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rockprodigy


Mar 29, 2005, 9:10 PM
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Is that flake still there? I thought it was loose when I aided by 20 years ago, quite possibly I was freaked...

Great pics!

That flake is definitely not there. I'm pretty sure that photo is taken from the tiny belay ledge that is gained once you climb out of the huge overhanging dihedral and onto the upper headwall. Currently, that section is a jumble of loose blocks...I called it 5.10+ R, a fall would most likely be a factor 2 onto the belay.

Here comes Chapter 4....


golsen


Mar 29, 2005, 9:17 PM
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Thanks,
as you can tell, these pics have been sitting around collecting dust. Nice to share after all of these years. I knew that sucker was loose....this pitch is the same as you said.


rockprodigy


Mar 29, 2005, 9:21 PM
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Chapter 4

Things were getting desperate. I had family commitments for the Thanksgiving weekend, and I knew that the next opportunity I would have to try the route would be in December. I was losing hope. With each week, the temperatures lowered as the days got shorter. I couldn’t find partners, and at one point I even resorted to posting an ad on the internet. That resulted in one person who was willing to belay me for one day. We rapped in from the top so that I could work on the crux sections, but the temps were in the 40’s so I wasn’t able to even attempt a redpoint. In between every trip, the constant storms would leave moss and sand on all of the holds, and the hard pitches needed to be re-cleaned. I seriously considered abandoning the project, and waiting until spring, but I was moving to Colorado at the end of December, and I didn’t know if my new job would afford me enough time to complete the route. Word of my attempts was starting to spread, and I worried that another climber might be able to sneak and climb the route before me.

Just as I was about to give up, a high pressure system appeared on the forecast. It coincided with finals week for my graduate program at the U of Utah, but I worked it out so that I could finish my work early, then escape to southern Utah. This was it, my last chance to climb the route this year.

Janelle and I started at 8:30am on December 11th, highs were expected to be in the upper 50’s. For this last-ditch effort, I recruited my friend, and renowned photographer Andrew Burr to join us to photograph the attempt. His presence added some much needed levity to the serious mood of the climb, and gave Janelle someone to talk to. I moved quickly up through the first 6 pitches. The hard pitches of my previous attempt went down with ease, and I felt a surge of confidence as I arrived below the crux triple roof pitch.

I wasted no time in getting started on the menacing pitch. I wanted to keep the momentum going and be well committed on the pitch before I had time to think about it. I skipped the poor nut placement that had popped out and rattled my nerves on the previous attempt. I pulled around the first roof and clipped a #1 bugaboo piton placed in a vertical crack. Hopefully it would hold a fall, if needed. The crux soon followed which requires throwing a foot high onto a slopey foot bump in the midst of a powerful lieback, then trusting your weight to the smear and reaching up for a good pinscar. I clipped another pin, this placed horizontally, which inspired more confidence. The next few moves put me out on the face. The last fixed pin was at eye level, but I had to execute another crux move before I could clip it. With only two fingers crammed in a shallow pin scar, a powerful lieback move is required to reach a square-cut edge that marks the end of the crux section.

I clipped the last pin, then tried to shakeout on the vertical wall. The hardest moves were below, but I still had 50 feet of runout climbing above me. I paused for about five minutes at the awkward stance. The handholds are good enough to allow alternating shakes, but the footholds are not. I decided to move on when my calves began to pump out. The next 30’ entails delicate face climbing on either side of the thin seam. The seam is typically in one hand or another, but I never have the benefit of seeing straight in to place the gear. The serious nature of this pitch could be easily reduced by pre-placing the gear. I’m sure many future suitors will take this option, but for me it was out of the question, as a matter of principle. I gingerly stuff a nut into a flaring pin scar, then give it a gentle tug to test its worth. My only choice is to clip in, keep moving, and don’t fall.

About 15 feet above the last pin, the crack narrows down and gear becomes more difficult to place. At the last opportunity, I placed a blind #3 peenut. With the holds above well etched in my mind, I made the decision to trust my strength and balance, rather than these dubious nuts. I commit to climbing the last hard sequences with the protection that is already in place. Near the top of the seam, 15 feet above the peanut, I am poised to make the last move. My right hand is in an incut finger-tip bucket, and my left foot on a low edge. The object of my desire is a handjam a few feet above, and just out of reach. On my previous attempts, I did this move many different ways, and was unsure of how to proceed. I could high-step my right foot on a sandy, fragile flake and execute the move statically…assuming the sandy foothold remained in place. On the other hand, my right hand was solid, and I was going to a good hold, so why not just…dyno!

I latched the hand jam, and let out a scream of relief. In the excitement, I struggled to place a cam in the widening crack, but eventually got it in there. I quickly scampered up the remaining 20 or so feet to the ledge, relieved to finally slay this pitch. It was the most challenging lead of my life.

By this time, it was getting late. Per our plan, we rapped to the ground, and left the remainder of the route to the next day. This time the rappelling went smoothly, even with three of us. We reached the ground at 5pm, just enough time to cross the river in the dusk light, and get some grub.

Having crossed the Virgin several times by now, I had developed an effective procedure. Andy, who has a rebellious disposition in the first place, was new to the operation, and didn’t take kindly to me barking out orders. He decided to cross the river his way, which I must admit, was much more entertaining. My procedure consisted of a few simple steps which should be carried out in a certain order, at certain locations on the river. The issue was that we only had one pair of wading boots, and three people. The first person (me) would wade across, carrying his shoes. The wading location was carefully selected on a previous trip to ensure that water didn’t overtake the boots. Once across the river, I would hike down to another carefully selected location to toss the boots (one at a time) back across the river to the next person.

Andy didn’t like any of this. Just as I was starting into the river I heard the sound of a flying shoe. Andy had decided that he didn’t want to carry his shoes, so he took them off and tried to throw them across, right where I was wading. The problem with this, is that the “wading spot” is shallow, and therefore, wide. The shoe missed the bank by about 5 feet, and began to float down the river, at which point, Andy panicked and chucked his other shoe. This shoe did better, still getting wet, but I was able to grab it before it floated down river to the “throwing spot”. By this time, Andy’s first shoe had floated down to the aforementioned “throwing spot”. Now a good “throwing spot” should be narrow, so that your shoes, or boots make it across the river. The problem with narrow, is that it is also deep. So when Andy jumped into the river, right about where the “throwing spot” is, he was up to his chest in the Virgin. At this point, he was already halfway across, so he continued to ford the river at the “throwing spot”. As I said earlier, his way was much more entertaining....


une


Apr 1, 2005, 4:33 PM
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Wait a minute, you were on pitch 7, 15 feet above a #3 peanut with marginal pro below that, and you DYNO'ed to a hand jam. :shock: :shock:

Damn!!
http://www.mikechurch.com/...big_brass_balls1.jpg

Some people got 'em.

I know I could never pull off a move like that.

P.S. Keep the stories comming, these are awesome.


rockprodigy


Apr 1, 2005, 8:42 PM
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Thanks.

Check out page 21 of the new Climbing (238). That's the spot right there, with that green quickdraw way down there clipped to that #3.

I'm still working on the last chapter...it will be next week at the earliest.


golsen


Apr 1, 2005, 9:09 PM
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Mike,
Nice writing. Thanks. I thought the crux pitch was the former knifeblade pitch as i read your story. Not true? I need to look at the mag I guess.
G


rockprodigy


Apr 1, 2005, 9:25 PM
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That is the pitch. It's the 7th pitch per the original aid route, the "triple overhangs" pitch. The overhangs comprize the part that used to be knifeblades and is now angles. Once over the overhangs, the seam splits a vertical wall, which is the photo in the mag.


rockprodigy


Apr 1, 2005, 10:30 PM
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OK, I was able to crank out Chapter 5, which I thought would be the end, but I will need one more chapter:

Chapter 5

The next day, we all hiked up to the top of Angel’s Landing. The hike was enjoyable because I was sure this was my last day on the route. The remaining hard pitches were mostly bolted, and although I hadn’t redpointed any of them yet, I felt confident that I could do them. We started later than usual because rapping off the 1500’ high summit onto the shady North Face, is quite a bit colder than starting from the ground.

When we reached the ledge, I started up the 8th pitch, which was the first pitch of the bolted variation. I hadn’t redpointed this pitch before either, but I had a chance to climb it bolt-to-bolt the previous week when my friend Josh rapped in with me. It starts off of the left end of the ledge, about 30 feet to the left of the original bolt ladder. The climbing is absolutely amazing, and improbable. Subtle features, which do not at all seem climbable can be linked together with a serpentine series of moves. Right at the beginning, the pitch is most devious, requiring probably more than 30 moves to gain 10 feet, as I climbed back and forth across the bolt line.

The wall eventually rears back to just past vertical, but amazingly the holds improve as well. Above this section, a steep slab with miniscule patina holds allows passage to a small left-facing dihedral, 20 feet to the right. The dihedral contains the crux moves of the pitch. The moves are awkward including a high hand foot match, an aręte move or two, and finally a long rock-over to get established in the dihedral. Once in the dihedral, the climbing is straight forward, but sandy, and I was soon perched on a 2’x2’ ledge with a new bolted anchor.

Pitch 9 is the sports climbing pitch. I had taken to referring to it as the “TA” or “Tom Adams” pitch when I was talking to myself about it. For example, I might say: “Self, what do you think about the TA pitch?” and I would reply: “oh yeah, the TA pitch, that’s pretty sick, Tom would love it, I hope you can do it, self.” I called it the TA pitch for a number of reasons, but mostly because Tom is the best sports climber I know, and he is known for his ability to climb desperately steep routes in places like ‘mercan Fork and Maple.

The TA pitch is unlike anything I have ever seen in Zion, and seems more suited to the steep walls of Red Rocks. From the tiny ledge that forms the belay, the left-facing dihedral continues straight up for about 10’ before rearing back to the left, eventually becoming horizontal about 30’ above the belay. The corner juts out about 2’ feet so that when it becomes horizontal it forms a 2’ roof. The lip of the roof, and the aręte formed by the dihedral are studded with incut patina jugs while the main wall of the undercut face is as blank as a Camp 4 denizens’ employment record. This geometry forces the climber onto the overhanging aręte for some exciting moves.

This pitch also hadn’t been redpointed, but I had worked out the moves a little bit with Josh. I started up the aręte, tried to milk a rest at the second bolt, then clipped the third and committed to the crux. At this point, I was at the roof, and the holds dictated traversing the lip until some holds formed by a vertical crack could be reached. The hardest move requires grabbing a tiny right-hand crimp at just the right angle, placing my right foot high and pressing off in order to reach out to a finger jug at the crack. I made the reach on my first try, and was excited to complete the pitch. I placed my left foot on a block that protrudes out at the lip of the overhang, and pressed my weight onto it. Just as I began the rock-over, I heard a crack, and I was airborne.

During the fall, I didn’t have time to think about my rope sliding across the jagged patina that forms the lip of the overhang, or whether I would be able to get back to the belay. I saw some debris out of the corner of my eye while I made an arcing trajectory under the lip of the roof. When I hit the end of the rope, I pieced together what had happened. That protruding block that my left foot was on had been replaced by a fresh scar, and my optimistic confidence had been replaced by the fear of another wild pendulum-ing fall over the jagged-edged roof. It took me two more tries to redpoint the pitch. Another 13a, I had guessed, but who really knows up here, with nobody to offer a second opinion, and so many other factors to throw you off your game.

Above the lip of the roof, the route follows an intermittent seam that provides just enough clean gear while climbing mostly patina face holds. About 30’ over the roof a small sandy ledge is reached which is about 30’ to the left, and 10’ below the original belay at the end of pitch 9, above the large dihedral overhang.

From this stance, we were in no-mans land: A small ledge on a big face, a stone’s throw from the original route, but no obvious means of getting there. This is where the madness of Mike Anderson comes in. This 30’ stretch would make or break the climb, I had known it from the first bolt I placed in this crazy 3 pitch variation. To pioneer crack-less face climbing on the steep walls of Zion is a bit daft in its own right, but to push it for three pitches and hope to regain the original route? Well, that bordered on insanity. The previous two pitches formed a relatively straightforward passage compared to this stretch. The problem is it dead-ends at a stance with seemingly nowhere to go. From this position, it was easy to see why no body else had made any concerted attempts to free this wall.

But I’m crazy, remember? About 10’ below the stance, a finger tip sized (is that a 0.4 Friend?) horizontal crack shoots out to the right. It reaches for 20’ or so, where it disappears into a series of loose blocks and flakes that are strangely plastered to the wall. Anticipating this escape route, I had placed one bolt along this seam to protect the moves I hoped I could do. When I reached that sandy belay ledge that Sunday afternoon in December I had never even tried this pitch. I thought it would be easier than the previous pitches, so I wasn’t so worried about it, until that day. With the long pitch 8 and 3 tries to redpoint pitch 9 under my belt, I was tired. As Andy said later that day…I had been crimping like a mutha fucka all day long.

I left the belay optimistic. If I could send this pitch, I would be done with the hard climbing and the wall would be in the bag. From the belay, I placed a tcu in a flake as far to the right as possible to provide a good toprope for the traversing moves below me. I began by down climbing the last 10’ of pitch 9, to reach the horizontal seam. The seam is decent, providing half-pad crimps on a varying quality of holds. Some are positive some are not. The footholds are virtually non existent. There are a few bumps here and there, but half of them turn out to be just clumps of lichen, and the other half provide only psychological benefit. My first try, I traversed out the seam, practically campussing between moves, not caring to place my feet on the terrible holds. I reached the bolt, about 15’ out, clipped it, and reached over for one of the aforementioned loose blocks when the pump hit me hard and I peeled off, pendulum-ing back onto the bolt.

I worked out some moves and tried again, and again, and again. One other time I made it to the bolt, but the cumulative fatigue of the past few days was piling up, and I couldn’t progress much beyond it. Andy had stopped shooting a while ago as it was getting late and the light had disappeared. I lost track of how many tries I gave that short little section, but eventually I reached a point where I was making less progress with each try and Andy convinced me to pack it in.

I decided to let it go for the night. Andy helped us get back over to the main route and we jugged to the summit, disappointed to have to come back for yet another day.


golsen


Apr 1, 2005, 11:06 PM
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Mike, great story. I am really enjoying this and I appreciate your time in putting it together. I do not know what the best forum is for stories like this, at the time, this certainly seems good. There have been so many climbing stories that have not been published that need to be preserved and I guess this forum does that. Anyway, cool. But I must warn you not to rely on guidebooks to determine a 0.4 friend size, I am still trying to determine that one too....
G


skinner


Apr 1, 2005, 11:19 PM
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In reply to:
Check out page 21 of the new Climbing (238). That's the spot right there.
Looks like you are trying to hook your fingernails on some lichen for the next move. Awesome story!


le_bruce


Apr 6, 2005, 10:58 PM
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Like any great piece of climbing prose, this gets your palms sweating. Cheers for taking the time, and I look forward to reading more. Your grandchildren are going to be stoked to read this one day, compadre...


rockprodigy


Apr 7, 2005, 9:18 PM
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OK, this is the last one, finally...

Chapter 6

Monday, December 13th: The third day on the route, and certainly the last. Either I would finish the route today, or give it up. Again we, hiked up Angel’s Landing. This would be the 9th time I had hiked to the summit of Angel’s Landing since I started working on the project in September. By this time I knew there were 29 switchbacks up Walter’s Wiggles and 27 lengths of chain railing on the final stretch above Scout lookout. This would also be my 12th day working on the route, which really under-represents the time I had spent on it. I had come down to Zion on 10 separate weekends, at one point, I came down from Salt Lake 3 weekends in a row and was rained out on every one. I had spent a lot of time in Zion Canyon, and not enough time on the route. This day, the 13th of December, would determine whether or not it had all been worth it.

So far the weather had been amazing. The high pressure system that seemed to be severely lacking in the previous 3 months was hanging around with a vengeance. Andy decided not to come down the fixed ropes with us this time, but to stay on the approach trail and shoot photos from there. He stopped at Scout Lookout, and it was just Janelle and I. We moved quickly down the ropes, hoping to “get it over with”. I was tired from the two long days in a row. My fingers were stiff, and my legs were racked. The steep slab pitches and two treks up the trail had destroyed my calves and jellified my quads. As luck would have it, the last hard pitch didn’t have any footholds, so my tired calves wouldn’t be tested.

We soon gained our perch from the previous night, on top of the new pitch 9, the second of the variation pitches. We were on a small ledge, just a short 40’ pitch away from the original aid route. I desperately wanted to avoid the futile repeated efforts of the night before. My first try would be my best hope for redpointing the pitch. On this, my third day of hard climbing, I knew that each subsequent attempt would be more difficult as fatique set in. I still wasn’t certain how hard this pitch was, as I had never redpointed it, but I felt like it was probably 12c. It was hard to judge from the previous day’s efforts because I was so exhausted. Was I just tired, or was the pitch really hard?

Those thoughts played in my mind as I set off from the belay. I placed the tcu out right under the flake, then began the down climbing…this was my warmup. The moves felt good, and I held deep breaths to relax my mind and body. When I reached the horizontal seam 10’ below the belay, I didn’t hesitate. I set out across the rail deliberately, with urgency, but not panic. This time I placed my feet carefully, but avoided weighting them to the point that they would pop off the shy holds. I could feel the pump building, but as I reached the bolt at 15’ out along the rail I still felt strong. A couple more desperate moves on half-pad crimps, and I reached a loose block with a good incut edge on it.

When I placed the bolt almost a month earlier, I had noticed this block was loose, and marked it with a chalk “X”, that I now ignored. I grabbed the block, and felt it flex, but it held. A couple easier moves and I was perched in an awkward rest, able to alternate handholds to shakeout. I was about 25’ across “no-man’s-land” with 15’ more to go to reach the wide crack of the main aid route, just a few feet over the lip of the large overhanging dihedral. In my intense efforts to free climb the thin horizontal crack, I had been too focused to notice the exposure which now overwhelmed me. I was clinging to a flake that is plastered to a perfectly smooth wall. The smooth wall extends about 15 feet below me, before it falls away into the massive overhang that forms the large cleft in Angel’s Landing.

After a good rest, I continued on. The climbing was much easier, but more delicate, as I navigated through a series of stacked blocks and hollow flakes. A few small tcu’s are available for gear, and at one point I pulled off a brick-sized rock which fell straight down to the ground without touching the wall. Shortly, I gained the main aid line at a hand sized crack, and cruised the 20’ or so, to the belay ledge at the top of the original pitch 9. I let out a modern day yodel (“woohoo!”) and soon heard a response from Andy who had been watching through his telephoto lense from Scout Lookout. Janelle skillfully executed the lower-out from the small ledge, and soon joined me at the original belay.

I had climbed pitch 10 before, way back in October when I first tried the route. I had used a few points of aid that time to speed things up, but wasn’t too worried. The first few moves off the ledge are exciting as a smorgasbord of loose blocks and incipient cracks must be overcome. The best gear is an old bugaboo that sticks out about 2”. I climbed through the blocks carefully, and soon was on better rock about 20’ up. I felt these exciting moves warranted an 10+,R rating. The remainder of the pitch is really beautiful. A thin crack that wavers in and out of finger-size splits a smooth wall peppered with incut patina edges. The crux comes at a small roof, just before the anchor. I was surprised by the accumulated fatigue of the last few days, and the 11a pitch felt harder than expected.

The next pitch is an airy 5.8 traverse left, past some fixed mank and a rusty Ľ” star-drive bolt from the FA. After 30’ or so, a horizontal crack grows to a sizable ledge that leads into the summit gully. The next two pitches climb un-inspiring rock up the sandy gully where the cruxes seem to be avoiding or surmounting hostile foliage. To make matters worse, Andy had come down the fixed ropes to rejoin us by this time and was nocking down rocks while insisting we slow down so he can snap photos…what are friends for?

Before long we were on the summit. For the first time since October, I had topped out before the sun was down, and I was able to soak up some rays for a few minutes before it fell behind the Watchman and the other formations of the East Temple. We had a jovial hike down, the last time I would get to count the chains, and then the switchbacks this year. Arriving at the car earlier than usual, we had our pick of dining establishments, and chose to sample the lifestyle of the “other-half” by treating ourselves to the Zion Lodge Restaurant. This turned out to be a bad idea. They were remodeling the kitchen, and being a weekday during the off-season, they had a buffet going. Cold tuna steak that’s been sitting under a heat lamp for several hours does not make for a good celebratory feast.

The next day we returned to the Big Bend parking lot, where this journey had started 6 months before when I first scoped the line during a busy Memorial Day weekend in May. We took some documentary photos to help with drawing a topo, and basically stared in awe at the massive wall, genuinely feeling fortunate to live near such a spectacular and fulfilling landscape. Andy headed south, on his way to his next photography job in Hueco Tanks, Texas. I lingered a few more hours, enjoying the freedom of having completed my journey by looking here and there throughout the canyon for that next great challenge. I found myself in the Court of the Patriarchs, in a beautiful meadow that is thankfully off the beaten path. As I gazed up on the three giant walls surrounding me, I couldn’t help but wonder if there wasn’t a free route or two up there…somewhere.


golsen


Apr 7, 2005, 11:52 PM
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Good Job Mike and thanks for sharing. That is definitely a cool route with a lot more character than some of the more popular routes in Zions and more history too. Does anyone know if it has been climbed (aided) in a day? Probably not too difficult but still quite a day...


brianinslc


Apr 8, 2005, 2:33 PM
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In reply to:
Good Job Mike and thanks for sharing.

Hey, whats this story doing in an aid climbing forum? Ha ha. Great read, Mike.

In reply to:
Does anyone know if it has been climbed (aided) in a day?

I know its been done with a few hours of daylight left after fixing the first two pitches (Jason, used to hold the speed record for Moonlight, and Mandy). So, sounds doable by the speedily inclined.

Brian in SLC


rockprodigy


Apr 8, 2005, 2:46 PM
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I think Mandy fixed the first 4 or 5 pitches, according to her account on climbingmoab.com.


brianinslc


Apr 8, 2005, 2:52 PM
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In reply to:
I think Mandy fixed the first 4 or 5 pitches, according to her account on climbingmoab.com.

Yesssss. First 4 pitches with four ropes. Fix-n-fire.

-Brian in SLC


rockprodigy


Apr 8, 2005, 4:22 PM
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And, actually, you can fix the first 5 with 4 ropes, which I think is what she did because the 5th pitch is the first aid pitch, which can be somewhat time consuming (it's longish).


mikemachineco


Apr 8, 2005, 4:31 PM
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I'm quite confident that it has been done in a day. My buddy and I (we're nothing special and it was his second "wall") did it in a day after fixing to the top of pitch 5 with 3 or 4 ropes. The next day we saw a party try to blast it without fixed ropes and we saw them around the 5.8 traverse as the sun was going down. So, I'm guessing they made it, although probably in the dark. I would guess that in all the years there's been some hard team that blitzed it in a quick time. Quite a spectacular route, one that I will always remember.

Mike, thanks for the great story. Nice job!


scottharms


Apr 18, 2005, 9:21 PM
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Longest thread i have ever taken the time to read. So did i miss "Drinkin Beer Are Ya" somewhere along the line. It seems the stories have slowed down. Anymore to come?
Cheers


dangle


May 27, 2005, 2:57 AM
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Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
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The past two months have seen great spring climbing and glad to say I've had my share. Those rumors of me taking a bus to New Mexico and returning with a towel over my head are largely untrue.
Truth is, one climbing trip to Valley of Fire included several of the posters at this site among them. One of them and I each soloed a virgin summit in one afternoon.

Then there is the rumor that in seclusion I had composed an epic 34 verse poem detailing a partnership gone awry and addressing the furor over drilled pockets.
Again this is largely false but if I HAD then 3 of my favorite verses might be;



The tales of desert walls are replete with teams of two,
And most will wax poetic telling what their partners do.
There's a bond of shared adventure and survival forged in fire,
A mutual respect which only grows as they climb higher.
But when glory shines lopsided on the one more skilled with pen
Then the green eyed ghost succeeds turning heroes into men.
Those legendary bonds will be dashed upon the rocks,
And the Terrier of Zion will pee on both your socks.

When one sees all the lines and when they're best to do,
And calculates the light and when they're best to view.
When one does all the prep and gathers all the gear,
And shuttles with his car, and calls, "The weather's clear."
The teams are out of balance and trouble near at hand,
The glory's gotten rarer to find around the land.
And you're smelling something funny your foot jams no longer locks.
For god's sake don't look down cause he's peeing on your socks.

The little dog has found a world where wishes do come true.
He can say he climbed it free convinced he's fooling you.
He writes it in a little book and wishes very hard,
And if nobody calls his foul the play becomes canard.
but dogs they run in little packs too scared to run alone,
They always fight for status as if there's but one bone.
The little dog can only dream the glory of a lion,
And that's the thing that always grates the Terrier of Zion



And talk about astounding coincidences; if I really run off all my partners what are the odds of me bagging a virgin summit in Zion in the past weeks with not only another climber I'd met over a quarter century ago, but also another Dartmouth grad and (how's this?), also a geoligist and also a one time Noranda employee??

Yet so it went.

John Cleary and I even went through our guide's certification exam together 15 years ago. subsequently an AMGA President John was out to interest me in a Guatemalan jade mine.

He showed up at Justin's Texas Hold'em game which (more crowded than ever) was a veritable redneck roundup. Although nobody actually BROUGHT a cousin/girlfriend there had to be at least one waiting at home...
My stack was already short and I went out third without a single hand. I opted not to buy back in at twice the price but went home and saw new ways to handle grenades in a high class hotel on Grid.
Shortly no_one showed John to my house where he exalted in taking second place and many a redneck dollar.
The following afternoon saw the three of us at the sand pit with 3 reactive metal targets, bowling pins and a meter high cardboard Osama bin Laden holding an AK, and also hundreds of loaded clips for us.
No_one had brought his 2 year old son R__ obviously intent on corrupting his values as soon as he was mobile. This remarkable child only spoke when he had something to say, is remarkably adept at collecting spent brass shells, eats very little, and is cute enough to be a guaranteed babe magnet. For the last reason I attempted to convince his father that that the child's talents were largely wasted on a married man and offered to take the little tyke off his hands. After some consideration the father assured me that his brass collecting skill alone justified retention.

Negotiations are ongoing...

Anyway, true to real life everyone wanted to shoot the metal and Osama went unscathed until I took an H&K +P+ clip and put over a dozen right under his hanky.

Morning saw Cleary and I trudging up to the tower, a rope and a rack each. Two leads, a 5.9 with a 10 meter tunnel/cave, then a 15 meter headwall including 3 drilled angles for aid. Two of them requiring more than topstepping, I actually had to balance onto the top of them in order to reach holds that allowed futher progress.

The summit was definitely virgin (a coup for seniors, I turn 51 in a few weeks and Cleary is older.) We took photos with an old time camera and drank cold beers but when I figure out my new Nikon I'll post photos of the tower.

Turns out that day there was a prison riot in Tasmania and a guard was held hostage. While they may be criminals you have to give the rioters credit for having realistic goals (unlike some people). They didn't demand freedom they just wanted 15 pizzas.

I can just see the negotiator,
"It depends.... what do you want on them?"

Anyway we decided to call it the Tasmanian Tower of Pizza (it leans too).
And just in case there's anyone out there who feels I exempt myself from good natured ridicule Cleary and I decided to call our route on Taz Tower the Clearly Offensive Route.





But much of this thread has been less than good natured and the timing out of the blue right after I do a prominent interview, come out with a video, and score some consideration online, is suspicious to put it mildly. Then there is the sheer idiocy of Brian Smoot who suggests that because I'm a secular jew I shouldn't object to swastikas placed outside my house. That Jones claims to be provoked by allegations of lies and then denies the climbing community $10K by refusing a polygraph that would give him a grand as well speaks volumes on his credibility.
So does his story that our problems began on a day when he called me a liar by asking to see a phone bill.

Anyone that believes his crap about how his friend Dean didn't actually know I was jewish must've been known to P.T. Barnum.

But here's what I'll do;
Double or almost nothing.

If Dean Woods and Dave Jones accept by June 9, 2005 will put up $2K each as well as $20K for the climbing community should they pass a polygraph.
But if they refuse or fail the AAC will no longer remain my chief heir with a bequest currently valued at 7 figures and a lesser one for the Access Fund with a 6 figure value will also be nullified.
I'll still leave the AAC my climbing/adventure library and selected gear including the holy grail of wall bivies, the original Bat Tent.
But the community as a whole has been such a disappointment to me with their schoolyard behavior of encouraging a fight rather than recognizing that our true problems are external and long term. And worse yet are the schoolGIRLS who trade malicious rumors.
The funds I had bequeathed were/are for the preservation of climbing resources but why bother when Jones tells us "they're not intended to last"?

Certainly my millions would be better spent elsewhere.

Woods' ex-partner Ben and I have talked a bit of dive trips. Cave diving with rebreathers that allow extended submersion as well as environmental preservation. It would be interesting to see virgin waters while there still are a few.
Then there is Bora Bora. I could have a pretty nice ship if I wanted one.

I could get back out on the frontier to see it before its gone...


yosemite


May 27, 2005, 3:44 AM
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In reply to:
If Dean Woods and Dave Jones accept by June 9, 2005 will put up $2K each as well as $20K for the climbing community should they pass a polygraph.
But if they refuse or fail the AAC will no longer remain my chief heir with a bequest currently valued at 7 figures and a lesser one for the Access Fund with a 6 figure value will also be nullified.

Certainly my millions would be better spent elsewhere.

You truly sound like a disturbed person. What is it that you are looking for?


dangle


May 27, 2005, 4:19 AM
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Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
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You sound like a truly illiterate person but I'll answer anyway. I'm looking for silly little things like justice and truth and a good way to enjoy spending my money.


dangle


May 27, 2005, 4:22 AM
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Re: Zion climbing history [In reply to]
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I will inform the AAC tomorrow morning (and I don't fault them. I'm disenchanted with the community as a whole.)


yosemite


May 27, 2005, 4:48 AM
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Dangle,

In reply to:
I will inform the AAC tomorrow morning (and I don't fault them. I'm disenchanted with the community as a whole.

What a pompous asshole you are.

Why don't you take your millions, your hurt feelings, and your adolescent sense of self importance and shove them all up your ass? What a fucking cry baby.

Truly!

Gene


dangle


May 27, 2005, 5:07 AM
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Thank you for your confirmation of my assessment (as in "I rest my case."), but you are deluded by the suggestion that I find myself to be important.
Quite the contrary. I'm an out of shape 51 year old whose adolescent behavior consists of still laying hands on virgin rock.
Perhaps if you had experienced the placement of symbols of the genocide of your people outside your home as well as vandalism of significant proportion you wouldn't have your head so firmly inserted as well, Gene.

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