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dmckj


Jan 29, 2005, 7:49 PM
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Devo.....how the hell are you??? Long time no see. Last time we climbed was Running Sacred??? Glad to see you're still kicking!

Your story line is pretty good, pretty close to the truth, but there are a few twists....

I wasn't pissed off at Ron at all (or not yet anyway). It was my buddy George Allen who was pissed off at you because he said you owed him money. So George whines to me about you and I say 'I don't care, you guys settle it yourselves', so he then directly whines at you. Ron arrives and finds out, apparently confused, that you have been hassled for money. Ron, in his infinite wisdom, presumes it is me doing the hassling (gee, wrong again!), and asks me to pay him for a $3.25 collect phone call. Yeah, I made the collect call (he told me to), and the next day he and I drove in my truck to Brian Head to go skiiing, the expenses for which he didn't pay a penny, nor did I ask. So much for being a nice guy. Won't happen again.

Anway, Ron is upset that you are being hassled for money (by George) and comes storming up to me asking for his $3.25 (this really is for real gentle thread readers, I couldn't make something this stupid up). How I got in the middle of it is still an enigma. Sick and tired of Ron's perpetual bullshit I offered to pay him IF HE SHOWED ME THE FRIGGIN RECEIPT. Then I told him to get his ass out of our campsite. Next thing you know Ron is dragging me into court saying he was deceived into accepting my collect phone call because he thought I was Warren Harding, which you, Devo, and my good friend George Allen, Marcus, etc, etc, all saw go down in person.

The judge told me I could file a lawsuit against Olvesky for frivolous prosecution, but I declined. Next time I won't decline.

Would the thread readers like to hear Dangle's explanation of how that all went down??

Now THAT is interesting history. No doubt Dangle will be hush on this one, eh Dangle?

Even after all this time I would forgive the guy if he offered a sincere apology and sent back the check. (Yes, gentle thread reader, he convinced the judge that I conned him....hard to imagine isn't it -- of course it didn't hurt that he lived in Washington County). That would be all it would take and I would at least consider that the guy has a shred of dignity left.

Poll: How many thread readers think that Ron should fess up and pay up and make kissy kissy and bury the hatchet??

Can't wait to see the response to this one!


bsmoot


Jan 29, 2005, 10:31 PM
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I don't know about the kissy kissy, but I DO think he should pay the $3.25 plus court costs.


dmckj


Jan 29, 2005, 11:34 PM
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Call me selfish....but I think there should be a little gratuitous sex out of this....


rocknroll


Jan 30, 2005, 7:09 AM
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Well Dave, I guess you told the rest of the story, which has spared me from telling about dropping the rack on timbertop mesa. But I got a lot of other good ones. Like the time Ron almost killed me and a bus load of tourists in one day - intentionally.

That money theme must have run throughout my days in Zion. What can I say, I was a poor college student that didn't have wealthy parents. dividends and relatives in Manhattan. I didn't have an inheritance that would allow me to live out my days near Zion getting chased by the cops, being a general pain in everone's side and acting as if I was the only authority in the world on aid climbing. No I was the Busman of the Desert and relied on guys like that to pick me up at the bus station and take me climbing.

"Put the aseptics in the Fass Nord and haul them on the B rope"

Now if Ron yelled that to you after you finished leading a pitch, would you know what to do? Any guesses on what he meant by that statement?

(Still waiting for those pictures Ron.)


ambler


Jan 30, 2005, 7:55 AM
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Damn, best thread I've read in a while,


dmckj


Jan 30, 2005, 8:30 AM
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Rocknroller (aka Devo)

Please....don't stop. I'm all atwitter for the continuing saga of the soap opera 'As The Summons is Served', or maybe 'As the Bullet Spirals', or perhaps 'As the Rack Falls from TimberTop'. Remember, you have a public of gentle thread readers who crave, no DEMAND more.....

You know, I do recall now leading a certain pitch on Lovelace and having this weird feeling that a bullet was going to puncture a vital organ. I wrote it off to constipation from not enough coffee.

Dangle will be up for nights now, or maybe he'll just change threads...

I'm still waiting for the poll results...


skinner


Jan 30, 2005, 2:58 PM
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I agree, best (most entertaining) thread I have read. I was up until 3:00 AM reading it.
I remember reading about the area, the climbers, and their FA's growing up as a young climber. But I never read any of this in the magazines of the time!

    I think we should rename the thread;

      "Mystery, Intrigue, and The Dark Secrets of Zion Revealed"

        Sounds like a headline right off of the Enquirer :lol:


        dmckj


        Jan 30, 2005, 3:23 PM
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        If this becomes a movie, pilot TV series, or docudrama I am gong to insist on only two things:

        My part is to be played by Brad Pitt...

        Dangle's part by Danny Devito...


        skinner


        Jan 30, 2005, 4:46 PM
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        I think that you have all the makings of a Big Screen Blockbuster here;

          -controversy-
          -mystery-
          -intrigue-
          -drama-

        but I think the Hollywood writers will probably change the "$3.25" phone bill, to $300,00.00 in gold bouillon.

          *side note*
          Brad Pit isn't all that popular these days (especially with the ladies)
          I would suggest Clint Eastwood, but you may want to go for someone a little younger and more dashing.. Val Kilmer?, Tom Cruise?


          rocknroll


          Jan 30, 2005, 9:20 PM
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          Danny Devito as Ron!! lol You got me rolling on that one.

          Well here it is. Ron and I started up a first ascent in the Temple of Sinawava, down stream from Monkey finger. It's May, and it's hot. We get a late start so we are in the shade. We hit this beautiful ledge filled with ferns and mosses, a veritable garden where you might expect the wee people to dance in the moonlight. It's perfect. Don't even need an ensolite pad. What does Ron do? He starts hacking away at the vegitation (probably had been growing there for hundreds of years) to get to the sand underneath. Well, not exactly environmentally sound, but I figured he's the Zion Master, this must be standard practice -just like those crazy drilled angles.

          We are baked out of our sleeping bags by the sun and are overjoyed to see a chimney a couple of pitches up - The Herbert Hoover Chimney. It got its name for the "hoovering" we were doing in there while waiting out the sun. Ron produced a small bindle of cocaine. He claimed he got it from the pop star Robbie Dupree, who had a minor hit at the time. Well, we used a sawed off knife blade to put out some lines (and he didn't even charge me for it!) and start hoovering the stuff up our noses. And then we waited. And waited. And nothing happened. Not even a tingle.

          It was so hot we were baking inside that chimney. Must have been at least a hundred. Well, we're sweaty and bored and suddenly Ron perks up.

          "Watch this."

          He grabs a basketball sized boulder and climbs out to the end of the chimney. Then I see it. One of those open air 'green dragon' tours. You know, with the tour guide sitting backwards talking into a microphone. I can here his oration

          "And in recent years, climbers have taken to these cliffs, soimetimes spending the nights in hammocks, lashed to the side of the rock..."

          "Goddamn Tourists." Ron mumbles and heaves the boulder out towards the road. I thought that he was going to just scare them, but I'll be damned if that tour and that boulder are heading for sudden impact, just about at the location of where the tour guide sits.

          "Someone's gonna get killed" I say and then yell. ' ROCK!"

          All heads on the tour turn upwards as the bomb speeds towards it mark. The driver slams on the brakes and the rock explodes in an orange starburst on the road a few feet from the front of the vehicle.

          We duck back in the chimney. "You could have killed them, Ron"

          Ron shrugs his shoulders, "What's one less tour guide?"

          Well, we've had enough. I'm hot, wondering about his judgement, we're sweaty, dirty, unmotivated and got bunk cocaine. We rappel down and I hit the ground first. Mark Pey is there to meet us. Ron raps down just as Dennis Knuckles, the climbing ranger, steps out of the bushes.
          "I figured it was you Ron" says the ranger.

          "Well, you saw my truck. Who else would it be?"

          "We heard that a rock came off this climb and almost hit a tour. Some people said it looked as if it had been thrown."

          Ron started pulling the rappels. "Well, you climb here. You know the rock is loose."

          "uh-huh'

          "Of Sh--, " Ron says, "The rope is stuck." He looks at me. "Well, Mumbles?" (He used to call me "Mumbles the Guzzler because he claimed I didn't speak clearly enough and drank all the water.)

          "Alright, I'll go."

          Ron achors one end and I start jugging the rope. "Try and keep your movements to a minimum, Mike" Mark cautions, "You don't know what it is stuck on."

          "it's fine."says Ron confidently. "I built the anchor.'

          And that was correct. I rapped off the anchor we built to lower the haul bag and he was going to pull the pieces and wrap a sling around a tree. When I arrived at the anchor, there was no sling. He had used old 11mm nylon rope. And everyone knows that you never put nylon against nylon. It had burned 3/4's of the way through from my jugging. A few minutes more and I would have been dead.

          And that's how Ron almost killed a bus load of tourists and me in the same day.


          dmckj


          Jan 30, 2005, 11:19 PM
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          Great stuff rocknroller!!!

          You think maybe when he asked you to jug the rope he was trying to eliminate you as a witness?????


          O.K. now we gotta hear about Timbertop.....wait....first I gotta make some popcorn.....


          ammon


          Jan 31, 2005, 12:15 AM
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          In reply to:
          I'm happy to say that Ammon agrees with me and Bird and Erikson and so many others that true free climbers don't use sling belays.

          I don't think I said this.... exactly. I might have said that it's better style to reach a natural stance (if you can) while putting up a free climb.

          Just for the record: Dean is a friend and I also support his shop in Springdale.

          Great thread!!!


          skinner


          Jan 31, 2005, 1:30 AM
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          Name that Route (please)

            While all the Zion buffs, experts, and trollers are here, can someone tell me what route this is that these dudes are climbing, and what is the route to their left? Thanx :)

              http://www.netspy.net/climbing/zion/zion.html

                large image, java script.. may take awhile to load



                  PS:
                  In reply to:
                  It got its name for the "hoovering" we were doing in there
                  I was releived to learn that "hoovering" was drug related. I had always thought it was some weird sexual practice, and really didn't want to know that much about what was going on in that chimney!!


                  ambler


                  Jan 31, 2005, 9:01 AM
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                  In reply to:
                  And that's how Ron almost killed a bus load of tourists and me in the same day.
                  Great stuff -- I hope there is more to come. Red Rock can't touch this, at least not in the 70s.


                  dmckj


                  Jan 31, 2005, 9:19 AM
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                  Skinner...

                  Easy answer.

                  The photo is of two guys on Prodigal Son, in the area of what is referred to as the Exit Flaps (a bolt ladder for the most part).

                  Immediately to the left across a very blank face is a right-facing corner system leading to a broken ledge. Those corners are the last full pitch of Empty Pages (the only easy pitch on the route). To the left of Empty Pages you can infer a right-leaning crack system that rises to join Empty Pages at the obvious broken ledges. That crack coming in is Angel Hair (Dunn Route). Before Prodigal Son was manufactured, it was Archangel, and that route actually crossed the blank face all the way over to the same ledges.

                  So, in chronological order, Angel Hair, Archangel, and Empty Pages all share that ledge. On the second (and only?) complete ascent of Archangel (myself, Olvesky, and Steve Chardon) we bivied on those ledges. On the first ascent of Empty Pages we bivied on those ledges as well (out of water and food I might add).

                  It's a good photo. Too bad it is on a bolt ladder.


                  dmckj


                  Jan 31, 2005, 9:24 AM
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                  I might add....that long beautiful shallow grey-black corner rising up and LEFT directly above those broken ledges is probably the single best pitch on what was Archangel. A spectacular pitch really. The normal exit off of those ledges is the right leanging overhanging corner system (Angel Hair).

                  The actual natural lines should have been Empty Pages finishing on the upper Archangel pitches, and then the full Prodigal Son line independent of that.


                  dmckj


                  Jan 31, 2005, 9:33 AM
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                  O.K....I've had a little time to work on Casting....

                  Myself....Mel Gibson or maybe Billy Bob Thorton (it's a toss up)
                  Dangle.....Joe Pesi
                  Devo......Bono


                  rockprodigy


                  Jan 31, 2005, 9:50 AM
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                  Hmmm...I think this tale is better suited to a Soap Opera, then a feature film. And all this time, I thought Zion was a low-key place.

                  Has anyone here climbed the GWT by the steep side?


                  crotch


                  Jan 31, 2005, 10:26 AM
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                  At the Temple of Sinewava parking area, near the bathrooms, there's a 5-foot high slab of rock that must have about 100 bolt-holes. The thing looks like a peg-board. Anyone know the story behind that? I assume it was for practice, but that's a hell of a lot of practice.


                  crotch


                  Jan 31, 2005, 10:28 AM
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                  At the Temple of Sinewava parking area, near the bathrooms, there's a 5-foot high slab of rock that must have about 100 bolt-holes. The thing looks like a peg-board. Anyone know the story behind that? I assume it was for practice, but that's a hell of a lot of practice.


                  skinner


                  Jan 31, 2005, 11:07 AM
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                  dmckj- Thank you very much, awesome information. The photo takes on a whole new meaning when you're listening to someone who actually slept on those little ledges. There is a little flaky looking line running between the lower climber and those ledges. It looks like the only possible way between the two routes without a sh*tload of bolting and/or riveting. But hooking across that wall would certain cause some major sphincter clinching! :shock: Just wondering if that does, or ever did connect the two lines? And is it really that that bad.. a bolt ladder?


                  epic_ed


                  Jan 31, 2005, 11:37 AM
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                  Great info, guys. It amazes me that an effort hasn't already gone into compiling some of this history and making a good book out if it. As an observer, it's absolutely fascinating to read the different recollections of what happened and when. Seems there's more than just two sides to a story sometimes.

                  And what's the story with Archangel, anyway? Ron -- that was one of your FA's correct? How does it differ from Prodigal and why?

                  I realize that not everyone agrees with the style that Prodigal Sun was put up -- clearly, Dave, you've made several references to it being chipped and drilled. But is there any merit, in your eyes, to how and why it was put up? It sees one hell of a lot of traffic every year mainly because it's a good, moderate climb and one that many n00b aid climbers venture up as their first wall. Do you think it's popular becasue it's relatively "easy" or because it's a good route? Or a combination of both?

                  Ed


                  dmckj


                  Jan 31, 2005, 12:17 PM
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                  Skinner,

                  Man....you asked a leading question. I was trying to be a 'nice guy' and leave the question as to how one got across that blank face unaswered....but...

                  Dangle put up Archangel on solo, a very impressive and bold undertaking for which he deserves all the credit in the world (stroke, stroke).

                  However, he followed what is now the Prodigal Son line up to a point and, it appears, decided that the dihedrals to the left looked more appealing than taking the Prodigal line above. So....he put in a 30-something bolt ladder across the middle of that beautiful face. I know, because I led that pitch on the 2nd ascent. Subsequently, I believe Ron realized it for what it was....a travesty...and chose to 'fix' the route but exiting along Prodigal Son. A better choice, but there are still too many bolts for my tastes.

                  As to the other person's question about the drilled out rock near the Park bathrooms at the Temple of Sinawava.....ask dangle. That also begs the question as to the now-erased route 'Crimes Against Nature'.

                  cheers
                  D


                  dmckj


                  Jan 31, 2005, 1:13 PM
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                  Ed,

                  I hate to get sucked into this ethical vortex, but you asked, so I'll tell you what I think (Dangle should lean over for his bottle of Scotch at this point....).....

                  (deep breath followed by sigh of great resignation...)

                  Let's start with the how and why I ended up in Zion. For about 5 straight years I was a Yosemite rat, but after climbing most of what I cared to I felt I had run my course there. I first climbed in Zion in 1978, thrashing my way up Boring Crack a 'so-called' 5.9. Kicked my butt and, for having no, or maybe one Friend that would fit the crack, scared the bejeezus out of me. Hmmm...I like this Zion climbing. Contrary to what Dangle says, I climbed Touchstone Wall in 78 or 79. Also did Moonlight with Dangle around that same time. It wasn't until my next trip with Steve Chardon in ?? (sorry folks, I have to look up the dates) that I started putting up routes.

                  When I did Moonlight with Dangle, it was originally as a threesome with my friend Josh Lieberman. Josh felt so abused by Dangle that he declined to continue after fixing a few pitches. I offered to bail out of the effort rather than abandon my friend, but Josh encouraged me to finish it. We did. At the top of Moonlight I inadvertently unclipped my jugs without knowing it and Ron, 20 feet below with a doobie in his fingers, caught them out of mid-air. Good job dangle. Josh didn't want anything more to do with Dangle.

                  Next, Steve Chardon and I and Dangle did the 2nd ascent of Archangel. By about 3 pitches up Steve felt so abused by Dangle that he declined to lead any more pitches and jugged the rest of the route. I led most of the route. My way of dealing with Dangle has always been to be one step ahead of him and to return his verbal banter with equally strong doses of my own.

                  Next, Dangle committed a terminal error. Steve and I were looking for new lines and Dangle pointed out the line of what is now Shune's Buttress. He had been part way up.

                  'Why don't you got do that??' he said with a challenging smirk on his face.
                  'O.K.' I replied.

                  Several days later we had bagged Shune's which (for history's sake) was named after the last chief of the indians who inhabited the canyon...Chief Shune...for whom old village site of Shunesburg was named at the foot of Red Arch Mtn.

                  After bagging Shunes we ran into Ron.
                  'Well...how'd it go??' smirked Ron.
                  'We did it. Great route. Thanks for the tip!' I said.
                  'What?????' Ron replied, apoplectic. 'You DID IT?' he said, now looking mad as hell.
                  'Well, yeah, you told us to go try it, so we did it'.
                  'Well, I didn't think you would GET UP IT!!!' he said, overcome with his own loss.

                  Anyway, with those initial adventures under my belt I no longer had any interest in going back to The Valley and, in fact, have not been back since. I mean, why deal with that scene when you can come and put up climb after climb in one of the most surreally beautiful places in the world?

                  So, getting back to the point...

                  I had had a dose of the adventure and challenge of Zion climbing. And, really, above all Zion has ALWAYS been about out-of-the-ordinary adventure. Everything is steeper, more difficult, more scary, more time-consuming, etc, on average than any other place I have climbed. I kind of like that. The ratings have always been sticky on the low side, like the old days of, lets say, The Gunks, or Granite Mountain. I have tried to maintain the old-style of grading in Zion, much to the consternation of people who accuse me of sandbagging.

                  Adventure, stress, fear, agony, a little blood, bad pro. What fun!

                  Meanwhile, a few 'easy' trade routes go up. Dangle and I bagged Spaceshot, which he prophetically predicted would become a trade route. He was right. I am O.K. with a trade route such as Spaceshot (I was not involved with the bolt ladder as Dangle did that entirely on his own).

                  However, Prodigal Son is another matter. That route 'should have been' a classic Zion A4 route, and, in fact, it still could be. The upper part of the route is a contrived link of bolt ladders and 'a move or two' on natural features. It could have been outstanding A3/4.

                  Do I begrudge people doing it? No, not at all (I've climbed it 3 times myself). Do I begrudge ONE route of its nature being put up? I suppose not. Do I think it deserves respect as a wall route with real integrity? No, I don't. (I had to laugh out loud when it made the list of 50 Classic Climbs). Am I worried that people look to that as 'an example' of how to put up a wall in Zion? Scares the shit out of me. That route was lowered to the level of 'the masses'. Now I don't mind if 'the masses' all climb on that route, but they should keep their bolt ladders OFF OF ZION WALLS.

                  To wit, for years all of us viewed the line that is now Desert Shield. Why didn't it get done? Simply because we felt too ashamed to drill a monster bolt ladder to get to the base of the crack. Well....someone finally decided that this was O.K. Was this good or bad? To me, it is a gray area.

                  But the big danger is destroying something you love. And what I always loved about Zion was that it was, and is, one of the more 'out there' places you can climb. Dumbing down routes so more people can climb them is, to me, a horrible precendent. As I have said, I greatly admire Dangle's eye for lines, but I don't admire making lines accessible to everyone by opening them up to anyone. If there is ONLY one Dangle who adds spice and controversy to life, that's fine. What frightens me is a younger generation of wall climbers deciding it is 'O.K.' to make everything as user-friendly as possible. That would destroy Zion as a place to climb.

                  So, yeah, I can live with ONE Prodigal Son, but there should be limits and standards. People should learn to climb in Zion on its own terms, not the terms of creating an easy route where none existed.

                  blah, blah, blah
                  D


                  skinner


                  Jan 31, 2005, 3:38 PM
                  Post #100 of 667 (62234 views)
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                  Registered: Oct 31, 2004
                  Posts: 1747

                  Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
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                  Wow.. interesting piece of history. I don't know what everyone else thinks, but it seems like bolting has almost come full circle. People were up in arms when Harding was drilling his way up the wall, but soon enough all sorts of people were pounding on granite as a way to open new lines that were otherwise deemed inaccessible. As technology advanced new and old lines were being completed without bolting, where a decade earlier it would have been the only option.

                    But.. along came the "Sport" climbers, and the drills were humming like never before, only this time they were power drills. I am pretty sure that if they had to pound these holes in by hand, bolted anchor sales would only be a fraction of what they are. Don't get me wrong, I have put in my share of bolts, but it just seems like it is a little out of hand when my 11 year old leads past 6 bolts, before placing his own protection.

                      I have never been to Zion, but it is certainly a definite 2-do now! I did however grow up climbing on sandstone, not the nice red stuff with beautiful cracks, but rather the whitish stuff that is more like hard packed mud in places. The friction is unbelievable, and you are able to pull off some gravity defying moves because of it. Protection is another story altogether, so I do understand how bolts would come into play.

                        Ok, now you have to help me out again here, having never been to Zion I am still trying to orient myself through photos.
                        In this photo:

                        http://www.netspy.net/...ing/zion/zion02.html

                        Is Prodigal Son in this photo? on the left? If not tell me where this is, what other routes are in this photo?

                          Thanks!!

                            Oh ya.. I found this photo of Prodigal Son with the route marked. I am not sure of it's accuracy, but I am certain we will find out :wink:
                            http://www.netspy.net/...odigal-son-route.jpg

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