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George Willig's Devil's Tower climb 1979
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By Loyd Wofford III
Apr 27, 2012
DEVILS TOWER

Looking for the video of this climb from april 28, 1979 which was on ABC's wide world of sports. Also wondering which route he took up the west face?


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By Woodchuck ATC
Apr 28, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Refresh my memory....this is the guy who climbed the world trade center, or Sears Tower, or something, back in the 80's? And something else too?


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By Gunkiemike
Apr 28, 2012

See if you can get your hands on a copy of his book about the WTC climb (and other adventures, including his early climbs in the Gunks). "Going it Alone" Dolphin-Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-14726-0.

Factoid - George's cousin was my son's radiologist.

The DT climb was after his WTC climb, and as I recall he took a fall that was ridiculed by some as "staged for the camera". He pulled up several feet of slack (he explained later that he did it to deal with rope drag) and promptly fell off.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Apr 28, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Thanks GunkieMike...I knew I read that book long ago but forgot the theme or incident it covered. It's somewhere hidden in my vast climbing library here. Don't recall the DT event though.


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By 1Eric Rhicard
Apr 28, 2012
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo

I was sorely disappointed when he clipped in to a bolt or something to make a move. That is how I remember it. That memory may be incorrect.


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By Steve Poulsen
From Nederland, CO
Apr 29, 2012
Cho Oyu

I didn't know about his climb of Devil's Tower, but I did watch him climb the west face of the Bastille in Eldo. It was broadcast live on ABC's Wide World of Sports. He clipped into pieces of pro during the commercials and began climbing again as soon as the commerials were over. They had cameras all over the place including one on a huge crane that they managed to drive up the narrow road west of the Bastille. It was quite a production.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Apr 29, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

It was quite a big deal to 'reveal' the climbing scene to the rest of the world back then on Wide World of Sports. I think that is where I first saw highlights of Warren Harding climbing El Cap waaay back in late 50's or early 60's. I looked forward to any climbing clips to see back then, being a confused midwestern child with urges that did not match my geography.


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By Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Apr 29, 2012
rockerwaves

I was part of the film crew for ABC Wide World Of Sports coverage of George Willig and Steve Matous's ascent of Tulgey Wood on Devil's Tower.
I do not remember George taking a fall on that climb.
He did take a rather long fall on near the top of Angel's Landing in Zion.
That leader fall was captured by Emmy award winning journalist and cameraman Mike Hoover on live prime time TV.
Here's a link to an article that I wrote about that event.
rockerwaves.blogspot.com/2011/02/blog-post.html


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By Eric Krantz
From Black Hills
Apr 29, 2012
smoke break, pitch 5 or 6 (or 7??) of Dark Shadows

Olaf Mitchell wrote:
I was part of the film crew .... rockerwaves.blogspot.com/2011/02/blog-post.html


Can you get the video? You must know people in high places.

Edit: Those Zion photos are great! Must have been a blast.


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By Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Apr 29, 2012
rockerwaves

Eric Krantz wrote:
Can you get the video? You must know people in high places. Edit: Those Zion photos are great! Must have been a blast.

I would love one too. I'll look in to it. OK


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By Loyd Wofford III
Apr 30, 2012
DEVILS TOWER

So it was tulgey wood a great west face classic!! Interesting fact about TW is that when the original FA was done it was only rated at 5.9!! I still feel the third pitch is the hardest 5.9 pitch on earth. Still would love to see the video of George Willig's DT climb.


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