WoS / PTPP, part XXIV

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Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 2, 2006 - 05:04pm PT
(split from a previous thread)

For Pete:

Did you read all that WoS thread? It seems my position was stated about 12 different ways. Not sure what is supposed to change. Re-read the thread and pull some specifics if you like, and run them up my flagpole.

For the record, it is unfortunate what happend to them fellahs during that time. Also for the record, and let there be ZERO doubt on this one: I did not have anything to do with any bolt chopping, feces, gear destruction or shiit bombing from above. That ain't my "bag" man.

As for what I have supposedly done and said as per Richard and Mark, I would like to hear this also. As I recall, some 25 years later now, there were many people exceedingly fired up about the whole debacle. Fired up enough to take some sort of action. I was not one of them. In fact, it has been so long now that I can't even say for sure who were the shiiters and choppers. I knew then, but I don't know now. How they are thinking that I was one of the major players is a mystery to me.

As for filling in blanks, the only guys I know that were even around then and are available right now are Werner and Deuce.

This thread was split at 208 posts. To see the newest posts go here:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=234216&f=0&b=0
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 2, 2006 - 05:18pm PT
No worries, Russ.

When I get a chance, I'll reread your posts wrt to Wings, and ask you some specific questions.

If Mark and Richard feel otherwise, they can respond here.

I'm just the messenger and the historian here, trying to unravel as much as I can.
WBraun

climber
Aug 2, 2006 - 07:09pm PT
Yeah

Russ is NOT GUILTY!

He only said the route is a POS from his own personal view like me which had absolutely nothing to do with Richard and Mark. They personally identified a bunch of rock with themselves.

I could care less if some guy bolts the whole damn Captain or climbs it upside down or blows the whole thing to smithereens. There's plenty of people that love to save the rock or have all these climbing ethic fits.

Still, they can't even save themselves ..........
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Aug 2, 2006 - 11:55pm PT
Russ, I've been talking with PTPP about his attempts to get to the bottom of things, and I think I understand the nature of his asking you the questions he did.

When we met with Pete, Randy, and Tom in the Valley, we talked about a lot of things, many including speculations about what motivated past incidents surrounding the route. Lots of names came and went in our discussions, and I can understand how Pete would remember your name as one we had mentioned.

However, we have never told Pete that you had anything to do with the chopping or the smear campaign, nor have Mark or I believed that of you.

The only thing we discussed about you with Pete had to do with the coincidental appearance of the Fishhook shortly after you had looked at our prototype Sea of Dreams claws. Mark and I have always joked about the fact that the Fishhook is modeled exactly like our early claws and about how they appeared on the market not long after you had seen our claws and remarked about how cool they were. However, while we have been curious about this coincidence, and mentioned this to Pete like, "I guess that's one story we'll never know the truth about," that was the extent of our discussions about you.

So, as far as I'm concerned at this point, I view you, as Werner says, as "Not guilty" of the chopping, etc.

You DO say now: "For the record, it is unfortunate what happend [sic] to them fellahs during that time.... As for what I have supposedly done and said as per Richard and Mark, I would like to hear this also." In this, I think that you are now not alone. I think that most people are beginning to realize the magnitude of the intentional distortions and outright lies that have been told about the route AND about us for years, and I think that people WANT to know the story of how a few credible guys on a misguided quest succeeded in duping the climbing community and dogging two guys unmercifully for decades.

But now I start getting really angry.

Werner says, as always, in effect it's all our fault that we got hurt from the whole mess. Here is the problem "They personally identified a bunch of rock with themselves."

No, sorry, that's a pathetically oversimplified whitewash of what has happened! WE are not the ones who have caused the PERSONAL slander to occur. Anybody can read the threads at this point and clearly see that WE are not the ones who identified OURSELVES with the route. OTHERS (who, btw, have been strangely silent on the matter recently) on these threads, representing that very vociferous group who have dogged us for decades, are the ones who have slandered US, not JUST the route. Speculations about our characters, our motivations, even our religious beliefs and whether or not we are true to them, have all been called into question in the most cutting and flagrant fashion over the many years.

The smear campaign has been FAR reaching, including every form of written media. Just one example (and there are others) appears in "Climbing Big Walls" (ed. Mike Strassman), in the chapter, "First Ascents," by Steve Grossman: "Conflicts may arise from the local climbing community. Pressure to climb in good style and according to local precedent, can be intense. A perceived lack of ability or judgement [sic] can detract from the satisfaction of completing a first ascent. Such is the case with Wings of Steel on El Capitan."

Now, one might say that Grossman is here talking about the PERCEPTION the locals had, and that the ensuing debacle DID in fact detract from our satisfaction. However, that is NOT the point of this passage, because Grossman continues by making actual claims about us: "The first ascent party ignored local ethics and bolted excessively. The climbing community retaliated, ostracizing the climbers from the Valley forever" (p. 92).

WoS is the ONLY route, and we are the only PEOPLE in that book to get singled out for special condemnation like this. And every word is a lie. Now, the fact that this book has been read by thousands of people, and the only message they get is that WoS is THE example of how NOT to do it, should, according to Werner, be of NO concern to me because if ONLY I hadn't identified myself with the route, there would be NO problem! Hmmm… I detect nothing in that passage about the ROUTE. Grossman's comments are about US: WE bolted excessively (the most fundamental lie told about us); WE ignored local ethics (not true on so many levels that it's laughable); and WE were the ones supposedly banished forever (strange how this didn't seem to keep us out of the Valley at any point). So, Grossman lies about US in print, thousands of people read it and take it as gospel, because, after all, the mighty Grossman wrote it, and yet the whole problem REALLY is that we two pathetic saps just can't keep from identifying ourselves with the route. Ridiculous! Where is Grossman to sincerely apologize for his contribution to the smear campaign?

I say again: far reaching effects. I have right in front of me rejection letters (emphasis on plural) from Climbing and Rock and Ice for articles I submitted about various of my views regarding climbing in general, and these submitted over the years. The same litany runs through them all: "This is a very interesting and well-written piece…. However, in talking with various people, we have come to conclude that you lack the credibility to write it…. So, we are afraid that we wouldn't be able to publish it at this time…. Maybe when the dust settles, submit it again." What? "Various people???"

(Pete: post about Ed Leeper, or I'm gonna steal your fire! Get on the stick, man!) Far reaching, I tell you; but, of course, if ONLY we hadn't identified ourselves with the route….

Rob Slater many years ago tried to get his "take" on WoS printed, and Climbing mag told him they wouldn't print it. They gave him some song and dance about "credibility" too, ignoring the FACT that he had done the first five pitches of the route!

I could go on and on, but I don't want to steal Randy's and Pete's fire, and it sounds like less of a rant coming from them anyway. But the bottom line is that WE have been slandered for DECADES by a concerted and vicious group of guys who have enjoyed a lot of credibility and have misused it to defame us knowingly and intentionally. And in the face of THIS I'm supposed to be moved by Werner's repeated allusions to the notion that my getting hurt by all this crap is really all my fault? No, this endless string of faux "wisdom" just pisses me off! (If I'm raving a bit now, I don't apologize; that last bit just put me past the breaking point. Probably Mark will be more restrained, as he always is, but I'm fed up.)

See, it's cheap and easy to just "pop off" with quickie comments and trite phrases, but it all furthers a perception of distortions and outright lies that have been having their effects for decades.

Worst of all, the biggest lie in the whole Grossman passage is that "the climbing community retaliated...." NO! The "climbing community" did no such thing! A relatively FEW guys embarked on a vicious and unprecedented campaign to slander US, and their talk of the ROUTE was just the vehicle by which to get that done. If the "climbing community" has been complicit in this at all, it has been so by its too easily believing a few credible guys JUST because they have been perceived as good climbers! Oh, and by providing a hiding place for these (thus far) complete cowards!

Now, I know that Werner is one of the "sacred cows," with thousands and thousands of posts to his credit, not to mention his climbing accomplishments, and that people see him as oh so wise. There's even been talk of devoting an entire thread to a compilation of his wisdom. I won't speak to his wisdom in general, but regarding THIS topic, he has had nothing but lame platitudes and pseudo-zen crap to dish out. And this latest pontification is the same pile: "It's really their fault... they brought the pain on themselves... they have this or that attitude problem... etc., etc.," while all the while remaining entirely silent about the TRUE source of the problem.

At this point I'm drawing the line. Werner, I am quite confident that you KNOW exactly who has been behind all this crap for all these years. I myself have reliable, although second hand, "knowledge" of those who are responsible, but I will not post anything even resembling such speculations on this point. But you and Russ cannot now CLAIM "failed memories," because you were there, and I don't think that anybody is going to buy that you just don't remember who was involved.

Russ says: "I knew then, but I don't know now." That's as ridiculous as Regan's famous "I have no recollection of…" lines, and you know it. You don't FORGET who chopped the route and crapped on the gear! You don't FORGET which teams climbed Aquarian wall so that they could bomb us with their trash and bags (emphasis on plural) full of human sh|t and then come back to came and brag loudly about it! So, enough with the fake-pitying crap: "Oh, it's too bad what happened," in that totally passive voice. Nothing "happened." Things were DONE, and you guys (among others) KNOW who did them! Quit protecting these people and letting them hide. You can bring about a healing event, and Werner, if you were 1/4 the eastern sage you act like, you would know HOW healing the truth of this whole story could be.

So, the question is this: are there any people with integrity in the climbing community who are going to step forward now and come clean with what happened? This climbing community TALKS a good game about "ethics" and about "self-policing." I have read threads on this forum about governmental policy and even about what to do with biting monkeys! We are quick to say, "2 x 4 up side the heads of the owners!" We apparently believe in accountability! So, my question is: what's going to be done about "biting" CLIMBERS? What's going to be done about a multi-decade long slander campaign of epic proportions and the actual physical assaults? Is the community consisting of just this FORUM going to "sit back and see what happens," while it amuses itself with idle chatter? Or is there going to BE accountability?

Maybe some see me now as a sort of Don Quixote pursuing an impossible dream. They think, "Well the guy has every reason to be pissed, but, honestly, there's really no hope of getting to the bottom of this after so long." Well, it's only an impossible dream if the climbing community makes that a self-fulfilling prophecy! We have the power and the connections to find out, and we already know enough to get to the bottom of this.

Here are some data points to get thing rolling:

I KNOW this for certain, first hand: Mike Corbett repeatedly yelled in my FACE that he had chopped the route and would do it again if we continued to work on it (although he later told Harding and my mom that he was just saying things in anger that he really didn't mean, and he then claimed that he knew who actually chopped the route). Scott Cole apologized to Mark for what had happened, although he said that he had no part in it, but he knew who did. Mike Paul apologized to me for his unspecified "involvement," and also said that he knew who had chopped the route and sh|t on the gear. So, there are a number of guys who KNOW first-hand who has been behind the chopping and this amazing, multi-decade long smear campaign.

I am told that the Mikes and Scott don't frequent these forums. But there are people here who know them, and those people can get in touch with them and tell them that they NEED to get on here (or contact me directly) and tell the TRUTH about what happened. Are we REALLY a "self-policing" community, or is that the case ONLY when it is easy, convenient, and doesn't threaten any sacred cows? There has recently been quite a bit of "self-policing" ire about fixed gear on Mt. Watkins, with many calling for dire consequences against the perpetrators. Yet the Mt. Watkins incident is NOTHING compared to what these guys have foisted off on the climbing community! Or are the endless and groundless attacks on two CLIMBERS of less importance than some junk on Mt. Watkins?

I am formally calling Mike Corbett out! If any of you know how to get him into this discussion, I'm calling for you to do it. He needs to explain exactly what he knows, and if he didn't chop and sh|t (as he repeatedly CLAIMED that he did), then he also claimed that he knew who did, and he needs to name names. If he won't come clean, then here and now, I officially accuse him of being, as he himself claimed to be, a member of the chopping/sh|tting party. In the face of this, I take long-term silence to be the same as pleading nolo contendre, and until Mike explains otherwise, I will publicly refer to him as one of the choppers. Furthermore, I intend to get the many details of what I know into print, so this is Mike's chance to explain himself. No more hiding.

I am formally calling Bill Russell out! I know first hand from his climbing partner (Rich was the only name we got from him in front of the Mountain Shop) about Bill's aborted SA attempt on WoS and that Bill intended to "chop it this time in legitimate style," by climbing it first. Only problem was that he COULDN'T climb it first; he couldn't even get up the first pitch, because, unfortunately for him he didn't bring a cheat stick! After extricating himself, Bill was then committed to climbing Horse Chute and rapping the slab to chop the route on rappel (as it had been chopped the first time), but Rich told him, "You can't even climb it. This isn't what we expected, and I'm not going to stay silent if you chop it on rappel." If Bill wasn't on the chopping party, then he needs to explain exactly what he meant by his comment and tell us who DID chop it. I have excellent reason to believe that Bill was on the chopping party, but here is Bill's chance to explain what he knows. Bill's partner, Rich, can also come forward with his story.

I am formally ASKING Scott Cole and Mike Paul to come forward to tell us what they know. I bear them NO ill will at all, as at least Mike Paul knows from me and Scott Cole should know from Mark. But we NEED to know what they know.

Convenient memory lapses and excuses involving yelling things in the heat of the moment just aren't getting it done any more. Bottom line is, people who know the truth have a responsibility to the whole climbing community to come forward with that truth. In such a case, silence is complicity. We CAN know the truth, if we have the WILL to know it. Otherwise, you can comfort yourselves all you want with tales of "hard climbs" and biting monkeys, and "righteous indignation" over trash on Mt. Watkins, but it's all just a facade.

I well realize that some people are going to respond to this post by saying, "Wow, Jensen is actually an a-hole after all! Look, all he wants is vengeance! What a raving lunatic!

Being misperceived is nothing new for me, so I take that risk here, but I hope that people who have followed this story, including the related slander about Intifada, can see that the time has come for accountability, NOT vengeance. People who have bold-face lied for this long and to this extent must answer for it, and there must be healing all around.

I realize that Pete, Tom, and Randy have been trying in their diplomatic way to accomplish the same thing as I am trying to with this post, and they are probably writhing in anguish right now as they read it: "Damn, Richard, couldn't you have kept it under control for awhile longer? Now you've dropped a bomb!" Mark and I are the only ones who can "prime the pump," so to speak with the first-hand knowledge we have, some of which I have just shared. And, while I believe in Pete's, Tom's, and Randy's integrity, I also believe (because they have told me) that they really don't believe that it is possible to get to the bottom of this mess. I vehemently disagree, but my disagreement DEPENDS upon my perspective of the climbing community having more will and courage and nobility than perhaps they believe of it. Maybe they will be proved right, but it will honestly be the saddest day of my life so far when I lay down my current belief in what this community stands for!

I would be the first one to say that I understand that strange and unfortunate things can happen in the heat of the moment. I would also be the first to understand how things can escalate to maintain a position that appears threatened by unanticipated facts. So, I would be the first to "hold out the olive branch," as Pete put it. Honestly. I would LOVE to be able to look these guys in the eyes, come to understand what happened, and then shake hands and be done with it. But there can be no true closure to this whole debacle until the climbing community has the opportunity to survey the actual truth of what happened, and there are those who right now OWE this to us all so that we can all learn from it and avoid anything like it ever happening again.

Imagine if Grossman, right now, were to post saying anything like, "I'm sorry you guys. I wrote what was taken as common knowledge at that time, and I now realize what a crock it was. You can bet I'll be a lot more careful in the future." You can bet your bottom dollar that I would be ready to respond with graciousness rather than vindictiveness. But the former HAS to precede the latter.

At the very least, though, let's have no more platitudinous, quasi-wise crap. If this rant of mine now makes Werner and Russ into committed enemies, well, all I can say is that I have hoped through it all that they can stand justly rebuked and rise above it--I've certainly been asked to rise above a whole lot of crap that was neither just nor true. So, let them treat me with just a tiny bit of the charity that for decades people have been saying I should have about this whole situation.

So, what's it going to be, fellow climbers? Is it the case for the whole climbing community that it "can't handle the truth?" Or, are we prepared to find out the truth, because WE, collectively, CAN?
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 3, 2006 - 12:17am PT
elcapfool

Big Wall climber
hiding in plain sight
Aug 3, 2006 - 06:15am PT
Wow, now that's a post filled with emotion!
I feel your anguish, really I do.
And you seem to already know many of answers you seek.
But I would have to say confronting Corbett most likely won't go well.
Likewise there is nothing to be gained talking to Swills, but at least you wouldn't be in mortal danger.

My feeling is that WoS was too far ahead of it's time. It was the premature synthesis of Aiding and sportclimbing. I mean your willingness to log multiple falls ran contrary to the aid ethos of the day.

I think things would have been very different if you had done the Sea of Dreams first. But you chose to FA without having done any other EC routes first. That is the root of a lot of the problem. It's not a rule, but you should see how it was percieved by others.

Granted I've only been up to the third anchor, but what I saw led me to believe someone savaged the route for reasons misguided. In a few spots it was clear placements had been hammered flat.
After hearing your side, and descriptions of what you did and where, I now see I can not judge with any accuracy who did what. The issues I encountered where likely from all the chimps that followed.
IMO, the book only added to your problems, and gave weight to the argument you did it for the noteriety.

Blame is cheap in this incident, everybody seems to have made a contribution to the outcome. When you cut the path of the renegade, don't expect adoration from the rest of the tribe.

It is unlikely you will ever get the resolution you seek. The only way I can see would be for you to climb it again, and I fully realize how unfun that would be.

I know Ammon and PtPP, and I wouldn't say either of them were good candidates for that route. You actually need someone with less experience and more hunger for recognition, because it is thin, slow, and desperate.


Whatever, my opinion doesn't matter. All my gear was stolen, and I'll never be able to afford to climb El Cap again.
ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Aug 3, 2006 - 07:59am PT
Wow, that ws a lot to digest!!!! 25 years ago!!!!!I got married 25 years ago and I can still remember quite well most of the events of that day. I was in Yosemite when all this was going down...not on a "living in" but was there every weekend and I remember driving with Mike Paul into the valley and I even went out to the Meadows to check things out with Mike and others. I can't quite understand why this is still such an issue???? Give it up and move on. I'm sure most of the people involved are not proud of that happened then and some have even apologized, be happy with that and stop the Wings of Steel shitz. Unfortunatly yer not going to get everyone to fess up, but constantly reminding people of a bad time in the climbing "community" aint gonna help it any either. If it will help with the healing....I did it!!! Rapped from the top of El Cap, chopped, shitzed and ruined the route. I will assume responsibility for all those that didn't fess up that were involved and I applaud those that did fess up(Mike Paul, Scott Cole). I hope this admission will lessen the pain and help with the recovery.
Anyone care to talk about "Hall of Mirrors"????? I remeber that too...how come we're not arguing about that one??? Wings of Steel must have been a good route, but let's put it to rest.
Peace
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Aug 3, 2006 - 08:24am PT
I do think it would be cool if the shitters could find the stones to stand up and be counted.

DMT
NeverSurfaced

Trad climber
Someplace F*#ked!
Aug 3, 2006 - 08:39am PT
Interesting, a bit of a UG history lesson. Hall of Mirrors?
Teth

climber
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Aug 3, 2006 - 08:44am PT
Wow, what is the record for the longest post on SuperTopo?

Richard:

I don’t entirely agree with putting Russ and WBraun on the spot like this. Asking them or others to change their minds or to admit they may have spoken in ignorance before the truth came out is one thing, but asking people to name names makes them a bit more uncomfortable, at least when you do it in public. These guys may know who did it, but it is likely second hand knowledge even with them being in the area at the time. I mean, sh!ting on your gear might have seemed like a good idea to someone in the heat of the moment, but when whoever it was calmed down can you really see a climber bragging to other climbers about sh!ting on someone’s gear? So Russ and company may not have heard those responsible actually admit to the action, making anything they do know hear-say. They may also have heard much speculation regarding who did it, and may have never known for sure which stories were true, which would make it easier to forget.

Calling out the people who have admitted to knowing something may be more productive, but still, I think the real point of this whole exercise is to prove what you did and clean your soiled image. If the people responsible have any self respect they will stand up and apologize, but the evidence so far does not suggest they have much self respect. Do you really need the world to know who did this to you, or is it sufficient for the world to understand the injustice which was done?

Teth
the Fet

climber
A urine, feces, and guano encrusted ledge
Aug 3, 2006 - 08:56am PT
Well Richard first off I have to remind you that you can only control your actions and not that of others. Focus on what you can control, don't stress about what you can't control.

I believe you have done a great job in countering the slander, libel, threats, getting back on the route after it was chopped, etc. I hope you can find some peace in the fact that you have remained on the high road and not given up presenting your side of the story. I also hope that these discussions have at last brought out at least some of the truth and started to help tell what really happened.

You are striving to right some wrongs, but if the perpetrators never come forward and admit they were wrong and apologize to you, you shouldn't let that get you down or keep you from getting closure. Yes you (and the community) should continue to try to get to the bottom of this, but the people who would engage in that behavior (lies, crapping on gear, etc.) are probably not people who are willing to all of a sudden do the right thing. Also they were probably young, drunk, and in a mob mentality when the chopping happened and are embarrassed and don't want the truth to come out.

On another note, this may sound crass, but this is a great story. If you had done the route and nothing came of it, it would have been just another route and been forgotten long ago, it would be a far more boring story. Instead, with the controversy, chopping, sh|t, etc. this has the makings of one of the most interesting events in Yosemite climbing history. And it's still playing out. The route still hasn't had a 2nd ascent. I know you were the victims in this story, but you are also the heroes! You have been presented with a difficult challenge, that although I'm sure you would have rather not had all this B.S. happen, it has given you the opportunity to rise to the challenge and continue to strive for a positive ending.

I believe Royal's chopping of the Dawn Wall played out to be a great model for the climbing community. He established that you have the right to remove bolts that shouldn't be there, while at the same time establishing that the quality of the climbing can justify the use of bolts (even 300+ of them). It was controversial, thought of as a mistake, but turned out to effectively demonstrate both sides of the argument. I am glad it turned out the way it did, although I'm sure Warren and Royal wish it went down differently.

Of course the difference with WOS was that the perpetrators never climbed the route. They couldn't make a judgment call about the quality of the climbing and made a rash decision that the route wasn't valid, without the facts. Anyone who thinks at all about this should realize this is bogus. You should take comfort in the fact that people who have thought about this know that the cards were stacked against you from the beginning and you were treated unfairly. The fact that people would threaten you with violence or destruction of your property also shows how off base they were. That is an ethical line you clearly do not cross. It is wrong, illegal, and just plain lame.

I appreciate the fact that you've named some names, and explained exactly why you've named them and what you know.

Keep in mind that sometimes a no comment is just as damning as a comment. The fact that the perpetrators aren't willing to come out and say "it was me, I did it, and I was right", makes a statement.

As far as your book goes, any inclination that the book in any way justifies that you were doing the route for acclaim is off base, and shows they probably haven't read the book. I'm sure most of us would still continue to climb exactly as we do if we could never write about it, or take photos. You simply would not engage in such a dangerous, difficult activity for recognition. The main reason people climb is to face that difficulty and danger. If you wanted acclaim there are easier ways to get it.

I think people don't realize that there are two extremes of climbing that no one really engages in. The pure extreme is shoeless, chalkless, onsite, free soloing, never mentioning a word of it to anyone, never placing a single bolt even to cover a short blank section. The other extreme is sport/grid (retro-)bolting everything (including cracks), and endlessly spraying about it. No one really operates at either end of the spectrum we all lie somewhere in the continuum between them. Some are more to one side or the other but no one can demand that everyone should think exactly like them and accept what they feel is the acceptable level of bolting/modification and publicity. Sure you can (and probably have some responsibility) to present your point of view but at the same time you should listen to other people's view and understand there is validity to their beliefs.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 3, 2006 - 08:56am PT
Actually since WOS and this situation has been writen about in so much climbing litarature it has become a part of history. If that history is false it needs to be exposed. It si no diferent than getting to the bottom of the Bonatti K2 affair. Anyone who uses human excrement as a wepon is a sick individual and should be exposed. nothing short of a full disclosure printed in the major climbing rags will suffice at this point.
WBraun

climber
Aug 3, 2006 - 09:02am PT
The late Avery made a claw from a ring angle that he gave me that I gave Russ for a template for his first "Fish hook".

The first Fish hook was made by Russ cutting my bike frame in half which was a huge failure (hahaha) as it bent easily under weight. It was a fun project anyways as I still laugh over this hilarious idea.

Richard are you alright?

All of our miseries are due to false identification with the body.

The non permanent appearance of heat and cold, happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed. In the summertime we may feel pleasure from contact with water, but in the winter we may shun that very water because it is too cold.

In either case, the water is the same, but we perceive it as pleasant or painful due to its contact with the body.

I heard the chopping and shitting from second hand sources. I know who 2 of them are in the same way you do. It's your problem not mine.

Don't try to drag me into your ball and chain nightmare. I wasn't part of it then nor now. There is no "sacred cow" , I'm right here ..... what do you want?

I gave you my opinion hot or cold "how does it feel?"
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2006 - 09:12am PT
This seems to be the applicable part for me in that rant:

Russ says: "I knew then, but I don't know now." That's as ridiculous as Regan's famous "I have no recollection of…" lines, and you know it. You don't FORGET who chopped the route and crapped on the gear! You don't FORGET which teams climbed Aquarian wall so that they could bomb us with their trash and bags (emphasis on plural) full of human sh|t and then come back to came and brag loudly about it! So, enough with the fake-pitying crap: "Oh, it's too bad what happened," in that totally passive voice. Nothing "happened." Things were DONE, and you guys (among others) KNOW who did them! Quit protecting these people and letting them hide. You can bring about a healing event, and Werner, if you were 1/4 the eastern sage you act like, you would know HOW healing the truth of this whole story could be.

How about a non passive voice? I don't remember and don't really give a shiit. How am I supposed to remember who was on the Aquarian or some other wall fukking with you, when I can't without pen and paper even remember the routes I've done. You have named choppers and shitters that I did not know were even in the mix. See, I don't live this shiit 24 hours a day like you. I have gone decades without thinking about WOS because in my world, it is a very minor to non event. So don't begin to tell me what I should and should not know. After reading your rant I know more now than I probably knew in the last 20 years. Seems you already have all the answers and are just being a windbag assshole trying to throw more light onto poor you.

As for the fake pity crap, take it as you will. I do feel for you guys and what happened was some kinda fukked up.... but, it ain't my show, and I'm not the demon under the bed. This is your witch hunt and get on with it. Grossman is around, Corbett is around, Bill Russell is around. You are wailing away on deaf ears on this forum as they ain't here. Seek them out, have your say, write a 60 page article for Time Magazine and get on with your life.

As for the hook thing. Who the fuk knows on that too. The first FISH hooks were drawn up and made from a Walt Shipley design. I still have the design drawings and the letter. You interested in digging him up and yelling at him??? I can point you to his ashes.

golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Aug 3, 2006 - 09:12am PT
boundaries being crossed. Obviously, many of us think that there were some boundaries being crossed when sh** was used as a persuasive weapon. And chopping occurred without climbing. Another boundary I would agree with madbolter on is a Big Walls Book with hearsay on WoS. Because in fact, everything is hearsay except for those who may have climbed the route or parts of the route. Another boundary here may be madbolter asking werner and fish to fess up. While I am quite sympathetic to the WoS guys, madbolter, you cannot expect werner and fish to do more than be responsible for themselves. Contacting the others involved and hoping they post up may be a suitable gesture.

Richard and Mark, it must have been extremely painful (the twisting of the knife) to read in a Big Walls How To book that your route was an example of how not to do it. However, there is great personal solace to be gained here. Your route has never been successfully ascended. That pretty much speaks for itself. To the naysayers, put up or shut up.
Landgolier

climber
the flatness
Aug 3, 2006 - 09:30am PT
(Edit: For the sake of thread coherence, the drivel below was written pretty simultaneously with Russ' much better post above, i.e. I hadn't read his when I wrote mine.)

I have been on the pro-WOS side through this whole thing because I think it was a hell of a thing for anyone to do, and it pushed aid climbing onto a type of terrian it simply wasn't tackling at the time, and really hasn't quite gotten around to yet.

However, this latest flare-up is ridiculous. You guys have a persecution complex that is starting to remind me of South Park's caricature of Mel Gibson ("doesn't anyone want to torture me? please? come on guys!?!? would somebody please sh#t on my ropes decades ago again to validate my sense of persecution?). You guys put up a hard route in the valley a long time ago. Some people messed with you. We've pretty well gotten the important details sussed, and you're still going on for ten thousand words about wanting to know the exact identities of pranksters, trying to intimate that Russ ripped you off, and making a big deal about some minor mentions of the route in some climbing books.

You're acting like your little drama was the only thing that ever happened in the Valley, and somehow was this huge defining moment that reached into every facet of climbing -- gear design, ethics, the history books, valley culture, etc... You need to realize that it only looks that way to you because you've let the events and your sense of persecution become such a defining moment for you in your lives. Everybody here has done what they can to dredge up their memories of the time and the events, and there have been some moments of contrition, but you need to realize this was just another chapter, and for everyone but you it's all but closed.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Aug 3, 2006 - 10:27am PT
"Seems you already have all the answers and are just being a windbag assshole trying to throw more light on to poor you. "

I concur.
nvrws

climber
Aug 3, 2006 - 10:32am PT
I say, let the perps stand up and identify themselves. Then I think this thing finally has some resolution. Its easy to say to Mark and Richard, "let it go". But... did you have to untangle, then clean sh#t off your ropes and your gear. I suspect if any of us had come across that scenario we'd have a tough time forgetting. I've known Richard for a long time both before and after WOS. Hell, I helped Mark and Richard haul their stuff off when they did the Sea, and helped them clean up the base after(Sorry, Rich, I wasn't as much help as I should have been that day, something about mushrooms slowed me down... but thats another story). I don't think people understand what its like to be in the Valley and be ridiculed, eyeballed, and lambasted by the then valley 'elite' day in and day out. So WB and Russ say they don't know who did it, ok, but they know who was there. Someone eluded to one individual on the SAR team that was involved and actually got kicked out at a later date(check my facts on this one, there only been 500+ posts). I think we should apply the six degrees of separation theory here. Russ, WB, ya'll start naming names of folks that were there during the wos deal and way will lead to way until we've got the shitters right here on this forum. I think that is the stand up thing to do. As for WB not giving a crap what people do to ElCap etc. great, but I bet the next time somebody takes a crap on your head, you'll care.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 3, 2006 - 10:34am PT
Nice rant, Richard!

Guys, I haven't even read the responses yet because I don't have time, so I'm only commenting here on Richard's rant.

While at times Richard appears a bit of a raving lunatic in print, I want you-all to know that in person, he is a very forthright and credible person, and I hold him in the highest esteem. He has never given me any reason to disbelieve anything he has said.

Richard has also been very very hurt by this whole thing, and you can tell from his writing that the hurt persists to this day. His heart is in the right place, I can tell you that, but it's a scarred heart. And when you touch the scar, it's still a sore spot.

Having spent considerable time with Mark and Richard, I still can't put into words the depth of their hurts over this, but maybe you can get an idea of it in their ranting. They're not vindictive nor on a witch hunt. These guys are the first to offer up the olive branch. There is nothing these guys would love more than to meet the people face to face who chopped the route and shat on their ropes, and make amends. If the offending parties were to apologize, Richard and Mark would be the first to say, "I forgive you."

You know, that's really all these guys want. Just a few people to come forward, and have the sack to say they did some stupid stuff to hurt them, but twenty-five years later, they realize it was stupid, and want to apologize.

I have told Richard he is hoping for too much, for an apology all these years later. Richard commonly makes the mistake of assuming that most people have the courage and integrity that he does. I would love to read what Mike Corbett and Bill Russell have to say. I hope they come forward.

You might think something along the lines of, "Ok, guys - we get it already! Yes, Wings of Steel is desperately hard hooking, it's not overbolted, and you guys created something so hard nobody has been able to repeat it in a quarter-century. We get it! Now shut up, will ya?" Fair enough, but again - you may not understand the depths of the hurt, and how this has negatively affected Mark's and Richard's lives! They want to clear their names, simple as that.

I don't think Grossman's untrue comments were made in a spirit of maliciousness against Mark and Richard per se, they were made with the good intent of preserving the rock in Yosemite, effectively saying that if you overbolt, you'll get run out of town. Grossman's mistake [like mine, and most other people's] is that he believed the hype about Wings of Steel.

Gotta go, will read the responses and write more later. But I do so love a good rant. The therapeutic benefits of ranting cannot be understated.
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 3, 2006 - 10:46am PT
although ranting may be theraputic, screaming "f-u, f-u, f-u, apologize to me NOW!" is rarely a successful approach.


for most people, it's like watching soap opera reruns from way back in the day, when everyone had big hair.


EDIT
i am not saying that you are right or wrong, i am not saying that you are or are not due anything from anyone, i am just saying that this approach has zero chance of success (and i am otherwise not in any place to be judging anything).

having said that, offering someone the chance to come foward and talk to you personally and confidentially about those events might eventually bring you a certain amount of personal satisfaction, or help you actually achieve the healing (your term) that you are looking for, and as WB talks about the difference between you and your route, you could just leave the legacy of the route to pete or ammon, or whomever gets the 2nd ascent. books get rewritten all the time.
Teth

climber
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Aug 3, 2006 - 10:48am PT
Richard:

You often find it difficult to decid what to respond to and what not to. [Hint] You might want to just let that “windbag assshole” comment go. It is clearly responding to the tone of your last post rather than to you in the general sense. The same applies to some of these other posts. I suggest you reread your last post and consider how it must have come across to Russ and company, before you respond to any of these responses.

As for the Fish hook, might function have some effect on design, dictating a similar form? Great minds think alike.

Teth
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Aug 3, 2006 - 11:00am PT
I wonder if Jensen would be happy if the story were printed in one of the climbing "journals" (using that term very loosely), and the story depicted the magnitude of the climb, the fact that it is yet unrepeated. It could also mention the "anonymous self-appointed tools" - behavior which has, for better or worse, been a part of climbing since the 60's. Potentially it could report also the allegations as to the suspicions of the people in question.

I really suspect, as others do, that human nature being what it is, the parties involved have since realized that their behavior was improper and that they simply do not now have, and may never have, the moral fiber to admit to and apologize for their errors. Perhaps put that way in print, they will. Regardless, public recognition of both the climb and the conditions might put the whole thing to rest.
mooch

Big Wall climber
The Immaculate Conception
Aug 3, 2006 - 11:05am PT
although ranting may be theraputic, screaming "f-u, f-u, f-u, apologize to me NOW!" is rarely a successful approach

Wow....you need a lesson in the Art of Forgiveness, my friend : P

Richard -

I feel for you but it's time to move on. Nefarius has been filling me in on a few things and I've looked at all sides of this. Bottom line: it's all in the past....time to let it go...PERIOD!
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Aug 3, 2006 - 11:09am PT
Ya know, I gotta agree with some things, and call bullsh|t on some others...

Is this personal to Richard and Mark? You betcha! Would it be, if this kind of crap (pardon the pun) happened to anyone else in this forum? Absolutely. I think it might be worse. I think their class conduct has really helped this stay as tame as it has, for a long time. I know that me, personally, if I had to go through half the nonsense they have, I'd have reacted a lot differently. Someone wanna walk up to me, surround me, call me names, call me out, get in my face, threaten me, my gear, my life, my car, sh#t on my gear and slander my good name, my hard work, etc... I might just summon up an ass whuppin for ya. Maybe no thte first time, or the second... But well before the dozens of times this happened to them. Especially being a climber in my 20's, feeling backed into a corner! Especially when it's all based on lies to preserve some egos, or whatever. At the very least, however, I might take it a bit personally.

Regardless, we're here and it's now, it is what it is. I think to expect what has been asked of Werner and Fish is probably a bit too much, sure. Especially when it's been admitted that neither was thought to be involved. Asking about the Fish hook... OK, most people might want to know, for themselves. It was asked, Russ answered, Werner answered... What else can ya do? I'll even overlook the fact that 24 years makes those answers different. Pretty small piece of the puzzle, however.

As far as an overall feeling... Well, I've come to love DMT over the years for his flat out simple honesty and cutting the chase to the way things *should* be. As he said, "I do think it would be cool if the shitters could find the stones to stand up and be counted." I think a lot of people would like to see this. Certainly, most of all, Richard and Mark. I think that this will be up to the persons involved however, and that to expect anyone else to hunt them down or out them is asking a bit much. In thinking about this as a possible occurrence, however, when you think about all of the behavior associated, the acts committed, etc., you have to come to an understanding that this just *isn't* going to happen. These were all pretty cowardly acts to begin with. I think to expect the persons involved, no matter how "big" their names in the climbing world may have been, to change over the years and ditch the cowardice for a sack is expecting something that just isn't going to happen. People don't change. They change colors, sometimes, but the root remains the same.

So, while Richard's post may make him seem to be a "windbag as#@&%e" to some, I really don't see this. I see someone who has politely, with an ocassional rant, put up with a LOT of sh|t! It's not just about a climb to Richard or to Mark. This has actually affected more than their climbing lives. It's affected other areas of their lives, as well as them, personally. I mean, after all, the attack was more on their character and integrity, more than anything.

Having met Mark and Richard and hung out with them considerably, I can understand how this might bother them. They're both stand-up guys, of extreme integrity. They've been nothing but forthright in all they've said to me and on this forum. On the other hand, while on the route, while talking to people, being a "sleuth", as I think it was called, etc., I've continually had to face the fact that this has not been true of so many other people.

I find it hard to believe, that in all these years, especially in times close to the FA of the route, that none of these people, some of them being you, stopped and looked at the route while up there and saw, plain as day, the truth! Especially in light of the fact that in one way, or another, this has all been kept alive for so many of these years. People attempting the route, writing about it, etc... Word of mouth certainly got the *lies* around the ditch and eventually elsewhere. I guess I'd have to think there was some sort of conspiracy/smear campaign, etc. against me too when it took 24 years for the truth to start emerging.
landcruiserbob

Trad climber
the ville, colorado
Aug 3, 2006 - 11:41am PT
A little before my time. I think I was beating off to the JC Penny catalogs under wear section at that time.Why would you call someone out on a forum?? Maybe you guys should get together & have a fight in El cap meadow & then have a couple of beers.
Chopping bolts is bull sh#t. Harding should have whipped Royals ass for that.rg
dryfly

Trad climber
utah
Aug 3, 2006 - 11:51am PT
While intriguing,this whole deal is none of my damn business. I do however feel compelled to say that IMHO, Golsen and nefarius ,have both shown what I believe is the best perspective to view this from for all concerned.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Aug 3, 2006 - 12:31pm PT
Yep, no surprise, some misunderstandings. Some understanding.

I will say, though, that I wasn't just flying off the cuff here. I composed the "rant" in Word, thought it through carefully, considered the tone, etc. Perhaps that will make it seem worse to some people: not being just a "rant," it was carefully conceived and deliberate.

That said, let me clarify that at this point I have done what I can to very publicly open the door. My tone was not intended to derive pity--it was intended to cast light on the fact that people get all worked up over monkey bites and trash on Mt. Watkins, and in the latter case it was thought significant enough that a search and punish campaign was suggested using various means. My point is that what happened to Mark and I is SO far beyond some trash on Mt. Watkins that it would seem that the climbing community would be even more incensed and want the truth to come out. If that comparison seems like self-pity, then you really have no idea who I am.

Russ and Werner, you responded as I expected, but I at least gave you the chance to, as nvrws says, "So WB and Russ say they don't know who did it, ok, but they know who was there. Someone eluded to one individual on the SAR team that was involved and actually got kicked out at a later date(check my facts on this one, there only been 500+ posts). I think we should apply the six degrees of separation theory here. Russ, WB, ya'll start naming names of folks that were there during the wos deal and way will lead to way until we've got the shitters right here on this forum. I think that is the stand up thing to do."

The developing idea so far seems to be that it's unreasonable to expect people to do this very thing. Yet, that didn't seem unreasonable in the Mt. Watkins trash thread. Could it be that so far from US having a "persecution complex," instead the real deal is that a closed clique of Valley locals have a deep paranoia at this point that their precious names and reps will actually be compromised when people find out that it was THEY who squatted down and unloaded their bowels (and that level of drunkenness ADDS to the discredit rather than excuses it).

Speculation about my psychology notwithstanding, the fact remains that the truth is accessible to us, and it is no mere matter of PERSONAL healing that I seek here.

It is probably true that what I would love to see happen never will happen. But, don't fault me for giving it my best, most poignant, most heart-felt attempt. I am an idealist, and I have hoped that the climbing community still had some of that left.

I AM a tenacious person, as WoS itself demonstrates. My "rant" was, in effect, me throwing myself at yet another ridiculous, improbable, risk-laden pitch--knowing that, like the route itself, misunderstanding will be the default response from people. If you have just seen me go down in flames, then so be it. To do anything hard, you gotta risk the falls. I don't expect a quick or easy resolution here. It won't surprise me to find that many more years go by before the truth is completely known. That doesn't dissuade me trying.

Regarding "letting it go" and "getting on with life," my life does not revolve around WoS, but there is no denying that the events of the past 24 years have lingered and often connect up with present reality. That said, you can be assured that if my attempt to give people the opportunity to right an injustice, there will be no self-pity here. I have given justice my best shot, and I don't apologize for it. And be assured that I would be just this "vociferous" if I heard of an injustice of this magnitude that had happened to somebody else, as my friends can attest.

If you as a community conclude that justice isn't worth the price (and, make no mistake, THAT is what you will be choosing), then you will have made the clear statement that once your name has crossed a certain lofty threshold, you can never be held to account. People will fall all over themselves to say, "You can't call ---------- out like that! It's unreasonable to expect --------- to come clean with everything they know!" The process I'm asking for will be painful, but it CAN produce the truth. If you conclude that it CANNOT or that you're not willing to engage in the process, again, I don't apologize for trying my BEST to arouse in you something like the ire people clearly felt over the trash on Mt. Watkins or monkey bites.

Talk is cheap and easy. Perhaps such is all these forums are good for. If so, still I took a shot, and I still have hopes that over the years the climbing community will demonstrate that it values justice in its ranks.
mooch

Big Wall climber
The Immaculate Conception
Aug 3, 2006 - 12:48pm PT
Chopping bolts is bull sh#t. Harding should have whipped Royals ass for that.rg [\i]

Amen. Hmmmm......New Dawn?
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Aug 3, 2006 - 01:06pm PT
Richard,
Many of us are not in a position to help out in this quest for truth other than offer up our opinions here. I hope the truth does come out and as others have stated the WOS history is still ongoing and an important chapter will not be written until someone climbs the thing and reports on it. Apparently, those of us who offered up beer to PTPP need to throw in some whiskey beforehand next time huh? (Just kidding, I am impressed with and was pulling for those guys from the start.)

Many others have written and said they too, would like to find the truth. My guess is that there aint many folks on here that can help you out with that. And those that can are also in an uncomfortable and unenviable position. From my own perspective I remember reading the accounts in climbing magazine so many years ago about the debacle in the Valley. It amazes me that it has taken so many years to gain interest in this route.

Another consideration. If I hiked up to climb Mt Watkins with trash up there I would be directly affected. I was never directly affected other than bid vibes when you were being bombarded with sh&&. Also that is the here and now, not 24 yrs ago. I know that sounds selfish and I am not trying to minimize what you are saying. It took many years to get here and it will take some time to get to the bottom of things. I hope that you get the closure you are wishing but as others have said, that may not happen.

I will say that there is a huge difference between RR yanking warrens bolts while climbing the route and some guys ascending your fixed lines and pulling them. And to me, anyone who has written anything negatively about your route that has not climbed it is speaking with an ignorant viewpoint.

Patience, there are many who are interested in this story...
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 3, 2006 - 01:08pm PT
any which way you slice it there is a huge difference between what happened in the valley 25 years ago and what happens there right now- today, so your comparisons over "the climbing community" reacting to the watkins toprope and a bunch of guys outing other guys who could out the girlfriends of the rope shitters are not as straightforward as you seem to imply.

best of luck either way



(locker- 800? oops, wrong thread...)
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Aug 3, 2006 - 01:21pm PT
Richard, there are two differences between the Mt. Watkins issues and what happened to you. One is time; too much time has gone by for the WoS events to cause as much of a stir as what is on Watkins now. Second is the nature of the injury. Most climbers get more incensed by an injury to the rock or the route than they do about an injury to a person.

I can offer you this. I started climbing about the time all this was coming down. I heard all the rumors because climbing in the Valley and on El Cap then was a huge part of my life. I've read every post on this subject on the several threads.

I'm glad, very glad to see the community of climbers start to recognize that you were mistreated and that your route is valid. Not because I know you or any of the involved parties, but because I like to see "justice" be done. I've heard all the names of all the people who did (or may have) screwed with you, they're well known names to any climber from this era and area. Most of the names are names I've not only heard, but names I've grown to respect. Again, not because I know these people either, but because I've heard of their accomplishments.

My respect for each of these climbers (who I "grew up" hearing about and admiring) has dropped a hell of a lot. I doubt they care, they'll never meet me in these lifetimes and I'm a nobody climber. But I think I represent the vast majority of no-names who make up the climbing community. So, true or not, I've lost massive respect for guys like Mike Corbett. Why? Not because of some juvenile stupidity they may have committed 25 years ago, but because of an unwillingness to come forward now, be a man and say "crap, I was such an as#@&%e when I was younger, I f*#ked up, I'm sorry."

By the way, I for one appreciate Russ's participation in this whole discussion. I don't know that I'd like him in person, he seems like a sarcastic, ascerbic, arrogant prick online, but at least he is an arrogant prick with the courage not to duck the issues. Werner? He's pulled my ass on to a gurney and trucked it over to the Valley Clinic, and I think he may be the biggest unheralded legend in Valley climbing history. But I don't share or pretend to understand his philosophic views.

I think this is how most nobody climbers look at this issue.
Landgolier

climber
the flatness
Aug 3, 2006 - 01:23pm PT
Let me sum it up again. You still give a rat's pink pucker about what a bunch of guys you knew you were pissing off in the first place think about something you did 25 years ago? And you expect everybody here to respect and even feed that sentiment?

Let it go, man. The reanimated corpse of Richard Nixon could personally show up and show you Ansel Adams' large format stills of Nixon, Russ, Werner, and Ted Williams sh!tting on your ropes, and you still wouldn't get back the time and energy you've put into fretting about this.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Aug 3, 2006 - 01:39pm PT
Golson, I appreciate what you're saying. It might not be coming across in my last couple of posts, but I actually do have a long-term view of this whole thing. I don't expect immediate results, and I agree with you that most of the people on this forum can't do much (directly) to help. All my apparent raving aside, I'm actually a reasonable guy. No, really. I am. Really. PLEEEAASSSE believe me. :-)

I also agree that it's easier for people to get worked up over what is a current outrage rather than one that hasn't affected people directly much, or at all, and that is also seemingly decades distant. So, there does appear to be a certain divergency between Mt. Watkins and WoS.

What I'm trying to point out, though, is that this is a divergency of PERSPECTIVE rather than a divergency of fact. Let a few years go by in the case of the trash on Watkins, and, although people will FEEL less outrage, the FACT of the matter is no less outrageous. My claim has been (with NO self-pity in the mix) is that the ongoing (not just a single incident 24 years ago) campaign of slander is more outrageous than some trash on Watkins. Again, at risk of sounding self-pitying or appearing to have a "persecution complex" let me quote some passages from earlier posts about the route. Then, can anybody try to float the idea that this has not been an ongoing and PRESENT injustice?

Lambone writes: "I heard the team drilled their way up the think then chopped the bolts while cleaning. kinda lame style IMHO..."

Weenis writes: "The Wings of Foil crew spent an interminable amount of time up there. There was a streak of feces and trash 200 meters long below their hangin' bivy camp. I wasn't able to see a line there, most others at the time were in agreement. One of the guy's Mom (Mother of Steel) was allegedly dating Warren Harding during this period. So history repeated itself, somewhat: The route gets chopped, fixed ropes dropped and other unspeakable things happen. Funny how scores of climbers were trying to take credit for the dirty deed. So they finish their route and go on to do some other routes on the right side, cool. Good Mormon kids with a lot of ambition, however terribly misguided (initially)."

Hmmm... I could stop there, couldn't I? These were just two early posts, and it goes on and on like this. "Kinda lame style?" "Wings of Foil" guys? "I wasn't able to see a line there?" "Terribly misguided?"

I COULD go on and on, though, couldn't I? And the point is that slander has been repeated over and over and over as TRUTH, and we have had to FIGHT (contrary to Werner's post about LETTING the truth come out, as though being passive in this would have produced miraculous results!) to MAKE the truth come out.

It is true that I can't "control" others, but only myself. But it is also true that we ALL try to PERSUADE others to share our perspectives, and this is all I have tried to accomplish.

As those of you who have followed all these threads can attest, Mark and I have decided to give THIS point in time our very best effort, and, despite vast early misunderstanding and misapprehension, eventually, over more than one and a half years, the truth IS coming out, and people's perspectives have changed. So, I believe that our efforts have been fruitful. My current "rant" is just the end result of our own ongoing "campaign" to settle things once and for all.

Again, I don't think results are going to come quickly or easily, but you yourselves have seen the power you have on these threads to motivate people to action! (Cases of high-quality beer, people! That's what get's the job done! We need a beer-bounty on these guys!) Seriously, though, over time, and with people paying attention, the "perps" CAN be brought out, and this is my long-term goal. I WANT to look them in the eye, and I WANT to shake their hands. But they HAVE to stand up as men and admit that it was THEY who were "terribly misguided" in their handling of this whole situation. This will be profoundly healing for THEM as well as for us, and the climbing community needs to know that it CAN right an injustice like this.

I am an idealist, and I am well aware that most people are not. What can I do but keep trying to persuade people? Many will misunderstand, and many will say that I should employ this or that different method or approach. What can I say?
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2006 - 01:40pm PT
MtYoung writes:
By the way, I for one appreciate Russ's participation in this whole discussion. I don't know that I'd like him in person, he seems like a sarcastic, ascerbic, arrogant prick online, but at least he is an arrogant prick with the courage not to duck the issues.

Gee.... thanks?
Gunkie

climber
East Coast US
Aug 3, 2006 - 01:43pm PT
Bill Russell, NBA Hall of Fame, class of 1975. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Russell

And I thought Mike Corbett was some sort of hero guiding 90 year-old great-grandpas from New Jersey up Aquarian Wall in a blindingly quick 20 days. Returning to the scene of the climb/crime? Maybe the infamous Poop-On-Demand guy? I gotta shake that guy's hand... er... maybe just politely bow to a pooping god.

Isn't Mike Paul that guy who repeatedly does the JT boulder problem 'Streetcar Named Desire' [??] like 50 times with 50 different camera angles for one of those climbing videos from the 1990's? I fast forward that section everytime. Boring. I understand that bouldering hurts his fingers so he can't play the bass guitar. Hey, I get my info from 15 year-old video tapes. VCRs rule!

I don't think I've heard of Scott Cole. My loss, I suppose.
dryfly

Trad climber
utah
Aug 3, 2006 - 01:52pm PT
Laugh my ass off at Wallings last post.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 3, 2006 - 01:54pm PT
Its part of history. some of the players wish it would quietly go away but the bad guys allways count on that. hashing it out on a climbing blog won't mean much though. Have an independant journalist write it up in one of the three major US climbing mags. preferably with lots of photos and and monern accent. You don't even need to find out exactly who $hit where. If the rout gets climbed and proclaimed to be a valid line then the bad guys look bad by default. ranting about it personaly on super taco just makes you look sound like a whiner.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Aug 3, 2006 - 02:10pm PT
Thank you, mtnyoung! What you just said sums it up very well, and your summary of what any of the "perps" could say to solve the problem is right on. I also do understand what you're saying about the lack of motivation in the community now. What you say is all well-founded. Yet, I am a prisoner of hope.

Landgolier writes: "You still give a rat's pink pucker about what a bunch of guys you knew you were pissing off in the first place think about something you did 25 years ago? And you expect everybody here to respect and even feed that sentiment?"

Uhhh, yes, I do have HOPES that people here will understand and respect my perspective on this. First of all, you seem to suggest, as has been the common refrain, that WE were at fault in what happened to us. WE should have climbed ten El Cap routes first. WE should have known/done/said something to "appease the gods first," and then, having offered humble homage to the mighty Valley powers that be, if they deigned to give us their blessing, THEN and only then could we reasonably have EXPECTED to NOT have all this crap fall upon us???? Is THIS what you are really saying??? Do YOU expect everybody here to respect and even feed THAT sentiment???

It seems that people like you never learn from history. WE came into the Valley FULLY qualified to do WoS. WE knew the story of Magic Mushroom, and WE knew that the climbing community had come to respect the stones of those guys BECAUSE they just came in, did their thing, and left WITHOUT paying homage to the "gods." WE thought that the climbing community had learned something. WE thought that Yosemite Valley was an INTERNATIONAL climbing area, where the best in the world could show up unannounced and perform great feats, again, without having to pay homage to a bunch of self-serving, narrow-minded gatekeepers. WE thought that it would be possible to REASON with these people once we saw that trouble had started. WE thought we could show them the start of the route, and they would SEE that their early impressions were mistaken. WE thought we could, as American citizens, enjoy protection under the law (rather than having the law turned against us, as was done). I could "rave" on and on. But the FACT of the matter is that WE had EVERY good reason to do and say exactly as we did, and WE had zero reason to think that what has happened over 24 years would happen.

The POINT to where we are in this saga right now just is the distinction between Landgolier's perspective and mine. If the climbing community says, "Yeah, we don't give a rat's pink pucker" about what happened 24 years ago, then I GUARANTEE that history will repeat itself (as it did in our case after Magic Mushroom), and, even aside from that, that for all its TALK, the climbing community really is admitting that basic human rights and the rule of law matters FAR less than what is THOUGHT to be done to an inanimate rock! On the other hand, I have been sensing that this is NOT the prevailing sentiment, that people DO think that this matters, and that it would be GOOD to get to the bottom of it. THAT is what I care about and hope for, and I am willing to wait for that hoped-for outcome.

Meanwhile, I have "gotten over it" in every important sense. I live my life and have LOTS of joy in it. WoS is not like some shroud hanging over my head, and I don't spend time "fretting" about it. You are handing me a false dichotomy, and I won't buy it. I CAN care deeply about these issues without "fretting," and I CAN get on with my life, while at the same time recognizing that this chapter has not been closed yet.

BTW, did I detect you accusing Richard Nixon of being part of the chopping party? Do you have good reason to suspect this??? Dang! He's dead! I'll NEVER get closure with him now, and he'll never get to absolve himself of his transgressions! :-)
ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 3, 2006 - 02:12pm PT
hmm .. i dont know why i can't stop reading all this WoS posts ..

pete .. get on with it and write your report .. (fish or cut bait with it!) ..

.. richard and mark -- why dont you start a letter writing campaign to climbing magazine to print a correction on WoS .. i would take part in that ..
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Aug 3, 2006 - 02:21pm PT
The letter writing campaign is a good idea, as is the idea of getting one of the major mags to publish an article on the subject. I actually know somebody who's (supposedly) working on just such an article. We'll just have to wait and see if he can produce something in OUR lifetimes. :-)

BTW, my wife and I are going to Smith Rocks this weekend. If any of you are going to be around, I'd enjoy meeting any of you.
landcruiserbob

Trad climber
the ville, colorado
Aug 3, 2006 - 02:24pm PT
Call Jeff Jackson in Carbonbdale, Colorado.
Landgolier

climber
the flatness
Aug 3, 2006 - 02:26pm PT
Jesus, I can't believe I'm pulling my sh#t-wadin' boots on again, but...

If you look at my old posts, and the ones in this thread, I never said I thought what you guys did was anything but awesome, or that you deserved any of the BS. All I'm saying is that it's time for the schoolyard finger pointing and tattling and name calling to stop.

You are right that in the first place some guys said some untrue things about what went down. But then over the course of a gadzillion posts, we straightened that out. You and several others all deserve credit for that, and this board proved once again that it could be a great source of information and a tremendous font of interesting reading. Then when it was almost over, the whole semi-sorta-not-really-manufactured-hook-placements thing broke out (I actually came to your defense there, if you recall), and we had to have another 100k words of drama.

Now, when the dust was almost settled, here we go again. You want absolute contrition from everyone involved, a total mea culpa to validate your 25 years of personal somsarra. Sorry man, but this ain't My Name is Earl. You want to feel vindicated? Keep at it, you're banging your head against a wall you'll never climb. But you want to be past whatever suffering this has inflicted on your poor wittle heart for the last 25 years? Let it go, brother. Until you do so, you're just proving to me and everyone else that you enjoy feeling like you're the bearer of the one truth and the world is against you.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 3, 2006 - 02:27pm PT
Holy frig. Now I'm really behind in my reading!

Ricardo et al, one of the reasons I have been delaying writing my report [such as it will be] is that new stuff keeps surfacing. Now that Richard has called out Mike Corbett and Bill Russell, I kinda want to wait.

In truth, except for a few anecdotal notes about our time with Mark and Richard, and some stories of the past [which aren't hearsay] I have pretty much written in bits and pieces exactly what I found on Wings - a super-hard route with sick hooking [too hard for me] above even sicker runouts. I used a big long cheatstick to get up, because it was too hard and scary for me, and I couldn't really even toprope it, it's so hard.

More importantly, what I found was new friends in Mark and Richard, two stand-up guys - real straight shooters - who are even to this day very hurt by the hugely unfair treatment they received. I think one of the reasons they are so hurt is because they are genuinely nice guys, and wouldn't dream of treating anyone else the way they were treated.

As Tom and Randy have pointed out, and others have corroborated, it's possible that the Valley Cowards found Richard and Mark to be "easy pickin's" as victims, simply because they were - and remain - gentlemen [rants notwithstanding]

Let him rant, he feels better.

Apologies to Russ if I [HINT]ed he might be one of the villains. I believe he was not. Sorry, it was hard to remember all the names.

I promise I will do my best to write my findings - and publish them here on this very thread - within the next few days. Sorry for the delay, was caving and stuff. Mostly stuff.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2006 - 02:41pm PT
PTPP writes Apologies to Russ if I [HINT]ed he might be one of the villains. I believe he was not. Sorry, it was hard to remember all the names.

I was just getting around to that... apolgy accepted.

{rant}
But.... next time you feel like going off on one of the Hardy boys adventures, have some fukking ammo and facts to back it up. Don't allude to BULLSHIIT and then drop lag time into the mix while you fuk around in some hole. Bring your shiit when you are ready and quit the pussy footing around. I'm a stand up, sarcastic, acerbic assshole (and a prick) so be ready when you launch your salvo. I don't take this shiit laying down, and we can go over any of it any way you want.... I don't do reach arounds, so be sure you are interested before you take your pants off.
{/rant}
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Aug 3, 2006 - 02:44pm PT
"Now, when the dust was almost settled, here we go again. You want absolute contrition from everyone involved, a total mea culpa to validate your 25 years of personal somsarra. Sorry man, but this ain't My Name is Earl. You want to feel vindicated? Keep at it, you're banging your head against a wall you'll never climb."

Should this have been said to Bonatti too? I'm sure he got the Italian version of it for a few decades.

DMT
Rankin

climber
Bishop, CA
Aug 3, 2006 - 02:50pm PT
"you guys party"
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Aug 3, 2006 - 03:06pm PT
Laugh my ass off at Wallings last post.


Double LMAO for his current Last Post™ - aka {rant}...
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Aug 3, 2006 - 03:12pm PT
OK, add to the bit I said about Russ Walling that the guy does seem to have a sense of humor. Sorry if I said it strong, but I was saying what I saw. Thank you for taking it graciously (and for making me laugh).
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Aug 3, 2006 - 03:24pm PT
So, bottom line, sounds like this route does have some merit, though it may be a very long time before someone comes along who is hungry (and tough) enough to work out the slab hooking puzzles on the apron. In fact, it may be more difficult for the next party than the first. Many of the tiny flakes and features used on the FA will be gone or weathered, making it difficult to follow the original topo. The next party will have to be somewhat flexible in their approach to hooking over several hundred yards of bare slab, and be willing to follow the features they find instead of slavishly following the topo. They'll have to have a lot of time, maybe as much as the FA. It's not destined to be popular, or coveted.
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Aug 3, 2006 - 03:35pm PT
John you are right about one thing. Getting the sh&& scared out of you on a 25 year old route aint going to be popular...Having a hook pop on you when you are a long ways out is a truly terrifying moment. Nope, not popular, at least in the immediate future.
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Aug 3, 2006 - 03:40pm PT
Am I wrong about the rest? (This glass looks half empty to me.)
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2006 - 03:43pm PT
Not to dilute or drift, but I have always thought a 2nd ascent was harder than the FA. (on walls) If you really want to know why, start a new thread. Mini version is you are forced to do things where the FA is not and the FA has the option of drilling etc.
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Aug 3, 2006 - 03:52pm PT
John Vawter. I wonder if the part in your post about "coveted" might be wrong. After all these posts, I for one would sure respect an ascent (2nd, 3rd and so forth) of the route. It sounds like an ascentionist would have something to be proud of. Maybe coveted is a word that fits.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Aug 3, 2006 - 04:09pm PT
Russ, just when I think that you can't sink any lower in your posts, and I despair of ever connecting with you, you go and post something like that and make me laugh out loud for many minutes! Can you just pick a persona and let me get comfortable with it? Dang, man!

Landgolier, I realize that at times even scuba gear has been needed in these threads. Please realize that it is impossible to say things and draw lines that will resonate with everybody, and I DO have a long-term goal in mind. I'm not singling you out, and I do acknowledge that you have been a voice of reason on past threads. However, I simply disagree with you that "letting it go" in the sense you suggest is even RIGHT, much less "productive" or something like that.

If some think I'm whining, well, I'm not, but so be it. If some see a "persecution complex" or that I think I'm "the bearer of the one truth and the world is against [me]," then, again, so be it. It's not true, but I certainly understand how that perspective could arise. I think that some, though, like DMT are seeing something more than that. I think that what happens from here on in this saga will actually be much less about Mark and I and much more about how the climbing community is going to handle matters like this in the future. I don't mean this to sound grandiose (as I said to Teth), but somehow this whole thing did become a historical event, and I really care to see history denote that we learned something lasting from it (which we apparently didn't learn from Magic Mushroom, among other "attempts" to get it).
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Aug 3, 2006 - 04:22pm PT
Mtnyoung, you may be right. If half of what Pete says is true, it is very hard, and hard routes are coveted. But if every party has to spend two weeks, and a few dozen falls, just crossing the apron, many qualified parties are going to say: "Do we want to spend a month on this, or would we have more fun doing the Sea, Reticent, and [insert your favorite badass route here] in the same amount of time?"
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Aug 3, 2006 - 04:29pm PT
Yeah, last time I was in Yosemite I wanted to do WoS, but instead I climbed a boulder or two. Took like 10 minutes then I was done!

Many things in life aint easy, hell, The Nose aint easy if it is your first wall and sitting in the Meadow is pretty enjoyable...

Just yankin your chain John. I do think you have a point but that can be applied to any big climbing challenge. There are always easier ways, well almost...
mooch

Big Wall climber
The Immaculate Conception
Aug 3, 2006 - 04:33pm PT
Should this have been said to Bonatti too? I'm sure he got the Italian version of it for a few decades.

DMT


As always.....a class act Dingus.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Aug 3, 2006 - 04:36pm PT
This last post, (john's - damn these responses are coming in quick!)as well as in general when talking to folks, just seems to portray a huge section of El Cap (as well as other places) as kinda crappy, simply because it is a slabby section. I'm not getting that. At the same time, it kinda says, "That over there is too difficult, so let's go do one of these other routes..."

Why do people insist on portraying slabby rock as crap? The only reasons I ever hear come down to it's simply too rough (difficult) for them (to be bothered with). Maybe it's just too difficult. I mean, it doesn't make sense to say I'm not into climbing that over there, as it's too difficult, instead, I'll go climb this "harder" route over here because I can climb it faster, it's what I'm used to and the falls are better...
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Aug 3, 2006 - 04:47pm PT
Point taken. I'll have to admit I'm making a value judgment. The route doesn't appeal to me because the business part of it is on a slab, and I tend to favor steep routes with thin nailing. There also the diminishing returns problem of having to spend so much time on trial and error just to connect the dots.

Chouinard said of Arch Rock: "The climbing as a whole is not very esthetic or enjoyable; it is merely difficult." I think the climbing at Arch Rock is esthetic and enjoyable. It's a matter of personal taste.
NeverSurfaced

Trad climber
Someplace F*#ked!
Aug 3, 2006 - 04:49pm PT
I’m not versed in the history of WoS, so for me this is all new and, truth be told, very interesting. Best thread that I’ve possibly read on this site, primarily from a sociological stand point. I’m a noob and therefore have nothing to add; if it makes anyone feel better though, I took a shite at the office earlier which was so grandiose that I couldn’t bring myself to flush it. Moments later my boss wondered in and unwittingly caught a glimpse of my handy-work. The look on his face was priceless. I acknowledged the fact that it was indeed my sh#t. We’ve since reconciled and moved on.
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 3, 2006 - 05:02pm PT
so here is a question for those with enough years in the game to have perspective (which i could probably answer if i read the other 500+ posts on WOS, but i haven't, so here goes):


at the time this route went up, were there other routes on el cap or elsewhere in the valley that pushed up relatively featureless rock, relying primarily or entirely on bolts for protection, anchors, etc?

i am just a little curious about what the culture of cutting edge big wall climbing was at that time. it seems like the current focus on the discussion of this climb has become centered around whether or not it was bold or hard, and apparently it is both (that sentence was edited+corrected- thanks N). my question is simply this, was that the issue, way back then?

now in 2006 we have sport craggs and cordless drills, bolts are everywhere, and the valley itself is like an anachronism, in a way, a place where the ethics have been slower to change, and where local and concerned climbers have long fought against that change.

so regardless of how run out those pitches might be, was this climb still a significant varaition from what was going on in yosemite up until that time, or not?

were there other climbs that used similar #s of holes per pitch, and across a similar # of pitches as this route does? wasn't there some comment in some thread relating to ed leeper, where a new route someone wanted to but hardware for at the needles using (only) several bolts per pitch, including anchors, was viewed as too many, and the bolts were not sold?


i guess i am asking if everything pete has said about this route can truthfully be the case (and then some), and still the fact that it was pushed up the middle of a featureless slab for a thousand feet or two might have in itself been enough of a break from the accepted footprint or impact such that "people" were unimpressed (or upset) w/ the line itself?

to be clear, i am not saying that's the case, i'm asking if it might be? and i am noticing that the judgement is being revisited w/ 21st century eyes, which seems, well- potentially invalid, at least to me.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Aug 3, 2006 - 05:23pm PT
Ah, yes. Your reconciliation story was touching--I was moved to tears. I'm also really impressed that you both had the ability to just get over it and move on. The whole thing... it's... just... sniff... wonderful.

But would you have acknowledged your handiwork if you had instead cut the legs off of his desk, sabotaged his chair and computer, sent him repeated threatening emails that his car was about to be blown up, had some thugs come to corner him in the hallway, and THEN deposited and smeared your "grandiose handiwork" throughout a folder of his important documents? The look on his face after hearing THAT confession would be priceless indeed! I would like to be there to see that look. :-)
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Aug 3, 2006 - 05:26pm PT
"discussion of this climb has become centered around whether or not it was bold or easy, and apparently it is neither. "

Hmmm... So, the route has rejected many a "bold" climber, and climbers having done the "hardest" routes around - then and now, never been repeated, took (in my mind) incredible boldness to put up in the first place (the climbing, not dealing with the punks harrassing them), logged probably more air time on the FA than any other route on the Big stone, etc., etc., etc.... ANd yet it's not bold?

Explain, please...
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 3, 2006 - 05:35pm PT
oops, i misspoke/mistyped, said exactly the opposite of what i meant to say (see context above). now been corrected, typing on ST w/ one eye and working w/ the other!
Landgolier

climber
the flatness
Aug 3, 2006 - 05:50pm PT
DMT,

I'm usually with you on just about everything, but I think your analogy doesn't hold up here. I never said they should let it go when they were after the truth about whether the route was put up in good style or just what antics were perpetrated against them. I was all for that, and by that standard I would have been all for Bonatti's attempts to get the real story out (I say "would" because I was in the pre-fetal stage for most of it). What I'm doing here is analogous to telling Bonatti that now that Lacedelli has come forward with the truth, it's not worth clamoring for Compagnoni to show equal contrition (heck, I don't even know if Compagnoni is still alive).

Also, I feel like the situations are a little different. I haven't read all the relevant books, but my understanding is that Bonatti's life was endangered by the other two's actions. Although what was done to the WoS boys was pretty bad, I don't think they were put in mortal danger by any of the BS that went down.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Aug 3, 2006 - 05:56pm PT
"make no mistake, THAT is what you will be choosing"

You guys take this WAY too seriously! Way more than the climbing world at large.

You could have avoided a lot of this through comunication in the first place, in'82. You could do that now, by not being so shrill.

People were bad to you. It has happened to every one of us in one aspect of life or another.

I was there, (no chopping no shitting on my part), I did Aquarius during your tenure, your approach looked weird, but what the hell? After that, by the time we came down from the Nose you were on the ground, also. One of you was parked next to our rig, we laughed together you played 'Rainbow'.

"Those guys aren't so bad, no matter what they say," I thought.

If your climb was as big a deal as you need for us to believe, and evidence is building in your favor, it WILL come out -more people will have first hand things to say.

You guys have had a lot of interesting and informative things to say in these threads and I will be so bold as to speak for a lot of us and say, thanks!

This last bit, however comes across as whining, which as I think you know, has caused (on both sides) a lot of this controversy bullsh#t.

An artist doesn't explain her work. Are you artists?
nvrws

climber
Aug 3, 2006 - 05:58pm PT
Rich, I would like to go on record as saying you are an awesome rant/rave(r). The unfortunate thing is that we all can't see the glee in your eye and the ever so subtle grin at the ends of such rants. I do recall more laughter than tears or nashing of the teeth after such displays. Keep it up the subtlety is not lost.

tim
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Aug 3, 2006 - 06:02pm PT
Lang,

I am simply saying 25 years don't mean sh#t when a person feels fundamentally wronged. Bonatti, more than 40 years after the fact, was so bitter about it be devoted nearly half his biography to the subject. Telling someone else they should 'get over it' seems, I don't know, unreasonable. Is there a statute of limitations on outrage?

But who's this Death Bed Lacedelli who has stepped forward and admitted to shitting on those ropes? I must have missed that post!

DMT

Craig Shaw

Mountain climber
so portland maine
Aug 3, 2006 - 06:08pm PT
OK, meet in El Cap Meadow and face off…………….A few words from an old fart, who was there.


First of all I want to thank you guys of reminding me how it felt to hike up to the base of West Butt, during the summer of 82. Three of us were getting ready to do the West Butt during this time. We hiked past this “history” for 10 days. OH by the way thanks for all the dropped gear! Even though it was mostly bolts and hangers.

I just don’t get it. 25 years later and all this Sh_t.

This is what I do remember, when we started to fix the first five pitches of the West Butt. (We took three days to fix since we were the D.O.C.C.) We saw a team was a few pitches up on this fu_ken apron. We didn’t understand why only 300 to 500 feet off the ground, why they didn’t fix, and spend down time on the ground??
Then we found out, they hadn’t done any climbing in the valley before and they decided to do this first ascent, and I didn’t feel that they respected the valley, the cap or anyone who has put their time in. At the time I had only been climbing for two years. But, I had great respect for who had come before and the stone. I feel they didn’t.
As their 38 days went on, mostly on this apron. They were afraid to come down. And I don’t blame them. If I was to rape this stone, I should be scared.

I could go on and on this afternoon,. But, I my time is better spent climbing. C-YA
NeverSurfaced

Trad climber
Someplace F*#ked!
Aug 3, 2006 - 06:18pm PT
Ah, yes. Your reconciliation story was touching--I was moved to tears. I'm also really impressed that you both had the ability to just get over it and move on. The whole thing... it's... just... sniff... wonderful.

But would you have acknowledged your handiwork if you had instead cut the legs off of his desk, sabotaged his chair and computer, sent him repeated threatening emails that his car was about to be blown up, had some thugs come to corner him in the hallway, and THEN deposited and smeared your "grandiose handiwork" throughout a folder of his important documents? The look on his face after hearing THAT confession would be priceless indeed! I would like to be there to see that look. :-)


Don’t know, I’ll have to give that one a try!

Despite what is obviously a touchy subject for you, you seem to have maintained bit of a sense of humor; good for you. The whole thing’s pretty interesting from an outside perspective. I hope you find what you’re looking for. I hope we all do.
NeverSurfaced

Trad climber
Someplace F*#ked!
Aug 3, 2006 - 06:28pm PT
Richard, a quick question (again poised by a complete outsider) I read a bit (although not all of) the Intfada thread and it seemed as though you were again defending your actions from (to use one of Pete’s favorites) Distracters.

What’s the deal? Is this just shite boiling over from the original WoS controversy or does this kind of shite just seem to follow you around.

(Apologies in advance if I’m missing something here)
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Aug 3, 2006 - 06:33pm PT
Thanks, NS. We'll all just keep looking, I guess. I DID think your story was hilarious.

Mmmm... trying, trying to just ignore the retro-spew from Craig Shaw... no... just... can't... control it.... (people fleeing in terror, mothers gathering up their small children)... uhhh... gotta post... noooo! (Time passes as the mad ranter suffers paroxysms, then, slowly, a look of peace settles upon him.)

Ahhhh... got it now! Yes! Control has been achieved! Whew! I'm all better now.

Landgolier, aren't you proud of me? I got past that one!
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Aug 3, 2006 - 06:42pm PT
No, NS, the Intifada story has never been one that I've felt we were subject to any real criticism. Actually, there are many posts (and many more private emails) telling us that they're glad we did the route and downgraded it.

My "responses" on the Intifada thread were in reference to a totally different forum (that is referenced early in the Intifada thread) in which this ONE guy, Ben Folsom, accuses us of a bunch of bogus tactics on the route. I don't think anybody really takes it seriously at this point, buuttt, in the past my silence has been taken as tacit agreement. So, I just set the record straight for anybody who might put any stock in Folsom's "account" of what he (somehow) thinks happened.

As far as controversy following us around, well, I guess there's some truth there, but, from a sociological viewpoint, you can certainly generate no end of theories about it. My own theory about the Intifada "controversy" (if there really ever was one) is that a VERY few people just thought: "Mad Bolter... ugg... drilled angles... ugg... baaaaddd Mad Bolter!"
WBraun

climber
Aug 3, 2006 - 06:43pm PT
I would never tell you who the shitters are on a public forum.

You're out of your fricken mind Dude!
MSmith

Big Wall climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 3, 2006 - 06:56pm PT
"OH by the way thanks for all the dropped gear!"
Craig Shaw, so you're the guy who pilfered through the bag we jettisoned and snaked my ledge fly and rain gear, or do I misunderstand your statement?
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 3, 2006 - 06:56pm PT
since when was spending a long time on a big wall a crime???
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Aug 3, 2006 - 07:02pm PT
Craig -- Well, I *suppose* we could carry on this mentality by saying something along the lines of "being your first wall route, "only" climbing West Butt and only having been climbing for two years" that we can pretty much dismiss your staement all together, as you hadn't paid any dues yet, on or off The Captain, or in the ditch and therefore couldn't have any clue as to what you were talking about...

Somehow, I thought this thread was about suppressing such idiotic thinking though.

Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 3, 2006 - 07:08pm PT
hi again, just checking back in-

at 5:02pm, i really was asking a serious question.
could anyone who was already on the scene back then comment?
thanks in advance.

i guess i could take craig's post as some sort of answer, but it's not exactly even tempered in tone, and i have never heard of him before.


bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Aug 3, 2006 - 07:21pm PT
check it out -- i went bouldering today and f.a'd a killer new slab. i got SWOULE on that sukker. i took a big dump off the top, smearing the crimps with feces, then punched out a couple of belligerent "locals" who asked me what i thought the vee-grade was. i'm gonna name it "wings of steel", after my crome-moly tendons and insane crimp strength.

werd, peas out.
NeverSurfaced

Trad climber
Someplace F*#ked!
Aug 3, 2006 - 07:26pm PT
i took a big dump off the top, smearing the crimps with feces, then punched out a couple of belligerent "locals" who asked me what i thought the vee-grade was.

Ha ha ha - Holy Shite!!!!!
NeverSurfaced

Trad climber
Someplace F*#ked!
Aug 3, 2006 - 07:27pm PT
Oh shite, I'm still laughing!
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Aug 3, 2006 - 07:48pm PT
I feel like I'm being baited, Werner, but I'll rise to it: "I would never tell you who the shitters are on a public forum. You're out of your fricken mind Dude!"

Your post doesn't imply that you are now admitting to know, but, assuming you do, send me or Mark a private email.
WBraun

climber
Aug 3, 2006 - 08:08pm PT
You are a fool number one.

I've always said I know 2 of them. You don't listen very well.

I'm not sending you a private email either. It's for you to find out. It's your witch hunt!

I told you guys repeatedly I was never part of any of this idiotic Wings of Steel senerio either back then nor now. Even back then I had no clue what was going on except for second hand info that was filtering around by various individuals. They told me! I didn't give a rats ass if you climbed it or didn't.

I was doing my own thing, do you get it? I doubt it. You are a twisted soul.

You need help, and money can't buy it!

Now go do your thing whatever that is ...........
NeverSurfaced

Trad climber
Someplace F*#ked!
Aug 3, 2006 - 08:16pm PT
Wow, now Werner’s all riled up – this is getting ugly.
Craig Shaw

Mountain climber
so portland maine
Aug 3, 2006 - 08:19pm PT
HA HA, you guys are funny!!
Msmith........I wished I would have come across the gear you claim I did. Just to meet you. I have always posted a note at c4 when I find gear. Sorry only hangers and bolts, w/no markings.

Hey,
I never claimed to be a hard core waller. I just want to give a small persons look at it.

And to Nefarius You got my point Thanks

I'll go back into my mtn, since you have never heard of me, which is the way I like it.
darod

Trad climber
South Side Billburg
Aug 3, 2006 - 08:24pm PT
Werner, you have no balls, I don't care what a great clmber you are, or what a an amazing personality in the community you are, you have NO BALLS.

COWARD.
NeverSurfaced

Trad climber
Someplace F*#ked!
Aug 3, 2006 - 08:30pm PT
Darod, a bit harsh to say the least.

I can respect Richards quest for the truth and redemption, and I can equally respect Werners desire not to get dragged into something that he wasn’t involved in in the first place almost three decades ago. If he’s got nothing to do with it, why call him a coward for not getting involved. Besides, I think reputation alone dictates otherwise.
dryfly

Trad climber
utah
Aug 3, 2006 - 08:37pm PT
darod...You are a jackass..Are you implying that the man(WB) has no right to mind his own damn business? If everyone would have had his attitude in the first place, this never would have became the mess that it is .
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Aug 3, 2006 - 08:58pm PT
Good job Dryfly. There's an absolute truth: if everyone had minded their own business from the beginning none of this would have gone down. Unfortunately humankind has never been all that good at minding it's own business.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2006 - 09:14pm PT
Hey WoS guys or whoever:
I just posted this over on the John Long Book thread for LEB.....
You can add more or fix it up over there. Just a nutshell version of the last 600+ posts. Probably inaccurate, but hey, I'm a prick, acerbic, sarcastic and Satan knows what else.... oh, and a Valley Boy......


from that thread:

These nutshell versions allways seem to get me in trouble:

Nutshell:

Yosemite Valley is filled with climbers. Some live there full time. Some visit. There is a hierarchy in place. The ones that live there full time are the top of the food chain.

El Cap is the God they and all visiting climbers worship. Dues must be paid, by putting in time and suffering on El Cap. Visitors are expected to bow down before El Cap and the Valley locals. Just the way it is. Think Surfing, my beach, my wave.

Newcomers to the Valley show up. They intend to climb El Cap via a new route. This in itself is audacious. No dues have been paid. They have also chosen what is believed to be a blank slab devoid of cracks. Valley locals think this is going to be a problem as blank walls need bolts and lots of them. Lots of bolts are frowned upon. The newcomers start the wall and are planning on being up there for about a month. This is viewed as too long and bad style. Light and fast is the ideal for most. They have 1200lbs of gear. Most parties have 100 or so.

Some locals decide to take matters into their own hands and remove these upstarts from the wall before they can damage the God known as El Cap. Somehow the locals get to the top of the newcomers ropes some 300ft up the wall and remove all the bolts they have placed and deposit all the newcomers gear at the base of the cliff and then take a shiit on top of the pile. Newcomers might have been out of town when this happened? Not sure... anyway....

Newcomers come back to find the pile of shiit and their route chopped. They will not be denied and start up again and then stay up there for some 39 days or so. Rumor is they drilled 1000's of bolts and left a giant trail of feces down the rock from their daily functions and tons of trash at the base. There were other accusations which I forget, mostly along the lines of damaging the rock or something. Valley spin doctors whip the story into a giant tempest that permeates all climbing media. Newcomers are now pariahs, and write a book on their exploits, yet no climbing magazine will touch them. All the editors were Valley locals.

Newcomers now need to prove that they are not just some goofballs and go and do one of the hardest routes on El Cap by normal means. Valley regulars monitor every step of the Newcomers... then they go to the Desert and blow the lid off another supposed super hard route and do it in good style. But, these guys are the Newcomers who ruined El Cap, so a malodorous smell follows them around and the style of the Desert route is called into action. Did they do it or did they debauch it like El Cap? They say no, others say yes. Proof on any of this is purely sujective.

Fuk... this nut shell is getting long... and there are many tangents I could go on to....

Fast forward 25 years... here on supertopo a witch hunt and air clearing starts. Most of the Valley locals involved are either dead, can't type, or are long forgotten. The Newcomers are fired up it seems for the entire 25 years. For the rest of us, it seemed to last a few weeks. In the fury, a few Supertopians decide to go and check this deflowered and ruined section of rock that the Newcomers destroyed. The supertopians decide to climb the thing. All is set to make the Newcomers look like the fools they are... except for the Supertopians can't really get off the ground on the route!!!! hahahaha-fukin-ha! It seems the route is in fact not a bolt ladder, has never been repeated by any other party, and just gave a swift kick in the pants to some "real" climbers.

So, the stink is the Newcomers have been dissed for 25 years, then in a Lazarus style whirlwind they discovered the internet, and started to try and clear their name.
That is where we are right now.

That should at least get you going.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 3, 2006 - 09:25pm PT
Hey darod,
I'm super pissed about all the illegal drugs in this country and I think masturbation should be a crime. So, if you will, please provide all the names of everyone you have ever heard of doing drugs or masturbating. I would like to have a chat with them. A .txt file will be fine.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 3, 2006 - 10:00pm PT
Right on Russ.

You know, I was pretty close to all of this, I've already posted some very straightforward stuff about the SAR meeting with Mark and Richard.

I think a lot about conflicts between people and I've undergone some study in mediation, so there is enthusiastic and relatively neutral interest for me here.

I've got some observations; nothing conclusive, but more in the line of expanding the understanding of how something like this has arisen: and more importantly how we might now choose to deal with this.

But look, Nefarius, darod, PTPP:
At times, you guys seem pretty set on swinging the wrecking ball back the other way and when I see this, I loose genuine interest.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Aug 3, 2006 - 10:57pm PT
I've been avoiding this whole topic, but it finally sucked me in.

Richard said:
“There has recently been quite a bit of "self-policing" ire about fixed gear on Mt. Watkins, with many calling for dire consequences against the perpetrators. Yet the Mt. Watkins incident is NOTHING compared to what these guys have foisted off on the climbing community! Or are the endless and groundless attacks on two CLIMBERS of less importance than some junk on Mt. Watkins?”

Actually, yes. What happened to you guys sucked and was wrong. No questions there from me. And the bad guys pulled the wool over our eyes. But here’s why I think that today, junk on Mt. Watkins is more important.

The difference is that WoS was a personal attack on YOU by other climbers. It was not DONE to the whole climbing community. The legacy of the action, lies, slander, etc took on a life of its own, however ignorant, which unfortunately affected your reputations. Yes, it would be a nice ending if you guys were vindicated, but it's a personal matter for you to clear up directly, not as a public affair (edited out the witchhunt reference). At the time, the NPS policy makers probably had little interest in whether you respected the proper deities in Camp 4 or had done other routes on EC as long as they didn’t have to rescue you and war didn't break out.

The volume of crap left on left Mt. Watkins by current “names” is significant when considered in the context of other recent and related incidents (DNWFHD/Arch/slacklines…), and because of the actual and potential consequences related to NPS policy which already have and will significantly affect the climbing community at large. I don’t need to cite examples to this group, we’re all aware of the situation. (see ST thread New Rules at Arches if you want)

From the Watkins thread:
“it’s up to climbers to be the stewards of there own garden if everyone wants to continue to have the freedoms Yosemite climbers have enjoyed for years (or to have more freedoms)… …the less we(The NPS) have to step in and clean up these areas the better it will be for climbers here in the Valley.” –JesseM, Climbing Ranger, YNP

While this includes the freedom to crap on each other and otherwise self-police, nobody is seriously calling for dire circumstances or saying, “lets go sh#t on so-and-so’s ropes.” The buzz is, “lets go pull all that stuff down before NPS does.” This isn’t fixed gear. Its been abandoned for possibly two winters. The Watkins gear wasn’t left on a first ascent. If it were it may not even be an issue. The fact that somebody rigged a wall as a top rope isn’t the issue, -I’m sure it makes for an outstanding and forward-thinking climb. But we’re not in Europe, this isn’t a Via Faretta. We’re not in Patagonia or the Himalaya either. You don’t abandon all your gear on the wall here, you go back and get it in a reasonable amount of time. The issue is that so much stuff was abandoned in the wilderness...on an established classic/historic Yosemite wall...is ruining the experience of other visitors to the park...endangering wildlife (DNWF)...etc...etc...etc. Certain people are being called out to clean up their crap and be held accountable for their actions before a possy of pissed off folks start cooking chili.
In the big picture I see, it's more important. Sorry.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Aug 3, 2006 - 11:00pm PT
Tarbuster, you beat me to it... I was just going to tell Russ how hilarious and (in general) perceptive that post was. There are a few points not strictly accurate, but, hey, everyone now knows that I'm not a nit-picker. :-)

Only problem I see is the idea you float that the "wrecking ball" might start swinging "the other way," and Russ picks up Werner's "witch hunt" phrase, and then we're off on the slippery slope again. Since Werner employed his big guns to initiate the whole "witch hunt" and I'm a "twisted soul" model, I'll turn my response to him at this point:

Werner, I guess I'm simply baffled why anybody would think that your "I don't give a rat's ass" attitude is noble or desireable. We live in a society, and all pseudo-zen crap aside, we are all connected in that web. "Minding one's own business" is certainly NOT the same thing as standing by watching passively while a person's rights are abused. (And whatever anybody thinks our early "transgressions" might or might not have been, nobody has even tried to get the ridiculous case off the ground that WE abused anybody's rights.)

Let's consider your own earlier opinion on the matter, when it was being applied directly to Mark and I: "Everyone can do what they want. That’s the independent free will that every living entity has. No one can take that away. But; ..... they are accountable for their actions according to the standard of truth."

Ok, even on Russ's model, we, the "Newcomers" had some responsibility to "prove ourselves," and this goes along with your notion that we should be "accountable for our actions." So, there is widespread agreement that WE should have been "held accountable" (if that's what we're calling the crap now).

Now, I must say that I wholeheartedly AGREE with your earlier post about the necessity for accountability, and all I'm saying is that Mark and I have played this little "accountability" game now for well over a year and a half. We've worked our way through flames, cutting sarcasm, yet more lies, and so forth; and ultimately have "proved ourselves" in any reasonable sense of that phrase. People can clearly see that we're not lunatics, and it's pretty clear at this point that the route is nothing like the stories told about it.

Yet, on your model, accountability only works AGAINST us! According to you, I'm a "twisted soul" if I ask you or anybody else to do something more than just stand passively by.

For you to call my desire for accountability on this matter a "witch hunt" is a surprising dysphemism. Is the desire for accountability expressed in the Mt. Watkins thread a "witch hunt?" Is a community that is trying to catch a serial robber on a "witch hunt?" When we try to hold our elected representatives accountable, are we all on a "witch hunt?"

It's one thing to say that I'm not likely to see satisfaction in this goal. But it's another thing to so tritely dismiss the goal itself.

The phrase itself isn't even accurate. As I'm sure you know, the entire "witch hunt" approach is so called BECAUSE it is seeking to hang on a FALSE label ("witch"). There are no witches (in the sense that that term was originally used), so a witch hunt is like a snipe hunt--there's nothing there to find, and so ONLY innocent people can get hurt in such a misguided effort.

However, our desire and goal for accountability can in NO way properly be labeled like this. There ARE some guys who did some totally ridiculous things; these are not "witches" because they and their actions really exist(ed). And, while Russ's post makes the whole thing seem fairly funny, it's only funny when you think of it as a sort of fiction. The FACT of the matter isn't funny at all.

Russ sort of makes it out like these guys were just "reacting" in a quasi-reasonable fashion. But they weren't. All they had to do was walk up to the base of the route and LOOK at it. And they DID look at it, at night, when they chopped it. No amount of dialog at the time, no amount of appeals to their empirical senses, and no amount of actually LOOKING could sway them. They were not ignorant; they were intentionally and maliciously avoiding the facts that were right in front of them.

I'm not going to start recounting the litany of things done to us over the years (for fear of more accusations of whining), but just re-read the hundreds of posts. If the climbing community concludes that THIS sort of behavior is okey-dokey, then I have only disdain for how worked up everybody gets over things like Mt. Watkins trash. I'm behind accountability in THAT case, and I'm behind accountability in general. So, let's not skew things now by acting like what these guys did wasn't really any big deal.

So, Werner, several guys are standing around the parking lot one day, and you come to your car to find that it has just be set on fire. You turn to the guys and ask, "Do you know anything about this?" Stop right there! On your model, even ASKING that question is already putting these POOR guys way too much on the spot. I mean, it "wasn't their bag" after all. Right? So why should you even THINK to ask that question of them.

Ok, but you're a totally consistent guy, Werner, so you DON'T ask. Instead, one of them actually comes up to you and says, "By the way, dude, I happen to know who did this." So now you ask, "Really? Please tell me." Stop right there again! You have NO right to even ask that question! It wasn't their bag, man! The fact that they claim to have relevant information gives you NO right to "try to drag them into something that had nothing to do with them!"

But, you're a totally consistent guy, so you don't even ask that question. Instead, you just start asking around, trying to get to the bottom of who set this FIFTH fire to your car. (Oh, didn't I mention? The guys who have been trashing your car have a long history of doing it, and you would sure like it to stop.) Stop right there! You have NO right to try to drag ANYBODY else into what is really YOUR mess! To even TRY to get to the bottom of who has been trashing your car over and over just demonstrates what a twisted soul you have and what a witch hunt you are off on!

Ridiculous!

If you believe in accountability at all, then it IS possible for us to get to the bottom of "who trashed the car" and hold them accountable for it. THAT process is how the fabric of society itself is maintained! I have EVERY right to ask my neighbor if he saw who broke into my house, and if he claims that he did, then I certainly have EVERY right to EXPECT that he will tell me what he knows about it. THAT's the principle of mutual protection that maintains our basic human rights.

If you don't believe in accountability in general, then what you're really saying is that you "don't give a rat's ass" about the human community and the protection of human rights.

Finally, if you ONLY don't believe in accountability in THIS particular case, then you only reveal a fundamental inconsistency in how you think things should work: "If accountability serves me, then I'm all for it. But if it threatens me or anybody I care about, then it's a 'witch hunt.'"

Of course, as you've said over and over, you don't care about this whole subject. But I'm not clear about that claim either, because you have been one of the most avid posters since its inception. Odd for someone who so totally doesn't care....
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Aug 3, 2006 - 11:05pm PT
Jerry, I understand your points, and I think you've got a rational perspective there. I don't agree with it, obviously, but that's of little consequence because the bottom line is that we don't HAVE to rank these things on a hierarchy of importance. This is not an "either-or" situation, where either we want accountability in the Watkins case OR we want accountability in the WoS case. I'm saying that we should seek for accountability in general. It's no "witch hunt," as I've just posted, to try to get to the bottom of the matter in either case.

Well, I'll be gone from now until sometime on Tuesday. My silence doesn't imply disinterest or tacit agreement. :-)
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Aug 3, 2006 - 11:09pm PT
I don't expect you to agree. And the heirarchal reference was yours.

Edit:
Richard, I'm sympathetic to your situation. I'm coming from an SDA background as well, which is one the interesting sidelines to all this, and I believe we have associates in common. I truly hope you find peace in this journey.

-Jerry
elcapfool

Big Wall climber
hiding in plain sight
Aug 4, 2006 - 06:01am PT
The meaning of WoS should be changed to "Whinning on Supertopo."

Questions- was your car vandalized , or just threatened?
Were you ever physically assaulted, or just threatened?

And if you jetisoned a bag, what makes you think someone "pilfered" it. From the official point of view, they were cleaning up trash and abandoned gear.

Like it or not, you guys have made names for yourselves, but not as the rad wall pioneers you wanted to be. All the tr's are "we are so great, no one even understands what we do", and I find them tiresome and repetitive ego dissertations.

You may be nice guys, but your continued refusal to consider you own involvement in the creation of ire against you, is the main flaw in your arguments. It is always 'this was done to us', and never once without sarcasm is it suggested that you have any culpability.

Comparing WoS to Magic Mushroom? I can't even bother with that one.

Every time you gain some ground with valid points, you push it too far, and end up decking in the talus of public opinion.
darod

Trad climber
South Side Billburg
Aug 4, 2006 - 06:59am PT
First of all, let me say that I regreted my last post as soon as I pressed the POST THIS REPLY button, but i was too drunk to think clearer. My apologies to WB.

What I won't apologize for (and now i'm sobber, although very hangover!) is this sentiment of frustration that overwhelms me. When I see so many people that choose not to take a stand, people that just want this thing to go away, is just very upsetting. What happend to the WoS boys can and will happen to any of us, if we just choose to "let it go".

Maybe the fact that I'm an outsider, not a valley boy, not a "local", makes me feel Richard's and Mark's pain as my own, and feel that a great injustice would be done to us all if we just choose to look away and not care about the truth and some accountability.

Personally, i would love to see the REAL story of WoS on Alpinist magazine, even if none of the "perpetrators" ever have the balls to come out, at least that would be a little bit of justice to these men, and they way a see it, a little justice for all of us.

I guess I'm also an idealist....

darod.
Speleoguy

Big Wall climber
Tucson, AZ
Aug 4, 2006 - 07:04am PT
Does anybody ever climb anymore??????
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 4, 2006 - 07:46am PT
darod = Mel Gibson
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Aug 4, 2006 - 08:16am PT
russ that was a really good one!

hahahahahahahahaha

Does anyone have the one or two old CLIMBING issues that had some write-ups in them after the WoS ascent? I think I might but they are in storage and I am too busy (read lazy) to dig them up right now.

darod

Trad climber
South Side Billburg
Aug 4, 2006 - 08:24am PT
lol



salud!
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Aug 4, 2006 - 08:32am PT
More for the worms...

Hints of the delusional nature of the "one who types every other word in ALL CAPS" is shown by the discussion of hooks.

Big hooks for climbing have been around for some time, predating, yes, even Wings of Steel. Ring Angle pitons had been fashioned to create big hooks for eons, and after ring angle pitons were no longer available, each generation had to devise their own methods and materials to create big hooks. In particular, Fish's model (I worked with Walt on its design) was designed in a way to use the modern steel, and a way for Fish to be able to manufacture it at his mom's house, by heating it and bending it over a pipe. No one "stole" anybody's else's design on this one.

The other issue, regarding the supposed "Camp 4 conspiracy", it still seems to me as a feud between two climbers (non-local, and vocal), and a small group of folks who were in Camp 4 at the time. What took place between the two sides we don't know; obviously it escalated to the point where climbing gear was desecrated, which was the wrong thing to do, but it happened. Still, it is a case of climber vs. climber feud which has happened ad infinitum since the dawn of mountaineering.

In terms of Grossman's statements of excessive bolts in Straussman's book, that is an valid opinion (which I concur with) and not part of a "smear campaign". At the time, the accepted standard of drilling for new El Cap routes was on the order of 3-4 bolts (or holes) per pitch; Wings of Steel had in excess 10 bolts per pitch. The number of holes was simply an indicator of the naturalness of the line, and unnatural lines were eschewed by the majority of climbers at the time, especially on El Capitan, a sacred peak.

And though it may prove clear that the hooking on the route is extremely difficult, the vague nature of the amount of "crystal enhancement" on Wings of Steel hints that the climbing may include manufactured difficulty, as opposed to natural difficulty.

At the time, there was no doubt to any climbers doing first ascents that we could easily "create" an A5 lead by enhancing a flake here or there, but the challenge was to find the piece of rock that offered continuous natural difficulty. When on lead and eventually faced with no natural placement, the accepted standard was to drill a rivet, hence lowering the difficulty, rather than enhance a placement. This ethic was both for future route viability, and because it was well known that on lead, with the safety of a bolt kit, the first ascent had an advantage over subsequent ascents.

I have no qualms with the first ascentionists of Wings of Steel, yet their constant prodding of the past (looking for retribution?), though good fodder for this forum, seems to be pointless. The experience of climbing should be enough for any true climber, what others think is irrelevant in the end.

Disclaimer: I have not read the bazillion posts and counter posts in this topic in Supertopo, so forgive me if these points have already been covered ad naseum.
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Aug 4, 2006 - 08:34am PT
Mark & Richard, IMO you need to get over this. I mean it happened a frickin' QUARTER CENTURY AGO!!! This is so September 10th!
Maybe the actions of some of the locals were crude but just as you had the freedom to choose to climb a route in a style of your own choosing, local climbers(who are better versed in local tradition), are free to choose their form of protest of dissent. It's just plain sad that their chosen method involved the levels of desecration described above( chopping & smearing with excrement). While I don't condone their method of expression, I concur with the sentiments. Ed Cooper was an outsider who came to El Cap intending to establish his own route. He too, was ostracised by locals who did not agree with the style of how he chose to establish his route. What happened in 1982 was no different. Anybody arriving in Yosemite today intent on establishing a new route with ZERO El Cap experience can rightly expect similar treatment.

Let me ask a pertinent question, who is responsible for upholding local traditions? Is any visitor free to make up their own set of ethics & standards when they arrive at a climbing area with it's own ethics & standards. If I go to the Gunks, is it OK for me to establish a new route with bolts all over it even though the Gunks are known as a no bolt area? I think not! Had WOS been established by a team with more El Cap experience, we would not be still debating this tired event.

Forgiveness & letting go of the demons of the past is what's needed here. Let the hourglass of time provide the distance to see clearly how WOS is viewed by contemporary parties. Let's agree to disagree & move on! Bring on the repeat ascent!

Levy
426

Sport climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Aug 4, 2006 - 08:38am PT
...I didn’t feel that they respected the valley, the cap or anyone who has put their time in.

Same thing was said about Burton and Sutton, right? Someone fill in the blanks for me, I'm from the more modern "bolt war" generation....Abortion Contortion et al
dryfly

Trad climber
utah
Aug 4, 2006 - 08:41am PT
accountability = being responsible for your OWN actions,not the actions of others.
Im sure this wont go over well but ....Why did you guys not stand up for yourselves back then? You all mention numerous threats , yet it seems like you did nothing except try to get others to intervene on your behalf. In this not so perfect world a man sometimes needs to defend himself,this has been so since the beginning of time.
Maybe if you had just started swinging, win, loose, or draw it would have ended in the parking lot years ago.
The more you allow the bullys to push, the harder they will push. Like it or not, its reality. Some times you have to push back.
MSmith

Big Wall climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 4, 2006 - 08:45am PT
elcapfool,

So when you come across a closed haul bag that has been on the ground less than 24hrs, you've got no problems opening it and taking out clearly valuable items since its "abandoned gear"? When someone on-line seems to indicate that they did it, asking whether they did is "whinning"?
the Fet

climber
A urine, feces, and guano encrusted ledge
Aug 4, 2006 - 08:55am PT
The idea that "locals" or someone who has "paid their dues" has any more right to Yosemite than anyone else is utter bullsh|t. It's a national park, we all have equal rights to it. Yes experience can be important to help keep people from making mistakes, but in this case these guys came in and put up a valid route. They didn't need to be locals, or pay their dues. That is pure territorial, ego driven nonsense. Being on the SAR team allows you to live in the Valley and I respect the sacrifices needed to be on that team, but that does not give them the right to determine who climbs what. As Warren said, they were marking their territory, that’s all, they weren’t protecting some ideal of style, because they didn’t even have enough knowledge to know the style of the route.

These guys came in a put up a hard route. They have compared that route to other hard routes in justification of it, but I for one have not read much bragging in to their TRs. No more than many other and less than a lot of TRs.

I bet if the crap and chopping had been the end of it, this would have all been over long ago. Instead lies have been told for years and these guys want the truth to come out to clear their names. That is fully justified and to be expected from any self-respecting person. I commend them on their perseverance to right this injustice (and only slightly fault Richard for the tone of some of his posts).

No one has the responsibility to help them learn the truth, but I would think as a caring human being you would want to help. They are only asking for information (and have demonstrated second hand knowledge will be treated as such). They have demonstrated they aren't going to go kick someone's ass, only talk to them and hopefully get healing all around. But you get more flys with honey than vinegar so they might not get much help on this forum at this point.

Since when is wanting to right a wrong against you whining? Richard isn't just saying poor me look at what happened to us, he's saying we were wronged and want to right it, and keep it from happening again to someone else. He might not get what he wants, but to fault him for trying is easy to say, but imagine if this had happened to you. Would you just let it go?

One of my points in a post in one of the previous threads is that Richard and Mark could have done things differently and perhaps things wouldn't have gotten so out of hand, but they shouldn't have been required to. Although they did try to be reasonable and talk to people, they could have done more, e.g. encouraged people to watch them climb, repeated another hard el cap rout first, etc. BUT that doesn't in any way justify what happened. As an analogy: a woman who was raped should think about her actions that led to the rape being possible (she was out alone at night, she didn't have mace, etc.) and modify her behavior to help prevent a future rape, and also to feel she has some control of at least part of her situation (rather than just fully being a victim, she can accept some responsibility and feel she has some power rather than just feeling she had no control over her own life). So yes there are things victims could have done to prevent crimes against them and it's good to examine them, but once it again it in no way justifies the crime. The crime is the fault of the perpetrators.

I too would like to see an article in Alpinist, or another rag. For one to clear the air and somewhat counter years of lies, and two at the heart of all great stories is conflict and this story has it in spades, so it would be an interesting read for a lot of people.

Since Richard didn’t address this post, I will, because it gives a good summary of all the bullshit thinking of the detractors.

Author:
Craig Shaw

We saw a team was a few pitches up on this fu_ken apron.

TRANSLATION: A SLAB CLIMB IN NOT WORTHY, I LIKE STEEPER STUFF SO YOUR ROUTE ISN’T VALID, YOU SHOULD CLIMB WHAT I LIKE TO CLIMB.

Then we found out, they hadn’t done any climbing in the valley before and they decided to do this first ascent, and I didn’t feel that they respected the valley, the cap or anyone who has put their time in.

TRANSLATION: I DIDN’T FEEL THEY RESPECTED THE VALLEY, EVEN THOUGH I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THEY WERE CAPABLE OF, OR IF THE ROUTE WAS RESPECTFUL OR NOT, HERE I AM PAYING MY DUES ON THE WEST BUTTRESS AND I’M JEALOUS THEY HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO COME IN AND DO AN FA, THAT’S NOT FAIR, THEY SHOULD PUT THEIR TIME IN LIKE ME

At the time I had only been climbing for two years. But, I had great respect for who had come before and the stone. I feel they didn’t.

TRANSLATION: I FELT THEY DIDN’T, EVEN THOUGH I HAD NO PROOF OF THIS AND DIDN’T TALK TO THEM ABOUT IT, SO I’LL JUST JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON AND BELIEVE ALL THE B.S. WITH NO PROOF

As their 38 days went on, mostly on this apron. They were afraid to come down. And I don’t blame them. If I was to rape this stone, I should be scared.

TRANSLATION: I DECIDED THEY WERE RAPING THE STONE, AGAIN WITH NO PROOF. EVEN TODAY WHEN IT IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THEY RESPECTED THE STONE AND SO WANTED TO MINIMIZE THEIR IMPACT SO MUCH THAT THEY WERE WILLING TO TAKE MULTIPLE LONG DANGEROUS FALLS TO REDUCE THEIR HOLE COUNT, I’LL CONTINUE TO CLING TO MY LONG HELD BELIEFS AND RIDICULE THEM BASED ON LIES.

You’re a class act Craig.

And people wonder about why they haven't let it go after 25 years, the B.S. still continues, it is here and now.
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Aug 4, 2006 - 08:57am PT
Levy,
The Gunks, being privately owned, is perhaps not a good example. You would be expected to follow the land manager's rules after paying your access fee. (And there are a few bolted slabby sections there.)

Perhaps what you are trying to say is that people who have been around for some time have "ownership" rights accruing to them, despite the fact that the land is public. Or in particular, the "hardmen only" who have been around have some sort of ownership rights.

Of course, this is not written into any sort of "climbing constitution", so there is no official process for modification of the rules. So if one were to follow the unwritten rules, then the rules of course can only change when some "interloper" so decides.

That is just getting too funny! Is self-appointment popular only amoungst climbers? Anarchy is ok, as long as nobody else anarchically fails to follow your rules...
MSmith

Big Wall climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 4, 2006 - 08:58am PT
Duece,

I think it's hard to defend Grossman by arguing that WoS was indeed ‘over bolted’ by comparing it to the average EC route since WoS is the ONLY (sorry for the caps) route Grossman mentions.

>“At the time, there was no doubt to any climbers doing first ascents that we could easily "create" an A5 lead by enhancing a flake here or there, but the challenge was to find the piece of rock that offered continuous natural difficulty. … When faced with no natural placement, the accepted standard was to drill a rivet.”

I think the WoS modifications has had a lot of coverage on previous threads. For the record, The Sea clearly doesn’t jive with your description. The revered Hook or Book has drilled enhancements which are orders of magnitude beyond the undetectable modifications on WoS. Without them the pitch would have been A4.

Regarding the Fish hook, it may well be that Fish with the help of you and others concurrently developed it. What I know is that we showed Fish our hook from the trunk of our car in September of 1987. Fish seemed really interested and didn't say "Oh, yeah, that looks like the ones I've already designed." Later the Fish hook shows up on the market in the same width, thickness, grade of steel, and shape. The only difference is the tie-off hole.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Aug 4, 2006 - 09:00am PT
"Why did you guys not stand up for yourselves back then?"

What would you have them do dryfly? Go round up the usual suspects in Camp 4 and beat them until they fessed up?

Seems to me there were 4 courses of action after the shitting:

1. Go to the rangers (I don't know if they did this or not), but I wouldn't really respect that course of action. What happens on the school yard stays on the school yard, ya know?

2. Go pick a fight with some people who *might* have done it. To what end? These guys don't strike me as brawlers, they seem to have more class than folk like me.

3. Pick up their sh#t stained gear and leave.

4. Maybe the toughest course of all, they f*#king sacked up and did the valleydamned climb anyway.

When Robbins and McCracken jumped Cooper and Rowell's line on the NW Face Direct on HD Cooper was so disgusted with valley tribalism he freakin quit the sport. He just left and I don't think he bothered retrieving his gear.

Somehow, I respect these WoS dudes for NOT doing that.

DMT

ps. But yes, Harding shoulda whipped Robbins ass for that.
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Aug 4, 2006 - 09:14am PT
I gotta admit if someone crapped on me and my stuff, I'd have to at the very least attempt to kick their a$$ for it. A little too high on the indignity scale for any other response.

Seems kinda stupid for these guys to try to right a 25 year wrong online, let alone in a forum where all the original players aren't even in residence.

My fav above was where they said Fish seemed like a guy with a sense of humor. Sorta like saying Pavorotti seems like an okay singer. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.
Elcapinyoazz

Mountain climber
Anchorage, Alaska
Aug 4, 2006 - 09:21am PT
I'm stealing this phrase: "...you push it too far, and end up decking in the talus of public opinion."

Brilliant. Probably the best thing in this circle jerk trainwreck of a thread.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Aug 4, 2006 - 09:27am PT
Quick question for Mark/Richard:

Why didn't you patent the design of your hook prior to showing it to people?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 4, 2006 - 09:38am PT
Holy frig!

I *still* haven't had time to read this thread and look at it!

In response to Dingus directly above, he's right. I think in some ways Mark and Richard were simply too gentlemanly. They are practising Christians - like me - but in my observation are far better at "practising what they preach" - unlike me. To some they would have appeared "easy pickin's" and "weak" targets, which is certainly not the case. Richard and Mark are two of the strongest men I have ever met, in every sense of the word. Their integrity is beyond reproach, rants notwithstanding.

Sometimes when you are wronged, Jesus calls on us to "turn the other cheek." [Note that I said "sometimes"]. And in Ecclesiastes or Lamentations [I always mix those two up, and my bible is buried under climbing guidebooks somewhere] Solomon writes that "there is a time to fight, and a time to lay down arms." There is a lot of wisdom in these approaches. They are extremely difficult to balance. The practising Christian has to choose when to fight, and when to shut up. I don't want to get into a discussion about this because it's not really on-topic, but suffice it to say that there is a balancing act that is difficult to do, and Christians in particularly are often called to shut up. But only a fool would mistake silence for weakness.

Dryfly writes below concerning revenge. Emphatically this is not what Mark and Richard want! Mark and Richard want nothing more than to reconcile with the people who have hurt them. If an apology were offered, believe me, they would be the first to extend their hand in friendship. They continue to extend the Olive Branch, not merely because as Christians they are called to, but because they want to. They will be the first to forgive. They merely want closure.

In the past, I have chosen to shut up when false accusations were hurled against me. Accordingly, I got further accused - because when I chose to say nothing, people assumed I was guilty or was hiding something simply because I chose not to respond at that time. I waited my time, and when I felt the time was right, I answered every single accusation as best I could.

The Christian angle may be just one of the reasons Mark and Richard appeared to "keep quiet for all those years". But in case you guys have missed it, they TRIED to write climbing publications to explain their side of it, but were refused!

This is fascinating stuff, guys - REAL HISTORY. What you have seen here is a FULL-ON CONSPIRACY, a cover-up of epic proportions perhaps never before seen in this context!

Think about it - cover-ups and lies concerning POOR climbing achievements are rampant throughout the history of climbing. You name the mountain, chances are someone has faked their claim of success. What's his name - Cook? - on Denali/McKinley, Caesar Maestri on Cerro Torre. The list is long and noteworthy.

But where have you ever seen a cover-up of a GREAT achievement, where the jealous locals have made the heroes appear as goats? And this is a conspiracy that has persisted for a quarter-century! Climbing publications refusing to publish, because they believed the lies! For twenty-five years, no matter where Mark and Richard turned, they were considered frauds, cowards, and cheaters! Even climbing textbooks dissed them! And all this despite Richard having written a frickin' book about the climb!

And you guys wonder why Richard wants to rant a bit? Don't you GET IT? Don't you get the depths of their hurt, their amazement? It is conciliatory and patronizing of many of you to write, "why don't you give it a rest?" Shame on you. If any of you had chosen to walk even in a mile in Mark and Richard's shoes, you would have developed a greater heart of compassion.

It's time to fight this time, and good on Mark and Richard.

Some of you are counting the posts in that other non-climbing thread and watching as it approaches 600. Big deal. It is contrived, and maintained through boredom. The Wings of Steel debacle is maintained through voracious interest. I wish somebody would count the posts concerning Wings of Steel. If you find Part IV, Tom linked the other three parts. There are several OTHER posts, too.

I predict there will be over a thousand posts concerning Wings of Steel on McTopo before the dust settles, because I - the Diabolical Dr. Piton - have not yet BEGUN to rant! I am just getting warmed up! You ain't seen NOTHIN' yet!

Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! Stay tuned folks, you'll see it here first. The greatest anti-conspiracy in the history of climbing, revealed before your very eyes almost live.
BoKu

Trad climber
Douglas Flat, CA
Aug 4, 2006 - 09:39am PT
> Why didn't you patent the design of
> your hook prior to showing it to people?

My guess is that he'd rather climb than spend 500 hours a year in court.

Here's my favorite patent resource. It's saved me countless hours and heartaches:

http://www.tinaja.com/patnt01.asp
dryfly

Trad climber
utah
Aug 4, 2006 - 09:41am PT
Dingus, After the shitting it was already to late for defense. Revenge is all thats left at that point, and that is a different road to go down.My responce was more directed to before it got to that point.It is my understanding that they were directly threatened face to face before that. During this threatening would have been the time to defend, or if to terribly out numbered, maybe later that night at the point of their choosing.
Either way ,to do nothing after the threats,and go on about your thing, is only to invite more of the same or worse.Right or wrong ,it is reality.See above post about bullys.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Aug 4, 2006 - 09:49am PT
DMT -- you said "1. Go to the rangers (I don't know if they did this or not), but I wouldn't really respect that course of action. What happens on the school yard stays on the school yard, ya know?"

Funny thing... The "locals", or however they prefer to be referred to went to the rangers and got them involved. Since they were SARS guys the rangers were going take an obvious side, and did.

I've got to disagree with the overbolting thing, Deuce. I'm assuming you're saying 3-4 bolts per pitch, *not* including anchors. Even if this *is* what you're saying, I'd agree with a statement more along the lines of this was the "talked about" norm, or maybe the "norm expected from others". In conversations I've had with people doing early ascents of these hard routes, there were more than 3-4 holes per pitch, quite commonly. As well, there were considerable enahncements done on some of these routes. But, seems OK, since they were put up by locals. Regardless, if you think about the hole count for Wings, consider the fact the each belay had 4 bolts, which strangely is seen on other aid routes too, saying more than 10 a pitch is simply a falacy.

Speaking of the "enhancements"... I have to say I really respect Richard and Mark for being honest enough to say, "ya know, we knocked a crystal or two off of two or three hook placements." F*#k, no one would have known otherwise, had they have said nothing. The "enhancements" can't be seen. But, again, even on so-called, all natural El Cap lines, put up by locals, or someone who is part of the clique, where there are actual enhancements, painfully obvious to all, this is OK...?

I hate to say it, but no one ever said that doing the right or admirable thing would be easy. And, as I said before, people don't change, only their colors do... Mark, Richard, while I think you can plainly see that there are plenty of people who agree that you were wronged terribly, and think more of you, or that you were definitely the bigger of the group to handle things the way you did and still come out on top, you will never change the people who committed the cowardly acts that started the whole mess.

I'm not going to jump on the "get over it" bandwagon. What I *would* say is to, while on this quest, remind yourselves of the progress that *has* been made. The truth is out now. You can see a tidal shift in the views of a lot of people. Seemingly, the more reasonable, open-minded persons. Persons involved in the cowardly acts, which started this whole thing, have been openly accused. It's doubtful they will ever have the sack to do anything appropriate.

Women have been battling the "old boy club" for decades... It's not really gotten them anywhere. Sure, they get some things on the surface, but things, for the most part, still continue on as they were before. I really don't see much difference there than with the Yosemite old boys club. You can certainly hold your head high in the knowledge that you put up one of the proudest routes on The Captain. Bolder than anything around. Possibly harder in a lot of ways. Certainly, when considering the adversity you faced. If that is a measure of hunger and "wanting it", well you wanted your route more than any prior or since.

You can hold your head higher in the knowledge that when others sunk to incredibly low levels, you only stood taller. Knowing the two of you, I know how important this is to you. I think, when it comes down to it, knowing that you held to your standards and personal ethics is probably one of the biggest things to you personally. Certainly, more important than what others do or did. I know there was opportunity and temptation to do otherwise. But you held fast to your principles and beliefs. Honestly, there's a small part of me that wishes the Doc visit happened, Richard.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you guys being the people you are, internally, is what made this climb happen. Most others would have bailed. You're proud of it, so f*#k the losers that gave you sh#t. You stand taller than they do on a daily basis and, certainly do, when you look in the mirror. Let them rot in their own personal hell.
stich

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Aug 4, 2006 - 09:53am PT
Back when I was caving, very malicious nutcase actually entombed me and a friend while doing a ten hour trip in what he considered to be "his" cave. This was no f*#king joke. We had to excavate a cylindrical shaft that was 6 X 10 feet full of rocks, logs, and other debris that was constantly collapsing on us from above. The experience was at times pretty terrifying, but we got out uninjured in about 45 minutes of hard work.

Due to political concerns about the transfer of ownership of the land parcel the cave was on, we shut out mouths about the incident to the police. But to this day that f*#king as#@&%e struts around actually proud of how he taught us a lesson. Hearing that from the grapevine from time to time burns like a hot coal in the soul. It does figure into why I eventually left caving. I had it with the hypocracy and the myopia about what really matters. When you intentionally endanger lives to better someone else, you have crossed the line. This person has no moral fiber whatsoever in my mind. A true creep.

One thing that impressed me happened at a meeting soon after the incident. Another much older and weirder friend of ours approached the guy in question and said, "If you ever hurt any of my friends, I'll kill you." And I believed him. So in that respect, I felt vindicated and let the matter go for years. But I stil would like it to be part of official records. Seeing this guy lionized with awards and accolades is quite nauseating.
Landgolier

climber
the flatness
Aug 4, 2006 - 09:57am PT
Ok, so let's take a pause here and ask Mark and Richard, what do y'all actually want right now, at this point?

I ask because it seems like anybody who could ever be convinced that a two furlongs of scary hooking could make a good route has been convinced that you guys did a good route, and all the accusations of bad style have pretty much been cleared; at minimum, nobody is disputing anything about y'all's story of your style. As I understand it, pretty much all that's left is a positive ID of the maltese mud flamingos.

So seriously, in like 100 words, bullet pointed and no caps lock, what is it you guys want at this point?
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Aug 4, 2006 - 10:01am PT
Hey The Fet: Thanks for putting Craig Shaw in his place. I couldn't have put it better. The guy drops into a long series of threads - obviously hasn't read them - and decisively proves he's still as ignorant now as he was then. Well done.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Aug 4, 2006 - 10:01am PT
"bullet pointed and no caps lock"

LOL! =D
meok

climber
Aug 4, 2006 - 10:07am PT
25 years ago.......if it makes you feel any better, i made the accused villians sweat that infamous night by letting the air out of the tires of the getaway car. i think they had to drive back on their rims.
nvrws

climber
Aug 4, 2006 - 10:22am PT
dryfly, you sound like a war monger with the fight the bully stuff. They did better than fight, they said f em and climbed the route on their own terms in their best style possible.

I agree with others.. "proving yourself" in the valley prior to a first ascent smacks of elitism. It is/was narrow minded and lacks understanding of the global climbing community. I remember recieving shouts of "hangdog" while working a route in Toulomne a year or two after Watt's "introduced" it to the Valley. HMMM, I guess I just didn't have enough Valley time to have paid my dues yet. How much time did/does one need to spend in the Valley before they can put up a new route? How many walls do they {need} to have climbed? Fact: these lads paid their dues the minute the picked up their knotted up, sh#t on ropes cleaned them off and headed back up. WB, you say 'let it go' but you continue to contribute to the thread. You continue to clarify and defend your points and yourself. Ya see its just not that easy, is it?

As for Mark and Richard 'dragging' wos up after all these years.. they didn't start this thread, they have contributed as they have seen fit to do. I must admit Mark's restraint is impressive on the same order of Richard's passion.

golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Aug 4, 2006 - 10:28am PT
Like many others I find this whole history to be quite interesting. Many of you are calling the WoS boys whiners. Try and put yourself in their shoes. First, they had every right to climb El Cap, anyone does. Any perceived misdeed or lack of respect they showed was apparently to the fragile egos of the valley hierarchy at the time. Do you really think the rock of El Cap cares?

If you feel that they (WoS boys) showed a lack of respect to the rock, how would you prove such a thing? When RR thought Harding overbolted he set out the best way he knew to prove this by climbing Hardings route. That would appear to be the way to show that you were in fact up to the challenge of showing more respect to El Cap. But the ones who sh&& on the ropes and threw sh&& bags onto the WoS guys did not sack up. They were unable to rise to the challenge and climb the route. They were unable to prove through their own actions that the WoS guys screwed up. Could it be that this enraged them further? How could these young guys who had never climbed El Cap before come here and out climb us, the valley hierarchy? How dare they? The mob type mentality would dictate that these young guys were wrong and that they be punished. It could only be more infuriating that the WoS sh&& perpetrators be pissed cuz they couldn’t climb WoS. The perpetrators failed to adequately and definitively prove that the WoS guys screwed the pooch. How infuriating is that?

The reality of any ethical considerations is that it is buried in our own minds as to what is right and wrong. Our perceptions have been introduced by climbing literature, stories, ascents and experiences, but it is purely a subjective and human thing that forms our opinions and prejudices.

I would hope that most climbers have had to dig deep into their own soul at times to overcome their fears and perceptions to become successful. These experiences of my own are highlights of my life history, no matter how inconsequential they may appear to others. It is not the route grade or difficulty that matter; it is the experience and human emotion that pervades the consciousness. These experiences can sometimes more easily be seen in the new climber when they are doing something that they did not previously see as possible. Now imagine if you will, that your special moment was not only sh** on, but advertised throughout the climbing community as being wrong, disrespectful, and written up in a Big Walls How to book as being a disgrace. This injustice went on for a quarter of a century, despite the fact that nobody, in 25 years, with all of the advances in wall climbing, has had the balls to actually prove that your ascent was in injustice (well Pete, I almost bought the beer for you and your buds attempt).

It is not difficult for me to relate to the WoS guys angst and frustration with this. Had anyone gotten into my face the way that madbolter reported in his previous posts, I doubt that person would be in one piece still. Think about someone doing to you what was done to these guys and then think about your reactions, feelings and sense of justice.

Now, as the WoS team tries to seek the truth, they are thwarted. Virtually all of the “Big Wall” experts were born and bred in Yosemite. They were part of the valley scene and or still are part of it. That is not a wrong or bad thing, but the stories about the WoS ascent have been told and re-told and these stories have become a part of the consciousness (see madbolters quotes from previous threads). So the WoS boys cannot appeal to the “Big Wall” experts, as most of these experts seem to have a prejudice learned through the years. What is the prejudice based upon? Clearly, the fact that nobody has ascended the route shows that nobody has walked the line and that this “prejudice” may in large part be due to ignorance and our own human predisposition to believe what we have heard through the years.

Werner you may be right about madbolter being crazy. Think about how crazy frustrated and mad you might be if it seemed as though the world was shi&ing on your accomplishments but nobody wanted to actually see the truth. I would be crazy mad too. For most of us cannot forget what the rest of the human race is saying about us.

I wrote this before Deuce posted. I admire what you did for bigwall gear and climbing, but you prove my point. You are basing an opinion on the route without much knowledge. While that in and of itself is not a bad thing, coming from an author of how to climb big walls carrys a lot of weight for some folks and that is the problem. I believe that it is called “objectivity” in literature. The point is, if you or any other big walls book author wants to single out and diss a route, perhaps climbing the route may be the most valid way in forming that opinion. Clearly, when RR set out up the Dawn Wall he had formed an opinion of the route. His opinion of the route changed as he climbed and he was honest about reporting first his prejudice and then his newly formed opinion after experiencing the route first hand. Here and now, the “big wall experts” have prejudged the route without actually climbing it.

Fet I agree with your assessment of Mr. Shows posts. Climbing El Cap after two years of climbing is paying his dues? Hahaha…whatever.

darod

Trad climber
South Side Billburg
Aug 4, 2006 - 10:28am PT
Amen to that Fet, well said!
tomtom

climber
Seattle, Wa
Aug 4, 2006 - 10:34am PT
You guys really sh#t on folks you disagree with?

Wow.
dryfly

Trad climber
utah
Aug 4, 2006 - 11:07am PT
nvrws..I am decidedly not a warmonger.However I will defend myself,my family, and my property, as we all should.My point in bringing that up,was all part of the accountability issue. These are intelligent men that made a concious choice not to react to the bullys.Fine, no problem, but with that choice, as with all choices comes consequences.Observe any grade school and you will soon learn that not reacting to bullies,while it is the higher road, will always lead to more troubles with said bullys.These guys knew or should have known that.My point is that they are not standing buy there decision to stick to the high road.Starting this crap , at this point, is in opposition to said high road.Now is not the time to fight, that boat left 25 yrs. ago .Live with it.
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Aug 4, 2006 - 11:17am PT
Golsen, thanks for your post and insightful commentary.

My intent is not to "diss" Wings of Steel. No one has walked by that magnificent slab of rock and not wondered of the possibilties. I think the route points the way to a future free climbing effort still beyond today's capabilities. My point is just that at the time, it used techniques and tools (more bolts than the norm) that were, and still are, controversial.

The math is clear. If you look at the routes put up in the 80's, using the Walt Shipley innovation of precisely counting holes, rivets, and bolts (which always included belay bolts, by the way), Wings of Steel will be at the top of the list in terms of number of drilled holes per length of new climbing. Today, bolts are used by climbers indiscriminately in rock all over, so it is a moot point; but in the 80's it was not.

Perhaps Chris Mac or some other El Cap historian could enlighten us with the actual hole counts (and number of new pitches) for the routes put up in the era.

It's true I never climbed the route and therefore should probably keep my mouth shut. But back when I was climbing hard stuff, I chose my repeats carefully, and didn't like routes that were rumored to be enhanced, for the simple reason that enhanced routes favored the first ascentionists (especially for hooking cruxes), who made the enhancement based on their body type, position, and previous placement.

So perhaps the question is really one that cannot easily be answered: were there numerous enhancements, as was originally admitted by one of the first ascentionists, or were there only a few, as later claimed? The evidence of enhancements will be invisible today, of course. Perhaps a sister route up the same slab by a bold, chisel-free climber will give the best assessment of the quality of Wings of Steel in the end.
landcruiserbob

Trad climber
the ville, colorado
Aug 4, 2006 - 11:23am PT
Stitch, what county in Colorado did this occur?? In my eyes thats attempted murder. Put a front range rattle snake in his vehicle.rg
Jody

Mountain climber
Templeton, CA
Aug 4, 2006 - 11:31am PT
"I could care less if some guy bolts the whole damn Captain or climbs it upside down or blows the whole thing to smithereens. There's plenty of people that love to save the rock or have all these climbing ethic fits.

Still, they can't even save themselves .........."


Werner, now I know why your parents call you sun(son)...because you are so bright.

BTW, do you plagiarize any of your wisdom or do you come up with it all on your own?
MSmith

Big Wall climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 4, 2006 - 11:38am PT
Deuce,

There’s some validity to observations in your last post, among them that questions arise “that cannot easily be answered.” I’ve not tried to do the math to compare WoS with other climbs, but its holes-per-foot count is certainly high on a relative basis. (Btw, the 1987 Meyer/Reid guide, history of Yosemite section mentions the hole count correctly but then massively understates its length at only 1200’, thereby giving a totally false sense of the ratio.) If holes-per-foot was the best or only measure of a route, then WoS would certainly be a bad one. I completely disagree with your assertion that we have changed our claims about the flake or other enhancements. You need to provide some quotes to back that up.

If you indeed “chose [your] repeats carefully, and didn't like routes that were rumored to be enhanced” then you certainly didn’t do many of the classics like Pacific Ocean or the Sea.
stich

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Aug 4, 2006 - 11:55am PT
landcruiserbob

This happened in Austin, Tx and some of those in on the deed are now part of the money-raking environmental establishment. It was the work of one man. I'll add that we defied his act by going back to the same cave a week later to continue our very successful explorations that up to that week had yielded many new passages and dome leads with new survey. We even gave this guy a copy of our work. He buried my friend and some others a 2nd time, but could only find smaller rocks and debris to again fill that same entrance shaft. My friends found digging out a second time much easier. But after that, we pretty much gave up on it. It was sad letting that project go, as it really fired up our imaginations. I loved working in that cave. It was very difficult to walk away.

Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Aug 4, 2006 - 11:58am PT
Deuce -- Well said. Thank you for the response to my response. Your post has an air of personal honesty to it seldom seen in WoS threads, and I appreciate that. It seems as though your prowess on the rock carries over to your communication skills.

I agree that the slab still holds a lot of potential for the future. No doubt! And I can certainly see how there is a difference in the expectations then and now. The exaggerations were pretty extreme though, don't you think, and seem to lend to the theory of just getting people worked up into a frenzy. Seeing some numbers from CMac, or someone else would be phenomenal!

I never really looked at enhancements from the standpoint you speak of, but it makes sense. Interesting. Logical. I definitely agree that the question, in regards to enhancements/enhancing, is a tough one to answer clearly after a period of time has passed and the evidence has gone. Any contradiction would make things difficult, at best (I'd have to read back through the threads on these points). Moreso, however, I'd agree that a sister route, on top of an SA of WoS would answer all kinds of questions and provide the best assessment.

Your post is very insightful to me a much appreciated! Thanks!
anachronism

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
Aug 4, 2006 - 12:03pm PT
It is very interesting to me to read the truth regarding WoS (or what very much appears to the truth).

Getting the sh|tters to admit they "did it" is a pipe dream. In some ways it will serve no purpose. I won't hold my breath that the world will ever know. Correcting the smear campaign (Grossman et al) in my worthless opinion does serve a purpose.

I'd like to see Richard and Marks story in print in one of the climbing rags. Alpinist seems the best venue. [not sure it would be appropriate in the American Alpine Journal. It certainly wouldn't get the public recognition that the rags garner] Many of this forum now have a new opinion of what happened with/on WoS. That's just a small corner of the climbing community.

Suggestion: Anyone supporting Richard and Mark should write (petition?) Alpinist to allow them to publish their story. It strikes me that public support for "the truth" will go a long way.
WBraun

climber
Aug 4, 2006 - 12:12pm PT
Why I will not reveal the two suspects.

I heard it from second hand and never from the so called guilty source.

How would I ultimately know who really were the perpetrators?

Then you rant about accountability.

You spew out pseudo-zen crap reference, I never made any zen references. Even if theoretically I did you do not know. You do not have any clue.

Therefore you can not be trusted. You rant and speculate too much.
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Aug 4, 2006 - 12:55pm PT
QUOTE from MSmith October 28,2005 on Supertopo:

"There are many enhanced hook placements on Wings of Steel"

QUOTE from Madbolter, April 27, 2006 on Supertopo:

"...our FEW enhancements..."
and posting again on the same day regarding the number of enhancements:
"There are a few, and I mean a FEW"

Perhaps we need to discuss whether 'many' is the opposite of 'few'?
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 4, 2006 - 01:13pm PT
"If holes-per-foot was the best or only measure of a route, then WoS would certainly be a bad one."
well, so if you make that statement yourself, then what is this all about? i don't get it.

not trying to be a smart ass here (not that i have to try)-
but i am going to play devil's advocate for a moment. please view this as an opportunity to explain yourselves more fully, rather than as yet another attack (but honestly, i am confused by some of these arguments).

for starters, back in the day, some guys sh#t in yer ropes, and clearly that was mean. those guys were not nice, and that was a tasteless way of telling you what they though of your route. no argument from me, i agree w/ you. but, that alone is not worthy of this amount of attention. a quarter century is plenty long enough to get over that, IMO (go ahead and sh#t on my ropes, i'll be pissed for 10 years, tops). again, that act clearly stands out as especially gross, and you want to know who it was, and their friends wouldn't then and won't now rat them out (which surprises noone)- but that is not what you are focussed on, right? or is it? (as was said earlier, what exactly do you want?


more to the point, you said that you were a victim of an unfair smear campaign, noting this passage:
"Conflicts may arise from the local climbing community. Pressure to climb in good style and according to local precedent, can be intense. A perceived lack of ability or judgement [sic] can detract from the satisfaction of completing a first ascent. Such is the case with Wings of Steel on El Capitan."


so if the prevailing opinion at the time was (and as you even state yourself, as quoted above), that your route was a departure from the norm ("pressure to climb in good style and according to local precedent, can be intense"), a notable increase from the accepted standard of the day (and not judging by what we- or pete on TR- view today as reasonable or allowable in terms of drilled holes per pitch), would that not be adequately described as "a percieved lack of ... judgement"? (it does say ability OR judgement)

so what the author was refering to would be your judgement, as percieved by all these other guys, who all seemed to think you were forcing a route up an unnatural line, a line which was requiring more bolts than they had seen before, and you were doing it on el cap, both the cradle and the shrine of NA rock climbing, where you had never previously set foot(!), isn't that right? (specifically, i mean isn't it right that it was their perception, that you were forcing, that you were overbolting, and that you were new?)

now then, isn't it also true that the reaction of 'the community' at the time, "detract[ed] from the satisfaction of completing [your] first ascent" ?

as i see it, that statement is apparently accurate, as much as you might not enjoy reading it. so how is that a smear? because you felt insulted? well, i think that is what werner has been saying all along, that you are more concerned w/ the reaction of others, rather than w/ your experience on the climb. the time to be concerned about the legacy of the climb was when all these guys were giving you sh#t, telling you what everyone else thought of the line you'd selected. (sorry for being so direct)

as for the opinions of others, you can't do a climb that takes you almost 6 weeks of continuous effort and then say nobody that hasn't climbed it gets to have an opinion, especially when you are bolting your way up a slab, sorry, no f*#king way that's valid.

now please help me out with this part-
some guys think you have started to force a route up an unnatural line. they expect that because you seem to be new, they can just run up and chop what they and others feel are too many bolts or whatever. when they try the moves, low and behold, this stuff is pretty hard and inobvious. now then, does that fact add to, or diminish their feeling that the route itself is forced?

on the topic of ego: these guys were upset by what they saw of the route before they tried to climb abd chop, right? so how is it a question of ego? it's not as if they hopped on your lines to steal the route, were stumped, and then chopped your bolts- that to me would equate w/ this idea of jealousy of the 'local elites', which has been floated in these threads. i just don't see it that way. you guys were bolting your way up the slab, in their eyes at least, and they though it was a desecration of their holiest temple.

to revisit these issues in 2006 and not to firmly entrench the conversation in the standards of the day is pointless. where are the old dads who are saying that you were wronged? where are the old dads who now say that those bolts weren't too many and the community over reacted, and wronged you? i am not seeing any of that, looks like the opposite, if anything.

getting guys on the line today, and having them be impressed w/ the route's climbing and it's difficulty, as i see it, that does absolutely nothing to address what i am understanding to have been the problem in the 1st place, and it also is absent of context. who was bitching that the route was too easy? who was bitching that it was too hard? no, that wasn't the issue at all, was it...?

JM notes a dilema or problem w/ hard hooking lines and the structural advantages that the FA has w/ free will and a clean slate, as opposed to following in anothers hook prints. having never even done a hooking pitch, i have no insights, but those arguments hold weight because of who they come from. now take those arguments and make the hooking extra hard and scary, and before you know it, all those bolts are in place for just one ascent!

maybe the ratio to consider ought to be bolts per climber over time, rather than bolts per feet of rock climbed? in that case, you have a pretty large ratio.


as for the idea that you can just go to yosemite, because it's a national park that we all own, and just put bolts where you see fit- ok fine, go ahead and do that today and see what happens.




anyways- it looks from the devil's advocate's position that if you want to call this route visionary and ahead of it's time, you may have to be reffering to looking ahead to a time when greater # of bolts per pitch had become commonplace.








(platter for ranting is now served, have at it kids)

nutjob

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Aug 4, 2006 - 01:15pm PT
Werner,
Spiritual acceptance and perspective aside, we're living in our bodies here and now, and physical stuff like climbing gear can be a gateway for our bodies to make a spiritual connection.

If you know about property damage... in the most insulting way imaginable by SH!TTING on it... well you're silence is over the line.

It's up to victims to find forgiveness independent of the external world and others' acceptance of responsibility.

I think their rants are not about this... I think they are doing their part for "society", a part that others should have done long ago.

To the extent that we all contribute to the society in which we live, I believe we all have a responsibility to draw the line about what's OK or not, and how to handle those who cross that line. If you do not, you are contributing to a societal attitude that tolerates shitting on other's stuff. You can say "I don't advocate shitting on others" but for those who lack their own moral accountability (a pre-req for being able to pull down your pants and push out fecies onto something that somebody else has worked for and purchased for their pleasure), your message seems to say "but if you want to sh#t on people's stuff I'll not get in your way".

I guess we all pick our battles in life, too many to be noble in all.

EDIT: Werner, sorry if my tone is judgmental toward you, just read your post immediately preceding mine. Only clear line of action is if you know directly about the offenses... Other situations are murky and really come down to how much you want to go to bat for someone else's cause or for society in general.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 4, 2006 - 01:32pm PT
Thread drift:

FOR 20 FUKKIN YEARS THESE WOS GUYS HAVE BEEN BURING MY ASSs ABOUT THE FISH HOOK..... ( not really, but this method is attention getting )

But, to quote:
Regarding the Fish hook, it may well be that Fish with the help of you and others concurrently developed it. What I know is that we showed Fish our hook from the trunk of our car in September of 1987. Fish seemed really interested and didn't say "Oh, yeah, that looks like the ones I've already designed." Later the Fish hook shows up on the market in the same width, thickness, grade of steel, and shape. The only difference is the tie-off hole.

The above was in response to the Deuce... so I dig up the paper work from Walt.... he was a big stickler for details.... full plans, materials list, and notes in the margin from the Deuce... dated 9 April 1986, and it starts with "sorry for the delay in the response time". Ummmm... that predates the fukking trunk of your car. ( now would be a good time to say 1987 was a typo, and it was really 1982 or something)

Either way, big-whoop-tee-doo.... the Fish hook is hardly an engineering marvel. Even with the massive brains of Walling, Middendorf and Shipley it is still a 7" piece of steel hot bent around a pipe. Even though we all wore black ninja suits and creeped around R & D-ing ( that is Rip off and Duplicate to those not in the industry ) every hook on the market, this was still the best we could come up with.... real similar to the designs used in Europe in the late 1800's!!! Shiit! Don't tell the Marquis, or we'll have a 116 year asss chapping going on.

Carry on... I think I just saw a "shitter" over there behind that bush......

locker style edit:

Werner.... there is a scale drawing of Averys hook on these pages too! Courtesy of Werner Braun......
WBraun

climber
Aug 4, 2006 - 01:36pm PT
Nutjob

You can't read either, and you're speculating also.

Edit: Russ LOL hahahaha

Bilbo

Trad climber
Truckee
Aug 4, 2006 - 01:48pm PT
It seems.........Since nobody has repeated the route....It is not worthy.....its one thing to put a trad route (say a .12 OW)that you know only the sickest of individuals would ascend (if anybody at all), but a run-out hooking nightmare with holes and bolts on El Cap?
It was probably a great adventure for the FA's, but it SEEMS not worthy(Only due to the fact that nobody will repeat it in ALL this time) and the damage to the stone should be repaired.
The sh#t storm was a clue to this....
If the route is worthy....show the community with a repeat ascent...


Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Aug 4, 2006 - 01:53pm PT
Russ wins the Snappy Comeback Of The Week™ award...

(The Deuce scored a close second)
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Aug 4, 2006 - 02:10pm PT
Matt, you do bring out a good point. The perspective of the early 80's was much different than today. I wonder what those guys would have said about a hood ornament on El Cap of a british car by a brit?

bilbo, that bachar-yerian thingy goes up beautiful rock but the damn thing does not get climbed much, way too few repeats and technically it aint hard by todays "standards". Must not be worthy...yeah, thanks for the excuse as to why I didnt get on it...Who wants to climb an unworthy route anyway, sheesh...Come to think of it, I dont think that Deuces route on Trango has seen a repeat.
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 4, 2006 - 02:33pm PT
couple guys i know have done the BY, just in the last couple years, plus there are not too many bolts, and thus nobody's upset. find another route that is/was percieved as OVERbolted by the local standards, and that doesn't see ANY traffic, is w/in 100s of yds of other routes that do see lots of traffic, and your examples will then be better.
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Aug 4, 2006 - 03:24pm PT
matt, I get your point. However, on the one had some say it is overbolted and not ever climbed. On the other hand it is a runout scary nightmare and difficult to climb. About the only thing that I could get out of bilbo's post was that since it was not climbed it was not valid. Certainly, it is hard to deduce that it is overbolted and a runout nightmare? This goes under things that make you go hmmmmmmmm...
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 4, 2006 - 04:20pm PT
G-
there is a contradiction there, you are right.

i disagree (w/ bilbo's assessment) that an unclimbed route is necessarily "unworthy" (whatever that word means), but it is possible that an unclimbed route is simply unappealing to many or most, for whatever reason. truthfully, the hard and scary stuff is very appealing to a few (and that, if anything, seems to be where the hardguy ego comes into play).



let me preface this next comment by saying that i am not personally making any judgement on WoS (again, i think the people to do that are the climbers of that era, and i think they have basically said their piece, both here and over the last 25 years or so).

regarding that contradiction, perhaps the resolution can be found in the explaination that the route is "forced"? perhaps in the ethic of the era in question, repeated runout and scary hook moves do not justify what the others in "the community" at the time viewed as too much unnatural protection, in the absence of any significant natural protection, or an aestheticly interesting or otherwise appealing line?

again, i am not passing that judgement or saying that's so, i just get the idea that's what people felt as a group at the time, and i don't think that anyone's idea of how that climb compares to anything else in their modern view is relevant to what people thought at the time. that's my opinion, i guess i'll have to wait untill next week to have it 'splained to me...



Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 4, 2006 - 04:39pm PT
here's another question:

what's the difference between this route up the slab, and a bolt ladder?










now don't get all freakin pissed off yet-
i know there is a difference- but WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
(nice caps, huh?)



the difference is all these hard and scary hook moves in between the bolts, right?

ok, so then what is the difference between this route and a route with hard and scary moves between varying opportunities for natural protection, sometimes good and sometimes poor?



and exactly what was the difference, in the context of early 1980s el cap climbing, to climbers in yosemite at that time, between this route and a route with hard and scary moves between varying opportunities for natural protection, sometimes good and sometimes poor?

















think real hard about that one-








do you have your own answer?
don't just read mine- seriously- what is YOUR opinion?












it seems to me, that back in the day, the difference was the same as the difference between something they wanted to climb, something they found appealing, something they thought of as worthy, and something they thought of simply as a bolt ladder, forced up the middle of a slab.



am i wrong?








and didn't they bitch these guys out for starting up a slab that would require a bolt ladder? and hadn't these guys just waltzed in and hopped on their line, w/out making any real effort (or at least enough effort, apparently) to understand the culture or the ethics of the climbers in that area at that time?




and didn't those guys, back in the day, take their ethics pretty damn seriously?


and weren't rap bolting and sport climbing poking their heads up everywhere, well, everywhere BUT in yosemite?


and weren't these newcomer guys NOT listening to what everyone else thought of their choice of a line, and the style that climbing it would require?


perhaps they thought that if the WoS crew "paid their dues" by climbing some other routes on el cap, that the prevailing opinion, the local ethics, would rub off on them, given ample opportunity to pass in the footseps of the legends that had come before them, and see what the traditions of el cap climbing were all about?


several people in this thread have implied that "paying their dues" would equate to proving themselves in some way- who says that's the issue? maybe doing some other hard routes would have given them insight into local style and customary practices?

i have stated repeatedly that i am not passing judgement on these guys ar this route, but to be honest, all this banter has made me think about it a bit, and this is where i am heading:

it's not as if nobody told them that they didn't like their choice of a line and the style that climbing it required, and yet they turned their noses up at "those local as#@&%es" and went about their business as they saw fit- ok fine- but don't now come cry that no one liked their choice of a line and the style that climbing it required- whatever- i don't see how they get to complain about it now, TS.

and what about shitting on those ropes? ok that's f*#ked up, but to them, so was conquering el cap w/ a drill, and they were defending her, in their minds.

i for one, 25 years later, am not prepared to say that anyone was right or anyone was wrong, but i feel like it might be fair to say that you guys chose your own path, despite what "the community" (whom you now wish to rely upon for the unknown past dirty details and eventually the future redemption you seek) was telling you, and telling you loud and clear.

i am not all the way there, but i think the conversation cannot and should not focus on the difficulty of the hooking moves on your route, where pete has directed it. you didn't put that route up in 2006, and therefore pete is really not the guy whose opinion matters (nor am i).

further, your fight cannot be won by simply convincig people that the climbing is bold. as proof, i will concede that the climbing is bold. so what? your route was not well recieved, no one from your era repeated it, and what is remembered about it is that you wouldn't listen to the community at the time, and you climbed your route in a style that people at the time did not approve of.



please explain to me whay that take on all of this would be inaccurate (and remember, i have conceded that your route was hard and bold, and that shitting on your ropes was mean, so please do not use those issues as justifications in your argument, as they ae more or less beside the point).


cheers,
-matt
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 4, 2006 - 05:30pm PT
matt,
that's not a bad synopsis.
it's a pretty good rough out contextual sketch describing how this thing came about.

i don't mean to sign this post of matt's and pass it as an indictment either.

understanding is what many people would like and this helps, IMHO.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 4, 2006 - 05:57pm PT
Oh my gosh! I just read Russ' response to my rant way up above somewhere. Too funny!!!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 4, 2006 - 06:04pm PT
I had only a handful or so of grade 5's and 6's under my belt when this thing came down and although I was present, I felt no personal authority to heavily snub WOS or Mark and Richard, but I was quite aware that hard nailing implied linking features.

Free climbs more in the line of what I had been introduced to and pioneered at that time, were not so different in kind from the WOS, yet this became apparent to me only when I spoke with Richard and Mark at the SAR meeting: ie, that this thing was not a bolt ladder but a linkage of nasty hook maneuvers protected by bolts, so I sort of went "hmmm" to myself and when I asked one or two of the SAR guys about that, they said they stuck by the forced line issue.

At that point, I figured the WOS guys were nice, honest, bold perhaps to a fault, yet out of the loop and now in pretty deep.

I had my own free climbs to do, the thing had been chopped, so I couldn't investigate placements and that's about the last of it for my part at that time.

Richard et al, what I meant by swinging the wrecking ball the other way:
Richard, to paraprase you, you stated something to the effect that Russ's feelings that this was a bummer for you were flat or hollow: If you want some contrition I suggest you do not reject it out of hand.

The general tone of PTPP, darod, Nef is that there is gonna be some big thing exposed, all these names here on ST are going to lose face and all this type of thing. This is what I mean by swinging a broad brush or ball back the other way. I have suggested let the route speak for itself.

Running Russ and Werner down for answers they may not posess also gets broad and aggressive. You can ask and that's about it. We don't even know who originally saw the bolts/tactics, then you have the desecrators, then you have the phenomenon of cultural absorption fanning out from there. So a smear campaign, or specific culpability in that regard is not so easy to discern. There were accepted standards of the times and this route was a major flag. No one person made these standards and no small group dreampt them up in anything like an arbitrary fashion: this was a generational legacy, it spanned generations. You have to be very precise when deciding intent and culpability to truly smear and this is not so easy to do.

Russ, Werner, myself: we had our own climbing to do, we may have known names 2nd hand at the time, but believe it, I now no way can say for certain who did what. People were bragging complicity who were thought to have been uninvolved. Memory does fade when it's not something really eating at you.

Remember, even accepted members of our community went head to head in a very hard way during this time period: Bachar and Kauk in fact went head to head over rap bolting in the valley/meadows and Chapman slugged Bachar over it. Yaniro got a lot of flack.

I do not see that jealousy is at the root of the detractor's sentiments (whether we are speaking of a few choppers or the broad community). I see people who felt they needed to uphold a hard won and time honored tradition. Yes the "perps" of the chopping and feces and threats were big time out of hand and in an obvious way, all bets were off for this thing to be set in a humane regard concerning the culture at large. This of course has much to do with the very real and understandable angst and effort which Mark and Richard have felt and shown.

These were volatile times: early 80's to mid 80's. This WOS thing was really a major crescendo and a big feature of the shifting times, but believe it, there was more to come.

Sincerely,
Roy McClenahan

Gunkie

climber
East Coast US
Aug 4, 2006 - 06:29pm PT
I'm counting *at least* eight (8) cage matches that could be set up from this one thread. Anyone have a more accurate count?

BTW, I know someone on Staten Island that goes by the name 'Snake'. And it's not Snake Pliskin. He quietly solves these kinds of problems for a fee; or so I hear. Doesn't anyone in Cali know of a 'Snake' kind of problem solver? Or is that now that state of 'Tofu & Latte'?

Or maybe I'll solo the second ascent of WoS once my Cliffhanger boltgun comes back from the shop. And I'm still looking forward to finding out who the Poop-On-Command guy was. I'm betting it's Mike Corbett. He probably has a taste for Geritol by now.
the Fet

climber
A urine, feces, and guano encrusted ledge
Aug 4, 2006 - 07:39pm PT
Since this is rapidly becoming a significant event in Yosemite climbing history, I wonder if it's possible at this point to preserve a part of this climb in the Yosemite climbing museum.






































Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 4, 2006 - 08:44pm PT
well, cripes Fet, that does it.
now you go and make someone laugh.
-and boy howdi did i.
beeter get that poop over to chicken skinner ASAP.

i just perused LEB's latest thread/inquiry/troll extravaganza.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=232153&f=0&b=0

it occurs to me that,
given time,
(Lots of it)
LEB (Lois) can "Columbo" this thing and git all the answers Richard, Mark, PTPP, darod, Nefarius, et al and all the inquiring minds need to know.

as if we don't know enuff already.
except the names of the perps.
and if there really exists a smear.
'come on Lois, git to it.
we are all pooched on this thing.
Landgolier

climber
the flatness
Aug 5, 2006 - 03:31am PT
OK, I want to pose my question again now that it's buried under several feet of Matt.

What is it you guys want out of this latest flareup? At this point you've cleared your names and nobody is doubting your ethics/style, the only debate left is pure aesthetic opinion and you have to realize you've probably swayed all the public opinion what's gonna sway. So all of this protestation and drama is over finding out who took a crap on your gear 25 years ago? If not, what more?

I mean, I understand it wasn't a cool thing to do and all, and you'd love to know who actually wronged you, but come on, but if you never find out are you going to die still pissed about this, or are you going to find a way to get over it?
Mimi

Trad climber
Seattle
Aug 5, 2006 - 05:07pm PT
I admit it. I was one of the people who krapped on your ropes. I had no idea that it would scar you so severely. I will be haunted by your pain forever.

And I'm calling you out for calling out my friends. Who the F do you think you are, you little pricks?!

Mimi
LEB

climber
Glen Gardner
Aug 5, 2006 - 06:17pm PT
Tarbuster,

I do not have a plan for finding the culprits and I do not think this is a healthy approach to the problem. In fact, I think it is energy spent in the wrong direction and it will serve no constructive purpose.

I believe I have a better approach and I posted it over on Karl's "I was wrong" thread. I know some of you will think it is stupid or that I am trolling, but I am absolutely NOT doing so. I do not want to see people here who I really care about dragged through the mud. On the otherhand, while I relate very strongly to what mimi wrote (and can very much support her sentiments), perhaps there *was* an injustice and it is not altogether ethical to completly ignore that either. Does what I am proposing have any merit?
elcapfool

Big Wall climber
hiding in plain sight
Aug 5, 2006 - 06:52pm PT
I know who did it.

But like Huggy Bear, I want a little sumthin' sumthin'.
Knowledge is power, and power ain't free, ask the electric company...

Actually, I am enjoying watching the drama too much.

Maybe I should ebay it?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 5, 2006 - 07:44pm PT
Folks,

If you read nothing else on this thread besides what Mark and Richard have to say, please read these two people's posts:

the Fet - he gets it better than anyone

Craig Shaw - absolutely classic, and indicative of the kind of ignorance of the climbers of the day. Even now Craig still doesn't get it, and in [url="http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=231718#msg232328"]his post above[/url] accuses Mark and Richard of "rap[ing] this stone", a misperception fromthe past he continues to hold.

Maybe someone could suggest to Craig that he investigate a bit further to realize that far from raping the stone, Mark and Richard put up a pretty darn hard route in fine style, and that if he were to read some of the stuff here on McTopo, he might avoid putting his foot so firmly in his mouth henceforth.

But man, if that doesn't illustrate the kind of stuff those guys had to put up with, I sure don't know what does! Wow!

Lots of other great comments and questions I'll address when I get a moment. Do carry on, eh?
Mimi

Trad climber
Seattle
Aug 5, 2006 - 08:16pm PT
Um, I believe Craig described the sentiment of the day pretty accurately. And many people with knowledge and respect for Yosemite climbing hold that sentiment today.

Where were you during that time, Pete? Just curious.

Fine style? You've got to be kidding.

Stuff those guys had to put up with? Go figure.

It was truly a "vertical freight hauling marvel." W. Harding.
Twight is God

Mountain climber
Aug 5, 2006 - 08:25pm PT
I'm not entirely sure why Richard and Mark would want an apology from the guys who did the shitting anyway. Anyone whose idea of resolving a climbing dispute is to chop someone's route, sh#t on the ropes, and then climb above them and throw sh#t down onto them as a last resort, is clearly a person of very limited (or non-existent) morality, intelligence, maturity, and general mental health. And I doubt any of those traits improved much, even after 25 years. Associating with those types seems beneath them to me, even if it's just to get an apology.

A feature on Wings of Steel in a climbing rag (as someone else mentioned Alpinist would be a good target, because they actually publish in-depth, high-quality articles that are targetted at people who don't climb wearing beanies) would be a good idea, however. Give a history of the climb and the controversy with a modern perspective on things from PTPP and Ammon. Maybe one of them could write it and submit it?
WBraun

climber
Aug 5, 2006 - 09:43pm PT
You know, when I first met Richard and Mark I had just come out of the shower and they were on their way to that meeting with the "Valley Locals" and Sar guys. I didn't know about no meeting. I've been hearing before that about some guys going on El Cap to do some route in a way they disagreed. Sh#t, people here at times disagreed with how you pick your nose, so it was nothing new to me.

There they were, heh (Richard and Mark)? Interesting ...... these are the guys I've been hearing about?

They asked me what I thought. I told them "Maybe .... if you're getting so much flack from these guys maybe do something else? I don't know, it was just an idea, a thought, sort of a suggestion. Not that it was the right thing to do or such. They seriously considered that option, and I felt bad that they had to even consider this. They left for that meeting and I left.

With all that flack, me, I would have told them to f*#k off, shove it up their asses. But whatever, they needed to call their own shots.

Then the chopping and shitting happened. Huh? I thought. WTF was that all about? Those dumb ass fools (the shitters) just made it 1000 times worst for themselves . That drew the straw I guess for Richard and Mark, screw these idiots and punks, we're going for it now no matter what and no holds barred. I don't blame them. Kind of a very low blow cheap shot only worst. I couldn't believe something like that would of happened. I figured Richard and Mark would just have done their route and everyone else who didn't like it would have just kept ranting and raving and this bullshit would have just faded away over time. Guess it didn't go that way huh ......?

I saw all those haul bags when I stopped to look from the road at times. Yikes! that was a lot of sh#t man and I knew from experience that this was a hell of a lot of work for these guys. Whatever man, their thing and their up there interesting though, as the this was the latest soap opera going. You know how the local life has it's own drama.

Man you climbing people sure get into this stuff, super passionate .......

And for your information Richard about that analogy about the car thing. I came back from the Lodge one night and some probably drunk idiot did a number on the front and back windows of my car, hahaha. Whoever did it (knocked both of em out) probably had seen enough of my piece of sh#t looking car. Bridwell lent me his car to go to the junk yard and buy replacements. I barely had any money in those days. The perpetrator? f*#k if I know. It's been 30 some years maybe I should start an investigation? Now don't start jumping to the conclusion that this parallels the shitting and chopping.

Damn? how you guys write these long winded pieces all the time?






bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Aug 5, 2006 - 10:55pm PT
hey werner,

i went bouldering again today. just me and my wife. it was KILLER.

nobody has ever sh#t on y crash pad, and if anyone ever does, i'll take a f*#king crowbar to their head.

i'm just sayin'.....fair warning.


seriously...this topic epitomizes the phrase "pointless". you may as well start a new one concerning robbins and DL on the WOEML. only, harding would never bother to post up...the WoS guys need to get a fukkin' clue and take a page from harding's playbook.

GET OVER IT, BOYS. IT'S 2006. GO DO A CLIMB OR SOMETHING. YOUR SOULS ARE NOT GOING TO BE REDEEMED ON THE INTERNET. AND THE FACT THAT YOU KEEP COMING BACK HERE IS A SURE INDICADION THAT YOUR SOULS ARE IN NEED OF REDEMPTION!
Jingy

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Aug 5, 2006 - 11:37pm PT
Not that I have any say in any of this, seeing how this all went down way before I stumbled onto the scene.

Just looked into this matter a bit and found something that made me question some of what I have read.

madbolter. Went to your website, or what I believe to be your site.
You give some anecdotal postings to prove some of the types of turmoil you have gone through since 1982.

On your site I picked a few things, maybe out of context, correct me if I'm wrong:
In '82, you and your friend went to YNP to do a first ascent on El Cap. This was both of your first route on El Cap. (if this is the first route on El Cap, why not do some of the classics to establish your props?)

"We did many routes in SoCal that were much harder than anything you found established on El Cap." (So, you did stick around after the 39 days to try out some other stuff, and just dominated totally?)

You were scorned by the local SAR team of climbers from the start. You were threatened, and shat on from above.

The SAR team slandered you, calling your route a "bolt ladder" and something about 1000 bolts to Horse Chute. you were bashed in the mags and in all print media, worldwide.

OK, I got a handle on that.

I looked through some of your photos to see something leap off the page at me, and the timing didn't track.
There is a photo of your Sea of Dreams rack with your buddy... wearing a t-shirt that had "Bolt Masters" printed on it. On this page you talk about the route in the past tense, which leads me to believe that this photo was taken after the event. You state that "WE knew the route was not a bolt/rivet ladder, despite decades of lies about it.". (Even back then? Despite decades of...?)

You have given many links to others views on the subject. The first link I looked at had a post from HalHammer, in which he claims to know the two of you. He describes "Basically they picked a line worse than the start of WFLT or any of Harding's other exploits and drilled as was needed to link the features. Technically the stuff is A4-A5 because of the length of the falls if you did fall. Instead of rivet ladders, they put in bat hook holes. There would be 10 holes in a row then a bolt for example through the drilled parts." This struck me as kind of odd.

I once or twice saw a video of a dude doing an A5 route. When he got to the top, he dropped his backpack, which zippered all pieces he had placed, all the way to the bottom. I'm sure we've all seen the video, and barring modern editing techniques, while watching this video I never saw the guy drill anything. Not once.

Could the piece of rock you decided to travel have been climbed without the drilling?

If what HalHammer says is true... well I hate to say it... But......

At least the "teenager" who read your writings think of you as heroes.



Jingy
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 6, 2006 - 07:42am PT
I asked LEB (Lois), as an impartial observer to look at this WOS thing.
(she is a non climber and visits our forum regularly, asking lots of pertinent questions regarding our culture)

Lois suggested:
"How about this. What if the "poopers" got together and bought brand new gear of at least as good quality plus interest (as that which they despoiled) and sent it to the "poopees" with an anonymous but contrite note saying they were sorry and that they officially admit they were wrong. The poopees could then post the anonymous note on the internet - for all to read - and thus they could be formally vindicated.

The poopers would remain the climbing icons that they were and no one's world or heros would be have to be shattered. Best of all, no one or no ones would have to climb though the mud (or poop) and then fall on his sword for some stupid, emotional act of his youth. Everyone could then go about his life and worry about REAL problems like the *real* children who are in the middle east getting killed - on both sides of the conflict. I bet some of them would gladly trade a little poop on their gear to get their life back again."

and Lois then said:
" - how come no one is commenting on my proposed "solution" to this problem. I am serious here. I am not "trolling," as you all are want to say say. What do people think of my approach? Would a public but anonymous apology along with restitution of damanges (with interest) be enough? Would it be a compromise between allowing the aggrieved parties to be vindicated while permitting the other parties to maintain their dignity and not have to crawl through the mud in public for something they did 25 years ago?

Is this a reasonable compromise? Does the idea have any merit? Why or why not? Could people please comment? If it has some merit, please say so. If it is a stupid idea, please tell me why it would not work? Perhaps other people who also falsely condemned the "poopees" and past harsh judgement could even contribute (make donations) to funding the cost of the equipment (which is now just a symbol, at this point of sincere intent as well as restitution/responsibility) so the original 3 poopers, as it were, do not have to shoulder the entire cost of replacing expensive equipment which they damaged."

OK Lois,
i suggested you put your impartial eyes to the task.
you did and asked for a response.
-probably the wings guys are the ones to best respond to any novel ideas.

landgolier has said it pretty straight: asking them what it is they really want, in the end.

to me your idea cracks the pressure in a somewhat constructive way.

i still have the impression that this is not limited to the perpetrators of misinformation and vandalism.

i think richard and mark also want some amends made for the total cultural absorption and reflection of the mis-representation of their effort. my earliest posts referenced this, perhaps not so clearly.
LEB

climber
Glen Gardner
Aug 6, 2006 - 08:05am PT
Here is a "copy and paste" of my reply to Tarbuster's query to me (concerning this matter) on Karl's "I was wrong" thread. I believe the idea is at least worth considering whether or not it is adopted.

Tarbuster,

I guess my suggestions comes from several fronts. Having been here a year or so now, I have basically formed some bonds with the "perps," although I am not exactly sure who or which ones they are. In general, however, they have become friends of sorts so obviously my first impression would be to defend them. I am annoyed that "outsiders" - the two who were wronged - are coming in and upsetting the applecart, embarrassing people I have come to like. Also, that they are carrying this thing on for 25 years annoys me as well. I mean like this is just a little much, don't you think. We are talking two and a half decades here. Frankly, it would be nice to sweep this whole thing under the carpet and forget about it.

Now having said that, my brain and sense of ethics tells me that underneath it all, they DO, have a valid point. They were wronged, to be sure and they are entitled to some restitution. That they are screaming for it for 25 years seems a bit much BUT the fact is that they were the ones upon whom a miscarriage of justice was perpetrated. They do have rights, however, irritating that fact may be to some of us.

Accordingly, it seems to me that an anononymous letter written collectively by the perps would serve as a formal and public and it would seem in order. In an ideal world, the actual persons would apologize openly (non-anonymously) but perhaps this approach is simply not realistic. Therefore an anonymous letter of apology written by the three or, however many there were who did these deeds, which was sincere, contrite and which could be published on the internet would be the next best thing. The expectation would be that the letter would be published on their website as well as here.

I believe the replacing of their gear is appropriate, as well. Gear is expensive and I am sure they spend alot of money on it. Pooping all over their gear - besides being disgusting - makes it rather unusable and they would have to replace it, at their own expense. That is not just and we all have to make ammends for our financial faux pas. If you spill wine on my dress, probably you are going to feel better if you pay the dry cleaner's bill.

Most importantly, the replacement of the gear is a concrete symbol (and an expensive one) letting everyone know that this is no hoax. The "perps" really did write the letter and bought the gear. Everyone can help their friends - "the perps" - by donating to the cause say $5 or $10, both as a show of solidarity for them and also to do their part if they bad mouthed the victims. If everyone chips in, the cost goes way down for the perps who are people's friends. I personally nominate Kath (Ms Blinny) to collect the money that people send in and hold on to it. I am quite sure she knows who did this thing anyway and she is quite integritous in terms of holding the funds in escrow.

Finally, the victims can take their gear, take (and post) their letter and (finally!) *go away,* once and for all. Like enough, already! This thing has been dragging on for two and a half decades, now. The "perps" need to apologize and make restitution and the "victims" need to give it up (already!) and go on with their lives. It is really that simple. It is like Clinton's formal apology on behalf of the US for the Tuskegee atrocity. He can't change what was done by the formal apology somehow DOES made it better, on some level.

elcapfool

Big Wall climber
hiding in plain sight
Aug 6, 2006 - 08:51am PT
Two problems with that solution:
The gear wasn't destroyed, just soiled.


And the person responsible is not sorry, and would do it again.



I've been hit by a mud falcon, and woken up to a golden shower. The shower wasn't an accident, as I could hear the wizzer laughing histerically.
I got over it in less than 25 minutes.

Matt hit the nail on the head when he said it isn't about the hard hooking, it's about upsetting the community.

That's it from me, I am done with this topic.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 6, 2006 - 09:00am PT
Thanks Lois,
I'd like to see this thing healed and resolved.

I've responded to Lois on Karl's thread and to avoid un necessary duplication and cross posting, I'll suggest to anyone wishing to investigate solutions just check that out:

My response and suggested course of solution is dated aug 6 at 8:45 am
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=233119&f=0&b=0#msg233424

Good luck all.
LEB

climber
Glen Gardner
Aug 6, 2006 - 10:00am PT
Tarbuster,

I am refining my proposal based on your EXCELLENT comments on Karl's thread. Here is my revised proposal (as a copy and paste) from that thread and I offer it as a possible resolution to this can of worms

Tarbuster,

Your post is great!!! You do very well reflect the training you have had. After reading your post, I tend to agree. The aggeived parties DO, in fact, need to say what they are looking for and thus far I am not sure that has happened. For all we know the suggestions I have offered might not be anything remotely like what they want. Of course, what they want is for it to have never happened but we can undo the past. It is so much water under the bridge.

Maybe they aren't even themselves sure exactly what they want. I think perhaps they want "credit" for what they have done and some sort of an official statement to the effect that they did not do that of which they were accused. That is why I propsed the letter be posted in a public internet arena. There is no "official" body of climbing the way there is in most other sports. There are commissions in baseball, ice skating, gymnastics, etc. who can put out "official statements" to resolve this sort of thing. Tonya Harding was "officially" condemned and punished for her role in the Kerrigan knee capping incident. XYZ person is "officially" censured for his transgression of baseball ethics or else exonerated.

We don't have an official body here. The best we have are some icons, Werner et. al for example who are held as the experts or purists here. They are the "Dads" of the sport, if you will and also the "officials" if you were but this is all informal. There were those before them and none of these current people are immortal. New people with new achievements will replace them in the not so distant future.

Perhaps, then, the aggrieved parties need to be clearer about from exactly whom it is that they want "exoneration." Is it Werner? Is it Yosar? Is it Russ? Who? Is it the Spirit of El Cap, itself? Who exactly is it which would suffice in this regard? Do they want to appoint a panel of 3-5 persons to serve as a committee and this committee will look at both sides and put out an "official statement" on the internet? Who shall appoint the committee? Would *that* do it? Or is it really one or two people here from whom they want an "official statement" passed. You are right - they need to know what they want and they need to say it clearly.

What about restitution? Are they looking for monetary restitution for the gear which was destroyed? How expensive was this gear, anyway? Hundreds? Thousands? What? Pooping on gear was pretty nasty? Would others in the community like to donate $5 or $10 on behalf of the "poopers" as a show of support for their friends who perhaps should have headed off to the men's room, instead, on that fateful evening in question?

I am going to make an official motion here. I move that we have no further whining, pissing or moaning until we have a definitive statement from the victims of what they want. Do you want an official statement from a committee? Do you want to select that committee, yourself? Do you want others here to nominate to that committee and vote on membership? If so, I nominate Werner as a committee member.

Do you want, instead, to name one or two people yourself to serve as the official spokespersons? VERY IMPORTANTLY, are you willing to accept the final judgement of said person(s) or committee if that body looks at both sides here and, then posts an "official" statement in this case? Also, are you or are you not looking for monitary damages for your gear? There is no point in people who "wronged" you, then contributing hard-earned bucks so as to replace your gear if this is not even something you want in the first place. Some of these people here do not have a whole lot of said bucks in the first place but I do believe alot would donate to the cause if it was indicated.

OK, then, Victims, let us have no further pissing and moaning - not one single word (!)- until you tell us (once and for all!!!!) what exactly are you looking for, here?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 6, 2006 - 11:30am PT
Mark and Richard - Lois states the bottom line perfectly above. Please answer that question!
Bart Fay

Social climber
Redlands, CA
Aug 6, 2006 - 11:55am PT
Good thinking Tarbuster !
That's one sure way to kill a thread.
LEB

climber
Glen Gardner
Aug 6, 2006 - 12:09pm PT
El Cap Fool,

Here is the committee I am proposing. If you already know who the poopers were then you could collect their side of the story and submit to the committee. This would allow them to remain anonymous. You could actually serve a very useful function here. Since you already know who are the defendants, you could present their side of the story without them having to be "outed" The committee could then hear both sides of the controversy.

Here is my choice for the "judges" if such a panel this ends up being what Mark and Richard want

If I were to give an outsiders opinion of such a committee for this particular "trial" it would be Werner, Russ, Ed H, Karl, Tarbuster and Sir Bird. I believe these six people could look at all the evidence and come to a fair decision. They would need to have some means in which to privately deliberate before they take an official stance as a committee. Once a decision is reached, I would ask Ed to write the committee's report and post it. Karl, would be a reasonable choice if Ed cannot do so. Obviously if there is a descenting vote, a minority opinion would have to be written, as well. There needs to be an alternative selected who would vote in event of a tie. I would nominate Jaybro to serve in this capacity and cast vote in event of a tie. In that case, he would need to be a part of the deliberations, as well.

If it is decided that there is to be a monetary restitution for the damaged gear, then I would nominate Ms. Binny to serve as escrow agent. Since I am not a climber, I have no idea as to what extent pooping on gear permanantly damanges it. Did they poop inside the haul bags or just on the ropes and surface of the bags? That makes a difference since if this stuff is nylon, it easily washes off? If canvas, it would permanantly stain and be gross.

These are the people, which I, as an impartial outsider, do nominate. I have confidence that they could bring about a just and fair verdict in this case. If any of the people I nominated were involved in the actual offenses committed, then obviously they could not serve. No person who has ever pooped on anyone's gear can also serve on this committee. Cutting bolts, however, does not disquality a person to serve.

Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Aug 6, 2006 - 12:20pm PT
Nice post Werner! Good read.

I think a post like that might kind of summarize a part of what Richard and Mark are after. The post was honest as to Werner's thoughts and an insite into what someone, that many of us look up to, who was around at the time, thought about the event(s).

I agree that it would be good for Mark and Richard to state what they would like. They may *not* know or be able to say, succinctly, right off, however. Who knows. It could be one of those situations that a lot of us have been involved in, maybe with a significant other, where each has been arguing a point and opinion, tenaciously, for so long that when someone finally says, "OK. What is it that you want?", you're like, "Ummm..." A pretty common occurrence.

One thing I'm sure they don't want, and might just add fuel to the fire, is that while the above posts seem to be working towards a resolution, of sorts, and everyone wants closure to this (which might be somewhat unrealistic), probably moreso them than anyone else, I'm certain that the somewhat "looking down my nose at you" nature of even the "friendly" resolution posts might get to them. Some of them really carry the air of them being the problem and kind of conveys that this is their fault. There is certainly a condescending tone to them.

Maybe this is the essence of what bothers them most of all. Reality is reality, and as it has been said before, had the chopping and shitting and threats, etc. not happened this would have all faded away. Maybe if things had even stopped *there*, this might have faded away. However, acts *were* committed against them and it might not be too much to ask that they not be made to feel as if it were them who caused the uproar or that they, the "victims" should have to "(finally!) *go away*", as if to say "We're the as#@&%es. We won't bother you anymore." While it might take two to tango, and maybe R&M aren't innocent, it always takes someone to start the sh#t and fuel the fire.

The flipside of this reality, however, is for both of them to understand that you can't make everyone happy, or change everyone's opinion in any situation. More importantly, that some things just become too large to ever be resolved completly. Compromise should always be a possibility.

And I agree, Werner, too much fvcking typing!

Edit: While I understand what is being done, and think it a great gesture by all involved, I'm just thinking that with all of the heated/hard feelings already on display, that it might be difficult for them to see through what could be perceived as negative to the heart of what's being done/offered. Just my own thoughts.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 6, 2006 - 12:33pm PT
Thanks Bart!

Yes Nefarius,
Everyone needs to check a condescending or escalating negative mood here, if we are going to seek some resolution.

And yes, sometimes you just have to agree to disagree.
Just engaging the process of coming to a clearer understanding of differences: this process can often serve a very valuable therapeutic service to the conflicted parties.

OK also a little background on how to think about interests, when considering interest based bargaining versus positional bargaining.

Think needs versus wants.
Think Maslow's hierarchy of needs or along those lines.

In positional bargaining, one might dig their heels in because they want that red truck. Two people might fight over the red truck.

In interest based bargaining, each party considers what it is they want out of the red truck.

Is a transportation?
Is it the ability to haul things around?
Is it simply the desire for things red?

When two or more disputants start looking at a conflict this way, they may find it's not about the red truck at all.
One may want to haul things around, while the other likes things red, so there is often more to the picture than meets the immediate struggle. In this way, you begin to see there are more things at play than just the obvious item over which the initial struggle is based.

For Richard and Mark, I suggest their needs really do derive from basic human needs of expression, fairness, recognition, understanding.

You know, like credit where credit is due.
The basic need to express oneself in a relatively free and unfettered manner.
A sense of justice.

We all need to think how this event has perhaps eclipsed or affected Mark and Richard and the perpetrators in a very severe way.

Consider how the perpetrators needs have been eclipsed: how are their needs expressed or not met in terms of this conflict. Tradition, accepted standards, recognition as local stewards of a resource, and etc.

This is how you expand the pie.
You try to see what components are in place.
You let the opponents do this and choose among themselves to come to a conclusion based upon an enriched and broader view of the various elements at play.
Ouch!

climber
Aug 6, 2006 - 12:36pm PT
There is an obvious solution here.

Give Locker two days to study the evidence presented here and then agree to abide by his decision.

Everyone is surely aware of his unerring accuracy in going straight to the heart of the matter.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Aug 6, 2006 - 12:40pm PT
Tarbuster-- Right on! Awesome post! Although, it might be too rational for all of posting here to deal with! Myself included! =)

I'm going to meditate...

Cheers!
LEB

climber
Glen Gardner
Aug 6, 2006 - 12:49pm PT
Tarbuster,

I believe the 6 (with alternate 7) men I suggested are very capable of being fair. Moreover, everyone of them has extensive experience in both the actual techniques as well as the traditions and accepted customs/standards of climbing. I think everyone of them would be fair and would look at all of the evidence. That you would serve on this committee and also have knowledge of conflict resolution is a plus.

The only problem I see is if I inadvertantly chose someone who is, in reality, one of the defendants. Accordingly, there has to be some method of refusing to serve without necessarily admitting guilt. One could simply refuse because he believes he is too emotional or too biased about the issue and not necessarily because he was a participant. I think it has to be very clear that if someone refuses to serve, it is NOT an admission that he was one of the pepetrators.

If someone on either side believes that one of the persons on the panel I have recommended is unqualified to serve then he should say why that person is not likely to be fair or unbiased. An alternative could then be chosen.

Since El Cap Fool knows who the defendants are anyway, he can serve as their official spokesperson and gather their side of the story to present to the committee. In this way, no one has to be "outed." El Cap will speak for them as a proxy. The victims, obviously, can speak for themselves. There would appear to be no problem on that count.

The committee reads ALL of the evidence and testimony, deliberates in PRIVATE then comes to a consensus. They publish a report which speaks to the evidence and why they came to this decision. If monetary damages are in order, they speak to that, as well. I honestly feel that the panel I suggested are fair and committed men who could take this charge seriously and come to a just decision. I believe they are capable of bringing about a just verdict
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 6, 2006 - 12:49pm PT
Having spent considerable time with Mark and Richard, I can tell you what they don't want, and that is retribution, revenge or restitution. They have never spoken these words to me.

What they would want more than anything would be to meet the perpetrators face to face in order to offer them an olive branch. They would like nothing more than to make amends with former detractors.

Mark and Richard believe in reconciliation and forgiveness. However the tone of some of there posts is coloured with the pain and misunderstanding they have endured all these years.

The big question is, what if the person who wronged you refuses to apologize?
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Aug 6, 2006 - 12:58pm PT
The big question is, what if the person who wronged you refuses to apologize?


Uh...Move on?
LEB

climber
Glen Gardner
Aug 6, 2006 - 01:06pm PT
Pete,

You cannot MAKE someone apologize - ever. You can't MAKE someone feel remorse for something if it just is not there. The best they are going to get is a consensus opinion which reflects the views of the community as a whole. If the "perps" were going to apologize they would have done so already. It has been 25 years now. The best they can hope for is a community consensus statement. In fact, if that statement exonerates them and condemns or even criticizes the perps then you can bet your last dollar that said perps are going to get even more hostile toward them. Nothing like public criticism to add even more gasoline to the fire.

Maybe then Mark and Richard should request a meeting with the "perps" but I don't see how that is possible because then they have to come out of the closet and admit guilt. If what you are saying is true, then Mark and Richard would do best to just forgive them in their hearts and move on.

This is what they should do and I guarantee it will bring about what they are seeking....eventually. Mark and Richard go to a church or synagogue or whatever and light a candle in honor of the perps and be done with it. Light a candle for the well being of the purps with absolutely no strings attached. Doing so will heal them and it will also bring about what they are seeking in the long run. The energy created will not only heal them but will work in their favor

If Mark and Richard are not religious, they can go off to the wilderness somewhere and do the same thing. It has to be a "no strings attached" candle or ceremonial fire for the well being of the perps and then they forget about it. Someday, the positive results of this effort will come back to them. Meanwhile forget this notion of warm and huggy olive branches. It ain't going to happen.
Mimi

Trad climber
Seattle
Aug 6, 2006 - 01:18pm PT
The more information we get from this sordid saga leads one to believe that the said victims have some sort of Freudian jones for pooh (fecay). They just can't seem to let the pooh go. It must've been a potty-training thing.

It's kind of getting me queasy.

Time to check out the Blue Angels again!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 6, 2006 - 01:30pm PT
Lois,
What you're suggesting may be a straightforward path to resolution. But keep in mind that it is more along the lines of an arbitration.

This is where a disinterested third party hears both sides and comes to a conclusion, which everyone lives with.

Keep in mind that Richard and Mark may not find the people you mention to be fit to serve in a neutral capacity.

The process of a mediation places the disputants in the driver's seat such that they fashion their own agreement. In this way it has quite the potential to stick.

That said, a combination of the two may work to serve our purposes. The initial steps at a mediation which involves a process wherein each side defines its interests, this I think is very applicable here. The next step of expanding an understanding of the elements at play is also a good one.

Pete,
The point you bring to bear is a very good one. It is more like a victim/abuser reconciliation program. In this sense, we need to decide or hear from Richard and Mark if the perpetrators alone qualify. My sense of this situation back in 1982, was that the community at large constituted the opponent that Mark and Richard were facing. And has it not expanded to include the media? Food for thought. If it is limited to the vandals then that simplifies things except that they will probably not come forward. We could perhaps use a conduit or spokesperson as LEB described.

As some have suggested, if this is limited to the vandals vs Mark and Richard, then any process is going to be difficult to engage.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Aug 6, 2006 - 01:31pm PT
-- "The big question is, what if the person who wronged you refuses to apologize?

--Uh...Move on?"

At some point, this is the obvious answer, as it is the only, answer. I think it's pretty obvious, by now, that the "perps" aren't going to come forward, let alone be open to a dialogue that could end in an apology, or a "f*#k you guys, I'd do it again". Honestly, I'd be surprised if they even (truly) came forward in secret/anonymously. I think, in light of this, a lot of people are coming forward and the community is making a effort in their absense. Basically saying, "Hey, that sucked! While we weren't involved, we sympathize and here's an offering of our sympathy or acceptance or whatever"...

When Tarbuster says, "I suggest their needs really do derive from basic human needs of expression, fairness, recognition, understanding.

You know, like credit where credit is due.
The basic need to express oneself in a relatively free and unfettered manner.
A sense of justice."

He has really hit on to some things that they *do* desire. Even the sense of justice, which was a word above that Richard used quite a bit. They've both expressed to me, numerous times, the other things as being desirable. As far as a sense of retribution, it's human nature, even if only on a subconscious level. Who can blame them?

Being that they *are* religious men, it think the things LEB stated above may be their only option, as far as any reconciliation of feelings with/over the perps goes. I think the response and offering of the community will go a long ways towards helping them see this, as it gives them a lot of the other thigns they are seeking. As well, I think it provides some healing for them.
LEB

climber
Glen Gardner
Aug 6, 2006 - 01:48pm PT
Tarbuster,

Your post makes a lot of sense. If what Pete is saying is true, a consensus statement which favors them (as likely it would) might be counter-productive to their stated goals (per Pete). If they want "official" exoneration then a panel of the men I suggested could bring that about. If, however, they want dewey-eyed warm and fuzzy peace, hugging and forgiveness - all that good "feel good" stuff, then the answer is in the realm of metaphysics. Doing what I suggest will create an energy field which will not only bring peace within but will set into motion the very process which they seek. It could take a long while, however, hence this is no "quick fix."

If Pete is truly accurate in what he says and it does represent their true desires, then, Richard and Mark could well benefit from pursuing paths of spiritual enlightenment using this incident as a focus point. This forum is not the place for that sort of remedy but there are many avenues which can provide guidence and open a pathway to these modalities of healing. Richard and Mark CAN likely achieve what they want in these realms but this is not the place for it. They must pursue more metaphysical approaches for that sort of resolution.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 6, 2006 - 02:03pm PT
To my mind Lois, Nefarius, Pete, et al, here is what we’re seeing here and here is what we can likely expect:

I have more or less offered this up thread, so excuse me if I seem to be repeating myself.

The truth of the route has more or less been brought to light.
The historical context of its original reception is pretty well understood.
We know that it's negative reception had a lot to do with the fallacious reportage and propagation of the route as being a bolt ladder, rivet ladder, with holes and such.
I suspect it still would have had a hard time being accepted, even with the run outs, because of the blankness and the accepted aid climbing context of the day.

As times have changed, it appears most of the general community at large now doesn't see any problem with several pitches of very difficult hooking which is sparsely protected with bolts.

So the names of Mark and Richard have been more or less cleared in terms of their technical achievement. I vaguely recall now as I dig back deep in my memory that Rob Slater said these guys were way ahead of their time in terms of the hooking they did and that they were unnecessarily ostracized in light of this. I can try to talk to some good friends here in Boulder, who were very close to Rob and may remember some such specific sentiments or statements from Rob.

I think the reconciliation with the vandals can be brought about in terms of the defecation, through a spokesperson and perhaps privately by some of the vandals themselves, but not the chopping.

This would make a very interesting written piece of history and it could be published as has been suggested. This should serve some primary interests held by Mark and Richard.

I submit that the earnest analytical effort forwarded by many of the Super Topo posters can be received by Mark and Richard as a vast effort at contrition by the community in as much as it shows a genuine interest in clarifying the matter.


LEB

climber
Glen Gardner
Aug 6, 2006 - 02:08pm PT
Nefarius,

If Richard and Mark wish to pursue more spiritual avenues of healing and change, here is one program which I can recommend to them

http://www.kripalu.org/program/type2/selfspirit/NC061

There are many others, of course - hundreds, in fact, at all manner of institutions throughout the country. I offer this one up as but an example. They may well derive some benefit from this approach. This particular institution has an excellent reputation. I can personally attest to its soundness and the quality of the experience therein.
Ammon

Big Wall climber
El Cap
Aug 6, 2006 - 02:21pm PT


OMG, this whole WOS thing is still going? I don't have the time to read all the posts. I did climb the first two variation pitches to the left, what Pete likes to call the "bogus start". I got busy with work and had to put the project on hold.

I couldn't help but check out the original start while rapping down. It looked easier (to me) than the left start. Elcapfool might be right, I’m probably not a good candidate for seconding the route. From what I have seen, the climbing is very challenging, BUT, it is very boring as well (to me). It took me a couple of hours to figure out where to go on the second pitch. I was standing in my aiders for twenty-five minutes trying to figure out what to do. To me, that is boring. From what I did see on the first two pitches was: It is NOT a bolt ladder like I previously thought. They used every possible features to climb the slab. No lack of balls, either. I took some pretty good rides and was impressed with how far they made their run-outs.

The one thing that still puzzles me about Pete is why he top-roped the first couple of pitches. Were you trying to get it dialed on top-rope so you can go back for the red-point? It's just a VERY strange method of figuring out an aid pitch. In aid, you either climb it or you don't. If you have to top-rope it, you have no business on that route. Just my opinion.

Just thought I would comment on this. Gotta go, ready, jump, relax, PULL!!! OH YEAH, got my AFF and going for my first solo.

Cheers, Ammon
Mimi

Trad climber
Seattle
Aug 6, 2006 - 02:44pm PT
Welcome back, Ammon! I trust you've had an awesome summer so far. Congrats on the AFF.

Pete is a very loyal subman and that explains his whimpy effort on the first couple pitches.

I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a little TR today!
elcapfool

Big Wall climber
hiding in plain sight
Aug 6, 2006 - 03:37pm PT
Ammon,
I didn't mean you couldn't do it, just that is wasn't your bag.
I am glad you concur and didn't take offense.

As for Pete, we have a cease fire in place. And I'm reluctant to fire the first shot. It just gets my blood pressure up for nothing.


Christian
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 6, 2006 - 07:26pm PT
Ammon writes,

"The one thing that still puzzles me about Pete is why he top-roped the first couple of pitches. Were you trying to get it dialed on top-rope so you can go back for the red-point?"

Pre-cisely! It was way too hard for me - I couldn't do it. I emailed Mark and Richard to tell them not to come, but they had already left. When they arrived, I told them of my decision, but they said, "you can do it, Pete - we'll show you some tricks."

So I went back up more or less to keep them happy. I thought maybe if I practised the moves and got them dialled, I might maybe just maybe be able to lead it. I told them I would practise to make the "headpoint" like the Brit climbers did for some of the hard gritstone routes - practise on toprope first, then go for the "headpoint" lead.

While I was up there - on toprope - I got so scared at the thought of being so run-out on such miniscule sick hook placements, I was almost sick to my stomach. I felt pretty pukey. I knew that if I tried to lead it, I would have been so scared I would have puked. NO THANKS!

Get this - thirty feet above the last bolt, and still four or five feet short of the belay anchors, I put a hook on a decent-looking edge. It held about five or ten seconds, then suddenly blew - a pop-tart-sized flake and a total timebomb! Thirty feet out, with a screamer on the bolt - you do the math. A seventy-footer, the Fall Of A Lifetime it would have been, bouncing off little ankle-breaker ledges. Forget that, man, we bailed for Cosmos. Only A4- or so, much more sensible.

I was simply unprepared to take the multiple fifty-foot-plus falls it will certainly take to make the second ascent. They took 'em on the first ascent, and it'll happen on the second. It will take Balls Of Steel, and I ain't got 'em. That pop-tart flake pretty much convinced me to get the heck off.

I only toproped the first pitch, after cheat-sticking my way up. I have not set foot on the second pitch. Tom jugged your fixed rope on the second pitch, after securing permission from your brother Gabe, to replace the anchors.

"It's just a VERY strange method of figuring out an aid pitch."

It's not strange, it's cheating.

"In aid, you either climb it or you don't. If you have to top-rope it, you have no business on that route. Just my opinion."

And that is why I bailed. I only went up as a sporting gesture to Mark and Richard.

Right, Ammon - YOU ARE OUR ONLY HOPE!

We need you to get up there, suck it up, get psyched for those 50-foot falls that you will, not might, take, and give 'er! You've got 96 beers offered so far, and I'll throw in a 2-4 fer ya. So that's five cases, dude, for the SA of Wings of Steel.

Let's hear it for Ammon: Go Ammon Go!

It is Mark and Richard, not me, who refer to the left start as the Bogus Start. They climbed it after they climbed the right start [Legit Start] only becuause the perpetrators chopped the original Legit Start, and they didn't want to repeat it. So they climbed the Bogus Start with the sole intention of replacing the bolts and rivets on the Legit Start.

The first two pitches of the Legit Start [Legit joins Bogus halfway up the second pitch] have had the rivets and bolts replaced by Tom. So you're good to go.

Here is the beta:

NTB up to the first bolt and rivets. Traverse L was supposedly free climbed at 5.10, but it looks way way harder. I was able to hook L then down then up to the next bolt.

Virtually every hook placement is as marginal as you could [n]ever hope to use. Truly sick stuff! Wicked scary, barely able to support you. The tiniest miscalculation will send you on a big-time ride. You must be prepared to take long falls, because YOU WILL. It's that hard to figure out. I would consider some kind of "body armour" or something, but then you've taken a few fifty-footers already, so you know what to expect.

Continuing more or less straight up, you pass only two places on the entire pitch where you could leave a taped-down Chouinard Skyhook for pro. I sure as heck would. With the exception of the two hook moves very close to the ground before the head I placed, these are the only two normal hooks on the entire pitch.

The final runout to the anchors is truly desperate. 70-footer is not merely possible, but probable. Scared the piss out of me, and I was on a freakin' toprope. [I have a good imagination]

Crux of the route according to Mark and Richard is the beginning of the second pitch on the Legit [Right] start. Rivet at 10', rivet at 20', bolt at 40'.

Mark took a very bad Factor-2 fall here on the FA, yanking Richard in his hammock up into bolts. The Factor-2 destroyed the end of the rope, and they had to turn the rope around. Apparently it was all kinked from the force of the fall! So then Mark [or maybe Richard by this time] went back up, and took ANOTHER Factor-2, this time wrecking the other end of the rope.

The only [somewhat, not really] safe way to lead the second pitch, I think, would be to have a belayer hanging from a separate rope thirty feet or so below the anchor bolts. If you fell early on in the pitch, then the fall factor would be so much lower.

Use Fall Arresters on every piece! Use Yates Zippers on the bolts down low, use Yates Screamers on the bolts higher up the pitch, and use Yates Scream-Aids on all the rivets anywhere.

Note: As per Mark's and Richard's request, Tom replaced same with same - they are the Z-Mac rivets [the kind with the little nail you pound in the centre] and the box said they are rated for 375 pounds. Yates Scream-Aids deploy at 275 pounds consistently, and are now made with four passes instead of two. John Yates and I discussed this at length, and this is the way to go.

Incidentally, every aid climber climbing A3 and harder should own a bunch of Yates Fall Arresters, especially Screamers and Scream-Aids. They really do work, they make things safer because you will not fall as far because marginal gear will hold you, and you will feel safer and have a lot more fun!

You're the guy for the job, Ammon - if you don't do it, who the heck will, anyway? Please - for the sake of everyone with so much interest in this, for Mark and Richard, for me and for Tom who replaced the bolts, and mostly for the [so far] five cases of beer - GO CLIMB WINGS OF STEEL!

GO AMMON GO!

P.S. Great heckling from you and Bill Russell that night through the radio....
Gene

climber
Aug 6, 2006 - 08:55pm PT
The WOS saga, by Dr. John.

I been in the right place
But it must have been the wrong time
I'd of said the right thing
But I must have used the wrong line
I been in the right trip
But I must have used the wrong car
My head was in a bad place
And I'm wondering what it's good for

I been the right place
But it must have been the wrong time
My head was in a place
But I'm having such a good time
I been running trying to get hung up in my mind
Got to give myself a little talking to this time

Just need a little brain salad surgery
Got to cure this insecurity
I been in the wrong place
But it must have been the right time
I been in the right place
But it must have been the wrong song
I been in the right vein
But it seems like the wrong arm
I been in the right world
But it seems wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong

Slipping, dodging ,sneaking
Creeping hiding out down the street
See me life shaking with every who I meet
Refried confusion is making itself clear
Wonder which way do I go to get on out of here

I been in the right place
But it must have been the wrong time
I'd have said the right thing
But I must have used the wrong line
I'd a took the right road
But I must have took a wrong turn
Would have made the right move
But I made it at the wrong time
I been on the right road
But I must have used the wrong car
My head was in a good place
And I wonder what it's bad for
MSmith

Big Wall climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 6, 2006 - 08:59pm PT
Pete says: "Mark and Richard - Lois states the bottom line perfectly above. Please answer that question!"

Pete, Lois, Russ, Deuce, et al. Sorry for dropping out; just got back from a 3+ day trip with no Internet connection. Just reading the last 50 posts won't happen tonight. See you tomorrow night.

Cheers,
Mark
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
Aug 6, 2006 - 09:05pm PT
F*#k climbing, you all just f*#king hate eachother for stupid sh#t. WHat the f*#k happened to climbing for fun? Don't add bolts but jsut climb for kicks? Is that lost? Stuff that happened before I was born is still this important? God sends death and misery for sure...
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 6, 2006 - 09:28pm PT
Hey - at least *I* climbed a couple walls this spring. And where were *you*??
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
Aug 6, 2006 - 09:46pm PT
I was there in spirt! I now just climb it in my mind like a spirtuial experiance. I ascend upward in mind body and soul. My mind becomes one with the great captian and i just move upward and upard. You retired from free... i just flat out retired and still manage to climb all!
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 6, 2006 - 11:08pm PT
pedro wrote:
Craig Shaw - absolutely classic, and indicative of the kind of ignorance of the climbers of the day. Even now Craig still doesn't get it, and in his post above accuses Mark and Richard of "rap[ing] this stone", a misperception fromthe past he continues to hold.

Maybe someone could suggest to Craig that he investigate a bit further to realize that far from raping the stone, Mark and Richard put up a pretty darn hard route in fine style, and that if he were to read some of the stuff here on McTopo, he might avoid putting his foot so firmly in his mouth henceforth.


that's just exactly what i'm talking about-
you cannot credit that route w/ "fine style", because you are sitting here in august of 2006, and that route went up over 2 decades ago. you say craig has the misconception that the route was "rap[ing] this stone", but you have no idea how he defines that term- so you have instead inserted your own standard, your own ethics, that which you would deem appropriate or acceptable. there is one obvious problem w/ that method, and that is that you are not craig shaw. you may or may not appreciate craig shaw's opinion, but he has the right to his opinion, because he was there at the time, and he was a part of the community, the fluid group who combined to define the culture and set the standards of the day, and determined what was and was not up to par. your 2006 opinion of that 1982 route is just not relevant to the legacy of that climb, no matter how you choose to go on and on about it, and anyone who bags the 2nd ascent will only be putting a modern opinion on a route from another era.

like it or not, the community at that time had their say, both before and after the ascent, it seems they spoke w/ one voice. they shunned the route, no repeats, a scarlet letter. in light of that fact, it seems disingenuous for you to refer to craig's stated opinion as 'ignorant'. he may not explain himself at length, but your dismissing his opinion only demonstrates how invalid yours is. have you noticed what the few old timers on this thread have had to say? and what did duece have to say about repeating hard hooking? or what did ammon have to say about the aesthetics of the pitches he tried? (and btw- do you really think he needs your beta?)


in terms of validating this climb for your friends, the best you can ever do is to say something like "in modern terms...", like it or not, you simply cannot rewrite history.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 7, 2006 - 02:26am PT
Hmmm, well my partner Jim Tangen-Foster and I tried to do an FA everywhere we visited as a matter of principle regardless of what else we climbed as that was what we climbed for. We never made it to the Valley or it just as easily could have been us being sh#t on literally, figuratively, in person, and in the press. These guys weren't just assaulted, they were made pariahs, blacklisted, and couldn't even publish their side of the whole affair in any of the climbing magazines. Personally, I haven't read a word on ST in any thread from a lot of folks I have a lot of respect for that convinces me any one of you would have simply "gotten over it" if you had been subject to the same abuse - if anything, I imagine we would instead be remembering a West coast "war" pre-dating Ken Nichol's bold misadventures to the East (and hell, even Ken had the sac to admit doing the deed, maybe he should suffer a bit less in the comparison in retrospect...).

And funny how climbers [and all the rags] clamor for decades for clear reckonings of events like those on Cerro Torre, but we shouldn't be interested in the "truth" of an affair of far greater integrity on the part of these FA's on another of climbing's sacred stones? If I see any lasting sh#t streak in the whole WOS saga it's one that exposes a malodorous lameness and spinelessness that one can still detect lingering on, even here on ST.

As for a solution, I have to say that LEB has interesting and useful things to contribute sometimes, but I don't think this one of them. I'm with Dingus, a little sac on the part of the perps would be decent starter, especially if it's "no big deal 25 years later"; and as a former photojournalist I would say both R&I and Climbing owe them a public apology for refusing to publish their letters and articles. Both operated either on hearsay or with bias or both in the matter at the time rather than responsible journalism. In general, you'd have to be blind to not see the wagons of an ironic "establishment" still neatly circling almost by instinct all these years later. Is this Robbins and Harding? No, but a combination of daring naivete and studied indignation has made WOS an indelible part of Valley history and these guys have every right to want the record set straight - even 25 years later if that's what it takes - before another generation reads and hears the same old slander and lies about it.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 7, 2006 - 06:04am PT
WORD!
the Fet

climber
A urine, feces, and guano encrusted ledge
Aug 7, 2006 - 06:21am PT
Pete, some day our paths will cross and I'm going to buy you a beer for trying (that's what's most important anyway) for the SA.

Matt, you say Craig's opinion they were raping the stone is applicable due to his proximity to the FA. No, the only ones who know if they were raping the stone or taking to it with Love are Richard and Mark. Which illustrates a priciple of justice that many have seem to forgotten, who keep asking the Madbolters over and over to justify themselves in detail. That principle is
INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY! No SA, no proof.

healyje, another intelligent and insightful post, as always.

Some people will always think the route is lame and done in poor style. A hooking route on a slab. A 39 day FA with 1200 pounds of stuff. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and it is valid as long as it's based on the TRUTH. There may never be and maybe there isn't a need for a "solution" IMO. These threads have presented a lot of truth to many people. They have also been interesting and entertaining. Far from being a "cirle jerk" these have been some of the best climbing threads I've ever read.

darod

Trad climber
South Side Billburg
Aug 7, 2006 - 06:42am PT
Matt, you also seem to forget, that people said this was a rivet ladder up the slab, bunch of bat hook holes and stuff like that, when in reality it was far from that. Independant of the aesthetics of the route, which now is a matter of personal taste, as stated by Ammon, both Ammon and Pete (one of the few people that have ACTUALLY BEEN ON THE ROUTE, PHYSICALLY SEEING THE FIRST COUPLE OF PITCHES!) can surely attest to the runout ballsy nature of this route, not a rape no matter what your definition of rape is. As much as Craig is entitled to his opinion, his is based on slander and lies of the time, not actual facts. At least there's no more speculation about that.

Cheers.

Darod.
BASE104

climber
An Oil Field
Aug 7, 2006 - 07:14am PT
Man,

I was a kid in the valley when this went down. I remember the morning after the reactionary event. My hair is turning gray now. I'll probably check back in on this when my prostate goes.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 7, 2006 - 09:11am PT
Healyje and Fet bring up some interesting points that expands this beyond the experience of Richard and Mark.

I would like to move to H’s point, but in closing on the Wings bit: it's clear that defecation and vandalism are similar to being robbed and worse, and there is a feeling of being violated that is very difficult to get over. So I can understand Richard and Mark not just getting over this. Perhaps a level of emotional intelligence required of the vandals just is not present and an apology for that aspect of this whole thing is perhaps unlikely. Ditto for the reportage of bolt spacing.

So to move to some of the other points made in what I think here is a great discussion in fact:
It has been offered that in a national parkeverybody has equal play. As far as the law goes of course this is so. Climbers do express all kinds of legacy based territorial instincts and habits in terms of style, ethics and so forth. Right or wrong, this is evident.

A quick story to illustrate this and not to make any particular point in terms of how the wings guys necessarily should have acted:
When I was about 16, I was doing a lot of climbing in Joshua tree. So this was mid 70s.
There were a couple of brothers that were from Yosemite and they did a lot of traveling. They suggested to me something that seemed to work very well for them when traveling: this was to always give the locals the sense that they were “right”. What they were offering was an idea, not based on any truth. They just said it seemed to work better. They made it clear this doesn't mean they were bowing down to any authority; they just said it helped them to get to know the locals better and to understand their traditions and to move fluidly and enjoy themselves amongst the locals.

Absolutely, they acknowledged that locals can be overly invested with a sense of ownership: they were offering to me a subtle clue as to how to navigate this. You might say, they were suggesting that I might consider an air of patronizing locals, but this was a subtle thing and didn't necessarily imply that I should be impish.

Healyje your voice is pertinent for me because I have seen so much of your historically relevant input during all of the Stonemaster threads, so I feel familiar with your views as a non valley local. I think I can say the same or similarly of Golsen.

The use of bolts has long been a source of contention and it is a high profile statement.

Happy Climbing Everyone.

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 7, 2006 - 10:15am PT
the Fet writes,

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion and it is valid as long as it's based on the TRUTH."

This is the primary thing Mark and Richard want to happen out of this whole debacle - that the truth be known. Several former lies have been shown to be truths, but others remain.

Matt - I do not understand your logic one bit in the post above! What on earth are you trying to say? Can you please re-explain? I concur with the Fet on the statement above. To me it seems as though Craig Shaw continues to base his opinion on the mistruths perpetuated at the time. He was ignorant of the facts, because the facts were hidden from him. He was deceived in several key areas, and it appears from what he writes above that he remains this way.

There is nothing to suggest that Craig Shaw is unreasonable, and I'll bet him a six-pack that if he invests the necessary time to read what has been uncovered of late, he will have a change of heart.

the Fet - drop me an email, will ya? I'll see your beer, and raise you two.

Tryin' is all a steer can do. You should also give one or two beers to Tom, as he is the one who replaced the bolts and rivets in the first two pitches, thus paving the way for a Modern Day Second Ascent [HINT!]

I'll tell you what - no matter what you think about Wings of Steel and Mark and Richard, this climb and what happened has generated more interest than anything else in the history of Supertopo, as evidenced by the number of posts that continue to be written. Wow!
Twight is God

Mountain climber
Aug 7, 2006 - 10:39am PT
If everyone simply submitted to "local wisdom", then among other things, Tomaz Humar would have never soloed the Reticent Wall on his first trip to Yosemite. I imagine there's a valley boy out there who can chuckle in retrospect at the fact he told the most talented climber in the world that he'd "fly on the first pitch" and was better off taking a plane home.
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 7, 2006 - 10:50am PT
pete-
do you only read your own posts?


read these:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=231718#msg232854

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=234030&f=0&b=0#msg234195


and perhaps, reread the whole thread, looking for rational, yet critical statements, and see who has made them and why.


i don't know exactly what this craig shaw found to be so offensife (how could i when he hasn't stated it clearly himself?) but you are guilty of assuming that you know just exactly what he (and others) found to be so offensive about the ascent. you have then determined (erroneously, IMO) that what you encountered on your TR attempt is different in all the ways that matter (or that mattered in 1982).

you have decided that continuous hard hooking between regular though infrequent bolts = worthwhile and acceptable. i challenge that assertion, not in terms of my judgement (nor yours), but that of the community at the time. who, other than you, has stated that if everyone only knew WoS consisted of hard and bold hooking between regular though infrequent bolted protection, everyone would have embraced the route and been duely impressed w/ the effort?

it doesn't mean a thing that you think this route is proud, it ain't 1982 anymore. reread what those who were there have said, and notice what they have not said.



EDIT-
i am not on some mission to hold these guys' heads under the water, but you and a few others appear to be so set on "clearing the names of R & M" that you are simply ignoring certain realities. it's as if you guys want to have a huge party where lynn hill jumps out of an el cap cake and formally embraces their effort, and then have alpinist write the whole thing up. the only problem is, whether or not there were exagerations or mistruths circling C4 about the extent of drilling on the route, they still bolted their way up the great slab. even if they did it boldly, the slab was basically featureless, and every single time, across pitch after pitch after pitch, when they (finally) needed protection, they drilled a hole in the wall, isn't that true? so was that acceptable, or was that not acceptable, at the time? remember, you even reffered to this as "fine style". now read back and see what others you respect have written in this very thread. there is simply no getting around that question, but you seem to have ignored it, IMO.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Aug 7, 2006 - 10:51am PT
You dumb motherf*#kers that craig shaw bit is a troll troll troll.

Dumbasses.

DMT
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 7, 2006 - 10:56am PT
Please go to the split of this thread if you wish to post:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=234216&f=0&b=0

This thread was split at about 208 posts.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 7, 2006 - 11:32am PT
Twight,
Here is the distinction as I see it.
We've got locals/non locals.
We've got accpeted practices/new practices.
And the mix of those 4 elements.

Burton and Sutton, with the Magic Mushroom, came in with their own independent experience and logged an outstanding new route, under the noses of the locals if need be said, but they did it by playing the "accepted rules" by linking features.

Henry Barber travelled widely and snagged first free ascents "out from under" locals world wide. So did Mike Graham. This is straight forward competition carried out under accepted norms of play.

Bachar changed the rules when he introduced hanging from hooks as a means to extend the linitation of stanced drilling. He was a local, pretty much no uproar.

Carrigan came to this country and instituted hangdogging; a big uproar ensued, much like this Wings experience. He was not a local.

Kauk brought in hangdogging, big uproar: he was alocal.

The Wings was an institution of a new approach both in terms of goal and tactics, yes it was wrongly reported interms of boldness. This is what Matt, albeit long winded, has been saying.

As times have changed, a lot of people are espousing less provincialistic behavior, less xenophobia. A broader sense oc community. Bravo I say. We now have a more global community. We have many co existent styles. Yes, we still have disagreements, that is as ever will be.

Hey Nefarius/Pete:
What truth about the route WOS is not yet known?
Do you mean the truth about the publicly known identity of the vandals?

Maţţ

Big Wall climber
Kiev
Aug 7, 2006 - 12:06pm PT
If you indeed “chose [your] repeats carefully, and didn't like routes that were rumored to be enhanced” then you certainly didn’t do many of the classics like Pacific Ocean or the Sea.

A very interesting part of this story, and one that seems to attract no attention. I have yet to see anyone rebut the WoS guys' assertions about the manufactured placements on the Sea.
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