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BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Feb 6, 2010 - 02:13pm PT
I first visited Stoney with unknown friends as a young pre-teen in the late 50's. Growing up in Canoga Park, it was a place to cruise & scramble around just for the fun of it. I remember once seeing some climbers, probably the Sierra Club RCS (Rock Climbing Section), with ropes and commenting to a friend that they would certainly be killed doing that kind of climbing. Little did I know what was to come.

I used to go bowling with my brother, Philip, and mom, Marjorie, fairly regularly on Sundays at the local bowling alley. One day during the winter of 1960-1961, my dad, Robert, showed up unnannounced and announced that the RCS was having a practice climb at Stoney and that my brother and I were going with him. We had been spending the previous two family summer vacations camping in Yosemite. In 1959, my dad, brother and I hiked up the cable route on Half Dome. The following summer, we three hike up Mt. Dana. It was Dad's ambition to climb Mts. Lyell and Ritter the next summer (which we did) and he felt that we needed roped climbing skills and equipment to do it safely. So we went with him to Stoney Point, and a whole new world opened up to me. The rest is history, so to speak. I never asked Mom how she felt about that day because we never went bowling with her again.

I've known Dennis Hennek since 8th grade (1958), by 1961 we were in high school (Canoga Park HS) together, and about then we began going to Stoney Point every Saturday and Sunday and sometimes even after school. One day in the hall at my locker, Dennis and I were talking about climbing whild I was holding "A Climber's Guide to the High Sierra" in my hand. An unknown student, Russ McLean overheard our conversation and stopped to introduce himself. I guess we were a little stand-offish, and Russ felt rejected, but soon we met him again at Stoney, and others in our high school class joined us three on our weekend forays to Stoney.

We three graduated from high school in 1963, and that summer, in addition to a climbing trip to the Tetons with my father and brother, I did a hike into Bullfrog Lake over Kearsarge Pass from Independence, CA. From that lake, there's a lovely view of Mt. Brewer in the distance, and I greatly admired its nearly 1000' unclimbed face, and I set my sights on it. I'd never climbed anywhere but Stoney Point until then, so Russ and I took a quick trip to Tahquitz where we did two moderate climbs but were able to practice swinging leads on a real multi-pitch climbs. Late in the summer, carrying ropes and hardward we hiked (in our "kettershoes")to Bullfrog Lake where we found, by sheer coincidence, Dennis and his brothers fishing by the lake. After a short visit with them, Russ and I continued on and eventually set up a camp near the base of the Mt. Brewer's NE face. That's a story for another time. But after our successful ascent, the summit photos (not scanned yet!) show both Russ and I wearing our high school senior sweaters. Go Thorians [CPHS Class of S'63]! LOL!

I'm still organizing what I can see will be a massive scanning project; so far the only two pix from Stoney Point that I've done are of Don Lauria. One, dated 1965, shows him doing what I think was the second ascent of the "Boche Death Route." Is that route even done any more? The other, dated 1968, shows Don practicing aid on what we called in those days, "The Ski Tracks," two parallel cracks on the walls of one of the gullies on Stoney's backside.

Somewhere I have slides of a "Traffic Diversion" that the UCLA Bruin Mountaineers did to the traffic one Friday afternoon during the construction of the new Freeway that now goes by Stoney. That, also, will be for another time.
Dennis Hennek, 1966, Stoney Point
Dennis Hennek, 1966, Stoney Point
Credit: BooDawg
photo not found
Missing photo ID#144436
Don Laura aid climbing at Stoney Point, 1968
Don Laura aid climbing at Stoney Point, 1968
Credit: BooDawg
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Feb 6, 2010 - 02:19pm PT
Don Lauria, 2nd ascent of "Boche Death Route" &#40;?&#41;, 1965.
Don Lauria, 2nd ascent of "Boche Death Route" (?), 1965.
Credit: BooDawg
rincon

Trad climber
SoCal
Feb 6, 2010 - 03:04pm PT
Nice pics and story BooDawg!!

In the first pic of D.L., he's on Sandblast, 5.11c. it's right next to Sculpters Crack. Still trying to figure out where the Boche Death Route is though.

Looking forward to see more of your pics!
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Feb 7, 2010 - 02:14am PT
The Boche Death Route went from right to left up and across the blank west face (the "Front Wall" as tagged in the Stoney Point Guide 1982) of Stoney Point. The photo of Pyro's at the top of this page shows the Front Wall quite clearly - it's directly above the left edge of the oak tree behind Slant Rock.
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 7, 2010 - 03:31am PT
rincon,
it's gotta be that stuff on the jesus wall...? right of the non-exist bolt ladder:you start on the 5.7 crack then clip a (chopped or missing) bolt and traverse left in the pinscars then straight up?
BooDawg thanks!

guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 7, 2010 - 11:34am PT
BooDawg...... very nice. Please keep adding shots and names. We are trying to get the whole history of the Point written down. So many climbers have stories similar to yours. One day they went to Stoney and their life changed forever..... mine did for sure.

Ever get out there now?????

Edit..... is he leading the Boche Death root????
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Feb 7, 2010 - 01:43pm PT
Yes, Lauria is leading the route; one can see the rope and crabs leading up from the center-bottom of the pic.

Living on Hawaii Island, I don't get to SoCal much, tho last time I was there, McLean and I went out and enjoyed part of a day on the rocks.
rincon

Trad climber
SoCal
Feb 7, 2010 - 05:52pm PT
Stoney bump!
somethingurnot

Social climber
the Pink Dildo
Feb 7, 2010 - 10:17pm PT
this thread amazes me
"i hung out at the Manson caves these past rainy days!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Feb 8, 2010 - 01:00pm PT
Very cool thread!
Refreshes the old memories nicely.

The Fish in the late 70s, Turlock:


photo, Doug Munoz
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Feb 8, 2010 - 07:26pm PT
"Pave paradise and put up a parking lot" !!

This 1965 pic was taken near Stoney,
Spring CA poppies near Stoney Pt., now erased by freeway.
Spring CA poppies near Stoney Pt., now erased by freeway.
Credit: BooDawg
and the location has now been erased by the "new" freeway and the realignment of Topanga Canyon Bl.
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Feb 9, 2010 - 08:24am PT
Almost visible in the first photo is that Old Topanga Canyon Blvd used to make a large S-Turn as it passed by Stoney Point and over a railroad tunnel before heading west over the pass to Simi Valley. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the cars on the inside of the bend are all bunched up, creating a break in the traffic. This event took place around April Fool’s Day, 1969 when Team #1 the UCLA Bruin Mountaineers (who frequented Stoney for climbing practice) brought 5 of their cars and some “borrowed” orange highway cones plus a detour sign to the area.

Lower part of S-Turn directly below summit of Stoney Point.
Lower part of S-Turn directly below summit of Stoney Point.
Credit: BooDawg

Above the S-Turn, where a small road led off into a maze of roads where there were widely scattered houses, Team #2 was waiting with the cones and detour sign for the break in the traffic to arrive.

Team #2 lurking by the road, waiting for the break in the traffic.
Team #2 lurking by the road, waiting for the break in the traffic.
Credit: BooDawg

When the break arrived, they quickly set up the sign and the cones to block the highway and divert the afternoon commuter traffic into the maze of roads which had only one obscure outlet.

Team #2 lays out the cones and detour sign.
Team #2 lays out the cones and detour sign.
Credit: BooDawg

When the sign & cones were in place, the Team #1 drivers of the 5 cars led the commuter traffic up into the maze. Knowing the obscure route out, the drivers drove out around the back side of Stoney Point and walked up the back side to join Team #2 who had walked up there after setting up the sign and cones. For more than an hour, the maze of roads was a horrific traffic jam. The highway department came and opened up the road, scratching their head all the while.

The UCLA cars lead the traffic back into the maze of roads.
The UCLA cars lead the traffic back into the maze of roads.
Credit: BooDawg

We knew that these were futile efforts at resisting "progress," but it was sure fun to organize resistance anyway...
MisterE

Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Feb 9, 2010 - 09:40am PT
That is just such a cool piece of history! Excellent monkey-wrenching!
matty

Trad climber
los arbor
Feb 9, 2010 - 12:21pm PT
BooDawg - Great posts, thanks sooo much. That traffic jam cracks me up. Got any good Kamps stories?

Matt
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Feb 9, 2010 - 01:14pm PT
Here are two pix of the FA of the "Boche Death Route." I'm not sure who actually took the pix; they are duplicate slides. Probably Hennek, Lauria, or McLean.

FA of the "Boche Death Route."
FA of the "Boche Death Route."
Credit: BooDawg
FA of the "Boche Death Route."
FA of the "Boche Death Route."
Credit: BooDawg
ColeGibson

Trad climber
Los Angeles, California
Feb 9, 2010 - 08:01pm PT
Hello,

My name, as if it wasn't obvious from my screen name, is Cole Gibson and I've been working on a documentary about the history of climbing at Stoney Point for the last year and half, tentatively titled "Stoney Point: Portrait of an American Crag." So far we've interviewed almost 20 people ranging from Glen Dawson, who first climbed at the Point in 1927, to young kids pushing the limits in the present time.

About a year before graduating from film school at USC, I found what would become my life's passion out at Stoney Point. Like so many others before me, I fell in love with climbing at Stoney and haven't looked back since. Early on I met long time climbers like Guy Keesee, Mike Flood and Jan McCollum who became mentors and are to this day very good friends. Over the years I've met some of my best friends out at the Point and the place has truly become something special to me.

The history of climbing at Stoney Point over the last hundred years is richer than cheesecake and, as a filmmaker, it was a no brainer that this needed to be my first real project outside of school. Today, the film is about 75% complete, from a shooting standpoint, and I've amassed an amazing collection of historical photos and video assets. The Sierra Club, Glen Dawson, Brooks Ayola and many others have been HUGELY instrumental in the gathering of this collection and the project wouldn't be where it is without their help. Thanks guys!!! Climbing magazine will be publishing an article I wrote on the subject this coming Fall and the movie will be finished concurrently.

As a long time lurker here on the Taco I've held off on writing a post like this but, for better or worse, the time has come. While I already have enough assets to make a very complete documentary I can always use more. So if anyone has photos or stories or anything that they'd like to donate to or share with the documentary please let me know, either here on Supertopo, or by shooting me an email at - cgibson22@gmail.com

While I don't have many more interviews to do, I do have a couple people I'd like to get a hold of. Chief of whom are Mark Powell and TM Herbert. If anyone has contact info for these guys could you please send it to me so that I can reach out to them about the project? The 60's era is a little thin right now and I think these two legends would flesh it out nicely, to say the least!

Anyway, if it calls for it, I'll be posting on here regularly but for now please enjoy the following pictures. I'd love to post more but in terms of the article and the movie I don't think it's a good idea.
Thanks,

Cole

Glen Dawson canyon jumping in the early 30's
Glen Dawson canyon jumping in the early 30's
Credit: Glen Dawson/Sierra Club
Glen and brother Muir Dawson on boulder 1
Glen and brother Muir Dawson on boulder 1
Credit: Glen Dawson/Sierra Club
Summit boulder
Summit boulder
Credit: Sierra Club
Royal Robbins leading at Stoney, pulled this one off the net so if any...
Royal Robbins leading at Stoney, pulled this one off the net so if anyone knows who took the pic or has a high quality version please let me know.
Bob Kamps at Stoney Point
Bob Kamps at Stoney Point
Credit: Bob Kamps Collection
The dreaded Power Glide crimp
The dreaded Power Glide crimp
Credit: ColeGibson
My GF Steph sending hard
My GF Steph sending hard
Credit: ColeGibson
matty

Trad climber
los arbor
Feb 9, 2010 - 08:11pm PT
Thx Cole! Great photos, looking forward to the whole shabang.

QH
rincon

Trad climber
SoCal
Feb 9, 2010 - 08:33pm PT
Cool photos Cole and everyone! This thread gets better and better!

Too bad it's raining and the rock is soaked, or we'd be there right now having fun.
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 9, 2010 - 11:42pm PT
B-dawg you are rad!
the traffic pic's made me think "what the hell are those students doing"? anyway, i like the pic of the S- turn with the train cruising on by!
ken Boche nice to meet ya!
when top-rope season is active we'll post some pic's of the gang climbing the "boche death route"..

tarbuster~thanks for check'n the Stoney thread. the fish is my favorite..

cole~your constant questioning stoney's history has inspired this thread...so get what you can out of it, because the world should always come climb at Stoney.
Stephanie you should get out more because i know your super strong!

Rincon i had to go to the gym today because of the rain..

sunset shot!
sunset shot!
Credit: pyro



BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Feb 11, 2010 - 12:26pm PT
I'm pasting in these references to Stoney from what I wrote last nite elsewhere... http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1079288&tn=20

More important, as you recall, were are frequent and intense trips to Stoney and then moving beyond… Have you checked out the Stoney Point thread in the last day or so? A film maker, Cole Gibson is making a documentary on Stoney. He says the 60’s is a bit thin. Did he interview you? If not, I’m thinking he may be missing an important piece of Stoney’s influence, considering the intensity with which we climbed there and the places that we went later.

Someone else on the Stoney thread, I think, was asking me for Kamps stories. You, LongAgo, of course, are probably the best one for those…
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