My drawings have been stolen – Climbing

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When you’re young, you’ll believe almost anything. For example, I thought that two dirtbag climbers I met in Penitente Canyon, Colorado, in 1990—Gus Glitch and Alvino Boone—were using their real names. They were Southern boys, so it was definitely possible. Gus is the correct first name, although later Glitch was doubtful, as it was an exact alliteration. Meanwhile, Aveeno looks suspiciously similar to Aveeno, the lotion brand, and I’ve never met anyone else named Pon.

Gus was stocky, with a raspy smoker’s voice, a red Marlboro in one hand that always burned to ash, and usually a blue Pabst ribbon in the other. He seemed to own one pair of pants — torn, frayed, pink-stained Lycra pantyhose — and a permanent five o’clock shadow. Meanwhile, Alvino was thin, had curly blond afro hair, and wore similarly tattered clothing. They came from North Carolina, told our small crew of visiting New Mexico climbers, started new climbs in Colorado, and were working on local ranches in the San Luis Valley to make money. In 1990, the valley was completely empty, and our crew became fast friends with these two, exchanging betas and the usual trash talk. Before the Instagram, Sprinter, Partner Finder trucks and climbing Meetups, you’d meet other weirdos at the crag – most of us were really weird – and have a good time, maybe even smoke some weed and drink a cheap brew around the campfire. What a good time to be alive!

Personally, I was impressed with the new climbs of Jos and Alvino, as they are easy to climb outside of Benitente, with their small 40 and 50 foot routes. add one, Pocket prick, They got 5.13a after their first ascent; I fired it up one morning, trying hard for its tight pockets on the dark brown board, but wondered, as I clipped the anchors, if I had actually seen the 5.13. (The track gets 5.12b/c now at Mountain Project.)

“I’m not quite sure this is 5.13,” I told Joss as I got off. “But it’s a hell of a climb.”

“Fuck, kid,” he growled, clapping my back with a meaty, nicotine-stained paw, “maybe you’re a lot stronger than you think.”


At Benitente, Goss also laid down a route that gave him 5.14, The color of sincerity, On an attractive little finger of rhyolite at the mouth of the valley.

He told us it was a “full mono B2+ modification for an epic facelift that appeals to the pocket.” After being bothered by his heroic description, I never took the route, but the problem with the opening boulder is, if you avoid standing on the edge of the chimney/barrier to the right, it clearly clocks up to the weak V7, and the top face is 5.11+. At that time in America, a grade of 5.14 was the boldest grade that could be proposed, and there were perhaps a maximum of 10 courses of this difficulty. But Gus, in his reckless way, seemed good at getting it out there and sending his rise to the magazines. (The route gets 5.13b today.)

Unfortunately, perhaps because these men were little-known carpet workers with fake-sounding names, Gus’s rise was not taken seriously. A few other climbers made the hike Colors of sincerity, curious about the high score, but I’m not sure any of them got off to the straight start that Goss envisioned. For years, the road remained shrouded in mystery.

A mountain project commentary from 2005 sheds more light on this mysterious climb. The ubiquitous Anonymous Coward, a login option from the early days of the site,, wrote, “The FA belonged to Gus Glitch… However, his rise was not recognized, because all the CO boys were beaten and believed that no yahoo from NC could be stronger, plus his protector was also a mystery. I climbed with Gus and his friend Kuma from New York City, and although he is usually annoying, ugly, and drunk, he (Gus) is so incredibly strong that he should not be doubted…”

Annoying, ugly, usually drunk –Hey, don’t put this on my tombstone!

A second comment, from Tom Painter a year later, adds more context: “I was hanging out in the valley in 1990 (I think it was) when Gus and his apparently mysterious partner were staying out there… doing odd jobs on local farms to make ends meet. His ‘mystery partner’ was Alvino Boone. Gus and Alvino were very friendly friends, but… The most likely reason for the FA’s questioning is that Gus was cutting through barriers – he wasn’t very crafty about that – the sounds of ping, ping, ping were bouncing up and down the valley. Maybe convenient…?” (Note: Penitente and nearby Rock Garden already had a lot of artificial recessed or straight bits – usually “bidoigts” made of two adjacent holes drilled into the rock with a 3/8-inch bit. Southern boys didn’t do anything unnatural in that era .)

Very friendly friends —This is much nicer. In fact, as I would soon learn, these men had my back.


One day, I jumped onto the nearby road Colors of sincerity Named Colors of emotion, 5.13b above a striking black-and-orange wall with bursts of tiny pockets into mouth-like mouths. I could do all the movements, and I left my drawings Colors That evening to give her a red dot go the next morning. However, when my friend Jeff and I were walking around the corner the next day, my quick draws were gone: all six on the lead nails plus two on the anchors. When I was 18, these bright, colorful, obnoxious 1980s eight-packs were the sum of my gym rack. I was shocked and disappointed – who the hell did this thing, and when? I was trying the road almost until dark.

To channel my anger, I borrowed Jeff’s pull and kicked out Colors, I take a few extra shifts back home in Albuquerque at my hot and miserable moving job (you’d be surprised how many people keep loaded guns and vibrators in their underwear drawers) to buy new shears, and write off my old Quick Drawings job for good. However, they were to miraculously reappear on my next trip to Benitente, two weeks later.

“not shiny, Welcome Damn, do I have a story for you! Gus Glitch said, running over to greet us as we entered the dingy camp. “Just wait, I’ll be right back.” Gus went to his pickup truck, took something out from behind the seat, and sauntered back over.

“Here, buddy,” he said, extending his hand, “your quick drawings.” And there they were, all eight of them, in beautiful, garish clothes.

“Where did you find these?” I stuttered. “I mean, they’re… they’re gone!”

“Oh, dude,” he said, “those punk kids from Del Norte were out here climbing a few days later, and I saw them on one of the kids’ belts. Your gruesome drawings are pretty recognizable, and I remember you telling me they’d been attacked. Apparently, the kids had Watch the draws Colors They lashed out in the dark to steal them. The problem is, Gus noticed my quick pull when the kid was already high off the ground, getting ready to cut the high (20 foot) nail for the first time. Tanks for Hueco, which climbs an easy slope to the point at a double overhang. Gus went over the belt and grabbed the boy’s rope, threatening to pull him if he didn’t get down immediately and give up the stolen devices.

“That little motherfucker’s gone down,” Gus growled. “He was shitting his damn pants!” I could only imagine the scene, this grizzled, disturbed, good-natured barrel-chested boy threatening to kill or at the very least do serious bodily harm to some ignorant child who either did not know the etiquette of quick drawing with a red dot or was more impunity than me; He saw his chance to grab some “free” draws, but instead he would leave the Rock terrified and in tears.

“Oh man, oh man-“Thank you,” I said. “I was sure I would never see my withdrawals again.”

I’d like to think that oddball climbers like Gus Glitch and Alvino Boone are still out there (their names, I later heard through the rumor mill, were pseudonyms allegedly adopted to avoid paying alimony at home), but I’m certainly not. The sport has become too big, too mainstream, too saturated with rock music, saturated with influencers, with paid camps everywhere, crowded, scorecard-y, and sanitized, even if the real personalities are still among us. , they will likely get lost in the mix. Or cancelled. I mean, Gus Glitch threatened to act directly killing Baby on a bunch of quick sketches, even though it’s probably one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.

Matt Summitt is a freelance writer and editor based in Boulder, Colorado.

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