First Ascent of the Heart Route 1970- Kroger and Davis

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Messages 61 - 78 of total 78 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Mar 21, 2009 - 05:16pm PT
New thread is a good idea style bump.

Twenty years ago I thought Banning was a scary place, and I'm from the south side of Chicago.

I never got to climb with Dr Andy Embick, MD, but I did hang and shoot the sh#t with him. One time in camp 4,
I talked with him about my wife in Med School;
""you're in, man she can always be the expedition doctor," he said.
I laughed and asked "Do you pull that sh#t a lot to get on trips?"
he seemed genuinely hurt, and said, "I'm generally the expedition leader."
There was a rift between us after that.

A year or so earlier I was in a grad class, 'Stratigraphic paleontology' at the university of Wyoming, with his sister. It was the best class I have ever taken (I believe that Orion Skinner, the brother of the late Todd Skinner, and Father of Becca Skinner who posts here while her father only lurks, would concur) . The lab practical final gave us three minutes at each station where we had to identify the geologic period from the evidence presented. At one station, we were presented with some walnut sized fossils, a dinosaur skull and a slide under a low power, stereo microscope. Learning gets no cooler than that!

The teacher, Dee Dub Boyd believed in a strict curve for grading, though in the end, all of us (6 students) scored over 94%. the grades were 5 B's, and one C. Talk about a hard room! Mr Embick's sister is every bit as tough as him, it must be in their genes.

I climbed 'Stepping Out' with no problems after he had described it as 'the hardest climb in the universe'. Chick Holtcamp, or maybe Bob Yoho advised me to not mention that to Andy, and I never did.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 28, 2009 - 11:51pm PT
Embick was the first guy I ever saw use chalk. It was at Stoney Point - late 60s I think. Anybody know anyone using chalk prior?
scuffy b

climber
Frigate Matilda
Apr 29, 2009 - 11:58am PT
I got to climb once with Andy. He, Mike Graber and I
went up on the Central Pillar. We climbed six pitches then
rapped off, an uncommon combination.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
May 1, 2009 - 09:13am PT
Bump for one of Mr. Grossman's great threads.
Tomcat

Trad climber
Chatham N.H.
Jan 6, 2012 - 04:54pm PT
Too good not to bump.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 6, 2012 - 05:34pm PT
Wendell, that was a great and well told story! Thanks!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 6, 2012 - 07:20pm PT
Holy frig, TGT - how the hell did Andy fall asleep on the back of your motorbike, and knott fall off? That's bloody amazing!
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jan 6, 2012 - 07:45pm PT
I had a Wixom touring setup and the back bag had a backrest. You couldn't slide off the back.

I just sold that bike in November. It had sat in the shed for fifteen years or so waiting for a restoration that I never got around to.

It found a good home with an enthusiast who is restoring it and calls me every couple of weeks with an update.

Got four times what I paid for it too.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 22, 2012 - 10:12pm PT
bump for Heart Route coolness


and rip, Andy
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 23, 2012 - 12:19am PT
Here is a short Chuck Kroger story....

A friend of mine lives in the Berkeley hills and Chuck used to make some cash as a house painter. He told me that Chuck also helped out a time or two rescuing local residents who had somehow locked themselves out of their houses by using his climbing skills to climb into their second floors.

This might have been told elsewhere....

Chuck Kroger was part of a prank while at Stanford where they rapped down the side of Hoover Tower while painting feet that made it look like somebody had walked up the outside of the Tower.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 23, 2012 - 08:05am PT
I worked with Scott in Seattle. To call him erudite does him a disservice.
He wrote a book about his time in Syria in the 70's that was very good.
I can't find it on amazon. He has reprised it though and I am sure it is
as good or better than his first one. It would be a timely read.

Apparently the former US Ambassador to Syria agrees:

"Meticulously observed. Davis went far off the beaten path—into side streets
and mountain villages— and saw a Syria that escapes nearly all Western travelers."

—Talcott Seelye,
Former U. S. Ambassador to Syria


The Road from Damascus: A Journey Through Syria



He also wrote an eclectic work on climbing and construction:

Lost Arrow and Other True Stories
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Apr 29, 2012 - 11:27pm PT
I'm going to check that Syria book out for sure

two points: (1) that cartoon is hilarious; (2) those photos from Embick/Dunn are historically significant.

that's all.

oh, and the Kroger/Davis ascent is, in my opinion, a watershed moment in El Cap climbing history, on a number of levels.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 10, 2013 - 10:42am PT
Bump for doing an FA right!
Gobi

Trad climber
Orange CA
Mar 10, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
I’ve spent a good bit of time on this route in the past few years. The roof pitch and the pitches after are all steep and spectacular. The Heart route would be well traveled classic if the lower half wasn’t so dirty. I wish I had photos to share...
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Mar 10, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
Does anyone know who did the THIRD ascent of the Heart Route? During our second ascent in 1971, we discovered that there had been a huge rockfall between the first ascent (a year earlier by Scott Davis and Chuck Kroger) and our climb. The route was substantially changed and the "White Tower" feature on the original climb had simply disappeared! The entire 300 foot section of the Heart Route was dusty, full of loose rock, and brittle sections. I'd be interested in hearing from whomever climbed in subsequently whether they also encountered these loose section during their ascent.

Me and a couple of friends went up to Sickle Ledge about the time of the rockfall mentioned above. On the way up, every tiny edge and ledge was covered with a fine dust, and whenever the wind came up, the find dust blew into our eyes. It was just a practice run up to Sickle and later that same day, we hiked around to the west side to climb on the short climbs there, and discovered where the dust came from. The trail and environs over there were devasted. It was like hiking through the loose moraine rubble left after a retreated glacier. For a long time aftertward there was unpredictable rockfall that came down on that side of El Cap. Surely others remember this. I'm pretty sure that the large devasted area of forest that can be seen when looking down from El Cap is from that rockfall, since there was quite a large number of splintered trees on the hike along the base. It would not surprise me if the rockfall had happened the night before. If it had happened during the day it may have been a highly reported event.

For whatever reason, I had a good helping of rockfall events and accounts when I was young. There were so many! I sure remember the stories of when Mike Dent was on Sickle Ledge ( cant remember if they were bivied), and I think I recall some photos, but the story was enough to create some nice images. Mike was lucky to be alive. I can't remember who rescued them, but his team's ropes were so cut up and pulverized and melted into the rock, that I'm pretty sure they had to be rescued (given assistence with ropes). I don't recall anyone being hurt - just mental hurt!

I forgot to say too, that the Davis and Kroger story is one of my all time favorites. El Cap was so big......and still is.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Mar 10, 2013 - 05:53pm PT
Hey Dan, I remember, as an impressionable youth, humping loads up to the base of el Cap for your solo and watching as huge slabs of ice broke away up high. They sailed down like a magic carpet unsure of their final destination. They final reached earth crashing into the trees all too close. I remember walking out keeping as close to the wall's base as possible!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Mar 10, 2013 - 06:46pm PT
Chuck Kroger, near the end, in Telluride. From a prior post on Supertopo.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 11, 2013 - 07:34am PT
Shown here with the love of his life, Kathy Green. A very formidable team.
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