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mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 21, 2012 - 01:55pm PT
"Tiny degrees of separation."

Excellent choice of words, DMT; you a lawbucks, by chance? :0)

So generous of you to clear the air about that, Pete. It's something everybody needs to listen to and benefit from.

We live in a modern world and it's good to see you taking the best of it for our advantage.

Kudos. Kudos. Mas kudos.
sibylle

Trad climber
On the road again!
Sep 21, 2012 - 02:09pm PT
Regarding "two shoes" -- back in the 70s, the late Tom Dunwiddie and I were climbing a hard face route at Suicide, for which we used two different shoes. His idea I think. He'd been a Devil's Lake (Wisc.) climber, and good at hard, steep face. It was some combination like an EB on one foot, a PA or RD on the other foot, for a particular move. And specific shoes were allocated to specific feet.
Haven't sen Vandiver in many years -- send me his email, if you have it. BTW, Peter, I'm heading to the Bay Area to take care of my mom and her house, if you want to visit. Are you coming to Facelift?
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Sep 21, 2012 - 02:17pm PT
Randisi, yep, I just looked it up in my copy of the book, you are right, The Vertical World of Yosemite, though the pic on page 127 shows Chris a bit higher up (caption is on page 126) than the one Peter posted on this thread. It credits Galen with the pic (page 207, Photo Credits).

Caption: Chris Vandiver leads Outer Limits, a difficult free climb, using nuts for protection. Pitons are no longer being used on most of the popular climbs in Yosemite.

Randisi, I think Outer Limits is one of the best 'short' 5.10s I have climbed, but there are so many, aren't there.
fsck

climber
Sep 21, 2012 - 02:47pm PT
did this chris vandiver guy get into ultra-running at some point? i seem to remember that name appearing on various 100 milers. same guy?
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Sep 21, 2012 - 03:23pm PT
The Vendetta may break down into individual do-able sections alright, and, if you take your time to deal with it detail by detail, it may be a manageable endeavor. However, doing the second 5.10b OW pitch in shorts without knee-pads? That doesn't sound like much fun at all!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 21, 2012 - 03:41pm PT
Sibylle, you can reach Vandiver via Supertopo; his handle is his name. He only has posted a couple of times however.

Patrick, that image of Vandiver on Outer Limits: I am in possession of that slide. Chris gave it to me sometime after Galen did a photo shoot of him on that climb, and Chris of course was given the image by Galen. There were as usual a ton of images from that lead as I am sure Galen was hardly belaying. (grin). Galen and Chris were very close friends going back into the sixties even. They logged what must have been thousands of hours together throughout the west. I think Chris often had to carry a lot of that heavy Nikon glass too, of Galenís. In a sense Chris mentored to RR and then phased into Galen with a bunch of overlap as well.

Fsck, Chris never was an ultramarathoner. He could have been however as the sucker was a terrific athlete even as a god-forsaken medium smoker. His name has been around forever, since the sixties. He has lived in Yosemite, The Meadows, Squaw, Truckee, SLC, Santa Fe, near Greeley, CA, the Alameda/Bay Area of course, and now outside of Seattle where I think he has settled for good with an absolutely wonderful wife. He currently is not climbing, but it would not surprise me if he resumed at some point soon. He was at the absolute pinnacle at Indian Rock by 1971 and for a few years afterwards and was a major trad climber for more than twenty years afterward. A ferocious boulderer and fabulously competitive, lots of fun. And leading, he was incredibly gutsy, as we had to be back then given the bogus hardware and shoes. He soloed probably as much as Bachar but not usually above lower 5.12s he had wired. He has a long list of trad FAís and FFAís and has been at the same time very wise and never been injured or rescued despite his high level of risktaking. I do have to say that he was rescued as a kid though before he took up climbing; it was down at Pinnacles on Machete Ridge. I think he was like fourteen or something. Like Doug Robinson, these young dudes just started up a feature and kept going until they couldnít, finally realizing their situation and then finally calling meekly for help. We donít know who the ranger was that saved Chris, but Wayne Merry was the one to rescue child Doug.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 21, 2012 - 03:43pm PT
Brucer, yeah I hear you. I hated climbing in shorts but Vandiver was so disciplined with his knees and general climbing form and a good 40 pounds lighter than me that Vendetta offwidth in shorts turned out just fine for him. And I mean it too. You would think he would be all cut up as that pitch is so rough and fairly serious as well.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Sep 21, 2012 - 05:07pm PT
Peter, great info.

BTW, I was just merely mentioning the credits given. I don't care who took who owns the photo, it was a great shot.

But your contribution, indeed start, to this thread is priceless.

I never achieved the level of climbing that a lot of you, or indeed, dudes my age did, I just enjoyed climbing. Sure I aspired to be a first ascentionist on new routes in Yo Valley, but it didn't happen, my road took a different path.

I admire you and the rest of the pioneers and those pushing the envelope in the (1960s) 1970s onwards. I climbed with some of them but though climbing is my first love, I had other 'loves'.

I love this forum and the contributions of those who have played a part in climbing history and those who have yet to play a part. My hat is off to you all.

Now.. if I can just lead Streetfighter (HVS, 5.9ish) in the Quarry without shaking and shivering, I'd be happy. (Okay, done that, the shaking and shivering part, but the crux is either a placement or a finger jam... what to do? Hah hah).
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 21, 2012 - 05:25pm PT
I seem to recall that Galen and Chris were on an FA of Mt. Conness' W Face which was written up in AACJ.
splitter

Trad climber
Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Sep 21, 2012 - 05:37pm PT
Mouse - I think it was the FFA SW Face/Harding Route (10c)!

edit: believe it had something to do with the face climbing variation low down on the route, which ultimately (they) freed the whole route.
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
Sep 21, 2012 - 08:40pm PT
Chris told me that he often climbed off width in shorts as a matter of
pride. He had exceedingly good technique, and he was not averse to letting
people become aware of that.
I know that is an awkward construction, but it begins to address his style
of gamesmanship. He was not bombastic at all, relying on subtlety to a
large degree.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 21, 2012 - 09:19pm PT
Sort of right, Mouser. Splitterís point is right on. What a feather too, Conness. And we pause in memory here, of Don Goodrich who died up there so long ago from rockfall.

Scuffy, thatís true too and incredibly funny as well!! CV loved the technical and like Pratt with whom he climbed a whole summer after Prattís heydays, he wanted his climbing to get to where each move was drained of its craziness and fear and crafted in equilibrium to the extent possible. Thus when you watched Pratt climb, even later on, and when you watched CV climb, there usually wasnít any drama. Though Pratt was not a soloist really, Vandiver was a ferocious one and excelled for many years at it. We got our start on the South Face of North Dome linked with Washington Column Direct Route unroped many times. I was done soloing hard things by 1975 by Chris kept at it through the 1990's I think.

Patrick, I love this forum too. It is a near effortless means of staying in touch, reaching across imagined barriers and across continents, to friends past and future in rich ways and in a manner never before experienced until our digital age. We are so lucky today. This forum allows us to manifest our best instincts easily. Like you, I am finding it awfully important, especially as my powers wane and people are so far flung now across the globe.
David Wilson

climber
CA
Sep 22, 2012 - 12:39pm PT
Peter, remember that Galen pic ( in the AAJ i think ) of Chris leading a crux traverse on Conness with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth - essence of cool !
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 22, 2012 - 11:03pm PT
Mouse...I recall pulling into the Camp 4 parking lot and before I could turn off the engine Chris's smiling face was inches from mine outside the drivers side window. He immediately drug a driver weary me to his new boulder problem. He proceeded to climb it with two different shoes on; one for smearing and one for edging.
I was still young but already versed in excuses for not climbing...and I didn't have two different pairs of shoes.
I saw Chris several years ago in SLC. I would love his contact info.
Thanks Peter.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2012 - 11:42pm PT
David, fortunately, Chris has stopped smoking and is in pretty good shape too, though not climbing currently. Conness was a big feather and he was proud of that ascent. I could tell as it would crop up in our conversations sometimes.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Sep 23, 2012 - 12:01am PT
Chris guided for YMS for a while. He had (probably has) incredible reflexes. One time we were playing a silly game in the neat old TM bldg. that was our home for a while; the game where two of you stand face to face, one holds his clasped hands in front at waist level, the the other holds hands at sides. Challenge is for the second guy to slap the other's hands with one of his - number one just dodges from the wrist. Anyway, no one could touch Chris. Finally, Loyd and I teamed up on him. Still couldn't hit him. Finally Loyd got really pissed off and took a mighty swing. His follow-though drove his giant damn thumb right into my eye socket and I went down like I'd been hit with a sledge. Fortunately, no permanent damage and I got to wear a patch for a couple weeks.

Really enjoyed Chris - hope he is thriving.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:02pm PT
speed bump
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
Yeah, Chris Vandiver IS thriving, Fossil. He is living in Washington with the most incredible wife and their life together is going quite well. Chris hasn't been climbing in recent years but is still thin and fit, walks a ton with his Irish Setter pair, Cleo and O'Riley. He is remodeling their house a bunch and has a giant unique garden that came with the house. Many unique trees also. I would say he is in the best situation of his entire life now.
harryhotdog

Social climber
north vancouver, B.C.
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:52pm PT
Thanks Peter for all these great stories and classic pics and to you Tarbuster for the bump. It would be nice if all these historical posts were in one history folder so we could all peruse at will as opposed to relying on bumps.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 02:55pm PT
Thanks Harry. yeah, I agree; all in due time.
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