Some Mt Woodson Classics (TR)


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Trad climber
One Place or Another
Mar 16, 2009 - 11:20pm PT


Social climber
Newport, OR
Mar 17, 2009 - 12:09am PT
Hey BVB, I'm positive it was one of the Vojtko bros that took that shot indeed...

Tucson, AZ
Mar 17, 2009 - 12:13am PT
my eyes!!!!

and think about the kittens!

poor kittens.
eliot carlsen

Social climber
San Diego
Sep 26, 2009 - 04:50pm PT
Bump for Woodson Classics. One of the Top Ten Threads of all time.
gonzo chemist

the Twilight Zone of someone else's intentions
Nov 4, 2009 - 09:41pm PT
Bump for a great old thread and awesome area.

Counting down the days until the annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage!


Mar 27, 2010 - 02:51pm PT
Bump for Greg's original Big Teaser thread.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 25, 2010 - 05:54pm PT
Ultra Classic Thread Bump!

Trad climber
san diego
Sep 25, 2010 - 07:24pm PT
Somebody was asking about Ric Piggot(maybe it was on another thread i was reading today).

I started climbing at Woodson in '71 with the RCS and spent 100's of weekends/weekdays up there up tell the mid 90's. i met Ric up there as early as '71 and discussed such dreams as climbing the "N.A. Wall" on our very first meeting...last saw him on the "Big Hill" around '89-91.

The last i heard about "a" Ric Piggot, was of a gentleman who went by that name living in the Escondido area who was exiting the I-15 freeway via an off-ramp(circular)and the truck door he was driving flew open and he, with one hand(left)on the steering wheel, reached with his right hand to attempt to pull the passenger door close. He was thrown from the car and killed.

He worked for the county(so did RP), was the same age as the Ric we know, and drove a pickup truck(so did RP). I assumed it was the RP that i new, but did not know anyone to contact at that time. I did drive down to the A-16 store, and the local R.E.I, but neither of those places/climbers employed within, had ever heard of a RP although they frequented Woodson on a regular basis.

I believe it was the mid/late 90's but could have been the early 00's that i read the story. It was reported in the S.D. Union/Tribune. I just happened upon it. I had long since lost tract of any climbing/Woodson friends. Of course someone like the Linder's(sp) would know.

But since reading these and other posts which allude to Ric being in such various places as Tahoe/Reno/LV, etc. I have come to believe it was just an eerie coincidence/some other guy with same name?

So, that is about all i know. Hope Ric is doing well/living large...

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 25, 2010 - 08:00pm PT
I talked to Rick at the first Supertopo Woodson shindig in 2007. He said he'd basically stopped climbing and was back into dirt bikes. PhantomX would recognize this, as I do, as a classic case of the 'itus'.

Trad climber
san diego
Sep 25, 2010 - 08:23pm PT
"classic case of the 'itus'..."

Not sure of what the "itus" is...

But since you Greg, along Ric and a few others were a hot topic amongst the RCS'ers who intro'd me to the finer aspects of feeling like your part of something more significant then hugging a tree(Sierra Club'ers)if you were climbing a rock instead, bitd. And you guys(Ric et al)had built a somewhat dubious...i meant to say reputable name for yourselves, and were known as the somewhat dirtbag(something i could relate to back then)climbers who went by the name of "The Poway MT. Buds"(or 'poway mt. boys' perhaps) i will put the somewhat "dubious" rumor to rest.

Great, glad to here that Ric is still alive as of '07...

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 25, 2010 - 08:41pm PT
The 'itus' is kind of an inside thing. Seeing this bumped made me read through much of it again. I'm reposting what I can consider to be the best post - by Brunosafari.

After the awkward introductions with Royal, we separated into two vehicles at Poway High School for the drive to Woodson. Goeddel and I were in one vehicle and Denny and Robbins in the other. When we arrived at Woodson, Dave and Denny and I all at once excused ourselves to piss. With Robbins safely on the other side of a boulder changing into climbing clothes Dave and I anxiously asked Denny what happened on the drive to Woodson. Denny said he "showed Robbins Tooth Rock." (For non-locals benefit, the drive from Poway valley to Woodson lends a dramatic "helicopter view" of twenty-five foot Tooth Rock perched atop a steep hill). We felt humilitaed even further and upbraided him in hushed tones and demanded he tell us exactly what was said.

Denny proudly stated he had said "That's Tooth Rock, a Poway Classic!"

Dave and I almost started to cry, realizing any hope of recovering a pittance of dignity had now been punted into the bleachers.

"What did Robbins say," we demanded.

"He said nothing."

Dave and I squeaked out the word "shit" about three hundred times while shaking double clenched fists over our heads.

The pissing counsil did not end in a double suicide however when we ascertained that Denny had somehow managed not to reveal to Robbins that our Dad had climbed Tooth Rock and also our dog, POGO, via Yosemite Big Wall Hauling Techniques.

We walked up the Woodson road a ways and came to small friction boulder. Robbins did a few warm up moves on it and then calmly spoke:

"This rock reminds me of Yosemite!"

In his mercy, Robbins had with that one gracious sentance, supplied us with enough cause for positive self-esteem to see us through all personal testings of life for the duration of life. To this day, when I tell somebody here in Oregon about Woodson, I am careful always to say something like,

"The rock at Woodson bears a striking facsimili to some characteristics of glaciated and exfoliated Yosemite granite."

For our first real climb though, we made our way to Sickle Crack, the climb we felt had aesthetic appeal, but was not too showy. Still we were a bit anxious. Dave and Denny had done the climb before, but with the benefit of a top rope. I had not climbed it yet at all. Of course Denny and Dave insisted that I go first, obviously hoping that I would make them look good.

I still consider that one of my most psychologically demanding climbs and I still refer to it for confidence when I today try to trad the Smith Rock sport routes to an audience of famous-name international quick draw artists.

I liebacked and squimmied up the off- width as gracefully as I possibly could, definitely placing the requirement of style way ahead of safety, yet I really could not even see the rock. In my minds eye, I could only see Robbins behind me trying to contain facial expressions of alternating smirks and frowns.

At that time Goeddel rated Sickle 5.8. Almost everything we climbed we rated 5.8 if we never fell and 5.9 if we sometimes fell and 5.10 if it was impossible. Maybe that provides some understanding of Woodson grades.

When I mantled the top of Sickle, I recklessly skipped and jumped down the back as fast as I could, not wanting to miss seeing Robbins climb. I made it back just in time to see Robbins execute the final mantle. It probably took him at least thirty seconds.

After Dave climbed the route and Denny declined because it was obviously now too easy, we sauntered over to the boulder and crack now known the world over as:


Less known worldwide is that previous to this incident we referred to the crack as:


That's right, none of us for even one nano-second ever imagined that crack to be a potential free climb. Instead it beaconed to us as the perfect training climb for future Yosemite nail-ups. This was not long after we had saved our milk money and bought our first precious "chrome moly Chouinard pitons. Some of them were angle pitons, up to an inch and a half, much wider than our soft iron Swiss Rings. Heck, with Yosemite angle pitons and runners hooked together like rope ladders, we reasoned anything could be climbed...even inch and a half cracks, aid syle.

"That's the way it's done in Yosemite! That's how Robbins climbed Tissaack!"

In all fairness, remember, we had never seen jam crack climbing demonstrated. We could barely conceive how one could climb an inch an a half crack by jam or lieback and still be able to place and hammer and clip a piton. It went without saying this was an aid climb and we wanted to show it to Royal for his approval. And not wanting state the obvious, none of us mentioned it was our "aid climb."

I can still recall this moment just as precisely as if I had never smoked weed.

I can still recall this moment just as clearly as when Mary Jo Fisher kissed me behind Meadowbrook School in seventh grade.

I can still recall this moment just as profoundly as when I saw each of my children being birthed, red, and roped up and covered in juice of emancipation.

We had no intention of climbing the crack, we just wanted to show it to Robbins as if to say we were aid climbers too and had places to use chrome moly pitons.

Robbins walking toward the crack. He inserted his hand. We witnessed a rhythmic cadence of blurry, ascending, and silent motion wherein he tagged the summit and then rapidly downclimbed. Upon touching the ground he took a step, tilted his head, smiled, nodded, and in perfectly even breaths, calmly remarked,

"That's a good one."

We were unable and unwilling to say a word. We were in flabbergasted shock. We could not move. We avoided eye contact with Robbins and with each other. We were enveloped in a thick fog of shame. If Robbins found out that we aided free climbs, we knew we would one day be laughed out Yosemite before we could ask a ranger the location of Camp Four. It was an understandable case of the thin ice of human pride.

Finally, Goeddel suggested we go elsewhere!

Later Dave showed Robbins a face climb problem. It involved a reach and Dave was six feet four inches I believe. To our happy amazement, Robbins had to hesitate on that move. And then it was time to go.

Robbins had unknowingly opened the door to making our dreams a possibility. By 1973 Goeddel had climbed the Nose and Denny had climbed Half Dome and I had shimmied my way up a few routes myself. But Woodson was never the same again after the cracks began to speak aloud.

Over the years I have heard quite a few disparaging remarks and have observed some lofty attitudes and tones of judgement toward Royal Robbins. For me they are explained my the injustices of history when taken out of context. Like when I bouldered once with the great face climber, Bob Kamps, Royal Robbins will always be to me a personal, touchstone of greatness. I will never forget his kind, even respectful attitude toward we dufuses, and the inspiration of his climbing style. At the same time, I recall Robbins never actually stood atop the Robbins crack. What a frikken' poser, man!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 25, 2010 - 08:51pm PT
Outstanding slice of history!

I bet Robbins would have topped out if he knew it was the FFA. LOL

Trad climber
san diego
Sep 25, 2010 - 09:39pm PT
Thanks for re-posting this veritable classic by Bruno. Here's my favorite line:

"I can still recall this moment just as precisely as if I had never smoked weed."


I remember one story about either your(Greg Cameron), Dave Goeddel's, or possibly Ric's younger brother soloing up Robbins Crack(to the very top, lol)and taking a fairly good ground fall whilst down climbing it. I believe he broke/sprained his ankle or something? I remember the first time(and every time for that matter)thinking about that story while initiating those first few moves on the descent.

Robbins is a good bloke. George M. told me loads of great stories about RR. He use to work for Royal as a guide, and thought the world of him. I only met RR(more like crossed paths with him)a couple times. Saw him solo allot of the stuff we were getting roped up for on several occasions. And on one 5.10 that he was on-sight soloing(a new climb at nob wall)down climbed from the crux(about 80ft.)after asking one of us if we would care to belay him on the climb.

Incredible what his generation of climbers achieved. The free climbs at Tahquitz, and walls like the Salathe' where retreat or rescue from the upper half was NOT an option/possibility.

BTW, where ever i/we went, whether it was Woodson/Corte Madera/Tahq-Suicide/JT, and later the Valley if we heard the PMB's had done it then we had to try(emphasis on try).

Sep 26, 2010 - 12:56am PT
Great story, Greg. Nothing like nice aid cracks.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 27, 2011 - 05:47pm PT
Big Ole Woodson Bump!

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Nov 20, 2013 - 09:52pm PT
Enjoy the ride Burch!

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 20, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
TripL7 - Thanks for re-posting this veritable classic by Bruno. Here's my favorite line:

"I can still recall this moment just as precisely as if I never smoked weed."


thaDood - Woodson Rules...bump!
Right on, bro!!!

edit: btw, whatever happened to 'TripL7 & thaDood? Haven't heard from them in ages. Oh yeah, thaDood got booted. lol

BUT, me thinks 777 is lurking, laying low, so to speak, Both bad ass Woodson doods bitd, imho, btw! ;)

Social climber
May 5, 2014 - 06:15pm PT
Bump, just because I just re read the WHOLE THING. time to get some actual work done now...

Trad climber
May 5, 2014 - 06:35pm PT
Just browsed through the tread, lot of cool posts

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Jul 18, 2014 - 08:31pm PT
Hmm, I'll be down there at the end of the month (31st), I an eager to see some of this. Anybody around there on Sat/Sun? We're driving down from the Bay so I have a weird timeline. We'll be around through Wednesday but it's family trip, so things are up in the air.

San Diego!!!!

(I'll be camping and then staying with family near the Naval Base on Coronado).
Messages 321 - 340 of total 344 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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