Tis-Sa-Ack

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pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
May 13, 2009 - 12:18pm PT
My partner (Steve Kessman) and I (Ryan Mattock) climbed Tis-sa-sack in october 01'.
perfect wall route for me and him. we figured we were probably the 18th ascent. we finished the route after seven hanging bivy's. i would post pix's but feel that it's better to meet in person. (i'm not an exhibitionist).
the "Sack" rack was impressive. The Pseudo tower made me feel scared. The rivet ladders are super mank. (i've seen better at Stoney Point).
now that I've finished the "Sack" I want to get on the J. stream.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
May 13, 2009 - 12:20pm PT
When Lisa and I were first married, we rented from Don Peterson and lived just above him for a year or so. I know him fairly well (still loves to work out & climb): at one point 'was pretty close to helping him scan & post his slides to share with you all, maybe some ways down the line...

Michael Tietzi: I bought a used car from the man and somewhat habitually share Thanksgiving dinner with him and friends. At some point I am sure I could get some stories.

Walt Shipley and I were about halfway through The Zebra prior to being stormed off: I always thought that would be tremendous free climbing so it's cool to hear some reports.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - May 13, 2009 - 04:22pm PT
Volume 56 of the Canadian Alpine Journal (1973) contains an account of the third ascent of Tis-Sa-Ack, by Billy Davidson from Calgary. He did it in autumn 1972. Davidson at first thought he was trying the second ascent, solo, but after fixing a few pitches, went back to the Valley, and discovered the route had had a second ascent a few weeks before. He went back, had adventures with loose flakes in the Zebra, and retreated. He then recruited Mike Breidenbach, and the two climbed the rest of the route in five or six days. More adventures with loose flakes, and some that had disappeared.

Davidson doesn't say who did the second ascent, just that it had been done. I believe he may have given up climbing after Tis-Sa-Ack. Perhaps I'll scan and post his article.

Robbins seems to have been using the literary device he adopted to say things about himself, and how he was perceived, that he mightn't otherwise have discussed.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 13, 2009 - 07:50pm PT
Roy- This is Don's biggest route or at least a contender I would guess so this would be the time to hook him up to the ST. Just figure out the threads that he might like and bump 'em up to give him a taste of the good stuff. Then set the hook! His slides probably need scanning like everybody elses.
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
May 13, 2009 - 09:22pm PT
Don Peterson has left Boulder for an ashram in Montana.

It may be difficult to reach him.
WBraun

climber
May 13, 2009 - 09:38pm PT
He became a monk?

Two thing one can do in life.

Become warrior, or monk.

Next is lots of materialism and entanglements for the soul .....
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
May 13, 2009 - 09:55pm PT
We don't need no stinking badges....
He'll be back: ain't gonnah talk about the Sa-Ack anyhow.
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
May 13, 2009 - 10:20pm PT
Don's a good guy with many demons.............At least he wasn't chasing any particular woman (I don't think). Ya never know............he may yet return.
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
May 14, 2009 - 12:26am PT
I had several great winters training with Don for XC ski racing in the late 1990s in Winter Park. We skied many kilometers trying to figure out the best techniques for skating in the cold soft high altitude snow peculiar to that part of Colorado. I hope he is doing well in Montana.
WBraun

climber
May 14, 2009 - 12:42am PT
Back before cams when all you had was pitons Tissack was actually a feared route because all those expanding pitches.

Caming devices really changed all that.

There's a expanding pitch up there where every piece fell out below you until a long ways out.

Now it's most likely totally bomber, A1, piss easy with cams.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
May 14, 2009 - 01:07am PT
I talked to Michael Tietzi this evening. He did the route in the early 70's with a guy named John Blackwell who was from Seattle. He didn't remember the exact date, but is working to pin it down.

Bruce
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 14, 2009 - 01:13am PT
Jack- Do you recall any attempts before you and Charlie got the notion to get up there? How did you guys team up?
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
May 14, 2009 - 09:45am PT
Steve,

I am absolutely sure that Charlie and I did the second ascent.
Charlie and I knew that Billy Daivdson had gone up there to solo the thing and backed off from the fifth pitch. There were some old slings left behand that he most likely rapped off of. There may also have been one more attempt by someone but that didn't go anywhere. I'll try and remember his name. Charlie and I had been teaming together for awhile doing climbs. On the Captain reestablishing the bolt ladder and reconnecting the Right Side of Dawn Wall to Wall of Early Morning Light. The Gobi Wall and others. We wanted to tick Tis-Sa-Ack before someone else beat us to it because we knew that there were people out there who were able to do so. BTW, Charlie and I were met by Werner and three other climbers including Jim Pettigrew. We all hung out and then walked down the trail together. Somewhere I've got pictures..............Never meant so much to be met on top of a wall as it was when I saw those guys. Charlie and I had a bunch of stuff including one bag full of different sized Bongs, because as Werner correctly states we did't have cams and that climb ate up Bongs for breakfast AND dinner.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 14, 2009 - 10:02am PT
Jack and Stevie, I began to solo the Sack August of 1971. At that time it would have been the second ascent. I got up to the Zebra and realized I forgot my second hammer and it was only 4 weeks after the Salathe solo--- I was still kind of drained and did not have the drive to spend that kind of time again solo. After dropping a hammer off the Salathe I have always had the fear of being hammerless by accident too. Plus it hot as hell up there, like above 100 degrees. I rapped off leaving rap anchors of course.
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
May 14, 2009 - 10:42am PT
Peter,

You know I seem to recall hearing about your attempt. Your attempt was probably one of the reasons Charlie was so ampted to get on the thing...........What was with so many people wanting to solo the route back then? I do remember that the rep this route had back then was almost legendary. Its reputation probably had more to do with the story that Robbins wrote about it than anything else. With quotes like, "the hardest free climbing I had ever done on a big wall," "Robbins was rather proud of his bolt ladder and bragged about it," or mentioning that there was all this weird, contrived nailing with big bongs and nuts. Charlie was trained as a Volkswagon mechanic and I think that all the engineering with big pins that took place on the first ascent really appealed to this part of him. That and the fact that he thought the route was probably not as desperate as Robbins piece made it sound.

I think TIS_SA_ACK is probaly Royal's best piece of writing.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 14, 2009 - 11:20am PT
Jack,

The route hadn't a second ascent and had been sitting there for more than two years begging for climbers! It DID have all the mumbo-jumbo many of RR's routes seemed to have when they first were put up and so it would have been a coup to have bagged the second on it, especially solo. And as Werner says, the line was done long before cams.....Everybody finds the Zebra an interesting formation too. Cool that it is free now. And I think too, that RR's 2nd ascent of the Muir by solo was inspiring for us younger climbers looking to make our mark.
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
May 14, 2009 - 11:25am PT
this is bitch'n finaly some history about the "Sack".

Got to show levy my sack rack pic's and he told me that his wall partner (E.E) was up on that thing while the recent rock fall happened. EXPANDOME!





pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
May 14, 2009 - 11:33am PT
also, when did the Robbins chimney fall off that route?
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
May 14, 2009 - 01:26pm PT
When Charlie and I did the second he led the "Hardest freeclimbing on any big wall" pitch that Robbins mentioned in his article. Charlie didn't seem to think it was that bad... The next lead was mine. It was supposed to be 100 feet of crack/chimney climbing to a hanging stance at the top. All we saw was wayyyyyyy up high a set of anchors but no flake. I nailed right along some pretty loose cracks and then arched back up and left, ending at the belay anchors. I think this might be the pitch you are asking about? Anyway, it turned out to be a hard pitch and surprised the heck out of us that the flake was missing.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
May 14, 2009 - 02:32pm PT
Rick Linsky and I climbed Tis-sa-ack in early July 1988. It took us 5 days after fixing to "The Dormitory." We had a great time but did think it was a bit scary. I didn't want the OW pitches and got both. He didn't want the pitch that had the ratty shoe lace tied to a broken copperhead but got it. It held him and he was a big guy. His wife Diane was pregnant and made him promise to wear a helmet! Our only fall came on the (Meyer's book) 17th pitch where I ripped out on an expanding section and took a 20 or 30 footer.


It didn't seem like it had been climbed very many times at that time.
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