Out To Pasture (TR)


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Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 28, 2010 - 12:18am PT
I'm not exactly certain how this whole thing happened, I mean, I've organized a few campouts with fellow shooters there because the Tushar Mountains are relatively quiet and scenic and this meadow at 8,350' is cool in the summer.

But this time it became the site of another Team Latok reunion, the last one being at Jeff's house and, sadly, the last time we would see Kyle.

The urgency was there. None of us have forever, and for some of the best of us time is short.
A few emails, a few phone calls and, suddenly everything fell together.

And since I was dealing this hand with no money on the table, well,.............

I kept an ace or two up my sleeve.

We had already had a campout party down at the Firebase in March, but that had turned into a clusterphuque of the first order; all chiefs and no indians, literally the cuisine of anarchy, and then upon departure an inexcusable remnant of a debris field with deliberately broken bottles, wrappers, a fresh fire pit, dog turds, people turds and unnecessarily trampled vegetation and rutted ground.

When I go there again certain parties will no longer be on the guest list.

But I learned a few things.

This time I was taking care of the food, the guest list (no dogs, kids, or crashers), and was counting on the selection to have a far more favorable outcome.

Kevin Kelly, my first partner in Zion, who had been to the Firebase and then returned for the Spire Of Fire affair this year, was I believe the person to refer to these events as "Ron-dezvous".
This thing seems to have developed a life, and now, a kit all its own.

Like Doug's rolling sushifest, all this crap went in a trailer, and I was hauling it north on I-15 fully loaded when the whole party nearly came to an end before even starting when a woman driver decided that she needn't bother to actually LOOK before pulling back onto the freeway from the shoulder. If my beat up trailer fender had taken her rear-view (and it came within 2") I would have just laughed instead of cursing her.

But there would be THREE epics on the approach which was actually shorter for me than anyone else attending!

Once I pulled over the pass and could see the Tushars off in the distance there was a 2-3 mile high plume of smoke coming from what appeared to be the very spot I was headed to!

After ten miles something else was wrong too.

Suffice to say that I only just barely pulled into Beaver on the steel belt of the right trailer tire, the tread having blown off.
This trailer was bought for $700 twenty-two years ago with those very tires (also used) so I guess it WAS time even if entirely inopportune.

Again, long story short, there is only one place in town that can help me and they know I'm desperate.
Result; two new tires that would probably run me $70 each at home go for $302.56

But these poor schlubbs in Beaver probably see a Grant and a Franklin as a a big score.
Votre vive c'est mon vengeance.

After an hour and a half (during which I determine by phone that the fire is in fact 15 miles south of the site) I am back and running. And when considering that I used the old tires at a rate of less than $15/year based on replacement cost I laugh at my luck.

And the trailer is hauling smoother than I can ever remember!

When I get to the meadow I start unloading the contents and set up the mess area and my tent (complete with cot and gun cleaning table all arranged so that I can watch the big screen from my bed.)

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, we were power-camping with our own Tushar Mountain drive-in theater.

It wasn't quite set up yet when the Doninis rolled in. Then came Mike Kennedy carpooling with Kevin (who helped me mount the screen and, being a plumber, connected a multitude of propane devices to boot) along with George Lowe who they had picked up 30 miles away in Richfield after he flew his plane in from Denver.
By the time Jeff and Connie rolled into view in Jeff's new van I was playing some of my dad's Mozart on the 100 watt stereo.

Jeff's van is so big and bright red that when the shuttle passes overhead the astronauts say, "WTF is that?!"

When he pulled up I said, "I put 4K into that tomato ??"

He said, "No. Its good for you! Its an orgasmic tomato!"

We have barbecued Salmon Donini as the sunset over the mountains does not disappoint.
Everyone likes the spot and most are surprised at how cool it gets after the sun is gone.
Southern Utah is known for canyons but there are a lot of mountains as well.

Mike and I carry a sheet of plywood over to the tomato which serves to improve the sleeping accommodations and, it having been a long day (for me especially) soon the meadow, Sawmill Bench, earns its name by the sound of logs being sawn by its temporary occupants.

There have been bear warnings posted in three places on the 4.8 mile trail in and in the middle of the night our camp had a large visitor. None of us awoke and he stalked off into the woods until morning.

Then Jody came back into camp. lol

Here you can see Jim, Angela, Mike, Kevin, Connie, Jeff, and my back whipping up eggs.
Just above my head George is by the truck and almost hidden in the trees is camp Donini.
The Tomato is hard to miss.

With little climbing around we eat and talk.

And eat and talk.

And talk.

The whole weekend was in fact an endless bull session of wonderful stories.
Indeed when Greg Lowe pulled into camp we got set up to do some videotaping to preserve some of these tales for posterity.

You can see the boom mike in this one, but is Jeff putting Mike and George to sleep?

Perhaps not.

But by now I'm getting concerned. Tom Cochrane was supposed to fly out to Richfield and rent a car with a surprise guest that only Jody, Kevin, and Greg knew about. So when we heard a motor I was disappointed to see the rangers pull into camp.
I had been up there only 9 days earlier and apparently in the intervening days a bear had broken into somebody's travel trailer over by where the Doninis had put their Sportsmobile. (Inspection of the site yielded a 30 pound pile of turds too large to be anything BUT a bear shltting in the woods).
I thanked them and assured them that we kept a clean site and that everybody was familiar with the proper behavior for camping in bear country.

I was more circumspect about any guns and/or explosives we may or may not have had,..

As usual dinner was late (cutting into theater time) and things were just breaking up in the dark when another car pulled in.
Turns out Tom's gear needed work (and all of us dinosaurs know how that feels) so he took on the trip via a marathon drive to AZ and then north.

Greg and I had hoped to be able to capture the startled reactions of the Latok Team when Layton Kor came strolling into camp, but in the dark and with Layton's characteristic dearth of showmanship things turned out,.. well,.. lets just say "unscripted".

Jeff was sitting in his wheelchair talking to somebody to his right when he felt somebody pressing up against him on the left.
He turned and found himself face to belt buckle.

One can only wonder,..

In any case after a few awkward moments the identity of his suitor was established and suddenly conversations broke up as everyone welcomed Shorty into camp.

More than one finger was later wagged in my face for being one sneaky bastard, but in a most friendly and complimentary manner.

Not much later the evening program became a big hit although initially people were leery of watching television while camping. I put on the "Mountains" portion of the Planet Earth series on Blu-ray.
A full moon had risen behind the screen and when the program showed a full moon also we cracked up.
The footage of Patagonia got Jim all perked up and the incredible sequences of the snow leopard hunting had everyone's jaws in the dirt.

Afterwards things started to break up. A few die hards hung around the charcoal glow and I put on a short Bob Marley concert on dvd.

The next morning I went back to my dad's Mozart on cd.

After smoked salmon and bagels things started warming up so soon we went to shooting a roundtable discussion in the shade not far from the bear scat.
St's own, Tom Cochrane was included.

It turns out that Tom is a real Renaissance man, film-maker, flyer, storyteller and a person with a strong technical background that allowed him some heady conversation with Greg.

Then before the Doninis and Mike and Kevin headed back to business in Colorado (dropping off George to fly to Idaho to go river running!) we made a group shot. We might be out to pasture but we still know how to have a good time.

Down to 7 we had dinner and watched Wolfman. (Again with the full moon overhead!!
People really liked the vaulted ceiling in my living room.)
The rest of the gang rolled out the next morning and, in a welcome change from the Firebase Ron-dezvous, we left the pasture even more pristine than how we had found it as I had picked up a few cans and, believe it or not, Jody even cleaned up an old fire pit.

Greg and Connie had been most helpful in packing up, as I was not at 100%.

The timing was perfect. It began raining even before my reaching I-15.

Mission accomplished.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 28, 2010 - 12:28am PT
Thanks, Ron - awesome!
goatboy smellz

Jul 28, 2010 - 12:29am PT
He beat you to it on that other site but your write up sure filled in the details.



Jul 28, 2010 - 12:52am PT
Excellent! Thx.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 28, 2010 - 01:14am PT
Thanks for sharing.
I would like to suggest an alternative title: Menschen Fest 2010

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 28, 2010 - 02:45am PT
Nice stuff!

I miss Jody.
adam d

Jul 28, 2010 - 02:54am PT
Well done. Of that crew I've just met Jeff and Jim (though I assume neither of them remember).
A quality gathering for sure.

When/where is the video coming out?

Jody, pretty good post to break a 2+ year hiatus! Thanks for the pics...

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jul 28, 2010 - 06:59am PT
American Climbing Legends Take Mountain By Storm!

What a great seige.

Excellent write up Ron!

Thanks for posting the photos to tie it all together Jody!

Now that's an important gathering.

Jul 28, 2010 - 08:52am PT
The community, the spirit. It is what this silly games is all about. You guys are awesome. Quite a few pitches climbed, bivies endured, partners mourned and laughter shared with this group.

Thanks for sharing.

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Jul 28, 2010 - 10:04am PT
what a handsome bunch.
you fellas wear well the life experiences that have thus far carved you.

i'm smiling a little more than i have in a long while.
thanks for sharing and inspiring.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jul 28, 2010 - 10:24am PT
Edit: repost to ask Ron not to delete.

Ron, don't do that. I understand your frustration. I've gone through many myself. But eventually the help I needed came through.

It's our fault that the proper advice hasn't come through for you.
It's not our fault that you're on dial up. That is the real problem.

That gathering was important, and you want the presentation to come out right. But this thread is beautiful the way it is. Really fantastic.
And to think you put that all together. You know all the guys and made an amazing event.

Let it stand and put it together right as soon as you can.


mars...it's near nevada...
Jul 28, 2010 - 10:33am PT
ok ron - what software do you have to downsize them with - anything ? photoshop or the gimp will work, i can talk you through it or better yet show you when i get down there next month dude...don't delete ;-0

Sport climber
White Salmon, WA
Jul 28, 2010 - 10:58am PT
Thanks so much Ron and Jody for posting that up! Many lurkers here really do appreciate the effort to put up a TR!

Looks like a great time!

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Jul 28, 2010 - 11:10am PT
Man, I really wished I could have been there. That a great crew and I'm sure the stories were priceless. Ron, thanks so much for the effort. Sorry I bailed but recent family events took over my life for the first half of July leaving the second half in chaos.


Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jul 28, 2010 - 11:23am PT
keeping up with computer technology isn't one of me.

That's priceless Chief!

Jul 28, 2010 - 01:27pm PT
Thanks for the great thread Ron! Sorry you are having troubles with loading pics. Love Jodys photography.

Jody's picture
he titled it: L to R: Michael Kennedy, Jim Donini, George Lowe, Greg Lowe, Ron Olevsky, Layton Kor, Tom Cochrane, Jeff Lowe(seated)

ps, here's the link to Jodys site to peruse for more pics, awesome historical pics of his dad and others. http://www.sierramountainphotography.com/index.html
Dudes a great photog. Good stuff for sure!

Trad climber
Jul 28, 2010 - 01:57pm PT
"Out to pasture but not gone to seed"

Nice TR.

Social climber
No Ut
Jul 28, 2010 - 01:58pm PT
Well, Ron, whatever you do, don't delete this post! You made something happen that means everything to me at this point in my life. Sharing it here on the taco with our wide circle of friends is a great way to spread the wealth. But don't stop your curmudgeonly snarling...it still succeeds in hiding your deepest kind and generous nature. We wouldn't want THAT secret to get out now, would we?

What a fine weekend!

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 28, 2010 - 02:01pm PT
Just deleted the other thread, and was about to do the same.

Russ and Jeff saved the day, but I still hold with what I said on the Five Figures thread.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
Jul 28, 2010 - 02:09pm PT
Excellent TR. Good Job Ron.
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