Retro TR - Gumbies on NIAD


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Social climber
kennewick, wa
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 6, 2006 - 12:47pm PT
I have been thinking about posting this and it seems as though there are other pertinent threads out there so some may be interested in this. It is very long, sorry. But for me this adventure was really the whole process of giving it an honest go after deciding to go for it.

Intro: This is a very long read. As I get older and reminisce about some of the climbs I have done I wanted to get some of it down on paper for my partners, friends and family. Because the Nose is one of the most coveted rock climbs in the world and because climbing it in a day was a big deal for my partner and me, I decided to post this for others to read.

1993 Nose in a Day

El Cap is the test piece for rock climbers from all over the world. Just about every serious climber I have ever met has wanted to climb El Cap. In 1993 I found myself married, living in the Midwest (Kansas), holding down a mortgage and I had not climbed the Nose. Those old Lowe ads used to haunt me, “You are not in Kansas Anymore”, bullsh#t, I was too! With all of these obligations I was feeling that I had better get it done. My wife at the time also said I was now middle aged at 32. Hell, I didn’t feel middle aged but I was certainly living the normal American dream but I wanted more. I had many successes as a climber but the big daddy was not something I had even tried.

Earlier in my climbing career I had stayed away from Yosemite mostly because I had heard of crowds and I preferred areas like Zions in the 80’s because of the lack of climbers. On my one visit to Yosemite I had bailed in a storm on an attempt at climbing the NW Face of Half Dome in a day. I began to seriously consider climbing the Nose. With a family and limited vacation I decided that I could not spend the time to climb it in 5 days like many parties and I had climbing acquaintances from Utah who had done it in a day. I knew I had the skills to climb it, but could I get up the thing in a day? The guys I knew from SLC who had climbed it gave me confidence that I could also do it. Little did I realize that these guys (Conrad Anker, Doug Heinrich and Seth Shaw) were actually pretty good and while I was serving my sentence in Kansas they had been tearing it up on real rocks.

I talked my dream climb over with my lifelong friend and climbing partner, Stuart Ruckman, and I was excited to learn that the NIAD was something he wanted too. I had done several walls but never in Yosemite. Stu had never done a big wall but was one of the most talented climbers I have ever met. Besides, he cut his teeth on some pretty hard cracks in the desert and I had known him for nearly 20 years.

Training became crucial since I couldn’t climb much while living in Kansas. I had a climbing wall in my garage that was shorter than 8 feet tall but overhung horizontally over the floor. I climbed on the wall, I pumped iron and did John Long’s workout from hell. I ran. I pushed my son in a baby stroller and carried a pack while tackling the neighborhood hills. I got to where I could run 13 miles without much problem, climb on the wall and pump some iron all in the same day. Another training opportunity availed itself where I worked in the Federal Building of downtown Kansas City. I ran the stairs about twice per week, four times each session. I figured this was about 1,000 vertical feet of stairs. People there in the land of BBQ beef thought I was crazy. Stu lived in Ventura, California so we were not able to climb together but we kept close tabs on our training and compared notes.

There were still many fears to overcome. What happened if it stormed up high? What was I going to do if I were so tired that I could no longer hang on to climb? What would happen if I got really scared? On an earlier wall I had gotten pretty freaked out. One thing I had was the confidence of knowing that many climbers do the Nose and I knew that if climbed right it was not too difficult, just big. There was one thing that bugged me though. In climbing magazine there was a picture of Hans Florine and Peter Croft after they had climbed something big, fast. They wore no shirts and they were ripped. I had the impression that to climb the NIAD you had to look like that to be successful. It was somewhat of a worry and I may have been partially correct…..

I hadn’t done a big climb in many years so I decided to go to the nearest big wall playground and do a warm-up climb. I didn’t know too many climbers in Kansas who could climb at that level so I invited AD to go climb the Scenic Cruise in the Black Canyon. At V 5.10+ I figured this should be a good warm-up climb. AD was only 15 years old and the longest climb he had done was the Bastille Crack in Eldorado but AD had heart and tons of natural ability. I knew he could get up the thing. He also seemed to have a good head in terms of getting freaked. The Black is not a place to want to retreat. The drive to the Black from Eastern Kansas is about 15 hours and is the first crux.

I had first climbed the Scenic Cruise in 1984 and BR and I arrived without a topo and knew just enough about the climb that it was on the North Rim. It had rained and hailed on us before the scary 5.9+ face climbing pitch about 2/3rds of the way up the wall and I thought we would be bivvying. It was the perfect BC intro because we thought we would be bivvying but didn’t have to (haha). We ended up finishing by headlamp.

I hadn’t been to the Black in about 7 years and you can never fully remember the true grandeur of such a place. We arrived there in perfect weather and the climb was every bit as big as I remembered. We got our rack together and got to bed early. After scurrying down the Cruise gully we got started. Adam took a while leading the second pitch and I think he was suffering from nerves as the wall loomed overhead. I asked him if he wanted me to lead for a while instead of swapping and he was good with that. I was relaxed and everything went very well. After Adam followed the crux pitch he was beat. We rested and I forced two Power Bars and water down him. He energized right up and we got back to it. We didn’t make any records on the thing but the climb was very comfortably within my limits and I was excited to have been able to lead all but one pitch. Compared to my early experience in 1984 the climb was definitely a Scenic Cruise.

The biggest crux was driving back to Kansas. I was driving without a relief driver and we pulled into some small town in eastern Kansas to gas up at about 2:00 am. Adam woke up and said “I am so exhausted”. I almost laughed thinking about how he had been sleeping and I driving. Wish I could have slept but everything was a test for me at this time, even trying to stay awake to drive. I thought that if I were on the Nose I may be climbing all night so I had better be able to stay awake and drive.

Stuart and I drove into the Valley in 1993 amidst dark and angry clouds made even more somber by the tragic news I had received a couple days earlier that Derek Hersey had died while soloing in Yosemite. Hopefully the weather would clear up and we had a week so we were not too concerned. There were still some things that Stu and I needed to figure out. I mean, I had never really followed a pendulum before and we knew that there were some jumaring details to dial in.

We relied upon a very small rack presented as adequate by the Deuce and some of our techniques for climbing fast were untried but we had studied hard. We were going to lead in blocks of about 4-5 pitches and tie in with one locker and 1 normal biner and trade ends of the rope this way. We used supertape to backup our belay loops and on the supertape we had a fifi tied there. This all worked out pretty slick. We decided that the second would normally jumar with the pack until the pitch before the trade off, when the leader would haul (this would give the new leader as much rest as possible prior to switching off). We were going to minimize simul climbing but make use of our 200’ ropes where possible. We also were going to stay out of aiders unless the free difficulty was harder than 5.11. This meant that there were only 5 pitches in aiders. When viewed this way The Nose becomes much more manageable until you add up all of the 5.10 and harder sections.

We chose the east buttress of El Cap as a warm-up route mainly to get a feel for the leading in blocks strategy. We did two pitches on the east buttress before we figured out that the summit of that route looked like a waterfall. Bailing on the east buttress when we were going to try the NIAD? Not a good start. The day before blast-off was spent eyeing the route in El Cap meadow with topo in hand, getting the rack together, loading the pack, agonizing over clothes, gear etc. Staring up at El Cap before you are going to try climbing it is a sobering experience, that sucker is huge. Two parties were making their way up to Sickle ledge that day but there was nobody else on the wall. Our strategy would be to pass them in the morning before they got out of bed.

We hiked up to the base in the dark. No moon and it was pretty darn cold. The weather forecast called for a big approaching storm by the following day. One major mistake we made was not identifying the start of the route in daylight and scrambling up to it. After a little wandering around we got started at about 2:30 am feeling kind of stupid about not finding the first pitch quickly in the dark. I got the first block of pitches and I was pretty fired up. The area illuminated by my Petzl Zoom was my sole focus as I started up the first pitch. It went pretty quickly but the lower angled pitches below Sickle involve a lot of insecure climbing and I was glad I had years of Little Cottonwood Canyon slabs under my belt. The second pitch involves a short traverse, and I purposefully didn’t place some pro to try and make it easier for Stu to jugg it. The 5.11b move was staring me in the eye and I got a quick stopper in and grabbed on. I knew that placement was poor and I wanted to get something else in. I hung off a fifi into the draw and reached higher to get a better placement to pull me through that crux. I carry all of my stoppers on one biner and I sunk a great stopper. I thought I should immediately clip a draw into the stopper prior to removing the biner with all of the other stoppers (due to my sketchy piece) but two biners in one stopper can get hung up so I unclipped the stopper biner and clipped it back onto the rack, the bomber stopper placed and waiting a quick draw, when the piece I was on popped! It is lower angle there and sparks flew as the rack slid against the rock for about 30 feet. Stuart, belaying me in the dark got thrown forward into the rock, surprised as the fall interrupted the stillness of the night.

If anything, I was more fired up now, I batmanned up the rope to my last piece, climbed up to the bomber stopper and clipped and grabbed the sucker. I linked Pitches 3 and 4 to Sickle and had a couple of tension traverses through a cruxxy section with just enough rope to get to Sickle. My errors hadn’t cost too much time, it was just about 5:30. Two hours on the first 4 pitches on-site in the dark isn’t bad, but compared to Middendorf’s 30 minutes we were way off pace. My headlamp and yelling to Stu ended up waking the climbers on Sickle. I was surprised to see that one of the people was a good friend from Oklahoma, Tony Mayse. I had also heard of one of the other climbers on Sickle, Jeff Achey. As the two groups woke up, Stu arrived and took over the lead. Stu was going to lead us up to Dolt Tower and I was grateful to turn my Lead mind off and belay and jumar.

I was excited to find out that following pendulums worked just like the pictures I had seen! Slick! The pendulums went pretty well and once Stuart was in the Stove legs I knew this section would go very well. Sunlight also found its way to the Valley and it was cool to look down and feel some air. Headlamps were put into the pack. Stuart had climbed tons of Indian Creek cracks so this was pretty nonchalant except for one thing. We found that the rack was pretty scimpy in the wide stuff. Stu climbed with a big Friend in one hand and a Fist jam for the other, moving up the fabled Stove Legs. On one pitch the rope kept going and going and I quickly put the pack on and tore the belay down to simul about 30 feet of 5.8. Little did I know that Stuart was engaged in 5.10 at the time but he got a belay set up and fixed the rope for me to jug.

We arrived at Dolt Tower at about 10:00. My lead. By not placing pro for the first 40 feet or so of the next pitch it was possible to link the next two pitches. There is a picture of this pitch in 50 classic climbs and I was finally here, on El Cap following in Yosemite Pioneers foot steps. That pitch was a full 200’ and while Stuart jugged I started rope soloing the next pitch of 5.7 on our 8mm haul line up to El Cap Tower. When Stu arrived at the belay below, I put him on belay. 12:30, lunch time on El Cap Tower. We were feeling really good here having dispensed with a lot of climbing by mid day. The sky was still blue with a few clouds building. We hung out here for about 20 minutes on this amazing ledge (a mistake here…don’t stop). I led Texas Flake and followed Middendorf’s suggestion not to place pro in the chimney but at the top throwing the rope over the outside of the chimney to allow for easier jugging. I quickly hauled the pack and broke out the aiders. It was comforting to know that this first pitch of full on aid was a bolt ladder. I had brought these Yates, lightweight Alpine aiders for this stuff. The damn things were only about 4 feet long so every step into them was a high step. I decided they were more like toys than real aiders. I tried to move as efficiently and quickly as possible. Boot flake is amazing. Perfect hands but strenuous. I frequently would climb a bit then plug in a cam and grab on. When you are climbing like this, you don’t let yourself think about the runout below and the consequences of a piece popping. You just have to go for it.

At the top of Boot Flake I turned over the lead again. I lowered Stu and the beta for quick ascents had him placing a fifi on the first pendulum point and going off that for the next one, then climbing as far as possible prior to getting gear. He was able to flip the fifi off after getting established after the King Swing. I was glad to be watching him do this, it seemed pretty wild to me. The weather was changing. It was now overcast and the sun illuminated a big ring in the sky, indicating a storm was on its way. I rapped off the Boot with the haul line and came onto the juggs elevation wise around the top of the foot on the boot. Higher up on the route, the leader has to go down, typically getting lowered and this was the scariest place for me as a follower or leader. With the pack on and aiders and juggs hanging off me and down climbing I choked the fear back.

I took over the lead at Camp 4. The weather had definitely changed and it was cold and felt a bit damp. The 5.9 up to the Great Roof pitch was a good warm-up and fun climbing. The great roof pitch loomed above. There appeared to be fixed gear every 20 to 30 feet and that was a good thing since we had 1 yellow TCU and that seemed to be the only thing that fit without dinking around. The great roof pitch offers outstanding climbing at about 5.11a up to the infamous roof. If dry and at ground level this pitch would be awesome fun. After nearly 2,000 feet of climbing and feeling the need for speed I was a bit overly stressed. The real problem was it was wet and I had only 1 real piece to throw in. This pitch took me longer than it should have as I had to back clean twice to retrieve the yellow TCU. My strategy was to free climb between fixed pieces, clip the fixed piece and rest a minute before firing for the next fixed piece. Wet 11a was beyond me and I had really needed a couple of those TCU’s.

The belay at the end of the great roof pitch is a small stance slightly smaller than my rock shoes and you are directly above the Nose of El Cap, 2,000 feet straight down. A truly amazing place. After hauling the pack I put on all of my clothes while Stu jugged the pitch. It was 4:30 in the afternoon, there was a bit of precipitation and I thought about our situation. We had about 1,000 feet of hard climbing which included three aid pitches. At the rate we were going it would be dark before we summitted. I was cold and had every stitch of clothing on and it felt like the weather could break for the worse. Stuart also had a slightly worried expression on his face when he got to the belay. I told him what I thought the best outcome was: arriving at the top, in bad weather, in the dark with no bivvy gear and unfamiliar with the descent down east ledges. This put us bivvying in the clothes on our back and I was already cold. One thing I had read was that the goal of these day ascents is to make last call at the bar and avoid bad bivvies. Stuart was bummed but listened and understood our predicament.

We decided to bail. It was not an easy decision with that much air below. The topo indicated the general direction of the rapp stations. The rapps went fast except for one thing. In our quest for light weight we mostly took spectra runners and some of the upper rapp stations looked like they needed to be backed up. At one point I thought I was going to have to start cutting climbing rope to back rappels up. A mental note was made that tied runners were the way to go for versatility.

Many of the stations are hanging and I at first was wondering what the hell Warren had been up to avoiding the features. It seemed like all flakes and cracks were avoided and when I glanced over and saw a rope stuck in a crack I realized the brilliance of it all. Our ropes were not going to get stuck out here. On one rapp station to the left of Boot Flake there was a small plaque bolted to the wall. It had etched in it, “These bolts were placed by Warren Harding et al on the First Ascent of El Cap 1957.” It was cool to see this bit of history off the beaten path of the climbing route.

There was one rappel where I stretched our 60meters and avoided a station knowing full well I may be prusiking our lines if the ropes didn’t reach. Luckily with stretch and 6” of rope I could clip the next anchors. Jeff Achey and his partner had arrived at Dolt when I was rapping by and we yelled to each other. Jeff wanted to know why we were retreating and I explained that conditions were not looking good and told him we had retreated from the Great Roof. Tony Mayse and his partner were making way up the Stove Legs. As we rapped past them I wished them luck and told them about the storm we knew was going to hit (if you believe those weathermen and I did that time, luckily).

On the last rapp I was about 30 feet off of the ground when I heard a terrible ripping noise. What the hell!? Someone had base jumped from the summit and the noise was their chute opening. They soared out over the meadow and disappeared into the darkening sky. It was about 8:30 pm, we had made it down smooth as silk, thanks to all those rapp stations.

Back at C4, Stuart and I were in the tent, deep in gloom having failed on our attempt but glad that the rapps had gone so smooth. There was some rain pattering on the fly and even though we had bailed it did seem like the right thing to do at the time. It was also strange at how much warmer the valley floor was than high on the wall. No big surprise when you think about the big elevation gain. I started thinking about what I could have done better. I realized that I had been on rock only about 5 times this year. I asked Stuart, “How many times have you been climbing this year?” He replied that he too, had only been climbing about 5 times. I said, “we go up on the biggest cliff in the lower 48, been out on the rock 10 times and we actually expected to pull it off?” If I hadn’t been so down it might have been funny. The great thing was that Stu and I decided that night to give it another go in about a month. The next day, I left the valley and Stu stayed around. As I drove past El Cap, clouds skittered across the face and while the storm didn’t totally dump that day, it was certainly headed that way. The following evening the top of El Cap got at least 1 foot of snow.

My thoughts were with Jeff, Tony and their partners. Jeff ended up in a makeshift (no ledge) hanging bivvy under the great roof for 36 hours before retreating. I talked with him a week or two later and he had said his partner recommended going there, one of the few dry spots on the wall. Tony had his own epic retreating from El Cap tower and somehow dropping their haul bag from up high. While some things were beyond repair he was able to X-ray his climbing gear at work and found few if any damaged things from his rack in the bag. Stuart and I then knew that we had made the right decision and descending from 2/3rds up the Nose gave us more confidence.

As we prepared for another attempt, each of us adjusted our training to compensate for those areas of our bodies that got worked the most in our attempts. For me it was running stairs with books in a pack to be able to jugg with a pack faster. Stuart wrote a post card to me, “Last time we nearly froze and this time valley temperatures will allow us to fry eggs on the ledges…” This time we climbed more too. My philosophy was that I should try and on-sight anything below 5.12 at whatever area I went too, and do it a bunch. There were some definite learning days as I flailed on some climbs miserably, but those days only made me try harder.

Back for round 2. Preparation this time was much easier. The day before we blasted off we sat in El Cap meadow and watched a party climbing fast. These guys were doing it in a day and they were cruising! We watched how they did the king Swing and learned a new trick. No pro at all on the swing pitch and link the pitch above that then the second simply lowers at the same elevation as the belay. Sweet! We left and came back. Seems as though these guys had some difficulties higher as it took them a while to get to the C4 ledges.

The El Cap meadow parking lot is pretty quiet at 1:30 am. As Stuart and I got ready to depart the two guys who had climbed the NIAD yesterday came wandering down the road after their climb. They were psyched and didn’t look too tired. We chatted and found out they were attempting 20 Classic Climbs in 20 Days and their only regret was they were going to climb today! It was Benegas and Santilices and they had climbed the Nose in 19 hours. Stuart and I were revved and ready. As we hiked towards the base of the wall there was a headlamp shining way up on the Nose. It was the only party up there and I was thinking that they couldn’t be too happy to be thrashing in the dark at that point.

We climbed faster this time, Blastoff at 2:30 am, El Cap towers at 10:30, and finished the Great Roof Pitch at 12:30. This time that pitch was dry and somewhat of a cruise, I was psyched to blast through this time. The 11c part of the Pancake Flake pitch was very difficult and I gladly grabbed onto some small pro through that section. The following pitch was particularly awkward with a finger crack in the back of a slot, this was one burly 5.10d.

At the Glowering Spot we caught the climbers who had their headlamps on the previous night. They had spent the night at the lowest and worst of the Camp 5 ledges just one pitch below. Stuart took over the lead and the guys let us pass on the Pitch up to Camp 6. With our light rack Stuart confidently cruised this pitch without being able to place much pro and I jugged as fast as I could. Stuart was a bit bummed he didn’t get too much of a rest. The changing corners pitch slowed us down as we had to get into aiders for the 4th time that day.

I took over the lead for the last three pitches. As I jammed up the 5.10 handcrack I realized I was getting pretty pumped. I grabbed a friend and stuck it in. Unfortunately, the friend was a bit big and the stem was sticking straight out. Messing around with it was pumping me out and even though I didn’t like leaving it that way I clipped it and kept on to the belay with very pumped forearms right below Harding’s famous bolt ladder. There was a plane flying in the valley below, which gives you an idea of the size of this rock. The sun was descending and best of all, Stuart and I were still smiling and having fun. We summited at 7:00 pm after 17.5 hours of climbing. We had climbed safe, in control and were smiling the whole time. Best of all, we would be able to find the rapps before dark. One thing though, we didn’t take any approach shoes on the climb as a commitment to our goal of going light. I think Stuart and I would agree that descending El Cap in climbing shoes was the most painful crux.

6 HB Offsets and Rp’s
1 set of Stoppers (WC Rocks)
1 #1 TCU blue
1 #2 TCU yellow
Friends - 2 #1, 1 #1 ½, 2 #2, 2 #2 ½, 1 #3, 1 #3 ½, 1 #4.
7 Slings
5 QD’s (for french free I prefer looped spectra ones to grab the loop)
17 Free Biners.

This rack was first suggested by Middendorf for one day ascents with 180 foot ropes. However, my partner and I were not smart enough to realize that we ought to think about a few more cams for 200 foot pitches. So there were a few sections where we ran it out. If climbing the Nose in a more traditional manner, I would definitely add more stuff, potentially doubling (but not quite) the rack. (Hell, I now take more stuff cragging than the rack we took up there.)

Stuff that really helped us was a chapter in a book written by Schneider(?) that summarized strategies for climbing fast, and a topo written an published by Deuce in Climbing on how to climb the NIAD. These were really keys to success for us. Oh yeah, it helps if your partner regularly on sites 5.12 cracks even know it was his first big wall.

Social climber
St. Louis
Nov 6, 2006 - 01:05pm PT
Not too long a read at all. I really enjoyed it! Thanks.

Social climber
Nov 6, 2006 - 01:18pm PT
I too enjoyed the read! I need a little motivation. Since you moved out of the grassy desert its been a different scene here for sure. Hope all is well...and can we get some photos to go with the story!! Thanks Gary!

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 6, 2006 - 01:23pm PT
Thanks Crimpie. Bovine, nice to hear from you. You helped me stay motivated during those times, climbing the choss of Missouri. Do people still climb at Cliff Drive? Not to offend, but I have never climbed at a worse place.

Social climber
No Ut
Nov 6, 2006 - 04:23pm PT
Great story, Golson. Good job on the climb, too, pulling it off in a day with no previous El Cap experience.

Social climber
St. Louis
Nov 6, 2006 - 04:31pm PT
Golsen - Please try to be more open-minded...there is a lot of what could be described as the worst choss here in Missouri! Hahahaha

Trad climber
Wenatchee, WA
Nov 6, 2006 - 09:43pm PT
Thanks for posting this Gary. I think I read this half a dozen times before our trip to Yos last spring. Fun stuff! Can't wait till next June.

Trad climber
Nov 7, 2006 - 12:54am PT
Hey, great trip report, Thank you so much for taking the time to write it down.

Nov 7, 2006 - 01:00am PT
That is quite an accomplishment Gary. I suspected you were a sharp lad from your posts.
Standing Strong

Mountain climber
Nov 7, 2006 - 01:01am PT
word to zander's comment: thanks for writing your memories and sharing them with us. it wasn't long at all. personally, i disagree with whomever said brevity is the soul of wit. it's good to take time to say what you have to say.

retro TRs kick hard! thank you :)

Nov 7, 2006 - 01:15am PT
Bravo man, I know what you were thinking, it goes through my feeble mind too.

Social climber
Nov 7, 2006 - 09:56am PT

Yes, people do still climb at Cliff Drive. I have to say that I have climbed at worse areas for sure! The great thing about Cliff Drive is the rock is so slick that you are required to overgrip every hold, thus increasing strength at a rapid pace. When you head out to some 'good' rock, you feel like you can stick to and hold onto anything! I remember you and I putting in a bolt on the overhang at cliff that rock was hard! We took turns whacking that hand drill for what seemed like hours!


Social climber
kennewick, wa
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 7, 2006 - 11:00am PT
Thanks all. Werner is onto something as usual. Our feeble minds seem to control so much of what we do. I keep thinking about that ad, "free your mind and your ass will follow." Seems appropriate.

Bovine and Crimpie, whenever I talk or think about Missouri choss it is with a loving lilt to my tone. I think it made bovine uncomfortable though (haha). For those of you who have not been to Cliff Drive, you have to go through a ghetto to get there, maybe it should be on the must visit crag list, hehe.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jun 23, 2009 - 12:06am PT
Good going, Gary, real good determination.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jun 23, 2009 - 12:35am PT
Great read, I started at Cliff drive, never did pull off that 5.10 in the middle with the mini fridge stickin out.

Batman aka christopher Murphy, I believe climbed with sean and others there, he brought me to quartz for the first time.

Bump for Midwest boys gettin it done in cali!

Driving through that ghetto to get to the cliffs was definately the 511x a5+

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 23, 2009 - 01:45am PT
Imust admit. I was not a born and bread MW climber. Those that are like Bovine, Jer and Tomy M are real hardmen
Phantom Fugitive

Trad climber
Jun 23, 2009 - 07:06pm PT
thanks for the read. I had a similar experience in 2000. Trained at cliff drive, did stairs, and swam a lot too. It's rough, yeah, but livin in the midwest makes you know what you"REALLY" want to do. i want to climb.

Trad climber
under the sea
Jan 26, 2011 - 06:11pm PT
BUMP for a good story.

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Aug 23, 2011 - 04:35pm PT
Bump for a climbing thread

Oakland, CA
Aug 23, 2011 - 07:23pm PT
Great read on a lunch break - in the time it took me to read it and eat an avocado, you probably dispatched 3 or 4 pitches that day...
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