What were the first few routes on Cookie cliff?


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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 29, 2009 - 01:12pm PT
Tom is married to Barb Eastman and lives in SLC.

Buried in my slide box......
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Mar 29, 2009 - 01:46pm PT
SG wrote

"Bev's Tower is a parallel set of nice cracks with an ear/lobe on the outside. Grunt 10a not technical. Some stemming and chimneying involved. The 5.4 is the traverse out to get started, I think. Useful?"

Been awhile since you've been at the cookie eh?

Bev's is MUCH more technical than grunt and any 5.4 is at the end (after the first set of anchors) Not many years ago, a guy fell off soon after the traverse to get started and was killed.


Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 29, 2009 - 02:16pm PT
Hi Karl,

Do you have a picture or sketch of the route?

What is this about the first set of anchors? Are you assuming continuing on to the climbs on the Nabisco wall?


BTW, for me, the only time I did the route was on the FFA with Allen. Neverr did it a second time, even with a client.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Mar 29, 2009 - 02:42pm PT
Just after the chimney section of Bevs, you pull over to easy ground and there is a bolted anchor immediately on the right (could be for the 5.11 route that pull over the roof below)

After that it's easy 5th class with a few short steep sections to top of a ramp (5.4? about 40-50 feet?) Another bolted anchor. From there you can traverse down a ramp and step across to the anchors for Butterballs.


Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 29, 2009 - 07:16pm PT
I forgot about the ramp to get to the belay. Here is the Meyers guide topo of the Nabisco Wall area.

Bev's is K and starts just right of the start of Meat Grinder (J). Roper's guide says there used to be a tree up high somewhere.

How many folks remember the big tree at the base of Catchy Corner? I have only seen photos of it.
Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 29, 2009 - 07:53pm PT
After looking at the pictures, I obviously didn't have a very good specific memory about this pitch. I remembered the chimney and getting into it and somehow stretched that short section over the whole route. Just below the chimney, I was stemming betweem the main wall with my left foot and into the crack and small corner that forms the far right side of the 'ear' feature with my right foot. However, I had it in my mind that that crack formed a small corner that extended down to the bottom. As best I can tell it is the edge that forms the outside face of Beverly's Tower.

I found some good pictures online.

This is a pretty shot of that edge of The Cookie, looking into the Meat Grinder, where the climber is shown, and the chimney feature near the top of Beverly's Tower.

This is the part that I had totally confused with the upper area.

This shows the moves in the chimney feature and the little corner that I remember stemming against before I pulled into the chimney position. I can remember the feel of that move. I stemmed up as high as I could with my head and shoulders bumping up on the underside of the ear. I got my right hand on the inside edge of the ear as if I were about to swing into some huge layback position (I was stemming under it). I then moved my upper body to the left of the ear, turned my shoulders to face the main wall, stepped off the stem with my right foot and tucked into a chimney position between the ear and the wall. I remember the move and how startled I was that the 'crux' was over at about 5.4+ (in honor of Warren).

This picture shows a leader just below the chimney feature (I think). I am not absolutely sure of the orientation. I think that the leader has his hands behind a flake that is on the main plain wall of the Cookie, and the 90 degree corner wall behind him is the slab that forms the edge of Beverly's Tower. I cannot see the crack well enough to confirm this. The shadow must be the 'ear' bit with gear hanging down from within the chimney.

For The Cookie area, Beverly's Tower turned out to be a fairly easy pitch.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 29, 2009 - 07:57pm PT
Nice shots! The tree is still there, too.

Found this shot of Meat Grinder and the ear on Bev's in Yosemite Climber.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 29, 2009 - 08:03pm PT
Roger- Key in on that bread loaf sized ledge atop the prominent flake.

Nice snag by the way. I have done that one at least a dozen times.
Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 29, 2009 - 08:15pm PT
Thanks, Steve. In hindsight, it seems pretty strange that we would be wandering around looking for new stuff to do and then all of a sudden someone would realize that something right under our noses was a potential route.

I don't know how many hours I spent hanging around the Cookie before it seemed pretty obvious that Beverly's Tower would go. I think I started paying more attention when Pettigrew led Catchy. For Beverly's Tower, once I realized it would probably go, I grabbed Allen for a belay, started up with a rack of nuts and my extra long (9 inch Dolt LA) cleaning tool and finished the pitch in what seemed like 15 minutes, cleaning on lead.

I was amazed that there was so much to stand on and stem against. I was expecting it to be desperate. More recently, when I have heard people talk about hard laybacking or and ‘stout’ 5.10a, I couldn't really believe if my memory was completely gone or if folks just weren't looking for stuff to stand on.

Down low on the pitch, I was really digging to get dirt out of the crack. I had good stemming holds for my feet and had my shoulder against the corner to brace myself. I also had a great placement about shoulder high, but I needed to pull really hard on the dirt and roots in the crack above my head. I grabbed the loop of rope at the nut and really pulled hard hard on my cleaning pin. After I was finished, I brushed the dirt off me and rock and told Allen that I was moving up. He reminded me that I should move back down to a rest area. He couldn't see my feet, so I let go with both hands and waved to him. As you say, 'bread loaf' size edges.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Mar 30, 2009 - 08:37pm PT
> You missed the ever popular Beverly's Tower, Gerry Czamanske and Warren Harding, 1959. Ultra stout at 5.4, A-1!

Good catch, Steve. I was posting in a rush before heading off to the Valley, and didn't sort things properly.

Here are the routes, sorted by FA year, with ratings included (from an updated version of the main Yosemite Valley list today). It could be improved by including the original aid ratings, inserting the FFAs separately, and sorting by month.

[edited 3/31 to add info from Mark Chapman's posts below]
190. The Cookie - Original 5.8, 1958, Chuck Pratt, Dick Sykes, 1958
202. The Cleft 5.9+ R *, 1958, Chuck Pratt, Wally Reed, 1958; FFA: Chuck Pratt, Chris Fredericks, 1965
172. Beverly's Tower 5.10a **, 1959, Gerry Czamanske, Warren Harding, 1959; FFA: Roger Breedlove, Alan Bard, 5/1973
214. The Enigma 5.10a **, 1964, FA(via Escape): Barry Miller, Ray Barlow, 9/1964; FA(p5): TM Herbert, et al, after 9/1964
161. Elevator Shaft 5.8 R *, 1965, Jim Bridwell, Phil Bircheff, 7/1965
164. Twilight Zone 5.10d **, 1965, Chuck Pratt, Chris Fredericks, 9/1965
185. Cookie Center 5.9 R *, 1965, Tom Kimbrough, Tom Hargis, Roman Laba, 1965; FFA: Loyd Price, Roger Gordon, 1967
156. Crack-a-Go-Go 5.11c ***, 1967, Harvey Carter, Pete Pederson, 5/1967; FP: cleaned by Roger Breedlove; FFA: Pete Livesey, Ron Fawcett, 6/1974
193. Vendetta 5.10b *, 1967, Loyd Price, Roger Gordon, 6/1967; FFA: Royal Robbins, Galen Rowell, 1968
170. Meat Grinder 5.10c **, 1968, Royal Robbins, TM Herbert, 3/1968
182. Cookie - Left 5.10a, 1968, Royal Robbins, Loyd Price, 2/1968
189. Cookie - Right 5.9 **, 1968, Royal Robbins, Loyd Price, 2/1968
174. Waverly Wafer 5.10c ***, 1970, Jim Bridwell, Barry Bates, Bev Johnson, 10/1970
213. The Stigma p2-3 A3, 1970, Dennis Miller, Brian Birmingham, 1970
158. Outer Limits p2 5.10c **, 1971, Jim Bridwell, Jim Orey, 1971
176. Wheat Thin 5.10c ***, 1971, Peter Haan, Jim Bridwell, 8/1971
177. Butterfingers 5.11a **, 1971, Jim Bridwell, Charley Jones, 8/1971
205. Catchy 5.10d ***, 1971, FFA: Jim Pettigrew, Jim Bridwell, Mark Klemens, 10/1971
210. The Void 5.11b R *, 1971, Tom Higgins, et al, 1971
215. Ramp of Deception 5.10c **, 1971, Jim Bridwell, et al, 1971
216. Abstract Corner 5.11d **, 1971, Jim Bridwell, et al, 1971
218. Shortcake 5.11b ***, 1971, Jim Bridwell, Dale Bard, 1971
152. Coffin Nail A3+ *, 1972, Charlie Porter, 1972
198. Anathema 5.10b **, 1972, Barry Bates, et al, 1972
224. Terminator - Right 5.10d *, 1972, Bruce Brossman, Mike Breidenbach, early 1970s
149. Twinkie 5.10c, 1973, Ray Jardine, Chris Nelson, 1973
154. Hardd p1 5.11a ***, 1973, FP: cleaned by Mark Chapman, 1973; FA: Jim Orey, Charlie Porter, 1973
175. Butterballs 5.11c ***, 1973, Henry Barber, et al, 5/1973
183. Nabisco Wall 5.11a, 1973, Jim Bridwell, Mark Chapman, 5/1973
195. Vendetta p5 left var. 5.10c, 1973, Jim Donini, Mark Chapman, 1973
153. Banana Dreams 5.10a, 1974, Vern Clevenger, 5/1974
160. Orangutan Arch 5.11b *, 1974, Steve Wunsch, John Bragg, 1974
178. Ladyfingers 5.11a **, 1974, John Long, Mike Graham, 5/1974
206. Catchy Corner 5.11a ***, 1974, Jim Bridwell, Dale Bard, 1974
219. The Enema 5.11b ***, 1974, Jim Donini, John Bragg, 1974
155. Hardd p2 5.11b ***, 1975, Henry Barber, Ron Kauk, Steve Wunsch, 5/1975
197. Infraction 5.9, 1977, Bob Finn, Don Reid, 1977
162. Cookie Monster 5.12a ***, 1979, Bill Price, et al, 1979; FFA: Kurt Smith, Scott Cosgrove, 1987
163. Cookie Cutter 5.13a ***, 1979, Bill Price, et al, 1979; FFA: Dave Schultz, Ed Barry, 1990
168. Red Zinger 5.11d ***, 1979, Ray Jardine, Dave Altman, 9/1979
192. The Big Fig , 1979, Charlie Row, Rob Ramey [not Bob Ramee], 1979; FFA: Dave Schultz?, 1990?
201. Jardine's Hand 5.11a *, 1979, Ray Jardine, et al, 1979
173. Aftershock 5.11b **, 1981, Tony Yaniro, Max Jones, 1981
211. Void Continuation 5.10d R/X *, 1984, Dimitri Barton, Steve Gerberding, 1984
167. America's Cup 5.12b R *, 1985, Kim Carrigan, Geoff Wiegand, 1985
194. Vendetta p2 var. 5.11b, 1985, Urmas Franosch, mid 1980s
220. Ray's Pin Job 5.12b *, 1985, Kurt Smith, Dave Hatchett, 5/1985
221. Something for Nothing 5.11d *, 1985, Kurt Smith, Dave Hatchett, 5/1985
223. Terminator - Left 5.11b *, 1985, Don Reid, 2/1985
151. Tennessee Strings 5.12a *, 1986, Rob Robinson, Cade Lloyd, 12/1986
212. The Stigma (The Renegade) p1 5.13 ***, 1986, FFA: Alan Watts, 1986
200. The Last in Line 5.11b, 1988, Chris Snyder, Ken Ariza, 5/1988
159. Satanic Mechanic 5.12c R?, 1989, Dimitri Barton, Pete Takeda, 1989
208. Zipperhead 5.12c, 1989, Doug McDonald, Pete Takeda, 1989
171. Meat Grinder Arete 5.13b ***, 1990, Dave Schultz, 1990
222. Gunning for Buddha 5.11c *, 1990, Ed Barry, Tucker Tech, 1990
165. Chips Ahoy 5.12b **, 1991, Dan McDevitt, Sue McDevitt, 1991
207. Pringles 5.11b **, 1991, Dan McDevitt, Sue McDevitt, 1991
147. Mystic Mint 5.11b *, 1992, Dan McDevitt, Sue McDevitt, 1992
150. Nutter Butter 5.12b *, 1992, Dan McDevitt, Sue McDevitt, 1992
166. Ginger Snaps 5.12b *, 1992, Dan McDevitt, Sue McDevitt, 1992
209. Void Arete 5.12b, 1995, Chris Falkenstein, 1990s

Not a real history, but maybe an outline.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 30, 2009 - 08:44pm PT
Keepin' it simple with the Roper green guide while fishin' for golden oldies! Only ten routes to choose from! LOL

Social climber
Mar 30, 2009 - 09:49pm PT
A little more history about the Cookie climbs...
Jim Bridwell and I did the first complete ascent of the Nabiso Wall in May 1973. It was a somewhat coveted ascent at the time. It had repelled a few attempts prior to our ascent. We left Camp 4 around 6am to beat the heat--it was May and it was starting to get warm. Jim had this idea to climb the entire Nabisco Wall--not just the classic three pitches of the Wafer, Wheat Thin and Butterfingers but literally to start at the lowest point of the cliff and climb to its highest point. With this in mind we started our ascent at the base of the left side of the Cookie. Being eighteen and a bit clueless at the time I went long with the plan. After polishing off the first two pitches of the Left side of the Cookie Jim led the Wafer and I subsequently led the Wheat Thin and Butterfingers. Wheat Thin was a bit intimidating in those days havn had only a few ascents. I remember climbing up and arranging my gear prior to the crux. Just nuts in those days. I reversed a couple of small hexes at the start to create a directional and then got a few stoppers in and down climbed to the ledge. After a brief rest I sent it. Jim complimented me later on my measured approach to the pitch. Butterfingers had only seen only one ascent by Jim. I believe he had rapelled in from the top to Monkey Island and then climed it. He had placed a couple of arrows for pro prior to his ascent of this pitch. I imagine these were placed on rappel as well. Unbeknownst to me, prior to our ascent he had repelled in and replaced the fixed arrows with a couple of fixed stoppers. This is when he introduced me to a "quickdraw". A short sling with two carabiners. One end was pre clipped around your lead rope so that when you got to fixed gear all you had to do was clip it and you were in. No fussing around trying to clip your lead line in! He set me up with two--one for each piece of gear--assumng I would be having a desperate time up there. As I started up the pitch and got to the first fixed piece he got all excited thinking I was clipping the sencond quickdraw into the first stopper (one had to pay attention to this). I remember thinking relax I have this in control. And I did. I can't remember if I climbed straight through our clipped the first two pieces and then down climbed to the ledge for a rest prior to sending it. I do remember feeling solid on it. Stepping up onto the foothold, turning my right hip into the wall, balancing up and making that long reach to the right off that thin crack. After that it was just fun to the top. I did another ascent of it the following year with Dale. I was climbing well in 1974. That spring I was the first to solo Outer Limits--just the first pitch. I hung out at the belay slings while Kevin led it behind me. Largo led through and I tied on and followed the second pitch with a rope. I felt super solid on it but soloing that pitch seemed a bit nuts at the time. I had a lot of plans for other ascents at the Cookie including the FFA of Crack a Go Go and Orangutang

Mar 30, 2009 - 09:55pm PT
Thanks man. What a great piece of history!

Social climber
Mar 30, 2009 - 10:02pm PT
Sorry everyone I got booted off my reply before finishing--must have pressed the wrong button. Anyway as fate would have it I popped a tendon soon thereafter bouldering with Wunsch in C4. It shut me down for the rest of that spring and summer. One of my projects to keep busy when I couldn't climb was cleaning Hardd. Bates had attempted it first but the main crack deteriorated into an unsavory mess and he never finished it. I thought the crack to the right (the final finger crack of the first pitch)might be a good alternative. Unfortunately, it had some rather large bushs in it (Steve check the photo in the old green guide and you will see what I mean. I spent a few days cleaning it. Still unable to climb I took Jim Orey and Charlie Porter there. Jim led the first pitch and Charlie followed it. They didn't do the second pitch which Henry and the boys did later. I always wanted to see Jim get credit for doing th FA of this pitch as it was a bit stout back in the day.
john hansen

Topic Author's Reply - Mar 31, 2009 - 10:31pm PT

Some great history here, thanks for all the stories everyone.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 1, 2009 - 12:13am PT

Thanks for the real history, and the FA info for Nabisco Wall and Hardd p1. I added those things to the list in my post above.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Apr 1, 2009 - 01:40am PT
so, how many on ST have climbed the Twilight Zone? To me, this is the most amazing climb at the Cookie.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 1, 2009 - 02:10am PT
For Twilight Zone, see:

I count at least 4 people in there who have climbed it.
scuffy b

4 to 8
Apr 1, 2009 - 05:15pm PT

Thanks for the cool stories.
When I finally got around to Nabisco, I had this image of
Bridwell burned into my memory, I guess from a Mountain article.

You may remember, it's taken from above, he's snarling or
something, you can see the crack has petered out...
well, my partner went part way and turned over the lead to me.
I went past his nut and cranked up onto this nice foothold.
Then I knew...ohmygod, this is the spot...the crack is getting
too small...no wonder he looked so desperate...

Hey, what's that crack over there? I bet I could reach that thing!!
The picture of Bridwell was the move I'd just done, not the one
I was trying to man up to do!!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 10, 2009 - 06:34pm PT
> Roper mentions Cookie Calderwood in the ST Yosemite Valley Free Climbs book (at page 40). Rich Calderwood, her husband, was responsible, either directly or indirectly, for teaching many of us in Fresno to climb in the 1960's, and yes, Cookie Calderwood was quite attractive.

Steve Roper did write a nice several paragraph history of the early Cookie climbs in the supertopo guidebook - I had forgotten about this.
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