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Apr 14, 2009 - 11:38am PT
Awesome 24k entries, Todd. Thanks for the tellin' and historic pix.

Way to instigate, survival. Good shee, brother.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 14, 2009 - 12:05pm PT
Soft T sound..sort of like tSEH.

Sotyl, I hopyl thatyl helpyl....

Social climber
No Ut
Apr 14, 2009 - 02:13pm PT
Thanks, Survival Man and Todd Master. Great adventure, told in an inimitable way!


I drink your milkshake!
Apr 14, 2009 - 02:14pm PT
That was pretty awesome.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 14, 2009 - 02:23pm PT

Am I tripping again, or did you say 200 foot wide crack?
I'm sure that's what you said, but finally realized.......... as my mouth fell open. Is that what you meant to say?

I'd like to see a picture of that.

Geez, I thought the Crescent Arch on HD Direct was big!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 14, 2009 - 02:47pm PT
Great story and photos - thanks for sharing!

Social climber
Apr 14, 2009 - 06:43pm PT
Sounds like quite the adventure Todd.

here's a random rez photo.


Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 14, 2009 - 06:48pm PT
Nice crunch!

We'll take another if'n you don't mind....
just to keep the flavuh flave goin'!

Austin, TX
Apr 14, 2009 - 07:08pm PT
Great stuff!

Trad climber
Apr 14, 2009 - 08:37pm PT
Nice bit o' history on that route however you say it

Thanks Todd!
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 08:56pm PT
On the raps down, Brian went on ahead, setting stuff up......we had the anchors in place, and Brian was putting slings and biners on everything so it was all good to go;....Dave and I were still high up, with the haul bags...we decided to cut one loose, and surely Brian was far enough to the side to be out of danger;......We cut a bag loose, and it went flying, hit a ledge, then took off a terminal velocity over towards Brian;.....missed him by maybe 5 or 10'.....scared the hell out of him, and Dave and I nearly crapped our pants........Brian was a great "Captian".....he took command, but was never a dick about being the "leader" and making the decisions......he had a head of steam going a wouldn't take no for an answer.....Dave and I rode his wave of focus and conviction....

Here is Brian on Spider Rock....

Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Apr 14, 2009 - 09:15pm PT
Pretty sweet Todd Gordon, DE and partners ! Another thread that should go on Chris Mac's emag of the month. Your youthful faces, gear and shoes bring back lots of great memories.

Thanks for taking the time and obtw TG, we like the rough, unvarnished, slightly frayed around the edges, naked truth versions....:)
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 09:24pm PT
Once we discovered the "worm hole"...which lead to another chimney system, we were so happy that we could continue the climb.....one of us stuffed gear to another in the middle, and then the third was on the other side.....the next pitch went up a bit, then started to go "in"....inside the mesa.....walking in the narrows type walking.....soon I started to climb up again....but it was dark and deep and chimney systems went in all directions........after a pitch or so of this, we entered an almost round room.....with a flat floor, and walls all around and a window peeking out into the light......the floor was dusty and any movement sent duck in the air, but the dust just sort of hung in the air.....the dust looked yellow from the light streaming in from the window and the outside.....it was creepy, but a cool place, and we knew we were getting near the top.....it was also good to be out of the maze of chimney and the decision making stress of being in the chimneys.......exiting the round room through a weakness in the ceiling, we were back in the sunlight, and an easy pitch to the top and we were mint........never really knew we "had it in the bag" until we found the room and the exit from the room;....a nail biter until close to the summit........

Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Apr 14, 2009 - 09:26pm PT
Thanks, Survival and Todd!

Todd, you amaze me. Here comes a little query, and there goes Todd with a killer story of the unrepeated FA of a route and an entire formation. Yet another one. Tunneling for glory...

Little note on Copyright: Nice of you to be respectful, but honestly don't worry too much about it. Ascent may have copyrighted the magazine, but the rights for the article revert to the author. So Brian owns the story. Ask him, or be reasonably sure he won't care at this late date, and scan it up for us.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 14, 2009 - 09:36pm PT
DR, COOL!! Does that sentiment go for you too Todd, or would you rather keep it to your awesome version??

Thanks a ton for filling me in Todd. I was wondering about it from the moment I started reading.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Apr 14, 2009 - 11:07pm PT
This climb was one of the best of my life (so far). I didn't even really know Todd, I had seen him at the crags. Out of the blue he calls me and demands, "come out here and climb this FA with us!" He said,"we will climb the Titan first." I'm thinking, "the what?" Who was I to say no?

At one point we were in a hanging belay and saw a local riding towards the mesa on a horse. We were several hundred feet up. We all got real quiet while the horseman stopped and looked around, I think the hairs on his neck were getting prickly. After awhile he rode off without seeing us.
The summit was an unreal powerspot, several acres that had never seen a human visitor, only spirits.

I do have a copy of the Ascent with the story that I cherish.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 14, 2009 - 11:59pm PT
Here's the route description I posted from Mtn. project;

By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
May 9, 2007

O K...here goes. Pitch one; start with a shoulder stand, then 7 bolts and one piton in a bolt ladder that leads to a wide crack to a ledge (5.10 A2). Pitch 2; Up a wide crack to a sling belay. at one point, climbing out outside the wide crack on thin seams to the left of the crack.. Some bat hooks too. (5.10 A3/A4). Pitch 3; Continue up the wide crack (some loose sections) a few more bat hooks, to a big ledge. (5.10 A3/A4). Pitch 4 ; A2 cams to a small roof, above the roof, tension traverse (right)off pins to cracks in a pink colored headwall. Continue up cracks to a sling belay on the left. Pitch 5 ; Up more crack systems to an alcove with all sorts of scary-looking loose balanced blocks above you. Pitch 6; instead of going up through the loose balanced blocks, tunnel through (squeeze) about 20-25' to the left like a mole to a huge chimney system, and a nice bivy spot. ..Belay here. (short pitch). Pitch 7 climb up chimney (5.8),..then chimney/walk/tunnel/squeeze forward INTO the bowells of the formation;...WAY back in there......(It's bizarre...). Pitch 8.....tunnel/climb/chimney some more until you pop into a circular "room/cave" with a window looking out......Pitch 9; Climb out of the chimney (finally) into the light of day (5.9 slot or 5.9 face to the left)and climb anothe 30 feet to anchors (on top). Unrope and walk to high point of the mesa. There is a description of the first ascent of this climb in an old Ascent Magazine. The rock and climbing on this route is not the best in the world; it;s sandstone, and there are long sections of wide cracks and chimneys. The route and adventure of this experience is top notch. It's a long, involved, challenging, scrappy route to the top of a huge mesa that has seen few feet, in a wonderful, magical place.

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 15, 2009 - 12:13am PT

On one of the rappels, I left both my aiders tied together as an extention so the ropes would pull without a problem.....we didn't want any funny business on the way down.....all rap stations had double biners in opposition too.....safe and clean.....
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 15, 2009 - 12:27am PT

Brian Povolny

Trad climber
Seattle, Wa
Apr 15, 2009 - 02:28am PT
I'm amazed that anyone is even aware of Tse-n-t'ytl. After all, it has never had a second ascent! This climb became an obsession for me during a hike in the canyon where I realized that despite the illusion one gets from the Spider Rock overlook, the canyon wall behind Spider rock is part of a huge detached mesa. The summit was more like a lost world than a summit in the conventional sense. And the crazy eagle's nests, endless dark chimneys, wormholes, and secret chambers ... it was really more of a B movie than a rock climb. I would be intigued to hear any subsequent party's impressions of this bizarre climb -- but in the 25 years since we did it I doubt anyone has even eyeballed the route ...
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