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Member Since: Feb 15, 2008
Last Visit: 16 hours ago
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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
Photos = 5
Page Improvements = 3

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All 2698 | Routes 1 | Areas | Photos 103 | Page Improvements | Comments 89 | Posts 2502 | Stars 2 | Ratings 1
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Contributed Comments


Location: New York : The Gunks : The Trapps : g. V3 - Middle Earth : Middle Earth (5.6)
By: rgold When: Jul 13, 2017

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Comments: Just to be clear, bolts were added to P1 and removed from P2 and the top. The removals were because of the obvious dangers described by Mike. Climbers who top out should walk 400 feet North to the Arrow bolts.

The belay anchor opportunities at the top of the current P2 on the GT ledge are poor, a rotting stump being the most obvious possibility, with some rather small trees rather far to either side. I think that the best way to do ME to the top is to continue past the bolts on current P1, up... more >>

Location: rgold : Climbing Pictures : Photo
By: rgold When: Jun 19, 2017

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Comments: I think the route in question went left and up---going right was easier. (But the shot is about 55 years old at this point and memory cannot be relied on.)

Location: South Dakota : Custer State Park : Tenpins/Switchbacks : King Pin : Laptad-Prince route (5.9)
By: rgold When: Feb 10, 2017

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Comments: My memory on this is hazy but I don't recall any bolts either, and I agree that five bolts was nowhere near something the Laptad would have done at the time with a hammer and hand drill. Offhand, I can't think of a route in the Needles in those days that had more than two bolts (e.g. Hairy Pin had two).

Location: Connecticut : CT Bouldering : West Rock State Park : God's Country : Patience Boulder : Patience (V1)
By: rgold When: Jan 30, 2017

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Comments: "Climb up and left to a crux topout in the middle of the boulder.."

Sure looks up and right in the picture.

Location: New York : The Gunks : The Near Trapps : a. Beginning of cliff to Ge... : Grand Central (5.9)
By: rgold When: Jan 27, 2017

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Comments: Does anyone ever head right at the top of the p.1 corner instead of left?

Steve Wunsch and I did that many years ago. After a short traverse right, you climb a steep wall, angling back left a touch, and join GC at the point where the usual route traverses back around to the face from the left. We called the variation Penn Station. The climbing is quite good, around 5.10b I think.

By: rgold When: Nov 9, 2016

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Comments: Here's another shot of those shoes:

By: rgold When: Nov 8, 2016

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Comments: They are climbing shoes called Solda's after Gino Solda, an Italian climber with notable routes in the Dolomites. Solda was friendly with Hans Kraus and Kraus got the only climbing gear store in NYC at the time, Camp and Trail, to import Solda's. Lots of New York climbers wore them for a while until the next fashion hit town.

Nowadays we'd call them approach shoes with non-sticky rubber.

Location: New York : 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: New York : 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 section below the roof. Whether protection obtained via very small cams should ever be called "G" is ... more >>

Location: New York : 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: New York : 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: New York : Adirondacks : E: 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: Nevada : 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:

 more >>

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: South Dakota : 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: Nevada : 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 >>

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