How the West Was Won, free ST, story...

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Cozgrove

Gym climber
Calabashole
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 18, 2014 - 04:40pm PT
I just wrote this, in the last couple hours, it's not polished. I dedicate it to my Best Homie, JB... May I see you once again in the night land.

Property of Scott Cosgrove, 2/18/2014

In 1984, Bachar, like Werner and Kauk, where my main mentors.

When, I would go climbing with JB, I was always amazed at how he would tell me the same stories over and over. It is what I do... now, many years later, but that's another story.

Every time John and I would venture back from a day of climbing in the lower valley, we would drive by, stop and admire the mighty West Face of Sentinel, shining in the afternoon sun. John would always tell me of the story, of the time he and Mo, tried to free it, raving about the run out, on the notorious A3 undercling, and the few moves of aid just above it. He could recall the details, and claimed he had got it down to one point of aid. The result, of stopping in the same spot and listening to the same story, and smoking the same bad weed, I soon had the feeling, I had been up there myself.

I asked John, if he wanted to go back up, but getting up early in the morning and the run out on the undercling (before small cams), seemed to always have him, saying things, like maybe tomorrow or maybe in the Spring. I certainly wasn't going to attempt anything the great JB himself, was too scared to attempt again. It drifted from my mind like the smoke from JB one hitter.

A couple of years later, as fate would have it, the British climber and my good friend Jonny Woodward, was hot and heavy to give the West Face a go. I knew Jonny, was as cheap as the Pope on Sunday and as bold as he was talented. Jonny like myself, feared the undercling, and claimed, there was a cool variation around the crux pitch. He described a tips traverse, to a long reach, followed by a short lay back, to a massive undercling back left to original route.

Early one morning, we stormed up to the base and quickly and silently climbed to the start of the A3 undercling pitch, still draped in the cool morning shade. Fresh as British Poppy and with out further ado, Jonny traversed out right, and soon found an old bolt, I believe drilled by Largo, a hundred years prior. He stood or hung on the bolt (can't recall), drilled a bomber stainless steal 3/8, lower back to the belay, pulled his rope, and tried again. Failing one move short of the lay back and victory. Try as he may, he couldn't send it, and carried on climbing the giant expose undercling, back to the West face route, taking a couple huge screamers along the way. I followed, and freed all but one move. Jonny figured since, he whipped twice and I barley made it following, that the variation was AO 12B. Basically, the West Face route goes all free, with the our variation, all but one move, that is. All the aid that is required, is reaching up, grabbing the bolt, and pulling to the next series of holds. It's really sad, as if there was just a mono crimp, we would have made it.

We flew up the remaining, fairly straight forward climbing, and we top out early, a little disappointed, but happy for our day together, out in the sunshine, on the beautiful West Face.

The idea of a free West Face, drifted far into the back of my brain, as the South Face of Half Dome and the mighty, Southern Belle, and the classic Glacier craved features of, El Captain, Muir Wall, became the objects of my desire, after all, I was in the storm years of my youth, and what climber doesn't want to free El Cap and Half Dome, as back then, the idea was revolutionary, and easily worthy of dedicating or giving ones life too.

As it turn out, I lived, freed one and almost the other, and went back to school, got married, and spent my off time bouldering and soloing, and taught beginners how to climb. My boss Brother Bob Gaines,in the winter of 95, approached me with the idea of once again going back to the flawless, West face of sentinel, but this time, he had the plan of climbing a route called, In Cold Blood and traversing back to the West Face Route. I loved climbing with Bob, as he was, as solid a partner as heaven made them, and always happy. I knew we would have fun and a safer partner you could seldom find.

We reached the Valley, after a epic drive and headed up the next morning, scrambling up to the malevolent bushy start, of "In Cold Blood." After an epic struggle, up a large fist fight of a Wide crack, we soon found ourselves, on top of a very large and obvious pillar. We spent the rest of the day, working and bolting the, "The Girl's be Randy", traverse. The cruxes being as hard and devious as finding the little man in the boat, herself.

Major thunderheads forum above and we raced down the route, barley escaping as the deluge hit us a few steps into the four mile trail. We raced back to the Bob's Lodged room, a couple beers, and dinner at the Four season, with his lovely wife. The next morning we red pointed, the Randy Traverse and Bob followed with ease, feeling in his words,"as he had pulled off a magic trick." Capital Gaines, is the king of drilling on stance, dicing in a pin and established a run out 5.11 pitch to a large ramp, in amazing time. I was soon off around a corner, stopping and drilling on stance, shuffling along a beautiful down sloping, left ward traversing Dike.

Soon, like Dorothy, following the yellow brick road, with a long reach to a side pull, a little shuffle of the feet, I found Oz, and join the West Face Route, victory was ours. We, climb together, switching leads once and soon top out, The West had been won.

We laid around on top, smoked, thought of my old mentor JB and dream of the next one, ran down the descent, had more than a few beers, grabbed the wife and headed back to JT, school and my secret boulders.
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Feb 18, 2014 - 04:45pm PT
Thanks, Scott! Really enjoyed that.
HermitMaster

Social climber
my abode
Feb 18, 2014 - 05:02pm PT
Thank you, Scott.
RP3

Big Wall climber
Sonora
Feb 18, 2014 - 05:15pm PT
Fantastic bit of history. Thank you so much for writing that up.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Feb 18, 2014 - 05:19pm PT
That's the stuff!


Hi- Quality, 5 star story Scott. I could read this kind of stuff all day.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Feb 18, 2014 - 05:21pm PT
Cool, thanks for taking the time, I love stories!

I wish guidebooks were encyclopedia sized and had one of these for every route
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Feb 18, 2014 - 05:31pm PT
Thanks Coz . . . it is good to get these tales into the written word.

Yosemite history.
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Feb 18, 2014 - 05:36pm PT
Thanks for the story! Totally dig the climbing history
ncrockclimber

climber
The Desert Oven
Feb 18, 2014 - 05:39pm PT
Awesome story. Thanks for posting that!!! Seriously, Thanks!
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Feb 18, 2014 - 05:46pm PT
Great stuff Scott!
Thank you for that!

Edit: Impressive account BG!

Ballsy.


Climbing #156

Credit: Bob Gaines
Looks mossy??
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Feb 18, 2014 - 05:50pm PT
Sometimes logging onto ST is very worthwhile.

Thanks for taking the time to give us this gem.
Cozgrove

Gym climber
Calabashole
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2014 - 06:26pm PT
Thanks for reading, and the kind words, Bob did the write up in Climbing,

The above photo is, "The Girls Be Randy" traverse." Tricky 12B/C. Old School.

Randy means Horney,..

For some reason Bob and I thought it was so funny, at the time, that school kids sang, " Yankee Doodle, keep it up, and won't the girls be Randy."
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Feb 18, 2014 - 06:38pm PT
Wow Coz! Excellent tale. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. History is always so much richer when those who lived it, do the telling.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 18, 2014 - 06:43pm PT
Ha ha, nice stuff Scott I always wanted to do that route since I first read about it!
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 18, 2014 - 06:43pm PT
Nice memories Coz! Of all the climbs we did together I think this was my favorite...although freeing the Chimney of Horrors on the North Face of Higher Spire with you was also quite the adventure. I think what made How the West Was Won such great fun was the uncertainty of the ground-up style, never knowing for sure what we'd encounter; scoping it out with binoculars from the valley floor and wondering...will it go?

Here is the piece I wrote for the Nov 1995 Climbing Magazine

How the West Was Won
The first free ascent of the West Face of Sentinel Rock by Bob Gaines

"From Camp 4 all of us had stared endlessly at the north face of Sentinel, especially at dusk, when the oblique light lit up thousands of tiny features, creating a lovely sight indeed. So entranced were we by these possibilities on this face that we ignored the right-hand profile: the west face. This narrow prow of white granite, some 1600 feet high, is not particularly steep - perhaps only 70 degrees, yet smoothness is the middle name of Sentinel's west face. Hardly a ledge mars the upward sweep; not a single tree or bush disrupts the integrity of the soaring cliff"
-Steve Roper in CAMP 4

In the summer of 1960, Yvon Chouinard and Tom Frost first climbed the West Face route on Sentinel Rock. Originally rated VI 5.9 A4, in the early '60s the route was notorious for its dicey expanding flake aid traverse and the 80-foot-long, eight-inch-wide Dogleg Crack, led by Frost who used a single wooden block for pro. Ten summers later, Royal Robbins, on the first solo of a big Yosemite climb, added the second route on the face: In Cold Blood (V 5.8 A4).

Concerted free attempts at the West Face route began 13 years later when John Bachar came tantalizingly close to success. He freed the horizontal expanding-flake traverse with a 5.12 undercling, only to be thwarted by a short, blank dihedral at the top of the pitch. The rest of the route was no harder than 5.lOc. Next in line were John Long and Bill Price, who made several mighty efforts, placing a bolt on a face climbing variation to bypass the expanding flake. Not wanting to resort to placing protection on aid (ethics were stringent in the early 1980s in Yosemite), they gave up their attempt. In 1988, Scott Cosgrove and Jonny Woodward, two of America's best free climbers, added a bolt to Long's variation, only to be shut down by a single move.

In June 1995, the days were getting longer and a winter of guiding at Joshua Tree left me craving something bigger than 100-foot crags. Scott Cosgrove was up for a project in Yosemite, so I suggested we give In Cold Blood a try. Scott was fit from a winter of bouldering at Joshua Tree, where he developed a secret new bouldering area. Scott bagged Josh's first 5.14 the winter before, so I figured if the route was freeable, he was the man to pull it off.

We scrambled up the approach ramp. The rock loomed overhead like a gigantic gray tombstone, causing us to speculate on where Derek Hersey fell while soloing the Steck-Salathe two years before.

In Cold Blood began ignobly, traversing through a malevolent manzanita, then passing a loose section up to an immense, 400-foot high, right-facing dihedral, where the route quality drastically improved. The dihedral resembled that of another Robbins classic, Tahquitz's Open Book, both in size and stature, except that at the tip, instead of turning low-angle, In Cold Blood's crack overhung, with a 5.11+ layback/jam capped with a smooth, ass-kicking offwidth. From the ledge atop this pitch, with the sun sinking low, and our forearms spent, we leaned back to scan the possibilities on the upper wall before zipping down fixed lines. It appeared as if Robbins' A3 aid section could be bypassed by traversing straight right.

Two mornings later Scott redpointed the pitch, an improbable variety of underclings, sidepulls, and edges; sustained to the end, where a 5.12 face move gains the belay. The crux was so devious that when I pulled it off I felt as if I'd done a magic trick. At the belay we were both smiling. Certain elements combine to make a pitch memorable. Here, it was the stunning backdrop: 2000 feet of electrifying exposure, amplified by the roar of Sentinel Falls cascading 4000 feet down the adjacent cliffside, with Cathedral Rocks and El Cap dominating the horizon, the Merced River snaking through the meadow below.

The route above appeared much easier, going through a lesser-angled recess in the face for several hundred feet. Adrenaline propelled me up the next lead, a deceptively steep slab, with two 5.11 go-for-it sections, that ended 80 feet shy of a huge sloping ledge. We felt like we'd nearly solved the puzzle, but a colossal cumulus cloud exploded over El Cap, and we quickly retreated, fearing an epic thunderstorm descent of the ramp. Sure enough, just as we hit the Four Mile Trail, lightning crackled over Sentinel.

From the Valley floor, through binoculars, the next pitch appeared vertical, yet studded with those gargantuan gray knobs peculiar to certain parts of Yosemite Valley. Scott laybacked around the corner to the right, balanced upward on 5.10 knobs, sparsely protected by three hand-drilled 5/16-inch bolts, then belayed from the top of the sloping platform. Our ledge celebration was cut short when we gazed up and saw the immense wall above us. Scott volunteered to lead the next pitch, a "moderate" crack ending at a knobby headwall. As was often the case on this route, the moderate section was a nasty 5.11, replete with a strenuous offwidth and an overhanging layback.

Scott quickly scanned the rock above the belay, then immediately rapped back to the ledge. He didn't have to say anything, I knew we'd gotten off-track. The angle above was near vertical and the knobs were yards apart. Dejected, I led a 5.9 pitch to rejoin In Cold Blood at the base of a huge, detached block. Above this soared the infamous "Incision," a 200-foot knife blade crack that split the headwall. When Robbins reached this point on his solo ascent, he felt blessed by good fortune, but free climbing it looked impossible.

Scott jammed a 5.10 offwidth to the top of the block, hammered a couple of pins into the hairline crack, then took a closer look. "It'll go for sure," he yelled down. "How hard?" I shot back. ".12d, maybe .13a." Since 5.12 is my max, I eyed the face to the left. An easy traverse led down and around a corner. What was on the other side? Surely the West Face route wasn't far away. Linking these routes would give us an all-free ascent.

Not wanting to add bolts to Robbins' classic nail-up, Scott rapped from the precarious block and quickly disappeared out left around the corner. He was yelling, but with the wind and the roar of the falls I couldn't make out a word. It wasn't until I heard a very faint but distinctive tap, tap, tap of the hammer and drill that I knew he'd found the missing link. Moderate, but classically exposed, a 5.10 tip-toe dike traverse led to the heart of the upper West Face. A 5.11 layback flake and a two-bolt face traverse left led us to the 5.10c offwidth pitch on the West Face route. Two hours later we were standing on the summit. We called our 16-pitch route How the West Was Won (V 5.12b).

Scrambling down the descent gully, Scott commented that Yosemite was in another Golden Age, when the big walls first climbed in the '50s and '60s were now being free climbed. When we hit the paved trail we stopped for a moment and looked back at the great north face, its features highlighted by the afternoon light, then we shuffled down among the thronging Fourth of July tourists back to the car.
Cozgrove

Gym climber
Calabashole
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2014 - 07:01pm PT
It's funny how memory is Bob, I completely forgot about that short pitch getting back to the West Face. Also, when the thunder storm hit.

Great story, I don't think I've read it again till now, some 20 years later. Where did the time go.

We had many great adventures, hopefully, we have a couple left.

Hope, you're well and still putting up classic lines.

I'd heard a rumor you where.
thekidcormier

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
Feb 18, 2014 - 07:35pm PT
The virtual camp fire is roaring this evening!

Thanks for stoking it up.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Feb 18, 2014 - 07:47pm PT
Great thread and elucidation, 9.5 out of 10 ! 1 more photo and it's a solid 10. Thank you so much for sharing it.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 18, 2014 - 07:56pm PT
I remember that article BG. It's good.
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 18, 2014 - 08:01pm PT
thanks Coz
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 18, 2014 - 08:03pm PT
100%
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 18, 2014 - 08:03pm PT
Credit: BG
photo by bob gaines
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 18, 2014 - 08:11pm PT
Thanks for writing and sharing the stories, Scott.
Pretty cool to get stopped by one move (but still find it very tough),
and then go back again and "win"!
The fun is in the adventure(s) along the way, of course.

Cool to see Bob's story written at the time as well.
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 18, 2014 - 08:29pm PT
Coz
Coz
Credit: BG
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Feb 18, 2014 - 10:53pm PT
Thanks to Both of ya Coz, BG.. Bold, and in FINE STYLE.. The best of both worlds.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Feb 18, 2014 - 11:05pm PT
i was long gone and not reading climbing mags in 95 and never heard this story.

good to find it here.

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Feb 18, 2014 - 11:23pm PT
dang fine shoot-out there

viva la wild west!
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Feb 18, 2014 - 11:53pm PT
Gold brings gold! Thanks BG!!
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Feb 19, 2014 - 12:18am PT
Thanks for sharing good stuff!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Feb 19, 2014 - 01:10am PT
hey there say, cozgrove... very nice! i will come back and read it a second, time, :)

so much to 'digest' for someone like me, that never knew these places...

thank you so much!


say, rollover:

i really love that 'mossy rock' looking photo, :)
thanks guys... :)


*another:
wow, we learn so much at the supertopo, post!

edit:
neat, a few more pics are loading, :)
The Alpine

climber
Feb 19, 2014 - 07:54am PT
THIS is supertopo. Thanks.
Brian

climber
California
Feb 19, 2014 - 08:18am PT
I've posted this before but...

Coz and Bob Gaines launched my wall career. I fixed to Sickle with my friend Bruce, then we rapped and went back to the car, fully depressed about how long it took us, how big that Stone is, how small we were, etc. Coz and Bob were working to free How the West was Won and they pull up on the way out of the valley and find us sitting by the car. Coz (who knew Bruce pretty well, and had seen me around Josh) says "what are you two doing on the ground?" We mutter some lame gumby excuses. The wall is so big, we are so small, it took longer than we thought to climb to Sickle, etc., etc. Coz and Bob climb back into their ride. Coz takes one more look at us and says, "if you aren't up on that wall tomorrow, we're gonna kick your ass and slash your tires." It was just in kick in the pants we needed (friendly, but a real push back at our excuses). We climbed back on, climbed on up, and summited.

Brian
James

climber
My twin brother's laundry room
Feb 19, 2014 - 08:32am PT
Nice one Coz.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 19, 2014 - 10:30am PT
Good story.... got any more????
WBraun

climber
Feb 19, 2014 - 10:35am PT
When I tried the west face of sentinel I said where the fuk is coz when you need him.

That's why I failed.

You weren't there ......:-)

"if you aren't up on that wall tomorrow, we're gonna kick your ass and slash your tires."

LOL classic ....
Cozgrove

Gym climber
Calabashole
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2014 - 10:46am PT
Thanks Werner....

Hope you're well, and climbing on a new rope...LOL

Impaler

Social climber
Berkeley
Feb 19, 2014 - 11:11am PT
Thanks Scott! That was really awesome to read!
x15x15

climber
Feb 19, 2014 - 11:18am PT
Sweetness...
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Feb 19, 2014 - 12:13pm PT
Scott, you are a supurb story teller. Always a great read. Keep them coming!

mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Feb 19, 2014 - 12:21pm PT
Bitchin Contribution Scott.

That is one proud wall!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 19, 2014 - 12:31pm PT
Good story.... got any more????
In case you missed these:
 Thin Line
 Ribbon Candy
 Min-Ne-Ah (brief account)
 Southern Belle
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
Feb 19, 2014 - 07:08pm PT
I was always amazed at how he (JB) would tell me the same stories over and over.
One Easter morning I was sitting on a bench in front of the deli w/ an NPS trail crew worker, Bachar stopped by to chat, and soon launched into the story of a recent valley accident where the vic was in a complete death fall, not connected to nothing - but somehow got tangled in a rope below, and survived. He revelled in the luck of the dude. Some months later I read a feature about Bachar in an obscure Eastside rag, and there he was recounting that story.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Feb 19, 2014 - 07:47pm PT
Done deal Scott. I just thought it might be appreciated.
Cozgrove

Gym climber
Calabashole
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2014 - 08:19pm PT
Why on Earth would you assume that?

But, thanks for the delete.

I have editors when someone wants to publish my works, but I don't need the fifty bucks. So, I publish it here, the way I like it for free. :)

Actually 50 bucks is a stretch, you're lucky to get a free book and an forum letter saying thanks...

The funniest offer I ever got for payment, and this is the gospel, that I could buy books at whole sale and sell them retail. I was told I could loiter around slide shows and pimp them to the audenience.

I couldn't make that up....it's just too funny. I declined...
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 19, 2014 - 08:20pm PT
Credit: BG

Hey Coz, I found the old slides of How the West Was Won. I'll scan 'em and post 'em up here when I get a chance....
Jim Clipper

climber
from: forests to tree farms
Feb 19, 2014 - 09:05pm PT
allez








































no really!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Feb 19, 2014 - 09:06pm PT
Nice writing Coz. I was starting to lose interest in this site and this helps. You don't even need to provide pictures as others will and that face looks beautiful. Great picture^^^^^
Nanook

climber
Feb 19, 2014 - 09:30pm PT
Awesome Stories Cos and Bob, thanks!

Here's the topo if folks are interested:

http://yosemitebigwall.com/how-west-was-won

Woot!
erik
Yosemitebigwall.com
Cozgrove

Gym climber
Calabashole
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2014 - 09:39pm PT
I hope so Bob, it would be good to see...

Pitch 5, the 11b LB to the 10B OW, is an ass kicker, I'd say more like 12a burl.

That pitch by itself, would be a good day of climbing.

TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 19, 2014 - 10:28pm PT
Wow!

Thanks!
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Feb 20, 2014 - 11:28am PT
Great Story, Scott and BG... Thanks for taking the time to write.
The West was won with blood!
Credit: Walleye
KP Ariza

climber
SCC
Feb 20, 2014 - 12:46pm PT
Kick ass read Cosgrove.

Its great to hear the accounts of Yosemite history coming directly from guys like you and Gaines. Please carry on....with more!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 20, 2014 - 08:10pm PT


Another way of looking at these climbs.
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 20, 2014 - 08:12pm PT
Credit: BG

Coz scoping it out from the approach ramp...

July 1995
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 20, 2014 - 08:19pm PT
photo by bob gaines
photo by bob gaines
Credit: BG

Coz leading the hardest crack climbing on the route (pitch 5) at the top of the dihedral, an overhanging 11+ lieback/jam capped with an "ass-kicking offwidth."

BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 20, 2014 - 08:32pm PT
photo by bob gaines
photo by bob gaines
Credit: BG

Coz leads the devious face traverse, pitch 6, 12b
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 20, 2014 - 08:38pm PT
photo by bob gaines
photo by bob gaines
Credit: BG
crux traverse, pitch 6
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Feb 20, 2014 - 08:39pm PT
Great account and beautiful shots Clint!
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Feb 20, 2014 - 08:43pm PT
Best thread in a while!
Thanks Bob!!
Obviously thanks to Scott and Clint too!
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 20, 2014 - 08:45pm PT
photo by scott cosgrove
photo by scott cosgrove
Credit: BG

The moment of truth for me, following the crux traverse. To free this wall I knew it all boiled down to this one pitch, this one crux, at this moment. I took every last piece of gear off my harness and packed it in the haul bag. I pulled it off....barely!
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 20, 2014 - 08:52pm PT
photo by bob gaines
photo by bob gaines
Credit: BG
All those years of runout slab climbing at Suicide Rock paid off....I led up through this 5.11 R slab section.
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Feb 20, 2014 - 08:54pm PT
freakin awesome write up cozzy. great to honour bachar that way and bring up the memories...yeah, soloed up nutracker with jb just once, and on the bike ride back we stopped and after smoking some bad weed, he told the same story...LOL.

Great tribute to bob gaines too. he is still the master guide, i obseved an SPI course of his, and he is the master of time management.

hope you are doing great, shipoopoi
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 20, 2014 - 08:56pm PT
photo by bob gaines
photo by bob gaines
Credit: BG
Scott hand-drilling, start of pitch 11
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 20, 2014 - 09:00pm PT
photo by bob gaines
photo by bob gaines
Credit: BG

Scott getting ready to round the corner over to the West Face route
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 20, 2014 - 09:02pm PT
photo by bob gaines
photo by bob gaines
Credit: BG
the Backdrop...
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 20, 2014 - 09:07pm PT
photo by bob gaines
photo by bob gaines
Credit: BG

Sentinel Falls is your constant companion on this route...
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 20, 2014 - 09:08pm PT
Thanks Steve, it was great working with you at Josh!
Cozgrove

Gym climber
Calabashole
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2014 - 09:29pm PT
Wow, cool photo's Bob,.... I was so happy when you pulled off the Randy traverse. It was really your vision, I was glad you brought me along for the ride.

Too funny, Steve... JB had no idea he was telling the stories over and over, but it never change. It would be cool, if one of these young stars, frees the original route. JB swore it would go with new sticky rubber. Can't believe no one has bagged it yet....

Hope ur well too...

Thanks Clint, amazing effort with the photo/topo, really puts it into perspective.

GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Feb 20, 2014 - 09:31pm PT
Wonderful!
E Robinson

climber
Salinas, CA
Feb 20, 2014 - 09:32pm PT
Very cool! Story, pics, and all.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Feb 20, 2014 - 09:35pm PT
Thanks for sharing your photos BG . . . must be more where that came from.
KP Ariza

climber
SCC
Feb 20, 2014 - 11:48pm PT
This is what this sight was meant to be about I'll bet.

Awesome, thanks!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 21, 2014 - 12:27am PT
Thanks for dusting off the slides, Bob.
Those really make it real.
Nice Backdrop!
Cole

Trad climber
los angeles
Feb 21, 2014 - 12:40am PT
Awesome story Scott!! Really looking forward to heading out to Section 6 again with you soon. Hit me up when you're in town!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Feb 21, 2014 - 01:35am PT



KP Ariza

climber
SCC

Feb 20, 2014 - 11:48pm PT
This is what this sight was meant to be about I'll bet.

Awesome, thanks!


+1 fukkin rights

Cozgrove

Gym climber
Calabashole
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 21, 2014 - 11:22am PT
+10000
RP3

Big Wall climber
Sonora
Feb 21, 2014 - 12:37pm PT
Those photos are fantastic. Material like this is what keeps me coming back to ST. Thanks!
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 21, 2014 - 08:15pm PT
Thanks for dusting off the slides, Bob.
Those really make it real.
Nice Backdrop!

Thanks Clint, those are some great topo photos you posted!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Feb 21, 2014 - 09:18pm PT
Great post. A few days ago I watched the historic film about the first ascent of that face. Reading about the FFA makes me want to go climb it some day myself. Beautiful looking granite up there. From far at least...
Cozgrove

Gym climber
Calabashole
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 21, 2014 - 09:59pm PT
The rock is beautiful up close, it really doesn't get any better.

There are many FFA to do on that face....

The true In Cold Blood, and the original West Face route.

Also, to climb the West Face from the base of the wall, and not using the tradition ramp approach, this would add another 1000 feet of quality rock to all routes on the West face. That wall in and of itself is vastly unexplored, and would hold hundreds of climbs.




Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Feb 21, 2014 - 10:01pm PT
Coz & BG! Thank you for taking the time to share this classic Yosemite history story!

BG! Your old story about the historic ascent is great writing!
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
Feb 21, 2014 - 10:25pm PT
Royal Robbins solos the first ascent of In Cold Blood on Sentinel’s West Face in two days. He places eight bolts. This is the first time a new route of this length has been soloed in Yosemite.
courtesy of http://yosemiteclimbing.org/content/short-history-yosemite-rock-climbing
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 21, 2014 - 11:43pm PT
Here's the entry for In Cold Blood in the 1971 AAJ:

In Cold Blood, West Face of Sentinel Rock. The renowned American
authority on mountaineering, Curtis W. Casewit. says, “Solo climbing is
insanity.” And Mr. Casewit, of course, is an honorable man. I love to read
such fatuous remarks, coming as they invariably do, from the ignorant. It
brings back the good old days when climbers were pariahs, when climbing
was not “in”, when there was no room in the game for parasites of Mr.
Casewit’s stamp. But now the enemy is within the gates. I confess to
lunacy according to Mr. Casewit’s ah ... “ standards”. I soloed a new route
on the west face of Sentinel last May, a route with some intriguing
sections, a bit easier than the Frost-Chouinard line. I started from the
Valley early in the morning of May 10 and returned there after dark the
next day. The ascent involved two tension traverses, 8 bolts, a few rurps,
and the following bongs: 2 2-inch, 2 2.5-inch. and a 3-inch. One third of
the placements were chocks. These are critical in a couple of sections of
shaky rock. It was a surprise to find the upper wall split by a thin crack
(Rageous Fortune Crack) which took wired chocks as if it had been made
for them. An unprotected jam-crack left me a little shaky but led nicely to
a chimney and an easy way out. The route starts up a dihedral 75 feet
south of the regular west-face route and needs little description, but go left
at the top of Rageous Fortune Crack. At one point in the middle of the
route, some fine rope work is useful in passing over the coarse granite. In
October Egon and Johanna Marte and I made the second ascent.

ROYAL ROBBINS

from
http://c498469.r69.cf2.rackcdn.com/1971/usa1971_325-381.pdf
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Feb 21, 2014 - 11:58pm PT
Wicked photos BG! Thanks!! I always love your topos clint!!
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 22, 2014 - 10:14pm PT
photo by bob gaines
photo by bob gaines
Credit: BG
view from the top of the west face
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Feb 22, 2014 - 11:11pm PT
Nice story! Has anybody freed the original line you all attempted in 1987?
Cozgrove

Gym climber
Calabashole
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 23, 2014 - 12:04am PT
Not too my knowledge...

John was sure it would go in sticky rubber.

Check a few post up for more info.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Feb 23, 2014 - 05:41am PT
Many thanks to Scott and BG for the excellent stories. Clint, the photo topo is great.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Feb 27, 2014 - 10:15am PT
Old AAJs have some really interesting things.Piece written by TM Herbert regarding the 2nd ascent of The Wall of Morning Light is priceless.

Comment regarding the FA of Charlotte Dome's S Face is great too. They thought it was gonna stay an obscure route. :)
Joshua Johnson.

Boulder climber
Boulder
Feb 27, 2014 - 10:52am PT
Thank you gents for sharing with the rest of us. Love this stuff.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 27, 2014 - 12:49pm PT
Great story. Thanks!
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Feb 27, 2014 - 01:13pm PT
I think this very informative string by SC emphasizes why there should be a new written guide to Yosemite climbs in a book format because that's the only way you'll be able to visually compare and contrast adjacent routes and areas with your eyes all at once. Downloading the topo of an individual route is fine if all you want is the info needed to do that route. But a guidebook lets you compare adjacent routes instantly. A PC, iMac or iPhone are different mediums than a book and do different things, some of them better than a guidebook, but some others not as well.

With all of Clint's larger than life photos, it looks like such a project is in good hands and well underway to completion. A giant totally accurate compendium of Yosemite climbs as hard as it is to write would certainly sell well. A coffee-table Yo guidebook anyone? Certainly would give you better sense of the historical progression of routes.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 27, 2014 - 01:28pm PT
Bruce,
I enjoy making the overlays (thanks mostly to xRez and GIMP),
but I don't have any specific plans to make a book with them.
Some of them work on a computer screen a lot better than they would in a book -
the Sentinel West Face (10" x 31") and Ho Chi Minh Trail (6.5" x 30") overlays are very tall and narrow.
Easy to scroll up and down on the web, but they would have a very
reduced width in a book that would fit on a bookshelf.
(Kris Solem made this point earlier when I posted a huge photo overlay for some Voodoo Dome routes in the Needles - that amount of detail doesn't fit into a 6" x 9" guidebook; it might not fit into a coffee table book, either).

The current book is topos (black and white line drawings) and I'm trying not to get too distracted! :-)
But there will be some overlay photos for locating things.
It hasn't been decided yet if they will be in color, but it's getting cheaper to use color and I struggled to find things in the previous black and white overlays.

One possibility would be to put the overlays in a PDF or similar that could be viewed on a smartphone. Some people take their phones on climbs with PDFs to look stuff up if needed. "Just don't call me." :-) "Dang it, Clint, your overlay guess was way off and now we're stuck!!!"

Ed had a cool idea of some kind of overlays integrated with an xRez type zoom-in system. I.e. you select the route(s) you want overlaid, then zoom in to see more rock detail. The line width stays the same, so the line obscures less rock as you zoom in. Maybe a "coffee table" style screen?
"Armchair mountaineering" or "shadow climbing" (my old friend Dan Nguyen taught me that last term, like "shadow boxing").
Cozgrove

Gym climber
Calabashole
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 27, 2014 - 02:54pm PT
Clint,

I really liked your over-lay Topo of the West Face. It really is a way forward.

Hopefully you can figure it out...

Bruce's idea is Golden and would be a money maker.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Feb 27, 2014 - 11:05pm PT
Would be a money maker if you could find a cheap way of getting a big color coffee table Yo guide printed in the States or elsewhere (China!). Nice to make it a full multimedia production with continuously updated interactive links to topo pdfs and giant wall pics. Videos taken on the routes would be hot too. That way you could have all the advantages of a book and the advantages of Internet based information reinforcing one another.

Whole lot of work!
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Feb 28, 2014 - 01:49pm PT
To clarify my statement (woke up late with a headache!):

A big coffee-table text/graphics/image book linked to (and supported by) continuously updated online resources at a site with downloadable topos in pdf format and larger images of walls and areas too big for the printed medium all with gps coordinates you could access in the field from a smart phone. Of course, at home from a PC or Mac too.

A lot of big history and art books from publishers like Oxford University Press and eminent historians like Anthony Beevor are like that right now. More information and videos at the web site that didn't appear in the book.

Again, no easy project, but given current technology very do-able. Trip reports and topo updates too. The book could serve as a front for a sort of mini-Yosemite climbing industry. What about some funding from the AAC?

Also, lots of online videos linked to individual climbs to illustrate cruxes and belays. Even mo' work!
WBraun

climber
Feb 28, 2014 - 02:10pm PT
A coffee table guide book would definitely be DA BOMB!!!

Lot's of pictures, photos and history, along with

... some deli history slander thrown in for comedy ......

:)
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Feb 28, 2014 - 02:19pm PT
So many "good-f*#king-god-look-at-that" formations in the Valley, but Sentinel, Sentinel has got something special.


B. Gaines photo
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