The First Ascent ot 'Hoodwink'

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Messages 61 - 80 of total 97 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:40pm PT
Right back at ya Jim...
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:56pm PT
Love the Wink...

photo not found
Missing photo ID#234405
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:57pm PT
That last photo, and one somewhere before imply that the belay is just below and to the right of the roof. Is that so? Here's a shot from '78 or '79 of Hoodwink. Have I scanned it the wrong way round, or did people used to belay to the left as we did (or appear to have done)?

Hoodwink in 1978 or 79.
Hoodwink in 1978 or 79.
Credit: jaaan
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jan 21, 2012 - 01:58pm PT
jaaan, I like belaying below and to the right, as it provides a dramatic backdrop for the photos.
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Jan 21, 2012 - 03:40pm PT
Thanks Cragman, I was just concerned that I'd scanned the slide backwards as I have done on a few occasions.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 18, 2012 - 12:17pm PT
TM Bump...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 5, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
Hoodwinks for all in 2013! The Year of the Great Hoodwink!
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Jan 6, 2013 - 01:25am PT
The climber in the pic is linked two pitches together. The belay down and right does provide a striking view of the roof.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 7, 2013 - 11:31am PT
BBST
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 24, 2014 - 04:30pm PT
Bump for a Classic Meadows Tale...
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
May 25, 2014 - 12:52pm PT
Hoodwink
Hoodwink
Credit: Flip Flop

Great route.Great story.
Chris Wegener

Trad climber
Los Angeles
May 25, 2014 - 04:19pm PT
Great story Roger, though I am late to the party.

I seem to recall you saying that when you and Jim did the route he mentioned that the future of climbing was going to be in climbing overhangs. Did that happen on Hoodwink?

You also said "excessive runouts on moderate pitches turning naturally moderate routes into horror shows," in your article and I think that this is prescient.

As Joe Hedge says many climbs in Tuolumne are museum climbs, because that are casual for good leaders who don't bother to do them but far to run out for leaders only comfortable at the moderate grade.

Further some of the things that Tom Higgins was concerned about have come to pass. There are routes going in that are, for lack of a better description, over protected. There is no doubt that some of the charm of climbing in Tuolumne is the "sporty" nature of the climbing. The requirement that the leader needs to be confident and in control to allow success. It is not often the physical challenge that needs to be overcome in climbing in the meadows but the psychological challenge.

There is a fine line between sufficient protection and too much. Body length or less spacing between bolts on moderate routes seems like overkill. On the other hand twenty to thirty feet between bolts is insufficient.

I don't think that Tuolumne should be like Dresden where there is a minimum distance between bolts (five meters!) but it shouldn't be a climbing gym either.
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
May 26, 2014 - 11:01am PT
Chris,
OT and IMHO, many Euro's developed smart bolted long routes while CA climbers were sketching up horror fests. The main difference is that they place bolts before cruxes and adjust the runouts based on difficulty. For example, a 5.11a route would have bolts within 6' of 11a cruxes, within 10' of 5.10 moves and have runouts at 5.9 and below. The bolts protect the route but they can be plenty sporty. There is also a practice of giving a second 'French-free' number. So a 5.11a free climb might be rated 5.10c mandatory between bolts (5.11a or 5.10c A0).
The routes are often developed by professional mountain guides who want to repeat the climbs with a reasonable amount of risk and first ascentionists who want to proudly recommend their own routes.


Chris Wegener

Trad climber
Los Angeles
May 26, 2014 - 11:48am PT
That is in general a good idea. Having even long 5.9 runouts on a 5.11 route is mostly reasonable but that is not what I am concerned about.

In Tuolumne there are many classic 5.8 and 5.9 lines that are too sparsely bolted for those who only lead at that grade and are rarely done by better climbers leaving the climbs in limbo. Considering there are many climbs in the range we need to understand the dynamic that will retain their essential nature while still allowing beginning climbers to discover the magic that is Tuolumne
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 26, 2014 - 01:14pm PT
The accident history of Tuolumne Meadows, dating back to 1988 as reported in Accidents in North American Mountaineering (ANAM) do not seem to bare out the contention that the bolt spacing is "dangerous."

There in 1 out of 28 accidents reported there in that time span (26 years) that can be attributed to a leader fall in runout ground above a bolt. That was a 2001 accident on Needle Spoon 5.10a, ironically this climb is renowned for its, comparatively, close bolt spacing.

I would have expected many more accidents if bolt spacing were actually a problem.

1988 Great White Book - caught in rain storm
1992 Lembert Dome, East Wall - stuck on climb
1995 Regular Route Fairview Dome - benighted
1997 West Country - piece pulled when weighted on lowering
1997 Needle Spoon - rappelling accident retreating from storm
1998 Northwest Books 5.9 var. - leader fell on runout far from last gear
1999 Guppy Dome - dropped while lowering
2001 Cathedral Peak - lightning
2001 Needle Spoon (p1) - leader fell on runout
2002 Western Front - leader fell traversing out of climb (5.7 ? no such climb, climbs in area all 5.10)
2004 Eichorn Pinnacle - rappel anchor failed
2004 Regular Route Fairview Dome - benighted
2004 DAFF dome - fall while descending in rainstorm
2005 Northwest Books 5.9 var. - leader fell runout on natural gear
2005 Matthes Crest - second broke leg jumping
2005 Lembert Dome - benighted descending
2005 Regular Route Fairview Dome - benighted
2005 Tenya Peak - stranded, lacked experience
2006 Northwest Books 5.9 var. - leader fell runout above natural gear
2007 Regular Route Fairview Dome - benighted
2007 Northwest Books - fall descending
2007 Sh#t Hooks - second fell hitting ground
2007 Cathedral Peak - leader fell pulled protection
2008 Cathedral Peak - benighted
2010 Cathedral Peak - leader fall
2010 Third Pillar of Dana Lenticular Limbo - leader fall off route
2011 Cathedral Peak - fall on descent
2012 Family Affair - dropped lowering

I totally agree that TM routes can be intimidating due to the protection. Having climbed there every year since 1996 I seem to have gained some confidence on the runout, at least through the 5.10 grades.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
May 26, 2014 - 01:32pm PT
Ed
thanks for the data.
Most of the long runouts on 5.8/5.9 are on slabs where a long slide is the likely result of a fall. I took The Big One near the top of Pywiack Dike Route, sliding at least 60 feet counting rope stretch. Had a few scrapes and my nerves were shattered for the day. Went back the next year and led it fine.
I think the Meadows has great 5.7 - 5.9 climbs specifically for learning how to deal with runout.
One of the most difficult aspects of long run outs on slab is route finding. Hence learning how to down climb. I fell on the Dike Route because I didn't down climb when I realized I was off route.
No, you really don't want to fall out of the Great White Book. So you learn how to be careful and in control.
Where I've had difficulty in Tuolumne has been on harder, well protected climbs.
Long falls are not the major hazard in Tuolumne as shown by Ed's data.
Mostly it's situational awareness: benighted, storms, off route, descending. Much like Glacier Point Apron. Much like most climbing areas.

Hoodwink looks awesome but a bit over my pay grade.
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
May 26, 2014 - 02:04pm PT
I agree with everything said. IMHO (again) I think that Chris' term 'museum-piece' is appropriate. At T-meadows,I think that 90% of climbing is done on the cracks or the occasional high-risk adventure.

I think that many first ascentionists were placing bolts after cruxes when they could no longer downclimb safely. Their mentality was only to survive. Many of us clipped those feeble bolts decades after their usable life.

Regarding Ed Hartouni's statistics; You could also say that Pinto Wagons haven't had many explosions in the last 30 years. It doesn't mean that they are reasonably safe or good cars. How many first ascentionists would feel comfortable doing repeats of their runouts 10 or 20 years later? Would they recommend the routes to their children? Just because some freewheeling brazen youth in the 70's slapped random 1 inch bolts in pristine faces doesn't mean much compared to the deaths and serious injuries in a silly pastime like climbing. No one makes you bring a rope or bolt kit. If the FA was free to protect himself and if we don't want every party to be free to bolt at will then the reasonable compromise is for a consensus formula for bolting at the grade of climb.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 26, 2014 - 02:19pm PT
If we throw out the accounting of what actually happens in TM regarding accidents then it is possible to construct a narrative that supports anything, really.

However, you can't argue the "safety issue" without some indication that there is actually an issue.

Obviously, ambitious people lacking experience run into problems on TM climbs. These problems do not seem to be falling on far spaced ancient bolts. The majority of them are on routes that are unbolted (Reg. Route on Fairview, Cathedral Peak and Northwest Books) so one cannot even argue that the slow pace of climbing with runout bolts contributes.

I'm saying that you should find some other justification for advocating re-engineering routes, safety is not an issue as demonstrated by the rather low likelihood of such accidents. Being "scared" is not the something as being in a hazardous situation (that works both ways, of course).

Apparently people can climb these routes as competently as the FA team, even where the FA team may be reluctant many years later, see, e.g. Super Chicken on Medlicott : add bolts to third pitch? for a discussion.
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
May 26, 2014 - 03:38pm PT
Ed, you can't compare the volume of climbers on those three routes to the vast majority of rarely climbed T-meadows runouts.
Re-engineered is your term. I'll say that climbers from that era left pins, tat anchors, shitty bolts and more than a few shitty routes and monopolized moderate climbs without having the guidance of more experienced climbers. It seems typically American to insist that one person's ignorant opinion is as valid as a wise consensus by experts. You could argue that irresponsible bolting is the equivalent of poor construction or unsafe bridges or rope swings. There is a real liability. If the FA party feels no social responsibility then why are we following irresponsible leaders? Have they earned that respect? You might as well argue that we can't replace bolts, upgrade anchors or remove loose rocks.
The standard for bolting routes has improved both the quality of gear and the quality of routes. Would you suggest that we return to star drives and pitons?
I was on TSAR in '96 and it became clear to everyone that someone had to take responsibility for the misleading (get it?) guidebooks and dangerous routes. Responsible climbers began adding substantial anchors for safety and rescue and better bolts for humanity. I have a star drive that pulled out during a fall on Conness. A better bolt prevents danger to climbers and rescuers. I think that I'm on the right side of history and that the bolt-wars was an ignorant period in American climbing history.
You are ignoring the injuries due to runouts ( 3 on NW books). Many think that NW books needs a smarter finish and I know that there have been injuries on Cryin' Time Again because the direct finish is just stupid. The pulled anchor is also a vote for re-engineering, as EH puts it. There would be less crowds on the popular routes if there were more smartly-bolted faces.
( my memory is off re NW books finish, as I recall it's fine. I was thinking about CTA).
If the real argument is to 'preserve risky adventure' then nothing stops a climber from skipping all but the original bolts, soloing or acknowledging the badassedness of the FA party. I just don't think that soloing a line means that you own the rock forever. Ed's link shows that the FA guys might do it differently today because wisdom.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
May 26, 2014 - 04:04pm PT
Northwest Books is interesting. I've climbed it a few times, including not long ago. The only place I felt it was sketchy was the moves from the starting ledge to the first bolt. From then on a competent climber should be pretty safe. I don't remember feeling runout at any point after the first bolt.
As for Crying Time Again, yes that straight up finish is dangerous. I didn't do it and don't plan to. However that should be obvious to a competent climber and you can exit safely right on the ledges.
Sometimes your brain has to get ahead of ego.
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