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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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All 2229 | Routes 1 | Areas | Photos 90 | Page Improvements | Comments 84 | Posts 2051 | Stars 2 | Ratings 1
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Contributed Comments


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.

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Near Trapps : a. Beginning of cliff to Ge... : Yellow Ridge (5.7)
By: rgold When: May 15, 2013

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Comments: I've always climbed the nose at the start. You begin just left of the nose, move up, and step just right of the nose to finish. The gear wouldn't stop you from hitting the ground from later moves. It's 5.7.

I've always off-widthed right side in, which follows the granite conventional wisdom about having your back on a protruding offset. Given the prevalence of holds in the Gunks, the granite wisdom may not apply, but in any case the two or three offwidth moves are very elementary. You do en... more >>

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Near Trapps : a. Beginning of cliff to Ge... : Grand Central (5.9)
By: rgold When: Apr 21, 2013

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Comments: "...Above, a thin crack (crux) leads up. The pro is a bit tricky to place. Suddenly a big jug appears and you're up to a belay below the final overhang. 5.9, 120'."

It isn't hard to do this as a single pitch with double ropes and no drag, but there is a trick: only clip the right rope up to the first roof (of course use a long runner under the roof), traverse left and pass the left rope in front of the tree. (You have to untie to do this of course. I just clip the left rope to me wit... more >>

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Sylvan Lake : Outlets : Riddle : Goldstone's Riddle (5.6)
By: rgold When: Mar 10, 2013

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Comments: First ascent August 5, 1968, by Richard Goldstone and Eric Bregman. No bolts were used, and the protection as scanty---probably X-rated by modern standards. I think we called it the "West Buttress of the Riddle."

Location: NY : Adirondacks : Lake Champlain Region : Poke-O-Moonshine : Poke-O-Moonshine Main Face : The Great Dihedral (5.9+ PG13)
By: rgold When: Mar 1, 2013

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Comments: Although it is true that Ivan and I made the first free ascent of Pitch 2 in 1976, the first two pitches were climbed the year before by Geoff Smith and Dave Hough using a single point of aid at the crux of Pitch 2. (I should add that Ivan and I had no idea whether anyone had climbed the route when we tried it. Ivan had been thinking about trying it for a while.)

After Pitch 2, Ivan and I declined to try the unprotected-looking current Pitch 3 and instead finished via the SRT. I later returned... more >>

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : h. The Arrow Wall - CCK : Cascading Crystal Kaleidosc... (5.8 PG13) : Photo
By: rgold When: Feb 26, 2013

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Comments: That's a really poor job of protecting the second!

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Needles Eye : Needle's Eye : Unnamed Fenton Route (5.10-)
By: rgold When: Jan 25, 2013

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Comments: It isn't a "route," it is a direct start to the regular route. We considered it in 1964, but at that time placing a bolt with aid wasn't an option. It isn't "unnamed," because it is the Fenton direct start. It joins the regular route at a ledge. You can sit on that ledge all day and recover, so the suggestion that you have to do the 5.8 upper section pumped is misleading.

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Cathedral Spires : Spire Four : South Tower Conn Route (5.9)
By: rgold When: Jan 4, 2013

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Comments: I did it several times starting in the early sixties. After the first time, all the others were in combination with the Conn route on the East Face of the East Gruesome; the two routes together make for a great link-up. 5.7 seemed to be an accurate grade at the time; I wonder if some holds have broken off or if folks are missing the line of least resistance.

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Photo
By: rgold When: Jan 1, 2013

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Comments: It's called the Incisor. The shaded face is the North Face. There are (at least) four boulder routes that go up to the ledge with the pin, all done by John Gill, who placed the original pin up there. There were some tentative explorations BITD past the pin, but the lack of protection kept anyone from climbing up very far before reversing back to the pin. Of course, no one even remotely considered rap bolting and I hope the ground-up tradition survives until a climber capable of the challenge... more >>

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Cathedral Spires : Station 13 : Superstition (5.10)
By: rgold When: Dec 21, 2012

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Comments: Placing bolts on the lead has always been part of trad climbing; a significant part in places like Tuolumne. Originally, the bolts were placed without aid, but later, on routes like the Bachar-Yerian, hooks were used because it was too steep to stand anywhere in balance and drill.

The distinction between trad and sport has more to do with whether or not the ascent was made ground-up or was rap-bolted before being climbed.

Location: CO : Call for Donations to help ...
By: rgold When: Dec 10, 2012

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Comments: Well, there are updates on the updates. The fund continues to be up and will remain active, apparently with Largo's blessing, his original comment notwithstanding. It seems clear at this point that the fund will continue to be open for contributions until January 31, which is its designated expiration date, at which point it will be turned over to John in its entirety.

The money is not being returned unless a donor contacts Krista, who is administering the fund, and asks for a refund. Her em... more >>

Location: North America : Canada : British Columbia : Columbia Mountains : Purcell Mountains : ... : Kraus-McCarthy (5.9+)
By: rgold When: Oct 30, 2012

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Comments: John Rupley was also part of the first-ascent team.

The first-ascent party used direct aid on the crux pitch, so the "original" rating couldn't have been 5.8. In fact, it is unlikely that the decimal system was used at all in 1956 by Eastern climbers.

I climbed the route in the late '60's or early '70's and thought 5.8 to be a fair rating at the time.

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Sylvan Lake : Outlets : Outer Outlet : West Buttress (5.8)
By: rgold When: Sep 30, 2012

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Comments: Tater Tot, there were no bolts on pitch 3 either. I don't remember anything that shouldn't have been reasonable without bolts for a 5.8 climber.

As for pitch 2, my guess is that it went further left as you suggested, since without bolts one would obviously choose the most reasonable line. I do remember diagonalling left from the P1 belay and wandering a bit, but can't at this point, more than 45 years later, remember the exact line we took. It was definitely low fifth-class and totally appropr... more >>

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Tenpins/Switchbacks : Phallus
By: rgold When: Jul 16, 2012

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Comments: Grade: 5.8

First ascent: Bob Kamps, Dave Rearick, Mark Powell, Don Lauria, August 1965

The only bolt placed was for rappelling.

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Sylvan Lake : Outlets : Outer Outlet : West Buttress (5.8)
By: rgold When: Apr 13, 2012

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Comments: That second pitch, which I don't think is anywhere near 5.8, was done without bolts for years and years. No bolts at the first belay either.

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Needles Eye : Bell Tower : Kamps Crack (5.10 PG13)
By: rgold When: Feb 11, 2012

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Comments: We didn't tape in 1967 and didn't get cut up. It's a Needles crack; you have to be careful with your skin.

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Needles Eye : Bell Tower : For Whom the Bell Tolls (5.11b R)
By: rgold When: Feb 11, 2012

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Comments: Congratulations to Pete and Cindy for a ground-up ascent in (updated) classic Needle's style!

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : a. The Uberfall : Uberfall Descent (Easy 5th)
By: rgold When: Jan 18, 2012

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Comments: Hmmm. First of all, this is not "easy fifth" class climbing. It is fourth class at most.

Second of all, it is worth mentioning that this is not the way down that gave the Uberfall its name, and that if one does go the other way, which was as far as I know the "regular" way for most climbers BITD when everyone walked back from every climb, there is still a choice of whether or not to perform the actual "uberfall," most climbers choosing not to replicate the original path down.

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Needles Eye : Bell Tower : Kamps Crack (5.10 PG13) : Photo
By: rgold When: Nov 21, 2011

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Comments: We did it in 1967, so yes---no cams---or nuts for that matter, and no tape. I went up, placed a piton just before what I remember as the crux move to get into the crack proper, fussed around a bit and climbed back down. It was a little rotten up there and I broke some holds. Kamps then went up and did it.

Location: NY : The Gunks : The Trapps : j. The Yellow Wall (Airy Ar... : Double Crack (5.8)
By: rgold When: Oct 19, 2011

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Comments: Another Gunks sandbag in my opinion. The bottom 20' is probably 5.9. There is a perfectly good belay ledge part way up; back in the day, everyone stopped and belayed there. If there is concern about the second having trouble, then the belay should be at that ledge, since there will be a lot less rope stretch and communication will be possible. It is very hard to communicate from the top.

I've cut the tat off that chockstone a few times and will continue to do so if I happen to be th... more >>

Location: SD : Custer State Park : Tenpins/Switchbacks : End Pin : End Pin (5.10d PG13)
By: rgold When: Sep 24, 2011

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Comments: When Williams and I did the FFA in 1975, there was no bolt (and no other pro) after the crux.

Location: NY : New York City : Photo
By: rgold When: Aug 23, 2011

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Comments: This wall was part of my standard workout circuit in Riverside park in the seventies. I guess such things have been replaced by climbing gyms, although the amount of traversing you can do here without colliding with groups climbing up various routes still makes it of some possible utility.

Another wall at the 79th Street Boat Basin, being a bit less than vertical, was perfect for ARC'ing (not that we knew of either the concept or the term in the seventies). But now its proximity to the Boat B... more >>

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