A Day in Eldo! .......plus: A Visit With Sibley

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Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 9, 2007 - 02:34am PT
A couple months back, Chiloe, who plays a character called Larry Hamilton on TV, was nice enough to take me climbing when I was out in New Hampshire. That was a great trip and I had a fabulous time getting introduced to Cathedral and Whitehorse. Here is the link to that story:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=402503&msg=404470#msg404470

A bit more recently, Chiloe was out here in Colorado and we had a chance to do one classic line together. We chose to climb in Eldorado Canyon and did a route high up on the Redgarden Wall: The Grand Giraffe.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 02:34am PT
The Redgarden Wall:

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 02:36am PT
The Grand Giraffe
F.A. Layton Kor and George Hurley, 1960.



The name was a take off on the Grand Jorasses; the Grand Giraffe was an important climb in 1960. For a number of years afterwards, the fourth pitch was the hardest free crack in the area. The crack pitch was graded 5.9 in 1977.


(From CLIMB!)
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 02:37am PT
The following is a quote by Jim Logan taken, er, borrowed, from Mountain Project:

"In 1968 the Grand Giraffe was rated 5.8 and I climbed it with Pat Ament and Royal Robbins. Royal announced that we were going to take no pitons and use only chockstones that he had brought back from England. This was to be the first time nuts were used in Colorado. After thinking over the fixed pins already in place, I thought it would be OK and joined them. We never protected the 5.8 offwidth at that time and it turned out to be Royal's lead. He stopped in the middle of the crux, turned around and looked down at us, and said " this is the hardest 5.8 I have ever done." He then turned back around and finished with no problem. I believe the gear we had were mostly Pecks and Moacs as stoppers and hexes were far in the future."

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 02:43am PT
More in a bit,
I'm doing all of this through voice-activated software,
Nevertheless,
I think I need to take a nap!
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Aug 9, 2007 - 02:45am PT
C'mon Roy Hawking.... finish up so I can go to bed too.....
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 02:51am PT
ha ha ha.
No can do babe.
Tomorrow...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 02:54am PT
Take your James and your Old English and head off to Lala land.
Night Night...
Prod

Social climber
Charlevoix, MI
Aug 9, 2007 - 08:25am PT
Where is the Sibley part? And pics of you and Chiloe? Post up...

Prod.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Aug 9, 2007 - 08:34am PT
Yow, great stuff, get that voice warmed up for part two.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 9, 2007 - 10:18am PT
My respected compatriate, Jim Logan, while reminding me of that climb of the Grand Giraffe with him and Royal and me, has the date a bit wrong. There are loads and loads of errors of all kinds in CLIMB! This one was minor, though, with regard to when nuts were first used in Eldorado. Royal and Whillans and I used nuts on Ruper in September 1966, the day I later led Supremacy Crack. Actually Cub Schaefer and a few others had shown us a few rough versions of the British nuts, some being machine nuts filed down inside, with a sling simply run through the hole. But no one yet really had the sense to start using them. Royal was the first to really spearhead the idea of converting from pitons to nuts, starting in a real way when he returned from climbing in England, and bringing along Don Whillans. When they looked me up in Boulder, I was given the introduction to nuts in full, though Whillans didn't need protection for any pitch he led on Ruper... He walked up the crux crack, with the rope hanging freely down. You might remember my little story about how I was belaying below, and Royal was standing there unanchored (we had soloed up to the start of the crack, where you move up the wall and traverse out over exposure), and I said to Royal, "If Don falls, the rope will pull you off." Royal answered cooly, "I'll take that chance." Royal was confident in Don's abilities.

I guess the three of us did the Grand Giraffe around that time, in 1966, rather than 1968, though I can't for some reason recall that day too well. If it had been two years later, as Logan says, Royal would not have been saying we were using nuts for the first time. So I'm almost sure we did the climb in 1966. If we indeed did the climb in 1967 or '68, then perhaps Jim associated an earlier statement with the later climb? The simpler explanation is that we did the climb in 1966.

Just for detail, the steep, somewhat overhanging, awkward Grand Giraffe crux crack had a bunch of little flakes for handholds inside when it was first done, and Layton's long legs made for some good stemming on the right wall. It was definitely easier. Later those flakes, one by one, broke off, and the crack became significantly smoother and harder, even possibly a very short 5.10a in some minds. The difficulty was enhanced a bit by the fact that there was no way to protect that hardest move, and a leader had to move above an old Simond piton behind a flake. Now a big Friend takes all that psychological difficulty away.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 11:44am PT
Most excellent, I knew if I took a pause Oli might post up. Thanks for the tidbits Pat!

Well then, before I resume, it's only fair to note that if you read the post I made to Russ Walling upthread, I will say he doesn't go to sleep with a guy named James. James is what he calls his blanky. We all have one: it is basically a quilt, and he calls it his James, because he often walks around the house with it wrapped around him like a cape, as James Brown might have on the stage.

Just thought I might clear that up.
We are all friends here.
Maysho

climber
Truckee, CA
Aug 9, 2007 - 12:02pm PT
And I thought it was the name for a brand of whiskey, chased by an ole E.
wack-N-dangle

Gym climber
the ground up
Aug 9, 2007 - 12:05pm PT
A shout out for Cialis on a post tangentially about the first use of nuts. Now that's funny. Here's to bringing it clean in CO. Thanks for sharing the history and also the work to honor the tradition. Great stories.

edit: and pics
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 12:08pm PT
I have been paying keen attention over on the writer’s workshop thread; you know the one were Jell-O asked what was wrong with his story. I'm going to try some foreshadowing.

So here's Paul Sibley doing King’s X in the 1970s. I think he did the first ascent around ‘70. In this picture, you can see him reaching left for the hidden hold. I know it doesn't look so hidden to you guys right now, but take my word for it: when you are on the climb you can't see it.


From CLIMB!


I have to warn you though, when we get to the Sibley part, we won't be talking about Kings X.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 9, 2007 - 12:13pm PT
Ohshit yer gonna tell that story? The suspense is killin' me.

And will there be something about dynamite?
Prod

Social climber
Charlevoix, MI
Aug 9, 2007 - 12:19pm PT
Edit... I got no laughs with that one...

Prod.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 12:19pm PT
Yah.
Uh humm.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 12:21pm PT
But back to business.
The first pitch of The Grand Giraffe:

eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Aug 9, 2007 - 12:23pm PT
Wow! I've done King's X a couple of times before, and I don't remember a hold way out left like that. Maybe that's why it always seemed particularly hard for the grade.
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