SPANKED! Cookie, Left TR


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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 21, 2007 - 01:13am PT
SPANKED! A trip report - Cookie Left

Always good to start with Roper:

The Cookie - Left Side

I, 5.10. Royal Robbins and Loyd Price, February 1968. The Cookie is a prominent, 150-foot exfoliation slab on the main wall of the cliffs, and can be seen in profile when first approaching the area. The first ascent of the slab was done in August 1958 by Chuck Pratt and Dick Sykes, who climbed halfway up the right side, then tunneled behind the slab to its left side (5.8). Climbing the entire left side involves several short, difficult cracks, beginning with a narrow, flared chimney.

In the Reid guide, it is 5.10a Pro: To 3 1/2".
The topo shows the first belay above the 5.10a "squeeze" after the 5.9 left facing corner.

This day, Saturday, we went up to check out what I thought would be a routine climb. "We" are Zander, spyork and Gary Carpenter; veterans of Gary's off-width machine. Cookie, Left is a two pitch climb, but Gary and I had the lower part, a 5.9 squeeze chimney, on the "Chimney Circuit" toprope list and had done it before. We knew that we could break the first pitch up into two short pitches, one a squeeze chimney, the other was 5.10a off-width/squeeze.

First up was Zander, on lead. Here he is just below the crux

and spyork right behind him

The chockstones wobble around a bit, but are ok, and the pro is there with out too much drama.

Here is Gary at the crux with spyork high above (well, at least 60' up) just making the careful exit moves onto the nice ledge above:

Up I went to the ledge, finding Zander already engaged in the bidness. This picture shows the entire ~40' of this part of the pitch...

that's all, folks, how hard could it be? Do you remember the scene from Monty Python The Holy Grail? you know which one:

TIM: There he is!
They all turn, and see a large white RABBIT lollop a few yards out of the cave. Accompanied by terrifying chord and jarring metallic monster noise.
ARTHUR: Where?
TIM: There.
ARTHUR: Behind the rabbit?
TIM: It is the rabbit.
ARTHUR: ... You silly sod.
TIM: What?
ARTHUR: You got us all worked up.
BEDEVERE: You cretin!
TIM: That is not an ordinary rabbit ... 'tis the most foul cruel and bad-tempered thing you ever set eyes on.
ROBIN: You tit. I soiled my armour I was so scared!
TIM: That rabbit's got a vicious streak. It's a killer!
GALAHAD: Oh, f*#k off. Get stuffed.
TIM: He'll do you up a treat mate!
GALAHAD: Oh yeah?
ROBIN: You turd! Mangy scots git!
TIM: Look. I'm warning you.
ROBIN: What's he do? Nibble your bum?
TIM: Well, It's got huge ... very sharp ... it can jump a... look at the bones.
ARTHUR: Go on, Bors, chop its head off.
BORS: Right. Silly little bleeder. One rabbit stew coming up.
TIM: Look!

As TIM points they all spin round to see the RABBIT leap at BORS' throat with an appalling scream. From a distance of about twenty feet there is a tin opening noise, a cry from BORS. A quick CLOSE-UP of a savage RABBIT biting through tin and BORS' head flies off. The RABBIT leaps back to the mouth of the cave and sits there looking in the KNIGHTS' direction and growling menacingly.

ARTHUR: Je...sus Christ!
TIM: I warned you!
ROBIN: I done it again.
TIM: Did I tell you? Did you listen to me? Oh no, no, you knew better didn't you? No, it's just an ordinary rabbit isn't it. The names you called me. Well, don't say I didn't tell you.
ARTHUR: Oh, shut up.
TIM: (quietly) It's always the same ... if I've said it once.
ARTHUR: Charge!

They all charge with swords drawn towards the RABBIT. A tremendous twenty second fight with Peckinpahish shots and borrowing heavily also on the Kung Fu and karate-type films ensues, in which some four KNIGHTS are comprehensively killed.

Run away! Run away!
ALL KNIGHTS: (taking up cry) Run away! Run away!

They run down from the cave and hide, regrouping behind some rocks. TIM, some way away, is pointing at them and laughing derisively.

TIM: Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha.

Well I had the idea that Steve Roper was our TIM, and the 5.10a bit our rabbit; Zander got the big piece just about where he is in the picture, then came down. He and spyork decided to do the "easier" 5.9 variation (also a bit offwidth, just different). SPANKED!

Then it was my turn. Maybe we can get spyork to post some ignominious images of my attempt. I managed to work out what I thought was the best left-side in technique, arm bars, gastoning the edge, knee bar and an aggressive right heel-toe. This eventually powered me, in three tries, to just below "the pod" which is the squeeze part of the story. I had the pro, a #6 Friend and an old #5 BD in a secure place, then lowered off. Maybe I had made it 35' up? about 10' to go. SPANKED!

But I was out of gas, Gary's up! He managed the group effort high point and then into "the pod." Gary has become quite the Oh-Dub master, so I thought he'd be able to unlock the secrets above. Here he is in the first crux:

The Second Crux is just beyond him, where the left crack necks down and the seam on the left continues up. Gary got a piece in high, eventually, but work as he might, didn't get the exit moves. Zander and spyork had made the top of the Cookie, had come down, and were hanging out waiting for us. Gary got an assist from above and exited, spent. SPANKED!

We should of been yelling "Run Away! Run Away!" but no sense have we...

Zander and spyork worked it on toprope, or should I say, allowed it to work them on toprope. Here is an aspect of spyork which he probably won't appreciate...

Getting to the packs I took an 800 mg pill of vitamin I, my left shoulder was complaining already. We cast away down to the VW, had lunch and a beer.

Earlier in the day Alexey and a friend spied us on the ledge, getting ready for the offwidth. The friend yelled over: "Hi, are you Ed Hartouni?" ... "Yes" in a questioning reply... "you don't know me, but I know you from SuperTopo, and since you are doing an offwidth, I figured it was you" laughing from my mates, of course, "I suppose we'll be reading about this in the Forum next week,"

and you are!

... and thanks guys for returning our sling and ring from the toprope! (They were up dancing around on Wheat Thin and all).

Anyway, we didn't make it... anyone out there have a story about Cookie, Left? By the way, Reid says 'Pro to 3 1/2"', hahahahaha.... you're a better man than I am, Donny Reid! (which is true of course).

The list has been a brutal master... and this day more than on others. But of course, sitting around licking our wounds, "hey, let's go scope out Crack of Doom and Crack of Despair," oh god, they're on the list too!

from left to right: spyork, Zander and Gary...

...and in the distance? Elephant rock and the tail end of the list (which also includes Pink Dreams and the Worst Error). Maybe I'll need surgery and have to take a year off... and come back as a sport climber...

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 21, 2007 - 01:34am PT
Total masterpiece, Ed!
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Feb 21, 2007 - 01:41am PT
Bravo again Ed! You guys are the BOMB!

Let me know if you need a 5th on the Crack of Doom, Crack of Despair, Lost Error, Pink Dream, Worst Error day.... I might just gas up the car.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Feb 21, 2007 - 01:49am PT
I remember doing the left side of the Cookie in 1969 and, if I recall, it was just horrid. But why relive old nightmares? Bravo!

Happy and Healthy climber
the Gunks end of the country
Feb 21, 2007 - 08:42am PT

Never seen this up close and personal, but in the "aspect shot" the crux does kind of look like a dihedral. Maybe?

Even looks like there are a couple feet with light shining on them just to the right of his knee.

But after all, I am just sitting here looking at a picture taken from the ground.

Ack! a white rabb


Trad climber
Golden, CO
Feb 21, 2007 - 09:14am PT
Thanks for a very entertaining TR.

Social climber
The West
Feb 21, 2007 - 09:40am PT
Moma mia!

Social climber
St. Looney
Feb 21, 2007 - 09:47am PT
Excellent. I am salivating at how fun that looks. I need to go back there soon.

Sport climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Feb 21, 2007 - 10:04am PT
Sweet TR. I vaguely remember some LB'in---I'm no purist. sport ways work well, provided you are strong enuf...warning:hard sport destroys the shoulders just like wide!

Desolation Basin, Calif.
Feb 21, 2007 - 10:29am PT
Fun day, eh?

Trad climber
Feb 21, 2007 - 11:02am PT
Just for the record, spyork and I also got SPANKED on the "5.9" variation. More fun? Run Awaaayyyy!
scuffy b

The town that Nature forgot to hate
Feb 21, 2007 - 11:12am PT
Wonderful report.
Sounds like a most entertaining day. The kind that could produce
bad memories with the wrong partners.
Casting is important!!

Social climber
Land of Green Stretchy People
Feb 21, 2007 - 11:36am PT
Argh! Not the picture!

Hmm, its only 5.9, cant be that hard, oops! Overhanging POS hand jams and no feet. No swagger was gained by myself on that day.

Nice leads by Zander on the 1st and third pitches. Very bold lead by Gary on P2. I had to lieback the top part of the damn thing. Let me try to get a couple pics up.


Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 21, 2007 - 12:05pm PT
Not having spent much time on granite, or pretty much anywhere with OW's (ok, I've probably just always looked the other way), they remind me of an old Kliban cartoon called "Futile Hurling". This kind of self-flagelation must clearly be an acquired taste where I'm guessing half the object is finding elegance,grace, and style in an otherwise enduring landscape of awkwardness, humiliation, and defeat.

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Feb 21, 2007 - 12:22pm PT
Nice TR, Ed. Good to see someone getting the biddness done. Geez, you guys are in the Valley just about every weekend. Do it!
Jay Wood

Trad climber
Fairfax, CA
Feb 21, 2007 - 12:23pm PT
Great TR. I feel both the desire to try, and also...'run awwwaaaaay'.

Don't you think that those big cams resemble Don Quixote's lance?

Social climber
Land of Green Stretchy People
Feb 21, 2007 - 12:45pm PT
I got a couple of pics I can post later. At work right now. Funny thing about offwidth, I have been getting right side in stronger by working the OW at Gary's house. I flail on left side in, need to practice more I guess.

scuffy b

The town that Nature forgot to hate
Feb 21, 2007 - 12:57pm PT
My machine will be left-side in, at least for a while, to
compensate for Gary's and for the PE crack.
Progress, though slow, does continue. No photos yet.

The City of Lost Angels
Feb 21, 2007 - 01:29pm PT
ED--Great TR and funny as...well...a Monty Python flik! The white rabbit scene comparison had me rolling on the floor.

Got to admit, those photos had my shoulders aching and skin bleeding just looking at 'em. You guys are tough, even if you did get a spankin'.

Feb 21, 2007 - 01:33pm PT
Heh I walked by that first pitch about 30 times already in the past 2 months. Yech!

Nice TR though, Ed.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 21, 2007 - 09:26pm PT
Of course there are a lot of ways to approach something like this...

It looks like a layback out of the pod to the top, mostly because you can get a big cam up in the exit crack and then pull hard for 4 to 5 moves. But even that is hard, both because of the steepness but also the shape of the crack as you exit. I gotta believe there is an "offwidth" way to grunt it out... but it wasn't apparent in all our attempts.

Also, the "dihedral" could conceivably be stemmed, but I don't have the skills to do it, there are really no features on the left side of the faces. And while it may go that way, it would be much harder than just doing classic offwidth technique.

I'd say the 5.10a section should probably be rated harder than that. But until I get it, and do a few more similar things at harder grade I couldn't really suggest a rating. And it doesn't matter anyway, the crack pros well with big gear.

The pictures of people in real pain set in a beautiful place look grand, and they might be thought to be having fun.. but we really worked that sucka all day milking every lesson we could out of it.

Why do offwidth? cause it is a Valley full of cracks, and those cracks have all sizes... so someday way off the ground you're going to get someplace that will only be doable with that technique. An unless you take those huge cams that Pete likes so much, you might not even be able to get up "french free," sometime you just gotta climb!

Apparently, not many people are willing to admit that they climbed Cookie Left... Probably a truely forgettable climb given what else is in the area. But good for a short OW problem.

Thanks for the comments and encouragement!

And Russ, I haven't got a partner yet for the romp on the elephant! so maybe I'll take you up on your interest!

Social climber
The West
Feb 21, 2007 - 09:42pm PT
I'm jonse'n the weekend I lost with (from) you guys, my bald spot would have fit right in.
I was up north checking out other options;

What an f-ing moroon I am.
Seemed to work for these sport climbers, though.

Note the belayer in down jacket And shorts!

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 21, 2007 - 10:17pm PT
Ed, point well taken relative to getting up routes with an OW component, just haven't encountered any yet. A studied avoidance no doubt. Regardless of the status of any wall aspirations I do plan on being schooled hard on a couple of these beasts when I finally make it down there. You folks look like just the crew to do the spanking. I may be begging for a lesson someday...

Social climber
Land of Green Stretchy People
Feb 21, 2007 - 10:50pm PT
Perhaps hiding from past deeds, the author shields himself from Paparazzi whilst the leader climbs on without a belay?

Gary heading up the 5.9 chimney on the sharp end

Crowds? Schmowds!!! Look at the lonely Offwidthmobile. Contrary to lore, riding in the vehicle does not grant you ability to climb 10A OW. Perhaps driving it does...

Gary on the sharp end again! Looks like he is going to make it!

Almost there!

Nice Catch Ed!

Zander Rapping from P3 anchors.

Our Doom Awaits...

Embarassing pictures of me fumbling the lead on the 5.9 alt were thankfully lost...

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 21, 2007 - 10:59pm PT
healyje offwidths can certainly be avoided, but when you walk around in the floor of the Valley looking at all the great lines, you hate to have the thought that you couldn't jump on one of them just because you don't like offwidth.

While we might be making it a fetish of sorts, if there is a point to all this, it is that there are lots of climbs in the Valley which aren't climbed. Alexey pumped us for beta on the Cookie Left as he intended to give it a go, and we were glad to oblige. But there is truely no one on these climbs, same for a whole lot of other worthy climbs.

And even though "SuperTopo" has become a verb in the climbing areas that are the subject of one of the SuperTopo books, the Forum is a great place to remind everyone that there is a whole other world out there worth playing around in... some stellar climbs that few have touched. Not great for spray factor... but climbing would be pretty bleak if spray were all it was about.

Happy and Healthy climber
the Gunks end of the country
Feb 21, 2007 - 11:32pm PT
Nice pics! Looks like he was just an inch from a helmet jam before Ed needed to catch him.

Anybody ever spike a climber after a good catch? Mix a metaphor?

This stuff looks like fun - sorta - in a perverse way. :-)

Climbing it's all fun, except when it's not. - Yogi Bear 46.
john hansen

Feb 21, 2007 - 11:33pm PT
I always enjoy your TR's Ed . Thanks

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 22, 2007 - 12:03am PT
Ed, I haven't really actively avoided OW's, just haven't run across them in any abundance of them in the areas I've been to and on the routes I've done. Hell, I only recently got on something passing for a real chimney the first time in 30 years while doing Epi in Red Rocks a bit ago. Last time I did an OW we were using CMI IBeams in it. In fact, the hollows I came up in basically had no cracks and no edges. It was mostly pockets and knobs on steep sandstone and roofs. I've learned to adapt to basalt and edgier sandstones over the years, but have never been around granitic rock long enough to really get comfortable with it.

I view the Valley sort of like Mecca or the Vatican of climbing and I've basically been bad in my faith having only made one five day trip there in all these years. I do need to get down there and grovel again as is typically my want on granite. Who knows maybe later this year if I can swing it. Like I said, I'll be looking for an OW tour guide and usually grovel in a somewhat determined silence. Crimper has the right idea - get around and try it all; just haven't had the chance between raising the girl and work...
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Feb 22, 2007 - 12:05am PT
nice pic on that one titled DOOM...... you guys are A OK!
Standing Strong

Trad climber
offices & honkytonks
Feb 22, 2007 - 01:46am PT
nice tr, thanks for sharing :)
Rick L

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Feb 22, 2007 - 03:22am PT
Well, I'm not afraid to admit having visited the dreaded Cookie Left. I don't remember much except that it was annoying- dirty as I recall. I have to smile at some of the young (and old) guns who struggle on the OW's. It is just a matter of putting in the time. The problem with OW's is that you really can't see what the hell is going on when someone is climbing. In fact, the better the climber, the more mysterious it becomes. I remember watching Barry Bates walk up to Generator Crack, stick his left side in and begin making a non-stop series of almost imperceptible moves. Like magic,he simply floated smoothly up the crack without breaking a sweat. I have also watched people struggle, gasp and generallly thrash but all it amounted to was a tutorial on what not to do. Although OW's appear to succumb to brute force, the truth is that there are many subtle techniques for arms/hands,torso, hips, legs and feet that make the process immensely more efficient and less exhausting. I recall getting an unbelievable rest more or less in the middle of the crux on the L Side of the Slack that was a product of my body size and utilizing various pressures. The rest was unavailable to my smaller and more talented partners- Dale and Alan Bard. Taking advantage of your unique body dimensions is one of those OW secrets that unfolds over time.

I think it is great that there is a renewed interest in OW's. Have fun and go get'em.


Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 22, 2007 - 04:34am PT
I think one of the most interesting aspects of OW's is just that you folks talk about them as 'left' and 'right' and many are essentially two different climbs in each orientation. Not something you run across in most venues.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2007 - 10:34am PT
Maybe a bonus feature of OW is that they do not posses a chiral symmetry (Werner edit: WTF?!). So you often get two very different climbs in one.

Gary and I noticed this on the initial setting of his OW machine, where his right-side-in worked for him and my left-side-in worked for me first, and we had to learn how to do the other-side-in over some time period. I think this is because the specific body characteristics could be different... different size foot, different joint flexibility (probably due to different injury sites), different strength.

Approaching an offwidth you are always thinking "which side in?" and you reflexively start moving gear around on your harness and your rack. This also makes for some stressful times when you realize that you have to change side-in... probably the best advice is don't take too much gear up the thing. It is probably true that they were "easier" in the old days because you didn't have a modern gear selection, so you pretty much ran out the pitch without... "technique is our protection."

I know I'm doing it right when I am mostly resting, wrong when I am panting like a dog in the august mid-day sun...
Rick L

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Feb 22, 2007 - 11:46am PT

You are right about the L side- R side issue. I have always felt much more comfortable L side in for some reason. There are a number of climbs that would initially appear to be best climbed with the obvious side facing in but, I think, are easier with opposite way. For example, the OW at the top of Reeds (right side or P 3 of the triple direct) seemed to be easier L side in so you can use the foot holds on the main wall and the L arm chicken wing seems more secure. Some climbs also seem easier if one is willing to change directions as the rock dictates- L side of Moby Dick is an example- although it is really a chimney and not an OW. You know your technique is getting there if you are able to take somewhat of a rest most of the time.


Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 22, 2007 - 12:24pm PT
Great stuff Ed! But you missed the great disconnect line when Arthur concludes that "We can't risk another frontal assault! That rabbit is dynamite!"

But full frontal assault it was! LOL
del cross

Bay Area
Feb 22, 2007 - 12:59pm PT
Hey Ed, nice to meet you and your friends.

Alexey and I will likely go back there to thrash up that nasty thing someday. I'm not sure I'd get around to it without him. He made me climb Moby Dick and Ahab in the rain on Sunday. Despite the water running down the crack Moby Dick Center was actually kind of fun. Ahab was a different story, even though it was dry in the lower squeeze. Alexey assured me that the five years that had passed since my last attempt meant that I was now much, much stronger. But as it turned out I made it the exact same six and half inches above the ledge that I did last time before admitting that I had no idea what to do.

Alexey: "Lock your upper body and move your legs. Then lock your legs and move your upper body."

Yeah, thanks...

A question: How do you protect your harness? I've ruined two harnesses by deeply abrading the webbing where it passes through the buckle by thrashing in OWs. Or maybe that's the problem, I'm thrashing?

Feb 22, 2007 - 02:53pm PT
Another TR score by Ed and co. Thanks for the cool read & pix!

Monument Manor
Feb 22, 2007 - 03:13pm PT
Jaybro - Transmoggnifier in the shade no less!

Social climber
The West
Feb 22, 2007 - 03:49pm PT
Orientational dimorphism. Lof OW's are harder/easier, dextral/synestral. Relative body part sizes can completely overlap, even eclipse, this, though.

I believe ow ratings are among the most indivually idiosyncratic of all.

Sport climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Feb 22, 2007 - 04:03pm PT
looked to me (donner) like it was that old Woodward (+ Mr Big???) R/X route "Totem Pile". heard that thing was cleaned up and sprouted some stainless. Talked to the 2nd ascent party (Bob H.) eons ago, remember him saying he couldn't believe Woodward had the wingspan to do the cruxes---Bob's 6'3 or taller.

Transmog is the chalked holds on right iirc. Nasty bizness near the horizontal...

On the OT, yeah, it's great to get your technique down for longer routes. Roughly 1/3 of salathe is fists or wider. Even classics like Higher CS sport a 5.8 flare or two...

Think yer right, Jaybro...definitely a "sized up" kind of thing--hollow flake chim (1 pitch above) felt way worse than the Flake itself. I was facing out, maybe that was the issue...
Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 22, 2007 - 04:40pm PT
Great TR and pictures, FRAT team. (I know, it's redundant.)

I have blocked that particular evil climb from my memory, or it just shoved out to make way for more recent memories.

Rick's comments about watching a master OW climber and learning nothing--except, maybe make it look easy--is right on the mark.

As to why seek out OW, quite apart from the practical issue of not being able to get up some great routes (as Ed points out), I think that it is part of the attraction of learning a very un-natural skill. Pure OW is totally unforgiving. Learning to climb OW well, even at the lowest grades, is very satisfying.

Although, there are some really nice thin cracks in the immediate area...


Social climber
Feb 22, 2007 - 05:08pm PT
I have done the Left side of the Cookie several times over the years. I did it first in 1972 when I was 17. It was one of my first 5.10 leads in the Valley. I did it with Bridwell as well in 73 as part of our FA of the Nabisco Wall. That was Jim's idea not mine! I bet we were the last two climbers to include that pitch as part of the Nabisco Wall... I never remembered it being that hard. Then a few years ago I went there with Shaggy and got completely shut down. I couldn't believe it. I was so frigging mad. I must be older than I think...
Gary Carpenter

SF Bay Area
Feb 23, 2007 - 09:00pm PT
I feel confident that Sir Jaybro can unlock the secrets of The Cookie Left.

He has the all the necessary weapons including the dreaded INVERT. He is no ordinary KNIGHT.

Sir Jaybro please join us mere mortals for a rematch after the snow melts.

Run away RABBIT run away!!

right here, right now
Feb 25, 2007 - 11:02am PT

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Feb 25, 2007 - 11:54am PT
I think we could call all those old-school off widths - from Ahab to Doom to Cookie Left to Slack Left to Edge of Night - antything from .10a to .10d (old style ratings). Even with perfect technique there's no easy way to get up any of those routes, it's just that when you're 20, the effort doesn't seem so grim.

I think I only did Cookie L Side like once and remember it being about like Reed's left side - a freaking grunt. Weren't they all like that?

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 25, 2007 - 01:13pm PT
zowie, there is something about being 20 that makes it possible, perhaps the belief that you can do it, there is nothing standing in your way.

Of course the lean, strong bodies of youth don't hurt much either!

I don't know why this has been such an epic, this offwidth circuit thing. The technique is tricky to pick up, but I definitely have a bunch more in the ol' "tool box" than at the start of it all. Whether or not I'll ever be good at it is quite aside the point. Mostly it is to spot the "most foul tempered rabit" among bits of routes, and to have dealt with them, in small, elsewhere. Which is the positive statement that other climbs are out there to climb, still, and that you can never stop learning, or getting better...

Hard on the body, these climbs, and a good reality check. My left shoulder has been in "mid-rehab" for a couple of years because of my lazy ways, after an off-route incident on the East Butt. of Mt. Whitney... a proud push that resulted from stubborness and imaginary beta and resulted in a strain. So I'm resolved now to get it together after Cookie Left reminded me.

And a wonderful sport, this, where we can go back and be evaluated against the test pieces of our youth.

Social climber
The West
Feb 25, 2007 - 01:24pm PT
"But it's got nasty pointy teeth, like this!"

Yeah after the snow melts, that would be fun. I might be able to drive if I get my axle/boot problem squared away.

Oh-oh, Blue meanies and the killer rabbit, together. Tar is making a melage of silly english movie icons and taking us to scary new heights.

I couldn't climb for spit when I was 20. Was better at mantlels though.

Social climber
El Portal
Feb 25, 2007 - 02:30pm PT
Presently pouring here in El Portal... pretty tough duty after such a great stretch of perfect weather and this thread is very entertaining!

Wish I could have wittnessed your ascent, every once in a while there are a few giving that Cookie Left thing a Go!
My friend once asked me....WHY--IDE?...but the coolest thing is you don't have to do anything for a month later except lick your wounds and stroke your shattered ego!

You fellows are proud; give me a jingle when your up to no good again!!
Russ...I've got the sofa,t.v. and beer for your recoop..and Mark...have fun at the Awards!

p.s. Tar..I want that Bunny...pleeease!



Trad climber
over yonder en th' holler
Feb 25, 2007 - 02:52pm PT
Fab TR, Ed; always good reading!!

Haven't thought about "Holy Grail" in forever, but definitely going to pick that one up this evening and watch it for the trillionth time ...!


Trad climber
Feb 26, 2007 - 11:48pm PT
Healje's wrote,
"I'm guessing half the object is finding elegance,grace, and style in an otherwise enduring landscape of awkwardness, humiliation, and defeat".
Hey man, that sounds like words to live by!

I enjoyed your pics and captions! See you next time.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Feb 27, 2007 - 01:31am PT
I've taken a lot of folks up Cookie Right as a fine climb and chimney practice. If they don't suffer too much, I often send them down the left side to TR it.

Some submit to the additional spanking, I get differing reactions. Reading this report, I guess I better subject myself to the experience so I can have better compassion for my victims

Peace and thanks for the TR


Berkeley, CA
Sep 23, 2009 - 01:03pm PT
Bump, for the weather will be turning soon and the season of the Cookie is upon us!

(I was just perusing the supertopo list of Cookie routes to get my autumn/winter vision going.)

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Sep 23, 2009 - 01:30pm PT
I see my (ridiculous) response of two years ago: "How fun that looks!"

I've learned a lot in two years... :)


Trad climber
slowly dying in the OC
Sep 23, 2009 - 02:19pm PT
Oct 1980.

Wannabe hardman (aka Barbarian) gets conned into trying the Cookie, Left by a visting Englishman - David White. White leads the first pitch easily. Young wannabe then spends the next 2 1/2 hours alternately sweating, swearing, and whimpering on toprope before being lowered to the ground with shreaded pants, shirt and skin.
The kind Englishman recounts the story in C4 that evening using phrases like "valiant effort" to describe Barbarian's groveling. Barbarian appreciates the kind words, but knows better - he too has been seriously spanked by this climb and vows never to return. I am happy to report that he kept his word to this day.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 21, 2011 - 10:39pm PT
naughty spanking bump

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 21, 2011 - 10:42pm PT
I think Linda draggd me up that one.... Or was that reed's ?

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Apr 19, 2012 - 08:05pm PT
Holy sweet TR Batman! I love the Monty Python comparisons :-D
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Apr 20, 2012 - 06:53am PT
I pee on nasty OW. From a considerable height.
They and chimneys did for my right ACL in 1978. Serious recuperation time back then. Peter Pan, especially, I loath and fear.
Being so intelligent, Ed, why do you insist in suffering so?
I don't think there is a rational answer to my question, so consider it rhetoric.
Enter Mathis, the Boy Scout, who led the Cookie Right wrong. He fired off the jam and got to the finish, only to find his rope's knot had come untied from his swami. Dodged that bullet.
The last time I tried to lead the bulge below that crack, my foot slipped and my body fell at a right angle to the rope, so I almost broke my back. This was my own fault. I was too lazy to use the leg loops that completed my two-part harness. Another bullet whizzes past. Just another in a chain of potentially deadly falls.
I'll say this, that I never fell on an OW. I will refrain from peeing on them, in future, if Ed insists on completing his list. Bonne chance, mec.

Trad climber
Washington DC
Apr 20, 2012 - 10:16am PT
I walked by that pitch for years and said why would anyone want to do that?

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Apr 20, 2012 - 12:59pm PT
Pic from Ed's archive, 1-2 years later:
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