Two new amazing books by Galen Rowell and Steve Roper

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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 6, 2003 - 12:00pm PT
I just got my hands on two new incredible books:

"Ordeal By Piton: Writings from the Golden Age of Yosemite Climbing" Edited by Steve Roper is a collection of 54 essays including classic tales from first ascents on El Cap and Half Dome as well as articles on ethics and bolts. Anyone who loved "Vertical World of Yosemite" or "Camp 4" will love this book.


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MORE INFO: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0911221263/qid%3D1062864808/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/103-3715436-1590258

"High and Wild" by Galen Rowell is a reprinting of Galen's mountain adventures in a hardcover format with quality color prints of some his finest images.


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MORE INFO AT http://www.spotteddogpress.com/highandwild.htm
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Sep 7, 2003 - 04:45am PT
Chris, I would like to say how much I appreciate your efforts for providing this forum for climbers. I come here often enough and find many gold nuggets of wisdom, along with many LOLs in all the wheelbarrows of dirt. It's always worth the look and also fun to contribute.

"High and Wild" was always my favorite book of Galen's. In high school in '79 it gave me many wonderful dreams of my own. My copy of the 1st edition is very well used. My wife purchased this new edition as a gift for me after Galen and Barbara left this earth. It is a wonderful read again, with added reflective essays that introduce each story, many additional images not in the original edition, as well as a few new stories. The publisher recounts his experience of that very, very sad day learning of Galen and Barbara's passing away last year on 8-11-02.

I also highly recommend Barbara's book "Flying South." I knew Barbara was a pilot and they had a plane, but I never knew how passionate she was about it. And her book also gives a lot of insight into who Galen is, as a wife could only do. I enjoyed her book immensely. Wish I had taken the time to talk flying with her.

I hesitate to say anything about this, but after a year (it seems so much longer than a year for me) from the time of Galen and Barbara's passing, I would like to tell a story about a hand-written note of Galen's I found at the crash-site. The message of the note may help others to heal as it has for my family and me. The following story is absolutely true . . .

On 8-21-02, after talking with the sheriff in Bishop and finding out that the FAA and NTSB were finished with the crash-site, he gave me a very rough description for the location. I wanted to pay my respects and go there, to see where a hero of mine passed away returning to heaven. I eventually found it. Looking around I could see many scraps of paper all around the area caught in the Basin Sage fluttering in the wind. Before I left I decided to pick-up as much of these papers as I could find and bring them back to "Mountain Light" gallery and give them to the staff or family. Eventually, a family member took all of the items I found. One piece of paper in particular was a hand written note with black-felt pen on a "Hilton" hotel stationary notepad. This piece of paper was flat and in clean condition, although a small portion of the left-hand side of the note was torn completely away with several half-words remaining along that side. The rest of the note could easily be read. Galen's friend and the manager of the gallery looked at the note and said that without a doubt the writing was Galen's. The note at the time didn't make sense to either of us, since some of the words were only half there. The message was incomplete.

I looked and studied digital video of the note over and over again trying to make sense of it. The note seemed cautionary, but I couldn't put-it together. My wife looked at the image of the note also. We even digitally enlarged the note to see it better. But large easy to read half words still didn't help. Finally, inspiration struck my wife just before going to bed the evening of 8-23-02, Galen's 62 birthday. Without a doubt the note says . . .

"Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance"

It was so obvious now---The 7 Ps. The note wasn't a smoking gun, just very good advice and often said cliché. I know he is not the original author of this saying, but because he wrote it and it was found after his death, it takes on a whole new deep meaning for me. This advice is useful for all aspects of life, not just adventure.

I have a couple of cards that are laminated with a picture of my family and with very important quotes from people I admire along with my emergency contact information. The quote at the top of the card is this one from the hand written note by Galen with the date of 8-21-02 next to it. I'm not sure when he wrote this note, and I'm note sure if this was the last thing he wrote, but I do know where and when I found his message. This means a lot to me and I take it to heart. When I paraglide I look at this card on my flight console with pictures of my family and read these quotes, and I believe doing so helps me to be that much more careful and cautionary prior to launching off. I also carry one in my climbing pack and look at it before I climb. Climbing and flying are dangerous. Life is dangerous. Be careful out there and plan properly.

After 8-11-02, I was very sad, distraught, and angry. I said some things to some people I didn't mean to say. I apologize for hurting anyone's feelings. A little more than a year later I'm still very sad about what has happened, but now the anger has turned to forgiveness and I'm inspired by the legacy that Galen and Barbara have left behind. There is just so much to do!

I was able to speak with the aircraft mechanic from Bishop airport about his very good friend Tom Reid, the pilot of the aircraft in the accident. Tom helped this mechanic build his home. He knew how hard of a worker Tom was. This mechanic was also good friends with the Rowell's and serviced their plane. He lost very good friends as well as clients that day. No one, including the pilot, wanted this tragedy to happen. He said we may never know what occurred. Some accidents are like that. Most are due to human error. And we both agreed it is human to error. So when humans are at the controls accidents are going to happen. All we can do is do our best---prepare, plan, and prevent accidents as much as possible. And when accidents do happen---we must learn from them.

Remember: Practice the 7 Ps!

"Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance"
---Galen Rowell 8-21-02
Jody

Mountain climber
CA
Sep 9, 2003 - 01:06am PT
Klimmer, thanks for the story about Galen and Barbara. I never knew him but I have always admired his work. Their gallery in Bishop is a definite must see for anyone in the area. One of my favorite stories about Galen was his involvement in the American K2 expedition with all the bickering and fighting. He always came across as being above it all and to get his perspective on the whole mess was interesting. The title of that book is In the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods.

I just purchased the book by Galen that Chris mentioned, High and Wild. It is on sale for $19.97 at Mountain Gear.
Dan Rampe

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 9, 2003 - 05:22pm PT
I never had the good fortune of knowing Galen on a personal level but rather indirectly through his photography, books and climbing.

On August 11, 2001 my climbing partner and I were in the Horton Creek campground outside of Bishop. We were on our way down to Big Pine to hike in and climb in the Palisades. It was night and I was lying on the ground marveling at the annual Perseid meteor shower.

This annual meteor display has been recorded as far back as 36 A.D. in the annals of China's Han Dynasty. Just about every culture since then has applied its own meaning to their annual appearance.

Little did we know that Galen and Barbara Rowell’s lives were prematurely extinguished that night under cover of the Perseids. We soon discovered the awful truth the next morning when we stopped in the Mountain Light gallery in Bishop and saw the "In Memoriam" notice on the front door.

So, for me, future appearances of the Perseid meteor shower will always take me back to a quiet August night in the Owens River Valley and remembrances of the accomplishments of Galen Rowell, artist, rock climber and so much more.
David Nelson

climber
San Francisco
Sep 9, 2003 - 09:42pm PT
Chris, thanks for the posting. I have ordered the first book. I think that I probably speak for most (all?) of us when I say that Steve's Camp 4 book captures perfectly the great, good, and crummy times in the Valley. (Steve lives only a mile or so from where I write this, but have never met him.) We were young, "immortal", puerile, foolish, too happy to realize we were poor. A great time. I have read the book four times and loved it each time. Can't wait to get my hands on the next one!

David
malabarista

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Sep 9, 2003 - 10:51pm PT
High and Wild -awesome book. The other one I will definitely check out.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 10, 2003 - 12:40pm PT
Hi Klimmer,

Thank you for your thoughtful note. It's amazing how many people Galen and Barbara inspired and always great to hear stories about them. Its clear that they will continue to give many of us guidance through their books, photos, and the stories told among friends. Thanks again for sharing this.

C
Jody

Mountain climber
CA
Sep 15, 2003 - 03:17pm PT
Just picked up "High and Wild" at the P.O. a few minutes ago.

Wow! I feel guilty only paying $20 for it. Would have paid twice that much. Like all his other books, this one does not disappoint!
DavisGunkie

Trad climber
Republic of Davis
Sep 15, 2003 - 06:28pm PT
speaking of books, was checking out Rock and ice at the store and saw a blurb about a new book from one of the Hubers and a photographer(can't remember the name), but it was going to be called Yosemite. Any one know when this is supposed to be released?

the article said it was going to be along the lines of Yosemite Climber, which i have and is an awesome book for photos
Jody

Mountain climber
CA
Sep 15, 2003 - 07:04pm PT
The photographer is Heinz Zak and the book, normally $45, is on sale for 29.95 through October 15th at Menasha Ridge Press.
DavisGunkie

Trad climber
Republic of Davis
Sep 16, 2003 - 02:08am PT
thanks for the link Jody
malabarista

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Nov 24, 2003 - 06:46pm PT
Just got a copy of "Yosemite". The quality and range of photos is outstanding.
Mick Ryan

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Nov 25, 2003 - 02:05pm PT
Brussel Sprouts.....Galen ate a lot of brussel sprouts...which may have partly acccounted for his stunning youthful looks, drive and creativity.

I used to see him in Joseph's Market in Bishop every Thursday night buying a couple of pounds.

So along with the 7P's, eat brussel sprouts.

Mick
Klimmer2.0

Mountain climber
San Diego, CA
May 21, 2019 - 06:19pm PT
In memory of Galen and Barbara Rowell I'm bumping this thread by CM.

I really miss the Rowell's and stopping by Mountain Light in Bishop. I would always stop in to look around and try to make a purchase. Now sadly Mountain Light is closed. Sadly their daughter has passed away and now Tony has just recently passed away.

At least there is still a web presence of Mountain Light. I hope someone continues to pay the tab to keep the website up just as a memorial to Galen and Barbara and to Mountain Light. The community of Bishop has suffered tremendous loss ...

Mountain Light

http://www.mountainlight.com/rowellg.html


Galen Avery Rowell
August 23, 1940 — August 11, 2002


The thread where it was mentioned by Don Lauria that Tony Rowell had just died ... so sad ...

Sierra Photographers at Mountain Light Gallery
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1880178&msg=1880178#msg1880178
zBrown

Ice climber
May 21, 2019 - 06:33pm PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1440271/Rowell-Garage
Klimmer2.0

Mountain climber
San Diego, CA
May 21, 2019 - 06:39pm PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1261259/Galen-Rowells-1-000-Mile-Sierra-Weekend-Climbing-1970
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