Big Walls Forum

Big Wall Index => Big Wall Forum => Topic started by: cobbledik on July 23, 2014, 06:51:20 pm

Title: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: cobbledik on July 23, 2014, 06:51:20 pm
thank you for not being the worthless shit pile that the other "popular" climbing forums (forums for climbers, but definitely not forums about climbing) are.

I like how people say that if a site like ST was only about climbing, it'd be dead and no one would post there. So we read it, sometimes post there, and feel horrible about the experience like that time we had to help Mucci bury the hooker up in soyo after his bachelo... um, never mind about that.

But this site is only about climbing and every time I read something here or post something here I feel like my life is better and more experienced.

and just because it'd be ironic to have something off-topic in this post: I have a massive headache because of nicotine withdrawel. Quitting smoking is almost as hard as trying to quit reading a troll-infested thread on MP or ST.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mungeclimber on July 23, 2014, 07:55:21 pm
this post is on the verge of being moderated!!!


 :wink:
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: drapnea on July 23, 2014, 08:03:10 pm
thank you for not being the worthless shit pile that the other "popular" climbing forums (forums for climbers, but definitely not forums about climbing) are.

I like how people say that if a site like ST was only about climbing, it'd be dead and no one would post there. So we read it, sometimes post there, and feel horrible about the experience like that time we had to help Mucci bury the hooker up in soyo after his bachelo... um, never mind about that.

But this site is only about climbing and every time I read something here or post something here I feel like my life is better and more experienced.

and just because it'd be ironic to have something off-topic in this post: I have a massive headache because of nicotine withdrawel. Quitting smoking is almost as hard as trying to quit reading a troll-infested thread on MP or ST.


+1
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: Raaf on July 23, 2014, 09:22:58 pm
Right on. . . . agree 100%. Hard to put up with the mess going on at ST.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mungeclimber on July 23, 2014, 09:54:28 pm
Its not easy to mod a savvy attacker.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: cobbledik on July 23, 2014, 10:15:51 pm
one could say that a cesspool breeds many a savvy skeeter.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mungeclimber on July 24, 2014, 12:38:15 am
(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3752/9021134415_cabe42db29_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: johnmac on July 24, 2014, 06:37:58 am
yes, damn right.

Supertaco has really gone downhill recently. People are so nasty!

On a bright note ... mountain gear has lots of totems in stock. Just picked up a couple more.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mhudon on July 24, 2014, 08:13:30 am
ST has been called "the big campfire" but if I wandered up to that fire, and heard what was going on, I'd move on, just like I have.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mungeclimber on July 24, 2014, 09:29:04 am
yes, damn right.

Supertaco has really gone downhill recently. People are so nasty!

On a bright note ... mountain gear has lots of totems in stock. Just picked up a couple more.

I come here because Johnmac posts up totem info!! 

thx!


ION, X4s were supposed to be on sale too.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: cobbledik on July 24, 2014, 10:26:22 am
picked up some X4 offsets (smallest three) and they look and feel great. I'd give a review of them but Mucci is hogging all the climbing time and makes a face when I say any cam manufacturer but Alien.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: *Mucci* on July 24, 2014, 01:20:27 pm
Alien hater! I did place the smallest X4 offset, as one of 2 cams total on a pitch.  It worked. 


I like to peruse the Taco for funny stuff, and there is a lot of that right now.

Pretty much waiting for Hudon's Reticent TR and I should be good for the rest of the summer.


Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mhudon on July 24, 2014, 01:32:00 pm
I'll be posting that here and not at the Taco.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: *Mucci* on July 24, 2014, 02:00:10 pm
Even better!

Woohoo!
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mungeclimber on July 24, 2014, 02:17:55 pm
there's definitely a bunch that will be keenly interested in your experience.


there was a time for me when Reticent had this mythical quality to it. Still does, but I've come to understand myself better in relationship to walls, so it changed how I look at it. See pics and hearing a first hand account would really fire the imagination!
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: johnmac on July 24, 2014, 02:27:08 pm
Looking forward to that TR!
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mhudon on July 24, 2014, 04:50:35 pm
So far, it's more mundane than my other TRs. It doesn't have the great story that the Iron Hawk or South Seas ones did. Still though, I think I have a good ending and closing tie-in. At the very least, the photos will be nice!
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: cobbledik on July 24, 2014, 07:29:39 pm
Some iconic routes bring their own gravitas to the TR without the need to weave an overarching universal tale. Reticent is like that. No longer the monster under the bed it may have been in the past, it still commands perspective respect. The fact that everyone is clamoring for Reticent and not Albatross should be testament to that.

Personally, I'm more interested to hear about Albatross with Skot than Reticent. Though I have to admit that Valerio's poetic, though informationally short, TR about Reticent is the main reason that I'm interested to see your TR.

Also, I'm interested to see if a "test-piece" like Reticent has been treated with more respect than the trade routes on El Cap in terms of retro-drilling hooks, and overusing heads. If anything, a trip up Reticent should put to rest whether the damage being done to El Cap routes are being done by all levels of climbers (thus, cowardly damage to Reticent) or the damage is mostly being done by the noobs and punters (thus, none to little cowardly damage to Reticent)
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mungeclimber on July 24, 2014, 07:35:42 pm
Quote
whether the damage being done to these routes is being done by all levels of climbers (thus, cowardly damage to Reticent) or the damage is mostly being done by the noobs

ooooh, good question. That's the typical accusation: someone 'gets in over their head' and 'doesn't back off' when they should have.

But if Reticent is getting the same type of degradation, then there is a meta question about whether degradation of certain types is inherent in a big wall experience.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mhudon on July 24, 2014, 09:12:36 pm
It's quite hammered, unfortunately.

All the heads are fixed, and are in very good condition wire wise, some of them are in very obviously chiseled placements. There are a fair amount of a Lost Arrow thickness pin with a pointy angled head on it, fixed on the route.
There is one spot, about 18" from a perfectly useable crack, in fact just off to the side of an arch, where someone chiseled a head into fully blank rock! Fully Fuckin' Blank!

Dave Allfrey said he removed 18 pins from the second laser crack pitch. WTF is up with leaving 18 pins? He said they were all those Euro type, angled eye pins.

Really and truly, thank you for thinking I'm such a hero, but the route has been beat into submission and is not really difficult. You should still be a solid, real live A4 climber to go up there, but you sure as hell don't have to be superhuman. I mean maybe we were having a high bio-rythm week, but I suspect not. We had a solid fear/respect for the route and we climbed very well on a moderately difficult route.

Albatross was very good, btw. I'd recommend it.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: RP3 on July 24, 2014, 09:24:55 pm
Bravo Kevin. I agree 100000%
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: cobbledik on July 24, 2014, 09:30:22 pm
So what I hear you saying mark is that I should solo reticent in order to get that sweet bigwall groupie love without too much puckerage? ;)
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: johnmac on July 24, 2014, 09:45:11 pm
Mark, you are a class act for sure.

Viewed from afar a lot of big wall routes and climbers seem to have this mysterious quality to them. A special gang of practitioner's that where head and shoulders above anyone else and membership that was closely guarded. By sharing your own experiences, since you got back into walls, you're helped to wipe away all the BS and let people know that these routes are not outside the reach of competent climbers. 

I think you have really opened up a lot of people's eyes ...
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mhudon on July 24, 2014, 09:52:33 pm
Superficially, yes!

Now, really, truly and honestly, I am not trying to sandbag or impress anyone. I'm being totally honest with what I'm telling you. Take this with a grain of salt though, people do say my aid ratings are sandbagged, but I'm describing them the only way I know how.
I really and truly want people to go up there and have a lot of fun. You will be challenged, you will be scared but I don't want you to retreat or get hurt.
Maybe I was on a biorhythm high! Maybe I just hit my stride or some such thing (I was more freaked on the A4 pitch on Albatross than at any time on Reticent). Ask Max, ask Dave Allfrey, ask Paul Gagner, ask EE, ask Ben Doyle.

It's a great route and it ranks up there with my five best El Cap experiences.

Thanks, John.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: cobbledik on July 24, 2014, 10:48:44 pm
We'll see, aid routes are like sexual partners. FA's are a lot of work and tears and training, SA's and early ascents are all about teaching them there's more than one way to do something, later ascents are just kind of... you know... blah... except for those few routes where they just keep giving and giving no matter how many suitors hammer peckers into her cracks.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: Erik Sloan on July 25, 2014, 06:55:31 am
Good thought Kevin, unfortunately at the top of the bigwall sport, up until now at least, an attitude of 'do whatever it takes' and 'f--- the next guy has predominated'. Reticent had two sets of deadheads in each placement when I cleaned it for Chris Mac(I was super sick with Hep A at the time) in '97 - and i think that was the 3rd or 4th ascent.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mhudon on July 25, 2014, 11:49:17 am
The second pitch off of Lay Lady is called A4 but the heads are all fixed and in very good condition. There is a little bit of loose flakes up higher but there is good gear just below and the fall is clean. I don't know what you all call two or three or even four marginal placements, that survived a serious bounce test above good gear with a clean fall, but I don't call that A4.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mungeclimber on July 25, 2014, 12:56:55 pm
what kind of marginal placements Mark? like heads, or beaks?

Wondering if the tech has modified the rating, or if the changes to the rock have modified the rating?
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: mhudon on July 25, 2014, 01:08:49 pm
I think it was mainly nuts and cams behind questionable flakes.
But still, that was the most difficult section of the pitch as I found it. Down lower is where all the heads were. As I was climbing it, I remember thinking, "dang, this pitch would be fun and challenging if I had to place these heads". Higher, it was, "well, that's all she wrote".

Adventure stealing heads.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: cobbledik on July 25, 2014, 03:02:31 pm
Reminds me of the pitches I did on "Prowd". All the heads were reachy and in good condition (B.Law sure knows how to paste a head!) I was thinking, this is pretty hard just to clip these, if I had to place these I'd be looking at 5-6 hours a pitch! As it was, I was a bit disappointed in the climbing because Law had all the fun and I was just waltzing along to his lead.
Title: Re: Dear Bigwall forum members...
Post by: Gagner on August 03, 2014, 07:43:53 pm
Been gone awhile and just came across this thread.  I gotta say Mark is right about how beat out and fixed the trade routes have become.  It is amazing what people do to just "get up stuff."  Kinda sad, but I guess expected when you have so many people doing walls.  I climbed El Cap for the first time 35 years ago, and my how the sport has evolved.

Also, I have a hard time with the rating system - I mean A1 is pretty straight forward, and maybe A2 is the same, but beyond that there are several factors that come in to play - your personal experience, the gear you have with you at that moment - is it right, and your mind set.  Frankly, I tend to agree with Bridwell's rating system of NTB, PDH, and DFU.  Pretty much covers it for me.  When EE and I did Reticent last year I thought it was all NTB, though I also thought the "Natural" pitch, the old crux that I led, was DFU for a short section.  However, you would have to try pretty hard to peg the ledge. EE led the pitch off Wino Tower and cleaning I thought it looked NTB, with the exception of one placement behind a loose flake just below the roof - you remember that one Mark?   I told Eric S. I didn't think Reticent was A4+, or frankly even A4, but he wanted to maintain the rating in his book to keep the riff raff off, which is hard to argue with.

In the end I do walls because they are bitchin to be up on, and I enjoy the personal and mental challenge.  But really, living on a wall is sublime and I just really love that environment and the work ethos required to succeed.