Obscure - Elliot Robinson

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socialclimber

Mountain climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 4, 2009 - 01:06pm PT
I think elliot may still be using that chalk bag from the last pic.

Charles
HJ

climber
Bozeman, Montana
May 4, 2009 - 07:04pm PT

Elliott in 1984 bouldering in JT


Wayne in 1985 on the Salathe
wayne burleson

climber
Amherst, MA
May 5, 2009 - 04:48pm PT
These photos remind me of Elliott's trademark habit of smearing chalk all over his thighs and buttocks prior to attempting a hard move. Presumably providing a reservoir for later quick access... or maybe just getting into costume..

socialclimber

Mountain climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 5, 2009 - 05:13pm PT
Sharma does something similar, maybe he got it from Elliott?

Charles
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
May 5, 2009 - 05:15pm PT
Hi Wayne-

John Middendorf here, from the old bay area days. How are you doing? Still climbing, married, kids?

We'll be on the east coast this summer, in Rhode Island, perhaps we could meet at the Quarries or maybe Lincoln Park for some clambering?
Weekend Warrior

Trad climber
Palo Alto, CA
May 6, 2009 - 12:00am PT
Yeah, Elliot, I remember the top of Levitation 29: to go with the sand, it was none too warm. At least we got down in available light. Do you remember our bivy on the descent from Mescalito after another crack o' noon start?
G Murphy

Trad climber
Oakland CA
May 6, 2009 - 12:22am PT
Elliott always had an eye for the obscure, and clearly still does. Bushwacking, wide stuff, night climbing, winter, rain, etc. One time we drove up from the Bay Area, and did the night time approach to the Sunshine Buttress up near the Porcelain Wall Half Dome area). We cramponed up perfect styrofoam snow to a killer bivvy in a natural snow cave at the base of our proposed new route, arriving probably around 1 or 2 am. The next morning we headed up and climbed some wild features to the rim at 5.10 or so with general funk all the way. Rapping at night, naturally, the final rap landed us in the snow cave for another excellent bivvy. Elliott called the route "Cold Rain and Snow"
Awesome. Other to the rim in a day new routes included Vegemite,Wind Chill,etc.

Greg
E Robinson

climber
Salinas, CA
May 6, 2009 - 04:43am PT
Since this is still going, here are some more photo's I dug up...some are just fun -

Wayne at Mazones


Brian, I'm guessing this Mescalito...the climb that taught me to always pack fire and headlamps...


A crew buildering at Stanford (Bill Myers, Scott Cosgrove, Wendy Hawthorne, Bob Palais, and ?)


Eric Doub after bushwhacking our way up Wheeler Crest...when we got to the Buttermilks that night the engine block on Eric's big blue boat (we dubbed Marlboro for the clouds of smoke that enveloped the car every time we stoppped) caught fire. Too much fun with cars.


Greg on our attempt to do Half Dome in winter, the next day I realized I was probably more of a bureaucrat than a climber...Walt Shipley blasted past us as Greg and I went down because I had to finish some paperwork...alas.


Foxtails in my socks on the cross the Santa Lucia hike


The view looking back at over the Santa Lucia trek (it starts on the other side of the mountain)


Burning Bush and Fire Extinguisher - Santa Katarine - Sinai


Michael tests out the equipment in Bodie


Everyone needs a purple suit


The mantle by Stem Jam in JT


Pete Carrick in Pinnacles


Zamir Kudashev on top of Khan Tengri


Looking down at the other party that summitted Khan Tengri that day



This is all so much fun, now I want to find the Inconsolable Buttress, climb it and add in a nighttime descent just for kicks. Maybe another tiem up Wild Thing would be fun too.
E
fosburg

climber
May 6, 2009 - 09:48am PT
Gotta chime in here. I was with Walt that day on Half Dome. How surreal to get to the base with snow coming down and hear voices on the wall! And that haulbag in the photo must be the one that came sailing down about 10 ft. away from us. A very memorable day!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 6, 2009 - 02:33pm PT
Incoming haul bag - yikes! (Just when you thought nobody else could be there...).

Elliott - definitely some great photos in there. Especially the kids at Bodie - they have that wild-eyed grin that I remember from this guy back 25 years ago.... :-)

Buildering photo! I see 6 people - one person in black/white on the hard doorway on the left, Bob third from left, Scott on far right.

Great photo of Pete at Pinnacles - I think that is on the Hatchet.

Have you seen the supertopo thread on the "Obscurity Scale"?
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=42866

Here is my more formatted/revised version:
http://www.stanford.edu/~clint/yos/obscurity_scale.txt
socialclimber

Mountain climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 6, 2009 - 06:00pm PT
another bump to the front page in lieu of politiks

Charles
G Murphy

Trad climber
Oakland CA
May 7, 2009 - 12:57am PT
Kevin:
The haul bag was pretty light - mostly sleeping bags and pads. Elliott was definitely the inspirations when I did Half Dome in winter a year or two later with Alan McEwen.

I don't know how this worked, but Elliott could basically get me to do anything. When I first hooked up with him I was just starting to climb and all I wanted to do was sunny classic finger cracks. I would tell him on the drive up that this time we were doing classics and he would just smile in his evasive Elliott way. So, I'd be up at 5am amped and pacing around drinking coffee trying to get him going. He'd finally get rolling, he would likely head to "the ledge" and we'd be climbing maybe by noon on some obscure route that was only in the old Roper guide, vegetated, loose, ect. Nevertheless, we always had a blast.
E Robinson

climber
Salinas, CA
May 7, 2009 - 01:36am PT
Aaaah the ledge...it always worked wonders to get the imagination working on burly, pointless events that the only way to really appreciate was to have gone through them and listen to people wonder why...

I always try to keep in mind (even during strategic planning meetings) that if your not too concerned about where you are you're never lost and it's always amazing. Greg, so has there ever been a second on Vegemite?

A new point of pure joy is the discovery of a giant cloud towards the center of the Milky Way that tastes of strawberries and smells like rum...I guess it's time to go on a long walk off trail multi-peak walk again...I've been completely useless at work since bushwhacking my way through the latest round of budget planning.

And ditto the apologies on the haul bag...especially for such a lame reason...nowadays I have more paperwork than I know what to do with...should have topped out on Half Dome instead...but you and Walt were awesome and moving fast.
E

E Robinson

climber
Salinas, CA
May 7, 2009 - 02:12am PT
Clint thanks for the obscurity link...I love it! GRE got a post earlier today how much fun is that! Did I ever tell you that I thought the Ho Chi Minh trail was a blast...Greg and I did that at some point.
Weekend Warrior

Trad climber
Palo Alto, CA
May 10, 2009 - 04:29pm PT
E, you and I seemed to have learned the same lesson from Mescalito (and what a nice fire we could've had if only we'd brought something or striking sandstone rocks together produced some real sparks). But if we'd started earlier than ~1pm or bothered to check the 1st ascent team (R.Harrison,J.Long,L.Hill in case you've forgotten or never knew) when we were telling ourselves "it's a grade 4 but there's only 1 5.10 pitch" we might have done something more sensible and the valuable lesson wouldn't have been learned (at least, at that time). However, I think that one of the common themes amongst all the words and pictures in this blast-from-the-past is that what is sensible is a matter of time, place and company. B
Bob Palais

Trad climber
UT
May 15, 2009 - 03:11pm PT
Greetings gang! Got a nice call from Elliott who clued me into this thread. I'm enjoying the classic photos already up here, and will try to scan a few of my own! I'd actually just got back from a little road trip to see the Dead with Mark Sonnenfeld and Micah Goodman in Denver. The two previous nights we stayed with Jimmie Dunn (Co. Springs) and Jeff Achey (New Castle, near Rifle on the drive out), so visits to three pre-college friends in three days. Long ago, Oct. 1982,after shows at Stanford we'd stay the night with friends in Palo Alto - Elliott, Deucy, Wayne and probably some others on the thread (BTW we had dinner with Deucy's brother Roxy a couple weeks ago when he came to Snowbird before his exhibit on the roof of the Met opened: http://www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event.asp?OccurrenceId={6267CA47-491B-4776-A468-0673F8362B0F}
He said you're in Tasmania John?)

Summer 1981, Cambridge, MA, I spy someone casually sending a Harvard Yard mantel - a campus testpiece from the `Bouldering Boston By Bus' guidebook (Did you produce that Clint?) That was how I met Elliott Robinson from Cleveland, who was doing a summer chemistry program. We got to some local areas that summer, and the next spring I got a call for advice: "Should I go to Harvard or Stanford? There's only one factor: Which has the best climbing?" I admitted a bias that it would be great to have him out in California. The next fall, '82, Elliott and I headed up to the Valley with Chris Grover, John Middendorf and Chuck Wheeler, and through the years, with many of the others who have posted here - Steve Annecone, Wayne Burleson, Alan McEwen, Greg Murphy., Eric Doub, Bill Myers., ... - it would be fun to trace the climbing genealogy, kind of like the diagrams of the various Garcia collaborations.

Any Robinson residence is always festive, from Toyon at Stanford, the Haight in SF, the house we shared on Walnut in Berkeley (Greg Murphy too for a while), Vermont St., Lake Merritt. He took me to home turf in Ohio once, Squaw Rock, and enjoyed the hospitality and company of his folks and brothers Zach an Ben, all longtime academics and progressive activists. Elliott has always been a catalyst for adventure and making the impossible seem, and become possible. I guess that's why he is so indispensable in the California budgetary process. He's always there to support his friends (and those who will become his friends) when they are in need, and has provided the inspiration for many crazy and beneficial projects. A lesser known tidbit about Elliott C. Robinson. He's an amazing and original artist. I treasure his collection of drawings `The World Is A Wild Place' . On the mantlepiece is the dancer `Grace' that he concocted from a branch and plastic shopping bag salvaged from the Donner Summit roadside. (This was when Elliott, Carol, and Chris Breemer drove to Utah to help me move!) During their honeymoon in Kazakhstan, the night before I split off to the Caucasus, Carol was beginning to wonder if they'd get ANY together time, what with all Soviet accommodations at the time being, well, communal. They were having an animated discussion whether the Muir trail would have been a better idea. It got late so they switched to American Sign Language. (They'd both used it where they met while working with children with autism.) It was a great lesson on how expressive ASL is!

Many adventures stand out - Wild Thing: finishing some insecure wide moves to the belay on the second to last pitch only to discover that Elliott in the squeeze WAS our belay anchor. Lost Arrow chimney: Clint and Nancy and Joel I think all came up to provide the escape rope to the rim. I couldn't follow Elliott through the Harding Hole and had to go around. It sounded tight even for him! Half Dome NW in a day: I'll scan some pics. The crux for Elliott was deep manzanita forest near the top of the approach slabs. I'd gone to the right and observed the rustling as he heroically fought his way through. We passed 13 people by the fourth pitch. When we crossed Thank God ledge, the highest group was reaching pitch 6 (we weren't that fast, they were slow). About then I snapped the last photo of Elliott's chalkbag, made by Kristen Laine. Kristen was at Microsoft at the beginning, and a good friend of Bill's as well. She later played a key role in the Salt Lake Tibetan Refugee Resettlement! Mt. Langille, Rowell-Wilson route, EBGBs, the Space Station, and many other routes in JTree, . If Anatoli were here, he'd tell about the East Buttress of El Cap in wild weather. The Valley with the Cal Folsom, RD Caughron, Rusty, and the Russians, Ivan, Seriogia, Svyeta, Igor, et. al, with a group ascent of Snake Dike. Numerous marathons through the Marin Headlands, the Berkeley hills, or above Jack Robbins and Cynthia's house. Elliott and Carol sharing new adventures with Ashley and Michael.

I guess it's pretty obvious that Elliott has been a major and always positive influence and the epitome of a true great friend for most of my life at this point! It's great to see these pages with similar impressions from so many others!
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
May 15, 2009 - 11:26pm PT
cool memories from the way back machine!
socialclimber

Mountain climber
CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 8, 2009 - 12:07am PT
bump a cool thread of memories for a week where we need it

Charles
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
way, WAY out there....(OMG)
Jul 8, 2009 - 12:23am PT
And Obscurities!
I love those.....
Emon

Trad climber
Mar 22, 2010 - 07:30pm PT
bump
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