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Member Since: Feb 15, 2008
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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
Photos = 5
Page Improvements = 3

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All 2695 | Routes 1 | Areas | Photos 103 | Page Improvements | Comments 89 | Posts 2499 | Stars 2 | Ratings 1
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Contributed Comments


Location: New York : Adirondacks : A: 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: New York : 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: South Dakota : 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: South Dakota : 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: South Dakota : 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: South Dakota : 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: Colorado
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: South Dakota : 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: South Dakota : 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: South Dakota : 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: South Dakota : Custer State Park : Needles Eye : Bell Tower : Kamps Crack (5.10 PG13)
By: rgold When: Feb 11, 2012

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Comments: Taping for cracks hadn't yet happened in 1967, but we didn't get badly cut up, maybe a few scratches. It's a Needles crack; you have to be careful with your skin. That said, I'd certainly tape or use some kind of hand-jammy thingy now.

The crux is transitioning from the shallow corner/layback to the crack above. I went up first, protected by a poor piton that was also dangerously low. The rock at the t... more >>

Location: South Dakota : 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: New York : The Gunks : The Trapps : a2. The Uberfall - right : 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: South Dakota : 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: New York : 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: South Dakota : 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 second bolt (and no other pro) after the crux.

Location: New York : 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 >>

Location: New York : The Gunks : Trapps Bouldering : Uberfall problems : The Goldstone Bulge (V0)
By: rgold When: Jul 25, 2011

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Comments: The grade is somewhere in the V3-V5 range I'd guess. Probably very height dependent.

Location: Wisconsin : Devil's Lake : East Bluff 04 - East Rampar... : Many Pines Buttress : Peter's Project (5.7)
By: rgold When: Jun 13, 2011

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Comments: I can add a few remarks to the information Tom Anderson-Brown quotes me as saying above.

The Michael in Michael's Project is Michael Fain, who made the first top-rope ascent in the late fifties. The first top-rope ascent of Peter's Project was also in the late fifties by Peter Gardiner.

Both those routes were lead for sure by Steve Derenzo and I in the very early sixties before Errol Morris appeared at Devil's Lake; he was certainly not the first to lead Peter's Project, and for t... more >>

Location: South Dakota : Custer State Park : Tenpins/Switchbacks : Sandberg Peak : On Little Cat Feet (5.9)
By: rgold When: Jan 7, 2011

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Comments: Looks like the Robbins route to me. I did it with Bob Kamps and Mark Powell, probably in 1965. The different starts are inconsequential either way and only constitute a few feet of the route. It is possible that where we stepped right at the top, the feline route bulldozes more directly up with the aid of bolted protection. This would make it at best a three-bolt variation with a 5.9 move or two, almost the same as the 1964 route but with perhaps a short section at the top, maybe four feet left... more >>

Location: South Dakota : Custer State Park : Tenpins/Switchbacks : Sandberg Peak : Regular Route (5.8)
By: rgold When: Jan 7, 2011

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Comments: This route was definitely done November 4, 1971 by Paul Piana, but probably was climbed considerably earlier than that by Bob Kamps and Mark Powell.

I'm not sure what makes this the "Regular Route;" the first route on the spire was climbed by Royal and Liz Robbins in 1964 and seems to coincide with "Little Cat Feet," except of course Royal climbed it without any bolts.

The summit was obtained by tyrolean traverse in 1954 by Ray Sandberg and Walt Bailey. The name was, of course, me... more >>

Location: South Dakota : Custer State Park : Sylvan Lake : Outlets : Outer Outlet : ... : Photo
By: rgold When: Oct 20, 2010

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Comments: I think the regular route goes up the left-hand of those two chimneys.

Location: New York : The Gunks : The Trapps : h. The Arrow Wall - CCK : Arrow (5.8)
By: rgold When: May 13, 2010

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Comments: Left of the bolt is where the original route went. I've climbed that a few different ways. I think they are all 5.9, and no one would even think twice about calling them 5.9 if the bolt was ten feet below the move rather than in top-rope position. But the difficulty really does boil down to a single move.

This is one of many examples of the persistence of historical grading at the Gunks---the Arrow started out at 5.8 and that's where it stayed. Art Gran, in the first Gunks guide, seemed to ... more >>

Location: South Dakota : Custer State Park : Tenpins/Switchbacks : Hairy Pin : Cleveland Route (5.10+ X)
By: rgold When: May 12, 2010

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Comments: Oops, my bad...I was indeed thinking the description was of Super Pin.

A historical note: Pete climbed pretty far up a tree near the face to rig some protection for climbing up to and placing the first bolt.

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