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Mr_Phil

Tood Skinner climbs City Park

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Nice article! Thanks,

 

It wasnt me . I spent alot of time belaying Watts.(alibi)

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Ok folks. Time to fess up. Who greased the crack?

 

Not me, or any of my close friends. But other than that, it is the worst kept secret in Washington. But if you don't know, I'm not going to tell you.

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I just read that article.

 

It is a little known fact that Russ Erickson top roped City Park with a few hangs in EB's, in 1979, or '80.

Edited by Markmckillop

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I knew who greased it at some point in the past, but that factoid has slipped from my grasp.

 

I do know who pilfered his pins from The Stigma though....

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"Who greased the crack?"

 

Not I, said Gus the Goose.....

 

I heard in great detail about the "crack greasing incident" from the perpetrators and, although I didn't really (at the time) agree with Todd's methods, I thought the whole incident was kind of silly.

 

Todd was way ahead of his time with his ascent of City Park. Who'd-a-thunk at that time that people would be climbing at the standard that they are today. Who'd-a-thunk that people would be free climbing El Cap in a few hours. Not me.

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The linked account doesn't exactly agree with the way I remember it. I was out there, camped on a big, flat rock below the LTW, and I watched the ascent. It was impressive, but it wasn't a "red point" ascent as defined in those days. His rope ran through a high piece, so he essentially top-roped up to what appeared to be the crux. He kept climbing when he passed this piece, and eventually made it to that variation on Godzilla. He asked, "How hard is this?" Smoot replied, "It's 10c." Then Todd finished the pitch. I didn't notice him placing a single nut. It appeared to be kind of a half top-rope effort followed by an extreme run-out to finish the pitch via Godzilla.

 

Just for the record, that's the way I saw it. I think it should have been reported as a one-man yo yo ascent. Anyway, it was incredibly impressive and my buddy and I couldn't stop talking about it. I think we put a top-rope on that pitch later that year and couldn't believe that anybody could get up that thing without aid.

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The more important question is who hung a pigs head at Index.

 

I hear the grease guys know the pig riggers

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The linked account doesn't exactly agree with the way I remember it. I was out there, camped on a big, flat rock below the LTW, and I watched the ascent. It was impressive, but it wasn't a "red point" ascent as defined in those days. His rope ran through a high piece, so he essentially top-roped up to what appeared to be the crux. He kept climbing when he passed this piece, and eventually made it to that variation on Godzilla. He asked, "How hard is this?" Smoot replied, "It's 10c." Then Todd finished the pitch. I didn't notice him placing a single nut. It appeared to be kind of a half top-rope effort followed by an extreme run-out to finish the pitch via Godzilla.

 

Just for the record, that's the way I saw it. I think it should have been reported as a one-man yo yo ascent. Anyway, it was incredibly impressive and my buddy and I couldn't stop talking about it. I think we put a top-rope on that pitch later that year and couldn't believe that anybody could get up that thing without aid.

 

That's pretty much what I saw also. And that is why I keep pointing out what my friend Russ did, he was WAY ahead of his time. Russ's true love was bouldering, but he could have been the best crack climber in the US had he wanted to be, IMHO. Lets ask Lepeska, Timson, and Don Harder.

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Can we show a little respect for the recently-deceased and not continue with this, or are we too analytical for any sense of good taste?

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Can we show a little respect for the recently-deceased and not continue with this, or are we too analytical for any sense of good taste?

 

I don't know that this is an entirely analytical discussion. Skinner's ascent of City Park was big news at Index, before he went on to climb the Salathe and Trango Tower (or whatever it was). I was 18 and just getting started with rock climbing. I'd never heard of the guy. One day my friend and I rode a bus to Seattle, connected to Everett, then finally got a connection out to Index. We spent the whole day traveling by bus, with camping gear, ropes, food....enough gear for an expedition all packed onto a city bus. We got to Index and camped the first night on a big rock right below the Narrow Arrow area. While cooking up Top Ramen that night, we got to witness the ascent of a hard 5.13 climb by an enormously talented climber. You can imagine the impression it made on us.

 

The reason I think the details are important here is that I don't recall anybody else being on hand to witness it. It was the end of the day, almost dark, and the only people I remember being there were Todd, a belayer, Smoot and then my buddy and I.

 

I've heard people doubt that he really climbed it, since most people only had the opportunity to see all of the hang dogging and top roping. I can tell you, he climbed from the ground all the way to the belay without weighting the rope or falling. My memory of the style does not agree with Smoot's account. You can read my notes above.

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I don't see it as disrespectful, it's just telling stories. Todd was a complicated guy, driven in ways that most of us aren't. I quite enjoyed the Smoot article linked at the top, with it's underlying tone of love and exasperation. It's history, and it's pretty relevant, and hardly surprising that Todd's death would stir up memories of all sorts. Nobody's talking trash here, and it's quite interesting to hear Pope's eyewitness memories too.

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Im down with Pope on this, I heard his account at the time of it happening and have no doubt to his experience. As far as "respect for the recently-deceased", I think this is above and beyond that. Nothing has been said to defame him.

 

Relax man and go pray someplace else.

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I didn't really know Todd but I hung around a campfire with him and the motley winter gang at JT a few times. I don't think I would call this trash since this kind of thing was usually the topic being discussed.

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thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif to an interesting story of the deceased. I met him once, at a minor slide show. Incredibly stoked and positive to even the most minor gaper like me.

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Chirp worked as a ranger one summer at Devil's Tower. I remember him telling me that Todd Skinner had set some kind of speed record, from parking lot to summit via the Durrance crack in a ridiculous 18 minutes. Chirp, does that sound right?

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Sorry. I meant that more as a cautionary note about the potential flood of what passes for discussion here.

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The reason I think the details are important here is that I don't recall anybody else being on hand to witness it. It was the end of the day, almost dark, and the only people I remember being there were Todd, a belayer, Smoot and then my buddy and I.........

 

.....since most people only had the opportunity to see all of the hang dogging and top roping.

 

I phrased my statement wrong. I saw a portion of the zoo, with Beth being a cheerleader, and Smoot being a sycophant. I did not see the final ascent. And as Eric said, hardly anyone did.

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Chirp worked as a ranger one summer at Devil's Tower. I remember him telling me that Todd Skinner had set some kind of speed record, from parking lot to summit via the Durrance crack in a ridiculous 18 minutes. Chirp, does that sound right?

Yes sir! That is correct, LOL I almost forgot about that tidbit! I met quite a few local "hardmen/women" that summer (1987) including Todd. Some of the best memories I have are from that season spent on the glorious columns of Mateo Teepee, climbing and meeting people I had only read about. Pope flew out and spend 3 or 4 days with me doing routes and hanging out.

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