Pre-Lycra Colorado (old Ascent article/images)

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marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 10, 2007 - 08:05pm PT
Following the success of the "Eldo Prancers" thread (http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=408821&msg=420691#msg420691)from earlier this summer I thought I'd post up some of my favorite old school (read: painters pants and long hair) images. These are all from the 1975/76 Ascent. I just photographed the images as I don't have a scanner and Walgreens Drug is getting tired of me violating copyright law on their watch. In any case, someone post up the text (paging Mr. Hartouni!) and stories of doing these amazing routes.
"Death and Transfiguration"



"Vertigo--Direct Finish"
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 10, 2007 - 09:59pm PT
I used to have that issue.
George Lowe on the north face of North Twin on the cover right?
If it were here you'd have your text.
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 10, 2007 - 10:06pm PT
That's the one. I have the issue just not a scanner, let alone a text scanner. Again, this is Mr. Hartouni's cue!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 10, 2007 - 10:11pm PT
And I think Admiral Hartouni is just leaving Vedauwoo...
Oli

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Aug 11, 2007 - 03:22pm PT
I climbed Death and Transfiguration one day with Henry Barber. He was in good form and led the route and its 5.12 crux straightaway, not a hesitation, and only about 4 points of protection for the entire pitch. I followed without too much trouble, though there was friction of the rope over the overhang, so Henry kept a big loop in the rope as I climbed. Had I fallen, I would have taken a real wild ride into space...

This climb is perfect for taller people, who can stem out on the hardest moves, as you see Roger doing. It's a grade harder or more, for short people. Speaking of which, earlier I had gone up with Candelaria to do the route. I was really out of shape at the time, so let Bob lead. He got up and for some reason pumped himself out just below the final crux move. He decided to lower off, but the thing is so overhanging he had the urge to swing in and clip his gear sling to the rope running through the gear, to keep him close to the wall. But at the first piton a short ways below, and as I lowered him, he started sliding through space outward, away from the wall, taking the clipped rope with him, and forming a huge loop.

He had no strength left, and the sling began to run up around his neck and choke him, as he was hanging free in space. He thought he was going to hang himself right there and die. I had an inspiration and told him to arch his had back and relax, let go with his arms, let them hang down by his side, and take a long rest, so that he could summon strength enough to unclip the gear sling. He followed my instruction, and amazingly it worked. He hung there, deadlike, for a time, then at last used all his newfound strength to pull on the rope and get unclipped. The big loop, though, caused him then to fall free for about 40 feet before the rope could stop him. It was a wild moment or two.
Anastasia

Trad climber
California
Aug 11, 2007 - 04:21pm PT
Those are so beautiful. Why don't we get pictures like that anymore?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 12, 2007 - 09:04pm PT
Anastasia, the climbing photography esthetic changed, probably more to do with super staturated colors on Kodachrome á là Galen Rowell... black and white can be pretentious, fine art and all that... and as one of my photog friends observed of my pictures once, in mock exasperation, "Ansel Adams is dead!" She is always trying to get me to stretch...

marty(r), I don't have back issues of Ascent. Sure would be nice to have them online. Perhaps the publisher and/or editor(s) could do something about that....
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 13, 2007 - 08:30am PT
Those are so beautiful. Why don't we get pictures like that anymore?

The Ascent article showcased some of the photographs taken for Bob Godfrey and Dudley Chelton's (then) soon-to-be-published book Climb -- I think Chelton did these two sets. A lot of hard work and artistry went into conceiving, setting up and executing their shots.

The results were a new and exciting view for US climbers. To some extent, the authors themselves were inspired by an earlier book by Tony Smythe and photographer John Cleare, Rock Climbers in Action in Snowdonia. Some of Cleare's dramatic photos appeared in another thread:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=411164&msg=431092#msg431092
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 13, 2007 - 08:42am PT
Oli:
This climb is perfect for taller people, who can stem out on the hardest moves, as you see Roger doing. It's a grade harder or more, for short people.

Eric Aldrich, who's not a lanky dude, was Roger's off-camera second on the Death and Transfiguration shoot. After watching Roger do it, he had to work out a whole different sequence for himself.

The name Death and Transfiguration conveys an impression of doubt, effort and breakthrough on the FFA of this steep route.
Maysho

climber
Truckee, CA
Aug 13, 2007 - 09:53am PT
Dan Michael helped me have a most fantastic 18 birthday, I got to lead Death and Transfiguration, right when I stood up on the top a glider swooped me! I don't remember it being rated 5.12, people called it 11c then, but who cares, anyone who has done that awesome pitch would agree on a 5 star rating. Got to order 3.2 beer that night (oh how thrilling) then the next day we did Wunch's Dihedral. Anyone know what Dan is up to these days?

Peter
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