|By skinny legs and all|
From: Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Dec 16, 2013
I remember a funny story regarding this route from 2003 or so. My friends and I were hanging out all weekend at Roger's with a group of climbers we had just met that were more local than us and who spent more time at the New than us. One guy, Brent, had been working on Devil Doll all season and was taking a lot of heat from his friends about not sending it yet. It had become a mental block for him and he really wanted the redpoint. On the day prior to the situation described below, we walked by the Hole on our way further down Kaymoor to watch him trying the route over and over again.
The next day it was raining (of course) and we took a rest day but still climbed with no real objectives. Between swigs of Colt 45 40's, Tony DiSanto decided to try Devil Doll. The local group was at the Hole as well. In addition to having model looks and an ultra laid back, magnetic personality, Tony climbs V10 and 5.13+ off of the couch. He is one of the most talented, strongest climbers I have ever met and we were good friends at the time. I belay Tony as he starts up (he had already redpointed Lactic Acid Bath, Blood Raid, Massacre, and all of the other routes at the Hole), gets to the crux, and makes it look just plain easy. He onsighted with absolutely no effort whatsoever.
Without fanfare I dirt Tony and Brent from the other group is in awe. The leader and strongest climber of the local group is notably agitated. This is the guy who was giving Brent the most mouth for not doing Devil Doll yet, saying it is easy for 12d. He announces that Devil Doll is the only climb in the cave that he has to complete, and that he is going to send no problem. So he ties in, has difficulty even getting through the 5.11 roof of Lactic, and flails miserably on the Devil Doll part. After hanging and attempting the crux with no progress, he comes down and says to everyone and no one that it is a turd route, the conditions are humid (welcome to the New buddy), it is his rest day, his skin in thin, his belayer short roped him, blah blah blah. Tony says good effort, and the guy gets even more pissed and tells his group that they are leaving. But Brent is inspired by Tony's onsight and wants to try again. Brent gets on the roof, gives it his all and gets a move or two further than he had ever before, falling just one move shy of the final jug from where a redpoint is almost guaranteed. He is re-psyched and we are all very happy for him. I have no doubt that he would go on to redpoint the next day he tried it.
After they left we had a good laugh, Tony onsighted the tricky arete S.L.A.P 5.12a hanging the draws with no chalk on the rock. Then we finished the day at Butcher's Branch, and Tony warmed down by doing a half dozen of the 5.11+'s there. He casually told me later that he had already done every one of the climbs at Butcher's Branch years ago.