Wings of Steel XXVII- the Downward Spiral

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 15, 2008 - 09:09am PT
Alrighty then Tadpoles! Your little cesspool has dried up and it's time to stand tall or whatever it is that Tadpoles do!?!

Before the quasi historical vivisection begins, just one teensy little clarification concerning the Pilgrim's Ponderous Pride and Perniciously Problematic Payload. Still steaming after all these decades, the Unholy Pile.









I would like to keep it simple because I know how you must blather on so....................................

Is the bloated half ton Appendix yours and accurate?

Or is it your editor's appendix?

Or did you suddenly receive his appendix or he yours, ten feet off of the ground on Wings of Steel, and THAT'S what changed everything!?!?!?!?
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
Jan 15, 2008 - 09:12am PT
Does anyone know when the war with Iran starts?

Juan "Son of Migrants" De Fuca
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Jan 15, 2008 - 09:54am PT
Wow, look at all that sh#t.

Didn't those guys know there is only one style to climb in that's acceptable? Don't they know that everyone climbs for the same reasons?
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:01am PT
Downward spiral is right. How old are you? Get a life.
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:03am PT
And what's with 24 pkgs of figurines?



You got Jesus, the wisemen, the apostles, some angels, but do you really need 24?
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:20am PT
I just got back from doing the first three pitches. I saw none of the enhancements that were supposd to be there. There were some corn plants growing right out of the rock from what appeared to be brown, organic material.
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:29am PT
Leaving the ground with 185 bolts! That's not even sporting. Back then, a new route that was expected to need 75 drilled holes was considered highly contrived.

Barbella and I climbed the Atlantic Ocean Wall with only 58 new holes total, in 1985. I think we brought along 25 some odd bolts (for belays), and maybe 40-50 rivets max.

Wings of Steel is what it is, a route that didn't set any standards or has significance in the historical realm of things (except for the local's reaction), but probably quite difficult in a contrived sort of way, but which apparently doesn't really appeal to anyone.

Still, there were other routes throughout the years that were "retro" in terms of standards. I'm a little baffled why this one gets so much attention and reaction (including mine, I suppose).
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:37am PT
Still, I suppose these guys should be commended for not drilling all their bolts they were prepared to drill. When you think about it, their 385 bolts and rivets x 6 feet per drilled placement (easy to do when topstepping on less-than-vertical) = 2310 feet of continuous bolt ladder.

Instead, they 'only' drilled 145 holes, take away 30 or so for belays, so 110 x 6 = 660', so only about a third of their new ground was drilled.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:38am PT
> Back then, a new route that was expected to need 75 drilled holes was considered highly contrived.

But that is for routes which had some cracks. The analogy is like doing a new route on the Apron - it will take more bolts per pitch than if you are doing a crack climb. They were doing a "slab hooking" route.
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:39am PT
John, when are you going to post some CO river rafting photos? You HAVE to have some nice ones. (Not to hijack this friendly thread or anything)
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:42am PT
The only reason it gets any attention is due to the two goofs that did it continue to try and slip their travesty past people as some prized accomplishment. People who don't know what really happened continue to believe them and those of us who know better continue to call them on it.

They dropped their sharpening stones or there would've been more filled holes. But they had no trouble using their blunt bits to enhance. Tiny, little 12-point font crystals is all they removed for their hooks. Yeah, right. taptaptaptaptaptaptaptap
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:43am PT
Steve,

What is the point of the insults? So what if they were slow and brought a lot of gear? Are you hoping they will say "We wish we had not done it?"

Are you concerned about the possibility that other people will put up similar parallel routes on the big slab there?

If you hate it so much, why don't you just get over there and chop the whole thing?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:46am PT
Mimi,

> People who don't know what really happened continue to believe them and those of us who know better continue to call them on it.

Bring some real evidence to the table if you want to make that claim. So far, all I've seen from you and Steve is hate and claims with no photos or actual observations except for that pitch which intersects Horse Chute.

Pete, Tom, Randy, and Ammon have brought real observations and photos to the discussion. But you and Steve seem to rely on reports from anonymous choppers from 25 years ago, and do not respond to the evidence from last summer. Get real.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:50am PT
Fess up now, who among you Supertopians [n]ever once turned a curious or covetious eye towards that slab?
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:53am PT
Funny how the pitch seen from Horse Chute doesn't count. Nor does the mountain of evidence provided in their book, when they were being honest for once, that points toward total technical incompetence. And the other eyewitness (who don't post here) accounts of what they saw and heard at the time don't count. And the fact that because of what they were doing, they had to get permission to climb from the rangers. How many parties have you ever heard of having to get permission to do a route because their competence was questioned?
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:58am PT
Did you see any of the figurines,Jody?
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:58am PT
"Still, I suppose these guys should be commended for not drilling all their bolts they were prepared to drill. When you think about it, their 385 bolts and rivets x 6 feet per drilled placement (easy to do when topstepping on less-than-vertical) = 2310 feet of continuous bolt ladder.

They only drilled 145 anchors, take away 30 or so for belays, so 110 x 6 = 660', so only about a third of their new ground was drilled."

I'm lost, JM. Just not following you there. It may be just me though - I *did* take a pretty decent fall recently and suffer a slight concussion. Good thing it was an aid pitch, or I wouldn't have been wearing a helmet! Of course, if it wasn't an aid pitch, I doubt I'd have inverted either.

Tomcat

Trad climber
Chatham N.H.
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:40am PT
Mimi,how can they have "total technical incompetance",and no one can repeat the route?

I can't imagine having so much negative to say about a route I can't do.

P.S.I really loved the comment in part 27 or 59,I fergit which,where someone surmises their sins(in granite no less)have been washed away.This corresponds exactly with the continuous upgrading of granite slab climbs worldwide.....lol!!!!
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:48am PT
Was there an honest question in there, or was that just the rantings of a bitter old man?

Steve, It is your crediblity that is under a cloud now. Can you prove you didn't enhance hook placements on Sea of Dreams?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:54am PT
Tomcat, I hate The Nose, still haven't done it. Nothing wrong with that approach. :)
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jan 15, 2008 - 12:01pm PT
Will someone just retro bolt this thing into the mother of all sport climbs?

Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 12:03pm PT
Tomcat, most of the 13 pitches (plus 9 of Aquarian) of this route have been repeated by different parties including the 'crux' second pitch.

Dirt, it's only a matter of time.

And why are elcapfool's observations of doctored placements disregarded?
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 12:05pm PT
jaybro...I saw a whole bunch of these figurines scattered about.

Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 12:07pm PT
Jaybro, weren't you one of the 'many' parties that 'raced' up the Aquarian to toss excrement and other debris on our two heroes? I bet you saw more than wooden figurines. LOL! Somehow, I can't see you being one of those tossers....
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jan 15, 2008 - 12:09pm PT
Seriously, an 80 degree face with slopey edges for 9 pitches would make a fine free climb, sportingly bolted on lead of course.
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 12:11pm PT
On hooks of course.
Chewbongka

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 12:14pm PT
Harumph...Harumph...Harumph!
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 15, 2008 - 12:21pm PT
i've heard the crux holds on "flabob" at roubidoux make those hooking edges on wos look like bivvy ledges.

i mean, fukk!!
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 12:43pm PT
Pitch one was definitely the hardest...

Pitch one has interspersed hooks and rivets for the first 60 feet, with a couple of bolts to save from the ground fall. At that point the angle eases just enough that I was able to free climb for another 35 feet or so, with a couple of bolts in that distance. The free climbing ends at a headwall that is 50 feet or so high. You stand on a small ledge, about 2 inches by 20 inches long. There is a bolt there. About 25 feet above that bolt, after hooking, there is another bolt. Took a couple of nasty falls there, narrowly missing the little ledge.

Pretty stiff climb...hardest I have ever done for sure. I still didn't see the ladder of steel everyone says is there.
Tomcat

Trad climber
Chatham N.H.
Jan 15, 2008 - 12:55pm PT
Agreed Munge,don't see or hear you bitchin' about it or dissin' it though.

Mimi,could you be more specific about a)the pitches that have been climbed on the lead b)the ones you yourself have climbed,if any,my impression is that you are a highly skilled aid climber c)why it's cute or OK for "Chongo" to take big freight and a long time,but not these guys?

Seems like some pretty outstanding wall climbers have been up there and bailed due to difficulties/scary falls.If the WOS boys didn't have the required street creds and accomplished this route,seems all the more impressive.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 15, 2008 - 01:39pm PT
i could! don't tempt me.

;)
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Jan 15, 2008 - 01:58pm PT
Haters wanna hate, lovers wanna love. I don't even want none of the above.
I want to piss on you! Yes I do. I'll piss on you; I'll pee on you.

sence your body, your body is a Porta-Potty.
And my pee I'd kick; like it know's karate. (knows karate)
i'm ganna pee on you. drip drip drip pee on you.pisss on you piss on you.
And you'll never fell quite the same once u take a whiff of my Hershey stains.
I want to poop on u too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V3jy8bEPSE
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 15, 2008 - 02:08pm PT
"Pitch one has interspersed hooks and rivets for the first 60 feet, with a couple of bolts to save from the ground fall. At that point the angle eases just enough that I was able to free climb for another 35 feet or so, with a couple of bolts in that distance. The free climbing ends at a headwall that is 50 feet or so high. You stand on a small ledge, about 2 inches by 20 inches long. There is a bolt there. About 25 feet above that bolt, after hooking, there is another bolt. Took a couple of nasty falls there, narrowly missing the little ledge."

The description above is PRECISELY what I found. Since I am long retired from free climbing, I did not even attempt the free climbing bit, but managed to find a way to hook under it to the left, then up.

I stood on that 2" wide ledge, and you can get a no-hands rest there. I thought I remembered it as being a little wider, and I had frightening visions of hitting it and fully destroying my once-busted but now-rebuilt ankle. In fact, I was thinking of my bone doctor saying, "Right then, go use it. Just don't break it again cuz I won't be able to fix it next time."

Because the hooking is so desperate, because I had been up there for like four hours on toprope at that point trying to figure it out, and because I had already decided that there was no way I was going to try leading the route, and because my cheat-stick was "only" 15' long, I was unable to reach the next bolt by legit means. I used the rope that Ammon had fixed to skip one or two hook moves I couldn't figure out, after Tom had secured permission from Gabe. Somewhere near the top when I was run-out 25', one of my hooks blew, and I would have been into the Whipper Of My Life had I not been on toprope. My bone doctor would not have been impressed.

I hope Richard is smart enough to reply, "Yes, that's what we took," and leave it at that. That's even more stuff than I take on my big wall camping trips, so if for no other reason they should be commended for their hauling ability.

Or something.

Holy frig, Steve - why did you cut off the bit in your scan about the hole count? Let's see what they wrote in the book, and see how it compares to what they have written on the forum. What could be a better credibility check? Please rescan the whole part about the hole count, and let's see what they said, eh?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 02:14pm PT
"...other eyewitnesses"

So far the only "eyewitnesses" that count are Ammon, Pete, Jody, and two guys from Looking Glass - nobody else counts because nobody else has ever set eyes on the route. What has been reported by those who have bothered to get on the route completely contradicts 25 years of spew.

Clueless, sure - they hadn't done anything like this and so over-geared - but to me it's still the essence of old school to just guess and go; onsight, clueless, and unannounced. Had we made it out around then I like to think we would have done something similar.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 15, 2008 - 02:19pm PT
It's now documented by me, Ammon, Tom and Randy that there are no bathooks nor visible enhancements on the first two pitches. Our observations are 100% consistent with what Richard and Mark told us, and with what they have written. At any rate, the route is a wide-open slab, everything is visible. Walk to the bottom of the slab with a pair of decent binoculars, a pen and a piece of paper, and look at the first few pitches in detail from different angles, and write down what you see.

The first two pitches are wicked runout, and certainly not over-bolted. A better scope will no doubt reveal the same on the pitches above.

It is amazing to me that nobody has bothered doing this! Instead they perpetuate lies. And if you've been doing this for twenty-five years, you probably don't want anyone to go up there and look, and tell you otherwise.

As per Tomcat's request, we await Mimi's wall resume, and aid pitch lead resume, of which she has been amazingly and repeatedly vague.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 15, 2008 - 02:24pm PT
"So far the only "eyewitnesses" that count are Ammon, Pete, Jody"

Umm, right. In YOUR opinion. Are you dense enough to think that Jody was speaking from personal experience? Kind of discounts your little chest thumping exclamation about knowing who's opinion counts. If I had to guess I'd say he was excerpting the book.

"nobody else counts because nobody else has ever set eyes on the route."

Says who? Again, YOUR opinion. If I recall correctly, Slater did a bunch of the pitches on this route. Did he do it with his eyes closed? There are other eyewitnesses besides your pets.


and this one is even more precious:

"Had we made it out around then I like to think we would have done something similar."

And if your aunt had balls she'd be your uncle. Retro couldawouldashoulda chestbeating, even lamer.


Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Jan 15, 2008 - 02:42pm PT
I'll re-post what I saw and how I saw it here, I suppose. For reference, I guess...

"There are NO bathook holes on the first pitch. There are NONE on the 2nd pitch. Not looking up from the ground, and not looking from 1 foot away, while on the slab itself. There also were no bathook holes I could see while at the top of pitch two, looking up at the route with a 100-400 Canon L lens. This, on a 1.6 crop is effectively a 640mm lens. And, now that I think of it, I was also using a 2x teleconvertor, which would bring us to 1280mm. Pretty much a low-powered telescope, at that point.

This whole "Thousand Bolts to Horse Chutes" stuff is just crap. The bolts/rivets on the route are spaced 25-35' apart. I don't see this route as over-bolted by either today's standards or by yesterday's. Seriously, you can figure this all out from the base. You can see the bolt/rivet placement. If you have poor eyesight or feel you need to see higher, then bring some binocs. Surely, the folks thrashing Richard and Mark must have had these, as I'm pretty sure most FAist or potential FAists had them to search out possible lines.

But then, we all know that the bolt/rivet count isn't what any of this was about, to begin with."

Someone up above posted a little bit about an unfair comparison to climbs that climb crack sytems (which I highly prefer over slab) and how routes on the Apron would inherently/naturally require a few more bolts, just by the nature of the rock. ie; slab with no cracks. That's pretty much common sense and a logical conclusion to come to. Honestly, there are tons of climbs in the valley having a higher bolt count when doing a bolts-per-foot ratio. Everyone keeps talking about turning it into a sport climb, etc... Even as a sport climb, this would have a pretty bold count and pretty serious whips. Moreso than most things in the valley. Whoever does this, kudos to you. Good luck.

edit: That *is* a crazy amount of sh#t to take in a motorhome, let a lone on a wall tho! Youch!
rick d

Social climber
tucson, az
Jan 15, 2008 - 02:42pm PT
20 bongs for a slab route?

Sure glad richard and mark did not head off alpine climbing. With all the tripe they carry they would still be shuttling loads (25 years later).

...and no alcohol not even wine!

unlike "72 tall boys" in one haul bag like some others I've known.
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 02:50pm PT
The other eyewitness, elcapfool, saw plenty of evidence. Why are these observations being disregarded Pete and Randy?

No one has downplayed what Chongo was doing as cute and over the years, whenever it was known that anyone drilled a chicken bolt, added a rivet, or a bathook hole, or enhanced hook moves, they were criticized. This includes all the big dogs too. So, this argument doesn't fly.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 15, 2008 - 02:58pm PT
"I hope Richard is smart enough to reply, "Yes, that's what we took," and leave it at that."

I hope Richard is smart enough not to reply at all. The OP does not deserve a response. Also, Steve's mind is made up and nothing Richard says or does will change it.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 15, 2008 - 03:10pm PT
"The other eyewitness, elcapfool, saw plenty of evidence. Why are these observations being disregarded Pete and Randy?"

Mimi, you should reread some of elcapfool's observations.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=231718&msg=231979#msg231979
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Jan 15, 2008 - 03:10pm PT
I'm not disregarding anything, Mimi. Seriously. I'm just stating what I saw, as one of the few people who have actually been on some of the pitches of the climb.

Honestly, at this point, this has all gone on so long and so many people have said so many things, I don't even remember what Christian or others have said. And I gotta give you guys props for having the courage to go back and scour the threads (thousands of posts now) to see/re-post what people have said. That must take some serious effort!

So, again, not trying to disregard, just posting what I saw. The only thing I am adamantly pointing out is that the route is NOT a bolt/rivet ladder. It's simply not true, and I'm pretty sure that the folks you mention didn't say that was the case either. I could be wrong on that, however. Even with my lens setup that day, there's a lot I might not have been able to see. Looking up the other 11 pitches from the top of 2 is a LONG ways! So the rest remains to be seen...
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 04:10pm PT
inyoazz, what's your beef with me?
GDavis

Trad climber
SoCal
Jan 15, 2008 - 04:25pm PT
Those who have climbed it claim the work of madmen hell bent on self destruction, with rivets placed up to 40 feet apart. Those who detract have yet to touch it.



It's all contrived until you get on it, eh?
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 15, 2008 - 04:30pm PT
Still new stuff!?

You called it, Mimi, I was part of one of those Aquarian teams (Mike paul was on another, seperate, ascent)I have never thrown a bag of poop at any person in my life, though looking back, sometimes I should have
-and I DON'T mean the WOS guys-
Mimi, weren't you one of the people I almost nailed when I pulled that big flake off of Coral Corner? Heard a story that you were down there that day, not really happy with those "Wyoming Boys"! source= Rick Derrick, for what any of this is worth. (I'm pretty sure 'tusi didn't launch any mudsharks in their direction, either)

Will, I think Jody was being playful, though maybe I read wrong.
Jody, I don't think he really has it in for you.

Jody,the drill/wooden model graphic made me choke! Not big gulp™ safe!

Too bad (understatement) Rob Slater, who I used to climb with sometimes in Vedauwoo back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, isn't around to chime in in his bombastic fashion...
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Jan 15, 2008 - 04:35pm PT
There's still such a thing as a Big Gulp?! Whoa!!!
WBraun

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 04:43pm PT



What is this thread about?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 04:48pm PT
"Says who? Again, YOUR opinion. If I recall correctly, Slater did a bunch of the pitches on this route. Did he do it with his eyes closed? There are other eyewitnesses besides your pets."

If Slater got on it, then any first-person account of his stating what pitches he did and what he found on it would be entirely welcome - again, the only eyewitnesses that count are people who've been on it to see the stone where the facts are still there to be had by all.

And if you haven't been on it, then while you may be able to spew about the style, cultural impact, whether you didn't and don't like them, whether the slab should or should not be climbed - but you really can't say sh#t about the climb itself. So far, everyone that's bothered says it's hard and runout.

[ And Jody sure is writing in the first-person without attributing anyone else. ]
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 15, 2008 - 04:53pm PT
Werner
"it's about this wide,"
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Jan 15, 2008 - 04:55pm PT
That slab is so hard that Jody couldn't take up his camera to provide us with some of those fine pics he takes! Now THAT'S hard!!!!
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 15, 2008 - 04:58pm PT
Will we live to see a WOS thread of under 50 Posts?
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 05:09pm PT
Doubtful Jaybro.

Of course I read that post of Christian's. He wrote me a week or so ago emphatically pointing out how obvious the rock scarring was and wondering why this was being overlooked. We both agreed that the water erosion on that part of the big stone after 25 years would easily hide small enhanced hook placements.

But to many of you WOS supporters, it's okay that they climbed the route the way that they did. That's fine. Everyone's obviously entitled to their own opinion. But don't expect all of us to jump on board when we don't agree.

And the comment about faulty memories of 25 years ago...The same holds true for Richard. His posts on the ST contradict what he has written or implied in his book. Why the honesty then and not years later? Mark also pointed out how he actually regrets being honest about the enhancing. If they were so good to avoid enhancing the hooks on WOS, why did they feel compelled to do so on their next two El Cap FAs?

What's also interesting is how you question SteveG's observations of the pitch seen from Horse Chute and his opinions about why these guys don't deserve the credit they're so desperately striving for. His credibility is stellar and so is his reputation. Yet, you pals of the WOS crew immediately discount both.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 15, 2008 - 05:18pm PT
If anybody says that Werner doesn't have a pair I will refer them to this thread.
Is there any other reason?
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Jan 15, 2008 - 05:25pm PT

"What is this thread about?"

IMHO it's about;

has-beens, wannabees, bitterness, recrimination, character assassination, assinine characters, jealousy, brinkmanship, sportsmanship, hole counts, as#@&%es with issues, that which issues from as#@&%es, nostalgia, debate, insults, ethics, lack thereof, name dropping, bag dropping, bolt chopping, slander, paraphrasing, misquoting, setting the record straight, revisionist history, respect, lack thereof, punditry, sky camping, style, lack thereof, low self esteem, misplaced anger, damnation, confession, salvation, hate, love, slab climbing, sport climbing, vision, lack thereof, figurines, hooks, dead horses, horse chute, enhancement, lack thereof, insiders, outsiders, gravity, erosion, hearsay, hauling, stone, steel, fact, fiction, integrity, lack thereof, dignity, indignity, whistling mud falcons, shrill harpies, philosophical differences and similarities, Vision, lack thereof, courage, cowardice, failure, success, reputation, credibility, lack thereof, whining, bitching, moaning, bobbing weaving, jabbing, a ringside seat at the digital deli.....
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Jan 15, 2008 - 05:29pm PT
Wade's pretty much telling it like it is...

deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Jan 15, 2008 - 05:31pm PT
Though you gotta admit, the Deli is like Yosemite's Congress, where all the important sh#t happens.
Bart Fay

Social climber
Redlands, CA
Jan 15, 2008 - 05:33pm PT
Mimi >>>SteveG's ... credibility is stellar and so is his reputation.

Yup. Right up until he started posting on this topic. If you could only see how you two
come across to the casual observer. ppffffttttt !
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 05:46pm PT
Bart, hmmm. The casual observer? That would be LEB, and she finds this particular controversy fascinating as hell.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 15, 2008 - 05:51pm PT
Wade is wrong.





Mud falcons don't whistle.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Jan 15, 2008 - 06:09pm PT
Deuce,

Not since Walt left office.

regards.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 15, 2008 - 06:21pm PT
No beef Jody. Healy, who chose to spout off about the legitimacy of opinions, cited you as having first hand experience on the route. I, and most others, probably recognize that you were not actually asserting first hand experience, but writing somewhat in jest. The "beef" is with Healy taking an "I'm right, you are wrong" stance when his basic facts were not even correct.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 15, 2008 - 06:26pm PT
"His credibility is stellar and so is his reputation."

Reread the OP. Is it a post by someone thinking rationally?

Did Steve Grossman ever retract, correct or apologize for the false statements in his chapter of the Climbing Big Walls book? As I said before, if he'll lie about WOS, how can we trust him on anything?

At least with me, Steve Grossman no longer has any credibility on this issue and his reputation is tarnished.

No one has to agree with the line or the style of WOS, nor does anyone have to admire the route, but is honesty too much to expect?

(Edited to state that Steve only wrote a chapter of the climbing Big Walls Book.)
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 15, 2008 - 06:30pm PT
Why do Steve Grossman and the other WOS haters continue to make Mark and Richard's religion an issue?
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 15, 2008 - 06:32pm PT
wade makes some good points, for a start, anyway.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 06:44pm PT
"But to many of you WOS supporters, it's okay that they climbed the route the way that they did."

Short of saying the slab shouldn't be climbed, if that is what you're really trying to say, I haven't heard a single soul including (dare I name drop) Ammon, say they could climb it with less cummulative steel on stone than "the way they did." That they decided to winch a uhaul truck up the line and camp out on it for a month is more a matter of culture and style than a statement of the artifact left behind in the stone.

[ Wade - get that baby wrapped up in a nutshell and I think you've got it... ]
Rokjox

Trad climber
boys, I dunno.
Jan 15, 2008 - 06:45pm PT
Graniteclimber, dont forget that its easy to disrespect someone who you have a disagreement with. That person might be a good and stellar man, yet still be in disagreement with you.


I knew SG many years ago, and he was a good, well liked and ballsy climber, far above my abilities. He appearently has no really good memories of me, but I believe I earned my rep (whatever it was/is) in his eyes. I think he is above all honest to his memories and opinions. He takes the conventional ethics to heart and understands why he does so. His skills are manifest and have been made evident by testing many times.

Dont demonize him, it just doesnt fit his character. He puts his heart on the line.
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 06:46pm PT
It is tragic that Walt and Robbie aren't here. I do remember Walt didn't exactly wax poetic about this route and how it was done.

There's no real argument that the climbing is difficult and scary especially if you're falling onto the Zmac rivets that these guys continue to insist are standard equipment on their route by design. Talk about a flat learning curve.

It's not that the pitches haven't been repeated, it's that people seem to lose interest and move onto something more interesting. It's only 13 pitches. And with the nine or eleven cords they carried, their FA was over and they could still almost have rapped all the way to the ground without losing any ground!

Adding to the fact that the route has mostly been climbed with no fanfare. I heard recently that Kevin Thaw and friends got up the first 5 pitches in a push before running into disintegrating copperheads tapped into drilled holes with no alternative placements. Anybody else hear about this ascent?

The reason religion comes up is that it is the central focus of his book.
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 06:53pm PT
Not knowing any of the involved parties in this mess, can I ask a question?

I'll ask it anyway.

What is the constant harping going to accomplish? Seems a little weird to me.
Jay Wood

Trad climber
Fairfax, CA
Jan 15, 2008 - 06:55pm PT
A bit out of my depth (heighth) here, but......


50 Rurps? damn.
Rokjox

Trad climber
boys, I dunno.
Jan 15, 2008 - 06:58pm PT
And five HUNDRED copperheads? Gotta be a misprint. At 2 oz. apiece that would be like 65 pounds of the things.





And Jody, its no more wierd than you posting about 10 times on this thread. Just WHY did you confuse things with a first person post, like you actually know anything about this?

I know you had to be kidding but it didnt help at all...
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Jan 15, 2008 - 07:03pm PT
WOS Scat_Break: how about that "Pin_Bolt"??? Will I live long enough to ever clip one?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2008 - 07:14pm PT
The offending section from Big Wall Climbing reads as follows:



Not to lean on my editor now gone, but the "from the Valley forever," part was his addition and grammatically funky. Deucie has the numbers well in hand with respect to the bolt spacing and I stand behind what I have written here.
The claim of less than twenty total enhancements of the 151 on the FA is dubious and the philosopher king has regretted even having to arrive at a figure. Smells like a rat and rat turds I saw when I inspected their work up high, several of them.
These two guys have been itching for a fight ever since they popped back up and have made the recent mistake of judging and slagging Bill Russell. Like I recently posted, if you were half a man between the two of you, you would have sorted out your affairs.
Sorry gents, no apology.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 15, 2008 - 07:17pm PT
"Graniteclimber, dont forget that its easy to disrespect someone who you have a disagreement with. That person might be a good and stellar man, yet still be in disagreement with you."

"Dont demonize him, it just doesnt fit his character. He puts his heart on the line."

Rokjox, did it occur to you that you could take much of your post and address it to Steve Grossman? Maybe he is good and stellar with his buddies, but he certainly has gone out of his way to disrespect and demonize Richard and Mark.

Just as it is easy to disrespect someone you have an agreement with, it is easy to overlook the faults of your friends. He started this thread, continuing his demonization of Richard and Mark. You are blind to that but want to step in when your buddy Steve starts getting a taste of his own medicine.

I ask you as Steve's friend, after having read Steve's posts on WOS how can anyone find him to be rational or fair on this subject? How can anyone find him to be trustworthy?

Anyway, my low opinion of Steve Grossman was not formed by the WOS threads but by how he started a thread smearing Ammon. He only confirmed it by his WOS posts.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 15, 2008 - 07:32pm PT
"Sorry gents, no apology."

Like I said, if Steve Grossman is so willing to perpetuate falsehoods on WOS, why should we believe anything he says? He has no credibility.

It's funny how Steve started the thread implying that Richard might try to hold his editor responsible for the appendix in his book, and then when Steve's chapter gets called into question, the first thing he does is blame his editor. Does Steve make a practice of allowing his editor to make inaccurate and "grammatically funky" additions?
Holdplease2

Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Jan 15, 2008 - 07:40pm PT
Mimi - I spoke with Kevin T. about this, AlDude spoke with him further about it. Al can't post due to the state of his computer vs. this site, and its not my place to go quoting Kevin. Its pretty widely known that his team was up there though.

-Kate.
Rokjox

Trad climber
boys, I dunno.
Jan 15, 2008 - 07:52pm PT
...and in the ninth round, the referee gets knocked down. Looks like he's out for the rest of the match...


Sorry guys, (esp. granite) you are absolutely right, I will stay out of it from now on.

I wasnt there, I didnt climb the route, I didnt participate in any way at the time, and I shouldnt start to try now.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 07:53pm PT
Again, the relevant facts are there in the stone - so far not a single shread of evidence of "overdrilling" or excessive "enhancements" has issued forth from it yet - quite the contrary to-date. People can say and print what they like - and did - but so far that's all very different from what has been reported by folks who've been on the route.

My question is what were those guys getting paid at whatever gig they were working? That's quite a load to drop all at once given they clearly didn't acquire it all slowly over several years.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2008 - 07:53pm PT
graniteclimber, would you mind identifying yourself?
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 15, 2008 - 08:02pm PT
This last part would have been less soap opera-like if 'the wings', hadn't provided those weird but interesting facts.

It's good that this had it's 15 minutes (mostly 2(?) years ago), is there really some reason not to let this go?
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 08:08pm PT
Jaybro, despite their claims to the contrary, as long as they continue to fail to be honest and forthcoming about their ascent, detractors will call them on it. This variation doesn't warrant the attention it receives, but worse, there is so much material to continue the discussion, the thread is still young.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 08:08pm PT
Or - get on or rap it to see the reality of it and report back something useful instead of just repeating what you think went on? Steel on stone is what's real and it's still there.
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Jan 15, 2008 - 08:28pm PT
so granite guy-
just who the hell are you anyway?
did i miss the part where you posted anyting under your real name?
that tends to imply a certain credibility to many.

further, what if any, is your connection to all of this?
you certainly seem opinionated.
are you some sort of expert on WoS after all you have read on stupitopo?
how impressive.

as for "ostracizing the climbers from the Valley forever", it's more of an editorial comment than a statement (or misstatement) of fact, wouldn't you agree?
WBraun

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 08:54pm PT
"... or rap it to see the reality of it .."

Get ready to rap healyje .... bring magnifying glass & microscope

Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 15, 2008 - 08:59pm PT
Nah, Healy will be too busy making his 8,742nd ascent of the SW Corner of Beacon Rock. Or 1,236th of Dodd's or Young Warriors.
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 09:01pm PT
Nice lashing job, Werner. Just what Richard and Mark could use about now.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 15, 2008 - 09:03pm PT
That thread about the Hubble and its amazing acuity is starting to give me ideas.... :-)
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 09:59pm PT
Yoazz - by amazing coincidence, I just did my 8,742nd solo lap on the SE Corner the day before yesterday and my 1,236th solo lap of YW will be coming up on Friday. But, here is a view from above the first roof of my latest project out there and I sure could use some help on it when we re-open. So come up and help - I'm sure it's completely small potatos by all your Valley standards.

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:00pm PT
Werner - would you be my brakeman?
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:03pm PT
After having done almost all the lines that were visually appealing to me there, I've got no interest in yet another blocky chossy squeeze job at Beacon. If they open those big roofs on the E. Face? to climbing, that would rekindle some interest. Otherwise, yawn. That section in your pic does look reasonably solid.
WBraun

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:05pm PT
Nah sorry healyje I can't. When the slow, stop command comes over the radio I can't make out the intelligibility. You'll just go screaming at speed straight into the ground.

If you don't believe me ask any current or ex yosar member.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:06pm PT
I hadn't noticed that Richard rekindled the WOS debate by posting in the Bill Russell thread. That was stupid. He should have stuck with his resolution on 12/31 and let it go.

But then if someone sh#t on my gear, I wouldn't let it go either. Also, the WOS haters can't let it go either, even after 25 years, and no one even sh#t on their gear or chopped their routes.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:09pm PT
No squeeze job - completely virgin territory around the SE corner that's never been climbed - still inbounds, though. Above that 35 foot roof there are several more somewhat smaller ones up above it on the three pitch headwall no one has ever seen let alone climbed on. Well, go out to the tracks and you can see it about as well as one could have seen Mark and Richard on WoS.
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:10pm PT
You've got to be kidding!

Just when I had you for a troll, I realize you're a twinky. Thanks for clearing that up. Does the twinky have a name?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:11pm PT
"You'll just go screaming at speed straight into the ground. "

Werner, just how is that likely to be any different an outcome than if I get on WoS when or if I ever manage to make it down there...?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:12pm PT
Oh, mimi - you're welcome to come up and get creamy with me too...
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:17pm PT
You're not my type, Joe, nor are the guys you're supporting. And I'm not into twinky cream. The name just came to mind. All this time I thought it was another identity of Richard's. Kinda like that gunsmoke guy, Mark.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:51pm PT
Mimi, still climbing or just posting nowdays? Then as now twinky is as twinky does, hon...
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 10:54pm PT
Yes, I still love to climb, Joe. So you must know twinky? Who might he be? He's shy and won't tell us his name.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:07pm PT
I get your point Mimi (back to the one she addressed to me) but what's to be gained, at this point, by dragging this on, even more than it has been flogged already? a clearing of history? a cautionary tale for those yet to come? I respect the views on all sides, will we hear something new if this keeps on?

Looks like a cool line to me, Joe!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:14pm PT
Just so there are some clear, specific statements about the route from a non-twinky who has actually been on the route, here is Ammon's statement from the Bill Russel thread:

"since Madbolter continues to drag my name into the WOS debate I feel I need to set the record straight on a few things. I reported honestly on MY experience on the first two pitches and only on the first two pitches. I didn’t find any enhanced placements or bathook holes like I’ve heard a number of people claim. Also, the drilling of rivets and bolts were well spaced apart and it’s not a bolt ladder like it seems to appear in the Reid book."

Those are quantitative facts from a source we can agree is relatively unimpeachable by either side. Then he gives his qualitative opinion of the route:

That being said; There is a reason I didn’t continue the route, and it’s not because it was too hard. As many of you know, I am not afraid to whip and will put my butt on the line anytime IF I think the route is worthy. The two pitches I climbed reminded me of doing one of those 5000 piece puzzles, where you just stare at the pieces all day and nothing gets done. If that’s your cup-o-tea, then this route is for you. It bores the crap (no pun intended) out of me."

Followed up by comments somewhat more germane to style / ethics / worthiness of the line relative to other Valley routes old and new:

"In my opinion it seemed contrived, especially for the next ascent, since on the first ascent if you get to a blank place where you can’t go any further, you just drill. To follow such a route you have to keep trying different “puzzle pieces” until you found the exact way that was done on the FA, that kind of climbing is uninteresting, to me. If I would have found it interesting or remotely fun, I would have continued the ascent."

Those are [roughly] three distinct categories of [valid] commentary on the line. The first speaks to the reality of the route in stone; the second in all likelyhood to why it has only seen one 'innocent' second ascent attempt (by the Looking Glass team); and the third talks to issues which could construed as contributing to any debate of the 'worthiness', 'purpose', or 'utility' of any route up the slab.

Agree or disagree with anything he writes - but it represents observations, opinion, and commentary rooted in actual experience on the route. Slab climbing of any sort isn't my sort of thing given the only way to get upsidedownis to dive down them headfirst. And I probably also share his assessment of the utility of any route up the slab relative to the practicality of second ascents which pretty much brings in to question the what practical 'legacy' such FA's leave to the collection of routes in the Valley. But as a clueless and ballsy thing to step up and attempt as a first FA - thumbs up every f*#king time.

Like I said, after all this noise I just have to try and get down to take a dive on it myself even if not really my deal.
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:17pm PT
Jaybro, being fuzzy on the number of enhancements loses plausible believability considering Richard's meticulous recordkeeping. So, yeah, a clearing of history would be appropriate.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:17pm PT
Well, mimi, then the invitation stands to you as well - clearly just another easy and contrived twinky line for the likes of the mighty mimi.
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:20pm PT
Joe, you of all people know it doesn't matter whether I climb the route.

Who is graniteclimber and why do you avoid naming him?
yo

climber
The Eye of the Snail
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:20pm PT
She's doing the Streaked Wall with me first.
WBraun

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:21pm PT
Where angels and demigods dare to tread, the mighty man mortal healyje will go.

LOL, just pulling your chain man. Best of luck to you .......
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:21pm PT
Really, The Streaked! That would be awesome!
yo

climber
The Eye of the Snail
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:22pm PT
hehe

Bring yur hammer and 24 figurines.
Mimi

climber
Jan 15, 2008 - 11:33pm PT
I'll bring my hammer alright but I'll try not to use it.

Edit: Do you think they were referring to Fig Newtons?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 16, 2008 - 12:10am PT
Werner,

I said I'm going to try - I may or may not get off the ground and don't know if I'll make it one pitch / foot or nine pitches / feet. As I said, not really my cup of tea at all and I have zip experience with anything like it. Could get completely shut down if Ammon and Pete are correct, but hey, at least I will have attempted to see it for myself. And don't nobody sh#t on my ropes as it's likely I'll do that deed for you myself in the process. I'm also betting my attempt will rank way up there warranting at least a footnote symbol to be ripped from the anals of Valley history.

[ Mimi, who are you calling GC a twinky? Sounded like you were calling me one; but on re-reading it I'm guessing you were talking about whomever GC may be (I have no idea). The whole anonymous-with-a-'twinky'-name thing blows, people should have to use their names or list who the f*#k they are in their profile ]
Tomcat

Trad climber
Chatham N.H.
Jan 16, 2008 - 03:20am PT
"We both agreed that the water erosion on this part of the big stone after 25 years would easily hide small enhanced hook placements"

Can you give a single example of this happening on any route on granite? Not one missing "enhancement",but a series of them,just two or three on a slab.Small face holds are OK.Has to be in rock good enough to withstand a hook though.

If I understand this correctly you are saying these guys were not up to snuff,climbed a route with a lot of enhancements,no one repeated it for eons and they were so lucky,or in with the BIG GUY that their handiwork was eroded away to appear as if they climbed something bold?Nine pitches worth,is that correct?

Joe,it's a trap,all the hook moves have washed away....
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 16, 2008 - 03:50am PT
Tom, I'm sure that's why Pete was TR'ing it and Ammon thought is was such a puzzler. But then, you don't use all the exact same foot and handholds down to the millimeter when you do a free second ascent, do you?. Well neither would I and who would want to be that closely associated a story as tainted as 'A Million [Chiseled] Little Pieces' anyway? I know, I'll just move an inch this way or an inch that way while considering all the fixed gear to be on a convenient, but 'adjacent' line, and call it an FA. Maybe something like 'Wiffs of Steal', 'Whips of Steel', or given the water erasure maybe 'Wisps of Steel'. Hell, good thing Ammon didn't think of it first or he would have just zoomed up it robbing me of the FA! And him hanging about looking for the FA hook placements! What a chump!

Hopefully my narcolepsy won't be a serious impediment to the big push...
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 16, 2008 - 07:09am PT
If all the hook enhancements have been erased by waterflow, why did it spare the 9th pitch?
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Jan 16, 2008 - 07:09am PT


Steve, do you mean to tell me that all their venomous attack on you (which you continue to respond to) all originates from this passage? I seem to recall one of the WOS guys quoting you as saying it was a "bolt ladder" in print, which doesn't seem the case.

Methinks there's a bit of this in Madbolter1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_complex
Mimi

climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 07:51am PT
Deucie, Steve's skiing today.

The erosion idea was proposed by Christian and helps explain, besides the 'million puzzle piece' concept, and their size, why the drill marks aren't easily spotted. I haven't observed the water runoff pattern on the slab, but over 25 years, weathering and lichen could hide small drill marks. I don't think the primary focus of people that have gone up there was to search for drill marks, it was to get up the climb. Or was it? Since Steve was right there, it was easy to swing over and check it out. It would be interesting to hear what Thaw has to say.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 16, 2008 - 07:53am PT
" I seem to recall one of the WOS guys quoting you as saying it was a "bolt ladder" in print, which doesn't seem the case."

Your recollection is faulty. Richard quoted the exact language from the book, word for word, and even gave the page number.
SteveW

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Jan 16, 2008 - 08:00am PT
Boy, I luv this scandal. Keeps me spirits way uup!
tooth

Mountain climber
B.C.
Jan 16, 2008 - 08:01am PT
You guys are funny. It is like arguing if there are dimples on the moon.

Does a falling tree make a sound...

Do a million holes ruin a perfectly good slab if no one will ever see them or know for sure?

Until a second ascent happens and the guy doesn't use any of the enhancements because they would have made the climb A1, how can anyone else whine?

Penis envy.

I'm upset that Armstrong left footprints on the moon. Can't see them, but I'm jealous.


Those guys took a perfectly good slab and turned it into another Serenity Crack.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 16, 2008 - 08:05am PT
Yeah SteveW, but do you have the nominations for the Sanctimonious Prick Award?
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho
Jan 16, 2008 - 08:13am PT
WoS is a museum climb in a most abstract sense.

All that's missing are the tools of the FA locked under glass, some wall-sized glossy posters complete with the unending ST threads, and wax replicas of the FA boyz, the protagonists, the antagonists and the sh!tters.

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 16, 2008 - 09:41am PT
"weathering and lichen could hide small drill marks"

Thus, all in one stroke, was the mountain struck down to a mole hill and the tempest stilled by the removal of the teabags (from tired eyes)...
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Jan 16, 2008 - 10:32am PT
I suppose I don't understand why Madbolter1 takes umbrage with Steve's quote of "The first ascent party ignored local ethics and bolted excessively".

The first part, that they ignored local ethics, in undeniably true. In fact, Madbolter seems to be proud of it, and he implies that his ethics were indeed superior, that "invisible" enhancements required for upward passage are superior to obvious and deliberate ones that subsequent ascents can utilize.

The second part, that they bolted excessively, is an relative opinion, and one that many would agree with, in terms of the standards of the day (i.e. 145 drilled holes for a first ascent on El Cap verses typically half, or a third, that number).

The question seems to be, as Clint points out, is whether or not the same principles of free climbing apply to big walls, that is, whether blank, featureless lines "deserve" more bolts because of their nature. Personally, I'm a follower of Robbins, who connected with big walls by seeking and climbing their natural lines of passage.

This discussion will never get resolved on the digital deli, because the last point is more a matter of style, and style is the sole domain of the contemporaneous cutting-edge practitioners, like Ammon, who beget such abstract aspects of the craft

Edit note: what I mean is, the notion of "style" is created only by actual action rather than by the blathering of "old dads" (like me) on the internet.
SteveW

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Jan 16, 2008 - 10:38am PT
P Ron--Nope, not me, I'm a casual observer--no judgement from
me on this one. It's beyond my skills, but I sure like reading
the venom. Truthfully, I don't even know about this, so I'm learning about it. I mean, remember when Harding did the Dawn Wall, and Robbins was going to erase it? By the time he climbed a pitch or so he realized the route really was climbed fairly.
I wonder if this isn't a similar situation?
tooth

Mountain climber
B.C.
Jan 16, 2008 - 10:45am PT
In free climbing there are crack/trad climbs, then slab/bolted climbs. Generally.




With aid climbing there are crack/Royal's natural line climbs, then


hooking slab climbs? With possibly more bolts?
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Jan 16, 2008 - 11:03am PT
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 16, 2008 - 11:14am PT
"he implies that his ethics were indeed superior, that "invisible" enhancements required for upward passage are superior to obvious and deliberate ones that subsequent ascents can utilize."

Would there be more outrage or less outrage if they had chiseled obvious holes in place of the "invisible" enhancements?
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 11:56am PT
I know you had to be kidding but it didnt help at all...

Rokjox, how could anything anybody says actually hurt or help this conversation? This is the "Ground Hog Day" of the climbing world for sure.

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 16, 2008 - 12:27pm PT
Steve,

After reading the reports of those of us who have been up there, and who have described the spacing of the bolts and rivets, do you still believe that Mark and Richard "bolted excessively"?
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Jan 16, 2008 - 03:53pm PT
how is it that you think you can go up there in 2007 and decide what was excessive BITD?



aaaaargh-
people that were not there were not there, and that is (and always will be) that!

why can't people wrap their brains around the concept of CONTEXT?
you think you can understand what people thought and felt at a time when you weren't there, simply by climbing things that they climbed, or reading what they wrote?

WRONG!




if you want to know what the climbing community back then felt was or was acceptable (or choose another word) in terms of hole count etc., you'll have to ASK THEM.

it seems to me that the one thing missing from the "this route is badass and these guys got a raw deal" club is a few of the people from that era saying the same thing. i hate to have to be the one to break it to all of you top-ropers and would-be WoS FAist defenders, but all that any of you, or mr. even ammon mcneely, can offer in the conversation about WoS, is an opinion that lacks the very context which makes said opinion valid.







(i would think that any self respecting wall-rat would take pause when their take on something like this is so opposite of the opinions of so many of those in whose top-steps he so regularly follows... take a look at who is arguing with you and who is arguing against you, and see who started climbing when.)
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Jan 16, 2008 - 04:10pm PT
"if you want to know what the climbing community back then felt was or was[sic] acceptable (or choose another word) in terms of hole count etc., you'll have to ASK THEM."

See the post above, and three and a half hours prior to yours, Matt. Seems to be exactly what was done.

Not taking sides, just pointing out the obvious. The other really obvious things in your post don't need pointing out.

Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 04:22pm PT
The second pitch has a couple of hooks out of the anchor to a rivet. After that rivet two more hooks take you to another rivet (there weren't any flakes there that I could see.) From there you hook about 30 feet to a bolt. The rivets almost certainly won't hold the fall from just before the bolt, so you're looking at a fall past the anchor that will be somewhere around 80-90 feet if you blow the hook just before the bolt. Best case, if the top rivet holds, you're looking at about a 40-50 footer.

Not sure what the "excessiveness" was on this pitch either.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 16, 2008 - 04:26pm PT
"The second pitch has a couple of hooks out of the anchor to a rivet. After that rivet two more hooks take you to another rivet (there weren't any flakes there that I could see.)"


What? That's not how the second pitch begins at all! Those guys must have scared themselves brainless or something, because the start of the second pitch is the crux, and the first two rivets are at around 20' and 40' out respectively.

Selective memory perhaps? For instance, I sometimes think back on my marriage fondly. There must be some psychological term about how you forget something in your past that was really scary or nasty or sick.
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 04:29pm PT
Hey Pete....that is how I remember it. :)
Mimi

climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 04:31pm PT
"Would there be more outrage or less outrage if they had chiseled obvious holes in place of the "invisible" enhancements?" gc whoever you are?

IMO, it would be the same. At least if they were bathook holes, they could be honestly counted, and this part of the controversy would be over. Having learned so much about these guys and their climbing, it's amazing to me how so many of you still view them as master aidmen and incapable of drilling excessively.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Jan 16, 2008 - 04:55pm PT
I suppose most of us don't care beyond watching a bizarre debate unfold before us. What's crazy to me is the amount of venom it elicits, not from the guys who had poop thrown on them and were publicly claimed to have been ostracized--theyhave a legitimate beef--but from the likes of the original poster and me-me. Wings is an obsure route on a weird part of EC which had no sigificant impact on the way people put up wall routes- then or now.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 16, 2008 - 05:02pm PT
That Jody is a devious guy-cheers!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 16, 2008 - 05:04pm PT
Matt: "but all that any of you, or mr. even ammon mcneely, can offer in the conversation about WoS, is an opinion that lacks the very context which makes said opinion valid."

Time-based "context" - I call bullshit on that as totally irrelevant compared to the Stone-based "context". That "context" of the level of 'enhancement', 'hole' count, bolt/rivet count, and the overall "steel-on-stone" index of the route hasn't changed since they did it. It's no different than being able to grab a rack of hexs and stoppers and going out and having essentially the same level of experience with pro as the FAs on an endless number of routes from the 70's. The stone is still there and the hexs & stoppers are as well - no other "context" matters.

And I've already asked the question: then or now, how many of yesterday's or today's hardmen could do the route with less steel on stone ('enhancements' + 'holes')? Haven't heard any answers yet and Ammon didn't address it in his comments. I'd quess damn few or none at all and likely most would have drilled holes as opposed to simply micro-'enhancing' flakes and the bolt/rivet count would have been higher.
Mimi

climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 05:10pm PT
Joe, you nailed it and pun intended.

So, are you condoning subsequent ascents continue to enhance their way up when necessary? And as the FA party suggests, should they continue to add Zmacs whenever they blow rather than adding more appropriate anchors?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 16, 2008 - 05:17pm PT
No, I'm not saying anything about SAs, I'm simply looking for an answer or answers to this simple question:

Who, then or now, could do that same line with a lower steel-on-stone index?




[ Edit: But to answer your question - yes, I'm completely condoning any enhancement subject to removal by lichen
and rain... ]

[ Edit, Edit: And to answer your other question - I have no opinion relative to the funny, clever, and just plain
weird assortment of sh#t the whole lot of you folks there have been pounding into holes in the rock for decades... ]
WBraun

climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 05:44pm PT
"Who, then or now, could do that same line with a lower steel-on-stone index?"

Irrelevant question that points to nowhere.

Nobody would have gone up that slab to begin with.

There was better stuff to be had than that slab.
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Jan 16, 2008 - 06:00pm PT
well i feel strongly that one thing that's entirely missing from some peoples' math is the relative utility of the total damage to the rock itself, when viewed in the light of the subsequent traffic across the route.

in particular, this goes to joe's arguments that the FA was bold and so that's a clear pass. i would disagree. the point also goes to the fact that future parties may need to chip their way up, as much or more that the FA team, depending upon the condition of the rock, and on if the FA rivets hold, etc.

if one views the rock as holy ground, and if the rock itself is revered and valued above all else (above the experience of individuals, above climbers' egos, above , etc.), and each drilled placement is viewed as an evil that is determined to be "necessary" or "required" in a certain evaluation process by the FA party, then a part of that evaluation process necessarily includes the route that you leave behind, and that consideration, that responsibility, is entirely ignored by some of you.




i am bonking and need to go eat, so i will finish this post later...




edit-
and partial addition:

joey-
your approach to this is all EGO.
YOU believe that YOUR ethics and style are beyond compare, and therefore, because this route sounds like it meets the sniff test (YOUR sniff test), whatever that means, and because nobody else could have done it significantly "better", all this is hogwash and the route must be proud and stout(!)

again, your ego is blocking your view, so you cannot see that your point of view lacks context.



were these guys simply the best aid hookers in history?
why did nobody else ever put a route up that slab?
why has nobody else ever repeated the route?

did all the old dads BITD walk up there and look at the slab and quietly say to themselves, "i can't do this", or did they walk up there and say "this won't go w/out more drilling than the line itself warrants"?




robbins originally felt, from the ground, that the WEML was over bolted, and he set off to chop, to erase, the entire route. what changed his mind?

(hint: it was not the difficulty of the climbing (which so many have focused on in these threads), it was the quality of the climbing, which is exactly what ammon did not attest to on WoS, and what one would assume would draw (or not draw?) future parties to the climb)



now then, two young lads from around the way roll into camp4, never having climbed a big wall, and they choose a line that others (all others?) have deemed not worth the drilling, and they decide to do the drilling, despite what the care-takers of the limited and sacred resource think of the line.

what was everyone afraid of?
that two unknowns would best them all and make them look soft?
or perhaps that two 1st time big-wallers and 1st time FAists would drill a bunch of anchors up the slab a leave behind a route that nobody else would want to do?


maybe it's not just the drilling-
maybe it's also the line itself-
and maybe it's not just the drilling and the line-
maybe it's also what the culture of the place, and the climbers of the era- the very climbers who were the culture and who'd created it, collectively thought of hooking and drilling (or even hooking and hooking and hooking and driling), up a slab for a month. maybe they all expected that, just as they didn't think it was worthwhile, they didn't expect that others would look up at it and think it was worthwhile, and so all the drilling and impact upon the rock would be for essentially one ascent? and if so, it seems as though they were essentially correct in their judgement.





that people want to sit around now and debate the merrits of the climb through the prism of their own personal ethics is just absurd. you can't rewrite the past, it's done, and you wee not there.

what's more, nobody does the thing, even now.
carry on...

Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 06:03pm PT
Take your time...
tooth

Mountain climber
B.C.
Jan 16, 2008 - 06:13pm PT
WoS is the most ecologically sensitive climb on the wall. A few bolts, scars so tiny they melted in the sun and rain, and a route that no one else goes up.

Which has had a bigger impact on the holy rock more, the Nose, or WoS?
Mimi

climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 06:15pm PT
Very nice, Matt. Some people have been trying to get these points across since day one.

Joe, don't try and downplay drilling hook holes as okay if they can be masked by rock weathering or that the Valley is already spoiled. Chipping holes is chipping holes. It's cheating. If anyone did that on Beacon, you'd go postal. Don't you have a reputation for this in Portland?

The rock weathering idea is a logical theory as to why Ammon, Randy, and others didn't see 'anything.' I still would like to hear more about the marks Christian saw. I believe if people went up there with the sole purpose being to seek and identify enhanced hook holes (rock weathering has not hidden all of them) they would be found. They sure are visible up above.

The main obstacle to achieving that mission is that no one wants to waste precious climbing time doing that. I would love to go up there and check it out, but it's simply not worth it. Debating the controversy on the internet after work, however, is easy. Really should be reading a book though, and posting on the Last Book You Read thread. Nah, too relaxing.
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 06:15pm PT
By the way...if this guy Richard Jensen and his partners were heathen, hippie lettuce smoking, beer drinking, partying dirtbags, would they still be the targets of this anti-WOS campaign?
Rokjox

Trad climber
boys, I dunno.
Jan 16, 2008 - 06:17pm PT
I dont understand at all.


So Jody, I MUST have missed something. Are you saying that PTPP took you over to the WOS and you jumared the first two or three pitches with him?

So you can write first person narritive about the spacing and location of the rivets and enhancements?

If this is true, ...


Well is it?
tradcragrat

Trad climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 06:31pm PT


Whoa, sorry. Didn't mean to interrupt this venomous flame war with a nice picture. Carry on.
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 06:41pm PT
tradcragrat...THAT's the spirit! I'll play..where is this?

tradcragrat

Trad climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 06:55pm PT
Tetons?
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 06:57pm PT
Yes, kind of easy huh?
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 06:58pm PT
How about this? In a NP in CA...

tradcragrat

Trad climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 07:12pm PT
Somewhere in King's Canyon?

Probably wrong but I'll use it as an excuse to post this:

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2008 - 07:25pm PT
Lots of nice pictures indeed. Just got back from a glorious day skiing with Rainier in the background playing with its lenticular mask. Just beautiful!

graniteclimber- I wrote the chapter. It was faithfully reproduced. Go find a copy. Your pitiful heroes misquoted my writing for their own self-promotion. Imagine that!?! Richard is supposed to be an academic, right?!?

Since you're now part of the WOS lie, how about providing your name as some evidence of some integrity.

Richard and Mark are halflings hiding behind half truths. Had I used the word "drilling" in place of "bolting," then there would have been nothing for them to distort or exploit. Based on my own hooking experience, without ANY enhancements, I bet the number is much more like 100 enhanced narrow Logan hooks. When somebody reliable inspects the entire slab, I don't think ten tiny indiscretions will be the final count.

Richard had a very badly sprained ankle and I don't think that Mark was too fond of falling either. At this point, they are expecting everybody to believe they successfully pulled off at least 130 pointed Logan's with no evidence, beyond their own estimation, that they had appropriate experience. They wrote a guide to the Crucible of Greatness (aka Riverside Quarry), but won't discuss its contents.

Louie- if you are lurking, would you mind posting their guide book or revealing if any of the routes there featured difficult hooking. If you have repeated their routes, please do tell.

When the guy with the horns and the Red right hand whispered, "Bwanadimple, twill serve you well and keep the falls away." Sounded good, real good.

To be clear, if a hook placement requires IMPACT FORCE with a hammer, drill or chisel to be viable, it represents the same level of failure of skill and technique as a bolt, rivet or any other drilled anchor. Our heroes really didn't want to bathook either, but chose to do so when they had reached the end. Ole Red hand came back. Said that they were down to only three rivets and somehow this justified a change in tactics.

Well alrighty, from the bloated Appendix, 200 rivets brought, minus 78 placed, minus the magic 3, leaves 119 that somehow got lost in the luggage! Oh, but there has to be an explanation!?!
Rokjox

Trad climber
boys, I dunno.
Jan 16, 2008 - 07:27pm PT
Jody Langford:

So you dont approve of the topic and interest, so you have decided to hijack the On Topic, On Content, thread started by Steve G, an excellant climber and climbing historian.

You intend to kill the conversation by spamming the thread with your snapshots?



This thread is got life and interest of many actual climbers, what are you screwing with it for?

So have you actually been up the first three pitches of this climb like you say? Or you just full of bluster and bull?

Mimi

climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 07:32pm PT
Rok, don't mind Jody, he's just having fun. View them as commercials. They are scenic mountains after all.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 16, 2008 - 07:38pm PT
Steve - what part of this statement don't you understand:

"It is possible to climb the first two pitches of WoS right now using little itty bitty hooks and if you are prepared to risk and probably take long falls, without any further enhancement of the rock."

I didn't see any enhancements, and I was looking for them. I was able to do almost all the hook moves on toprope [too hard and scary for me to lead] and I didn't have to enhance anything. There were two or three moves I couldn't do, but if I hadn't been so tired/bored/scared/fed up I probably could have figured them out. But by that point I had essentially given up.

Ammon climbed most of the second pitch and he didn't have to enhance anything, either.

I agree it may not be possible to repeat the route as is without re-enhancing some of the placements that might have been worn smooth by water over the last twenty-five years. Mark and Richard aren't hiding behind any half-truths; indeed they have been extremely forthright about precisely how they did this, and how many times they did this, and based on everything I have observed, I have no reason to believe they lied.

If you're so certain they're lying, why don't you please quit whining on this forum, and go climb the first two pitches of the bloody thing and tell us what you think. We re-equipped the route with new bolts and rivets that are as strong or stronger than the originals, so it's good to go.

Shut up and climb, eh?
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Jan 16, 2008 - 07:42pm PT
"The rock weathering idea is a logical theory..."

So was the world being flat.

I'm having a hard time believing that granite just weathers away so quickly.
Has the rest of ElCap changed as much as theorized, or is it location specific?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 16, 2008 - 07:45pm PT
Johnboy,

The route is a slab and is exposed to running water during storms. The hook placements are sickeningly small and barely useable. It is conceivable that some have eroded enough in the last 25 years to not be useable, but nobody's really sure!
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Jan 16, 2008 - 07:50pm PT
Wow, an honest question and and honest answer,.....in this thread.
Thanks PTPP.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 16, 2008 - 07:54pm PT
SG: "When somebody reliable inspects the entire slab, I don't think ten tiny indiscretions will be the final count."

Is there anyone, anywhere, more reliable than you on this topic...? I explicitly trust you regardless of any argument over this issue.
Mimi

climber
Jan 16, 2008 - 08:00pm PT
The weathering idea is not the be all, end all, although 25 years in that environment, even for granite, does produce visible changes. The point is that the previous parties doing the lower pitches claim they didn't see anything. Rather than simply condemn their credibility (except for Pete), I chose to suggest other possible reasons for why they didn't see 'anything' untoward while they were up there.

"The point Pitiful Pete keeps missing is that I saw evidence that placements were smashed with a hammer. Water runs down that face all winter and it wears more than any other part of El Cap. He says he saw no evidence of that. Either he is f*#king blind, or the erosion has hidden it. I could put up a line right next to it, drilling every single placement, and smash it out on the clean. In a couple of hard winters, you would never see anything but the bolts and think I friggin' levitated up the wall." Christian's email excerpt, 12-29-07.

The basic issue is about being honest and forthright about how you did a new route. Historically, quality of effort is what matters.
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Jan 16, 2008 - 08:02pm PT
well f*#k, if these guys are/were so proud of the fact that they chipped away such small crystals that nobody 25 years ago could tell, how can you tell now?




and if SG does in fact quote (in his post just above) the prevailing ethic of the day (i wasn't there either!), that any impact on a tool is a failure equal to a bolt:

"To be clear, if a hook placement requires IMPACT FORCE with a hammer, drill or chisel to be viable, it represents the same level of failure of skill and technique as a bolt, rivet or any other drilled anchor"



... but these guys felt that there was in fact value in chipping small enough that nobody could even see, is it not blatantly obvious that they are working under their own set of ethics?

(i.e."The first ascent party ignored local ethics and bolted excessively")
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jan 16, 2008 - 08:08pm PT
Jody said, "The second pitch has a couple of hooks out of the anchor to a rivet. After that rivet two more hooks take you to another rivet (there weren't any flakes there that I could see.)"


PTPP said "What? That's not how the second pitch begins at all! Those guys must have scared themselves brainless or something, because the start of the second pitch is the crux, and the first two rivets are at around 20' and 40' out respectively"

Picture of the second pitch from Richard's site says:



That looks like a pretty short 20 and 40 feet to those first two rivets. I think maybe Jody's description is more accurate?
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Jan 16, 2008 - 08:19pm PT
"The main obstacle to achieving that mission is that no one wants to waste precious climbing time doing that. I would love to go up there and check it out, but it's simply not worth it. Debating the controversy on the internet after work, however, is easy."

Mimi is on to something here! Seriously, I think this applies to all of us. Myself, for sure.

I won't lie. I've thought about it. I've been up there a few different times. I've talked to Ammon about it. Others have talked to me about it. There's a ton of talk about folks going up there and busting this thing out to see what the real deal is. But f*#k if that isn't hard to commit to when you have tons of cracks (what I really enjoy)right there - on the Captain, the Rostrum right down the road, Astroman the other direction, hours of crack cragging in *every* direction, etc. My biggest goal this season is NIAD and maybe the West Face. Honestly, WoS doesn't do anything to help in my preparation for either.... So, there it sits.

It's the same with slab climbing at my local crag-. Once I *finally* get around to it, I enjoy it a great deal (it's what I started climbing on), and know it is great for my footwork technique, but getting to it - that's the key. Too many damn cracks or other things I'd rather climb. Chasing the dream and keeping the magic alive (as I see it), as Kath would say.

I think eventually someone will step up. At the very least, someone will be on that side of that wall and think, "you know, if I rap down..." That will be a day, eh? Whoever that person is, *please* make sure you take a camera and get some good pics!

However, as far as me, I'm kinda in the same place as Ammon. I've been up there and I *see* the route. It's there. I see quite a bit of free moves too. Someone a lot more badass than me could certainly go a long ways towards linking the features together and making this one of the hardest slab routes in the valley. Hell, I saw a lot on the first pitch that I was convinced I could redpoint. But how long will it take for someone to become driven and impassioned by a slab? It's just not me. At least not right now. Did I mention too many cracks?

Seriously, this (what we do) is all about having fun I thought? There are folks who will never see the same thing Mark and Richard saw, and vice-versa. Besides all the strife and conflict, they are pretty proud of their ascent. Cool. Steve, deuce, et all have done some super rad sh#t too! F*#king mad props to all involved. You have to know that those of us younger came into wall climbing looking up to you guys! But more than anything we all came into climbing because we enjoyed it! It got our juices flowing, gave us a boner (sorry Mimi =)) or whatever it did for us... That's what I'm not willing to lose sight of.

I'm fairly certain that most of the folks in here would get along great in entirely different circumstances and probably have incredible days at the crags together. I'd climb with *any* of you. I've met both Richard and Mark and think they're great guys. I'd love the chance to hang out with Steve, Mimi, deuce, even dimitri, whom I was obviously given wrong info about - everyone embroiled in this whole WoS "thing". That's kinda where I stand with it now.

F*#k, if that wasn't the longest "can't we all get along" rant ever! hahaha But, again, it's easy and, to some degree, fun to debate, etc. after work, just as Mimi said. I just wanted to get that out, I suppose. Carry on folks. I suppose the flip-side of all of that is that this kind of thing can happen when good people, all feeling strongly about something that impassions them deeply, come together to talk about a controversial subject.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2008 - 08:33pm PT
Ahhhhh! Nice! Prima facie evidence. The crux is up a bit but the spacing doesn't look very heroic does it? As I have posted earlier, done in the same year not far away, the sixth pitch of the JR had six natural hooks in a row placed from top steps or higher and warranted only A4+. The pitch above was "conservatively" rated A5. How would these guys have been to able to rate anything by comparison when neither of them had ever climbed an established modern aid route and no, ten days solo on the South Face of the Column doesn't rate.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 16, 2008 - 09:08pm PT
Steve, are you now suggesting that on the mere basis that you feel that there are or were many enhancements, that your feeling alone has merit? Does your believing it make it true?

Given your latest suggestion that the enhancements are or were there, but nobody including me looked hard enough to see them, I'm wondering exactly how Richard and Mark could possibly prove that they were honest in their endless accounts of what happened. It seems to me that now - no matter who or how many concur with the findings of me, Tom, Randy, Ammon, and even Rob Slater - you will simply continue to assert, on your word alone [without any firsthand observation] that the enhancements are or were there. Even though I and everyone else couldn't see 'em. No matter what people observe, will you seemingly just respond that the evidence has eroded away?

Can you suggest any reasonable means by which Richard and Mark can clear their names? Or in your mind - regardless of what evidence can and has already been produced - are they just liars by definition, in spite of the fact I can't find anything in my observation to show that they lied about anything?
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Jan 16, 2008 - 09:12pm PT
...and all you are saying is that you didn't see any evidence of chipping-

but of course, the FAists said they were all too small to see (they were proud of it!), so how is it any sort of meaningful statement that you didn't see any enhancements?










this is a big circle jerk, nothing will ever come of it
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 16, 2008 - 09:14pm PT
"this is a big circle jerk, nothing will ever come of it"

This might be the only undisputable fact in this thread.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 16, 2008 - 09:20pm PT
Concur. But by far the most compelling and talked-about topic in the history of McTopo. What's the total count of posts on all the Wings of Steel threads? Must be over a thousand, eh?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2008 - 09:32pm PT
Pete, you're a man of faith but let's move beyond that.

When you were up on Horse Chute, and had the opportunity as I did, to swing over and look at WOS as I suggested you do in a previous email, you didn't. What's up with that fella? Did it just not cross your mind? You certainly found plenty of time to waste doing other things. LOL!

The only way to get to the bottom of this is to get to the top of this and have a look see. I suggest an impartial jury of five carefully selected hooded rappers to render the verdict in a blow by blow slide show of every single one of the 151 hallowed hooks.

You've been hammered on pretty good by a lot of folks for climbing as you do, Pete. Winds of Change and Ring of Fire were total hack jobs stemming from the initial and much more passionately crafted, gleaming Great Slab of Learning.

The last time I was in the Valley, I had a really interesting conversation with the Climbing Ranger about the Ring of Fire. Richard and Mark were drilling so conspicuously on the bottom couple of pitches that several parties approached him to do what he could to make them stop drilling.

His description of the encounter found Richard and Mark thorny and unapproachable at first and then slowly warming to conversation once the topic turned to their route. The ranger asked them how much they'd drilled on the bottom couple of pitches. When he heard their reply, he suggested strongly, that they abandon their route if the drilling ratio didn't decrease significantly.

What is it about these guys that makes people want to stop them from doing whatever it is they do on more than one occasion? They come back how ever many years later and get into trouble again for forcing up a route.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 16, 2008 - 09:37pm PT
Yeah, I totally forgot to have a look at WoS by the time I got up there on Horse Chute. When I was in position, the weather turned bad and Holly and I were about to get dumped on with a big rainstorm, so I was hightailing it up through the bushes and grass to get on top of the Truck Stop.

I take my time on the wall because I can. It is, after all, a holiday.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 16, 2008 - 10:40pm PT
Steve Grossman: "graniteclimber- I wrote the chapter. It was faithfully reproduced. Go find a copy. Your pitiful heroes misquoted my writing for their own self-promotion. Imagine that!?! Richard is supposed to be an academic, right?!?"

Steve, you accuse Richard of misquoting your writing, and use this to cast doubt on his ability as an academic. This is a very serious charge and if it is true it would certainly cast doubt on his credibility. Now could you please show us where he misquotes you?

Compare Richard's quotation of your book to the scanned section you posted. It matches your's word for word. http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=231718&msg=231943#msg231943


Steve Grossman: "To be clear, if a hook placement requires IMPACT FORCE with a hammer, drill or chisel to be viable, it represents the same level of failure of skill and technique as a bolt, rivet or any other drilled anchor."

Isn't this rather too broad? What if instead of using the hammer against a chisel, a climber just uses his hammer to very gently tap against the hook itself? I am sure that you would agree that is okay?
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 16, 2008 - 10:46pm PT
'Death Spiral' Around a Black Hole Yields Tantalizing Evidence of Event Horizon

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope may have, for the first time, provided direct evidence for the existence of black holes by observing the disappearance of matter as it falls beyond the "event horizon."

http://space.about.com/cs/nasanews/a/2001_03stsci.htm

I KNEW the Hubble had something to do with it. Although it will surprise astrophysicists to learn that there is a black hole on the southwest face of El Capitan - or on SuperTopo.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 16, 2008 - 10:53pm PT
Matt: "robbins originally felt, from the ground, that the WEML was over bolted, and he set off to chop, to erase, the entire route. what changed his mind?

(hint: it was not the difficulty of the climbing (which so many have focused on in these threads), it was the quality of the climbing, which is exactly what ammon did not attest to on WoS, and what one would assume would draw (or not draw?) future parties to the climb)"

Matt, are you speaking of the same Royal Robbins that called the route "contrived, nondescript, lacking [even] one memorable pitch" while admitting that it had "some of the hardest nailing I have ever done."(Camp 4, p. 230)
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2008 - 11:06pm PT
Hey granitehead- where do you see the phrase "bolt ladder" in my posted text block?!? Do try and read it this time.

If you are using a hook as a chisel albeit an odd one the same applies. If you used a carabiner as a chisel or punch, the same. Intentional impact force. Pretty clear really.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 16, 2008 - 11:07pm PT
"well i feel strongly that one thing that's entirely missing from some peoples' math is the relative utility of the total damage to the rock itself, when viewed in the light of the subsequent traffic across the route. in particular, this goes to joe's arguments that the FA was bold and so that's a clear pass. i would disagree. the point also goes to the fact that future parties may need to chip their way up, as much or more that the FA team, depending upon the condition of the rock, and on if the FA rivets hold, etc."

Matt, here and in the following paragraph I left out of the quote you try to roll the SA (Subsequent Ascents) concerns in with the technical reality on the stone during the FA. All those concerns legitimately relate to whether the slab should be climbed at all. That's because those SA concerns would exist regardless of who did the route. Following that line of reasoning unavoidably leads to saying the slab shouldn't be climbed by anyone. Is that your claim - that steep slabs shouldn't be climbed?


"joey - your approach to this is all EGO. YOU believe that YOUR ethics and style are beyond compare, and therefore, because this route sounds like it meets the sniff test (YOUR sniff test), whatever that means, and because nobody else could have done it significantly "better", all this is hogwash and the route must be proud and stout(!) again, your ego is blocking your view, so you cannot see that your point of view lacks context."

That's an argument? I have no ego wrapped up in this whatsoever. Hell, I don't even like slabs - at very best to me, if unavoidable, they represent a sadly necessary transit to get to something which might actually involve climbing. As 'climbing' for their own sake? Only if the nearest tree or playground was booked up or closed. BUT, I've been to places like Whitehorse Ledges and Looking Glass where people clearly think differently about slabs than I do. Are you, Steve, and others telling them they shouldn't be climbing the WoS slab if they take an honest interest in it like the two LG guys did?


"were these guys simply the best aid hookers in history?
why did nobody else ever put a route up that slab?
why has nobody else ever repeated the route?

did all the old dads BITD walk up there and look at the slab and quietly say to themselves, "i can't do this", or did they walk up there and say "this won't go w/out more drilling than the line itself warrants"?
"

More of the same 'the slab shouln't be climbed' commentary with the exception of that very last phrase. Let's be clear, 'the line itself' warrants whatever the minimum steel-on-stone would be required to climb it - by anyone. We keep coming down to the same two questions - a) should the slab be climbed? and b) if climbing the slab is legitimate, could anyone else have put up the line with a lower steel-on-stone index? Those are simple questions anyone here should be able to answer - they aren't rocket science. Climb the slab - yes or no? If yes, then could anyone else have done it with a lower steel-to-stone index - yes or no? If yes, then who?
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 16, 2008 - 11:10pm PT
This is a matter we apparently will never see the disappearance of.

In spite of the fact the first ascencionists seem to have rested their case.

Bubble bubble, toil and trouble

Perchance the enhanced could be seen with Hubble.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 16, 2008 - 11:20pm PT
Steve Grossman: "Hey granitehead- where do you see the phrase "bolt ladder" in my posted text block?!? Do try and read it this time."

You have accused Richard of "misquoting" your book. Please point to where Richard did this. Please do not point to where you misquote Richard, but where Richard misquotes you.

Edit: Thank your for addressing my question on hammering.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2008 - 11:20pm PT
Joe- have you ever done much aid climbing?

Get some sleep little troll, you are suspiciously knowledgeable and daft as a pole at the same time. Somebody feeding you questions?!?

Gclimber-You are the one misquoting Richard. I didn't bother to backcheck your statement.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 16, 2008 - 11:39pm PT
Steve, not a bunch. I've blown a few hooks on sandstone and done enough to know I prefer free climbing as a general rule. And where I completely love the art and craft of minimal protection, I don't find it all that interesting in the absence of movement. I've been climbing for 34 years and still free climb over strings of consecutive Crack 'N Ups and 1-3 Loweballs on a regular enough basis - I get the idea. Beyond that I have nothing but respect for good aid climbers - particularly Charlie Porter's pin work and Eric Kohl's heading.

And why? Does it change the logic of my argument in any way or mean I'm not climber enough to bother trying to get on WoS? Again, some clueless out-of-towners (which could easily have been us) jumped on your slab so the two questions still have merit. Should the slab be climbed - yes or no? Could you have climbed it with a lower steel-on-stone index - yes or no?

Neither question depends on my experience.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2008 - 11:50pm PT
Joe, I wasn't fishing for a resume. Just curious if you think it's a good thing for these guys or anyone else to head up on a new El Cap route not having led an established A3 pitch of 100' or longer? I think you have a lot more common sense and respect for tradition than to have behaved as they did.

Someone was eventually going to put a route up there. The climbers should be competent and experienced, yes? Richard and Mark have beat their chests on the forum and elsewhere demanding to know "who better than us" to have done this route. The answer is just about anybody who was active at the time who had done A3 or harder. It's not some local code, it's common sense. Everybody's got some, but these guys missed out.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 17, 2008 - 12:07am PT
Steve, I wish I could claim more common sense than I can. I tried to organize a trip to Baffin in '76, but luckily didn't manage to pull it off. We had essentially no aid, granite, big wall, or alpine experience. We also had no particular expectations beyond not having to climb in the dark or in too extreme a weather if we pulled the timing off just right. We more or less taught ourselves to climb in isolation and we held no truck with "culture" or "tradition" beyond being fierce proponents of LNT. My one trip hitching to the Valley back in the '70s ended up in a bad snow storm on the way up to the park so I bailed. But had my partner and I ever managed to make it there, we would have been striking out on our own with deliberate cluelessness on the principle of just eyeballing stuff. I did and do epic a bunch, but great things do occasionally trickle up from the darkness.

I guess my point still remains that, while it may not have been your way, the month of camping and UHaul of gear didn't alter the nature of the climb in stone on the day after they got off of it. The enhancements, holes, rivets, and bolts are what they are. And I'd personally love to see what a 'competent' local could do on the slab - once they got off of it you'd then have two side-by-side routes to contrast and compare. Seems to me there was room for another similar route where one of the locals could have shown the world how it should have been done - isn't there still?

If the slab was and is worthy of being climbed then it's a bummer the WoS epic put everyone off it. It would seem to me that the best way to put it to rest would be to carry on like it never happened.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 17, 2008 - 12:18am PT

Steve Grossman: "If you are using a hook as a chisel albeit an odd one the same applies. If you used a carabiner as a chisel or punch, the same. Intentional impact force. Pretty clear really."

Thank you for answering my question. Whatever other differences we have, I have to give you credit for stating strong convictions.

The "invisible" enhancements are, to me, the most serious issue with the WOS route. As you point out, such enhancements make if very difficult for a party to cleanly repeat the route, without making additional enhancements. I agree that the points you make on these enhancements are valid. But I do not understand why you accuse Richard and Mark of lying about them. The only reason we know about these enhancements is because Richard told us about them. He was forthcoming about them from the beginning.

John Mittendorf has also been critical of the "invisible" enhancements. I have found his posts to be reasonable. But the Big Walls, coauthored by John Mittendorf and John Long, states, "Sometimes a slight tap with the hammer will set a hook securely on a flake." (p. 98) Might not doing this unintentionally cause some damage to the rock and create an "invisible" enhancement?

Steve Grossman: "Gclimber-You are the one misquoting Richard. I didn't bother to backcheck your statement."

You accused Richard of misquoting your book but have not been able to show where he misquotes you. Now you accuse me of misquoting Richard, when I did not even quote him. Would you please point out where I misquoted Richard?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 17, 2008 - 12:57am PT
Granite (Steve, John, et al) - Isn't the 'invisible enhancements' issue endemic to any attempt to climb on such a slab - that any and all FA party of good conscience would face a 'Solomon's baby' dilemma of balancing the opposing demands of minimizing damage to the stone, yet drilling large and permanent enough 'holes' for subsequent ascents? In such a situation it would seem any FA party could easily be open to grief for both drilling too little and simultaneously drilling too much.

I'm hearing more than just a bit of exactly that double-edged sword of "damned if you do, damned if you don't" in these WoS threads, but the WoS fiasco completely aside, isn't this an important question to be addressed relative to such terrain? Is there a similar conundrum of unenhanced repeatability on routes such as some of Eric Kohl's more exotic A5 heading adventures? Are they 'repeatable' using the same standard as we're discussing here for the slab?

### -- One last quick edit before dashing as I forgot where I was headed with the above when I got sidetracked off-line. Please see the two new last sentences just above. -- ###

[ Note: Gotta jam and won't be back for a few days... ]
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 17, 2008 - 01:27am PT
The "required new enhancements to repeat" issue is a theory which does not match up with the actual repeat attempts. Enhancements were not needed by Pete or Ammon. "The Chief" (summitpost.org) did not report having to make enhancements when he climbed the first 9 pitches in 1996, although he noted that p9 had some shiny rivets or bolts which were apparently added after the FA (maybe even after Steve observed p9). Steve had noted that p9 looked drilled when he inspected it when he did Horse Chute. Richard or Mark said that extra drilling on p9 was not theirs, and must have been done by others in the time between the FA and when Steve was up there.

"The Chief" was able to get up the first 9 (i.e. all the slab) and he did not report problems with finding the hooking placements. The rivets in place would appear to provide some definite guidance on what direction to go for each hooking section between rivets. However, "The Chief" had a cheater stick which he may have used to skip moves near the rivets (he did not state how much he used it or when he used it).

I hope we hear about Kevin Thaw's experience on the route, especially on the middle pitches.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 17, 2008 - 02:06am PT
Steve knows what clean climbing is. He describes its nuances very intelligently.

Steve does not know about letting other people climb. He can't accept that somehow these guys that he did not know and who hadn't done El Cap, were capable of doing a difficult first ascent with "relatively few" (as judged by the first 2 pitches) bolts/enhancements. Steve's judgement of the extent of their drilling is confined to his observations of p9 (which they say must have been done after the FA), and to testimony by his friends about the first 1-2 pitches (possibly at night when the chopping of the original p1 was done).

Any argument that Steve can think of to slam the FA guys will be used, no matter how ludicrous it is. Any argument or question which Steve cannot answer favorably for "his cause" is ignored.

I am disappointed that Steve can be intelligent about some things, but blind about others. His climbs are impressive. But as a discussant or debater, he seems unable to detach himself from his (very incomplete) understanding of the climb from 20 years ago. These Wings of Steel threads seems to persist for his entertainment and delight in insulting others.

[Edit (1/17/07 11:50pm) to add clarification/reply to Neal/Lovegasoline:]
Neal, you are correct that posts using the "Steve Grossman" supertopo id have not been made to the Wings of Steel threads until just recently (12/30/07). I tend to think of the posts from Mimi's id as the same as from Steve's, although I did not state that above, so you had no way of knowing my perspective. Her account dates back to 1/13/05, and she posted on the Wings of Steel / PTPP threads starting on 8/5/06. The Mimi account had 120 posts in 1.5 years prior to that date, and 2355 in the 1.5 years since then. I have presumed (but not stated) that Steve used her id occasionally (not sure how often). I believe they live in the same house, so sharing a PC sometimes would hardly be a crime in my view. Even if I'm dead wrong about id sharing, it seems clear they share the same style of argument on this topic. Hey, it could even be the case that it was Mimi using Steve's id on 12/30/07. He seemed to use it in a friendly way except for in that thread (which I also dislike) "Ammon's House of Cards" (the 4th post from his id on supertopo, on 9/11/06; maybe he was feeling agitated on 9/11, but I don't want to drift too far here). Mimi and Steve did not start the original Wings of Steel threads. They have been active in keeping the threads alive since 8/5/06, and I dislike their style of argument.
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:19am PT
Clint wrote, "These Wings of Steel threads seems to persist for his [Steve G’s] entertainment and delight in insulting others."

Clint, I don't have a dog in this fight and I do not know either you or Steve personally, but this WOS Thread(s) on Supertopo has been going strong for some time now, years. Steve is a relative newcomer to the WOS Supertopo thread (perhaps you are as well [?] I can't recall when you first chimed in). There is a misguided reductivist pleasure in trying to pack this all into the ultimate nutshell...whatever that may be...that will cleanly annihilate the debate. You are exhibiting an ignorance of the thread’s history if you think this epic boils down to Steve's entertainment and delight in insult. You are fixated and tunnel visioned: it is for ALL OF OUR entertainment and has been for QUITE some time.

I have no issue that you wish to insult or slander Steve (perhaps for your own entertainment); it is par for the course … slander and insult are the bedrock that this thread is built upon. Read back through the hundreds (thousands?) of posts and you will see that your claim is perposterous. You need to survey the battlefield before you move your artillery into place.



deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Jan 17, 2008 - 06:46am PT
GraniteClimber, first of all, I think you should let everyone know who you are, rather than insist on anonymity.

Second, I hope my writings in my big wall book are not taken as license to chip away at the rock. When I talk about a slight tap to set a hook, my intent was to imply that:
1. The hook is capable is sitting there anyway.
2. That the tap is meant to "set" the hook, not "create" the hook placement.

On an micro-exfoliating slab like the left side of El Cap, there are bound to be infinite features that naturally would be quite challenging or impossible to hook, but with a bit of a chip here and a chop there, a nice "invisibly enhanced" flat edge could quickly be created.

This really crosses the line for some folks about the nature of climbing natural rock, in the same way that chipping a handhold in a blank section to "make a climb go free" is considered unethical in the free climbing realm of things.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 17, 2008 - 07:04am PT
So a "slight" tap isn't the same thing as slightly pregnant?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 17, 2008 - 07:06am PT
(I can see the knee jerk response coming.
I don't hide my alterations.)
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Jan 17, 2008 - 07:25am PT
Of course, it always "felt" (from the 'ethical' perspective) better to be able to place a hook on a natural edge, then use it, rather than having to tap on it in the hopes of helping it "stick" (tapping on a hook on a flat or sloping ledge probably never made any difference anyway, except psychologically, though it would give you a sense of its propensity to "skate"). Personally, I'd never want to hammer on a hook hard enough to actually chip away a piece of rock, because as anyone who's life's depended on a hook 30' above the last piece with certain ledge fall potential, one tends to take care of those little curved pieces of metal...

When I wrote about tapping on hooks, I was envisioning those times like when a Chouinard type hook is draped over a flake and the tap helps the springiness of the hook adjust to the shape of the flake better. In the case of a blank slab, we're talking thin micro edges, where a tap wouldn't "set" a hook in that sense. I can't recall ever trying to tap on a "Leeper wide" type hook, which you'd be using more for that type of hooking, and which doesn't have any springiness.

I think what Steve is trying to discover is more about actual "manufactured" edges on an aid climb.
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Jan 17, 2008 - 07:32am PT
very long and interesting post..
in the end it does not matter because Tommy and Beth will free it next spring and it will be a sport route...
ks
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Jan 17, 2008 - 08:09am PT
a) should the slab be climbed?

b) if climbing the slab is legitimate, could anyone else have put up the line with a lower steel-on-stone index?


c) were the 10-15 (I think that was what they said numbers wise) enhanced hooks placements (not manufactured, but a "crystal" removed so the hook would sit better) out of line, and what should have been done instead?

d) were/are they lying and more than 15 enhanced or manufactured hook placements were made? (to me this is where the most controversial and personal current conflict lies, to suggest this is one thing, but to claim it requires some objective proof, of which none has been offered)

e) are Zmacs B.S. manufactured difficulty? (I think so)

f) do climbers have to be experienced to put up an FA? Or should the route be judged on it's own merit?

g) do climbers have to do an FA in good style (quickly)? Or should the route be judged on it's own merit?
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Jan 17, 2008 - 08:30am PT
>>"d) were/are they lying and more than 15 enhanced or manufactured hook placements were made? (to me this is where the most controversial and personal current conflict lies, to suggest this is one thing, but to claim it requires some objective proof, of which none has been offered)"

Precisely, Fet.

My intial understanding that many of the hooks were enhanced came from MSmith's written statement in one of his posts that "many" of the hook placements were enhanced.

Later both MSmith and Madbolter revised their statements that 'only' 10-15 of the hooks were enhanced, and the consensus of folks on Supertopo seemed to be to believe them on their revised statement, based on some first hand accounts of people, like Pass the Pitons Peter, who actually know them personally and attest to their character. So with that in hand, it becomes more of debate on their credibility, which I wouldn't second guess until I met them personally. MSmith seems like a reasonable guy, though Madbolter appears fairly pedantic on the internet, but until I met them in person, I would hesitate to make any final assumptions on their character and integrity.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 17, 2008 - 08:59am PT
"Just curious if you think it's a good thing for these guys or anyone else to head up on a new El Cap route not having led an established A3 pitch of 100' or longer? I think you have a lot more common sense and respect for tradition than to have behaved as they did."

Hell yeah, man - it's a great thing! Whether you agree or not that climbing a blank slab is legitimate, having seen firsthand the handiwork of Mark and Richard, I am CONVINCED that nobody could have established the route with a lower "Steel On Stone Index" than they did. [I like that term!] I believe that they minimized their ethical impact on the rock - the climbing is sick, and for anyone to have even equalled their SOS Index would be a major feat of sick and inspired/manic/insane climbing. I'm glad they did it the way they did.

If anyone does not like the style in which they climbed WoS, then they can kiss my middle-aged over-the-hill life-insurance-agent lard ass, for who are you to say what style is good or bad? I think it was particularly meritorious that despite having nine ropes with them [Nine ropes?! Are you guys frickin' NUTS?!] they didn't drop any to the ground, but instead established the route in ground-up style. And if that's a bad thing, well, I already told you where to place your lips.

Neal - observations are not slander.

Granite - your arguments are valid and logical, however your credibility is only as good as your identity. We have enough nameless, faceless and often-dickless detractors around this place, and revealing your identity would add further merit to your words.

Ron - when I'm getting onto a dodgy hook, I sometimes tap it with my hammer to get it to flex as I begin weighting it. I'm not tapping it hard enough to chip or enhance the rock, just to get it to begin the bend into the position it will ultimate take when weighted.

Deuce - if a hook is sitting over top of a "rail" I might tap it to seat it, and then leave it for pro. This is particularly effective with Fish and Captain hooks, which are Da Bomb. Oh, I see you addressed that in your next post. And correct, you would never tap a hook on the WoS slab, for there is nothing there to tap it over - sheesh. You'd probably break the dimple you were trying to use.

"The "invisible" enhancements are, to me, the most serious issue with the WOS route. As you point out, such enhancements make if very difficult for a party to cleanly repeat the route, without making additional enhancements. I agree that the points you make on these enhancements are valid. But I do not understand why you accuse Richard and Mark of lying about them. The only reason we know about these enhancements is because Richard told us about them. He was forthcoming about them from the beginning."

It has been my contention all along that Mark and Richard have been "too honest" about their enhancements. If they had simply lied and said they didn't make the micro-enhancements - which are no longer visible on the first two pitches - they would have endured a lot less grief. But lying is anathema to them. I would have gone up there and not known the difference. I too wonder if the route is repeatable without a few more micro-enhancements. I wonder if this is a good or a bad thing?

Richard and Mark have painstakingly and excrutiatingly explained precisely how they made their relatively few [I forget the exact number] enhancements, and most assuredly it was not "a chip here and a chop there".

"Later both MSmith and Madbolter revised their statements that 'only' 10-15 of the hooks were enhanced, and the consensus of folks on Supertopo seemed to be to believe them on their revised statement, based on some first hand accounts of people, like Pass the Pitons Peter, who actually know them personally and attest to their character."

At the time, I didn't know them at all. However I was prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt based on what they wrote, because their posts seemed consistent and had the ring of truth to them. It was only when I went to Yosemite and gave the route a try that I got to know Mark and Richard, and was amazed that not only were they not the raving lunatics they frequently appeared to be here on McTopo, they were actually pretty stand-up guys. I felt bad about the way they had been treated over the years, and was trying to set the record straight by revealing the truth based on my own observations. Whether I like them or not is somewhat irrelevant [I do like them, and consider myself blessed to included them as my friends] but I have mostly stuck to reporting what I saw on the rock.


"So with that in hand, it becomes more of debate on their credibility, which I wouldn't second guess until I met them personally. MSmith seems like a reasonable guy, though Madbolter appears fairly pedantic on the internet, but until I met them in person, I would hesitate to make any final assumptions on their character and integrity."

I get that - fully. I felt the same way. Let me assure you they "clean up well" and are actually very cool [even if they don't drink]. I tend to be very selective about whom I consider to be my friends, incidentally.

My assessment of their characters and credibility was meticulous - it's like when you meet a girl off the internet, the first thing you do is look for discrepancies between her profile and who you see in person. [HINT to guys - check her weight, they almost all lie about that] Is she really who she has purported herself to be, or knott? Are the inconsistencies accidental, or intentional, and can they be explained? What I found in Mark and Richard were two pretty transparent guys who not only had nothing to hide, but who were willing to do their best to reveal everything about themselves. It was very brave of them to step into the glass house in front of me and Randy and Tom, as there was a lot riding on our evaluations.

After meeting them and getting to know them, they are unquestionably two of the most forthright and upstanding straight-shooters I have ever met. I have no reason to doubt a single word that they have ever said or written, because EVERYTHING CHECKS OUT.

I think you-all would really enjoy meeting Mark and Richard. I know you would be surprised to learn that they are far from the pariahs that popular myth and legend has made them out to be. In fact, they are so far removed from this, it is truly amazing to me! If anyone has ever been unfairly treated in the past, it's these two blokes, because they are truly cool. I think it would be great fun to have a get-together in the Meadows sometime during the spring Wall Season, so we could all hang out a bit. You might expect to see Richard standing on a boulder ranting, but ... well, you just gotta meet him yourself.

I agree that using Zed-macs is artificially manufactured difficulty, and I lobbied for replacing them with at least machine bolts, if not buttonheads. But Tom and I acceded to the first ascensionists' request.

"that any and all FA party of good conscience would face a 'Solomon's baby' dilemma of balancing the opposing demands of minimizing damage to the stone"

A few years ago, I sang in a production of Handel's Solomon. Handel was played by a counter-tenor, a guy who sings in the alto range in a falsetto voice. You can imagine what some of us men initially thought about such a gender bending singer. At least, until we saw the reaction of the girls - who thought he was totally hot.

Cheers,
Pete
Baritone,
Wanna-be Tenor and secretly Counter-Tenor
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Jan 17, 2008 - 09:21am PT
Cheers, Pete.

Still, I would add the "Steel on Stone" index is a stylistic can of worms, as Werner aluded to in a previous post.

Once Cameron Burns took me to a 80' spire in Colorado National Monument to do the FA. When we got there, it was blank and overhanging on all sides. Personally, I would have left it, but Cam really wanted to do it, so we bolted our way up to the top, not a climb I'm particularly proud of (though it must be said that Cam has picked a number of true classics in other places). So could this particular spire been done with less bolts? Not likely, but then the question comes, was it a reasonable and just means of ascent? In the case of WOS, that many bolts to justify a route wasn't the style at the time.

But as I mentioned before, style is subjective and may change in the future. My sense of "good style" are routes like the Radiator on Abraham in Zion, which had continously difficult climbing--Walt and I climbed the 2000 foot overhanging wall in 5 days with just 17 bolts total (no other rivets or holes), and all but three were for belays (and there were no bolts placed until the 8th pitch).
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jan 17, 2008 - 09:57am PT
It's funny to me that some people can find these guys and their route such a total desacration, and yet be so dogmatic about respecting the FA that they can't consider added enhancements (understandably not what most are into), upgrading the rivits/hardware that they find to be an innappropriate way to 'fill a hole', or by doing their best to erase the original enhancements and hardware from the rock.

I also don't understand how the so-called inevitable route that they supposedly took away by rolling their travesty up that section of rock would have been less 'boring' or fundementally different in climbing style.

If and when someone is ready to put bread on their table by freeing a "variation" of it, there will be plenty of new 3/8" bolts installed. It will be interesting to see if people are still freaking out about invisible hook enhancements then.

If I start a thread bitching about practice bolt ladders, tightly bolted sub 30ft. sport climbs, and super chalked up boulders in parking areas in the Valley, would some of y'all join me there? Those are way higher impact, but people seems to use and enjoy them. Are we upset about actual impact or that someone would do a route that didn't fit the dominant standard of fun.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jan 17, 2008 - 10:34am PT
Melissa, as I read things, the question of rock degradation is just a tool, not the central topic. In much the same way that spotted owl protection is really about saving old growth forests, the specifics of the WoS ascent are tools to ascertain the validity of the overall goal that brought up this old FA on the Taco in the first place.

Granted, this is my interpretation, but here goes:

Mark and Richard are concerned about their legacy. They want to be seen as heroes, not zeros, and in order to do that they have to persuade a preponderance of climbers to agree with their interpretation of events and abandon popularly accepted history. Opponents argue that in fact the pair are zeros and unworthy of admiration, and their tactics, style, line of ascent, experience, and attitude justify this abject position in the climbing microverse.

Is my synopsis incorrect?

Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jan 17, 2008 - 10:45am PT
Perhaps you are right. I guess just as w/ the irrational protester vs. the clear cutter, both sides of the heated argument (not necessarily many of the voices in between) kinda come across as zeros to me...at least w/in the context of the way it's been conducted.

If the real goal was to keep the WOS guys' place in history obscure at best, then these arguments seem to have been rather counter productive, IMO.

And yet, to the extent that the argument is really about the rock then it seems to me that it's on the 'anti' people to do something now b/c the WOS guys have already done their bit of doing.

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 17, 2008 - 10:57am PT
It saddens me that people are often so narrow minded that they insist on assigning what WOULD be their motives for doing what someone ELSE did.

Why not remain open to another's account before rushing to judgment?


For example; I know that Deuce felt that he was climbing by fair means on the Radiator (even mistakenly informed by me that the Patriarch was virgin), but, were I not already familiar with Deuce's performance (as opposed to product) oriented value system, I would be ranting about his bragging about a steel on stone count while completely ignoring the steel on stone impact of his piton placements.


But between the two routes which one sets the stage for the most resource degradation?
TradIsGood

Recently unshackled climber
the Gunks end of the country
Jan 17, 2008 - 11:03am PT
But the real question...






















Did they use chalk?

Maybe it is time we held John Gill accountable for all the post-Gill damage to natural rock.
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Jan 17, 2008 - 11:32am PT
"Mark and Richard are concerned about their legacy. They want to be seen as heroes, not zeros."

Also Mimi said earlier something about the climb being thought of as a prized accomplishment.

Aside from the book, which was targeted to a Religous audience more as a spiritual journey, not to a climber audience, I don't think the climb IS touted as being important in the grand scheme of climbing.

Sure it sounds like there's some sick hooking, but no one has really repeated it, most climbers aren't into aiding slabs, and no one has said it was a ground breaking climb. What has made the climb a hot topic is the responses of the opposition.

I just think Mark and Richard just want the truth to come out. (unless of course there are some lies on their part, but I see a lot more integrity and consistency in Mark and Richard words and actions than their opposition).
survival

Big Wall climber
arlington, va
Jan 17, 2008 - 11:55am PT
I think they should have done some schooling before jumping up there, as almost all of us have, but the fact that they didn't is kind of a testament to their yarbles.

If it was a nasty bolt ladder, people would be clipping up it for fun all the time. The fact that no one does it is not just that it's sooo distasteful. Slab or not, it's got to be pretty bad ass or somebody would go climb the damn thing.

C'mon in the land of hard men, it doesn't get repeated?
I say give those guys a break and put it to bed, or go climb it and then talk smack.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 17, 2008 - 12:15pm PT
Here! Here!

uh,.. er


There! There!
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jan 17, 2008 - 12:40pm PT
Pete, what is an 'observation' that has no basis whatsoever on observable factual evidence? Hint: it isn't an observation.

It's true that Clint isn't slandering (I fell into the habit of general Valley terminology): it’s a smear, vilification, libel.

In this case its effect is to malign its target. The fact that you and many others are, and have been, doing your share in keeping this thread going clearly and obviously nullifies Clint's 'observation'.

Pete, the irony is that you are arguing vociferously for the fair treatment of the FA party, yet you are quite content to drop that same standard of fairness when it applies to persons who oppose your ideas, if it suits your ends.

I know you will likely not reply to this, as your tactic (as shared by many on Supertopo) is to conveniently ignore solid direct criticism that comes your way in hopes of not drawing additional attention to it. But bear this in mind as a measure of your own personal credibility as you issue your special pleadings and make proclamations on the integrity (pro or con) of the individuals involved in this thread.

Don't attempt to muddy the waters. If your intent is to be taken seriously on this thread then display the same integrity you claim to demand in others and have the sac to call a spade a spade.

…as was quoted elsewhere: by their fruits, you shall know them.

Best, Neal


PS: Clint, I have no axe to grind with you; I’m just highlighting something that was excessive in your post.
dipper

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 01:11pm PT
Steve, Mimi (Stimi),

What sort of acknowledgement of your past climbs are you in need of?

Please let us know how we may give you strokes in hopes that this incessant goading of yours will stop.
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 01:13pm PT
If this guy Richard Jensen and his partners were heathen, hippie lettuce smoking, beer drinking, partying dirtbags, would they still be the targets of this anti-WOS campaign?
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Jan 17, 2008 - 01:19pm PT
aren't all hippie lettuce smoking, beer drinking, partying dirtbags, targets?
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 01:38pm PT
I reckon, but for different reasons. :)
Mimi

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 01:41pm PT
Hey Jody, sorry I missed responding to your question last time you asked it. The answer's yes, of course.

The Kid: I hope you're right on that!
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Jan 17, 2008 - 01:56pm PT
Yeah, I used pitons.

I don't use them anymore.

It took years of 10-step programs at the local Pitons Anonymous.

If I ever got back into Big Wall Climbing, I wouldn't use them anymore...

but I wouldn't use them any less, either!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 17, 2008 - 02:30pm PT
Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!! Laughing out loud at Deucey's comment above. Spoken by the man who somewhere wrote [if I remember correctly] about taking along a 2" bong for "good luck"!

"My name is Pete ..... [HI PETE!] ... and I am a Pitonaholic."

"Mark and Richard are concerned about their legacy. They want to be seen as heroes, not zeros."

Emphatically disagree.

My experience with Richard and Mark is that they want the truth revealed about what happened on WoS, and about who they are. The legacy they leave behind in education and family and church is far huger and more significant than some stupid climb up the side of a wall, and they are content and secure in this. They just wanted to set the record straight, and address the lies that have been perpetuated about them for a quarter-century. I think they have succeeded very well at this.

I think they are smart enough to recognize that they will never be perceived as heroes, and merely seek some middle ground. Somewhere between a missionary and a mercenary are a couple of guys like Mark Smith and Richard Jensen, and that's OK. And reaching a middle ground is a far cry and huge improvement from my original thought when I heard their names.

Prior to all this stuff being written on McTopo, what did you-all think about Richard Jensen and Mark Smith, and how do you feel now? For me, it's like night and day. They have told me they feel vindicated, and I am very happy for them.

Neal - I don't get the context of what you mean above. Can you please clarify and add specifics? Cheers.
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jan 17, 2008 - 03:00pm PT
What exactly don't you understand Pete?
Da_Dweeb

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 03:04pm PT
LoveGas and others,

Clint doesn't have to read the 15 hours or so of these threads to comment as he has. He's commenting about THIS thread (Part XXVII) which was created BY Grossman for the purpose of smearing Smith and Jensen. If he's "fixated" on anything, he is fixated on the fact that this whole thread is a hack job on people, not on a climb. To try to make it out as if this thread is a slander against Grossman is a joke.

Hell, the OP couldn't be more ironic with the naming of this thread if he tried. Smith and Jensen moved on for good to worry about more important things about 150 posts before you resurrected this latest incarnation of the thread. So tell me, now that we're 212 posts further down the downward spiral, are the rest of you four and twenty bozos any closer to being done with this yourselves? Have you honestly said even a single damn thing that justifies continuing this debate, let alone a whole new thread?

This thread isn't about WoS. It's about trashing the climbers, not the climb. So I'd like to recommend to you all a favorite book of mine by Doctor Dennis Leary about a revolutionary new kind of therapy called, "SHUT the F*#K UP!!"
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Jan 17, 2008 - 03:06pm PT
Man, if that airplane would have crashed into the Great Slab in, say, 2005-ish, we'd all be sitting around the base of that thing smokin' some ganja instead! Chillin' like villains! hahaha
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 17, 2008 - 03:18pm PT
Wow!

Ten step etriers?
Mimi

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 03:20pm PT
Da-Dweebus, you're the one that helped start this mess up again, fool. And since when is Richard done with this debate? He's got you and other anonymous trolls chirping their song regularly.

The climb was messed up by these two guys so why wouldn't they and their tactics be discussed? And they've done their best to stir this pot since they got on the ST back in 2005. They're as big a part of the mudslinging as anyone else.

Are you a climber who's really interested in this controversy or one of his brown nosing students hoping to win points?
Da_Dweeb

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 03:46pm PT
Mimi –
I’d rather be an “anonymous troll” than a cliquish, territorial, elitist, self-righteous bitch like yourself. You’re damn right I started this mess up again – with a post to attest from first-person experience about Mark’s good character as a _former_ student who considered him one of the most important people in my life – as a teacher, and not as a climber. I did so to try to give a little positive light on his character after all the mudslinging YOU and others brought against him. I have since regretted doing so because sure enough, out of the woodwork it brought back out all of you little petty people with your little petty grudges about imagined slights against “your” rock, “your” valley, “your” proper order of things from 25 frakking years ago to keep this carnival of crap going. I say what I say with no approval nor endorsement nor even encouragement from Mark or Richard. You need to grow up and shut up, Mimi. Same with you, Grossman.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 17, 2008 - 03:53pm PT
Ron, how about 12 step etriers? Would they aid? (So to speak.) I mean, a higher power would be involved and all that stuff.

"Hi, my name is Pete (either), and I'm a peteonaholic."
"Hi, my name is X, and I'm a WingsofSteelaholic."
"Hi, my name is Z, and I'm a SuperTopoaholic."
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:06pm PT
Regarding pitch three...a little interesting getting out of the belay but after about 20' the flakes were too tiny to hold anything. After that it was rivets the rest of the way. Still not the "highway of steel and modifications" being talked about.
scuffy b

climber
Stump with a backrest
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:10pm PT
I don't understand the "drive" to halt this nonsense.
Is there anything bad to say that has not already been said?
If you're tired of it, ignore it.
If you're a participant, glory in it.
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:15pm PT
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:19pm PT
stupid doo doo heads! I'm telling Mom!
WBraun

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:19pm PT
Ah yes ..... Commercial break.

Time for a message from our sponsor.
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:21pm PT
Da_Dweeb,
I never stated that this thread is a slander against Grossman. My comment was directed to Clint Cummins' notion that this thread persists solely for Steve G's "entertainment and delight in insulting others".

Your two recent posts, Da_Dweeb, supports, rather than refutes, my comments. Your delight in insult is palpable. You appear to be merely another delusional contributor blinded by your prejudices...a fanatic evangelical zealot with defective thinking... the latest in a tedious lineage. If your teachers had as profound an influence upon you as you state, your character doesn't reflect positively upon them.

I know for the likes of you it is difficult to see, blinded as you are by your passions and by fanaticism, but you do Mark more harm than good by your posting. Is this what is meant by 'a chip off the old block'?
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:22pm PT
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:31pm PT
If they're not concerned about a legacy, why do they care about "the truth coming out"? If Truth is all they're worried about, hey, they lived it, what more do they need? The Truth, capital T, doesn't really involve what people think, it's a dry as dust objective actuality that cannot involve opinion. It can encompass how much force was applied to a piece of bent angled steel, but it cannot address whether that force was appropriate. Truth, small t, is subjective, based upon an individual's perspective. Mark and Richard want their small t truth accepted by others, but it's all fuzzy jive subject to interpretation. Werner may believe that after we die we come around again, and I may believe that once you're dead its all maggots and weevils ever after, but that doesn't give either of us a lock on the capital T Truth. We can lobby others to accept the view from our perspective, but it cannot affect the Truth.

Mark and Richard want everyone to enshrine their truth as Truth, replacing the currently enthroned interpretation. Whatever, ya'll are gonna vote one way or another based on a raft of your own experiences, perceptions, bias, and friendships. Myself, I think the ladies doth protest too much, but that and a dollar and a quarter will get me a ride on the bus. Pete, I think your opinion weighs about the same, but given the photographic evidence compared to your 20 and 40 foot declaration, I think you're overdue for a visit with the ophthalmologist.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:32pm PT
Oh, and I do have to say that I appreciate Jody's diversions, eye candy in an ugly place is always welcome.

edit: Scuffyb, I've only spent one day in your presence, but I treasure you nonetheless.
Gene

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:43pm PT
Only 16 more days until Groundhog Day.
survival

Big Wall climber
arlington, va
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:45pm PT
Hey Dweeb,

You said Mark and Richard had moved on long ago, but that sure didn't keep Richard from jumping in with both feet on a Bill Russell thread that had nary a word about those guys until he came in with some really strong words.
That's not moving on.........
Bruce
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:52pm PT
hey jody is that last photo enhanced? and what makes you think you have the credentials to take photos of MY ocean? Have you taken previous photos of any ocean? did you get permission from the big guys upstairs (that would be Ansel and Galen) to take these photos? Can you prove you have permission? digital or velvia? Prove it! and what gives you the right to post these photos on MY internet? I know Eppie and he knows how those dials are supposed to work. Did you get his permission to use those dials? Does your faith make it any easier to use those dials? Can you prove your faith makes it easier? It's a simple question. why are you being so evasive? I lived in the valley for ten years. long enough to know that anyone who's lived in the valley is right about everything, all the time. How long did you live in the valley? I would display my wit and flaunt my large vocabulary and call you a bunch of names so you could post an indignant defense, but hey, i'm better than that and I have a lettuce garden to tend and it's nap time so quit persecuting me because i'm pretty.

happy bday to your dad. i think we can put aside our differences long enough to agree that dads are cool. eh?
tradcragrat

Trad climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 04:52pm PT
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 05:01pm PT
Wade, I didn't know you had a sense of humor...LOL!
Da_Dweeb

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 05:07pm PT
Survival - Given that neither Mark nor Richard have responded to this topic in 400 posts, that statement holds water like a sieve. Meanwhile, Grossman/Mimi still can't seem to find the off switch.

LoveGasoline-

Is this what is meant by 'a chip off the old block'?

That's a good one! But anyone with half a brain can see that for all my respect for him Mark and I are nothing alike, and I've never claimed to be half the man he is. Say what you will. They’ve had that coming since 5 threads back.

But while we're on your post...

My comment was directed to Clint Cummins' notion that this thread persists solely for Steve G's "entertainment and delight in insulting others".

You know, that brings up a good point - just what is this thread all about?

Mimi, Grossman –

What is it that you want here? You've pressed your point that Smith and Jensen are buffoons who were lucky to find El Cap let alone climb it, that WoS is Yosemite's greatest POS and that any self-respecting climber could do it, but no one does because it is ascetically vacuous (Sorry, I guess that was sounding more Braun than Grossman). Why are we still going on unless this thread is actually about you?
WBraun

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 05:35pm PT
Dweeb, What's this thread about?

It's about people. That big ass rock is secondary.

People (all of us) are social birds. We like to talk.

Yackity yack yack yack yack

Yap yap yap ....

And you Mr. dweeb are included, aren't you glad?

In the prison house the inmates are restless because they have no life, that includes you, me and everyone else on this planet that is in the conditioned state of consciousness.

We'll dig a tunnel and escape ...... where's your shovel?

survival

Big Wall climber
arlington, va
Jan 17, 2008 - 05:36pm PT
Da Dweeb,
I mean this was like 3 days ago that he got in on that other post. Look at the Bill Russell appreciation thread and you'll see what I mean.
Edit: Like a sieve eh?
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 17, 2008 - 06:02pm PT
Buses are only $1.25 in Wa? That's pretty good, isn't it?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 17, 2008 - 06:25pm PT
Da Dweeb- do you think that you have accomplished anything by sticking up for those honorable gentlemen when they haven't even got the integrity and guts to deal with some real heated discussion and come on this thread.

Just in case my OP wasn't clear enough, the Bill Russell mock sermonette/intervention post by Richard threw the whole machine into high gear. He just couldn't help himself and got hammered on yet again. Getting hammered on is Richard's raison d'etre on so many levels. This thread is far from over with respect to the details of interest. Check it out or not.
Jody

Mountain climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 06:36pm PT
I am just curious...are there any copyright issues with the OP?
Da_Dweeb

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 06:42pm PT
Survival -

Point well taken, I didn't see the thread. Ayup, I'll eat those words, and they taste like sieve.

Steve –

You still haven’t answered my question. What do you hope to achieve with this thread?

WBraun -

My shovel is firmly in hand. I've been needing it to shovel through all the BS around here.

On rare occasion though, we two have the opportunity to agree. This is a thread about people. Not about the climb, not about Wings of Steel, but about people. But as it's no longer about the climb but just about people and mudslinging, I propose we rename it the Mud Falcon thread and be done with it.
yo

climber
The Eye of the Snail
Jan 17, 2008 - 06:57pm PT
How bout we rename the route the Mud Falcon?


Mimi

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 06:58pm PT
Streak of the Mud Falcon.
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Jan 17, 2008 - 07:04pm PT
So did Mimi or Steve Sh#t on the ropes?



Juan
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jan 17, 2008 - 07:08pm PT
I am Spartacus. We all sh#t on the ropes.
Mimi

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 07:10pm PT
Hail Spartacus!

No, I am Spartacus!
Rokjox

Trad climber
boys, I dunno.
Jan 17, 2008 - 07:14pm PT
No! I am Spartacus!
WBraun

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 07:18pm PT
Just so you all know .....

Charlie Porter was chopping Hardings bolts on the last pitch of the "Wall of the Early Morning Light" after Robbins ascent.

Gene

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 07:34pm PT
Charlie Porter is Spartacus!
craig mo

Trad climber
L.A. Ca.
Jan 17, 2008 - 07:35pm PT
God knows why they did it.
What is the origin of the term "mud falcon"?
I saw one once but didnt think to photograph it.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 17, 2008 - 08:22pm PT
Steve Grossman: "do you think that you have accomplished anything by sticking up for those honorable gentlemen when they haven't even got the integrity and guts to deal with some real heated discussion and come on this thread."

Steve Grossman speaks of integrity, but after accusing Richard of misquoting his book and impugning his competence as an academic, Steve is unable to point to a single example. This is not surprising because Richard accurately quoted Steve's book, word for word. And Steve continues to perpetuate the false statements in his book.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 17, 2008 - 08:30pm PT
"Granite - your arguments are valid and logical"

Thank you for your kinds words, PTPP. My words should stand, and be judged on their own merit, or not at all. If they are valid and logical they have merit and anything further would only distract.
survival

Big Wall climber
arlington, va
Jan 17, 2008 - 08:45pm PT
DaDweeb,
man that cracked me up. Thanks for tasting the sieve...THAT was funny. No worries...
Bruce
Mimi

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 09:05pm PT
Pete and granite, the happy couple. One good HJ deserves another, eh?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 17, 2008 - 09:09pm PT
hey Jaybro, don't bogart the popcorn, ok
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 17, 2008 - 09:22pm PT
I was hoping for a BJ, Mimi.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 17, 2008 - 09:24pm PT
There's plenty for all.

GDavis

Trad climber
SoCal
Jan 17, 2008 - 09:26pm PT
One of my climbing mentors speaks very, very, very highly of the ability and character of Mark and Richard. A few peeve'd guys on the internet aren't enough to dissuade me.


Tim Shinhoffen wants to get in touch with Richard and Mark, if you're lurking hit me an email!

-Greg
Mimi

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 09:36pm PT
Sorry graniteclimber let you down, Pete.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jan 17, 2008 - 09:43pm PT
I'm sorry, where are my manners? have some, Ed. Looks like Granite's buying.
WBraun

climber
Jan 17, 2008 - 09:58pm PT
So way back before the chopping and defecating of the ropes.

I come out of the shower house and for the first time ever run into Richard and Mark just over at the far side of the SAR cache.

I didn't at first know who they were but because I had been hearing talk about some guys doing something on El Cap that was stirring up a sh'it storm among some of the locals.

I introduced myself and asked if they were the guys having the problems with the locals here and they affirmed.

I casually said: "Maybe if those guys are so riled up or some such maybe it's not such a good idea to go up there." Not that it was really any of my business to be telling them what to do. It was mostly a hint of what I would have done. I wouldn't want a bunch people pissed off at me like that.

But whatever, sometimes people just gotta do what they need to do.

They were actually seriously considering that avenue at that point in time. They were pretty upset that I could see.

Unbeknown to me they were there for some meeting with all concerned climbers and other interested individuals at the SAR cache a short time later.

I gave em a good luck to their future and vanished off on to my on space.

Whatever happened at that meeting? Was it as nasty as here?
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Jan 17, 2008 - 10:11pm PT
"I was hoping for a BJ, Mimi"


everyone who's surprised, raise your hand
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 17, 2008 - 10:28pm PT
The hope that springs eternal in Pete's case!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 17, 2008 - 11:53pm PT
Lovegasoline/Neal,

I edited my post just before yours to hopefully reply to your reasonable points.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=516588&msg=517961#msg517961

I have read most of the Wings of Steel threads, although the signal-to-noise ratio can be low at times.... I don't enjoy taking a negative tone, but I wanted to make some observations about styles of argument and why threads won't die. I don't expect the general direction of these threads to change.
Trusty Rusty

Social climber
Tahoe area
Jan 18, 2008 - 12:08am PT
Speak up who has actually done it, the rest, shut up.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 18, 2008 - 12:12am PT
bump for Werner's question...

"I gave em a good luck to their future and vanished off on to my on space.

Whatever happened at that meeting? Was it as nasty as here?"

graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Jan 18, 2008 - 07:34am PT
Mungeclimber and Werner, go to http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=220133&msg=222253#msg222253
and
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=220133&msg=222431#msg222431
and
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=235868&msg=236067#msg236067

Matt, you said, "if you want to know what the climbing community back then felt was or was acceptable (or choose another word) in terms of hole count etc., you'll have to ASK THEM." You should read those posts also.

Edit: It seems there were at least two meetings, because the meeting described in the posts was after WOS was climbed. Werner is asking about a meeting before WOS was climbed.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 18, 2008 - 09:22am PT
Oh my, "Trust Rusty Trombone" has spoken. He's yet another guy spouting off on the internet, but I guess we should all heed his directive to STFU.

Rusty Trombone, does the word "irony" mean anything to you?
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Jan 18, 2008 - 09:37am PT
Mimi wrote: And why are elcapfool's observations of doctored placements disregarded?

But didn't provide a link to those observations.

While elcapfool wrote:
WoS is no cake walk, it shut me down. It is not a rivet ladder. In fact it is a route so visionary, that it is still not even understood, much less repeted. It is unlike any other climb I have ever heard about.

Better rivets and bolts is the only legitimate critism I can see.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=235868&msg=236067#msg236067
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 18, 2008 - 10:05am PT
A quote from Part XXV from elcapfool:


"What I saw on WoS was that someone had beaten the rock with a hammer. I don't pretend to know who did it, but it looks to me that someone was trying to erase placements."
Mimi

climber
Sep 8, 2009 - 06:56pm PT
I know, I know everyone...I have a problem with steadfast revisionism. You don't have to read it or participate. Your choice, mmmkay.

No pot shots here, BwanaDick. It's really amusing how you or one of your trolls can't resist re-stirring this pot. From what I saw posted, as you fail to recall, you 'renewed the debate' again on the 'El Cap and HD Survey' thread at around 3 am on Aug. 17th! Charles really got your goat, did he? And how could any historian not reply in jest to Largo's comment on donini's 'Most Overrated' thread about the Crucible of Greatness (and if it's not so great, how about the Crucible of Lowliness, if that makes you feel better)? Hit a nerve, did it?

It's just not right reviving the Wings of Plywood thread without doing the same to this one. The one our heroes were hiding from at the time. Nothing like a little nervous humor projection, eh Bwana? I have to say reading this thing again was brutal until it got really funny nearer the end.

We have a WOS garbage can file loaded up with all the stuff that you guys have written over the last several years. Enough to keep everyone laughing for eons. But no such fun is possible if you won't show.

We can argue forever about who started this, but if you'd like to finish it, how about participating here on your very own thread?
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Sep 8, 2009 - 10:07pm PT
I just read every post up there and am going to continue to refrain from posting anything myself......


wait....

DOHHH!
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Sep 9, 2009 - 01:13am PT
Endless loop in the AI....

Creak, creak, yawn.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Sep 9, 2009 - 01:30am PT
Madbolter1 - give a shout if you make it down to PDX.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Sep 9, 2009 - 01:50am PT
I was about to head to bed, when it hit me what an abject waste of time these last few years have been with you, Mimi.

I've tried facts. I've tried making it heavy and keeping it light. I've tried reason and direct responses. I've tried parody. I've responded every way I can dream up... not to convince you to change your mind about the facts, because I don't think that is possible... but to change your attitude... to sort of "put it behind us," to just "agree to disagree."

But I have never in my life encountered such resilient, unreasonable, derisive hatred toward me before as that which you exhibit these last four years. You continue to justify every negative treatment of us (verbal and physical) that can be heaped upon us, as though we are somehow sub-human. I've even tried responding to you in kind, but you are impressive! You have indeed WON! I am at a standstill.

I must be slow to "get it," sort of stupid. I had hopes that even you could eventually just let it go, you know, just go forward with the minimum level of mutual human respect to just let each other be.

But you cannot stand to see me engaged in any thread on any level. Your one mode of communication is derisive hatred, attempting to lay me low in whatever venue we share; that has been the constant in your every communication to and about me.

I have never seen such a level of relentless insanity before directed at me. And I must say that it is shocking and shaking. It feels like looking into a black hole and seeing genuine, scary emptiness.

I'm not kidding about this or saying this for some sort of effect. Honestly, Mimi, your blind hatred is downright shaking after all these years. Your vicious ferocity is indeed impressive.

I have finally realized that there is NO POSSIBLE response I can give that will have any positive effect on YOU, and I cannot benefit in ANY way from further communications with you.

If "getting the last word" means "winning," then you will always win. No facts are changed, but perhaps you can eventually bring everything full circle and leave the climbing community convinced of your perspectives in spite of the facts. This appears to be your studied goal, and I'm deeply tired of fighting it.

Call it a "win." I have nothing more to say to you.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Sep 9, 2009 - 07:06am PT
In response to what I perceived to be unfair and highly biased comments against Wings of Steel and Richard and Mark, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, meet with them, and climb their route. I found their writing and responses to have the ring of truth that their detractors' ranting lacked.

In the time I spent with Richard and Mark a few years ago, I found them to be reasonable, credible, genuinely nice guys, and even [relatively] normal [for wall climbers].

I tried climbing Wings of Steel, and failed miserably. The original first pitch has far and away the most desperate hooking I have ever encountered. The rivets are a LONG way apart - it sure ain't no "rivet ladder"! - and there is super-serious ankle-breaker fall potential. It was way too scary and hard for me, so I bailed with shrivelled bollocks and my tail between my legs.

Prior to my attempt, Ammon had climbed the alternate start that Richard and Mark also climbed after their first pitch had been chopped. Using Ammon's ropes to get up - along with a fifteen-foot cheat stick! - Tom and I replaced the bolts and rivets on the first crux pitch. I can't remember if Tom replaced the rivets on the second pitch, too.

I verily believe that in the face of extreme prejudice and threats from the Yosemite Locals - including the chopping of their first pitch and the sh|tting upon of their ropes - that this motivated Mark and Richard to enter some realm of crazed insanity that allowed them to put up this crazy-sick-hard route.

More than a quarter-century later, Wings of Steel is sitting there awaiting the second ascent. I hope someone gives it a go, cuz it's HAAAAAAAARD. So quit ranting in internet forums, and go to El Cap Meadows. Grab your aiders, hooks and Scream Aids, and walk up to the base of Wings of Steel and have a look for yourself. I'd be happy to belay!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 9, 2009 - 08:52am PT
Oh poor put upon Richard...

Your fundamental lack of forthright honesty about your routes and what went into their creation is the core of this continuing discussion.

Charles Cole and I both refer to "bolting" as anything having to do with the use of a drill while climbing. Anytime a drill is employed to allow a placement to be utilized that would otherwise not be viable, it constitutes a "hole" in the hole count that provides a clear measure of the character of a route and the quality of effort put forth by the FA team.

You don't care for the "Big Lie" that every other placement on WOS was drilled but then won't come clean about exactly how heavily you and Mark relied on the drill to make your route go.

For the record, what is the accurate hole count for WOS, Winds of Change and Ring of Fire down to the last tiny but exciting 12 pt bwanadimple. I am quite sure that you know what you left behind and how you got the job done.

Provide those three numbers and let the healing begin. How about it???

In terms of style, if you actually have gleaned some understanding of that concept by now, your efforts stand apart from even the Dawn Wall as the most heavily drilled routes ever.

Even without the dozens of enhanced hook placements, by John's estimation WOS exceeds the drilling on the Dawn.

Still only three or four enhancements of ANY SORT on WOS while Mark says otherwise? A clear misrepresentation of what went on and the core of the matter as it stands.

Come clean Lord of the Drill. How about it?

Oh, and would you have done anything differently in retrospect?
Dingus Milktoast

climber
Sep 9, 2009 - 08:54am PT
This whole f*#king relentless hand wringing over a buncher of stoner dirtbags back in the day is laughable.

Mimi, if you haven't climbed the route YOU HAVE WINGS OF HOT AIR.

DMT
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Sep 9, 2009 - 09:10am PT
"You don't care for the "Big Lie" that every other placement on WOS was drilled but then won't come clean about exactly how heavily you and Mark relied on the drill to make your route go."

Every other placement??? Dude! What are you thinking? This is emphatically KNOTT the case. I found no evidence whatsoever of ANY enhancement on Wings of Steel, and I was specifically looking for such.

Steve, why do you ignore what Mark and Richard have clearly described above? Their hole count is listed in terms of rivets and bolts, and they report - in tremendous detail - how they made microscopic crystal-removal enhancements with a drill about six to ten times over the length of the route. I couldn't see any of these, perhaps running water has smoothed them out?

If you would like to consider those six to ten enhancements as holes, I guess you can. But I wouldn't. Why don't you give the first pitch a go at the Facelift? Quit making assumptions, and instead make observations. I couldn't climb it - maybe you can.
Tork

climber
Yosemite
Sep 9, 2009 - 09:17am PT
RIGHT ON, Wings of Steel is back!!!!!

I love this thread, great entertainment.


Mimi is like the Terminator. She just won't stop. Pure evil I tell ya!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 9, 2009 - 09:25am PT
Difficuly is not the issue, Pete. How these guys dealt with the challenge posed by the climbing is front and center.
GDavis

Trad climber
Sep 9, 2009 - 09:26am PT
Steve


you're a dick.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
Sep 9, 2009 - 09:29am PT
There IS NO ISSUE. No one cares.

DMT

fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
Sep 9, 2009 - 09:35am PT
WOS, just another route that should not have happened, like Growing Up.


The evil one
The Chief

Trad climber
From the Land where Mogols still roam!
Sep 9, 2009 - 09:42am PT
What is truly laughable about this entire WOS gig is when supposed ethic cops spray shet yet they have NEVER BEEN ON THE ROUTE they are ranting murder about.

Go get on and do the SA of WOS Steve! Then return and yell your downpours of bloody murder. Until then, please STFU and give it a rest!

The real issue regarding WOS is that a couple of nobody's showed up in the Valley one day and put this real hard ass route up without the supposed "permission" of the locals... i.e. Steve etal.

That is simply jealous ego. Period!

Give it a rest would ya for God's sake Steve.

And who's to say what route goes up and what doesn't go up?? We starting a local board of approval now that determines what is and what can't be? If so, that is pure BS and ya'll know it.

Seems some one else took that authority upon himself long before WOS went up and suddenly realized he was desperately WRONG and had no business calling anyone out. The 4th P of his route on the Column proved his hypocrisy.....
jstan

climber
Sep 9, 2009 - 09:55am PT
OK. I have read everything written so far on Wings O’Steel. All six posts.

If you step back a bit it is apparent everyone here is slippin ‘n slidin on the same slippery slope, apparently put there for us long ago by Salathe. He did change the rock so that he might proceed. On the subject climb the FA party took the next step of proceeding via little dimples, a natural extension that as it turns out, is most unfortunate. Now if you get a few feet off route you see nothing and those repeating the route will be making the braided trails so profusely evident on the ground.

Is this really where we want to go?

Much of the discussion has been focused on personal feelings. Personal feelings that will disappear in just a few years when we have died. All those dimples up the rock will last a lot longer.

Which is the more important to us?
atchafalaya

climber
Babylon
Sep 9, 2009 - 10:06am PT
Talking sh#t about Wings of Steel without having climbed it tells me more about the sh#t-talkers than the first ascentionists.

Steve, after all the hard routes, your legacy will be endlessly whining on supertopo about a route you hadn't even climbed. Proud dude. So take your sub-man mimi-me, climb it, and then spray. Please?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Sep 9, 2009 - 10:24am PT
"Even without the dozens of enhanced hook placements, by John's estimation WOS exceeds the drilling on the Dawn"

Total bullsh#t. Ask Ammon or Pete who have been on the route how many 'enhancements' hook placements of any kind they could discern or use while they were on any part of it. How about you go get on it or rap it and report back how many 'enhancements' you found desecrating the slab.
drljefe

climber
Old Pueblo, AZ
Sep 9, 2009 - 11:00am PT

The Chief

Trad climber
From the Land where Mogols still roam!
Sep 9, 2009 - 11:12am PT
I have been on the 1st P of WOS and saw NO, ZERO, NONE, NADA evidence of any kind of ENHANCEMENTS!

Wish there were some, hell lots, so I could have gotten up the frkn thing...

I got on the 1st P and bailed after 10'.....IT WAS FRKN WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY SCARY!!! I backed off and went over to the left of initial 1st P start and took this easier line to the top of the 2nd P, fixed and returned the following day then did the 3rd P. Neither of those two were a cake walk either. Came off after the third P, rapped and closely inspected the 1st P.


Shet my pants when I saw it was all natural.


My Hats Off to the two brave souls with NO BRAINS that entered the Valley and KICKED ASS with this Ball Buster Line!


So Steve Grossman, get off the couch, fly on down to the Valley and give the 1st P of WOS a go before ya shetinize it any more. Better bring along several pairs of and wear some Depends cuz yur gonna need em...
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Sep 9, 2009 - 11:16am PT
Richard,

I didn't understand why Mimi and Steve Grossman just couldn't let this go either, but I think I understand better now.

It's not about hatred, but about love and loyalty. They are a couple and if you reread the WOS threads knowing this, it makes more sense. Attack one, and the other is sure to post.

Steve got so involved in this that any defense of what you and Mark did on the wall is an implicit attack on him and Mimi cannot let that go.
Pate

Trad climber
The High And Lonely
Sep 9, 2009 - 11:22am PT
I know it's hard but....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBlXEGLXlV0

The Chief

Trad climber
From the Land where Mogols still roam!
Sep 9, 2009 - 11:42am PT
Next time I attempt this insane first Pitch, I will bring several rolls of Duct Tape....


Is this technique OK with or should I say, approved by you Steve Grossman?????
weschrist

Gym climber
left sac
Sep 9, 2009 - 11:44am PT
Sounds like a cool route. Where is it?

Still awaiting the SA? Why?

The FA party did it. Presumably you don't have to add any bolts or enhance any placements, right? So get yer ass up there and do it in a better style, no?

pfft.
rick d

climber
tucson, az
Sep 9, 2009 - 12:06pm PT
The problem with WOS is there is no line. It is a slab (yes, walked below it 1/2 dozen times) and does not top out as its own creation. This is why it is unrepeated for decades. IT may be hard hooking (even today state of the art) but it is not one of those "look at the feature" things most climbers stare at. Its freaking boring (and on the hotter side of the captain).

I believe Richard/Mark that the route has far less "hole count" than presumed by many in the community. I also firmly believe that the defensive strategy (now in its third decade) by esp Richard is a waste of air, paper, and web space. Richard- don't say anything else about the route until someone repeats it. And yes, Beyer (aka Tomo aka Maestri) seems to be a liar we got that.

Please, can everyone should just let this route die (and this freakin' thread). Richard, give up- ignore SG and mimi.

That being said, Growing Up should be chopped and the hangers melted into a stainless platypus or something funny.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno
Sep 9, 2009 - 12:15pm PT
"but it is not one of those "look at the feature" things " "walked below it 1/2 dozen times"

Depends... Free climb much? The first two pitches definitely have features tying the pitch, and hooking together. There's a *big* difference between walking under the route and actually paying attention to it, having a rope on it, doing some of the hooking, etc. Big difference.

weschrist

Gym climber
left sac
Sep 9, 2009 - 12:15pm PT
I'm pretty sure everyone who is dissing WoS has climbed plenty of routes that "do not top out as its own creation." The reason it hasn't been repeated is more likely one of two things:

1) certain people have spent so much time and effort dissing the route that, were they to attempt it and fail, they would have to admit what a punter they really are.

2) they simply don't have the minerals.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Sep 9, 2009 - 12:23pm PT
Give me a break. The more info that comes out about this climb, the more valid it seems. One could just as easily have run Bridwell out of town after the PO during those times.

There are plenty of climbs on El Cap whose FA parties we respect that used tons of rivets and trenched heads to get the job done.

Give it a break. It's no eyesore from anywhere and to get up that section of El Cap, it seems the minimum force was used, so what's the big deal (except by those who ASSUME inaccurate things)

Bottom line, non-insiders to the valley scene are taken to task when they step out of (perceived) line.

PEace

Karl
Ryan Tetz

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Sep 9, 2009 - 12:29pm PT
Steve Grossman's routes, Cochise etc.. were interesting but he sure comes off like a douche bag.
rick d

climber
tucson, az
Sep 9, 2009 - 12:46pm PT
wes-
uh that would be Scott A. for the FA of End Game- a line that cuts up Grossman's (and Parcifal) Poetry in Motion.

After hearing Bill Schmauser's tale of soloing the Aquarium in a storm I have zero interest for the rest of my days of going anywhere near that section of El Cap- in fact- I have outgrown the valley.

Free climbing- slabs? I have a strict rule of only FFA (or free FA) routes that require no more than 6 protection bolts in a full rope length. I like cracks, seams, something that takes any type of gear.

Sorry, still don't see the line and frankly don't care.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno
Sep 9, 2009 - 12:51pm PT
"still don't see the line and frankly don't care."

You never have, and that's exactly my point.
weschrist

Gym climber
left sac
Sep 9, 2009 - 12:54pm PT
Oh yeah, Scott NOT Steve, thank God. Scott is a cool guy, sorry for even suggesting...



I'm sure I've heard something about Grossman... hmmm, going to have to talk to some old guys, see what they have to say.
Gene

climber
Sep 9, 2009 - 01:02pm PT
"The problem with WOS is there is no line."

A lot of piecing the line together was guesswork because in some sections the features were invisible. I remember coming down from the climb, looking at the route from the meadow and thinking “Where did we go there?!”
weschrist

Gym climber
left sac
Sep 9, 2009 - 01:06pm PT
I had a similar experience looking the other way at the handful of pitches we did on DNB. So what?
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Sep 9, 2009 - 01:25pm PT
I went back to the first post cause I couldn't remember what this was all about (meaning this particular WoS thread). Lo and behold, I had made the fourth repsonse to the OP:

"Downward spiral is right. How old are you? Get a life."

After reading the several hundred subsequent posts, and skiming the hundreds of posts on other threads in the intervening years, I stand by my original response.

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Sep 9, 2009 - 02:10pm PT
Hey - cool beans. More eyewitness accounts that corroborate.

Thanks, guys.
Jeremy

Social climber
Hanging with your mom...
Sep 9, 2009 - 02:49pm PT
BUMP!!!!!!!!!!


BTW, why don't we all get Steve a ticket out to Yos and get him up on the route.

This way he can really know what he is talking about.

Who's gonna belay???

Jeremy
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Sep 9, 2009 - 03:32pm PT
hey um-

since old threads from back in the day are popping up here today-
what ever happened witchyer gawd fearin, HERPES infected pecker?

lol

there's some irony in that too, since someone considering, ya know, if there is enough *protection*, might not see any visible evidence.

i mean, to be honest, it's also pretty funny to see YOU, championing these guys and hoping to restore your, oops, no wait, THEIR reputations...


it's kinda deja vu, right?
i mean, how many times have you had to deny and dispute what several people who claimed to be familiar with events or circumstances were saying about you?


and it kinda goes away, mostly, for awhile-
so much so that people forget about "it" (each of the many "it"s thru the years), at least to some degree.
and the people come and go, so lots of the people around become sort of unfamiliar, over time, if you just wait awhile and lay low-


but it always comes back-



























like a festering sore.
Gene

climber
Sep 9, 2009 - 04:05pm PT
Matt,

Sorry. You have exceeded the vendetta quotient for this thread. Please try another day on another site.



Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Sep 9, 2009 - 06:43pm PT
I've read every post in all of the WOS threads, and I will say without a doubt that this is my favorite...

elcap-pics

climber
Crestline CA
Sep 9, 2009 - 07:13pm PT
I remember Robbins was asked an ethics question about climbing in the valley (back in the 80's) He basically responded to the question by saying not to ask him but ask the guys who are presently climbing and setting the standards in the valley. I find it amusing that all you guys/gals are getting bent out of shape over a route that is ancient history by a quarter of a century.

I also remember talking to J. Byer who had gone up and chopped some of the original rivets on Hardings WEML... thirty years after the first ascent!! He said he didn't like the route so he wanted to mess it up... I felt it was unethical to chop on a route that had had many ascents and a long history... we nearly came to blows there in the Mt. Room Bar. Fortunately, he was heavily intoxicated, and I was not, thus I was able to run from the room... saving my own life!
Let it go people, let it go. All you are doing is showing your asses by continuing to beat on a long dead horse, and this has gotten way too personal... bad for the climbing community and all involved, very bad.
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Boise....
Sep 9, 2009 - 07:14pm PT

Spray not.
BillL

Trad climber
NM
Sep 10, 2009 - 05:55am PT
"Spray not."

Some here are worse than my unruly dogs. Fortunately, they are few enough to not detract too much from the quality of this forum.

Cheers!
Bill L
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Boise....
Sep 10, 2009 - 06:00am PT
Well, it IS the "virtual Deli"....I reckon spray is to be expected.

Spray on!
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Dec 4, 2009 - 06:22pm PT
John M. ("Dos" when in Patagone)

I'm gonna pick on you a bit here, but you'll like it.

"Once Cameron Burns took me to a 80' spire in Colorado National Monument to do the FA. When we got there, it was blank and overhanging on all sides. Personally, I would have left it, but Cam really wanted to do it, so we bolted our way up to the top, not a climb I'm particularly proud of (though it must be said that Cam has picked a number of true classics in other places). So could this particular spire been done with less bolts? Not likely, but then the question comes, was it a reasonable and just means of ascent? In the case of WOS, that many bolts to justify a route wasn't the style at the time."

I distinctly remember your remark afterwards----even though you were dying with cat allergies and draining from the eyes and nose like a Louisiana stormpipe after Katrina : "I've now climbed in every area in [the original] Des[s]ert Rock." You were happy about that fact. With regards to the "tower," we weren't that bad. Nine holes up Balanced Rock and a 2-bolt anchor. Also, that was before BR was specifically listed as of-limits to climbers. So, it was a good moment in time and more fun than your grumpy post implies.

I'll be over to Tassie soon to sort you out, son.

Camster (rhymes with hamster and I know you know that connection)

Flashy P

climber
Sparks, NV
Jan 30, 2010 - 05:59pm PT
Buddy of mine sent me this link. There are like 2 other thread with at least the same amount of postings. T's F'd U!

Wings Of Steel is one of the proudest lines in the valley, what's the bfd?
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
You wanted to!
Jan 30, 2010 - 06:20pm PT
So you're on it, then?


Or, maybe knott, hmmmmm?
Pate

Trad climber
Feb 7, 2010 - 12:09pm PT
what's your opinion?


discuss...............
tonesfrommars

Trad climber
California
Feb 7, 2010 - 10:44pm PT
This old comic seems a propos...
This old comic seems a propos...
Credit: tonesfrommars
MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Nov 7, 2010 - 04:01pm PT
Grossman confirmation bump?
Aleister Crowley

Trad climber
Nov 7, 2010 - 04:31pm PT
Oh wow, cool....

Finally, a climbing thread.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Nov 7, 2010 - 04:37pm PT
He's been banned.
Aleister Crowley

Trad climber
Nov 7, 2010 - 05:49pm PT
So...

Is Madbolter1 actually Richard of the WOS team?
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 7, 2010 - 05:54pm PT
50/50 chance....
Aleister Crowley

Trad climber
Nov 7, 2010 - 06:07pm PT
Who's "BwanaDick"?
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Nov 7, 2010 - 06:14pm PT
Who's "BwanaDick"?

Frank Zappa.
Shack

Big Wall climber
Reno NV
Nov 7, 2010 - 09:42pm PT
The report from Steve should be due any time now...this is fall right?
Aleister Crowley

Trad climber
Nov 8, 2010 - 02:06pm PT
What's a "BwanaDimple'?
dickcilley

Social climber
Wisteria Ln.
Nov 8, 2010 - 02:10pm PT
Eric,Sometimes your imagination runs amok.Although I have been called Bwana I always post under my own name and my only interest in this fiasco is to not be included in it.
MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Nov 8, 2010 - 03:00pm PT
^^OK, Dick - I will delete the post. LOL!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Come on in boys, the water's fine!
Nov 8, 2010 - 03:11pm PT
Juan said it best when he said,

Wings of Steel Shitters - I want names dammit

Pretty funny The Sphincter is still hiding behind the charmin after all these years.

People who do blanket parties are cowards, end of story.

DMT

the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Nov 8, 2010 - 05:34pm PT
I missed this post before. It probably has a lot of merit.


graniteclimber


Trad climber
Nowhere Sep 9, 2009 - 11:16am PT
Richard,

I didn't understand why Mimi and Steve Grossman just couldn't let this go either, but I think I understand better now.

It's not about hatred, but about love and loyalty. They are a couple and if you reread the WOS threads knowing this, it makes more sense. Attack one, and the other is sure to post.

Steve got so involved in this that any defense of what you and Mark did on the wall is an implicit attack on him and Mimi cannot let that go.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Nov 8, 2010 - 07:26pm PT
I actually had a pretty clear view of the WoS slab from both Albatross and Aquarian this fall, and in spite of watching for Steve, so far as I am aware he did knott yet put in an appearance.
Flashy P

climber
Sparks, NV
Nov 8, 2010 - 07:43pm PT
I walked to base of Wings oSteel this summer while I was sport climbing and camping with my mom in Yosemide Valley. I think I will devote all of my time to training to repeat this feat, except in sport style. I will do the route from the top down. T hat way I will be able to see all of those chipped holds better since I'll be over them lookinmg down. I'll leave lots of chalk so you can see where the chips are all the way from Fresno. Or even Reno- the most awesome city in the world. I am there right now working on a new raw egg and spinach diet and doing jump rope slack lining and parc our. If I center my mind I can run straight up a 50 foot brick wall without touching with my hands. That requiers being dedicated to being the best parcourclimbercomper I can possible be! My mom is calling me- she made me a raw egg and cheese sandwich, and I'm eating some diferent bacteria added to it because i'm bouldering in India next week with my buddy chris and I want to have a resisteance to local fecal matter. Some shoe company is paying us!! LOLOLOL!! Wish me well and no cobras-The kindf that crawl on boulders not big cliff walls!
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Nov 8, 2010 - 08:41pm PT
LOfukinL
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Nov 9, 2010 - 08:38am PT
FaiNT of BrainS!
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Nov 9, 2010 - 08:18pm PT
RURPS-

That is the best post in this whole thread!


BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHH!!!!!!!!

Bump to the top of the list!
rurprider

Trad climber
Mt. Rubidoux
Nov 9, 2010 - 08:51pm PT
Ricard Jensen and Mark Smith, good for you!!! They spent 30+ days on Wings of Steel, coping with Valley locals throwing sh#t bags at them from the Aquarian Wall and cutting their ropes. And without a repeat! Time for Steve Grossman to repeat the route or let the thread and the animosity go.
socalbolter

Sport climber
Silverado, CA
Nov 9, 2010 - 08:58pm PT
And rurprider sums it up nicely...
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Nov 9, 2010 - 10:04pm PT
gosh these threads just never die, do they?

it's alomst like politics, there is no right and no wrong, just opposing perspectives.

either government is there to protect us from those who would rather make one more buck than do "the right thing", or the free market will choose "the right thing" and the government is just an obstacle to those who want to make a buck.

in the same light, either WoS is too hard and scary for anyone to ever repeat, and everyone who ever criticized the FA party was and is a petty, jealous, devil worshiper, or the line was a contrived hook, chip, and drill job up an indistinct and unappealing line that nobody can ever follow unless they happen to have a month to burn and a boner for hooking an indistinct and unappealing slab line.








in a world where nobody even cares if we lied our way into a war with Iraq-
in a world where nobody even cares if global warming is a man made phenomenon-
in a world where people (apparently) watch reality show starring bret michaels after reality show starring bret michaels, who really cares about this 30 yr old controversy over a route that either has never seen a party qualified to achieve a repeat ascent, or has simply never motivated a party to complete an ascent?



for me, at this point, it's like arguing over the ingredients in a brand of cookies that is no longer available in stores. who really cares? there is just too much out there to be interested in.

MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Nov 9, 2010 - 10:25pm PT
Aleister Crowley

Trad climber
Nov 9, 2010 - 11:13pm PT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvLd8FgDBMw
Rock!...oopsie.

Trad climber
the pitch above you
Nov 10, 2010 - 04:30am PT
Hey MisterE,

That kid's got the wrong finger in the air if he's gonna hang out on this thread.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Nov 10, 2010 - 08:44am PT
Matt, wtf are you on about? The route has essentially been repeated at least twice. Now they weren't "proper" ascents as the teams didn't finish or top out or whatever, so nobody can credibly claim a true 2nd, but the hard pitches have been repeated multiple times.

Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Nov 10, 2010 - 08:42pm PT
hmm i didn't even know that- details?
sorry for being outta the loop.
MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Nov 10, 2010 - 09:14pm PT
That was some funny stuff, RURPS
dogtown

Trad climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Nov 10, 2010 - 10:20pm PT
Still beating that old horse, I see. Well for all of you that don’t know Mark & Richard which I have for over thirty years. They are both two of the boldest aid Climbers of our time. PERIOD. Like the rest of us, sometimes one f*#ks up and tells the truth about things we did. Which in my opinion is better lying about things we didn’t do.
Dogtown.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#177557
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