Waffle Stompers v. Smear

Waffle Stompers v. Smear

Joined: June 17th, 2009, 5:29 pm

December 6th, 2011, 6:06 pm #1

Watched a show on big wall climbing in Yosemite last night (made in 2002). I was surprised to learn that even in the early 70's when I started rock climbing, the heavy lugged boot was outmoded and not used by those who were really into climbing. Admittedly we were isolated in our Logan Canyon climbing world but the guys who taught me were reading the available literature. The idea was to get as stiff-soled boots as possible to be able to edge on small features. And I remember dreaming of being able to afford some really good Tyrolean climbing boots instead of the cheap mushy things I had. I could have used my gym shoes and done much better. I only heard about climbing shoes years later. Any of you guys who were climbing back then--had you heard about climbing in tennis shoes or other "grippy" soles, or was this just a Camp 4 thing at Yosemite?
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Joined: April 14th, 2005, 2:42 am

December 6th, 2011, 8:42 pm #2

As the TV show probably explained, the early hot-shoes in Yosemite and the Sierra wore something like Converse for free-climbing. We were influenced by the northwest climbers, who were mostly climbing glaciated volcanoes. As more explanation:

I started 'serious' rock climbing in about 1968, taking a climbing class from the Obsidians in Eugene OR. I think someone was wearing a pair of Galibier PAs (named after Pierre Allain, if I recall correctly). These were early versions of modern shoes, with smooth soles and flexible midsoles. I thought they looked strange. I think I climbed in either running shoes or probably the hippie-style work boots I wore on a daily basis.

Then in about '71 in Boise, the hot shoe was the RR, for Royal Robbins, aka 'Blue Suede Shoes'. These were lugged and quite stiff. I think the stiffness was for standing all day in etriers (which we hardly ever did), but my rope gun Tom could do some pretty hard climbs in them. I was using norwegian-welted mountain boots, then got a pair of Fabiano Black Beauties, basically cheap versions of the RR. But a significant improvement from trying to climb Slick Rock in big boots.

When Tom and I visited Yosemite in about '73, we learned about EBs (an English version of PAs). We went straight to Robbins' Mountain Shop in Modesto and laid down our hard-earned cash. When we got back to Boise with our amazing new shoes, we were accused of 'cheating'.

Tom tried other shoes- well, just about every shoe that came out through about 2005. Here he is, still in early 70s, wearing Vasque Chouinards (I think....)

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Joined: April 14th, 2005, 2:42 am

December 6th, 2011, 8:47 pm #3

If you read the old literature, you'll read about "rope-soled shoes" and 'klettershue'. I think these were both soft, smearing-type shoes used in the Alps at or near the turn of the century (1900s turn of the century).

And I think we paid $40 full-pop for our EBs!
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Joined: January 15th, 2008, 6:19 am

December 6th, 2011, 9:06 pm #4

As the TV show probably explained, the early hot-shoes in Yosemite and the Sierra wore something like Converse for free-climbing. We were influenced by the northwest climbers, who were mostly climbing glaciated volcanoes. As more explanation:

I started 'serious' rock climbing in about 1968, taking a climbing class from the Obsidians in Eugene OR. I think someone was wearing a pair of Galibier PAs (named after Pierre Allain, if I recall correctly). These were early versions of modern shoes, with smooth soles and flexible midsoles. I thought they looked strange. I think I climbed in either running shoes or probably the hippie-style work boots I wore on a daily basis.

Then in about '71 in Boise, the hot shoe was the RR, for Royal Robbins, aka 'Blue Suede Shoes'. These were lugged and quite stiff. I think the stiffness was for standing all day in etriers (which we hardly ever did), but my rope gun Tom could do some pretty hard climbs in them. I was using norwegian-welted mountain boots, then got a pair of Fabiano Black Beauties, basically cheap versions of the RR. But a significant improvement from trying to climb Slick Rock in big boots.

When Tom and I visited Yosemite in about '73, we learned about EBs (an English version of PAs). We went straight to Robbins' Mountain Shop in Modesto and laid down our hard-earned cash. When we got back to Boise with our amazing new shoes, we were accused of 'cheating'.

Tom tried other shoes- well, just about every shoe that came out through about 2005. Here he is, still in early 70s, wearing Vasque Chouinards (I think....)
Is that picture in the Table Rock Quarry?
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Joined: June 17th, 2009, 5:29 pm

December 6th, 2011, 9:24 pm #5

If you read the old literature, you'll read about "rope-soled shoes" and 'klettershue'. I think these were both soft, smearing-type shoes used in the Alps at or near the turn of the century (1900s turn of the century).

And I think we paid $40 full-pop for our EBs!
I also notice the different (don't know all of the terms of art here: abseiling?) rappeling setup I saw... the leather "half-chap" on one leg. We ran the rappel rope straight between the legs and up over the back, across the chest and under the armpit (if I can remember). Did try a silly looking leather "jock strap" setup just to save wear and tear on our levi's. Never had harness, although we did know about "swiss seats" Tied our own jumar knots etc and other stupid stuff including some real no-no's. (Somewhere out there is a green 1969 Pontiac GTO with a large crater in the hood from my stupid ability to throw rocks long range) I was cleaning steel sitting on a ledge 200 ft up the China Wall when I decided to see if I could hit Highway 89 across the Logan river below the cliff. I launched a perfect strike but after I released the throw the aformentioned GTO came around the blind bend and they converged perfectly. I could have easily killed someone in the car and was glad it only cratered the hood. The guy stopped and stared up at the cliff where I was sitting for a long time and then slowly drove off. I don't know if he decided that the rock just fell off the cliff and didn't see me of just decided it was not worth it to either shoot me off the cliff or climb up and kill me with his bare hands. Anyway partial justice was waiting short thereafter when I took a scary fall just minutes after. So if there is anyone who owned a green '69 GTO out there who wants to talk to me, I guess I'm ready. (and no, Bob I haven't been on top of Borah throwing things, mainly because I haven't made it yet)


Thanks for the information on the equipment. We tried! but never died!
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splattski
splattski

December 6th, 2011, 11:05 pm #6

Is that picture in the Table Rock Quarry?
Yes, Table Rock. Actually one in a series:




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Joined: October 3rd, 2006, 6:10 pm

December 7th, 2011, 1:11 pm #7

I like the Levi cut off shorts. "If you can't see the pockets hanging out the bottom,they ain't shorts."
My father in law still wears them.
Kevin
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Luddite
Luddite

December 7th, 2011, 3:29 pm #8

Yes, Table Rock. Actually one in a series:




IMO this pic is the best:



Is that on "The Fortress"? Looks like the left side of "Microman".
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splattski
splattski

December 7th, 2011, 4:04 pm #9

Danny Dukes? Thanks for that, Luddite....

Yeah, it's the Fortress. I'm not sure of the route name.
I think that lower corner is in dirt these days. Back then, it was just below chest height- sort of a weird jump-and-mantle move that was guaranteed to remove skin from your shin if you missed.

More on topic, those are EBs, probably about '74 or '75?
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Joined: September 16th, 2007, 9:07 pm

December 7th, 2011, 9:40 pm #10

Watched a show on big wall climbing in Yosemite last night (made in 2002). I was surprised to learn that even in the early 70's when I started rock climbing, the heavy lugged boot was outmoded and not used by those who were really into climbing. Admittedly we were isolated in our Logan Canyon climbing world but the guys who taught me were reading the available literature. The idea was to get as stiff-soled boots as possible to be able to edge on small features. And I remember dreaming of being able to afford some really good Tyrolean climbing boots instead of the cheap mushy things I had. I could have used my gym shoes and done much better. I only heard about climbing shoes years later. Any of you guys who were climbing back then--had you heard about climbing in tennis shoes or other "grippy" soles, or was this just a Camp 4 thing at Yosemite?
Pronounced Fee Rays. The first sticky sole climbing shoe. I purchased mine in 1976. Cutting edge shoe that in one fell swoop up'ed the grade one could climb by a full number or two. Say, 5.7 to 5.9.

No one I knew then that rock climbed seriously used full shank boots after that on steep rock. With the big exception of Alpine routes that combined rock with snow or ice. The big switch happened in the mid seventies. Though folks like Fred Becky were using high tops with the sole ground down way back in the 40's.

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." ~Alvin Toffler
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