Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Dec 31, 1969
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Fall

The Shit Times by RPC


It’s Friday night. Travelocity special to Phoenix – a great deal! Barely make the 6:30pm flight out of PDX. 4 bags. 150 lbs of gear. My Saturday outfits; my Sunday outfits; my soap collection and make-up kit for starters. Cheap car rental and a 3 hour drive put us in the East Cochise Stronghold. It’s 1am. Too lazy to pitch the tent. Quick sleep on the front seats of the economy rental. The alarm goes off. Shit – no pen to fill out the fee envelope! Off we go hiking up to the Rockfellows.
The Rockfellows GroupRockfellows

Granite here is amazing – beautiful green lichen-covered climbing wonderland! The sun is shining brightly. The skies are blue. Life is good. Rockfellows tower proudly above us.
End PinnacleEnd Pinnacle

A bite to eat & off we go. Shirley leads the first pitch.


Going is slabby and then steep but the granite is well featured. Shirley exclaims her agreement: Endgame’s indeed 4-stars! Fun fun fun!! Soon enough she’s at the belay and it’s my turn. Not feeling warmed up (& sucking). My movement is tenuous. Make it mid-way up the pitch. Face to face with the crux. A side-pull on the left. A nubbin pinch on the right. Eyes aiming for the jug higher up.

A loud “pop” and I’m airborne. WTF?! Did a hold just rip? My left arm is hanging limp at my side. Pain shoots through me. I’m screaming like a banshee. Flirt with passing out. I yell to up to Shirley. She’s out of view above me.

“My arm! My fucking arm!! ”
EndgameEnd to Endgame

Get lowered. 80 feet below I writhe in pain atop a boulder. Shirley raps down. Shoulder bone sticks up. Shirley pulls the ropes and packs our shit. The stumbling hike down takes two hours. Muscles contract and the pain grows worse. Shirley carries a pack heavier than she is. An hour drive to the local ER. Two shots of valium. It’s good times again. Wait – the shoulder needs a reset. OK more pain. Another loud “pop” and Vicodin pills.

It’s Monday morning. We sit at the airport. We’ve been through this shit in Dragoons before. Memories of last New Year’s come back to us: 50 hours of driving for the sake of a badly sprained ankle and zero climbing. Still have that swelling. We curse the great Cochise. Our ancestors never persecuted the Apaches. Why this streak of bad luck? We’re late for work. “It was a sweet-ass pitch” Shirley tells me. Yeah, I know – we’ll be back soon enough. My left ankle’s turn.
Gift From Cochise"Happy New Year A-Hole!"-Cochise


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-20 of 47
Martin Cash

Martin Cash - Nov 6, 2007 9:39 pm - Voted 10/10

Dang, that sucks man.

Really sorry to hear about this Radek. What exctly happened? Your arm just popped out, or you fell and it happened on the way down, or you got hit by a rock?


rpc - Nov 6, 2007 9:51 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Dang, that sucks man.

Thanks Martin.
I was pulling on a hold and my shoulder popped out of its socket. Never happened before - never realized how much it hurts :) thanks again for good word man.

Zzyzx - Nov 7, 2007 12:49 am - Hasn't voted


Mine popped out when I was hit by a car just before the New Year's, so I know how painful it is. Hope it'll heal quickly.
Cool photos. Looks like a great place to climb!


rpc - Nov 7, 2007 11:39 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Bummer

Thank you very much Kris. No fun that stuff for sure! thanks for good word. Yeah - Cochise is one incredible place for climbing!


klwagar - Nov 7, 2007 1:29 am - Voted 10/10

Incredible looking place

but sorry to hear about your arm. Glad you made it down ok.


rpc - Nov 7, 2007 11:39 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Incredible looking place

thank you very much - yeah, it's a great place! beautiful rock.

Aaron Johnson

Aaron Johnson - Nov 7, 2007 10:27 am - Hasn't voted


Glad to read you're okay. One of our partners has had a similar problem with the shoulder and we've had to extricate her out of the wilderness a couple times when her shoulder became dislocated. I can't imagine the pain, but it LOOKS like it's debilitating to say the least. As a CLIMBER, this is a growing concern so you'll need to have your situation looked at and evaluated closely. Hope they can help you stay mended and operational for future climbing! Keep me posted.


rpc - Nov 7, 2007 11:38 am - Hasn't voted

Re: EEEE-gads!

Thanks Aaron. Yeah, it was more painful than I would imagine. Appreciate the good word :)


cp0915 - Nov 7, 2007 12:00 pm - Voted 10/10


You have more 'issues'! The ankle, the shoulder, the eye...what did I forget?


rpc - Nov 7, 2007 12:11 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Geebus!

Yeah - I know, I'm retarded though at least in the shoulder case that was less retarded :)
thanks for visiting.


rhyang - Nov 7, 2007 12:18 pm - Voted 10/10

Oooouch !

Soft tissue injuries suck :( I hope you are feeling better soon Radek ! "What a drag it is getting old"


rpc - Nov 7, 2007 12:27 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Oooouch !

Thanks Rob. Yeah - dirty old man is what I am....don't mind the "dirty" part but the "old" shit is getting old quick :)

Brian Jenkins

Brian Jenkins - Nov 7, 2007 12:55 pm - Voted 10/10


Bummer, man. Hope you mend quickly. Yer running out of body parts to injure. At least you still have your, er, looks?


rpc - Nov 7, 2007 1:40 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Ew,no.

Thanks for good word man.

Dan Leonhard

Dan Leonhard - Nov 7, 2007 5:18 pm - Voted 10/10


Hell of a story! The 2 hour hike out must have sucked tremendously. I hope everything heals well!


rpc - Nov 7, 2007 7:00 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: damn!

Thanks Dan - the thought of a wasted trip is almost as painful ;)

Dan Dalton

Dan Dalton - Nov 7, 2007 7:06 pm - Voted 10/10

At least you have some...

sick pics! Really gorgeous rock and gorgeous area. Well written, and very interesting. Hope you heal soon and get back out!



rpc - Nov 7, 2007 7:25 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: At least you have some...

Thanks a lot Dan!


kamil - Nov 7, 2007 7:41 pm - Voted 10/10

Bloody hell, Radek... got quite a climbing-related medical history! Przez sport do kalectwa, as some people say here... just a sick joke :) Get well and be back in action soon!


rpc - Nov 7, 2007 7:42 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Bloody hell, Radek...

hehehe :)
Thank you very much Kamil!

Viewing: 1-20 of 47



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