Spain: Vilanova de Meia
Posted by sibylle in Spain (Monday May 22, 2006 at 10:21 pm)


Camping near Vilanova de Meia

Tristan and I are flying to Spain in two days. The first time we climbed in Spain, he was only 7 years old and tiny enough to sleep in the back seat of that miniscule car in the picture. Now’s he’s bigger than I am and my rope gun. I get to lead the easy warm-up pitches, and he leads the hard climbs.

At Vilanove de Meia, we camped in an open field below the cliffs and cooked at a stone table near a spring. We saw no formal campground and our things that we left in the tent were fine. We saw miles of cliffs, many of them apparently unexplored in 1998, when we last visited.

On Tristan’s and my last trip to Spain we climbed at La Mussara in the Sierra des Prades. We plan to go there again and this time also explore Siurana and Falco. Lynn brought over a bottle of wine from Montsant for dinner and told us we should go to Montsant, also in the same area. Luckily we’ve already got the guidebook from our last trip, two years ago.


From Costa Daurada, published by RockFax

We camped on an airy bluff, overlooking a meadow, trees, and the ocean far below outside the Refugio at La Mussara. They allowed either staying in the Refugio, or for a slight charge, camping outside and cooking and keeping our stove and supplies inside. From our campsite at La Mussara, it was a short drive to many different cliffs comprising several climbing areas nearby. On rest days, we’d head into the small town of Reus which had a great Carrefours (the local equivalent of Safeway plus Walmart). Best of all, for those who’ve driven in Europe, it had underground parking and decent bathrooms.

We’ll have lots of pictures when we get pack, so stay tuned for more abut Spain!

Finale Ligure - Capo Noli
Posted by sibylle in Italy, finale ligure (Thursday May 18, 2006 at 8:32 pm)


Tristan climbing above the Mediterranean on Capo Noli’s sea cliffs

Summary, overview
Area: Finale Ligure, Italy
Overall rating: *****
Suitable for children ages: all
Type of rock: limestone
Type of climbing: bolted, sport
Best time of year: spring, summer, fall
Camping: Two commercial campgrounds or free unofficial camping at Monte Cucco
Guidebooks: Finale Y2K, by Andrea Gallo
Pros: Many easy and hard climbs on excellent rock, safe base area, easy approaches, good food, lots of other fun things to do
Cons: Thieves
How to get there: Drive the A10 from Nice or get to it from Milan and then take either the Orco Feglino exit or the Finale exit and head towards Finalborgo. Park and walk into the old town (Finalborgo) central square. Here you’ll find two essential establishments: the Bar Centrale and the Rockstore.
Other nearby activities: the beach, bicycling, swimming, sailing, surfing, snorkeling, windsurfing, caves, museums, old castles, ruins, old churches, concerts, good food.

Capo Noli Sea Cliffs
Posted by sibylle in Italy, finale ligure (Sunday May 14, 2006 at 8:26 pm)

Tristan on his first sea cliff
The nearby sea cliffs at Capo Noli (6 km from Finale) provide easy climbs on smooth, polished rock as well as a 400 m long bolted traverse (about 1,200 feet). Three climbing areas lie above the ocean: Dancing Dalle, with 10 routes ranging from 5c to 7a; I Pliastri, with 11 climbs from 5a to 7a+, and Nolitudine, with 13 routes from 4b to 6b+. We climbed at Nolitudine with my seven-year old son on several easy routes (five climbs are 4b – 4c, about 5.7). One of our favorites, Spigola (4b) gives beautiful views of aqua waves crashing to the rocks below. Consult Gallo’s Finale Y2K guide for directions to the cliff and route descriptions.
After your fingers tire from crimping on small holds and pockets, you can swim in the Mediterranean or play in the sand. Pebbles and rocks predominate over sand at the beach, but the warm water invites swimming and splashing in the waves. The routes at the cliffs are near three parking areas, and you rappel down to the base of the climb. You can head back to the village of Varigotti for lunch, or bring a snack.
For rest day activites, see:
Finale Ligure - Beaches, Castles, and Caves

for more info, see:
Finale Ligure, Italy

Friend needs kidney for her daughter
Posted by sibylle in Uncategorized (Wednesday May 10, 2006 at 8:38 pm)


My friend wrote me today that her daughter needs a kidney. I thought I’d pass on her letter.

Dear friends and family,

You probably know that our vivacious, just-turned-four year old daughter, Eva, has been on dialysis for two and a half years, and on the list to receive a kidney transplant for nineteen months.

Most kids who are on the list to receive a kidney wait less than six months. Her doctor told us yesterday that if she isn’t transplanted soon, she has about a one in ten chance of dying within a year.

We have had a number of amazing people try to donate a kidney to Eva, including aunts, grandparents, friends, a cousin, even a work colleague of Juan David’s. Unfortunately, each was unable to donate because of an incompatibility or an unforeseen health issue.

We are unable to simply wait on the list any longer. We are writing in the hopes that one of you reading this letter might consider donating a kidney to Eva.

For Eva, a kidney transplant means that she will live. And a life with a functioning kidney will be very different - and better! - than the one she has known. She has a dialysis catheter and a feeding port on her abdomen (her “tubes”) that need to stay clean and in place. She has never been able to swim or take a bath, as she cannot be submerged. Eva has had ten surgeries, the last of which was on her fourth birthday. She is likely to have another within a week. Adults and older kids on dialysis say that they feel tired all the time, and nauseous most of the time. They can’t taste anything but salt - all other food tastes metallic. Eva has never experienced anything else, so she doesn’t “know” any of this, but it’s easy to imagine how amazing she will feel. One moment I dream about all the time is watching Eva as she experiences her first taste of food!

Eva doesn’t remember ever not being on dialysis. She has mostly been on peritoneal dialysis, which we can do at home (12 hours each night), but she recently lost her catheter to infection, and had three weeks of hemodialysis treatments before replacing her peritoneal dialysis catheter. This was one of the most difficult times we’ve had. It felt like her whole life was about her illness. We are back to doing dialysis at home, but she’s fighting an infection now, and it looks like she may lose the catheter again. If this is true she will be on hemodialysis until she is transplanted. Just thinking about this makes me incredibly sad, and thankful for the life that we have had up to this point. I am hopeful that a donor will turn up, and the interim period of hemodialysis will be short.

A normal adult needs about 50% function in one kidney to feel normal and live well and long. Donating a kidney does not increase your risk for kidney disease, shorten life expectancy or preclude normal activities. Of course, a bizarre accident, say a hockey puck to just the right spot, could damage or destroy a kidney, and you wouldn’t have a back-up. So while there are risks to having only one kidney, they are minimal. The greater risks are those that are shared with any surgery - possibility of allergic reaction to anesthetic, blood infection, etc. Those risks, while real, are very rare.

A likely donor would have the following characteristics: under 60 years of age, generally healthy without high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes. Eva’s blood type is B, so she can receive a kidney from someone with blood type O or B (actually, even about 10% of type A blood is compatible with B, so if you are type A it is unlikely that you would work as a donor, though not impossible).

The “work-up” to see if you’re a potential donor takes about three months. It starts by simply taking your blood pressure three days in a row. Then there is a blood draw to test for compatibility, and if you are compatible there is another round of blood and urine tests. If everything looks fine at that point, a surgery date can be set. Then a full day of tests is scheduled at OHSU, the hospital where Eva will have her transplant. If you live in Oregon, this test will be soon after the others. If you live out of state, they will be scheduled a few days before the surgery. The day of testing includes tests to ensure that you are healthy enough to receive anesthesia, and of course they image your kidneys to make sure you have two! Anyone who would consider donating would need to come to Portland for about ten days - the likely hospital stay would be three to five days. Our wonderful support network of parents and friends are putting together a fund to cover lost wages for the donor.

The kidney would be taken through a regular incision, most likely on the side of the abdomen and about eight inches long.

The recovery period depends on whom you ask. The transplant coordinator will tell you four to six weeks, but all of the donors I’ve spoken with have said that they were back at work within a week or two.

If you want further information about donating a kidney to Eva, please don’t hesitate to call or email me (503-775-9752 and My friend Jennifer Williamson, who donated a kidney to her son, has also offered to be available to answer questions about the donation process. You can reach her at 503-336-3702. Our transplant coordinator, Debbie Whitehurst, at 503-494-6635, is wonderful and well-informed, available to talk and answer questions, and is the person to get you started should you choose to pursue donation
All our love,

Sara, Juan David and Eva Vélez

Camp 4 in the 60s
Posted by sibylle in Yosemite (Sunday May 7, 2006 at 9:19 pm)


My mother and I in Camp 4 in the 60s

Often, people ask how long I’ve been climbing and I find that question hard to answer. Do I say, “Since I was three,” which is when my Dad first took me to the mountains? Or should I reply, “Since I was eight,” which is when he first took me on technical routes using pitons and taught me to rappel (in a Dülfersitz and I really hated that. It’s incredibly painful!).

In any case, here’s an early picture that my father, Richard Hechtel, took of my mother and me at a picnic table in Camp 4. I’ve got another one with my grandmother in it too! I need to scan that one.

One of my earliest Camp 4 memories is of my Dad taking off with three other climbers to do the Lost Arrow. As it got later and later, my mother nervously paced, wondering where he was. Eventually, we had dinner without him (not the first, and by no means the last time!). Richard ended up spending the night on top of the Arrow with his three friends since they couldn’t get the Tyorlean to work. That’s a pretty small bivvy, so I’m glad I was too young to be along on that adventure!

Indian Creek gear notes IV: Cat Wall
Posted by sibylle in utah (Friday May 5, 2006 at 7:19 pm)


Fisher Towers

Here are more gear notes for Indian Creek climbs.
And again I’ll add the same disclaimer: they’re not my notes; don’t depend on them; I’m not responsible for writing the notes nor for what you do with them.


9 Lives (5.11c/d, *****, 120’) Outstanding fun. Gear: (1) #0.4, (2) #0.5, (1) #0.75, (5) #1 Camalots; (4) #2.5 Friends; (2) #2, (1) #3 Camalots. Note that for the first half of the splitter crack, #2.5 Friends work, but #1 Camalots is tipped out; without #2.5 Friends, you’ll need more #2 Camalots.

ACME Plaque Me (5.11b/a, ***.5, 100′) Start weird then thin hands to hands above. Gear: (2 each) #0.3, #0.4 (3 each) #0.5 to #2, (1 to 2) #3 Camalots. Small Aliens for start.

Cat Nap (.10a, ***, 75’+/-) left-facing corner with flare section 150’ left of Tom Cat (plaque says .10+) Gear: (1) #0.3, (1) #0.4, (1) #1, (2) #2, (3) #3 Camalots, but probably want more #1 to #3. Note that for flare anything between #1 & #3 fits.

Tom Cat (5.10b, ****.5, 90’). Great corner – keeps going at perfect hands. Gear: (1-2) #1, (4-6) #2, (3-4) #3.

Unnamed No. 19 in DB book (10b/c, ***.5, 140′) Long right facing hands and wide hands corner a ways left on the wall. Gear: (0-1) #0.75, (1-3) #1, (5) #2, (4-6) #3, (1) #3.5 or #4 Camalots, save at least (3) #3 Camalots for up high.

Unnamed No. 23 in DB book (5.10b/c, 70′, **) This is the Big hands flake - a little dirty as listed in the Sharp Guide. Sharp’s description is accurate. The flake is not very distinct and the crack splits at an angle to the face. Gear: (1) #0.5, (1) #0.75, (1) #1, (1 – 3) #2, (3 – 4) #3 C, (0-1) #3.5, (1 opt) #4 Camalots.

Unnamed No. 24 tips corner. Tried as TR from #23 w/ directional but couldn’t do. Crack runs out – not sure what to do.

Trip to the Vet – No. 25 in DB book (5.10b, **.5, 100’). Right of Unnamed Flake. Starts dicey with thin face & small cams. Not sure of order between this and others in area. Gear used: Start- 2 med nuts & #0.4 C. Main route – (1) #0.75, (3) 1, (2) #2, (2) 3 C. Suggest at least 1 more each #1 through #3 and maybe a #3.5 or #4 high.

Dead Crow (5.11d, ****.5, 150’) S.H. stamped on bolt hangers. Thin hands splitter to 45 deg angle fists roof. Although the climb is a little broken, the roof is fantastic and up the * rating. Lower splitter 5.11a green to red Camalot; avoid loose blocks at base of roof with easy face climbing left; roof is great fun - mostly fists and cupped hands. Gear: (2-3) #0.3 w/ back cleaning at start; (4) #0.75, (4) #1, (used 3 but take 5) #2, (4-5) #3, (0-1) #3.5 Camalots. Take plenty of long runners to reduce rope drag as route wanders. Save some in #0.75/#1 range after splitter to start face climbing.

Alley Cat (5.11d/c for me w/ small hands, *****, 120’) Great route, allot of tight hands, roof at top is #2 C size. Crack gradually gets > as usual. Gear: (1) #0.4, (2) #0.5, (4) #0.75, (6) #1, (3) #2, (1) #3 Camalots, but I stretched out gear a little; probably want to take/use 1 more of each & 2 more #1’s.

Kool Cat (5.11c/b, ****, 80’). Mostly fingers & wide fingers corner w/ 3 cruxes. Gear used: (3) #0.3 (2) 0.4, (3) 0.5, (2) 0.75, (2) 1, (1) #2 C. Take more #0.3 & 0.4 C.

Kitty Litter – No. 33 in DB book (5.10c, ***, 95′) 300′ L of Curiosity. Fingers low then pods Gear used: (3 each) #0.3 to #0.75 C, (1 each) #1, 2, & 3 Camalots, (3) Green Aliens.

The Line King – No. 35 in DB book (5.10c, **.5, 95’) Improbable line that never gets too hard. Face is relatively easy. Gear: (1) #0.3, (1) #0.4, (2-3) #0.5, (2) #0.75, (2) #1 (1-2) #2, (1-3) #3, (1) #3.5, (2-3) #4 Camalots. Take, and use, plenty of long slings.

Doggie Doo – No 39 in DB book (5.11b start then 5.10b chimney and exit, ***, 65’) Note that plaque says “Doggie Doo” not “Doggie Go” as in DB book. Nice and silty for a good grovel. Gear: (several) small Aliens/Camalots/large nut; (1-2 each) #0.4 & #0.5 C; (2) #0.75, (4) #1, (2) #2, (1) #3 Camalots.

Curiosity – No. 43 in DB book (5.11a, 100′, ****) Start is thin and thin hands or layback (easier); roof to left is perfect hands; OW/chimney not bad; fists above OW/chimney to finish. A noncompromising rack would be Camalots: #.5(2), #.75(2), #1(2 or 3), #2(3), #3(4), #3.5(2), #4 or #4.5. It is nice to know that #2’s fit in the roof, #3’s fit in the back of the OW/chimney, and #3.5’s fit above the OW/chimney.

King Cat (5.11c, *****,____) Start .10d/.11a. Gear: (2 each/1 set low & 1 set high) #0.4 to #2, (4-5/ 2-3 low & 2-3 high) #3; a # 3.5 may work instead of a #3 at roof.

Mad Dog (5.11c, ****) Allot of thin hands, I don’t remember any decent rests after it goes thin hands. Technical and strenuous.

Bad Cat (5.12c?, ***.5) Desperate finger crack through headwall down low; starts thin goes to fat fingers. Thin hands above goes on forever. Did only first 2/3 on TR (anchor on climb to L), so I don’t know about the upper section.

Johnny Cat – No. 48 in DB book (5.11c/b, ****, 50-60ft?) Surprising rests the entire way except for the last 15ft (crux). Fingers to fat fingers and butterflies at the top. First 15 ft is stimulating w/o pro, but not too difficult (5.10a+/-). Gear: (allot/ 7-9) #0.5, (1) #1, (2) #0.75, (opt 2) #0.4 Camalots. Could use small stuff at start but it is easier to climb through.

Pinky Groovy – No. 52 in DB book (5.11a, ***, short) Gear: (4) #0.4C/Yellow A, (1) #0.5C, (1) #1 and/or #2 Camalots; (1) large nut for upper transition.

Pussy Galore – No. 53 in DB book (5.11a, **, 95’) Fun climbing but quite dirty. Gear: (1) #0.75, (2) #1, (1) #2, (2+) #3, (2) #3.5, (1) #4.

Pit Bull Terror – No. 56 in DB book (5.11b, ****.5, 120’) Gear: (0-1) #0.4, (1-2) #0.5, (2) #0.75, (2-3) #1, (3-4) #2, (4-5) #3, (0-2) #3.5 Camalots.

Unnamed No. 58 in DB book – 1st pitch only (5.11b, **, 180’) There is 510d/.11a OW final move at top of pitch. Long varied pitch with some “character” and a little soft and loose rock. We did as 3 pitches due primarily to gear complications. If done as 1 pitch then rope drag would be a big problem. Gear: allot of all #0.5 to #4 C, keep #4 C for very top. There is an intermediate sling around a chockstone. The end of the pitch is on an upper slab/ledge with two bolts. There is a second pitch that looks steep, inviting, and hard; potentially hands working down to fingers (?).

Fat Cat – No. 59 in DB book (5.10d, ****, ____) Gear: (2) #0.5, (0-1) #1, (2-3) #2, (3-6) #3 Camalots.

Crewcut – No. 61 in DB book (5.11b, ***.5, ____) Good fun roofs, especially the 1st. Geaqr: (1) #0.4, (1) #0.75, (5-6) #3, (1-2) #3.5 Camalots.

Cat Man Do – No. 62 in DB book (10a/b, ***, 80′) Gear sum by several: (0-1) #0.3, (0-1) #0.4, (0-1) #0.5, (1-2) #0.75, (3-4)#1, (3-4)#2, (1-3)#3 Camalots.

Bachelor Party – No. 63 in DB book (5.11d start, 5.11c rest of route, ****, 80’?) Gear (approx.): (2 each) Blue to Red Aliens maybe w/ extra Yellows, (or = w/ 2 #0.3 & 3 #0.4 C); (2) #0.5C, (2) #0.75, (1) #1, (1) #2 Camalots. Could also use #1 & #2 F as tweener sizes.

Chesire Cat – No. 64 in DB book (5.11b, ***, 120’?) Did as TR but gear looks mostly #0.75 C and smaller including some thin and a couple nuts.

Unnamed #67 in DB Book - 50′ right of Bachelor Party (5.11c, **.5, 60’) Thin crack - allot of fingers some face help. Gear: (2-take more) purple/black A, (2 – take many more) blue A, (2) green A, (2 – take 3) #0.3C, (2 – take 3) #0.4C, (3) #0.5 C, (1) #0.75 C; could also use small/med nuts.

Meow Mix (5.10c, 2 pitches .10b/a & .10c, ***.5, 168′ total) Crux on second id wide fingers and tight hands up high. Gear: (2 each) #0.5 to #4 Camalot, + an extra #0.4/0.5 C, and (1) #4.5 Camalot.


Excuse Station (5.11c, *****, 115′) Outstanding thin hands/tight hands splitter with some wide finger/butterflies high up near top. Gear used: (1) #0.5, (6) #0.75, (5) #1 Camalots, recommend at least another #0.5 and #1 Camalots. Located far left just right of the cat on top of the cliff and just left of a left-facing corner that is a pinacle against the wall.

Main area from left to right

Gurka (5.12a, ***.5, 65’) Gear: (1) #0.3, (3) #0.4, (7) #0.5, (3) #0.75, (1) #1 Camalots

Raja (5.11b, ****, 90’) Gear: (6) #0.3, (4) #0.4, (2) #0.5, (2 each but don’t need all) #0.75 through #2 Camalots.

Ninja (5.11d, ****, 90’) Plaque. Gear: (1) #0.3 C, (2) Yellow Aliens, (3) #0.4 C, (2) Red Aliens; (3) #0.5 C; (1 each) #0.75, #1, #2 Camalots. Key is #0.5 Camalots up high – take more.

Sharka Zulu - #7 in DB book (5.10c, **, 140’) Gear: (1) #0.3, (2) #0.4(2) #0.5, (2) #0.75, (3) #1, (3) #2, (3) #3, (1) #3.5, (2) #4, (1) #4.5 Camalots, but recommend (1 more) each , especially #2 and #3 Camalots.

Pente (5.11b, ****) Crux is up high in dihedrals (wide fingers/thin hands), visible part is hands/tight hands mostly #1 Camalot. Gear: (2-5) #0.5, (4-5) #0.75, (5) #1, (2-3) #2, (1) #3; lower numbers with some back cleaning.

Slot Machine (5.11b/c, *****, 165’) Gear: (1-2) Blue Aliens/#0.2 Camalots, (2-3) #0.3, (2-3) #0.4, (1-3) #0.5, (2-3) #0.75, (8-9) #1,.(1) #2 Camalots.

Dr. Carl (D) Finger crack/double cracks (5.10b, ***, 50’) Gear: (2-3) #0.3, (2-3) #0.4, (2) #0.5, (1) #0.75, (1) #1, (1) #2. (1) medium nut. Actually nearly any stuff from #0.3 to #0.5 will work.

Wigglin (Worm?) (5.11b. ****, 150’?) Tight hands leading to wide hand and fist. Gear: (5) #1, (4) #2, (4) #3, (1) #3.5 at very top. Gear: (5) #1, (4) #2, (4) #3, (1) # 3.5 at very top.

Unnamed #12 in DB book, hand crack in left-facing corner (5.10a, **.5, 65’). Gear: (4) #2, (3) #3, (1) #3.5,.

Unknown, Two Pitch Wide Crack, probably #13 in DB book (5.10b/c & 5.10d, ***, 110’ +/- & 70’ +/-) 1st pitch mostly #4 Camalot with some >, 2nd pitch mostly #4 Camalots) Gear: 1st mostly #4 some > & <., 2nd mostly #4. Can rap from right side of ledge on top of first pitch.

Three Fools short climb on side of pillar. (5.10b, ***, 60') Mostly #3 Camalots and maybe a #3.5 will fit.

Ernie Used to Box (5.10c, ***.5, 100’ from ledge 115' from ground). Splitter with curve right straight up to begin then angle right and curve up in half-moon shape. Finishes in OW. Gear: (1) #0.5, (2) #2, (2) #3, (2) #3.5, (5) #4, (1) #4.5, Camalots plus draws to reduce drag.

The following are around corner to right above reservoir plus/minus

Unnamed #19 in DB book (5.11c/b, ***.5, 80’ or less?) Very nice climb. Allot of locker fingers. Gear: (1) Green A; (1) #0.3 C, (5) #0.4 C; (2) # 1 Friends; (2) #0.5 C, (3-4) #0.75 C, (1) #1 C. But I used some #0.75’s in pockets to save #0.4’s. may want more #0.4 C and #1 Friends.

Dreadasaurus - #24 in DB book (5.10d, ****, 90’) Good warm up to Slot Machine. Gear: (optional) medium nuts at start, (1-2) #0.3, (2-3) #0.4, (2-3) #0.5, (2-3) #0.75, (2-4) #1, (2-3) #2, (0-1) #3 Camalots.:

Left Crack (5.12b/c?, ****, short) Short and stout as promised. Gear: (2) #0.2, (1-2) #0.3, (3) #0.4, (5) #0.5 Camalots.

Unnamed (#26 in DB book) (5.10b, ***.5, ) Gear: (3) #2, (3) #3, (2) #3.5, (1) #5 Camalots.

French Fried - #31 in DB book (5.11c/d, ****, 150’?) Maybe a little easierfor somewone w/ big hands. Awkward tighter-than-knee OW. Go up wide crack in flake to left of corner then at 110’ move right with fun move (5.10) into corner and finish 40’ to top. Gear: allot of #4 Camalots (need I say more!); and maybe (2-3) #3.5, (2-3) #3, (1-2) #2; and (1-2 total) from #0.5 to #1 Camalots. After transition to corner need (1 total) #0.5 to #1; then (1 each?) #2, #3, & #4 Camalots.

Unnamed #33 in DB book (5.10b, ***, 70’) Gear: (1) #1, (2) #2, (2) #3, (2) #3.5 Camalots

Warm-up Handcrack (#37 in DB Book) (5.10c/b, ****, 105’) Gear: (1 each) #0.4, #0.5, #0.75, & #1; (at least 5) #2, (at least 2) #3 Camalots.

Frosted Flakes (5.11c, ****, 90’) Gear: (1) #0.75, (1-2) #1, (1-2) #2, (4) #3, (2) #3.5, (3-4) #4 Camalots. Save (1-2) #3 and (1) #1 or #2 for the top.


Where’s the Bong? – No. 8 in DB book ( 5.10c, ***, 150’ - 160’). Bandito stamped on bolt hanger. Main crack wide, supplemental on left tight hands – used both. Gear: (2) #0.5, (3) #0.75, (4) #1, (2) #2, (4) #3, (2) #3.5, (2) #4, (1) #4.5 Camalots; (1) #3 BB. A #5 C and another #3 BB would be helpful.

Thank God for Pods – No. 11 in DB book (5.11b, *****, 120’) Gear: (1) #0.5, (1) #0.75, (8) #1, (2-4) #2 Camalots.

Goddam – No. 12 in DB book (5.12b, ****, 80’ – 90’) Hard tight hands down-facing flake. Gear (1 opt) #0.3, (1-2) #0,4, (??) #0.5, (3) #0.75, (1-2) #1, (??) #2, (3) #3 Camalots.

Note that book is incorrect in No’s 13 & 14 with descriptions and locations. Need to work out what is what. L-F corner shown as No. 14 in pictures has plaque “1st 5.10, 2nd 5. “, looks mostly fists to OW.

Unnamed No. 17 in DB book (5.11a crux move, but mostly 5.9, ***, 95’) Crux where crack pinches out to tips, about .10c for thin fingers folks but harder for others. Gear: (1 each) #0.2, #0.3, #0.4 C; (1 to 2 each) #0.5, 30.75, #1 C; (5) #2 Camalots.

Walter Rosenthal tribute
Posted by sibylle in skiing (Monday May 1, 2006 at 6:31 pm)


Walter Rosenthal photo by Jim Stimson

Jim Stimson sent me the following tribute in memory of our friend Walter Rosenthal. I remember the time Tom Dunwiddie and I flew to Mammoth from Orange County, slept at Walter’s, and then got a ride to the skiing sitting on the trunk of his car holding on to the roof rack while he gave us a ride up to where we started skiing to Yosemite.

Here’s Jim:

Walter Rosenthal

The afternoon of April 6th will be etched in ours minds forever. It dawned as a bluebird morning, but the sunny spring day was darkened by afternoon by a tragedy that stunned family, friends, and employees of Mammoth Mountain. In no time, the entire eastern Sierra was grieving the untimely death of Walter Rosenthal. The support and sympathy has been immense: with emails, letters, and phone calls coming in from all over the country. Many of the well-wishers never knew Walter or the other victims, but have been touched by this tragic story of bad luck, desperation, heroism, and courage. The newspaper coverage went National that same afternoon and by the following day, the story spread overseas to Thailand and perhaps beyond.

Charles Walter Rosenthal was born and raised in Burbank, California. He would have been 59 years old on April 26th. Walter graduated from UCLA with a degree in Political Science. In college he was involved with the local spelunking club and ended up exploring remote and uncharted caves from Nevada to Mexico. His interests eventually turned to climbing and he subsequently migrated to Yosemite Valley. One of Walter’s endeavors was soloing the Zodiac Wall of El Capitan, which took him a week and a half. He climbed only in the mornings while it was cool, then hung out in his hammock and read all afternoon when the sun crept around the corner and started baking the cliff. Walter was a gregarious person, but it often suited him to strike out on adventures alone. When he moved to the eastern Sierra in the early 70’s, Rosenthal quietly began to tick off a number of first ski descents: Para-Chute off the east face of Pyramid Peak, Red Slate Mountain, the Checkered Demon, and the couloir down the center of the Sevehah Cliffs of Laurel Mountain. His adventures were pure and without any fanfare. Walter was modest and humble, extremely bright and engaging. He was great fun to be with. Among
Walter’s plans was starting a Ph.D. program in the autumn. His research would have changed the current conception of how snow crystals change within the mountain snow pack.

For the many people who knew Walter, words cannot begin to describe the depth of the pain and sorrow of his passing. Walter’s toothy smile could light up a room, and his laugh was loud, rolling and infectious. Above all, Walter had an intense love of life and family. His was a kind and sensitive soul, and there was no one more big-hearted. Walter was known to do anything for a friend, which is why he is gone. Walter lost his life trying to help his friends. When Walter died, a part of all of us died. The radiant glow of his smile has been extinguished, and there is emptiness and silence now. What remains are the memories, photographs, and shattered lives. With time, this dark cloud will move on, but we will always miss him.

Walter is survived by his wife, Lori Michelon and his 14 year old daughter, Lily. Lori is an instructional aid at the Mammoth Middle School and an adjunct teacher of art at Cerro Coso Community College. Lily is a straight A student at Mammoth High School. Walter made a screen saver for Lily for their home computer which reads, “I love you ‘bug-bug.’”

Personal finances, including mortgage payments and college tuition for Lily are of great concern. There have been memorial funds established at the Union Bank of Mammoth Lakes for all three patrollers; the Walter Rosenthal Memorial Fund, the Scott McAndrews Memorial Fund, and the James Juarez Memorial Fund. Union Bank, PO Box 2729, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546.

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