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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Feb 15, 2006
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
A new forum for climbers in the Midwest! Be the first (ok, second) to post!

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By Colin Erskine
From Madison, WI
Feb 16, 2006
Myself at the Dodge
Heck yeah....A boot time. Andy doesn't really count b/c he isn't from the "Midwest". Well he isn't here right now. But I'm the first in Wisconsin. Muahhhh ha ha ha.

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By Terry Kieck
Feb 17, 2006
Thanks Andy!

Now let's put this regional forum to good use!

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By B.V.S.
Mar 16, 2006
Colin, Thank you for your recent posts of "new areas" at the lake. It is good to provide info on obscure areas at the lake as this helps thin out some more crowded areas. However, be careful about claiming FAs at the lake. As you know the lake has been climbed and explored by very talented climbers long before you were even a gleam in your father's eye. The absence of chalk does not mean that it hasn't been climbed! I assume that if you are claiming first ascents that you have queried some of the historic Devils Lake hardmen such as Pete C., Dave G., Eric Z., Rich B., Tommy D., etc. Most likely a 6-9ft. long V1-V3 route 200 feet from the lake was climbed years ago by a half-drunk DLFA member as a lark on a Saturday afternoon. There are certainly opportunities for first ascents at the lake if you climb really hard! In fact Jim (shoe guy) put up a hard new route last year. I believe it was 13c? Anyhow keep on pulling down and always check your facts.

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By Colin Erskine
From Madison, WI
Mar 21, 2006
Myself at the Dodge
I really don't know tons of facts or have Devils Lake imprinted in my mind about each area, but none of us had a guidebook. Not like this little area was in it; it could have been but for us it was new. Maybe someone 35 years ago did climb it but it's new for us.

But I don't really make it up to the lake that much. Anyone is welcome to step in and correct me if I'm wrong; it wouldn't be the first time.


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By Spanish John
Mar 21, 2006
Wow. A whole forum to talk about how bad the climbing sucks in the Midwest. Great.

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By Angela Mabe
From Flagstaff,AZ
Mar 21, 2006
On top of Dr. Rubos
Actually climbing in the Midwest is incredible. Horseshoe Canyon Ranch has the best sport climbing in the Midwest. Amazing sandstone. Check it out: climbhcr.com.

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By Jason Himick
From Boulder, CO
Mar 21, 2006
Future Goal
This is MOUNTAIN Project... not crag project or flatland project or climbing project. There aren't any mountains in the Midwest. I'm sorry but I think we have to remove this forum; it just doesn't work. So all you Midwest climbers best be packin' your things and moving to the mountains or just accept that you aren't part of the mountain community. As the old adage goes 'You can't make a mountain out of a molehill'.

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By Nick Stayner
From Billings, MT
Mar 21, 2006
Nick Stayner near the crux. Ryan Minton photo.
Jason, I hope you're being facetious. Otherwise we'd have to remove at least half of this site! And Angela, I've never heard anyone call Arkansas a Midwestern state before?

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By Jason Himick
From Boulder, CO
Mar 21, 2006
Future Goal
Nick Stayner wrote:
Jason, I hope you're being facetious.

Indeed I am. I feel sorry for the Midwesterners... I couldn't do it. The mountains are my source.

I find it interesting what some folks call the 'Midwest'. I've heard people from Ohio say they're from the Midwest. Uh yeah... it's time for a geography lesson. Western Kansas is almost the geographical middle of the country so where does that leave the Midwest? Not Ohio, Indiana, or even Illinois... sorry folks.

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
Mar 21, 2006
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo,...
According to About.com and Enchanted Learning.com, the following states are in the Midwest:

Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
North Dakota
Ohio
South Dakota
Wisconsin

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By Anthony Stout
Administrator
From Albuquerque, NM
Mar 21, 2006
Whipping on Goliath
Jason Himick wrote:
So all you Midwest climbers best be packin' your things and moving to the mountains or just accept that you aren't part of the mountain community. .

Nothin' to see here folks, honest to God. Just stay in your flatlands. These parts here in CO, NM, and Utah are nothing but wastelands. Nothing to see here. Honest!

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By Jason Himick
From Boulder, CO
Mar 22, 2006
Future Goal
Since posting above I've been informed that what is deemed 'Midwest' is most likely a carry over from a time when the US only extended so far and the older states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois were in fact the Midwest. Makes sense. Old habits die hard.

For the record, I have nothing against folks from the Midwest... one of the finest men I know is from Iowa, born and bred. However, I still can't accept Ohio as the Midwest... no matter what.

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By Colin Erskine
From Madison, WI
Mar 23, 2006
Myself at the Dodge
I guess you guys have never been to Southern Illinois, or the Bad Lands in South Dakota, or our wonderful Devils Lake here in Wisconsin, not to mention many up north. I'm pretty sure they are not molehills. And I'm not saying they are 14,000-ft mountains but at least we're not screwed like Nebraska. I mean yeah Kool-Aid was invented in Nebraska but that's the only thing they have going for them.

Anyway as it says right up top. Don't be a jerk. [Don't make fun of the climbing areas in our states; it's the best we have and we aren't bothered by it].

Peace

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By Jim Rudolph
Apr 2, 2006
Original DLFA Charter Placard
I am one of the founding members of the DLFA. Known as "rudy rudotis" or "Lil' Gill" I can answer any questions you may have about this private club. The initiation was to stand on your head and chug a beer, each year we celebrated the 10 days of f...ness. Tom Duechler and I climbed many first ascents together and also made it 17 stories up the 40 story Pillsbury HQ in Minneapolis. Other first ascents were the Cathedral Point in Montana.

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By Peter Schmitz
Apr 2, 2006
Jim, I've never heard of the DLFA. Please tell us more.

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By Jim Rudolph
Apr 2, 2006
Original DLFA Charter Placard
The DLFA (Devils Lake Fuckness Association) was a club started during the 1970's by Tommy Deuchler - Pres, Bill Russell - VP and me - "Rudy Rudotis" the initiation was to stand on your head and chug a beer. This group grew quickly to 25 then 50 members. Who knows how many their may be now! as I still perform new initiations and I am 45 now. This club which included Pete Cleveland really embraced the extremism of the spirit of the sport. We each would compete amongst ourselves to define our little niche. I lead climb "The End" with nary a rurp for protection. At 16 years old, and only a bit over 5'-2" the lunge could have been the killer. It may have been the first lead of The End, but I can't be sure. Also took a 80-foot screamer lead climbing Vivisection (one move from the top) and still have the photo's of me mid air blurred from the speed of the fall, and the ripped piton to prove it. Others including crazy Rob Lemon who took so many hits of LSD he was operating on a totally different level. I have more if you still have interest, but the club is not for the timid of mind or purpose. To embrace the principals of being extreme in everything you do is a guiding principle.

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By Anita Johnson
Apr 2, 2006
I made it to the Midwest about 15 years ago by way of Seattle, Salt Lake City, Spokane and my hometown of Coeur d' Alene. I'm familiar with the West as I am with the wrinkles on my face, and I've climbed many rock faces and perched on many summits in Washington, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona. My husband says I commute to the West for recreation....our daughter lives a few hours from JTree...However, I feel that Devil's Lake is a most special and unique climbing venue.
I'm glad I'm just a couple of hours' drive from the Lake! Respectfully submitted by a Climbing Midwest Suburban Matron!

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By John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 2, 2006
...
Devil's Lake is lame. However, I am glad that so many of you love it, it will keep you dicking around in the Midwest.

Saying how great Devil's Lake is reminds me of when Climbing Magazine came out with their first bouldering issue. More power to you if that is your thing, but overall it seems a bit desperate.

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By Jim Rudolph
Apr 2, 2006
Original DLFA Charter Placard
It usually is considered bad form to degrade another's climbing area. For those who love the sport, we climb when and where we can. Devils Lake has some of the most difficult short free climbs anywhere, and with a max cliff of only 200ft, we push the envelope on specific techniques and moves of balance often overlooked by those from areas filled with big walls. It's the fact that you are climbing at all that matters, not necessarily where you do it. Once you have it in your blood, you are always looking for a good route. For some it is the bowling alley brick facade, for others it is Everest.

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By John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 2, 2006
...
Jim,

DLFA sounds classic. I am sure your stories, pictures, and experiences were/are legendary. However, having spent the first 22 years of my life in the cheese state, I have spent my own share of time at Devil's Lake and at most rock piles throughout the state. Now I am not knocking Midwest climbing, the north shore of Lake Superior is intense. I am knocking Devil's Lake. Sure it is poor form to knock others climbing areas, but this is a forum, and believe me, there are others out there that are thinking Devil's Lake sucks, but are just keeping their mouths shut. Yes, yes... it is a worthy destination if you are stuck in southern Wisconsin or if you are a FIB (fucking Illinois bastard). But in the whole scope of things, my opinion is that it is a pretty lame place to climb these days.

For the record, I am sure the ambiance was different in the 70s. And I am sure everything is better when you are on LSD.

and... as you mentioned, you take what you can get and climb bowling alleys and what not. But my original post was to say that the whole affair of trying to say "yippee" about Devil's Lake is desperate. Midwestern climbers are desperate.

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By Anita Johnson
Apr 3, 2006
HMMMMMM...............I thought forums were for intelligent discussions of climbing issues, not rabid and disconnected rantings. It saddens and disappoints me that some climbers display a kindergarten playground mentality about what they perceive to be their "turf". The sad reality is that climbers DO represent the broad spectrum of humanity, with a percentage of climbers at the end of the spectrum that is intolerant, judgemental and immature. Respectfully submitted by a Climbing Midwest Suburban Matron.

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By John J. Glime
From Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 3, 2006
...
Wow. I didn't realize you were so sensitive.

Intolerant, judgemental, and immature. Yup, that's me.

I apologize to all that I have offended about my opinion of Devil's Lake. How rude of me.

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By Tom Hanson
Apr 3, 2006
Climber Drawing
Rudy Rudotis,

Back in the late seventies, I was a Taylor's Falls local who spent many weekends at The Lake.
I have chugged an Old Milwaukee upside down, and taken a hit from a glass bong, also upside down and way off the deck, spinning on the end of the rope.
Drink to puke, puke to bleed, bleed to drink!
I was never a part of the core DLFA, but I was an affiliate, from a Minnesota chapter. I was the Royal Arch Duke of Fukness and my brother was the Cosmic Ambassador of Fukness, at Taylor's Falls.
We lived the ideals of the DLFA and Vulgarians.
I remember one trip to The Lake where we were partying at the base of one of the crags on the east bluff. The National Guard was there too, practicing their rappelling and toproping some 5.4
We were swilling some Phillips blackberry brandy and abusing the Guardsmen by soloing around their toprope with the bottle of "Uncle Phil" in one hand.
I have a trivia question that perhaps you can answer. Who carved the graffiti in the tiny trail placards that were fastened to trees along the east bluff trails? The graffiti usually said something like: I ate the crane, LSD every day, or just drawings of martini glasses, etc. This was sometime between 1977-1981?

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By Tom Hanson
Apr 3, 2006
Climber Drawing
Devils Lake is certainly vertically challenged. There are no multi-pitch climbs, but the rock quality is really second to none. It is a wonderful and enchanting spot, unless it has changed over the past twenty years.

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By Jim Rudolph
Apr 3, 2006
Original DLFA Charter Placard
Tom, I am unsure who scribed the signs but I presume it may have been Rob Lemon as he was infatuated with LSD and also like to drink martinis. Coming from Taylor's Falls you probably climbed with Tommy Deuchler as he also did some climbing at the Falls, although I did not. It sounds like you certainly embodied the spirit of the club, and I am looking for the "original" DLFA placard which stated "Drink to puke, puke to bleed, and bleed to die!" It was drawn by Bill Russell our original VP of the club and shows a rat with sunglasses spewing puke. I know I have it somewhere and will post along with pics of the old gang just as soon as I dig out the old photos. As all clubbers had a great deal of fun in the pursuit of becoming "hip, vibrant, sensuous, self-actualized, and aware" I hope you have used your training well since your initiation. I have heard some bad rumors of a few who went off the deep end, never to be heard of again. Ever spend any time at Hickory Grove (Jackness) camp ground? There were some pretty wild parties back in the days.

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