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Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 14, 2009 - 02:03am PT
O. K. I'll play the Button Game. I say "F". Don't ask me what it is, but it seems like some thing a nature conservancy would give away.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Feb 15, 2009 - 02:15am PT
Tami, ghost and MH2 have too much insider knowledge

Tami and Andy might have insider knowledge, but I haven't got a clue. If I had to guess I'd go with what Wayne said -- It looks like something a conservation group would give you if you made a donation to whatever cause they were promoting on your doorstep.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Feb 15, 2009 - 09:13am PT
Good you finally got a picture of Perry B. in the mix. Perry is one cool cat (and I hope he has forgiven me for dropping the (his) rack).
mazamarick

Trad climber
WA
Feb 15, 2009 - 01:51pm PT
The first time I met Perry he had just come off the Prow. He had taken a short fall that was stopped by a piece on his hardware rack that lodged in a crack...not much elongation in a Chouinard hardware sling! We thought it was funny at the time, but he's lucky he didn't break his neck!
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 15, 2009 - 03:42pm PT
Eventually I'll get around to saying more about the button, and a victory for the forces of light.

There is another photo of Perry somewhere upthread, which may even have been posted twice. Rick's story has resonance - maybe what finally stopped us on the Prow was a fall by Perry, where some of the rack got 'hooked'.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 23, 2009 - 12:14am PT
A last few photos of the usual suspects who were climbing at Squamish in the later 1970s, or at least those for whom I have photos, and then we will naturally segue into other things. The first is my brother Peder, who started climbing in 1976. He was quite athletic, and so quickly caught on. Looking at it another way, I taught him everything I knew – which took about 15 minutes. And he’s still at it, though this shot is from a well known climb elsewhere, in the mid-1980s.

Another, a mountaineer who gradually did more climbing at Squamish, is Bruce F. He also is clambering up something or other (not at Squamish), a few years later.

(Anyone guess where the photos were taken?)

And then, of course, Jay P, who you’ve seen upthread. A geologist, mountaineer, and rock climber – indeed, he was on the first ascent of Warbler Ridge on Mount Logan. Here he is working off some energy, or working off his sentence – breaking rocks, anyway. He had access to a rock saw, and we were making some paperweights out of the Chief.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 23, 2009 - 12:15am PT
To round things out, some miscellaneous various minor adventures. Here’s someone, possibly Dave L, on Perspective in 1979. A climb which has shed several chunks over the years. Eric and I did (nailed) Sentry Box, in spring 1973, which is just to the left. Late afternoon, using nuts and pins, taking forever. PTPP would have been proud of my rate of climbing, though not my skills and armoury. As I got to the top, I saw there was a big ledge, and so cleverly threw my etriers (we never called them aiders) and some stuff onto the top. After I mantled, I was dismayed to find that there was a big crack running parallel to and behind the cliff, and my stuff had vanished forever. Something for future snarkyologists. Then it started pouring rain, and got dark.

Another one, probably Randy A – I’d recognize that grey speckled sweater anywhere – on Crescent Crack at the Malemute, a few years later. Height a real advantage there.

And here’s my good friend John, on Dream On on the Apron – the appearance of sticky rubber in 1984 definitely helped with such places.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 23, 2009 - 12:20am PT
Just for fun, the gang one fine summer morning, bivouacked on the old highway by Eleven Bolt Rock. The photo includes Tami, Randy A., and Joe B., and perhaps others. Beat up cars, beat up climbers – the morning after the night before.

Pretty much the usual scene - most just slept by or in their cars, but sometimes we'd go off in the woods, or even under the boulders. Occasionally someone would camp in the boulders, or at what later became the campground, for weeks. No money and/or doing lots of climbing. Sometimes there'd be a fire and things to eat and drink and such.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 23, 2009 - 12:41am PT
For a combination of reasons, 1978 was the first year we did a lot in the Little Smoke Bluffs. At that time, they were quite visible from the highway and downtown Squamish – to take one example, you could then see Split Beaver quite nicely from the Tastee Freeze, now the Mountain Burger House or some such, but still a fine place for a triple bypass meal. Residential development had started to encroach on the Bluffs from south and west, particularly the Hospital Hill loop, but there was none right beside any cliffs.

Here’s a photo of the Bluffs from the top of the Chief, in early 2005.

Nice crags, mostly 10 – 40 m high, with a few bits getting up to 100 m or so. Mostly one pitch stuff, largely south and southwest facing and so quick to dry. Quite a bucolic setting – nice forest, things spread out, but little trails. The klettergarten we’d always wanted – there were scraps of such sprinkled throughout Squamish, but not really anywhere one could just go and do a bunch of moderate climbs, for much of the year, without too much effort. Or anywhere very novice-friendly. It’s pretty clear that to become really good at anything, you have to spend a lot of time doing it. Pele and juggling his soccer ball, made of rags. Gretzky on his parent’s backyard rink. And Croft and others at the Bluffs. (Well, maybe a bit elsewhere too.)
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 23, 2009 - 12:52am PT
There were a few climbs on the fringes of the Bluffs from the early 1970s. Gordie S. and friends did some climbs at Alexis in 1973, and in February 1974 Len S. and I bushwhacked in to the bottom of what became the Penny Lane cliff, and did an interesting chimney which we called Satan’s Slit. Not difficult, and involving a neat move getting behind a chockstone. There were already some trails through the area – it had been logged and/or burnt over in the 1960s, and the residents were fairly quick to explore the nearer areas, if only for dog walking. Every year or two in the spring, one of us would poke around. In spring 1977 Dave L. and Perry B. did Flying Circus – here’s a later photo of it, from above.
A pleasant moderate finger crack, now quite polished due to over toproping.

That same spring – it was a very dry winter – Carl A. and I explored, and eventually nailed what later became called Digital Dexterity. Yet another unrecorded, unnamed first ascent – BHD. I did pick some early pussy willows from the bog for my mother, though.

Early in 1980, ghost and I were at the Bluffs, to take pictures for the guidebook that was published late that summer. So, in a case of art imitating life, I took some pictures of the photographer. They illlustrate how the Bluffs looked then – both are taken at the top of what later became the Burgers & Fries bluff. Before the ill-conceived developments that have intruded into the area. At one time a few of us even slept out there.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 23, 2009 - 01:08am PT
For some reason, things at the Little Smoke Bluffs really took off in 1978. It was a decent summer, but nothing unusual. There were a few more climbers than there had been, and more of us were sniffing around. Finally there were a few climbs there, to show that there were possibilities. It’s funny how that happens with climbs and cliffs – some go and in out of favour, others seem invisible for years. Then suddenly there’s climbers all over them. In the case of the Bluffs, it helped that most climbs could be reached, inspected, and cleaned from above, if one was willing to crash around a bit in the bush. Most of the existing short climbs, often formerly aid, had by then been cleaned up and freed, so it was time to look at new things.

Early in 1978, Carl A. and I went exploring, and eventually ended up over by Penny Lane. There looked to be several possible lines, so in early May I came back with the usual gear – saw, rope, jumars, dastardly digging devices, etc etc. Over two days, I dug out Penny Lane, Crime of the Century and Partners in Crime. (The former named for a lovely little song with delightful piccolo trumpets – same as in the Brandenburg Concertoes. Concertos. The latter are two famous crime books, the former about the Leopold & Loeb trial, the latter an Agatha Christie. My mother liked mysteries.) The neighbours below were probably quite mystified as to what was going on – if only they had known! A few weeks later, John A. and I returned. It was pretty clear that two of the climbs would be hard – not many surprises when you’re cleaning. So we gave the “easy” one a shot first.

At this point, I am scoping things out, having just placed a piton to protect the bridging bit. (Too much dirt etc, and inadequate nuts, to do otherwise.)

It’s fair to say that Penny Lane is a modest climb, with a fair bit to be modest about. Much like the climber who "set" (it's not concrete), "authored" (it's not a book), "sent" (it's not a letter), "conquered" (puhleese!), "opened" (I mentioned the book bit), "developed" (no D-8 involved), first ascended it. But it is a quite pleasant route, and has provided many climbers with a nice adventure. We initially thought it 5.10a, but as it got cleaner and better known, it became 5.9. The ‘difficult’ bit is right at the bottom, and only decently protected, but the rest is just fine.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 23, 2009 - 02:05am PT
There is an old saying “Never lieback when you can bridge. Never bridge when you can faceclimb.” The technique being used by the climber in this photo, on an early ascent of Penny Lane, demonstrates his lack of knowledge of the saying, or perhaps inability to apply it.
He went on to become quite a good climber, so must have learned his lesson. Note that he has not placed any protection for the first five or six metres - there really wasn't much there, pre-TCUs. Some scruffy stoppers.

The gang that day, apart from your humble photographer, is as shown here:
Simon T., Tami K., Peter C., and A. Nother.
We tended to do stuff in groups at that time, for no reason I can remember. Being sociable, I suppose.
Through the course of 1978, and the wonderful summer of 1979, we did a tonne of climbing at the Bluffs. Because they were there, perhaps.

Hmmm, I only wanted to post some stuff, and get to over 300 posts, tonight. Even if half of them are mine. Oh well, progress of a sort. More on its way.
MH2

climber
Feb 23, 2009 - 11:32am PT
Huuraay, Mighty Hiker!

Is Bruce climbing anywhere near Lworth? I ask only because I think you have already shown us pictures of every sunny day around Vancouver for the entire 70s decade.

Penny Lane modest??? It is iconic of Smoke Bluffs climbing.

Here it is in the first installment of climbing at Squamish in 2009, dog included, also note the modest finger crack on the left. That is Crime of the Century. John Stoddard told us, "It was a trip to see Croft lead that thing." That was before sticky rubber or SLCDs.






In the picture above Satan's Slit is seen just right of the lead climber's butt. Here it is from the inside. There is an odd pairing of water-smoothed and rough cut chockstones at this point.


Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 23, 2009 - 04:17pm PT
Who is Bruce, and why would he be climbing at Leavenworth? I'm fairly sure that the person in the second PL photo is Richard S., but could be wrong.

So the weekend I cleaned out PL, I also did the other two routes. They didn't require as much work. The idea with Crime of the Century was that the bolts at its top would allow one to rappel from PL with one 50 m rope - two short rappels. Plus that it looked possible. I put two fixed pins in it, one a few m off the ground, one just below the ledge - both in places where it would have been hard to get 1978 era protection in. I really hammered them in, but sometime in the 1980s they disappeared. I've never been able to lead COTC, but have gotten up it (sort of) on a top rope once or twice.

Randy and I came back late in June 1978, and did Partners in Crime. I led the first half of the hard part, and got it sewn up, then Randy took over. At the time, there was a big flake at its base, sticking straight up, just out from the wall. It was quite helpful, but someone later pushed it over. Once or twice I've thought about putting it back.

One may read about PL and its history, at length, at http://www.gripped.com/forum/toast.asp?sub=show&action=posts&fid=13&tid=14426
mastadon

Trad climber
quaking has-been
Feb 23, 2009 - 06:49pm PT

The first mystery picture of Anders from the previous page looks like Lunatic Fringe at Reeds in The Ditch. The second....is anyone's guess....
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 24, 2009 - 12:46am PT
Ding ding ding... And we have a winner. Mastadon has correctly identified the first climb as Lunatic Fringe.

The second puzzle picture, of Bruce F., remains unidentified - the guess that he was somewhere at Leavenworth wasn't close. Anyone? Hint: Some people here will be embarrassed when I tell them. I haven't been nearly so obscure as Simon aka IHP and his puzzles. But then I don't have any postcard prizes either.

It's interesting to contrast MH2's current photo of PL with the 1978 version. To begin with, and for several years, it had several helpful shrubberies which you can see in 1978. Long gone now. The rock is also much cleaner - all lichen and moss long since eroded, mostly by rope action I'd guess.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Feb 24, 2009 - 12:58am PT
I led Crime of the Century back in the EB days. You used to have a wad of RPs at yr feet up top for the crux. Before RPs, it must've been adventurous. The one anchor bolt was bad.

I can remember a day at Crime, me stilll in n00b mode, group tr mosh pit.

Tami climbing it in period short shorts.
Mike Beaubien: "I can count yr pubes!"

Maybe the only time I saw Tami embarrassed.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Feb 24, 2009 - 01:03am PT
Wait-- I just went back thru the last few pages.

Weasels is gone?
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 24, 2009 - 01:38am PT
RPs appeared in spring 1979, at least in Squamish. So did Friends, in any quantity that made a difference - although Dave L. had one the autumn before.

There were originally two anchor bolts at the top of COTC - I'd never have just used one, given that it was pretty clear it would be frequently used for rappelling and toproping. Curved stoppers, and small TCU-type things, sure help on that climb.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Feb 24, 2009 - 01:41am PT
"Oooooh, good thing Mikey din't have a camera, eh? Snappys of me nethers on this fekkin' site ?"

Mikey was 2 hungover. And my Squamish slides have disappeared.

All the boys were in love with Tami bitd. Except for the boys who were in love w. each other. NTTAWWT. Can't recall the color of the shorts, but they might've been those unwashed blue onez in the other slides. Prolly were.

Squamish wuz great. Tami + Randy + Perry + Pete kept me from killing myself as I grovelled up into the elevens. Darryl encouraged me to kill myself, but then that wuz Darryl.

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