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Rock Climbing Photo: The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...

Member Since: Feb 15, 2008
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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
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All 2151 | Routes 1 | Areas | Photos 88 | Page Improvements | Comments 82 | Posts 1977 | Stars 2 | Ratings 1
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Contributed Comments


Location: Climbing Skills : Belaying While Mid-Pitch Wh...
By: rgold When: May 19, 2016

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Comments: The follower then coils the rope over his shoulder for the simul-climb portion of this scenario. If the rope isn't secured and the leader takes a fall the rope would cinch up and strangle the poor follower, hence the clove hitch.

Not true. The rope is running through the grigri which (one hopes) takes the load if the leader falls. The clove hitch is just a backup, and yes, it has to be undone if the second is going to belay the leader.

I think a better method is to tie off the grigr... more >>

Location: Climbing Skills : Rappel Without a Belay Devi...
By: rgold When: May 19, 2016

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Comments: You can do with just two (or, in a pinch, even one) carabiner by using an even older method. Clip the carabiners (or carabiner) to the belay loop, clip the rappel ropes through the biners, and then pass the ropes around your hips just below your waist so that they wrap around to your brake hand. If you are lightly clad, a great trick is to take off your t-shirt and stuff it down the back of your shorts to pad the hip area where the rope will be running.

A number of us used this method for yea... more >>

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Sylvan Lake : Outlets : Outer Outlet : Conn Diagonal (5.7)
By: rgold When: Apr 8, 2016

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Seth Hogan wrote:
Most of the classics, if they were in Yosemite, would be downgraded, imo.

I've done lots of the classic Needles climbs and quite a bit in Yosemite and Tuolumne and would say that when the styles are comparable (which they often are not), the Needles grades are either equivalent or more severe. Most of the original classic grades were supplied by Yosemite climbers who were pretty well-known for sandbagging their gradings. It is true that some of those original grades... more >>

Location: Climbing Skills : Single-Hitch Belay Escape
By: rgold When: Jan 23, 2016

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Comments: This is a terrible idea. The belayer escapes the belay and leaves the fallen second hanging from a clove hitch on the anchor, a situation that will add substantial, possibly dangerous, and totally unnecessary complications to the next step. And why? Because the belayer can't tie a Munter mule and has to substitute a clove hitch, which is the wrong knot for this application.

Rather than promoting an ignorant work-around that creates a bad situation, why not give an effective procedur... more >>

Location: Fundamentals : Personal Anchor Tethers for...
By: rgold When: Jan 23, 2016

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Comments: Personal tethers (not daisy's, which are for aid) have a host of uses and get a lot of bad press, a lot of it from people who don't understand the range of uses of a tether and argue that you can do the same thing on the fly with slings. (You can, maybe, but not exactly the point. For example, I can do everything one can do with an ATC-XP with a hip belay and carabiner brakes for rappels. This fact has not proved to be an argument against such belay devi... more >>

Location: NV : Red Rock : Pine Creek Canyon : Mescalito : Dark Shadows (Full) (5.8)
By: rgold When: Jan 14, 2016

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Comments: I hate getting lost on the approach and wasting time... and I did. So here's something to save you time.


That track, as displayed, is way off. It crosses the flanks of Bridge Mountain half-way up the walls and ends up on some summit on the South Flank of Bridge Mountain.

Location: Climbing Gear : The Perfect Backpack Rope C...
By: rgold When: Jan 8, 2016

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Comments: I coil from the ends. The whole point of coiling the rope doubled is a bit more speed, since you can certainly coil it single and still do the backpack finish at the end, so slowing down a process whose only point is quickness by starting from the middle doesn't make any sense to me.

I also don't buy that coiling from the middle does much to get rid of accumulated twists. A more effective approach is to have the second not tie in until the rope is almost fully taken up, as recommended in the ... more >>

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Near Trapps : a. Beginning of cliff to Ge... : Alphonse (5.8) : Photo
By: rgold When: Nov 14, 2015

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Comments: I don't get significant rope drag doing it in a single pitch with doubles. Right-hand rope all the way up the corner and half-way or so along the traverse; double-length sling on the last piece. This may be the key, because the rope still has to run over a big overhang. Then left-hand rope for the part from the hanging belay up over the crux, and then the right-hand rope again after traversing right after the crux.

Location: WI : Devil's Lake : East Bluff 04 - East Rampar... : Pedestal Buttress : Upper Diagonal (5.9)
By: rgold When: May 10, 2015

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Comments: Doug, I have no doubt Pete led it, but I think I led it before he even arrived at Devil's Lake, in any case before he got busy.

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : k. The Slime Wall : Simple Suff (5.10a/b)
By: rgold When: May 3, 2015

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Comments: Way BITD, a "suff" was a big-wall aid climb (Yes, "suff" for "suffering"). Simple Suff was originally aided, but it falls rather short of being a big wall and the aid was easy, hence the "simple." One of the first ascenders, Ants Leemets, made the fifth ascent of the Nose with Dick Williams and Dave Dornan in 1966, four years after Simple Suff.

Location: WI : Devil's Lake : East Bluff 04 - East Rampar... : Pedestal Buttress : Upper Diagonal (5.9)
By: rgold When: Feb 24, 2015

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Comments: I guess it is possible that I did the first lead; I lead it in the early sixties. There were other climbers around who could easily have done it before me; John Gill, Dave Slinger, and Roger Wiegand are three that I know of. And soon after Pete Cleveland and Jim and Dave Erickson showed up, at which point it was a walk in the park.

The first time I tried it---I think that was '62---my foot skidded off something and I popped off, pulling a piton (this was before nuts) before... more >>

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Sylvan Lake : Outlets : Outer Outlet : West Buttress (5.8)
By: rgold When: Nov 2, 2014

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Comments: Picture from the second ascent posted.

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : d. Strictly - Shockley's : Midnight Cowboy (5.9+ PG13)
By: rgold When: Oct 9, 2014

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Comments: First ascent Richard Goldstone and Dick Williams, 1968. (I "discovered" the line and led pitches 1 and 2 so don't deserve to be left entirely off the FA credits!) thanks - added to route info - JSH

I don't know if new micro gear has improved the situation significantly, but if not the first pitch is more like R than PG-13, and as usual for Gunks 9+'s, it might be 10a. Pitch 2 had a really old pin down and left that might have indicated an aid ascent earlier.

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Cathedral Spires : Spire Six : Empire State Building (5.10)
By: rgold When: Aug 20, 2014

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Comments: First ascent of the Wavy Crack route August 7, 1964 Mark and Beverly Powell and Bob Kamps. Not "circa 1968" as currently noted in the description.

In August 1967 I did an independent route on the face to the right of the Wavy Crack. My belayer didn't follow; I don't remember why now, but I think the sun was setting. Back then the Wavy Crack was 5.9 and my route seemed a bit easier, so we called it 5.8. Now that the Wavy Crack is 5.10, it is possible that my route might seem undergr... more >>

Location: NY : Adirondacks : Lake Champlain Region : Poke-O-Moonshine : Poke-O-Moonshine Main Face : The Great Dihedral (5.9+ PG13)
By: rgold When: Apr 29, 2014

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Comments: Hmm. Perhaps worth noting that when Ivan and I did the route, nuts were all we had, and nothing as big as those recommended cams. Of course, there was no bolt in the offwidth either.

I protected the exit from what now seems to be called the Houdini Slot by climbing up into it, reaching around to the outside, and placing a nut in the crack in the dihedral. Normally, this would be a totally blind placement but in this case I could observe what I was doing from "inside" the crack because of my ... more >>

Location: Climbing Skills : How to Hip Belay
By: rgold When: Apr 25, 2014

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Comments: Those of us who grew up with hip belays for all belaying of both leader and second found it useful to clip the rope from belayer to climber into a carabiner that nowadays would be on the belay loop of the harness. This is very important if the hip belay is for the leader, but is useful even if the hip belay is for a second. In this case the carabiner adds a bit of friction by putting a bend in the rope path, and it makes it impossible for the rope to slip down the belayer's butt if the belayer... more >>

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Picket Fence : Photo
By: rgold When: Dec 13, 2013

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Comments: Take a good deep breath and hold it. Most of those trees are gone now, either the direct victims of the Mountain Pine Beetle or the efforts to limit its spread. See this shot,, a few further on.

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Near Trapps : a. Beginning of cliff to Ge... : Disney Point (5.10b/c) : Photo
By: rgold When: Nov 23, 2013

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Comments: I thing slinging the point is the way to go---that's what I used to do bitd. But I always anchored the sling to a piece placed further back so the sling couldn't lift off.

Location: NY : The Gunks : Photo
By: rgold When: Oct 4, 2013

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Comments: Yup, the Trapps aren't in this shot at all. Near Trapps front and center, Bayards to the left and Millbrook just peeking through the trees further left.

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Tenpins/Switchbacks : Phallus
By: rgold When: Sep 4, 2013

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Comments: I don't know if Lauria was used as ballast on the Phallus, but that was a technique we used from time to time to get off a pinnacle without leaving anything behind, so it is certainly possible.

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Tenpins/Switchbacks : Superpin : Barber Route (5.10 X)
By: rgold When: Aug 20, 2013

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Comments: There was a big debate about this, with passion on both sides on Supertopo.

The "stealing" claim is bogus. The idea that Henry "stole" the route from someone who couldn't repeat it is itself a stretch. And you didn't have to overhear anyone's secrets to know about Superpin. I'd spoken to Henry about Pete Cleveland's amazing feat long before Henry arrived in the Needles. Henry didn't steal anything, he thought he was repeating Cleveland's route and realized as he got higher that he wasn't on i... more >>

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : h. The Arrow Wall - CCK : Annie Oh! (5.8+) : Photo
By: rgold When: Jul 23, 2013

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Comments: Well, the block fell out---fortunately not while someone was yarding on it as in this picture. The fact that it just went one day confirms that the warnings about not pulling on it were justified. Thank god no one got hurt.

Meanwhile, this photo is going to go into the Annals of How Not to Climb on Real Rock.

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Picket Fence : Photo
By: rgold When: Jul 8, 2013

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Comments: The surveying and original maps (this is just one) were done by Herb Conn, who was a civil engineer before moving to the Needles to climb. When Bob Kamps wrote his guide to the Needles, Herb gave him permission to use the map, which at that point only existed as a small and mediocre mimeograph image.

I took that image and with a draftsman's pantograph (this was before there were computer tools for such things), set to work on enlarging and labeling the map for Bob's guidebook. As the enormity... more >>

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : b. Jackie and friends : Classic (5.7) : Photo
By: rgold When: Jun 8, 2013

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Comments: Yup, the Jackie line is wrong almost everywhere.

Location: WI : Devil's Lake : East Bluff 04 - East Rampar... : Two Pines Buttress : Reprieve (5.7)
By: rgold When: May 25, 2013

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Comments: I think the source for the route now called The Reprieve was something I did in 1962 we called Richard's Reprieve. The route started where The Reprieve starts but veered right to Full Stop for protection (and easier moves) before moving back left. The first ascent was done on the lead (in the days before nuts). I've posted two pictures that give some idea about where we went.

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