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guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Feb 8, 2010 - 04:43pm PT
Survival

Best to wait until later in the day after you have twisted a few, or just after a splurge of "wire water" in the early am.

There once was a climber named Boo
Neither Protestant, Catholic or Jew

On discovering a bale
He declined to inhale

Believe this-you are one of the few.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Feb 8, 2010 - 05:09pm PT
Posted this on Hero's site but might be more appropriate here.

Boche and Guido on one of our infamous, First Ascent -by- Topo-Only, explorations. Often 2-3 day endeavors and often devoid of anything worth climbing. The Topo lines may have been stacked together but the rock was sh#t.

Don't let the short hair fool you. Circa late 60s. If the route turned out to be worthless we always had alternative modes of entertainment.




survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 8, 2010 - 07:08pm PT
Sweet photo! Classic!

Don't worry Guido, I am most DEFINITELY NOT fooled by the short hair.
I was in the service....clever ruse!
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 9, 2010 - 11:47pm PT
ken Boche nice to meet ya!


LongAgo

Trad climber
Feb 10, 2010 - 08:29pm PT
Ken,

Good to hear your voice again after these many years. You sound happy and why not in your paradise. Next time there, I’ll try to look you up, now that I know you are alive and you know I'm the same, for the moment. I do recall days at Stoney, bantering with you and funnybone Russ, and Couch and all the wonder of starting climbing all together more or less from our home base in LA, venturing to Tahquitz and Yosemite and then beyond ...

Roger writes: "PS: What are the details of the first ascent of 'Angles Approach?' Meyer's last guide shows the route, but lists the FA information as 'Tom Higgins, et al.'" Glad to set the record straight: I had no part in the FA and all credit goes to Ken and "et. al." How did that guy climb, Ken? I remember him, sort of faceless but somehow he squeezed into a couple of my FAs and maybe yours too. Seriously, the Meyer's guide is simply wrong on this one, though none other with my name that I can find.

I'm seeing those glorious sunsets now, thinking of your home.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
hashbro

Trad climber
Mental Physics........
Feb 10, 2010 - 11:06pm PT
My very first thought of becoming a climber, was at a slideshow that Ken and Russ gave at a local junior high in Orange County in 1972 about a wild Yosemite ascent they had just completed.

These guys got my palms so damn sweaty, there was NO turning back.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 11, 2010 - 02:29am PT
Ken,

Thanks for the FA info on Angel's Approach.
Do you have a year for it? Pre-EBs, so before 1971?
I remember we figured out the correct info in the past year or two, with help from Tom.
It must have gotten lost in the years between the Roper guide and the first Meyers guide.

It's a cool route. I've done it several times, and helped replace the bolts on it a few summers back.
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Feb 11, 2010 - 07:51am PT
Guido: Great shot of the two of us!! I wonder how many topo–non-FAs we bailed on…

Survival: Did you ever visit Nam?

Pyro: The pleasure is mine.

Long Ago: How great to find you here! Yes, life is good here tho I miss family, friends and old haunts quite a lot, never more than in the past week of so since I’ve found such a flood of memories here. Yes, please look me up if you get out this way. I still remember that classic party at your Oakland place where Haan commented that “It was the first party of “OUR generation” after those hosted by Yvon and RR.” I remember your great stereo system and a vinyl record you had of wolf howlings. I put it on and opened the window and turned the volume WAY UP; soon every dog within 2 miles of your place was carrying on like Jack London himself was mushing through town! Sheesh! I was a trouble-maker, I guess.

More important, as you recall, were are frequent and intense trips to Stoney and then moving beyond… Have you checked out the Stoney Point thread in the last day or so? A film maker, Cole Gibson is making a documentary on Stoney. He says the 60’s is a bit thin. Did he interview you? If not, I’m thinking he may be missing an important piece of Stoney’s influence, considering the intensity with which we climbed there and the places that we went later.

Someone else on the Stoney thread, I think, was asking me for Kamps stories. You, of course, are probably the best one for those…

Do you have any pictures of our HD climb? I think you brought the only camera. Did you shoot B&W film then? I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of them. It was the 14th ascent, right? Memorial Day, ’66, as I recall. I suppose there’s a catalogue somewhere on here. But how to find it? Roper!

“et al,” aka Russolovich McClinsky, was a fine climber. But he could hardly speak English and certainly couldn’t spell for beans, but his German was good; he’d always held up H. Buhl as his idol, so he learned to speak German in case he ever met his daughter. I actually spoke with him today; he’s living a “stones throw” from Stoney at the end of his phone line with no high speed internet access, so he can’t get on here. I do think he’s moving in this direction, but we can’t hold our breath that long…

Hashbro: It’s hard to believe that Russ and I EVER went to Orange County, but if you say so,… Did the slideshow have the climb “Rainbows” (near Ribbon Falls) set to Dylan singing, “Mr. Tambourine Man?” I was thinking of re-doing that digitally, maybe posting it on here if possible.

Clint: Angel’s couldn’t have been pre-’71 or it would have been in Roper’s Green Guide. I’m guessing it was ’72, tho possibly ’73 since I was in Yosemite doing my meadow field research for my thesis. I made notes about the date of that climb in my copy of the Green Guide which I have to dig out of whichever box it’s in now that I’ve been wanting to refer to it 5 X/ day for the last week. It might have been a couple of years since EBs were introduced that I bought MY first pair. It was NOT ’74 since we went to Afghanistan that year. Did you ever go from Lucifer’s to the Oasis? That’s pretty wild!

Today, February 11th is my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 98 today. Thanks, Dad, for taking me climbing and introducing me to this world.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Feb 11, 2010 - 09:13am PT
hey there say, ken/boodawg.... wow, what wonderful things to learn about you !.... (thanks for his "intro" roger)...

welcome!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 11, 2010 - 10:34am PT
Morning Ken,

Somewhere up-thread you mention that you have lots of vintage gear. Ken Yager has gotten the Yosemite Climbing Museum up and running with two major and successful exhibits. Please contact him--he posts here regularly as "Chicken Skinner"--and offer him your stuff.

I would also like to hear some about the Psychedelic Wall (1966 Ken Boche Dennis Hennek) and the Gobi Wall (1969 Chuck Pratt Ken Boche).
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 11, 2010 - 11:30am PT
Ken Boche here is the link to the Stoney thread!
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/971616/STONEY_POINT
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Feb 11, 2010 - 01:10pm PT
I have more crap than the museum could really use, but a thoughtful selection is a good idea.

Please be patient on some of your requests; I'm thinking I'll do this chronologically, filling in randomly where appropriate. Thanks .
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 11, 2010 - 05:14pm PT
Ken, I would let Ken Yager decide on the usefulness of your gear. Initially only really famous gear was thought valuable--original Salathe pins, real Stovelegs pins, etc.—or a specific piece of equipment used on a specific climb. What Ken told me was that putting together an interesting exhibit required a broader view of what is interesting: a glass case with ten historically significant items is not so interesting and doesn't make much of an impression. He needs to build exhibits. So, I shipped him everything I owned from the late 60s and 70s, including all of my camping gear and clothing. Unfortunately, I had thrown out some stuff that smelled bad--3 man Sierra Designs tent--or was rusty--Primus two burner cook stove. None of my stuff has any historical significance but it might help Ken put together a more interesting exhibit in which he can display the historical stuff.
LongAgo

Trad climber
Feb 11, 2010 - 09:48pm PT
Ken,

Sorry, no pics of the Half Dome ascent with you, but Vivian Mendenhall may have some from Mirror Lake area with tele-photo. You may recall she was there at the time, following our progress. I'll check with her. We would be specs, of course. FYI, Vivian lives in Alaska and is retired from Federal Wildlife Service, but still goes out on major bird watch trips, her passion.

I'll visit Stoney thread and post a bit on Kamps. No, no one has approached me regarding a film on Stoney, but someone did ask me to write a bit on Kamps for a Stoney guidebook, though the request was way long ago so not sure if project is still in the works.

LongAgo (seeming longer ago all the time)
Camster (Rhymes with Hamster)

Social climber
CO
Feb 11, 2010 - 10:14pm PT
Ken,
Thanks for the great Layton Kor-centric interview the other day.
Best,
Cam
TomKimbrough

Social climber
Salt Lake City
Feb 11, 2010 - 10:35pm PT
Ken - Good to her you are doing well.
Cheers,
Tom Kimbrough
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Feb 18, 2010 - 06:29am PT
Thanks, Roger for your suggestions to donate gear to the Yosemite Museum.

Tom H.: Thanks for the information on no pix from our HD climb. I'll comment more on our Stoney Pt. conversation...

Cam, You are welcome for the interview about Kor. Wish I could have been more helpful.

Tom K.: Thanks so much for your greeting; Good to hear from you.
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Feb 18, 2010 - 06:49am PT
First Ascent, N.E. face of Mt. Brewer.

Russ McLean, Dennis Hennek, and I graduated from our high school in 1963, and that summer, in addition to a climbing trip to the Tetons with my father and brother, I took a hike into Bullfrog Lake over Kearsarge Pass from Independence, CA. From that lake, there's a lovely view of Mt. Brewer in the distance, and I greatly admired its nearly 1000' unclimbed face, and I set my sights on it.


I'd never climbed anywhere but Stoney Point until then, so Russ and I took a quick trip to Tahquitz where we did two moderate climbs and were able to practice swinging leads on real multi-pitch climbs. Late in the summer, carrying ropes and hardware, we hiked (in our Kronhofer "kettershoes") to Bullfrog Lake where we found, by sheer coincidence, Dennis and his brothers fishing by the lake. After a short visit with them, Russ and I continued on and eventually set up a camp near the base of the Mt. Brewer's NE face.


In the early morning, having chosen a proposed route up a prominent crack system, we walked up to the base of the face. This last section was up very hard frozen snow/ice, necessitating that we cut steps with our piton hammers (made by Salewa with a long, sharp point on one end of the head), so that our Kronhofers would hold on the snow/ice.


Arriving at the base of the face, we were surprised by the amount of fallen rock all around. Russ led carefully up the moderate first pitch, loose rock on every possible perch. Safely up, I came up and led the next pitch, a clean, classic chimney which led up to a more broken section of the face. From there, the climbing eased up considerably, so we swung leads for about 5 easy, enjoyable pitches to near the summit. Russ led up the last pitch, finally emerging from the shade of the face into the late afternoon sunshine with feelings of pride at being very inexperienced climbers yet having succeeded at climbing a new route on one of the Sierra’s most isolated and prominent peaks.



On our way down, we had to descend the very hard ice at the base of the face. We decided to self-arrest our way down the ice. However, we discovered that the picks and handles on our hammers were too short to protect our bare knuckles from the ice, so after we stopped at the bottom of the ice, our knuckles were painfully bloody, not for the last time… The following day, we descend to the Kings River and walked painfully in our tight “klettershoes” more than 20 miles down to Cedar Grove.


Captain...or Skully

Social climber
walkin' the road to nowhere
Feb 18, 2010 - 08:23am PT
Awesome story, BooDawg.
That's the stuff I really hang here for....The golden stories.
Thanks for sharin' it, & the others, too.
Pure gold. Yowza!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 18, 2010 - 08:28am PT
Welcome, the slab men cometh! I was always too chicken sh#t to pioneer slab routes. Lucky for me that Yosemite granite also has cracks.
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