FAs on the Apes Wall (Malibu Creek)

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Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 12, 2017 - 04:48pm PT
I climbed here (vs. back in the canyon) today for the first time in at least a decade, which prompted me to check the guide about which route went where, how hard, etc. I just looked it up on Mountain Project, but here's my question. The guy updating the routes on MP credits Jack Marshall with nearly all the route on the middle and right portion of the wall and says they were climbed in 1994. People started climbing there WAY before then. I hit the place alot in the late 80s/early 90s while at UCLA and remember climbing some of these routes well before '94. I figured Levy, Largo or Guy would know who did these first. Was it Gargoyle, Gaines, Levy...?
EdBannister

Mountain climber
13,000 feet
Feb 12, 2017 - 04:50pm PT
i have never reported a route.

but i took the longest fall on the Apes Wall, it was on purpose by the way, near top to bottom.

and in support of your dates, i think every inch was done long before 1991.

more like: Frost, Grigsby, Warrender, than the generation you mentioned, farthest line to the right? check with Mike Waugh, he might not be in the meadows yet.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 13, 2017 - 09:01am PT
Thanks Ed. Bump. Anyone else?
G_Gnome

Trad climber
Cali
Feb 13, 2017 - 09:29am PT
Matt Oliphant, Levy, Largo, etc. was the generation that put all the original routes in at Malibu in the early 80s.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 13, 2017 - 09:52am PT
I recall about 1985.... that was a long time ago... The Goyle telling me "one day this will be a climbing crag...."

there was still re-bar sticking out if it and the remnants of the APES sets were still sticking to it....

Levy knows for sure...





Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 13, 2017 - 03:10pm PT
I can't be definitive about FA dates for Planet of the Apes Wall, or whatever it's called.
Need to get a hold of the Gargoyle sometime soon, so I will ask.

Isn't Levy working on the guidebook?

I wrote this story, (more of a vignette) which references climbing there circa 1986, not that that date is set in stone, mind you, and I don't know if bolts were even in place when we did these routes as top ropes, but there were several of them and they were pretty challenging and quite fun!

The day a kayak bounced by our climb: held by Royal Robbins
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1031866&tn=0#msg1031866

(There is a reference in this short piece to a Guns and Roses album, Appetite for Destruction, and I just looked that up. It has a release date of July 1987, so already I know 1986 is inaccurate)

 Great shot of the Goyle there, Guy!
Craig Fry

Trad climber
So Cal.
Feb 13, 2017 - 03:30pm PT
Me and the Stahl Bros did the first Full Boulder Traverse on the Apes Wall

Everyone used to start the traverse 3/4s in, or stop there.

We worked it from the end on never chalked holds from the bottom up.
1986ish

It was cool fingering pockets never probed by human hands before.
EdBannister

Mountain climber
13,000 feet
Feb 13, 2017 - 03:34pm PT
I talked to Warrender, he did not climb at the Apes wall.

Paul Anderson, Mike Waugh, and Bill Levanthal had done a lot at purple stones just down the Canyon..

and what about Neal Captain?

by 90 when i first climbed there, there was chalk everywhere.
In 91 Mike Waugh and I rigged a fall for a movie for TV,
i was the rag doll.

EDIT: I think Jan is correct about Matt Oliphant, the tall one.


way too fat for Dave Roth.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 13, 2017 - 03:36pm PT
I started climbing there in about '88 or so. I remember seeing some locals still dusting off some holds at that time. I remember seeing a visiting Brit (may have been Wills Young) bouldering pretty high on dusty holds on what is now Monkey Sang, but that doesn't mean someone hadn't already done it or that it didn't get climbed shortly thereafter.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Feb 13, 2017 - 04:33pm PT
We boulderd and top roped the hell out of that wall in the early '80's. My mom lived in Liberty Canyon and it was a short ride/walk. Like Craig mentioned, we also worked on traversing the base as far as we could. It was fun because the base changed depending on the water flows and erosion.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 13, 2017 - 05:08pm PT
We had to have been there after summer of '88, when I acquired a pair of One Sport Frenzy climbing shoes, which I wore the day we did the top ropes at the Apes Wall. So probably fall of '88 or even into 1989. Things were still pretty crusty, but these were probably just early TR ascents ... (what StahlBro said).
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 13, 2017 - 06:33pm PT

Me... I know I was not the first to put my finger in those holes...

And to those of you that don't know... The APES WALL is all Top Ropes.

keep this up.... we might get to the bottom of this.


This fellow might have had a hand in the development.
Levy

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 13, 2017 - 06:42pm PT
Mike Guardino, Mike Paul and Matt Dancy did the first few top ropes on the Apes wall. Shortly afterwards, myself, Steve Schneider and Guardino added several more. Perhaps 10 years later, Jack Marshall did the routes on the steep, central face.

Due to its prominent position and because the Rangers were against bolting, we agreed it would be best to leave the Apes wall as top ropes. The sight of dozens of bolts would be a blight on the rock and people have respected the no lead bolt ethics there ever since thankfully.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Feb 13, 2017 - 08:18pm PT

My foot is where Guyman's left hand is in his picture.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 13, 2017 - 09:36pm PT
To elaborate on the basics which Levy just covered:

I just got off the telephone with Mike Guardino a.k.a. the Gargoyle, or simply … the Goyle.

He has recollection of the FA of four routes on the Apes Wall.
The ratings are listed as given at the time of the ascents.

These are his best recollections, just working over the telephone extemporaneously.

I'm going to run all of this by him again in a couple of days, to see if any edits are necessary.

Planet of the Apes 5.11D
FA Michael Guardino, wearing EBs, with Jeff "Yeafer” Lieberman (sp) belaying, sometime between 1980 and 1982.

Mike says he was pulling off 2 & 3 foot diameter plates of rock while climbing.
So there was no rappel inspection and cleaning, just a "clean as you go" top rope experience, probably over multiple tries. (I didn't clarify)


Pickpockets 5.11C/D
This route is left of Planet of the Apes, done at some unspecified later date, on the same day as Birthday Boy.
FA Steve Schneider, Matt Dancy, belayed by Brett Mauer, (who may or may not have climbed the route).
(Need to clarify whether Guardino climbed the route on the day of the FA)


Birthday Boy 5.11D
FA Steve Schneider, Michael Guardino, belayed by Matt Dancy, (who may or may not have climbed the route)
This route is to the right of Planet of the Apes.

It was Steve Schneider's birthday, thus the name for the route.
Steve solved the route using a fist jam at a V-slot, and the route follows a seam.


Walking on the Moon 5.11B,
FA Michael Guardino, belayed by Bob Bernholtz (sp), circa mid-1980s, after Pickpockets and Birthday Boy
Anchors for the TR were large eyebolts which had been placed to anchor a bridge for the TV series Kung Fu, starring David Carradine

Guardino said that Mike Paul was not involved in these FA's at the Apes Wall, but was involved in highball bouldering FAs in the adjacent areas.

He says he doesn't remember Dave or Rob Stahl specifically, but of course that doesn't mean he denies their activities, he just doesn't remember climbing with them, or seeing them.

Also, he believes the first complete bouldering traverse of the wall, from left to right, was done by Dale Bard, prior to 1986.
He said Dale completed the traverse all the way to the walkoff point, using a high option near the end.

What I got from Mike, is that Dale started on the left side at a Matt Dancy route called Finger Trips.
I didn't clarify the FA data on Finger Trips, and need to check that bit of my notes again with Mike.

………………………………………..

Again, this was a long time ago, and I took all of this via dictation over the telephone.
I hope to reconvene with Gargoyle in a few days to double check the particulars.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Feb 14, 2017 - 08:44am PT

It was pretty crusty when we first started going there, but we probably weren't the first ones top roping on the eye ring.

Anyway, fun place. We bouldered everything we could find around there.

G_Gnome

Trad climber
Cali
Feb 14, 2017 - 09:30am PT
Planet of the Apes is rated 'Malibu' 11a, meaning most likely about 10c by Josh and Yos standards. Most of the routes at Malibu have somewhat soft ratings. I remember the first time Waugh and I went to the Apes wall. We both down rated all the routes and Levy, et al, sent us home and wouldn't let us play anymore.
Levy

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 14, 2017 - 11:01am PT
Jan, LOL! Yep, that was back when you guys had only 3 ratings; 5.9, 5.10c and 5.11b. All routes had one of those grades assigned. Sandbagging was the norm.
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 14, 2017 - 11:23am PT
I have not seen the video yet but what medusa told me is a scene in kungfu you can see the apes wall traverse which was probably put up by Bob Kamps. 1970
G_Gnome

Trad climber
Cali
Feb 14, 2017 - 01:29pm PT
I know bill. So we had to rate them all 10c because there weren't any hard enough to rate 11b and they weren't easy enough to sandbag all the way down to 9+. I really do enjoy that place though, both the Apes wall and the lead routes up the creek. There is just something about putting your fingers in holes and pulling!
Levy

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 14, 2017 - 04:50pm PT
👍
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 14, 2017 - 05:16pm PT
?????


Time for a photo.....


Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 14, 2017 - 07:08pm PT
Another great photo of Dave Stahl at the end of the previous page, looking more bricked than almost any past or present climber!
Maybe Fred Nicole tops him in that department ...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 15, 2017 - 09:54am PT
Scans from:

Getting High in LA
A Rock Climber's Guide to the Santa Monica Mountains
By David Katz, second edition, 1992
Copyright 1990

FA data is not provided.
I have provided the FA data which I gathered from Michael Guardino a.k.a. Gargoyle.

He didn't take notes at the time, so there are probably flaws in terms of exact dates and personnel, but it's what we have to work with.

A route called Pick Pockets is not shown in the guidebook.
It's probably Finger Prints, route C.

.......................................................



......................................................

Planet of the Apes 5.11C/D
FA sometime between 1980 and 1982, Michael Guardino, wearing EBs, with Jeff "Yeafer” Lieberman (sp) belaying.

Mike says he was pulling off 2 & 3 foot diameter plates of rock while climbing.
So there was no rappel inspection and cleaning, just a "clean as you go" top rope experience, FA completed on his second try.


Pick Pockets 5.11C/D (listed as Finger Prints on the topo)
FA Early 1980s, Steve Schneider, Matt Dancy, belayed by Brett Mauer, (who may or may not have climbed the route).
This route is left of Planet of the Apes, done on the same day as Birthday Boy.


Birthday Boy 5.11D
FA Early 1980s, Steve Schneider, Michael Guardino, belayed by Matt Dancy, (who may or may not have climbed the route)
This route is to the right of Planet of the Apes.

It was Steve Schneider's birthday, thus the name for the route.
Steve solved the route using a fist jam at a V-slot, and the route follows a seam.


Walking on the Moon 5.11C
FA mid-1980s, (roughly 5 years after Planet of the Apes, Pickpockets and Birthday Boy), Michael Guardino, belayed by Bob Bernholtz (sp)
Anchors for the TR were large eyebolts (probably the "double looped bars" referenced in the guide) which had been placed to anchor a bridge for the TV series Kung Fu, starring David Carradine.

...........................................................

Given that Guardino doesn't give specific dates, and that the Stahl brothers don't furnish specific dates, but that both parties claim to have climbed there at the same time (early 80s), it's a bit of a stalemate as to the correct FA attribution for some of the routes.

Though it appears that for the first route, the namesake Planet of the Apes, Guardino was probably first because he pulled off so much large loose debris.

The Stahl brothers concede they probably weren't the first to top rope Walking on the Moon.
Guardino does say that Walking on the Moon was done roughly 5 years after the 3 earliest routes, placing its FA in the mid-80s, as listed above.

So that leaves some question, perhaps, as to FA attribution, for Pick Pockets (listed as Finger Prints on the topo) and Birthday Boy, which Guardino said were done relatively soon after the original route, Planet of the Apes, placing those 2 FAs in the early 80s (when the Stahl brothers were also climbing there).

Regarding those two routes, perhaps this reportage will help: Guardino says that for Pick Pockets & Birthday Boy, there was a considerable amount of croissant size loose flakes which the rope itself would pull loose as the routes were being worked on TR.

The evolution of the name for Pick Pockets goes like this:
The first working name was Lady Fingers, so named because the wall was littered with flakes that were like pastries or cookies, then Finger Prints, because holds could almost be made just by pressing fingers into the rock, and lastly Pick Pockets, to indicate that just the right pockets in just the right sequence was the key to success.

The rock was friable and it was always changing!
Probably still is changing!


Anecdotally, The Woody Problem is named for Jonny Woodward, who used to solo up and down as high as he could to try to figure it out. But he did not do the FA.

.................................................................

 This post includes small corrections to the FA attributions listed on the previous page, furnished today by Michael Guardino.

Still need to hear from Matt Dancy.
i-b-goB

Social climber
Wise Acres
Feb 15, 2017 - 06:55pm PT
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 16, 2017 - 07:39am PT
Yes, Little Europe.
I don't remember that name, but I was only there the one day.

Maybe that's a Dave Katz thing, but the obvious connection is a resemblance to pocketed European limestone, and places in southern France such as Cιόse and Buoux.

................................................

And i-b-goB ... a.k.a. Matt Dancy, isn't saying much, but that nice picture he just posted is of himself on the Apes Wall, looking very Euro.

Good one Matt!
G_Gnome

Trad climber
Cali
Feb 16, 2017 - 09:15am PT
At this point the routes really don't change much. The rock that is there is well worn and anything that could come off has come off.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 16, 2017 - 10:35am PT
I always remember hearing of it as Little Europe. Lived in OC at the time though, so never got a chance to check it out until much later. Well, I guess it wasn't that late (late 80s).
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