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Headstone Rock
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Cryptic S 
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Headmaster TR 
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Headstone Crack Right T 
South Face Center TR 
SW Corner T 


YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b

Type:  TR, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b [details]
FA: Jonny Woodward 11/87
Page Views: 2,129
Submitted By: C Miller on Jan 1, 2005

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (3)
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BETA PHOTO: Climbers on Headstone Rock (((2-29-2004)))


This route is on the north side of Headstone Rock, the side you rap off, and climbs somewhat diagonally up and right across the face on small holds and lots of difficult moves. Seldom done.

There used to be a bolt ladder up this face, but after the route was toproped free, the FA party decided it wasn't needed and chopped it. There was some controversy afterwards and some people to this day feel it should have been left. Perhaps if it was still intact the recent Three Amigos debacle would not have transpired? Something to think about.



Photos of Headmaster Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: "Headmaster". Photo by Blitzo.
BETA PHOTO: "Headmaster". Photo by Blitzo.

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By Don Thompon
Mar 13, 2004

Yes, choping a excellent bolt Laddder put up by the Riverside Rescue team was a shame. The climbers decide to play God and remove a excellent training route. I wonder how they would of felt if their route was removed! Today,climbers hardley ever climb the 5.12 route on Headstone. However, many climbes before use to climb the route before it was chopped for Aid practice. I believe that is why we have problems with bolt Ladders today in the park. The Leaning Tower in Yosemite is a excellent route and 5.12 climbers today free climb using the bolts for protection ,the only difference ,they had respect for Harding by not "chopping" the route so other after them would still be able to get up the route and enjoy the route. How sad, the climbers who "chopped" the bolt Ladder on Headstone Rock did not have the respect for the Riverside Search and Rescue Team who installd the Ladder for training. Many climbers enjoyed climbing the Aid Ladder in the late evening , now it is gone for good thanks to climbers who decided their route was more important.How sad , our society is now a me generation, no respect for anyone, that is why our government now put restrictions on climbers, if we do not police ourselves our government will.
By Randy
Mar 15, 2004

Chopping the bolt ladder may not have been the best idea, particularly since it was only top roped free (and not along the exact same line as the bolt ladder). Both "routes" could have co-existed well enough. If the route were lead free and bolts placed to protect it, there would be a stronger rationale for removing/replacing the bolt ladder.

With that said, I have a hard time viewing bolt ladders as anything other than a quant relic of the 1950s and 60s and of virtually no real value as "climbing" routes. Headstone Rock (aka The Can Opener) has several quite easy ways to the top; there is really no excuse for a bolt ladder. Mt Rubidoux in Riverside has bolt ladders enough to learn all that can be learned from a bolt ladder (next to nothing). And they are right in the RMRU's backyard so to speak too.

Stepping down from my soapbox now.
By Larry Stone
Feb 22, 2005

I have to agree..I learned basic aid on that ladder..Did a few midnight ascents of it too.It was great sitting up there at night pondering life and such, looking down at the valley on a full moon night.It was magical..
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Oct 22, 2006

I agree with Randy. It's the placing of bolt aid ladders up a pristine piece of rock that smacks of hubris. Hey it's blank right? No one will ever climb it.....
By Bob Gaines
Jan 2, 2007

I remember I was a little upset when Jonny Woodward chopped the ladder. I used to use it for teaching people aid climbing. When I asked Jonny why he chopped it, he said "I don't want bumblies kicking off the key holds." I thought this was strange, since his route was a TR and merely crossed the ladder at one point. I thought about replacing the ladder (as it was maybe the best one in Josh for practicing aid climbing) but never did.
By Scott Cosgrove
Sep 4, 2013

Jonny's route goes nowhere near the bolt ladder, except for the first few moves. The straight up bolt ladder has no free ascent.

I have attempted the straight up line (Bolt Ladder) two or three times, and all the moves are there, I've done them all and linked big sections. The rock is bullet hard. I doubt anyone climbing a bolt ladder will break off any holds. After all the holds have held up to many rappels and Bolt Ladder ascents.

Surprised... actually, no one has sent this project, it is a beautiful hard 13+ line on perfect rock.

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