Author Topic: Skully, tell us a story  (Read 2867 times)

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Offline Mike.

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Skully, tell us a story
« on: May 08, 2009, 07:42:18 am »
Rich with experience, well travelled on the vertical plane. Skully, o Captain Kirk, please bestow us with a big wall Tale of Whoa. Toss us a few from your deep pockets of wisdom, from the places little seen. It's not spray if you're asked.

Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

skully

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2009, 08:42:02 am »
Alrighty, then......May '96.
Hangin' in the lodge lot, no plans, Valley is still kinda swampy(you know how it gets). Brad Jarrett sidles up & invites me & Jon Aliri("Spanish Jon"....a Basque) up to the Leaning Tower.
He's very animated & we can tell he's pretty stoked. So we gather up supplies & bivi gear,& we made Jon a portaledge by slinging an army stretcher. Hike up to the Base.
Brad has led the first pitch of "Heading For Oblivion" 5.10A4+, a Beyer route that hasn't seen a second yet. He suggests that I go up the line to beef up the belay. Beyer, since he climbed it solo, didn't mind minimal belays. So, up I go....I told Brad I'd never placed a 5/16ths button head before, but he was not phased, stating that it'll be fine.
I got it in, barely blowing out the surface rock, just a bit. Apparently, one should wallow out the beginning of the hole where the splits diverge, just a bit.
ok, good lesson, good bolt. Rap down, set up base camp. Ya know that big oak on the traverse, the last big one? it will hold 3 portaledges. Nice camp.(you're kinda sorta in the sky, already.)
  Morning. Weather is beginning to look iffy, but Brad once again is all reassurance. Ya just can't get that guy down! Awesome partner, that one. Brad & I jug the line & I put Brad on belay for pitch 2. Thin, traversy, pretty damn good moves. Took a long time, but hey, it's hard aid, man. Beaks, heads, blades, hooks, the works. Once he gets it led, he goes down to help Jon pack the bags, & I get to drill another belay bolt. That one went better. Now I get to hang out, haul, and the boys jug up. We're on the wall!
WooHoo! We leave 1 ledge out, for hangin' about on(the stretcher, burly), talk about the next lead, and decide Brad is, once again, The Man. Up he goes......This was, in our esteemed opinions, the "shenanigan" pitch. It started like the last, but went BLANK.....apparently, Beyer got an attitude here, or something. Several chisel heads later, Brad finds bathook holes, then a line of bolts. Kinda poor end to an otherwise good pitch. Beyer could've done it better. Or at least neater.IMHO.
  Anyway, Brad drills a belay bolt(we beefed up the first 3, after that we could get pins or gear to add), hauls & it's My lead. We'd bivied at the top of 2, and it had begun raining that night. Jon got a bit damp from blowing drips(He had the low ledge), but we were otherwise bomber. It kept raining for the next 2 1/2 days. Found out later that there was a flood in the Valley, gates were closed. OK, where was I? oh yeah, pitch 4. Supposed to be A2 to A3....yeah, right. #1 heads are A3, right?  This Tower is STEEP! I was working on tiny nuts, heads, beaks, etc. got a yellow unit after a while so I was feeling better, but still very aware of it all, Y'know? Awesome pitch, at the time one of my best leads ever. Raining off & on the whole time. Never got wet.
  Brad led the next one, after a false start by Jon. No offense to Jon, he was newer to Wall climbing than anyone there, & went for the adventure. Great guy. Some expando on that pitch(scary). Then a traverse on hooks to a tiny ledge with a birdbath hole in it. They visited us a lot. Crazy birds. You could see the West face clearly, & Ahwanee Ledge was SOAKED. It rained 30 feet from us. Kinda cool, that. I had a bottle of whiskey that no one else wanted much of, so I got DRUNK....ARRGGH.
   The A3 weirdness pitch still loomed above us. This was the last steep pitch on the route, I led part of it, and Brad finished it up.(I was still pretty green, too green for real delicate rock....kinda rotten in spots, scary). Brad led us to the summit from there. Yowza! A second ascent of a HARD route. The sun broke out at the right time too, just before we got to the last, low angle finish. At the last belay, Brad is like, "hey, check it out"....A bat was trying to get the gear to go away, and was biting a TCU! Silly bat, those taste like Hell.
   We repacked the bags on top, and sent them to the Base! Double Yowza! I'd never tossed before, either. Then it was the Rap, downclimb down the LT Chimney. I'd done that once before, with Circlehead(RIP, brother)......All in all, a fine outing & a grand adventure!

  How's that? I have some pictures, but no scanning capability. I'll show 'em to ya, sometime.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 07:27:22 pm by skully »

skully

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2009, 08:44:56 am »
Oh, a funny aside from the story.....once back in camp, the stretcher was laying on the ground & someone(I forget who) stepped on it. Damn thing ripped the entire length of the bed!!!!

Sketchy! We'd hung out on it for days, with 3 monkeys!  Yarrrr.

Edit #2...Here's one more, when I was on lead, Brad & Jon are listening to the Butthole Surfers on our Wall Box.  At the end of a song, a girls voice says" You're gonna DIE up there"......They had to rewind it twice to believe it was on the Tape! Great days.............
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 09:46:06 pm by skully »

Offline Mike.

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2009, 09:00:01 am »
YES! That hit the spot. Nice tellin, Kirk. Sounds full value--both the route and the your ascent. Nice going!
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

skully

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2009, 10:48:50 am »
You know, I got the best advice from Brad, ever.......Just hang in there, you'll get 'er done.
Simple & true. Miss that guy.

Offline Mike.

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2009, 11:25:14 am »
Amen to that.

Best way to go up? Don't go down!
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2009, 11:43:46 am »
"Only way down, is up"

-mantra pitch 6 Prow bitd



that's just rocking Skull, thx mang. 

The folks that I've talked to about LT and routes other than WF, all say that the loose flakes up there are the crux without fail.



skully

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2009, 10:01:26 pm »
Well, they're not that loose...(arrggh). Expanding, yes. at least on the Oblivion side.
Don't know about the "Jesus" side. Arrggh.
Plenty scary, though.........

Offline Caz

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2009, 10:59:26 pm »
Thanks Skully! great BITD TR. I'm getting pumped for the Valley!!!


Zac
I do this for fun...

Offline Didder

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2009, 11:25:36 pm »
oh yeah, that got my palms sweating....

skully

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2009, 11:28:38 pm »
Dude!....I feel SO old.
Mid 90's is BITD now?   Yowza.
I better get my ass back out there, before I petrify.
Thanks, guys.   And thanks Mike, fer proddin' me along.

Offline KevinW

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2009, 01:26:50 pm »
It snowed here last night, extreme lightning warning in the mountains, water cascading off of everything.. so here I am  sitting at home,
when I was planning on getting out *somewhere*, but at least I get to read a Great Story skully!

 "Ya know that big oak on the traverse, the last big one? it will hold 3 portaledges. Nice camp."  Love to see a photo of that camp!

skully

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2009, 02:49:11 pm »
I have a pic of it someplace, but I was old school then(then?), And don't have a scanner.
Drop by, we'll look at pics, drink, & belch!
Shake our fists at the sky and whatnot.   WooHoo!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 07:29:59 pm by skully »

Offline KevinW

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2009, 05:04:39 pm »
You're on Skully!
And if I ever get my photos back from the ex, I have vowed to digitize them,
never know.. someone (other then me) might be interested in some old
skool choss nailing pics.

skully

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Re: Skully, tell us a story
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2009, 10:51:40 pm »
I'd go back up there in a second........Lead more, too.
What a crazy wall. Awesome.