Old Geezers! (Yes you!) Write up your FA Stories and tidbits

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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 4, 2007 - 12:40am PT
A number of years back I thought of creating a First Ascender Registry where first ascent parties could record their thoughts, feelings, ethics and experience of their climb. It would also be a resource so in the future, when we're all dust, future generations might look back and understand why you ran it out, why you rap bolted, and why you do or do not want your route to be changed in the future as ethics evolve/devolve. It almost got off the ground at RC.Com but the devil was in the details.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=20192

I would definately suggest this to all the first ascenders of routes covered by supertopo. In the route beta section of supertopo, post a few tibits or a story of your route. How you felt about it, what ethics went into it. Anything. Make the history more alive.

Also, before you get even more senile, write up some stories and tidbits of various routes you created. Doesn't have to be a publishable epic. Just interesting and historical stuff like gets posted on supertopo all the time. Historians will google it later. Also contact Chicken Skinner (Ken Yager) for all historical and hysterical yosemite route info. He's doing a museum and it includes information. I'm exhausted, somebody post his address.

This is a unique sport in that the pioneers are still around. Tell us what you thought and what you think. It's a somewhat unique opportunity in the history of a sport where the myths and realitiies can actually be compared right from the horses mouths.

Peace

Karl
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jun 4, 2007 - 01:13am PT
Please, Michael;...it's just a climb; Friendship goes WAY beyond the silliness of climbing, and you know it. AND , we have been friends since you were 14...not 15....(Get your facts straight.....). I still consider you my friend, and always will;....I learned what it was like to be a climber from you;....and on that foundation, I have been able to go all over the world climbing and have a blast. I owe alot to you and all that you shared with me and taught me over the years. But climbing is just that;...climbing;...and friends are much more;...don't kid yourself. Stingray is just another climb on a cold, dusty piece of rock out in the middle of nowhere. You have climbed so many rad climbs;......it's just a rock. I've done a fair bit climbing myself;...it's only rock. Your friend. Todd Gordon.
WBraun

climber
Jun 4, 2007 - 01:14am PT
Mike

You pinned it out to make it go? hahahaha

Oh man .....
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 4, 2007 - 01:28am PT
I heard that the geezers, young and old, are all over on RC.com.
john hansen

climber
Jun 4, 2007 - 02:01am PT
It's amazing the legends that hang out on this site,,, .

My best FA was an eighty foot 5.9 at the Indian Springs turnoff going up Hwy 80 to Tahoe. We used to go up there alot and work out on top rope.
There was a face off to the left that was way more wild than the little fourty foot slab we practised on, but after climbing that little face a hundred time's ,I figured I was ready to lead this thing.
It took us fifteen minutes to make it the one hundred feet over to the base of the climb thru the brush.
There were two paralell cracks leaning up to the left for about twenty five feet. I got a couple pieces in and headed out right and up across a broken area to a solid looking flake another ten feet up.
When I got to that flake it moved when I touched it,, there would be no protection here...
So, up 40 feet I'm looking at a ground fall, with another 40 feet to go.
For some reason I really wanted to get this FA on my home crag.
We had no 'Friend's' or TCU's ,, just nuts... pitons wern't allowed at that time. I got up to a spot ten feet from the end and I joined three totally sketch pieces together, with no chance of holding a fall. I went for it and made it.

Last time I was up there the practice slab was grid bolted, and my climb had six bolts...
with a bolt on that final move , it is pretty safe
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Jun 4, 2007 - 11:44am PT
"Workable state,"...hmmm, say no more.
TwistedCrank

climber
a luxury Malibu rehabilitation treatment facility
Jun 4, 2007 - 12:06pm PT
Chuck and I drove to the cliff. He asked me which crack we should try. I pointed to a line that looked interesting. We hiked up to it, uncoiled the rope and racked up. Chuck led the first pitch. I led the second pitch. Chuck led through to the easy slabs at the top, belayed me up and asked me what I wanted to name the climb. I came up with a name that was mildly suggestive, yet captured the climbs' character. Chuck asked me how hard I thought it was. I shugged my shoulders but said that I was a little gripped on my lead. Chuck said he was too and then asked me what we should do next. Off we went.

I don't know if the climb has ever been repeated or if anybody else even knows about it. They probably do - it was over 25 years ago after all. It doesn't matter - at least not to me. I only hope that if it's ever repeated that they enjoy it as much as I did.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 4, 2007 - 12:12pm PT
Been there.

Done that.

Can't remember most of it.




John was your spelling of "ledgends" deliberate? lol
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Jun 4, 2007 - 01:09pm PT
No Mike, no wire brushes ever. I like loose grit, why mess with it!

p.s. "Randy Vogel has me pinning and widening it to make it free." It's history now, Randy has a pretty good memory.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Jun 4, 2007 - 01:53pm PT
I just love these hysterical [or were these to be historical?] tidbits.

Wow! Didn't know I had Mike doing anything (except crediting him with the FA on TR).

And that vicious Todd Gordon guy, stay away from him. A real back stabber.

And me? A route stealing, guidebook profiteer, hasbeen.

Maybe a group hug would help with all the bad feelings.

k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jun 4, 2007 - 02:11pm PT
Karl,
I'll bite and give a brief story of an FA over on Glacier Point Apron.

It was the daze just before we realized that motorized drills were in fact not legal by the words of the Wilderness Act. David had scoped a route, and I was game to give it a go.

Just left of Anchors Away, David started up towards a small, left facing overlap. 30 feet up, he feels it's time to place the first bolt, which goes in pretty fast when you've got a BullDog.

Clipping in and climbing higher, he comes to a point about 50' up. He's got to make a couple of moves to get up to the overlap. David would have placed a bolt just there, but Anchors Away comes in from the right and there's a bolt close by. Instead of giving the appearance of a cram job by placing a bolt within 10 feet of the adjoining route, David makes the moves up (5.10-) to the overlap. I still believe I could have pulled in enough slack to keep him off the ground should he have skated.

Up to a stance, he places the second bolt under the overlap. He's now about 60' up. Climbing smooth, David underclings and balances up and out the feature. Finding a good stance about 15 feet up, David contemplates another drill session. Instead I yell up "Hey, you're not going to drill there, are you?" You see, David was climbing so smooth I thought the moves to be about 5.7 (when in fact the climbing is .10+).

He looks down, then without drilling he heads up. Stopping at the next stance, he's now a good 25' above the last bolt. Still feeling good and strong, he begins to continue on, but backs down to the stance to sink in the third bolt of the pitch. Good Idea!

With the 3rd in place, he heads up again, climbing out another 25-30 feet before placing the last of the four bolts on the pitch. The belay is about 150 feet up, on level with the second belay of Anchors. Four bolts placed in stance and the pitch was up in less than 45 minutes; 5.10d.

Seconding, I quickly realize that I was sandbagged on the ground. 25 feet up, you make 5.8 moves to get to the first bolt. After unclipping the second bolt, I snake out the moves under the overlap, solid .10+ up to the stance, then smeary .10c type moves to make it to the third bolt. I was shaking, even though the rope to me came from above.

I got up to the third bolt and couldn't believe that David actually climbed past this point before returning to place the bolt. Madman on FA energy. Keep away from that stuff.

Moving up to the last bolt, the wall steepens and I wonder how on Earth I'm going to make these last moves to the belay. My question is answered in stone, beautiful incuts on the Apron appear and the headwall yields to gorgeous .10b climbing.

Now it's my turn to take the lead and I try not to change the nature of the route. Right off the belay the climbing is stiff and I manage to get in a bolt good and high. More .10+ climbing gains a small dike heading up to a polished slab of granite.

A bit up the pitch I drop the drill and watch it fall 60' (the length of the tag line), where it finds a sudden stop. This ejects the battery, which continues to hail down the stone, crashing into a bizzillion pieces at the base. Farther up the dike, the second battery fades and we rap down, leaving the drill standing out of the rock with the bit sunk half way into the hole. Funny that.

Returning with a feshy, I head up again. Trying to match the bold runs of the previous pitch, I take several headers while attempting a mantle half-way up the pitch. What a rush, falling past the bolt where a BullDog hangs by FiFi.

After 3 or 4 whippers, David takes over (he's so damn impatient!). Climbing to the dike's end, David steps over to the polished slab, climbs a few moves and blows off. One or two tries later, he finally realizes a bolt will give him some courage. So the last bolt goes in and he squeaks up the final section of slab to a handsome ledge.

On the follow, it took me two falls and some light tension to get started on the slab. At the top we agree; hard, friggin' hard.

I guess we missed the cut-off point, the latest Free Climbs book lists our climb on the bottom of the page with only the name, grade, and s simple arrow pointing up: Slamdance, 5.12.

When you put up a route, you often wonder how others find the climbing. In the years since the FA, I've wandered past Slamdance a few times. Usually there are poot slings on one, if not all, of the four bolts of the first pitch. Past there, the bolts of the 2nd pitch look lonely.

Has anybody nabbed the second?
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 4, 2007 - 05:16pm PT
Hey K-Bro

I've looked at ShamDance a thousand times and wondered about it. I'd be very surprised to hear about an ascent although the stone looks beautiful. The dike looks sweet. I've always intended to TR it from the top down but never got around to it.

Peace

Karl
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jun 4, 2007 - 08:51pm PT
m'Bro Karl,
The first pitch is a real beauty, but a bit bold (as noted). Somebody stole the hanger off the first bolt, I'll be replacing that soon...then we can fire it up! I'm kinda wondering what the 2nd pitch feels like nowadays.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 4, 2007 - 10:43pm PT
The rock probably feels the same, we probably feel old and frightened!

Peace

Karl
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jun 5, 2007 - 01:12am PT
wish I was old enough to have (bump) stories
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 5, 2007 - 11:04am PT
Thanks for that story Kevin.

I'm not sure everybody understands what goes into creating a route like that. You've provided one vision of how to make your own adventure and contribute to future adventures as well. (a blessing for cliimbers who get to enjoy without years of hiking, scouting, drilling and such)

Guess there's no gumbie route on Basket Dome! That place is wicked.

Peace

Karl

k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jun 5, 2007 - 12:18pm PT
Kevin,
Now there's an FA story...yikes. What a colossal amount of work.
I like your descriptions, "Easy 5.11..." After Hairline, I wonder
just what that means.

Good on ya!
murcy

climber
San Fran Cisco
Jun 5, 2007 - 02:25pm PT
bump...

and an old link for reading pleasure:

http://www.supertopo.com/images/temp/MiddleCathHistory.pdf
Jefe'

Boulder climber
Bishop
Jun 5, 2007 - 10:22pm PT
Ask Kevin about bolts poppin' with Meyers, and how the rope feels in the hands on the slide down.
jerr

climber
Jun 6, 2007 - 08:59am PT
Thats an amazing new route story.Nice read to.
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Jun 6, 2007 - 10:12am PT
Jeez, Kevin, that route sounds incredible!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jun 6, 2007 - 11:30am PT
Hey Kevin, did you guys hike down to the Mountain Room Bar every evening?

Buzz
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 6, 2007 - 11:49am PT
Yup, post up dudes even if it's a repost. Those who complain about lack of climbing threads on Supertopo need to pony up especially cause it doesn't get more on-topic than this.

My last FA was a route to the right of Upper Chilnualna Falls in Wawona, called "Why name it?" POS 5.7R with a lovely view.

The same day we TRed a much nicer route on the other side of the falls and gave it a hippie peace love name that I've forgotton, but still not worth hiking up there for it's own sake (except for pictures because of the waterfall to your right)

Peace

Karl
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Jun 6, 2007 - 12:16pm PT
I have always been content to follow and became famous for the decibel level of when I would ask for "tight" BUT once i did do a first
1982
We were looking for Blodgett Canyon and our directions were off by about 500 miles and so we came southern montana and Stillwater canyon.
We had travelled across the country in Petes Dodge-I can still smell it-but what glory to have packs lashed to the trunk and rolling town to town in search of something anything

The Canyon

There was a corner with about a 40 forty foot pillar dangling halfway up. This led to a 10-15 foot roof going right.
I lead up to the pillar and smack it with my hand-it vibrates with a musical tone that I deemed safe and so i begin to bear hug up it
At the top of a pilar I kick off a micro-wave sized block that just misses the crew.
Meyers Yosemite Climber has just come out and like Dave Diegelmann on Seperate Reality i start jamming the roof. Well Diegelmann must have been a real stud because with both feet and hands in the crack I get gassed immediately. I am about 20 feet over my last piece and I an so blown that I start to squeak.
I can't go down and I'm out of everything. I make it to the edge of the roof and sink a good jam. i pull out a 2.5 friend and try to plug it in but my hands aren't working very well.
I get the piece in but my hand tangles in the perlon. The biner is held rigid by my stuck hand and I am able to use my teeth to get the rope to clip in.
The best sound ever was the gate snapping shut and I fall onto the friend and am lowered to the ground
Bart goes up to second it and when he gets to the Friend he finds that only two of the cams were in
That is my only FA and a very big thank you to Ray Jardine
murf
WBraun

climber
Jun 7, 2007 - 01:36am PT
OK I tell first decent into the Camp four bathroom one late night in the cold late season.

It was cold and the Warbler was in there playing his guitar.

He said it had nice acoustics for his hearing. It was the wood. Many years fine aging process. Then he tells me out there in the night when the light from the east comes many new routes will reveal themselves.

I peak out the door into the darkness and see nothing but snowflakes falling. "Yes" I said, "maybe tomorrow?"

The Warbler was such a happy man back then in that bathroom sitting on the sh'itter playing a song ........
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jun 9, 2007 - 03:37am PT
There is a route on Boulder Canyon's Castle Rock called Athlete's Feat. The name was given by Robbins when he and I did the route all free (now rathed one pitch of 5.11 and four of 5.10, pretty stiff for 1964, no chalk, Spiders for shoes). Anyway the route had been mostly aided before but not named. The first pitch is an amazing, smooth, bulging wall. Robbins did a finger-tip undercling up and left, on vertical rock, with his fingers under a thin flake, then -- while holding with the right hand under the cling, reached up and right, above him, with his left hand, leaning backward, to get his left finger tips on a small hold at the upper lip of the bulge. The feet aren't on much. For protection he had only a scary-looking bugaboo piton hammered straight up under the thin flake. Below is a big spike of granite that might impale you if you fell. He pulls up on the left finger-tip hold and reaches above the bulge. There is mostly nothing up there but a steep smooth slab and a not-so-good hold to pinch for the right hand. To make a long story short, he does a wild, sloping mantel up onto that smooth, slanting surface, a really bold lead way above his pro, with a ground fall likely onto that spike probably if he failed. Years later I was strolling along the road, came around the corner, and saw a guy standing in aid on that section. He'd already placed a bolt and was drilling another one above that one, right where the master had carved with me such a beautiful Michelangelo of an ascent. I tried not to go crazy and simply said to the leader, "What are you doing?" He replied, "Puttng up a new route." I replied, "I hate to tell you, but that route goes all free. It has been led without protection." The answer came back to me, "Oh SURE it was, SURE it was done free." I realized I could do or say nothing, so walked away. A few days later the two climbers were spreading it all over town, "Ament was up at Castle Rock trying to tell everyone how to climb." Anyway, for a long time subsequent free climbers used those bolts for protection. I think the top bolt is still used, creating in essence a top-rope for the bold, crux move. Not many know what a brilliant lead that was back in the stone age...
Fred Flintstone
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 9, 2007 - 06:08pm PT
Great story Kevin- You haven't lost much at 12b! Very inspiring project.
Oli- Cool history. Not to chase you with pictures but here's three from Climb depicting Athlete'e Feat if not the first pitch. Tough act to follow for certain.
Godfrey and/or Chelton photos presumably.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jun 9, 2007 - 06:17pm PT
I 'climbed' athletes feat in the late seventies. Couldn't touch that first face pitch, the rest was the stuff of legends.
Country club went the same way.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jun 9, 2007 - 07:35pm PT
Steve, you are up on it with those photo posts, though remember CLIMB! has loads of errors in it. We all loved the photos and loved Godfrey and Chelton, but the writing was more or less a hodge-podge of falsehoods and near truths assembled from every climber, nonclimber, aspiring climber, with enemies painting ugly stories about others that were a fourth truth and jealous people (or want-to-be's) acting as amateur psychologists taking apart the character of those more famous than they... They even wrote that I had planned it in my mind, beforehand, to go up on (whatever) climb and cheat, so as to make my name. Ho hum. How wrong they were. I wasn't at all that sophisticated and not even half that evil... Just a bit inept at social interactions.
Rick L

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Jun 10, 2007 - 01:47am PT
I climbed Athlete's Feat on a fall day in 1973. My partner, Jeff hailed from Las Vegas. He was a quiet and gentle guy who reportedly got ahold of some "bad acid" and was still somewhat in the grip. He was a Tuolomne legend that summer as a result of strapping his German Shephard to a log and pouring Jack Daniels down his gullet before removing dozens of porcupine quills with a pair of pliers. Don't recall what possessed us to give the Feat a go - still had somewhat of a reputation- but I'm gald we did. It is a very special climb. The first pitch has this interesting undercling followed by a reach up to sloping hold and mantel maneuver very reminiscent of Camp IV boulders. Rumor has it that the little first pitch has repelled some visiting European climbing royalty. The second pitch depicted in the photos Steve posted is very cool. A lie-back into a thin jam. When we did it, there was an old "vertical" pin fixed in the horozontal crack. It was a classic "sucker" fixed pin. Some as#@&%e pounded it so deep that part of the eye was blocked. That little tidbit of information, however, was obscured by an optical illusion for the leader liebacking below. I recall screwing around in utter amazement over not being able to simply clip through the eye and get going. With very pumped arms, I finally got the hint, placed another piece of pro and finished the pitch. The upper pitches, like the lower ones are short but beautiful Truly a great climb on a sparkling fall afternoon. Hope Jeff is doing well.

I though I'd share the following story.

It was the summer of 1966 or 1967. I was a teen spending as much time as I could steal in Camp IV. Looking back on it, I am amazed that lowly neophytes could meet and even climb with the luminaries of the sport. I hope that is a tradition that has continued- but I doubt it. Anyway, the summer I am speaking of was the first time Bugs McKeith showed up in the Valley. For those of you who do not know of Bugs, he was a Scotish madman who brought with him a repertoire of climbs in the Brithsh Isles and in Europe. I think he might have even climbed the notorious Eiger and someting the Nepal. The guuy was a trip. He was a fairly serious drinker and it was his custom to don a down-filled high-altitude suit early in the evening before the serious drinking began so that he could "bivouac" where the mood or blood alcohol level inspired slumber. One of his other passtimes was to gulp a mouthful of kerosene or gasoline and the spray the fuel into a candle- producing spectacular results. That evening, Bugs was up to his tricks and came to the attention of Chuck Pratt. Previously, Bugs had suggested that we go to the base of El Cap the next morning. Chuck, apparently curious about Bugs, asked if he could join us. Unbelievable then and now.

The next morning we marched up to the base of Little John, Chuck having suggested the R side would be a good introduction to the Valley for Bugs. Unfortunately, Bugs was wearing mountaineering boots- a pair of LePhoque (sp?)Harlins I think. They had a fiberglass midsole and would be akin to climbing in ski boots. Bugs took off on the first pitch and had a desperate time on the slick granite and thin cracks. He literally ran in place, burning rubber before returning to the ground. He asked if there was any other approach. Chuck mentioned there was a vague face climing approach to the left. So, Bugs took off to my wide-eyed amazement. He skated and slipped, desperately gaining altitude with little of no protection. Chuck looked at me with a WTF? expression as we held out collective breath. Bugs eventually made it to the belay and cheated death. The rest of the climb was relatively uneventful for everone but me. At the time, I had no idea how to hand jam so the cracks proved a bit elusive. Climbing with Chuck was pretty special. I had absolutely know idea where the "hard parts" were because he climbed with a fluidity that I have not really seen since.

Bugs quickly got the hang of Yosemite granite and was on the Nose with Charlie Porter in short order. I saw Chuck off and on during my years at Berkeley. The last time I saw him, he, Tom Kaufman and I were the only white guys at a party in East Palo Alto. We were guests of "Grapes", a black Adonis who dabbled a bit in climbing. It was a trip to watch Chuck line dancing with a group of women to some Diana Ross and the Supremes songs. Chuck would talk of "figuring it out" (happiness, life or peace of mind, I guess). The last words he said to me at that party were "If you ever figure it out, let me know". I never did, of course. Tom and I took off because we heard the "Gypsey Jokers" were coming and that scared the Hell out of us. Chuck, ever curious, stayed. Both Bugs and Chuck are gone now and, in my view, the world is a lesser place. I wish I had spent more time with both but cherish the time I had with them. I guess in the end, we- young and old, active and "retired"- are very fortunate to be able to call ourselves climbers and to have had the experiences- on the rock and otherwise- that seem unique to our beloved sport.

Rick
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 10, 2007 - 02:20am PT
Thanks for posting Rick. Cool slice of life.
jstan

climber
Jun 10, 2007 - 04:02am PT
A few people I respect, some of whom are even respectable, have suggested I write something. Take my word for it, masochism will get you nowhere. I will tell the story of what it was like when I was a beginner.

While snowshoeing around in the Adirondaks it occurred to me I should learn how to get around on some of the steeper stuff. So in 1964 I drove down to the Gunks and sat beside the carriage road. Would you believe in four weekends I was not asked once whether I wanted to climb? Just my having a length of marine nylon rope with me should have made that obvious. Frankly it was so depressing I changed my strategy. There were climbers in the university’s outing club so I started hanging out with them. You know you can just never tell about people. They nearly killed me. John and Freda were into white water canoeing. They were really nice helpful people who treated everyone well. And John was into paramagnetic resonance so I thought, “How bad can he be?” I found myself sitting in a canoe on Fish Creek the day the ice had begun to break out. The water was so furious there were no haystacks, only solid bumps of water that caused the canoe to become nearly vertical when you went over one. I knew after less than 30 seconds in the water I would be unable to close my hands and there was probably deadfall across the creek downstream; as indeed there was to very bad effect. We did not capsize, I survived, made it to spring, and found myself sitting at the shale point during lunch watching Willie Crowther playing his lunch time game of Go. Have you ever had one of those crystalline moments when you see the truth? Well I did. Willie’s little daughter was playing around next to Willie as he studied the pieces intently. Furry Murray suddenly interjected, “Willie! Bonnie just ate one of the pieces.” Willie did not even look up, saying “We’ll get it back.” It was very clear. This was the guy who would teach me all I needed to know.

The game over, Willie stood up and asked the group, “Does anyone want to do a 5.8?” I was prepared. Knowing it had to come to this if I was ever actually to get on a climb, I had bought new laces for my sneakers. I immediately did an imitation of Eddie Murphy’s donkey in Shrek I, jumping up and down yelling, “Me!. Me! Take me!” From there, it was all downhill.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 10, 2007 - 10:37am PT
I think what John S is trying to say here would be illustrated as follows:

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 10, 2007 - 12:02pm PT
Ahh the humble beginnings. Great story Jstan. What was your favorite FA or FFA in the Gunks?
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Nov 13, 2008 - 09:17pm PT
Really having one VERY S....Y Day. Anders posted me some info I had asked for. This thread was one he included. Don't know if I can get this link to the Taco, I will try cause it is SUPER. Great stories etc. Wish tonight I could just drown myself in them. Or go take my tent and say goodbye world.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Nov 13, 2008 - 09:23pm PT
Ahhh, it worked ! Enjoy these super pics and stories ! Ed's not the only one that can pull up these great Thread's. Bwahahaha, just kidding. If I wasn't Bwahahahaing tonight, I'd be majorly crying.

Meanwhile, I'm off to an ice flo like the old Eskimos. No more worries. I'm out. Weak smile from Lynne
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Nov 13, 2008 - 09:33pm PT
Hey Lynne thanks for pulling this one up again
These are the best

Rick what a gas

murf
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 13, 2008 - 10:02pm PT
For Rick L

Bugs in the early 70's at my place in Santa Cruz. One scene I will never forget was when Bugs would "import" his mom over from Scotland in the summer. Many a days were spent by mom and son on the shores of Lake Tenaya. Bugs would arrange this elaborate fort to protect mom from the hordes of mosquitoes. Lovely man. Lucky mom.

Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Nov 13, 2008 - 10:24pm PT
Ah, now life gets back into prospective. Great photo. Not the Bugs from Alaska is it?

Give the great Thread credit to Anders (Mighty Hiker)who told me how to pull it up. Lynnie

More Photos...would be nice !
Rick L

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Nov 14, 2008 - 02:44am PT
Hey Joe-

What a great photo. Bugs had a wonderful, "I'm really crazy as Hell but alot of fun" gleam in his eyes.

Thanks

Rick
dickcilley

Social climber
A cova Dos Nenos
Nov 18, 2008 - 11:14am PT
Kev Don´t make me beg! More!
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Nov 18, 2008 - 11:42am PT
After something like 1500 FA's it's the human element that shines in my mind eye.

Hat's off to all the folks I ever roped up with...it's been a great run.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2008 - 04:06am PT
Killer Story on the Crucifix! I stared at that thing for years of repeated NE Butt ascents until I finally did it with a buddy (you have to use the word "did" without total purity I'm afraid)

What a line! Always wondered what Powerpoint was like. Anybody repeat "the affliction" around the corner. That looks wild too.

Peace

Karl
sibylle

Trad climber
On the road again!
Nov 19, 2008 - 10:03pm PT
This brings back so many memories. Bugsy taught me to ice climb. One summer, while in school, I got a ride from Yosemite to Seattle. Then George Myers and I hitch-hiked to the Bugaboos and climbed until George left to fight fires.
I did a first ascent on Snowpatch with Jon Jones and he gave me a ride to Calgary. Bugs and I then went on several trips in the Canadian Rockies and climbed a few first ascents while he was teaching me to ice climb. I also got to lead him up a crack on EEOR, I think.
Unfortunately, i have no photos. Bugs was so much fun to climb with. After that, I hitch hiked from Canada back to California and went to the Valley to climb until I had to go back to school.
It sure was fun being a teenager back then.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 19, 2008 - 10:20pm PT
Great stories! thanks so much for taking the time it takes to get them into written words.

Fantastic.

Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Nov 19, 2008 - 10:32pm PT
i've never climbed the crucifix, but we did do an early ascent of powerpoint, and looked over at it. That's an area where you want to be on your game. Nice report, with classic understatement, Mr Worrell.
Maysho

climber
Truckee, CA
Nov 19, 2008 - 11:58pm PT
Great story Kevin! What a fantastic line to just jump on, no messing around just pure adventure.

The final freeing of your amazing route went in stages, with Max Jones/Mark Hudon first freeing the upper two aid pitches, but not quite doing the vegetated arch entry problem. Gary Zaccor and I went up next linking Marys' Tears, aiding the then wet and slimy entry but we were stoked to fire the upper 11d pitches no falls (my lead, gary seconding). We thought the wide parts were stout, and I remember, as we had just started using cams, that we did not really trust them for belay anchors, and we were happy to be hanging on the more familiar #11 hexes in the alcove. A few seasons later Peter Croft went up and thoroughly gardened out the wet opening crack, then fired it the next day for the all free send.

One of the Valleys absolute finest lines, I am sure you are proud of that one!

Peter
nick d

Trad climber
nm
Nov 20, 2008 - 12:53am PT
Thanks for that story Kevin! It was a great read, vividly communicated the emotions of being really committed far from the ground.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland: what's not to love?
Nov 20, 2008 - 01:48am PT

Excellent read, Warbler, thank you.
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Nov 20, 2008 - 02:09am PT
Warbler- I Was the ropegun for that wide pitch, pretty much a contuous grunt.
i was glad to have to a Rope gun for the next pitch, the crazyass .11+ "Face"


Werner, Coz, you guys put that up, Right? Reid '94 does not have the FA team info.


Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Nov 20, 2008 - 02:16am PT
That, and steep and incredibly exposed.

Maybe Werner will Chime in.
dickcilley

Social climber
A cova Dos Nenos
Nov 20, 2008 - 08:02am PT
Thats the stuff Kev.Tell us about any new SD. stuff you´ve been upto since Kauk and I visited you 20 yrs.ago.Got pics? Jay ,We´re on the Crucifix
next spring.Iwas just going to send you an Email and ask you if you had done it.I´ve got about 20 grade V free climbs I want to tick off.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 20, 2008 - 02:42pm PT
Kevin,

Wow, great story of the FA of Crucifix! A day like that is something we dream about, and if we're lucky we might get to live it. Thanks for sharing!

You might have fun reading the story of another trip up the Crucifix, much later. It still packs a lot of adventure:

http://www.stanford.edu/~clint/yos/crucifix.htm

Jaybro,

Werner and Coz are listed for the FA/FFA of Powerpoint in the 1994 guide - under Northeast Corner.
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Nov 20, 2008 - 04:11pm PT
Thanks Clint, got it. I wondered why there was a Topo and no FFA info.
Hardly Visible

climber
Port Angeles
Nov 20, 2008 - 07:24pm PT
Great story Kevin!
Back to the front page with ya.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

climber
O a k t o w n
Feb 24, 2009 - 09:45pm PT
Cool TR Clint ( Mary's Tears / Crucifix )
MisterE

Trad climber
One Place or Another
Feb 24, 2009 - 09:52pm PT
Haha! this was on my bump list for tomorrow!

Oh, well - I got more! :^)
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 24, 2009 - 10:05pm PT
I'm trying, I'm trying.

But I resemble that remark about geezers.
scuffy b

climber
just below the San Andreas
Feb 25, 2009 - 05:19pm PT
This thread has some real gems.
Two of Kevin Worrall's FA tales,
K-man on the FA of ShamDance, and
the real kicker, I think,
How jstan got started in the climbing
game. Check that one out.

"We'll get it back."
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 25, 2009 - 09:22pm PT
wow, those warbler tales are worth a million bucks.

Man that Basket Dome thing sounds amazing.

Kevin, I don't think you ever told us the name of it, NOR posted any flicks. C'mon dog, hook a brutha up...
scuffy b

climber
just below the San Andreas
Feb 26, 2009 - 11:51am PT
If memory serves, Kevin posted even more better info about this
climb in the big Basket Case thread.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 26, 2009 - 11:58am PT
I copied Kevin's post on the first ascent of "Milestone" to Basket Dome Thread

and his account of the first ascent of "The Crufix" to
[url="http://supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=794009&msg=794644#msg794644
"]The Crucifix Thread[/url]
Doug Buchanan

Mountain climber
Fairbanks Alaska
Feb 26, 2009 - 01:47pm PT
There I was, mind you, and it was desperate indeed, albeit as usual.

It was in the dead of winter in the dark of night, lost amid crevasses on a glacier in the heart of the Alaska Range. The mountains towered above and the storm raged.

A lurking suspicion blew by, against the wind.

Exposed flesh freezes in seconds, you know.

To this very day I am not sure if we survived.

What? You already heard the account of that first assent?

That's the problem with the old stories. Just as well walk away from the computer and go live a new story. A walk through the alley is better than reading the truly unique story of the first assent of Mt. Deception in the Alaska Range, among the others.

No, not that Mt. Deception. There are more than one, of course.

Or something like that.

Doug
MH2

climber
Mar 2, 2009 - 12:04pm PT
No, not that Mt. Deception. There are more than one, of course.


Well put, DB.


In recent days as the thread title caught the corner of my eye I started thinking

Old? Check.
Geezer? Redundant.
(Yes, you!) See no one here but me.
FA stories? Hmmmm, my FAs run well into the twos or maybe threes.


Had a look at the thread itself and was steam-rollered by the valued names and ledgend-ary climbs there-in.

But Karl is among other things inclusive.


So here are tidbits.


The top:






Partway down:

Double D

climber
Mar 2, 2009 - 01:15pm PT
Kevin,

Just stumbled upon this gem... great stories of both the Crucifix and the route on Basket Dome.

Warner's reflection of the C4 serenade bathroom brought fond memories... it did have good acoustics, eh?

Thanks also to Lynn & ß Î Ø T Ç H for reviving this thread.

survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 2, 2009 - 01:50pm PT
Kevin, thanks for the info.

Dude. No, Duuude, I know you were busy and all, but There is always (almost) time to take a picture!!

Shame on you. Double shame on you!!

How in the heck will you get pix of someone on the thing?
You gotta network, and talk someone into it!!
Like, is it the "very best" granite?? Maybe you could talk Tommy C. into doing it.

Remember on the Mother Earth thread when a friend of Tommy's said he didn't climb on Middle because he only climbed on the very best granite?

Damn, that cracked me up.........
Urmas

Social climber
Sierra Eastside
Mar 4, 2009 - 02:13pm PT
Here's a story about 2 big wall FA'S that happened concurrently a while back...

A Tale of 2 FA’S

Sean Plunkett and I scoped the line while we were putting up The Prism on the South Face of Mt Watkins the previous summer. This was to be our second route on the face. It would start with some steep slab climbing to the right of The Prism, but left of Bobo’s Buttress. From the ledge at the top of the huge tower in the middle of the face, this route would go straight up, where the previous route had traversed right.
By now we had made enough load carries to the base, we were starting to feel like we owned the place. On the day of our last carry, we arrive at the foot of the approach pitches and to our surprise, find a Japanese fellow who is also ready to blast on a new South Face route, and solo no less!.
He had all the gear, including a fistful of brand new Rawl 5/16” drill bits, which he intended to use for all drilled anchors! To our relief he was eying a line to the left of ours. It would share the start of the Regular South Face [SF] route, but shoot straight up at the lower pendulum. Near Sheraton Watkins, it would cross the SF route, and finish slightly to its right.
The contrast between our ascent tactics and lifestyles-on-the –wall, couldn’t have been much greater. He was lean and driven, we were on a mission to shed some beer tumors. We bivied early and enjoyed the sunset, he worked away into the night. While he listened to the wind, we listened to the boombox. In the end we kept about the same pace.
Before dawn we were woken by the sound his empty food tins bouncing down the face (we all did a big base clean-up afterwards). He went on lead as we were still sipping tea in our bags. His bad luck started early on, when his portaledge broke. From then on, he had to rappel down to a suitable bivi ledge, and then jug back up in the morning. At times he was going up and down 3 pitches or more. Then the weather got shitty.
Cold rain hammered us for 24 hours. We were cold and damp, but we knew he was really hurting. Occasionally we would hear his cry asking for a “weather report”. We couldn’t find one on the box. I’m sure he couldn’t imagine the point of lugging such a large sound system around, that couldn’t even receive weather reports! Bob Marley was coming through loud and clear though. (We named the route Soul Shakedown, after his tune).
Finally the weather cleared, and we were all moving again. Things stayed exciting for him; we watched him take a 40 footer zipper. Things weren’t too tame for us either. I led the crux pitch (expanding copperheading with a ledge fall potential) over two days. Sean drew what turned out to be a full pitch of rivets. As he was drilling, I was sharpening. Finally near the top we made what almost became a costly decision. We left our haulbags and ledges clipped to an anchor at the top of the steep headwall, and pushed for the top with only light storm jackets and climbing gear. It would have been tough hauling around the sharp edge of the face onto the slab around the corner, and the climbing seemed trivial ahead. We bid our companion fare well, and headed for the top.

Wouldn’t you know it though, no sooner were we committed to the upward path, than the weather turned to sh#t again. What had appeared easy to us-would have been…had it been dry. It would have been 5.6 slab, but now I was using hooks and copperheads to aid it under an inch of running water. Of course we made it, and in hindsight believe we made the right call. Wrestling those pigs in the rain on slabs would have been no picnic either.
It took our unfortunate friend 2 more days to top out. He suffered an ordeal with frostbite and hypothermia – we drank martinis at Cedar Lodge.

Soul Shakedown VI 511c A4 Urmas Franosch, Sean Plunkett July, 1994
Seido VI 5.10 A4 Seido Urano July, 1994
MisterE

Trad climber
One Place or Another
Mar 6, 2009 - 11:33pm PT
Bump for the good stuff
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Mar 7, 2009 - 01:06am PT
Urmas

Great story-would be superb if you had any photos?

Such a wild adventure, encapsulated in so few paragraphs.

cheers

guido
drljefe

climber
Old Pueblo, AZ
May 16, 2010 - 02:41pm PT
BUMP!

The Warbler rules!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 17, 2010 - 10:12am PT
With a velvet fist...
426

climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Feb 8, 2011 - 11:10am PT
Yes you bump
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 8, 2011 - 11:12am PT
How is the Buzzard archive at this point?
jstan

climber
Feb 8, 2011 - 11:31am PT
Gosh!

We all used to be able to write.
426

climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Feb 8, 2011 - 11:35am PT
Mostly clip ups; tidbits of fixed, have seen some interesting birds (owls/raps)other then the ubiquitous

philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Feb 9, 2011 - 12:32am PT
Climbing Bump
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Feb 9, 2011 - 01:30am PT
There is some ice climbing to do in Yosemite Valley.
Even though Lehamite is on the north rim, it's facing west enough to freeze.
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Apr 26, 2012 - 02:49am PT
bump


(!!!!!!)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 22, 2014 - 09:46am PT
Bumpf!
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Apr 27, 2016 - 08:23pm PT
Phenomenal climbing content bump. Hopefully generates a bit more activity than it's last two bumps...
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 27, 2016 - 08:59pm PT
Yous guys got nothin'? That's hard to believe.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 27, 2016 - 09:21pm PT
Got tons of stories, from the past, from this very day. its getting the motivation to write them down, that's the crux
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Apr 27, 2016 - 09:47pm PT
And not on a geezer thread.

In my head I'm 19.
MisterE

Gym climber
Small Town with a Big Back Yard
Apr 27, 2016 - 09:54pm PT
No Way Karl - maybe in a few years.

;)
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Apr 27, 2016 - 10:07pm PT
Quoting a post 7 years old, but whatev's...

I've touched some damn good stone in my travels, and THE very best is a description I like to save for The VERY BEST.

If y'know what I mean...

I would say on a scale of 1 to 10 with the worst of Josh choss at 1, and the most heavenly, burnished and fantastically featured Sierra stone at 10


Any spots of 10 you'd be willing to share, Warbler?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 27, 2016 - 10:17pm PT
The Three Stooges Seek Fame and A First Ascent in the North Cascades

To say we were wet behind the ears is putting it mildly, even for NW
climbers. I was the most experienced but not necessarily at alpine first
ascentism. I honestly have no rememberance of how this caper came about
and I don't even remember the third stooge. The #2 stooge actually became
a proficient and somewhat well known climber, no thanks to me. Anyway,
somehow I convinced the other stooges that a ripe FA was ours for the taking
and on one of the better Cascade peaks, no less. How I came by this idea I
haven't the slightest other than I think the grandiosity was hatched in a smoky
den in Seattle's University District with the perusal of an arcane reference that
almost pre-dated Uncle Fred. It certainly pre-dated his estimable guide. I vaguely
recall thinking that the lack of squiggly lines on the face in question was tantamount
to Moses being handed a pair of stone sheaves. But I digress.

I recall absolutely nothing of the drive, the approach, or the climb, but given the
whole adventure's nascence this should not come as a revelation. What I do recall
is getting to the summit and looking toward the rapidly descending sun and realizing
that I had no clue how to get off this fairly substantial peak, especially before dark.
Given that, I am proud to say that it made perfect sense to descend the way we had
come. What I'm not proud of is my logic did not encompass the logistics of a three
stooge descent with minimal gear to leave for anchors. No matter, gethomeitis was
upon us so down we went. Being a typical Cascade peak one sling was generally
sufficient for most of the anchors. As dusk developed parsimony never entered
into our decision making, such as it was. About 2/3 of the way down the valley
below was getting quite dark but we could almost smell the hemlocks, as it were.
Since I was the de facto leader I always descended last so imagine my surprise to
rappel down to a very spacious ledge. The other stooges were just standing there
without being anchored as it was that large. I hurriedly pulled the ropes and then
realized there was another reason they were not anchored. There wasn't boulder
one, let alone crack one, anywhere I looked. Somehow I recall that the last few
rappels had strayed from our original ascent line as I had not recalled leading
anything sans an anchor. A brief debate ensued which addressed the merits of
climbing back up. Stooge logic determined that that course would only leave us
benighted higher up. The efficacy of a three man, er, stooge chorus of Ave Maria
returned little hope of said chorus getting any sort of favorable review. At this
point I casually observed that there was one sort of boulder on the ledge. The
one problem was that it was really more of a goiter affixed to the main wall and,
as such, did not have any place that a sane person could call a place to hold a sling.
There was a sort of groove along the top which given a few hours we could have
improved upon with our hammers. The other problem was that the doubled
sling did not hang anywhere near steep enough to engender either friction or
confidence, especially in the crucial maneuver of going over the edge. We played
around with it and added a third sling to get it to hang a little lower but any sort
of jiggle or un-weighting of the rope could have proven disastrous. My fingers are
getting sweaty now at the thought. I told the others I would hold it on while they
went down although I knew full well I probably could not have prevented any
major sort of jerking from dislodging it. To this day I still lie in bed and think about
my turn going over the edge without anyone holding it on, if only for psychological
benefit. What the hell were we thinking?
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Apr 28, 2016 - 01:21am PT
Yes,
Yes I will, I have tried to
often I mention in the Flames Thread,
that that is what I've done where ever I've gone climbing , since 86 at least. . ..
Try to eye a freshy ,
climb some virgin rock. . .
okay this will take the pages edit feature of a desk top
So it will wait
A bit. . .
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Apr 29, 2016 - 10:48am PT
Thanks for the list. Now I just gotta sack up and make the jump from 5.6 to 5.11. ;)
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Apr 29, 2016 - 10:18pm PT
There’s a climb up at Courtright Reservoir called The Face of a Blue Eyed Dog. Herb Laeger started it with another climber who lost interest. They had five bolts in. Herb talked me into finishing it with him. So Herb, Maya and I hiked out to Dusy Dome to check it out. Putzing around on the start I found that getting both feet off the ground was 5.11. Another one of Laeger’s sandbags…

Herb sat with his back to the wall, taking in the view. He cleared his throat. “I think you should give it a try. Get up to the last bolt, pull up the drill and go get the next one.” I wasn’t psyched for this tendon busting crimpfest, but Maya flashed me a naughty smile, and I knew what had to be done. I arranged Herb’s drill, hammer, bolts, wrench, etc. into an organized cluster I could pull up and manage. I took seven draws, three hooks, two aiders and trailed the zip line. I knew Herb expected that I would be challenged by the climbing. What he didn’t know was the effect which Maya’s presence would have on my performance. I walked right up to that fifth bolt, and since it seemed really cruxy right there I climbed a few moves further before letting go, just to make a statement.

I got set up. The drill hung from the bolt with a nice hook I’d made from a welding rod. The zip line went from the drill through a biner on my harness and back to the ground where Maya could belay it if I fumbled it. I climbed above the bolt not knowing what to expect. Placing bolts from stances guarantees that you’ll put them where they can be clipped. Using hooks requires much more attention to this matter, which can make or break a route for future climbers. Attentive to this, I climbed higher above the last bolt than I wanted to but there it was: a freaky little divot in the rock. If I was standing on it I could make a clip. Step up one more body length, what difference could it make.

Standing in the divot I looked around for a feature to hook. Lower on the face the holds were in-cut, good for hooks, but up here the rock was like steel and the holds were thin, flat and water polished.
Breathe. Balance. The wide blade of the Talon on a flat 1/8” polished edge. Clip in the aider. Right foot still in the divot, both hands holding the top of the aider, step the left into the lowest loop. Breathe. Clip in the other aider. Kiss that divot goodbye and delicately fiddle the right foot into the other aider. What a place to be. Best to keep the mouth shut lest the hook pops and breaks some teeth.

I gained confidence in the hook, and it was pretty routine pulling up the drill and assorted gear. This was an old Bosch Bulldog, and the trick was to grab it by the battery and work the switch with the back of your hand. I set the bit where I wanted the bolt to be and hit the switch. The drill came on full power, but it was barely denting the rock. “Herb! WTF? I’m up here with a dead bit!!??” “NO! It’s brand new. What’s going on?” “It won’t drill!” Then I saw it. The Goddam thing was turning in reverse. I had never seen a reversible Bosch. “The damned thing is going backwards!”

I found the toggle, reversed the drill, and began making a hole. About an inch and a half in the hook finally slipped off. I hung from the drill, which was still running with the back of my hand stuck against the switch. The bit bent but did not break. Herb was yelling “Let go, you’re gonna ruin my drill!” But there it was right in front of my nose, the good hook placement I missed earlier. I think one of the finer points of climbing is to remain 100% situation-ally aware under increasing stress. If I saw that hook in the first place the whole deal would have been different. By the end of the day we had a 60M 5.12 classic Courtright face climb.
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