Shiprock Climbing History

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Messages 61 - 80 of total 124 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Porkchop_express

Trad climber
Currently in San Diego
Dec 2, 2009 - 06:09pm PT
Bump
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Dec 22, 2009 - 08:52pm PT
Bump
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 23, 2009 - 08:32am PT
Cameron- Nice reward for some service work! How was the route and how were the authorities?
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Dec 23, 2009 - 08:47am PT
Bump.... good read.... on a cold day.

I don't wish to break any laws.... but I have wanted to climb this one for like 36 years.

Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Dec 24, 2009 - 06:59pm PT
Cameron- Nice reward for some service work! How was the route and how were the authorities?

Steve,
"Authorities" (cops, etc.) were non-existent. The "authority" was just the local grazing permit holder and his family. You should read my piece in Postcards from the Trailer Park on Navajolands.
The route was a new one----Friggin' in the Riggin', named for the Sex Pistols song about sailing. It followed an entirely natural line. We placed 18 bolts, all at belay/rap stations. None for upward progress.
The route was first described in World Mountaineering (www.amazon.com/World-Mountaineering-Worlds-Mountains-Mountaineers/dp/0821225022/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261707891&sr=1-1).
Cam
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 15, 2010 - 11:29am PT
Bill Amborn graciously donated his Sierra Club Bulletins to our collection and was really excited about this 1940 account of the FA of Shiprock. Bill picked up the 1940 issue at a garage sale to supplement his run.

Thanks Bill for this valuable resource!

























tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Aug 15, 2010 - 12:23pm PT
not to mention the environmental consequences of decades of U mining and the tons of U mill tailings still present on Navajo land including Shiprock.



Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Aug 15, 2010 - 01:34pm PT
bummmmmmmmmmmmmp
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Aug 19, 2010 - 05:34am PT
i started climbing in new mexico in 1978 with a club called southwest mountaineers at las cruces. dick ingraham, a physics prof at new mexico state, was lead instigator of much of the climbing in the local organ mountains, but he and his friends would speak wistfully of the old days on shiprock and blamed the closure on "a misunderstanding". they used to go up there regularly, a special trip to a special place--wouldn't mind taking a look at that register myself.

i believe bernie (?) topp was the climber who died in the rappeling accident. they named topp hut, the stone shepherd's hut on the rough road into the organs, in his memory. don't be uppity about such things. several great climbers, including giusti gervasutti and tom patey, died because of simple rappelling mistakes. rapelling at the end of an exhausting day involves considerable emotional vulnerability and savvy climbers are always on their guard for that.

if you're a tony hillerman fan, his novel the fallen man deals with a body found on shiprock by sneaky climbers. i've read all his stories, but for some reason i remember this one not making me feel very good about either navajos or climbers, and it showed regrettable unfamiliarity with climbing.

i'm a fan of navajo culture and particularly their theology. i won't get into that here, but a friend lent me an interesting book, blood and thunder by hampton sides, a history of the rancorous times of indian subjugation in the southwest, including the navajo's exile to bosque redondo. according to sides, prior to being messed with in a major way by the whites, the navajo had quite an egalitarian society, a chiefless tribe where no one presumed to exercise authority over anyone else, and women often spoke their piece and were influential far in advance of the feminism of today. the tribe's one bad habit, alas, was raiding, stealing livestock and children as well, although those who thus joined the tribe often elected to stay when attempts were made to liberate them.

the policing rhetoric of the tribal council in this ban on climbing sounds like a killjoy spirit they picked up from their conquerors, nothing like the old spirit of the tribe. it doesn't surprise me that individual navajos are sympathetic to us, and that some of them appear to be giving our sport a try themselves.

when mariko and i were leading sierra club hikes for youngsters, a schoolteacher from navajoland took part in our topanga canyon hike with his young child. we got to talking climbing and he invited me out sometime and even promised a sneak attack on shiprock. was that you, todd? never got around to that, mostly out of respect for the ban, but these reports put that in a new perspective.

hillerman's entertaining stories depict a profound appreciation of beauty at the core of the navajo spirit. i can't claim to be an expert on the culture and religion, but i've certainly become a fan. it looks like that "misunderstanding" has had some amelioration. it would be nice if our society could learn in turn from the tribe's original egalitarianism.

cheers to todd, brian, cameron, lost arrow (rescuing navajo climbers!) and others who seem to have connected with the navajo and made a case for climbing as part of a shared spirit.
wbw

climber
'cross the great divide
Aug 19, 2010 - 07:39am PT
It's difficult to take the ban seriously from a "spirituality" point of view, having seen the picture of the car that was flown to the top of the Totem Pole for a French commercial. Philo's point about accepting the consequences if one is caught climbing a forbidden tower is well taken, however.

I think Todd's first post is excellent, and also Brian P.'s post as well.

Shiprock is not particularly difficult to poach because it really is more of a mountain - complex, and pretty hard to spot climbers because the route is often in a deep gully thing - and not a desert spire in the true sense. The Totem Pole was much more difficult, and in fact we were detected but not busted on our 1987 ascent.

Spider Rock. Now that would be a difficult and worthy tower to poach. I have always trespassed to climb the towers on the Res. with a great sense of respect for the Navajo, even though I know that sounds like a rationalization.
gazela

Boulder climber
Albuquerque, NM
Aug 20, 2010 - 04:19pm PT
I've always wanted to read the original article that Bestor Robinson wrote re: FA of Shiprock. Thanks for posting!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2010 - 11:12pm PT
Anyone have a good scan of the Saturday Evening Post article, "A Bent Piece of Iron?"
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 18, 2010 - 10:07am PT
Bump for A Bent...
crunch

Social climber
CO
Sep 18, 2010 - 11:30am PT
Hi Steve, your wish is my....

Saturday Evening Post, July 22, 1939

Gripping story from Robert Ormes, a really original and bold climber. Back then they had neither Supertopo, nor Youtube, nor Rock and Ice; it was reading this very article that galvanized the Sierra Club group into urgent action.

(as usual, click on each pic for a larger one)


Piece of Bent Iron-1
Piece of Bent Iron-1
Credit: crunch

Piece of Bent Iron, part 2
Piece of Bent Iron, part 2
Credit: crunch

Piece of Bent Iron, part 3
Piece of Bent Iron, part 3
Credit: crunch

Piece of Bent Iron, part 4
Piece of Bent Iron, part 4
Credit: crunch

Piece of Bent Iron, part 5
Piece of Bent Iron, part 5
Credit: crunch

More details and some previously unpublished photos of Ormes and Brower on Shiprock in my book, Desert Towers, which is on its way from printers to Colorado--will be here within a week or so (shameless plug...)



Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 18, 2010 - 04:00pm PT
It's a plug for The Plugs really!

Buy Steve's Desert Towers Book Everybody!!! I can't wait to see the finished book!

Thanks for the Post article!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2010 - 12:02pm PT
Impending Book Bump!
crunch

Social climber
CO
Sep 19, 2010 - 12:21pm PT
Saturday Evening Post, Feb 3, 1940. Photo taken after the first ascent...
Saturday Evening Post, Feb 3, 1940. Photo taken after the first ascent of Shiprock
Credit: Mrs Robinson
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2010 - 01:17pm PT
Shiprock was "there" and it was getting to be "there" to a good many people besides ourselves!

Wonder who has the bent piece of iron?
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Dec 6, 2010 - 11:29pm PT
Missed this first time around. Very in teresting to me. How many routes are on the peak. It looks likt there are dozens of seperate summits and the possibility of hundreds of routes. What is the length of the routes that have been established?
Gal

Trad climber
a semi lucid consciousness
Dec 6, 2010 - 11:32pm PT
wow, great. Will read through soon!
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