Bill Antel

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healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 30, 2010 - 09:03pm PT
What became of him or does anyone know where he is?
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Aug 30, 2010 - 09:11pm PT
The last time I saw Bill Antel, I think, was after he fell and cracked his head on Toe Jam, or the route just right of it.

I heard some commotion up there and was horrified to see a climber hanging upside down with blood streaming well down the slab below his head. This was early 70's. The rescue team took over quickly, and I only saw him briefly (he was conscious, but out of it) before they whisked him away in an ambulance.

Good guy, and a good climber. Did the SA of New Generation at Suicide with him...

I heard a rumor he quit climbing.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 30, 2010 - 09:17pm PT
He was apparently up here in Portland for awhile, but then the trail appears to go cold. Stephane would like to chat with him about gear he was involved with designing.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Aug 30, 2010 - 09:22pm PT
He was friends with the Mike Graham / Ricky Accomazzo crew - maybe they can help you find him.

It's been a (long) while though....
TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
Aug 30, 2010 - 09:50pm PT
Bump for Acapulco Bill.
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Aug 30, 2010 - 10:04pm PT
I can remember very distinctly the last time I saw/spoke with Bill. He was recuperating in a Yosemite Valley Hospital bed. That was the Summer of 1974.

I had spoke to him briefly that morning at the base of a climb that I can no longer remember, believe it was at Reeds(but it could have been by Maple Jam). It was a one or two pitch route that was popular at the time, and notorious for the pile of old rotten slings that were being added to weekly at the last rappel point(a block or tree)about 75-80 ft(I'm estimating)off the deck.

The topic of NEVER trusting a sling that was left for a prior rappel no matter how new, was beiing discussed often back then in light of the number of rappelling accidents/fatalities of recent years. As a matter of fact I believe we discussed the last rap, and mentioned for him to be sure and use a new sling to do so, that very morning before he lead the pitch.

I went off to do something else, and was shocked to hear of the accident. He didn't replace the webbing, and the old slings broke, and he fell so many odd feet to the ground, breaking some vertebrae in his lower back. Evidently he was very lucky to have survived the fall/or lucky that the sling hadn't broken within the first couple feet off the rappel.

Last I heard(late 70's)he had become a Christian and was living in Oregon, and no longer climbing.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 30, 2010 - 10:05pm PT
Last time I saw him was vedauwoo mid 80's with skinner......
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
Aug 30, 2010 - 10:05pm PT
My memory is very hazy, did Antel live in Riverside?????



The evil one
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Aug 30, 2010 - 10:12pm PT
Bill was one of the original Stonemasters from So Cal. I new him from climbing at Suicide/Tah. Great guy.

Rick A., et. al. could better answer the particulars.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Aug 30, 2010 - 10:28pm PT
Didn't know him, but he seems to have had a tad bit of bad luck with nasty falls!
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Aug 31, 2010 - 12:06am PT
Bill Antel and Acapulco Bill are two different people, I knew both. I climbed with Bill Antel in the mid '70s, he was a good guy.
I was there the day Acapulco took the big one off Guillotine, two different people.
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Aug 31, 2010 - 12:31pm PT
Never heard of or met Acapulco Bill. Did you(dee ee)climb with Bill Antel after his accident?
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France.
Sep 7, 2010 - 08:34am PT
When, in the late nineties, I heard that John Long and Bill Antel teamed up and planned to introduce innovative SLCD’s with the cam lobes made of investment cast chromium alloy, I waited for these new babies with a lot of interest. In the meantime, I compiled all the info, which I found here and there about Long Climbing Gear 4-Cams and 4-Cams.

4-Cams and Bi-Cams (photo Long Climbing Gear brochure)
4-Cams and Bi-Cams (photo Long Climbing Gear brochure)
Credit: nutstory


I am fortunate to have numerous camming devices, some of them quite rare, with the cam lobes made of different materials: magnesium (early Jardine’s prototype Friend and Old -School Valley Giant #12), composite (Salewa prototype “Friend-like” and Coyote Mountain Works Samson), bronze (HB small Micromate and Quadcam), 7075 T6 aluminum alloy (Metolius TCU and FCU) or 6061 T6 aluminum alloy and titanium. It would have been a great privilege to enhance the Nuts Museum with samples of the Bi-Cams and 4-Cams, even at pre-production stage.

I do not know the reasons why these amazing and strong devices never hit the market. Any information and anecdotes about these steel camming units would be of great value for me.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Sep 7, 2010 - 09:50am PT
Stephan, I can't help but remark how like a "Buddy" that "Bi-cam" cam on the right is. Buddy's, as you probably know, came out of Canada and were quite unsuccessful both in practice while climbing and in the market.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France.
Sep 7, 2010 - 09:59am PT
Canadian Quest Technology Buddie (1982)
Canadian Quest Technology Buddie (1982)
Credit: nutstory
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Sep 7, 2010 - 10:32am PT
i haven't seen a wad of webbing in years--all replaced by modern rap stations, i guess.

i always thought there was safety in numbers.
TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
Sep 7, 2010 - 12:11pm PT
@ Dee ee,
What was the story with Acapulco Bill ?
I always thought that moniker referred to one of Antel's famous whippers.
Just trying to set my fuzzy memory straight.
Thanks,
Bullwinkle

Boulder climber
Sep 7, 2010 - 12:16pm PT
Acapulco Bill took a huge whipper on Insomnia Crack, I think that's where the name started, he also fell on lots of other climbs, always went big. He Died while soloing the Nose, one pitch from the Top. . .
TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
Sep 7, 2010 - 12:36pm PT
Thanks, Dean. The story I remember was the Insomnia Crack fall.
Jeez, one pitch from the top? Tell me he didn't pitch off?
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 7, 2010 - 12:52pm PT
I believe Acapulco's (not Antel) first biggie was the one on the Guillotine. Legend has (I was there but on the Flower at the time)it that he had time to scream twice and when the rope caught he was actually below the belay ledge at the base. Spencer knows.
Acapulco told me once about soloing the E. Face of Whitney and getting off route. He found himself committed on a 5.9 section and just went for it, just barely scratching through. Dean is right about his final epic.

I think I probably knew Bill Antel from before his "accident." He was robust and healthy at the time (early '70s).
Didn't he do an early and very stormy ascent of the Direct on 1/2 Dome circa 1978? I was there but fuzzy memory.......or was it Goodykoontz?

Dang I'm old!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 7, 2010 - 12:57pm PT
He Died while soloing the Nose, one pitch from the Top...

Anyone know the details? A fall, weather, rockfall...?
Bullwinkle

Boulder climber
Sep 7, 2010 - 12:59pm PT
Hypothermia. . .
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 7, 2010 - 01:11pm PT
OK, I just looked in the archives. I can only find one time climbing with Bill Antel. It was April 28, 1974. Rob Muir, Bill and I did the Bat Crack on Tahquitz. I think Rob probably led it that day.
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Sep 7, 2010 - 01:19pm PT
nutstory,

Back around the mid 80's(maybe later)I was visiting Jardine(last time i saw him)on his boat in San Diego(harbor). We were invited over for a casual dinner. At one point, he spoke about a one time very good friend who had come down to visit for a few days. And one afternoon Ray caught him in his private office(of his business)riffling through/stealing his very secret designs for micro cams which Ray was planning to produce!!

The dude was connected with a very well known climbing manufacturer at the time. And the whole misdeed was orchestrated with the owner of that company's full knowledge. Needless to say it hurt Ray, and his continued association with the climbing industry/community in general.
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Sep 7, 2010 - 01:45pm PT
In the book by Butch Farabee, "Off the Wall:Death in Yosemite" an account of the death of "Acapulco Bill" on the Nose related to hypothermia is given. It mentions how Gib Lewis and his climbing partner(forget who)have an interesting, although brief, encounter with this guy somewhere high on the route as they pass him. Acapulco Bill to Gib Lewis "Hey, I know you, your famous...".

Interesting, to say the least.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 7, 2010 - 02:00pm PT
I believe Acapulco dropped his bivvy gear from about half way up and continued without it.

I recall him being a real nice guy, personable and outgoing, but maybe a bit ambitious.
TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
Sep 7, 2010 - 02:05pm PT
Gib took a very scary fall on ice and the result was many stitches on his face, if I remember right. Any recall this fabled whipper? Dean? Dave?
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Sep 7, 2010 - 02:18pm PT
I was living in Mammoth during the mid/late 70's when we heard that Gib fell while soloing ice in June Lake. That's about all I remember hearing.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Sep 7, 2010 - 03:09pm PT
Acapulco Bill earned his moniker as a result of his knack for taking large whippers. If memory serves me correctly, he took a huge fall in Yosemite (Church Bowl area) earlier in the summer, and others prior to that. The Guillotine fall was just his Piece de Resistance and the biggest in a series of long falls. Amazingly, the guy had tremendous luck. Barely got a scratch on any of these.

I too witnessed the Guillotine fall. The longest I've ever seen. With rope stretch he went over 100 feet, stopping perhaps a few feet from the deck. In an interesting twist, the Riverside Mt. Rescue was practicing at Suicide that day, literally not more than 10 yards away.

Bill was cut from the lead rope and placed in the litter in a matter of 2 minutes and whisked down the trail before anyone could get a handle on what they had witnessed.

We joked, that Bill couldn't have picked a better day to die in complete safety. That evening, he was downing beers in Humber Park.

BACK to the OP Topic:

We tried to locate Bill Antel before the first Joshua Tree reunion without any luck. As stated above, Bill Antel was one of the early Stonemasters.
TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
Sep 7, 2010 - 03:27pm PT
Thanks, Randy.
Pretty good memory there.
john bald

climber
Sep 7, 2010 - 04:46pm PT
Bill Antel was one of my partners in the early 70's. Remember several routes done with him at Suicide and Joshua Tree. Almost went with him on that fateful morning in the Valley, but headed off a different direction. Later that day Clark told me what happened and I bee-lined it to the hospital behind the village. Bill was drugged up and in a body cast for his broken back. Really affected me to see one of us banged up. Did make a point of looking him up on a road trip through Portland. He was kind enough to point us to the local climbs, but was not interested in getting on the rock even though it was a few years after his accident. As mentioned above, John Long would be the best contact for Bill, as he was working on the cam project with him.
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France.
Sep 8, 2010 - 04:16am PT
TripL7, thank you for this interesting story.

john bald, thank you for sharing these moving recollections.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 8, 2010 - 04:58am PT
Hmmm, seems like he has all but vanished...
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France.
Sep 8, 2010 - 05:11am PT
Photo & caption Climbing / Greg Aitkenhead
Photo & caption Climbing / Greg Aitkenhead
Credit: nutstory
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Sep 8, 2010 - 06:14am PT
Bill Antel--Age 51
W Colorado Blvd
Monrovia, CA 91016

626-357-9520


(...if he's the same gentleman. Age could be wrong.
Seems to be the only Antel, in public records, on west coast with William, Willis, Bill or initial W.
The Social Security Death Index lists only three deceased William or initial (first or last) W. Antel…all passed away in the last decade at ages of 73, 86 and 90…and in eastern states.



mutt

climber
Sep 21, 2011 - 11:46pm PT
Bill Antel--Age 51
W Colorado Blvd
Monrovia, CA 91016
That's not the right Bill Antel!
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Sep 21, 2011 - 11:56pm PT
I'm 56, and Bill and I climbed New Generations together when I was 17 or 18, so if he IS 51 now, he would have been 12 or 13 years old.

Don't think it's him, either.
mutt

climber
Sep 22, 2011 - 12:13am PT
it isn't cause I'm the bill antel on colorado blvd. Good luck with your search.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 27, 2012 - 06:11am PT
Talked with Stephane (Nutstory) and he wanted to renew the search for Bill - anyone? Does anyone know his middle name?
nutstory

climber
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Apr 4, 2013 - 06:06am PT
LONG CLIMBING GEAR 4-Cam
LONG CLIMBING GEAR 4-Cam
Credit: nutstory
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Apr 6, 2013 - 09:56am PT
And who can forget Bill's ascent of Insomnia? The lad literally screamed up that crack!
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