm PT
chiloe,
you do have a nice little stash of shots chronicling the region's off beat challenges. (spearhead not so offbeat).
fun.

all nut ascents: that's a notable, noble, and gutsy movement unique to the seventies and even more so in the mountains.

hey, did you get into the wind rivers?
i'll throw some of that up.
i think it qualifies as the greater rockies.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 23, 2006 - 12:31am PT
???
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jun 23, 2006 - 09:47am PT
Tarbuster, I haven't been to the Winds -- I was mostly a Boulder/Nevada commuter, back in the day. I'll look forward to what you and others post.

One last Colorado shot from the wooden-ice-axe era: October sunset near the summit of Taylor Peak.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 23, 2006 - 10:54am PT
Chiloe,
wait wait, don't go away yet.
i dig your old school shots.

what else you got in your archive, like area-wise besides the rockies? East Coast? West Coast? Key Largo?
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jun 23, 2006 - 10:58am PT
Chiloe, your photo looks like the Dragon's Tail on Flattop Mtn. We thought about going up there, but none of the routes had more than a few stars so we took the recommendation to go elsewhere from that.

Yes, the Flattop photo does show the Dragons Tail, though I didn't hear that name for it until years later.

The route we did, Mosquito Wall, has a couple of good pitches but doesn't deserve stars. But again, we didn't have stars to go by back then, just climbed things that called to us.

Turned out to be a pretty wild day anyhow -- fun-in-the-sun FFA climbing that gave way to survival climbing through lightning and hail higher up. I've forgotten hundreds of starred climbs, but won't forget that one.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 23, 2006 - 11:02am PT
Pingora, Wind Rivers:

Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Jun 23, 2006 - 11:20am PT
Well kids, not to break the spell of rosy-hued nostalgia but we did a spot of clambering only yesterday up in the Rockies, on
Mt. Massive. Since I've lived here for 4+ years I figured it was finally time to hike the western skyline, and of course the response
on gaining the ridge was a forehead-smacking "why haven't I done this before?"

Hiking up:

dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jun 23, 2006 - 11:24am PT
sadi it before Rhodo, but man, that is a nice pic.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 23, 2006 - 11:28am PT
YOW!
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Jun 23, 2006 - 11:44am PT
Here's the ridge W of town, aka Mt Massive:


Nice smudge, I know.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Jun 23, 2006 - 11:45am PT
The craglet:




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