SPANKED! Cookie, Left TR


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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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