The Shit Times

Page Type
Trip Report
Arizona, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Dec 31, 1969
Trad Climbing
8702 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



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Viewing: 41-47 of 47

rpc - Nov 15, 2007 5:51 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: When Are We Going?

heheh :)
You guys need to check out that AZ granite; we on the other hand need to check out Jtree some day hopefully.
thanks for visiting Dave.

brutus of wyde

brutus of wyde - Nov 15, 2007 9:45 pm - Hasn't voted


That sucks, Radek.

You and Shirley still are our idols. Quick healing!

Watch out for the internal scarring and other soft tissue damage from the dislocation. Ask your PT about stretching excercises and dietary supplements/adjustments (I understand that vitamin C increases scarring for example... but don't listen to me do your own research because I'm senile!) to minimize scarring, even before you start rebuilding the rotator cuff muscles/ligaments.

Keep track of your recovery, be real careful to not re-injure, and we'll see you out there!



rpc - Nov 16, 2007 11:58 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Wow

thank you very much for the advice & good word - much appreciated!
"You and Shirley still are our idols"
...heheheheheh :) good one -- if we get our climbing up to 1% of what you've done out there, that will have been a great climbing life for us. Best regards Brutus.


Diggler - Nov 16, 2007 5:28 pm - Voted 10/10

bum deal

Sorry about that, Radek. How much longer, ya figure, 'til you're back in it? While it's definitely a s#!++y situation, it's better when things like this happen at the end of the season, instead of the beginning. May you have a speedy recovery.


rpc - Nov 16, 2007 6:55 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: bum deal

THanks Dirk! Dunno how long - right now I'm just happy to be following Shirely's leads (maybe I milk this longer) :)


MoapaPk - Dec 13, 2009 8:09 am - Voted 10/10

holy cow

I always wondered what happened if someone dislocated a shoulder on a climb.


rpc - Dec 13, 2009 12:21 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: holy cow

it was a relatively easy spot to be in in such pitch above ground & in an area that's 1.5 hrs from the car....things would've been quite different had we been a day's worth of travel in the north cascades & 7 pitches up w/o easy way to bail. thanks for the visit.

Viewing: 41-47 of 47