Are You a Cowboy?


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Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Aug 27, 2010 - 09:35am PT
I seen a lot worse than beer cans ...

Under the exact same circumstances west of Phoenix (ice axe, crampons, haulsack, pack and all) they first threw firecrackers as they sped past and circled back. When I didn't so much as flinch and flipped them off the third pass, they stopped to beat hell out of me.

Pulling out my ice axe and one good stare got them back into the truck, which they then tried to use to run me down. When I tried to use the axe against the nice pretty and expensive truck, the owner (presumably) decided I just wasn't worth it, as clearly I was going to escalate the issue well beyond their concept of fun and games.

You had it easy as a lesbian.

Had nothing to do with being a climber, Jan. And everything with being a filthy hippie passing through their neigh-boor-hood.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Aug 27, 2010 - 09:37am PT
Ice axe and 'pons on your pack west of Pheonix??

Sounds like posing bro.

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Aug 27, 2010 - 10:16am PT
Just passing through.

You try hitch hiking alone with an 80 lb pack AND a haulbag full of gear.

I'll hide out and run the camera. Should be much fun.

Mountain climber
~ soulitude ~
Aug 27, 2010 - 10:19am PT
i hate the stereotypes about cowboys. i know plenty who are neither bigoted nor homophobic.

Trad climber
Lander, WY
Aug 27, 2010 - 10:29am PT
Thanks for that's great.
Cowboys aren't all that bad, well, most of the time. I hitched from Jackson Hole to Rock Springs in 1979 and had the ice tools on the outside of the pack. I had pretty long hair at the time and this cowboy with Texas plates on his truck stops and loooooks and asks "are you one o them Califurnia hippies?' and I said "well I'm from California." So he gives me a ride to Pinedale and I fill him in on the climbing thing. He thought it all sounded pretty cool. He was looking for ranch work and we stopped in Pinedale where he takes me into this bar and buys me a drink while he's asking around for work. Most of the 'boys' in there are looking at me like I need haircut very badly, but he just told them "ah, just leave him alone, he's all right, he's a climber." We stopped in all those little places and went into bars, so by the time we got to Rock Springs, I was pretty well three sheets to the wind. He let me off at the bus station and I fell asleep on the way to Denver.
I have run across a few cowboys that sort of had an inflated view of their personal worth, like they were better than the rest of us poor slobs that didn't kill themselves bench-pressing cattle around, or whatever it is they do out there. Having worked on a ranch in Crowheart one winter removing the rocks from a pasture for a good friend of mine who happens to be a cowboy, watching the light and clouds and the snow move across the land, I can understand why they get so emotional about their way of life. It's pretty powerful stuff and if you were out there 24/7, you'd probably get an attitude. Like any group of people, some of them are real fine individuals and others are ignorant shits. You just hope you don't run across the ignorant shits in your travels.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Aug 27, 2010 - 10:33am PT
You try hitch hiking alone with an 80 lb pack AND a haulbag full of gear.

Gee Sam, I've never hitched it on my thumb anywhere with a sh*tload of gear before....what's it like?

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Aug 27, 2010 - 10:45am PT
If you have the experience, then you should know the drill. Its CERTAINLY not about "posing". It's about getting somewhere with all the crap you started with and think you are going to need.

And I probably have travelled 10,000 miles that way. Easy. From Peru to Canada on various trips...

And I never had to POSE as a climber anyway. Ever. At the time, I WAS a climber, and nobody could have doubted that who knew me. Good, bad or indifferent. I was there.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 27, 2010 - 10:52am PT
Me too. I climbed in Eldorado, the Grand Teton, and Mt Ranier on that trip. And I didn't look like a hippie in those days either. So either it was the backpack, or the climbing gear, or we're back to the lesbian theory again!

Mountain climber
~ soulitude ~
Aug 27, 2010 - 12:45pm PT
blame it all on my roots, i showed up in boots...

Mountain climber
~ soulitude ~
Aug 27, 2010 - 12:46pm PT
mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys...
corniss chopper

Mountain climber
san jose, ca
Aug 27, 2010 - 01:29pm PT
some interesting pics here


Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Aug 27, 2010 - 02:28pm PT
Actually some of my ancestors were the real thing.

My great great grandfather Andrew Jackson Potter and his son Jack Potter are written up in Traildrivers of Texas and the Handbook of Texas history online. Jack Potter also wrote many short stories about riding the trail.

My own paternal grandfather used to catch and break wild mustangs in Colorado for extra money. He didn't run them down with helicopters either!

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 27, 2010 - 02:59pm PT
Tony Jesson, aka the "wretch" was one of Chouniard early climbing friends, had a rather unnerving experience while hitchhiking to Jackson Hole from Cal back in the early 60s.

Long hair, full beard and all the usual traveling paraphernalia on his back he is standing outside Winnemucca, (I think it was there, could have been Wendover?) with his thumb out trying to catch a ride. Now, Tony is a big guy and can easily take care of himself in most situations.

Some of the local boys arrive, pour gasoline on him and in an attempt at involuntary immolation, try to ignite the scene. A trucker pulls up, yells for tony to get his ass in mui pronto and they speed off.

In 1966 I was driving back to Cal in one of my infamous Rowellmobiles and outside Winnemucca, the fan blade disintegrated and smashed thru the radiator. In the middle of friggin nowhere these two "older" cowgirls arrive in an old Ford pickup. Shotgun across the lap: "Sonny you look like you need some help, can we give you a ride?"

Spent three days in lovely Winnemucca, borrowing tools, begging for parts, sleeping in the car and finally extricated myself in time to just make it over Tioga before the pass closed for the year. My hair was pretty long back then, so perhaps there was a shortage of gasoline?

The scene in the "Worlds Fastest Indian," where Burt's car breaks down and he ends up staying with that grand old cowgirl brought back fond memories of the past.


Trad climber
Boulder Creek CA
Sep 1, 2010 - 11:40pm PT
Gary Hemming was beat nearly to death in about 1963 in an ally behind a saloon in Jackson Wyoming by a group of cowboys who didn't like climbers in general and the tall brash Hemming in particular. I helped him around camp after he was released from the Jackson Hospital. I often wondered if that beating didn't have serious lasting effects that made his subsequent life all the more difficult for an all-ready high-strung guy. He was one of the great climbers of the age, and that event set him back dramatically.

My dad was a real horseman and cowboy in Idaho before he met my mom. But my mom made him trade horses for kids, and the horses were gone by the time I got old enough to care.

Cowboys on Skidoos 'rescued' us from our ski-airplane on Big Sandy Meadow during our 1960s winter climbing trip into the Wind Rivers. They treated us pretty well, considering they thought we were crazy California hippies!

More recently I've worked as a cowboy in the Owens Valley and in Nevada on a number of big cattle drives. My son was with me on a few of them. I've also done some long Pony Express-style cross-country rides on racing Arabians in Nevada.

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Sep 1, 2010 - 11:51pm PT
Real climbers don't wear lycra. John Wayne never wore lycra did he?

nuff said


hanging from a crimp and crying for my mama.
Sep 1, 2010 - 11:58pm PT
Nah, never docked or castrated a sheep. If you do and you are not a Vet. Well, that's true blue cowboy material.

Social climber
Sep 2, 2010 - 01:16am PT
hey there all... say, i only knew/know a few cowboys, and they were busy working... so i can't say much... but, i kind of suspect it's a
turf thing...

you know... folks (not only cowboys) not wanting what they consider "strange" on their so-called local turf... sadly climbers soon ran into them, upon setting foot to trek the greatoutdoors...

very sad though, no matter who the locals are, being that reaching out to understand others, is what stops many a war...

very sad to hear of all this...
sad for the climber that was mentioned... beatings that lead to head injury very well can and do change lives...

well, god bless
and better days to all...

Gym climber
A dingy corner in your refrigerator
Sep 2, 2010 - 01:42am PT
Every Friday I would let those farm truck tires roll fast through Pinedale, WYO, loudest in town for sure.
Scared Silly

Trad climber
Sep 2, 2010 - 07:20am PT
Cowboy headstone:

IMHO most people who think they are a cowboy are really just shite kickers. The few real cowboys I have meet are some of the nicest people I have meet.

I remember one friend who got himself a pair of cowboy boots, a nice leather belt with a big ole buckle and purdy hat. He looked mighty fine until I said too bad you aint never ridden a horse.
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Sep 2, 2010 - 07:43am PT
cute headstone, but i don't think the poor bugger's going to be satisfied even in death.

there are two kinds of cowboys, the real and the wannabe. worked a summer on a ranch? helps you wannabe.

i've seen one real, genuine cowboy in my 35 years out west. he walked into a bar late at night in las cruces, new mexico, quietly ordered a beer, drank it, and left. he had chaps and spurs and had gotten off work and was about to go back to it and i don't think he could speak a word of english. ┐comprende?

from the smothers brothers' version of "the streets of laredo":

"i see by your outfit that you are a cowboy"
"i see by your outfit that you're a cowboy too"
we all have outfits and we are all cowboys
if you get an outfit you can be a cowboy too.
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