John Salathe


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Santa Cruz
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 1, 2008 - 05:43pm PT
Has any one out there had the opportunity to meet John Salathe? Having started climbing in the Valley back in the mid-seventies, I've had the opportunity to meet and hear stories from some of the great ones from the Golden Age. But I don't recall anyone having personal stories about Salathe.

Trad climber
Chico and Groveland, CA
Jun 1, 2008 - 10:13pm PT
Never met him, but I do hang out regularly with Tom Frost. That guy's a blast to be around, and it's fun to pick his brains and solicit old climbing stories. Plus, to be able to personally thank the man whose hand built stopper caught your whipper is pretty cool!
Scared Silly

Trad climber
Jun 2, 2008 - 09:35am PT
I have done a little climbing with the Slim Fox who did a bit of climbing with Salathe. He told a few stories about their climbing together. Can not say I remember much other than Salathe liking to bring prunes with him on climbs.

San Francisco, CA
Jun 3, 2008 - 01:55pm PT
I climbed once with John Salathe and Anton "Ax" Nelson in 1951 when I was about 18 years old, and new to climbing. Naturally, there was somewhat of a generational and experience gap, but I remember them as patient mentors. I cannot recall if there was a fourth member in the party, nor do I remember the details of the climb. I believe that we went up the Three Brothers (via Michael's Ledge?) and over the top to Yosemite Point, where the photo below was taken. John would not pose and I don't recall if he took the picture, or if it was taken by someone else. Later that day, we went to Best's Studio, where I purchased the Ansel Adams photo of the 1947 first ascent. Ax graciously autographed the photo.

The original post awakened old memories and I was glad to be able to lay my hands on the above slide. I did some aggressive color compensating when I scanned the 57-year old slide.

Trad climber
Jun 3, 2008 - 02:04pm PT

Check out the buildings and parking lot across the street from where the chapel is today....

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 3, 2008 - 02:54pm PT
The buildings and parking lot are the Old Village. I remember shopping at the "original" Village Store. We would usually go there before or after swimming at the Swinging Bridge. Not only was it more convenient than Camp Curry, but it was easier to get served if you were in swim trucks. Mrs. Curry would not serve customers in swimming attire.

Big Wall climber
Jun 3, 2008 - 03:43pm PT
Get contact w/A.steck at the Berkley indoor climbing gym.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Jun 3, 2008 - 07:13pm PT

right here, right now
Dec 2, 2008 - 09:37pm PT

Dec 2, 2008 - 10:21pm PT
The ST is really hopping right now, eh Roy.

right here, right now
Dec 2, 2008 - 11:05pm PT

Trad climber
Dec 2, 2008 - 11:11pm PT

Somehow I think you have more stories to tell. Please do.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Dec 2, 2008 - 11:31pm PT
Hi Ron,

I suspect that is when you ended up with a Salathe drill handle and hangers. Does your Best Studio photo look like this one?

Or is it the one with Salathe taking a photo of Ax rapelling?

Ken Yager
Double D

Dec 3, 2008 - 12:26am PT
Thanks for the bumb and the story. That 57 year old slide is in amazing condition...even with the color enhancement.

More stories...please!


East Coast US
Dec 3, 2008 - 02:10pm PT
My favorite Salathe quote: "Enough of dees hiking, let's get on with zee climbing."

Apparently referring to free climbing [hiking] and aid climbing [climbing].


San Francisco, CA
Dec 4, 2008 - 04:54pm PT
Or is it the one with Salathe taking a photo of Ax rapelling?


Dec 4, 2008 - 05:25pm PT

That's a fantastic photo. The grizzled veteran explaining how its done to the youth. Is that Ax on the far right with you sitting? Your team must have sprinted up the Brothers the shadows in the photo look like its early afternoon.

If you have any more climbing pictures, by all means please post them. And welcome aboard. Were happy youre here.


Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, Ca.
Dec 4, 2008 - 07:38pm PT
And this is what the ST is ALL obout!

Thank you all!

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 4, 2008 - 10:28pm PT
I started a Salathe thread a while ago with this same post from Mountain 50 (1976) by Chris Jones.


Trad climber
Dec 4, 2008 - 10:33pm PT
COOL stuff !!!
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