The First Ascent of the Needle's Eye

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Messages 221 - 240 of total 252 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 19, 2010 - 07:56am PT
After guiding in the Tetons the summer of 75 Steve Wunsch and I, thinking we were pretty hot stuff, headed East on a climbing trip. First stop the Needles...you know the rest of the story.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Sep 19, 2010 - 07:57am PT
After guiding in the Tetons the summer of 75 Steve Wunsch and I, thinking we were pretty hot stuff, headed East on a climbing trip. First stop the Needles...you know the rest of the story.

Whoh? I don't know anything of it....got a link or a remembrance? This probably should get it's own thread and 200 replies.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 19, 2010 - 08:01am PT
Which one was of you guys was the weak link? LOL

I haven't heard the rest of the story either...do tell!?!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 19, 2010 - 08:09am PT
We were immediately chastened by the long runouts on scary looking knobs. We developed immediate respect for the local pioneers and gradually worked our way up thru the grades. We eventually, with much fear and trepidation, got up Super Pin and Hairy Pin and did a new CRACK route on Barbizon. With a vast sigh of relief we continued on our trip- next stop, Seneca Rocks....you know the rest of the story. Phew...my palms are sweating- off to clip bolts (nicely spaced) again today.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2010 - 08:26am PT
One might add that the Superpin Wunsch and Donini got up was the original Henry Barber version, not the currently enfeebled modification with the added bolts.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 19, 2010 - 08:28am PT
Who did that?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 19, 2010 - 08:32am PT
Added bolts on Super Pin???
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 19, 2010 - 09:10am PT
That is my question...
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2010 - 10:29am PT
From the current description on Mountain Project:

"Take a step across the chimney onto Superpin. Sling a flake (or place a large nut behind it), go up, clip a bolt and pull the crux bulge. Continue on fun but run out 5.7 crystals to a pair of bolts on the right. From the bolts a finishing section of 5.8 face climbing leads to the top."

The "pair of bolts on the right" were added at some later point in time, after quite a few parties (I'm guessing around ten) had already repeated Henry's ascent. I don't know who added the upper bolts. Actually, I think the first-mentioned bolt may also have been added, there being, originally, a fixed pin.

The original route was X-rated because of the lack of protection for the finishing "5.8 face climbing," which I recall as not being noticeably harder than the 5.7 below it. There is also some debate about whether or not the route is still X-rated even with the added bolts because of potential severity of a fall just below them.

In any case, Henry and the other parties managed without those two added bolts. I mention this because the climb was not in the "museum piece" category of never being repeated. There were and are parties up to the challenge of X-rated 5.8 (if that's what it is) as established by Henry's brilliant first ascent.

A lot of space on this thread was taken up with arguments about whether the Needle's Eye needed a bolt to replace the deteriorating pin I placed on the first ascent in 1964. I have since heard quite a bit privately and a bit publically from people who say adequate protection is available with modern gear (more than one piece can be placed), which I would think ought to settle that issue.

As for Superpin, the deed was done some time ago. I guess there will never be an end to the arguments about whether X-rated routes should be left for those who are both capable of and interested in repeating them, but it is not as if anyone who aspired to Superpin was going to be surprised to find runout climbing.

People made a choice to climb Superpin, often after a considerable period of physical and mental preparation. Custer State Park has many relatively bold climbs, but also has enough well-protected routes to keep climbers occupied for years, and nearby Mount Rushmore has well-bolted sport routes for those who seek high difficulty with low risk.

It is, consequently, impossible argue that Superpin had to be bolted because of some communal need for more routes. Someone decided that the original ten or so ascents were "too risky" and that further bolts had to be installed. I think this is a travesty personally, but I'm also beyond tired of arguing with people who clearly will never get it (and who are, of course, convinced that I will never get it).
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 19, 2010 - 10:35am PT
Like Hammer back upthread...
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 19, 2010 - 10:50am PT
Well put, Rgold! I was never one of the boldest, the needles eye and tricouni nail held my interest. But you gotta respect history, rather than revising it!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 14, 2011 - 05:46pm PT
Bonnie sent me a scan of the cover of this super-rare guidebook first put out by Bob in 1971. A labor of love containing several maps to the complex landscape.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 12, 2011 - 09:17am PT
Neddles Bump!
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jun 12, 2011 - 10:14am PT
I have been in touch with Mark Powell's wife, Beverly, now Beverly
Powell Woolsey. She dug up some old footage of Gill on the Sylvan
Lake boulders, for my new film, and some footage of Kamps and Gill
playing volley ball in the Black Hills, etc. etc., and of Kamps and
Mark climbing some difficult-looking spire... Good stuff. Also of
Dave and Judy Rearick playing some music in the campground...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 13, 2011 - 09:02pm PT
Beverly just sent me this classic shot of The Black Hills Hillbillies as she likes to call this crew.


Rich Goldstone, Bob Kamps, MaryAnn Raio (skiing friend of Bev's), Beverly and Mark Powell. Sal Raio likely took the photo.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 14, 2011 - 05:35am PT
Yee haw! Which way to them rocks we heerd tell about?
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Aug 14, 2011 - 10:36am PT
Credit: BG

photo by bob gaines
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 14, 2011 - 12:06pm PT
I'ma swing by, anyone up for some easy bouldering tomorrow, maybe the Needle's eye aerea or Campground boulder??
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 15, 2011 - 10:11am PT
Nice shot Bob!
jstan

climber
Aug 15, 2011 - 10:23am PT
Our specie has long demonstrated an amazing capacity to achieve wonders while at the same time behaving mindlessly. We do anything. And do it without shame.
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