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Gunkie

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - May 17, 2005 - 10:43am PT
Has Wings of Steel ever seen a repeat?

The only reason I'm asking is because I was looking at the recent valley flooding images on the internet and ran into Chris Falkenstein's web site (www.yosemitestock.com) and saw a pretty interesting shot of a team low on Wings of Steel. Are not the lower pitches of Wings of Steel the crux pitches anyway?

Just curious.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
May 17, 2005 - 12:39pm PT
I heard the team drilled their way up the think then chopped the bolts while cleaning.

kinda lame style IMHO...
Weenis

Trad climber
Shastafaria
May 17, 2005 - 03:15pm PT
You guys think Chongo was bad...
The Wings of Foil crew spent an interminable amount of time up there. There was a streak of feces and trash 200 meters long below their hangin' bivy camp. I wasn't able to see a line there, most others at the time were in agreement. One of the guy's Mom (Mother of Steel) was allegedly dating Warren Harding during this period. So history repeated itself, somewhat: The route gets chopped, fixed ropes dropped and other unspeakable things happen. Funny how scores of climbers were trying to take credit for the dirty deed. So they finish their route and go on to do some other routes on the right side, cool. Good Mormon kids with a lot of ambition, however terribly misguided (initially).
Ammon

Big Wall climber
Lake Arrowhead
May 17, 2005 - 04:29pm PT

"Good Mormon kids with a lot of ambition, however terribly misguided (initially)."

I heard they were Jehovah's Witnesses... same difference, right?

I also heard the route was a rivet ladder and put up in very poor style.
WBraun

climber
May 17, 2005 - 05:20pm PT
Yea Ammon, it was a terrible mess for sure.
HalHammer

Trad climber
CA
May 17, 2005 - 05:28pm PT
Wow show's what you guys know. I don't particularly agree with or endorse their style so to speak. I know about these men though. Richard Jensen and Mark Smith. I've worked 2 summers under the same employment they were orignally there for.

Basically they picked a line worse than the start of WFLT or any of Harding's other exploits and drilled as was needed to link the features. Technically the stuff is A4-A5 because of the length of the falls if you did fall. Instead of rivet ladders, they put in bat hook holes. There would be 10 holes in a row then a bolt for example through the drilled parts.

They were Seventh-Day Adventists. They were there as guides working for the Camp Wawona climbing school in southern Yosemite. The Wawona climbing school has been there in operation since 1931. They put up a ton of unknown hard face climbing routes on Wawona dome there during the early 90s as well. There is a book out detailing their 39 day El Cap ascent. Teenagers and what not in the adventist church read it and recognize these guys as heroes. I just keep my mouth shut and grin when people ask me about them. Their choice of style seems painful at best. Rumor has it they brought 7 haulbags with them choo choo train style.

You better watch out though. Mark Smith lurks these forums sometimes. If we are lucky...He has posted here before; explaining the virtues of bat hook ethics...

If you want to really be cool though, go do one of their routes. They have like 3 El Cap routes, no one has bothered to do a second time. I mean yah guys with 50 plus ascents could screw around on one sometime, I'm sure those guys would get a kick out of it that someone finally did.
WBraun

climber
May 17, 2005 - 05:46pm PT
Well HalHammer

If you would’ve been here during the time when they were starting their project and saw all the bickering and folks flipping out you would’ve said it was a mess too.

I personally during that time didn’t care one way or the other. It was their thing, not mine.

I don’t own any rock so they can do whatever they want.
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
May 17, 2005 - 06:25pm PT
These guys did Ring of Fire too, I think the Nightmare crew filled the holes when they hit those pitches.
akclimber

Trad climber
Eagle River, AK
May 17, 2005 - 07:09pm PT
"I don’t own any rock so they can do whatever they want."

Truer, wiser, words were never spoken!
Spinmaster K-Rove

Trad climber
Stuck Under the Kor Roof
May 17, 2005 - 07:24pm PT
Um...yeah....and I don't own any land either so i can guess I can do whatever I want :P Look for me setting fires near your house soon...

I got nothing against bat hooks but as I understand it these guys drilled a SH#T ton of holes to force an otherwise absurd line. Drilling 150' of bat hooks up a blank face has all the aesthetic of stock car racing with no tires. Its dangerous and makes lots of pretty sparks but it is contrived beyond the point of reason. Spending 37 days on a wall is commendable were it worth repeating and were it that you actually didn't go out of your way to make it unrepeatable without drilling more holes!!!

If they only still sold tar in reasonable amounts enough to dunk people in it and feather them....
WBraun

climber
May 17, 2005 - 07:36pm PT
Well Spinmaster

Everyone can do what they want. That’s the independent free will that every living entity has.

No one can take that away.

But; ..... they are accountable for their actions according to the standard of truth.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
May 17, 2005 - 08:14pm PT
Wasn't one of those guys a dude that later wrote various SFBay Area climbing guides?
-which act shoulders the larger accountability burden? :-)
WBraun

climber
May 17, 2005 - 08:18pm PT
-which act shoulders the larger accountability burden?

Ask the judge.
macgyver

Social climber
Oregon, but now in Europe
May 18, 2005 - 03:18am PT
Shocking shocking shocking.

So any second ascents of their routes?

Whats the name of the book?

EDIT: QUO VADIS SOUNDS WAY PROUDER THAN THE PUNKS ABOVE.
Anyone know anything about Que Vadis? Supposedly similar style of ascent.

Maybe we should start a topic of the most obscure routes on El Cap. how about Heavy Metal and Tinker Toys?

Gunkie

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 18, 2005 - 04:49am PT

Wings of Steel
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
May 18, 2005 - 05:48am PT
"Technically the stuff is A4-A5 because of the length of the falls if you did fall. Instead of rivet ladders, they put in bat hook holes. There would be 10 holes in a row then a bolt for example through the drilled parts."

Sounds like the first pitch or two of Highway to Hell, which follows drilled bat hook holes up to rappel anchors below Native Son.

A4-A5? Give me a bunch of talon hooks, a roll of duct tape, and a bunch of screamers, and I'll show you A0. Actually, I'd solo it and prusik down the hooks instead. Bat hook holes are bogus. If you drill, you might as well fill it with a rivet.

I'm sitting here looking at the Quo Vadis topo. It was put up solo by Jacek Czyz of Poland who rates it A4/A4+. "I spend 30 days on the wall, 26 climbing" The route starts on Little John, crosses MW and MM, then across the Half Dollar and on up.

"33 new belay bolts + 20 exist
14 lead bolts 3/8" + 6 exist
51 rivets (most ss 5/16" + 6 Al) 24 exist
I drill 48 hole, no bathooks"

Sounds pretty proud to me! Lots of A3, a few A3x, a couple A4 bits.

Hmmmmmmmmm.......... thinking.......



deuce4

Big Wall climber
Pagosa Springs CO
May 18, 2005 - 07:00am PT
I agree with Pete. I remember back in 1980 while visiting Austraila and hearing about a testpiece on Buffalo that was rated M8, the highest aid rating (Mechanical). Then I found out it was 20 bathooks across a blank face. Bogus. Plus, when you drill your own bathooks they feel much more bomber than following someone else's (they do chip out with time, especially if you use leepers which you can tap in for more security).

Holes are holes and might as well be filled with a rivet on the FA. Making it artificially harder is a sign of ego getting in the way.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
May 18, 2005 - 07:15am PT
Amen to Johnny.

You can tap the BD Talon hooks in, too. The trick is to give them only one gentle tap as anything more will cause them to lose their "bite" by crumbling the rock around the hole. I have never drilled a bathook hole, but it makes sense that the first person drilling them would get the sharpest edge with the best bite.

Note: If you are a "hammerless" weenie, then you will have to tap your bathook in place with your helmet or something. Claiming a hammerless ascent of an aid route makes as much sense as drilling bathook holes. "Oh yeah, we climbed it hammerless, we just used 136 points of aid on existing hammered pro, like fixed pins and heads, that fortuitously happened to be in situ so we didn't have to use a cheat stick to bypass missing stuff. Oh yeah, and it was C4. Ain't we bitchin'?" Incidentally, where are the tall claims of clean/hammerless ascents of Zodiac these days?

I was in the Mountain Equipment Co-op last year [betcha wish you Merricans had one of them south of the border, eh? 'Specially with your Mighty Yanqui Dollah, which has become mightier up here the last few weeks] when I came upon this little hook with a split tip - obviously just the ticket for tapping into bathook holes, right? The springiness of the steel would give it some expanding grip.

Once I tried it on the rock, however, it didn't work at all! But in the store, it really looked good, at least in theory.....

It's one thing to buy fishing lures because they look nice in the store, but climbing gear?! Sheesh.
John F. Kerry

Social climber
Boston, MA
May 18, 2005 - 07:15am PT
"...Plus, when you drill your own bathooks they feel much more bomber than following someone else's..."

Agreed. I think a somewhat similar argument can be made about low quality bolts & rivets. The FA team can feel reasonably good about the 1/4" bolts they place, since said bolts are brand new. Years later those little anchors become timebombs and running it out 20' from them is a different story.

I realize the FA team is taking on the extra challenge of exploring new terrain, but IMO they accept the responsibility to put in decent hardware. If not, they have no right to complain if the hardware is replaced years later with higher quality items. I am not advocating adding anchors, just upgrading existing placement, preferably using the same hole.
macgyver

Social climber
Oregon, but now in Europe
May 18, 2005 - 07:21am PT
Quo Vadis.... I stand corrected. It sounds pretty solid. And done by a Polish guy (I am a Polish dude as well) so i am glad he isnt letting down the red and white.

PTPP
Could you scan me a topo? Would love to take a look. How many independent pitches does it seem to have?

Rock on
andy@climbingmoab

Big Wall climber
Salt Lake City
May 18, 2005 - 09:21am PT
Hammerless aid climbing is sometimes really proud and not contrived, especially in the desert. P1 of the Sundevil Chimney on the Titan relies on a couple of bolts for fixed gear, but otherwise a clean ascent needs only a bunch of creativity and is quite frightening - no fixed pins or anything like that required. The clean aid, free climbing, and rap anchor shenanigans being done to climb new towers in Canyonlands with no fixed gear whatsoever is very impressive as well.

Sorry for the offtopic reply - I am just getting really tired of this particular rant of Pete's that is only applicable to some roadside granite aid climbing areas. Seems like folks should get out and climb at a few more places before lecturing about universal ethics.
WBraun

climber
May 18, 2005 - 09:35am PT
So andy in the moab

My humble question; how do you rappel on the new towers without leaving any fixed gear?
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
May 18, 2005 - 09:37am PT
I've only done small sh#t in the fishers, but I can see how it would get f*#ked if people went crazy hammering. I bet my bathook hole will disapear in a few years!
andy@climbingmoab

Big Wall climber
Salt Lake City
May 18, 2005 - 10:12am PT
aside from the obvious sketchy simulraps, here is an interesting and bold lumber method from Crusher(copied from Desert Rock IV by Bjornstad). There is a classic photo in the guidebook as well.

"To descend the tower legally we had to leave no fixed anchor for the 250' rappel. Therefore we used a 4-foot, 6-inch 4x4 piece of lumber straddling the chimney top as a belay and rappel anchor. We duct-taped a second piece of lumber (a 3-foot long 2x4) under one end, crucifix style. One end of the 2x4 protruded over the edge and was attached to enough rope to reach the ground. Rappel off the middle of the 4x4 down the chimney and then down the north face using enough rope to reach the ground(this will likely require passing a knot). Then pull on the rope attached to the protruding end of the 2x4, and voila! Down comes the anchor."
WBraun

climber
May 18, 2005 - 10:19am PT
That's very cool, Andy, thanks so much for the information.
macgyver

Social climber
Oregon, but now in Europe
May 18, 2005 - 11:58am PT
DESERT TOWERS: Rapping with no fixed gear
There is a great photo in an issue of the ALPINIST (maybe 3 or 4) that shoes the crucifix wood splint. Pretty tight.

Sewellymon

Social climber
.....in a single wide......
May 18, 2005 - 12:15pm PT
I actually met Richard Jensen; we were bouldering at Pirate’s Cove/ Corona Del Mar. This was a year or two after the Wings of Steel debacle.
He was a real nice guy; we chatted about it some. I don’t those guys understood (at the time) what was considered an acceptable hole count (or drilling), versus a travesty. But it also gets back to the fact that- had these been experienced El Cap climbers, the locals would have perhaps been more comfortable that the route would not be a botch job. But when outsiders show up and start drilling and fixing on the Big Stone.. well…… bolts get chopped, ropes get pulled and sh*t upon
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
May 18, 2005 - 12:16pm PT
I don't know anything about their routes, but Jensen & Co. certainly are members of some kind of odd religious cult. I've seen them in public cracking jokes about people who are "politically correct" while bragging about their self-sufficiency, buying houses in suburbia, etc. etc. They certainly don't seem like they are a heck of a lot of fun.
Gunkie

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 18, 2005 - 01:41pm PT
I have the book 'Wings of Steel'. It's a kind of neat log of their ascent, but unfortunately it's full of sections that are basically religious sermons. And yes, these two fellows seem a lttle odd in their religious fervor. Though, I'm less surprised today than I was five or six years ago.

Apparently Rob Slater got up about 6 or 7 pitches in the late 80's before succumbing to the heat.
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
May 19, 2005 - 12:58am PT
Pass your daughter over here Pete wrote:
Note: If you are a "hammerless" weenie, then you will have to tap your bathook in place with your helmet or something. Claiming a hammerless ascent of an aid route makes as much sense as drilling bathook holes. "Oh yeah, we climbed it hammerless, we just used 136 points of aid on existing hammered pro, like fixed pins and heads, that fortuitously happened to be in situ so we didn't have to use a cheat stick to bypass missing stuff. Oh yeah, and it was C4. Ain't we bitchin'?" Incidentally, where are the tall claims of clean/hammerless ascents of Zodiac these days?

I’ll support that, however I rarely use a hammer on any kind of hook… “Clean” is a political term… and political terms usually last two to four years… so in two to four years, we’ll have to go back up there again…


The Socialist who lost the last election wrote:
I realize the FA team is taking on the extra challenge of exploring new terrain, but IMO they accept the responsibility to put in decent hardware. If not, they have no right to complain if the hardware is replaced years later with higher quality items. I am not advocating adding anchors, just upgrading existing placement, preferably using the same hole.

What is “higher quality”? Will “higher quality items” affect the nature/difficulty/character/safety of the route (from that of the FA) when they are installed? Socialized medicine sucks and so does socialized climbing.


There was a pretty cool rant posted to a rivet thread either here or on RC.com a while ago by Mark or Richard on the ethics of jigus rivets. I just looked for it but couldn’t find it… maybe he deleted it or I looked in the wrong place…

I too believe that bat-hook holes on blank rock are pretty much bogus. If it’s blank enough that you have to drill a hole, then you might as well place a rivet. Enhanced hook placements are another story, provided there is something to work with in the first place – totally blank rock deserves a rivet, not an empty hole. Bat-hooking on blank, overhanging rock really sucks…

If you can stand up higher on a rivet than you can on a bat-hook, then why not place a rivet? And besides, you've got to be dealing with at least some sort of natural feature to call it climbing, right?
Ammon

Big Wall climber
Lake Arrowhead
May 19, 2005 - 03:42am PT
"Wow show's what you guys know"

Actually, it shows what the person I HEARD it from…… knows. This was information I got while sitting in the Meadow….. you know how that goes.

I’m with Deuce, contrived A5 bat hooks are a JOKE. If you drill em, fill em!!!

Nice post, Minerals
John F. Kerry

Social climber
Boston, MA
May 19, 2005 - 05:30am PT
What is “higher quality”? Will “higher quality items” affect the nature/difficulty/character/safety of the route (from that of the FA) when they are installed? Socialized medicine sucks and so does socialized climbing.

Good points for sure, Minerals. It is seared, SEARED into my memory when I clipped my last StarDryvin bolt with its rusted & visibly pitted Leeper hanger. At least I had my lucky hat on!

I don't mean putting 1/2" SS bolts in place of rivits. I mean putting quality bolts in bolt placements. We have some problems out East here where some FA guys like to place those funky little Petzl self-drills with the aluminum hangers, which I believe are caving anchors. They do so because they don't want the extra work (& expense?) of installing more appropriate anchors.

The socialism comparison really doesn't apply. If the FA teams's actions never affected anyone else, then no one could complain about those actions. Live & let live, do your own thing, etcetera. But since the FA team's actions do affect others' lives (literally), some degree of responsibility comes into play, IMO. At the very least, if some reasonable degree of responsibility is not accepted (and I know that's slippery to define) then the FA team doesn't have much grounds for whining.

If you want to fall back on the "it's not a community service, I do what I want" position, that's OK too. Just don't complain when others come through and do what THEY want. Unfettered freedom works both ways.

I must say, however, that is ironic to see worrisome handwringing about the ethical evils of high quality hardware... on a site operated by the chairman of the ASCA.
Dru

climber
HELL, BABY, HELL!
May 19, 2005 - 02:46pm PT
I read in High Mountain Sports magazine that Thomas Tivadar would chisel copperhead placements on blank slabs instead of bathooking or rivetting, so that he could claim a low hole count.
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
May 19, 2005 - 06:01pm PT
Why doesn't Klaus tell us what he thinks of Thomas T.!
WBraun

climber
May 19, 2005 - 06:09pm PT
I read in High Mountain Sports magazine that Thomas Tivadar would chisel copperhead placements on blank slabs instead of bathooking or rivetting, so that he could claim a low hole count.

I'll tell you what I think. Big fu-cking deal, don't worrry about what some other guy did, do it the right way yourself if it bothers you.
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
May 20, 2005 - 10:33am PT
I don't mean putting 1/2" SS bolts in place of rivits. I mean putting quality bolts in bolt placements. We have some problems out East here where some FA guys like to place those funky little Petzl self-drills with the aluminum hangers, which I believe are caving anchors. They do so because they don't want the extra work (& expense?) of installing more appropriate anchors.

Ok, I think we’re on the same page. Those Petzl caving bolts are crap (one of my favorite to chop…) and it sucks when people place them at belays on walls. Lame. There is a pretty big difference between being cheap and lazy and having your own style/statement/etc. by using certain hardware. I could probably make the “socialism comparison” work if I responded to your last sentence in your post…


Klaus doesn’t chisel head placements into blank rock – that would be way too much work for him… although I hear that Bridwell chiseled heads into blank rock on Shadows because he ran out of drill bits???
bigwalling

climber
May 20, 2005 - 11:08am PT
To Pete I'll happily loan you my bat hooks if you want to try that pitch.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
May 20, 2005 - 03:52pm PT
how about those nice guys who drill bat hook holes and slam a crap head into it...gotta love that style.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 24, 2005 - 11:07pm PT
Hmmm... amazing amount of misinformation... which I guess shouldn't be surprising to me, given that it's been well over twenty years since we put Wings up... and... there was tons of misinformation going around then too. It seems that little has changed in the intervening time, as people who have no first-hand knowledge still feel compelled to "weigh in," and those who should know better than to believe such opinions still do anyway.

Ok, first of all, the bolting-ethics discussions are fine and good, and I might consider offering my own opinions at some point, but the purpose of this post is simply to clarify some facts about Wings of Steel. Of course, anyone is free to call me a liar, but that sort of short-circuits any further discussion, although I guess THAT'S unlikely to happen anyway. Hopefully, though, it will be granted that I'm not lying in what follows, and, of course, the route is still there waiting for someone to prove me a liar (although the first few pitches HAVE been pretty chewed up over the years).

*
To Lambone: No, we did not chop the route behind us as we climbed it. Whoever started this rumor has no reason to think it true, and you have no reason on the basis of this rumor alone to further the notion that the route was done in "bad style."

*
To Wenis: First, we weren't/aren't Mormons. We are Seventh-day Adventists, and we did keep the Sabbath while on the route. So, in reference to your "interminable amount of time" comment, keep in mind that we did lose almost a week of time just to Sabbaths. Oh, and we lost almost a week to storms (kind of hard to do top-looped hooking on slick, wet rock). Oh, and 1982 was a record-setting runoff year, so our line didn't dry up until 11am most mornings--and the main waterstreak we followed did have the most features, which is why we were there. Oh, and we did have a 30% hook-failure rate, so we were taking literally hundreds of feet in falls. ("Hook failure"??? Whaaaatttt??? It was all bat hooks! Right?)

So, yes we were up there a long time, but under the conditions we had, it is unclear that the time we took was inordinate... in fact, Rob Slater told me that after fixing they were making about a pitch a day up to the fifth anchor where they stopped, and they didn't have to drill any rivets from top-looped micro-hooks. Oh, and I have a letter from Rob (which, by the way, he tried to get published in Climbing magazine, and they refused to print it because it was not the "party line" about the route at that time)--in that letter he states: "The route has the most technical hooking I have ever seen... way worse than anything on the Sea or other "hard" Valley routes I've done." But, of course, even Slater can't buck the "party line" when everybody "knows" the route was just a bolt ladder or rivet ladder or bat hook ladder (or wooden ladder, or, damn it... SOME kind of ladder).

Regarding the two-hundred yard long line of "feces and trash," this burst of flatulence alone shows your ignorance. We used paper sacks for solids (which was the style of the times, and is still used, illegally, by many even now), and threw the bags to the ground. Trash went to the ground also. And, to avoid the urine smell at our bivies, our urine went into used water bottles, which also went to the ground. Now, you might complain about what the BASE of our route looked like (and some have), and that would at least be based on a FACT. But, unlike most climbers, we DID go back to the base after the ascent and cleaned EVERYTHING from west of Aquarian Wall down to well past Dihedral wall. That included cigs (we don't smoke), beer cans (we don't drink), plastic bags full of human waste (we used paper), and so on. When we were finished with our ascent, El Cap was cleaner than when we started.

Wow, LOTS of misinformation in your post... on to my mom. My mom did date Warren Harding for many years, but this started about three years after our ascent of Wings of Steel. So, the nature of your "history repeated itself" statement is obscure and quite strange. Indeed, the smug tone of your entire post, as though you know something about the route, is quite baffling. It a well-known adage that that "knowledge is power," and it seems that acting knowledgable makes people FEEL powerful. Perhaps that feeling is what you are after in this forum. At any rate, the ONLY thing you got right was that our route was chopped while we were fixing the first two pitches, although at the time only a few people claimed credit, and we know first hand who was involved in the chopping.

Point of info, Bill Russell was one of the chopping party members, and he later attempted the second ascent of the route so he could "chop it legitimately" (you know, actually CLIMB the route first). His partner, a guy named also Richard, as I recall, in that aborted attempt later told us that he had completely changed his mind about the route after that experience. Bill was unable to climb even the first pitch, ended up lowering off of a bolt, and was then so furious that he was determined to climb Horse Chute, rap the slab, and chop the route that way (all thoughts of "legitimacy" out the window at this point).

So, Wenis, please try to get your facts straight before you pontificate and draw conclusions, including moral judgments. ("Terribly misguided"??? Oh, help me.). It's easy to blast someone quickly and in a few sentences--it's much harder and time-consuming to set the record straight after being the brunt of such defamation.

*
To Ammon: As I hope I've clarified by now, the route was not a rivet ladder. Although, I must say, I am unclear what "put up in poor style" adds to such a claim. I mean, IF we had put up a rivet ladder, doesn't "put up in poor style" add nothing to that fact? Or, do we feel the need to constantly clarify that a rivet ladder JUST IS poor style? Is it possible to put a rivet ladder up the side of El Cap in GOOD style? I don't know--please clarify what "style" has to do with rivet ladders. But, anyway, the route is not a rivet ladder.

*
To Wbraun: You haven't done the route, and you don't know anybody who has. What justifies your "terrible mess" claim? Rob Slater is the only person I have heard of who has gotten as far as the fifth pitch anchor. He was a credible person and climber before his untimely death, and he certainly didn't think the route was a "terrible mess". So, I guess you are free to THINK whatever you want, but you do have a moral responsibility to SPEAK according to the facts. I've seen precious few actual FACTS on this topic.

*
To Halhammer: I appreciate the tone of your post, certainly. But please allow me to clarify. We did NOT use bat hooks on the route. At all. Period. We were using Leeper Narrow hooks on tiny edges (like quarters in thickness). We DID (rarely) use the tip of a drill to LEVEL an edge slightly so the hook wouldn't skip down sideways. (Although we found this practice VERY risky, since the "leveling" process tended to weaken the flakes; "leveled" flakes failed more often than natural ones.) But MOST of our 145 hook placements on the slab were completely natural.

After we did the fifth ascent of the Sea of Dreams (in "good" style, by the way, under intense scrutiny), we realized that we could have made Wings of Steel MUCH easier on ourselves, while rating it MUCH harder, by DEEPLY "modifying" our hook placements (as was done on all the "hard" hooking sections on the Sea). In response to my article in Rock and Ice, "How Many Holes?" some have stated that the "modified" hooks we found on the Sea were drilled out after the first ascent party. Well, I don't believe it, for these reasons: First, ALL three of the teams prior to us and after the first ascent were VERY respected climbers, and I'm not going to be the one to claim that they ADDED holes to the route. WE certainly didn't, and MANY people know that is true, because we were being scrutinized by telescopes EVERY day we were on that route BY people who were LOOKING for us to screw up, and Eric Brand and John Barbella were putting up the first ascent of Heartland right beside us most of the time we were on the Sea. They were watching closely, and high on the route they told us that they had changed their minds about us, as they had seen that our style was impeccable. (We even ended up lowering them a couple of gallons of water when our routes crossed, because they were running low.) Nobody has been more closely scrutinized than we were on the Sea, because EVERYBODY thought we were going to "drill it down to [our] level".

And, finally, MOST of those holes were drilled into sloping ripples and irregularities that could not have held ANY sort of gear unless they had holes drilled into them at the perfect position to hold a pointed Black Diamond hook--so the first ascent team could NOT have used these slight and wildly sloped irregularities in the rock without the holes. The Sea was put up USING hundreds of holes, and we even found long, thin, vertical flakes that were chipped into horizontal ledges at regular intervals to hold sling loops. Again, these features were useless without the "modifications," and we didn't even count such obvious "chipping" in our hole count as we did the route.

The point is that the Sea was an awesome route, and the fixation to count "holes" completely obviates that fact. The boldness and value of a route CANNOT be determined solely BY the number of holes and modifications that make it "go". There is some indefinable ratio of "natural" to "modified" placements after which a route becomes "contrived" or even "bad style". Who am I to say where that line is drawn? Like many fuzzy ideas, we know that the edge borders are well-defined, but there is LOTS of ground in the middle, and the climbing community would do well to take a large dose of charity with every meal.

So, the long and short of the matter is that we learned on the Sea what sort of "hooking" is acceptable practice, but we were too ignorant on Wings to realize that we could have made it much easier on ourselves. Instead, our hooking was almost entirely natural, and we did peel about 30% of our hook placements. We would often spend two or three hours painstakingly working out a sequence of hook flakes, only to have the fourth or fifth one peel on us, dropping the leader anywhere from twenty-five to forty feet, losing us those hours. Yes, there were bolts and rivets whenever we couldn't find hook flakes, but there are LONG sections of just hooks, and these hooks were NOT bat hooks.

Our ratios were better than the Sea of Dreams, but I repeat, counting up "modifications" is NOT the way to decide the value of a route.

So, I'm not sure how our choice of style is "painful". We did take seven haul bags. We hauled over 1200 pounds off the deck, planning to be on the wall about twenty-five days. Would seiging the route have been better style? I don't think so. Instead, we opted to commit to the wall after fixing merely two pitches, and we committed to starving for two weeks to make it in one push, even though we quickly realized that the route would take MUCH longer than we had planned. Should we have not done that slab because it was too "contrived" to do in "good style" (whatever THAT is)? Well, we were the THIRD team to try that slab--Tony Yaniro told me that he and a partner had tried the slab before us, and he had decided against it because it became clear to him that he would either have to seige the slab or "spend a month trying to climb it in good style." So, we DID spend a month climbing the slab in "good style," and then we're blasted BECAUSE we spent a month on it instead of seiging it! Hmmm... damned if you do....

So, there are multiple issues at play here, and they all seem to get conflated. Everybody seems to be agreed that we "botched" the route somehow: We put up a bolt ladder (we didn't); we put up a rivet ladder (we didn't); we put up a bat hook ladder (we didn't); we chose a "contrived" line (other, respected climbers tried the same thing before us); we spent "too" long on the route (who's to say, given the conditions, etc., AND we didn't seige the route); we "modified" our hooks (rarely, and a little, and WHAT "hard" El Cap routes haven't had modified hooks?) On and on--I remain baffled about HOW we "botched the route" or exactly WHAT stylistic issues we violated.

I do thank you for your tone, however, as it is as least one inviting dialog and an exchange of FACTS.

*
To Wbruan: I know that you WERE there during the "mess," having talked to you during that time. Unlike your previous post, in this post you seem to indicate that the "mess" WAS the "people flipping out," etc. I agree that people's reactions to our efforts WERE ridiculous (we had people actually telling us that El Cap was "God" in all seriousness). We were threatened with physical violence, yelled at (usually in large groups), and slandered in almost every climbing periodical for years after the ascent (and the "mess" goes on in this forum). However, actually, the real "mess" was what was left on our ropes by the chopping party after their cowardly night-time ascent of our fixed lines.

*
To Bringmedeath: We did do Ring of Fire, and we DID use bat hooks instead of rivets on that route. You say that you THINK the Nightmare crew supposedly filled these holes, which implies that they got past the same sections without drilling. Well, in this forum, I read people "thinking" lots of things I KNOW aren't true, so I suspect that to be the case here as well. I await to hear the true story about this, because, having done some of the supposed "hard" climbs in the Valley and in Utah (we did the second ascent of the supposed A6, by the "new rating" system, Intifada), I think I'm qualified to state that nobody was getting past our holes by any sort of traditional climbing. And, by the way, we downgraded Intifada to A4, by the old rating system--we found the supposed "death anchors" totally bomber, we found tons of solid bat hooks and deep trenches for heads (and alumaheads are bomber in that sandstone), and we found BOLT anchors for the last two anchors of the route (which gives the lie to Beyer's claims that if you fall on the last pitch, you will rip everything out for three anchors before heading on to the deck)!

In short, we have found almost nothing but crap and misinformation RIFE in the climbing community, and I wouldn't give a RIP, since I have never climbed FOR impressing anybody, except that it has gotten to be a real pain to be the BRUNT of such crap for so many years. Imagine if for years YOU found people yelling at you and gathering around you threatening violence at every climbing area you went to. Imagine years of people writing trash about you. Would you still remain a climber, or would you move on to some other "sport"? And don't blithly say, "Well, you have to endure the consequences of your actions." That's pretty trite when the "consequences" have been OF the actions of OTHERS, namely the lies they have told for decades, and these lies are repeated like gospel by those who know nothing. So, let me know when you can say more than you "think" you know something about what happened.

Rob Slater actually got up five pitches on Wings. He tried to set the record straight and was ignored on the subject until he died.

It would be fine with me if Wings was just completely ignored, because we didn't do that route FOR anybody (despite the claims that we "hyped the route"). But I really had higher hopes for the climbing community than that it would still be passing off the same old rumors and lies from decades ago as though they were true. So, don't pontificate about what you THINK has happened, thereby just adding to the same sordid rumor-mill. Talk humbly about what you KNOW.

*
To Spinmaster: I know I'm beating a dead horse here, since you clearly believe the misinformation that has been poured into your open head over the years. However, we did not "force" any line more contrived than MANY others on El Cap. In fact, our drilling ratio per foot of route, AND our drilling ratio to hooks, is lower on Wings of Steel than the vaunted Sea of Dreams! So, how contrived is that?

Any WHY must a route be "repeatable" in order for it to be "valid" or "commendable"? (I'm asking as an aside, because I deny that Wings isn't repeatable, since, clearly Rob Slater was able to repeat more than half of the slab.)

It seems that we are held to so many standards at once, that no matter how many standards we rise to, we must fall short on some others. But, let's at least get clear about a few simple FACTS. Ok, now repeat after me: Wings of Steel is NOT a rivet ladder; Wings of Steel is NOT a bat hook ladder; Wings of Steel is repeatable; Wings of Steel was ascended from the ground up, in one push, by two guys committed to living on the wall instead of seiging it; AND Wings of Steel has more total (natural) hook placements and a lower drilling/hook ratio than the Sea of Dreams. There. Are we all clear now?

Given the shoddy critical thinking skills and credulous mindset of many in the climbing community, I'm GLAD tar and feathers are not readily available in Yosemite.

*
To Wbraun: Wow, you actually got the "standard of truth" thing right, in principle. The problem is that Mark and I have been held "accountable" to a standard of lies foisted off on the climbing community by the likes of Bill Russell, which lies have been believed and further developed by the rumor-mill. Lines like "A thousand bolts to Horse Chute" were funny even to us at the time, but somehow such garbage has taken on a REAL life of its own, and it's not funny any more.

Mark and I have remained largely silent for decades, because we don't climb FOR anybody else, so the rumor-mill has seemed distant and otherworldly to us. Also, anything we tried to say in our own defense was treated by the periodicals as "hyping the route," so our efforts to set the record straight were blackballed. Oh well, we could live with such stupidity and hope that it would fade over time. But to see the same old crap repeated as gospel lo these many years later... well, I must say that the "standard of truth" in the climbing community is nowhere to be found. So, I have taken the time to write here and now BECAUSE it so pains me to see the climbing community JUST as petty and pathetic as it was decades ago. I KNOW that most of the people who climb do so for reasons akin to my own. So, it saddens me to see the sport I have loved since I was ten years old still so riddled with ego-mongers and liars. Is this the best we can do?

*
To 'Pass the pitons': Repeat after me: Wings of Steel is NOT a bat hook ladder. Try falling fifty feet down that 80-degree slab (which is close enough to vertical to give you GREAT velocity, WHILE being less enough from vertical to ensure that you will flay yourself on every irregularity), and THEN let's talk about how "bomber" our placements were! I dislocated my ankle on Wings, and I'll take the wildly overhanging stuff on the South East side any day by comparison.

*
To Sewellymon: Thanks for your post--after talking with you at the beach, we did do the fifth ascent of the Sea of Dreams, and we found that our drilling ratio was actually much lower than that route, both in terms of holes to vertical feet and in terms of holes to hook placements. It is true that when we did Wings of Steel we were ignorant of what sorts of ratios were "acceptable," but it is also true that we believed (and still believe) that such ratios are NOT the issue in deciding what counts as a "valid" ascent. WHO you are counts for MUCH more than how many holes you drill (a point I made in my Rock and Ice article). I think that you have hit the piton on the head when you make this very point in your post. Had we been Jim Bridwell et al, we could have done EXACTLY what we did on Wings of Steel, and that route would be counted a TRIUMPH of technical skill and tenacity. But, it was just outrageous to the "valley boys" that we would have the audacity to come into "their" valley, climb on "their god," and presume that we actually knew how to do it "right". Your insight about this is appreciated!

*
To Bruce Morris: Hmmm... I'm trying to take this forum seriously, so I'm not as much "fun" in my response here as I usually am in real life. Should I be taking YOUR post seriously? Surely you jest. I'm not much "fun"??? That's the most amazing indictment to have come down the pike in the last twenty-odd years! Of all the attacks on us over the years, I think that one is the most irrelevant. Grats!

Your comment about our religion is, however, most baffling: "certainly are members of some kind of odd religious cult." Whoops, your ignorance is showing. The Seventh-day Adventist denomination is a mainstream Protestant denomination, sharing traditional beliefs with more than two hundred other Protestant denominations. True, we do worship on Saturday rather than Sunday, but that hardly qualifies us as an "odd cult". I'm TRYING to take you seriously, but I guess that you INTEND that I share in the "fun" of such "light" comments, so I'll try to be more "fun" now.

"Houses in suburbia"??? Uhhhh... uhhhh... ok... I'm trying HARD now.... uhhh... blankness.... uhhh... the point here??? I'm trying to get it... very... hard... uhhh... I... see... blackness... uhhh... not... getting... it... uhhhh.... brain in vapor lock!

Nope, sorry, I just can't be that fun.

*
To Gunkie: "Odd in their religious fever"? Again, it seems that no matter how many standards we rise to, there is yet another one we cannot rise above. WHEN did being fervent about one's God become a BAD thing? At least, unlike our critics, we are HONEST! And WHAT does our religion have to do with Wings of Steel, other than the fact that keeping the Sabbath cost us longer on the route than most people take to climb El Cap? Ok, that aside. :-)

Let's try again... well, you get the point. Yes, we are committed to our religion, but it's not like our RELIGION leads us to go on suicide bombing runs or stuff like that. So, we kept the Sabbath on the route. Hmmm... is there something worth comment about that? I would just let your comment slide except for the typical negative twist that always accompanies discussions about us and Wings of Steel. Again, if Jim Bridwell had done EXACTLY as we did, his religious commitment would be "noble" rather than "odd".

Take the red pill, people!

(BTW, Slater got to the fifth anchor before succumbing to the heat.)

*
Well... ok... I could say lots more, but that's my rant for the decade. See you again in another decade or so. I'll check back in thereabouts to see if any clarity/sanity has infected the climbing community or this forum (doubtful). Meanwhile, I guess I'll just keep doing routes for myself that will never be repeated, seeking that internal state that makes it all worthwhile, and enjoy those few kindred spirits who are also seeking as I am. Meanwhile, I'll TRY HARD to be less "odd" and to be more "fun" so that more people will LIKE ME, cuz that's sooo important.
phile

Trad climber
SF, CA
Oct 24, 2005 - 11:34pm PT
now *that* was a long post! sounds like you got the short end of the stick, but what do I know. thanks for an interesting read.
mynameismud

climber
backseat
Oct 24, 2005 - 11:47pm PT
Well said, but you forgot to say. Now Sit The F*#k Down.
Watusi

Social climber
Joshua Tree, CA
Oct 25, 2005 - 12:27am PT
I do remember that it took those guys some time... When they were still fairly low on this Mike Corbett, Scott Cole and myself got ready to do the 3rd on Cosmos, got on it, and completed it. After then I returned and did Aquarian, and descended and it really didn't look like they had made a whole lot of progress in that time...Just an observation from back then...
Gunkie

climber
East Coast US
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 25, 2005 - 07:21am PT
madbolter1,

I said 'religious fervor' not 'religious fever'. Using the later rather the the former completely changes the tone of what I wrote. I reread my apparently offending post a number of times; I see no place where I referred or implied that religion was bad. For clarification: IMO, it would have been a better read had the parables been left out of the text. Perhaps the word 'odd' was a poor choice of adjective on my part. I found the book to be interesting and the story, gripping.

If it's any consolation, I'm in your corner with regards to the 'Wings of Steel' history and legacy.

Scott Ghiz [Gunkie]
the Fet

Trad climber
Loomis, CA
Oct 25, 2005 - 07:58am PT
I take it the route name was a response to the "mess", but I can't help but think there would be less long term controversy if it had been named Wobbly Hooks instead of Wings of Steel. ;-)
darod

Trad climber
New York
Oct 25, 2005 - 08:37am PT
Weenis? Ammon? Lambone?...anything else "you've heard"?
WBraun

climber
Oct 25, 2005 - 09:10am PT
Richard and Mark

Decades later you decide to clear up misinformation about your ascent. Thus the misinformation is then attributed to your fault as not bringing any information in the first place to the public.

Speculation is always rampant in our modern world so what do you expect people to do? They are not saints. They start to speculate. I remember all to well that day you came to the SAR cache to try to talk about your situation on El cap and the various people that you were dealing with. That is why I said it was a “terrible mess”. Thus you too have fallen prey to speculation as to what I meant. I never attributed “terrible mess” to what you were doing on El cap, but only to the social aspects of all the fighting. I actually tried to diffuse some of that for you but those guys where having the time of their life and where so far deeply into it that there was not much hope at that point in time. They were fixated in their way.

When I heard what happened as to their sabotage tactics later I was pretty angry about that. They had no such right nor did it help whatsoever, as we know it just made the whole thing even worst. One of the perpetrators we in later time actually ran him out of YOSAR. Another story altogether.

Thus you have been held accountable to the misinformation due to remaining largely silent for decades, …..“because we don't climb FOR anybody else.”

I believe the real reason none of your routes have not been repeated is your lines really do not have the aesthetically pleasing magnetism as some of the other more popular lines and not because of the “so called controversy” or difficulty.

People are attracted to the lines that stand out to them. Do not jump to the conclusion that I’m knocking your line.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 25, 2005 - 09:43am PT
"Weenis? Ammon? Lambone?...anything else "you've heard"?"

Nope, I take back what I said....which was admittedly just a hearsay rumor that I decided to repeat on a whim.

I did think the part about chiseling the hook placements was kinda lame...but whatever, not like I would try a route like that anyway. Otherwise a great long post. I usualy don't read the long ones, but he only repeated himslef a couple of times.
Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Oct 25, 2005 - 09:52am PT
I remember talking with Shaggy a long while back )I think we were on the Free Blast?); we were both sort of learning about aid climbing and he was particularly curious about what exactly one can hook: "like those-- (points to tiny flakes on SW face apron)- do they hook those things??" I couldn't imagine that anyone did, but now I guess we know. Yikes.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Oct 25, 2005 - 11:48am PT
Hey ptpp... seems like you might have inadvertantly painted using the same broad brush that has been used against you... ie repeating inuendo and gossip as if it were fact.

Are you going to accept the Wings of Steel challege? Can you go where Slater backed off???

DMT
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Oct 25, 2005 - 12:33pm PT
Repeating an ugly slab route is a lot to ask. Why would you want to do ten or so pitches of hooking on a slab? Does this route have anything to recommend it? Also if I recall correctly, the drilled hole count is disproportionately high compared to other El Cap routes. (Source: Charles Cole article in Climbing in the late '80's?) Fact or fiction?

Still it would be interesting to get a modern opinion of the quality and merit of the route by a party that got to the top.
Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Oct 25, 2005 - 12:38pm PT
If you were really into seeing just exactly what kind of teensy flake would hold up, didn't have a problem with long skidders(Minerals? I bet you've got a bitchen set of leathers, you could combine passions!)it would be a good way to do that. Other than that, sure, climb something else.

Ugly is kind of in the eye of the beholder. The shitstains are doubtless long gone...unless the slab-hooking thing really scares you and they make a comeback.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 25, 2005 - 01:05pm PT
Werner,

I came across this thread the other day and had chosen to not respond. Since you address your post to me (how do you know I’m lurking out here?), I think I should. First, I want to state that I think you and most of the others who have contributed to this thread do so honestly, so don’t take my comments to follow otherwise.

Thanks for clarifying that the “terrible mess” was your view of the response to the climb and not the climb itself. In just looking at your initial post I took you to mean that you viewed the climb as a mess in that it was in poor style (a rivet ladder). (To the post: “I … heard the route was a rivet ladder and put up in very poor style,” you replied, “Yes Ammon, it was a terrible mess for sure.”)

“Decades later you decide to clear up misinformation about your ascent. Thus the misinformation is then attributed to your fault as not bringing any information in the first place to the public.”
Well, I suppose there is some truth here, but it is not the case that no information was provided and quite the case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I did write an article published in Climbing in 1983 which was sufficiently detailed to clearly dispel the false notions in this thread. For that article I was attacked as “hyping the route.” So I do think that sufficient info was out there, including a topo that shows the location of EVERY hole on the route and what type of hole it was. I think that more info was unnecessary and would have fostered the belief that we climbed the route for attention. But you’re right that speculation is rampant in our world and is to be expected. As for me, I am I’m sure for you to, I try not to advance speculation as fact. What isn’t acceptable in this thread are statements claiming first hand knowledge of things such as “a streak of feces and trash 200 meters long below their hangin' bivy camp.”

Our climbs not repeated [by anyone, ever!] because they aren’t aesthetic? Perhaps. But a number of parties have been intrigued enough to start an attempt, beginning all the way back to the winter of 1982.

BTW, a 20+ year belated thanks for acting as a moderating influence in the Valley.

Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Oct 25, 2005 - 01:15pm PT
Interesting thread. I am glad to read the post from the team member, a lot to digest.
Like Watusi, I climbed Aquarius during the Wings episode. It was truly something to see; portaledges right and left, many haulbags, we refered to them as the "Window washers™" 'cause that's what their movable camp resembled. I will post a photo.

I didn't know firsthand, many facts about their ascent in progress, just that they took an amazing amount of stuff, they went incredibly slow, and they had sparked ill will locally. I listened to a lot of the innuendo, I knew about the chopping / defacating thing, my prefudice was inclined against the washers. I heard it was their first El Cap route, "What audacity!"

We climbed Aquarius incredibly slowly, it was our first el cap route, and we sat out one of the same storms mentioned, too. They were a landmark. On the hike in we were very aware of their, ejecta, ( I particularly remember the, Odwalla ?) pee bottles, it was easy to go with the prevelent views.

While we were slogging up our route, it was an event when, one day, the window washers moved their camp. Took a day or so to move up to where they had fixed. You had to see it to believe it. They were doing something different than we were, no doubt; we were doing an early ascent of a trade route, they were, what were they doing? and everybody seemed to hate them.

We finished our route, hung two days, (Tuna pancakes)and climbed the Nose. The window washers were still there. We climbed some more, I had a birthday, and evenetually the washers were down.

I met one of those guys, his car (280-Z?) was parked next to the colonels rig in the lodges old back row. Enthusiastic, very upbeat, blasting "Rainbow" on the Stereo, "They're the best, man." Seemed a lot like other climbers I'd met. Not any more wierdo-esque than the rest of us.
I had reason to hike the west base of the capitain after that, Somebody, sure cleaned it up.

Another part of the mosaic.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 25, 2005 - 01:37pm PT
"I didn't know firsthand, many facts about their ascent in progress, just that they took an amazing amount of stuff, they went incredibly slow, and they had sparked ill will locally..."

sounds like another prolific poster around here...

deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Oct 25, 2005 - 02:52pm PT
There seems to be an assumption that the drilled holes on the fifth ascent of the Sea were all original. Not sure if that's true, if I remember correctly the route got drilled out pretty early. For certain, variations with more holes than the original pitches were added.

In any case, at the time, 50 -75 holes per new El Cap route was a lot for the standard of the time. In the 90's, things changed, and 100 was a low number for many of the "new routes."

BTW: hole = anytime a drill was used to create or enhance a placement. According to the standard of the day, anyway.

Better ask the Bird....
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Oct 25, 2005 - 03:26pm PT
"sounds like another prolific poster around here..."

?
kevin Fosburg

Sport climber
park city,ut
Oct 25, 2005 - 05:40pm PT
For what it's worth, I talked to Slater after he was up on Wings of Steel. He was very impressed with the difficulty of the climbing and said it was much harder than the Sea.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 25, 2005 - 05:44pm PT
Dingus wrote,

"Hey ptpp... seems like you might have inadvertantly painted using the same broad brush that has been used against you... ie repeating inuendo and gossip as if it were fact.

Are you going to accept the Wings of Steel challege? Can you go where Slater backed off???

DMT"


Yes, I have thought about this, and reread my post several times. I hope you notice that I quoted HalHammer, and then wrote "It sounds like...." based on what HalHammer wrote. Since Hal seemed to write with conviction, I'll confess I probably believed him, though covered my ass more or less by using the quote. At any rate, it was inadvertent.

So I'm not sure I need to apologize or not, but I'll add a "sorry 'bout that, mate" just to be safe.

As for the second part, Dingus, are you freakin' nuts?! That route sounds way too hard and scary. However if you wanna go halfers on the hook pitches, then let's do it.

Thanks, Richard and Mark, for telling us your side of the story. Until such time as someone actually goes up there and repeats it, we'll take yer words for it. It's amazing that there was so much controversy and misinformation regarding this route? Why do you suppose that is? You really shoulda oughta have spoken up a little more vocally, eh?

But there's one thing I just don't get:

You say you spent a month up there or so, and hauled 1200 pounds of stuff, yet took no beer?

I just spent two weeks on El Cap, hauled less than a quarter of what you guys took [yes, there were two of us], and we brought PLENTY of beer. Booze notwithstanding, what the heck did yous guys bring up there, anyway?????
HalHammer

Trad climber
CA
Oct 25, 2005 - 07:10pm PT
I'm not sure all the info I posted was exactly true or not. One of the best sources I got the same opinions from was a guy named Mark Spencer who seemed to know the whole scoop. With the only exception of this one thread I've repeatedly heard the story that the Wings of Steel climbers used a lot of bathook ladders over and over again from other sources too. One of the only other on-line postings I've been able to find from Mark Smith I believe; was a debate by him over why bat hook holes are better than rivits, so that makes even less sense If now the story is no bat hooks were used. I've never been on the climb. Looking at the route topos seems to agree with this at a glance??? Somebody else should climb the route, that's been said enough.

Working for the company in Wawona longterm, all I know is I still get a lot of shiat everywhere I go for being affiliated with these guys and the Wings of Steel at all as a Seventh Day Adventist. Camp Wawona? Oh that's where those "losers" who drilled El Cap were from!!?!??!?!?!? They your friends, your boss???? I was given a hard time again when I applied for my first AMGA course. On a side note, I was even refused sale of a bolt kit from the Mountain Shop. This is decades later; and I can't say I don't get fed up. Certainly I haven't taken to endorsing their refuted tactics.

If the rumours and seeming reputable stories about your routes aren't true... Mark and Richard why have you not defended them until now? As far as I can see your ascent has gone down in the books as the most disgraceful and poor style climb is Yosemite valley history regardless of what the actual story might be. I don't care if you don't climb for others, who does? You can't not defend yourself; there is no way I'd let a reputation like that continue, especially one that's not true. Heck...I've been told by an extremely famous modern day valley climber that he would out right kill you guys if you went for another ascent on El Cap again; something along the lines of: "burn their houses, steal their cars, kick their arse, and if they go anywhere near a trade route I'd be so mad I'd kill 'em."

4 questions though...

1. How did you haul 1200 lbs of gear with you up the route? How many ropes did that take?

2. Did you do the 2nd free ascent of a Blue Moon on Wawona Dome after Floyd Hayes and Mark Spencer?

3. A few names: James Hanson, Jerry Dodrill, Tony Yaniro, Daniel Moore do you know or did you work with any of these guys?

4. Mark what happened at Swan Slab with Ken Yager and YMS?


You can also E-mail me at rctetz@puc.edu thanks.
WBraun

climber
Oct 25, 2005 - 07:38pm PT
Richard in his original post said:

"Well... ok... I could say lots more, but that's my rant for the decade. See you again in another decade or so. I'll check back in thereabouts to see if any clarity/sanity has infected the climbing community or this forum (doubtful)."

So he only talks once a decade .......?

Now why would someone say something as stupid as this if they are trying to defend themselves? ("See you again in another decade or so")
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Oct 25, 2005 - 08:05pm PT
I remember reading about this sh#t in the rags. Imagine if you will, a climber learning during the Granite years, a time where YOS was reverred as THE WORLD CLIMBING CENTER. And I learned on a granite area , LCC, with RR's books as my guide. Then there is so much sh#t flyin.

It seemed totally counter to the sport. Lets face it, we have no WRITTEN rules, but if you f&&&in cross the unwritten line you had g**damn better not show your face!

Unfortunatley, the way it was portrayed in the climbing media at the time was that the FA team of Wings of Steel crossed over an unwritten Yos rule: If you want to do a FA on El Cap, you must first pay homage to those locals that at that time consider themselves GOD. You must pay homage in the right way, as we see fit. We will not tell you what way that is.

Sorry, these are observations from a person who has climbed for 30 years and has done a few things in their time. Nothing to be famous for except in my own mind.

The other thing! Where did all you guys who heard on good faith that what the FAist did was horrible? HAS ANYONE EVER TRIED TO CLIMB THE THING AGAIN? GET REAL! IF CLIMBERS OF THE YEAR 2005 ARE BETTER THEN THOSE OF OVER 20 YEARS AGO, WHY HASNT ANYONE REPEATED THIS CLIMB?

Sorry, I get real tired of climbers reading the mags as I did, or hearing it on good faith saying these guys screwed the pooch. Those of you that are doing that are spreading the same kind of stuff my father did on the lawn when i was a kid.....All it does is make the grass grow.

While my opinion of Rob S is not the highest for good reasons, I respect the fact that he let these guys know their route was a hardmans route. SH&&ing on their ropes was chickensh#t. And those of you who were not even climbers then and said bad rumours are so FOS that I want you to come visit my lawn next spring......

There now, my rant for the evening.....
mike hartley

climber
Oct 25, 2005 - 08:53pm PT
My bet was always that Mark and Richard had been given the shaft. Not that I knew them or had ever seen their route. I had a friend put up a new route on Middle Cathedral about the same time. Good style - ground up, hand drilling from stances. He was threatened with a beating later by the locals for not asking permission first. Same for Jimmy Dunn. There are others easily added to the list.

Sh*tting on the guys ropes? Definately showed the character of the local rock police.

People's perceptions and memories are always distorted and inaccurate to some degree but I'm betting on Mark and Richard even more after reading their reply above.
WBraun

climber
Oct 25, 2005 - 09:23pm PT
Mike H. what route on Middle Cathedral was that?
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 25, 2005 - 10:28pm PT
Well, I'm quite impressed by the number and quality of the follow-up posts, and the tone of most of them motivates me to say a bit more. I know I said "in another decade or so," but the responses to my post have been MUCH different from what we have come to expect over the years. So, I'll invest a bit more effort here, if you can sit through another lengthy post.

A common complaint in the replies is that Mark and I didn't do enough to "defend ourselves" during the last twenty-plus years. Werner even suggests that we are responsible for the sheer mass and impenetrable density of misinformation, given that we didn't defend ourselves. So, rather than to be thought "stupid" in addition to everything else, I will continue now to "defend ourselves".

In his recent post, I think that Mark did a good job explaining that we DID make every reasonable effort to defend ourselves, but it seems that some here have missed his points. So, let me list the things we did over the years. We each wrote articles and got them published in the mags (Climbing and Rock and Ice). We toured all over the country giving slide shows to tens of thousands of people. During the months surrounding the ascent itself, we spent ENDLESS hours attempting dialog with people in the Valley, and we spent YEARS afterward at major climbing areas all over California explaining ourselves to the MANY people who would gather around to badger us. And, as Mark has said, our every attempt to defend ourselves has been cast in the climbing press as "hyping the route," coupled with lengthy published diatribes devoted to defaming us yet further.

In fact, we climbed the Sea partly to demonstrate that we weren't the inept losers we were being cast as (although the primary reason was that we wanted to see for ourselves where we stood, because Wings sure seemed damn hard to us)! When we climbed the Sea, it was being touted as the hardest rock climb in the world, and we were being challenged to give it a shot (along with public exhortations to the gods that we would meet our demise in the attempt). So, we did it without adding a hole, without taking a fall, and in a reasonable period of time (given our Sabbath days off).

Later, various authors (our critics) in the mags were frothing at the mouth about Intifada in Utah. This was called the hardest rock climb in the world, with tales of A6 (new rating scale), death anchors, and the likely possibility of ripping multiple pitches to the deck. So, we did the second ascent of that heap, downgraded it RADICALLY for the pile that it was, and published an account of that in Climbing. Those two climbs were partially done as attempts to "defend ourselves".

Our attitude during those years was, "Go ahead critics, call something the 'hardest rock climb in the world,' and we'll go climb it and downgrade it." But we got past that attitude for the self-serving, reactionary phase that it was.

At any rate, actually, I'm not sure what more we could/should have done to defend ourselves. What we found, and what we have ALWAYS found (which is WHY I had no intention of devoting any more time to this forum after my first post), is that NOBODY would actually HEAR us or believe us. Our critics have been on the "in," and we have been on the "out". It has always been assumed that we were lying about the route, and the people actively and vindictively spreading the actual lies about us have been well-known, highly-regarded climbers.

It turns out that people are inclined to believe someone they know, who knows someone, who knows someone else, who knows one of these highly-regarded climbers, and so the rumor-mill is pervasive! There would not have been time in our lives to explain to all the people needing an explanation, we have utilized the climbing press to the extent we were allowed, and people simply have not believed us.

Then, later, as I said, even Slater couldn't get a letter to the editor printed in Climbing magazine. So, the more public avenues were closed to us. What, Werner, were we supposed to do then? Hire out TV spots? Take out ads in the mags? I'm honestly not sure what you expected us to do. Almost nobody has wanted to take our side seriously, and we have wasted amazing amounts of time and energy getting nowhere toward changing minds. So far from our posts in this forum being our first attempts to defend ourselves, we have been trying ACTIVELY for decades!

The whole experience has been very eye-opening for me, as I have seen first-hand the amazing power a small group of credible people can utilize to get an entire community of people to believe a lie, and this in the face of us being VERY vocal and active in our own defense.

Witness the length of my posts as evidence of the effort it takes to "respond". Werner can in a line pop off with something like, "as stupid as this," yet, it takes significant space to explain WHY I would say something like that. EVERYTHING about the ascent requires significant space and effort to explain, and prior to this second post, I had come to conclude that such effort was entirely wasted.

On that note, I honestly want to thank the many posters for their obvious interest in finding out the actual truth, and for quite apparently taking my post seriously. As you can imagine, our dealings with the climbing community at large has usually been quite painful, and the reply posts so far have been very refreshing to me.

Another point that bears mentioning, since people on this topic keep asking about repeat attempts, is that Mark and I quit counting aborted attempts on the route after about fifteen. It was easy to see "new" attempts, because one of the bolts about 1/3 of the way up the first pitch kept sprouting new rap slings. We counted more than fifteen new rap slings in the first two years alone, and after that we just quit keeping track. Of course, we don't know how many of these "attempts" were just treating the first pitch as a "base route," but the fact remains that people were NOT making it to the first anchor because the first pitch anchor slings never changed. Maybe that has changed since we stopped keeping track, but, nevertheless, a LOT of people have been on at least the first pitch, and so they KNOW that the route is NOT some sort of ladder. The route has been attempted MANY times, and the route itself defends us!

Over the years, one has to ask how much time and anguish the defense effort is worth. I mean, HOW much do you expend before you finally say, "Well, it's pretty clear that we can't win even battles, much less the war," and you retire from the field? And comparing this fiasco with the Robbins/Harding debacle (as has been done elsewhere) doesn't even come CLOSE! Robbins was HONORABLE in his dealings with Harding, a point that Harding has admitted to me many times, and Robbins actually respected Harding in spite of their radical disagreements. I have seen in the later generation of climbers an unwillingness to treats others in honorable fashion. Mark and I are not the only ones who have been defamed unjustly; we just happen to be the ones who have probably gotten it worse than anybody else.

So, I hope I have hereby answered the question, "Why have you not defended yourselves until now?" We have never totally ceased from defending ourselves (witness my first post here), but over the decades of making NO dent in the defamation, we HAVE begun to tire of it.

Thanks again all for actually stimulating me to "pick up the fight" once again. :-)

I'll answer some of the logistical questions in another post.
WBraun

climber
Oct 25, 2005 - 10:44pm PT
Yes It worked, .... eh Richard.

That's why I "popped off" the one liner to get you to respond because you said you will come back in a decade, now that wouldn't do us any good, would it?

Now it sounds like you need some kind of "closure" to relieve the pain in your heart after all these years.

How will that work, Richard? Some unseen forces in your destiny by the powers of karma have brought all this on to you. How will you make amends with your fate?

Best wishes, Werner
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 25, 2005 - 10:49pm PT
A few logistical answers...

We did haul seven bags off the ground, for a total of 1200 pounds of stuff. We took along eleven ropes, mostly 11mm and a couple of 9mm. We fixed three pitches from bivy anchor to bivy anchor and then devoted one day to moving the massive armada up those three pitches.

By the time we reached the top of the slab, we were down to two bags (containing mostly gear, clothes, sleeping stuff, etc.), and we had been on the wall for over a month. We were also down to about 1200 calories per day at this point. Our planning for about twenty-five days on the wall was woefully short, and we paid the price for that miscalculation! The last week of the ascent, we were down to 600 calories per day, and we were getting quite weak.

Keep in mind that we knew we were going to be on the slab for a LONG time, which totally changes the way you have to think about food and water. For a week or two, you can go light on water and eat pretty much any sort of garbage that turns your crank. But as the weeks pile up, you have to start thinking about how your body is going to respond to the abuse. Effects are cumulative. So, expecting HOT weather that never came, we planned on a gallon of water each, which amounted to fifty gallons of water (450 pounds of just water). We poured water out all the way up the wall, but I have also been on El Cap many times when a gallon a day didn't even come CLOSE to what I was needing. So, we had more water than we needed, as it turned out, but to do over again, with more summer El Cap experience under my belt, I would have taken MORE water, not less. You cannot keep yourself in a state of chronic dehydration for that long without significant ill effects.

The same principle applies to food. We brought up balanced meals, which included a lot of canned fruit and vegetables. We planned on 2500 calories per person per day, although looking back that was clearly not enough.

In answer to the "beer post" (ptpp), :-), prepare to be amazed, but neither of us like how it tastes. We both like various wines, but they don't do much for dehydration.

I'll give more details if asked... but I'm trying for a "short" post this time.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 25, 2005 - 10:53pm PT
sounds like you maybe think your route is important or something?

are you saying you think it is the hardest route on El Cap because it's unrepeated?
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 25, 2005 - 10:59pm PT
Oh, Werner, you keep baiting me :-)

I don't believe in either fate or karma. I do believe in people causing good or bad in this present life/world, and I do believe in moral accountability.

Actually, I don't expect "closure" at this point. We thought that once a guy like Slater had gotten as high on the route as he did, and was willing to very vocally try to vindicate us, that the nightmare would be over... but such was not the case. So, we reached a point of thinking that external circumstances were not going to be the source of any peace.

After enough years, you come to know yourself, as I'm sure you know, and I think that our pain has largely morphed into a sort of quiet acceptance that we will never be understood by the climbing community. So, perhaps that's "closure" enough.

It is possible to have ongoing joy without constant happiness, and it is possible to have peace in spite of ongoing pain. So, our experiences with the climbing community have been largely painful, but I think I can speak for Mark as well when I say that we have lots of both peace and joy. My climbing has been the most worthwhile, rewarding, ongoing-life-changing aspect of my entire life, and the climbing community can't affect that. Thus, the way I see "defending ourselves" in forums like this is quite distant from the core of who I am and from the climber that I am.

I hope that makes some sense.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 25, 2005 - 11:05pm PT
No, Lambone, I don't think the ROUTE is important. I DO think that what has happened in our relation with the climbing community is important, because it speaks volumes about human interactions in general.

I haven't done enough routes on El Cap to know where Wings is in the scale of "hard" climbs. I don't think that "hard" is an objective feature of routes anyway. Mindsets make routes feel "hard" to people. Some people hate hooking, and that seems "hard" to them--then Wings will seem really, really hard to such a person. Others hate expanding nailing. You know, it's all in the mind anyway. Right?

I have done "harder" routes than Wings. Our last route, Ring of Fire, seemed MUCH "harder" to me than Wings did, while the Sea and Intifada seemed MUCH easier to me. But, I hear of new horror routes that are way "hard" on El Cap. So, who am I to say where Wings is in the grand scale of things?
WBraun

climber
Oct 25, 2005 - 11:07pm PT
Richard said: "So, we reached a point of thinking that external circumstances were not going to be the source of any peace."

Yes, that's intelligent.
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Oct 25, 2005 - 11:26pm PT
Lambone sez: "sounds like you maybe think your route is important or something?

are you saying you think it is the hardest route on El Cap because it's unrepeated?"

Interesting idea. Not baiting Mark, but if it was or is the hardest route on El Cap and no one has bothered to give a serious go since Slater because it is universally dissed as a sh#t route? What if it is harder than the (original) Sea? The word irony doesn't adequately describe that possibility.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 25, 2005 - 11:58pm PT
"I DO think that what has happened in our relation with the climbing community is important, because it speaks volumes about human interactions in general."

Which climbing community?

My guess is that 99.9 % of the "climbing community" as a whole has never heard of Wings of Steel. Nor would know what formation it's on, or wo put it up, or the story behind it.

Probly the same could be said about Ring of Fire.

Were you really suprised when the Valley locals were not happy when you picked the most FEATURELESS aspect of El Cap to make your first ascent?

Seems like the traditional ethic was to minimize blank face aid climbing (i.e. bolting) whenever possible. You chose the opposite approach. A move that takes balls no doubt. But I can easily see how people took it as you giving climbing ethics the middle finger, so to speak. What you got from the community was the middle finger back, which is generaly how most human interactions work.

Just an opinion from the sidelines. I'm glad that you have apparently found peace (or not, considering your lengthy posts), but what you have written makes it sound like you have learned to cope with living with cancer or something....

I supose you could call this post a troll.
ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
Oct 26, 2005 - 12:28am PT
yes lambone .. that post is definately troll bait
mike hartley

climber
Oct 26, 2005 - 06:38am PT
Werner,

The route was Catdancer and the climber that told me the story was Paul Landrom. Paul was a hell of a nice guy and a very solid climber. I never heard anyone in the Oregon climbing community ever say a bad word about him. He seemed rather shocked by the response he received while putting up the route.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 26, 2005 - 07:39am PT
HalHammer,

Hey, I’m sorry for what you at Camp Wawona have gone through over this.

“If the rumours and seeming reputable stories about your routes aren't true... Mark and Richard why have you not defended them until now?”

When I showed up to do Wings of Steel, I was focused on personal mission, although I don’t think I really understood it at the time. I had no idea of the extent of the controversy that would ensue. My mom had recently died after a long battle with cancer and I needed to know who I was and the point of my existence. If there hadn’t been another climber who would ever notice or care we were there, I would have climbed Wings and would have climbed it to the best of my ability, all 39 days of it. The reality was that the climb was extremely stressful for me and was beyond my ability. Stepping up to a higher level became the formative event in molding who I am today. Nothing can take away what Wings means to me, so perhaps this diminishes my need to defend it. Of course it would be great to be respected for the climb. I want that now as much as then. As Richard details in his post, we did do a lot to tell the story. I think that Climbing’s decision to not publish Slater’s article helped lead me to take a fairly fatalistic view of the whole thing, that the inertia against the climb was too much to overcome. Of course, the Internet wasn’t a forum until recently.

To reaffirm, we climbed the entire Great Slab without a single bat hook. If you can look at a Wings placement and say “that was done with a drill or chisel,” then you are looking at a rivet or a bolt. Mark Spencer, who isn’t an admirer, wasn’t in the Valley during Wings and is getting his info from others. I don’t doubt that Mark believed what he told you; many others have believed as well.

Prior to this thread I have never posted a view on bat hooks or bolting, so the previous source you read wasn’t mine.

Regarding Blue Moon, no, I’ve climbed a line that crosses through its traverse pitch, but I haven’t climbed it. Blue Moon and several other Wawona Dome climbs are well worth the hike. Some great stuff there for those who like being the only car at the trailhead.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 26, 2005 - 07:55am PT
To John Vawter,

In reply to "are you saying you think it is the hardest route on El Cap because it's unrepeated? ... Not baiting Mark, but ..."

The fact that Wings of Steel is unrepeated is certainly interesting, but it doesn't prove anything. The only thing I'll assert is that I was maxed when we did it.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Oct 26, 2005 - 08:03am PT
Mark Spencer? Penned the guide book Southern Yosemite?

THIS is the guy who people reply upon for the straight dope on Wings of Steel???

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

That's really very funny.

DMT
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Oct 26, 2005 - 08:05am PT
I think the trade route clean up crew should just go on up there and send that f*#ker.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

The Manly Men who chop trade routes to make them harder... WHERE ARE YOU NOW?????

No where to be seen.

DMT
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Sonora, California
Oct 26, 2005 - 08:07am PT
I'm a bit surprised by the amount of real discussion here instead of the normal baiting and drivel (Lambone's cheap troll excepted). Still, no reply from Ammon or Bruce Morris, both of whom seemed to have opinions before the explanatory posts. Any more comment guys?
yo

climber
NOT Fresno
Oct 26, 2005 - 08:15am PT
I haven't cared either way on this (though I've heard the slander from numerous sources) and I'm inclined to give both Richard and Mark the benefit of the doubt. I for one am super glad you downrated that Intifada sh#t. That makes many people smile.


But here's what bothers me:

With a hook failure rate of 30% on the FA, what's the sustainability of such a route?

If the route got twenty ascents, would there be anything left but rivets/bathooks?

Is it possible that many people (upwards of 15 parties?) have bailed from the first pitch because it's been ripped clean by traffic?

Was Slater forced to drill or unwilling to drill and forced to retreat?


And re: Ammon, don't yank his chain too much, he might go second this thing in like 18 hours.
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Sonora, California
Oct 26, 2005 - 08:26am PT
I'm not yanking Ammon's chain, nor am I yanking Bruce's. They posted and I'd like to hear their follow up opinions. I for one would love for someone with Ammon's (apparent) climbing abilities and Werner's integrity to climb the route (I say apparent with no slight intended. I don't know Ammon and without personal knowledge I can only assume from what I've seen that he's a cutting edge climber. And I assume and hope that he has Werner's integrity, but I don't know him, so I use Werner as a "measuring stick.") Anyway, if someone with these attributes repeats the route and reports "objectively" it could clear up decades of conflicting information. I still remember the contoversy that swirled around this route in my very earliest days of climbing and I'm very interested in the information coming out now.
John Vawter

Social climber
San Diego
Oct 26, 2005 - 08:59am PT
"The route was Catdancer and the climber that told me the story was Paul Landrom. Paul was a hell of a nice guy and a very solid climber."

That's Landrum. Good guy, and alive and well. Not to be confused with Lambone, who made some good points. The business pitches on these routes (Wings and Winds of Change) are on the apron (Great Slab). Yecch. That angle is more conducive to balancing a hook on a very minimal edge. But why bother when it takes so many rivets and bolts to put it all together?

Sustainability. Once the flake is gone you can't make the hook move without drilling a hole. Whereas nailed out routes usually take micro cams, ball nuts, etc., or have fixed gear. That is a qualitative difference.

Ultimately, as Werner says, it's a free country, notwithstanding the objections of the Valley Christians. We can speculate 'til the cows come home but it's all just gas until somebody climbs it and renders an informed opinion.
wildone

climber
right near the beach, boyeee (lord have mercy)
Oct 26, 2005 - 09:35am PT
It would be awesome to see some of the current badasses go give it a serious go. I wish I was at that skill level, as it sounds like it would be quite a thing, almost a service to the climbing community to clear up all this tripe, sad, bickering.
mike hartley

climber
Oct 26, 2005 - 09:59am PT
J. Vawter,

Yea, Landrum is right. Simple typo. Paul inspired a lot of us Oregon yahoos back in the '70s. On his first trip up to Half Dome he went up to do a standard overnight ascent but they climbed so fast they topped out in a day. Paul said they didn't plan to do it in a day, it was just an "accident". The man liked to move. Glad to hear that he's doing well.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 26, 2005 - 11:39am PT
Yo wrote “But here's what bothers me: With a hook failure rate of 30% on the FA, what's the sustainability of such a route? If the route got twenty ascents, would there be anything left but rivets/bathooks?”

Yo, that’s a valid concern. While the quality of El Cap granite varies quite a bit, at its best its quality is amazing. A nickel thick level edge will consistenly hold body weight with a Leeper narrow hook. Simply unbelievable. Unfortunately, some micro-ledges are actually the tops of micro-flakes which are subject to being separated from the main wall by a very thin layer of greenish clay. (It seems that the clay is an end product of a natural deterioration process of the minerals in the rock rather than something that has washed in, but that’s just a guess.) Looking at a micro-ledge it’s usually impossible to know whether you are staring at simple ledge, the top of a solid flake, or the top of an undercut flake. If too large of an area has been undercut by clay, the whole flake is subject to peeling off. Many if not most of the micro-ledges/micro-flakes on the area of El Cap we climbed are not undercut with clay. These should be able to sustain repeated hook placements. No doubt that there are some flakes that we stood on that are undercut and are time bombs ready to go off. In the majority of these cases, other flakes will be available, at least for those willing to try. So I think that the route as a whole is reasonably sustainable, although clearly more holes will go in over time. But the route is not as sustainable as others, which is a valid criticism. I want to go off on a rant about the trashing (needless non-sustainability) of big wall classics like the Sea which has been turned into an A2 or A3 fixed copperhead clip-up, but I’ll save that for another time.

”Is it possible that many people (upwards of 15 parties?) have bailed from the first pitch because it's been ripped clean by traffic?”
Slater’s ascent to the 5th anchor was not one of the earliest attempts, giving credence to the notion that the remaining flakes are stable.
jack herer

climber
chico, ca
Oct 26, 2005 - 11:48am PT
someone f*#kin climb the route now
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Sonora, California
Oct 26, 2005 - 12:39pm PT
Yeah, somebody climb it. I weigh too much for hooking fragile flakes, and I'm not sure I'm looking to do El Cap again all that soon. Who's a "light" hard man that can answer our questions?
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 26, 2005 - 12:53pm PT
"(Lambone's cheap troll excepted).

Why dismiss my troll as cheap? Surely it was a troll, but a sincere one at that, not cheap at all IMHO, but valid from one perspective.

These two guys above come off not understanding why so many people dissed their route when the answer is obvious. It's a forced line up a black face.

The tradition on El Cap (as far as I know) was to minimize forced blank face climbing by linking as many features as possible to create a natural line. Even Hardings WEML linked spectacular features.

So Wings follows a water streak, yeah well folks that want to climb water streaks ussualy head up to Toulomne and put their free shoes on.

Aiding up a feature (or lack of feature) like that is forcing your way ip the stone under drill and chissel (as they admited above to chiseling hook placements).

Doing so to link to crack systems is one thing. Doing so from the ground up with no intentions of finding or following crack systems is another thing altogether.

So fellas, don't be confused about why people diss your route, it's clearly obvious. Sure the hook moves are no doubt ballsy, but there is no doubt a clear difference in style between an ascent that works with the mountain following natural features and gaining vertical ground as the mountain allows you, and bashing your way up the thing with chissel and drill. So you had more hook placements (some chisseld) then drilled holes, so what?

Dumbing down the Sea of Dreams to justify your route by hole count is missing the point. The Sea is a natural line of features. The Great Slab is just that, sometimes not meant to be climbed.

mike hartley

climber
Oct 26, 2005 - 01:18pm PT
Lambone,

If, as they reported, they predominently used natural hooks how can you say they didn't follow natural features? Maybe others had "eyes but could not see"?
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Oct 26, 2005 - 01:37pm PT
Damn, Royal Robbins seems to have crept into the room, pontificating about the egregious sins committed on a route he hasn't climbed, lol!

DMT
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Oct 26, 2005 - 01:39pm PT
Good thing there are people who can tell you what you can and can't climb.

So what if it was a slab. We can't climb slab now? We can only climb big features and cracks, drilling ladders between them?

For all the spraying about 'hard aid' and the number of sequential hook moves being 'puckering' its funny to see fools like lambone rag on this climb. Isn't difficulty good? Isn't 8 hook moves in a row something to aspire to for those that care?
darod

Trad climber
New York
Oct 26, 2005 - 01:42pm PT
Mike, I kinda have to agree with you; "weaknesses" aren't just cracks I suppose, so until someone has actually climbed the route and proved otherwise, I have to believe Mark and Richard (for whatever that's worth).

I think that some people here are trying to detour us from the main topic that has come out of this post. If the route is aesthetic or classic in any way, is not relevant at this point. Regardless of the quality of the climbing, there seem to be a great injustice here, and we should all try to remedy it.

Coming out with the truth about these accusations of bad style is a great start.

IMHO.

darod.
shitzy

Gym climber
La Playa
Oct 26, 2005 - 02:20pm PT
Let me see if I understand all of this.

Some relatively unknown guys went up El Cap really slowly, climbing the early crux pitches of their new route on a low angle part of El Cap, and when they threw their shitz off every day, soon there was a big long streak of poo running down the route they were putting up, and somehow, people just assumed they had poor style?

No wonder they didn't want to talk about it for 30 years!
Somehow, I am not picturing Warren Harding, a hot babe, and a big jug of wine, sitting below a big streak of poo, shouting encouragement at these guys.

How embarrassing, at least they picked up after themselves.

What was in all those haul bags, bibles?
Closer to god by painting an epic stripe of poo in his direction?
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 26, 2005 - 02:22pm PT
Lambone writes “Dumbing down the Sea of Dreams to justify your route by hole count is missing the point. The Sea is a natural line of features. The Great Slab is just that, sometimes not meant to be climbed.”

Lambone,
The Sea is an aesthetic masterpiece with much to recommend it which Wings of Steel doesn’t have. Also, I agree that counting holes is not the point. (In retrospect, I wish we would have just done the climb and left counting holes to the second ascent.) I do think that Wings of Steel was aesthetic in its own way and offers a type of climbing not found on any "aesthetic" El Cap route, but that's just me waxing eloquent. I don’t agree that the Great Slab should have never been climbed, although I think that your view is supportable. (Looking at today’s El Cap jigsaw, do you think it was going to stay forever untouched by the Valley locals?)

Lambone: “[Drilling] to link to crack systems is one thing. Doing so from the ground up with no intentions of finding or following crack systems is another thing altogether.“

Wings of Steel is NOT a direct line. We studied the face by telescope and created a line to work up the Slab as easily as possible. A number of significant cracks are linked. I think the climb is a great effort in using what the Slab has to offer to find the best line. (Some might argue that we should have used Yaniro’s two pitches to the left of our line. Perhaps.)

“These two guys above come off not understanding why so many people dissed their route when the answer is obvious. It's a forced line up a black face.”

No one was dissin’ on Yaniro when he worked on the Great Slab, were they?
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Oct 26, 2005 - 02:28pm PT
"No one was dissin’ on Yaniro when he worked on the Great Slab, were they? "

We were too busy dissing him for other things, lol.

DMT
jack herer

climber
chico, ca
Oct 26, 2005 - 03:01pm PT
" Intifada - VI 5.10 A5 vs
FA: Jim Beyer (solo) December 1988

Details: Well, this route originally rated A6 by Beyer really isn't too bad. There were no holes drilled deeper than 1/4" deep on the first ascent. The second ascent drilled some of the holes deeper to place baby angles. Tim Wagner on the real second ascent filled in those holes. "


Can either of you comment on that?
ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
Oct 26, 2005 - 03:16pm PT
i nominate lambone to go up wings of steel and set the record straight.
Light&Fast!!!

climber
calgary
Oct 26, 2005 - 03:27pm PT
Damn people! I'm sorta new on this thing and only read a little of it but seems that lambone is the "expert". At least he thinks he is. Goes on about all sorts of stuff, my only questions about this is... Is he qualified to give such an opinion? What has he done that would make him qualified?

I just get the sense from ricardos post that he hasn't done anything real. Which is totally ok, because this forum is mostly represented by the same type. Everyone is at a differnt level and whatever you can climb is cool, it's just that to voice such a strong opinion with limited experiance off the beaten path, seems sort of misguided.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 26, 2005 - 03:49pm PT
jack herer,

Okay, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of being reasonable and measured in my posts. However, regarding your assertions on Intifada I’m a little strained to maintain such composure. We’ll see if I can keep it together. In August 1992 I did the second ascent of Intifada, not Tim Wagner. I, or better said “we” as I swung leads with Richard Jensen, did that climb in the best, repeat best, ABSOLUTE PERFECT, style, period! (Ah yes, signs of my composure starting to crack.) We did not make one placement in that climb which if videotaped and available on the Web today could be found to be bogus. There were bat hooks which were indeed shallow and, given the rock quality, quite scary. (Ironically, Richard managed to bypass one of them with a natural placement.) We did not drill out anything. Got that?, anything. At no point did the leader ever carry a drill. It appeared to us that there were drilled holes that had been used for baby angles in the third pitch. I wondered if they could be the result of natural features in the rock, although this seemed unlikely, Fisher Towers notwithstanding. The drilled angles, or what appeared to be drilled angles, were very surprising to us, especially since they occur on one of the easiest pitches. I didn’t lead that pitch and I don’t remember how many there were. I photo-documented at least one of them when I cleaned the pitch and I’d be happy to find the slide and send you a copy.
John F. Kerry

Social climber
Boston, MA
Oct 26, 2005 - 04:18pm PT
Very interesting and cool to get firsthand info on WoS from the FA guys. Dudes: thank you very much for your efforts.

So in a nutshell: a couple of outsiders come in, do what proved to be a stellar job on tough terrain, got dissed for not paying homage to the Valley boyz, then proved that the boyz who did the early Sea repeats were not as saintly as claimed... amazing.

The comments by Rob Slater speak volumes. His statements alone should be all the STFU needed by the boyz.

And somehow 20 years of slander is Richard & Mark's fault because they didn't jump when the critics demanded it? Ridiculous.

It's ironic when rock police are discovered to be crooked cops.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 26, 2005 - 05:09pm PT
If you are bitchin', you will have detractors. Perhaps these guys were just too bitchin'?
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Oct 26, 2005 - 08:54pm PT
My post last night may have been a bit out there. But it is interesting to see the spray that goes on. What I am referring to is "I heard sh&& so it ust be sh&&". Thanks you guys (Mark and Richard)for posting. Perhaps PTPP is right, you may have blown people away by your determination and skill.

When one thinks they stand at the top of the heap, or they even think they are part of the heap, it is a difficult thing to see some new guys come by and climb as high as the heap, or higher. Sometimes it is easier for one to focus on ones negatives as opposed to finding ones one faults to work on. But ultimately, we can only control our ownselves. No matter how much we try otherwise. Good job on Wings of Steel.

To the detractors: Climb it or STFU.....
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 26, 2005 - 09:47pm PT
To Jack Herer:

Like Mark, I'm trying to keep it together on this one. So, let's try to stick with the facts we KNOW, and then extrapolate a bit of logic from there.

First, Climbing magazine publishes articles about bad-ass Jim Beyer in TWO back-to-back issues. Intifada is called "the hardest rock climb in the world" in both issues. Beyer is called possibly the hardest man alive (in my mind, outrageous as long as the Bird is living!), and a route with NO second ascent is "hyped" in the most frothy style possible. There is talk of a new rating system to encompass the insane difficulty level to be found on Intifada, and it is stated REPEATEDLY (including in a later interview with Beyer) that "if you fall from the last pitch you will most likely rip out not only the pitch but every connected anchor below it." This is the "new" meaning of "A6". Not only will a fall result in the death of the leader, but that fall will "pull down the whole house," including anchors.

Wow! Mark and I just HAD to see this for ourselves! Of course, upon finding that the "mad bolters" were in town, the Moab locals would NOT provide a topo or any help whatsoever... no surprise. So, Mark and I spent a day with a telescope drawing our own topo of the route, since with our scope, we could literally see every place a piton had been driven--we could even see the lines of trenches for copperheads in many places.

So, we head up on the route, expecting to be terrified, and we find that the greatest terror of the route is a very active wasp nest right at the anchor of the second pitch! A quick trip to town for some spray eliminates that problem, and THAT "modification" to the route is the ONLY one we make.

As Mark says, we were surprised to find several DEEP angle holes in the third pitch, since that pitch was one of the easiest. Mark did get pictures of those, including pictures of OUR placements which bypass them... pics which he still has, I'm sure.

At any rate, the route up the face peters out, ending most obviously on a ledge belay with bolt anchors. I don't remember the name of that route, but it was a free climb, I think 5.9. At any rate, when Mark reached that ledge, we were sure we must be missing something. The route CLEARLY goes to that ledge, with bolt anchors, and that ledge is two pitches from the absolute summit. It is free climbing from that anchor to the top! Yet, there are bat hooks leading to a short crack ending on that ledge!

So, we're standing there scratching our heads.... Where are the death belays? Where is the insane hooking? There has been ONE short section of (old rating system) A4 lower down, and most of the route has been A2/A3. BOLT anchors? Whaaattt?

After returning home, we write up our report, and, amazingly, Climbing publishes it. Beyer later responds in an interview, saying that he did take that free route for one pitch (using the BOLT anchors!!!), and then traversed back out onto the face (from the ridge the free route follows) in order to get in his final "horror hooking" pitch as the final pitch out on the face.

Now, let's think this through. There are NO, repeat NO death anchors on Intifada. After all the hype, the last "horrible hooking" pitch leads off of a BOLT anchor. The last pitch is absurdly contrived, as there is NO "natural line" reason to head back onto the face from the ridge; the ONLY reason for doing this is to be able to claim a "horrible hooking" last pitch. But the A6 rating is a complete fabrication! ALL of the frothing at the mouth in Climbing magazine was based upon NOTHING more than Beyer's word about what could be found on the route! And, upon a little inspection, we find that ALL of the most grandiose claims about the route are false. EVERY one.

So, who are we going to believe about the holes on the route? Beyer, who has already been caught in his lies? I don't think so. Even the line, "There is no hole deeper than 1/4 inch" is an obvious lie, since the bat hooks were deeper than that, and MOST of the trenched copperhead placements were much deeper than that. The bottom line is that we found a surprisingly easy route, not a single death anchor, holes drilled where they made no sense (including one bat hook hole I was able to bypass by slinging a sloping nubbin), NO "horrible hooking," miles of deeply trenched heads (which were bomber, btw), and I could go on and on. This route is NOTHING like Beyer described it, and I have no doubt that Beyer is the person who drilled those angle holes, rather than to use the flaired cams I used to bypass them.

At any rate, we certainly didn't drill those holes. I only wish now that we had had the sort of scrutiny on Intifada that we had on the Sea, so that people could KNOW that we didn't "rape" Intifada. But, hopefully, we have earned enough credibility on at least THAT front, given our past history, and BEYER certainly has no basis of credibility for his claims--the ONLY claim he has made about the route that I know is true is that the route is on Cottentail Tower. Every other claim he made about the content of the route has been proved false.

Nuff said. Next question?
WBraun

climber
Oct 26, 2005 - 09:54pm PT
Thanks Richard for your in depth input as I know it takes quite some time to write up, interesting reading.

I find it hard to believe that those climbing magazines turned you down originally as you are a very good writer.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 26, 2005 - 10:30pm PT
madbolter, are you %100 sure you made the 2nd ascent of Intifada? Perhaps someone else wen't up and modified the route before you guys and didn't tell anyone?

In your original post you in a round about way asked NOT to be called a liar. (Or, actually, threatened to go away and never come back if someone called you a liar)

But now you are here calling other people liars? What give bro?

Some comments on interesting quotes from above:

i nominate lambone to go up wings of steel and set the record straight.

f*#k that! I'm way to chickenshit on slabs...

plus I am not sure which record you are wanting to set straight? That the route really is hard with a lot of hook moves...yeah no sh#t sherlock!

Is he qualified to give such an opinion? What has he done that would make him qualified?

Does one have to be qualified to have opinions these days? I didn't get the memo.

Look, I am not a detractor, I really don't care about the route one way or another. I never said they were in the wrong or their route should be chopped, or not-repeated or whatever, I said none of those things. I said I don't altogether agree with the style...you gotta problem with that...then bugger off.

I also think it's very cool that we can sit here and have a respectfuil conversation with these two FA'ers and they are willing to participate and contribute. I read their posts carefully, and listened to their perspective...which is altogether valid and honorable. However, I got the feling like each was whinning about people not liking their climbing style. I brought a perspective to the table as to perhaps why some (or many) people may see the route differently then they do themselves...which seems fairly obvious to me, and maybe to them also.

You know what, everybody climbs for their own reasons and expects different rewards. Some styles are for some and some styles for others. Just like some may agree with my opinion and some may not.

Different opinions and perspectives are what make this forum fun, I think, and sometimes when I come upon a thread where everyone is agreeing with eachother adamentlty...I'll often offer up an opposing viewpoint just for kicks, that's my style.

you see, he owns a climbing gym. that sort of makes him a hero to all the n00bs

LOL hahaha....yup you bet...
WBraun

climber
Oct 26, 2005 - 10:34pm PT
Lambone said: "Does one have to be qualified to have opinions these days? I didn't get the memo."

Pretty funny

But, I agree Lambone you did a good job.
toluene*brainblow

Social climber
bag of toxic vapors
Oct 26, 2005 - 10:37pm PT
Apparently NOT. Werner's got a huge one. And I'm NOT refering to his dick.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 26, 2005 - 10:52pm PT
In response to the lastest posts about Wings, I do appreciate the charitable tone very much. I would like to clarify a few points about our attitudes, since some posts are now alluding to that aspect of things.

I won't speak for Mark on these matters, although I know how he feels too. Hopefully, he'll post on this subject also. For myself, I can say that I was a timid child, climbing showed me my character flaws, and climbing has always been a discipline for me to continue to address those flaws. I hope this doesn't sound too "religious" or "metaphysical," because what I'm trying to express is really pretty simple. Basically, I've always been a chickensh#t, that defect has always threatened to run my life, even in everyday affairs, and climbing has been an ongoing means by which to keep the chicken at bay in my life as much as possible.

So, I have NEVER thought of myself or my climbing as worthy of special attention, or "bitchen" or anything like that. Now, I'm not trying to "sound humble" (thereby revealing pride). I think I've come to a fairly balanced view of myself (I should have by now, since I'm 46 and have a Ph.D. in philosophy!). I know I have done some noteworthy things, but MANY others have done FAR more noteworthy things! The Bird on Cerro Torre, for example, which is just ONE of his many awesome feats. When I say I've always climbed "for myself," I mean that climbing for me has been primarily FOR confronting the deep black hole in my soul.

What is the point of "hard" anyway? Why is "harder" a valuable attribue of climbing routes (all other things being equal)? I think it is what makes climbing superior to all other sports. Hard climbing has an element of very intentional risk, and that risk-taking is moment-by-moment and in your face in a way that jumping out of a plane, for example, is not. Now, I'm not dissing other extreme sports. All I'm saying is that climbing has for me allowed, even encouraged, a level of inner contemplation that has been simply amazing. I can look at a placement and have the time to think, "If this thing blows, I'm probably dead. Am I up for dead right now?" And then I get to think through the meaning of life, and so on (which might explain why Mark and I are so damned slow--we're contemplating more than we're climbing). :-)

Anyway, I think Wings was a great route... for Mark and I, because it did for us JUST what we both needed at that time. Like Mark, I think the route is reasonably repeatable and has other valuable attributes for the climbing community, and we DID care about the quality of the route we put up. However, it is also true that thinking about other's perceptions of the route was VERY secondary to me (I'm a fairly selfish climber insofar as I do it FOR that internal dialog)... that is until everything erupted the way it did. Then, suddenly, what everybody else thought became very important.

But for me, the route has always been the same in my mind, and some of the "great" things about that route were VERY private at the time, like looking a yet another micro-flake and thinking, "CRAP! Isn't it about time for another rivet? Do I HAVE to try that thing? I'm SICK of falling! CRAAAAPPP! But, it's there, so I have to stand on it." And then forcing myself to give the flake a try. And that FORCING is, for me, the essence of climbing--forcing myself to not ACT like the chickenshit I fundamentally am inside!

I also LOVE just being up there. It is like being on another planet. Everything is so RAW and real. Watching a falcon fly slowly past, almost close enough to touch... and then seeing a falcon stoop down the wall, sounding like a dreaded falling rock... such things are simply awesome. Maybe part of why I'm slower than most is just that I don't have any great sense of hurry. I know that's how a wall is going to be for me, so I bring enough stuff to be able to take my time. I like to quit early some days, just watch the colors change on the rocks, watch the little red mites scurrying around, and just BE THERE. I HOPE there are some of you out there who are not so jaded by the endless push that "faster is better" that you cannot resonate with what I'm describing.

At a very fundamental level, I see no greatness in any of the climbing I have done. That's just not what it has ever been about to me. I love the being there, yet, on hard climbs I also always feel a sort of desperation, and the chicken is always threatening to win! Knowing myself as I do, there's nothing "bitchen" about it. I don't have genuine courage... I have merely developed a strong will.

Wings was hard for me; it might not be hard for somebody else. That sort of thing is a very subjective evaluation. However, I guess the point of this forum topic HAS been to discuss as best we can the OBJECTIVE features of the route, and we have always told the truth about those! For me, I'm just always trying to not act like a chickensh#t--I don't know what others will find on Wings of Steel.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 26, 2005 - 10:59pm PT
That's a very cool post. I think we can all relate to your perspective there in some way.

I especialy like this quote!

"If this thing blows, I'm probably dead. Am I up for dead right now?"
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 26, 2005 - 11:29pm PT
Lambone, I have NO problem with your posts... let me get that out right up front. Of course, I don't know you at all, so I can't speak to some of the things others are saying about you....

I'm not SURE that we did the second ascent of Intifada, although I'm not SURE that I have hands either. But, I'm reasonably confident. I think we did the route two or three months after the second of the two Climbing mag articles about the route; Mark is more detail-oriented, so he probably knows exactly, and I don't remember for sure about that. But it was shortly thereafter, and the route hadn't had a published second at time of publication.

Trust me, I don't take calling someone a liar lightly, and I'm not calling Beyer a liar about the angle holes. I don't know who drilled them. However, Jack Herer suggests that Beyer claims there were no holes deeper than 1/4-inch, and that simply isn't true, regardless of the drilled angles. But, that's not the reason I called Beyer a liar--all his major claims about the route are flagrantly false. So, my point was simply to say that Beyer has no credibility in my mind about ANY claims he makes about the route, including whether or not he drilled any angle holes. He has lied about other things and been caught in the lies, so he is the prime suspect in my mind about the angle holes as well.

It is true that somebody else MIGHT have gotten up the route before Mark and I, although it's unclear to me why they wouldn't have said anything about that (of course, unless they are hiding a rape). I only know that Mark and I didn't drill the angle holes, and my "liar" comments were reserved for Beyer's PUBLISHED claims about the route that are clearly false.

Nobody likes being called a liar, that's for sure. So, it's best not to lie, and then you don't risk getting caught in a lie. I believe in giving people ALL the benefit of the doubt UNTIL I catch them misrepresenting or lying--people did NOT treat Mark and I that way regarding Wings, and THAT is my complaint regarding being called and treated like a liar. But, I've never published crap, either.

Regarding your "stylistic" posts, I'm not even sure what "style" means anymore. The issues most hotly debated about Wings of Steel had to do with things other than "style" as I tend to think about it. The issues seemed to be about quite objective facts: bat hooks? a route we chopped behind ourselves? "a thousand bolts to Horse Chute?" a "two hundred yard streak of feces and trash" below our bivies? And so on. People have "deduced" opinions about our "style" from their take on these "facts," and so it seems to me that the "stylistic" issues are really just inferences from factual issues. Regarding almost all of the "facts," our critics have been in error, and SOME of them have intentionally spread as "facts" that which they KNEW were in error.

If by "style" we're talking about taking a LONG time to work out an intricate and apparently "blank" line, then I can certainly understand why many would decry such a "style". I have no problem with that at all. I am a philosopher by trade, so I relish an open and reasonable (even "heated," but with emphasis on "reasonable") discussion about "style" and ethics. But, if you read the early posts on this forum topic, you find "style" conflated with ridiculous "factual" claims. Mark and I have tried to set the record straight about the actual facts, so maybe a discussion of "style" can be more productive now... but I would love to have "style" defined first of all.

Thanks for your posts!

Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 26, 2005 - 11:55pm PT
"a route we chopped behind ourselves?"

is the only thing I had ever heard about Wings of Steel before this thread. I though that was quite odd and egotistical...or something...it almost made me angry.

Glad to hear that is not true.

I still don't know if I'd ever attempt a route of that sort, but it does sound like exiting climbing. And it sounds like you wen't by the old moto, "if it holds I have to use it." hooking your way up that thing, and that is prowd style for sure.

I wasn't there in those days, but I can easily imagine being in the meadow looking up at your big camp wondering what the heck you were doing up there...kinda like Chongos hanging monstrosity on the Sea several years ago. I can see how the rumors would start flying.

As far as Beyer, closest I came to him was seeing some of his handy work up on Zodiac two years ago...a bunch of bolts beat with a hammer. While I agreed that the bolts ddn't belong there, I didn't see much good in bashing them into a pulp and leaving the mess behind. Trying to make some sort of statement I guess...

Anyway, cheers
ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
Oct 27, 2005 - 12:11am PT
matt ..

only reason i posted that comment was because these dudes have already had enogh questions lunged at them .. -- its time to give them some props for what sounds to me like a ballsy f*#ken route ..

Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 27, 2005 - 12:15am PT
I didn't ask them any questions dude...
Gunkie

climber
East Coast US
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 27, 2005 - 07:02am PT
I'd like to preface this post with: Not me!


So, who's going to do the second ascent?


I know this thread must have gotten some of the hardcore wall masters revved up a little bit. I think it would exciting just knowing some folks are taking a shot at it. I'm thinking the weather window may be too far over the horizon for this season. Maybe next October, early? Cooler temps, historically dry time of the year, looks easy to retreat the slab in case of another October 2004 type of storm...
KarlP

Social climber
Queensland, NorCal, Iceland
Oct 27, 2005 - 09:04am PT
anyone got a revised link to Mr Falkensteins images?
Burt

climber
Sin City
Oct 27, 2005 - 10:11am PT
Ammon go send man! Nobody likes the hooks like our boy Amdog! Sounds like a sick route, nothing like hooking for days on a slab! Yikes! Nice route your guys and I hope that some people might finally see that.
Burt
Ammon

Big Wall climber
Lake Arrowhead
Oct 27, 2005 - 01:47pm PT

Cool. It’s nice to see the first ascentionists posting up. Like I said, I only know what I've "heard" and see from the topo. I wasn't around at the time either.

Did you guys draw the topo? Is that the best one available in the Donny Reid book?

I guess there's nothing left to do but go up there and see first hand what it's all about, huh?

Cheers, Ammon

Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Oct 27, 2005 - 02:03pm PT
What makes most any movement actually move in a more enlightened direction is that folks in said movement are fluent with, and to some extent, part of, previous phases of the movement. Especially in a technical sport like aid climbing, a person and the sport is best served by someone who goes out tryng to establish new routes to have first proved themselves on a whole stack of established routes--otherwise, you end up with throw-away efforts that completely go against the grain of what's acceptable and what is not.

I might be wrong, but the authors of Wings of Steel were not big wall veterans of much experience. hey surely must have done at least the Nose and Column and Leaning Tower and so forth; but I suspec had they taken the time to repeat a handful of the hard aid lines of the day, Wings of Steel would have looked different. As is I have to wonder what it contributed of the history of wall climbing. And moreover, if El Capitan could talk, what would they have said of the route and those who put it up??

JL
pc

Trad climber
Thousand Oaks, CA
Oct 27, 2005 - 02:25pm PT
That's the usual model but what if...

For example Charlie Parker, great great sax player, who showed up on the scene in the 30's playing very "wild stuff". He wasn't accepted for that but stuck around and "conformed" for a while...Then gradually started doing his own thing again. This time it was accepted and well respected. What does that say about Charlie's early work? Still brilliant but out of progression?

Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Oct 27, 2005 - 02:42pm PT
One crucial point about Yardbird Parker--he didn't come from nowhere. He was very much part of the prevailing movement BEFORE he started doing things his own way.

For the record (the floowing is cribbed from athe web), Parker had his first music lessons in the local public schools; he began playing alto saxophone in 1933 and worked in semi-professional groups before leaving school in 1935 to become a full-time musician. From 1935 to 1939, he worked mainly in Kansas City with a wide variety of local blues and jazz groups. Like most jazz musicians of his time, he developed his craft largely through practical experience: listening to older local jazz masters, acquiring a traditional repertory, and learning through the process of trial and error in the competitive Kansas City bands and jam sessions.

The key here is that Parker "acquired a traditional repertory," meaning he was fluent on what was going on. Once he mastered the accepted way of doing things, THEN he moved beyond it.

My question is whether or not the guys who authored Wings of Steel had ever mastered or even acquired a "traditional repertory."

JL
pc

Trad climber
Thousand Oaks, CA
Oct 27, 2005 - 02:53pm PT
True. I'm just counter modelling here. Let's assert that some of Parker's early solos were "distasteful" to his peers and the masses because they'd never heard stuff like that before. Once he'd hung for awhile and played with the "in" crowd, they began to appreciate his style, etc. Doesn't that imply that you/they could go back and "re-appreciate" his early solo work?

As an artist/musician I like looking at things with a fresh perspective. Sometimes if you only look at something once you've built the standard "tools of the trade" you aren't open to the same leaps.





pc

Trad climber
Thousand Oaks, CA
Oct 27, 2005 - 02:55pm PT
BTW I love the Bird connection here...
jeff benowitz

climber
Oct 27, 2005 - 02:56pm PT
John, John, John what is with this juvenile logic from someone with your educational background in the history of climbing. I would point out that the blokes made the fifth ascent of sea of dreams, but its not relevant. What is relevant is the fact that some people are trend setters. For example, Jed Kallen Brown, a 20 year old kid, climbed a new route on kichatna spire for his first wall. Is that a shame, should he have climbed the south face of the column first? My third wall was the second ascent of Jesus built my hotrod. We didn't own a drill than and don't own one now. should we as kids not have been allowed to climb the route cause it was hard? or should we commend people for climbing beyond there experience? was Einstein part of a movement? or did he work in a patent office when he came up with his ground break ideas about relativity? You can knock someone for a drill job, but since you nor I have done the route, we don't really know what kind of drilling was done. But to knock someone for doing something hard before there "time" is poor at best and stupid at worst. Your bit gives the impression the blokes did something unacceptable, yet you fail to mention what, which doesn't give them a chance to defend themselves. What's the beef? IE spell it out John. What did they do on wings of steel that was unacceptable to you? How do you know they did it? If your purely twisted because they didn't do what you though was enough hard routes first, do you have a list that I should climb before I put up a first in Yosemite? which I've done-without once again carrying a bolt kit-can you saint john holder of the philosphy torch claim that you put a big wall in Yosemite without even bringing a bolt kit? Those who have not sinned should cast the first bolt or some such.......
on a side note. hey ammon, hope all is well, missed you in august, getting surgery over christmas, so see you around the stone(s) in the future.
Landgolier

climber
the flatness
Oct 27, 2005 - 03:08pm PT
Now THIS is a thread.

Ammon, if you do make a run at it, I have it on good authority that a list of guys who are willing to help hump loads to the base is posted near the left side of the screen on this very thread.

('cept me, I'll be in Red Rocks)
mike hartley

climber
Oct 27, 2005 - 04:17pm PT
Scanning my collection of quotes for an unrelated reason and came across this gem, which seems fitting for this thread:

There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt before investigation. Herbert Spencer
wildone

climber
right near the beach, boyeee (lord have mercy)
Oct 27, 2005 - 04:21pm PT
True. And I want some "El Cap Pics" of the send.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 27, 2005 - 04:24pm PT
Largo (JL) wrote:
> I might be wrong, but the authors of Wings of Steel were not big wall veterans of much experience. hey surely must have done at least the Nose and Column and Leaning Tower and so forth; but I suspec had they taken the time to repeat a handful of the hard aid lines of the day, Wings of Steel would have looked different.

I don't agree. What would repeating The Shield, Pacific Ocean Wall, Sea of Dreams, etc. change about how they climbed the slab? It takes the low-angle hooking like they did. No techniques from the Shield Roof, Triple Cracks, etc. apply. Plus as Richard noted, they might have even learned bad habits from the Sea of Dreams regarding drilled hooking. All the failed repeat attempts on Wings of Steel have proven that it is no mere bolt ladder put up by unskilled climbers. And the time it takes to repeat a "handful fo the hard aid lines of the day" is a lot to ask. Plus, in 1981, the yellow (1982) Meyers guide with all the big wall topos did not exist. Maybe in 1982 or later, repeating the hard routes would have been a more accessible option. It takes a dream and a vision to go out there and get on a hard FA without the comforts of knowing you're a big-time wall veteran. That is something to aspire to, not a valid basis for criticism from the peanut gallery. Unless of course their route had bolts/holes next to usable features, which is quite clearly not the case.

Others have pointed out the basis for criticism of the route is that the slab is too blank and requires "too many" holes. Richard Jensen has answered this criticism nicely - the yardstick of a given number of holes (145 for Wings of Steel, according to Charles Cole's article in ~1986) does not apply as well to the largely (but not completely) crackless slab. It's easy to understand the opposition by the valley locals, expecting another potential Wall of Early Morning Light drillfest or even worse. Plus maybe the perception of Jensen and Smith as inexperienced outsiders, or "taking forever". But we've since seen the 40+ day FAs and large hanging camps of the Gallego brothers, and prior to Wings of Steel there was Kroger and Davis, relative unknowns on the FA of the Heart Route. So we are finally able to get the right perspective on Wings of Steel.

Thanks for posting all the details, Richard and Mark! Us aid climbing history buffs and occasional El Cap climbers who missed the mags and slideshows at the time have wondered what the story was!

On the topo (1987 Meyers&Reid guide), the only mention of bathooks is on the p13 traverse to Aquarian. How did that get on the topo? Does it really just mean Leeper pointed? I realize that sometimes when (wrong) things get into print they "take on a life of their own", and take Richard's statements that no bathooks were used as the truth. I'm just curious about the published version of the topo.

As Ammon said, is there a better topo? Published in 1983 Climbing? Maybe Greg can check his Climbing mag collection? If Richard or Mark mail me a copy of the original topo, I will scan it and put it on my website. (Not that I am looking to repeat it; I'm light, but I wouldn't stand up to the falls - um, because I'm *light*!).
darod

Trad climber
New York
Oct 27, 2005 - 04:31pm PT
Thanks JL for giving your two cents. Your post however, sheds great light on regards what pissed people off back when WOS was put up. It actually just confirm what was obvious: they didn't pay their respects, they didn't prove themselves to the "community" FIRST. How dare they!!??

Jeff, Clint, I couldn't agree more with your comments.

Pretty transparent I think, lots of local pride (the wrong kind), that's all.

darod.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 27, 2005 - 06:21pm PT
I sit in Largo's camp.

While not to disrespect their climb, I think it is foolhardy to jump on a big wall with a big bag of bolts ensuring your sucess.

Perhaps they did utalize their hooks to the best of their ability...regardless...like the great one said, "it's carrying your courage in a rucksack."

"What would El Cap say?" is an awesome question.
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Oct 27, 2005 - 06:43pm PT
i remember living in kansas in the early 90's. I was misguided having been part of an SLC crowd in the late 70s thru the 80's having the opportunity to climb with Mugs, G. Lowe and others.

Misguided? When I learned that guys like Anker, Shaw and others were doing big walls in a day in Yos I thought what the hey, I can do that! I used to climb with those guys! My first Yos Wall was NIAD while training in my garage. Next was Salathe in a day. A middle aged guy wih a mortage from the midlands. I used to hate those adds "Your not in Kansas anymore". BS.

I remember at a slideshow party a bunch of KC climbers giving me sh#t because I had claimed to do such a thing. The slides pretty much shut them up.

While I did not do anything really out of the ordinary or extreme, it was for me and I am proud of those ascents.

Lambone and largo, I humbly disagree. The paved path is not always the best path for everyone. If it were, innovation and firsts would be doled out based upon ones "standing" as it were.

I believe that is the way it used to be in communist russia.

Great thread and thanks to everyone.
jeff benowitz

climber
Oct 27, 2005 - 07:14pm PT
"What would el cap think" is classic. Such a statement implies that you know what el cap would think, and that el cap would agree with you, which is also classic. Here's my two cents on "What would el cap think"

People like to hear themselves speak. To have their written words read. Painter’s ink etchings for others to view. A house built by an architect is not referred to as a home until someone moves in. Following this paradigm, in the micro-cosim of the world of climbing, a first ascent is often not recognized unless it has been witnessed, photographed, or written about.
Mountaineers are so accustomed to climbers speaking of their deeds, that it has been assumed in the past that a route and even a peak (in a few cases) haven’t been climbed because no one has made public pronouncements about the ascent. The following example of self-involved egocentric climbing actually occurred.
In the late 1980’s a party of aspiring climbers headed into the remote Revelation mountains of South Central Alaska. Their goal was a peak named the Angel, that had been attempted decades earlier by the famous mountaineer David Roberts. After much trial and tribulations the team succeeded in climbing the peak, only to find rappel slings on the summit tower.
Returning to “civilization” they were indignant that they had risked their lives and spent a small fortune to climb a prize that had unbeknownst to them had already been claimed. The second ascent party even laid a verbal assault against the folks--they tracked them down by finding out who had flown into the range recently--who had climbed the peak that stated they should have told people about their climb. The second ascentists claimed that they had some sort of fundamental right to know of the peak’s ascent. Tom Waters and his friends had climbed the Angel the year before, but felt no need to announce it to the world. The climbing was hard and challenging for them, but they climbed for personal reasons, not public. Mountains are not concerned about ascents or ascentists. Such is purely a human concern.
yo

climber
NOT Fresno
Oct 27, 2005 - 07:32pm PT
Dogpiling Largo. I won't join in.


I don't know, he's talking about the progression of the "movement," meaning big wall climbing and the aid community. He's not saying toe the line. His generation was pretty uppity, but they didn't come out of nowhere.


Did Mark and Richard have a blast doing their route? For sure.

Did it set a new standard for difficulty? No, because it wasn't accepted when put up, and now that window has passed.

Did it expand aid's possibilities? Maybe, that you can get up slabs. Again, was it accepted? No. Is it accepted? Still no.

Did the community benefit as a whole? Obviously no. Ill will still abounds.




Could the answer to all these have been yes?

Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Oct 27, 2005 - 08:12pm PT
Dogpile on, boys. What I have written and still write is nothing but my opinion--not the voice of God or any such hogwash--and everyone is obviously free to express their own. In asking what El Cap might think about the ascent does not imply that I know the answer, otherwise I would have provided the answer.

Nobody needs permission to climb anything. Not from me. Not from anyone. I never asked for permission or endorcement from anyone to climb anything at any time. But I was sensitive, at least to myself and my peers, that we conducted ourselves to the best of our abilities in a way that did the Yosemite climber proud, meaning we tried to push things as best we could because we felt there was a tradition to uphold, and if possible, advance.

At that time (70s), most of the people trying to uphold the tradition had nothing else of real importance in their lives, so we built on the past and tried to sustain the tradition. Elitist? Well, we tried to maintain an elite standard. That's what gave the thing meaning and direction.

There's nothing "wrong" with breaking with tradition--look at the sport climbing revolution. But sport climbing opened up a whole new world, and I simply wonder if Wings of Steel broke with tradition in a way that advanced the sport in the round. It's an interesting question, and one that everyone has to answer for themselves.

Lastly, I always felt that when you do a big new route with a lot of drilling, it's not just about you, the guys who make the first ascent. I still feel that way.

JL
WBraun

climber
Oct 27, 2005 - 08:16pm PT
Jeff said: "What would el cap think" is classic. Such a statement implies that you know what el cap would think and that el cap would agree with you ...."

Not so Jeff, that’s really what you are trying to imply not what Largo’s real question was. Such a question is actually presented to the owner of material nature the real doer.

The self is merely the witness to the movements of material nature. Although the self animates material nature, it becomes overwhelmed by material nature's influence and thinks itself to be the doer of acts that are in actuality performed by material nature. For example, the self animates material nature by the force of desire and then material nature consumes the self in an illusory world of misidentification.

This might be to way out there for most people to comprehend? But that’s ok too.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 27, 2005 - 11:00pm PT
To Clint Cummins:
The Meyers/Reid guide is correct about the bathooks connecting to Aquarian Wall on the last pitch. There are, I think, 10 bathooks getting across that traverse. I always tend to conflate "the route" with "the slab," since ongoing jibes like "a thousand bolts to Horse Chute" keep reminding me that everybody who was/is pissed off was/is pissed off about what we did on the great slab. So, what I have always meant when I talk about "the route" is the slab. Notice that not one person on this topic has even mentioned the 400 feet of overhanging copperhead seams getting from the slab to Aquarian Wall. Nobody tends to think about that part of the "route" as any issue, and so I just didn't think about that traverse either. But, to be as precise in speaking as possible, there are no bathooks on the slab; as is clearly stated on our original topo, and as all published topos show, there are some bathooks on the short traverse connecting Wings to Aquarian.

Now, since using bathooks was not our practice on the route, it bears explaination WHY we used them there just to exit our route into Aquarian Wall. At that point in the route we had three rivets left (I guess we didn't bring a big enough load of "courage in our rucksack," so to speak), we had dropped our sharpening stone somewhere during the last third of the slab (so all of our drill bits were really dull and would barely drill), and so we couldn't drill a ladder of full-depth bolts just to get ourselves off of our route and across to Aquarian (keep in mind that we were down to 600 calories per day by that point). The wall is overhanging there, so a lengthy pendulum was not an option (note a short tension traverse at the end of p13). Thus, our three rivets went into that traverse (one for the tension traverse) and the other placements are bathooks. I hope this explains our thinking and the existence of the anomolous bathooks.

To Ammon:
All topos I've seen are adapted from the original topo we drew in 1982. Our topo showed every hole (with 'r' for rivet and 'x' for bolt), so our topo required some adaptation to fit into a guidebook format. On the published topos, most of the X's that appear within pitches are zinc/aluminum (zamak style) rivets with button heads. Some pitch ratings have been downgraded either because guidebook editors assumed we overrated things or because ratings in general have deflated over time. The Meyers/Reid topo is plenty good enough to get you there.

You will want to a take a bunch of #2 heads (at least 40). We weren't smart enough in '82 (neither was anybody else) to realize that heads should ONLY be made from stainless steel cable, so the heads we didn't want to destroy getting out are surely JUNK by now!

Every anchor has a 3/8" bolt and so should still be ok. The bolts in pitches (and the other bolts at anchors) were 1/4" but with button heads, well placed, and with Leeper hangers (which were the best out there at the time). But after all these years they may be becoming suspect (we have personally broken two Leeper hangers over the years--not our own, but ones existing on other routes).

If you want to email me directly, I'll thrutch around to see if I can come up with an original topo to scan and send you.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 27, 2005 - 11:04pm PT
Clint,
Regarding “[there’s] mention of bathooks on the traverse to Aquarian. How did that get on the topo?”
The topo is accurate. There are no bat hooks in Wings of Steel throughout the Great Slab or the crack systems above the Overseer Roof. Wings of Steel comes to an end 50 feet right of Aquarian Wall. There is a 13 hole ladder ending in a tension traverse to join Aquarian. Ten of these holes (as I recall) are bat hooks because we were out of rivets. This short traverse has no natural placements and doesn’t require any skill beyond the basic movement between aid placements. We counted the 13 holes in our hole count, although the climb is basically over at the anchor starting the traverse.
John F. Kerry

Social climber
Boston, MA
Oct 28, 2005 - 07:08am PT
I respect JL immensely and always enjoy his writing.

Still: ...most of the people trying to uphold the tradition had nothing else of real importance in their lives...

IMO this is the key to the whole rock police enchilada, and it goes beyond WoS. It's not simply about "respecting the rock", "being one with the natural world" or "advancing a movement".

Here's what it's about: rock police craft their self-image and derive their self-esteem primarily from the feats they've accomplished on the stone. The worst of them don't have much else to live for. Anything (sport climbing) or anyone (Mark & Richard) who threatens that dynamic is put in the crosshairs. No arguments about hole counts and technical difficulty will sway them, because the issue is an emotional one not a logical one.

I am still waiting to hear why the Sea's drill enhancements are somehow mo' betta than WoS's drill enhancements. Oh, I know why: because famous locals did the drilling. OK.

deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Oct 28, 2005 - 08:24am PT
Madbolter-

This all seems like a case of a ongoing, 20 year "protesteth too much," situation if you ask me. I wasn't in the Valley when Wings of Steel went up, but remember hearing about the 145 holes during a time when the standard was to look for natural lines.

In other words, if you couldn't find a new natural line on El Cap, look elsewhere. There is something to be said for style and standards of the day.

Reading your posts about Wings of Steel, I sense an underlying arrogance:

"What we found, and what we have ALWAYS found (which is WHY I had no intention of devoting any more time to this forum after my first post), is that NOBODY would actually HEAR us or believe us. "

--how do you know? There seems to be more effort proselitizing the above statement than realizing that in reality no one really cared that much. The people who messed with your fixed ropes were definitely not the cutting edge Valley climbers of the day.

"we spent ENDLESS hours attempting dialog with people in the Valley, and we spent YEARS afterward at major climbing areas all over California explaining ourselves to the MANY people who would gather around to badger us"

--people only gather around if you call them, if it was a route truly for yourself, why talk about it at all?

"Mark and I quit counting aborted attempts on the route after about fifteen. "

--this seems like an example of caring more for the aftermath of the route than the "experience" itself.

Furthermore, is the name of the book promoting the climb really "Wings of Steel: A record 39 days on the face of El Capitan?" Spare me if so, a clear attempt to impress the non-climbing community. I'm amazed at how the general public are targeted with publicity about big numbers of days spent on a wall climb. Aquarian, right next door to your route, got climbed on the FA in four days. A lot more impressive, in my book.

Also, you keep quoting Slater as the reference of the fact that your route was at the top of the scale in difficulty. Slater was one of the best all round climbers of the day, close to the caliber of Alex Lowe, to be sure, but wall climbing wasn't his strongest suit. He rated a pitch A5+ on the Sheep Ranch,an unheard of grade at the time. I saw him when he and Barbella strolled into Camp 4, "Hardest route on El Cap!," was the first thing he said to me. When Xaver climbed that pitch, he thought that pitch A4/A4+ and even skipped a rivet (he missed it without seeing it until he was above it). And for sure, Xaver wasn't in the game of competive numbers just for the sake of promoting himself. And I found some of the other A4+ and A5 pitches moderate for the grade, A4 tops.

I sense you are trying to evangelize your cause so that people will finally believe that what you did was cutting edge and deserves "credit" for being so. Let it stand for itself if you really believe that.

Then you talk about being "silent" for 10 years. Writing a book isn't silence. It could be a good book about a wild personal experience, I don't know, I haven't read it, but gimme a break about "silence."

Lastly, from a climber's perspective, I'm a bit confused about a seeming contradiction about your drilling up there. There's a comment:

"if you can look at a Wings placement and say “that was done with a drill or chisel,” then you are looking at a rivet or a bolt."

--but earlier you mentioned that you enhanced hook placements.

Perhaps if you let up a little about convincing the climbing community of your "visionary" route (personally, I don't see it as such), you will reap more benefit of the personal experience itself, which is what I am sure you ultimately earnest about, and believe in your heart.


Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Oct 28, 2005 - 08:42am PT
Johnkerry wrote:

"I respect JL immensely and always enjoy his writing.

Still: ...most of the people trying to uphold the tradition had nothing else of real importance in their lives...

IMO this is the key to the whole rock police enchilada, and it goes beyond WoS. It's not simply about "respecting the rock", "being one with the natural world" or "advancing a movement".

Here's what it's about: rock police craft their self-image and derive their self-esteem primarily from the feats they've accomplished on the stone. The worst of them don't have much else to live for. Anything (sport climbing) or anyone (Mark & Richard) who threatens that dynamic is put in the crosshairs. No arguments about hole counts and technical difficulty will sway them, because the issue is an emotional one not a logical one."

Actually, that's your take on it, John, not mine.

JL
John F. Kerry

Social climber
Boston, MA
Oct 28, 2005 - 09:25am PT
"...Actually, that's your take on it, John, not mine..."

Exactly. I think I screwed up the bold/quoting in my post. Didn't mean to make it look like it was all quoting you or that the remainder of the post was your intent.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 28, 2005 - 10:11am PT
"...I wasn't in the Valley when Wings of Steel went up, but remember hearing about the 145 holes during a time when the standard was to look for natural lines.

In other words, if you couldn't find a new natural line on El Cap, look elsewhere. There is something to be said for style and standards of the day."


yeah, yeah...

a more concise version of what I was trying to say in my orginal posts. Per haps I am "not qualified to have an opinion," but surely duece and Largo are.

And I don't think their opions are based on the fact that MArk and Richard were not part of the "Camp 4 crew," I think it's an unwritten rule that you repect local standards and traditions at any climbing area that you are a new player in.

For instance, you wouldn't see me toting a power drill and rap bolting any of the hundreds of unclimbed faces in Castle Crags state park...although the territory is ripe for the picking. Because that's not how things get climbed in the Crags.

Rock Cops, sure maybe so...so what? What would our crags be like without rock cops?
nickh

climber
St. Louis, MO
Oct 28, 2005 - 10:18am PT
Forgive me JL if I am not remembering well, or I am out of context in some way, but I have been entertained and inspired more than once by tales of your youthful misadventures on southern California boulders.

Weren't you introduced to climbing by the dogmatic "outing clubs" at the time, though you came to reject their rigidity?

Weren't the behaviors of you and your crew frowned upoun by those in the clubs?

Weren't you considered to have not payed your dues when you tied in below the testpieces of the day?

In the end you and your cotemporaries pushed the level of climbing far above what it had been. Would you have been able to do this if you spent your time working your way up through the ranks of the clubs "properly", instead of "goofing off on the boulders".

Is you situation not-comparable to those of the FAists of Wings of Steel?

Nick
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Oct 28, 2005 - 10:19am PT
No harm done, John. It's just a strange thing to think of our group in terms of "Rock Police." We all considered ourselves rebels with no ideas of ownership--of the Valley and the standards and the new route potentials. I can grasp folks not wanting to account to anyone, or any standard, or any tradition. For myself, I was much the same, but I learned over time that this method tended to leave me in a vacume where I could no longer recognize my own bullsh#t. To safeguard against that, to keep myself honest, it was always helpful to have any new routes "peer reviewed," much as a scientist has his experiments confirmed by others to vouchsafe that they are real, or not. The peer review adds nothing to the original experience, and any resulting "fame" is so small (or was back then) as to be meaningless.

I guess it's confusing for a climbing team to come out of nowhere, do a big route, then sort of demand or at any rate expect fantastic reviews from the core climbing comunity to which they were, by choice, never really a part of. In fact such a review would be forthcoming if the route caught fire as a classic. But in their defense, perhaps Wings of Steel was wrongfully bad rapped from the get-go and folks have steered clear believing--corectly or otherwise--that the line was a contrived sham and a carny show. One thing is for sure--leading aid climbers have not been scared off the thing.

What we need is for some credible team to go up there and repeat he thing so we have some concrete data to go on. Till that happens we're all just blowing smoke.

JL
jeff benowitz

climber
Oct 28, 2005 - 11:09am PT
Werner my disagreement with “what elcap thinks” has less to do with
the base philosophy that everything has a consciousness, and more
to do with my personal view on relationships with such. Your relationship with
g-d is personal as is my relationship with “the mountains.” In the same way that it irks folks when someone says, “Your going to hell because you don’t believe what I believe.”, I would never state that the mountains I have a personal relationship with (plutonic as it maybe) are passing judgment on others actions. I guess it goes even deeper, to the basis of my upbringing. Jews don’t have a heaven or hell. There is no such in the old testament-ask a highly educated Rabbi if you disagree-. I was taught not even to say the name of g-d, to do such would be disrespect. As my dad used to say, “Jeff g-d is none of your business, cleaning your room and helping your sister with her math, that is your business.” Does that make sense? Oh if anyone is wondering, Yes "us jews" own all the banks(so be nice) and control the "world governemnt." Me, my uncle Saul, gave me Iran (cause I was not nice to my sister and used my yumaka as a frisbee) and I got some work to do there next month.
the Fet

Trad climber
Loomis, CA
Oct 28, 2005 - 11:11am PT
First of all: Best Thread Ever! IMO.

It's interesting to me that after the WEML people still think you can dictate another climbers style. Length of time, amount of gear used, publicity, etc. is a personal choice that no other person can really specify. There is no pefect style (except a shoeless, chalkless, onsight free solo) so you do the best you can. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

IMO the hole count is possibly justified dependent on the quality of the climbing. A fantastic line full of difficult, aesthetic climbing can justify the use of holes on blank sections. No one ever repeated the line so we have no idependent opinions as to the quality of the climbing. Yet the route was trashed without this vital info (we are all just blowing smoke as Largo says).

Did the FA party expect accolades or are they just upset their route/effort was dissed without any real inspection? Maybe both?

Did the community at the time trash their effort without giving it a chance? Did the FA party charge in and do a route without establishing themselves first and give it a controversial name creating animosity? Maybe both?

One thing for sure IMO, anyone who trashes/craps on someone elses gear, uses violence, smashes hangers instead of trying to cleanly remove bolts, or chops a route without climbing it first is motivated by ego, not service to the climbing community.
yo

climber
NOT Fresno
Oct 28, 2005 - 11:32am PT
Yes "us jews" own all the banks and control the "world governemnt." Me, my uncle Saul, gave me Iran (cause I was not nice to my sister and used my yumaka as a frisbee) and I got some work to do there next month.

hahaha

Jeff, two questions:
1. Is your middle name really Apple?
2. If so, does it chap yer ass that Gyneth Paltrow named her girl kid Apple?



What's the current +/- on Ammon's second ascent in a push?

I say 22:30.
WBraun

climber
Oct 28, 2005 - 11:46am PT
“This science of ethics was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the ascensionists understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore this science appears to be lost."

The eternal rules exist to guide us to the proper understanding that will transcend our mundane limitations and faults to establish the eternal laws which guard the absolute truth.

Powers that we are witnessing at hand on this subject matter go far beyond the people involved here; there is no room for mundane speculation.

Thus we see now the all too familiar hypocrisy and quarrel that abounds in our present age.

Best wishes for the continuation of the debate and the second ascent :-)
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 28, 2005 - 02:40pm PT
deuce4-
Responding to “’If you can look at a Wings placement and say “that was done with a drill or chisel,” then you are looking at a rivet or a bolt.’ --but earlier you mentioned that you enhanced hook placements.”

Your confusion probably stems from the fact that what I meant by “enhanced” is not what “enhanced” is generally taken to mean. On the Sea, for instance, enhanced meant some kind of hole drilled diagonally behind a flake or into a sloping ledge (at a critical point on Hook or Book, on a 45 degree slope!). Such holes were designed to take the point of a taper-ground Chouinard/Black Diamond Cliffhanger. On Wings of Steel “enhanced” means that we chipped out a crystal at the back of a ledge so the point of a Leeper Narrow could rest at the back the ledge. Typically only a single crystal was chipped out, although on some larger ledges where there was a crust of decomposing rock we chipped out several crystals in order to find solid rock. Our "enhancements" didn't create a hole or go diagonally into the cliff. There are many enhanced hook placements on Wings of Steel, but, unlike the Sea, when you do the climb you won’t be able to tell which flakes were enhanced and which ones weren’t.
jeff benowitz

climber
Oct 28, 2005 - 04:01pm PT
Whoa M smith. In a lot of people's book every time the drill touches the rock it should be in the hole count. Now I'm starting to understand the "situation." I know it might be semantics, but if the placement wasn't good enough to use without using a drill, than by definition it should be in the hole count. Just cause you made a body weight hole, instead of a ½ inch bolt doesn’t change the count. Sure it makes it “harder” and scarier to chip a hook instead of drill a bolt, but either way you are bringing the rock down to your level. How many times did the drill come out? Be honest, or is the number to high to remember? Sorry for lambasting ya John, tar and feather the blokes for all I care.
atchafalaya

Trad climber
California
Oct 28, 2005 - 04:13pm PT
this thread sounds like when someone tells their girlfriend "what I meant to say was"... when its already way too late to say anything that is gonna mean anything

was that unintelligible?
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Oct 28, 2005 - 04:25pm PT
It's commendable that the "enhanced" flakes look natural, but of course, that's what Jardine was doing when he was pushing the free variant up on the Nose, and that wasn't acceptable by the norm then, either, never has been.

In aid, of course, it has always been an occasional technique to break off a loose flake or something to make a placement, but think about it en masse, and you may be coming closer to the questions people were raising at the time.

You can be sure that Grossman never "enhanced" any of his hooks without acknowledging it on the lower pitches of Jolly Rodger, steeper and just as thin--the epitome of difficult natural hooking (emphasis on natural).

Don't get me wrong, I am sure Wings of Steel involves terrifying hooking ptiches, but there's a big difference in the experience if you have a drill and/or chisel by your side and are willing to enhance to your level.

In aid, many people seem to mistake the end result with the experience itself. The purpose of the resulting number, for example, is really only to warn your friends what they can expect, not to announce to the world of your prowess.

I always thought that the left side of El Cap slab will go free someday.
Gene

climber
Oct 28, 2005 - 05:01pm PT
Madbolter1 says:
“We did NOT use bat hooks on the route. At all. Period.”
Unambiguous.

Later Madbolter1 says:
“The Meyers/Reid guide is correct about the bathooks connecting to Aquarian Wall on the last pitch. {SNIP} So, what I have always meant when I talk about "the route" is the slab.”
I guess it's how you define the route.

MSmith avoids bathooks with a second definition of the route:
“There are no bat hooks in Wings of Steel throughout the Great Slab or the crack systems above the Overseer Roof. Wings of Steel comes to an end 50 feet right of Aquarian Wall.”


MSmith states:
Your confusion probably stems from the fact that what I meant by “enhanced” is not what “enhanced” is generally taken to mean.
Those pesky definitions.

Even though I think it would be cool if WoS were a maligned but masterful testpiece, I can see why some have a problem understanding and accepting the claims of the FA party.

madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 28, 2005 - 07:07pm PT
Wow, a lot has happened while I was at work today! I won't be responding at this point, though, as it's the Sabbath. So that people don't think I'm pushing my religion in everybody's faces, I'll cast it this way: Rather than to be accused of inconsistency again, "Soooo, you won't CLIMB on the Sabbath, but you'll post debate ABOUT climbing on the Sabbath..." I'll forego responding to some of the ridiculous, uncharitable posts until sometime on Sunday evening. 'Till then....
Russ Walling

Social climber
THIS SPACE FOR RENT
Oct 28, 2005 - 07:15pm PT
I really hate to do it.... this thread is already taking half a day to load, but:

WosS FAist writes: Our "enhancements" didn't create a hole or go diagonally into the cliff. There are many enhanced hook placements on Wings of Steel, but, unlike the Sea, when you do the climb you won’t be able to tell which flakes were enhanced and which ones weren’t.

This is the fatal flaw with the "method". If I can't tell which flakes have been ENHANCED, then am I allowed to ENHANCE my hook placements in order to do the route? How do I know I am even doing the correct route? Do I need to spend full days out on lead with a lupe just to get a legitimate ascent? Here is where it is total bullsh#t. I have been hosed by missing bat hook holes on a route and ended up bailing, only to come back to finish the route with a new topo showing the holes. It appears the same will happen to any fool who tries to do a second of WofS, and a good style ascent just may be impossible. Definining the degree of ENHANCEMENT is a silly game. The difference between we only cleaned a little with the drill, and drilling a hole is minimal in my book. I think I actually would prefer a hole with something in it.

Side note: Even though I dig Slater and knew him pretty well, his failures on your route are not giving me a lot of insight into the difficulty. Rob was a very good wall climber, but not the best around. He had problems with other routes and multiple tries to ascend, but, and after this new info, maybe it was not a Slater problem at all on this particular route. It just might have been the route itself.

Double side note™™™:
Really glad you guys are around for this dialog. Much appreciated!
yo

climber
NOT Fresno
Oct 28, 2005 - 08:14pm PT
Hey, Fish, it's the Sabbath™.

Hush thy self.
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Oct 28, 2005 - 11:10pm PT
I work for the government. so when I say somethin is becoming clear, you can bet your ass it is geting murkier...like this thread....
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Oct 29, 2005 - 10:36am PT
Let's summarize:

We're talking about a route put up in an era long ago, which was controversial at the time, but since then had faded into obscurity along with its original controversy, until recently.

We have two of the original ascentionists in the conversation.

One of them, MSmith seems quite honest and sincere, but also completely oblivious to the fact that the repeated use of chiseled hooks and the extensive use of bolts on a El Cap first ascent may have caused some consternation among the experienced practicioners of the sport at the time.

The other, madbolter1, seems indignant that the world hasn't been astonished as his prowess of his ascent of El Cap, and considers any critique on his route as "ridiculous and uncharitable," and has dissed in so many words some of the top aid climbers in history, namely Jim Bridwell and Jim Beyer, presumably to enhance his own reputation of being more skilled than them. By repeatedly bringing in his religious beliefs (which in reality has nothing to do with this conversation except that it may have added a week to their time on the route), he seems to make some connection of his religion with the public perception of his route, feeling persecuted on both counts (perhaps showing a hint of a Jesus complex?).

Because it seems apparent that the ascentionists haven't climbed too many routes other than those that have a significant "reputation" of top difficulty, which they repeated with what seems like the sole purpose to gain credibility for themselves and for their ability to publicly announce to the world that their route was harder, it seems difficult to ascertain that these climbers are climbing purely for their own "personal experience" as claimed. In fact, it seems like the sole motive is to convince the world that Wings of Steel was somehow ahead of its time, despite the fact that they admit enhancing the natural features considerably.

Finally, at the time and perhaps even more so now, the standards of aid climbing has been to climb massive walls in as pure style as possible, meaning using natural features; if no natural features are available, to use a rivet rather than chipping, bathooking, chisseling, or otherwise altering the stone in a short-term manner of thinking, a fact these ascentionists seem completely unwilling to accept, even 20 years after the event.

The first ascentionist's lifelong insistence on promoting their actions as a high standard simply because of the resulting difficulty of their manufactured route seems to suggest that they therefore feel deserving of accolades as pioneers, instead of what it finally really appears to be, a trio of inexperienced climbers trying to make a name for themselves.

Gunkie

climber
East Coast US
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 29, 2005 - 11:50am PT
"...a trio of inexperienced climbers..."

Who is the third climber?
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Straight Outta Squamton
Oct 29, 2005 - 12:53pm PT
Uhhh, typo?

BTW, I was at the Supertopo launch-party, and If this isn't the best thread yet, it's close.

Gunkie

climber
East Coast US
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 29, 2005 - 02:06pm PT
" Uhhh, typo? "

OK, that makes sense. This thread had blown up and I haven't read every single post so I thought maybe I missed some inside information on a reticent third member of the Wings of Steel party.
wildone

climber
right near the beach, boyeee (lord have mercy)
Oct 29, 2005 - 02:09pm PT
c'mon 200!
I agree, although I've only been lurking for 3 years or so.
Carry on...
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Oct 29, 2005 - 03:14pm PT
Hmm, actually, I always thought there was a third person up there. Maybe because I couldn't imagine the gazillion loads of gear only supplying two people.

What gets me in all this, is all the years I would say, "Hey, well, I'm sure it's a hard route," and somewhat defending their right to have climbed it (in principle), even though I was always aware that the style wasn't the best.

But after seeing the motivations and pitiful self-righteousness of one of the first ascentionists, things seem different to me.

Maybe I'm just getting crusty...

Then again, maybe it's just a big troll, and madbolter1 is someone else posing as a arrogant dimwit. One can only hope.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 29, 2005 - 05:09pm PT
Oh, oh, OH!

So you guys only enhanced the hook placements a little bit!

Then perhaps we need a new rating system?

E1 - only one crystal removed and you can't tell which one
E2 - two crystals removed but you might be able to tell if you use a magnifying glass
E3 - drill tip used to enhance, but you probably won't notice because we never mentioned it

Etc.

Damn, just when things seemed to start cooling down, they get really interesting! I can see three stars outside, so the Sabbath has ended here, at least in the Eastern Time Zone.

I am Praise the LORD and Pass the Pitons Pete,
and I climb, type and even drink on Sundays.

P.S. Glad to hear you guys are cool with wine. I brought a couple nice bottles of shiraz on my last two-week El Cap ascent, and of course the extra water to fight dehydration on the wall.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Oct 29, 2005 - 05:14pm PT
This is fun

Something from earlier makes me wonder about the troll element, but surely they will address it.
James

Social climber
My Subconcious
Oct 29, 2005 - 05:34pm PT
...we're listening...
kevin Fosburg

Sport climber
park city,ut
Oct 29, 2005 - 06:30pm PT
It's interesting how this discussion goes on without ever seeming to resolve . I wonder if it is because, as some have asserted, aid climbing is not really climbing at all but just a means of mechanical hoisting albeit subject to various "ethical" (and ultimately arbitrary) considerations. Perhaps the crucial aspect is the use/non-use of a hammer to manipulate the medium. First and early ascenscionists enjoy a huge advantage before a route has gone clean. Perhaps hammer/drill users are simply splitting butt-hairs talking about difficulty. The earlier the ascent, the greater the false pride.
WBraun

climber
Oct 29, 2005 - 06:42pm PT
"The earlier the ascent, the greater the false pride."

Kevin; what's that mean?
kevin Fosburg

Sport climber
park city,ut
Oct 29, 2005 - 07:51pm PT
You know, the Bridwellian axiom, "first ascents are where it's at, everyone else is just jackin'".
yo

climber
NOT Fresno
Oct 29, 2005 - 08:41pm PT
Climbing's climbing. Gravity's the same everywhere. Fight it how you can.


I can't believe that monster post was a troll. Who's got that kind of time? Besides dirtbags and weird climbing loners and internet tweakers?



Oh.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 30, 2005 - 12:48am PT
you guys are a bunch of fence sitters.

look up earlier in the thread where I mentioned "poor style." and the resonses I got from all yall.

now duesce seys the same things, in much better language. and all yall are just now in his corner taunting the key players back into the game.

lame

I'm still waiting for ricardo to buck up and tell duece or Russ to go climb ther route...! ;)

I'm out
WBraun

climber
Oct 30, 2005 - 07:52am PT
Whata mean you're out Lambone? I thought we are having a discussion on the science of "Zen and the Art of Aid Climbing"?

What do you think this is some kind of boxing match?

History, intrigue, mystery, and why does El Cap face southwest and northwest ..... stay tuned to your Supertopo channel “Wings of Steel”

By the way I read this line in Tom Higgins "Tuolumne Meadows" article in that other thread…..

"Obviously, no one has the right to tell another climber how to climb as long as the rock is not hurt ......(Tom Higgins)
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 30, 2005 - 08:35am PT
jeff benowitz --“if the placement wasn't good enough to use without using a drill, than by definition it should be in the hole count.”

Jeff, I won’t argue that one can’t sanely hold an ethic that touching the drill, even for a stroke, should count as a hole. I will argue that you’re advancing an amazing standard. A great deal of hard aid on El Cap involves heading, typically #2’s in spotty seams where you have to hunt down pockets to get placements. You don’t have to go very many placements until you have an otherwise usable natural pocket except for a crystal or obstruction on one side or the other. Typically a single whack of the pick of the hammer into the pocket and problem is gone. Is that basically placing a hole? If so, then what about just smashing the head in and letting it take out the crystal directly? Same effect. Is that a hole? What about chipping the top of a nubbin to sling it? Another hole there? Or maybe not as long as you chip it with the pick of your hammer instead of with your drill. I have two concerns with where you are going. First, your standard is amazingly high. A crystal’s modification and we have a hole, add it to the count. Second, you are holding us to an unprecedented level of scrutiny, a standard which the Yosemite climbing community has never held any of their own to. Climbs like the Sea and Zenyatta (the standards of the day) have all sorts of overt modifications which no one has been worried about. To paraphrase Charles Bronson, “If someone is a murder, they are probably a liar too.” We can only assume that climbs like the Sea have every manner of modification from a stroke of the hammer to things that are half way (or more) to a bat hook behind the top of a flake. Have you even thought to ask the Bird if he knows how many total “holes” (using your standard) are in his climbs? The answer is undoubtedly “no.” Had the Bird done Wings of Steel using our style no one would be challenging his crystals. Is the real issue here how the climb was done, or who did the climb? I should also add that a hole “by definition” is a cylindrical shaft, an inherently concave structure. The enhancements on Wings of Steel are not concave. Come up with a term like “dirty” if you feel the need for a label, but “hole” isn’t the term to use.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 30, 2005 - 08:37am PT
deuce4 – “In aid, of course, it has always been an occasional technique to break off a loose flake or something to make a placement, but think about it en masse, and you may be coming closer to the questions people were raising at the time.”

It seems like part of the complaint is the ‘quantity’ of modifications. I totally agree that it is a legit concern, and well expressed. I can’t recall the figure, but Wings of Steel has somewhere around 150 hooks. At least 10% of these saw modification. I feel safe to say that less that 20% did. That would come to about 20 -25 over the climb. (Richard, if that doesn’t jive with your recollection, feel free to jump in.) So I don’t know if that falls into the category of “occasional” which, as you acknowledge, is standard Yosemite ethics, or whether if qualifies as “en mass.” I could have described our number of modifications as “several,” but to me “several” means 3-5, maybe 3-10. So I used the word “many.” The only reason Wings of Steel could work as a climb is its less than vertical nature. On an overhanging wall you need a pit to make things go. On the Great Slab a flat surface is reliable. The number of micro-ledges and flakes on the Slab with flat tops usually left us with the problem of figuring out which one was best, not where to find one at all. Moreover, most of the flakes on the Slab are too small to be banging into as they are smaller than the diameter of the drill itself! If Jeff wants to count every modification as a hole, then consider the climb to have 165-170 holes.

“there's a big difference in the experience if you have a drill and/or chisel by your side and are willing to enhance to your level.”
It seems we are back an argument of ‘quality’ of enhancement. As I think should be clear from my post that kicked off this debate, we didn’t modify flakes “to [our] level.” If a flake was otherwise usable but had an obstruction at the back, we chipped the obstruction to get a flat spot big enough to take the tip of a Leeper Narrow (which as you know has a tip of almost no size). We didn’t say, “Gee, while I’m here, I think I’ll just bring this puppy down to my comfort level.”

One point I’ll throw in, although I realize this deviates from the topic. Regarding hook modifications, we could have said it never happened and sold the story. But we have attempted to be honest and transparent, offering both supporting points to our climb and points that are open to criticism so that those following this thread can form a judgment based on the entire truth. Our forthrightness should be worth something.

“I always thought that the left side of El Cap slab will go free someday.”
A great point. I don’t know if by “always” you meant in ’82 which was before sticky rubber. At the time it never crossed my mind that it could go free someday. With each passing year it seems more conceivable.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 30, 2005 - 08:38am PT
Gene, Lot’s of good points being made. I don’t see the complaint of the bat hook traverse exiting the climb as one of them. The climb’s last pitch had a total of 13 placements which consisted of 3 rivets and 10 bat hooks because we only had 3 rivets on us. That fact of the bat hooks is inconsequential to the intent or essence of anything we’ve said. Every topo we’ve ever released or has been published notes the bat hooks. It’s not a secret that accidentally escaped from the closet.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 30, 2005 - 08:40am PT
Farrokh Bulsara–“This is the fatal flaw with the "method". If I can't tell which flakes have been ENHANCED, then am I allowed to ENHANCE my hook placements in order to do the route? How do I know I am even doing the correct route?

Russ (do we have to be friends to call you Fish?),
Well, dang. Maybe we needed to do enough modification to every flake that our path would be clear? Hey, I do agree that exact flake finding is a challenge on Wings. There are enough bolts and rivets to point the direction, but there is no way any two ascents will use the exact same placements. I think Richard spoke with Slater after his trip to the 5th anchor. Ask him if Slater ever complained of getting lost. Regarding this thread, it’s just about to the place of needing a high speed connection.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 30, 2005 - 08:41am PT
Piton Pete, E1, E2, E3, that was classic. Wings of Steel, A5 E2!

Hey, this tread has been a good discussion. The time it’s taking me to download it tells me it’s probably about run its course. Of course I’ll be willing to respond more, but if you don’t hear back don’t think I’m bailing. Hope it’s been as enlightening for you as for me.

MS

Drill First, Think Later™ lol
Landgolier

climber
the flatness
Oct 30, 2005 - 11:15am PT
Man, this is one for the thinking caps. Lemme offer up something that struck me, a crappy aid climber but a slab fanatic, as interesting.

Most hard aid is vertical or overhung most of the time, whereas what these guys were doing was a massively sustained slab. Their technique certainly can't be called clean, but it seems like what they were really doing was using hooks on slab the way that you use pitons on more "normal" terrian. I mean, the whole principle of nailing with modern hard steel pins is that you're going to make the rock conform, ever so slighly, to the pin, and the next guy's going to nail it out a little more, and so on and so on. Granted eventually people are going to start stuffing brassies and offset aliens in those holes and the route is going to go clean (or at least cleaner), but it's not like there isn't some rock destruction going on.

Your average pin placement certainly takes out a crystal or three, which by our ethics is ok for FA's. It seems like the only difference here is that these guys whacked the rock with the pick or the tip of a drill rather than the pro itself, which while it reminds most of us of chipping holds or ditch witching a head placement isn't really that different from blasting an Arkansas Toothpick LA into some crack. Yeah, the next guys that come along aren't going to be able to use (or find) all the same little flake ridges, so maybe they do 50% new placements. Granted these suckers would be harder to see than your average pin scar, but maybe after 5-6 ascents there's enough of them going on that the route goes clean. Yeah, the drill/pick would have to come out on early repeats, but ethically I think this is closer to just nailing on a repeat than it is to drilling new rivets or bat hook holes. Maybe not exactly the same, but certainly closer. Perhaps it will also go free some day and will do so at a lower grade than it would have in virgin state, but from what I understand of the free ascents of the Nose it basically only goes because of the pin scars.

Maybe I'm just bullshitting here, but again, what's so radically different about bashing some crystals in a crack to make a pin fit and picking some boogers off a microflake to make a hook stick? It's definitely not classic hooking ethics, but I think it's fair to say that these guys were also pushing the boundaries of hooking. Again, maybe on sustained slab it should be ok to use hooks the way pins are used on stuff that is vertical or past vertical.
JIMB

Trad climber
Oct 30, 2005 - 11:21am PT
Fish, maybe these guys should have marked the placements with a black magic marker to make you happy?

The rest you complaining pussies who are whinning haven't even tried the route. So STFU cause till you do it: it's just excessive lip flapping and armchair quarterback speculation. This reminds me of that diss thread on Chris Mac cause he has a girlfriend thread that thankfully got nuked. It was like all these idiots running around speculating on other speculation. Cept some of you here on this thread are pretty well known and should know better. Applies to you too.

Maybe someone who still climbs, like Ammon, will do all of you armchair pussies the favor of doing the route. It sounds to me like they went slow cause they were attemting to not beat the hell out of the route, like so many others ROUTINELY do, when they did it.

Guilty (as hell) so far of only of being slower than Pete. Embarrassing and painfully so.

deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Oct 30, 2005 - 11:57am PT
MSmith, thanks for your comments and openness. Apologies for the gruff tone directed at your route's ascentionists in general.

I don't really think you need to justify your climb. It's all about the personal experience in the end, not what other people think. There's no need to compare.

The important thing to do is to be at peace with your own efforts, which you seem to be.

As far as the slab someday going free, your route will probably show the way and be the first line people will attempt.

All the best-
John Middendorf
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 30, 2005 - 02:22pm PT
John,

Thanks. All the best to you as well.

--Mark
WBraun

climber
Oct 30, 2005 - 05:05pm PT
Akutzer says: "Who even cares anymore?"

Funny you said you read the whole thread, Richard Jensen cares and that's why it's being discussed.

You missed it totally dude as you were just looking for something to make your own independent rant on people to make your own self look like you're so far above everything.

Get over yourself dude and go climbing ......:-)

Edit; this isn't the real Akutzer, but an imposter.
jack herer

climber
chico, ca
Oct 30, 2005 - 06:20pm PT
please someone f*#kin climb this route now
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 30, 2005 - 09:47pm PT
Ok, where to start???

LOVED the "hush thy self" post. PERFECT play off my "no posting on Sabbath" post. Nice one, Yo.

Slater didn't "fail" on the route because he couldn't do it or couldn't FOLLOW it--he bailed because of insane heat. I'm sympathetic, having been there, done that. As everybody knows, the SW side CAN be a reflecter oven, especially the slab.

My little contribution on "enhancements".... It has been claimed that our "enhancing" was somehow retrograde, because that wasn't the style of the time. But it WAS, and it has been widespread and common throughout aid climbing history. Bill Westbay makes no bones about the fact that they were chiseling copperhead placements on PO Wall (you can read it in Yosemite Climber, where he refers to "using a chisel to clean flakes" from seams so that copperheads would stick). We've already mentioned what we found on the Sea, which means that either the FA team or some very respected teams (two through four) were "enhancing down to their level" on subsequent ascents. On this very thread I have been bashed for supposedly "dissing some great aid climbers, like Bridwell and Beyer," so if Beyer is a "great" aid climber, then HE has been "enhancing" and "enhancing" like crazy to get those sandstone routes to go. I could go on and on, but I'll defer to Landgolier, who makes the same points I would have, and he does it much more succinctly than I would have.

"Pitiful self-righteousness" and "arrogant dimwit"? I'm baffled. We're bashed if we don't "defend the route," and if we defend the route then it's "pitiful self-righteousness"? Of course, being baffled is just the sort of thing an "arrogant DIMWIT" WOULD say in this context, so I'm hung on my own petard. :-)

However, THIS passage does seem to deserve a BIT more of a "pitifully self-righteous" reply: "The first ascentionist's lifelong insistence on promoting their actions as a high standard simply because of the resulting difficulty of their manufactured route seems to suggest that they therefore feel deserving of accolades as pioneers, instead of what it finally really appears to be, a trio of inexperienced climbers trying to make a name for themselves."

Well, as I rememeber it, we were not "promoting our actions... as [though we were] pioneers... trying to make a name for [ourselves]." What I remember is that we couldn't even get the route GOING before some cowardly souls gathered just enough courage to jug our fixed lines in the night, chopped our bolts and rivets in the night, pulled our ropes down (have I mentioned in the night?), defecated all over our gear and ropes, and then spent the following weeks (and then years) stirring up a controversy in the Valley (and ultimately all over) that we wanted no part of and did our best to communicate honestly in order to resolve. But, these "protectors of purity" did not want to communicate--instead they wanted to engage in a smear campaign, which they were able to effectively pursue because, being well-known climbers, they were able to get books and articles published telling their side, all, of course, without ever having done the route. As I remember it, we got DRAGGED into a one-sided "discussion" in which we weren't even ALLOWED to "promote" ANYTHING, not even the truth.

As I remember it, correct me if I'm wrong, Robbins DID Harding's route. Isn't that how it went? I mean, shouldn't the "protectors of purity" BE themselves pure? Of course, I'm so dim that I don't expect to actually "get it," so help me out here people.

As I rememeber it, ALL we did to "promote" anything was to steadfastly deny the universally-repeated claim that the route was a rivet ladder, NOT claiming that we had done anything "high-standard". Oh, and we DID "promote" that we thought it was in "bad style" for one to chop a route he haven't climbed. Oh, and finally, we DID "promote" that we thought that it was in "bad style" to empty one's bowels on somebody else's gear. So, I guess we WERE "promoting" a few things about the route after all, but I just can't remember "promoting" ANY of the things that John says we were trying to "promote".

I would like to get to some productive, ethical discussions, but it seems that things keep coming back to our motives, our characters, our intentions.... like this: "Because it seems apparent that the ascentionists haven't climbed too many routes other than those that have a significant 'reputation' of top difficulty, which they repeated with what seems like the sole purpose to gain credibility for themselves and for their ability to publicly announce to the world that their route was harder, it seems difficult to ascertain that these climbers are climbing purely for their own 'personal experience' as claimed. In fact, it seems like the sole motive is to convince the world that Wings of Steel was somehow ahead of its time, despite the fact that they admit enhancing the natural features considerably."

It would be NICE to stick to some objective facts, but over the years this has perpetually been denied us. It's just amazing to me, John, what insight you apparently have into my soul... oh, and of a route you haven't done. When you say, "enhancing the natural features considerably," I have to wonder how you are able to ADD the "considerably" part. BECAUSE we have attempted to be totally transparent in this thread, we have discussed things that would have been FAR better for us to not discuss, and nobody doing a subsequent ascent would have ever known we "enhanced" at ALL, much less "considerably". People seem to keep forgetting that the Sea WAS "considerably" enhanced!

But the best part of this post is that it sets up yet another damned if we do, and damned if we don't scenario. If we had NOT done any other "top reputation" routes, then John et al would continue to float the line that we were "inexperienced kids" who didn't know a hook from a duckbilled platypus. But, as I said earlier, "partially" in order to defend ourselves against just such charges, we HAVE actually done some "top reputation" routes, thereby demonstrating that we DID know that a hook is a curved, pointy piece of metal, and a duckbilled platypus is a marsupial. (At least, I THINK we demonstrated all that!) And that "partially" is rather important, since, as I ALSO said, we did those routes "for ourselves" as well because we wanted to know for ourselves where we stood.

Maybe the idea is that I MUST be an "arrogant dimwit" because I haven't yet figured out a way out of such a dichotomy, yet I am stupid enough to keep trying. I don't know. The "murkiness" to ME is that I can't feel my way through all the psycho-babble to find any objective facts in such posts.

I AM also quite baffled about exactly HOW I have "in so many words" dissed some great aid climbers, like Bridwell. In all my posts that mention him, I have expressed only a genuine respect for Bridwell. It is deeply question-begging, John, for you to think that just because I suggest that the Bird's El Cap routes quite apparently have had "enhancements," that I'm dissing him. You assume that "enhancing" is bad, then you assume the the Bird would never do anything "bad" like that, and ONLY "inexperienced kids" like us would ever be so retrograde as to do something that "bad," so for us to drag the Bird down to our level MUST be dissing him. Yet, I have expressed ONLY respect for Bridwell, which I honestly do have, EVEN THOUGH I am confident that people on his FA teams HAVE enhanced their placements. Regarding Beyer, yes, I have dissed him, but, then, well... I simply deny your claim that he is a "great" aid climber. As I remember, you were one of the ones most frothing at the mouth about Intifada, lo those many years ago. But, the FACTS speak for themselves, I guess--IF the facts are allowed to get out.

By the way, this thread is getting insanely long at this point, so we're all clearly in the mode of trying to keep the pathetic dial-up riff-raff (sorry, Mark) off this thread now... so I'm just doing my part. :-)
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 30, 2005 - 09:56pm PT
John, you SAY in your later post that we didn't need to justify the route because it was all just for our own experience. Mark quickly lets you off the hook, but we've been the brunt of some of your own published critique of the route, so I'm not quite that easy.

This latest post of yours seems not to be written by the same person who issued your earlier diatribe. What's up? If the valley boys would have had the attitude you have most recently expressed, Wings WOULD have faded into obscurity, this thread wouldn't exist, YOU wouldn't have published some of the things you have about the route, and WE would never have had anything to say about it.

Just as we had NOTHING to say about Ring of Fire--because we did it just for ourselves, and we FULLY expect that route to fade into obscurity, that would have been the fate of Wings. But people like you have perpetually disallowed that to happen. So, please explain. What's with the sudden attitude shift?

I just wish there had been a way to have this very discussion about twenty years ago!
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 30, 2005 - 10:00pm PT
BTW, even the route name has been problematical for some on this thread, like it is provocative or something. We named the route after the Kansas song, "Icarus, Borne on Wings of Steel." We listened to that song over and over, and it fit our mood at the time.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 30, 2005 - 10:09pm PT
Finally, I have some ethical questions.

When Mark and I did Wings, we each weighed about 150/155 pounds. And, we were trying to keep any excess gear weight off of us when we went up on lead. Even so, we were pulling off hook flakes, and they weren't ALL undercut. So, ultimately we found a more or less "continuous" series of flakes up the route, but those that held us would probably not hold someone weighing, say, 180 pounds.

So, for the purposes of argument, let's assume that the route is currently repeatable in reasonable style by someone weighing 150 pounds, but it is NOT repeatable in reasonable style by someone weighing 180 pounds.

Did Mark and I have a responsibility to weight ourselves down with gear until we reached some sort of "average" aid climber weight, say, 175 pounds, thereby ensuring that the route would be repeatable in reasonable style by the average-weight aid climber?

Furthermore, now that the route is in its current state, do climbers heavier than, say, 160 pounds have a responsiblity to stay off of the route so that they don't risk ruining the route for those lighter folks who COULD climb it in reasonable style?
Darnell

Big Wall climber
Chicago
Oct 30, 2005 - 10:42pm PT
I found this post by the Fish in an old RC.com

thread.http://rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=99540#99540

"Hey ya,
The friction hook is top secret.....
but..... think of a slab of C4 Stealth rubber mounted to a metal plate about 4 inches long and able to flex side to side. All this is mounted on a short "arm" about the length of a FISH Hook.... clip in, apply weight, and welcome to the afterlife..... if it blows"

and this

"also from the top secret drawer.....
the lead head.... like a copperhead but lead... and you use a mini torch to melt it into the crack. Keeps you under the umbrella called "hammerless aid".
"try it sometime"
Russ "



Since I weigh 190 lbs. I wonder if the new millinium hard boy's will give me the ok to use the friction hook? I know I am way down at the bottom of the valley pecking order list, but maybe if I buy them some OE??


Let the games begin!!

hmmmm... Maybe another thread should be started for the dial up ppl. wings of steal part two?


Kerry Livgrin(sp?) is the man!!
_

Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Oct 30, 2005 - 10:50pm PT
"Had the Bird done Wings of Steel..."
(emphasis mine)


...well if he had, it wouldn't have such a freakin gay name, that much is certain!




edit:
i just keep picturing big hair and hearing loud journey ballads whenever i hear that name.
WBraun

climber
Oct 30, 2005 - 10:52pm PT
Yikes now you have to be a certain weight to do this route, that only means light weights may have a chance. Ironic isn't it?

Thus we may now have come to the conclusion this route is of a rarefied and subtle nature?
nickh

climber
St. Louis, MO
Oct 31, 2005 - 06:55am PT
"and a duckbilled platypus is a marsupial"-madbolter1

A duck-billed platypus is a monotreme, not a marsupial. Now all your claims are TRULY suspect!!!!!!!

Nick

edit-spelling
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 31, 2005 - 07:36am PT
Nickh, we are both correct, depending upon which experts you believe. The platypus IS, as you say, a monotreme according to most experts. However, I am not alone in calling it a marsupial:

http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:6p563h8HOQEJ:www.sci-con.org/news/articles/reprints/20030402.pdf+duck+billed+platypus+marsupial&hl=en

And many other experts do commonly refer to the playpus as a marsupial. I agree that it is most accurate to refer to them as monotremes, as they are egg-laying.

But the real issue here IS charity, isn't it. Even if I were utterly mistaken and alone in calling it a marsupial, is that really the point of this thread, and are ALL my claims suspect if I make such a mistake? Somehow I thought this was a climbing thread, but we are now into primitive mammals (the platypus IS a mammal according to the vast majority of contemporary scientists). Do we get to make ANY mistakes without being ripped?

Guess not. As always, there are some (at least they don't seem to be the majority, as the once were) who are determined to find SOME way to keep bashing on us, even if now it has nothing to do with the route. So, nickh, regardless of the classification status of the platypus, Wings is not a rivet ladder.

Back on topic now?
John F. Kerry

Social climber
Boston, MA
Oct 31, 2005 - 08:01am PT
MSMith: "Climbs like the Sea and Zenyatta (the standards of the day) have all sorts of overt modifications which no one has been worried about"

Exactly. Still waiting to hear the SuperTaco outrage about the drill being used for enhancement on those routes.

"Is the real issue here how the climb was done, or who did the climb?"

I submit it is the latter. People are afraid to criticize those they have idolized.

Landgolier: "Your average pin placement certainly takes out a crystal or three, which by our ethics is ok for FA's"

Great point. Why is no one whining about those poor wittle crystals lost to the mighty cro-mo steel?

The discussions about freedom vs. resource conservation are important and valuable. I'm just tired of the pseudo-righteousness from the rock police where they excoriate people like Richard & Mark but turn a blind eye to celebrities who have used the very same tactics.
426

Sport climber
Hanging Limb(yeah. it is), TN
Oct 31, 2005 - 08:07am PT
"Why is no one whining about those poor wittle crystals lost to the mighty cro-mo steel?"




Cuz' dems good free climn hols in da woiks!
nickh

climber
St. Louis, MO
Oct 31, 2005 - 08:51am PT
madbolter-1,
my post was more of a sattire of the nitpickers, than a dig at you.

Nick

Added- As has been said before, I think Royal Robbins determined this a long time ago. THE STANDARD IS to repeat the route, if it is a overdrilled chop 'em and tell everybody (plus you get to spray). However 2000 ft up the big stone you may have your mind opened, and be quietly in awe of someone who, at lower elevations, you were convinced was destined for the more painful circles of Hell.
WBraun

climber
Oct 31, 2005 - 09:45am PT
Well I found a guide book (Meyer’s) and it shows 13 pitches for Wings of steel and then joins the Aquarian Wall to finish. So it is a variation to the Aquarian Wall not a complete separate line from bottom to the top.

Richard and Mark found a subtle and rarified series of placements interceded with drilled protection between the Aquarian Wall and the Dihedral wall up the great slab.

In the statement "Is the real issue here how the climb was done, or who did the climb?"

I honestly believe that the people debating this topic are doing so on “how it was done” and not “who”. Some folks will love to make that their primary focus as it will strengthen their defensive tactics away from the real discussion using the so called “racist” platform.

Many years have passed since the events of the first ascent of this variation to the Aquarian Wall and hardly anybody has given a rat’s ass about this anomaly on this great slab.

It has been done and stands, what else is there to do. The future will tell whether this is a masterpiece or a forced push through the great slab. It will be based on individual opinions which can be swayed and biased according how one visualizes.

So far this variation according to some has been left standing in disgrace for 20 plus years.

But the mighty Captain after everyone leaves, in the dead of the winter remains proud and far above the meager exploits against its face that man attempts.

Thus again I would also have to ask “What does the Captain think about us?"
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Oct 31, 2005 - 11:47am PT
Nick, sorry to have missed the satire. It's so hard to convey tone in a forum like this. I AM a dimwit, so be patient with my sloooowwwwwness. Thanks

Werner, I think that time will tell that Wings was neither a "masterpiece" nor something totally contrived. It was a subtle route, and we did try to follow the features where they led, but it WAS "pushed" as well (depending upon what you mean by "pushed"). We certainly WERE willing to drill to connect up sections of hooking flakes, but there is quite a sliding scale determining how much drilling is "valid".

I guess that all we've ever wanted to say to the climbing community over the years is: It's not a rivet ladder, so take a chill-pill.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Oct 31, 2005 - 12:34pm PT
Cool thread. I truly hope you guys are the FA party, and if so, thanks for the candor. It does beg the question of why this discussion only came up now, though.
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 31, 2005 - 01:17pm PT
“But the mighty Captain after everyone leaves, in the dead of the winter remains proud and far above the meager exploits against its face that man attempts.”

Werner, you are quite the philosopher and poet, far surpassing me in those areas. Regarding the rest of your post, I’m not sure how or if to respond. Wings of Steel will be 25 years old in not too long. Another 25 years and we’ll be seeing each other at the nursing home card table, not the Camp IV parking lot. Maybe it’s time to put more work into building bridges than into reinforcing walls. Therefore, I’ll limit the tone and scope of my response to your views of our variation of a variation of the West Face route.

Regarding your objection to my statement, "Is the real issue here how the climb was done, or who did the climb?", go back and read the post to which I was responding. I think it will be clear that the question was appropriate and the answer was “yes.” It is not indicated to take my statement out of the context of that post and use it to characterize my view of the group of climbers who have contributed to this thread as a whole. I should note that the overwhelming majority of what I have said in this thread goes directly to the issue of “what,” not “who.” Insinuating that my “primary focus” has been a “defensive tactic” to divert attention “away from the real discussion” doesn't seem very reasonable, to say the least.
WBraun

climber
Oct 31, 2005 - 04:42pm PT
Ha ha ha Mark kind of funny how we miss understand ourselves on the forum. My statement (“is the real issue here how the climb was done, or who did the climb?”) was meant in context of not you or Richard but of the responses.
The “defensive tactic” to divert attention “was meant about your detractors not you guys.

You see, the detractors are also on the defensive …..
MSmith

Mountain climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 31, 2005 - 05:14pm PT
Werner, Thanks for the clarification. Maybe I'm getting too defensive. Now I'm REALLY glad I didn't say what I was thinking the way I felt like saying it. BTW, maybe I need more training in philosophy, but since El Cap indeed can't think, it seems to me that asking what El Cap would say is little more than a case of pointless personification. (Yes, I know you explained this in some detail in an earlier post.)
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Oct 31, 2005 - 06:08pm PT
gawd, if I have to read another post with every other word in all-caps, I think I'll be ill.

madbolter, just glancing at your posts, and seeing things like:

"we weren't even ALLOWED to "promote" ANYTHING, not even the truth. "

I'm actually starting to feel sorry for you that you feel so controlled, and so insecure about something you did 20 years ago.

I'm also realizing how you promote your climb, by spewing to the point where someone finally speaks up, triggering a series of long winded claims about being "unjustly" attacked on a whole range of issues, as if it was all initiated by that person.

It seems like the only one who believes that your climb was possibly of no value to anyone, is you.

Maybe you should consider your own advice: take the red pill, chill, etc.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Oct 31, 2005 - 06:35pm PT
What if it never sees a repeat?

DMT
WBraun

climber
Oct 31, 2005 - 06:41pm PT
Good troll Dingus I really don't think anyone really gives a sh-it if it's repeated or not.

People are into free climbing ElCap now, aid is dead .......he he he



Mike.

climber
Oct 31, 2005 - 06:59pm PT
Even among "aid climbers," there are preferences in technique/terrain just as in free climbing. Aid climbs which follow distinct weaknesses were climbed first and are repeated most (I would hazard to propose). There's an aesthetic at work that ratings or hole count cannot describe. Some might verbalize it as "classic"-ness. IMO there's a reason why fifty-some (guessing) routes were put up on EC before WOS was: WOS was not a striking enough line to garner attention. Similarly, WOS doesn't captivate today's climbers as do fifty or seventy other EC routes.

And what's with the last BAT hook section not being part of the route and merely connecting routes? Bull. It's part of WOS, whether you like the section's "style" or not. Maybe the guys who put up routes with intermittent systems would like to omit the rivet ladders to render their lines better in "style." You guys fully lost me there.

Thanks for ringing in on your route and shedding some light.


PS: Dingus: "Where are they now?" I had to laugh. "Sleeping on my floor" I nearly wrote upon reading it. = D
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Walla Walla, WA
Nov 1, 2005 - 07:15am PT
WELL JOHN, IT APPEARS THAT NOTHING HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS AFTER ALL. (oops, sorry)

when lacking any facts, or when the facts don't sustain you, you can always revert to speculative personal attacks.
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Nov 1, 2005 - 07:40am PT
Mark and Richard, thanks for posting. And maybe this is what you were expecting from the climbing community after all these years... Good job on your FA on El Cap.

And yes I do believe that you two were fairly well mistreated without proper justification. And those that tore your ropes down and sh&& on them will get theirs.

Now will someone send this thing already?!
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Nov 1, 2005 - 08:42am PT
Hey Mike, I hope he didn't sh#t on your carpet.

DMT
Mike.

climber
Nov 1, 2005 - 08:58am PT
Ah, what's a little sh#t to the clean-up crew?
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Nov 1, 2005 - 09:02am PT
Cheers Mike!

DMT
darod

Trad climber
New York
Nov 1, 2005 - 09:12am PT
Mike wrote:

"...And what's with the last BAT hook section not being part of the route and merely connecting routes? Bull. It's part of WOS, whether you like the section's "style" or not. Maybe the guys who put up routes with intermittent systems would like to omit the rivet ladders to render their lines better in "style." You guys fully lost me there..."

What is this Mike? this fact is always been in the topos of the route, not a secret to anyone who might have looked at it.

So what's your point? more nonsense trying to justify the unjustifiable?
Mike.

climber
Nov 1, 2005 - 10:21am PT
Hmm, my point....I have a point somewhere here...

"This fact is [sic] always been in the topos of the route, not a secret to anyone who might have looked at it."

Okay, so it is part of the route. That's what I thought. It seemed like the FAionist(s) were proposing that WOS ended somewhere on the wall, not at a point intersecting any route and not at the summit. (Did you catch that?) To my mind, that wouldn't be an EC route anymore than Moby Dick is.

I never looked at the topo enough to remember. I was never interested in the route and am still not. Based on my sense of aesthetics, there are about sixty or seventy other EC routes I'd attempt before WOS. But wait, my third post here...maybe I do care about WOS... Confounded again!

WGAF anyway.
darod

Trad climber
New York
Nov 1, 2005 - 11:35am PT
WGAF?

I bet you would if it was your name/route trashed around the way it has happened with WoS and its FAs.
Mike.

climber
Nov 1, 2005 - 11:52am PT
WGAF what I think is what I meant.

Chill pill time, indeed.
the Fet

Trad climber
Loomis, CA
Nov 1, 2005 - 11:58am PT
"BTW, even the route name has been problematical for some on this thread, like it is provocative or something. We named the route after the Kansas song, "Icarus, Borne on Wings of Steel."

As an outsider I always though the name was an F-you to the detractors. Bolts/Rivets (the steel) were the thing that allowed you to soar/climb (the wings). lol.

So although you didn't intend the name to be provocative, hopefully you can see why, for some people at least, it is. If the name was Icarus it wouldn't be an issue. You need to take some responsiblity for this IMO.

It like a comedian complaining that an audience sucks and doesn't get their jokes. Yes, the audience might be a tough crowd, but it's up to the comedian to make their jokes understood and funny.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Nov 1, 2005 - 12:40pm PT
"So although you didn't intend the name to be provocative, hopefully you can see why, for some people at least, it is. If the name was Icarus it wouldn't be an issue. You need to take some responsiblity for this IMO. "

They need to bear responsibility because some people thought they knew everything when in fact they knew almost nothing? LOL!

I reckon. A good gig if you can get it.

DMT
the Fet

Trad climber
Loomis, CA
Nov 1, 2005 - 12:47pm PT
Dingus you are extrapolating a lot from what I wrote. Re-read and take note of the many qualifiers I put in.

Edits: the guidebook only lists the name, not how they came up with it.

When you take *some* responsiblity for problems that are due mostly to external factors, you can effect a change, when you assign blame completely outside yourself you leave yourself powerless.

The name Wings of Steel sounds like a rivet ladder to me.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Nov 1, 2005 - 01:04pm PT
I always thought it was either a riff on, or a misqoute from, a cartoon tagline from Fearless Fly™

"Your bullets cannot hurt me! My Wings are like a Shield of Steel.."
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Nov 1, 2005 - 01:07pm PT
"And those that tore your ropes down and sh&& on them will get theirs."

WHOA!

did that realy happen?

harsh tokes dude!
John F. Kerry

Social climber
Boston, MA
Nov 1, 2005 - 01:27pm PT
Lambone sez "WHOA! did that realy happen?

Dude, your just now learning about this facet of the WoS saga?
Here's another whopper for you: it involves a route on a big cliff called EL CAPITAN, which is in YOSEMITE.

LOL, not really diggin' on ya', just thought your post was ironically funny.

Maybe the Deuce can explain to us why the rope-crapping was justified after all...
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Nov 1, 2005 - 01:35pm PT
I'm an old Pink Floyd fan, and was since before this route went up. (Blown on the Steel Breeze, Shine on You Crazy Diamond). I was a rabid Kansas fan too. I NEVER assumed Wings of Steel meant rivets and bolt ladders.

But I'm sorta queer that way.

DMT
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Nov 1, 2005 - 01:43pm PT
John F. Kerry,

I think I read this entire thread (which takes way to long to load now), and up until that post I don't think anyone mentioned shitting on ropes.

It makes me laugh, but that does really suck, now I feel kinda bad for those guys.

Darnell

Big Wall climber
Chicago
Nov 1, 2005 - 02:06pm PT
meanwhile, back at the ranch............
WBraun

climber
Nov 1, 2005 - 02:07pm PT
Please post on the new thread Wings of Steel (continued). This thread takes far to long to load now, especially for the dialup folks.

Thank you ....
matty

Big Wall climber
Valencia, CA
Nov 16, 2005 - 08:04pm PT
Thought I'd add a link to the continued thread for future readers.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=114602#msg116278
JIMB

Trad climber
Dec 18, 2005 - 03:02pm PT
I hear Todd Skinner is going to add some bolts via rappel and free it.
Da_Dweeb

climber
Dec 25, 2007 - 07:31pm PT
I realize I may be out of protocol posting here given the age of this thread, but, f*#k it. Given the number of posts made here regarding the character or lack thereof about the Wings of Steel boys by people who don’t know a damn thing about either of them I feel compelled to respond as someone who actually did. As a student of Mark Smith’s for several years I can attest to his energy and enthusiasm as a teacher, his commitment and compassion toward his students, and his witty, subtle sense of humor - which likely WOULD be considered uninteresting by the smug, self-righteous knuckleheads on this forum who see fit to speculate on matters and on people they know absolutely NOTHING ABOUT.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 25, 2007 - 07:53pm PT
Da_Dweeb,
Welcome to the forum.

Looks like you skipped my posts, or perhaps ought to read the extension noted by Werner Braun.
No matter;
The world needs good teachers, so your dispatch noting Mark Smith's good deeds is heartening.

Merry Christmas & Happy Climbing!
Roy
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
Dec 25, 2007 - 08:39pm PT
Since I didn't bump this to the front, I'll add this:

Jesus just did the second ascent (FWA) of this "legendary" climb on his birthday today solo--word on the street is that he down graded it.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Dec 26, 2007 - 12:33am PT
Jesus is a spray lord. He's just lookin' for more attention on his birthday.

That is all.
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Dec 26, 2007 - 11:56am PT
re: "which likely WOULD be considered uninteresting by the smug, self-righteous knuckleheads on this forum who see fit to speculate on matters and on people they know absolutely NOTHING ABOUT."

hey dweeb-
what were you expecting to find on the internet?
=)








edit-
oh and randy, why doesn't that damn hippie just stick to the simple but brilliant guilt tripping that has been so successful for him over the last couple of eons? i'm just sayin...
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Dec 26, 2007 - 12:35pm PT
This thread started before the forum could divide threads into multiple pages.

So new topics were started when this thread got too big, Wings of Steel Part III, IV, etc.

I'd read all of them if you are interested (and a masochist).

A lot of people came to the conclusion that WoS was mainly a question of style, not ethics. But some still don't get it.
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Dec 26, 2007 - 12:45pm PT
Part IV
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=186142&f=0&b=0

Part II
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=114602#msg120102
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Dec 26, 2007 - 12:47pm PT
I bet "JIMB" is knott so proud of the asinine statement he made about Todd Skinner 2 years ago...
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Dec 26, 2007 - 12:48pm PT
Matt - hahaha Nice! Either way, he's got a hand out and is in your pockets.... *grimmace*

Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Dec 26, 2007 - 02:42pm PT
HK- who says rapping isn't bold...
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Dec 26, 2007 - 04:47pm PT
HK,

are you saying we have to take into account that someone might be dead in two years before we make a remark about them?
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Dec 26, 2007 - 08:47pm PT
I'm with Da Dweeb, on this one.

After meeting both FAists, Mark and Richard, and being up a tiny bit on their route, my conclusion is they got a bad rap for doing their route.

The last I'd heard, it still hasn't seen a second ascent, which says something about how severe it is.

WOS will probably remain one of the hardest lines on El Cap for a long time.
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Dec 26, 2007 - 09:26pm PT
...at least until all the steep lines are played out and aiding slabs comes back into vogue...

(sorry, try though i might, i just couldn't resist! =)
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Dec 26, 2007 - 11:58pm PT
and aiding slabs comes back into vogue...

Looking at that route, up close, it does look like it could go free. At 5.xxxx. And it will, someday.

At least the belay anchors are there for a Leo or a Dean to go do it.


Mark and Richard did a proud line. The continual hook placements on WOS are WAY beyond anything else on El Cap. The proof is there has never been a second ascent. Stop bagging on them, and start climbing their route. Can you finish? Nobody else can.


In 1982, nobody was even thinking of freeing that slab. 25 years, and bubble-gum rubber shoes later, it now looks feasible. The Big Downside is the bolts are old, and like all old bolts, are probably sorta rotten. The SA team will have to repair the belays, as they go, hanging off portaledges, like Window Washers.

Will a team on Aquarian throw their trash onto the SA team?

Probably not.

Mark and Richard were subjected to the worst hoodlumry that Yosemite climbing has ever seen.

Who were those Sh*t On Ropes people? Not a one of them had the balls to climb the WOS route later. They stood at the base, and railed, as if insane, against those who could climb the line, a line that, history proves to date, they could not climb themselves.

Thank God those days are over.



EDIT: The SA of Wings of Steel will be the most significant ascent of El Cap in 25-odd years. Whoever does it will lay to rest the "rivet ladder" BS once and for all. And will come down with a story.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Dec 27, 2007 - 08:28am PT
A few observations from a person whos opinion means absolutely nothing.

Lambone is a windbag who hides behind Largos broad shoulders. And I bet he bought a unicycle to impress John.

My opinion of Largo dropped a few nachos when he said the WoS guys should have climbed some of the classics first. Why? Sounds arrogant and ego-testical.

The guys who shat on the ropes are low life cowards who have no stones, if this meant so much to them should stand up and take credit for protecting the Big Stone.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Dec 27, 2007 - 09:04am PT
I think one of the most ironic things about the whole WoS "thing" and how it all went down (and this, I believe is pointed out above, or in one of the other threads) is that this is *supposedly* all about ethics... Yet, the choppers and shitters had to jug the lines to do the chopping. This type of behavior was frowned upon back then, and should be now too.

If you're so high and mighty that you're going to clean a route on "your" rock, you should be able to do so in good style and should probably be able to actually climb the route. Otherwise, you're a windbag sucking hot air. I don't know much else about Dimitri, but this single act alone was pretty sackless and shows a lot about his character. And, since the reviving of this thread was based on character, I wonder what it says about a couple of guys who face tremendous adversity and stick to their guns through it all to reach their goals. In the process, proving everyone wrong about their style, ethic and sack. In history books and other endeavors, that type of character is something to be looked up to. And still, the route remains unrepeated. That must sting. No wonder folks have done all they can to continue the shroud of BS.

The truly unfortunate thing about all of this is what Batrock said above. And I know this is true of other people as well. Others have expressed this type of feeling. It really sucks to be disappointed and let down by the reality of those you once looked up to. Maybe this is why history books are more propaganda than actual history a lot of the time.
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Dec 27, 2007 - 09:37am PT
batrock wrote:
"My opinion of Largo dropped a few nachos when he said the WoS guys should have climbed some of the classics first. Why? Sounds arrogant and ego-testical."

i disagree, and i think that point of view lacks the context of the era and the tradition of the place. climbing was changing, ethics were changing, there was conflict and disagreement all over. climbers self regulated in ways such that we in 200? cannot simply compare our experience to theirs.

i am not defending anyone's specific actions or calling anyone else out for theirs, but i am saying that you cannot tell someone who was there anything about what did or did not happen while they were there and you were not.

my take is that it simply was not a community that was inclined to risk the resource or the tradition to outsiders they were unfamiliar with.

you want to love yosemite on the one hand, with all of its tradition and history and all that the words "traditional climbing" stand for in yosemite, and yet you want to cast blame on people who participated in that history and are responsible for that tradition?

stones and glass houses my man.

it's a bummer that some of those things happened, and richard and mark are likely not the only climbers to ever have been slighted, but maybe they had some pride at the time as well. i personally cannot help but wonder what would have been the history of WoS if they had woven themselves into the community and earned the trust of those who sought to persuade them away from their objective. we will never know.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Dec 27, 2007 - 09:43am PT
Good points, Matt.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Dec 27, 2007 - 10:14am PT
Batrock wrote:

HK,

are you saying we have to take into account that someone might be dead in two years before we make a remark about them?



No, knott at all. It's just that those tedious, chicken-shít comments about Todd Skinner were nothing new,
and now that he's gone they seem even more lame and chicken-shít, especially considering the hundreds
of posts in his memorial thread affirming what a great guy he was - both within and outside of the climbing "community".


Batrock - a few posts later you wrote:

The guys who shat on the ropes are low life cowards who have no stones, if this meant so much to them should stand up and take credit for protecting the Big Stone.


It seems that we're on the same page. There are so many cowards who bad-mouth people relentlessly
from the safety of a remote computer, who wouldn't dare risk an in-person encounter.
In Todd's memorial thread, one of these ugly cowards made an unbelievably horrific comment,
and this was after Todd's family members (including his young niece) had posted.
Fortunately the post was deleted and the account banned within minutes; hopefully most missed it.

So perhaps I'm a bit sensitive, especially having had my own flock of Internet Bitches™ with a hard-on for me...
WBraun

climber
Dec 27, 2007 - 12:27pm PT
Tom quote: "In 1982, nobody was even thinking of freeing that slab. 25 years....."

Not true, Dale Bard, Kauk and others, were thinking and seriously looking at it for a free climbing line.

Only two guys were involved with the travesty of physically messing with the WOS teams ropes and route.

Don't lump everyone else into a blanket statement that they were involved. Those 2 guys acted alone that night without anyone else's knowledge.

The people around at that time would not have condoned that type of sabotage that those 2 guys did.

Seriously man, the whole history of WOS has been blown way out proportion and over zealously dramatized by a few interested individuals to make it seem bigger than life.

Beyers did a route to the left of West Face of El Cap that I believe hasn't had a second ascent yet either.

All this WOS steel over hyped bullshit will remain for people with no real clue about what climbing is about. They want to remain in their private little world of controversy and self bias.

The rest will just climb the Captain in the best way they can and walk by the physiological wreck that people have created in their own minds of that WOS.

If anyone ever does the 2nd ascent it will not be the second coming, but more anticlimatic.

A technically difficult route only will usually not inspire, this is one of the main reason people reject WOS.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Dec 27, 2007 - 12:43pm PT
"Not true, Dale Bard, Kauk and others, were thinking and seriously looking at it for a free climbing line.'

and

'A technically difficult route only will usually not inspire, this is one of the main reason people reject WOS."

Seems kinda contradictory, Werner... Seems that it inspired some of the best of the era and our sport.

Just pointing it out.
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Dec 27, 2007 - 12:50pm PT
Nefarius

I believe what Werner might have meant that as a free line it is incredibly inspiring, but as a blank aid line it isn't.
WBraun

climber
Dec 27, 2007 - 12:59pm PT
But their main motivations were not to "create a technically only" hard climb.

That was a side product of the "Line" and weakness of the rock which gave passage to the summit; (we call it a route, a line. etc.).

So if someone is inspired to do this line "WOS" then go do it.

I really feel most people don't really want to climb an aid route with predominately so many hooking moves pitch after pitch.

That's why you "see" routes like let's say Zodiac, PO as "Classic" where as WOS is on the far far extreme end "fanatical aid".

Most climbers are not at the extreme end of fanatical aid climbing.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Dec 27, 2007 - 02:39pm PT
I can understand that, John and Werner. Personally, I really enjoy doing routes with beautiful lines that call to you. And this is definitely the consensus feeling amongst climbers and FAist, for sure. But who's to say what is inspiring to others? In discussions I've had with people, it seems that the Great Slab did call to others, even for possible aid routes. Maybe it was the difficulty of the thing that called? The fact that there had been attempts on it and people bailed super low on the slab, etc. Of course, this just goes along with Werner's above lines on fanatical aid.

I can definitely understand it not being people's thing, at all. Obviously, it wasn't ptpp's thing. Probably too much hard work! haha! Talking with Ammon, he definitely has expressed what you're talking about. Especially what Werner says about the hooking, pitch after pitch. He said it was boring, not inspirational and frustrating, having to look for micro-hook move after micro-hook move. I can see it being really tedious.

But, man WoS would be a sick free line, for sure! That would be badass. I remember being able to see that the first pitch looked like it would go free. Linking feature to feature. There is a section of slab about 60' up that looked pretty heinous though. Can't say for certain, but it was between like the 2nd and 3rd bolt. It didn't look as bad when you were up there vs. looking up from the ground though.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Dec 27, 2007 - 03:14pm PT
"Two guys"?
MSmith

Big Wall climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 27, 2007 - 03:42pm PT
Werner,

Those last two post were full of it.

"Dale Bard, Kauk and others, were thinking and seriously looking at it for a free climbing line."

Really? That might be, but strange that WOS has seen a 1000 posts, many by you, and this fact comes to light only now even though this very point was the topic of discussion when the WOS threads were active 2 years ago. Also, in the pre-Fire's era, even Kauk wouldn't need more than 5 minutes to see that he wasn't doing a free ascent. Moreover, we showed up not long after Yaniro (world's first 5.13) had made an attempt on the Slab ... an AID attempt. Evidently he didn't view an aid route on the Slab as sullying a great El Cap feature destined for better things.

"Only two guys were involved with the travesty of physically messing with the WOS teams ropes and route. Don't lump everyone else into a blanket statement that they were involved. Those 2 guys acted alone that night without anyone else's knowledge. The people around at that time would not have condoned that type of sabotage that those 2 guys did."

What total, utter, BS through and through. Only two choppers, and no one else complicit, huh? Evidently you absented yourself from the Valley the week after the chopping, especially the night after when multiple people cat-called to us from the campfire at your (YOSAR) campsite, boisterously proclaiming that "we chopped your route" mixed with various other insults and profanity. "The people around at that time would not have condoned that type of sabotage …" What a joke. I’m sure that is very, very true for some who were there, but unfortunately that sentiment can’t be applied to the Valley locals as a whole.

"A technically difficult route only will usually not inspire, this is one of the main reason people reject WOS."

Say what? People reject WOS because it doesn’t inspire? Good thing for Yaniro that he saw the light before finishing the Slab and thereby marring his reputation as a visionary first ascensionist. Hey, maybe that's why I never climb at GPA, the rockfall is ok but all that nothingness just leaves me empty. Oh, wait, now I get it! A free route working up a line of weaknesses through a blank slab is Kauk-worthy ascetic, but an aid line doing the same is uninspiring.

I really feel most people don't really want to climb an aid route with predominately so many hooking moves pitch after pitch.

Ah, a nugget of truth unearthed.

That's why you "see" routes like let's say Zodiac, PO as "Classic" where as WOS is on the far far extreme end "fanatical aid". Most climbers are not at the extreme end of fanatical aid climbing.

Hmmm, kind of sounds like the Sea on the early 80's, doesn't it?
snyd

Sport climber
Lexington, KY
Dec 27, 2007 - 05:00pm PT
yawn

I'm way dumber for having read this thread.
WBraun

climber
Dec 27, 2007 - 05:03pm PT
MSmith

I said "thinking" do have reading comprehension problems?

Do you have other "problems" that still linger? Like trying to link me to your WOS nightmares?

If you only really knew .......

MSmith

Big Wall climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 27, 2007 - 06:30pm PT
WBraun

Looks like your basic strategy is smearing my character rather than addressing my points......
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Dec 27, 2007 - 09:43pm PT
^^^
pride
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 27, 2007 - 10:30pm PT
I don't really have anything to add to the WOS debate, but MSmtih it's been 9 months since your last post here... perhaps things have been slow on STForum but in the 2 years since your first post of 95, the vast majority have been responding in one way or the other to topics on WOS.

I appreciate your willingness to provide your point of view on the history of that climb. And I understand, to some extent, the passion this episode inspired.

And though my wishes really don't necessarily mean a whole lot to anyone here, what would be fantastic for me is to get your input and insight into climbing and climbs beyond WOS. Climbing doesn't begin and end with that FA. And the community of climbers has grown and changed a lot from those tribal, territorial days. My guess is that you don't have much need for the STForum community, just as I have come to understand that you didn't have much need for the Yosemite Valley community at the time you did WOS.

Just a thought.
Maysho

climber
Truckee, CA
Dec 27, 2007 - 10:34pm PT
MSmith,

What is it that you need right now? I am in about the same position as Werner, I was around at the time, I am not sure who did the bad deed to you, but have an idea and it was certainly the most immature members of the Valley community at the time. Sure, without thinking too hard about it, and not really knowing the move for move reality of your route, at the time, like most everyone else, I thought WOS was a strange forced line. Yes, I admit it, I probably laughed when I heard about the incident, and probably had some sort of local "in with the in crowd" attitude in relation to what happened, so I am complicit in your eyes.

I feel bad that this still haunts you. I am truly sorry as a valley local guy at the time that you were treated badly by the community.

So here we are today, on this forum, Werner, (and I would like to think myself as well) is one of the more thoughtful and caring members of that community of old, and still there is seemingly nothing that can be said that will make you feel better. Only you can get over this. How are you going to do that?

Sincerely,

Peter

yo

climber
The Eye of the Snail
Dec 28, 2007 - 05:52am PT
Like a bird rising out of Pheonix, Arizona!!!1
goatboy smellz

climber
colorado
Dec 28, 2007 - 07:07am PT
Less chit chat
more tap tap.

~~~~~~~

maysho speaks the truth.
Meaty

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 07:20am PT
"I don't know much else about Dimitri......." Yeah Nefarius, you don't know sh#t, you got that right!

Hey Nefarius, this is the last line of your post, maybe you should regard the words you type you sacklicking bitch.


"Maybe this is why history books are more propaganda than actual history a lot of the time."

Oh yeah!! You wouldn't know history if it slapped you in the face. What you posted about me is pure propaganda you dipsh#t.

I had nothing to do with shitting on those ropes, nothing. I wasn't there but I surely know who did those things. Go crawl back up the as#@&%e you were born out of you pathetic piece of sh#t. Why don't you post the names of the people that actually did what you claim instead of speculative bullsh#t, f*#k off Nefarius! You said something about character? You've got none.

edit: One of the two people that did sh#t on those ropes posts here on a somewhat regular basis, and if he had balls he would set the record straight, I was NOT involved in any way whatsoever and for you to just spew lies and innuendo about me shows you're an ignorant jackass. Piss off Nefarius.
Da_Dweeb

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 08:22am PT
If you examine the point at which this thread was revived, you’ll notice that – specifically – it’s me who brought this thread back, not Mark. Further, Mark is simply and legitimately responding to comments made about events involving a FA he completed and a route he and his partner designed, now as it would seem in each of the posts made in the past regarding this topic.

Ed - That such a large number of posts have been made by Mark also on topics pertaining to events he was involved with is irrelevant, and does not diminish the validity of his statements. It most certainly does not call into question his involvement with this forum community as a whole.

“My guess is that you don't have much need for the STForum community, just as I have come to understand that you didn't have much need for the Yosemite Valley community at the time you did WOS.”

That’s about as contrived as saying that if she weighs the same as a duck, she’s made of wood, and therefore a witch! Your “guess” doesn’t have any reasonable backing evidence, and is ludicrously set up to draw lines between two communities and circumstances that are as comparable as parrots and Richard Simmons. I hear they both have an affinity for wearing feathers, but that’s an aside.

And Maysho, what does anyone who has been slandered, suppressed, and had their character called into question on a public scale for decades want? To let the truth be heard. Don’t act like it’s the result of some deep-rooted personal problem that he responds legitimately to comments made about events that directly involve him.

“People don't give a sh#t about your climb because in the end a piece of rock doesn't matter if you are not a human being.
So, you didn't give a sh#t what the climbing community thought about you. You cared what your world - your religous world - thought about you.
Well in the end that is what you have got.Respect in your world.
But zero respect in the climbing world even though your skills are obviously comparable to the very best.”

Radical, glad you found a magic window to see into the souls of people you don’t even know, though I doubt you’ll be able to usher in a new era of peace between our world leaders with it, given that it is – much like your assumptions – cracked beyond repair. About the only accuracy in your tirade is that yes – Mark has earned a great deal of respect by a great many people, but as should be painfully obvious by now it had nothing to do with WoS. Mark was as respected a teacher as he was while I was a student due to the fact that he cared both about the students he taught and about the subject matter he taught them – and that he went to great lengths to never compromise his commitment to either. So how about you try a nice cup of shut the f*#k up about people you don’t know a thing about? It’s bitter, but then, hell, what around here isn’t?

I don't know. Maybe it was impulsive of me to post my account of Mark’s good character in this thread, but damn if it doesn’t appear those who want to defame and demean WoS and their climbers are the ones who won’t let go.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Dec 28, 2007 - 09:02am PT
I was going to respond to your email, meaty, but figured why not cut and paste it here since you also display your tough-guy mentality here too... Or is it Kindergarten charm?

Your response to me would really suggest to more level persons otherwise. Sounds like you have some anger management issues. More likely internet swole syndrome. Regardless, you might want to suggest to your peers, who were there at the time, to not say it was you, if that's the case. More specifically, you were singled out as the shitter, not necessarily as a chopper.

I could, honestly, give a f*#k whether or not is was you or any of your jackass friends. With all of you f*#ktards running around taunting them and trying to lay claim to being the tough guys that chopped and sh#t, it's no wonder that things got confused in the end. I'd be surprised, at this point, if any of you - other than those who were at the scene, know who actually did it. I doubt, whether it was you or not, that the persons involved will ever come forth. Pretty typical inner-fat-child-bully behavior. Too bad you, or friends, or whoever didn't sh#t on the ropes of a couple of guys who didn't have as much character as Mark and Richard, who would have dished out the ass whipping that was deserved.

Cheers!

Meaty

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 09:06am PT
Yep, I am a charm school graduate you dipsh#t.

What part of me NOT having anything to do with this incident does your dipshit self NOT understand! Piss off Nefarius, you haven't a clue who did this and for you to post up pure lies and innuendo is beyond pathetic because I NEVER made any claims about chopping or shitting on ropes.

Do yo know who actually did this stuff?? No?!!?..... you obviously don't! Well I do jackass so leave me out.

Nefarius, you're a pathetic bastard, I wouldn't call one of the people that did this a friend, so keep drooling you're baseless assertions, that seems to be the norm for some here. Again maybe the person that posts here regularly could get some sack and explain that I had NOTHING at all to do with this incident.I doubt it!
MSmith

Big Wall climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 28, 2007 - 09:23am PT
Ed, Peter, and Riley,

By and large I’m pretty puzzled by what to say as the logical end of what you expressed is rather perplexing.

Ed: “it's been 9 months since your last post here...the vast majority have been responding in one way or the other to topics on WOS.”

Wow, that’s a point I never thought about. Actually, I do post here, just under the identity gunsmoke, my all time favorite boulder problem (I hope that revelation doesn’t get me kicked of the Taco.) A check shows 25 posts this year. So the Taco has been getting my input and insight into climbing beyond WoS, you just didn’t know it.

Peter: “MSmith, What is it that you need right now?”

Peter, feel free to call me Mark. I don’t think I need anything at this point other than the ability to freely speak when spoken to. Is that within your scheme of things? I do react and should have the full right to be expected to react when … slander is posted about me and/or facts about me or my climbs are falsely represented, as was the case here.

Peter: “still there is seemingly nothing that can be said that will make you feel better. Only you can get over this. How are you going to do that?”

First, it’s not your problem or anyone else’s to make me feel better. And what makes you think that I don’t feel okay? Does feeling better mean not having any negative internal reactions to anything said about me? Also, does the tenor of the recent posts look to you like an attempt by the community that would lead a reasonable person to “feel better”?

The implication of what you wrote, an implication I’m sure isn’t intended, is that I can’t or shouldn’t reply to my own slandering. Here’s what I mean. I didn’t restart this thread or have any need or urge to restart it. No glee welled up in my heart when it restarted and I didn’t jump in to post. Werner sees the thread and himself has nothing novel to say (who does after 1000 posts?), but hops in anyways and uses a bunch of terms like zealously dramatized…private little world of controversy... physiological wreck…fanatical aid…you get the picture. Fine. While a response to that should be accepted by the community as reasonable, I didn’t respond to those things. But Werner goes beyond the hyper-charged words, he states that we weren't really under any pressure from the Valley community, just from two detached persons in a single event. If this is true, then the angst I have expressed on the Taco is way misplaced, a proposition Werner all but spells out. Again, the implication of your post is that I shouldn’t worry about this and should remain silent while the Taco godfather has the last, unrebutted, word.

Peter: “So here we are today, on this forum, Werner, (and I would like to think myself as well) is one of the more thoughtful and caring members of that community of old.”
Riley: “People like …Werner are beloved not because of the routes they put up. It is because they can say "Hi", and mean it and not come off as an arrogent jerk or someone who thinks he is better than everybody else.”

Peter and Riley, there is a Biblical saying that goes roughly like this, ”What altruism is there when you do good to those who do good to you? Even lowlifes do that.” No, I’m not calling you lowlifes. But I am saying that to call Werner “one of the more thoughtful and caring members of that community” who says “Hi” [to you] means nothing to me because that thought and care does not seem to extend one inch past Werner’s own community. There are those on the Taco who are in Werner’s community who have reached out caringly beyond it to me. But Werner is not among them.
mooch

Big Wall climber
The Immaculate Conception
Dec 28, 2007 - 09:44am PT
Who's up for bashing Balwin and Cooper?! Anyone?

Better yet......Batso?

I don't know any of these gentleman but I sure respect them for their vision. And truly, Richard and Mark had a vision....not to appeal to the Style Gods of the time. Although the route sounds terrifying to me, I wouldn't mind trying at least the first pitch to see first hand, Richard and Mark's vision unfold. Nevermind, shitting my pants in the process (and hopefully not on my own rope as well). :/


Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Dec 28, 2007 - 09:48am PT
Whatever, dude. I'm not going to have a pissing (or shitting) contest with you. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Maybe the persons who suggested it was you were so affected by your obvious charm that they chose to blame you. Again, I don't really care. Just as you choose not to out the persons you say did the act, neither will I out the persons who personally told me it was you. I will say they are very well known persons in the community though.

Again, I don't care if it was you or not. I simply stated what I was told by well-known persons in the community who were in the valley at the time. Obviously, I don't *know* who it was... Only the persons who were actually there and witnessed the act know that. But I do know what I was told and repeated it here. If it's wrong, that's their bad. Again, maybe there's a reason for that. However, not knowing you, at all, nor really ever having heard of you, except for maybe your name being mentioned here on the Taco a whole 2 or 3 times (oh and your single other contribution to ST, which was to call JB a liar), I really have no reason to be "after you" or whatever you want to think/portray. Maybe if you weren't the prick you appear to be in your responses here someone wouldn't be trying to frame you, as you claim.

I said what I was told, you responded, I think we're done.
Maysho

climber
Truckee, CA
Dec 28, 2007 - 10:02am PT
Mark,

Looking at this new turn between old pal Dimitri and Nefwhoever, I vow to not step into this steaming pile again.

I was sincere in my post in saying I am sorry that all happened to you guys, and my clumsily expressed point was how can we move on now. I did not mean to imply that you should not be responsive, and the difference between the tone I got from Werners' post, and what you take as "slander" illustrates the point that the sensitivity is still so high, that it is better to just stay silent.

So, to the original post that got this sorry story going again, kudos to you Mark for being a great teacher! That is what I am always working to be as well, and is far more meaningful than being good at hooking, or part of the in crowd, or adept at forum scrapping or really anything else.

Peter
Magnum

Boulder climber
fresno, ca
Dec 28, 2007 - 10:26am PT
hey Meaty, did it come out all steamy, back in 1982?

mooch

Big Wall climber
The Immaculate Conception
Dec 28, 2007 - 10:35am PT
hey Meaty, did it come out all steamy, back in 1982?


HHHHHAAAAA!!
Meaty

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 10:53am PT
"I said what I was told, you responded, I think we're done."
So you're such a putz you believe everything you're told, nuff said about your feeble brain! What you really did was just come right out and slander me with false information and then just stand by that baseless drool, f*#k off!

This is so typical of a jackass like you comes on this forum and posts innuendo that you were "told". You're full of sh#t and you know it. It isn't over you dumbass. Scoll up dumbass and look at a post from Werner, he mentions two people, I am not one of them.

And Magnum, piss off as well. You jackasses just might be surprised who did sh#t on those ropes.

There was a time when I thought maybe it would be good to apologize to the WOS crew, but after this innuendo I could only express myself the same way as before. Stupid route by a couple idiots, piss off.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Dec 28, 2007 - 10:59am PT
Why knott just spill the beans for fuçk's sake?

We love a good soap opera around here...
Meaty

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 11:03am PT
Why knott just spill the beans for fuçk's sake?

We love a good soap opera around here...



Just hold on, it just might happen very soon unless the person that did this gets the sack to admit it. And like I said before, I doubt it.. you know who it is!!! He did a slide show not very long ago and many here at ST attended. LOL

I gotta go, I have a life.
WBraun

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 11:11am PT
The guy who actually sh'it on their ropes I personally ran him out of the SAR site and the Valley.
MSmith

Big Wall climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 28, 2007 - 11:12am PT
Peter,

A generous response, and do I recall what you said (a year or so ago), even if it wasn't in my mind earlier today. Best wishes on the new year.

--Mark
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Dec 28, 2007 - 11:13am PT
Meaty wrote:

I gotta go, I have a life.


I do knott have a life, and don't mind saying so.

I await the truth with baited breath!
The Schmutzvink

climber
The WAY past
Dec 28, 2007 - 11:20am PT
gotta agree with Meaty that there is a well-known ST poster who back in the day proudly took credit for pinching the curly steamer. But I think lots of people took credit. Mr. "Well Known ST Poster" might have been stretching the truth. Again.

also gotta agree that it was just asking for trouble to come into the Valley with no prior El Cap experience and cast away onto an FA. Logical that the locals would question the skills of some unknowns who had honed their chops where? Riverside Quarry?
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Dec 28, 2007 - 11:24am PT
"There was a time when I thought maybe it would be good to apologize to the WOS crew, but after this innuendo I could only express myself the same way as before."

Interesting statement... On all kinds of fronts.

Most importantly, however, is that what I say, or really anyone else here says, has anything to do with Richard Jensen or Mark Smith. So, for you to withhold an apology to them (for what, one can only imagine/assume) is pretty spineless and pathetic. You're simply using things/persons unrelated as an excuse not to.

As far as the other folks mentioned... I'm not going to go back and re-read the thread again or any of the various threads related to the topic. The whole thing has simply gotten old and there are better things to do with my time. I do remember Bill Russell was mentioned a while ago. Someone respected in the community and posting here regularly said he was also involved. BFD.

Really, it doesn't matter f*#kall if any of us know who it was. I don't think anyone really cares or thinks a public apology is warranted. If something were to happen, the only thing that would matter would be a direct apology to Richard and Mark themselves. Anything else would be pointless, really.

And to put it so callously as yourself, since your only contributions to this forum have been to attack myself and anyone saying anything you don't like in this thread, and JB in your other "contribution" to the forum, with a bunch of childish name calling and temper tantrums..... In a language you might understand, why don't you f*#k off, you worthless sack?

Schmutzvink said "But I think lots of people took credit."
Kinda what I said above. Also concurs with what Mark and Richard have both said. Everyone wanted to be responsible back in the day. Funny how no one wants to be responsible now. But it also shows how or why folks might be saying certain people did, who didn't. Again, I don't really care. And to finally agree with Meaty on *something*, I have better things to do than worry about it.

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Dec 28, 2007 - 12:41pm PT
Boys, boys!

One of the things I really love about Mark is his Heart of Passion. In a world where there are so many who are "Plain Vanilla", it is refreshing and invigorating to meet a man like Mark who is not afraid to be real, and to stand up for what he believes in, who doesn't hide behind a fake identity, and who is willing to take his lumps.

I really enjoyed my time with Mark and Richard, and what I can tell you guys here at Supertopo [who have not had the chance to meet them in person] is that they are both very cool guys, and definitely Class Acts. I do knott say this about too many people, either, but these guys have proved it for the most part by trying their best to show grace under intense pressure.

As Men of Passion though, they have a tendency to rant. And while the therapeutic benefits of ranting cannot be understated, sometimes you end up shooting yourself in the foot because you react so hard about something you care so much about. Wings of Steel was a life-altering event for Mark and Richard - they have taken much crap over it, and while there are many who will never agree with them, I think most of us have come to some sort of understanding of what they did and why, even if it is that we "agree to disagree". But it is a very sore spot on their hearts - and if you touch a sore spot on your body, sometimes you over-react. I hope Mark and Richard can let this stuff go, and try not to rant too much, especially to people with fake user names. I want you also to know that they don't rant in person, they are cool.

Identifying alleged perpetrators on an internet forum is lame. Real Men work out their differences in private. If the person who shat on their ropes is reading this, I want you to know that Mark and Richard are men who believe in forgiveness and reconciliation, as do I incidentally. If you were to approach them with an "olive branch", I believe they would be willing to talk to you, or meet with you. Time goes by, we hopefully grow up a bit, maybe we can look back on things from the past through new eyes and a heart of compassion? Maybe you regret messing up their ropes? Maybe if you just said, "I think WoS is a lame route and an ethical affront on El Cap, dudes, and I'll always feel that way, but I'm sorry for crapping on your ropes...." it would go a long way towards healing?

I found Wings of Steel to be desperately hard. I had to cheat-stick my way up the first pitch. I couldn't even do all the moves on toprope, the hooking was so hard! To do it on lead on such long runouts over such marginal gear is way too insane for this part-time climber. You've gotta be really dedicated or really psycho or something I'm not. Tom replaced all the bolts and rivets on the first [legit] pitch and I think the second pitch too [I can't recall], so the route is there for anyone to give it a shot, and I hope they do. Fifty foot falls are not a possibility, they are a certainty - you will whip a long way before you eventually figure it out - far too scary for me.
Ahwahnee Bartender

Big Wall climber
Fog Town
Dec 28, 2007 - 12:48pm PT
The El Cap Ambassador to the World has spoken ...

Respect,
Theo
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Dec 28, 2007 - 01:35pm PT
"The El Cap Ambassador to the World has spoken ...

Respect,
Theo"

hahaha! And you thought this thread had enough tension and stress in it before... Let's just throw some fuel to the fire, eh? hah! Nice going, Theo! =)

Good stuff, Pete!
Meaty

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 01:51pm PT
"Really, it doesn't matter f*#kall if any of us know who it was. I don't think anyone really cares or thinks a public apology is warranted. If something were to happen, the only thing that would matter would be a direct apology to Richard and Mark themselves. Anything else would be pointless, really."

Oh, so it doesn't matter who did the deed? Then why the f*#k did you drag my name through the mud you dickless bastard?? Piss off you moron Nefarius!


"Schmutzvink said "But I think lots of people took credit."
Kinda what I said above. Also concurs with what Mark and Richard have both said. Everyone wanted to be responsible back in the day. Funny how no one wants to be responsible now. But it also shows how or why folks might be saying certain people did, who didn't. Again, I don't really care. And to finally agree with Meaty on *something*, I have better things to do than worry about it."

Oh, you don't care but you blamed me, f*#k off you worthless dipsh#t.

Everyone wasn't running around taking credit for this incident?? Don't think so you putz, get down of your hobby horse you assf*#k, nobody really gives a sh#t about you or the WOS crew jerkoffs. If you post pure lies and then are called on it do you always look like such a putz? Again, you haven't a clue what happened, you're just repeating the lies of the WOS crew. You and your pals can go to hell.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Dec 28, 2007 - 01:57pm PT
One more good reason to hate AIDS climbing, LOL!
Meaty

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 01:57pm PT
"As far as the other folks mentioned... I'm not going to go back and re-read the thread again or any of the various threads related to the topic. The whole thing has simply gotten old and there are better things to do with my time. I do remember Bill Russell was mentioned a while ago. Someone respected in the community and posting here regularly said he was also involved. BFD."

So now that you've had your pathetic ass handed to you it is old and you're done with the subject??

I am not done with your sorry ass!

And I am proud to not only withhold an apology to your f*#ktard pals but once again you can f*#k off along with them. I do remember some people bragging about pissing on your pals and I only wish you were there with them for the golden shower.

Make a baseless claim like you seem to enjoy doing but you can't handle the inevitable heat that come with your arrogance?? You're a pathetic bastard Nefarius.
MSmith

Big Wall climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 28, 2007 - 02:02pm PT
"One more good reason to hate AIDS climbing, LOL!"

Isn't that just AID climbing?
WBraun

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 02:05pm PT
So?

Who's Meaty?
MSmith

Big Wall climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 28, 2007 - 02:05pm PT
"they have a tendency to rant"

Pete, I seem to recall that you pointed that out about 2 years ago. Guess I forgot. Hey, don't you owe us a couple of TR's from last summer?
pc

climber
East of Seattle
Dec 28, 2007 - 02:27pm PT
I love this sh#t...er...thread.
rcmp

Big Wall climber
Lethbridge
Dec 28, 2007 - 02:30pm PT
Meaty is a "neoconhater", so he can't be all bad.

I know who shat on those ropes. Have they not come forward?
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Dec 28, 2007 - 02:33pm PT
No, they have knott.

Why did Meaty delete his post identifying himself?
rcmp

Big Wall climber
Lethbridge
Dec 28, 2007 - 02:34pm PT
Who cares?

Why must you stir sh#t constantly, HK?
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Dec 28, 2007 - 02:48pm PT
After reading your last few posts I'm simply left amused and remembering how the "tough guys" in school were never too terribly bright and always struggled with reading comprehension. Of course, that brought me to the understanding that to further the conversation with you is pretty pointless. But still....

Nigga, please..... A lot of hot air. A lot of dickless Internet tough-guy syndrome. Come try to piss on me yourself, sometime instead of wishing, f*#ktard! I'm pretty much finished with the PC worded approach, so now rather than get in an Internet shouting match with you, which is pretty silly, I've simply laid it out for you.



And now, for the easiest way to end a pointless conversation with an idiot...!
rcmp

Big Wall climber
Lethbridge
Dec 28, 2007 - 02:51pm PT
"PC"?
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 28, 2007 - 02:55pm PT
All I gotta say is I'm glad I wasn't hanging in the Valley in the 80's, and that WOS sounds like a friggin tedious, scary route that you gotta want real bad to get up.

From my perspective as a freeclimber with minimal El Cap experience, it's hard for me to imagine the route is contrived enough to warrant the level of criticism and rude behavior I'm reading about. Most modern El Cap routes are contrived lines, in that they intentionally avoid easier climbing in the interest of independence. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but nobody's really qualified to draw the line and deem a route unworthy for that reason.

As a climber who still enjoys slab climbing occasionally, in spite of the fact it's not fashionable, I don't think it's justified to berate the guys on the FA of WOS for aiding a slab. Because you don't whip into space when your placement blows out? You could argue it's more ballsy, cause you're more likely to hit something or draw blood on a slab fall. Lines on a slab are usually hard to see until you're eye to eye with the edges - it's easy to call a slab line contrived from a safe distance.

As far as the style they used, criticism of that might be justified by someone who's actually done the second, and it sounds like no one has.

The eighties were a dark era for American free climbing, what with all the ground up vs rap bolting squabbling going down. Maybe it's understandable that the general tone would bleed into the aid realm.

The guys who created the route obviously were rattled by the excessively harsh treatment they got. Seems an apology is in order, if nerves are still this raw.

I hate to say it, but reading this sh#t makes me embarassed to be a climber.

KW
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Dec 28, 2007 - 03:02pm PT
ST Forum newbie rcmp asks:

Who cares?

Why must you stir sh#t constantly, HK?



LOL!

Newbie - the percentage of your posts "stirring up shít" far exceed mine (on an order of magnitude).

Go find another leg to hump...

http://www.supertopo.com/forumpostsearch.html?id=7826678

http://www.supertopo.com/forumpostsearch.html?s=ratings&o=ASC&v=0&cur=10&id=7826678#list
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Dec 28, 2007 - 03:07pm PT
My guess is that meaty decided that if he were going to be a true a$$hole, he'd rather not give out his real name.

It's AIDS climbing, as in A.I.D.S., sometimes known as aquired immune deficiency syndrome, but more properly known as Ascending Idiotically, Destroying Stone.

I think this thread has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that AIDS climbing attracts very strange people.

For instance, MOST PEOPLE, given the choice, when they need to take a dump in the wild, would not go to the trouble of finding ropes to Sh!t on.


As for why anyone would question the choice a climber makes to do a new route, could it possibly be that those guys LIKED slab? Could it possibly be that slab called out to em? I've had some of my routes laughed at with the expression, "Why would you ever want to climb that, or even think of it in the first place?"

Those people can go screw themselves, of course, LOL!

Disclaimmer: Yes, I have led aids on new rock. I have cleaned and led (more clean, less lead) free hanging aids on new rock. Almost all done with modern removable pro. I have nailed pins, but no heads. The only pins (Ti) I have used were left as permanent pro on free climbs. I own one hook, a talon (didn't even know what it was called), and made one move with it, LOL! Aids is a necessary evil in my book. I'll do it to get to a free section, but doing a whole wall of aids is just insane. So are you if you love aids climbing. I'm out to do as little aids climbing as I have to, and as much free climbing as possible. As far as AIDS going free, I HATE pin scars!!! Talk about a manufactured free route, UGH.

SO, I'm not a real AIDS climber. Aids is almost as much fun as chemo therapy.

Here's an idea: One day that wings of steel thing will be freed. It's only 80 degrees, and there are little edges, after all. Perhaps a few more flakes and edges will be 'modified'. Probably someone will retro bolt it into a sport(ing) climb of sorts. Imagine all the uproar that will cause!
rcmp

Big Wall climber
Lethbridge
Dec 28, 2007 - 03:23pm PT
The Lord knows that I wouldn't want to challenge your position as Chief Banality Officer here on Supertopo, HK.

When I think of the minutes after minutes, hours after hours, days after days and years after years required to achieve status such as your's, being stupid and bellicose should be a priveledge.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Dec 28, 2007 - 03:30pm PT
Your 16 posts on this forum seem to sum you up rather well.

'nuff said.
rcmp

Big Wall climber
Lethbridge
Dec 28, 2007 - 03:34pm PT
Why is it when people say something meaningless, they follow with "nuf said"?
rcmp

Big Wall climber
Lethbridge
Dec 28, 2007 - 03:36pm PT
I have to go now, but you have fun here, ok HK?

Great thread! A real survivor!
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Dec 28, 2007 - 03:36pm PT
Why don't you go back to lurking, Mr "long time lurker"?

So far, your ratio of bullshít to useful content is at an all-time high.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Dec 28, 2007 - 03:46pm PT
Oh yeah - Do you remember your first post on this forum?




Your first post out of the gate knott only defended the indefensible,
it showed you had a rather turgid hard-on for me.

Again, go find another leg to hump, or go back to "long time lurking"..
MSmith

Big Wall climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 28, 2007 - 04:10pm PT
Riley,

The Intifada posts were a good read. Just nothing I felt inspired to say. Well, maybe to add that I did find Intifada to be a quality line, which I don't think was recognized by some who posted. Beyer gets credit for seeing the line. It's just his tactics and ratings that are problematic (oh, and refusal to provide a topo for the SA, and lame exit to Brer Rabbit). The second pitch is a cobblestone traverse like nothing I've ever seen. I've got a great story to go with our ascent, but don't have time to share it now.

--Mark
Meaty

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 04:23pm PT
"I know who shat on the ropes too. BFD. It's not like anyone needs a ticket to that party.

Yawn." rcmp

Yep, exactly. Thanks!
snyd

Sport climber
Lexington, KY
Dec 28, 2007 - 04:25pm PT
Meaty, are you going to dirty kenny's wedding?
Meaty

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 04:26pm PT
When is it Chris? I would love to go!
snyd

Sport climber
Lexington, KY
Dec 28, 2007 - 04:30pm PT
cabo
san jose del cabo, baja
May 3rd 2008

You should see him! He looks like eminem!

You should call him.
email me and I will bust with his addy and digits.

It's been a long time bro!
Meaty

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 04:34pm PT
It would be great to see you and Kenny, I did see photo or two and he did look like Eminem. It has been a long time!

Gotta go, be back later.
WBraun

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 04:48pm PT
Dirty Kenny looking like eminem?

Chris you are projecting.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Dec 28, 2007 - 05:12pm PT
"For instance, MOST PEOPLE, given the choice, when they need to take a dump in the wild, would not go to the trouble of finding ropes to Sh!t on."

Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!! I laughed out loud at that one!
snyd

Sport climber
Lexington, KY
Dec 28, 2007 - 05:48pm PT
Here's the proof Werner.




WBraun

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 06:36pm PT
LOL, OK Chris

But can he rap?

Da_Dweeb

climber
Dec 28, 2007 - 06:42pm PT
Radical,

“Point well taken and I have no problem with that to be honest.
But my job is making snap decisions about people when their lives are involved - and I'm very good at it..
So I'm confident I'm probably right or at least partially right.
Easy to be loved when your a teacher or leader and that is the point of my post.”

You know what, that’s fair. I don’t agree with you, but on both our parts that’s unlikely to change and probably won’t be able to change outside of real life interactions. I would also argue the point that teaching and leadership are more difficult than your initial appraisal, but ultimately that’s not what I came to post about in the first place. Thank you for your concession to not speculate publicly about Mark in absence of first hand experience. I do wish you well. =)

Snyd,
Holy crap! Is that the real Slim Shady?
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Dec 28, 2007 - 06:56pm PT
If he can't rap, does he just downclimb?


My comment about "nobody" thinking of freeing the Big Slab in 1982 should have been more at, "Nobody had made a serious attempt at freeing the line". In other words, there wasn't a bolt belay anchor at the top of a first pitch.

I guess they could have belayed and retreated from hooks.
Peyton Hassinger

Big Wall climber
Raleigh, NC
Jul 15, 2008 - 10:29am PT
"Incidentally, where are the tall claims of clean/hammerless ascents of Zodiac these days?"

Pete: FYI my brother and a friend did a clean ascent of Zodiac shortly after the Hubers cleaned most of the fixed gear. It is do-able.
MisterE

Trad climber
My Inner Nut
Nov 11, 2008 - 06:22am PT
Bump
MisterE

Trad climber
Canoga Porn, CA
Aug 14, 2009 - 10:30pm PT
I gotta bump this again - one of my top 10 threads ever.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 14, 2009 - 10:48pm PT
The definitive tell-all thread is at http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=518116
dogtown

climber
Cheyenne,Wyoming
Aug 15, 2009 - 04:07am PT
Look, the bottom line is this; Mark & Richard’s mistake was they were outsiders from So Cal. And didn’t spend the time necessary blowing,asking and begging the Valley boy’s (SAR) aka the stone Nazis of the time, for permission to do the route that none of them had the ball’s to do in the first place. THEY JUST DID IT ! And it just pissed off the whole little valley world.

I was there! I heard all the bullshit first hand and was a eyewitness.


Oh and for all you as#@&%e that don’t know what the f*#k you talking about and weren't there.


Blow Me. You know who you are!

zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Aug 15, 2009 - 07:07am PT
So, has there been a second ascent?

Did Ammon and PP do this route?

Trying to find a TR.
Btown

Mountain climber
Grand Junction, CO
Mar 12, 2011 - 07:57pm PT
Wow, I have now been reading this topic for like three or four hours. Fascinating story, really. Now I admit I dont really have much to offer here. I am not an aid climber and, sadly, have never even been to Yosemite. It seems like a big portion of this argument could be solved with a SA. Now, much of this back-and-forth was going on in 2005 and I am writing now in 2011. Has anyone repeated this route? I am guessing not because I haven't heard anything about it. I imagine news like that would spread quickly.

Side note: I read a funny April Fool's post (I cant remember if it was here or on Mountain Project) that claimed two spaniards climbed WoS free, spray painting the good holds all the way. HaHa!!
Aleister Crowley

Trad climber
Mar 12, 2011 - 09:20pm PT
Grossberg's headin' up there this spring with a cell phone and macro lensed camera because Nature is too chicken to do the route before then and has run off to India so as to provide a believable excuse.

Bloody yoga hippies are unreliable, as we had the whole rack together and everything.

Benito will report.
tooth

Trad climber
The Best Place On Earth
Mar 12, 2011 - 09:28pm PT
If the crappers hadn't done their thing, had the 'locals' accepted the climb, we would have had other people accepting that it was possible in their minds, and would today have seen not only a second and third ascent but more routes along these lines...





Just like the 4-minute mile.

If someone had crapped in Roger Bannister's shoes and influenced society to think that it was no fun, bad style, or too scary to run then it could have been at least 30 years before anyone else would have seconded a 4-minute mile. Like sport/bouldering etc, people simply would have started running off-road, or uphill without fully pushing the limits of track running.

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 13, 2011 - 10:40am PT
What an amazing time for this thread to suddenly come to life.
Pate

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 10:43am PT
Look, the bottom line is this;


so the thread can end I guess.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 13, 2011 - 10:44am PT
The crapping was over the top. but somehow the four minute mile analogy seems a bit specious. imaginative though.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Mar 13, 2011 - 10:59am PT
I'd like to know who the crapper was. I suspect from all the secrecy, it wasn't your average joe-blow climber but someone who was a bit "respected".
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:05am PT
What an amazing time for this thread to suddenly come to life.


Thinking about a go, Pete? Get some hot-shot like Honnold or Caldwell to free the bottom section and you take over up top.

Get 'er done!
Dr. F.

climber
So Cal
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:07am PT
You guys don't know WHO the Crapper was??

I do, I thought Everyone knew

should I say it
Or is it a secret
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:08am PT
Say it. I never even heard a rumor of who it was. That always surprised me.

You know, if you're going to state you opinion so strongly, what could you call that person who keeps his deed a secret except a hollow coward?
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:10am PT
Crowley,

I've actually been working out a bit, I thought you and I would give it a go.



The evil one
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:12am PT
soooooo did the "matter" affect the grip of jumars???
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:12am PT
If someone crapped on me intentionally, they would be kidnapped in their sleep and forced to eat my poo. Crapping on someones rope is vile and disgusting. Out the crapper and make him account for his shame.
Dr. F.

climber
So Cal
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:12am PT
I was just about ready to spill the beans for you Mark
But I thought I would wait for a couple more responses,
to make sure its OK

It may be trouble that I'm tripping into!!

He was a Valley Local when it happened, thats for sure

He posted here a couple years ago, haven't seen him lately
Bullwinkle

Boulder climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:17am PT
Dr F, be chill, no need to call out the Bro's. . .Anyway I was at the base and needed to relive myself. . .
Dr. F.

climber
So Cal
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:19am PT
SEE
Maybe I shouldn't say anything

But it wasn't Bullwinkle, I know that!!
Aleister Crowley

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:24am PT
Go ahead Fry....

Either you know, or you don't.

Spill it.
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:29am PT
I don't care who did it, although I've known since that summer.

I want to know how they did it. I mean, saving it up, holding in and letting it out at just the right time? That's takes talent, serious talent.

Performance art, really. Like a real-time spackle fresco.
Bullwinkle

Boulder climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:33am PT
Three Locals, two shitters, one of them couldn't go as he'd been to a cheesefest the night before, he dumped a can of beans instead.

As to how? ever had breakfast at the Cafe?
Dr. F.

climber
So Cal
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:36am PT
100s of people know
Bullwinkle PMed me
and said not to say it
Dr. F.

climber
So Cal
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:41am PT
What a massive conspiracy
I had no idea what was going on here
100s of co-conspirators

I thought it was common knowledge on this thread
Since I never read it all
Dr. F.

climber
So Cal
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:42am PT
The how is self evident
Mimi

climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 12:21pm PT
It wasn't a can of beans, it was chili!

I am Spartacus!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 13, 2011 - 02:30pm PT
Pretty darn sick if you ask me. Any shrink will tell you that public crappers have serious issues.....

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
Mar 13, 2011 - 03:19pm PT
sadly, this kind of stuff was rampant back in the mid to late seventies. It didn't seem the place for some tahoe stranger like myself to be hanging. Very "clique" like, and the talk behind the back syndrome was in full swing. Poop bombs at the base of el cap were special too.. That old article in a 76 issue of climbing mag about "brother bear" was in my thoughts my last visit there. After that, i only entered from the east and didn't go below tuolumne.. Never been in that zoo frame of mind.. In fact, i think back on it and that may have well driven me further from any crowds what-so-ever. I got to where it would irk me royal just to see another climbing party anywhere near the crag i was on...this whole thread is like stepping back in time!
Prod

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 06:14pm PT
I've been told by 4 different people who the shitters were, all 4 had the same names, but I can't remember who they were.

Didn't one of them actually appoligize to the FA's?

Pretty moronic. If it was me they sh#t on, those f*#kers would have bad press until their dying day. I'd go out of my way to let the world know who they were and how they acted... Forever. Wives kids parents friends employeers enemies etc.

Prod.
Dr. F.

climber
So Cal
Mar 13, 2011 - 08:04pm PT
I guess we will never know who pooped on those ropes!
east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Mar 13, 2011 - 08:49pm PT
It's pretty lame that the shitters hide, If you are a badass local and have a problem, why don't you walk up to the guys you have a problem with and face them . Tell them how it works at your "beach" if they don't comply- you pound 'em- Don't play bullSH#T games and then don't claim it- lame
WBraun

climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 09:04pm PT
30 years and you stupid people are still hashing out this sh'it.

You're as stupid as the sh'tters were.

And for your information they did face them "Face to face".

I never went to that stupid "face to face meeting".

I didn't didn't have anything to do with any of this stupid sh'it to warrant me needing to even go there.
east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Mar 13, 2011 - 09:13pm PT
I did't bring this thread back - just a comment - you still seem to be playing as well - stupid is as stupid does LT. DAN
Aleister Crowley

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 09:19pm PT

Really? I heard it was Dimitri...
Pate

Trad climber
Mar 13, 2011 - 10:40pm PT
Werner Braun's responsible for chipping the sh#t out of Wings Of Steel and then he blamed a couple of poor innocent Christian as#@&%es.



I've been told by 4 different people who the shitters were, all 4 had the same names, but I can't remember who they were.

Didn't one of them actually appoligize to the FA's?

Pretty moronic. If it was me they sh#t on, those f*#kers would have bad press until their dying day. I'd go out of my way to let the world know who they were and how they acted... Forever. Wives kids parents friends employeers enemies etc.

Prod.

PROD DON'T TAKE NO SH#T FROM NO ONE!


nature

climber
Mysore Karnataka India
Mar 14, 2011 - 06:42am PT
more lies and slander from crowley.

though I might be a chicken I'm certainly knott a yoga hippie
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Who'll stop the reign?
Mar 14, 2011 - 06:53am PT
Look at it this way... WOS is immortalized in the story of North American climbing precisely because the ropes were shat upon.

Not for the climbing.

Not for the spiritual advancement of the climbers.

Not for the number of days it took to climb it.

The only reason people still stalk about this route at all is the sh#t on the ropes.

Now I support the notion of enduring mysteries. I was comfortable not knowing what happened to Irvine and Mallory. But the thought does occur to me...

one of you video blokes could do a 48-Hours on this... no WAIT.

This would be better-WINNING!

A Cold Case episode?

Or maybe a National Geographic special!

Crack the case. Lenny would figure it out in a few hours.

(best TV cop since Jack Webb)

DMT
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Mar 14, 2011 - 07:23am PT
(best TV cop since Jack Webb)

The dude could sing too. Tore up a few Broadway musicals BITD. He was no rope sh!tter.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 14, 2011 - 05:05pm PT
One of the great scandals, mysteries and cover ups in American climbing history. Deserves some follow up. Someone with the sack and skill to repete the route, find out who the shitters werer and write a book with lots of cool photos....
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Mar 14, 2011 - 06:17pm PT
The only way to prevent rope-shitting at the base of el cap is for the Park to place giant kitty litter boxes at the start of each climb...I'm sure the guys or girls who crapped on those ropes couldn't hold back any longer....Why does everyone think it was intentional....?
coz

Social climber
California
Mar 14, 2011 - 06:21pm PT
It's not a mystery who sh#t on the ropes, its well known, I don't think anyone close to the thing, really cares, if they do, they need to get over themselves and the poop.

rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Mar 14, 2011 - 06:25pm PT
Funny how some sophmoric drunken prank 28 years ago can grow into a major drama ...good entertainment value though
Pate

Trad climber
Mar 14, 2011 - 07:53pm PT
shit rolls downhill. endlessly.
marv

Mountain climber
Bay Area
Mar 14, 2011 - 07:57pm PT
30 years and you stupid people are still hashing out this sh'it.

You're as stupid as the sh'tters were.

And for your information they did face them "Face to face".

I never went to that stupid "face to face meeting".

I didn't didn't have anything to do with any of this stupid sh'it to warrant me needing to even go there.

Normally I'm indifferent to, or mildly dislike, Werner's posts. Not here.
Dr. F.

climber
So Cal
Mar 14, 2011 - 07:59pm PT
AC did it
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Mar 14, 2011 - 08:02pm PT
i just hope, if and when the 2nd does come along, that someone with opportunity (and perhaps a strong sense of irony) craps on some of their gear at the base...









just to keep the percentages going is all.
Aleister Crowley

Trad climber
May 3, 2011 - 08:17pm PT
Btown

Mountain climber
Grand Junction, CO
May 19, 2011 - 10:18am PT
Haha, nobody had commented on this thread in almost two years until I posted back in march. Sorry for bringing this back up. I was sick one night and stumbled across this thread (or series of threads). It was amazingly interesting to me. Especially since Richard and Mark first did this before I was born and yet still the tale lives on. I spent four or five hours reading almost every post on the thread. As a climber with a degree in writing how could I resist such an interesting story with complex characters, numerous layers of conflict, and a complicated, unresolved, almost Post Modern "ending"?

I guess I can see both sides of this story in some way. From the local perspective, I understand the irritation when an outsider comes into your well-established scene and decides to put-up a (major) new route in their own fashion, disregarding the established local customs. There is a sort of arrogance and self-entitlement to that. Not that that is what Richard and Mark did, exactly, but I could see how people got that impression. On the other hand, here are two guys with some big wall skill (I think it's safe to say) who felt compelled to leave their own mark on the greatest big wall in the world. Haven't many of us at some point felt a similar sort of ambition? When they arrived on the scene they were met with unexpected levels of hostility, scrutiny, and downright immaturity (sorry but crapping on someone's climbing rope is pretty middle schoolerish). When they completed their route, instead of receiving the glory they'd hoped, they instead were deeply criticized for next two or three decades. Wow!!!

What amazes me the most is how much bitterness over this there still seems to be. I think we can all look back at ourselves three decades ago (or for those of us that havent been alive that long, even one decade ago) and shake our heads at the things we did and said. We should be able to forgive ourselves and each other for the past. You know what would be great is if Richard and Mark and whoever the Shitter is could all come out and admit the truth and have a good laugh about it together because for God's sake, it was 29 years ago! But alas, what do I know? I wasnt and still am not involved in the Yosemite scene, so I maybe I dont understand the local culture.

One last word, and I'll go back to passive lingering on this thread. Somebody needs to get up there and SA this route! I know many people criticize WoS as a crappy, slabby route or whatever, but it seems like, given the amount of attention this route has generated over the years, an ascent would be well worth the time and adventure. And besides, maybe this is just me being a big wall gumby, but it's El Cap. How bad can the route be? I guess as the climbing world shifts away from the glory days of big wall aid and towards the new age of free climbing a SA of WoS gets less and less likely with each passing season.

Anyway, I apologize for the lengthy post and for bringing this topic back to the top yet again. Cheers from Colorado, and Happy Climbing to all.
Pate

Trad climber
May 19, 2011 - 10:22am PT
Haha, nobody had commented on this thread in almost two years until I posted back in march.

that's cuz there's a WOS 2 thread with way more posts than this you idiot. you didn't strike controversy gold.

haha.
Btown

Mountain climber
Grand Junction, CO
May 19, 2011 - 10:31am PT
Actually there are four threads and none of them had been posted on in that amount of time. I couldn't care less about "striking gold". I actually havent even been back to this site since then. You seem rather unpleasant. I admitted to being a newb and I dont care. I love to climb and that's all that matters to me. If you dislike this thread so much, why even post? If my post offends you so much then you need to get a more interesting life
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
May 19, 2011 - 11:18am PT
Ending? What ending? We will only have a partial resolution after someone makes a second ascent.

One of Richard's and Mark's loudest detractors stated a few years ago that he would make the second ascent, but he hasn't. Queries repeated from time to time have resulted in nothing but crickets.

Rumour has it another team is hoping to have a go at it sooner rather than later.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 19, 2011 - 11:24am PT
Who was that again, Pete? Why didn't he go up on it? I seem to remember something about someone being very forceful about it....
Hawkeye

climber
State of Mine
May 19, 2011 - 01:19pm PT
One of Richard's and Mark's loudest detractors stated a few years ago that he would make the second ascent, but he hasn't.

buy him the snaileye t-shirt....
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
May 19, 2011 - 01:23pm PT
That's cuz Grossman is being a pussy. Put up or shut up. God knows he could do it...

I would go do it but I have to redpoint Nutcracker first.

I'll be out there in October so maybe I can fit it in.


Jeremy

Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
May 19, 2011 - 01:49pm PT
Sh#t, guys.



You seen a picture of Grossman recently?





Remember Samson? (Man of the Sun?)


You is asking a lot. Time has flown, and its pretty close to twilight for those of us that actually remember this sh#t.




Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
May 19, 2011 - 01:57pm PT
I'm not asking sh#t.

Said he would do it and hasn't.

Nuff said.

I said I would have a beer at lunch and I did.

BAM.

J
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 19, 2011 - 02:01pm PT
it was 29 years ago! But alas, what do I know?

Controversy doesn't end till all the players are departed these four dimensions. That not only includes the original ascendants, the shitters, the second attempters, the loud and boisterous, the internet clowns and so on. Thirty years in geologic time is nothing; memory is not worn down in three decades.

Wait till you've had three decades of adult memory under yer belt & you'll see what I mean.

One close friend of mine recently called me out on something I wrote online here about something that happened three decades ago. Pain & memory are still agonizingly fresh.
WBraun

climber
May 19, 2011 - 02:05pm PT
The rooot (route) will never be done again.

It's gone.

All the hook moves have been washed away ......
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 19, 2011 - 02:12pm PT
One of Richard's and Mark's loudest detractors stated a few years ago that he would make the second ascent, but he hasn't. Queries repeated from time to time have resulted in nothing but crickets.

Maybe's the ex-participants have have moved on and decided that there are more important things in life.

They've moved on.

Looks like the peanut gallery is trying to goad the ex-participants into resuming the fight.

I hope they don't fall for it.
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
May 19, 2011 - 02:12pm PT
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ +1 (WB's post)

You can never step in the same river twice.



It wouldn't even be the same or similar face.

New gear, new rubber, new techniques and a new understanding of the very idea of climbing have washed over us since the original guys took off the ground. Just the knowlege of the possibility of the route changes it.

All the modern practice on 5.12, 5.13, 5.14 would change the essential mental component of the attempt. Sport climbing makes what they did different. New and longer ropes make it different.


There is really no going back.


TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
May 19, 2011 - 02:38pm PT
WTF does it matter? The end of days is in two anyway.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 19, 2011 - 02:46pm PT
All the hook moves have been washed away ......

Finally, an honest assessment of the outlandish scale of the 'chiseling' made during the FA. My guess is they were washed away a year or two after the FA.
That's Papajoto to you son!!!!!

Social climber
Oatmeal Arizona
May 19, 2011 - 04:21pm PT
I love it when a WOS thread comes back to life!!!!!!!
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
May 19, 2011 - 04:28pm PT
Crowley and I are training for the second right now, should be ready by late October.


I'm not above chipping and gluing, I'm evil.


The evil one
kaitb

Big Wall climber
Jul 1, 2011 - 07:03pm PT
FACT: 2 pitches down bitches! Ammon & Kait
climbingcook

Trad climber
sf
Jul 1, 2011 - 07:10pm PT
sweet!
Weld_it

Trad climber
Chatsworth
Jul 1, 2011 - 10:35pm PT
FACT: MEDOW CAM SAYS OFFROOT!!!!!
Captain...or Skully

climber
or some such
Jul 1, 2011 - 10:40pm PT
Hey, if you want to climb on the Giganto Slab, Have at it.
I dunno. Cheers, though.
Gene

climber
Jul 1, 2011 - 10:44pm PT
Dang. In this weather that slab must feel like the world's biggest tanning oven.

My best to all involved.
g
Slakkey

Big Wall climber
From Back to Big Wall Baby
Jul 2, 2011 - 07:04am PT
FACT; Nice :)
SofCookay

climber
Jul 2, 2011 - 07:09am PT
FACT: New 3/8 inch bolts on first pitch of WOS. Coincidence?
Holdplease2

Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Jul 2, 2011 - 07:19am PT
I am pretty sure I saw several new 3/8 inch bolts on P.1 of that route a few weeks ago, and just brought it up to Tom Evans a few days ago to try to figure out what was going on.

Ammon and Kait, are you replacing the rivets with 3/8 inch bolts on this route?

Kate
The Chief

climber
Climber from the Land of the Free Minded Mongols
Jul 2, 2011 - 07:30am PT
FACT: New 3/8 inch bolts on first pitch of WOS. Coincidence?

Ammon and Kait, are you replacing the rivets with 3/8 inch bolts on this route?

I truly hope not... that would really really really suck!


Please, someone say this is a troll and it is not so.

If so, it would be a travesty IMO.
SofCookay

climber
Jul 2, 2011 - 07:32am PT
Not a troll - the bolts are definitely there - shiny and new.
Holdplease2

Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Jul 2, 2011 - 07:35am PT
I have never trolled anyone on the internet, and I use my real name. I was up there to climb Lurking Fear a few weeks ago, and several shiny 3/8 inch bolts were on the first 50 feet of P1.

I thought maybe someone was be trying to free it, and asked Tom about it at the bridge two days ago.

All he had to say was "Its not the usual suspect."

Kate
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jul 2, 2011 - 07:40am PT
Which "P1" were the bolts on? I ask because AFAIK, there are two starts/variations (and thus two"P1") of the route.
The Chief

climber
Climber from the Land of the Free Minded Mongols
Jul 2, 2011 - 07:42am PT
C'mon!

I hope that whoever added the bolts, had the courtesy to ask Richard and Mark for permission to do so.

If not, that would really be the travesty of travesties after all these years.

My fond memories of attempting the first true pitch, some 15 years ago, would be totally nullified. Sad!




Which "P1" were the bolts on? I ask because AFAIK, there are two starts/variations (and thus two"P1") of the route.

The left variation was never considered a real true variation of P1, as I was told. Been there and done that.
Holdplease2

Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Jul 2, 2011 - 07:46am PT
It is the "real" start, the more direct first pitch.

-Kate.
The Chief

climber
Climber from the Land of the Free Minded Mongols
Jul 2, 2011 - 07:48am PT
THAT IS FUK'D UP!

CHOP TIME!




Again, I hope that both Richard and Mark were asked prior to doing so.



If this is so, and their permission not given, that would just go to show that NOTHING is sacred nor respected any more.

That would not be cool. Not one bit. Bringing a line of this magnitude down to a level of such BS slime, just shows outright contempt to both Richard and Mark.

Any idea as to who may have added them new shiney bolts that never existed?


Slakkey

Big Wall climber
From Back to Big Wall Baby
Jul 2, 2011 - 07:56am PT
Hmm the plot thickens once again. Agree bad form by adding the new hardware
BASE1361

climber
Yosemite Valley National Park
Jul 2, 2011 - 08:05am PT
Piss on me Pete and Tom were up there years ago as well. You could hear Pete's hammer from Moby Dick drill'n away. Ammon made it to the first 2-3? pitches and Pete used Ammon's rope to TR the pitches. Sounds like Pete put some weak sauce in his breakfast that morning. TR Ammon's rope to climb A5 is like shooting a tiger in a zoo. Where's the challenge??

Any Drill'n ask Pete. Ammon and Kait are not up there drill'n on the route.
Prod

Trad climber
Jul 2, 2011 - 08:08am PT
Adding or replacing? There is a difference.

Prod.
Holdplease2

Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Jul 2, 2011 - 08:11am PT
Pete was up there with Richard and Mark (and their permission), replacing the original (old) rivits with rivits IIRC a few years ago. The route was still sporting those same rivits at the end of last year.

Is it possible that Pete was up there this year? I don't think so. However, nothing is impossible. Still, the bolts were up just two days after Pete came down from the epic with David, because I carried loads and saw the bolts the day after the rain stopped.

I cannot imagine that Ammon would do this without FA permission, anyway. We will have to wait to hear from them or from whoever did it to know.

Kate

drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jul 2, 2011 - 08:18am PT
No one's EVER shown outright contempt for Richard or Mark before, have they?
The Chief

climber
Climber from the Land of the Free Minded Mongols
Jul 2, 2011 - 08:19am PT
I can not see Ammon doing such a thing let alone Richard/Mark giving permission to so, period???



Most probably do not understand nor do I expect them to. But for me, to hear that such a thing has occurred on a route that has made such a powerful impact on the line in the sand, really brings the heart and soul of why I got into this game over 40+ years ago, down to a simple form of nothingness.
Holdplease2

Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Jul 2, 2011 - 08:21am PT
I agree, there must to be more to this story than the current team (or someone working with them) bolting without FA permission. I know one other guy on this site that tried the route and claimed the first 2 pitches two years ago, but he left the rivets, did not replace with bolts.

Maybe some other attempt was about to happen, they replaced the hardware and the current team jumped at the opportunity?

Kate
The Chief

climber
Climber from the Land of the Free Minded Mongols
Jul 2, 2011 - 08:26am PT
Maybe some other attempt was about to happen, they replaced the hardware and the current team jumped at the opportunity?

If this was all done so WITHOUT the approval of either Richard or Mark, then there is not nor will there ever be a true SA of "WINGS OF STEEL". The route has been killed and no longer exists.

Oh well. The book, let alone a possible new chapter, has been closed shut and thrown into the fire. Sad day indeed and the true end of an era.



Prod

Trad climber
Jul 2, 2011 - 08:41am PT
If this was all done so WITHOUT the approval of either Richard or Mark, then there is not nor will there ever be a true SA of "WINGS OF STEEL". The route has been killed and no longer exists.

Oh well. The book, let alone a possible new chapter, has been closed shut and thrown into the fire. Sad day indeed and the true end of an era.


Did you take your pill today? A bit mellow dramatic without knowing many if any of the facts involved.

Prod.
Weld_it

Trad climber
Chatsworth
Jul 2, 2011 - 09:04am PT
FACT: NEW ROOT BRAS, NOT WOS
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jul 2, 2011 - 10:18am PT
There is a lot of conjecture out there, very few facts. I think I'll wait to hear from Kait and Ammon before getting my panties all in a wad.
Holdplease2

Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Jul 2, 2011 - 10:21am PT
So you sleep with a stuffed animal and wear panties?

Marks post brings more questions than answers. ;)

-Kate.

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jul 2, 2011 - 10:23am PT
The true me, revealed!

;-)
Meaty

climber
Jul 2, 2011 - 10:46am PT
Maybe that sackless drone pal of the FA party will not be such a coward and delete the post were he accused me of shitting on those ropes. I have the screen shot, what a load of defamation! Nefarius is as much a coward as those two chumps. Go f*#k yourself Randy!

Edit: Oh! So Randy didn't delete the post accusing me of shitting on those ropes! Well isn't that special!

All this lame ass talk about getting the FA party's permission regarding the fixed gear/bolts on aid or free routes is pathetic, people are free to do whatever they please and hear the music afterwards. Loads of climbs in Yosemite both free and aid that have bolts etc. placed by repeating parties.
Permission? Bullsh#t, no one needs permission to chop, add, steal hangers....it goes on all the time.

When anyone leaves fixed gear/bolts it is no longer their property, it is abandoned. If someone drills loads of bolts on WOS so what.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jul 2, 2011 - 11:00am PT
Maybe that sackless drone pal of the FA party will not be such a coward and delete the post were he accused me of shitting on those ropes. I have the screen shot, what a loads of defamation! Nefarius is as much a coward as those two chumps. Go f*#k yourself Randy!

Edit: Oh! So Randy didn't delete the post accusing me of shitting on those ropes! Well isn't that special!

All this lame ass talk about getting the FA party's permission regarding the fixed gear/bolts on aid or free routes is pathetic, people are free to do whatever they please and hear the music afterwards. Loads of climbs in Yosemite both free and aid that have bolts etc. placed by repeating parties.
Permission? Bullsh#t, no one needs permission to chop, add, steal hangers....it goes on all the time.

When anyone leaves fixed gear/bolts it is no longer their property, it is abandoned. If someone drills loads of bolts on WOS so what.


Preserved here, for all time. Also pinned up on my fridge.
The Chief

climber
Climber from the Land of the Free Minded Mongols
Jul 2, 2011 - 11:24am PT
Did you take your pill today? A bit mellow dramatic without knowing many if any of the facts involved.


All this lame ass talk about getting the FA party's permission regarding the fixed gear/bolts on aid or free routes is pathetic, people are free to do whatever they please and hear the music afterwards. Loads of climbs in Yosemite both free and aid that have bolts etc. placed by repeating parties. Permission? Bullsh#t, no one needs permission to chop, add, steal hangers....it goes on all the time.
The above GDavis saved ^^^^^^^^^^^ post pretty much says it all.


The new generation of GYMER FU's and fuk any ethics that once were the soul of the rock.

No more soul. None. All gone.
kaitb

Big Wall climber
Jul 2, 2011 - 11:32am PT
We haven't drilled anything. All natural hooking. Pretty spicy... I think the bolts are from Pete a few years ago. Ammon & Kait
Holdplease2

Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Jul 2, 2011 - 11:35am PT
Good news.

Still, I don't think the bolts were from Pete and the FA team, I'm pretty sure they're new. Climb safe, Kait and Ammon.

-Kate.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 2, 2011 - 11:44am PT
If someone added bolts then it just verifies the FA was a pretty ballsy affair and someone wasn't prepared to sack up to the same level on the route.
The Chief

climber
Climber from the Land of the Free Minded Mongols
Jul 2, 2011 - 11:46am PT
How many and where on the 1st P are them bolts located, Kait?
Meaty

climber
Jul 2, 2011 - 11:48am PT
The new generation of GYMER FU's and fuk any ethics that once were the soul of the rock.

No more soul. None. All gone.

The Chief

Please do not over-generalize the current "new" generation. Many younger climbers have the same respect for ethics, soul of the rock...etc. as those much older.
I've had run-out climbs bolted over 20 years ago on rap by climbers the same generation as me, it's just selective outrage by a very few people that seem to make noise. It isn't a generational thing, it is just fact, when you place a bolt it is no longer your property, it becomes part of the public domain. Someone has the same right to chop it as you had placing it.
The Chief

climber
Climber from the Land of the Free Minded Mongols
Jul 2, 2011 - 11:54am PT
All this lame ass talk about getting the FA party's permission regarding the fixed gear/bolts on aid or free routes is pathetic, people are free to do whatever they please and hear the music afterwards. Loads of climbs in Yosemite both free and aid that have bolts etc. placed by repeating parties. Permission? Bullsh#t, no one needs permission to chop, add, steal hangers....it goes on all the time.

Dance and spray all ya want. The comments above state the reality of my post. The ongoing "Tick Mark" thread just adds to the lack of soul. Whatever.

OVER AND OUT!



!!!!!Glad to hear that Ammon had nothing to do with the new bolts. Never even once thought he did!!!!!!
Meaty

climber
Jul 2, 2011 - 11:59am PT
"Dance and spray all ya want. The comments above state the reality of my post. The ongoing "Tick Mark" thread just adds to the lack of soul. Whatever.

OVER AND OUT!"



No spray, just the clear reality. Nothing new or having to do with a younger generations as well.

Funny how I've never heard a peep from you and many others about climbs I did the FA of that were bolted over on rap?? It has absolutely nothing to do with ones age/generation. No one has control