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Topics - Mike.

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Big Wall Forum / WTF, renneberg?
« on: March 29, 2012, 09:21:05 pm »
Welcome to the small fire, J. Nice to rub elbows again with one of the most amped climbers on earth!

Big Wall Forum / BASE1361, what the F, man?
« on: October 30, 2011, 06:10:51 pm »
Welcome to the smallest campfire anywhere. TIA for tossing a branch on the fire when we're all doin' the head-bob.

I'm reloading, ya need one? No problem.


Big Wall Forum / Gagner, WTF?
« on: October 07, 2011, 10:14:17 am »
Welcome to the small fire. Another voice of experience is a great addition here.

Pull up a stump and crack one; here ya go. Psshht

Where's your sidekick Jeremy?

Cheers, man.

Big Wall Forum / Thanks for the wall tunes, Steve
« on: October 05, 2011, 07:30:14 pm »
Yes, it is BW related.

Jobs' contributions reached every damn corner of the planet, and probably beyond. What modern wall team isn't packing an iPod or other Apple technology?

My old Shuffle hit the deck from pitches up. Thanks to it being what it is, it survived the fall and had my name inside it. I got it back thanks to some anon good guy or gal, fully operable. What other big wall music machine would enable that? Thankfully, I had my old classic as a backup (which was backed up by my phone).

The owner of this site has been a Mac devotee since early on, touting it in various A5 pubs.

Jobs had Big Wall spirit. He sent big time. He'll not be forgotten.

via MacBook Pro

Big Wall Forum / Ledge repair
« on: September 12, 2011, 11:25:37 am »
I got a double with bowed side rails and a saggy bed.

I thought I read somewhere someone suggested Luke M. as a repair source. Anyone confirm and/or have contact info for him?


Big Wall Forum / High mileage guys on South Seas > PO
« on: September 05, 2011, 09:33:43 am »
A repository of psyche for Mark and Max, long-time free climbing and big wall aces, about to go big on the big part.

Get ready for the hang, doods!

Mark, what special provisions are you including for the steeps...advanced belay comfort technology? New butterknife set? Revelations from your recent sends going into action? Bringing tools to replace sad lead gear on the PO? Psyched to see the Home Depot anchor up high??

No more relaxing wallin' than coming off a solo and climbing with a pal...on steep stuff you can whip off if need be.


Big Wall Forum / Cross post: Limbing at El Cap
« on: June 15, 2011, 09:43:56 am »

Very disturbing that signs point to this damage being a big wall climber, Erik Sloan, aka nanook. Not surprising, though, considering past indiscretions.

The point being: Wall climbers have an unprecedented relationship with NPS in YV, and this sort of renegade vandalism endangers it. Not limbing is good; virtually nobody needs to by reminded of that.


Big Wall Forum / Welcome, survival
« on: October 08, 2010, 08:12:33 pm »
Welcome to a high mileage guy, model citizen and son, general do-gooder and voice of experience. I'd say he's overqualified...

Welcome to the small fire, B. Beer's in the cooler. Grab me one too, eh?

Big Wall Forum / What's best in doubles?
« on: September 08, 2010, 06:59:39 pm »
Hey, guys,

Looking to replace an A5/TNF double that's seen better days. What do think is the cat's meow?

I like the look and reputation of the Fish, but maybe you guys have some advice for me. TIA.

Big Wall Forum / The pussification of big wall climbing
« on: July 29, 2010, 04:01:17 pm »
Go up on an existing route with a rucksack full of courage and drill around anything you encounter that looks necky. Or drill around anything you don't feel like climbing for whatever reason. This drill-around tactic might be questionable on a FA; on an exiting route it's inexcusable. It's the blatant dumbing down--the pussification--of big wall climbing.

It doesn't matter how many legit bolts you've replaced, bringing the difficulty level of someone's route without some sort of consent down to your lack of fortitude, sack and respect is the bottom. The absolute bottom.

Erik Sloan, you are the guy doing this. You simply could not resist bringing Layton Kor's bold climbing on Great Slab Route down to your level of skill and sack. You could not take your medicine and rap off something over your head or beyond your level of comfort and convenience. You had to place a bolt at a 5.6 R/X move when an A1 alternative plainly exists. And that's just the beginning. Then you create a topo of your "work" and call it the route, encouraging others to climb it. Is it a conflict of interest that you are launching a commercial site dedicated to Yo big wall climbing? I think the answer is a deafening yes.

I don't want to climb your pussified remnant of a proud route. I want to experience the route as it was created--created by someone with skill and bravado. Anchors which have substantially degraded with time, weather, abuse and shedding features--sure, replace them 1:1 or as close as reasonably possible. Most people rebolting do that. You, Erik, do not. You professed that you think contacting first ascensionists before retro drilling on their routes "won't work." But you never elaborated as to why. Having known you and embarked on rebolting missions with you, I propose it's because you are too lazy, unskilled and lacking in sack. And that stout routes aren't very good for the topo business.

Erik, if you want to drill new bolts, go do it in any of the millions of square feet of untouched rock around where you live. Stay away from routes put up by competent (read; bold) parties. It's not any wonder at all that climbing historian Steve Grossman would not liaison with you with a ten-foot pole. It's because of your retro drilling habit; your lack of respect of history, tradition, lack of skill and gumption. I have seen your "rebolting" efforts at close range, and that's precisely why I would never be a party to your pussification and lack of respect which you view as "rebolting."

If you are like Erik, shooting first and asking questions never, do everyone who has an eye on adventure and developing skills a huge favor: Think. Then act with forethought. Consider the shoulders upon which we stand in our adventure outings. Then act with that consideration. Anything less is not acceptable in the big wall realm. Go sport climbing if you can't handle the commitment.

Big Wall Forum / Non-climbing?
« on: June 23, 2010, 10:11:25 pm »
Just took a gander at the index for the so-called non-climbing topics. I'm surprised how many of them are about climbing. Unlike this one?...

Why not post those in the big wall forum, yo?

Big Wall Forum / Big wall welcome to Pate
« on: June 16, 2010, 09:54:14 pm »
To the do-everything outdoor ripper and guy who tells it like it is, welcome to the shallow and boring zone of the big walls...the small fire.

Cheers, Pate!

Big Wall Forum / Deep Water
« on: June 12, 2010, 06:14:17 pm »
Yes, this is climbing-related!...

Rent this movie on iTunes. Anyone who has ever even thought of soloing a big wall should see this documentary. I was so gripped by it I watched it twice.

By the late 60s no one had yet sailed solo around the globe. A contest was formed and nine entrants emerged. Among them, one essentially unknown. I won't reveal any more of the facts, but suffice to say this film takes a deep foray into the mindset of the marathon soloist. Of course the settings are ominous. Well done in every regard and positively riveting--worthy of the word "epic." See it.

Big Wall Forum / Welcome aboard, Wade Icey
« on: June 12, 2010, 05:57:14 pm »
Well-travelled sage, conscientious wig baller, general survivor...

Welcome to the small fire, Wade!

Big Wall Forum / Mister Piton dot com
« on: June 03, 2010, 05:37:10 pm »
I just ran into this nice site on pitons and nailing history which is worth a look.


Big Wall Forum / Border Country
« on: April 10, 2010, 12:08:22 am »

Written by Johnny Copp, performed by The Paper Stars.

RIP to a true leader.

You can buy it here:

Big Wall Forum / Bomber rivet hanger
« on: April 04, 2010, 08:01:21 pm »

Big Wall Forum / Portaledge bed dimensions
« on: March 22, 2010, 08:08:20 pm »
Ledge beds - small to large:

A5/TNF Superlight (6-point) single: 23" x 72"

Gramicci: ??" x ??" (probably similar width to A5 Superlight, maybe an inch longer)

Fish single: ?29.5" x ?73.5"

A5 4-point single: 29.5" x 84"

Metolius single: 30" x 84"

A5 standard double (non-Cliff Cabana, mid 90s): 39" x 72" (Mike.'s)

A5 standard double (non-Cliff Cabana): 40" x 72.5" (johnmac's)

Metolius double: 42" x 84"

I measured what I think is usable space on the A5s--from the inside of the rail. On another post I was thinking dimensions within the inside seams might constitute a working space, but I can
see on my single that the tube sleeves are very oversized and the fabric outside the seam (up to the inside of the rail) is pretty usable space.

Post em if ya got em.

Right on, Skully, mhudon, del cross, jm.

Big Wall Forum / "Yo" to Mark Hudon, new BW.c member
« on: March 13, 2010, 12:09:39 am »
Welcome to the small fire, Mark. Sorry, but you'll have to endure the lack of political threads...

Great to have a long-time pillar of the community here. I'd rather keep it to those that are active. No offense to hardpersons of yore, but I think if you wanna live glory days, go to SuperTopo.

Cheers, man. To the big stones.

Non Climbing (if you must) / On/off topic
« on: January 07, 2010, 11:49:52 am »
Seems like there many threads in Non Climbing that are relevant to the subject matter here.


Non Climbing (if you must) / A good reason for not climbing
« on: January 04, 2010, 12:25:08 pm »
Not a thread about our man Lambone...Sorry, brotha, but we're pullin for ya.

OT? Not climbing? It better be good...

Look like fun? Nah. (Bwahaha!!!) Fandango frame with DC-9 package by MTB Tandems in GA. Alum frame, 29er, White Bros fork, hydraulic disk. I was nearly relieved to have a storm nix our new year's eve wall plans. Eight rides in the last three weeks. Local trails in Woods Cyn, Laguna Beach and a few trails in the Phoenix area. No injuries (body armor) or broken parts so far. We've done terrain just as technical on this bike as I've ever done on a single. Wanna see some smiles on the trail? Hehehe.

MTB Tandems has changed the game with the Fandango. 29er mt tandems are not in any sort of off-the-shelf production that I know of aside from these. You can get into one for 4G, and for this gear, that's way cheap.

Hoo-ah! Let's ride! Fuggit, we're going anyway...

Big Wall Forum / Chock up another, Skully
« on: December 22, 2009, 08:24:56 am »
Happy birthday to one of the most mellow cats on the circuit. Always a good word, a humorous and unique perspective, and an amicable 'tude.

Cheers, Captain Kirk.

Big Wall Forum / The heat is off...what ya gonna do about it?
« on: November 02, 2009, 02:53:39 pm »
Thinking Winter walls? Sure, it is Winter... South facing bliss, yeaaaahhh.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no alpinist. I'll wait until a week ahead and go for it. With decent conditions, methinks another New Years run is afoot. Not sure exactly what or who, but Kia is always, always, always up for hardship, struggle and doubt.

What's on the radar, monkeys?

Big Wall Forum / This, a big walls forum
« on: November 02, 2009, 09:08:49 am »
Seems to me the general topic here is designed to be and has mostly been about big wall climbing--how-to stuff, psyche stories and photos, geography, opinions and the like. It's a low traffic site, probably reflective of the ranks of BW practitioners compared to free climbing. A corner bar if you will.

Call me idealist, but it seems like the Big Walls Forum of this site ought not be about: the entertainment industry, how you are a victim and other reasons you are not big wall climbing or a big wall climber, homophobia, baseless slandering, incoherent babble, typing and posting just because it's physically possible. Seriously, there are other more suitable online venues for that stuff which pollutes this Forum.

Thanks to the few who frequent here and make it what it has been--a congenial campfire. No thanks to people who want to supplant on-topic content with the mindless off-topic crap noted above.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Hey, Caz, tell us a story
« on: October 30, 2009, 07:52:57 am »
Come on, pal. Cough it up. I know you're good for spinning a yarn.

Big Wall Forum / Climbing El Cap: Change for the...
« on: October 01, 2009, 08:18:52 am »
I'm not an old man wailing about the good old days. Not totally.

The regular presence of high power telephoto photography and related online posting during the prime El Cap season has changed the experience of climbing El Cap. Of course the El Cap Report is what I'm talking about. Tom is certainly a friend of mine--has been for years--and I do not mean this sentiment directed at him personally, nor do I wish him to change what he does.

It used to be that a person could have a relatively solitary experience on the Big Stone. At the height of Spring and Fall that's no longer true. I'd be under more scrutiny by more people climbing EC then than I would be going to work in sizable corporation. Some will chide about the fact that EC is not nor has ever been wilderness. I'm merely pointing out the change of the experience within the last decade and a half.

You used to be able to come down from a climb and be able to fill in your compadres on the details. Now, people will fill you in on the details of your climb. You'll have eyes on you during any possible daylight moment, and not just live but documented on the net with commentary.

I've though a lot about this, and I'm not alone. I've spoken with other wall rats who feel similarly: We'd rather climb EC out of "season." Ask-A-Climber scrutiny isn't the only reason, but it's a reason.

I can understand why the ECR is so popular. Gawking ops for non-wall rats, vicarious buzz for the rats, peace of mind for loved ones keeping tabs. It's all good. Let them eat cake. I'm thankful I got a gluttonous sampling of the El Cap climbing experience of yore. Things always change--of that we can be sure.

I could lament cel phones and radios as well. And I have. Almost nobody (hey, brother) would consider going up without a communication device. Is it soloing when you talk to people every day of a grade six? In 2000 I spent two weeks on the Stone with my then-new cel phone in the car. I probably will never do that again. Change...

Big Wall Forum / FS: Evolv Stryker size US 8, Eur 41
« on: August 24, 2009, 08:25:55 pm »
They just didn't work for my wife. She never used them for anything other than walking around to get acquainted with them.

I've used my Strykers on camping and shove walls. A cool approach shoe which is no longer made.

Making Cirque Pros look light:

$30 plus shipping (about ten bucks) seems like a nice deal. Otherwise they're going to Goodwill. Thanks.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Weeklong alpine shotgun mission goes small wall
« on: August 10, 2009, 02:39:57 pm »

I scored a week off work, yahoo! It being Summer, the Weasel was fully available for condition-chasing. So with a loose plan to get as high as possible in the Sierra and whatnot, we headed from the Portal for the East Ridge of Russell.

East Ridge of Russell, bzzt

A couple of misfires on the approach brought doubt to our hoped success. Halfway up the Unending Impermanent Gravel Slope which constitutes the actual trail from near Upper BS Lake to the Russell-Carillon col, I knew it was either a bail, benightment or bumblefest to the end. Ah, we'll call it a warm-up exercise. We got a whole week, y'know.

White Mountain Peak

A couple years ago the Weasel, a friend and I walked up to summit White Mountain Peak. Well, we tried to. After our crack-of-noon start, some evil-looking clouds built from the East and appeared quite threatening. Short of the summit we decided to run away, but vowed to return with mountain bikes. I mean, how many CA fourteeners can you pedal off the top of?

Weasel and I guided our vintage spokes past the Bancroft station into the Kingdom of Marmot. I bounced down the first downgrade and came upon my babe stacked in the trail, poor thing. I really should have reinforced that the tires are really hard for the slog up, and they don't handle well that way so go easy. Hindsight. Taking a digger really sucks, and I don't blame the Weas for calling it off at that point. She wasn't badly hurt, but heading back was the right thing. For her! I had to take it for the team, y'know.

Pushing a bike to the top is a real PITA, and slower than hiking at a decent pace. But the road down is a fair exchange for the toil. All the downhill except a short section (covered with softball--volleyball sized rocks) off the summit is rideable for a biker of modest capability. Well worth the 16-mile dirt drive to the trailhead.

Onward...With the Phantom

With us down to a one-person team, the face of the week changed. The Weasel's back and hip were not up to the rigors we had envisioned. Trooper and good-spirited varmint the Weasel is, she gave me a full haul pass for whatever I wanted to do, and jubilantly offered to support me however she could. Talk about an unselfish partner... This woman is a dream. Hell yea I married up.

The weather looked to become stormy and quite cool over the Sierra, which opened up unexpected options. Thursday's high in the Valley was to be 69?. In August?! Unstable weather usually clears out the riffraff, so I thought this as good an op as any to solo Leaning Tower's West Face. As many times as I've done this route, I never soloed it though I'd wanted to for some time.

Rolling over TM, we spotted a buddy's rig and stopped to leave a note. But we were not the first--a note was already there, left by some beloved mutual friends who did the same. They left info on their campsite, so we scooped 'em and surprised our friends by showing up. A great unexpected treat, and a nice diversion from the mission.

My bro, his wife and kid decided they would carry my gear up to the Tower. They even did most of the 4th class. At 10:30am they left me at the dead tree with nobody else apparently around, up or down. Cool weather. Where am I? When is it?

Awahnee looked pretty tempting as I rolled by. Lots of water there, and no people. The best option would have been to fix two off Guano and start up next day, but I hoped to do the route in a day/push so on I went.

I slowed dramatically in the dark but felt decent overall. I didn't keep tabs on the time, as I mainly wanted to "enjoy" the climbing. I knew I was going slow when the light of a new day began showing and I was still climbing. I created an extra "pitch" by stopping at the short belay below Evil Tree Roof. I was willing to take a tad longer on the route to better mix up the activities.

Just before 10am I dumped my little haul bag's contents onto the summit ledge. A quart and a half of my 6L allotment still remained, as did a Double Shot, 1.5 bagel and cheese sammies, candies and a couple unpalatable bars. It was a seemingly big effort to stop, to cease organizing and lay down on the ledge with no muscles flexed. But I handled it!

The descent was routine, but the whole time I was accompanied by a phantom. The phantom also accompanied me on the upper route. In my mind I would be explaining everything I was doing or about to do, as though I were talking to someone. Then, as would happen over and over, I would suddenly note with consternation that I was alone. I've spent a lot of time by myself is these situations, but never felt the presence of the phantom. It was so eerie it was funny. At least I thought so. Can't speak for the phantom.

At the flat spot I wrestled the stuffed piglet over my bulging bandoletta, willing for the final grunt to the pavement. "Babe!" Was the phantom finally speaking? Why no, that's my wife! My little savior showed up, injuries and all, with hot food makin's, water and cold beer at the quintessential moment. My gear hit the ground without a step from the flat spot as the Weasel joined me for an afternoon picnic. Just Sublime. Nirvana. It's a Beautiful Day.

A couple hours later we pulled into the campsite to smiling faces and good cheer. I never even got out. Crawled in the back, pulled a sleeping bag over me. Oh you tee.

Much gratitude to my incredible spouse and to my fine, fine friends.

Big Wall Forum / Salute to John Bachar
« on: July 06, 2009, 11:37:33 am »
JB made the big walls a little less big. His push of free climbing standards might seem nebulously related to the walls, but no doubt the elite ascents of today owe some measure gratitude to JB and the guys and gals who led the way. I heard last night (online interview) that JB also was involved in early repeats of some Yo big wall standards such as the Shield and the Trip.

The man left a tremendous mark on climbing. Here's to a true leader, and maybe the most visionary climber America has ever produced.

Flags at half mast. All respect.

Big Wall Forum / FS: Big Bros, Fish aid trees
« on: May 13, 2009, 03:50:12 pm »

One #2 and two #3. I took these up Excalibur in '92 and used them for a few points of aid on the route. We carried big cams and wood blocks as well, so they didn't get used much. Since then I've had them stored. These are from when Mountain Hardwear owned the design, hence the sizes are stamped MH2 and MH3. They're equivalent in size to the Trango versions produced today:

Bought new the set would cost about $250.

Fill my tank twice for the three. That's about $130 plus shipping. OBO.

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