Overhang Overpass- bar dips and a hangover


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Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 4, 2009 - 11:23pm PT
JB nice to hear you did it the old fashioned way. Knowing you, I'm surprised you used a rope. Chappy, did you ever retrieve your bong?
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 5, 2009 - 04:38am PT
It's always good to get the story from the
horse's mouth, so to speak. That was one of those
inspired moments.

I've always been impressed with John Bachar
and his generosity, how he didn't hesitate to
acknowledge you, Jim, for that accomplishment,
whereas some of the California boys weren't so
happy with an outsider doing something good.
John has always seemed to have that vital
generosity, which is another form of courage...

Just a little correction, for your write-up.
Training had been well into its own by 1967 and
earlier. I was training as a gymnast, bouldering
regularly with Gill, and Bates and I bouldered
in 1968 like mad fiends, doing endless pull-ups
and finger pull-ups on tree limbs. I remember
doing the 125 finger-tip pull-ups in five
minutes, followed by the 125 deep dips on the
parallel bars in the next five minutes, and we
thought that would be easy enough to improve on
if we wanted, but it seemed a good basic training.
I even think Bill Putname did that routine with me
once in the Boulder C.U. fieldhouse workout room...

Bates and I were playing at one-finger and two-
finger pull-ups with finger/fingers in a sling
on a tree limb... I brought the slack chain to
Yosemite in the late 1960's, so that was around
well before '74...

Keep those stories coming.


Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 5, 2009 - 09:35am PT
Pat, I used a little poetic license. It was when I saw the benefits of doing a pull up or two. I also remember you bringing the first slackline to the Valley. A lot of todays climbers think the slackline is of recent vintage.

Gym climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Apr 5, 2009 - 11:52am PT
That thing has to be the first 12a in Yosemite.... or am I just hallucinating?

Trad climber
boulder, co.
Apr 5, 2009 - 01:04pm PT
12a in 74 now that's prideful!
Thank you for an engaging romp in history.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Apr 7, 2009 - 01:57am PT
I call it the first 5.12 in the Valley, in my
history. Both you and Jim speak about it, as such, in that
write-up. I wonder if it's easier with Friends to
slip in. Supremacy Crack, for example, is about two
grades harder trying to hammer pitons, as opposed to
now a quick friend thrown in pretty much anywhere at
anytime... Or is it too tricky to let go, in that lieback?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 7, 2009 - 02:11am PT

Werner posted the story of Dale Bard's fall on the first page of this thread (post #9).

Stoked OW climber
San Jose, CA
Apr 7, 2009 - 02:30am PT
I felt happy just looking at that thing up close on an adventure traversing Lower brother from Bridalveil to top of Overhang Bypass... not in the same league to try climbing that beauty of a crack though!
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Apr 7, 2009 - 09:44am PT
Couldn't help looking at that thing, even as a rattly 5.9 early Sixties climber.

Night in the bar -- check.

Hangover -- check.

So the sun is already hot by the time Chuck Ostin's Mercedes diesel-rattles into camp. (Where did that guy sleep?) And I mean right into Camp 4, the old entrance that splits to go around Columbia Boulder then drives vaguely up the hill.

Chuck gets out in a fresh white shirt. Not pressed but definitely clean with a certain trademark bagginess, and he suggests a mass assault. You'd never peg the guy's demeanor as camp counselor, but that's kind of what he did, sweeping up all the slackers and the under-motivated in camp and leading us off to... often it was the Royal Arches, but today it's Overhang Bypass.

Shade -- check. OK, I'm in.

We never thought of it as much of an approach, certainly not anything that would one day bar sport climbers from working the outside corner of the Overpass. No, we didn't think much at all; that would only aggravate the pounding in the head.

But even through internal fog the sheer force of that corner sliced as clean as a laser shot. It shone there like the future, and then we ducked under the roof to amble off the other way.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Apr 8, 2009 - 03:21am PT
The thing looked so innocent when soloing past on the Bypass, but I hear differently

Seems like a lot of folks mentioned the Overpass as one of their first sort-of 5.12s (BITD before bolted sport climbing)



Trad climber
The state of confusion
Apr 8, 2009 - 12:39pm PT
bump it again for Mr. Donini! Hooray for Jim!
I hope I'll be climbing as hard as he is one day!

Apr 8, 2009 - 12:46pm PT
"Overhang Overpass" is really a great Valley sleeper. Take the rating of it and throw it out the door. Don't carry any preconceived ideas about how hard it is up there with you.

Just go do it, and it will be a lot easier to complete and enjoy.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Apr 9, 2009 - 12:03pm PT
Bump for Bumpin'

san diego, ca
Apr 9, 2009 - 02:26pm PT
Man, that is a great corner. Got on it a few years ago having not been up there before, it was hard to resist the climb from the lot, it just looks sooo good. 11c was within reach at the time and getting on this corner was certainly not. My buddy and I reflected at the top of the corner;; "I'm toast, whoaa baby", "that was no 11, yeah, more like 12"

Social climber
san jose ca.
Apr 10, 2009 - 01:28am PT
DR thanks for the post on chuck ostin who i have known for a long time spent time with him at his apt oakland been taken out to dinner many times always wearing his white dress shirt his trademark and endless cups of coffie some times in different resturants but was always the mysteryman it was years before i found out he was from a farm in the valley he took me and some other climbers needing a leader on overhang by pass got off late in the dark we desended being belayed off the top of decent route boulder talis with no flashlight sitting trying to feel with your foot reaching the valley he looked at his watch i think we can make the four seasons jumping in to his mercedies we were off with a needed dinner and talking about the climb and decent in the dark he picked up the check like he did many times over the years calling him many times hard to get a hold of him for long periods we thought he worked for the cia or something myseterious generious died in his apt he is missed by the people who knew him
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Apr 10, 2009 - 06:25am PT
Great vignette Jim (or should that be anecdote?). Sounds hard. I think I will take a pass on the overhang overpass.
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Apr 10, 2009 - 09:20am PT

Thanks for adding to the legend and the mystery of Chuck Ostin. You knew him in the flatlands and saw his roots on the farm; that means a lot and adds dimension.

Glad you mentioned the night descents. They were so typical too, what with all the coffee hang time and leisurely starts and big party mass assaults.

Never a light in the whole party. It was like he was teaching us to epic, too, not freak out but just -- as got said for us in Apollo 13 -- "work the problem, gentlemen."

That's some of the darkest talus anywhere, that side of the Valley. Rock dark to begin with, add darker lichen and once you get out of the gullies where it might get easier you're on a north slope further shaded by oaks and the blocks get bigger and all you can do is crab walk feet first feeling for the dropoffs. Sometimes it would be way, way too late for the Four Seasons.

North Dome Gully was far easier with whiter sand and bleached slabs reflecting starlight and somehow the long slides possible down there were mercifully obscured.

Chuck was like a minor angel, maybe lonely but also full of self-sufficiency and kindness and showed a lot of us parts of the way toward being climbers.

East of Seattle
Apr 10, 2009 - 11:05am PT
Excellent! To the best of the Taco.


Trad climber
Boston, MA
Apr 10, 2009 - 11:22am PT
Nice story, Jim, thanks for that!


Trad climber
Apr 10, 2009 - 05:38pm PT
this read got my hands sweating, even though that climb will likely never see me, I got to go look at it now, with these stories swiming in my head.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, all.
Messages 21 - 40 of total 68 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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