The Shit Times

Page Type
Trip Report
Arizona, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Dec 31, 1969
Trad Climbing
8741 Hits
95.97% Score
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Page By:
The Shit Times
Created On: Nov 6, 2007
Last Edited On: Dec 14, 2009

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: 21-40 of 47

rpc - Nov 12, 2007 12:47 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Welcome to the world of Hurt!

Thank you very much Chief!
Yeah, I'm getting old & getting there quick it seems. Never made it to Entrance Dome - I believe this is the one (not too far from Wasteland?) that's home to some of your work in the Stronghold, right? One of these days...
Thanks for good word Chief!


rpc - Nov 12, 2007 12:52 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Shit Times is right...

Much thanks J. - yeah, sounds like you're in a similar "pile" eh? take care dude!


Aspen - Nov 12, 2007 12:17 pm - Voted 10/10


OUTCHHHHHHH!!!! I can actually feel it in the TR!!



rpc - Nov 12, 2007 12:52 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Outch!

Thank you Sir :)


mvs - Nov 12, 2007 1:36 pm - Voted 9/10

Best of luck

healing up Radek. I feel your pain on the wasted weekend too! You guys are "Mr. and Mrs. Productive", I wish you a speedy recovery where you manage to have fun anyway.


rpc - Nov 12, 2007 5:25 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Best of luck

heheh :) thanks Michael!


apachedino - Nov 12, 2007 7:04 pm - Hasn't voted

Know how it feels

I have dislocated my right shoulder 5 times now, only three times climbing, and only one on a route( once inside and once bouldering. The pain is is intense. Luckily I just have a shallow glenoid socket and I haven't torn any rotator cuff muscles (I think. Afterwards it's always shaky for about a month. Luckily I have been able to avoid a recurrence for 2 years. I have become mush more careful about certain arm positions on that side and know what I can and cannot do. Still climbing and I hope that this injury heals for you and doesn't harm your climbing career. The bands the orthopedic doctor gave helped a lot, though the excersize are tedious and take forever to complete.


rpc - Nov 15, 2007 8:33 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Know how it feels

thank you for the good word & advice. I thought I had resonded to all comments but somehow I missed yours?? My apologies - I always figured that if someone takes the time to comment, the least one can do is to respond....and somehow I did not till now. Sorry!


rpc - Nov 13, 2007 1:11 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Damn

"cp0915 forgot the bee sting in the lip."

:) heheheh --- ahhh the good times. Thanks for the visit.

banzai.barbara - Nov 13, 2007 7:30 am - Voted 10/10


If anything can go wrong, it will.
F**k that!
I wish you will climb faster than bad luck next time. get well soon, man :-)


rpc - Nov 13, 2007 1:12 pm - Hasn't voted


thank you much for good wishes Barbara :)


foreverwild - Nov 13, 2007 2:24 pm - Voted 7/10

Better than a heart attack on the couch

Best wishes for a quick recovery on the shoulder, I mimicked the ankle shot about two months ago and am still healing so I remember your pain quite freshly. CHeers to Shirley on packing you and the gear out.


rpc - Nov 13, 2007 4:42 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Better than a heart attack on the couch

"Better than a heart attack on the couch"

or wose yet, in the office!!

Thanks man!

T Sharp

T Sharp - Nov 14, 2007 11:06 pm - Voted 10/10

Ouch Radek

I dislocated mine skiing, it popped right back in, so I went skiing the next day, and dislocated it again....dumb ass anyway!
It Hurt in certain positions for several years, but better now!
Great job by Shirley getting you off the rock, what an awesome partner. Here`s hoping you heal quickly!


rpc - Nov 15, 2007 5:41 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Ouch Radek

thank you very much Tim! Kinda figured this would not go back to 100% status in the next week or two.
Yeah - Shirley's definitely my favorite partner :)


AJones - Nov 14, 2007 11:30 pm - Hasn't voted

Nice climb though

Too bad - it sure looks like an amazing route though and you did get a good climbing story out of it. My brother (a climber) discolated his shoulder slipping on a wet bathroom floor. I tore both my rotator cuffs this summer (foothold broke while I was in a kind of iron cross move and instead of falling I fought it). Now maybe looking at shoulder surgery's (had two previous surgery's already). Not sure what my point is; except maybe I feel your pain and take care to heal properly (harder than it sounds) or it might be a reoccuring problem.


rpc - Nov 15, 2007 5:44 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice climb though

thank you. Great area - have you had the chance to climb there?

"take care to heal properly (harder than it sounds) or it might be a reoccuring problem"

words of wisdom - just difficult to implement (get restless).


jmc - Nov 15, 2007 5:36 am - Voted 10/10


Heal fast. Sending the positive vibes. I have always had fun reading your reports, until this one. And I have been jealous for a long time tracking all your climbs and travels. You have more good will out there than you know. Continue to be an inspiration and keep us posted on your physical therapy (I have shoulder issues of my own).


rpc - Nov 15, 2007 5:46 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Yikes

"Continue to be an inspiration "

that really IS overly kind on your part (very much appreciated though :) - I think those who had the misfortune of observing my drunken antics at the PDX-SPers beer night (last night) would diagree!
Many thanks & cheers!

Dave Daly

Dave Daly - Nov 15, 2007 11:00 am - Voted 10/10

When Are We Going?

HAHA! Seriously, did you guys make it out there again or is it still a return destination? If so, let me and Deb know. W'eve been wanting to get out to AZ for the lovely granite out there.


Viewing: 21-40 of 47