Post here if you ever climbed on Goldline


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Social climber
the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
May 17, 2008 - 11:18am PT
Oh, yeah. Bowline on a bite, using 1/4 inch goldline prussik loops to hoist over I-12 at Indian Rock (manly manful stuff at the age of 14)... Took top-rope "whippers" struggling over the Cave Route at Pinnacle Rock, with the rope stretch. I, too, (barely) passed the Bay-Area Sierra Club RCS belay test as a bantam-weight whelp. Anyone ever set up a Tyrolean Traverse on goldline? Whole lotta stretch there.

I was so jazzed to get that first hank of MSR rope in the mail! We used Rit yellow dye to make it look somewhat like goldline, shrunk the stuff in hot water on the stove, and then cut the rope in two so that two teen-aged kids to split the exorbitant cost.

Don Chambers... Those red socks are Classic™!
Ain't no flatlander

May 17, 2008 - 11:22am PT
Yup, we climbed on goldlines for several years before i bought one of them new-fangled kernmatles. Mostly used a bowline on a coil and would come back from climbing with 3 stripes branded into our backs. Would like to add a goldline to my gear collection someday.

Gym climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
May 17, 2008 - 11:22am PT
Yup. A 120 foot classic. Took the stupid Sierra Club belay test with Goldline at Stony Point too. Had a scab line on my back for a week or so after.

Climbed Tahquitz a few times with it and finally got a "kernmantle rope" made by Mammut, a 150 footer for $32....

Trad climber
Lee, NH
May 17, 2008 - 11:25am PT
We need more photos, to show how it really was.

Don Knight on Lower Cathedral Spire, 1968. Note the footgear, and a rack consisting of 4 pitons
plus a few slings and nuts. Took us 14 hours to finish the climb -- quite an adventure,
learning as we went.

Chalk Martin

Trad climber
Poor grammar
May 17, 2008 - 11:40am PT
I still would if I knew where to buy some.
That would cause quite a stir at the base
how long till some kook tried give advice
or a safety lecture. Last time I lead on goldline would have
88 or 89 at the Pinnacles
The Warbler

the edge of America
May 17, 2008 - 12:01pm PT
Chiloe - those Spire shots are really good - Higher Spire was the second route I ever did in the Valley...

My longest lead fall was on a Goldline, and bowline on a coil, on the first nut I ever placed no less - a fifty footer at Tahquitz when I was about 15. It probably would have been a 30 footer with a kernmantle.

I partnered up with a friend to climb early on, and his parents bought him a Chouinard Fantasia. After that my goldline didn't get much use.

I named a route Goldline in its memory.

Trad climber
Lee, NH
May 17, 2008 - 12:04pm PT
his parents bought him a Chouinard Fantasia

The first of the psychedelic ropes! I had one of those and loved it. Wonder if I could find any pictures?

Trad climber
Lee, NH
May 17, 2008 - 12:06pm PT
Jeff Genest in Sespe Gorge, ca. 1968. Back when leaders really, really didn't want to fall.


Trad climber
san Jose, CA
May 17, 2008 - 12:41pm PT
You keep posting things which make me wonder if we have met. I was at UCSB from 1968 until 1984. I was a member of the climbing club, and Sespe Gorge and Gibralter rock were frequent climbs in those days. Did you know Rick Linkert, Alan Beatty, RIck Mosher, Phillipe Fanchon? Inquiring minds want to know...

My first rope (1968) was a 3/8" Goldline. I remember stepping out of a hanging belay on an aid climb somewhere in the Valley early on to Jumar and falling about 25' as the rope stretched. Scared the living crap out of me!! Great memories!

Michael Jefferson

Boulder climber
Redmond, OR
May 17, 2008 - 12:46pm PT
1965, 11 years old. First rope was a combo, the one we used to keep the dog at home- worked okay tied above roadcuts to tentstakes.

1966, Second rope, 120 foot, 7/16" Dupont White Nylon. It was offered by CO OP for those too cheap for Goldline. We tied in with bowlines "not-on-a-coil" for better luck at reaching belay ledges. Rebuffat sometimes did it that way.

1967, Christmas. 9 mm blue edelrid perlon. Now we were ready for the Eiger! Read the directions with all kinds of "half rope", "double rope" illustrations which we dismissed as irreleveant European backwardness.

Batman, hip belay, dulfer rap--still use those all those techniques now and then.

Trad climber
Lee, NH
May 17, 2008 - 12:59pm PT
You keep posting things which make me wonder if we have met.

Could be, I was intermittently active in the club there 1966-70, and an uninspired chair
of it one year (I just wanted to go climbing). When I started out, Bill Thompson and Tim
(the Hun) Smaille were the inspiring old hands. Bill taught my friends and me to belay at
Stoney Point by catching a cement-filled bucket using goldline, sounds like some others
here had similar experiences. I'm happy to report that I applied this lesson to catch a
20-foot headfirst leader fall soon afterwards -- my friends and I were ambitious even as
beginners, and not very wise.

I did climb some with Rick Linkert (who showed up on SuperTopo once last year -- maybe still
lurking?) and other Santa Barbarans, such as Don Knight and Jeff Genest (photos upthread) or
John Byrd (see Tarbuster's old pardners thread). I'm still indirectly in touch with Tom
Kaufman and Mark Moore. From several of us, there was a UCSB presence in the early days
of Red Rock exploration.

May 17, 2008 - 01:07pm PT
yup! Toprope only though.

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
May 17, 2008 - 01:16pm PT
Oh, yeah. 120 ft of 3/8 yachting goldline off a reel in the hardware store. It was a lot softer than the climbing goldline everyone else had, so I have no idea what this rope actually was, but used it for a couple years at Tahquitz (up to Mechanics Route). More than the rope, loved the 1st Don Knight photo: am I seeing a pair of Pivetta Spiders?? Now dot's a real climbing shoe. Had a pair of those split wide open (all the eyelets rip out) in the middle of leading Never Never Land at the Gunks. And we didn't have duct tape then either!
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 17, 2008 - 01:19pm PT
I learned to climb/tie in/belay/body rappel on Goldline, in the early 1970s. Back when p'terodactyls nested on the Chief. I guess it was much better than hemp rope...

We didn't go in for the RCS-style belay tests up here at the time, though. Thankfully.

My first rope, bought in December 1972, was one of those MSR lurid yellow ropes. [Edit: they were perlon/braided, not twisted.] (I must have an old slide or two around somewhere, showing it.) I remember the shrinking bit, too. They were sold by the metre, but you had to allow for shrinkage of 5 - 10%. After buying the rope, you had to wash it, which shrank it to the desired length.

MSR made and makes some fine equipment, but those ropes clearly were designed by an engineer, not the marketing department.
Dingus Milktoast

May 17, 2008 - 01:25pm PT
Guilty as charged. They were on the way out when I bought my first (2) ropes.

Stretchy bastards.

The Warbler

the edge of America
May 17, 2008 - 01:30pm PT
I wonder if that crusty beast is in mom's attic...

Trad climber
Lee, NH
May 17, 2008 - 01:33pm PT
I wonder if that crusty beast is in mom's attic..

My dad has a climbing rope even older than goldline which he's still using to hang up
ladders and such in his garage. It's a 120' x 7/16" white Colombia rope, which
Holubar used to sell. He bought it in his younger days, I think, for ascents such
as the Maroon Bells.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 17, 2008 - 01:41pm PT
As we are discussing ropes here, and amongst friends, it may be worth mentioning that most rope and knot specific terms we climbers have are borrowed from nautical terminology. A loop in a rope is often known as a bight, and a tight rope is taut.

I'm not sure if this has taught anyone anything, and hope no one will bite me for it. I certainly would not want to use a rope that has a bite in it; I'm still thinking about whether a rope can be taught, and if so, what. :-)

Trad climber
Lee, NH
May 17, 2008 - 01:46pm PT
A loop in a rope is often known as a bight, and a tight rope is taut.

Several times I thought of noting this point, but in my head it sounded too schoolmarmish. MH
found a much pleasanter way to say it, for which all us closet Topopedants ought to be grateful.

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Topic Author's Reply - May 17, 2008 - 01:57pm PT
u mean knotting that point?

Chiloe, those blue and red carabiners... bonattis?
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