Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Big Wall and Aid Climbing:
Zion climbing history
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Big Wall and Aid Climbing

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 27 Next page Last page  View All


epic_ed


Jan 13, 2005, 2:07 PM
Post #1 of 667 (85980 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4724

Zion climbing history  (North_America: United_States: Utah: St__George: Zion_National_Park)
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Discuss.

Dangle? BSmoot? Brian? Others? Spill the beans.

Ron, how did you get scooped on Moonlight Buttress? I can't believe you didn't see that line first.

Ed


dangle


Jan 13, 2005, 2:25 PM
Post #2 of 667 (85980 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 1, 2004
Posts: 814

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

When Jeff and Mike did the FA I was a junior in Hackley a boarding school in Tarrytown, NY. I'd already done some climbing in the Cran-Sierre area of Switzerland, but didn't own a rope or rack til '72. Still I wasn't allowed back for my senior year after Pete Lehman put a black flag on top of the cupola on top of Goodhue Hall the night before the Vice President came to our school with assistance from......(It was a pretty hairy free solo the maintanence guys weren't about to repeat)

Didn't hit Zion 'til April,'76.

I WAS looking for splitters though (remember I had Shield ambitions) and my first hour in the main canyon (after first visiting the Kolob Fingers) I picked out a good prospect on the N buttress of Red Arch. However I opted for establishing most of what would be Space Shot because it got more sun. The rest of the story can be found in the '85 AAJ


rockprodigy


Jan 13, 2005, 2:58 PM
Post #3 of 667 (85980 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 10, 2002
Posts: 1540

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I know a lot of the history behind the FFA of the N Face of Angel's Landing.

but seriously, I really think we (as a community) should try to get some of the history down on paper.

I've been trying to motivate more qualified people to put together a coffee table book in the same vein as the many that have been done on Yosemite. People seem interested, but so far nobody has picked up the gauntlet.


dangle


Jan 13, 2005, 3:46 PM
Post #4 of 667 (85979 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 1, 2004
Posts: 814

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Did any of those books show a decent profit? Let's face it, despite the potential for great photos, its a relatively esoteric pursuit.


grayhghost


Jan 13, 2005, 3:51 PM
Post #5 of 667 (85979 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 20, 2002
Posts: 444

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

kind of like climbing


dangle


Jan 13, 2005, 3:54 PM
Post #6 of 667 (85979 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 1, 2004
Posts: 814

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Isn't that...? Never mind.


dangle


Jan 13, 2005, 5:36 PM
Post #7 of 667 (85979 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 1, 2004
Posts: 814

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Here's an interesting point:
How accurate is Middendorf's claim that Dave Jones and I were the leading climbers of the late 70s?

Totally false!

For one thing Jones didn't climb in Zion until 1980.
And I was there but the man of the late 70s in Zion was Scott Fischer.

So how did this arise?
Climbing Magazine, October, '84 Anyone have one? Besides the erroneous years listed for numerous FAs provided by Jones, he also wrote a telling piece of fiction called B. G. Goes to Zion.
B G stands for Blond God and while Jones claimed to have created the character from whole cloth it was a thinly veiled depiction of Fischer right down to his Dodge Dart (although there may have been a touch of Bachar thrown in). A quick read of the story reveals a marked resentment for the "god".
While his chronology predates his routes by a year or two, he postdated some of mine (Monkeyfinger for example) with one notable exception.
The route we both completed. Space Shot.
Check any history of this route and it lists the Jones claim of 1978.

One little problem.

My photos from the FA look down not only on a clearly visible Jones, but my 1981 Mazda as well......

Well I have to admit that I was a little jealous of Scott at first also.
Women threw themselves at him with regularity. With me it isn't exactly a daily occurance, but Jones? I'll leave that alone, but suffice to say that having "second pick" with Scott helped me forget any envy. Jones never hung with him.

After getting the off years into print it was easy to perpetuate. Especially when fellow Dartmouth alum Middendorf incorporated the false claim into an actual "History of Zion Climbing" in the Bjornstad guide, not known as reliable anyway.

Scott wasn't just a babe magnet. He was a skilled free climber before Friends were available. This meant desert crack climbing with just nuts! Can anyone say RUNOUT!!?
Well Scott DID it while everyone watched. He was easily the boldest climber of that time in Zion. More than once he paid the price too. We didn't call him the Flying Fischer for nothing.

As the years progressed Scott's business, Mountain Madness took off and so did Scott, but we still kept in touch. We had done the FA of the Minotaur, his first virgin summit, and he always had a smile for me. We always met at the AAC meeting, and got together to climb every so often as well.

At an AAC meeting in Snowbird in the mid 90s we went up to Kennan's room to smoke and it was there that he told me that he was going to guide Everest. My reaction was a bit dubious. He knew mountains, I didn't, but I said in a questioning tone,"Its a really big hill..."
He told me his yellow brick road theory.

He invited me to go ice climbing in Ouray again. We had had a blast but I'm not an ice climber. Much to my regret I declined.

In May Dave Mondeau called me on a friday. He had bad news about the guy that introduced us to each other. Within a day it seemed the whole world knew. Tuesday morning still in shock I went to the post office to send a letter of condolence to Jean.

In my PO box was a letter from Scott that had been run out from basecamp. It was like getting hit by a truck. He expressed concern. "Its a really big hill." He said.


tenesmus


Jan 13, 2005, 8:35 PM
Post #8 of 667 (85979 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 26, 2004
Posts: 263

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Keep going. I like it.


dangle


Jan 15, 2005, 12:08 AM
Post #9 of 667 (85979 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 1, 2004
Posts: 814

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Well its late and I just got back so tonight's installment will be small, but don't be disappointed. Tomorrow I'm going to give you all something juicy to chew on.

I've had several requests to address the Flying Fischer reference in greater depth (height??).
Scott was kind of touchy about that, but I think that was more out of consideration for those concerned about him, and in actuality he reveled a bit in the status accorded to someone who's logged so many air miles.
Maybe I'm projecting a trait I've seen in others that have walked away from a big one. In any case fatherhood in the 80s seems to have made him more cautious on steep rock.

Early on as a NOLS instructor he went over a hundred feet in a rappel mishap. He didn't go into great detail about the fall but rather griped about the way his employer's executive handled the medical expense from his fractures.

The Bridalveil fall early in'77 was on personal time though. I wasn't there but numerous witnesses (I think Jeff was one) were horrified to see him plummet 150' and rushed to render aid. He had been using a brand new type of ice hammer called a hummingbird that sported a tube pick. Scott's speed descent demonstrated a likely unanticipated hazard when he discovred that he had managed to produce a core sample from his lower leg.
The fun wasn't over. Because of the barbs the doctor had to saw off the pick and push it through.

Six weeks later he reattempted what would be named the Minotaur. This time I was his partner and the lead division was simple.
If it looked like free it was his, the aid was mine.
The first pitch was a familiar if poorly protected chimney but soon I was belaying him from the existing rap bolts and looking up at an offwidth running about 15' through a roof directly above me.

Its late so I'l make a long story short.
When he fell from the lip of the roof I did the one thing you're not supposed to do.

I deliberately let go of the rope.

Reaching forward with palms up I caught him like a baby, since pro wasn't an issue. Trouble was that this "baby" weighed half again my weight. My only redemption was my tie in to the sling belay (OK OK that's what REALLY caught him). We were both a bit shocked, and quickly disgusted when his leg hole opened up. Best not described.
The real problem was an injured back that would trouble him in subsequent weeks guiding Denali.

The rematch came two years later.
This time I went onto the offwidth first. I managed to aid the roof at one point stacking one of the original Lowe split cams (like I used in the video) with an upside down 11 hex!. This allowed me to drill an angle at the lip and lower off.
Scott led through to a bivy ledge from whence I led the next pitch starting with a short ladder to a pendulum. Scott's view was great and his encouragement even better. Back at the bivy we cracked open a pint of brandy.

The next morning I saw something I'll never forget. After leading some 60' above me he used a brief spot of aid.
Literally.

When the piece blew he took a short fall onto a hex. But it was connected to the rope with a new Forest rabbit runner which promtly parted.
As stated runouts were Scott's territory, and when I looked up I saw Scott completely outlined against the sky along with what seemed to be miles of serpentine rope.

It didn't come tight until Scott passed me screaming.
I recall having time to look at his rope running through the carabiner on the first piece and thinking,"There's no way I'm squeezing through THAT!"

I didn't.
Later that day after he lead yet another runout pitch I joined him on the summit.

Our "descent" was assisted by his friends Deacon and Pam Banks. After finding that he had to rap 100' first from the nearby canyon rim Deacon succeeded in his seventh (and declared final) attempt to throw us a line.
We tied a sling around the summit block and used it to lower out to the jug home.

Sometime around his death 17 years later the regretably inept Zion rescue crew "reversed" our descent going to the summit on an exercise.

Not long after I saw their residual effect.
The summit was studded with bolts.
When I asked one of them why they didn't use the natural anchor of the summit block I was told that the 17 year old sling was all ratty and frayed.

I said,"So why didn't you replace it."
He was at a loss to explain that it hadn't ocurred to him.

I walked with a giant only to discover that I had ended up with the turkeys.


dangle


Jan 15, 2005, 10:55 AM
Post #10 of 667 (85980 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 1, 2004
Posts: 814

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Somebody has pointed out that the R&I interview listed the FA of Space Shot crediting Pey rather than Jones.

Quite right.

This is entirely my fault. While I make earnest efforts to be accurate I made an exception to exploit a mistake made by Climbing 21 years ago and Jones' deliberate dishonesty with a speck of my own.
It was a private joke to further obscure the history and deny the original liar credit.

Figured it was time to fess up and set things straight..

I hope that the reader will understand and forgive me a minor prevarication.

Ron Olevsky


dangle


Jan 15, 2005, 12:55 PM
Post #11 of 667 (85979 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 1, 2004
Posts: 814

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Two hours and no comment. The weather can't be THAT good. Is this thread dead and I just don't know it?

I promised a juicy meal but unless this is a forum why bother?

C'mon, anybody except the two Brians.


atg200


Jan 15, 2005, 4:27 PM
Post #12 of 667 (85979 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 4317

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

that minotaur story is classic! are there any good stories from those cool looking towers way the hell up the hillside? i've never heard more than fischer's name when i've nosed around for beta.

the skiing in LCC was too good to sit inside today ron :)


dangle


Jan 15, 2005, 5:27 PM
Post #13 of 667 (85979 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 1, 2004
Posts: 814

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Good to hear from you again.

Wasatch skiing huh? Yesterday's avalanche seems to have a dubioud distinction of record number of fatalities for Utah. I'd as soon not be reminded of the avalanche in the La Sals that took a friend.

A few weeks ago I risked camping in a dry wash and while I lay in my bag a wall of water killed hundreds of thousands. Then last week I saw that same wash flood and take out a train. Now this.

Momma's pissed about something!

Let's hear from some folks. This is a forum. Stop sitting on the sidelines.

(edit per user request)


dangle


Jan 15, 2005, 11:37 PM
Post #14 of 667 (85979 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 1, 2004
Posts: 814

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I assembled the post but am having trouble transfering it to the posting window. I intend to place it in the Video thread.


the_dude


Jan 17, 2005, 9:42 PM
Post #15 of 667 (85979 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 29, 2003
Posts: 221

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

This is a great thread. The stories are great Ron. I'd love to read more!
Cheers


dangle


Jan 18, 2005, 12:41 AM
Post #16 of 667 (85976 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 1, 2004
Posts: 814

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Open vote 'til Friday.


Moon Patrol

The Thunderbird Wall

Sunlight Buttress

Iron Messiah

Other?


Partner cracklover


Jan 18, 2005, 11:00 AM
Post #17 of 667 (85976 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2002
Posts: 10161

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I wonder if Ambler would like to join in the discussion...

GO


epic_ed


Jan 18, 2005, 11:37 AM
Post #18 of 667 (85976 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4724

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Sunlight Buttress? Haven't heard of it yet. Where and how?

Ed


epic_ed


Jan 18, 2005, 11:42 AM
Post #19 of 667 (85976 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4724

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Sunlight Buttress? Haven't heard of it yet. Where and how?

And, Gabe, the Amber crack really wasn't necessary, was it?

Ed


ambler


Jan 18, 2005, 12:52 PM
Post #20 of 667 (85976 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1690

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
I wonder if Ambler would like to join in the discussion...

GO
Sorry, no Zion stories. I was busy in Red Rock way back then. 8^)


Partner cracklover


Jan 18, 2005, 1:39 PM
Post #21 of 667 (85976 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2002
Posts: 10161

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
And, Gabe, the Amber crack really wasn't necessary, was it?

Ed

Hahaha - ouch! No - Ambler, not Amber.

Ambler, for some reason I thought you said you had a line in Zion, but clearly I was confused. I figured out what you meant now.

Sorry to sidetrack the conversation, please carry on!

GO


Partner euroford


Jan 18, 2005, 2:12 PM
Post #22 of 667 (85976 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 26, 2002
Posts: 2913

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

good thread!


flamer


Jan 18, 2005, 2:31 PM
Post #23 of 667 (85976 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 22, 2002
Posts: 2955

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I vote for Moonpatrol....I've been eyeing that one for awhile.

josh


flamer


Jan 18, 2005, 2:31 PM
Post #24 of 667 (85976 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 22, 2002
Posts: 2955

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I vote for Moon patrol...I've been eyeing that one for awhile....

josh


epic_ed


Jan 18, 2005, 9:01 PM
Post #25 of 667 (85976 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4724

Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
And, Gabe, the Amber crack really wasn't necessary, was it?

Ed

Hahaha - ouch! No - Ambler, not Amber.

Ambler, for some reason I thought you said you had a line in Zion, but clearly I was confused. I figured out what you meant now.

Sorry to sidetrack the conversation, please carry on!

GO

Yeah, I noticed my odd form of dyslexia after I posted it -- and didn't delete it fast enough to not look like a dork. Sorry.

Ed

First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 27 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Big Wall and Aid Climbing

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?
$58.46 (10% off)
$15.26 (10% off)
$47.66 (10% off)
$53.96 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook