Logo Alan Watts Interview Establishing a Route
Chris Grover establishing
a route in 1986 on the
Churning Buttress

By then, your pumped enough that
it's really hard to keep it together; it's
hard to climb that great when you're
that pumped.

I'm also proud of Just Do It, on
Monkey Face. It's the hardest route
at Smith Rock right now -- and I never
did do it. But it is one of the routes
there that is a creation of mine, one
of the routes that I envisioned. I
could see a route going up there, and
I established it.

There also are a lot of routes in the
Dihedrals that are very memorable.
They aren't necessarily the hardest
routes, but routes that for the time
were significant.

Chain Reaction, for instance, was
significant in that it marked the begin-
ning of the whole sport climbing scene.
Even though it's short and not
especially difficult by today's
standards, it remains special for me. Speaking of the
beginning of sport climbing, how did
you decide to start putting routes up
on rappel?

Alan: Well, there were two reasons.
Part of it was just out of necessity to
do the more appealing lines. The other
reason was that it was just easier.
Going from the ground up, doing routes
that way, was pretty scary!

Part of it was just being a wimp, when
it came down to it. But routes that we
could climb from the ground up were
becoming few and far between. Were others placing
routes on rappel before you, and did
you know if it was being done that way
in Europe?

Alan: No, I had no idea. It wasn't until
'85, I think, before we started to under-
stand what they were doing in Europe.
Mainly when Kim Carrigan and Johnny
Woodward and Jeff Weigand came

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