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Tricouni

Mountain climber
Vancouver
Apr 12, 2010 - 12:12pm PT
Chief wrote:
I've seldom been inspired or impressed by the "Beard Stroking, Pontificating Clubbers".
(I had an encounter with one of their senior ilk at the Lake Lovelywater hut a few years ago that left me disgusted to this day)

I've met plenty of that type, too, with similarly disgusting results. Oddly enough, one of the worst was at the Lake Lovelywater hut - something in the water there? And one at the Gunks.
Pate

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2010 - 12:25pm PT
Okay so this is the second post in this most legitimate of threads & I won't go all L or Pate on you

you can aspire to greatness though Tami- everyone can dream. few reach the prowess of L and I.

I was once told by Rudy Beglinger about the number of unclimbed summits in BC, both the Coastal Range and interior; he said over 90% of the peaks were unclimbed, and named with only numbers. Is that true?
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Apr 12, 2010 - 12:51pm PT
"Beard Stroking, Pontificating Clubbers"

Thank heavens we've none of those here!
Chief

climber
Apr 12, 2010 - 01:04pm PT
My comments about the clubs was about some people in some local clubs and not mountaineering clubs in general.

One of my first trip into the mountains was with Peter Croft and a couple people on an Island Mountain Ramblers outing. It changed my and now that I think about it, Tom DeGroot had a beard and he did stroke it a lot and did pontificate.
Dave Robert's exploits with the Harvard Mountaineers stand out as early inspirations for me.
Locally, the Auger/Tate Woodsworth effort on U Wall stands out as a club effort that set the highest big wall standards of the day.

That puke at Lovelywater just happens to represent an arrogant "upper crust" mentality that stimulates my hurl reflex.

Respectfully,

PB

ps. Rudy's frikkin high!
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
Apr 12, 2010 - 01:16pm PT
Pate 90% is a ridiculous figure. The peaks are rated by prominence on this site

The website is not a simple wiki. It is a geographic information system, organized by lat-long. This means searches are not based on placenames, they are based on geographic proximity. This is important, because hundreds of the articles involve mountains that are unnamed

http://www.bivouac.com/default.asp
Tricouni

Mountain climber
Vancouver
Apr 12, 2010 - 01:32pm PT
I was once told by Rudy Beglinger about the number of unclimbed summits in BC, both the Coastal Range and interior; he said over 90% of the peaks were unclimbed, and named with only numbers. Is that true?

Depends what you mean by a peak. There are still plenty of small summits that have never been climbed, including many with names. 90% is far too high. Plenty of small, hard pinnacles. Even a few relatively high-prominence (for the region), hard peaks remain, but you have to know where they are!

Most summits in the Coast Mtns don't have names, so people just talk about "Peak 9535" when they talk about them at all. The owners of Bivouac.com have taken to wandering around (electronically) with a big salt-and-pepper shaker full of useless names, sprinkling liberally. Don't get me started....
MH2

climber
Apr 12, 2010 - 01:58pm PT

I was once a member of a club that now belongs in a museum.



Tami

Social climber
Canada
Apr 12, 2010 - 02:07pm PT
I don't think it's fair to say "the clubs" but there were - and prolly still are - some real asshats in the clubs - and otherwise - who 'looked down' on rock climber-types, considering them some kind of lifeform distinct from homo mountaineerus.

Of course Steve & Hugh's ascent of the Cassin was rad & I totally agree Burton prolly wore jeans but not over capilene - over some shitty wool longjohns he otherwise wore on cold days in town. :-D

The "clubs" did some hard mountaineering back when Tom Fyles was leading trips but that wasn't fifty years ago, it was eighty years ago. By the war, the clubs were serving to introduce folks to the hills and the VOC , in particular was a dating club as much as it was a climbing club - which makes sense if you think of the ol biological urge. My parents met at the VOC in the fall of 1945.

I imagine the last 'hard trip' any club led was when Hugh put onto the ACC Vancouver Section list that he'd lead Uncle Ben's if anybody wanted to accompany him. I think that was in '76.

Sure there are people affiliated with the clubs who were doing hard trips but I'd say they were NOT the norm.

And Pete Shack TOTALLY looks like Marty Feldman when he gets going.

Hilarious about Milward doing that FWA on the Ben. He STILL looks like Christopher Robin. HAHAHAHA..... never ever in the history of mountaineering has there been a MORE UNLIKELY looking 'hard guy'.


edit .... ^^^^^ HAHAHAHAAHAAAAA HAHAAA
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 12, 2010 - 02:08pm PT
I recently read the first volume of Royal Robbins' autobiography, To Be Brave. It's well written and interesting, mostly about his youth, framed by his solo ascent of the Leaning Tower in 1963. One interesting aspect is his introduction to mountaineering and climbing, through the boy scouts and then the Sierra Club. He has a lot of praise for the organizations and their leaders. How many of us here got started through some similar program - scouts, guides, outward bound, local clubs, etc? Even now? Yes, such groups are now usually far from the leading edge, tend to be run by older people who like to reminisce (kind of like SuperTopo), and can be conservative and stodgy. But credit where credit is due, and they've contributed a lot.

Painting clubs with a broad brush doesn't make a lot of sense. Some have somewhat reinvented themselves, too - such as the AAC, in part in response to the success of the Access Fund.

I have no more liking for being organized in my climbing by others than anyone else. But it's part of our modern world, whether it's those who manage the places we like to go to or whatever. Like it or not, climbers have to be organized and represented - that's how democracy works. The Climbers' Access Society of BC was created in 1995 for that role, to ensure there was effective representation on key issues. Being anti-organization and anti-authority as kneejerk thing is senseless, as society becomes increasingly interdependent.

the Auger/Tate Woodsworth effort on U Wall stands out as a UBC club effort
As in Tim Auger, Dan Tate, Glenn Woodsworth and Hamish Mutch of the Varsity Outdoor Club, in 1966. A stout effort. Two of the four post here. Maybe someday one of them will post stories about the Cacodemon Climbing Club.
bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
Apr 12, 2010 - 02:36pm PT
Tricouni can you recommend an alternate compendium of info for BC peaks other than Bivoac.com. Paper or electronic is fine, I'm just curious and would like to do some digging around on the coast range.

Thanks
Bruce
klk

Trad climber
cali
Apr 12, 2010 - 02:44pm PT
the baby-boomer generation in north america was deeply suspicious of and hostile to institutions-- everywhere and not just in climbing.

in climbing, institutions like the aac or sierra club or cac seemed sclerotic and backward and dominated by parental figures.

so most climbers privatized, creating loose, informal social groups based on friendship, geography, and interests. some of those groups endured over time, but many didn't. and the institutions the baby boomers and gen xers didn't join, grew smaller, and weaker, and lost influence.

we have a tendency to imagine that the clubs as we knew them in the 60s or 70s or 80s were always sclerotic and backward. but that's not necessarily the case. club life was far more important for climbers-- and north americans generally-- in the years before WW2. jay taylor's forthcoming history of climbing in yos shows that it was constant work and pressure from the sierra club that kept a strong faction in the nps from banning climbing in yosemite.

moreover, we've lost a lot by choosing to privatize rather than to join and do the hard work of reforming the club world. now, each and every battle for this or that issue-- access at this crag, preventing this bit of environmental despoliation, keeping climbing legal --requires that we start all over and put in the time and labor to create a special interest institution.

institutions are much easier to tear down than they are to build.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 12, 2010 - 04:17pm PT
Kerwin has some good points. The baby-boomers aversion to their parents' institutions, although perhaps somewhat overstated in popular myth, was in part almost Freudian. It really wasn't anything new, just there were more people and they were noisier about it. Pretty standard adolescent male behaviour, much like the territorial and exclusive behaviour of some climbers.

Ultimately, though, it's pretty clear that climbers have to be organized and represented on an ongoing basis on key issues such as access, safety, commercial pressures and conservation. An ad hoc approach doesn't do it, nor does a small tent strategy.
Pate

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2010 - 05:49pm PT
thanks bmacd. that link is killer.
Chief

climber
Apr 12, 2010 - 06:29pm PT
bk, they're Pebble Wrestlers
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Apr 12, 2010 - 10:19pm PT
I took a climbing course as a teen from the FMCBC. What I love and remember about it was the instructors were all volunteer and definitely NOT cookie cutter Guides.

Belaying practice was to be lashed to a shrub with leather gloves on. A Goldline hawser around your waist took a catenary line up to two jokers tying it around a 200 lb rock.

With 10' of air between the rock and the anchor, gravity at the hands of the chuckling hardcores took hold. The pain and simultaneous laughter at catching the rock was contagious. I finally understood Rodeo.

KLK is on the money and club activity isn't always revenge of the nerds.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Apr 12, 2010 - 10:22pm PT
Not sure why it's called the Vulcan's Thumb - it should be called the Vulcan's Dump.

To wit:
"Once upon a time Vulcan, a really big god in a really big land, really had to go. He went to the mountains. His big dump is still there. If you want to go climb it you really have to want to climb vertical poo."

And after ya do that, you can go do the north side of Black Tusk + "the bishop" jes'fer fun.

Finish up by doing the keyhole on The Table.

Yarrrrrhghghg!!!! Choss-a-holics untie!!!!



Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Apr 13, 2010 - 12:04am PT
Fred touche and Ivan Bandic tried the Vulcan's Thumb not long after doing the FA of Perkins pillar. They climbed on snow up the SW face gully to the notch at the base of the final rock tower and said it was the most horrible crap you can imagine. I was glad I'd stayed home with the flu.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Apr 13, 2010 - 12:19am PT
i realy think we should auction it off some how.

Maybe we should require the Americans to take it as a condition of taking our water?
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Apr 13, 2010 - 12:24am PT
Ghost: I for one, will agree to share those choss-piles: only if you first annex us.
Tricouni

Mountain climber
Vancouver
Apr 13, 2010 - 12:25am PT
Dick Culbert, my brother Bob, I, and a couple of others tried Vulcan's Thumb in 1965(?). It was September, not the best time, admittedly. We climbed the rock to the left (north) of the gully Oplopanax mentioned. The plan was to rappel into the notch from the peaklet just to the north. We made it to almost to the top of the peaklet before bailing. We knew we were beat. Nightmarish rock; I think we had one or two ropes cut by rockfall during the descent raps. We did figure that the gully in winter was the way to go.
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