The best offwidth climber ever

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eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 29, 2013 - 09:08pm PT
First, I'll give you my answer...Pamela "Shanti" Pack.

Next, I'll give you some disclaimers:
1)I have not followed climbing news for huge portions of my climbing career (spanning 43 years).
2) I still haven't watched the Offwidth Boyz video, and
3) You really can't trust me to remember anything exactly correctly.

So, who's in the running (besides Pamela)?
Again, acknowledging gaps in my internal database, I can think of:
 Chuck Pratt
 Royal Robbins
 Peter Hahn
 Mark Klemens
 (Any climber from the 1960s)
 Jimmy Dunn
 Dale Bard
 Werner
 Steve Schneider
 Randy Leavitt
 Craig Luebben
 Chuck Grossman
 Julie Brugger
 Bob Scarpelli
 Pete Takeda
 Jaybro
 Ed Hartouni (just kidding, Ed)
 The "Offwidth Boyz" from the U.K.
 Possibly one to several unknown climbers who just went out and did it without talking about it.

I've only seen Pamela climb three different, short, offwidth pitches. Two of them had sections that Jaybro and I couldn't touch (I hope I'm not out of line here, Jaybro... I calls 'em as I sees 'em). Pamela barely broke a sweat.

I mean really, I don't see any holes in her game, and she's done 5.13s. If nothing else, she's our best hope against the Brits.


goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jul 29, 2013 - 09:10pm PT
Pamela or Pratt, and that one guy from Tennessee I saw climb at Vedauwoo.
Who's Jaybro?
Has he done anything in Colorado or Tennessee?

I mean if he hasn't done anything in CO or TN how can we judge his badassery?
Please advise?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jul 29, 2013 - 09:12pm PT
Ever is a long time, and I'm going to crack open the 5.8 offwidth field in no time!

Just saying.

;)
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jul 29, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
Munge is at least cracking into the top ten based on motivation and his ranking on widefetish.
peter croft

climber
Jul 29, 2013 - 09:20pm PT
As to the above - perhaps, but the most flat out unbelievable off width effort I ever saw was Greg Cameron's onsight solo, first free ascent of Pipeline in Squamish. Who's Eeyonkee by the way?
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 29, 2013 - 09:20pm PT
Okay, Munge, let's change "ever" to "present day". Unless civilization ends sooner than I think, there will certainly be a better one sometime in the future.
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
Jul 29, 2013 - 09:21pm PT
Has he done anything in Colorado?

I always heard Vedauwoo was Colorado's best summer crag.
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jul 29, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
It's only a daydream away from reality Larry.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 29, 2013 - 09:30pm PT
Aw, shucks, Peter, I really wasn't fishing for a compliment. I'm merely expressing my appreciation and acknowledgment of a truly remarkable talent. (And again, we NEED to do SOMETHING about those Brits showing us up!).
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 29, 2013 - 09:39pm PT
gee, I'm a broken man from my OW exploits... I can't imagine every having been included, jokingly or not, in that list!

Gary Carpenter could represent our efforts more than I could...

The canonical list of Yosemite Valley OW is:

Cleft, The 5.9 1965 Chuck Pratt Chris Fredricks
Peter Pan 5.9+ 1962 Bob Kamps Jim Sims
Apron Jam 5.9 1965 Galen Rowell Gordon Webster
Banana Dreams 5.10a 1974 Vern Clevenger
Cookie, The, Left Side 5.10a 1968 Royal Robbins Loyd Price
This and That 5.10a 1972 Jim Donini Jim Bridwell
Mongolian Clusterf*#k 5.10a 1972 Jim Donini
Chingando 5.10a 1965 Chuck Pratt
Reed's Pinnacle Left Side 5.10a 1962 Frank Sacherer Dick Erb Larry Marshik
Bongs Away, Center 5.10a 1970 Barry Bates Mark Klemens
Hourglass, The, Right Side 5.10a 1964 Frank Sacherer Tom Gerughty
Gollum, Left Side 5.10a 1972 Peter Hahn Rick Linkert David Moss
Orange Juice Avenue 5.10a 1975 Chris Falkenstein Don Reid
Secret Storm 5.10a 1971 Peter Haan Roger Breedlove
Doggie Do 5.10a ? Chris Fredericks
Geek Towers, Center Route 5.10a 1974 Jim Bridwell John Syrett
Geek Towers, Right Side 5.10a 1971 Mark Klemens Jim Bridwell
Worst Error, Right Side 5.10a 1962 Frank Sacherer Galen Rowell
Crack of Doom 5.10a 1961 Chuck Pratt Mort Hempel
Crack of Despair 5.10a 1964 Frank Sacherer Chuck Pratt Tom Gerughty
Vendetta 5.10b 1968 Royal Robbins Galen Rowell
Slack, The, Left Side 5.10b 1965 Chuck Pratt Royal Robbins
Smoky Pillar 5.10b 1973 Jim Bridwell George Meyers Vern Clevenger Larry Bruce
Book of Job 5.10b 1971 Jim Donini Rik Rieder
Pulpit Pooper 5.10b 1972 Jim Orey Jack Roberts
Jam Session 5.10b 1971 Mark Klemens Jim Bridwell
Twinkie 5.10c 1973 Ray Jardine Chris Nelson
Shaft, The 5.10d 1971 Matt Donohoe George Meyers
Wild Turkey 5.10c 1974 Dale Bard Ron Kauk
Edge of Night 5.10c 1967 Chris Fredericks Rich Doleman Jim Bridwell
Fallout 5.10c 1972 Jim Donini Steve Wunsch
Mental Block 5.10c 1973 Dale Bard Jim Bridwell
Barefoot Servants 5.10c 1980 Don Reid Alan Bartlett Alan Roberts
Twilight Zone 5.10d 1965 Chuck Pratt Chris Fredericks
Steppin' Out 5.10d 1971 Mark Klemens Jim Bridwell
Plumb Line 5.10d 1974 Dale Bard Jim Bridwell Kevin Worrall
Cream 5.11a 1971 Mark Klemens
On the Edge 5.11b 1975 Dale Bard George Meyers

and counting the FA team frequency yields:

9 Jim Bridwell
6 Chuck Pratt
5 Mark Klemens
4 Chris Fredericks
4 Dale Bard
4 Frank Sacherer
4 Jim Donini
3 Galen Rowell
3 George Meyers
3 Royal Robbins
2 Don Reid
2 Peter Haan
2 Tom Gerughty
2 Vern Clevenger
1 Alan Bartlett
1 Alan Roberts
1 Barry Bates
1 Bob Kamps
1 Chris Falkenstein
1 Chris Nelson
1 David Moss
1 Dick Erb
1 Gordon Webster
1 Jack Roberts
1 Jim Orey
1 Jim Sims
1 John Syrett
1 Kevin Worrall
1 Larry Marshik
1 Loyd Price
1 Matt Donohoe
1 Mort Hempel
1 Ray Jardine
1 Rich Doleman
1 Rick Linkert
1 Rik Rieder
1 Roger Breedlove
1 Ron Kauk
1 Steve Wunsch
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jul 29, 2013 - 09:42pm PT
Should the FA's free done by Lynn Hill be in there somewhere based on the Free Nose or Steve on Excalibur?

We shouldn't bother with the rest of the world and that list until later, the Californian's blind eye to other accomplishments nevers ceases to amaze.
peter croft

climber
Jul 29, 2013 - 09:43pm PT
I know you weren't fishing Greg - you did it so quietly it turned into Squamish myth almost immediately. The whole lot of us were flabbergasted.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Jul 29, 2013 - 10:06pm PT
You people.... it is really quite clear. Those great brits, The Wideboyz, have hugely advanced the craft into another realm just recently. Maybe not so much as a manifestation of spirit, brujo, and transcendence, but hell its 2013 and its all new gear. I am referring to Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall.
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
Jul 29, 2013 - 10:14pm PT
ed highlights some interesting numerical patterns, and i think shanti definitely deserves mention, but from my perspective, the brits definitely take the cake.
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Jul 29, 2013 - 10:20pm PT
Those lads from Britain, hands down.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 29, 2013 - 10:22pm PT
Okay, so I admit I was being a little provocative in the thread title. Sue me. And, I would have to admit that, on the face of it, one or the other of those Brits is "strongly in the running", maybe even the favorite. Pamela has got to be right up there, though.







SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jul 29, 2013 - 10:23pm PT

Knott qualified to judge, but those lists tell of quite a few
masters, for sure!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jul 29, 2013 - 10:29pm PT
While Mark Klemens' name shows up on Ed's list, Mark set the bar very high for off-width in the early 1970's. He climbed Cream in 1971, now rated 5.11.

He was one of the drivers of the 70s free-climbing boom in the Valley.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 29, 2013 - 10:31pm PT
just providing information, smellz, I don't have it for other places... you care to put some stuff up that would be a contribution....

...you care to criticize what is put up? not very helpful...

the "canonical list" for YV was also created by Bridwell, so there may be an inherent bias to the definition... on the other hand, he seemed to have been involved, at least in California, with the development of OW...

not saying it didn't happen elsewhere.

Can I qualify my post any better? how could I do better in the future? what level of care need I undertake to make sure I am not misunderstood? a more elaborate disclaimer? extensive citations from the climbing literature? an expression of possible conflict of interests?

Please help make my posts more accurate... I obviously need it.

lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
Jul 29, 2013 - 10:34pm PT
Let's not forget Chingando 5.10a Chuck Pratt '65.
I almost puked...

lars
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Jul 29, 2013 - 10:40pm PT
Thanks a great deal in all the contributions you make Ed H. Now many years here. Please never doubt that there are thousands onboard that feel this too!!!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 29, 2013 - 11:00pm PT
lars, thanks, I forgot! updated....
Pennsylenvy

Gym climber
A dingy corner in your refrigerator
Jul 29, 2013 - 11:10pm PT
Your climbing partner who sets off into the great unknown? Ed I saw Roger just smooth generator crack so well I went home and bought a tutu. This is a great topic because in the trad climbing realm offwidth and slab hold a special place in the hierarchy of mind fuk. I have a couple friends from CO who throw themselves with reckless abandon at the hardest offwidths available. Got to hang with them in Vedauwoo and it was inspirational. I tip my hat to the best of the OW and hope to practice more.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jul 29, 2013 - 11:16pm PT
I almost puked? Dam, that is a good name for a route in its own right.
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
Jul 29, 2013 - 11:21pm PT
It's difficult to compare a climber of yore who ventured up the unknown 5.10 wide with little to sketchy gear--versus a modern day wyde-warrior with bros and bolts...


...all relative to the wave that you're surfing at the time :-)
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jul 29, 2013 - 11:26pm PT
Who's Eeyonkee by the way?

Hee hee.


Grug you missed JULIE BRUGGER from yer list.

YOU SUCK !!!!!!!!!!!!!
F10

Trad climber
Bishop
Jul 29, 2013 - 11:27pm PT
It seems some people have OW's for bfast, eeyonkee would be one
bixquite

Social climber
humboldt nation
Jul 29, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
scott perry, brothers got soul overflowing and has passion for the gerth
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
Jul 30, 2013 - 12:10am PT
pkings
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 30, 2013 - 12:12am PT
In terms of where he was relative to his time......Don Whillans.
scaredycat

Trad climber
Berkeley,CA
Jul 30, 2013 - 12:21am PT
The Brit's kicked ass (as much as their performance galled me) and wtf can you say about the following?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bUOl0M2cHbw

Did Whittaker and Randall do Forever War?


But yeah, FA free solo of Pipeline is pretty effin awesome. (edit: Tami's correct of course FFA).

What's goatboy-stinks' problem? (hey, I can post under an alias, too!)
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jul 30, 2013 - 12:23am PT
I don't like these kinds of threads, but I'll throw in a few comments from the peanut gallery.

Yosemite was the place, in terms of mastery of cracks of most every kind.
Off-widths are characteristic of Yosemite, and most outsiders of any
ability would have to get in shape and work at it to get up to speed
with those off-widths. I watched Henry Barber sight-lead Twilight
Zone. I knew Barry Bates could climb anything he wanted to climb, in
terms of an off-width. Other people more outside Yosemite would have
to include Randy Levitt.

Pratt and Bridwell, in that order, were the real stars of the 1960s,
although Mark Klemens was another great talent in their class, in terms
of off-width climbing. And don't forget Sacherer, who was
really brilliant. Pratt made every climb a work of art. Tom
Higgins, known for his bold and brilliant face climbing showed he
could do the off-widths as well, leading Twilight Zone, for example,
and many hard off-widths. I learned off-widths mostly from my visits
to the Valley and often climbed with Pratt. He frequently made me lead
the hard pitch. I only did a couple of off-width firsts, as I recall,
so I definitely don't register on the list, but I climbed a lot of
those off-widths. Peter Haan's free solo of Crack of Despair impressed
us all. There were many really good crack climbers in the golden
age, such as Westbay and Chapman..., and later of course Ron
Kauk and John Bachar could do any off-width presented them.
In Colorado we had off-widths, some difficult ones
too, but nothing so elegant and beautiful, so long and pure, as the
Yosemite cracks. The whole picture, of course, changed when the new
sticky rubber came along and when people were able to slide a big friend
up an off-width or use some other modern gear. Pratt was in some
beat-up old Cortinas, no chalk, no pro.... There will never be another
Chuck Pratt, no matter how high the standards go...
Friend

climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 12:52am PT
Great thread.

Just had to chime in to say, I'd love to hear more about the FA of the Pipeline, Greg. Must be some cool memories of that day....!!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jul 30, 2013 - 12:57am PT
It's "FFA" , Friend. The FA was aided on hunks of an antennae or so I've heard. Will hafta get "Tricouni" to chime in here.
Friend

climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:02am PT
Oh wow, it gets better and better. I'd like to hear that story too!
scaredycat

Trad climber
Berkeley,CA
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:08am PT

Ament mentioned Leavitt and really, without Randy Leavitt and Tony Yaniro, PTK's Trench Warfare wouldn't have happened. And that was the beginning of a brave new world. At least least the way I see it from where I sit on the couch.
Lasti

Trad climber
Budapest
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:39am PT
Looking through the history books (yeah, I have to look in books, too young to have been there) and having sampled some of his routes, I am leaning towards Donini's candidate. Don Whillans did a lot of really nice OW testpieces in the .11 range in the late 50s.

I would be very interested in US OW masters' take on Whillans' gritstone OW offerings in terms of rating, as the original UK trad grades do not translate well, especially with new gear.

Otherwise, Eeyonkee's list seems spot on, + Wide Boyz.

On a side note, I think I'll use Pennsylenvy's line in the future:

"In the trad climbing realm offwidth and slab hold a special place in the hierarchy of mind fuk."

Lasti
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:39am PT
Fritz Weissner seemed pretty solid when he did the first free route on Devils Tower with only one piton for pro. It must have been the sticky rubber they made in '37. Also pioneered several of the highest spires in the needles by some of their longest routes. I do those routes on occasion and they seem somewhat sane with large grear, but without that, a guidebook, a road, sticky rubber, good ropes, ect I would say that dude was one bad ass offwidth climber. Maybe someone on the east coast could speak to his routes there, or in Alaska, BC, Pakistan,ect.
gonzo chemist

climber
Fort Collins, CO
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:45am PT
Just thinking about being up on Pipeline without a rope makes me want to poop myself!

Well, if we're going to vote for it...I'd put a vote in for Pamela Shanti Pack. She seems to have a gnarly resume of just plain heinous OW. And it seems like she's got physical proportions that might work AGAINST her in the realm of the wide (i.e. she's small).

But guys like Chuck Pratt (and climbers from that whole era!) blow me away: venturing into the OW with crappy (or NO gear). And Bob Scarpelli's single-minded pursuit of gritty, blue-collar climbing in Vedauwoo. Those wacky Brits and their grueling cellar training regimen that morphed into a ticklist that any climber wishes they had. Who knows....I'm sure not a historian...
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:51am PT
If being small works "against" you in an off-width--then one has never experienced crack proportion for the diminutive...


...5.5' and a buck twenty-five works pretty well in the wyde, fwiw ;-)
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:53am PT
Brutus of Wyde
squishy

Mountain climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:55am PT
what about that one dude who sh#t his pants? A for effort?
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:55am PT
RIP Brutus of Wyde
WBraun

climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 02:01am PT
Off-width

A very difficult discipline to master ......
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jul 30, 2013 - 02:14am PT
it is surprisingly calming to watch scuffyb messing around on the offwidth at the Pacific Edge climbing gym. Left side in, make a few moves and reach a state of relaxed zen something. Few more moves up then reverse down. Right side in, relax an inch off the ground then make a few moves and relax 10 feet off the ground. It can go on for quite a while, every move mastered quietly and slowly.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jul 30, 2013 - 02:16am PT
Leavitt... c'mon, son!
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Jul 30, 2013 - 02:17am PT
Scruffy slowly vanished into a crack up on Mt Woodson somewhere an i have not seen him since, i hope he had food and water,
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Jul 30, 2013 - 02:35am PT
Pamela Shanti Pack.
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Jul 30, 2013 - 02:46am PT
The first time I really felt outcast as a climber was when I started off-widthing. Gotta love the wide.



And yeah, Pratt was the MAN.
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jul 30, 2013 - 07:41am PT
Brutus was the most inspiring, which overall is better than the best.
Em Knot is next in line for the most inspiring go getter.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2013 - 07:52am PT
Leaving Randy Leavitt off of the initial list is a big oversight (and corrected). I wish I'd had met Brutus.
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Jul 30, 2013 - 08:14am PT
Offwidth is like a bar fight. Who would I want to have my back? Scarpelli.. and the Brits.
steveA

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
Jul 30, 2013 - 08:27am PT
I wonder how the legendary John Turner would of climbed if he had sticky rubber BITD.

His climb Repentance,done in 1958, with Art Gran, on Cathedral Ledge was way ahead of it's time.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 30, 2013 - 08:40am PT
I cleaned about 50 feet of thinner crach and 500 lbs of dirt to reach the wide country. I had dirt in my mouth, down my shirt, in my eyes, in my ears and hair, plus it was an emotional time. I was not up to the Wyde Country to which I had secured free climbing access. And frankly I never had any intention of tackling that ensuing wideness.

I lowered off.

Then I had the pleasure of seeing Scuffy B do the first ascent of that wide crack, followed shortly after by Jaybro.

And interesting study in contrasts.

There is no best. There is only do... or not.

Those two, DO.

But you know what? Pitch 2 awaits their tender mercies...

DMT
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jul 30, 2013 - 08:48am PT
oh crap, we forgot about Yoda Milktoast.
protour

Trad climber
Concord, CA
Jul 30, 2013 - 09:10am PT
Steve Schneider onsighted 5.12+ offwidths on Excalibur, seems like a worthy contender
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2013 - 09:33am PT
I don't get the whole sticky rubber thing as being a big advance for offwidth climbing. Big cams, of course, but sticky rubber? You're not climbing offwidth correctly if sticky rubber is going to make a big difference in how you climb the wide.
TheSoloClimber

Trad climber
Vancouver
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:04am PT
Hey Greg, I went for my first attempt at Pipeline the other day (not solo).
Your FFA is legendary around Squamish, but no one can really appreciate the story behind it until they get up there.
The fact that you climbed that in '79, let alone you climbing it without a rope or gear, is insane.
Alexey

climber
San Jose, CA
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:17am PT
There are many best ow climbers relative to the time they climbed.
Original eeyonkee list can be good base. I would add already mentioned Mark Klemens and Randy Leavitt
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2013 - 10:19am PT
Thanks, SoloClimber. I would argue that offwidth is the easiest type of climbing to solo. You pretty much can't get off route and you generally have lots of points of contact with the rock. Soloing a face climb or thin crack at the same grade is much scarier IMO.
Barry Bates

Boulder climber
Smith River CA
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:23am PT
Back in the piton days it didn't seem to matter if the pitch was 5.8 or 5.10d the crux for me, was trying to climb around the 4 inch bong after it had been placed. At times it was easier to thrash upward with no protection.

Mike Friedrichs

Sport climber
City of Salt
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:31am PT
Alex got it right -- the best offwidth climber is the one having the most fun doing offwidth.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:38am PT
Peter Haan says: "Those great brits, The Wideboyz, have hugely advanced the craft into another realm just recently. Maybe not so much as a manifestation of spirit, brujo, and transcendence, but hell its 2013 and its all new gear. I am referring to Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall."

And in the past another brit, Johnny Dawes, must not be forgotten.

The Quarryman


Climbing "philosophy": 'You've got to mess about' interview
Johnny K.

climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:41am PT
"There is always someone better..."
Deekaid

climber
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:27am PT
Like fighters, the best climbers are probably the ones you have never heard of.

+1 above.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:38am PT
Leavitt & Yaniro in the 1980's with their scientific approach to training and technique.

Wideboyz taking it to the next level today.


Eyonkee seems to have a good level of this type of discipline.



I've often gone up and looked at the long ugly offwidth that is under the Royal Arches and wondered if I could ever get the the discipline and self loathing necessary to engage on the enterprise of groveling through the many pitches of bomb bay door choss.
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:42am PT
Hey Greg - So, having looked at Pipeline from below, and looking at the recent pic from above (in the latest issue of Climbing), I'm more impressed than ever by your FFA. Full disclosure: I probably won't be hopping on that sucker anytime soon!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:50am PT
The best offwidth climber ever




The one having the most fun.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jul 30, 2013 - 12:16pm PT
SO ..

there are no good offwidth climbers.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2013 - 12:22pm PT
"Fun" DOES seem a little strong. Fun like losing your job or your girl or your dog. "Satisfaction" is about as good as it gets for me.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jul 30, 2013 - 12:28pm PT
The ones that used hex's for pro. It seems it has become more similar to sport climbing with the giant cams.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
The ones that used hex's for pro.

I have to disagree. See Barry Bates's comment, above.

How do you measure greatness? I'm not sure it's a well-ordered set. In any case, Pratt (who could not have been more than an inch taller than me) was my inspiration and model.

And besides, my friend scuffyb belongs on that list, because he actually seems to enjoy climbing OW.

John
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:57pm PT

Let's not forget Chingando 5.10a Chuck Pratt '65.
I almost puked...

-Craig Leubben, Ralph FA, circa '92. He did puke!
FTOR

Sport climber
CA
Jul 30, 2013 - 01:58pm PT
a master of offwidth can make it look as effortless as face. of the climbers i had a chance to see in action, altman and werner would have to be high on the list of all time best in the genre. rumor had it that d. bard was up there too, wish i was around to see pratt. goes without saying large cams were a game changer for offwidths, i put a few of those together bitd, well before most had them.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 30, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
What Grug said about Shanti, should be noted. With the exception of Century Crack, which she has never been on, she has done and often put up, All the routes The Wide Boyz@, now known as the Slender Gents,did here. They apparently failed, on Event Horizon, and never got on Forever War, they have a to do list, as well.

The concept of 'best' is ridiculous of course, but it is a much bigger more complicated question than can be gleaned from limited media offerings.

I will go out on a limb and say that Pam is the most accomplished Wydee Climber in the world, right now. (Recall the rights a kidded erotically offwidths by and large and concntrated on Inverts. Pam climbs a wider repertoire.)
Fairly certain here, I've been paying attention to this and been involed in it, longer than anyone else.

Note also there has been no mention of the people who put up all the hard runout wide in the black canyon. A huge bunch of Wyde lore there!

Also there is a lot more going on in the south than has been reflected here yet!
jfailing

Trad climber
PDX, North Slope, The Open Road
Jul 30, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
Without actually having met him in person (but rather just by lurking on the forum), I would say that Patrick Kingsbury should probably make this list...
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 30, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
I wouldn't, and I've met him....

Re Weissner- on Weissner, I believe he climbed that in rope soled shoes.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jul 30, 2013 - 04:00pm PT
To respond to an entry above,
Whillans was a profoundly good climber and one of the great ones
of his day in England and Wales. I don't remember that he did
anything that was truly like the Yosemite off-widths. He had a
really hard time with Crack of Despair, when he followed Pratt
up it in the fall of 1966, although he easily climbed Crack of Doom
(no off-width on Doom). I think Whillans, like most outsiders,
had little to no experience with the true off-width and had to
make the adjustment when he came here. He was a good solid 5.10
climber but rarely did any 5.11, a few probably. Some of those
runouts in Wales were impressive, climbs Whillans and Brown did,
such as Cenotaph Corner and many such classics....
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 30, 2013 - 04:25pm PT
I would
Love to do Cenotaph corner some day....
Alexey

climber
San Jose, CA
Jul 30, 2013 - 04:27pm PT
Probably appropriate on this tread to ask about Dale Bard.
I've read several short stories about him on ST about his bold, hard climbing in 70-th in the Valley and his exceptional OW skills.
Is he still climbing? Is he ever post on ST?
look, about half of best ow climbers from Greg list are supertopians
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 30, 2013 - 04:33pm PT
He's around and active. FFA of the Owl roof as a teenager or something, '76? Boa too!
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jul 30, 2013 - 05:16pm PT
These lists are kind of funny.

Where is Brad Jackson, or Scarpelli, Haston, or Honnold (2nd go send on Bellyful, making it look about 5.9)? Where is the mention of the young guns who don't even specialize but still onsight 12 and send 13 in the wide (Mason Earle as an example). Edl is pretty accomplished, along with plenty of others .

Anybody even remember that Jeff P did the second on Bellyful. Who's that? Exactly my point. Lots of people out there flying under the radar who are absolutely crushing in all disciplines.

As for "most accomplished". The Brits, easily. "Most Accomplished", in my book, doesn't equal the longest tick list, it implies performing at THE top standard of the day. And they are the only ones who've done that because they set the standard with Century Crack after crushing most every hard wide thing around in VERY quick efforts. They are the best, for now.

eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2013 - 05:29pm PT
I guess I should have added a few more disclaimers, elcapinyoazz. Although I did have Scarpelli on the list and also included the caveat of other climbers who we (me) just don't know about. Just having a little fun is all.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 30, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
What about Largo? Seems like I remember reading about the piasano overhang or some such thing.
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Jul 30, 2013 - 06:11pm PT
84 posts and no one has mentioned Scuffy B, aka Mr. Smooth, aka Steve Moyles? Shame on us all.

More wide smack here.
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
Jul 30, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
I don't belong on any list like that.
I haven't done anything really hard, I haven't done any of the OW climbs with
serious reputation.
The ones I can do, I usually make them look easy. That's different.

Using a golf analogy, a lot of the people mentioned would be touring pros,
that is, playing and winning tournaments.
I would be more like a teaching pro. I can spot flaws in people's technique
and I can analyze pretty well.

I do have fun climbing OW, it's true.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jul 30, 2013 - 07:04pm PT
The ones I can do, I usually make them look easy

And that's why we call him Mr. Smooth! So true, he does make them look deceptively easy.
Bschmitz

Ice climber
pdx
Jul 30, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
Just thinking why Pat k. is not mentioned considering he is Pam's sidekick and ropegun :)
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
Jul 30, 2013 - 07:27pm PT
I've climbed with PK an PSP at the same time once on the wide--Patrick definitely deserves to be mentioned as a modern wyde warrior who is helping to re-write the LIST.


Sometimes, it comes down to having the body and the will to endure this type of climbing...


...wish I had more will :-)





ps. Tom Kingsbury can invert his way up some hard shite, too!
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2013 - 09:38pm PT
Imagine if we had not only the Brits but the old East Germany regime as competition. I can see those Germans breeding the super offwidth climber. Big fists and small knees, to the point where you could go from fist jamming directly to arm-barring or stacking with a knee in the crack...No calf-locking or other crappy-size techniques required.

I don't even know how they would exploit the invert...but you can bet they would.
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:45pm PT


eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO

Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
Imagine if we had not only the Brits but the old East Germany regime as competition. I can see those Germans breeding the super offwidth climber.

Fookin Hell, that reminds me I gotta email Joerg since I'll be in Germany in November.

One of the best threads ever on the widelove.

http://widefetish.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=378.0

This thread needs more pictures.



In East Germany the protection ties you.








High above Indian Creek.




Rapping off a knot.
Why knot?
It's environmentally sativa, sensahtiva, sensitive, there we go.
One point should be enough.




frisbee

climber
{this page left blank intentionally}
Jul 31, 2013 - 12:22am PT
Rapping off an offwidth sized knot? Move to the head of the class!
MisterE

climber
Jul 31, 2013 - 12:28am PT
The hell with rope rugs!

I got me some new bail gear for trad climbing!

Now about that knot-work...

:)
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jul 31, 2013 - 12:29am PT
84 posts and no one has mentioned Scuffy B, aka Mr. Smooth, aka Steve Moyles? Shame on us all.

But I did mention Steve (See post 71) I intentionally did not select a "best," however, because I'm not convinced that a satisfactory metric exists.

John
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Jul 31, 2013 - 10:11am PT
Nice stuff Goatboy.

PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley

Jul 30, 2013 - 09:28am PT
The ones that used hex's for pro. It seems it has become more similar to sport climbing with the giant cams.

I tend to agree with the one who knows. Modern gear has made OW protection vastly more reasonable.

And this from another wise of wyde aswell.

Note also there has been no mention of the people who put up all the hard runout wide in the black canyon. A huge bunch of Wyde lore there!


Virtually every major route in the Black has OW to contend with. Some of those have become legendary some infamous. Besides Dunn and Wiggins and a handful of others one climber from Gunnison who pushed the absolute limits in the precam days was Chuck Grossman. Those who have heard of him know of what I speak.




This exchange cracked me up.



Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road

Jul 30, 2013 - 08:50am PT
The best offwidth climber ever

The one having the most fun.


climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV

Jul 30, 2013 - 09:16am PT

SO ..

there are no good offwidth climbers.


Mad Props Eeyonkee I bow in respect Ya Stout Silverback.


Cragar

Trad climber
MSLA - MT
Jul 31, 2013 - 10:14am PT
Shanti. No disrespect to all the others who are basically masters, but damn she dedicates hella time, energy and life towards her OW goals..
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jul 31, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
MisterE

climber

The hell with rope rugs!

I got me some new bail gear for trad climbing!

Now about that knot-work...

Not as easy as it looks.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey's_fist

http://www.igkt.net/beginners/monkeys-fist.php



philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Aug 1, 2013 - 01:46am PT
Credit: philo
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Aug 1, 2013 - 01:54am PT
My vote goes to Randy Leavitt. I was living in So. Cal in the late '80s working on bad movies and a couple of climbers who said they knew Randy took me and a few friends out to some parking garage in the SF Valley (at about midnight), and showed us these crazy offhorribles that were really just spaces between the concrete beams in the roof (about 8 feet off the garage floor). Chalk everywhere. The story was Randy had used those to practice for his Leavittation stuff. I have no idea if these guys really knew Randy or what, but stacking in those roofs was the worst climbing experience I think I've ever had. Randy, you out there? I think it was in North Hollyweird.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Aug 1, 2013 - 11:24am PT
That pic of Philo's becomes more impressive if you realize that it is taken looking straight up and that whole thing is a giant roof, including that bottoming bombay OW v-slot that Chuck is just entering.

Edit: I belayed Rosholt on many attempts of that thing and even belayed Bryan Becker on a failed attempt, Chuck was a nut placing master.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Aug 1, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
Yo Greg. I just had my first trip to Squamish, spent a day climbing at Shalanay, and saw Pipeline for the first time. I don't know you too well, but you and I have hung out a little, so my impression is that you can be a little . . zany. But I have to ask you in regards to your onsight FFA of Pipeline. WHAT IN THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING? I cannot imagine looking at that burly beast and coming to the conclusion that going up there sans rope to check it out would be something that anyone would want to do. Especially given that it had not been freed yet.

Seriously though. Tell us a little about what the motivation was for such a standard-blowing ascent. It certainly blows my mind, although I suck at OW, but even Mr. Croft confirms upthread how amazing your climb was.

Thanks,
Brad White

TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO
Aug 1, 2013 - 01:19pm PT
philo:

Where's that climb? Are you the climber? Burly for surely.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Aug 1, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
TWP That climb is Welcome to China 5.12, Taylor Canyon, Gunnison co. I'm pretty sure that pic of Phil's is of Chuck Grossman on the FA, taken by Allen Hill.

The route is to the right of the falling climber in this picture, the obvious big OW slot(sorry for the pic, a funky slide) This pic is of John Pearson on an early toprope attempt of the roof for Oh Mamma Mamma 5.10c (EB's, white painter pants, Whillans harness..... 1976)

whoops!
whoops!
Credit: ydpl8s
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Aug 1, 2013 - 03:31pm PT
After Steve Petro did "Fidler on the Roof" it was not repeated for twenty years. Sometimes these guys from outside areas are under represented in these "greatest" lists. Don't know if he was a particular expert at off width, however.
dindolino32

climber
omaha, ne
Aug 1, 2013 - 03:50pm PT
"Has he done anything in Colorado?"

"I always heard Vedauwoo was Colorado's best summer crag."

Vedauwoo isn't Colorado's best crag!!!! It's in Wyoming! LOL
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Aug 1, 2013 - 07:19pm PT
^^^ That is a bit of an inside joke.
Kinda like Indian Creek is CO's best sandstone.

Close enough for a weekend trip?
Greenies call it their own, we're selfish that way.



Modesto Mutant

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Aug 1, 2013 - 07:45pm PT
I don't know about the best but watching Marty Garrison do laps up the Generator Crack was pretty impressive back in the mid/late '70's.
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Aug 1, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
The Schlock and Vice guy seems to be onto something...

Fact or friction?
Fact or friction?
Credit: marty(r)

The Ice Man cometh...

Technique is my protection...
Technique is my protection...
Credit: marty(r)
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 1, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
Grug's onsight solo of Pipeline was a very impressive feat.

Interestingly, Dick Culbert's "Alpine Guide to Southwest B.C." (1974) says the route: "..winds up in a rather serious crack which was aided originally with 6 1/2 - 8 inch sections of aluminum pipe. The route has not been repeated ATP, but the Pipeline crack has been climbed free to its final overhanging nose, and is very demanding."

The photo shows the crack as being graded 5.6, 5.9 and then near the top at 5.10, followed by an A4 bit.

So, who could have been freeing much of Pipeline pre-1974? Al Givler? Gordie Smaill? Hugh Burton or Steve Sutton? As with a myriad of other questions, more research needed.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 1, 2013 - 09:50pm PT
Hey Brad, nice hearing from you! So, since you and a few other esteemed persons have asked about it (and I've had 3 beers), I'm gonna spill my guts about this.

I've got a terrible memory for personal history. As I recall, it was Perry Beckham, a Squamish local (and soon-to-be legend) and friend who first turned me on to Pipeline. I remember looking at it from a distance with him. I'm assuming that Tom Gibson, George Manson, and Rob Rohn (and maybe Mike Tschipper) were also there. Seems like three years in a row this group made it to Squamish in the late Summer or Fall after a Spring and early Summer at the Valley and Tuolumne. I actually can't remember if I told them of my plan ahead of time. Perry might chip in here. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure that I executed the plan the very next morning.

As to why I did it? First of all, back then, I only owned one tube chock to cover the range of > #11 hex. When Tom and George and I pooled our gear together, we might come up with 4 tube chocks. That meant that pretty much every offwidth I ever did involved climbing for sections in which you just couldn't fall. Every offwidth that practically ANYBODY did in the 60s and 70s was like that it seems to me. That's the reason, by the way, for the "Any climber from the 1960s" quip.

So, the other thing that I had going for me is I grew up in Poway, and I could actually boulder 5.10 and 5.11 offwidths at Mt Woodson. Several 5.10 and 5.11 offwidths became part of my bouldering circuit at Woodson.

In the end, I was mostly a two-trick pony...armbars and chicken wings. Stacks never occurred me. Inverts? I still haven't done one. (I just learned calf-locks 3 months ago).

Turns out, armbars and chicken wings, along with overall good hand/fist and chimney technique will get you up 95% of Valley offwidth pitches, at least back then. I'm sure I must be forgetting a climb or two, but except for the Owl Roof, I can't think of a Valley wide crack that I didn't on-site. No 5.12s, only 5.11s and 5.10s.

So, my mindset going into Pipeline was that; I could easily do 5.10 wide crack, less easily do 5.11, but I never fall. And again, before big cams, you couldn't fall on lots of climbs. So, just having done lots of offwidths meant that you had done mini- free solos all the time.

I suppose the last piece of the puzzle is knowing that it was going to be 5.10 rather than 5.11. As impressive as Pipeline is, there are a couple of signs that told me it was going to be 5.10 (I rated it 5.10c). First, it's near-vertical with a short slightly overhanging section -- No overhangs (roofs). Second, I could see that it was wide enough to get my knee in. To this day, if I can get my knee in and it isn't an overhang, I'm pretty sure I will be able to easily do it. Anybody should be able to. It's a technique thing.

So there you go. I'm not zany.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 1, 2013 - 10:09pm PT
Re: Grug

he's zany, just not with regard to climbing...

and perhaps it isn't said enough, but Grug was/is probably the best offwidth climber when it comes to executing fists, chicken wings and armbars... he has gotten the most out of that technique than anyone I know...

his confidence in his ability BITD led him up some rather startling free solos... and what he calls "boulder problems" in Woodson are difficult climbs you wouldn't fare well falling from, they're short, but serious highball problems.

and he still climbs bloody hard!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 1, 2013 - 10:23pm PT
Whoever they were/are....big feet, small ass and a high pain threshold are part of the package.
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 1, 2013 - 10:55pm PT

eeyonkee,greg;

Thanks so much for that write up! Makes total sense to me.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Aug 1, 2013 - 11:31pm PT
Thanks for sharing that story Greg. That thing not only looks wild, but it's way off the deck. Amazing to have the technique and experience to look at it the way you describe. I'd honestly have to say that ranks as one of the greatest and most underrated climbing first ascents of all time.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 2, 2013 - 01:04am PT
That Grug got the moves even though he is, zany ! Lately he's been adding calf locks and stacks to his repertoire as well.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Aug 2, 2013 - 02:10am PT
This has been posted on ST before but it will put into perspective what Greg did onsight & ropeless. A little story about one mans pipeline quest.



http://www3.telus.net/public/7394243/climbing/offwidths/offwidths.html







martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Aug 2, 2013 - 08:42am PT
Best, probably those Brits. But for me and my era Klemens led the way.
Prod

Trad climber
Aug 2, 2013 - 08:49am PT
Just read this thread. The best Bla bla bla.

But this is impressive.
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/pipeline/105873508

Credit: Prod

Damn Greg, thats bold.

EDIT Can you get your knee in Generator Crack?

Prod.
Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Aug 2, 2013 - 03:42pm PT
has anybody repeated Shipoopi's Excalibur o.w. pitches free?
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Aug 2, 2013 - 04:12pm PT
^^^
Sprayshaw, I know Jaybro freed at least one of them, onsight IIRC (the roofy 12b one I think).They ran out of time and had to bail before reaching the 12d one, again IIRC.

And dang Prod, that's cold.
gonzo chemist

climber
Fort Collins, CO
Aug 2, 2013 - 04:34pm PT
A nice Vedauwoo write-up by Pamela Pack:

http://www.climbing.com/route/not-for-masochists-only-vedauwoo-wyoming/


eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 2, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
So, Prod, if you are pointing out that I fell (and broke my back) soloing Generator Crack in 1995 when it is a climb that is more or less just vertical and I can get me knee in it, all can say is...touché:) Actually, my Generator crack fall was an anomaly in that I hadn't climbed in over year before that day and I was climbing in shorts and without a shirt. On top of that, it's not like I was struggling on it. I just slipped. It wasn't the smartest day in my climbing career.
Alexey

climber
San Jose, CA
Aug 2, 2013 - 04:36pm PT
Greg also did impresive free solo Lost Arrow Chimney about same year as Pipeline
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=145597&tn=0&mr=0

Being myself on this route with rope and gear last year - can not imagine someone free solo few very insecure sections of this climb
Prod

Trad climber
Aug 2, 2013 - 04:46pm PT
I didn't mean to pee in the punch bowl (this time), I was just curious if Generator Crack fit the criteria of knee in.

Cheers,
Prod.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 2, 2013 - 05:19pm PT
has anybody repeated Shipoopi's Excalibur o.w. pitches free?

not that I know of, but since it is in California, it doesn't count anyway... apparently...

...Grug's Generator Crack solo fail is an example of what can happen when you put it out there like he did for so many years... fortunately he survived it...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 2, 2013 - 11:19pm PT
Hey Perry,
Do you remember telling me a story about an early ascent of The Rostrum done by two of your compatriots? What I found entertaining is that you said one of them only wanted the offwidth pitches, required only the pieces he needed for the anchor, none for the leads, and he smoked a joint before he led each of them? Did I get that right?

Point being, other than to flesh out a fun anecdote, is that we do get people who specialize in the wide. Dick Cilley comes to mind. Of course he climbs everything but when I think of Dick I think of top roping and offwidth. Most of the climbs I did with Billy Russell were fist, OW, or chimney and he always shined there and these were the only things that he really demanded to lead. JayBro has chimed in. Walling always had a bit of an offwidth fetish.

I think of Peter Haan as and offwidth climber; even though Left Side of the Hourglass crux is essentially an undercling. Klemens same. Certain people did make their name climbing wide stuff, albeit they were typically well-rounded to boot. Any of us really getting after it in Yosemite during the late 70s had to climb wide in order to get up the more coveted long climbs; just part of the game.

But with the specialists, an extra passion kicks in. I don't know who the best were, but people such as those whom I've mentioned were among the most passionate and that's perhaps what makes them special as individuals.

Cheers,
Roy
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2013 - 07:44am PT
Perry, I DID say I was sorry about those tube chocks didn't I? One of the low points in my climbing efforts...

By the way, my vote is for no more Pipeline in this thread.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Aug 3, 2013 - 04:48pm PT
As Greg mentioned upthread, off width climbing can be considered in terms protection or lack thereof and the development of big cams has certainly changed the game.
Chuck Pratt's virtually unprotected lead of Twighlight Zone comes to mind as representative of cutting edge for it's time and still hard to imagine today so he get's my vote for best off width climber of the pre big cam era.
Mark Klemens and Dale Bard stand out as pushing the Valley off width game and Werner's solo of TZ exemplifies mastery of the craft.
I've watched that video of Alex on the overhanging Indian Creek rig a few times and that pretty much defines how big cams have changed the off width game.
Best off width climber ever?
All things considered, Pratt was as good as it gets.
MH2

climber
Aug 3, 2013 - 09:07pm PT
Tarbuster says
But with the specialists, an extra passion kicks in. I don't know who the best were, but people such as those whom I've mentioned were among the most passionate and that's perhaps what makes them special as individuals.


Amen. To get technical about it, there is the person, the climb, what the person brings to the climb, and what the climbs brings out in the person. And after that, a lot of talk.
Allen Hill

Social climber
CO.
Aug 3, 2013 - 11:49pm PT
Chuck Grossman. Hands down. He was stacking hexes in desert monsters years ago. His Utah routes are that of legend. And I was there a few times. Craig comes in behind by an inch. They were friends and actually the whole idea of the expanding tube came out of Chuck and Craig looking at one of those old door frame chin up bars.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Aug 4, 2013 - 12:06am PT
There is mention in an old CAJ - authored by Les Macdonald I think - of a visit to squampton by Royal Robbins who wowed the locals by climbing Tantalus Crack with "two pitons". If those pitons were no bigger than standard angles then that would mean pretty much a solo seeing as the only place to put them would be in the first twenty feet. That would have been early seventies or something. I'd love to know the full story
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Aug 4, 2013 - 01:06am PT
Greg, I just read the thread about the Lost Arrow, and some of your other exploits. Zany is as zany does, bro . .

Brad
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 4, 2013 - 10:03am PT
Just spent a wonderful evening of conversation with my wife and Tarbuster, in which we talked about this thread a bit. The fact is, Roy was (probably still is) an excellent wide crack climber, but, as he pointed out, in the 1970s and even 1980s for the most part, climbers did not specialize. Good offwidth and chimney skills were just something you needed to have in your repertoire to be a good, overall climber - at least on granite and particularly in Yosemite. That wss certainly my take as well.
I started this thread mainly because I just started climbing offwidth again (well, since my Lucille preparation in 2011). I spent a couple of weekends recently at Vedauwoo hanging out with Jaybro and Pamela. I was expecting to see Pamela be good at all sorts of exotic techniques that were not even in my repertoire. I guess what I wasn't so much expecting is that she was SO much better than me at my strong suits of armbars and chicken wings. In retrospect, I can see that I was merely a good wide crack climber through the 5.11 range but am basically not a 5.12 climber.
A theme brought out (rightly I think) in this thread is balancing the pure technical skills of a Pamela Pack or the Wide Boyz with the history of the genre before big cams when big balls (back then, hardly any women were even in the game, but I might be wrong) were as important as technical prowess.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 4, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
That's a significant inflection point!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 4, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
Grug wrote:
(back then, hardly any women were even in the game, but I might be wrong)

And Tami had provided upthread:
Grug you missed JULIE BRUGGER from yer list.


http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2192765&msg=2192865#msg2192865

It would be great to hear about JULIE BRUGGER in the matter of Offwidths, Tami had mentioned her to me previously...



also important to note that 5.11 was once a "top grade" though now things have progressed, they had to progress through the grades... what constituted a 5.13 at a time when there were very few 5.12s is impossible to know, the "absolute" difficulty of climbing being a dodgy concept... (though I've provided some ideas of what sets the limits).
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 4, 2013 - 02:06pm PT
Another woman from our generation who wrangled the wide with aplomb was Catherine Freer.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1860832
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 4, 2013 - 03:57pm PT
As for best, given our thin consensus, it looks like it may just be the Pratt and Pamela show!
Pratt old school and Pamela new school.

The boys from The Black Canyon likely deserving at the least, honorable mention in old-school category.

Now we just need an impresario to put together a showdown between Shanti Pack and the British Wide Boyz and get this thing done ya'll.
mastadon

Trad climber
crack addict
Aug 4, 2013 - 04:07pm PT

I just talked to Julie Brugger just a couple days ago and I almost never use the "N" word but you will NEVER get Julie to join in on this forum. NEVER EVER!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 4, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
Them's the breaks.
But I bet a nickel you could sweet talk her offwidth resume into some sort of presentable form for us?!
(I know ... just thought I'd try).
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 4, 2013 - 05:10pm PT
Following up on Grug's last post about how good Pamela is at the complete OW repetoire. I'm 60, chunky and could no more invert than flap my arms and fly off the surface of the Earth. So, for you top end inverters and leavitators, are there subtle not very steep flares that cause as much trouble as the radical inverts etc required on the Forever Wars, Century Crack and Trench Warfare?

I seem to be the only person posting to admit that bizarre national pride got me bugged about how good the Brits (Whittaker and Randall) were. I have to admit to thinking "But how would they do on Basket Case?". Extrapolating from Gug's post they and Pamela, would do fine, and I'll take my crow with salt.

Darwin
(ed: deep down Anglophile or more accurately, general fan of all of the British Isles, if only for their ale)
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 4, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
Julie Brugger's name added to opening list. My apologies to Tami (and to women everywhere).
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Aug 4, 2013 - 07:40pm PT
Whittaker and Randall are great sports and all around good gentlemen.

Those British kids know how to keep it clean.
I enjoyed hanging with them in Vedauwoo and learning all the new tricks.
It's all about a healthy attitude and having fun,










Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 4, 2013 - 08:13pm PT
Mastadon, tell Julie to chime in here or yor're gonna give me her address.
That should get her attention and acquiescence.
gonzo chemist

climber
Fort Collins, CO
Aug 4, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
Darwin,

Although it is steep, I believe Lucille (in Vedauwoo) does NOT require inversion. That thing seems like a beast....I've been trying some of the 5.11s in Vedauwoo lately and at this point I can't even fathom what 5.12+ feels like.
mastadon

Trad climber
crack addict
Aug 4, 2013 - 09:16pm PT

Mr Reilly Sir,

I think Julie would rather drink drano or stick pins in her eyes (or maybe both) than post on one of these forums.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 4, 2013 - 09:19pm PT
mastadon, maybe someday when we run into each other in Tahoe we could have a discussion... and perhaps include Julie...

my editions of Mountain are packed away for the epic remodel which is about to fall on my home... but if anyone has their's handy they can look up:

Brugger, Julie: Mountain 13, page 10; Mountain 58, page 15
mastadon

Trad climber
crack addict
Aug 4, 2013 - 09:22pm PT

Mr Ed,

Lemmeno when you're gonna be around next.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 4, 2013 - 09:23pm PT
will do...
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Aug 4, 2013 - 09:29pm PT
Cool thread.

Mastadon, Ed, speaking of Tahoe,
how about we set a date before season's end
rendezvous at Traveler's, second pitch
and both of you OW specialists school me
on Travelers Buttress ala chicken wings
and arm bars?

Fail. How you should not attempt to bring a pack through the OW sectio...
Fail. How you should not attempt to bring a pack through the OW section of Traveler Buttress. The lower section overhangs a bit, so my pack kept pulling me outwards from the crack! This did not seem like the way to go.


Credit: Jared Wood

My interest: send the OW with minimal grunts
and scrapes. No shoulder strains, pure style via
technique. Using OW skills!!
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 4, 2013 - 10:15pm PT
Goatboy, of course my reaction to the British Invasion reflects poorly on me, not on them (the Brits). Oh, and thanks for the way cool photo from Vedauwoo and thanks to Footloose for that photo, too. Please don't ask if I've ever done Traveler's.


Gonzo, I didn't know you got up there often. Thanks for the beta on Lucille. I'm on it! (not!)


Oh, and really next Monday/Tuesday I'll talk about a climb I did even if it's not OW. Or not.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Aug 4, 2013 - 10:32pm PT
^^^ Me either!!!

(lol Ive climbed every pitch but the crux... as in I have never climbed the crux pitch by any means, but have climbed and led, every other pitch. Weird huh?)

The shame

DMT
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 4, 2013 - 11:13pm PT
Darwin/ Gonzo, Lucille is only an invert for those under a certain height somewhere around 5'6-7"
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 4, 2013 - 11:21pm PT
Pratt old school and Pamela new school.
Roy nails it!

I have Never seen anyone climb like her when she is on, and she is On, at the top of her game, right now!!
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Aug 5, 2013 - 12:22pm PT
Eeyonkee, I think I read over on mp.com that you just did Crack of Fear recently. So my question is, do YOU consider it OW, or is it a shallow flaring chimney? I tried chickenwinging that thing and backed off because it never felt stable (that and the fact that it was over my head). Around the corner Wolf's and Tiger are definitely OW, but this seemed to be a different animal altogether.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 5, 2013 - 12:50pm PT
Yeah, Ydp...just did it on Saturday. I felt compelled to post up about it because every single picture for the route showed climbers doing it right-side-in when, to me, it's so obviously a left-side-in wide crack. If you do it left-side-in, you can rest on chicken wings practically anywhere, although most of the actual advancing upwards moves involve what I would call armbars. Your feet should be in a heel-toe position most of the time.

I would call this offwidth, but you might not be wrong to call it a flared squeeze chimney. I don't believe there is a hard boundary between the two. By the way, my partner on Saturday, Angelo Angelini, thought it was the hardest climb that he had ever done.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Aug 5, 2013 - 12:56pm PT
Thanks!, any pics of the left-side-in ascent?

edit: I think most people think that when it leans left, then that means right-side-in, because your feet are on the lower angle wall for outside the crack features. That may be what sucks most people into doing it that way.

edit2: Did you do Tiger's Tooth? I saw Bridwell flash that in about 5 min. in the early 70's.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 5, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
No pictures. I'm sure that you are right about most people trying it right-side-in because the face is then lower angle for your feet. It's just that this is the very opposite of what you should do. Notice how if you were right-side-in you essentially can't armbar because there is nothing for your left arm to pull on. I've never done Tiger's Tooth.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Aug 5, 2013 - 02:13pm PT
His name has been mentioned... I was always impressed with Mark Klemens. The lad never whined and stuff like Cream and Steppin' Out are nice test pieces. He did have a rather negative opinion of foreigners however...

Of course if you are Werner...

"I free soloed all three of em

The Zone, Steppin' Out, and Cream.

They're all the same when do em that way ...."
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Aug 5, 2013 - 02:35pm PT
Yeah, nothing for the left arm, that sounds like what I remember. I guess that left-side-in also lets you rest your back on the left side and use that for friction? Tiger's Tooth seems like it would be "right up your alley".
Oh well, thanks for answering my questions.

Frank Sanders

Trad climber
Devils Tower. Wyoming
Aug 5, 2013 - 02:44pm PT
Who was it that put up the FIRST 5.13 Offwidth, in this Country, anyway?????
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 5, 2013 - 02:58pm PT
Grug I did it right side in (I think) back I '78? With doug cairns...
I've also done Tiger's tooth. Climbed it on a cold day trip from Laramie to pickup shoes at komito's. might have been November. It went very fast, as we (will gilmer and i, maybe he wee fox too) were hypothermic.

Frank,you of a people, have to ask? You were on the very first attempt!

Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Aug 5, 2013 - 04:11pm PT
^^^
Ah, but the eternal question: Is Squeeze a sub-set of OW? Or are chim-chim-a-knees, including the squeezeez, their own thing?
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Aug 5, 2013 - 04:16pm PT
sick friggin sick...Inserting ones self into a human sized meat grinder slot! The HORROR!!!!
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Aug 5, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
Inserting ones self into a human sized meat grinder slot!

Hey, what you do with Jeremy's mom is your business!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 5, 2013 - 05:59pm PT
hahaha.
That's funny!

Based on my personal experience and on interpretation of record over the years I'd say Offwidth and Squeeze Chimney are two different sizes; so no, squeeze is not a subset of offwidth.

Both techniques are currently circumscribed by the modern vernacular of "wide" which may start as low as fist/wide hands and likely runs all the way to full-body chimney.

I'd say chicken wing is more often a component of the tight squeeze toolbox therefore just a bit out of offwidth category, but oddly, not to be completely struck from the list of potential offwidth techniques! This because, cruxes are often about transition from size A to size B.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 5, 2013 - 06:50pm PT
It's all Wyde crack climbing, you poindexters!! Even some stemming!!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Aug 5, 2013 - 06:55pm PT



Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree

Aug 5, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
Inserting ones self into a human sized meat grinder slot!

Hey, what you do with Jeremy's mom is your business!





DOH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 5, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
Show me the squeeze chimney that uses no armbars or chicken wings. It's All Offwidth!
james williamson

climber
Aug 5, 2013 - 09:34pm PT
There are a lot of folks writing here that have short(damaged?) memories, or are too new to the art. Bob Scarpelli gets the nod. He was way ahead of the curve, advanced technique, put up some of the first true hard 5.12 and 5.13 OW's in this country. You Valley climbers know it's the truth, but since he was from that obscure place up in Wyo(NOT CO!)he doesn't get the props. Noticed I didn't see any of Valley boyz(or girl, Lynn) up there enjoying that fine weather
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
Aug 5, 2013 - 10:07pm PT
More photos, less largess...

Credit: mojede

Credit: mojede

Credit: mojede

Credit: mojede
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Aug 6, 2013 - 10:15am PT
Credit: philo
Here is a nice 5.10 C/D classic Off Width route called Hurtin' fer Certain. Old school 5.10+.
To the right is a silly steep face route called Pink Flame n Go 5.12+.

Credit: philo

If you look at this pic that Ydpl8s posted up thread there is an obvious OW crack that diagonals from lower right and crosses the route the climber just fell off of. Never been climbed Wideness.
Any takers?
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Aug 7, 2013 - 02:53am PT
well known 5.9+ OW
well known 5.9+ OW
Credit: Mike Bolte
after three laps, still not breaking a sweat
after three laps, still not breaking a sweat
Credit: Mike Bolte
perswig

climber
Aug 7, 2013 - 08:34am PT
You people are wacked.
But Mojede's first pic is pretty boss.

Dale
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Aug 7, 2013 - 06:18pm PT
Interesting that rock climbing as a sport in Great Britain started in chimneys, cracks and deep fissures, then progressed to ridges and faces, then to overhangs. Full circle back to fissures and cracks, with a vengeance. Looks too much like external caving to me!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 7, 2013 - 11:11pm PT
'Bout time! :)

John you should come to vedauwoo sushifest this weekend! Eat some bait share some stories/ problems! The world doesn't end with Offwidth!
scott baxter

Gym climber
sedona, arizona
Aug 7, 2013 - 11:49pm PT
To the stellar list I'd like to add Jim Madsen, Karl karlstrom, Ward Johnston.
hubcap

Big Wall climber
loveland co
Aug 12, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
a few more; Ray Jardine (why do you think he made Friends?), Mark Hess at V D VOO and Jimmy Dunn - he always made it seem easy.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Aug 12, 2013 - 10:05pm PT
Skip could climb 'em pretty good. But Skip could climb anything.
Sumo

Trad climber
Pleasanton, CA
Aug 15, 2013 - 04:48pm PT
Those pics make me want to puke. Note to self: do not gawk at OW right after lunch...

- sumo, too wyde for wyde
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Aug 18, 2013 - 03:28pm PT
Credit: philo
Credit: philo
Credit: philo
Credit: philo
OK Jaybro here ya go. The long diagonal off width is un climbed,
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 19, 2013 - 03:02am PT
That looks unbelievably cool!
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Aug 19, 2013 - 01:41pm PT
Yeah, and it's unbelievably upside down and flaring.

Philo, you're back in the old home turf, post up (maybe on the What did you climb today thread). Climbed any of my favorites...Dunn's, Left Hand, Inner Space, Zig Zag?
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Aug 19, 2013 - 08:46pm PT

Jaybro you have a twisted sense of aesthetics. Paging Shanti Pack, Paging Eeyonkee. Off Width FA on the white courtesy phone. To the best of my knowledge this has never even been tried.

Ydpl8s, it was a camping trip with my 14 year old son to reset his sleep/wake cycle for school this week. No climbing just fishing and hanging and book reading with my kiddo. We had a hoot.
mark miller

Social climber
Reno
Aug 19, 2013 - 09:37pm PT
Jaybro are you folks even serious?
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 20, 2013 - 12:36am PT
I, am, Serious...Won't speak for anyone else.....
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Aug 20, 2013 - 07:09pm PT
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/the-big-roof/105746800
Willoughby

Social climber
Truckee, CA
Aug 20, 2013 - 09:48pm PT
Willoughby

Social climber
Truckee, CA
Aug 28, 2013 - 07:51pm PT
Clearly not Emily Harrington, but this is perhaps worth a quick read into the mind of a sport-climber trying to go trad:

http://emilyaharrington.com/2013/08/27/fear-of-falling-failing-and-other-things/
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 29, 2013 - 03:56am PT
Not the one having the most fun, the one with the thousand yard stare and a bruised and contused body.
Mtnfreak

Trad climber
Lost on the West Coast
Aug 29, 2013 - 11:49am PT
I vote for Craig Leubben - dearly missed but never forgotten.
10b4me

Ice climber
Bishop/Flagstaff
Oct 9, 2013 - 12:27pm PT
http://www.climbing.com/news/pamela-pack-repeats-desperate-vedauwoo-offwidth/
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Dec 25, 2013 - 11:07am PT
Bump
storminjoe

Trad climber
Westminster
Dec 25, 2013 - 12:01pm PT
Nemesis

climber
Dec 25, 2013 - 12:02pm PT
Me, no argument.
thebravecowboy

Social climber
Colorado Plateau
Dec 27, 2013 - 12:58am PT
I have heard that offwidth climbing is pretty easy and is made for weak people
Phantom X

Trad climber
Honeycomb Hideout
Dec 29, 2013 - 03:09pm PT
Eeyonkee isn't so much weak as he is underfed and malnurished. Bring an extra hogie and you'll see what he can do.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 29, 2013 - 03:15pm PT
Handicapping for gear, and shoes, and pro, and his willingness to go where no man dared go, most of all his humility and his vision, Pratt. No contest.
Melissa Manson

Boulder climber
Fairfield, VT
Feb 15, 2014 - 10:07pm PT
I love being able to come here and see stories that include George's name. Thanks guys!
Climb happy and safe.
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