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 8, 2007 - 11:34pm 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 8, 2007 - 11:34pm PT
The Redgarden Wall:

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 8, 2007 - 11:36pm 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 8, 2007 - 11:37pm 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 8, 2007 - 11:43pm 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 8, 2007 - 11:45pm 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 8, 2007 - 11:51pm PT
ha ha ha.
No can do babe.
Tomorrow...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 8, 2007 - 11:54pm PT
Take your James and your Old English and head off to Lala land.
Night Night...
stich

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Aug 9, 2007 - 04:48am PT
Nice stuff, Roy.
Prod

Social climber
Charlevoix, MI
Aug 9, 2007 - 05:25am PT
Where is the Sibley part? And pics of you and Chiloe? Post up...

Prod.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Aug 9, 2007 - 05:34am PT
Yow, great stuff, get that voice warmed up for part two.
Hankster

Trad climber
Eldorado Springs, CO
Aug 9, 2007 - 07:13am PT
Eat some Cialis and post UP Tarbuster. Good sh#t man.

Caylor
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 9, 2007 - 07:18am 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 - 08:44am 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 - 09:02am 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 - 09:05am 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 - 09:08am 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 - 09:13am 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 - 09:19am PT
Edit... I got no laughs with that one...

Prod.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 09:19am PT
Yah.
Uh humm.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 09:21am PT
But back to business.
The first pitch of The Grand Giraffe:

eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Aug 9, 2007 - 09:23am 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.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 09:33am PT
The first time I did The Grand Giraffe, it was about 1990, and it was with Paul Sibley. We decided to carry an extra rope and Paul and I had different ideas about how to do that. I suggested we trail it and he wanted us to have it coiled on our backs. Well, I thought that was a bit odd, because I was so used to trailing a rope in Yosemite, but heck, I figured we would do it the old man's way. We were pretty dis-combobulated on that climb and Paul called it the Mutt & Jeff show, but it went okay, we had a nice time.

So in the above picture, you can see we are trailing the second rope and at one point, we switched to just belaying with it as well, you know double rope technique, but we were never silly enough to climb with it on our backs.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 09:36am PT
Um, there you go Greg; that's why they call it the hidden hold.
taco bill

Trad climber
boulder, co
Aug 9, 2007 - 09:38am PT
That pic makes me want to go do King's X again (with that hold). I certainly never found it and not because I didn't need it. That sucker is hard.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 9, 2007 - 09:44am PT
The picture Tar posts above was our first climbing shot of the day. I wish I'd taken pictures of the Lower Ramp approach and the East Slabs descent, to post some other day on that "Walks Through the No-Falling Zone" thread. I used to hike those things causually all the time, but coming back decades later it struck me how unforgiving they might be, especially the descent. Slip up there and you'd fall forever. While I was thinking such thoughts a small foothold crumbled, one probably used a hundred times before.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 09:49am PT


From CLIMB!


This cannot be a photo from the first ascent: check the "modern" footwear.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Aug 9, 2007 - 09:54am PT
Glad you sorted out that "James" thing..... good job so far.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 9, 2007 - 09:58am PT
Roy,
I don't think that's Paul in the King's X photo. I'm pretty sure. That photo wasn't taken during the first ascent, just some climbers later, but maybe Cox leading (very possibly). Cox was the master mind, if I recall, when he and Paul did the free ascent in 1971. Also, my experiece is different than yours on King's X. I've done it about twenty times, each time finding the crux to be, of course, the first bulge above the ground, but then higher getting up to the apex. By the time you find that hold out left, on the left side of the apex, as your face is right at the apex, it's about 5.5 or 5.6. The little moves below, down in that dark place below the apex, are more difficult, and strenuous because you need to hang by one hand with fingers in a lock, to set a nut, and it gets tiring. Then the stem out to the right is kind of smooth for the foot. Now with sticky rubber, that's easier. But going over the roof is trivial.

On the first pitch of Grand Giraffe, I won't ask why you're wearing a cowboy hat, but you're on a variation about half way between the right hand start variation of Super Slab and the actual first pitch of Grand Giraffe, the latter of which starts way up to the right of where you are in the photo.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 09:59am PT
The second pitch is fun.
You can see why some rate this climb 5.10A: modern climbers probably just clip the fixed pins and head straight up the fingertip layback, but if you step left you get more work with.

It was in that "more to work with" bit that Sibley and I began to show some coordination issues, but that's another story.

Here is Chiloe doing a fine job on the lead:





This is a hard pitch to photograph faithfully; below is the photo from Godfrey and Cheltons book:


Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 10:04am PT
I agree about the crux location of King's X Pat. When I did the route with Paul he made a big deal about the hidden hold; ha ha it doesn't really matter, but it is there.

I was probably off route on the first pitch of Grand Giraffe because I wear that hat and can't see so well with it, but it looks cool and it keeps the sun off my head.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 10:09am PT
Lisa is going to go for a run right now and I need to ride my bicycle with her, you know, for protection and stuff.

You guys talk amongst yourselves, maybe get something to eat, and I'll be back in a bit.
scuffy b

climber
The deck above the 5
Aug 9, 2007 - 10:26am PT
Good so far.
I figured the James reference was that Russ uses Henry James
to put himself to sleep.
I think I'd have neck and balance problems wearing a full hat
like that.
The Buffer and Poway method in the old days was to wear a cap so
you could turn it backwards when it started feeling like 5.10.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 9, 2007 - 10:34am PT
The Buffer and Poway method in the old days was to wear a cap so you could turn it backwards when it started feeling like 5.10.

That's my method except the turn-around comes sooner, for less air resistance on 5.6.

Egged on by my young neice and nephew, I flew home from Colorado sporting a new look. Leslie said, "Where are you going to wear that in New Hampshire?"

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 10:58am PT
Don't say I didn't warn yah...
Okay, maybe I didn't.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 10:58am PT
Chiloe took a nice shot looking down the second pitch:




Well here's a long easy connecting pitch, which gets you up to the crux off width section. I call it the couch pillow section (not really), but anyways, here I am looking for my car keys and mostly finding loose change:




And Chiloe following:

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 11:24am PT
All righty then, here we are as the young’ns say getting to “the ‘bidness”.




So Larry, um, I mean Chiloe, before heading off on the lead made a statement that one needs to go up on such an endeavor with the proper amount of excuses ready at hand; you know, in support of a potential failure. Frankly, I think he was a little short on verbiage. So off he went anyhow and he was looking great, but just as he was getting into the crux, he realized he'd better come back to the belay and collect some crucial rationale, which was somewhat lacking given the task at hand.

Well, then it was my turn to go on up, by default really, as Chiloe was still working on his recall. It was risky, though, as I had no exculpatory mechanisms prepared: couldn't remember any. In fact, I couldn't think of any excuse why I shouldn't go up either. Might have something to do with the hippie lettuce; or perhaps the mine tailings up here Nederland where I live. So as it appeared I was in a bit of a bind, or rather about to get into one:






As it turns out, I got my knee in and things worked out AOK.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 11:29am PT
And then Chiloe did a fine job on follow:




This landed us on place called the Upper Meadow, where we thought it might rain, well not really but imagine that because there is opportunity for dramatic tension.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 9, 2007 - 12:31pm PT
but just as he was getting into the crux, he realized he'd better come back to the belay and collect some crucial rationale, which was somewhat lacking given the task at hand.

Our narrator kindly doesn’t mention any flailing, or whining that “This seemed easier 35 years ago!” which might have occurred.
Hankster

Trad climber
Eldorado Springs, CO
Aug 9, 2007 - 12:40pm PT
Ya gotta commit to the right side of the roof, but the holds are on the LEFT!, That or it's 12a.

Caylor
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Aug 9, 2007 - 12:46pm PT
Tarbuster and Chiloe, good stuff you guys.
wiclimber

Trad climber
devil's lake, wi
Aug 9, 2007 - 01:55pm PT
Inquiring minds want to know, did you rope up for the Lower Ramp? LOL

The first time I approached Ruper I was scared on that ramp. Slippery stuff.

Did it rain? Scampering off the Upper Ramp is sketch in wet conditions.

Boy oh boy, think of all the routes that start from that nice little area at the top of the Lower Ramp.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 9, 2007 - 02:16pm PT
Inquiring minds want to know, did you rope up for the Lower Ramp? LOL
The first time I approached Ruper I was scared on that ramp. Slippery stuff.


Nope, we charged straight up like in days of yore.


Did it rain? Scampering off the Upper Ramp is sketch in wet conditions.

Yep, the Upper Ramp is another hike through a no-falling zone. I was noticing those more than I might have done 35 years ago (which is when I last climbed the Giraffe). As for what allegedly happened next, I'm waiting to find out too.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 02:58pm PT
Caylor said:
“Ya gotta commit to the right side of the roof, but the holds are on the LEFT!, That or it's 12a.”

I don't know where Pat is right now, but Oli (hehe), I'll handle your light work: this is off width Hank, and you ought to know, and I know you do, that means it's not about the holds. In OW, looking for holds is missing the point, (unless there happen to be some and you better not miss them). Kids might be reading this and we don't want them to get the wrong idea and maybe get up there and start fallin' out ‘a stuff.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 03:06pm PT
OK, where was I; oh yes, on the upper meadow. Up to this point, everything was going smoothly; no falls, no dropped gear, no stuck ropes, we two moving along like a well oiled machine. Sweet as pie. Then my camera stopped working, just as Larry was pulling along through a beautiful scene above an overhang. But Larry is an old hand and quickly slid his camera down the rope to me.

So here he is leading the beautiful upper head wall, some of the most lovely 5.6 climbing you will ever do:



Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 03:17pm PT
So the last pitch of The Grand Giraffe is quite cool. Bob Culp used to use for his guiding service an excellent picture of himself moving out through the steep pockets to gain the first pin on this pitch. I have always found it very exhilarating to engage the convoluted moves getting out to that pin.

On this particular day, we had these big cams and they happen to fit perfectly in all the grooves and pockets, so in these pictures you see Tarbuster engaged in the “murder of the impossible”, well perhaps that's a bit dramatic, what I mean to say is I was killing a nice run out with gear:



Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 9, 2007 - 04:12pm PT
So here he is leading the beautiful upper head wall, some of the most lovely 5.6 climbing you will ever do:

Gotta say, that 5th pitch is among the finest 5.6 leads on the planet.


On this particular day, we had these big cams and they happen to fit perfectly in all the grooves and pockets, so in these pictures you see Tarbuster engaged in the “murder of the impossible”, well perhaps that's a bit dramatic, what I mean to say is I was killing a nice run out with gear:

Tar managed to overprotect the famously unprotected 6th pitch by fitting big cams between slopers. I was impressed.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2007 - 04:41pm PT
I just hit a milestone:
I had to open up a third album in photo bucket as I just passed 2000 photos, all spit out onto the Taco of course.
You guys are so tolerant.
scuffy b

climber
The deck above the 5
Aug 9, 2007 - 05:22pm PT
More pictures, please, Tarbousier, please, more pictures.
Got Woodson?
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Aug 9, 2007 - 08:01pm PT
hey there... say, you guys.. this is great pics..... and great work, of course... say, are these rocks really this yellow tint? or is that sunlight adding to the color... where exactly is this spot... these rocks look great...

well, i may not climb them like my brother did, but i still always loved the rocks... ever since yosemite, we were all hooked... i was more for just hiking, etc...course i was a great tree climber...

say, yeah, about your hat tarbuster, aint that dangerous from the brim, and all... my hat (black stetson, from TEXAS... aw, i just had to add that) well, it had occasional hit odd things that are hanging about, on occasions, in close quarters... though for the most part, i'm so used to it, theres no trouble... but man, you guys need freedom, up there... so i was just wondering, too, like the other guy on one of these post, did...thats all...

thanks for the great share, here to both you guys....
thedogfather

climber
Midwest
Aug 9, 2007 - 08:27pm PT
Pic of pitch two from 1976. Note the shoes.

Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Aug 9, 2007 - 08:36pm PT
Tar, Chiloe,
You guys are making my day..... again!
You know, I'm thinkin' of getting a Stetson again. The moths got mine in about '85. My only fear is that, Tar, I wouldn't look as stylish as you and maybe people would think I was the guy that came to clean the latrine. I gotta think this over some more.
Carry on with the report. I'll wait here.
Zander
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Aug 9, 2007 - 11:52pm PT
Green 'nards dogfather! I stockpiled those, then sticky rubber came out and I was talked into giving them to goodwill or something , at least three pairs, sigh, what was I thinking? what was I thinking it with? imagine those, c-4 equipped? the mind boggles.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 10, 2007 - 12:25am PT
Grand Giraffe was always one of my favorite climbs. I think I may have done if fifty times. Seeing these photos makes me so deeply nostalgic, and I miss my beloved canyon, all those colors, the air blowing, the river sound far below, the green and yellow lichen, good friends, beautiful sky, trains passing through the tunnels in the mountain to the south, those trains I rode so many times... I can smell the rope, as I write this, can feel those holds, that gorgeous sandstone. Such good memories, of being young and ready to climb...
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 10, 2007 - 05:26am PT
Grand Giraffe was always one of my favorite climbs. I think I may have done if fifty times. Seeing these photos makes me so deeply nostalgic, and I miss my beloved canyon, all those colors, the air blowing, the river sound far below, the green and yellow lichen, good friends, beautiful sky, trains passing through the tunnels in the mountain to the south, those trains I rode so many times... I can smell the rope, as I write this, can feel those holds, that gorgeous sandstone. Such good memories, of being young and ready to climb...

Pat, my history with the canyon is brief compared with yours (I moved to the springs in 1970, moved away 1977) but your descriptions evoke the atmosphere -- which was much more than climbing -- so well.
wiclimber

Trad climber
devil's lake, wi
Aug 10, 2007 - 05:36am PT
I miss it too.

I'm sure you guys looked at Art's Spar when you were up there. Who was Art? Higby?
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 10, 2007 - 07:03am PT
Yep, Art Higbee.


say, are these rocks really this yellow tint? or is that sunlight adding to the color... where exactly is this spot... these rocks look great...

The yellow and green are bright lichens; the rock itself ranges from pinkish-white to dark maroon, with some black-stained surfaces but mostly in-between shades of red. The combination of all these colors, and sunlight moving over the complex features, makes a visual delight. The day of our climb was intermittently overcast, so colors were muted. They're brilliant on a sunny winter day.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 10, 2007 - 07:29am PT
wiclimber

Trad climber
devil's lake, wi
Aug 10, 2007 - 07:36am PT
Nice pic. Morning Thunder?

Can you tell I love the "name that route" game?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2007 - 09:04am PT
Those green Vasgue Shoenards are iconic Eldo footwear,
These belonged to John Ruger, and I take them out for a spin every now and then:


Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2007 - 09:13am PT
The green in n’ards in action,
All photos from CLIMB!:

Duncan Ferguson on Hair City:




Duncan on Werk Supp:




Steve Wunsch on Jules Verne:

murcy

climber
San Fran Cisco
Aug 10, 2007 - 09:27am PT
yeah! fantabulous tr! that looks like so much fun.

my kid and i climbed a tiny bit in co last week; would've done more but we had to dodge rain the whole week.
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Aug 10, 2007 - 09:45am PT
From the Who...

People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Just because we get around (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation)

This is my generation
This is my generation, baby

Why don't you all f-fade away (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
And don't try to dig what we all s-s-say (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I'm not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I'm just talkin' 'bout my g-g-g-generation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)

This is my generation
This is my generation, baby

Why don't you all f-fade away (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
And don't try to d-dig what we all s-s-say (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I'm not trying to cause a b-big s-s-sensation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I'm just talkin' 'bout my g-g-generation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)

This is my generation
This is my generation, baby

People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Just because we g-g-get around (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Yeah, I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation)

This is my generation
This is my generation, baby

Good OP Tar...





Prod

Social climber
Charlevoix, MI
Aug 10, 2007 - 09:53am PT
2 questions Tar,

Where is the Sibley part?
Is that the 2nd pitch of Werks?

Prod.

OK 3,

Wanna meet this fall in SD and climb the needles eye? I'd gladly follow you up that thing.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2007 - 10:05am PT
Hi guy!

This Sibley part is still under my hat.
That is the second/upper pitch of Werk Supp.
I would love to climb in The Needles of SD again.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 10, 2007 - 10:15am PT
Roy, I'm not sure you can say in any of those three photos that they are using the old green Chouinards. Much better were Spiders, and they look a lot like the green Chouinards (the latter of which lasted only a short while, for some reason, probably because they weren't popular, and were probably patterned off the superior Spiders). Wunsch looks as though he's in Spiders. He used them at times. I used them at times, because of their good edging and stiffness. Whereas the Chouinards were awkward and too hard to break in. They didn't work all that well, other than for standing in aid slings. How can you even see what Duncan is wearing on Hair City? Just curious... I doubt Duncan is in Chouinards on Werk Supp (you couldn't smear anything in those things, and you see him smearing out on the right wall).
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Aug 10, 2007 - 10:30am PT
They could be RD's.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2007 - 10:37am PT
...might be Sorel's.

Okay, just kidding.
Of course you may be right about all that stuff Oliver.
It is interesting to know what people were standing in then and always impressive to consider the moves done in that footwear versus the modern shoes.

That move on Werk Supp would be wicked in any of those stiff shoes/boots.
And that shot on Jules Verne; yes, the boots look a tad bulkier/different than Shoenards.
(I see a heel & something like a Vibram label on the sole, so probably not an RD).




Could be a Spider, Shoenard, really close, or a Black Beauty?
Does the blow up help Oli?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2007 - 12:06pm PT
I'd love to see a good archive of Spiders, Cortina's, Black Beauties, etc.
When I started out, my buddy wore brown RD's and I had the red PA's, so aside from the Shoenard all that gear is before my time.
Hardly Visible

climber
Port Angeles
Aug 10, 2007 - 01:09pm PT
Nice TR Roy,and thanks for yer hospitality last night putting up with an out of towner. Some guys got the jump on us today on the Yellow Spur so wound up doing Ruper as a consolation prize.
Great fun got off just in time to avoid the thunder and lightening. See ya soon.
KR
PS. Zander careful with adopting a cowboy hat, every time I wear one I bump my head into roofs and such cause I can't see em coming.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2007 - 03:03pm PT
When, via e-mail, Chiloe and I were organizing our day out in Eldorado Canyon, he asked me if Paul Sibley might be available to get out with us on the rock. As they hadn't seen each other for some 35 years, and I keep in touch with Paul, I said I'd look into it.

When Paul heard that Larry might be in town he said he’d like to see his old friend; “Stop on by after climbing, might be a little busy myself, can't climb, but would love to see you guys”.

Sibley's place has been something of a meeting ground and sometime living quarters for many climbers over the years. It has been called “Macho Acres” and back in the day lots of folks lived there; people like Jeff Lowe, Collin Lantz, Mike O'Donnell, Prod from Super Topo, and many others.

So after Larry and I came down from the Grand Giraffe, we went out to lunch, had a couple beers, then moseyed on out to Paul's place:




And sure enough, as is most often the case, stuff was going on:




Paul at the helm:



(I don't know what the deal is with the cowboy hat).
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Aug 10, 2007 - 03:52pm PT
Those might be Galibier Calcairs, a rarely used boot seen in the early seventies.

Largo, I believe, lent me a pair when I did the second ascent of New Generations at Suicide with Bill Antel. Couldn't have done it in my EBs.

They edged like a motherf#@ker, but you were hosed if you had to smear.

Great vintage Eldo photos. What a collection of killer routes that little canyon holds.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2007 - 04:03pm PT
Right on Kevin I'm totally game for the whole boot mystery of yore thing...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2007 - 04:04pm PT
But back to my story at Sibley's place.

Once inside the old boys started up the time machine and the stories began the flow:






They reminisced about those few who lived in and around Eldorado Canyon in the early 70’s and about their stable of climbing partners; among their own little crew the likes of Bill Roos, Diana Hunter, Paul, Larry, and Ron Cox to name just a few. Apparently back in those days there was but a small group on sojourn out there in the canyon.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2007 - 04:08pm PT
Oh, they talked about climbing technique, stiff climbing shoes, personalities, you know, old times. They were marveling at Ron's climbing capability, and Sibley began to chuckle, proceeding to tell us about a particular “growth period” which Ron enjoyed. It seems he discovered the fairer sex and developed his persuasive powers all at once one summer: indulging a flourish of sorts.

Ron Cox:




Apparently Ron was taken by the whole experience and the number of dates he entertained grew to a status quite prolific, sometimes with ramifications. Such as the time a great big black boyfriend of one of these gals showed up in the canyon and began banging on the doors in Eldorado looking for Ron to talk to him, …or something.

Also during this period of Ron’s personal renaissance, he would often come knocking on the door of Paul's place, (and Paul's sweetheart Yum Yum) late at night, enthusiastically begging questions and searching information from Paul & Yum Yum about this whole "adventure d'amour". As an aside, Yum Yum happened to be the daughter of Jack Durrance; you know, the Durrance route on Devils Tower, Durrance of the famed Fritz Wiessner K2 expedition and so forth.



I know, maybe not the best picture of Jack Durrance, at least he was a Denver boy, so the mag is appropriate.
But hey, what was he thinking naming his daughter Yum Yum???
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2007 - 04:13pm PT
Then Larry chimed in with Paul's story about Ron Cox and said, you know, Ron came to me one day and opined:
“Gosh Larry there is one gal that I just can't crack,... um... I mean get to go out with me”.

As it turns out this woman was a little too sharp to be taken in by Ron's charms!
The sweet spot in this story:
After Ron made the introduction, the smart girl wound up becoming Chiloe’s dearest; “The One” so to speak:







I hope I'm not out of line here: maybe Ron's ears will be burning and he'll post up!
(…I'm not sure how long this story will stay up, hehe)

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2007 - 05:02pm PT
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Aug 10, 2007 - 06:05pm PT
Related thread in need of input: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=431988
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Aug 10, 2007 - 10:32pm PT
hey there, thanks chiloe, for the reasons as to these fantastic rocks.... and say there, oli... thanks for the "living feelings" about that place, it made it very real, from your point of remembrance....

thanks to tarbuster for these pics... these are marvelous--especially these old black and whites--as to history, etc (course not as to the fantastic colors)...
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 11, 2007 - 12:15am PT
I know Wunsch used Spiders for a time, but I don't remember Duncan using them. Those other shoes, the light gray ones, look like Zillertals.

Sibley doesn't look as though he's aged. He's probably lived there in that same house forever, and generations of climbers pass through time, and he stays the same...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2007 - 07:43am PT


Tarbuster, Sibley, Chiloe: July 2007.
unimog

climber
windy corner in the west
Aug 11, 2007 - 08:47am PT
Roy
That is one of the finest posts you have done in a wile thanks i only wish i was there to enjoy the day with the 3 of you. how big is the hole in the back of the house?
Sasha
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2007 - 09:02am PT
Well hello there Sasha,
I'm happy to know you're enjoying the entertainment.

Ah, the hole at the back of the house.
It currently looks like a sizable swimming pool to me; as wide as the house.
That would bring me to the second story that filtered out of this little gathering...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2007 - 09:18am PT
Sibley's house is a very old stonewalled structure, the walls in fact are about a foot thick, with a plaster and white washed skin. It was built by the French in the 1860s and served as a stage stop for the Pony Express.

Paul’s son Gabe grew up in a little room in the back. When Gabe was about nine or ten years old, Paul introduced his son to something that the boy didn't know about his bedroom.

“Hey Gabriel, you know that bookshelf in your room? I bet you didn't know there's a cave behind it. Did yah…...”

To hear Paul tell it, Gabe's eyes grew big as saucers, because it has to be every boy's dream that there might somewhere be a secret hidden passageway leading to a mysterious place. But he didn't believe it.

Imagine Gabe as a very young boy, and all the time growing up, not knowing that there was a bookshelf in his bedroom which could be slid away revealing a solid oak door with iron fittings, then behind it, yes! -a hidden cave where the settlers in the stage stop would climb in, bolt the door and hide during indian attacks.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2007 - 09:46am PT
So on to the hole at the back of the house.

Prior to Chiloe and I having our climb, I had Paul on the phone to try to get him to go out with us. He said he’d be too busy doing some renovations to his house. (Gabe has been in a college program, working on his doctorate in robotics and hasn't been living in the house for a few years now). So upon our arrival, of course, we see Paul in the big digger getting after it!




It happens that the house’s rear wall is abutted to a very large slab of sandstone and it is through the back wall and into that sandstone that the cave’s hollow was formed. So Paul, along with an "expert" demolition crew, had developed a strategy for blowing off the cave's roof, so that they could calve the edges of the cave away and produce a nice open building space behind the house.

“Okay boys, we'll drill a bunch of holes in the roof of the cave, so that when we blow the cave, the weak point will be the lid.” So far so good. Yup.

So they proceed with that plan, set their charges. In fact, they decided to do a test and began with what they estimated to be a very light charge. But first, Paul did a very nice job of sealing up the cave door so that no dust from the blast would filter into Gabe's room. First, he bolted the door securely. Next he further shored up the door with dimensional lumber. Then carefully and sensitively he sealed the whole thing with clear plastic sheet and taped all the edges to keep the fine silt from blowing through the cracks.

Well, you can see what was coming: that old sandstone is a strange stuff of unpredictable composition, as you can try to chip it with a shovel, hack away at it as you like and it just sort of crumbles into sand. But you can drill all the holes in it you want and then try to blow it up and the material just won't budge.

So after their test, the cave's roof stood strong, with myriad little drill holes sprouting shafts of light, while the door of the cave was blown off its hinges, and it lay across the other side of Gabe's room, leaving the bedroom filled with dirt, rubble, and settling dust. One of the side walls of the house may have been compromised...

Gabe's cousin, a nice young teenage gal, happened to be staying in the room that week. Although she wasn't there for the blast, she did have her clothes neatly arranged in a suitcase, with the lid open, sitting nicely atop the bed.

So when the young girl came back to her uncle's house and saw these burly guys standing around the blast site scratching their heads, she went into the bedroom, looked in her suitcase and said to Paul:
“Golly Pablo, if you would have told me you were gonnah fill the room with dirt and rocks I would've shut my suitcase!!!”
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2007 - 10:25am PT
Gabe, in his early teens, engaging his own project somewhere in Sibleyville:




Paul, back from Italy after the shooting of Stallone's "Cliffhanger"




Photo of Paul by Chiloe, early 70's, Rocky Mountain national Park:

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2007 - 10:47am PT
Thanks Crowley.

Uh Oh, the boot thing again...
Not Super Guides, I once knew who made them and what they were called.
He had two pair: one for ice sized a little bit large and a tighter pair for rock.
Not Galibier, Trappeur, or Glockner...
Maybe Mollitor.


These are Super Guides,
Roy Boy in the Pacific NW at Goat Rocks on the slopes of Mount Adams in '76:

Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 11, 2007 - 12:04pm PT
Sibley is a good man. I remember one day he and Bill Roos and I went up to Twin Owls to climb Twister. They had little experience at off-width or chimney type cracks, so they went along with doubts. I led the first pitch, which has a 5.10+, if I recall, or maybe 5.11-, move right at the bottom. I can still see Paul's sadistic little smile as he started up but immediately decided he would rather hang out at the bottom and enjoy the scenery. Roos, who I thought would never be able to do such a climb, followed right up, to my surprise, and also on up the big arching 5.10 crack above... Where is Roos these days, anyone know? He looked exactly like my grandfather, when he (Roos) was in his twenties... (I don't mean old, I mean facial likeness).
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2007 - 12:16pm PT
Varieties of Klettershoe

Kroenhoffer
Spider
Cortina
Galibier Calcair
Black Beauty
Zillertal
Voyager Directissima
Vasque Shoenard

What am I missing Oli?
What else were you edging about in during the 60s and early 70s?
Corrections and additions please…
Which of the above were made by Fabiano?

And what are these that Paul is prancing about in out in Eldorado?

(don't tell me Pivetta 8’s, because I see a rand...and not the later tan Shoenard)
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2007 - 12:22pm PT
Bill Roos was living in New York state working for Outward Bound the last five years.

He and his wife Janet are now living in his house out in Eldorado Canyon again:



A very young Billy:


(I just love this one of Billy as an impertinent youth)
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Aug 11, 2007 - 02:03pm PT
Tar...Black Beauty.
unimog

climber
windy corner in the west
Aug 11, 2007 - 09:39pm PT
RoyBoy
you never cease to amaze my with what you dig out of the photo closet at you house in ClubNed.

Sasha
WBraun

climber
Aug 11, 2007 - 09:44pm PT
Tar you outdid yourself on this one.

Damn fine thread .... a real beaut.

Sibley a fine man indeed. Worked with him on Star Trek V.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 12, 2007 - 12:30am PT
Sibley is wearing the Chouinards, light variety, as opposed to the green variety, both horrible shoes, too stiff, no friction, not bad in Yosemite cracks or for aid slings... Climbers today should try a pair of those. A route would be four grades harder.

There were lots of shoes, but among the best during the '60s were R.D.s, a good edging shoe and not bad friction, good in cracks... Rich used them a lot, I used them. Gill used them... They didn't experience wide use, though. I can't recall what year the Robbins boot came out, very stiff good shoe for big aid walls, good in cracks, not very flexible, heavy, awkward... Some people thought they edged well and swore by them.

Great shots of Bill. Say hi to my old friend for me. I can't believe I lost touch with him. Stupid of me.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 12, 2007 - 05:31am PT
wiclimber:
Nice pic. Morning Thunder?
Can you tell I love the "name that route" game?


I love that game too. In this case though, the route is Weevil's Walk.
Roger Briggs, whose name keeps coming up in this thread, is the climber (1974).
wiclimber

Trad climber
devil's lake, wi
Aug 12, 2007 - 06:38am PT
Thanks Chiloe. Interesting name, Weevil's Walk. Similar to Verner's Viggle :)

Perhaps Oliver would share his 1st ascent experience with us.

Greg Jacobson....never heard that name before.
Prod

Social climber
Charlevoix, MI
Aug 12, 2007 - 06:44am PT
Roy,

Great thread. Sibley is still a big kid isn't he... It's amazing how much stuff goes NOT as planned in Sibleyville or under Sibleyvision. I worked with him making doors and windows for Duncan Furgeson a long time ago. There was tons of Rube Goldberging happening back then, plus an occasional Sibley mission which usually lead to some minor bending of the law for the sake of "preserving history", or adding to the piles of sh#t behing the barn. Like the time he wanted/ tried to "Liberate" the sandstone man hole cover holders from Denver by Karls shop as the city was switching to concret ones....

Did he mention that I printed and sent him the thread about Sibleyville?

Hey Pat A,

Is there some rib joint in Fruita? I think a guy I used to guide with opened a rib place there a few years back.

Prod.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 12, 2007 - 08:52am PT
Photo of Paul by Chiloe, early 70's, Rocky Mountain national Park:



The story behind this photo, coming soon. I gotta scan a few more photos showing how he got to the top of that mountain.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 12, 2007 - 09:37am PT
Scan 'em up!!!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 12, 2007 - 09:38am PT
Thank you very much for the complements everybody I'm glad you have been entertained by the show. I very much enjoy putting these together and I must say we climbers provide excellent material for the campfire tale.

Yes Oliver I am familiar with the RD, as my first climbing partner wore a pair on routes. They had those nice brown leather uppers and although built much like an EB they were probably of higher quality and quite a bit stiffer. Looking back, it is a bit surprising that with those RD's available people continued to climb in the clunkier Klettershoe style footwear.

I'm a bit of a romantic and if I could, I would own a good fitting pair of all of the historic Klettershoe, and I'd get out there and find out what they could do, partly to inform me as to the efficacy of the old tools, and more so to appreciate the particular experience with the routes of the day. Those pictures up thread of those gray shoes made by Vasque, the model I believe is Directissima and also the green Shoenard's: I take those out of on my local boulders from time to time, scurrying up steep grassy slopes and teetering about on the granitic edges.

Tools, like language, inform and shape experience and although I might be able to get part of the historic feel through using the old shoes, perhaps an even more important feature of the picture, which I would never be able to isolate for myself, would be the linguistic component; meaning the running narrative of times passed, which would include the level of the game to that point and likewise the notions available about what was possible to attain in terms of goals. To my mind this is what really describes, sustains, and contains the unique flavor of each generation’s timely internal experience on the stone.
426

Sport climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Aug 12, 2007 - 09:51am PT
Nice post and thread there, Lamoyroy...
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 12, 2007 - 10:19am PT
Obviously Four Believers, V, 5.8, A4. FA 1967 by Mike Covington, John Marts, Rick Petrillo and Jim Standon.


Below, Paul Sibley approaching Spearhead in Rocky Mountain National Park, 1971.
We had our sights on the second ascent of Covington & company's route,
which climbs right side of the "Eye of Mordor" clearly visible above and right of Paul here.
Walls were bigger in those days, or seemed it.




Our bivy gear was a $4 plastic tube tent.

bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Aug 12, 2007 - 10:46am PT
Cool pictures Larry... here is a few more from that beautiful piece of stone.







Jingy

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Aug 12, 2007 - 11:02am PT
Is this even safe?

Prod

Social climber
Charlevoix, MI
Aug 12, 2007 - 11:59am PT
I agree with Jingy. That aint holding nuthin.

Prod.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 12, 2007 - 12:21pm PT
O ye of little faith.

The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Aug 12, 2007 - 12:33pm PT
A little faith goes a long way...
Maysho

climber
Truckee, CA
Aug 12, 2007 - 12:39pm PT
Great thread Roy, thanks to you for providing the real wheat amongst the chaff on this forum.

Maybe we should hook up for a new round of "theme climbs", we can leave behind the dresses and purses and go fully retro. Like South Crack in Robbins boots with threaded machine nuts or something. Then to address your worthy literary desires, we could repair to Tenaya beach for a poetry jam, attempting to resurrect the sometimes overblown style of our forebears. You can have the friction pitch, or we can ro-sham-bo. Saddle up and git on out here!

Peter
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 12, 2007 - 12:46pm PT
hahaha!
Very well then Peter.
We ought to do something climberish at any rate.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 12, 2007 - 12:58pm PT
Yet I'm not sure how far I want turn back the clock on this "Footwear of the Masters" thing:



From Master of Rock
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 12, 2007 - 01:34pm PT
bob d'antonio:
Cool pictures Larry... here is a few more from that beautiful piece of stone.

Thanks, Bob. You guys danced up in much finer style than we could imagine, back in '71.


Tarbuster:
Yet I'm not sure how far I want turn back the clock on this "Footwear of the Masters" thing:

Molitors, you say? That sounds right. Here's Paul, the well-dressed alpine wall climber, racking up for the Eye of Mordor pitch.
Early morning sun on Obviously Four Believers.



stich

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Aug 12, 2007 - 05:38pm PT
I think I might have seen this Sibley character walking in Eldo Springs just today.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 12, 2007 - 05:50pm PT
Prod,
Not aware of any rib joint, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. And, as far as that cam not holding anything... it doesn't need to there, as that's somewhere around vertical 5.5, maybe 5.6 if you want to stretch it a little, very easy, much in keeping with the joyful experience of the upper Grand Giraffe. You won't fall there, if you've made it that far.

Roy,
The RDs were not "probably" better than EBs, they were substantially better in all aspects. I did that difficult route on the boulders in Yosemite (some call it the Ament Face), with RDs, 1968. Of course, as with all those earlier shoes, you had to break them in just right. Kronhoeffers, for example, were quite bad at first, until you wore down the initial rubber a bit. Higgins always used Kronhoeffers, with a little epoxy placed along the inside (edging side) of the soft uppers to give them stiffness. Cortina's, Kamps' favorite, and often used by Pratt, were really good edging shoes, though Spiders (Royal's favorite, for a time) were great edging shoes -- after you wore them down a bit. The original climbing shoes around Boulder were Keds (basketball shoes). Have you seen that photo where I'm doing the Crack of Fear with a Kronhoeffer on the left foot and Cortina on the right? Strategy.

Chiloe,
That photo of Sibley on top is great, makes me want to go climbing in the Park again... those great, beautiful clouds...
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Aug 12, 2007 - 07:21pm PT
Larry wrote:Thanks, Bob. You guys danced up in much finer style than we could imagine, back in '71.

No Larry...thank you. That's the year I started climbing...you guys were my heroes.
Crimpergirl

Social climber
St. Looney
Aug 12, 2007 - 07:28pm PT
What a great thread. I keep coming back for more. This is the best fore-shadowing ever!
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 13, 2007 - 08:40am PT
Starting up towards the Eye of Mordor. Mountain boots, tied etriers and 1/4" hero loops,
hammers & pitons, wool for warmth (and there's sure no Goretex or Fiberfill in the haul bag)....



For that matter it's worth mentioning that all these slides were shot on a small camera that
had no light meter or rangefinder. I just guessed things were 20' away, figured "sunlight = 1/100 at f16"
and fired away. Which accounts for the sometimes unsharp and underexposed results, but at least they exist.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 13, 2007 - 08:50am PT
Tarbuster, Chiloe, you should get Roos and Sibley and come visit me in Fruita. I'll show you some good secret climbing places I've discovered, a couple of new routes we could try, where we could have some fun in the sun and laugh about old times. One or two good restaurants out here too. If you come in the summer, I have a swimming pool in my backyard to cool down...
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 13, 2007 - 09:55am PT
Pat, I'm a right-coaster nowadays, but I'm sure Tarbuster can pass along your invite to the Boulder folks.

Incidentally, while on the topic of early-70s nailups, Eldorado's long-gone aid routes might make for an interesting thread or at least a few posts some day. Kor's old routes and some of yours like Centaur or Temporary Like Achilles were great fun in their day ... I think we did some early repeats.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 13, 2007 - 10:01am PT
Chiloe:
So you're saying back in the olden days, not only was the climbing gear very basic, but also the camera equipment? Well, your pictures have a lot of soul and sometimes you need basic to capture soul.

Oli:
Thanks for the concise review of the Klettershoe styles!
I'll get in contact with Paul and Billy and see what's up; I have been wanting to organize a little get together.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 13, 2007 - 10:02am PT
Hard climbing in Klettershoes:





Oli,
What can you tell us about Larry Dalke?
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 13, 2007 - 10:21am PT


The Eye of Mordor
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 13, 2007 - 10:46am PT
The all seeing all-knowing eye...

Prod

Social climber
Charlevoix, MI
Aug 13, 2007 - 12:40pm PT
Chiloe,

Those are some really cool pics. I especially like the one with the climber at the base of the eye. Approx, how tall is that cliff? As well as steep?

Roy,

Time Bandits?

Prod.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 13, 2007 - 01:05pm PT
The evil Lord Sauron, Eye of Mordor, Middle Earth, Lord of the Rings, Tolkein...
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 13, 2007 - 01:06pm PT
Approx, how tall is that cliff? As well as steep?

It's something like 800 feet tall. Not super steep, averaging maybe 70 degrees? One of the best faces in RMNP, though.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 13, 2007 - 01:11pm PT
I took the odd leads and Paul got the even. Here he is looking up at pitch 4, the sun straight overhead and about to leave the wall.
Everyone who's climbed in the high country knows that moment.

Pagoda Mountain in the background.




That afternoon, starting up pitch 6. The skies weren't so blue anymore.


Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 13, 2007 - 07:04pm PT
Hey there Prod:
While we are waiting for Chiloe to tell us what happens next, here are some materials to help explain Spearhead a bit.
(Chiloe must be working or something: I don't know how he finds time to do that…)







Obviously for Believers is line 13.
You can see where it passes the right side of the Eye of Mordor near the bottom of the route.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 13, 2007 - 11:07pm PT
Chiloe, what is a "right coaster?" Never heard that phrase before.

Larry Dalke. My young pal for several years. We more or less discovered climbing together, shared the same dreams, slept overnight at each other's houses so we could start walking up to the rocks before dawn. We once started a forest fire cooking breakfast on a windy day in dark below the flatirons. Fortunately people came and put it out quick, as we watched, ashamed, from the Third Flatiron. We used to run (half walk quickly) from Baseline Junior High up to the flations, after school. We had unlimited energy. One hot summer day we go dropped off in Eldorado, hiked up and climbed the Maiden, then both east routes on Devil's Thumb, then out of water walked to the top of Bear and finally all the way home, dying of thirst. A cow chased us in a field (that field now is Table Mesa's houses). He and I made oaths not to climb with anyone but each other, though that ended abruptly when Layton called and wanted to climb with me. I had to call Larry and have him come with us. Larry and I did hundreds of routes together and had hundreds of adventures, and I loved him dearly. He followed Kor into the Jehovah's Witnesses, though, and they have some kind of doctrine (in my opinion contrary to Christ's teachings) that they should not spend any time with anyone not of their faith. Strange, but it was good while it lasted. I could write a rather large book just on the subject of my times with Larry. He was a natural climber with huge amounts of talent, much more naturally talented than I for sure, though I later became much stronger than he when I continued to develop in climbing and in gymnastics. So at the end I was bouldering and climbing harder, but now and then he would always do something amazing, such as his free ascent of X-M, a real feather in his cap. I repeated it soon after he did it and realized it was reasonable, if one were in shape, but he had that initial vision, that spark of inspiration. He left climbing when he got married and when he joined the JWs. His two or three children must have families of their own by now... Our last trip together was to Yosemite in 1967, when I led the Slack Center free (and he followed nicely). He hated off-widths, though, and I had to do a lot of pulling on climbs such as Ahab and Left Side of Remnant. He was tormented back then by some strange but lovely girl he was mad about, and she tried to seduce me in his presence, but I would have none of it, being totally loyal to Larry... It always works out that those most painful young crushes never were the right ones for us. I still love Larry, though haven't seen him in many years.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 13, 2007 - 11:48pm PT
Oli!
That was a wonderful little vignette on your time with Dalke.
You are a jewel.

You know there are the big names; you obviously have a very well-known name. Then there are others who added to the rich tapestry of this whole affair, climbers who are known in the grand historical sense but who are not really so directly understood by way of reportage.

I know this is primarily what you have achieved in your “A History of Free Climbing in America” and that is an important work.

The chain of striving, the legacy, the spirits of those adventurers who came before; I have long been intrigued to know more about the tangible aspects of their character.

Cheers to you Pat,
Roy
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 14, 2007 - 05:20am PT
Chiloe, what is a "right coaster?" Never heard that phrase before.

Heh, like right and left coasts? Meaning I live in a different time zone (and social zone) from Supertopo's center of gravity.


(Chiloe must be working or something: I don't know how he finds time to do that…)

An unexpected minor job, rebuilding a database, came up and ate a good chunk out of yesterday.
Had to try reading my own mind from a few months back, and that gets confusing.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 14, 2007 - 05:29am PT
Meanwhile back on Spearhead ....

The 7th pitch was marked A4 on our topo. That was the reason I'd grabbed the odd leads.
Paul followed in light rain, to the sound of approaching thunder.



This pitch ended on the grassy ledge in foreground. We weren't far below the top now but it was getting late.
Seemed best to hunker down for the night where we were rather than continue up into darkness and storm on the summit.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 14, 2007 - 05:37am PT
After a long sleepless night, the morning sun finally warmed us and dried out our ledge.



Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 14, 2007 - 05:39am PT
Paul led the final steep pitch.

Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 14, 2007 - 05:44am PT
And we stood on the summit of Spearhead.





wiclimber

Trad climber
devil's lake, wi
Aug 14, 2007 - 06:16am PT
So was most of your gear comiing from Europe at that time? How did you get your hands on it?

So cool. I've always wanted to go back to Eldo with knickers and socks, and a little red hat like Layton's on the Titan (but with modern climbing shoes:).
J. Werlin

climber
Cedaredge
Aug 14, 2007 - 06:17am PT
Tar and Chiloe--

fantastic stuff! Thanks for sharing and taking the time to post.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 14, 2007 - 07:02am PT
So was most of your gear comiing from Europe at that time? How did you get your hands on it?

Well the pitons and carabiners were mostly Chouinard, of course. Apart from those and the
"Colorado Nut Company" hex nuts and I-beams that Sibley and Roos were manufacturing in Eldo,
I think most of our gear was European. In Boulder, Holubar Mountaineering, Gerry's and
later the Boulder Mountaineer (Bob Culp's store) all stocked the imported stuff.

Steve Komito was replacing Vibram soles on the north side of town, and Neptune Mountaineering
was just the dream of a young sales clerk at Holubar.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 14, 2007 - 10:26am PT
Nice job Chiloe!
I'm going to take the liberty of posting Larry's climbing homepage here,
A nice little stash, a treasure trove of stories and pictures:

http://pubpages.unh.edu/~lch/climbing.htm
Ain't no flatlander

climber
Aug 14, 2007 - 10:37am PT
FWIW there is an ongoing online auction for some of the classic photos to benefit ACE.

http://www.aceeldo.org/celebrate_eldorado/photo_auction_2007.php
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 14, 2007 - 02:34pm PT
Its amazing that Chiloe could be so accomplished and still find the time to post on ST.

Multitasking, that's the key. I'm sitting here running 7 programs at once, with 1-5 windows each ... ST is in one of those and whenever I come back to it, I relax for a minute. Helps all the other stuff flow, or so I'll claim. Sure I'm not the only one who does this.

But it's about time to quit and go home. Wine on the patio is calling. Cheers!

L
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 14, 2007 - 03:08pm PT
That shot of Briggs will always be the seminal image of Eldo for me...
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 14, 2007 - 03:22pm PT
Thanks, Roy. That was, of course, a drop in the bucket that I could say about Larry Dalke. He had his torments, on his BSA once tried to outrun a police car chasing him and spun out on dirt, just as he arrived at a trailhead behind the Bureau of Standards. Spent a couple nights in jail. He told me how an officer came in to talk to him, and Larry slammed the jail door in his face. I really miss those times with my old friend. We grew up together in climbing, inseparable... until we separated.
JesseM

Social climber
Yosemite
Aug 14, 2007 - 04:21pm PT
Roy, Chiloe, Unimog

Great to read these stories! Gabe, told me about the "accident." Hilarious and classic Sibley style. Gabe definitely inherited those genes! I think he may be out there right now, or just was, to help the old man with his project.
He actually is Dr. Sibley now beleive or not!

Sasha, I don't know if you remember me. I was Gabe's roommate and pal back in the Emory days. He's actually going to be in my wedding in September In Yosemite. I knew Roy was a regualr on the TACo, but how long have you been surfin' here?

Next time you guys see Paul, say hello for me, and tell him I'm looking forward to staying in the new blasting area/guest room!

Jesse
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 14, 2007 - 07:25pm PT
What marvellous stories!

If the retro-shoe thing happens, I have a pair of EBs in nearly mint condition. Size 41 or 42. Let me know.

When I get a moment, I'll scan a page from Basic Rockcraft, on selection of rock shoes. Quite interesting.

Roy mentioned voice-activated software - please tell us more.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 14, 2007 - 08:11pm PT
Climbing shoe selection Anders?
By all means, let's have a look at that Basic Rock Craft stuff.



Oh yes, I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition software for all my typing.
I set the mouse pad on the floor and operate the mouse with my right toe.
Hands-free dude!

Saves my arms, so I can go out and crush the stones ...


Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 14, 2007 - 08:27pm PT
For follow-up, we could have a Sheridan Anderson thread. Baron von Mabel's Backpacking, even.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 14, 2007 - 09:17pm PT
Dalke and I played in a band when we were in 9th grade(1961), and between sets one night in suits and ties and polished street shoes, we sped up in the dark to Flagstaff Mountain and simultaneously free-soloed the direct middle of Campbell's Cliff, a near-vertical wall above the road. The route is maybe a hundred feet long roughly, and it was about feeling in the dark for holds, getting those state-of-the-art dress shoes to stick on edges, smearing with the smooth bottoms of those shoes. The only light came from the city, below. We had to hurry, to get back to the gig... The band leader didn't like the stickers all over our pantlegs...

We also did a lot of night bouldering on Boulder High School. Larry's Hush Puppies were good smearing shoes, and he was like some kind of spider in hyper speed up those flagstone walls. I played also in the school band, and at Friday football games I'd lure some band mate over to the school to climb. Tom Deland, who hadn't ever much climbed at all, but was game, followed me up one of those tall school walls in dark, in our band uniforms, and suddenly he fell but miraculously caught his hand on a light fixture six feet or more down and to his right, grabbed it, and swung there like a chimpanzee, spared a cruel cement landing 20 feet below. I down-climbed and rescued him...

What we could have done in those days with the shoes climbers enjoy today!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 14, 2007 - 09:51pm PT
From A History of Free Climbing in America:


Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 14, 2007 - 10:13pm PT
Just when I think I'm done with climbing, someone like Roy comes along and fills me with desire, makes me remember those good times in a special way again... That feeling of first seeing a climb and wanting to do it, for its beauty above all, but also for the joy of being with the people right there with you at the time. I loved all the people in that photo. Each of them was a friend and mentor to me.
Prod

Social climber
Charlevoix, MI
Aug 15, 2007 - 06:23am PT
This is some really great stuff. I love seeing climbs that I struggled on, with modern gear, being sent by kids with in the 60's with whatever thay had. When I did Country Club Crack 89, I bet it took me 20 minutes to figure out the starting face moves below the crack. I didn't see that golfballish smearing hump...

More boots that shoes but here is a link to some earlier gear.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Pivetta-Eiger-Handmade-Italian-Climbing-Hiking-Boots-10_W0QQitemZ110158168542QQihZ001QQcategoryZ1299QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Hope that works as it looks a little odd...

Oli,

When was the last time you were on the rocks? Well... what are you waiting for?

Prod.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 15, 2007 - 09:05am PT
Tar, way back there on pitch 2 you wrote that
It was in that "more to work with" bit that Sibley and I began to show some coordination issues, but that's another story.

Do tell!


In 1970, Bill Roos and I ran into Jim Erickson and Duncan Ferguson hiking up the talus to attempt an early repeat of Green Spur, which Dalke had freed in 1964. We asked them how hard it was going to be and Jim answered "We'll find out!" The route still had some mystery and they were approaching with respect.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 15, 2007 - 09:17am PT
This page needs some color ... the Erickson/Dalke conversation just mentioned took place, I believe, as Bill and I were hiking down on the day pictured below, after a fall 1970 ascent of Green Slab Direct.



But speaking of route mysteries, I recently looked up Green Slab Direct on Mountainproject.com, and was surprised to find a cacophony of confusion and hyper-beta about exactly which cracks, holds and fixed gear define this route. It's a wonder we found anything in the old days.
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/colorado/boulder/eldorado_canyon_sp/105754933
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Aug 15, 2007 - 09:40am PT
Funny...the Green Spur was my first 5.9 in Eldo. Pretty classic.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 15, 2007 - 12:48pm PT
I did Green Slab direct with Layton one sunny winter day with snow on the ground but warm rock. The crux has a nice thin crack system going up a steep slab. The system peters out, and you make a delicate traverse right, about 10 feet (the crux, which Layton stepped right across without difficulty, with his long legs).

I did one of the first repeats, if not the first repeat, of Green Spur, right after Larry told me he'd done it. When I was a beginner, before you all were born, Steve Komito and I tried to climb Green Spur. He led up to a ledge not too far above the ground. We called that the first pitch, and I started up the main crack above. I wasn't any good at cracks or too much of anything yet and didn't know how to climb that kind of crack. I couldn't get anything to work too well, but I thought my problem might be my shoes. I asked Komito if I could try his. I came down, we switched shoes, with him being very cynical and making fun of me, and I went back up and couldn't get any farther. I never quite lived that one down, as not but a few years later when I did the route it seemed so straightforward and logical. But then I knew how to climb by that time. Komito was really chuckling that day, and as I said, giving me a hard time, as was always the case. When he tried to lead the pitch, he got no farther. So that silenced him, for the moment...
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Aug 15, 2007 - 01:46pm PT
As this shoe thread was developing, I was off leading Pratt's Crack for a photo session. I led it in my Mom's old Cortinas. Same shoes Pratt used on the FA:



I'd been saving these shoes for years for just this opportunity! My Mom, now 91, had moved on to modern hiking boots. Her Cortinas were tight on me, even tighter than the ones I wore climbing OW with Chuck in the Sixties, so I had to go with no socks. Thanks to Bruce Willey for the photos.



This pair had been resoled with the beefier Vibram lugs, in case they don't look quite right. They were pretty dynamite OW shoes, ratcheted up nicely in heel-and-toe mode. This is the shoe that got Pratt up the Twilight Zone, the Valley's wide crack of the decade.
Inner City

Trad climber
East Bay
Aug 15, 2007 - 01:54pm PT
Tar,
What a stunner! Just got back from an exciting back country trip and stumbled onto your inspiring thread. It has eased the peril of reentry considerably.

Thanks!

Dave
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 15, 2007 - 02:55pm PT
Doug,
I'm glad you pointed out that they were resoled. I instantly thought, "Those don't look like Cortinas." The original sole is a delicate smooth thing and was good right from the day you put them on, without having to break them in much. Those don't even look like the tops, though, either, from this angle below. I'll trust you on that. Kamps liked them too. I used them quite a bit for a time. Now the real question. What the heck are you doing with that great big FRIEND?!! (just kidding). You gotta lead it Pratt style.

Your friend,

pat
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Aug 15, 2007 - 03:21pm PT
Hi Pat,

You would notice my "cheater" #6 Friend. I had led the climb twice in total Pratt style before anyone even thought of cams. Including the second ascent, which around Chuck also meant no beta. It's basically 200 feet of 5.8+ enduro-fest, run out a long way to the first sling around a chockstone. Higher is a detached pillar which later trapped a leader, breaking his arm and forcing a rescue. The interesting thing this time, in the mondo-cam age, was several new chockstones, seemingly added just for pro.

Yes, but why carry that thing? I'm past 60 with two teenagers. I wish I were more fit. I wish I still spent hours every day cruising stone. I wish I didn't feel guilty about dragging that silly cam. I wish I wasn't whining here.

But, who cares? I was glad to find it opened up so wide that courage-on-a-carabiner no longer helped.

And I liked the way my shoulders and my cortex throbbed in afterglow.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 15, 2007 - 06:51pm PT
You know I was only foolin you. You have paid your dues and can climb anyway you want, for sure. I never doubted you in the least. Someday I'll show you the "clapper" Rearick made for me, a wooden version pre-dating the Friend, for wide cracks... He made me take him up the Crack of Fear, to test the thing. I used it a couple of times whimsically...
unimog

climber
windy corner in the west
Aug 15, 2007 - 09:33pm PT
Jesse
I have been on this off and on for a year or so .
Congradulation on the Wed and hope to see you soon gt my # from Gabe .

Sasha
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 15, 2007 - 10:44pm PT

Toes pressing downward
Finger tips clutching
Mind lifting



Ament bouldering on Flagstaff Mountain circa 1970.
From A History of Free Climbing in America
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 16, 2007 - 08:57am PT
Mind lifting? Probably just thinking about a plate of spaghetti at the old original Gondolier on Broadway...

For a few years that was where anyone could find me, every night and more often than not all by myself up there on Flagstaff bouldering. I did my best bouldering from '65 to '69. By the photo I suppose I was clearly on the downslide... though in the future I would on occasion get back in shape for a short time (women, too many creative projects, and spaghetti poisoning...).
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 17, 2007 - 07:00pm PT
One time Larry Dalke and I made the first ascent of Le Void during a rainstorm. We used some aid up and over that big roof that now can be done free. I was much smaller and lighter than he, and when seconding those aid knife-blades and RURPS, one he'd stood on with his full weight pulled under mine. Later, after we descended, he went to get his walking shoes over near the base of Birdwalk, and he tripped over a small boulder and broke his ankle -- a clean break all the way through and really painful. This was the nature of some climbers. Huntley Ingalls stepped off the curb outside the Sink one night and broke his ankle. Flat ground was always more dangerous than steep rock. I carried Larry all the way down the canyon on my back (in a piggy-back ride), as we had been dropped off and had no car and were the only people in the canyon that day. Another day, a few years earlier, when we were attempting the first ascent of C'est La Vie, Larry led up to the big lieback flake 60 feet up that vertical wall, and bent over in excruciating pain. I lowered him and had to carry him down that day too. He just made it to the hospital in time, with a ruptured appendix.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 21, 2007 - 07:17pm PT
Pat,
These are such enlivened memories of your friend, so human! I am glad I requested recollections from you in an open-ended way and asked nothing specific about Dalke.

Isn't it nice to be able to speak extemporaneously?

On this human aspect of historical reportage, which is so fun to rediscover in these passages which you have offered about your time with Dalke: below I have attached a nice quote, which captures that notion of the human factor, and nicely rounds out the end of your book, A History of Free Climbing in North America:



Ha ha ha, I love the use of that Brando quote!


I am scantly aware of the attempts and efforts during the early 60s to free aid routes, and I have been ardently reading about them in your book, A History of Free Climbing in America.

I do have a more pointed set of questions which stem from my appreciation of Dalke's experience with free climbing XM in Eldorado Canyon in 1967:
For Larry and for you Pat, what was the sense of context for freeing aid routes during the 60’s?
How did this idea of freeing aid sections evolve to be something worth extending, driving, and striving towards, as a notion of pure free climbing singularly pursued?
What did it feel like at the time to go out and slay those dragons?
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Aug 21, 2007 - 07:41pm PT
On Pat...It took a genius to see genius (Master of Rock) and write that great piece of work.

Thanks Pat for all you have done to inspire me.

Tar wrote: I am scantly aware of the attempts and efforts during the early 60s to free aid routes, and I have been ardently reading about them in your book, A History of Free Climbing in America.


Just a little note. There were 38 aid routes in the old Gunks guide. John Stannard freed 31 one of them.

Amazing.
wiclimber

Trad climber
devil's lake, wi
Aug 21, 2007 - 08:43pm PT
Pat, great stuff. The hike down is ALWAYS the most dangerous part of the climb.

Funny, from all the days of soccer early on, taping and pain killers after injury, ankle sprains have always been something I've dealt with. From falling off the curb, or spraining my ankle at hole #16 golfing in Vail, the "quick release" follows me.

C'est La Vie is one of my favorite climbs in Eldo.

Hey, did you guys place the bolt before the flake?
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 21, 2007 - 10:41pm PT
When Larry and I did the first ascent of C'est La Vie, I led that first pitch. We didn't know how to place bolts, and we had two or three of those strange bolts that had jagged, saw-like little blades on the end. So you would screw the drill into the bolt and use the bolt itself as the cutting tool. Then once the hole was drilled, you had a little tapered bit (like a tiny space capsule, narrow at top and wide at bottom). You would slip that bit into the hole at the jagged end of the bolt, set the bolt back into the hole, and hammer it in. The little bit thing would expand the bolt, and usually far too much... so the bolt would never go in as deep as you thought you had drilled. It was hard work. I managed to stand there somehow and reach above my head in balance to drill one of those. But I only drilled the hole about a third as deep as it needed to be. Oh well, I was out of patience, getting tired, and I hammered it in, clipped it, with one of those curved, silver death hangers, and led on. The bolt was sticking about an inch out of the rock and remained there proudly for years, as the whimsical protection for that tricky move above, before someone at last placed a good bolt there. After that, climbers were missing some of the exhilaration of running it out above that awful looking bolt. Larry and I were just kids then, and every Eldorado climb was an adventure.

We had always been aware of free climbing, as our early mentors, such as Baker Armstrong, were actually good free climbers, relative to their day. And we heard stories of people such as Corwin Simmons or Ray Northcutt bouldering on Flagstaff. But aid was fun too, and we were happy to be learning both free and aid, and either at any given time. Sometimes we would free something pretty difficult, then aid something you could probably free at 5.8, well within our abilities, just being in the mood to aid at that moment.

Sometimes we climbed at night, as when Larry and I did that south face, inside overhanging red wall of the Amphitheater. We had our pocket transistor radio with us, as always, and they were playing the hit tune "Moon River" over and over, and we had the bright light of a full moon. Larry free climbed right above my head on that solid 5.8+ overhanging stuff, as loose chips of rock fell on me...

Layton's philosophy in general was go fast. If you had to think about a move, start aiding... in order to keep going. He was a tremendous free climber, as good as anyone in the country probably, other than Gill, but speed was his desire. I often wanted to take the time to look at a move, and Layton would instantly run out of patience and insist I do it the quickest way. I recall stopping to examine the holds of a section he had led, and feeling that pause he yelled down, "Climb the rope."

I had that very mentality on Vertigo. I led the 5.11 part of the dihedral solidly (1966 or was it 65?, might have to look), and then on the 5.8 dihedral above, which I knew Larry had already freed easily, I thought... "Man we're moving slow, we need to get up this thing," so I grabbed a carabiner to rest and to start moving up faster, knowing I could do that section easily if I wanted to waste more time... and of course you know the story of how later people accused me of cheating and all that. So I learned that kind of style was unacceptable, the mixed European variety, where grabbing carabiners was still viewed as "free."

The person who really began to help me in my way of viewing free climbing was Dave Rearick. When Rearick arrived in Boulder, and we became climbing partners, I idolized him and his beautifu style. He was very slow compared to Kor, and he wouldn't mind standing on a foothold with a hand in a pocket for fifteen minutes, just looking around at the sky or the trees, or the weather, and at the next moves. That tried my patience a bit, since I was used to moving fast with Layton, but Rearick would find ways of free climbing things, such as that overhanging Coffin Crack on Castle Rock, or the third pitch of Athlete's Feat, and many other climbs. He had already established himself as a fine free climber at Tahquitz and in Yosemite. I watched Rearick lead the first free ascent of T-2 one day, as I climbed across the canyon on the west side of the Bastille, and I was so enthralled. That was the beginning of the free climbing era in Eldorado, even though Kor and Dalke and I and Culp and a few others had done some free climbing of reasonable difficulty for the day. Rearick was that person with the mystique. He and I together started specifically training for free climbing. He fed me protein shakes, and we did gymnastics together. We did a lot of hand-balancing. That is, he would lay on is back on the floor, and I would do a handstand into his hands, and he would press me up, etc. He was far less competitive than a young soul, because he was far more mature, so he coasted along abilitywise, at a high level of expertise, whereas I improved a whole lot as the years went by.

Rearick would see climbs, and instead of claiming and doing them would bring me to them, because he knew I would enjoy a new challenge. He discovered Supremacy Crack and brought me to it. I'd never done a handjam before, so I had to learn how to do that sort of thing if I were to have a chance of succeeding... Larry and I became mildly competitive with one another, and all of us (maybe not Rearick, but certainly Layton, Larry, and I) were a bit jealous of one another's achievements. If I did something free with Rearick, Layton and Larry would find something to do free, in response. Then that would make me envious, and I would do something again. Larry did XM free, because I had been doing a string of hard free ascents. He realized he could stem out, with his long legs, and reach those finger holds on the second pitch, and with that critical move doable, the rest of XM was merely to focus on one move after the other. Larry was naturally gifted.

Free climbing for me was more a process of learning about technique, what worked, what didn't, and learning about style and honesty of approach. Larry had all that style stuff from the start, although one day when he and I went to Yosemite he showed he was human. I did the Kor boulder right off, and he for some reason had trouble figuring it out. He felt discouraged. I walked away to some other boulders and couldn't see him. He came rushing up to me, and said, "I did it." I was happy for him. He couldn't live with a lie, though, and within the hour, with his head drooping down like a sad dog, he admitted he hadn't done it. I love him for his honesty and the fact that he could no more live with a lie than could he live with a brain tumor.

I was, on the other hand, hugely immature for my age and sometimes would exaggerate my accomplishments, in the interest of acceptance and winning the love of my friends. It never failed to work to the opposite effect. Finally, though, by the time I was doing Super Slab free, I was careful to get everything right. And after climbing quite a bit with Robbins and having him take me to Yosemite, and the like (in '64), as his protege, I began to get very serious about free climbing and style. I learned from Rearick about Higgins, who was Kamps' protege, and Higgins and I had a friendly competition going at a distance. When Higgins and I met there was no more sense of competition, because we simply liked each other and laughed and had fun climbing together.

In '67, Layton and Larry joined their religion, which published an article about how it was a sin to climb and to risk the precious gift of life, so they pretty much cut back to near nothing, in the way of climbing activity. I was just coming into my own, however, as a free climber, and met Gill... and became his friend and disciple... Being in the presence of the master, simply by osmosis, raised my ability greatly. And that's the rough overview... with tons left out...
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 21, 2007 - 10:42pm PT
Sorry for such a long post. I started typing and didn't realize I'd written a book...
wiclimber

Trad climber
devil's lake, wi
Aug 22, 2007 - 08:42am PT
It's fun to read the details. Even though I don't live there anymore, Eldo is still my home crag.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 22, 2007 - 09:31am PT
Long post Oliver?
Sheesh, any time you're ready to start up again, we'll be right here.

Pure historical reportage is of great value and is a foundation, a framework, and a nice place to start, but more often deeper insight comes through storytelling, through rumination and a slower dwelling upon the subject matter.

As it happens I was just doing a little Google searching and stumbled across a 1979 American Alpine Club Journal review of Godfrey and Chelton's CLIMB!

A brief passage from the review:
"more regrettably CLIMB! lacks the effort and analysis -at thinking about its subject- that enriches Smythe's Rock Climbers in Action in Snowdonia or Jones Climbing in North America, a preoccupation with heroic deeds leads to historiography of inevitable shallowness"


Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh, for instance: your book Pat, A History of Free Climbing in America, sets out explicitly to record a chronological list of a accomplishments; given the time frame involved something of greater scope would produce a work of comparatively immense proportions.

But it is this "thinking about the subject" that has me going right now Pat and your candid recollections of (and reflections on) free climbing in the 60's are helping to enrich this pursuit.
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 22, 2007 - 11:28am PT
I personally felt "Climb!" and "Climbing in North America" were not up to the standard of or anywhere near "Rock Climbers in Action in Snowdonia..." Both books were wonderfully illustrated with classic photos yet were wrong in so many aspects, wrong context more often than not, sensationalized, feeding on how rivals would describe someone, printing rumors that were plainly false, painting in mean ways someone rather than getting to know that someone, throwing in stories that weren't checked out and are/were simply wrong or never happened... There was a lot of bad dictation or something in the original Climb! For example, when interviewed about XM, I said, "Layton had gone to a movie the night before, and it was a movie about outer space, and on a rocket ship were the letters X-M. So he thought, since our climb was a direct line up to the route Outer Space we would call it XM." When the book came out, my words were transformed into, "Layton AND I went to a movie, CALLED XM, and we thought how wonderful it would be to name the route that, AND WE LAUGHED HYSTERICALLY ABOUT IT." My goodness, that hit me strange when I saw that. Lots of things of that nature. Yet there is good stuff in both books, enough to make them of some value... I would like to have seen Climbing in North America revised, getting rid of all the errors that offended so many people of whom I was aware, such as Robbins, Sherrick, for example. Strangely it never happened, and the book was re-released in its original form. I have come to believe that Chris is a good guy, and I've long forgiven whatever happened in that book, but at the time of the re-release, I wondered if he thought he was above criticism, and his statement to his critics was to keep the book the way it was. I must be more forgiving, as I see people all the time making dopey mistakes in their reflections on history. Recently in an interview with Jim Logan, he states how he did the free ascent of Crack of Fear, and how it was a route Pat Ament had been desperately trying to free. Oh dear. I was the third person to lead the route, its third ascent, in a single straightforward ascent, and did not try at all, really, yet did grab only a carabiner on a fixed piton at the one awkward move left, which turns out not even to be the crux if you're facing the right way when you get to it. I had nearly worn myself out hauling my two companions, literally. I did nothing "desperate" at all, and it wasn't even a big issue way back then, whether or not the route went free. But when Fredericks a year later learned that it only had that one piton, he went up and trained his focus on removing that point of aid. Logan followed, a very skinny kid who could fit clear inside the off-widths... I soon did the climb all free, as well, wondering in fact why I'd used that small bit of aid. Anyway, it's nice when we run into those who care about at least trying to get the details right. It's a rare encounter. Godfrey's book was revised not too long ago but lost much of its original spirit, strangely, in a worthy attempt to clean it up and put all the historical climbing into a lesser context... Can't win for winning... I must add that I too make mistakes, and there are a few little ones in some of my historical works, but I try really hard to get it right and do the best I can to check the source. I think I've said this before, and I'll add it just for fun, that I sent my history of free climbing to Gill. He read it and liked it and sent it back. Then right after it came out, he sent me a small list of minor corrections! I haven't let him forget that.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2009 - 07:39pm PT
Nice views out there...
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 29, 2009 - 05:08pm PT
bumpity bump bump
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2009 - 08:57am PT
Good day for a walk
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 31, 2009 - 05:33pm PT
While knocking around the compound, "Macho Acres" as it was once known,
I unearthed these unfinished examples from Colorado Nut:




It seems there still exists some promotional posters for the business along with a picture of Ray Jardine and Jimmy Dunn working in the Colorado Nut factory.

Somewhere down the line, perhaps we will have a look...
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Mar 31, 2009 - 05:46pm PT
Very cool, hope you find those posters (and maybe Local adds the story).

You gonna be around Nederland early July?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 31, 2009 - 05:53pm PT
Around AND in!
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Mar 31, 2009 - 05:55pm PT
I might be visiting Golden, so who knows....
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 31, 2009 - 05:58pm PT
I'll see if I can find a rope!
philo

Trad climber
boulder, co.
Mar 31, 2009 - 08:37pm PT
Ropes we don't need no stinking ropes.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Mar 31, 2009 - 09:57pm PT
Is someone working for MSR? I'd drop a contractor if they were posting pix of any sort of our products on the internet, good, bad or otherwise. Just a thought. Seems someone got a cool and fun gig. I'm extremely surprised there wasn't an NDA with as much clearly spelled out, if you are actually working for MSR. MSR has paid out 10's of 1000's - likely way more - to stoned retards who couldn't figure out their stoves and burned off their dreadlocks. Pix like this just can't help.

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 31, 2009 - 10:12pm PT
You're going to give Stephane a heart attack with pics like that and talk of posters...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 10, 2013 - 10:11pm PT
bump
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