Trip Report
The 1984 Mt. Rubidoux Bouldering Contest with some Legends....
Thursday December 15, 2011 3:37pm
I remember we were driving in the desert late at night for hours in a panel van. No back seats, just shag carpet and two big stereo speaker boxes that we slid around on with all our gear. We were on our first trip to Joshua Tree to climb. We stopped in some place with lots of lights and all the fast food eateries and went into Jack in the Box where we unexpectedly found Ron Carson, a legend rock climber to us and great guy.
Ron Carson swings out on one of Dome Rocks classic Top Ropes
Ron Carson swings out on one of Dome Rocks classic Top Ropes
Credit: Radish
We knew Ron already from one of our first trips to Dome Rock where he set up TR’s for us to try. We also knew he was doing FA’s out at the Needles and other areas. After we told him where we were headed he said that we should join him and check out the Mt. Rubidoux Bouldering Contest on our way. We changed our plans right then and we were off to spend the night drinking wine from our Bota bags by some lonely desert highway pullout and talking about Rubidoux.
Credit: Radish
Next day we arrive and it’s October 1984 and it’s a Bouldering Event with all the sponsors’. Maybe one of the first contests ever; I guess Bouldering contests aren’t as popular today? Top Ropes were on all the boulders, put up by a crew from the event and each problem had a point score. People were starting to arrive and pretty soon there were groups around every boulder set.
The climbing crowds
The climbing crowds
Credit: Radish
Did you see my Cellphone??
Did you see my Cellphone??
Credit: Radish
Did you need a spot there buddy?
Did you need a spot there buddy?
Credit: Radish
Climbing as we know it now was still young then. Nobody was on a cell phone, tweeting, texting or calling anywhere. No digital cameras and only a few even had cameras at all. And no spotting……….
Ron Carson going for big points on a hard problem.
Ron Carson going for big points on a hard problem.
Credit: Radish

Tony Yaniro starting out a really hard problem
Tony Yaniro starting out a really hard problem
Credit: Radish
Tony looking strong.....He had some kind of shoe gu that he had put on...
Tony looking strong.....He had some kind of shoe gu that he had put on the topside of his shoes for better crack purchase.
Credit: Radish
We didn’t really know the who’s who of climbing then and looking back, we were very lucky to be hanging with the legends right off in Rubidoux. We met up with Ron who introduced us to Tony Yaniro. Tony mentioned that he had EB’s for sale. The sticky shoe rubber that changed climbing was just now happening.
Tony at the crux
Tony at the crux
Credit: Radish

Several groups of European climbers were around trying their skills for the top point’s prize. They were all staying in Joshua Tree. There were faces we had seen in ‘Mountain’ and ‘Climbing’ magazines.
English climbing master Ron Fawcett
English climbing master Ron Fawcett
Credit: Radish

Does anyone know who this known climber is?
Does anyone know who this known climber is?
Credit: Radish
We watched as a film crew was mounting a Video Camera the size of a Pinto motor to a tripod. They were getting ready to film several famous looking climbers sitting up along the edge for a Video about climbing. Everyone was smoking. It looked like a Hollywood movie set with directors and camera crew.
and does anyone know who these known climbers are?
and does anyone know who these known climbers are?
Credit: Radish
At the end of the day everyone gathered at the top in the parking area and waited while they counted the points and then prizes were handed out. Everyone got something and it was a success for Climbing as we saw it.
The Hard Traverse
The Hard Traverse
Credit: Radish

So you can imagine when we left we were full of climbing at its best and ready for J Tree! We had our 150’ rope; (only one of us had a pair of “fee-ray” shoes) a rack of Hex’s and Stoppers and our new secret weapon…..a # 7 Tri Cam! Good Memories!

*I’ve been following the Old Rubidoux photos thread and feeling guilty for not putting some pics up. The problem is that all the pictures I have are in 2 1/4 by 2 ¼ slides. Finally figured a way that I could take digital pictures of them and here we are. I decided to get this out as a Trip Report because it changed my climbing life in the early days……now 27 years ago.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


  Trip Report Views: 4,759
Radish
About the Author
Radish is a trad climber from SeKi, California.

Comments
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matty

Trad climber
under the sea
  Dec 15, 2011 - 03:41pm PT
Cool to see the old photos . TFPU
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
  Dec 15, 2011 - 04:08pm PT
Good stuff! The climber you are asking "who is this" looks like German (pronounced Her-mon) Wing. He was a super strong Mexican climber and really great guy... probably still is. Not sure what he would be doing with a microphone though.... hmmm. Bet Vogel knows.
splitter

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
  Dec 15, 2011 - 04:51pm PT
Great TR!

Thanks for taking the time to figure out how to post them slides, they look great.
handsome B

Gym climber
SL,UT
  Dec 15, 2011 - 04:52pm PT
nice! thanks for sharing
CrackAddict

Trad climber
Canoga Park, CA
  Dec 15, 2011 - 05:44pm PT
What a blast from the past, thanks for posting these. I went to this event when I first started climbing and was blown away by how good some of these guys were.

Russ, that looks like German Wing, but he did not seem to be the type to hold a microphone. Very soft spoken guy.
Baggins

Boulder climber
  Dec 15, 2011 - 06:11pm PT
2nd to last pic, guy smoking on left is Jerry Moffat, brit legend. on the right, maybe ben moon?
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
  Dec 15, 2011 - 06:18pm PT
I'm real sure that is not Moffatt. Moon is unlikely too. I can't place the faces though.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Dec 15, 2011 - 06:45pm PT
Thanks Radish, sweet pics!
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Canada
  Dec 15, 2011 - 07:12pm PT
Thanks Radish !

I felt 23 again for a minute. It's nice to reset every now and then by remembering life before digital culture.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
  Dec 15, 2011 - 07:14pm PT
The foto of Ron Fawcett is gnarly. Thanks.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
  Dec 15, 2011 - 07:43pm PT
I am with Russ in doubting the mystery pair being Moon & Moffatt. I also think the picture I.D. as Ron Fawcett looks more like Jimmy “Cool” Jewel, a really solid limey who tragically fell & died while soling a HVS in trainers.

I got to see Ron Carson establish a local test piece – Sudden Impact - on New Year’s Day of 1984. He had rated it 11d @ the time and had placed all 5 bolts on the lead from hooks. Perhaps a year later they were chopped. Ron went back up and reestablished the route … but this time with only 3 bolts - there by putting the Sporty in the sport climb.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Dec 15, 2011 - 07:47pm PT
The climbers in the second to last shot don't look anything like Moffat or Moon. Also, I'd i.d. that curly haired brit as Ron Fawcett. Jimmy Jewel looked a little different, plus he blossomed later.
Fogarty

climber
BITD
  Dec 15, 2011 - 11:28pm PT
I thank you for the blast from the past, that was my first comp, I placed in the JR. Div. all I remember is some one calling my name and giving me a #4 friend.
I even saw a photo of me with some friends, if you have more photos please post. I along with my friends BITD had no money for film.

Cheers, MF





Baggins

Boulder climber
  Dec 16, 2011 - 12:47am PT
ok.. looking again I agree, its not moffatt.. but a pretty good look-alike. Would be amazing to see video footage from this moment in history
Fogarty

climber
BITD
  Dec 16, 2011 - 12:49am PT
I know eye or I on LA was filming that day, my mom saw me on TV, LOL
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Dec 16, 2011 - 01:32am PT
thx Radish, I never got to go to the Rubidoux comp, but reading about it in Craig and Randy's guides let me know that I wasn't alone in my nutty fascination with rocks and movement over them. Pics resurface my own fun times there. Well worth the trouble.


well played good sir
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
  Dec 16, 2011 - 08:55am PT
Totally 80's!
Jeremy

climber
  Dec 16, 2011 - 09:54am PT
RADNESSSSSSSSSSSSSS BUMP!!!!!!
Fogarty

climber
BITD
  Dec 16, 2011 - 11:28am PT
That tall XXXX thin guy is Ron Fawcett, He Placed First in the open class, his prize was a Grahm portaledge and a rope, I think his biggest prize was taking the 1st place from all the locals, I watched this Ron float things first try.
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
  Dec 16, 2011 - 12:59pm PT
That was for certain Ron Fawcett, He won that year.

On the 12th photo down, the climber is Mike "Guargoyle" Guardino, who did well that year. He is sitting on a bench next to a climber in red. I think he won the advanced division but I could be wrong on that aspect.

Love the 1980's style with the tube socks & nylon running shorts!
doughnutnational

Gym climber
its nice here in the spring
  Dec 16, 2011 - 12:58pm PT
Maybe not quite a legend, but I think the women in the white pants near the center of the 5th photo may be Patty McCartney from the Oakhurst area.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
  Dec 16, 2011 - 01:32pm PT
Great pictures and story. I can't shed much light on the unidentified people, but the two Rubidoux Bouldering contests were loads of fun and attracted climbers from near and far.

KP and Hensel selected almost all the problems... my job was to keep them from sandbagging the ratings too much. Rob Raker used his portable personal computer (when these were a real rarity) to help tally the scores and get results out in a timely manner.

Lots of people volunteered their time, ropes and effort to pull this off. The payoff was so many people getting together and having a blast.

Thanks for sharing your experience, it really brings back memories.
Fogarty

climber
BITD
  Dec 16, 2011 - 02:07pm PT
Levy, The on drink bonus question, can you find me in two of the photos?
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
  Dec 16, 2011 - 03:20pm PT
Fogarty - Not sure which skinny lad is you, but i think I spotted Dave Katz ( aka - the Inflatable Man ) in the 5th one down wearing a pinkish/red shirt with his back to the camera.


Also, is that Mike Paul in the background sitting in a group of 3 on the 5th photo?

Randy - The organizational efforts you & others put into the Great Western Bouldering Contests was huge. You guys did an impressive effort getting all the volunteers & arranging for top ropes to be set all over getting prizes & swag & such. I miss those contests badly. It would be real nice to see more outdoor bouldering contests again in the Socal area.
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
  Dec 16, 2011 - 03:19pm PT
Definitely Ron. The others are not Moon or Moffat.
Fogarty

climber
BITD
  Dec 16, 2011 - 04:53pm PT
Levy- Hint, I'm in picture #3 and 4 what color is my shirt.

Have a great holiday friend.

MF.
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
  Dec 16, 2011 - 06:23pm PT
I'm in the "wanna spot" shot. Three people sitting on a rock at the top of the crowd, far left of the three. I got 20th, which to me is amazing since I am probably the worst boulderer I have ever been acquainted with. I think the fact there were tr's on all the problems helped.

edit: Levy, there's a good chance it's watusi, as we were hanging out a lot then.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
  Dec 16, 2011 - 06:26pm PT
"....may be Patty McCartney"
Douhgnut the same Patty that worked at Robbins BITD?
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
  Dec 16, 2011 - 07:31pm PT
I recall Fawcett winning it all in '84. We were all rooting for him partly because he was such a nice guy, plus he was running neck-to-neck with Yaniro and nobody really wanted to see Yaniro win.

Remember Terry Ayers won it all in '83?

Mari G won prolly both years.

Huge Kudos to Randy Vogel et all for putting on the events. They were a total hoot.

p.s.- - Nay---- I got about 20th in the '83 contest. Out of 100+.. so your 20th place in '84 not too shabby there big guy
neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
  Dec 16, 2011 - 07:59pm PT
Bitchin'....thanks.
fosburg

climber
  Dec 16, 2011 - 07:59pm PT
Is that the Shoe Salesman in the 4th photo with his arms crossed trying to vibe the climber off the rock?
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
  Dec 16, 2011 - 08:37pm PT
Kevin Fos- yes, I think that is the new shoe guy stafin' down the others in the 5th photo.

FWIW - I think Matt Oliphant (aka Capt buzzkill ) is in the 5th photo with the red striped chalk bag.
Fogarty

climber
BITD
  Dec 16, 2011 - 08:55pm PT
Levy no idea? now a 3 drink bonus and some, ends midnight LOL.
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
  Dec 16, 2011 - 09:18pm PT
"Shoe Salesman with his arms crossed trying to vibe the climber off the rock?" (With emphasis) LOL!
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
  Dec 16, 2011 - 09:18pm PT
I'll have to check my old slides and photos.
I think I have a few comp pics.
I may have some from Woodson too.
Vulgarian

Trad climber
Riverside CA.
  Dec 20, 2011 - 02:40pm PT
Cool thread. I live at the base of Mt.Rubidoux and still get up there to climb. It's nice to see these old pics sans the graffiti or coats of beige paint covering the graffiti that is now prevalent at the base of most these problems.
henny

Social climber
The Past
  Dec 20, 2011 - 03:10pm PT
Craig might be right, that does kind of look like me (in need of a spot) on the Island wall. Interesting how nobody is standing directly underneath, ha.

What a sand-bagger that "Sketchy" guy was with the problem ratings, eh?

Ruby over-psyching... JL wanting to know who named the problems on Long's Boulder anyway (well, KP of course)... Raker's "state-of-the-art" computer that took about 2 hours to add up and sort the rankings... Some funky green bird dude wandering around... Problems that lost 5 points of value from one contest to the next...

Yeah, those contests were some good times alright.

Edit - "I think his biggest prize was taking the 1st place from all the locals" - except some of the primary locals at the time were excluded, which was a bummer. Unless locals means non-Brits.
EdBannister

Mountain climber
13,000 feet
  Dec 20, 2011 - 03:08pm PT
Toadgas tells the truth:
I wanted Yaniro to win!

(The dopers never liked Tony.)

really excellent! and soooo true,


duncan

climber
London, UK
  Dec 20, 2011 - 03:27pm PT
This is nicely described in Ron Fawcett's autobiography 'Rock Athlete'.

Ron getting his first prize from Randy Vogel (same shorts)


Ron and some other guy.


Moe57

Trad climber
San Diego
  Dec 20, 2011 - 03:28pm PT
Those were great times. i entered the contest knowing there was no way I'd win but for fun like I think most people did. The great thing about it was that I scored a great climbing guide for Mt Rubidoux, the bouldering competition guide, that was handed out to all the competitors. It was from either the 84 or 82 competition, don't remember but I still have it which is the cool thing. At that time there was no real decent guide book for Rubidoux.
rodermck

Social climber
san jose ca.
  Dec 20, 2011 - 04:10pm PT
love blast to past with these old pics.
Mtnier

Mountain climber
BayArea
  Dec 20, 2011 - 05:44pm PT
I just found a photo from 1917 of my great-grandmother on Mt. Robidoux, in long black skirt & coat & broad hat among the granite rocks where you staged your climb.
henny

Social climber
The Past
  Dec 20, 2011 - 06:01pm PT
scan the picture and post it.
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Author's Reply  Dec 27, 2011 - 03:12pm PT
Thanks you all for the comments and the comps! It felt good to get this out there. I always knew that there was alittle bit of climbing history in these pictures. I had just bought a used, Rollieflex medium format camera and a couple of rolls of 12 exposure ektachrome slide film and took these.
35mm slide and a 120 Medium Format Slide
35mm slide and a 120 Medium Format Slide
Credit: Radish
I hope that sometime again there will be other Bouldering Contests. I imagine that it would be really interesting now to see how people do!
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
  Dec 27, 2011 - 03:37pm PT
Pat, that's definately Mike sitting to your left in photo #5. I've got other piks of him from that year and the hairline is spot-on.

Can't believe I missed this thread first time around. Oh, right. I was in Das Hospital.
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
  Dec 28, 2011 - 01:24am PT
bitchin'
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Author's Reply  Mar 13, 2012 - 12:08am PT
I was in Sports Chalet, Visalia last Saturday morning, in the shoe dept. I half over heard some guy talking about the big boots he was trying on, saying he used to do rock climbing and in them days they had names like Scarpa and Sportiva. I edged closer and the guy, a cowboy type with a pair of "real" cowboy boots lying on the ground next to him looked at me and said, "hey you look familiar". I saw the slightest reqnition and said the same to him and after some positioning asked him his name...........Ron Carson! The reluctantly most famous rock climber Tulare County had ever put out was right in front of me! We talked long enough for me to get in big trouble with my girlfriend and store employees and agreed to meet at a later date. I had a big list of questions about his climbs I started to make in my mind for our next time and Thanked crazy luck for the meeting we had since we last talked some 27 years ago!
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Mar 13, 2012 - 11:16pm PT
thanks for taking the time to share a slice of radness!
OR

Trad climber
  Mar 13, 2012 - 11:38pm PT
Love this stuff!
danayaniro

Boulder climber
Calistoga, California
  Apr 25, 2012 - 11:25am PT
Wow, wonderful photos, very cool to see my Dad back in the day!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Apr 25, 2012 - 11:59am PT
Great thread!

More Rubidoux history on Largo's thread...

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1795656&msg=1808449#msg1808449
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Author's Reply  Apr 26, 2012 - 12:28pm PT
Dana, Thanks.......Your dad was in his prime here and a legend to all of us. Whats he doing these days? Are you following in his footsteps?
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Feb 4, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
Radish, awesome! This needs a big bump!
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
  Feb 5, 2013 - 04:58pm PT
Fawcett recalls in his book winning the contest by solving what he describes as a "hideously glassy and smooth" slab by the trick of a running start.

By the way, he describes traveling with another great climber, Stefan Glowacz, so it was a pretty international competition, especially for Rubidoux! Sorry I missed seeing it, but I was already out in Colorado.

Anyone remember seeing Fawcett running up the slab? And any idea which problem he was on?
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