Table Rock


We did a lot more rock climbing when I was younger- and tons of bouldering at Table Rock

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

When we were teenagers and "young adults" in our early 20s, we did a lot of more technical climbing. "We" is primarily my good friend and rope gun Tom. He liked climbing with me because I had two skills:

  • I could handle a rope really well, so was unlikely to drop him.
  • I was really good at getting gear out of the cracks, such that over the years, I only left one solitary piece behind. The last I heard, it was still there 30 years later.

Tom was much better than me, so he did virtually all the leading. I followed as best I could. We used to do what I called "thrash and dangle" on some of the harder routes at the Black Cliffs. These routes almost all get harder as you go up, and some even overhang. Invariably, I would peel under the overhang, just after fishing out the last piece of pro. Swinging too far away from the face to resume climbing, I would hitch up the jumars and top out.


These photos are of me in the early days- I'm pretty sure I'm not yet 20 years old. Note the "EB" shoes.

My younger daughter also notes what she refers to as "Daisy Dukes." Smartass kids.

Alas, many of the best boulders were taken from the Table Rock quarry to soothe the ego of developers and land owners in the Treasure Valley. We often joke sardonically about the large chunks of sandstone used to decorate... "Hey, isn't that the pinch hold from the crux of The Fortress?"

While I played on the easy stuff, Tom did the more gymnastic climbs. This climb is now half-buried in dirt. But back then, it was a challenging problem.

Here Tom is starting at ground level (these days, subterreanean).

Moving around the overhang. Tom
He better be wearing underwear.
He's got the top, and the mantle is easy.
But no, he's not done yet. There followed several more pirouettes past the camera before dropping to the ground.
These days, Table Rock is a favorite hike. Start at the old penitentiary. There are a variety of loops, and about 800' of gain. Trail map to Table Rock

Mr. Natural Home | 1970s | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski