The Wishbone At Last-Mt. Robson Don Claunch CAJ 1956

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 18, 2010 - 12:12am PT
I just got a bunch of Canadian Alpine Journals and this account jumped out of the 1956 edition. Definitely Don's best effort and a Fifty Classic to boot! Mike Sherrick went on to do the NW Face of Half Dome in 57.
























1956 was a big year for the Canadian Alpine Club!
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Dec 18, 2010 - 12:38am PT
These guys were the real deal:
...the exposure was intense. I... began toiling up the sixty-five degree ice couloir...often sneaking on a few feet further using the front crampon prongs. It was a delightful feeling to drive a long spiral piton into the slope...
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 18, 2010 - 12:46am PT
Very nice - thanks for scanning and posting that.

It sounds very long and committing, like I thought.
A couple of my friends disappeared on the route in 1984.
They probably kept going up, as descending sounds very tough.
Maybe they got stopped by one of the hard sections up high.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Dec 18, 2010 - 12:57am PT
Nice find Steve-that is a Classic.
sac

Trad climber
Sun Coast B.C.
Dec 18, 2010 - 01:00am PT
AWESOME!

Gracias.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 18, 2010 - 01:09am PT
Don is a friend of Wayno's so I hope that he will join in! Lots of adventures in the Great Northwest!
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 18, 2010 - 03:07am PT
Once again Steve pulls a gem out the archives. I met Don a little over a year ago and it didn't have anything to do with climbing. When I asked him if he was the Don "Claunch" Gordon that did the Wishbone Arete and that I was a climber myself, he lit up and we had some great talks. He credits Sherrick with the success, as he see himself as a mediocre rock climber. Sherrick did the hard rock pitches and Don did the sketchy ice work. Don is a very cool guy. Someone that is a better writer than I am needs to interview this guy.
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
leading the away team, but not in a red shirt!
Dec 18, 2010 - 09:57am PT
No doubt. Awesome stuff.
Those old Dads were tough as nails, & managed to pull off some amazing things.
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Dec 18, 2010 - 11:39am PT
Thanks for sharing that one.

the perfect rainy day stoke!
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
leading the away team, but not in a red shirt!
Dec 18, 2010 - 02:01pm PT
I agree with thee,
wholeheartedly!

Love your History threads, Steve(E? hmm, better not, huh?)

;-)
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 18, 2010 - 02:14pm PT
Thanks,Steve, that's the real deal! Not to denigrate a fine accomplishment
but I just wonder when that woulda been done in the Alps. Probably not that
much earlier I'm thinking - maybe 1950?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 18, 2010 - 02:43pm PT
That 1913 party getting stopped 400' short of the summit is pretty damn impressive too! Very gracious that Don gives them the historical nod.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 18, 2010 - 03:00pm PT
And even more impressive woulda been the retreat methinks!
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 18, 2010 - 03:06pm PT
Don said he wrote a piece for Alpinist 29 about that climb. I haven't read it yet, maybe I can borrow the issue from Steve or Ghost. He said they paid him more than he expected. I should call him and see if he would like to meet some local climbers that appreciate his forays. Anyone game?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 18, 2010 - 03:12pm PT
Sideways sometimes works wonders...I wonder what ascent that would have been had they summited?
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 18, 2010 - 03:16pm PT
Badass job of scanning, Stevie. Perfect, thanks!
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 18, 2010 - 03:22pm PT
Wow!

NICE line!

Thanks for fueling the fire Steve.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 18, 2010 - 04:04pm PT
Thanks Steve: Great scans and a great story. Those lads were bold!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 19, 2010 - 01:28pm PT
Fifty Classic Bump!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 27, 2010 - 07:40pm PT
Bump for Gargoyles!
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