Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 20, 2007 - 12:39am PT
In connection with the Glen Denny theme, the classic Prow went up in June 1969. This is the Summit account that hit the press in the July/August 1970 issue. RR was a contributing editor at the time. Superb and historic route.
I had the touch when I did it. I hand placed them all into those well worn grooves!
In the mid seventies I climbed the Prow with Barb Eastman. We were carrying most of the recommended iron and I started up the third pitch loaded up with angles, big and small. I reached up off the belay and slid a big one snugly into a well worn groove. It was solid enough without hammering that I clipped directly into the eye and stepped gingerly on up. Second verse same as the first all the way up the pitch. I had the iron and left every hand placed piton behind. Once I got to the station and traded signals, I had a chance to look down and take in the situation. I grinned ear to ear and waited for Barb to leave the lower stance and start cleaning. "I ah, wouldn't lean back if I was you" I said innocently enough. Barb instantly got my drift and stayed smooth and flat to the wall while jugging lest the hardware come raining down in quantity and short order. She really did nothing to deserve the strange anxiety and peril but it persisted for the rest of my leads.
I remember doing this route in the early 70s and realizing just how destrictive a climber could be with a hammer. We were going fast and I was slugging pins home even if they were the wrong size. I'd just blast them harder and move on. I was ruining the route. Not good. I got good with nuts none too soon. A route like the Prow, with a lot of thin cracks, gets beat out in no time.
Great location and great view of the Valley and th Dome.
Inspired by Robbins' article, John Byrd and I chose the Prow in spring '71 as our first Yosemite wall. A grand adventure it was. Rurps, crack-tacks and hooks, stacked Leepers and tied-off blades, I think there were three or four A4 leads on our topo. We were slow, brought no hammocks, and climbed by headlamp two nights in a row to reach ledges. The third morning on Tapir Terrace a snowstorm hit at first light. We slogged on aiding snow-covered 5.6 pitches, finally reaching the rim about dusk. One more headlamp epic, grim I think but the memories have faded, to get our soggy worn-out selves and gear down through snow to the valley floor.
Great adventure Chiloe. Few people realize just how difficult or controversial that route was when it went up! Second to none on the Column overall even though a couple of other lines were technically very difficult. As Roper put it," several pitches on this route involve A4 nailing- hooks are often used" and the prophetic "this airy climb could become very popular."
Gene- knowing RR's love of puns, Anchorite ledge probably just had an all bolt belay or something scandalous like that. LOL
Presumably an ancestor of the more mundanely-named "stick clip." The one I saw was a Cliff-Hanger with a foot or two length of webbing, taped onto a collapsible transistor radio antenna. It was very compact and gave enough extra reach for a short guy to clip a widely-spaced bolt. Denny was pretty tall (I think I recall 6'7"?) and in those days it was a point of honor to stretch things out as much as possible.