Bob Locke Memorial Buttress, Mt. Watkins. Story?

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Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 4, 2007 - 12:03pm PT
I was eyeing this topo a while back, then the route came up in the Golden Age thread. Some big names on the FA list. What's the story on this route? Does it ever get repeated?
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 4, 2007 - 09:46pm PT
Bob Locke Memorial Buttress, Grade VI, 5.11b, A4, 1978, Jim Bridwell, Ron Kauk, John Long, Kim Schmitz

HEY Largo! What's the scoop on this sleeper route?
Brick

Social climber
SF, CA
Sep 4, 2007 - 09:50pm PT
LaRGO? Ran out of water in Sahara heat- was pissing black urine? Kidneys ached for a month? A tale worth re-telling....
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Sep 4, 2007 - 09:51pm PT
I believe Tucker soloed this route...I'll ask him tomorrow....
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Sep 5, 2007 - 11:46am PT
Tucker solo'd it?
Now that would be something.

I recall there was some stout free as well as hard aid.
I've heard some of JL's first hand accounts, but I wouldn't even attempt to pry any of that loose...
Would love to hear it again.

Largo?
Anguish

Mountain climber
Jackson Hole Wyo.
Sep 5, 2007 - 02:07pm PT
Kim is around Jackson Hole. I talked to him a few weeks ago, a brief while about the Mt. Watkins route. Don't know if he reads supertaco.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Sep 5, 2007 - 02:34pm PT
As an aside, maybe a year ago, someone here on the taco was making a concerted effort to find Kim.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=260628&msg=263733#msg263733
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Sep 5, 2007 - 04:51pm PT
Tucker did the Regular route (with Sue Harrington) and soloed the route Teneya Terror.......I think he brought some beer with him,.... but I'm not sure..............
Walleye

climber
The back seat of my 69 Nark Avenger
Sep 5, 2007 - 07:25pm PT
This route was just a tune up for Kauk and Kim before they traveled to a land far away to help establish the worlds first Grade VII..
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Sep 5, 2007 - 08:07pm PT
Uli Biaho?
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 5, 2007 - 08:18pm PT
This route was established in honor shortly after the tragic death of young Bob Locke on the regular route (I believe) of Mt Watkins. He fell on lead, hit his lead rope as it traversed laterally below him, broke it, and was eventually held by his HAUL line. Very large and powerful fall... He sustained fatal internal bleeding, and expired with Chris Falkenstein, his belayer, attending, there on route. Horrible!

He worked for me in Santa Cruz for about a year or so. (construction). He was known as the "bumbler", Tom Carter's affectionate nickname.

His blood alcohol (I was told) was actually high; Falkenstein had no explanation.

When we send his ashes off the Mt Dana shortly thereafter, at the very moment where the group of perhaps 75 men and women were prepared to let him go into the beautiful thin alpine air and heaven, his two brothers (I am remembering) whipped out yarmulkes, did a super-jiffy Jewish rite, and off his ashes went, down the ?-third couloir, of which he had done the first ski descent not long before. Even I had no idea Bob was of Jewish extraction. He had been with me many many days working.....and kept his more basic self secret.

There is much to this moment in history for me. And for really a lot of other climbers who thought they knew him or knew his friends.

WBraun

climber
Sep 5, 2007 - 08:28pm PT
Yeah, as I remember it

Dale releases the ashes over the Dana couloir and the updraft blew a lot of it back in our faces.

Yeah Tar (Roy), it was Uli Biaho.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Sep 5, 2007 - 09:29pm PT
Peter,
Thanks for your memories of Bob Locke, who I did not know.

A couple of minor corrections. Locke had climbed a vertical corner and traversed out of it at the top. He apparently fell back into the corner onto the lead rope as it ran through protection points. Somehow the rope broke, but there were no signs that the rope was cut. In fact, the rope seemed to have simply come apart. I will never forget that each strand at the break was slightly puffed, indicating that each one just pulled apart. Never heard a good explanation for it.

Also, Locke was alive when Chris left him to get help. That is why a rescue, led by John Dill, was attempted the night of the accident. However, Locke died before the Dale Bard reached him via a 1200 foot rappel at about 3:00 am the next morning. I also rappped down that night and Dale and I helped recover the body the next morning.
Rick
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 5, 2007 - 10:14pm PT
Hi Ricky! Awful subject over which to say hi again...

As Bobo died bleeding internally, he told Fall, "Say goodbye to everybody and tell them I love them", or in so many words. At least this is what Tom Carter told me.

If you fall and also hit with your swiftly falling body your lead rope stretching below you, there is a bunch of terrible physics that amplify the loads. In a nutshell, as you load the rope system, and then load it again by falling onto the system further down as it is stretching between protection points as a catenary ( the condition of the rope as it drapes between horizontally (more or less) points), a normal rope will break if the fall is large. The forces generated are hard to intuit, but quite massive.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Sep 5, 2007 - 10:31pm PT
Thanks, Werner, Peter, Rick et al. I was in the Valley in autumn 1976. We arrived just after Bob Locke died - Camp 4 was a quite subdued place for a while.

Peter's point is well taken - if you fall on your own rope, the dynamics get complicated, and severe, quickly. Especially if the rope is already under tension. Three point loading. Shock loading. Force multipliers. You can fall from above onto your rope, perhaps on an interval between protection points, or perhaps diagonally.

Slack lining, and the people who do big jumps from the centre of ropes suspended across chasms, seem a similar situation.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Sep 6, 2007 - 05:55am PT
That was a very sad day in the valley.
Thanks for the explanation, Peter and Anders. The fall generated great force, to be sure. I remember that one or more carabiners shattered and there were pieces of broken carabiners scattered on a ledge.
Rick
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Sep 6, 2007 - 06:09am PT
Hi Ricky,
It is raining lightly up here this morning and we had a red sunrise to the east and a rainbow to the west; just gorgeous.

Maybe we should both email JL & ask him to post up on this Watkins route? Mari & I counted it among our "dream routes".

-Roy
WBraun

climber
Sep 6, 2007 - 08:27am PT
What my speculation was ... is that when he hit the corner, his yo hammer being on that side of him on his hip, hit the rope and severed it.

Freak accident .....?
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Sep 6, 2007 - 09:13am PT
Werner,
Have you ever seen carabiners shatter from a leader fall? That seemed to me very bizarre.
Rick
WBraun

climber
Sep 6, 2007 - 09:52am PT
Never heard about it Rick. That is very bizarre especially on a climbing fall.

Maybe the hammer hit a biner also?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 6, 2007 - 08:44pm PT
Unpleasant memories for you guys to be sure. I had a box seat along with Mark and Dennis Udall, six pitches up the regular route on Half Dome. It was quite a sight with the searchlights illuminating the beautiful face of Watkins but I sure didn't sleep too well that night.....
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Sep 6, 2007 - 09:20pm PT
wow, Peter, thx for making that point on this unfortunately story. It seems that slack liners are really pushing the limits on 1" tube webbing, especially as they pop and have to fall on their line. not long distances, but same movement with the tube under tension. has anyone done testing on this nutty of sports and the forces involved?


Locke Rock in the Courtright Reservoir area was named after Bob Locke.
couchmaster

climber
Sep 6, 2007 - 09:44pm PT
Rick A, the puffing on the rope ends describes the effect of battery acid on a rope to a T.

I too saw this effect in person, 1977. Rope fell apart under bodyweight rappelling. Kid weighed maybe 130-140 is all. We made a rope litter and carried the kid out after splinting the compound fracture of the Femur (thigh). He was fortunately unconscious.

This was before cell phones, remote area, there were no houses, phones or towns near. We had to just deal so we did our best.

We got him to the hospital stat. Survived, no complications. The fall should have killed him.

Sorry - didn't mean to drift too far off topic.
bachar

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 7, 2007 - 07:28am PT
Steve G,
I was on that rescue across from you. They used a C-130 or something with a huge floodlight to illuminate the face while Dale lowered down to Bob... quite eerie that night. They shined the light on the face of Half Dome a couple times and it lit the whole damn face as if it were a drive in theater! Incredible sight from where we were - must have been the same for you except you probably knew something was terribly wrong...

RIP Bob.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 7, 2007 - 10:11am PT
Crazy story guys. Thanks for sharing.

With that background laid down, I'd like to hear more about the route named in Bob's honor. A training route for Uli Biaho? Sounds like a good tale. I bet those two experiences were a bit different. Wasn't Sports Illustrated or someone like that funding the expedition to U.B.?

Anyone hear from Largo?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Sep 7, 2007 - 10:41am PT
I e-mailed him Jerry, to get some storied reportage on the memorial route; no response yet, maybe he is out of town.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Sep 7, 2007 - 11:09am PT
Ricky A. just e-mailed me - hadn't seen this thread till now. I'll try and crank out a few words on this incredible route sometime this weekend. Right now I'm totally booked.

The BLMB is IMHO one of the best and most novel walls in Yosemite. If it was on El Cap it would be as popular as the Salathea. It has features (like a gigantic angling dike) I've never seen before and spectacular positioning and exposure - that Watkins is ginormous. But sh#t was it hot in August.

More later.

JL
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 7, 2007 - 11:37am PT
Hi John. Thanks for posting. This sounds great. I'm on the edge of my seat...
Walleye

climber
The back seat of my 69 Nark Avenger
Sep 7, 2007 - 12:23pm PT
John Roskelly wrote a story about the Uli Biaho climb in the 1979 American Alpine Journal. A real big job, seventeen days to hike in, 2000 ft of gully and ice climbing just to get to the base of the 4000 foot face (or something like that)...Kauk got some hideous offwidth assignment up there.

I look forward to Largos account of the BLMB..
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Sep 7, 2007 - 12:47pm PT
Always remember Bob from the rescue team in Tuolumne Meadows in the 70s. He was one of the best all around nice guys who ever lived and his untimely death was a real blow to the "spirit of the age". Remember also how he made us all feel like warriors out of Homer, making clear our links with an earlier Heroic age. RIP Bob.
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Sep 8, 2007 - 12:15am PT
The classic SAR book ‘Wilderness Search And Rescue’ by Tim J. Setnika [copyright 1980] begins with a chapter recounting in detail the Bob Locke rescue/recovery entitled ‘Prologue: At Night on Mt. Watkins’. The book then delves into the history of SAR going back to the Bible.

"Bob suddenly fell while attempting a hard move. Chris said Locke swung down like a pendulum and immediately ripped out the two nuts he had just placed. He slid down and across the face, almost hitting Falkenstein, who ducked as he flew past. The force of the fall pulled the belay rope through Chris’s hands so rapidly that his left one was burned severely.

"Finally, after what seemed like a long, slow-motion dream, Locke crashed into an inside corner to the left and slightly above Chris. He hung limp on the rock, barely conscious. Although it all happened in an instant, Chris noticed a dramatic rupture in the rope now taut between them and instantly began lowering Locke the remaining meter or two to the ledge. Just as Chris was grabbing Locke, the remaining two strands of the rope’s core broke. Bob plummeted again.

"A haul line – a light rope used to pull up sacks containing the food, water, and clothing necessary for multiday climbs and not meant as a safety rope – was casually tied to his harness. Miraculously, it kept him from falling the rest of the distance to the ground, although it was radically abraded in the process. Bob halted a full rope-length down, about 50 meters below Chris’s ledge.”

Gulp.

Request for a CH-130 flare ship to provide illumination was declined on account of fire danger. The light used to illuminate the rock on the rescue was a nine million candlepower spotlight known as a Carolina Moon (powered by a separate jet fuel source) mounted in a U.S. Coast Guard CH-130 based in San Francisco.
My book includes 5 b&w pictures from the rescue and also an aireal shot of the face of Watkins. It’s an engaging and dramatic piece of writing.

Setnika explains that although Locke expired before his rescuers could make it to him, it was a landmark rescue insofar as it was a complex operation undertaken in the dark ... which potentially opened a Pandora’s box. At the time of the writing he states that the rescue "remains a glimpse of the possibilities of fusing training, technology, and decisive action into a coordinated effort capable of performing difficult and dangerous tasks".

RIP.


P.S. I fly into SF on Sept 13th. I'm looking for a ride to the Valley within a few days of that and can kick in some gas $$$ (I'll have one fat pig, a large backpack, and some other crap). I'll be there for the season until the weather changes (and then I'll probably look for a ride to J-Tree or IC).
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Sep 8, 2007 - 06:21am PT
JB-The “Carolina Moon” was amazing. It would light the face as the plane passed for less than a minute.During that time though, it was as if it were broad daylight. Graham and Richard Harrison were also on that rescue, if I recall correctly.

Steve-That must have been an amazing sight from across the valley on Halfdome. Interesting also that you were with US Representative , and likely next year to be Senator, Mark Udall.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 8, 2007 - 07:02am PT
No finer political family ever graced public service. But for the bandwagon effect and that silly guitar jingle ("why not the best") Mo would have been president in place of Carter and the country would certainly be farther along. The family joke at the time was that the Secret Service was going to have their hands full since all six children were avid outdoors enthusiasts! A stellar picture of Brad and I on top of Fairview Dome hung on the wall in Mo's congressional office while he was able to serve. Mo was a giant in politics and a beacon of relief in the midst of a very backward and reactionary state. I learned most of my mountain skills from the Udalls early on. Great people!
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Sep 8, 2007 - 07:20am PT
Agreed. Brad and Jane are neighbors and we get out in the winter once in a while.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 8, 2007 - 08:04am PT
Say hello for me. I am long overdue on a trip to CO....
graham

Social climber
Ventura, California
Sep 8, 2007 - 09:30am PT
Reading all this reminded me I had some photos of what we were hoping to be Bob Locke’s rescue.

First thing I want to say is Chris Falkenstein’s amazing effort in his descent and sprint to park headquarters set the pace for this effort. The only helicopter available that night on the few minutes notice was a small Bell 47 and not having much “useful load” we had to shuttle in pairs to get to the top of Mt. Watkins. This first photo gives you the feeling of the slope landing with only lanterns for markers. The pilot joked on my trip it was his first night flight but I think he did that on every leg to break the ice with his passengers. Must have done it a dozen times that night



This is a shot under the Carolina Moon



This was our ride home the next day.



There is really too much to say about this tragedy
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 8, 2007 - 10:15am PT
Wow. This is turning into a time machine. Odd this story isn't better known. Aside from that SAR book, has it ever been printed? I'd never even heard the name Bob Locke, aside from seeing the route in the book for years.

CF frequents this site- Chris, I hope this isn't opening bad/troubling memories for you.

Peace,
JD
smith curry

climber
nashville,TN
Sep 8, 2007 - 10:34am PT
Anyone know what pitch he fell on? I just did that climb a few months ago: there were a few heads up spots, and some tricky routefinding....Great route though.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 10, 2007 - 09:04pm PT
Bump. Looking forward to Largo's story.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 10, 2007 - 09:23pm PT
Tales of the Oiled Bone.........
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Sep 15, 2007 - 07:06am PT
From John Moynier’s excellent Sierra backcountry skiing guidebook, which describes a 12,500 foot peak, near Mt. Humphreys:

“Mount Locke is not mentioned on any maps, but it has long been called Mount Locke in memory of Sierra skier and climber Bob Locke…In addition to fellow Yosemite climbers like Dale and Alan Bard, Chris Falkenstein, Werner Braun, and Walt Rosenthal, Bob-O made many daring first descents along the east side of the range.”

Would enjoy hearing any stories of Bob-O’s skiing exploits.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 12, 2007 - 02:59pm PT
Bump. STILL looking forward to Largo's story...



Nibs

Trad climber
Humboldt, CA
Oct 18, 2007 - 06:32pm PT
Bump
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Oct 18, 2007 - 08:29pm PT
I'd like to write that story sometime soon but I'm backlogged right now with a book and two articles. But someday . . .

The first ascent was sort of epic because it was in August (hot!).

JL
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2009 - 11:14pm PT
How are those projects coming Largo?
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 22, 2009 - 11:49pm PT
On a recent posting by Haan, I saw a reference to my old friend Bob Locke who was tragically killed on Watkins years ago. Running down my list of slides I came across several shots of Bobo from the 70s when he was helping me build my house in Santa Cruz. It was a golden era in Santa Cruz, a gathering place for many fun hogs, misfits and the usual suspects.

I remember being on MT Hood with Chouinard at one of his ice climbing seminars. Bobo, Dale Bard and Jim Collins strolled by with a single pair of skis between them. One of the students from the NW asked what they were doing and Yvon responded,”they are going to ski one of your hardest climbing routes.” Bits of laughter, “yeah sure” comments and everyone got back to the ritual of the hour.

Several hours later, Bobo came flying down on skis. No questions asked!

Lovely lad.



Panther Beach, up the coast from Santa Cruz.


Watco, Thompsons Water Seal, Cerveza, you name it, Bobo could handle it.


Whoa man, that’s my dog. Don’t waste good Watco oil on him.

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Feb 22, 2009 - 11:57pm PT
DR, that doesn't look like Panther. looks like a river outlet to the ocean of some sort. hrm, maybe just a weird perspective.
SGropp

Mountain climber
Eastsound, Wa
Feb 23, 2009 - 12:34pm PT
Darrel Hatten and I were making an attempt on climbing the South Face of Mt. Watkins a couple of weeks after the fatal accident and found several sections of a very badly damaged rope hanging on the wall. We had only heard vague stories of the accident before we went but it was sobering to find these pieces of what was likely the severed rope.

We had to retreat from several pitches above the double pendulum as we managed to drop the hooks while handing off the rack.
Darrel had been forced to do a sky hook move using his Yo hammer on a previous EL Cap route and was understandably reluctant to do it again.

I kept a section of that rope for many years, using it to tie up my boat on many Alaskan voyages.

Darrel was an exceptionally gifted aid climber from Canada who was killed in a fall a few years ago while rescuing a cat out of a tree
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 23, 2009 - 01:38pm PT
Steve,

Cool story.

There are some good threads here on Daryl Hatten:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=192446

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=168450
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Feb 23, 2009 - 02:14pm PT
Mungie, that's not DR, its Joe McKeown. And Joe/Guido, that is not Panther beach but that granite practice area south of Carmel on Hwy #1 that Bates liked to go to all the time BITD.

Thanks, JMcK for putting up the Bobbo photos. What a shame.

best ph.
Fuzzywuzzy

climber
suspendedhappynation
Jan 30, 2010 - 09:28pm PT
Peter you are correct. I think the top one is my photo of Bobo. Man we had a blast checking out the Big Sur coast for climbing. Otters floating around below etc. Thanks for posting Joe. Maya maya papaya in there too!!! Wow.

I have a great Gordon Wiltsie photo of Bob Skiing Dana's North face (now incorrectly called the Solstice Chute.

Will scan it someday and post.

Rick A. Thanks very much.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Feb 2, 2010 - 03:17pm PT
Many were the times that I noticed Allan Bard sporting a stem of Pennyroyal blooms in his ever present white hat. One day, while hiking into our Third Lake camp, I asked him if there was any particular reason for always wearing that flower. He answered, “Yeah, it’s for Bobbo.” I had no idea what he meant.

I queried, “Bobbo? Who’s Bobbo?’

“My old friend Bob Locke” was his answer. I didn’t know Bob Locke. Allan explained that Bobbo died in a climbing accident and that Locke used to wear Pennyroyal in his hat. Allan wore Pennyroyal in his memory.

Since Allan’s death I have always picked a stem of Pennyroyal in the backcountry and worn it in my hat for Bobbo and Allan.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Feb 2, 2010 - 03:26pm PT
Thx Peter. Not sure why I typed DR.??

neat looking in any event

-M
JeffG

climber
Jul 22, 2010 - 09:05pm PT
Hi guys. I'm not a climber, but this story/thread is about my cousin. I was born in 1975 so I never really had a chance to know him, but I've seen photos of him and have heard stories. Reading this thread has been a pretty emotional experience. Knowing he's remembered means a lot. Finding photos of him that neither I nor my family may have seen means even more.

If any of you have good photos of Bob (skiing, climbing, just being himself) that you're willing to post here or email to me, I'd really appreciate it. If there are stories to go along with them, even better.

Thank you. Really... thank you.

 Jeff Greenhouse
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jul 22, 2010 - 09:14pm PT
Welcome Jeff. Always nice to see these kind of stories in this kind of thing. Bob sounded like a great guy.

In reading back Rick posted; "A couple of minor corrections. Locke had climbed a vertical corner and traversed out of it at the top. He apparently fell back into the corner onto the lead rope as it ran through protection points. Somehow the rope broke, but there were no signs that the rope was cut. In fact, the rope seemed to have simply come apart. I will never forget that each strand at the break was slightly puffed, indicating that each one just pulled apart. Never heard a good explanation for it.

That's the classic look of a rope that had been touched by sulferic acid, like from a car battery. Interesting, just yesterday I was musing to myself if perhaps Todd Skinners harness loop might have had this issue and if the Park Service had tested it.
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Jul 22, 2010 - 11:28pm PT
Peter, I vividly remember that memorial service for Bobo on top of Mt Dana that late Fall day('76). You may recall that it had more or less began with several of us sharing an early morning, er, breakfast of sorts in the TM meadow...you, Dale, Yabo perhaps Chris, Fuzz, myself and others.

Millis gave the last rights. You might remember that he had brought a selection of Falcon feathers and distributed them to several of us to carry with us on the hike up to the Mt. Dana Plateau. We all sat there solemnly for quite some time, reflecting and meditating. What a beautiful place to say goodbye to a close friend and son(Bobo's mom and dad were there).

I remember Bob Finn making an especially poignant gesture. He soloed out onto this exposed pinnacle, and sat there with his back to everyone. Someone made the snide remark "OK Clint Eastwood!"(The Eiger Sanction was in all the theaters that summer). And i am sure it made more than a few people a little uncomfortable considering the occasion. Bob sat there for awhile and then carefully made his way back. He had left the falcon feather Millis had given him sticking up from the top of the exposed pinnacle...an awesome gesture and token of respect in remembrance of Bobo.

Millis led the ceremony. He began with asking if we would like to contribute the remaining falcon feathers, and culminated with the ashes being tossed down the couloir which had been named 'Cocaine Chute' after Bobo and Dale Bard had skied it the previous Spring.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Jul 23, 2010 - 12:26am PT
For those unaware, Allan Bard died in a climbing accident on the Grand back in 1997. His ashes were spread over those of Bobbo on the Dana crest. Years later, Dale and about twenty others took Moose's (Allan's chocolate lab) ashes to the same spot.



Dale lofting Moose's remains.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Jul 23, 2010 - 12:29am PT
By the way, this is where Millis' ashes went, where my mother's and step-dad's went and where I intend for mine to go.

Don't hold your breath - I'm almost 78.
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Jul 23, 2010 - 01:10am PT
Wow!

I wasn't aware of this Don.

This is a very special place to me, even more so now.

Thanks for sharing...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 18, 2012 - 09:20am PT
Memorial Bump...
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Mar 18, 2012 - 11:47am PT
This is my recollection,...... although i could be wrong....

After the Bob Locke incident, Park service installed a telephone line at Mirror Lake for emergencies.
.............

A couple of Facelifts back, I was picking up trash, while Ed Hartouni and facelift crew pulled out all the old downed telephone lines. .. I stood there watching.. as the memory of that incident came rushing back.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 19, 2012 - 07:40pm PT
I just take the pictures... Steve W did all the work!



and jstan was racing the signals up the wires he was so far out in front!

a good day's work

I remember warning Jesse to slow down as we were driving to the site... he was a wee bit over the speed limit... then I remembered the bar on the roof (thanks to Merry and Werner for putting it there!)
Kalimon

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Mar 19, 2012 - 08:17pm PT
Damn, that's a big pile of abandoned garbage.

Thanks for cleaning it up!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 20, 2012 - 10:11am PT
Largo-Still waiting for tales of the Oiled Bone Dike Dude!

Many thanks for the good stewardship folks!!!
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 20, 2012 - 10:45am PT
I'm swamped with work. But I can scribble stuff down here in installments and maybe flesh out a story over the next few weeks. The saga surrounding the BLMB was a big one involving various attempts owing to fantastic circumstances and ending with us (Jim Bridwell, Ron Kauk, Kim Schmitz, and I) getting fried alive on the bone-white face in withering August heat.

Bridwell first spotted the line from a helicopter just after a rescue on Half Dome. According to Rick Accomazzo, the Bird instructed the pilot to do not just fly by on the 2,500 foot upper wall of Watkins, but to actually hove to close enough for the Bird to check out various cracks and features and to comprehensively piece together the line. Supposedly took an hour of hoovering up and down the wall during which they got close enough for Jim to nearly reach out and hammer a peg or two into the "All Time Knifeblade Crack," one of the greatest aid fissures in Yosemite.

Anyhow, a year or so later, Jim, Kim and I went up there to make the first push. And you wouldn't believe what happened . . .

TBC . . .

JL
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 20, 2012 - 07:45pm PT
Weeza putty, buddy!

You really need to tell this tale...when you get a chance.

Cheers!
splitter

Trad climber
Hodad surfing the galactic plane
Mar 20, 2012 - 08:44pm PT
WB- What my speculation was ... is that when he hit the corner, his yo hammer being on that side of him on his hip, hit the rope and severed it

I recall similar speculation at the time which included the possibility that one of the bongs could have done likewise damage as he slammed into the corner.

Bobo was a great guy. I recall him mentioning that he was going to concentrate primarily on classic routes for awhile, just a week or two before the accident. He had been doing a fair amount of cutting edge FA's with Dale and a few others for a couple of seasons.

Thanks for naming the route in memory of Bobo!
gf

climber
Mar 20, 2012 - 08:45pm PT
Now we're talking -a ripping yarn in instalments!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 25, 2012 - 02:04pm PT
That one and a written description of climbing the outside of the Harding Slot when those guys did Astroman are two gems still in the rough.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Mar 25, 2012 - 02:29pm PT
Link to the thread on the subject of the rescue attempt:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/446216/No-Rescue-the-Bob-Locke-Accident-on-Mt-Watkins
the goat

climber
north central WA
Mar 25, 2012 - 02:59pm PT
Rick, following this and reading your rescue thread brings back memories. I had just finished the reg. route with a brit, Mike Kosterlitz, who was part of the British invasion that Fall. It couldn't have been more than a few days later that I heard of BL's accident and where it happened, the sketchy 5.8-9 step, right?
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Mar 25, 2012 - 04:03pm PT
Uh...I look up and admire Mt. Locke everyday from my home. While I've had some awareness of the backstory, I'm glad to learn some hard facts.

Mt. Locke bookends a spur ridge which stems to the SE from The Checkered Demon, about midway between Mt. Humphries and Mt. Emerson. Its N Face describes a symmetrical and graceful pyramid, of unusually white granite, capped by some of the Sierra roof pendant which forms the composition of the adjacent crest peaks, or their contact zones.

The N Face is raked by some finger like couloirs - the "Wahoo Gulleys," so named because they are actually easier to ski than they look dead on. Serious chutes, in other words, of which I've skied but one.

Other descents exist, however.

My 1st "backcounty" ski was the S Face of Mt. Locke. I was dropped off at the S Fork of the McGee Ck roadhead, and booted it from there, ending with a hike out to Aspendell, 13 hours. My greatest and most lasting impression from the summit of Mt. Locke was: "now I remember why I moved out here..."

My 2nd trip, again on alpine gear w/o skins, was "Kindergarten Couloir," the 65* double fall line chute which separates Mt. Locke from the Checkered Demon. This I skied a week following the suggestion of my next door neighbor, the late Alan Bard, in 1985.

To range a bit further OT for a moment, Mt. Locke has become such a popular ski destination that last spring I drove up to the snowline (just to read a book), to find more than a few SUV's worth of skiers returning back to the Beach across some beautiful corn, leaving enough tracks as to describe a ski area!

Self indulgence aside, Mt. Locke is a work of an alpine landmark, most worthy of a name, other than point 12,684.

Of local color, the LADWP owns some inholdings within the Inyo National Forest lands of the Peak's eastern flank. These consist of well watered aspen groves and meadows. One summer I headed up to the headwaters of Birch Ck, in order to ascend the Checkered Demon from its easy S Slope, and recon its namesake couloir, 1st ascended by Doug Robinson and partner(s) - the late Walter Rosenthal was responsible for its 1st ski descent.

Near the E base of Mt. Locke, I happened across the largest artesian spring I've ever seen. At the base of the highly permeable granitic white screes of the "Bishop Bowl" above sprang a veritable torrent of a fully flooded creek, issuing forth from the slope's sidewall at a GPS roughly equal to about 1/2 the flow of McGee Ck, as it passes the 'Milks!

If you'd traversed 100 feet above its source, you'd have been quite unawares; 100 feet downstream, and you would have accepted a simple, if aggressive, creek crossing.

Such is Mt. Locke. I've always wondered about a man who would merit such a prominent placename.
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Mar 25, 2012 - 04:23pm PT
Damn, this just turned into one of the best, most heartfelt threads in a long, long time. It's a refreshing departure from the chest beating and callous disregard for suffering that passes through the tribe.

Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Feb 22, 2013 - 05:25pm PT
So, Largo......any recollections on this one?
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2013 - 05:35pm PT
Largo! Whats the scoop? Still wondering... six years now.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Feb 23, 2013 - 06:22am PT
Someone wake him up.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 23, 2013 - 07:13am PT
We are probably asking a bit much of Largo to cough up such a great story here in these pages.
Just a guess, but I'd say look for it in something published at some point.
And yes, I've been wanting to hear this for quite some time much the same as the rest of us!
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Feb 23, 2013 - 08:05am PT
"All Time Knifeblade Crack," one of the greatest aid fissures in Yosemite.
We must hear more

Has anyone else done this route?
it sure looks great, me an Lynnie did the Regular route in 80'
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Feb 23, 2013 - 08:44am PT
Roy-great to have you back in the St neighborhood! You were missed.

I visited John last week and he is looking great. Just an ace bandage on the leg, still getting around on crutches, but he is well on his way to getting use of his leg back. He is engulfed in his current writing project, a non-climbing effort, but to make up for that, it involves supermodels!

Still, six years is a long time for this story. The hardest part of writing anything is just getting started, so maybe Johnny can post just the first paragraph, or even the first sentence, to get the ball rolling.

Funny that we’ve never heard from anyone other than John who has done the route, perhaps it’s never been repeated? Hudon, or another big wall expert, needs to jump on it and report back.

Goat-He fell where the route traverses right out of dihedral below Sheraton Watkins. I don’t recall the moves exactly but I think it is a face climbing section.

Kabala-Thanks for your thoughts on Mt. Locke. Sounds like a nice peak. I have been dreaming about a trip to the Sierra in the spring for some time. Would love to do take my splitboard up it.
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Feb 23, 2013 - 09:12am PT
I'm not sure if he's done the BLMB but Urmas probably has as much time in that area as anyone.

You out there Urmas?
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 24, 2013 - 11:15pm PT
I don't mean to pressure Largo to give away a good story for free here. I'm happy to read it in Alpinist, California Climber, or where ever. But if its that good, it would be good to get it written.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Feb 24, 2013 - 11:56pm PT
I pasted Largo's responses to date below. Good stuff in itself.
In 1978, I think about three years after Bob's accident, I did a new route on Watkins with Bridwell, Kauk and Schmitz, which Bridwell named the Bob Locke Memorial Butress. I never knew Bob so the name never made much sense to me. After reading Rick's really excellent story, I'm happy the route - one of the best new walls I ever did - bears Bob's name.
The BLMB is IMHO one of the best and most novel walls in Yosemite. If it was on El Cap it would be as popular as the Salathea. It has features (like a gigantic angling dike) I've never seen before and spectacular positioning and exposure - that Watkins is ginormous.
The first ascent was sort of epic because it was in August (hot!)
More later.
One of the other threads - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=446216&tn=0
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 25, 2013 - 07:21am PT
Wow. Good to re-read Rick's story. Thanks for sharing it I hadn't seen Carol Locke's comment previously. That was quite touching.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 25, 2013 - 07:44am PT
Wow I had missed that too, thanks for pointing that out, Jerry.
gf

climber
Sep 8, 2013 - 06:32pm PT
Reminder bump/grovel to JL for an instalment, perhaps one of his colleagues on that one might chime in to boot?
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