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

Member Since: Feb 15, 2008
Last Visit: 2 hours ago
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Areas = 15
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Where has rgold been climbing?


All 2152 | Routes 1 | Areas | Photos 88 | Page Improvements | Comments 82 | Posts 1978 | Stars 2 | Ratings 1
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Contributed Comments


Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : c. Frog's Head - the Arch : Jean (5.9+)
By: rgold When: Aug 7, 2016

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Comments: Jean is left of Sixish, not right of Sixish as the current location text says.

Location: Fundamentals : Learn the Basics of Rappell...
By: rgold When: Jul 19, 2016

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Comments: The advice in the article is decades out of date.

First, the autoblock-on-legloop is a suboptimal method. There are at least two problems:

1. Prying open a legloop buckle. If the leg loop has buckles, then depending on where the autoblock is placed it might or might not pull open a buckle. See for bad and good places to clip.

2. Autoblock failure. As alluded to in the article, the length of t... more >>

Location: Fundamentals : Personal Anchor Tethers for...
By: rgold When: Jul 17, 2016

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Comments: You don't adjust PAS-style tethers by unclipping. You put a second carabiner into the primary end carabiner and then clip appropriate loops into that.

Location: Trad Climbing : Build an Anchor in Poor Roc...
By: rgold When: Jul 17, 2016

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Comments: What is missing here is a discussion about how to use the climbing rope to set up these anchors, which can be done in a way that gives far better load distribution than the in-series solutions.

The two illustrated in-series solutions deliver half of the total load to a single piece of the anchor, and certainly do not deserve to be called "equalized" in any sense. Since the article is about anchors in bad rock, a technique that is supposed to spread the load but ... more >>

Location: NY : The Gunks : Millbrook : Cruise Control (5.9)
By: rgold When: Jul 6, 2016

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Comments: P1: Do not "traverse out right under the roof and up and over to belay in the right-facing corner," you'd be missing an essential part of what makes the pitch great. The route steps left and goes directly over the roof. The climber in the photo is getting ready to do this.

And yes, very small cams (or ballnuts) can give you some higher protection as you begin the crux. Whether protection obtained via very small cams should ever be called &quo... more >>

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Near Trapps : b. Gelsa to Moe (closure) : Back to the future (5.8 PG13)
By: rgold When: Jul 4, 2016

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Comments: I don't know about the "pointy overhang" either. After the crux moves past the thin flake, I stepped right and then climbed more or less straight up to the belay ledge, with little if any protection. Definitely R, maybe X---I'm not sure how big the runout was or what is lurking below to collide with. But the moves above the crux flake were nowhere near 5.8. It's a little hard to be objective when you ar... more >>

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Near Trapps : b. Gelsa to Moe (closure) : Fat and Weak (5.7)
By: rgold When: Jul 4, 2016

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Comments: I've done p1 a few times. I think it is 5.7.

Location: NY : Adirondacks : High Peaks Region : Mt. Colden : California Flake (5.9+ PG13) : Photo
By: rgold When: Jul 3, 2016

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Comments: Izzat big piece needed for this route?

Location: NV : Red Rock : Juniper Canyon : Cloud Tower : Crimson Chrysalis (5.8+) : Photo
By: rgold When: Jun 12, 2016

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Comments: I've done it both ways. The crack is definitely better and more interesting climbing. Maybe bring a large cam for it (#4 Camalot? I didn't have one).

Location: Climbing Gear : The Alpine Quickdraw
By: rgold When: Jun 12, 2016

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Comments: Quickdraws, both the items and the name, were invented by Yosemite climbers around 1970. The original ones consisted to two carabiners connected by a single or double loop of knotted 9/16" webbing. Nothing was used to bind either end of the webbing to a carabiner.

You can see a bunch of quickdraws tied with green 9/16" webbing in this picture:

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Location: Climbing Skills : A Safer Way to Set Up Rappe...
By: rgold When: May 19, 2016

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Comments: If the second person down is inexperienced and can't be trusted to rig their own rappel, then this is the best way to proceed. For a fully experienced party, it has a drawback, which is that the first person down can't test how hard it will be to pull the rope. Now that many rappels are done from pre-placed rappel stations, this is not as much of an issue, but if the party is retreating and building its own rap stations, then the ability to pull the rope can be critical and needs to be tested.

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 >>

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