Announcing The Oakdale Climbers Festival 10/26- 10/28 2012


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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 14, 2012 - 12:54am PT
Oakdale Climbers Festival 2012- Invitation and Schedule of Events

The City of Oakdale and I are pleased to invite you to participate in the inaugural Oakdale Climbers Festival taking place at the Oakdale Community Center Friday, October 26 through Sunday, October 28, 2012.

“Running Towards Commitment- The Salathé Experience” will be the theme for the first two days.

The event will kick off on Friday evening at 7:30pm with a discussion of the personal and climbing history of John Salathé lead by Steve Grossman.

Jerry Gallwas will tell the story of his Salathé piton collection and its connection to the first ascent of the Lost arrow via the Chimney and discuss his own early ascent.

Guest of Honor Al Steck will then comment on his own experiences with John on the north face of Sentinel Rock in July 1950. The Steck-Salathé route set the standard with respect to difficulty and style and was by far the most difficult rock climb of its era and yardstick for the next generation

Ken Yager will discuss John's later years including the transfer of his hardware through the Thune family to the Yosemite Climbing Association. Salathé hardware will be on display for the duration of the event.

Doug Robinson will then speak to the Salathé legacy of boldness and style to conclude the evening.

On Saturday at noon, Tom Frost and Royal Robbins will discuss the influence of Salathé on their approach to climbing El Capitan's southwest face named in John's honor, the Salathé Wall. Tom and Royal will recount their experiences on the first ascent with Chuck Pratt and a subsequent attempt to repeat the climb in a single push with TM Herbert. Fifty years ago Tom and Royal were the first party of two to climb El Cap in a very lightly-equipped second ascent of the Salathé Wall.

At 2 pm Al Steck and Dick Long will describe their third ascent with Steve Roper and show a film that they made en route.

At 4 pm Peter Haan will discuss his experience soloing the Salathé Wall as his first time up El Capitan in 1971.

At 6 pm Paul Piana will describe his experiences free climbing the Salathé Wall for the first time with Todd Skinner in 1988.

At 8 pm Hans Florine will discuss speed climbing the Salathé Wall and the evolution of style to finish out the evening.

On Sunday a symposium entitled “Forging Ahead- American Climbing Hardware in the 1940's, 50's and 60's” will be held from noon to 6 pm.

Come and enjoy hardware displays from all manufacturers active during this thirty year period. Participants will be available to answer questions about producing early hardware and hopefully be willing to speak briefly about their experiences making or selling gear fifty years ago.

Speakers start with Al Steck recalling the early days of the Ski Hut in Berkeley.

Jerry Gallwas reflecting on John Salathé as a craftsman and his own work with pitons.

Dick Long and his partner discussing the history of Longware.

Tom Frost and Dennis Hennek discussing the early days of Chouinard Equipment.

Don Lauria reflecting on West Ridge Sports and the history of Bill Feuerer and his Dolt Equipment.

Authors and artists will be selling and signing books and photographs such as Tom Frost, Royal Robbins, Joe Fitschen, Glen Denny and Steve "Crusher" Bartlett with more to be listed soon.

Registration is free prior to the deadline at:

In order to keep this event free we need financial support in the form of:

1) Donations from boosters in any amount.

2) Limited Artist and Author Exhibition Space for $150.

3) Vendor Exhibition Space for $300.

4) Sponsorship including logo presence on event poster and other promotional material for $500.

5) Festival Guide advertising space starting at $100.

At this point we really need some financial assistance to help properly do this event. Please contact me if you would like to help with a direct donation or need more details about participating in any way.

We are going to print on the event poster very soon so please contact me if you would like to be a sponsor so that we can get your logo in time to include it.

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Aug 14, 2012 - 12:56am PT
quite the line up!

though I'm confused by the choice of location.

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Aug 14, 2012 - 01:00am PT
Probably keeping it close to the cheese factory. Who doesn't love a good Gouda?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 14, 2012 - 01:00am PT
Oakdale, California right on Highway 120 coming from the San Francisco bay area.

Tom Frost lives in Oakdale and the city has been generous enough to partner with us and allow the use of their splendid community center for this event. Ramona Howard and I have put this event together for everyone to enjoy and provide a great opportunity to stop and check out Oakdale.

Mountain climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aug 14, 2012 - 01:49am PT
It's a great location and what a lineup! We should really try to support this effort.
Hope I can make it.

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 14, 2012 - 02:00am PT
This sounds like a great event, Steve. Count me in for support. Do you need any help with food? People such as you mentioned deserve proper food. I would take those days out of my busy schedule to do what I could.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 14, 2012 - 02:30am PT
Wow, nice work Steve.
Delhi Dog

Good Question...
Aug 14, 2012 - 05:07am PT
Great line up, cool idea, and a good excuse to head to the cowboy capital of the world (so I've read heh heh).

Too bad I can't make it-like the Facelift I'm just in the wrong place at the wrong time...again.

(Wish I'd known ahead of time, if it becomes a regular thing I'd love to figure out a way to kick in some goodies).

Good luck and have a fine time!

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 14, 2012 - 05:30am PT
Very cool!

"Cowboy capital of the world" says so right on the sign.
Big wall cowboys?

As a UniWyo alum, Paul is a cowboy, (as am I)

Gym climber
the secret topout on the Chockstone Chimney
Aug 14, 2012 - 09:40am PT
Holy smokes, what a lineup! Wish I could be there.

A long way from where I started
Aug 14, 2012 - 10:19am PT
Damn! That sounds like the ultimate Yosemite celebration.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 14, 2012 - 10:22pm PT
Bump for free quality historical entertainment!

Don't miss it!

Aug 14, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
Sounds fantastic! Great time of year there too.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Aug 14, 2012 - 11:41pm PT

WOW! Wish I could be there!

London, UK
Aug 15, 2012 - 11:55am PT
Unmissable for anyone in the western half of North America!

Trad climber
Aug 15, 2012 - 12:02pm PT
sounds like a lot of organizational work-- glad folks stepped up

Kennewick wa
Aug 15, 2012 - 12:14pm PT
great job organizing this.

But I have to admit, every time I read Oakdale Climbers Festival it makes me chuckle.

Boulder climber
Aug 15, 2012 - 12:28pm PT
For anyone into climbing history this should be a blast.... Im gonna try and be there for sure..

Kennewick wa
Aug 15, 2012 - 12:45pm PT
Is the Hersey store still there?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 15, 2012 - 10:06pm PT
We need to line up a portable climbing wall for the event.

Does anyone know a local gym or guide service that operates a tip-up tower that we can contact?

I used to work in the industry and would like to have a competent operator and not a carny unless they come highly recommended.

Please contact me.
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