The First Ascent of the Needle's Eye

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Messages 241 - 260 of total 260 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 20, 2011 - 09:13pm PT
Touch them all...Bumps, that is
Kris Gorny

Trad climber
Rochester, MN
Sep 15, 2011 - 12:23pm PT
As of August '11 there are NO bolts on Superpin. Zip. Henry Barber had them all chopped. Check out updated route description and related posts on Mountain Project
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 15, 2011 - 06:36pm PT
Henry don't need no stinkin' bolts!
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Sep 15, 2011 - 08:40pm PT
Yes I saw the other thread. IF any of this is true, and
Henry did recently chop a bolt, well, I would tend to respect
the judgment of someone of his ability. I know Henry, have
climbed with him many times, and he was one of climbing's
true genius free climbers. I think he would see an added bolt,
on a climb as significant as Super Pin, as a desecration,
while I understand others would see it as a way to make a
climb accessible that would not be otherwise. I understand
both views but support the view of the master, who adheres
to the high principle that we should not bring a climb down
to our level but rather raise ourselves to the level of the
climb. I've done several routes without a bolt to which
climbers later added a bolt (Athlete's Feat, for example,
and Super Slab, in Eldorado). I got tired of arguing the point,
as they would replace their precious bolt if I chopped it,
and only the rock lost. Super Slab, for example, a recent
question was whether or not to change the location of the bolt,
move it up higher to a more strategic place, and make the climb
easier and safer. I voted no, in part because the bolt was
an added one anyway. It shouldn't have been there in the first
place. I did the climb several times with no need of it, then
suddenly everyone needs that bolt... whatever. I'm retired, so
I really have no voice anymore, but our history is worth preserving.
Pete Cleveland did something very special on Superpin, something
more important than whether or not future climbers feel
safe on that route... Best to leave some climbs alone, perhaps?
funkazzista

climber
Italy
Sep 26, 2011 - 05:43am PT
@rgold: I have sent you a message.
Did you receive it?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 2, 2012 - 12:35pm PT
Shameless nostalgia bump...
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 2, 2012 - 12:57pm PT
Nice to see this account popping up again after five years, thanks to Steve. It now has an awkward dual existence here and as a TR at http://www.supertopo.com/tr/The-First-Ascent-of-the-Needles-Eye/t222n.html. I don't know if there is any way to consolidate the two files...

Happy New Year to all!
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Bighorns
Jun 9, 2013 - 03:14am PT
BBST
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Jun 9, 2013 - 06:33am PT
I went to the Needles in 1978, inspired by a cover of Mountain magazine. We had no guidebook - just some suggestions from Bob Kamps and the Mountain shot (I'm sure Steve will have a scan of it somewhere).

Credit: jaaan

I don't remember anything about the Needle's Eye. I suspect that I never got any higher than where I am in the photo, though could be wrong...? I think maybe I just wanted the photo. I just assumed the route went where the Mountain shot had it. I never suspected that it should be on the outside of the eye. Is there a route where I am? If so where does it exit? How hard is it?
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 9, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
We heard stories that Kor had chimneyed up to the top of the eye and then aided out from there. I think Pat Ament told me that Kor had no memory of doing this, however. In any case, the route, or something close to it, has been freed at 5.9+ (old-school grade warning). Apparently, there is no protection after the top of the eye, and there has been an eighty-foot fall as a consequence. I don't know who did it, nor did Piana when he put it in his guidebook.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jun 9, 2013 - 06:29pm PT
I remember in... about 1970... leading up that Needle's Eye
in the rainy evening, and I knew nothing of the route or which
way to go, only that some route had been done. I climbed to the
very top of the eye, as I recall, leaned out behind me and
made a wildly exposed move onto the south face. I was scared
and had no protection. I thought I must have been on the wrong
route, or else it simply was too unprotected for me. I have a
memory, though, of seeing some kind of horizontal indentation up
to my right that looked as though a piton or two might be driven.
But I carefully reversed the moves and downclimbed that chimney....
Layton certainly never shared with me anything about an attempt
on the Needle's Eye, though I do seem to recall he did some
climbing in the Needles. Not much. I don't think it really suited
him....
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jun 9, 2013 - 06:36pm PT
I always wanted to go back but for some reason never did....
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 24, 2014 - 04:43pm PT
Bump for the one that got away...
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2014 - 09:30pm PT
Since Don and I did the climb in 1964, it seems that this summer marks the (gasp) fiftieth anniversary of the climb.

Eek.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 24, 2014 - 09:40pm PT
Wow!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 25, 2014 - 02:33pm PT
Happy half a C Rich!

You continue to be the one that got away and may it long remain so!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 6, 2015 - 11:15am PT
Demicenturian Bump...
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 6, 2015 - 12:15pm PT
Yup, now hard at work on the second fifty years...

(But actually I'm almost up to 60 years---two more years to go---counting from my very first climb of the Owen-Spaulding route on the Grand. Wish me luck, because that is at this point perhaps the single most important ingredient in continued climbing longevity.)
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jun 6, 2015 - 04:24pm PT
At the risk of repeating myself here, is my own scary needles eye story. I have told it on Supertopo before, either on this thread, or the other needles thread - one of these threads also tells the story about the " new" retro bolt on super pin, from one of the participants, btw....


So anyway,
In 1983, I was having a great year. I'd done the zodiac, which was still pretty dicey in those days, my first el cap route as head nailer, the first scent to the year, after Rob Slater had stripped the route, clean of virtually all fixed gear, the last ascent of the fall before. That route was pretty darned heady for me, in those days. I was scared virtually every inch of my leads. I'd nailed A4 before that, but never on a wall, and Never with the Black tower waiting to give me a proctology exam if I bojed it! All the beta I had for the route came from Steve Quinlin who merely shared, " the last move is hard," quipped with a straight face.

So after I'd done the route, with only one, one piece, fall- A fumble on a blind placement on the mark of Zorro, I had conquered a lot of fears, drowned a four chamber stomach full of butterflies. I was confident, I was cocky!

I didn't especially want to do the Needles Eye, but my partner, ( and partner on the zod, abuout which he said " I was scared the whole time!") Chris Blumsden, on a six month holiday from Sydney, thought we should do it.

And somehow I was appointed to the sharp end... It wasn't my style, I wasn't esp motivated, but, wtf? how hard could a 5.8 be?......

I remember what seemed like a dead vertical fifty foot runout, it was by far the most scareed and angst ridden I'd been that year! If I blew a move, if a crystal broke, I would possibly take a grounder onto a car in the parking lot. My imagination played all the scenarios. I was in a solitary zone. Too scared to shake.

There was a fixed lost arrow or something, wedged between crystals, just before the end of the route, well after the hardest moves, but I didn't think it would support even body weight if I came off..

Which I didn't! Thankfully!

Chris followed smoothly and solidly.
" Thin, that!" was his only comment.
On the ground I was frazzled.
The car closest to the route had moved on, giving us room to breath as we pulled the rap rope. As Chris gave the rope the final pull, a vista cruiser pulled into the vacant slot, and we watched in mute horror as the the rope fell and coiled itself on the hood of the car with a resounding thud, all I could think was that that could have been me.

The family in the car ( from Minnesota!) was entertained and laughed at the whole scene! I want to say he said something like " ah the Wild West!" But I'm pretty sure that's an embellishment, and he said something somewhat, more prosaic....
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Jun 6, 2015 - 04:37pm PT
^^^^ What Needles (the real Needles in SD) climbing is like. Nice piece.
Messages 241 - 260 of total 260 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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