space station


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Gnome Ofthe Diabase

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

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as re-writing 70s Yosemite history, the Stonemaster Book was never meant to be, nor did we ever posit the thing as a historical document.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...

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

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.


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?

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.

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.

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.

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

Flip Flop

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.

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.

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


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

right here, right now
Apr 27, 2018 - 10:12pm PT
Two more threads:
Off White

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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