WoS / PTPP, part XXIV


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An Oil Field
Aug 7, 2006 - 07:14am PT

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.


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.

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 7, 2006 - 10:50am PT
do you only read your own posts?

read these:


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.

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

Aug 7, 2006 - 10:51am PT
You dumb motherf*#kers that craig shaw bit is a troll troll troll.


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:


This thread was split at about 208 posts.

right here, right now
Aug 7, 2006 - 11:32am PT
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?


Big Wall climber
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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