Up Against the Walls Kichatna Spires Joe Fitschen Ascent 70

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 20 of total 37 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 31, 2009 - 06:09pm PT
This is a classic account of one of the early visits to the Kitchatna Spires by Joe Fitschen, Royal Robbins and Charlie Raymond in 1969. This is a remarkably light and engaging expedition narrative that is still one of my favorites from Ascent 1970. Joe is a great writer!























!!!!HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Dec 31, 2009 - 07:05pm PT
Bump for another of Steve's history threads. . .


and Steve, check out the one I put up for you specially today!!!!

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1047734/Attn_Steve_Grossman--Historical_Climbing_Date
Reeotch

Trad climber
Kayenta, AZ
Dec 31, 2009 - 07:48pm PT
Thats awesome!

1969, I'd like to see their entire kit of gear they brought.

I always thought a route on the south side of Nevermore would make an interesting objective, although I've only seen a couple of pictures.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 31, 2009 - 09:55pm PT
Another delectable from the Grossman Deli. Steve has one hell of a library, doesn't he Pilgrims.

Joe Fitschen is a really special individual in our history. He does post here as Oldguy, by the way. Very cool, relaxed handsome thoughtful character, perfect to balance Royalis Indefatigabilis, as Denny used to call him and a bunch of us as well, namely, just Royalis. Those two were really close friends BITD.

Thanks, SteveG.! Best in the New Year.

P
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 1, 2010 - 05:36pm PT
It would be fun if all three of these guys would pull up a chair and reflect back on this adventure. Somebody get Charlie Raymond on the ST! Pretty wild and wooly expedition, I bet he would recall a few details.
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Jan 1, 2010 - 11:09pm PT
I hadn't read that great trip description by Joe for quite some time. I like his almost casual description of experiences that are way beyond that. In reading it I wonder what would they have climbed if they had a long stretch of clear weather. After they returned Royal said that he wanted to go back and do the west face of Middle Triple, but the trip never happened.
I think I'll send an email to Charlie to tell him about this thread.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jan 2, 2010 - 01:30am PT
I liked Joe's piece when it first came out and thought
it was second best in that best of all Ascents
only to Pratt's piece on Deadhorse Point. Fitschen's
writing is elegant and perfect, a real master who
doesn't draw attention to his writing. It's simply language
in the hands of a master. I wish he had written more,
because every paragraph of what he has done is evocative
and takes you right to those times and those people,
that sun, that snow... I have read this piece many times,
again and again, virtually every year I feel the urge to
pull it out again.
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jan 2, 2010 - 11:43am PT
Speaking of Joe Fitschen being a great writer, rumor has it he's working on a book about The Valley. Looking forward to reading that one!
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jan 2, 2010 - 11:23pm PT
Yes Joe has been working on that book almost forever,
and I think he will keep working on it for a long time,
a perfectionist who wants to get it right... If it does
come out one day it could well be the best thing written
on the Valley. It wouldn't surprise me.
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jan 2, 2010 - 11:32pm PT
I belayed Joe this year at Gianelli edges. He claimed to have not been climbing much lately, and then sent a great 5.8 first try. Came down with a beaming smile on his face. I was very impressed, a classy guy!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jan 3, 2010 - 06:34pm PT
I believe "the" book has been completed and he is looking for a publisher. Would be a treasure indeed!

Guido
oldguy

climber
Bronx, NY
Jan 4, 2010 - 12:37pm PT
An old friend of an old friend let me know this had been posted--quite a surprise and thanks, Steve. And I'm glad people like the writing. As it happened, Royal, Charlie and I were together a few months ago at an event that Janie (Taylor)Levy put together in Idylewild to celebrate the early days of Tahquitz climbing. I think there is a thread on that, too, but Jerry Gallwas, Mike Sherrick, John Long, and Don Lauria were also there. A good party but too short.

Reeotch was curious about the gear on the climb. What I mainly remember is that we were soaked all the time--no Gortex or polypro. Some of the best weather--sunny windless days, perfect for climbing--was spent drying our clothes.

And the book is finished. It's not just about the Valley. It's about the early days at Tahquitz and Stoney Point, and about Gallwas and Wilson and Powell going out to Spider Rock and the Totem Pole, and generally about the members of the Yosemite Climbing Club, individualists all to the point that the Club never happened. Lots of stories that to my knowledge haven't appeared elsewhere. And the book is also about growing up in the 1950's. Maybe it's my dotage, but it seems that lots of things were different then, not just the climbing gear. It took me seemingly forever to save enough money to buy a Kelty pack and then my very own rope. And T-shirts, that we usually wore for climbing, were just white, all white. Sorry, I tend to go on more on these threads than most contributors.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2010 - 11:48pm PT
Thanks for joining in, Joe!

I look forward to reading your book whenever it becomes available. Have you contacted the Stonemaster crew with respect to publishing? I bet they would be keenly interested for a variety of reasons.

What I like best about your account is that you work around the misery and improvisation of the situation with such humor. When I first read it I felt like I had a glimpse into Alaskan climbing from a fun in the sun rock climbers perspective to which I could easily relate. Does the whole experience seem any different looking back and does it enter into your current writing?

Had you guys talked with Alaskan climbing veterans or did the inspiration come from photos or another account of climbing in the Kichatnas?

I also have to ask you if Mother Fletcher is actually a person or a turn of phrase?

No such thing as too long a response here on the ST especially when it comes to story telling so please don't hold back on that account. We would love to hear whatever you have to say about what you climbed along the way. Any stories about Tahquitz, Stoney Point or the desert adventures that the SoCal boys bit off would be fabulous! Any photos along the way?

PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jan 7, 2010 - 12:37am PT
oldguy:
I have to agree with Steve. There are some of us on ST who can't get enough of the stories/history. We think it's the best part of this web site. Let us know when your book is being published.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 17, 2010 - 02:18pm PT
I hope that Charlie Raymond will join us. Among other accomplishments as a climber, he did several FA's with Tony Qamar in the Wind River range that I would love to hear about!

Tony Qamar thread at:

http://www.supertopo.com/inc/postreply.php?topic_id=107615&tn=20
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Jan 17, 2010 - 11:44pm PT
Great story, place, and pics!

Thanks!
Pate

Trad climber
Jan 20, 2010 - 08:35pm PT
bump for required reading.
David Wilson

climber
CA
Jan 20, 2010 - 08:47pm PT
bump for this thread. no story is too long coming from these great historical climbs. also, thanks again steve for all these postings!
Pate

Trad climber
Jan 30, 2010 - 12:48pm PT
Bump for climbing content
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jan 30, 2010 - 06:29pm PT
Wow, the era of the Kelty Pack

How many remember the Trapper Nelson Pack?
Messages 1 - 20 of total 37 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews