Jonny Woodward Stories?


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The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 14, 2011 - 02:32pm PT
Got a phone call out of the blue this morning from Big Head himself.
He's turning fifty this September and planning to celebrate.
I met Jonny on his first trip to the Valley back in 81ish?
He was this pale, skinny, bespectacled Brit with technique to spare, balls the size of trash cans and a dietary regimen that would kill a goat. Bachar immediately pegged him as the "Beau Gester" after his gritstone testpiece.


Watching him leading the Good Book behind us wearing leather gloves with the fingers cut off.

Hearing Tom Gilje say that HE had to look away watching Jonny way run out and throwing the wrong size gear to the deck on an early on sight of Hangdog Flyer.

Watching Jonny pound white sugar straight out of the decanter while hanging at Carl's Junior in Yucca Valley.

Me pitching off More Monkey Than Funky and yarding Jonny in his way too short shorts off the belay boulder and straight into the prickle bush at the base.

Jonny tore it up at Josh, beguiled the lovely Maria Cranor, learned to surf and now resides in SLC Utah. A unique individual who's mere existence is well worth celebrating.

With greatest respect,

Iron Mtn.

Trad climber
Riverside, Ca.
Aug 14, 2011 - 03:23pm PT
Lest we forget his ascent of Hall of Mirrors in EB's after the sticky rubber revolution....

Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 14, 2011 - 03:34pm PT
Surely at least one topian was there for the British Airways incident?

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Aug 14, 2011 - 04:11pm PT
No stories....

Get him on here Chief and he can tell us some!
ron gomez

Trad climber
Aug 14, 2011 - 04:23pm PT
When I lived in Sandy, Utah, he and Maria were gracious hosts to me and my family on several occasions, I used to love to drink HIS beer, he always had some good brews. I remember him on some WIDE azde crack, that was barely off the ground, but went on forever, I can't recall the name of it. He's a great guy, took me some crazy tours of BD BITD, sneaking up on computer guys and catching them playing stuff other than work on their computers. I mostly remember how cool he was to welcome us to Utah and take us in as one of their own.
They use to warm up on stuff harder than I could ever dream of climbing, it was a true treat to watch a master at his craft!
The Wedge

Boulder climber
Santa Rosa & Bishop, CA
Aug 14, 2011 - 06:24pm PT
What was the name of the Rt. that he was on in J-Tree that was in the Magz a long time ago. Something near the Poodle Wall? I always loved that photo.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Aug 14, 2011 - 06:44pm PT
That's the one weschrist! Wicked!

Hobart, Australia
Aug 15, 2011 - 03:56am PT
Super nice guy, mellow and humble, always on the top of the game. Can't really think of any stories 'cept the type of how he was always firing the hardest climbs. He seemed to stay out of the trouble the rest of us dirtbags were often finding ourselves in.

Trad climber
electric lady land
Aug 15, 2011 - 12:09pm PT
one time
jonnys dog
pissed on
my rope
just before
he floated
my proj.

went to do
his route
"stink bug"
thinking it
was gonna be
some serious
It has a
horizontal roof
two bodylengths long.
the bags had
extra sand
in 'em
that day.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 20, 2011 - 01:48am PT
Guess who just visited?

Social climber
The Past
Aug 29, 2011 - 03:55am PT
Credit: henny

Come in here dear boy
Have a cigar
You're gonna go far
You're gonna fly high
You're never gonna die
You're gonna make it if you try
They're gonna love you

Well, I've always had a deep respect
And I mean that most sincerely...
You climb just fantastic
That is really what I think
Oh, by the way, which one's Mellonhead?

Here's to the old man (aka Bighead) on his upcoming birthday.
Still pullin' down hard (in spite of his age.)
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Aug 29, 2011 - 11:14pm PT
I was honored to follow Jonny up the Rostrum BITD (82?). I was too slow on the lead. He had to power through and winch me up the 11c pitch.

Jonny, how's yer' memory.
Do you remember all the details NOW?

Tell me ALL about the "Manly Dike." Yuk Yuk.

How many routes? 7000+ yet?

Still pullin' down hard. I know that much is true.

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Aug 29, 2011 - 11:49pm PT
Just had the honor of backing off my first Woodward route last week.

Too much space between bolts on shakey micro holds on a sustained crux.

True master for sure.

Boulder climber
Jun 22, 2017 - 06:28pm PT
So this thread shouldn't die. I searched JW to see what was going on and found this.

I climbed with JW at the horn--belayed for what seemed like 2+ hours while he got two more bolts in on lead on a project of his. But, true to form, he then offered to belay me on whatever I wanted to do. I got on a warm up and then I got on his 12c face to roof to slab. I flashed the 12c face to roof part and then looked up at the slab saw one bolt and 40 feet to the anchors. I promptly said, "take," and lowered unashamed of not even trying.

Social climber
The Past
Jun 22, 2017 - 06:51pm PT
JW is still going strong. We spend around 6 weeks a year doing FAs at an area that he would kill me for naming. He still has the same disdain for bolts being close together, some things never seem to change. Probably the best stance driller I've climbed with. I've seen some impressive efforts of his where the last bolt wasn't exactly close by.
Myles Moser

Lone Pine, Ca
Jun 22, 2017 - 06:53pm PT
Badass Henny. Well said. Woodward is the Man!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 23, 2017 - 08:49am PT
One of my favorites is his renaming a Mark Rolofson route Bucksnort Botchjob after he came along and waltzed right by a midpitch belay sation installed by the FA team.

A very young Maestro Woodward on Beau Geste one of his necky breakthrough leads back in jolly old England.

Trad climber
Jun 23, 2017 - 09:09am PT
My wife and I were camping and hanging with Jonny and Mariah in Camp4 1982 or 1983. Really nice people we had lots of fun
dee ee

Mountain climber
Of THIS World (Planet Earth)
Jun 23, 2017 - 09:09pm PT
Jonny is one of the best climbers I ever saw on the lead in my life but... he was even more skilled in TALKING S...!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 24, 2017 - 09:14am PT
rumors of the projects Henny refers to have been staple campfire stories in the outskirt camping around Yosemite Valley for the past half decade... (maybe more).

Tried to look up some Woodward literature but came up short... even the piece he did for Climbing was in an ephemeral issue that I seemed not to have saved...

four more years to his big 60... my guess is he'll still be in the game.
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