Royal Robbins: “This importing business is a real can of ---

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rollingstone

Trad climber
Seattle
Nov 10, 2011 - 05:53pm PT
Great memories, Fritz. I remember buying my first pair of Galibier Makalu boots from Bruce Franks, probably my sophomore year at WSU...fall of 1972 or so. I don't think you had purchased NWMSports yet. It was also around that time that some of us got the idea to have RR come to Pullman to give a slide show. I remember nervously dialing his number in Modesto, and being almost unable to speak when RR answered the phone. I was so young and naive back then, but I sure did not think of Royal as any ordinary human. Man, this was RR I was speaking with!! I stammered something about him doing a slide show in Pullman, and he graciously replied that he would certainly come to WSU to give slide show about various Yosemite/Alps first ascents. When I asked how much he charged, I was shocked to hear that his normal fee was $200.00, plus expenses, if memory serves me right. Younger readers should know this was 2/3 the amount of a semester's tuition; I just could not see where we would ever get that much money, so I mumbled something about having our club vote on it, and politely hung up. I never had the nerve to call back. I can laugh about it now. I do remember the great slide show that John Cleare gave, and the fine photo he took of Mike Nelson bouldering at Granite Point that graced the cover of our club climbing magazine. I still have those issues buried somewhere in the basement. Thanks for the great memories.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 10, 2011 - 06:16pm PT
Crunch,
HaHaHa! Man, those things were nigh unto worthless! I only threw my last
one away a few years ago. I was thinking some museum of bad design might
want one. They did look really good in the display case though.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Nov 10, 2011 - 08:47pm PT
RollingStone, I was at that RR slide show in Moscow, along with my brother & a friend. I was 14 and just getting into the sport. Fritz had just started NWMS. It was still on N. Main St. behind the A&W drive-in.

Thanks for making that call.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 29, 2012 - 05:37pm PT
More worms for 2012...
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Dec 21, 2012 - 07:37am PT
Historic gear bump for Fritz and the rest of us geezers.
Wish I would have kept my Robbins boots and shoes.

Still have my early 70's Salewa crampons, Chouinard piolet and alpine hammer, 1st generation Hexes and Stoppers.
Tad
Early 70's Chouinard Piolet and Alpine Hammer
Early 70's Chouinard Piolet and Alpine Hammer
Credit: T Hocking
Early 70's Chouinard Piolet and Alpine Hammer
Early 70's Chouinard Piolet and Alpine Hammer
Credit: T Hocking
1st generation Chouinard Hexes 72
1st generation Chouinard Hexes 72
Credit: T Hocking
1st generation Chouinard stoppers 72
1st generation Chouinard stoppers 72
Credit: T Hocking
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Dec 21, 2012 - 04:49pm PT
Peck Plastic Nuts/chocks - anyone have any or seen them? When I worked at Mountain Life in Los Gatos about 1971 we recieved a shipment of black plastic chocks from Robbins. I immediately blasted and shattered them all with a hammer and sent them back, to Royal's consternation. Then one day in Yosemite at the base of El Cap at the base of the Salathe there was Royal wanting to borrow some jumars. I don't think he actually knew who I was, since we'd never met face to face, but I told him he could borrow my jumars if he took those black plastic chocks off the market! I really had it in for those things and never even used them. It just seemed obvious they were way too brittle the way people pounded on stuff. They were not soft like the blue Forrest chock.

Anyway, I was a bit brash the way I approached the whole thing considering how much I admired Royal's writing and climbing, but I was a young punk - what can I say!

By the way, I was a Blue Boot lover too. They were so awesome after all the other boots we used back then - it took me a while to move on. My latest blue shoes are Evolvs!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 21, 2012 - 08:33pm PT
T Hocking & McHales Navy! Thanks for posting.

I don’t have memories of the Robbins black-plastic Peck Nuts.

I do have a grudge about the blue-plastic Forest Nuts, from a 1973 fall on a new route on the South-side of Harrison Peak in Idaho's Selkirk Range.

Just off a ledge, I didn't feel comfortable with trying a harder move free, so I slotted a big blue-plastic Forest stopper in the hand-crack, clipped in a sling, stepped-up, and started fishing for a good jam above it.

Suddenly! The Forest nut popped, and I flew down and out for a 10’-15' fall into space. The elastic rope bounced me back onto the ledge I had barely missed landing on “back-first”, with no damage to me.
I remember exclaiming: “ WOW! Glad I missed hitting this ledge.” (We are so clueless in our 20’s.)

Of course I led the crack again, then freed it on a later trip. Never wrote the route up, due to Idaho ethics.

A 1972 photo of a couple of the Forest Blue plastic nuts, & some other...
A 1972 photo of a couple of the Forest Blue plastic nuts, & some other early nuts on a combined rack, including at far left, what turns out to be an early and rare drilled SMC Hex.
Credit: Fritz

The plastic chock had a "gouge-mark" from top to bottom, where my body weight had ripped a big feldspar crystal through it.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Dec 21, 2012 - 08:44pm PT
Never had any plastic nuts, sounds too sketchy to me.
Bet they didn't last long on the market, what were they thinking?
Did they ever do tests on them?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Dec 21, 2012 - 08:46pm PT
Damn....i wish i still had my Micky Mantle rookie card.
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Dec 21, 2012 - 09:01pm PT
Remember when a hammer always made a nut placement a little better?
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Dec 21, 2012 - 09:11pm PT
Of course I led the crack again, then freed it on a later trip. Never wrote the route up, due to Idaho ethics.


Fritz, tell us about the no reporting thing? That must have come from what Robinson started that I have asked about in other threads. I lived in Boise at that time and don't recall anyone saying anything like that. They did not want Californians Californicating Idaho though. Idahoans did not want anyone messing with their 3rd world status. There was some kind of no chaulk ethic getting started at the local quarry - I straightened them out pretty fast - Californian that I was!

Did they ever do tests on them?

I seriously doubt it. I'll bet me taking a hammer to those stupid things was the first and last test.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 21, 2012 - 09:18pm PT
McHales: Re your question about 70's Idaho climbing ethics.

Here's a link to a thread where the subject is discussed.

Trip to the Sawtooths (Idaho), suggestions?
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1591843&msg=2007278#msg2007278



McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Dec 21, 2012 - 09:32pm PT
Fritz, you don't have memories of Peck plastic chocks cause I single handedly stopped them in their tracks before I moved to Idaho.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 21, 2012 - 09:39pm PT
McHale: Happy Solstice!
Credit: Fritz
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Dec 21, 2012 - 09:41pm PT
Same to you! I like that big fire!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 21, 2012 - 11:29pm PT
I bet my old bamboo Coonyard piolet is still seeing good usage by some appreciative Rooskie.
TMJesse

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Dec 22, 2012 - 12:21pm PT
A Galibier bump from the 1976 Ski Hut catalog.

Credit: TMJesse
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 22, 2012 - 01:54pm PT
Brings back 70's alpine climbing memories seeing a Wonder light ad. The wonder always was "I wonder if it has turned on inside my pack again and drained the batteries?"
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Apr 5, 2014 - 02:58am PT
Bump, similar to my recent thread.

My RRs lasted me a while, until the RDs/PAs and then EBs came along, but those Super Guides, a good all around mountaineering boot.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Apr 5, 2014 - 03:50am PT
Did someone say historic gear?
My old alpine & ice climbing tools
My old alpine & ice climbing tools
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Dachstein mittens, Salewa ice screws, wart hogs, 1st generation Chouin...
Dachstein mittens, Salewa ice screws, wart hogs, 1st generation Chouinard ice screws. Can you believe that we used to actually lead with this sh#t?
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
My ol' Galibier Makalu double boots made two trips to Denali
My ol' Galibier Makalu double boots made two trips to Denali
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Copyright 2012 Harry Marinakis
Copyright 2012 Harry Marinakis
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
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