Queen of Spades FA (Mountain 106)

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marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 16, 2007 - 04:22pm PT
When not doing his captain of industry thing or playing chess,

Charles Cole managed to put up a mighty fine FA on .5 Dome. Mark Blanchard (Blinny) and Sean Plunkett did the 2nd. One line, no waiting!





Poor eyesight edit--this version is a little larger and should be easier to read.
Blinny

Trad climber
NWMontana
Jul 16, 2007 - 04:32pm PT
YAY!

Now I'd say it's about FRICKIN' time we scan the slides of Blinny and MissaP's second ascent, eh?

DANG!

Wish we weren't in overdrive getting ready for our every other year guitar show!

YIKES!

We'll do it soon, I promise!

Maybe when said RealBlinny sees this post he'll MAKE the time to do the scanning?

Thanks for postin' up!

eKatTheFakeBlinny
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Jul 18, 2007 - 08:28am PT
Awesome.

Topping out on Half Dome provides an infinity of delayed gratification. I felt for the guy.
Rob
Handjam Belay

Gym climber
expat from the truth
Jul 18, 2007 - 09:54am PT
I heard of this route about 10 years ago, and quietly placed it in the mental folder of 'rad' routes to do.

This weekend I went to 1/2 dome for the first time (for reg. route) and tried to spy the line on the wall.

Kudos, sir, kudos.

Charlie was badazz, maybe still is, I don't know him?

I've climbed Space on El Cap, and that was mighty fine too.
handsome B

Gym climber
SL,UT
Jul 18, 2007 - 10:19am PT
awesome! can you link to some bigger pics so we can read the text please?
Gene

climber
Jul 19, 2007 - 11:56am PT
Cole mentions Sherrick's Regular Route, Dorworth's Arcturus, Peterson's Tis-sa-ack & McCrackens Direct NW Face. Why no mention of RR?

GM
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jul 29, 2007 - 06:36pm PT
I noticed that too. Maybe Charles didn't like Royal? How many ascents has the route had since?

84 was a big year. They finished The Real Nose. Has it had many [any?] subsequent ascents? How hard is it anyway? Slater and Barbella climbed the Ranch. And didn't Bermuda Dunes go up that year, too?

I remember that article from Mountain Mag - it was very inspiring for me. I remembered how he climbed into the chimney, then fixed the rope through the little hole and then jugged up the outside. Cool to read about Fish and Gramicci. And how about that solo belaying with the sticht plate and jumar? Sheesh.

He writes of using opposing hooks? I wonder - did he not think of using prusiks on his lead rope to hold the hooks in place under tension?

Obviously he was psyched:

"For the past 9 months, every time I ran, every time I worked out, every time I went climbing, it was for this route."

Man, that's a nasty approach. Talk about motivated! loved this bit:

"As the wall steepens the continuous A4 pitches change character from copperheading to nailing expanding flakes. Copperheads one can deal with semi-scientifically but nailing expando is bloody black magic. Scary too. Good pins become bad and bad pins drop out..."

Hear hear! What a fabulous story of determination to finish that wall! I wonder if he got any water during the thunderstorm. You-all really ought to read this story, as it is an overlooked Yosemite classic!

Now, let's see some pix from Blinny [the real one]

Cheers,
Pete
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 29, 2007 - 11:14pm PT


C. Cole at J. Tree.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jul 29, 2007 - 11:16pm PT


Again, C. Cole at J. Tree on a first Ascent up at the Cowboy Crags.
M.Tea

Trad climber
Utah
Jul 30, 2007 - 07:07am PT
great read.
NPB

Trad climber
Bend, Oregon
Jul 30, 2007 - 07:54am PT
This is probably redundant, but I just posted a note about the Modern Marvel TV show that features Charles (Cole) and Stealth tonight (History Channel, 8pm, "Sticky Stuff.) When I saw the post on Queen of Spades, I thought you'd be interested in what Charles is up to lately.
khanom

Trad climber
in between
Feb 15, 2008 - 08:29pm PT
fabump
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Feb 16, 2008 - 12:36pm PT
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
Feb 16, 2008 - 02:12pm PT
That route looks really fun! How many ascents? Half Dome looks like the hangout, not all beat out and fixed. Not about this route but, how is bushido gully these days? Last time I saw it looked gripping.

Lets have a techno party at base this year. Laser light show, sick beats, half naked chicks danceing around... we may need the mules to carry them in. Can we still rent those bastards? Anyone got the hook up at the stables?

John that is cool. Don't have any guide books, nice to be able to see the topo and read the story.
Mimi

climber
Feb 16, 2008 - 02:26pm PT
When I first met Charles in the spring of 1985, he told me about the Queen of Spades adventure which was still very fresh in his mind. It included several guffaws about using the lesser known partner's names for the listed routes and how he'd duped many people who didn't know their history. His dramatic re-telling of the rainstorm torrent that nearly drowned him was totally wild.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Feb 16, 2008 - 02:30pm PT
Mules - now there's an idea! Are you retired now Jake, or coming back sometime? Didn't you take a nasty alpine fall or something? How are you these days? Coming round this spring? And when are you soloing Native Son? {snicker} Should be a cakewalk for you these days.
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
Feb 16, 2008 - 02:57pm PT
We need PMs on this site... but to answer pete.

Just got surgery on my ankle. Trying to get healed enough to do a few walls. Funny you mention the solo, saw that el cap route thread and was thinking, "damn I still have to solo to even count a route!". Wait till you see what I have in the works for a wall costume...
Blinny

Trad climber
NWMontana
Feb 16, 2008 - 03:43pm PT
I did the second ascent of The Queen of Spades with Sean Plunkett in 1994, almost exactly 10 years after the first ascent. It is a really good route...... very sustained and nearly every crack is expanding! I heard that a Russian team also did it. I don't know of any other ascents.

Here are a few pictures from the route:







Mark
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
Feb 16, 2008 - 04:07pm PT
Sean has sick hat... and shirt... Halfdome master there!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Feb 16, 2008 - 04:25pm PT
Great send, Mark! Did you climb up into the cave and through the rope out through the hole?

"Ankle? We don't need no steenking ankle!"

You remember what my ankle looked like a few years ago, right?

And yes, you need to join The Club. What are you going to wear? A giant cape with a "J" on it?
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