Rotten Log

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Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 6, 2006 - 09:15pm PT
This is the only picture I have of it. Not very good. 1972.
Does anyone have better photos?



Ken
Blitzo

Social climber
Earth
Jul 6, 2006 - 09:38pm PT
Denise Brown has a good one. You should get it from her, Ken. I think it's a bit blurry though, but might sharpen up in photoshop.

I remember that log. I think Mr. Large does too.
thedogfather

Trad climber
Midwest
Jul 6, 2006 - 09:54pm PT
Posted long ago in a Juan thread but here it is again. Not very good of the log itself but all I have. 1976
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Jul 6, 2006 - 10:30pm PT
Is that the Royal Arches log that Juan said he was gonna replicate, in all it's rotten glory, in fiberglass?
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Jul 6, 2006 - 10:34pm PT
Happie wins the prize!
rockermike

Mountain climber
Berkeley
Jul 6, 2006 - 10:47pm PT
Hey note the EBs and Whillan's harness. Thats a legit pic. My first trip to valley and my first Yosem climb was RA. EBs and all. I think it was spring of '76. But as I recall the log was much thinner when I climbed it:)
thedogfather

Trad climber
Midwest
Jul 6, 2006 - 10:51pm PT
Yes it is legit and eb's and whillans. Yosemite was my first out of KC area trip and Snake Dike was my first multi-pitch climb followed the next day by Royal Arches. Log was a lot more polished than I expected.
Chaz

Trad climber
So. Cal.
Jul 6, 2006 - 11:37pm PT
I'm surprised there aren't more photos of the Rotten Log. The only one I had seen, prior to these here, is the one in "50 Classic Climbs".

I'm as much to blame as the next guy. When I traversed the Rotten Log in '83 my camera stayed in the pack.
Landgolier

climber
the flatness
Jul 7, 2006 - 12:42am PT
Somebody needs to link to that Juan thread, that was a classic.

"This rod is dust, I'm yarding it"
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 7, 2006 - 12:58am PT
Yeah, I remember the log as being more polished in the early 80s.

Ironic that you still have to climb through a tree with a sketchy branch to climb the Arches, (Unless you want to play with the 5.8 awkward variation.

No images of it though, darn. Nice to see these but they don't do it justice.

Peace

Karl
Chaz

Trad climber
So. Cal.
Jul 7, 2006 - 01:22am PT
Two things struck me about The Log.

First I couldn't get over how much the thing vibrated.

Second, it looked like some people had carved their initials into it. That seemed crazy to me. I was trying to get off the damn thing as quickly as possible. It was my first pendulum lead, and as it was a long climb we were in sort of a rush. To imagine folks stopping long enough to carve their names into it blew me away.
thedogfather

Trad climber
Midwest
Jul 7, 2006 - 08:14am PT
The thing I remember most about the pitch was my partner warning me to NOT put any slings on the tree for pro on the way up. Then it was obvious that you didn't want to be connected to the thing if it fell while you were climbing it.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jul 7, 2006 - 08:26am PT
Like Chaz, I (nor my high school climbing buddy Steve) did not take a photo of the log when we did the route in 1973. I didn't like being on that log.
Landgolier

climber
the flatness
Jul 7, 2006 - 12:27pm PT
Ok, fine, make me do it:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=165828#msg165848

Juan's original "replace with fiberglass replica" thread, no new photos to add, but more good commentary and some Ouch! art.
nutjob

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jul 7, 2006 - 01:57pm PT
I didn't climb RA til 2005 (then did it 3x), and always wondered where the rotten log was... that is one of the spicier sections when going ropeless (i.e. the part right before crossing through the tree that's still there). And that tree you have to climb through, getting continual saw action on the rock edge where people yard on the tree, is a mini-disaster waiting to happen. Next generation rotten log.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Aug 12, 2008 - 08:34pm PT
I posted this on some other thread. Seems like it should go here. Probably taken about 1975. The climber is Mike Foxx, one of my regular clients.
jstan

climber
Aug 12, 2008 - 08:54pm PT
Late 60's the log had a fixed vertical piton in it. Conversation piece yet.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Aug 12, 2008 - 09:06pm PT
hey there chicken skinner... wow, supertopo, ever the teacher... i never knew such a thing was "famously used" in a climb...







*p.s. roger breedlove:
say, great picture of it...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 12, 2008 - 09:11pm PT
Roper and Steck's Fifty Classic Climbs has a shot of Ricardo Cassin on it from above. Can't find my copy at the moment.

I also have a shot of Brad Udall buried in the slidebox.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Aug 12, 2008 - 09:14pm PT
I could'da swore I had my camera along on that one, but I never have found the negs. The camera may have been in the pack at that point anyway.
(circa 72-74)

The exposure, (it was over a bomb bay chasam that isn't adequately represented in the photos),

That it was called "Rotten" decades before on the FA,

And , that it rocked back and forth lateraly as well as flexing,


Well, that probably explains the paupacity of photos.

Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Aug 12, 2008 - 10:12pm PT
from 50 Classic Climbs, photo by Steve Roper

Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Aug 12, 2008 - 10:44pm PT
In early summer, 1983, I'd recently done the Arches, complete with the Log. And that was a great pitch. The Log was polished with human grease, solid enough, as such things go, and the perfect passage over that gap.

A week or two later, in the Camp 4 parking lot, there was a vile braggart, loudly boasting that he'd bounced on the log until it cracked, and so, he trundled it.

I was flabbergasted, both at his act, and his temerity to come forth publicly, as if he'd provided some sort of "community service". He was claiming the Log was a hazard to navigation, or some such rubbish, and it was better that he'd finally gotten rid of it.

I didn't get his name. And only just barely remember his face, here, 25 years later. Had I been bigger, and of a Fight Club mindset, I might have set his mind straight on the issue.

But, I meekly wandered out of earshot of his demented boasting, thinking, "What sort of schnitthead would do such a thing, here of all places????"


To this day, I count myself as one of the Lucky Ones: those who were able to experience one of Yosemite's more colorful pitches before it was destroyed in an apparent fit of climber hubris by an arrogant/selfish mental case.


If there is a God, that man is still in Patton State Hospital, where he can do no more harm to society.


EDIT: I may have heard the Braggart in the fall of '83, when I was back in the Valley. I'm sure it was that year, though.


ANOTHER EDIT: As I recall, the position of the Log was such that it was free from water flow (rot) and mostly out of UV-damaging sunlight. It was positioned perfectly for a long, long life, as evidenced by its usefulness for about fifty years.

It was just under one foot in diameter, slender to the eye, but capable of carrying a man across. But, only if he didn't excite vibrations in it.

I once posted on noob.com about wanting to bring down a tree trunk from the summit to replace it. Which was ludicrous, given that the original Log was locked in at its base by its root system. How're you gonna replicate that? Bolts?
Double D

climber
Aug 12, 2008 - 11:04pm PT
That thing was way scary...
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Aug 12, 2008 - 11:23pm PT
Tell me about it, Dave. I only climbed that thing twice and both times I figured the odds of sustaining life itself in the low double digits.
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Aug 12, 2008 - 11:32pm PT
That thing was way scary...


I thought the Log was WAY cool!



Then, again, I used to wrestle as a helium-weight in high school.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 12, 2008 - 11:33pm PT
Dave Schultz is the one that trundled it.I remember it being 1986. People were upset at the time, including myself, some said he stole the glory away from the person that would have been on it when it cut loose naturally.

The Roper photo from Fifty Classic climbs is none other than Ricardo Cassin. I have the original on my desk and will ask Steve if I can post it.

Ken
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Aug 12, 2008 - 11:44pm PT
If memory serves, I believe someone brought Steck a small piece of the log and he has it in his living room.
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Aug 13, 2008 - 12:03am PT
I remember it being 1986

I'm quite sure it was 1983. Or at least, that was when I heard That Person bragging about trundling the Rotten Log.


He may have been lying, though, perhaps trying to pick a fight in the parking lot.

That wouldn't have been the first time a C4 denizen said something aberrant, at odds with reality.
hhhhhhhhh

climber
Aug 13, 2008 - 12:31am PT
I also heard thru the grapevine that Dave S. trundled it. He probably saved somebody a bad fall. It was 1983, I think. Definitely gone in 1984.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 13, 2008 - 12:32am PT
Back in the day....Boot Flake and the Rotten Log were Valley features that always warranted a checkup every Spring. At least it never took anybody out when it went. Made the original 5.6 route possible since the bypass is harder.
Fish Finder

Social climber
THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART
Aug 13, 2008 - 12:44am PT
hi ken,

somehow i was sure this thread was going to have a picture of you on the john from last years face lift.

best gregg

Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Aug 13, 2008 - 01:53am PT
I'm thinking I should go trundle Boot Flake with a packful of hydraulic jacks. Yeah. Go up as soon as the weather turns bad. Rap in under cover of cloud, and do it.

And then?

People will venerate me for "saving someone from a bad fall".



There should be a special pillory, near the Chapel, with Dave Schultz' name engraved on it, for all time.


Theft of experience isn't in the Law Books, but is a crime, nonetheless.
Ouch!

climber
Aug 13, 2008 - 02:20am PT
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Aug 13, 2008 - 09:06am PT
Is that Dave S on the log there, OUCH!?
Wack

climber
Dazevue
Aug 13, 2008 - 09:40am PT
Sorry Ken, I would concur with 1983, late in the season. RA was our first long Valley climb. We were stoked to do the "Rotten Log" traverse. In C4 we found out(B4ST)that it was gone. The variation had only been done a handful of times, as there was still a lot of gardening to do. I was surprised at how the limb went from bomber to leper by 1987. A short period of time for a healthy appearing specimen. We splurged on Degnan sandwiches and stopped to eat them just before the exit traverse. Big mistake, the clouds ambushed us from the North, the rain started. The easy friction pitch became very exciting, at least the view was good. Lesson learned, it isn't over till you top out.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 13, 2008 - 11:00am PT
Too freakin' funny Ouch!

The pitch into the jungle is often the adventure crux of the route. I remember sliding around on shifting piles of sloppy munge to get across there the first time up long ago. Didn't want to swing rap over and lose the free ascent...such as it was!
thedogfather

climber
Midwest
Aug 13, 2008 - 01:33pm PT
One more shot I dug up of the start of the log.
Ouch!

climber
Aug 13, 2008 - 02:03pm PT
No, Steve. That's not Dave. That is the famous old Camp 4 bearhunter, Roger Breedlove, who is gonna have me whacked one of these days.:)
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho
Aug 13, 2008 - 02:32pm PT
How many people here will admit to a forced bivouac on the Royal Aches? I will. One of our party of three took about 3 hours to coax across the log, yet still refused to bail. It was one of those climbing shouting fests that I'm sure gave the Ahwahnee guest pause. I lead the last skitter pitch in the dark.

Good god I can't believe I was ever that young once.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Aug 13, 2008 - 02:35pm PT
Ouch!
Don't look now, but Roger's heading back for the
Nose50 reunion. . . better find a place to hide with
#46!!!!
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Aug 13, 2008 - 02:38pm PT
I did it back in '79 or '80. My first long route in the Valley after cutting my teeth at my home crag of Tahquitz. A really wild passage. It felt solid enough but greasy and the holes worn in it. Hard to believe it didn't last longer or was a little more bounce proof.

I too can't believe I was that young once.
BeeHay

Trad climber
San Diego CA
Aug 14, 2008 - 12:58am PT


'76;Dig the descent shoes, some hippy dippy Earth Shoe or something. We had a planned bivvy in 'The Jungle', were going to do North Dome next day. Didn't do N Dome for some reason, but what a cool night, a little fire, a little babbling brook...

I'm sure we were stoked in our new EB's, but the Whillans Harness was still in our future. Steve was sporting the self-tied 'harness' made at the base from 1" webbing. I pobably had my Swami from Strawberry Mountaineering in Idyllwild.

Ken, we did a couple of routes in the mid 80's, I don't remember what, but I do remember you as very low key, and a solid climber.

Brad
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 14, 2008 - 09:03am PT
Hi Brad,

If you are the Brad I am thinking of, I think we did the Sermon among other things. Hi, I always wondered what happened to you.

Ken
The user formerly known as stzzo

Armchair climber
Sneaking up behind you
Aug 14, 2008 - 12:10pm PT
I'm trying to picture the location of the log... Was it at the tree that's just up from the traverse after the penji?
hungry man

Trad climber
around
Aug 14, 2008 - 04:23pm PT
WOW. It's way steeper and skinnier than I had imagined. This is cool.
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Aug 14, 2008 - 08:17pm PT
The Log was a few pitches above the penji + walking-on-water traverse.


Like many long Yosemite climbs, the RA keeps coming at you. The penji is right in the heart, midway up, and nowhere near the end.

Rotten Log is to Boot Flake as:

The Royal Arches is to The Nose.

scuffy b

climber
Elmertown
Aug 14, 2008 - 08:34pm PT
Rotten Log is to Boot Flake as:

The Royal Arches is to The Nose.


Do you mean, further Right and lower angle?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 14, 2008 - 09:49pm PT
What endures about the log is that onsight everybody had to go through the same process as the FA party before taking a considerable risk and commiting to the grisly trunk. Technology and time offered no comfort in the face of continued decay.

Schultz had some strange attraction to notoriety back in those days. I certainly don't recall him doing it for reason of safety. So many winters had passed since 1936.....
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 15, 2008 - 01:16am PT
Scenery Shot...

neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Aug 15, 2008 - 01:34am PT
hey there ouch.... great job on the rocks with the log-breaker-act.... again there, it bears the mark of high quality...

i mean:
the quality is high, as the mark of the bear is there again...



great job, ouch...
ouch-job, GREAT!

:)
Forest

Trad climber
Tucson, AZ
Aug 15, 2008 - 02:35am PT
The Log was a few pitches above the penji + walking-on-water traverse.

I'm having a hard time visualizing that:

1) penji, followed by long traverse to oak tree on ledge
2) vertical climbing up a column, about 5 - 10 feet right of the corner to a live but questionable looking oak tree; left of tree (probably hanging off it in the process, around corner to pine tree
3) up dihedral to more pine trees, then frictiony traverse left across face with hands below shallow roof
4) rope-stretcher pitch to rappel anchors

Where was the log in here?

thanks! I've always wanted to know where the log was. I assumed it let you skip the bit in #2 above where you have to trust that questionable tree.

Jobee

Social climber
El Portal
Aug 15, 2008 - 10:26am PT
-Great shot Rodger
It is remarkable how an image can wisk one right back into a moment 30 years prior; I am 18 again!

Thanks!

Jo Whitford



Cool thread Kenny
Scared Silly

Trad climber
UT
Aug 15, 2008 - 11:02am PT
Do folks know that the rotten log still lives?? I do not know all of the particulars but it was recovered and has been in "hiding" for some time.
thedogfather

climber
Midwest
Aug 15, 2008 - 11:15am PT
What I remember about the pitch was that this was my first non-local climbing trip (I live in Kansas). I had hooked up with some Las Cruses, NM climbers. My first multi-pitch was swinging leads on Snake Dike a few days before and following the Mouth and Grack Marginal on the Apron. I was swinging leads with an 18 year old strong climber named Ed Ward (I think). It would be cool to know he is still around and climbing. Anyway, as luck would have it, it was my lead when we got to the log. So, as I start up the thing, Ed says something like "Oh, don't think about putting a sling around it because if it goes you don't want to be connected to it!". Long time ago but I recall it being polished and springy.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2009 - 03:58pm PT
There is a picture on our website of Ronald Hahn climbing the traverse after the first pendulum and the Rotten Log can clearly be seen in the upper left corner of the photo. The picture brought back many memories.
http://www.yosemiteclimbing.org/

Ken
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 6, 2009 - 04:30pm PT
Sheridan Anderson on the Arches, mid-60s

Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2009 - 04:34pm PT
Nice photo Doug. I met Sheridan's brother about 2 months ago.

Ken
Strider

Trad climber
one of god's mountain temples....
Feb 6, 2009 - 04:51pm PT
If you look at the Supertopo topo for Royal Arches, Pitch 11 is where the topo says "RIP Rotten Log", right under the 5.9R slab traverse.

Cool shots of the penji! Thanks

-n
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 6, 2009 - 06:58pm PT
In the early 60's Roper and I has an ongoing contest for time on solo ascents of the Arches. My best was 1 1/2 hours and his was 55 min. The worst part was the "Rotten Log", never felt quite comfortable with that one. Visions of riding it to the ground like Slim Pickens on the Atomic Bomb in Dr.Strangelove.. Once did a moonlight solo ascent and think that was easier when it came to the "Log". All seems quite funny in perspective with the recent speed ascents of the "Nose"
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Feb 6, 2009 - 07:30pm PT
I have bivvied at the top of the arches! Not by choice but I was with my girlfriend, we had a nice camp fire at the spring at the very top. i remember we were going to use a lerge rock to try and break off some more firewood- but just before I was about to throw it at this log/stump I remembered that about 2000 feet below us was the Awahnee hotel. I sheepishly set the stone down
I always thought that the 5.5 traverse at the end was way balls- 150 feet out on a traverse and I never was able to style those moves- i just yarded out about 30 feet of rope and then I ran across the sloping slanting slippery slab.
I met a guy who worked at the St. Paul EMS and he said his freind died soloing across that same slab- I believe it too that thing was tricky.
The arches had a cool knob face pitch that I used to groove
I did the Arches 3x's and it was always fun and it always took a long time
Barbarian

Trad climber
stealth camping and hiding from the man
Feb 6, 2009 - 08:09pm PT
I agree. Soloing the Arches wasn't bad with the exception of the log and the traverse. Did a pretty quick car to car in 1980. The only parts where I slowed down were those 2 spots. I was sure I was going to ride that log down someday. A big chunk of the character of the climb went with the log.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 6, 2009 - 08:13pm PT
Hey Doug, that is a great photo of Sheridan, actually climbing, big wave, red stocking hat. Thanks for digging that up and posting it.
Owlman

Trad climber
Feb 6, 2009 - 10:34pm PT
we digress.

trundlin that log.
what a stupid thing to do.
pissed me off for years
now Im just bitter.

I can live with bitter.
was standin in the line at the checkout at the store in the valley. little man schulz was next to me. little napolean i thought as i towered over him.

I'm like 5.4.

but anyway, I just started laughing.

thanks for the great pics o the log.
never got to see it in action.
















tenesmus

Trad climber
slc
Feb 6, 2009 - 10:56pm PT
To quote someone earlier in the thread,

"ANOTHER EDIT: As I recall, the position of the Log was such that it was free from water flow (rot) and mostly out of UV-damaging sunlight. It was positioned perfectly for a long, long life, as evidenced by its usefulness for about fifty years."

Have you guys ever seen or hiked up to the log bridges above Harding Rapid in the Grand Canyon? I'm sure Duce has by now. Its insane. They figure they've been there over a thousand years as part of a way through that part of the canyon via an Anasazi highway. Pretty crazy stuff.
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
North of the Owyhees
Feb 6, 2009 - 10:58pm PT
Knott so crazy.
People that understood their surroundings.
yowza.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Feb 6, 2009 - 11:13pm PT
I remember carefully sweeping the leaves and pine needles away with every foot placement on that final traverse and even carefully stepping over a few wet spots. That last traverse had to be the headiest part of the climb. (at least that early in the season)

that's geting close to 40 years ago.

We bivied and intended to do North Dome the next day also. Had a nice fire after finding a rotting dead log and liberating the pine knots (a trick my dad taught me). My partner was pissed the next morning as I'd had my tonsils out a couple of weeks previously and was snoring so loudly that it kept him awake all night even 25 ft or so away.

Ended up not doing North. Someone was already on the route.

Talk about diging up old memories.
tenesmus

Trad climber
slc
Feb 6, 2009 - 11:30pm PT
This one.



that was really fun to look for.
couchmaster

climber
Feb 7, 2009 - 12:30am PT
Do any of the old dads feel that adding rappel bolts to descent the route, after many many years without them, just to make the descent off the route easier, degrades the experience and is a sacrilege much like adding bolts to the slab or any existing route would??

My first trip over the log, I stopped to slap a runner on it, my buddy quietly says: "Consider that". After considering the ride down attached to the log and my rope I continued without it. The only exciting part of that early spring ascent was when buddy's bro, leading the last pitch to get off on the wet, leaf encrusted slab to exit to the top, slipped off, with a full pitch of rope out sideways. He slid to a small 2" ledge none of us had seen and after catching our breaths, we topped out and hiked down North Dome gully.
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
North of the Owyhees
Feb 7, 2009 - 12:34am PT
I've walked down and rapped. I kinda prefer the walk, actually.
More my style.
All those raps are annoying, & knott much more convenient, really.
Do what you will.
east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Feb 7, 2009 - 10:33am PT
climbed the log in the early eightes, remember how slick and polished it was and how it flexed!! Got caught in a rain storm high on the route, had to do the final traverse in "flood" conitions, took a huge whipper at the end just before the slab meets the forest, felt like I was on a water slide ! lucky I got a good nut in or off awahnee buttress I go!
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 7, 2009 - 11:36am PT
I like going down North Dome Gully. Some great views along the way and the routefinding makes it feel like mountaineering. Part of the experience, the gift as it was wrapped for us in 1936.

I have bivied many times under that overhanging boulder just up on the rim. Five inches of Jeffrey Pine needles -- mmmmmmm. Some of them were planned, carrying a cookpot and coffee and a little Scotch. Gotta time it so the tiny stream is running. The Coffee deck is a hundred feet away, right on the rim.

South Face of North Dome is obviously the next day. A stellar climb itself -- just SO good -- but several notches stiffer than the Arches. Finding the right spot to climb over the dihedral is major. A friend broke his ankle falling off 5.10 on a wrong choice. Chuck Pratt reckoned SFND was one of his three favorite Valley climbs.

The full "Grand Tour" from there is to walk out the trail going west and down Yosemite Falls. Spent a second night out on that once, bivied on Yosemite Point with British poet Terry Gifford and wrote this haiku:

No pencil comes out
Poets struck dumb at twilight:
Yosemite Point
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 6, 2010 - 01:02pm PT
Great post, Doug! Pratt really liked the South Face route that much?1? It's a fine route but top five for him...live and learn.
R.B.

Big Wall climber
Land on the Lahar
Sep 6, 2010 - 01:16pm PT
I remember crossing the log in Feb/Mar 1984 with Tim Toula.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Sep 6, 2010 - 01:37pm PT
I can live with bitter.
was standin in the line at the checkout at the store in the valley. little man schulz was next to me. little napolean i thought as i towered over him.

I'm like 5.4.


you could be, like, 7.6 and you still wouldn't tower over Dave Schultz.
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Sep 6, 2010 - 02:35pm PT
My first visit to Yosemite was 1971, and the R.A. was one of the routes that we climbed. The Rotten Log Traverse was a sort of right of passage from bygone years...a memorable feature.

I lead the pitch and recall pausing for a moment at the bottom of the log, and feeling very vulnerable as I stepped up on the first polished nubbin...with the echoes of "Whatever you do DON'T tie off the log!" resounding in my mind as I glanced down into the void. A sudden realization that perhaps you were not the master of your own destiny taunted me, and hastened my upward movement.

As I was leading the second to the last pitch, a nice hand crack up to the belay before the final long and exposed traverse to the left. A guy in the party ahead of us slipped on the pine needles which fill the small pockets and scooped out edges leading to the hanging forest on the left. He was only a meter or two to the end of the pitch and climb when he slipped.

I can still here the rattle of his rack "Obviously pins and large bongs!" I can remember thinking as he slid for what seemed like a very long time before shooting over the lip, and then slowly made his way back into view. The next day, the palms and fingers of both of his hands were huge blisters. Monstrous reminders of the previous days slip.

I also recall hearing of the young man(19yrs)who with his friend, decided to solo the RA's and slipped at the very same spot. He slipped on a collection of pine needles and dust awaiting his adventurous young soul. Waiting to cast him off into the void, where eternity itself was patiently waiting...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 6, 2010 - 03:11pm PT
The pitch into the Jungle cam be epic when wet and a very good reason to bring a skinny cord with you even if you are "free soloing." My first trip across featured running hops onto sliding munge hummocks and was far more similar to glacier travel than rock climbing.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 6, 2010 - 04:24pm PT
> I also recall hearing of the young man(19yrs)who with his friend, decided to solo the RA's and slipped at the very same spot.

Jeff Drinkard, May 18, 1979
(from "Death in Yosemite")
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Sep 6, 2010 - 05:05pm PT
Thanks Clint!

Jeff Drinkard R.I.P.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Sep 6, 2010 - 08:19pm PT
On early solo climbs on the RA I always freaked out on the Rotten Log. Roper use to make jokes about riding it down as one would a horse. Then the movie Dr Strangelove came out in 1964 and we had a role model for the ride. Impossible for me to see the movie with Slim Pickens as Major King Kong riding the nuclear bomb out of his B- 52 and not think of the Rotten Log.
Major King Kong and the bomb-Yee Hah
Major King Kong and the bomb-Yee Hah
Credit: guido
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 6, 2010 - 08:21pm PT
Cut to the ephemeral mushroom clouds....and goodnight!
BeeHay

Trad climber
San Diego CA
Sep 6, 2010 - 08:27pm PT
I posted this earlier, it was removed for some reason...
1976
Credit: BeeHay
MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Sep 6, 2010 - 08:41pm PT
Love this pic by Ouch!

Owlman

Social climber
Bozeman
Sep 6, 2010 - 08:53pm PT
still bitter.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Sep 6, 2010 - 09:13pm PT
I already posted on this thread some four years ago, but having done RA twice - the first time lead on the log (1973?), the second time, following on the log (1976?) - that log freaked me out.


BTW "Lead On The Log" is the name of my band, our first album will be released shortly.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 11, 2010 - 01:15pm PT
Rotten Bump!
rrider

climber
Mckinleyville, Ca
Sep 11, 2010 - 02:43pm PT
cool history. so, has anybody ever found or retrieved the AWOL Log?(or parts...) might make an addition to the museum, or even a good memorial bench component.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 11, 2010 - 03:54pm PT
Just one little problem...its rotten! LOL

Mimi mentioned that Schultz had a souvenir chunk around for a while in a storage shed with dreams of wealth in divying it up!

Tricky to authenticate!
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Sep 11, 2010 - 04:10pm PT
S.G., I will ask the Ironic Monkey if that's true.
cliffhanger

Trad climber
California
Sep 11, 2010 - 07:51pm PT
The reason the traverse over to the forest is so spicy is because you're all off route. You took what only seems to be obvious; the very low route with poor protection and a gnarly 5.8 traverse across water polished, often wet rock. The real route keeps very high thru well protected class 3 features with a final, well protected 5.6 30' traverse across the slick water course to the forest. I took the low spicy route many times until my free solo when I thought there must be an easier way.

I never climbed so smoothly and concentrated as when I free soloed that rotten log.
mark miller

Social climber
Reno
Sep 11, 2010 - 08:00pm PT
Sh#t I did it in the early and mid 80's and it was a lot more rotten then those photos.I think the new pitch is great just like a 5.6 at the Leap.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 3, 2010 - 11:22am PT
Monkey Chunks for Sale?!?
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Dec 3, 2010 - 12:09pm PT
i'd like to know a little more about this dave schulz.

i'd heard that a ranger did it, out of predictably killjoy concerns for everyone's safety, presumably ensuring that no one below would be getting brained at the time. now we have a rootin-tootin little big man who wants bragging rights for killing the character of a fun little experience, perhaps everyclimber's first and best introduction to the valley?

leave it to wade icey to rise to his defense.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Dec 3, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
Replace the rotton log! Facelift project!
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Dec 3, 2010 - 02:54pm PT
the rotten log is gone forever, from the climb at least. but upthread someone says it seems to be in protective custody.

can't we get someone to donate an old, exclusive men's club facility in san francisco? there must be several dozen within walking distance of good eats around the embarcadero. establish a Rotten Log Club for climbers old enough to have BITDed the thing. fine scotch to be served on the unfinished, unadorned old RL itself. i can't think of a more graceful way of getting older.

i will bore you to tears with stories of my three ascents, two of them named after old girlfriends. you will be so happy to die!
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 3, 2010 - 03:10pm PT
OK, so now I know why the traverse felt way harder than it should have been. Early season ascent, trying to friction thru big slime patches, trying to dry the bottoms of my EBs on my pant legs. If I ever get up there again, I'll try to do it the right way.

I also think the rappel in kind of unnecessary, but as someone recently posted on Mountain Project, the trend in climbing is toward "wussification." Even as a 16 yr. old punk, I found the North Dome gully to be straightforward.

BTW, I always heard that it was Schulz who bounced it as well. It seemed like a dick move at the time, but in retrospect, he probably save someone from a trip to the hospital or morgue. I thought it felt dicey in '79 or '80. I suppose it was a matter of time anyways.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Got my DOUBLEWIDE!
Dec 3, 2010 - 03:16pm PT
How about a Rotten Log Open Source Project to honor our friend Juan de Fuca? Should be cheaper and less involved than designing and producing a hammer!

The steps seem simple enough:

1. Climb RA, go up to rim, find suitable dead log in vicinity
2. Move that log to the rim above the RA
3. Rap and Ride the Log
4. Put the log into position.
5. Climb the log.
6. Rap the route.

A little chilly up there just now. Twill have to wait for spring.

DMT
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Dec 3, 2010 - 03:33pm PT
There never was a question of whether Dave jettisoned the thing, he did.. And, the Monkey Chunks are committed to the eternity and are long gone!
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Dec 3, 2010 - 03:44pm PT
leave it to wade icey to rise to his defense

if you knew Dave you would know he needs no defense.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 5, 2010 - 12:08pm PT
What, No Monkey Chunks for the holidays...not even in Skymall?!? Damn...
Mimi

climber
Dec 5, 2010 - 01:46pm PT
I was also really upset when we heard about Dave kicking it off. I had done it in '83 and it was fine. LOL. When we asked him that day in the C4 lot why he did it, he said it was dangerous and it was time for it to go. 'Someone could get killed on that thing.' He picked some of the pieces up that fell the distance and supposedly stashed them in a storage locker. He wouldn't give any of it away. Too bad it's all gone.

It would great if it could be replaced. That was an awesome mandatory feature on that fun route.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 5, 2010 - 01:52pm PT
With modern hauling techniques being as advanced and heavy duty as they are, we could haul a new one up in there.
Mimi

climber
Dec 5, 2010 - 01:54pm PT
The NPS would never allow it. Or WUD they?
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 5, 2010 - 03:01pm PT
PTPP seems to have his hauling techniques dialed - maybe he could help. A form of penance, too. Although it might be easier to lower a suitable log from above. Either way, there are obstacles which would have to be circumvented, both physical and bureaucratic.

Wood the NPS let it happen? We could make a case for restoring and protecting natural features, that the log is entirely natural and belongs there, do an EIS for the actual project, etc. (It is nominally in a wilderness, even if in close proximity to the Ahwahnee.) And the NPS says it doesn't manage climbing anchors...
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 5, 2010 - 03:03pm PT
For example: liability?

Ken
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Dec 5, 2010 - 03:29pm PT
This thread seems to be teetering on the brink of the absurd.. I think I will go back and ram a small tree into the crack on Lazy Bum just so somebody else can have the experience of using it to break their fall when they whip off on the free-solo..
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Dec 5, 2010 - 03:37pm PT
So you're the guy that killed the tree on Lazy Bum...proud stuff Walter


...or did ewe?
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Dec 5, 2010 - 03:47pm PT
No, Dice.. It was Jim Campbell.
Mimi

climber
Dec 5, 2010 - 03:58pm PT
Better to be absurd here than on the poli threads, Walter. hahaha

Can we put the evil tree back on Leaning Tower too.
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Dec 5, 2010 - 04:13pm PT
Only if you go back with Bobbi Fosburg to replace the evil tree, Mimi.. And that, I wanna see..
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Dec 5, 2010 - 05:18pm PT
"consider that" (upthread) was the great lesson of the rotten log, one every party should have learned. had the log gone with a climber on it, properly protected to something other than the log, i doubt it would have been fatal.

dave s. certainly left his mark in the valley. i'd hate to think he'd be remembered mainly for this, but he might. he seems to have been a noob guide at the time. they can get so custodial.

the evil tree gone as well. pussification. oh, the humanity ...
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 5, 2010 - 05:28pm PT
Find the Rotten Log, put it at the start of the Leaning Tower; find the Evil Tree and put it up on Royal Arches--- cause a rip in the Space-Time Fabric.
Mimi

climber
Dec 5, 2010 - 05:33pm PT
hahaha, Peter. If only it was that easy.

The poor evil tree was broken to pieces in place by clumsy climbers who couldn't move around it. It was a sharp spike of a stump by the time we got to it.

Yes, that is an interesting take on Dave's attitude at the time. I'd have to say I agree from my conversation with him that day. It will not likely be what he's remembered for, that's for sure. It merely adds to his notoriety. It was going to get knocked down eventually. I also don't believe it would've killed anyone while on it. We protected it by using a long sling around the tree at its start. It would've been a clean fall onto the slab. Maybe not so clean...
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 5, 2010 - 06:24pm PT
You may not have died when it finally went but the potential was certainly there. It probably would have spun with you holding on to it. Not only would the slab have hurt but the log could easily have landed on top of you. Ugly!

Ken
rich sims

Trad climber
co
Dec 6, 2010 - 01:31am PT
77 I told my partner Peter take the runner off the log or you are off belay.
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