muir wall


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Trad climber
Jan 3, 2009 - 09:58am PT
PS, I'll answer all your questions about the climb, but if this become a bolting debate I am out of here!


Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jan 3, 2009 - 10:00am PT
The new mentality seems to be sport crag.
But the adventure is still there, and plenty of it, for the ones that choose it.

That being said, a power drill wouldn't have been my pick.
You guys are plenty badass without it.

Trad climber
Jan 3, 2009 - 10:15am PT
I would say to the young climbers out there, that a day will come when looking back becomes your climbing. Your bodies are not as strong and your minds not willing to justify the task. You will find a job or a wife/husband, or just decide to do something besides climb.

I look back on my climbs in the Valley with great pride, I gave the rock a chance, I climb with a great deal of respect for those who would come after me and those who came before.

It seems no one has a hold on values now, they are lost without some kind of morals. There can be no creativity without some kind of structure. We had beliefs back then a code to climb by.

Now all you have are soul-less results, without borders or method.

Trad climber
North Hollywood, California
Jan 3, 2009 - 10:38am PT
Hey Scott,

I remember doing Free Blast with a friend and running into you on Mammoth Ledges. You were kicking back with the tunes and resting up. Way cozy. I was and still am impressed with your style and ethics. It matches my own. I think it must be part of our generation and the climbers we looked up to.

Gene Mayo

P.S. That single static line to the ground was awesome!! We hit the dirt in about 15 minutes.

Jan 3, 2009 - 11:37am PT
COZ wrote
"It seems no one has a hold on values now, they are lost without some kind of morals. There can be no creativity without some kind of structure. We had beliefs back then a code to climb by.

Now all you have are soul-less results, without borders or method."

No one has values and all you have are soul-less? Seems like stong and ignorant words that are grouping all active 1st ascentionists as one crappy group. Bummer.
Bob J.

Jan 3, 2009 - 12:02pm PT

One thing we did was climb from the bottom to the top, no rappeling from the top to rehearse, people just do what ever it takes now. Kurt and I had the stone master as mentors, we respected the adventure, what's happening in the Valley now seems like a big ego trip, where the stone is beat down, until she gives it up.

Max and Mark would have easily been the first to archive the first free ascent (ground up, with EBs and old sh#t for gear), had they accepted just any style. I think one of the Skinner/Pianna criticisms was the style they chose was to get it done no matter what the tactics were and then get it published so as to make a buck on it. Since Jones and Hudon had kicked ass earlier and refused to lower their style despite being so close, I think bystanders and other climbers saw the Skinner/Pianna thing as a freak show of compromise and falsehoods when they looked at what some real ballsy dudes had earlier done. Todd Skinner was a great guy, fantastic human being, so it may sound like a criticism...but it's just laying it the way it is and is the truth.

Mark and Max kicked serious ass, and with even the new Fires as a new addition would have probably cranked it out.

BTW, F* that drilling criticism, no one ever thought you ever overdrilled anything Kurt, and it's real sh#t when within viewing distance the hypocritical Park service is running earthmoving equipment and paving the sh#t out of the place (new pullout by Nutcracker for instance). You guys are pretty amazing and everyone knows it. Of course, think of this: had powerdrilling been legal, Todd and Paul would have had many more "free" routes up there (I think that disturbed Galen Rowell when they went up to the Cirque and did exactly that with a powerdrill in a very remote area)! :-)

Appreciate the extra pics! Eppi shoots serious good stuff.....damn.

right here, right now
Jan 3, 2009 - 12:49pm PT
I fairly well agree with all that couchmaster.

Everybody gets criticized.
Even Max and Mark were sometimes criticized for doing short pitches.

Stay with us here COZ.
We really do want to have your input into the history of this stuff.

*Yes let's hope we don't get into a bolting dustup and lose sight of some good historical reportage*

As well Coz, not to say your views don't matter, they DO, but maybe if you lighten up just a teeny weeny little bit on the current generation's doings, this thread won't get gunked up by lots of rabble.
(After all, the new kids are gonnah do what they're to do)

Ice climber
canyon country,CA
Jan 3, 2009 - 12:49pm PT
"F%ck that drilling criticism"

How about just "F%ck that criticism" ? It seems everyone wants to criticize everyone elses style and hold their own as the "True" way it should be done. It's not valid if you rehearsed the crux, fixed lines, rapped in, blah, blah, blah. The point is why knock others when your game has holes in it. I know mine does. But I did it without a power drill.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jan 3, 2009 - 12:53pm PT
Truth is Coz did plenty without a powerdrill too.
An overwhelming respect for the stone throughout the majority of his climbing, I think.

right here, right now
Jan 3, 2009 - 01:14pm PT
Absolutely Scott’s record is by and large very clean.

But this is just human nature; when someone stands too tall (or is perceived to), a certain number of onlookers will take offense and respond by looking for chinks in the armor.

Also, it is ART.
And there's plenty of room, and need, for constructive & critical appraisal.

I mentioned this to Kurt in another thread and I think he gets it.
(not that I’m the grand poobah of decorum or anything)
A little humility goes a long way to maintaining an even keel in all this reportage.

Stay with us COZ.
Stay with us COZ.
Stay with us COZ.


Cardiff by the sea
Jan 3, 2009 - 01:24pm PT
Roy you are the Grand Poobah in my book.

When I asked earlier to keep this thread alive I sure didn't think it would head in this direction. Lets get back to some pictures and tales about the challenges of the climb.

We had one of those outback ovens when we went into Proboscis. What a killer unit to cook with. I wish my scanner wasn't broken I got pizza pictures too.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jan 3, 2009 - 01:34pm PT
Indeed PIX!! Love it.

Tar, you are certainly one of the grand poobahs..just with a couple chips like the rest of us. I always enjoy your commentary, well thought and written without coming off all judge-like.

right here, right now
Jan 3, 2009 - 01:46pm PT
CHIPS ???!!!???
I ain't got no chips homie.

Oh right, you meant THOSE kind, the little round plastic ones, like for poker.
Let 'em fall where they may...

But wait...

[Let the Chips Fall Where They May. Never mind the consequences: speak your mind or do what you think must be done. You can see where the idea came from in a 14th-century proverb: "Hew not too high lest the chips fall in thine eye."]

[let the chips fall where they may:
No matter what the consequences, as in "I'm going to tell the truth about what happened, and let the chips fall where they may." This metaphoric term alludes to chopping wood and is usually joined to a statement that one should do what is right (that is, the woodcutter should pay attention to the main task of cutting logs and not worry about small chips). [Late 1800s]]

So....... anyhow

More pictures please.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jan 3, 2009 - 02:01pm PT
"I'd have to say I'd like to see one of these modern yahoo's pull off the first ground up FFA ascent of The Captain; what we old guys tried 14 years ago. "

It's been done hasn't it?

You guys were and are studs, but quit yur whining about the new generation. There are bold and talented folks that have matched and exceeded you standard. You can credit showing the way but you sound like geezers whining about "kids these days" and things going down hill. How about the free solo of Half Dome, the bold free climbs on the falls wall and the FA of an El Cap route in a push onsight and free over on the right side?

You don't have to slander the present to honor the past



right here, right now
Jan 3, 2009 - 02:19pm PT
”like geezers whining about "kids these days"
 That’s what they are Karl. And so are we (geezers at least)

” You don't have to slander the present to honor the past”
 It achieves just the opposite…

And we're all still kids too: “no you said it first” …”she started it” ….

More pictures please!

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jan 3, 2009 - 02:43pm PT
"Mom..she's reaching onto my side of the car again!"

Chips: As in chips off the old stone, or a fine antique rocker with a couple chips in it....

The current generation are a fine, hardpulling group of guys and gals. But, just like we did, they sometimes evolve to the side or even a step back as they're trying to move forward.
The generation that came before sometimes slandered us and tried to get us back on the "right" track, thus we do it to those that come after us. Newness is not always the best just because it's new. Oldness is not always superior just because it came first.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jan 3, 2009 - 02:44pm PT
Thanks, but don't attribute too much ethical clarity to Max and me. We did rap down to the cave on the Rostrum to work the Headwall before attempting to free climb the whole route. That sort seems to me to be much like Tommy rapping down to work that .13d pitch on the Muir/Shaft and then going back and starting from the bottom. I don't see how one is okay and the other is not.
I can't really see ragging on Skinner and Pian for their ascent of the Salathe. Am I mistaken or hasn't Coz ever been sport climbing? Isn't one a larger version of the other?

Trad climber
Jan 3, 2009 - 02:50pm PT
I didn't expect many would understand what I was saying.... so in other words, what's being done now is worlds harder than what we could have even dream of. We just never thought of adopting the current tactics being used.

Our attempt would have been a winner if we had rap from the top, stashed food and water, but we where not willing to do that. I was only trying to express we had rules we places on ourselves and in retrospect, I feel better about failing and trying in good style that winning at all cost.

Just sharing my feelings, not getting down on the current scene. It's just different not better or worse. In the end it is what me, Kurt and Greg experienced, it is our experience, if you like to hear about it ask.

If you want to talk about power-drills, I am not into it.

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Jan 3, 2009 - 03:01pm PT
What kind of drill did you have?

Ahh just joking.

Proud effort man.

If you have any other pics of the climb, post 'em. Some of us would really enjoy a chance to see them.

Jan 3, 2009 - 03:05pm PT
Nice topic...thanks KS and Coz for the photos and explanations.

This to me underscores a great aspect of climbing: That each climber is basically free to define her own version of it.

You guys seemed to be after much more than a route when you left the ground--you were in it for the pure elixir. That was a good reminder to all of us to look at the process and its details, which to my mind, is really the essence of rock climbing.

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