An early ascent of The Right Side of the Folly

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 20 of total 23 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Original Post - May 20, 2007 - 09:29pm PT
In 1973 or 74, soon after Dale Bard, Kevin Worrall, and Jim Bridwell climbed the Right Side of the Folly, Kauk and others organized a mass assault.

I cannot remember who else was along. There must have been five of us, I think. At the base, everyone started 3rd classing up to security ledge. I think that someone finally trailed a rope, because I did not climb 5.9 third class. Ron led the crux pitch--I am sure that he had done it previously. I don't remember who followed Ron, but there are several pictures below--maybe someone will recognize who it is. When I followed the pitch, Ron belayed and watched intently. The guys on the ledge were very quite. I was the old guy--even then (in relative terms)--and they probably were curious. I stopped mid-way up and announced, "This is hard." I think everyone was relieved--I was still breathing.

I lead the flake pitch above. I didn't leave any protection out on the flake so I had plenty of rope to combine the hand crack above.

These pictures are all butt shots--state of the art at the time. Black and white, shot with my Rollie 35. All nuts, all swamis.

Great climb.

Anyone else remember this particular ascent?

Roger


Ron Kauk leading off


Kauk leading


Kauk leading


Unidentified second

Unidentified second

Unidentified second

Unidentified second

Unidentified second

Unidentified second

Security at long last






Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 20, 2007 - 10:10pm PT
Cool shots of P2. What is that hanging below the mystery man?
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2007 - 10:11pm PT
Hi Steve,

I think it is Ron's sweater.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 20, 2007 - 10:12pm PT
Awesome, Roger!

That climb looks so lovely! The most recent rock falls happened before I was climbing much, so I've never been over there. All of these pictures and fond memories that you guys are sharing make me think it's really worth the risk.
yo

climber
The Eye of the Snail
May 20, 2007 - 10:27pm PT
Nice! As you recall, Buzz, I was the Unidentified Second.

That flake pitch is sure a sporty number. Pretty sure now that I backed off that mama. Actually very sure, because I don't know what the handcrack looks like. As far as I remember. I think that was 1997, sort of a long time ago, although after the invention of color.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2007 - 10:36pm PT
Cool, Ryan.

That would explain why I cannot remember--hee, hee.

So are you like the male version of 'Orlando,' living well before your time? Was you sister even born in '74?

Buzz

Melissa, I have not seen the damage done by the rock fall--part of my future history. The Folly was not the hardest climb in the Valley at the time, but it was one of the most satisfying climbs I ever did. I think of it as the precuror to the Rostrum and Astroman--long, steep, power corners. And the flake pitch is wide--not hard, just kick ass fun.
seamus mcshane

climber
May 20, 2007 - 11:28pm PT
Great pictures, Roger despite the butt-shots. My wife and I were visiting the Valley in 2000? when the slide occured which reached the road. Amazing echoes off the cliffs from over at Chapel Wall. The road was closed past Camp 4 to the meadow bridge. and my wife and I rollerbladed that section of road for hours, examining the aftermath and relatively small cleanup.

I will always remember the before and after imagery conjured up and how thankful we were nobody was killed.

Thanks for the historic photos, IMHO threads like these are what draws me to the TACO. :)
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
May 20, 2007 - 11:47pm PT
Hi Roger -

Thanks for posting those! Don't forget Ron was on the FFA with us. Guess he really liked it if he went right back with you all.

People talked about freeing that for a long time and never got around to it until I cleaned the start of the lieback. Looking back, it seems crazy that a route so obvious and so close to camp would be unexplored as a free climb as late as '74 or whenever that was. There were lots of harder things around as you said. I think the overall route was simply intimidating due to its scale and steepness, and what delayed it going free is what makes it so good as a free route.

The Valley still holds lots of undone freeclimbs, lots of em, like The Right Side of the Folly, will be easier than the existing hard freeclimbs when someone has the vision and the gumption to do them.

Before Bridwell and I did the Crucifix, Bridwell told me he had a name for the route already and that I didn't have to bother trying to come up with one. Not much later, After the FFA of the Folly I suggested to him that we call the free route the Good Book, as it was open towards camp and all our fellow climbers, and had such a benevolent nature, in spite of its fearsome appearance. He grinned a big Bridwell grin, with those long pirate style creases down his cheeks and said "I like it!".



yo

climber
The Eye of the Snail
May 20, 2007 - 11:48pm PT
Dude, I was born in '74. Man that was forever ago. I should go on the Taco and hang with geezers.

Cool TR, Buzz.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
May 20, 2007 - 11:55pm PT
Bridwell was already a geezer in '74 or so it seemed.

Could never figure how he had a new little hottie every season...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 21, 2007 - 12:04am PT
A very fine plum to have picked Kevin! One of my favorites for sure. Step, stuff, slide, slide. Step, stuff, slide, slide and lock. I like it too!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 21, 2007 - 12:13am PT
I agree, but then again so many routes sat about like this back then. And some sit today as well, honestly.

Here are two shots of Chris Vandiver and I on a very early ascent a year later:





Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 21, 2007 - 12:27am PT
Great images Roger, thanks for the story... right now I'm glad I like being the token "old geezer" (when it happens), a good thing since I'm not going to be "young turk" anytime soon (or again).

Is this the initial post of the newly scanned Breedlove photo archive?
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
May 21, 2007 - 12:32am PT
Those are some great shots Peter! Look at the Diver running it out on the lieback!

We were shocked when Bridwell led the roof pitch and disappeared into the cave below the flake- It looked like a magic trick from below. That pitch looked so hard, and turned out to be the easiest.
yo

climber
The Eye of the Snail
May 21, 2007 - 01:23am PT
I like to make cracks about old men but these pics are timeless. Could've been yesterday. Also noticing that the GB technique isn't very photogenic--everybody's buttscuzzing their way up the thing. Except Kauk in that second shot, back stepping on nothing. Killer.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 21, 2007 - 09:14am PT
Thanks Warb, yeah I loved that roof pitch so much to! And the whole route of course. As you ascend the crux lieback (5.10d) lead you are also worried about this next pitch, it appears so threatening. But it's 5.8 at most and awfully playful. This photo shows also the alternate crack that actually was hard, going out over the roof "assembly" on the left, 5.11. The Bachar/Sorenson start to that route was really hard btw, and kind of scary. But way better scheme for starting such a great route since the regular first pitch is so junky. And people should do Wild Thing more often, it is a pretty amazing route at least up to the squeeze after the undercling/roof.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - May 21, 2007 - 10:35am PT
Hey Kevin, when I was checking the pictures and preparing the post, I referred to the Yellow Meyer's guide. I will have to see if the later editions had the "Good Book" name and include Ron in the FFA. I think that my brain must have been fried last night since I used to know that Ron was on the FFA and I have always referred to it as the "Good Book." A great name, I might add.

You know, Kevin, Jim’s facial creases are part of the tectonic plate phenomenon in California. Seen him lately? There is a ‘big’ one building. (Hee, hee. Sorry Jim.)

As cool as the power corner 2nd pitch is, it is not very photogenic--all butts or heads. I like the picture of Peter on the flake pitch. If I remember correctly, you can work along that flake above your head, way out to the right and then grab the top of it and work back into the corner--easy climbing but spectacular. Ron was a bit upset that I didn't put any thing in after I left the corner--he didn't want to catch me if I whipped out. Probably heart-felt concern for my safety as opposed to any concerns about his hip belay and anchor. Ummm?

Hey do you guys remember Ron's sound effects and miming of long whippers, when he would create a wind whistling noise and pull his hair straight and billow his shirt sleves up as if dropping through space. It was always funny when he did it--the miming part.

In answer to your question, Ed, I found that it was relatively simple to post once I had scanned the images--these were from negatives. The scanning it is a real pain if I do any thing other than use the un-cropped, un-edited first pass. I will try some more.

Also, Ed do you mind welcoming Ryan (Yo) to the geezers ranks? It really is just a frame of mind and Ryan just cannot sustain that youthful, over-the-top exuberance any more. At least honorary status.

So no one recognizes the 2nd?
bachar

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
May 21, 2007 - 10:37am PT
Peter - cool shots! That reminds me of when Yabo tried to free solo it. He fell right about where that first piece is in the top photo!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 21, 2007 - 11:18am PT
Wonderful old pics and tales gents!
Werner was speculating about the famous Yabo solo on the other thread. Do you remember if he even trailed any ropes to help get down? Or was it just the boy and his gland at grips with adventure again? Sure was lucky that spike bucket showed up to latch on the way by or it was hamburger heaven for the Lad! LOL

Anyone remember Yabo's magic ride in the downhill running event during the Survival of the Fittest competition way back when?
bachar

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
May 21, 2007 - 11:37am PT
Steve- yeah, he was solo, no rope. I guess he was going to down climb it too. He told me he fell and landed on the ledge perfectly, then he down climbed the first pitch!
Messages 1 - 20 of total 23 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews