Beckey's Bugaboo Hat Trick -Snowpatch and Bugaboo Spire 1959

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 16, 2011 - 02:44am PT
This account of an uncommonly good Bugaboos trip for Grateful Fred and company appeared in the 1960 American Alpine Journal. Three first ascents in a weatherprone area- sweeeeeet!











Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Jul 16, 2011 - 10:02am PT
Steve: Thanks for finding and posting that article. Somehow I had never seen it before.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 16, 2011 - 01:07pm PT
Do you recall any photos of her to post?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 16, 2011 - 03:52pm PT
The Man, the Fred, The Legend. I had no idea anything on the east face had
been done that early. Of further amazement could be that His Fredness was
already 36 years old when he romped unchecked through the "piton playground".
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 16, 2011 - 04:35pm PT
Bruce- Thanks for the Elfrida shot. What a cool name she had.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 16, 2011 - 04:38pm PT
She was likely the strongest female mountaineer in Canada in the late 1950s and early 1960s. After her death, women like Esther Kafer and then Alice Purdey came to the forefront.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 16, 2011 - 05:44pm PT
A little more on Elfrida from Ed Cooper's account in the 1960 Canadian Alpine Journal.


This pair of images accompanied a similar account in the 1960 CAJ.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 16, 2011 - 05:52pm PT
Seems like it's raining in Seattle today, too. Pouring here until just a few minutes ago.

I wonder if the proper spelling was Elfrieda, and it got a bit anglicized?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 17, 2011 - 12:53pm PT
Bump for Fred and Ed!

I hope that Cooper chimes in with a tale and some photos from his climb with Elfrida.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
WA, & NC & Idaho
Jul 17, 2011 - 03:04pm PT
Fantastic write up, those boys were men!
TFPU!!!!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 17, 2011 - 03:44pm PT
I heard Martin and Esther tell the swimming story, rather memorably, at a BCMC social. They had a lot of amazing mountain adventures in BC in the 1960s and 1970s. So once they were in the Lillooet icefields area, in the later 1960s - maybe on the Manatee trip in 1967. They 'hiked' out - which is to say, went down to the main Lillooet valley, and bushwhacked for days to the nearest logging road. Three or four days - an improvement from the 1930s, when climbers had to bushwhack in and out, before Roy Mason got a ski plane for flying them in.

Anyway, bushwhacking along a river valley in BC is very hard work. As Dick so nicely puts it, "avoid the light green", that is to say creeks that intersect your river, slide paths, and so on. Anyway, Martin and Esther and team encountered a freshet strengthened creek that they simply couldn't cross. (North Creek, maybe?) They chopped down trees with an ice axe, but couldn't make a bridge. So Esther volunteered to swim across, did so, and they set up a tyrolean. Scary stuff. And after another day or two of crashing, they got to civilization.

When they were telling the story, Martin got to the point of Esther volunteering to swim, with his version, and then Esther butted in and said "No, no, that's not what happened! Here's what we did.", and went on to tell the rest. It was hysterically funny, and after 50 years of marriage I guess Martin knew enough to keep quiet.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 18, 2011 - 11:42am PT
I emailed Ed Cooper for some stories about this season and Elfrida Pigou. Hopefully, he has some tales to tell...
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 18, 2011 - 12:59pm PT
Ed talked about Elfrida, and showed some photos of her, on Saturday night. His presentation was about half about climbing in B.C., half about Squamish and the Grand Wall, with bits of other things (Dihedral Wall, etc) thrown in.

Here he is presenting:
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 18, 2011 - 01:34pm PT
Did you find anyone to record the event?

I would love a copy, of course.
pix4u

climber
Sonoma, CA
Jul 30, 2011 - 10:34am PT
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 30, 2011 - 12:20pm PT
This was the same summer I found human remains at the base of the west face of Bugaboo Spire (from an accident in 1948) on a solo walk around Bugaboo Spire looking for new routes, but that is another whole story.

With all due respect, sir, I should inform you that malicious teasers are
frowned upon, at best.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jul 30, 2011 - 12:56pm PT
I remember my first introduction to Art "The Move" Gran in Camp 4 in the fall of 1960. Art had just returned from a trip to the Bugaboos and proceeded to tell an unusually attentive group of us about his recent climbs.

Not pitch by pitch, but move by move. Of course we gave him a lot of sh#t and BBA was especially hard on him. At one point, Art brings out his skull cap, places it on his head and says, "in the Gunks, we judge our climbers by the skull caps they wear," to which BBA retorts, "we judge our climbers in Valley by the routes they climb." Gran, being a good sport and on foreign turf could only join along with the humor.

Later, on that "oh so weird" approach to the Arrowhead Arete, Gran third classing above me, kicked loose a large block that caught me in mid flight and sent me on my first visit to the Lewis Memorial Hospital.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2011 - 01:39pm PT
Geez! How many people have been injured on that particular approach!?!

Great stories folks!
Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Jul 30, 2011 - 07:37pm PT
There should be a Hank Mather Appreciation Thread

That guy was a total badass. Wall routes with Beckey. Pavilion Edge. Widowmaker Arete. Waddington attempts. North ridge of Mt Stewart in the Cheam Range, still unrepeated ?? 50 years later.

That guy was climbing 5.10 free in the late 50s/early 60s.

Chic Scott's book really misses the boat on him. Chic apparently thought he was an American.

He was apparently still alive in 96 when Lyle Knight was writing Central BC Rock. Lyle tracked him down somehow and heard a ton of stories about the attempts on the Main Wall at Marble Canyon and other stuff.


harihari

Trad climber
Squampton
Jul 30, 2011 - 09:31pm PT
Kevin McLanew told me this:

So...1969, or whatever year it was that Fb and Chouinard did the B-Ch. Kevin Mclane and partner, some crusty old brit whose idea of a trad rack is 12 pins, 12 bieners, 2 hammers and a rope (I sh*t you not) are evading rain in a bar in Jasper, where they run into Fred.

Fred-- who after six nights in the hotel, having banged all five waitresses and having not yet paid for any beer, is STILL being served-- tells them "god-DAMN I just climbed the best route."

So he writes a 3-sentence guide on a napkin. First sentence: how to get to the Bugs. 2nd: how to get to the B-Ch. 3rd: beta. McLane and partner find it and get the 2nd ascent (I believe). 30 years later aged 61 McLane repeats the route, this time with a rack that weighs MORE than the 1969 rack.
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