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klk

Trad climber
cali
Apr 12, 2010 - 11:44am 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 - 01:17pm 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.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Apr 12, 2010 - 02:32pm PT
Herb Bluer could sure go on about clubbies (among other things) and had lots of stories of being spat upon etc durring encounters while he was ski guiding (heli)
And whats with that lake lovely water cabin? i've had a few interesting events there. It does have a particularly gloomy feel to it - no?

still i think we're just talking about a few rotten apples . my mom and dad seemed ok!

furhtermore the bcmc in particularly put up some fight about degrading of provincial parks etc.
There is still Heliskiing in Garibaldi park. what the hells up with that bull? Maybe they should have spat a little harder!

A bunch of crusty wackos maybe but thier hearts in the right spot more or less.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Apr 12, 2010 - 02:45pm PT
speaking of unclimbed peaks, when is somebody going to tag that frighteningly spectacular piece of crap vulcans thumb? you can damn near spit and hit it from vancouver. that aint right.
why arn't the crash padders hurling themselves at it like a bunch of tutonic brown shirt eigerwanders? whats with those rastafarian wood elves anyway? they call themselves climbers?
I bet they're not even BCMCers.

For decades everyones been waiting for the "Magic Freeze" on vulcans thumb. I bet if someone actually touched it it would turn out to be splitter basalt. someone go find out.

I know- we can get some merrycans to do it. It looks like the south face of aconcagua from the squamish valley and merrycans like to climb that. We should lottery it off as a anti fish farm fundraiser.
Pate

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2010 - 02:49pm PT
thanks bmacd. that link is killer.
Chief

climber
Apr 12, 2010 - 03:29pm PT
bk, they're Pebble Wrestlers
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Apr 12, 2010 - 07:19pm 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 - 07:22pm 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 12, 2010 - 09:04pm 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.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Apr 12, 2010 - 09:16pm PT
yeah but i bet its the most splitter horrible crap you can imagine. i realy think we should auction it off some how. maybe at the next john howe slide show. get some guide to donate a day.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Apr 12, 2010 - 09:19pm 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 12, 2010 - 09:24pm PT
Ghost: I for one, will agree to share those choss-piles: only if you first annex us.
Tricouni

Mountain climber
Vancouver
Apr 12, 2010 - 09:25pm 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.
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Apr 12, 2010 - 10:09pm PT
Calling this virtual museum "A People's History of BC Mountaineering" is a bit of a stretch. Someone mentioned upthread that the last 30 years or so are missing. Also missing is any mention of the Interior Mountains. For you coastal [and southern] people that's the Cariboo Mountains, the Monashees, the North and South Selkirks and the Purcells. Just minor league stuff like Roger's Pass, where it all started, the Bugs etc. etc..... They probably got a bigger grant by claiming to cover all of BC.

Bruce Fairley isn't history in the Coast Range, or anywhere else. He did a big route down there last summer [2009], and it should be in the next CAJ.

Tami is partially correct when she says that VOC was primarily a dating club. When I was a member it was both a dating and a downhill skiing club, but definitely not a climbing club. The climbing was done by the aptly named Splinter Soc. Talking of dating, that's also where Tricouni met his wife!! I always say that I should have married a VOC girl as well. Hindsight.

Tricouni takes too long to type, so I'm just going to call him Nails. There is a good picture of Nails on this museum site, which is credited to Barry Hagen. I noticed an uncanny resemblance to a photo which i took of Nails on the third morning of our ascent of the U Wall. I would go as far as to say that it looks EXACTLY the same. But museums never make mistakes.

On a slight tangent, I received my complementary copy of Kevin McLane's new guidebook 'Canadian Rock--Select Climbs of the West' this afternoon. It's terrific. All the very best rock routes in Alberta and BC. Quoting from the back cover:
70 climbing areas
1300 climbs
2300 pitches
800 photos and topos


one different feature about this guide is that it does not list the names of the FA parties, so no ego trips here.
----so much to climb, so little time.

Cheers H.

Tricouni

Mountain climber
Vancouver
Apr 12, 2010 - 10:15pm PT
Hamie:
Tricouni takes too long to type, so I'm just going to call him Nails. There is a good picture of Nails on this museum site, which is credited to Barry Hagen. I noticed an uncanny resemblance to a photo which i took of Nails on the third morning of our ascent of the U Wall. I would go as far as to say that it looks EXACTLY the same. But museums never make mistakes.


Oh yes, they do make mistakes! Glad you pointed that out; I'm about to email and get it fixed. (I've pointed out another error to them as well.) I didn't know who took it, but makes sense that it was in U Wall days.

Glad that Fairley is still making history in the Coast Mtns.

Glenn
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Apr 12, 2010 - 10:23pm PT
Make that Hardass Nails!!
Tricouni

Mountain climber
Vancouver
Apr 12, 2010 - 10:24pm PT
Hamie:
Calling this virtual museum "A People's History of BC Mountaineering" is a bit of a stretch. Someone mentioned upthread that the last 30 years or so are missing. Also missing is any mention of the Interior Mountains. For you coastal [and southern] people that's the Cariboo Mountains, the Monashees, the North and South Selkirks and the Purcells. Just minor league stuff like Roger's Pass, where it all started, the Bugs etc. etc..... They probably got a bigger grant by claiming to cover all of BC.

Several people, including me, have pointed out that it's essentially a Coast Mtns site. There are other institutions (ACC, Archives of Cdn Rockies, AAC) that have extensive archives of Rockies stuff - not sure about the Interior Ranges. The North Van site can't compete with them. But you are probably correct: the $$ they received from the Feds was probably tied to something broader than just SW BC.

But, some years ago, I contacted Archives of Cdn Rockies about donating some very early Coast Mtns and Omineca Mtns stuff - they were supremely uninterested. So those photos are at UBC now.

There's lots of room for different approaches to a "History of Climbing in BC." The North Van site is just a start, I hope.

Glenn
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Apr 12, 2010 - 10:50pm PT
David as a condition of steal.......erm.........taking .......our water can they please take Gordo The DUI ?


neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Apr 12, 2010 - 10:58pm PT
hey there mighty hiker, say, thanks for the interesting post...

wow, tami is here... say, there, and hey there, tami...

happy to see you,
god bless your day, night, or whatever, as to whatever time
it is now... (it is tue, 1:51 am here) ...

:)
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 12, 2010 - 10:59pm PT
At least the Virtual Museum exhibit is called A People's History of B.C. Mountaineering, rather than The History of... It suggests that it isn't claiming to be anything more than it is.

Historiography is a fascinating subject, to me anyway.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historiography
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annales_School
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