Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle

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thebravecowboy

climber
liberated libertine
Jun 19, 2015 - 09:36pm PT

where the threshold of friction meets the threshold of gravity,
stout men and women dance.
coolrockclimberguy69

climber
Jun 19, 2015 - 10:09pm PT
coz, klaus and hank's posts all missing from this convo.

RIP supertopo
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 19, 2015 - 11:12pm PT
Scott's story of the FFA was saved, and it's in this thread:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2513603/Southern-Belle-Thread-Anyone-have-the-text

I also saved Hank's story (attempted 2nd free ascent), and it's in my March 20, 2009 post to this thread:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=568523&tn=40

Both of them are also saved on my "Long Hard and Free" page:
http://www.stanford.edu/%7Eclint/yos/longhf.htm#half
(A link to the story of the 3rd free ascent by Will Stanhope and Alex Honnold is also there).
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Mar 28, 2016 - 12:49pm PT
Because, Coz.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 2, 2016 - 07:47am PT
Hank Caylor post #1
................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Apr 7, 2008, 07:20pm PT
Author: Hankster
Trad climber
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
................

BUMP BUMP BUMP!!!!!!!!STORY STORY STORY!!!!!!

Caylor
............................................


Cosgrove post #1
................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle May 9, 2008, 02:22pm PT
Author: coz
Trad climber
From: California
...............

Roy, Thanks...

I am working on as we speak probably post the story here and then send to the mags.

I hope you will enjoy, I really had no idea people cared so much about the climb.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 2, 2016 - 07:58am PT
Cosgrove post #2
................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Mar 21, 2009, 11:32am PT
Author: coz
Trad climber
From: California
...............

Southern Belle

It loving memory of my friend, mentor and bad-ass human, Walt Shipley.

This story is for supertopo; any reproduction in any mag will be a violation of the Che Guevara power to the common people act.

I'll write as much as I can when I can, that's all I can do. The whole climb was an idea of Walt's, (Walt Shipley) he - in a mad bender - soloed the South Face Harding route, and in the process saw the line that would become Southern Belle.

He recruited, the boldest slab climber ever to grace planet earth to join him. Dave (Iron Monkey) Shultz. Dave had skipped bolts on the Bacher Yerian on-sight, and on a regular basis soloed 10 plus slabs in bare feet, up and down.

In a four - five day, ground up, big wall style push, the two climbed the Southern Belle, they tried to run it out as far as they could taking advantage of the plentiful and giant stances, all over the South Face. Years later, others would claim there are no stances; that is pure BS and an out right fabrication of the truth.

Walt and Dave both thought the line would go free, but Walt felt he lacked the free climbing skills to pull off the hard sections. Dave decided to fly to Boulder, Colorado and asked me to join him the following spring to free the thing, an offer I could not even consider turning down.

Between myself and Dave, we had climb almost every scary climb we could think of and wanted to do something beyond, something that would in the long run prove that the media darlings of the time, where not the only ones doing scary stuff.

Dave and I loved the idea of adventure and the beauty of the South Face-alone- above our own glory was really behind the idea of free climbing it; the magic dome truly seemed to be the greatest thing we could do with all the skills we had manage to muster.

It was a hundred degrees in the Valley, the day we hike to the base, sporting 100 pound packs and two girlfriends carrying their share. The girls-sun themselves as Dave and I thrashed up the first few pitches of the arch. I boulder out the first aid section and Dave had a go at the third pitch ( long OW to finger crack) falling short, pulling the rope and trying myself, I failed one move from the top.

We bailed and return the following weekend and stayed for four days, climbing the crack and launching onto the face proper only to be stop again at the crux 12d slab. The climbing to this point had been fairly safe and the quality- out of this world, we where adrift on a massive featured face. Dave manage to red point the crux slab and the 12a death-slab crack above. I lead the next pitch through some dam scary sections, I remember climbing one crack and then pimping to the next as the sun started to set.

The following weekend we climbed what remain of the aid climbing, except high on the upper pitches were - laid in wait for us, two more sections of aid.

I cried out in fear as we Jumared up our fixed lines and faced what Walt had named the Cuntress, a fine etch seam of tips lay backing and the rare bomber stopper. The Iron Monkey just dropped in stopper after stopper and floated the seam for a hundred and fifty feet of what must have been one of the best pitches on earth. I followed more marveling at the beauty of the climbing and location. It is like being in a golden desert surrounded by beautiful golden earth worms disturbing the surface in their sub-terrianing wanderings. Joining the smiling Iron Monkey at the belay, he said how hard do you think it was. "11b," I said, although I knew it was way harder.

It fact, Croft wanted to punch me after he failed on the pitch years later; for my sand bag. But, for the life of me it seemed just like a beautiful experience to climb. Then we ran out of fixing rope and decide to rap back down to camp for the night and rest the following day. I spent the day laying on my back looking up at the summit, the birds and the blazing hot sun and thought to myself, this could be my last day on the planet.

Dave assured me the following pitch, the one Hank would get off route on and break his leg was the most scary of his life. Walt had told the story of how Dave on that pitch, looking at a death fall from 12a moves, was calling out,"watch me, I could come off here." Walt said that he could only laugh, because the only thing he could do was watch him die.

I couldn't sleep, many aid section lay above, possible death and to make things worse I had lost my glasses. But I would wake, try or fall and die, there was no bail in my brain at that time. Dave just snored away and I was getting so pissed at him, that I threw a rock to wake him up, "What's wrong Coz." "I'm gonna die tomorrow and all you can do is sleep." "You can sleep too, just relax, you'll be fine, it's not up to us what happens." And with that he started to snore again as I toss and turned and dreaded the raising of the sun.

At first light we busted up our tattered lines, and drop them, committing to the summit. Traversing out a long dike I got to a blown out section with no bolt, f*#kers! I thought to myself as I balanced to the next section of dike. I threw in some bad gear and punch it up 40 feet of glass 5.11 to a big ledge with a bolt. The first in a 130 feet! A few easy moves, another ledge and another bolt and the wall steepen above me. Bouldering up twenty feet, now looking at a very bad fall... back down onto the serpent like dikes, mantling on a small ledge to my horror no bolt greeted me.

I was in a trance and committed to the 12a/b moves above, unsure of the next move, I felt like I was in another world, no thoughts, no fear, just pure survival, having been willing to fall and die I had no second thoughts, with a final slap I reached what I thought would be a good hold and wasn't, another three feet of hell finally got me gripping a large ledge and the belay. A changed man, and surely one of the only humans willing to do that section.

Little did I know the real amazing climbing lay above. Shultzy took off and flew up an easy but run out pitch that put us in the pot holes. Just huge scooped out holes of rock. Galen Rowel, said on the first ascent of the South Face that, a door would open, we'd walk inside and the key to all knowledge would be printed on the walls. But all I found was the crazed Iron Monkey with an old sling tied around a horn of diorite, that he called a belay.

I knew this was the second to last aid section left on the wall. Shultz and Walt both thought my size would help. Climbing up the outside of the first pot hole I reach up on to the blank vertical wall and found a small hole about 12 inch in diameter, pulled up, mantle, reach as high as I could and found another hole the same size. I repeated the mantle and looked in depression as the four feet to the next golden dike was overhanging and blank. I dime edged out of the hole, searched for an edge and to my complete shock found a four finger crimp. I pasted my feet high and threw a four foot dyno just grabbing the dike, mantling and walking the the top of the dike to the bivy ledge on the South Face route. I couldn't believe our luck and the beauty of the line, so impossible and improbable that if just a single feature where missing it would never go free.

I was near blind from the sun as Dave took over for the final aid section, a desperate slab in the horrible blinding heat, he fell off three times and we stop and ate our remaining food. I could almost not open my eyes, but Dave tried again this time nailing the crux and the 90' run out to a 11a mantle, the rock above the mantle turns to an overhanging dike, the rock by magic had large in cut jugs and you really couldn't believe the feeling of climbing through blank rock on overhanging jugs two thousand feet off the deck.

Walt's pitch at 11c was next and my nerves, eyes and mind had had it, I surge through not thinking or caring like a well oil robot just wanting off, 30 feet above my last bolt just cupping slopers and hoping for the best, I fell into the trance again and before I knew it the belay was in front of me.

I'd had it, my nerves where shoot and I couldn't open my eyes, Dave led the last two pitch that had one bolt for pro the last being 10c and has no gear, Leo Holding, years later, would lead this pitch with a rattled Dean Potter, and call it a life changing experience. The Iron Monkey just Laugh and joked and made it look easy.

I followed and soon found my friend at the summit, we knew we had done something amazing, something special. Walking down the outside of the cables with the amazed tourists watching, I remembered an old, overweight guy looking at me and saying,"you two are crazy," I look into his eyes and said," no my friend you are crazy."

We talk and dream of going back but never did and the years past and people tried to repeat the climb, we thought of bolting it to make it safe but when Walt died, we decided to leave it. We where very proud of our climb and thought that the next generation would certainly complete the many other possible (easy to see) lines on the face. We'd never imagine that in the future the boldest climbers would barely repeat the thing.

I remember being with my old friend soloing in Malibu Creek when we heard some guys had rap bolted a line next to ours and claim you couldn't do it on stance, I think I saw the Iron Monkey almost cry at the news,"It's just bullshit Coz," was all he managed." I said, "aw well, f*#k those guys," and my friend agreed.

Anyway, brief story hope u folks like it. Just my musing, if it means something to you then it means something. It's my hope you'll raise to the level of the past instead of beating it down with a heavy hand.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 2, 2016 - 08:03am PT
Hank Caylor post #2
................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Mar 21, 2009, 01:12pm PT
Author: Hankster
Trad climber
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
...............

My thread is gone. When you get a chance, let us know.

Caylor

...............................................

Hank Caylor post #3
...............
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Mar 21, 2009, 02:14pm PT
Author: Hankster
Trad climber
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
................

Fer' sure Clint, no problemo with shifting any info here, Scotts version will rock minds.

Caylor
..............................................




Cosgrove post #3
................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Mar 21, 2009, 05:29pm PT
Author: coz
Trad climber
From: California
...............

Walt fell in love with a southern girl, who dump him. He name it after her plus the pitch the Cuntress was a less than faltering term for her
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 2, 2016 - 08:11am PT
Cosgrove post #4 (a reply to an off-topic request by LL)
.................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Mar 21, 2009, 10:38pm PT
Author: coz
Trad climber
From: California
................

Lynne of course I'll help. Let's talk and figure out where you'd like it and I'll make sure it gets there. It was a pleasure meeting u.
overwatch

climber
Arizona
Apr 2, 2016 - 08:13am PT
Thanks to you guys for the chopping block rescue
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 2, 2016 - 08:14am PT
Cosgrove post #5
................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Mar 21, 2009, 11:18pm PT
Author: coz
Trad climber
From: California
................

Great shoot Clint, makes me want to go up there again, just beautiful climbing. Af course, Lynne please write, I'd love to help.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 2, 2016 - 08:17am PT
Cosgrove post #6
................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Mar 22, 2009, 09:13am PT
Author: coz
Trad climber
From: California
...............

Very kind words, I really didn't think we had done anything that standard-setting I just know at that time there was nothing that mattered more. We had no thought of getting hurt or getting killed. Sure we where worried, but to turn back just wasn't in our radar.

I hope my story really pointed out that Dave Shultz was the ultimate master of slabs in my book. I have climbed with almost all of the slab master of my day, and none of them could even come close. Me and Leo only repeated his nightmares we didn't establish them.

I would like to hear the real story of Dean and Leo ascent, as I have heard many rumors and hearsay but no stories from the horse's mouth. I think I read that Hank and Allen did not free the 12d pitch? And I heard that Leo and Dean had to fix lines and come back to that pitch for the red point. Croft, is fairly silent on what stopped him as well.

Basically what I am saying is... a true, a one day on-sight may have not been achieved? If I am wrong I'd love to know, because I am sure some kid like Alex Hollond could be the man for the job. Moreover, I would hope that Clint's photo taken form the ground would once and for all put all rumor aside that you need a rappel rope to find the lines and that there are no natural stance to drill from.

I would also like to know from Sean or Doug if they added rappel bolts to the Original Southern Belle? It looks like the lines intersect at a few points.

I leave it with one more quote from the Iron Monkey you all might enjoy. We are sitting at the base of the South Face after our climb, Shultz and I enjoying the view, "I have to tell you Dave that thing is f*#king scary!" Dave laughs,"Cosgrove, if you think that scary, don't ever get on Karma." I was just silent.

Until one person can on-sight karma, can any man or women say, that the routes of today are anymore dangerous and scary than those of the eighties.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 2, 2016 - 08:20am PT
Hank Caylor post #4
.................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Mar 22, 2009, 09:39am PT
Author: Hankster
Trad climber
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
.................

Coz, I did the 12d pitch. Why you would put 5 bolts into a short sport pitch and then make a goofball like me run it out for 90 feet to the belay is beyond me.

What I did, for the record, is worked the 12D portion and then fired. I got gripped, and rightly so at the runout. I hung out on one of those dikes that criss cross that wall and then sh#t my way up the rest of the pitch. Alan and I were going to call it an A0. No I never did the whole pitch in 1 single push.

Coz, a well bolted 12d, (Leo thought it was 13), followed with a horrific 100 foot 11d (Leo thought it was 12) runout is just weird. You Cali dudes invented the phrase Yo Yo and A0.

Yes I sh#t myself, but I did it, and the broke my ankle/legs.

Proud climb dude, the proudest in Cali. By the way, your topo SUCKED for that route. Shipoopi telling me I only needed 1 #3 friend on Astroman was crap advice, and the beta for the BY is 11cX (take a#4 freind) is also wack! You Cali types should just try to chill, and me too!

Did I mention, PROUD Coz and CO.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 2, 2016 - 08:24am PT
Cosgrove post #7
................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Mar 22, 2009, 10:07am PT
Author: coz
Trad climber
From: California
................

I never was good at topo's or so I am told. I think what happen on that 12d or 13a pitch is that Walt drilled a bolt ladder, then was tried and Shultz yarded through and was the reason for that horrible run out. Remember, we never had half size cams maybe you didn't either.

I think at lest you could get some gear at the 12a move now with small cams. We worked it on the FFA for a day and I red pointed it the next, bad-ass pitch none the less.

Good job, I really feel you guys would have sent all those years ago. I remember being lost where you were and have a shouting beta match with Shultz telling me where to go. That pitch you fell on was the worst one. I can remember every move to this day.

Sunny day in Vancouver this morning, I'm out.... check in tonight, all the best brother Hank, ur the shit!

..............................................



Cosgrove post #8
................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Mar 22, 2009, 07:23pm PT
Author: coz
Trad climber
From: California
................

Werner,

The facts as I know them on the crack r as follows. Bacher and Cashner tried to free the crack and the whole line. John had a single set of cams, and had to hang on them. As far as I know, I was the first one to red point the crack. It is a masterpiece, that I have never climbed it's equal. The cool thing about it is that the size of the crack changes size quite radically with air temp, due to the thinness of the rock forming it. It was either Croft or Lester who on-sighted it first.

Roy,

Seems like I am getting examined a lot these days, my sadness with the Belle is not so much what others perceive or do not perceive, but more the fact that other can not experience what a great climb it is. That it will never be climbed by all but a few people, this to me is sad. Remember I repeated it, I didn't put it up. I feel it's not my call to add bolts. One thing for sure, if it did have more bolts it wouldn't be what it is, whatever that is?

I never set out to be a great climber, but the Belle threw me into another realm of self, an enlighten being if only for a moment. The run outs and the danger slipped me into a gap, I can not and do not want to find again.

I for whatever reason held that face as holy, beautiful and divine, the rap route (Growing Up), killed me inside, and Dave for that matter. It was if some one spray painted the Mona Lisa. But I know the same could be said for drilling period.

The Buddha said," you can not perceive what you can not understand," I do not understand why I climb, so I can not perceive an answer. I am just a climber, who loved climbing, I know not what I do or why. Do any of us? Really? Maybe that sounds simple, but trying to answer question with no answer, is a waste of time and thought.

As far as the future having value and morals, then yes, I am sad, when the last great places are tarnished what then do we do, what then do we value. I am no saint, I have my sins, if others feel different great. I still say we should leave the face alone from rap-bolting, so others one day, can swim with the red serpents in the golden desert of the South Face.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 2, 2016 - 08:26am PT
Cosgrove post #9
................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Mar 24, 2009, 07:53am PT
Author: coz
Trad climber
From: California
................

Roy,

I have all ready written one, and about ten other stories to go into a book as soon as I can get it all together. Any editors out there interested in helping? With good resumes?

Please send info to my e mail, thanks!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 2, 2016 - 08:28am PT
Cosgrove post #10
................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Mar 29, 2009, 10:36am PT
Author: coz
Trad climber
From: California
................

DR,

Thank you for your kind words......

I think, I have made it clear, how I feel about GU, still feel the same way. I really don't see that I created art or your team, nature created both climbs, we just passed over them with our human bodies. My comment about the Mona Lisa was a metaphor.

If there is art it's God's art or a higher power, it existed before we climbed those faces and long after. I have established many death routes, it was the style in my day. I did not bolt the SB, Shultz and Shipley did, I argued with both of them to add bolts for years, probably about 12 or 13, would make it a very serious climb but with in the reach of many.

I didn't realize at the time what we had done, the standard we had set or how it would be view in the future, therefore being the humble trio we where, we left it alone. I am sure if the SB was retro-bolted it would be one of the most popular long free climbs in the world. Now, it's a frigging nightmare, I shiver to think about.

My problem with GU is not the ideal about making a statement, by establishing a safer climb, but more the fact that after trying to go ground up, you decided to quit and rap bolt it. The false claims made about not being able to see the line clearly from the ground (Clint's photo earlier in this thread, clearly show this as a false statement) and the claims there are no stances. What do you think Dave and Walt stood and drilled on. It wasn't a lack of good stances but their choice not to drill from them.

Also, your arguments about the ends justifying the means, just strike me as very white and manifest destiny (God given right over the land, native peoples and nature) Americana. I wish you guys had just continue ground up like all the other great efforts on that face. I do think the South Face is a limited resource and one that should be preserved.

I like this thread because it was not about your climb GU it was about the SB and about climbing, not ethics. Maybe if you and Sean establishes the SB, you would understand how I feel.

In all respect to all involved in GU, I do not consider it a climb but an installation and a blight on the face, it's removal and re-establishment ( bolt ladder and upper pitches only) would go along way to repairing the damage it cause in many peoples hearts and minds. It's something I don't like to think about or talk about, but out of respect to my elders (DR), I am answering your question.

I respect, all involved in GU as humans and climbers, just a disagreement on style - nothing personal. It's my hope we can go back to talking climbing, I think we all enjoying bringing back the memories of days gone by, as it is all an old climber has.

Scott,
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 2, 2016 - 08:56am PT
And that's the last post I have from Scott for this thread.
I saved it in an MHTML document to my hard drive, just after the following post, on April 10, 2009:

................
Re: Hey Coz, Sure would like to hear the story of Southern Belle Apr 10, 2009, 11:14am PT
Author: Clint Cummins
Trad climber
From: SF Bay area, CA
................

> It looks to me that Leo or Dean found his way and Hank didn't.
> This route would probably benefit from some very definitive beta on how to find one's way on that particular pitch.

I agree - an improved topo would be nice. Few may be willing to lead p4, but it would be nice if they could find the few bolts above.
I've been thinking of going to near the base with a telescope to see if I can find the bolts and improve the overlay/topo.
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
Apr 2, 2016 - 12:39pm PT
Thanks Tarbuster. Seems you have restored this thread back close to it's original condition. Many thanks!
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Apr 2, 2016 - 01:14pm PT
Hey Roy,

Thanks for digging this classic account up for us.

Perhaps an even more significant loss is Scott's "Sean Jones and Doug Robinson rap bolt the South Face of Half Dome!" Thread. A very relevant debate on the evolution of Yosemite climbing that Should be archived.

Got anything on that gem, Roy?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 2, 2016 - 01:56pm PT
Wow, Roy - thanks for sharing what you saved!

Kevin,
Most of the Doug Robinson, Sean Jones, rap bolt South face of Half Dome!
posts are still there, it's just hard to access:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=566859&tn=1
(2681 posts remaining)

I think after that mass deletion, the ST folks improved things slightly and now do not remove threads that have a certain minimum post count?
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Apr 2, 2016 - 02:28pm PT
Thanks Clint, still a good read, but a shell of its former self without Cozzie's opinions.
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