space station

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Messages 1 - 57 of total 57 in this topic
chefer

Trad climber
Altadena, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 27, 2017 - 09:50pm PT
what a special place. have met many a interesting character up in that little hole in a rock. Sitting in there at sunset, having a good conversation with people you've never met and will probably never see again... it really is something
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 28, 2017 - 09:30am PT

Me and Yabo smoked a dewbie near there

One could say that about almost any spot in JT... :>)

Warbler.... you think?

A very special place for climbers.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 28, 2017 - 10:44am PT
Warbler, to be specific, the "you think" was directed towards your statement about greatest climbing contribution, not the fact you were the first, Dean told me it was Largo.....

I remember Dean showing me the way into the space station in 1974... it was a known fact that only climbers ever visited the place... the special few bold enuf to free solo into it.

We knew we were out of reach from the tools and you could relax, blaze and keep tabs on the goings on in HVCG.

I guess now days people get rescued from it, probably has bolted rap anchors to boot.

I haven't been to it in ages, You?
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Apr 28, 2017 - 10:46am PT
My brother and I got in there early 70's with our stepdad, JW. Not sure of the date, but I don't recall him having a name for it. He had been in there before.

Here is a picture of "testing" some homemade gear in the vicinity.


That is me in the goofy sweater
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Apr 28, 2017 - 11:45am PT
The park service has tried to seal it up with rocks. Some idiots decided it would be a good idea to "enhance" them with more paint ;-(

guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 28, 2017 - 12:25pm PT
Largo would never stretch the truth, Guy 😆

No-way... the man is a journalist, the keeper of the record. HoHo-Man


StahlBro.... looks like you had one quality upbringing.

good times.

skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
Apr 28, 2017 - 12:28pm PT
Some poor Mojave indian on peyote probably ended up there around 600 ad.
dee ee

Mountain climber
Of THIS World (Planet Earth)
Apr 28, 2017 - 01:52pm PT
My first time in there was possibly '73 but definitely by early '74.

I would be surprised if folks hadn't been in there decades before. People tend to forget how hardcore the pioneering types were back in the day.

The first visit could have been by Bill Keyes or maybe Norman Clyde!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 28, 2017 - 01:57pm PT
Warbler,
Great story about the sunset and missile contrails from Space Station Number One!
Thanks for sharing.
10b4me

Mountain climber
Retired
Apr 28, 2017 - 02:42pm PT
One wasn't a real climber unless they climbed it at night, during the dark side of the moon.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Apr 28, 2017 - 03:34pm PT
Certainly possible that people had ventured up there before, but then again maybe not. If Woody were still around, he might be able to offer a pretty strong opinion. Regardless of the places that white folk think they were the first to tread, I always feel pretty certain believing that Native Americans or some other hardy settler had been there before. All kind of cairns and artifacts found on top of peaks in the Sierra and Wind Rivers. Heck, the first people who thought they were the first to climb Warlock Needle (no easy summit there) found a cairn on top.

I probably first went up there with Eric Held just out of high school, though it could have been with Bob Cox (the Kid--one of many with that nickname) or Bob Critchfield, may be even Nabolsi.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 28, 2017 - 04:08pm PT
I remember a "Ulysses Bivouac" that the "Desert Rats" used.....

but I will go with Warbler's claim .... I mean one must "climb" with exposure to make it to the slot.

I can't see some sourdough pioneer angling to get up their.

StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Apr 28, 2017 - 04:24pm PT
John W used to hang with Woody a lot back then. I would be pretty surprised if they both weren't up there in the late 60's.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Apr 28, 2017 - 04:37pm PT
While I agree with Stahlbro, Guy makes an interesting point. If they had climbed up there, it might have made it's way into that old orange guide (I think the one before it was red, but that's before my time) and I don't remember seeing it in there. It was a pretty slim guide back in the day. That classic shot of a young Woody on the Waterchute...
F10

Trad climber
Bishop
Apr 28, 2017 - 04:39pm PT
I remember having a lot of great times in there.
Always a good time
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Apr 28, 2017 - 04:55pm PT
I have the original 1970 guide that John gave me, along with all the rest. My mom married John the year it was published. There were a lot interesting things that never made it in there.
The great thing about JT back then was the fact that many things were done and not talked about much outside of the circles of friends. That allowed for people to keep having adventures ;-)

I witnessed some of the old school do some pretty good stuff in Pivetta Cortinas and gym shoes.

Peace out.


StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Apr 28, 2017 - 06:59pm PT
Hi Kevin,

John is still alive, but my mom and John divorced quite a while ago. My mom has passed away.

I may be working on a historical project for JT climbing, and as part of that I will contact John again. I will make a note to ask about the Space Station. I will also check with my brother Dave and see what he recalls.

Edit

Saying there was little to talk about except what a particular group was doing seems a little harsh.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Apr 28, 2017 - 07:21pm PT
Got it.

Cheers.
F

climber
away from the ground
Apr 28, 2017 - 08:51pm PT
Doo Doo Head

Ice climber
Doo Doo Land, just past Feces Town

Apr 28, 2017 - 08:47pm PT
I could see some crazy desert hermit going berserk up there with a sniper rifle

Let's not give Cosmic any ideas, mmkay?

Raise your hand if you got a BJ at twilight up there....
Yeah dawg...
F10

Trad climber
Bishop
Apr 29, 2017 - 09:00am PT
In addition to Space Station One there were others.
If I remember right Space Station Two is where the Hobbit Hole is. It involved traveling more distance, being high could be quite challenging at night. One memorable time was at night in a snow storm. Once in the hole we didn't want to leave, going back into the harsh conditions to try and find camp.
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Apr 29, 2017 - 10:01am PT
rincon

climber
Coarsegold
Apr 29, 2017 - 10:50am PT
Is there a record for the number occupants at one time? I've been up there when it was crowded on a few occassions.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Apr 29, 2017 - 12:14pm PT
The Space Station is a classic hang, many climbers have great stories to tell about this hang. No doubt that Kevin was the first to bestow the "Space Station" name and certainly put it "on the map" for climbers. But, it is none too difficult to reach, so it is likely that someone ventured up there previously.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Apr 30, 2017 - 08:07pm PT
Cosmic...I've got some slides of Don Okelly following Okelly crack somewhere.. Might have to go digging..Don's father did the Eiger...rj
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 30, 2017 - 08:49pm PT
Anybody remember Lou Bartlett? He was one of E's sidekicks.

One morning, late 70s, E and Lou and I dropped and Lou took us on a merry jaunt he called "the observatory tour".

It started in The Outback IIRC, and went deep into the Wonderland, linking up a series of hollowed out rock formations much like the space station. The first was like a Flintstone house. Hollow on the inside with an actual window you could peer out of. The second was shaped like a giant mushroom and had a hole in the top you could stick your head out of. The third was all the way out by Uncle Willie's.

This picture of BVB might be of the last one, although I recall it was bigger.

Photo credit BVB or maybe Off White.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 30, 2017 - 08:58pm PT
I think the old orange Wolfe guide has a picture of Don O'Kelly hanging in front of his namesake climb from the end of a rope, either from a bowline on a coil or a one-inch tubular swami. He looks uncomfortable!

Actually went out there one day with Mooney and Mr. O'Kelly. Neither of us could get up the route at the time, but it was fun to be there with Don holding the rope for us!
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
May 1, 2017 - 03:51pm PT
That's the one Roy, you could crawl way back up in there until you were out of sight. I can date that photo to 1975 because I'm using the Hot Line Bong. Mike Paul and I got a hold of a bunch of really good Oaxacan reefer one spring, and climbing took a backseat to making bongs and doing bonghits for the next few days. We had all this perfectly cured bamboo in different diameters, a few fine woodworking tools and widgets, and smoking hardware we bought at The Black in OB. For the Hot Line Bong, we snipped the photo from Mountain Magazine showing Kauk and Bachar's line from the FFA, put several coats of varnish over it, waterproofed and waxed the interior, and it made for one hell of a great little crag bong. I eventually traded it to Alan Nelson for a bunch of Acid. Good Times!

Kyle's first trip to the Space Station, guided by Middendorf!


Rager T-Day feast in the site right below the Space Staion

Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
May 1, 2017 - 05:33pm PT
Great picture Brassnuts!

I have never been in the Space Station.... Though I have ever gone up close to look at the way, and I have never seen anyone actually climbing in or out(they just always seem to BE in there), that bit going towards the opening makes me afraid. Worse is the idea that maybe I would do it and be scared, but get in, and then be too scared to try getting back out!

Craig Fry

Trad climber
So Cal.
May 1, 2017 - 05:50pm PT
There was only one Iron Door Cave

The history of the IDC has not been accurately documented
many conspiracy theories exist, is there any consensus ...
maybe some one knows.

Is there a bolt still there to hang your lantern?
I heard some folks slept inside for fun during a rainstorm?
but the rain seeped in the cracks in the sides,
the state of sound sleeping is definitely not guaranteed while inside the IDC
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 1, 2017 - 07:01pm PT
IDC had a weird vibe. It was cool in small doses. I preferred the Hobbit Hole and Peyote Cracks area. Every time you emerged from the HH, it seemed like you had been born again.

And then the Wonderland beckoned.

StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 1, 2017 - 07:14pm PT
I hear that. The Grey Giant was my initial cactus experience, whoa Nelly!
chefer

Trad climber
Altadena, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 1, 2017 - 07:58pm PT
What is this iron door cave? I'm familiar with the hobbit hole and I know about the peyote cracks but have never heard of the off. Can someone expand upon that for a bonafide n00b like myself?
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 1, 2017 - 08:06pm PT
iDC is several hundred yards north of the main loop of Hidden Valley CC. It is a hollow boulder with an iron door on the right side as you approach it. It is not that obvious. No one is sure why the door was put there.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 1, 2017 - 08:40pm PT
I have heard 1 and 3 Cosmic ;-)
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
May 1, 2017 - 09:01pm PT
I'm surprised that chefer hasn't heard of Iron Door Cave. Last time I was there we walked past a big line of tourists streaming out of HVCG asking where it was. Some one flapping their lips and photos on social media no doubt.
chefer

Trad climber
Altadena, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 1, 2017 - 10:11pm PT
Fat Dad (it feels strange to adress someone in such a way), im not too "in the loop" on social media so I havent come across any mention of it in that realm. I was first shown the space station by a climbing partner i met in the HV parking lot earlier in the day. He wanted to go smoke a joint in there and i tagged along for the view. Im slightly disiappointed the iron door cave seems to see regular traffic. I guess the best way to find a cool seclueded spot like that is just to go out and explore..
chefer

Trad climber
Altadena, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 1, 2017 - 10:37pm PT
Cosmic, that sounds like a trip! Whereabouts is this chasm?
chefer

Trad climber
Altadena, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 1, 2017 - 11:45pm PT
A chasm guide? It cant be too hard to navigate alone can it?
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
May 2, 2017 - 01:10am PT
chefer, the chasm is strictly a night-time affair, and at night it's still possible to get disoriented, if you've done it a gazillion times. the entrance can be really hard to find in the dark. it's easier to do the chasm on shrooms, or acid. i've tried both and i think shrooms are the better vision enhancers -- those blown out, dinner-plate pupils are like military grade night goggles! flashlights are artificial aid, and regarded as poor form and lacking in style.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 2, 2017 - 08:07am PT
If you do the chasm, you have to try the Oven. Not good if you are claustrophobic. You definitley need a guide for that one, because it is good to have some one drag you out by the feet if you get stuck.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
May 3, 2017 - 09:06pm PT
The original is always betterin all ways
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 5, 2017 - 11:24am PT
I have no idea who was first to hang out in the Space Station and I don't recall the first time I was in it. Nor do I remember who was first soloing the old standards like Double Cross, Dogleg, etc. Seems like it would be hard to establish who did what and when. I started climbing a lot out there during my senior year in high school and after a few dozen laps on the standard Hidden Valley routes, the soloing just happened as a matter of course. I can't honestly recall the first time I soloed any of those routes, just that I did. I certainly can't remember the first time I ventured into the Space Station. With such an obvious venue, someone must have stumbled into the place in the 50s or 60s, but like so much Josh history, nobody knows for sure.

And so far as re-writing 70s Yosemite history, the Stonemaster Book was never meant to be, nor did we ever posit the thing as a historical document. It's just a bunch of stories by people who were climbing back then. Much of the history was not so much omitted, rather never written up in the first place otherwise it would have been included. And the book was not made for bragging rights, but as a nostalgic look back at a charmed time in California climbing, shared by dozens of folk who loosely called themselves Stonemasters. Trying to codify any of that into history was besides the point of experiences shared together. One of those experiences was hanging in the Space Station. Ragging on and on who was first knocks the shine off the thing - at least for me - because nobody cared back then. The magic was just being there, wondering how we were made to be alive.

I can't even start to list all the new routes Richard and I did in then-remote and now popular areas and never wrote up, and which now are named and claimed by people who were still in their pappy's pecker when we were groveling around out at Lost Horse or wherever. As much fun as I had out at Josh I always looked at it as a training ground for Yoz. Had I known it was going to catch on as a go-to winter playground for climbers the world over, I would have tried harder and kept better notes. All that bleeding glory, now lost, like so much grain under an old PA.

High times...
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
May 5, 2017 - 11:53am PT
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 5, 2017 - 12:02pm PT
Hey Largo,

Didn't you go to The Oven with us way back when?

I seem to dimly recall an episode.

Cheers,

Rob
Craig Fry

Trad climber
So Cal.
May 5, 2017 - 02:13pm PT
Largo is correct
No one can know who did what first.
We were all doing new and old things so fast that none of knew what was done when.
I do suspect that Kevin was the first one to call it the "Space Station"
which was the usual lexicon for the cave in the local circles

what about "Space Stations" 2-5?
I sure don't know which one was what, those designations were very tentative and lost over the years of disuse


Here are some more theories on the Iron Door Cave
1) Miners built it to hide their gold booty
2) Aliens built it in the year 1000 BC with the help of native Indians so they could weather storms
3) John Muir hid in the cave on his secret visits to Josh
4) Tesla filled the cave with capacitors and then hit the area with microwaves to see how much energy can be transferred through solid rock
5) When Jesus came to California after he was first resurrected, he used the cave to resurrect again for the Book of Mormon
6) Mexicans used the cave while traveling the underground railroad to the sanctuary City of San Francisco to escape the ICE deportation raids

The door could very well be of alien origin, the metal used has no counterpart of metal known to man!


I can smell those mushrooms from here.
It's a musty sour smell, not the regular grocery store mushroom smell
Is that photo see and smell?
chefer

Trad climber
Altadena, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 7, 2017 - 10:54am PT
Went into the space station one last time yesterday. Its starting to get too hot out in JT now.

It was a fun and mellow day and I taught my boulderer friend how to do some real climbing (he climbs v10). We got on Walk on the wild side (surprisingly the only people on it) and watanobe wall.
chefer

Trad climber
Altadena, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 7, 2017 - 06:25pm PT
Cosmic, I followed the first pitch so I didn't belay out of that cave. However, it did seem much nicer than my hanging belay on the second pitch. I believe I got off route on p.2 and got into some challenging terrain when I looked over and saw the anchors about 25 feet directly to the left! A sigh of relief was had by me after I did a somewhat spicy traverse over to the anchors.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
May 7, 2017 - 08:34pm PT
Kyle, Thanksgiving, 2002

I think being in the space Station with people you love makes you happy. Just a theory, mind you.

Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
May 7, 2017 - 08:55pm PT
From back when the hotties and the SheepBuggerers were ruling the roost out at Josh...

The Space Station was the perfect place to heckle the Rangers from... they would come by on the 10PM rounds and the station would be full, and I'm talking FULL of people. Most were loaded with the most high powered flashlights obtainable on a High Schoolers wage... The Rangers would pull into the B Loop and then get blasted from the Station... We are talking a few million candle power plus. You should have seen them Rangers pasted in the squad car, like go go dancers in a cage! Too funny....

Then they would get out and hard ass us to come on down... so naturally everyone went to the summit and waited them out. At the time the maximum skill-set of the Rangers was to maybe get on top of the Blob in the dark. No way they could summit Chimney Rock. Way too dicey. The summit was safety and they were short on time.

During one raid, 13 people exited the Station and bailed like rats off a sinking ship to every known downclimb. Those that were caught, ended up going to see the Magistrate on a bevy of trumped up charges. The usual charges of littering, quiet hours violations, minors with alcohol, and endangering ones self. They knew the charges would never stick, but it did make you go to 29 Palms in July, so I guess they won, though never in court.

Ahhh... youth.
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
May 7, 2017 - 08:55pm PT
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
May 7, 2017 - 09:08pm PT
^^^^^^

#HippyShit
Flip Flop

climber
Earth Planet, Universe
May 7, 2017 - 09:28pm PT
Honored to be on the page. I dwelled in a cave near old 34 site and got dragged in posse through the chasm and into the space station. I knew that night that climbers were a rare and dangerous breed.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
May 7, 2017 - 10:14pm PT
Who can forget their first time up? Pulling into Hidden Valley Campground, the eye almost instantly drawn in, a breathtakingly charismatic tribal shrine, binding generation after generation of Joshua Tree National Monument climbers with a powerful and shared communal experience. The Space Station Hang -- God surely created that space for people seeking deep spiritual communion with the desert, using a powerful chemical assist. On those magically repetitive weekend sojourns, rolling in late to a half-empty Hidden Valley Campground, Getting out of the truck, stretching the aching, road-hardened bones, getting the camper ready for sleep -- all mere preludes to climbing into space station to scroll a fattie with your cragging buddies, that was the moment when the oh-so-needed fourty-eight hour weekend moving meditation with boulders and desert light and desert light on the boulders, or relaxing in camp or at a crag with friends and tribal members and scenesters of every stripe, -- a crazy jambalaya of untamed immortals whose actual numbers were so small we they would have barely fill a Greyhound bus. It was the quality, not the quantity, made the white-hot and luminous.
Bushman

climber
The state of quantum flux
May 18, 2017 - 10:25am PT

The Hidden Valley Space Station
(A true story)

Seventy million years ago
The Krackonians of Krab Nebula
Fled their planets near the Pulsar
With their fearless leader Zebula
They crash landed near the rocks
Amongst the choyas and datura
And subsisted on these substances
And sported their fedoras

Accross the valley the Gowanobees
Were at war with the Nehrdoowellians
But the superior Kackonians
Kept a distance most Orwellian
Their visions of the future
Gave a portent of the Marlboro Man
So they kept a watchful eye
With the situation well in hand

And there Among the boulders
Wandered Anasazi shape shifters
Giving homage to the travelers
Those kindred celestial drifters
Once the long lost Encaladians
From their home near distant Saturn
Whose spirits had been transported
Through the dust and cosmic matter

And Kokopeli was in their company
With his muse of the hour
With the strength of Sacagawea
A mystic woman of great power
They stole away from their dimension
Through a portal on a cliff face
To distant cosmic destinations from
This portal through all time and space

Oh beware the JT space station
Lest you live to regret the choice
And be haunted by their souls
When you hear the traveler's voice
For no matter what your poison
Their message will become clear
As the years temper the memories
Of their whisperings in your ear

-bushman
05/18/2017
cavemonkey

Ice climber
ak
May 18, 2017 - 10:29am PT
Fitting that one stares at left ski track beckoning to be climbed
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 27, 2018 - 10:12pm PT
Two more threads:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2504177/How-to-get-to-the-Space-Station-in-J-Tree
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/443811/Josh-Space-Stations
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Apr 28, 2018 - 11:29am PT
Thanks for linking all these together Roy, I knew one of them had my old pic of Bob and the bong, I reckon that was the one he referred to as Space Station 9. Naming things is a funny power, I did some of that back when I wrote a San Diego guidebook in 1978. Perhaps my best work was the boulder at Santee that is still referred to today as The Buttplug.
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