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Devil's Lake, WI
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Partner pianomahnn


Jun 7, 2002, 3:37 AM
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Devil's Lake, WI
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When did this place become the midwest's bouldering/trad mecca?

And why is that place so damn gorgeous???


jt512


Jun 7, 2002, 9:57 AM
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When they decided not to put any other rocks in the Midwest.

-Jay


jdcox_9


Jun 7, 2002, 10:25 AM
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hey jay,

what's wrong with the climbing in the midwest? just because we don't live near a fault line or a mountain range doesn't mean that the climbing is sub-standard. I'm sure that the climbing is California is great. In fact, I'd like to make it out there someday. But in the meantime, I'm going to appreciate what I do have somewhat near me.


jdcox_9


Jun 7, 2002, 10:27 AM
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pianomahnn,

I agree with you 100% that the climbing at Devil's lake is awesome. The two times i've been there I did mostly toprope (some trad) where are the good bouldering areas at? I'd like to check them out.


Partner pianomahnn


Jun 7, 2002, 3:31 PM
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My experience with the Lake has been pure bouldering. But, Dana and I are planning a week long trip to the region which will consist of plenty of roped climbs*.



*I'm scared of stuff, and trad isn't an option mentally for me right now.


jgill


Jun 11, 2002, 7:59 PM
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When I visited this area several times in 1958-59 I found that the Chicago Mountaineering Club had been coming up there for a number of years. Climbers like the Austrian Stettner bros -Frank & Joe - had been active there. They had climbed Stettner's Ledges on the east face of Long's Peak, one of the early difficult mountain climbs in Colorado. Other climbing clubs (I was associated with the U. of Chicago Mountaineering Club) were using the area, also. During warm, humid weather the use of chalk was essential on the slick quartzite - I don't know how they did without it before.
The famous onion farmer, rock climber Dave Slinger sandbagged many a climber there, including yours truly. He started climbing at the age of 50, and wore waffle-soled boots and a baseball hat (they were rarely seen, then).


Partner pianomahnn


Jun 15, 2002, 4:47 AM
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John,

When I was recently climbing at the Lake with my girlfriend, hardcoredana, we were working the Flatiron problem, one of your problems. This older dude comes by, perhaps close to your age, and said something to the tune of "Don't get discourage, John Gill couldn't do it without chipping a hold."

Is that an old wives tail to try and take away some of your glory, or is it actually true?

Either way, I kept falling off, chip or no chip.


radd


Jun 15, 2002, 6:39 AM
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I seriously doubt that he chipped that route, but yes I have heard frustrated boulderers make this same accusation.

I think devils lake is really cool. This is basically the place where I learned how to climb. I went through most of the grades there.

Another guy that was really active up there was Pete Cleveland. He was putting up routes way ahead of his time. I guess Todd Skinner went there in the 80's and couldnt repeat some of Petes routes. If he had been in a high profile area (Eldorado or Yosemite) everyone would know his name.


Partner pianomahnn


Jun 15, 2002, 6:52 AM
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If the climbing isn't going well for yah that day, at least the scenery is hella cool. It's just so peaceful sitting on top of the hot rocks looking over the valleys.


samshafer


Jun 15, 2002, 7:28 AM
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I have a wonderful memory of that place. About 10 years ago I was bringing my son from KY to spend the summer w/ me in WY. We decided to take the long way thru Chicago, etc & saw something about climbing near Devil's Lake so we went by there. Really hot day, we climbed a little, the boy wasn't into it that day so when we got hot we just went swimming. The picture of him diving off a big rock out in the water is one of my all-time favorites.


hardcoredana


Jun 15, 2002, 3:09 PM
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It's also awesome to end a hard day's climbing with a swim in the lake (swimmer's itch, be damned!).



I love Devil's Lake.


jgill


Jun 16, 2002, 4:08 PM
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Pete Cleveland was a terrific climber. He and I used to boulder and climb together in the Needles and Tetons. I especially recall when we worked on the Outlet Boulder at Sylvan Lake. I have rarely seen such drive. I never saw his climbs at Devil's Lake since he climbed there several years after I had done my stuff, but I certainly heard many words of praise.

I am embarrassed to admit that I did chip a sharp spike off a hold on the Flatiron. I was steamed up trying it on a hot, humid day, and momentarily lost my perspective! Boy, did I regret doing that afterwards. My apologies to the generations that followed!


Partner pianomahnn


Jun 16, 2002, 5:15 PM
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It's still kicking my ass!!

Have you any beta for me? Too much falling is hurting my feet.


hardcoredana


Jun 17, 2002, 10:31 AM
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Hmmmm. . .

You could have at least chipped a short-person friendly hold!



jgill


Jun 17, 2002, 7:44 PM
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I wish I could give you some helpful info on the Little Flatiron, but it's been about 40 years since I climbed it. I just remember it being steep and smooth! I was at Dillon Reservoir last week scrambling around on the quartzite - my feet kept slipping off the footholds, and I thought "just like Devil's Lake!"


Partner pianomahnn


Jun 18, 2002, 5:17 PM
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How about you come there the last week of July? Dana and I will allow you to climb with us for a few days.


jgill


Jun 19, 2002, 3:59 PM
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Whoa! What an invitation! Can I bring a giant dehumidifier/air conditioner along? (+ 5 lbs of chalk).

I recall Dave Slinger used to sandbag new climbers with an unroped ascent of something called "the Monster", near the Little Flatiron, I believe. He would also waffle-foot it up the back of the Leaning Tower. Fritz Wiessner climbed at D.L. as well.


amsam


Jun 19, 2002, 4:40 PM
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For as long as I've been climbing I've heard it reffered to as the best place in the midwest to climb, and the guy that always takes me climbing says he figures it's been growing in popularity since the first time climbers discovered it. Now I get to go as an assistant guide on a climbing trip out to Devil's Lake in July over my birthday. (If I knew how to make those smiley faces work I would post one here)

[ This Message was edited by: amsam on 2002-06-19 16:55 ]


Partner pianomahnn


Jun 19, 2002, 7:54 PM
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John, just make sure that dehumidifier makes it into MY tent.

I've been in Chicago all my life (21 years) and I am still not used to this wicked humidity.


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