Ancestors & Archiving: Crossings of California - T.R.

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BooDawg

Social climber
Polynesian Paralysis
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 20, 2010 - 04:19am PT

In the middle of this past August, driving southward toward California from Seattle and Mt. St. Helens, I stopped for a night at Rick and Carol Ponte’s homestead, Doubletree Ranch, on the bank of the Rogue River in S. Oregon where my brother, Philip, and his family were staying during their preparations to kayak the Rogue. Rick had been a wrangler for Curry Co. during the 60’s, and his family had homesteaded the Doubletree site way back. Carol had grown up in the Valley as the daughter of Gene Ottonello, the Federal Magistrate (judge) there during the 50’s & 60’s. Rick is especially knowledgeable about history of the Yosemite & Rogue River areas, and as we all were talking about the area, he mentioned that the first white men to visit the area came through in 1828.

From Doubletree Ranch website: Rick and Carol and their kids.
From Doubletree Ranch website: Rick and Carol and their kids.
Credit: BooDawg

Rogue River from the shore at Doubletree Ranch.
Rogue River from the shore at Doubletree Ranch.
Credit: BooDawg

I knew that date because my brother, Philip, had researched the McCoy branch of my family tree. Philip discovered that we have a great, great, great, great uncle, Martin McCoy, who was a member of the Jedediah Smith Expedition which, in 1826, made the first crossing by whites, early mountain men, from the Rocky Mountains to Spanish California. In 1828, Smith’s expedition, including Martin McCoy, made another early crossing through California, this time from south to north, exploring the interior of California all the way into southern Oregon where they were ambushed by the “rogue” Indians of the area, killing all but three. Jedediah Smith, but not Martin McCoy, was among the survivors. Thus, the Rogue River got its name.

My brother, Philip also discovered that we have a great, great, great aunt, Rebecca McCoy (niece of Martin), who had married Yosemite Guardian, Galen Clark; however, she died in 1848 after which, he moved to California, eventually settling in Wawona. I visited his gravesite in the cemetery in the Valley two weeks later, and Yosemite remains a part of his legacy.

Galen Clark married to my great, great, great aunt, Rebecca McCoy. He ...
Galen Clark married to my great, great, great aunt, Rebecca McCoy. He was one of Yosemite's early stewards and left YNP as part of his legacy.
Credit: BooDawg

From southern Oregon, I flew to SFO where I visited with my sister, Barbara, and her husband, Frank, and they kindly lent me a car so that I could make my own crossing though California. My first jog was to the south where I stopped at Guido and Nancy’s place, near Santa Cruz, for while. I camped out on their deck, and we made plans to meet in Tuolumne later, then continue on to Bishop where we’d meet other old climber friends. Interestingly, Guido’s hammock on their deck is suspended with two different model Chouinard biners. One is the old, small radius “Alcoa” model, the other a newer one.

2 different models of Chouinard biners that held up Guido' hammock.
2 different models of Chouinard biners that held up Guido' hammock.
Credit: BooDawg

Guido's pic: BooDawg camping on his deck near the Cruz.
Guido's pic: BooDawg camping on his deck near the Cruz.
Credit: BooDawg

Speaking to Guido about his personal and climbing legacy, he told me that, having moved to NZ, he’d taken care of most of his material possessions and was planning NOT to burden his daughter, Kali, with a lot of STUFF. Rather, he is planning to give her a set of DVDs which documents his life. Still he has a storage room with lots of historical STUFF in it that needs a place to reside, and he’s still undecided about where it should go…

We had a great time at the Cruz gym, climbing with Kali for part of a morning.

Guido and his daughter practicing at the S. Cruz gym. (From Guido'...
Guido and his daughter practicing at the S. Cruz gym. (From Guido's camera.)
Credit: BooDawg

Guido belaying Kali at the S. Cruz gym.
Guido belaying Kali at the S. Cruz gym.
Credit: BooDawg

Guido and BooDawg at the gym.
Guido and BooDawg at the gym.
Credit: BooDawg

After leaving the coast of California, I began my west to east crossing of the state and spent the next week visiting friends in the Sierra foothills. My first stop was a visit with Ira Estin, an old UCLA Bruin mountaineer friend and a former land partner of mine when I lived near Mariposa before moving to Hawaii. He has an extensive library of natural history and photography books as well as other artifacts and no children. Like Guido, me, and others, he hasn’t decided what will happen to his collections when he passes on. Clearly there is a need for a place to archive some of his personal legacy.

Ira Estin, excellent photographer and Yosemite guide for tourists and ...
Ira Estin, excellent photographer and Yosemite guide for tourists and photographers.
Credit: BooDawg

Eventually, I went to the Valley where I met with Ken Yager to hear first-hand from him about his vision for a climber’s museum in the Valley. He told me of the bureaucratic barriers facing the Yosemite Climbing Association and how short-handed he is within Y.C.A. to get organizational tasks accomplished. He also shared with me his vision for satellite museums & displays and rotating or traveling exhibits which can help tell the Yosemite climbing stories. He personally spends lots of time organizing Facelifts to which climbers readily respond, but he needs to spend time with his family, and he needs help with the many tasks it would take to see his vision become a reality.

North Dome & Royal Arches.
North Dome & Royal Arches.
Credit: BooDawg

I would like some feedback on this idea: If there were a list of prioritized tasks, posted here on SuperTopo and on the Y.C.A. website, would you be willing to take responsibility for one of the tasks, assuming that you could choose one that would match your temperament, time availability, and skill-set? Please post-up or PM me if you would be willing to help in an effort to create one or more spaces and an organization that will help preserve and interpret, for the public as well as for your/our own children, the material STUFF of our climbing community.

Leaving the foothills and the Valley, I headed up toward the high country, stopping for a walk to Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. I hadn’t visited a grove of Big Trees in a long time, so it was a lovely, peaceful morning when I walked down the old road into the Big Trees. It reminded me that Galen Clark had discovered the Mariposa Grove, and because of his commitments, much that we enjoy today in Yosemite has been preserved. And hope rose in me that the climbing community would find their own ways to make their own commitments to help preserve our own personal and our community climbing legacies.

BooDawg in Tuolumne Grove.
BooDawg in Tuolumne Grove.
Credit: BooDawg

BooDawg in Tuolumne Grove.
BooDawg in Tuolumne Grove.
Credit: BooDawg

Moving up to Tuolumne, memories flooded back of more leisurely days and years when our group of climbers spent weeks and months living our climbing lifestyle among the domes and meadows of the unequaled Yosemite high-country.

Tenaya Lake, Mt. Conness and some of the domes of Yosemite's high coun...
Tenaya Lake, Mt. Conness and some of the domes of Yosemite's high country.
Credit: BooDawg

Quarter Dome and Half Dome.
Quarter Dome and Half Dome.
Credit: BooDawg

Tuolumne River near the Meadows.
Tuolumne River near the Meadows.
Credit: BooDawg

I secured a campsite for Guido and me in the T.M. campground and went for a walk to reconnect with the place where I’d spent so much time in years past. Later that afternoon, Guido arrived and we set up our tents and made dinner and plans for an ascent of Mt. Dana the next day. I hadn’t climbed Dana for 50 years since I did it with my father and brother in 1960.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1079288&tn=80

Up not too early, we ate our breakfast and were off to Tioga Pass and on the trail at a reasonable time. Passing through the upper sub-alpine zone, it was mid-morning when we took a rest stop on Dana’s shoulder.

Small lake off the trail from Tioga Pass leading toward Mt. Dana.
Small lake off the trail from Tioga Pass leading toward Mt. Dana.
Credit: BooDawg

Almost to timberline, Mt. Dana.
Almost to timberline, Mt. Dana.
Credit: BooDawg

BooDawg on Mt. Dana's shoulder.
BooDawg on Mt. Dana's shoulder.
Credit: BooDawg

Even tho Guido had a touch of nausea, we both felt strong as we slogged upward, with rest and water stops along the way, to Dana’s summit. The weather was perfect, clear, still and warm.

Mts. Lyell & McClure from Mt. Dana.
Mts. Lyell & McClure from Mt. Dana.
Credit: BooDawg

From the summit of Mt. Dana.
From the summit of Mt. Dana.
Credit: BooDawg

Mono Lake from Mt. Dana's summit.
Mono Lake from Mt. Dana's summit.
Credit: BooDawg

Guido and the view toward Ellery Lake (L.) Saddlebag Lake &#40...
Guido and the view toward Ellery Lake (L.) Saddlebag Lake (R.) from Mt. Dana.
Credit: BooDawg

After an hour up there, we began our descent, finding the many default “trails” more confusing on our descent than they had been on the way up. Back near timberline, we watched a marmot watch us.

Marmot resident, timberline, Mt. Dana.
Marmot resident, timberline, Mt. Dana.
Credit: BooDawg

Then we continued downward, following the trail back to Tioga Pass.

The next day, with some stiff muscles from our previous day’s excursion, we made a leisurely breakfast and, during a phone call with Guido’s daughter Kali, agreed to meet her in a short while at the Lembert Dome parking area; she was passing through from the East Side. After meeting her and her friend, David, we walked with them toward Soda Springs and the old Sierra Club campground which was where we’d camp in the “old days.” Memories flooded back, and we told Kali & David stories of the times we’d had there; the Joan Baez dance contest; the bear stories, the destruction of the old, historical footbridge, good times BBQing when Mike and Valerie Cohen were caretakers there and much more. It’s a part of our personal legacy that perhaps Kali will not remember, but at least she’ll have a sense of who her dad is and was…

Soda Springs near McCauley Cabin and the old Sierra Club campground.
Soda Springs near McCauley Cabin and the old Sierra Club campground.
Credit: BooDawg

New bridge that replaced the old historic bridge that the NPS ripped o...
New bridge that replaced the old historic bridge that the NPS ripped out!
Credit: BooDawg

Old Sierra Club stone hut.
Old Sierra Club stone hut.
Credit: BooDawg

Kali & Guido, Sierra Club hut, Tuolumne Meadows.
Kali & Guido, Sierra Club hut, Tuolumne Meadows.
Credit: BooDawg

BooDawg & Guido, Tuolumne Meadows.
BooDawg & Guido, Tuolumne Meadows.
Credit: BooDawg

We walked back to Kali & David’s vehicle, and they went on their way. Guido and I headed back to our campsite, ate some lunch, and decided to go for a drive down to Fairview Dome and Lake Tenaya. We found a place to park near Fairview and followed a now well-worn trail up to its base. There were several climbing parties above on various routes; we took a few pictures, then left for a swim at Tenaya Lake.

Glacier polish, Fairview Dome.
Glacier polish, Fairview Dome.
Credit: BooDawg

That night, Jeff Dozier came up from his home in Mammoth and joined us for a laugh-fest during dinner in the Tuolumne campground.

Dr. Deeg & BooDawg in T. M. campground.
Dr. Deeg & BooDawg in T. M. campground.
Credit: BooDawg

Next morning, Friday before Labor Day, we broke camp and drove down to Tioga Pass Resort where we had a delicious, hearty breakfast and by coincidence met Lynnie and Hossjulia and enjoyed our conversation with them.

Hossjulia, Guido, & Lynnie at Tioga Pass Resort.
Hossjulia, Guido, & Lynnie at Tioga Pass Resort.
Credit: BooDawg

Driving down toward Bishop, we stopped in Lee Vining and then in Mammoth for another visit with Jeff. Later, we continued on down till we got to Mill Creek Station, just past Long Valley, where we stopped at the Warren Harding Museum. Fortunately, Roger Derryberry and Mary Lou Long, custodians of Warren’s legacy were there, so we had a great visit with them. I hadn’t seen them since I’m not sure when, so it was good to renew our friendships. Old-timers might remember seeing pictures of Roger, making Sheridan’s caricature of Robbins a reality.

Roger Derryberry as RR.
Roger Derryberry as RR.
Credit: BooDawg

I asked them about what was the status of Warren’s legacy, and the showed us the Harding Museum as well as the other spaces that they’ve created there. They told me that they owned the Mill Creek Station property, and I began to wonder if that location might be a suitable one for a satellite museum of Yosemite climbing such as Ken Yager envisions.

Inside Warren Harding Museum.
Inside Warren Harding Museum.
Credit: BooDawg

Inside Warren Harding Museum.
Inside Warren Harding Museum.
Credit: BooDawg

Inside Warren Harding Museum.
Inside Warren Harding Museum.
Credit: BooDawg

Roger, Phil Bircheff's sculpture of Warren Harding, and Mary Lou Long ...
Roger, Phil Bircheff's sculpture of Warren Harding, and Mary Lou Long at Harding Museum, near Bishop, CA.
Credit: BooDawg

When we finally arrived at Don Lauria’s house, we found that he was home and that Dennis Hennek and Russ McLean and his wife, Lori, had arrived from S. CA and that Bill St. Jean and his friend, George-Ann were visiting there as well. Hugs all around! The party had already begun! We ordered pizza, and it went on until the wee hours...

Dennis Hennek, Don Lauria, Russ McLean.
Dennis Hennek, Don Lauria, Russ McLean.
Credit: BooDawg

Don Lauria & Russ McLean.
Don Lauria & Russ McLean.
Credit: BooDawg

BooDawg, Hennek, & Lauria.
BooDawg, Hennek, & Lauria.
Credit: BooDawg

Lori & Russ McLean.
Lori & Russ McLean.
Credit: BooDawg

BooDawg & Hennek
BooDawg & Hennek
Credit: BooDawg

Saturday dawned and after breakfast, we broke out Don’s stash of old hardware; Dennis had also brought some interesting relics of his career as the forge guy for Chouinard Equipment Co. and for Dolt’s pitons after his passing. We had a wide-ranging conversation about what each of us was planning to do with our material climbing legacies. Mostly, none of us have a plan in place for where we want our stuff to go when our time comes to pass onward. Dennis had previously given much of his stuff to John Fischer many years ago, yet he still has some historically interesting things. While Dennis’ and Guido’s kids are now active climbers, most of their stuff is not useful in this modern age. Don’s and my daughters really have no interest in the stuff. Russ is child-free. What to do with the STUFF??

Legend has it in North Wales, that the first nuts that were used for protection were those that were picked up from the Clog railroad while climbers were walking up to Clogwyn du'r Arddu. Dennis brought one of those nuts up to Bishop as part of his show and tell.

Original nut from Clog Railroad, N. Wales.
Original nut from Clog Railroad, N. Wales.
Credit: BooDawg

In that tradition, but less well-known is that early Tuolumne climbers removed nuts from the Tuolumne River Bridge in the Meadows and strung them with slings in a similar manner. However, manufactured chocks came along so quickly and were so much better suited to climbing that the Tuolumne Bridge nuts stayed fairly well in place, tho this picture was taken during our stay in the meadows.

Tuolumne Bridge where nuts have been removed for climbing protection i...
Tuolumne Bridge where nuts have been removed for climbing protection in the days before manufactured nuts became available in the U.S.A.
Credit: BooDawg

Dennis also brought a Dolt blank and one of the extra long dongs that he forged from the blanks into nut-cleaning tools.

Dolt piton blank.
Dolt piton blank.
Credit: BooDawg

Dolt blank and extra-long piton.
Dolt blank and extra-long piton.
Credit: BooDawg

Dolt Cobra.
Dolt Cobra.
Credit: BooDawg

Dolt Cobra.
Dolt Cobra.
Credit: BooDawg

Dennis also brought a complete set of the Chouinard LAs that he’d forged by the thousands while working for GPIW.

Chouinard Lost Arrows.
Chouinard Lost Arrows.
Credit: BooDawg

A rare "Bruce Cook" (?) horizontal peg.
A rare "Bruce Cook" (?) horizontal peg.
Credit: BooDawg

A rare "Bruce Cook" (?) horizontal peg.
A rare "Bruce Cook" (?) horizontal peg.
Credit: BooDawg

Don’s collection is quite varied and interesting:

Longware bongs.
Longware bongs.
Credit: BooDawg

Dolt, Leeper, Stubai pegs...
Dolt, Leeper, Stubai pegs...
Credit: BooDawg

Lauria's Chouinard Bugaboo collection. The original, flame-cut ones ar...
Lauria's Chouinard Bugaboo collection. The original, flame-cut ones are the squarish-headed ones to the left.
Credit: BooDawg

Chouinard-Frost ice ax and a unique "Dolt World" book created by Marty...
Chouinard-Frost ice ax and a unique "Dolt World" book created by Marty Karabin and gifted to Don.
Credit: BooDawg

Salewa (above) and Stubai hammers.
Salewa (above) and Stubai hammers.
Credit: BooDawg

Piton hammer of unknown origin. Anybody know who produced this one? Ho...
Piton hammer of unknown origin. Anybody know who produced this one? Holubar?
Credit: BooDawg

The question for all of us remains: What should become of these rare and/or interesting items? Don’s collection of books alone is a great resource. I have books autographed by Shipton, Rebuffat, etc. as does Dennis. Guido’s library probably surpasses all of ours combined. It does seem that they should be archived by someone and preserved by an organization that will outlive all of us and will be maintained in such a way that they can be appreciated by future generations of climbers and the general public.

Around mid-day, Guido and I went shopping and to visit Galen Rowell’s gallery for my first time. Meanwhile Mike and Valerie Cohen arrived, planning to stay for our evening BBQ. When Jeff Dozier got there a while later, all six of us “younguns,” Guido, Dennis, Russ, Mike, Jeff, & me, from our 1974 Afghanistan trip were together for the first time since then. More reminiscing and catching up. Bill & George-Ann and Roger and Mary Lou also arrived for the BBQ. We had a lovely evening with more sharing of stories and ideas, looking both forward and back.

McLean & Guido.
McLean & Guido.
Credit: BooDawg

Valerie Mendenhall Cohen.
Valerie Mendenhall Cohen.
Credit: BooDawg

Hennek & Dr. Deeg.
Hennek & Dr. Deeg.
Credit: BooDawg

Michael Cohen.
Michael Cohen.
Credit: BooDawg

Michael Cohen and Guido.
Michael Cohen and Guido.
Credit: BooDawg

Lori, Russ, Dr. Deeg, BooDawg.
Lori, Russ, Dr. Deeg, BooDawg.
Credit: BooDawg

Lauria, McLean, BooDawg.
Lauria, McLean, BooDawg.
Credit: BooDawg

Roger Derryberry.
Roger Derryberry.
Credit: BooDawg

By mid-Sunday morning, only Don, Dennis, and I remained, and we spent the day continuing to tell stories of our climbing pasts as well as those of our families. The following day, Dennis and I departed; I headed to Davis where my sister and husband were visiting their daughter Robin. She had taken on our family’s responsibility for archiving my father’s legacy of his career in science research.

Robin Erbacher, BooDawg, Barbara Erbacher, Ian Conway Erbacher.
Robin Erbacher, BooDawg, Barbara Erbacher, Ian Conway Erbacher.
Credit: BooDawg

On the drive back through Yosemite, knowing my home in Hawaii was my ultimate destination, I resolved to try to help organize ways and means for archiving our community’s climbing heritage. It seems like Ken Yager has an achievable vision as well as good start on making it a reality. But with his personal limitations and his organizing of the Facelifts, he needs help with this archiving and educational project of creating a museum and an effective supporting organization. I would like to help brainstorm a list of ideas and tasks with Ken, Tom Frost, and others who are interested in working on this project. In Hawaii, we have a saying, “A’ohe hana nui ka alu’ia” which translates into “No task is too big if done together.” Literally, this means, “Many hands make light work.” So if you have any ideas at all or are feel moved to assume responsibility for even one small task, please post up here and lend YOUR HAND to the others who are working to archive what our climbing ancestors and ourselves can leave in perpetuity for those who will follow us.

The Captain.
The Captain.
Credit: BooDawg

Fairview Dome.
Fairview Dome.
Credit: BooDawg

Framed embroidery at Don's house...
Framed embroidery at Don's house...
Credit: BooDawg



426

climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Sep 20, 2010 - 05:15am PT
Neat stuff, lots of climb time in these pix...
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Come on in boys, the water's fine!
Sep 20, 2010 - 05:19am PT
What a beautiful post. THANKS!

DMT
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Sep 20, 2010 - 06:55am PT
Just wonderful. Thank you, Boodawg. I'm sorry to have missed you when you were in Seattle.
gf

climber
Sep 20, 2010 - 07:13am PT
Thanks for sharing this great set of photos, stories and history
gf
DonC

climber
CA
Sep 20, 2010 - 07:24am PT
Incredible post!
Dirka

Trad climber
SF
Sep 20, 2010 - 07:37am PT
Great post. Interesting stuff.
hooblie

climber
from where the anecdotes roam
Sep 20, 2010 - 07:54am PT
you make us look good boodawg. we can anticipate waves of hawaiian tourists
now that word is spreading across the islands.

when i see photos of the old guard in gyms, i relish the irony of some whippersnapper running guys like guido through his belay checkout. i guess dropouts can take remedial classes if they need orientation on new fangled stuff like gris-gris.

now how would i know that?
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 20, 2010 - 10:22am PT
very wry nice!
Yeah, let's get that list of achievable tasks!

I'm sure I can do, something.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Sep 20, 2010 - 10:48am PT
Boodawg- Thanks for the great trip report!

I wonder if the managers of the hundreds of climbing gyms and gear shops scattered across the US would agree to dedicate some space for display cases for some of the wonderful historical "stuff". The Belmont Planet Granite gym has one such wall-mounted case, which I think was put together by ASCA.

Regards, Phyl

Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 20, 2010 - 11:46am PT
Great TR Ken! That is so cool that you are related to the McCoys. I have read just about everything about Jed Smith, one of my heros from a magical era of our history. The rest of your report was very cool also.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Sep 20, 2010 - 12:00pm PT
Great Great Great!!!

History abounds, the road delights and the arctic blonde coffin dodgers RULE!!!!

What a great trip. Geez, you know a lot of famous guys. Oh wait, you're a famous guy.....

You all look great. Guido's twice the man he used to be. KIDDING!!
Don't kick my ass for that mmmkay?
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 20, 2010 - 12:29pm PT
Here is Ken Boche in his pre-”arctic blonde coffin dodger” phase as Lord Survival would have it. I am thinking this is about 1975 roughly. When I first met him. He hung out a lot with the wretched child Guido and always a hit with everyone whenever he was at the house.


guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Sep 20, 2010 - 12:40pm PT
Survival, you could be easily be renamed lucky survivor.
Can you  hear me now?
Can you hear me now?
Credit: guido
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
Sep 20, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
Ken,

Thanks for the great TR and history lesson. Much of the historical gear will belong in the eventual YCA museum. I think what Ken needs now beyond man power is financial resources and a lobbying effort with the park.


The evil one
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Sep 20, 2010 - 01:13pm PT
Just don't hurt me Guido. I'll scrub the barnacles off the Shanachie.
I'll swab your deck in Santa Cruz....
Here, you can have my rack.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Sep 20, 2010 - 01:33pm PT
Thank you very much for that report, photos, memories and history.

John
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Sep 20, 2010 - 01:33pm PT
Nice TR Ken. I loved seeing current pictures of Dennis, Russ, Valerie and Michael. Greetings from Copenhagen and Gothenburg--if you gotta work, it might as well be someplace cool.
scuffy b

climber
Eastern Salinia
Sep 20, 2010 - 03:56pm PT
Beautiful, warm, joyous report.
Sorry I missed you in Santa Cruz.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Sep 20, 2010 - 06:00pm PT
Thanks for the great trip report!

It's amazing what can be turned up with genealogical research. Many of us didn't invent the life style we thought we did, but are merely repeating the adventures of our ancestors in slightly different form.

I've already told Ken that I would help him with Facelift and the Museum when I retire in a few years and I'm good for helping with anything that can be done via computer from Japan as well.

As for climbing books and libraries, what about the AAC library in Golden or establishing a branch library in California?

john hansen

climber
Sep 21, 2010 - 12:34am PT

Above all else, the main goal should be a permanent climbing museum in Yosemite Vally.

I can see how this would be a great undertaking.. with a lot of goverment BS, work, andlots of fund raising involved.

The exibit that was up in the temporary space was great . It would be a good starting point.

A lot of people made camp 4 happen, If we all pull together we can make the Yosemite Climbing Museum happen to.




I must say,,, One thing I realized while seeing Ken's temporary exibit in the Yosemite space , was that Lynn Hill....

She has got, really, really , tiny feet.....
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 21, 2010 - 02:37am PT
Thanks for sharing the journey and the cool photos of your climbing pals.

Trying to find space for a climbing museum in the small available buildings in Yosemite is a tough proposition. Probably we cannot realistically hope for much more than we already have - some Salathe' pitons hanging on the wall in the Mountain Shop. (That is definitely better than nothing).

But if outside Yosemite, who would visit it? Do people visit the Harding museum? Would it even be visited much in Yosemite? It is an active sport; the weather is usually good, vacation time is short and will be spent actually climbing if possible.

Most large collections of climbing gear and guidebooks will be in the hands of the (few) serious collectors, like Marty Karabin and Stephane Peloquin. If we are lucky, they will share their photos on the web as they have in the past.

Actually I think there is a niche for a really good historical climbing gear website. I wouldn't mind working on one. Stephane has a pretty good one for nuts and cams. But it would be good to have a complementary one with pitons and biners. Gary Storrick used to have a pretty good one with ascenders, but he recently gave it up - it seems he got exhausted trying to keep acquiring current gear. (The trick is to limit it and not get caught up in the present, I think).

There is also a niche for a good Yosemite climbing history website. It could be largely populated with stories and photos already posted here on supertopo. The YCA site has a great collection of historical photos, but linking them for interesting navigation paths would be nice. I like the simple structure of links at imdb.com - one page for each movie with links to the people who made it; one page for each person with links to their bio and chronological list of links to movies they've helped make. I'm fairly close to being able to make such a structure, using the list of Yosemite FAs that Ed originally typed in. If I can come up with something useful, and if this is of interest of Ken, maybe the YCA site could host it.

A website has advantages over a physical museum. People can visit it anytime, for free, and without travel time. It might even encourage a few more serious collectors, as they would get a better idea of what is out there. A website has permanence issues, too. My preference is for very plain HTML pages that can be backed up easily and copied to another host if the website has to be shut down / moved.
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Sep 21, 2010 - 04:02am PT
Way to go BooDawg!

Kicking ass, and keeping it alive(real)!

Hooyah!
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Sep 21, 2010 - 06:17am PT
BooDawg: Fun trip report. Loved the photos.

Re. the museum. If Ketchum,Idaho and Vail Co. can support Ski Museums: it seems Yosemite could support a climbing museum.

Seems like many are working towards it happening.
BooDawg

Social climber
Polynesian Paralysis
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 21, 2010 - 11:33am PT
Thanks to all of you who responded with appreciation for my posting.

Hooblie: Living so isolated from the developments of techniques and equipment, and finding myself re-immersed here on the Taco and on my recent mainland trip, I’ve been feeling the old pull of the whole scene and feel like a remedial class or a climb with someone “modern” would be mind-blowing. I was really torn when the Seattle group offered to take me out. Maybe on my next trip to N. America…

Thanks, Jaybro; I’ll start on the task list with the present postings and get with Chicken Skinner after the Facelift; I’m sure he’s on at least 5.11 keeping all that together. Wish I could be there. Next year it should be possible!!

Phylp: I like that idea of Climbing gyms providing case space for historical displays which might rotate through a series of gyms. Gyms might even be persuaded to make donations or hold fundraisers to help support the effort.

Wayno: Thanks again for the lovely evening in Seattle! Since I was a small boy, I’d always imagined that I’d led the life of a mountain man fur-trapper. Turns out my great grandfather on my dad’s side did just that tho way later than Jed Smith. I remember well the lyrics and melody of a song that went with a Disneyland mountain man character, Andy Burnette:

Andy made the trails, opened up the land.
Andy gave America a mighty helping hand.
Andy’s on the move; Andy won’t rest.
Andy Burnette he’s a’travelin’ west.

Survival: I LOVE your sense of humor! “Arctic blonde coffin dodger” indeed!

Peter: Thanks for your kind words and fond memories of hanging out together. Flattering pic too. I remember well those original “Stand-up Shorts” that I’d always sew another layer of denim or leather on the seat to make them last even longer. Still have a pair tho they’re pretty beat-up now. Wish Patagonia or someone would make a similar product: durable, stylish, functional, comfortable.

Fattrad: Chicken Skinner suggested that I discuss fundraising with you. Community organizing is one more activity that I enjoy, so fundraising and lobbying can be planned if there are those who can put in the time. I’m at quite a disadvantage living here, but there are still tasks that those who live remotely can do. Seeing your involvement in Facelift, let’s put our heads together after the dust settles. In the meantime, please ask other “coffin dodgers” that you see in the next few weeks what THEY have actually planned to do with their STUFF or what they envision for it. OK? Try to raise awareness and get an informal discussion going during the community-building events/projects of Facelift. Afterall, these are the folks who actually DO tasks that benefit the entire climbing community. It’s probably too late to inject such a discussion or brain-storming session into one of the evening programs. If it can’t happen formally this year, I’d be interested in facilitating such a discussion next year.

Roger, take it from me: it’s cool living in Hawaii! But I think Copenhagen was my favorite city of those that I saw in Europe! Pretty flat tho. Innsbruck was VERY COOL as well!

Scruffy b: Hope we can meet next time that I’m in the Cruz.

Jan: You are SO right about living just slightly different forms of the adventures that our ancestors lived. Thanks for stepping up for some computer work from Japan. For starters, if you and Fattrad (and other interested supporters!) would please subscribe to the email letters from NetworkForGood.org, you will gain many good insights into fundraising strategies for non-profits that don’t take lots of resources from financially challenged organizations.

John H.: I completely agree with you, and I’m heartened to see your enthusiasm. Are you back on Hawaii Island now?

Clint: Good thoughts! Certainly finding/creating a space in the Valley is a challenge! And your question about who would visit it outside the park is also valid. I think few people visit the Harding Museum mostly because it doesn’t have regular hours, perhaps because of its location (perhaps not), and because few people know about it. Also, there’s an issue of the narrow focus on Warren himself, rather than a broader focus on the sweep of climbing history and ideology. I also think that linking the exhibits, space-wise and funding-wise, to successful commercial enterprises such as climbing gyms, the Mountain Light gallery, Gary & Riva Colliver’s bookstore in Mariposa, and others would help solve both of those issues. Collaborations between for-profit enterprises and the Museum could enhance both efforts.

Publicity is another issue, and your GREAT idea of a comprehensive website can be part of the publicity of the physical spaces where the STUFF is displayed. I highly recommend a book, “Guerilla Marketing” for outlining low-cost strategies for publicizing and enterprise. Although dated now, the STRATEGIC THINKING contained therein can be applied to our situation and adapted to the internet, etc.

Thank you, Clint, for stepping up and being willing to work on a website for this project. Anyone else out there want to collaborate with Clint on this aspect of our community’s project?

If Marty and Stephane were willing to collaborate on this project, perhaps those of us with STUFF would be more willing to let our STUFF pass into their keeping. However, I, personally like the idea of my STUFF residing close to Yosemite rather than at Marty’s in AZ or in the AAC library in CO. I also like the idea of a non-profit organization with a Board of Directors chosen from the broader climbing community (that could include Marty and/or Stephane) being the decision-making body that stewards the STUFF, rather than a single individual (who will eventually face his/her own mortality as many of us do now).

Fritz: Do you know the financial/organizational structure of those ski museums? Non-profit? Do they do their own fund-raising? Do they have links to local for-profits like the ski area operators? Do they have endowments, etc.?

Thank you all for your input so far. Please respond with more ideas and models for how the various issues can be addressed. And please discuss it informally at Facelift, and post any insights that you have.
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Sep 27, 2010 - 05:17pm PT
thank's for the party shot'z! i have not been to the TPR yet. me and Emma have to make it up to you all!
good to hear from you Boodawg.

Boodawg you look geat!
gdstorrick

Trad climber
PA
Oct 4, 2010 - 05:10pm PT
My site went back up on September 26th, but the URL had to change:

http://www.storrick.cnc.net/VerticalDevicesPage/VerticalHome.shtml

I've changed jobs and moved to another state since I took the site down. I was going to wait until I buy a house, move in, and got the site current again before I put it back, but decided that the old information is better than no information. I always planned to put the site back up (despite the critics), and I plan to keep it up somewhere as long as I'm able.

Enjoy it everyone, and thanks for all your support!

Gary Storrick
klk

Trad climber
cali
Oct 4, 2010 - 05:31pm PT
thanks for the t.r., very fun to read and see.

as a professional historian, i'm always happy to see folks getting into collecting artifacts, from paper to pitons. one of the good things about forums (st and many of the others), is that they can work to keep folks in touch with current events in everything from climbing to collecting that might otherwise never hit the media.

i think clint is correct about physical objects probably remaining mostly the province of private collectors. most of the big museums don't collect such stuff, and the few that do (messner's museums and the aac spring to mind) tend to be pretty ruthless about deciding what does and does not have collectible value. objects take a lot of space and are expensive to conserve and store.

so far as the other materials-- paper documents, photos and film --let me add a few cautionary notes. as someone who spends a lot of time on the mashed potato circuit, trying to raise money for major institutions, and a lot more time talking with archivists, curators and museum directors all over the map, i would personally recommend donating (or selling) "paper" to an institution that already has the space, staff, and skills to properly process and conserve material. much of the country's heritage (and not just in climbing), is disappearing as it gets splintered into smaller and smaller "museums" or "archives" that then compete with each other for a shrinking chunk of donor dollars and lack the dough to do industry-standard conservation or digitization.

digitization has been wonderful, because it means that stuff in big collections-- say the sierra club archive at the bancroft or the muir papers at university of the pacific --can be accessed by anyone with a web connection.

it depends on your goals. do you want to do something for yourselves and maybe folks for the next decade or two? or are you hoping to give materials like these more longevity? sure, you can just scan anything and publish it on the net, and that will work fine for most of st's current readership, but it's not going to be lasting. jpegs aren't actually stable, websites run by an individual off of donations aren't likely to survive that individual's death (or bankruptcy), and the materials themselves can all too easily end up in a box at a garage sale.

in the last ten years i've seen literally dozens of small archives and private museums disappear. websites? they're great, i'm building one myself. but they can't substitute for bricks-and-mortar.

the best use of fundraising would be to raise enough dough to subsidize the processing and professional digitization of the collection at an established institution. gifts-- and sales of collections --can always be structured so as to provide for potential future exhibitions at other venues (like, for instance, yosemite). that sort of process could result in the best of both worlds-- a longterm, stable institutional collection AND web-accessibility and perhaps even periodic local exhibitions.

i've written a bit about the general suibject here:

http://alpinehistory.com/2010/04/yosemites-first/
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Oct 5, 2010 - 09:35am PT
Great to see this. Tipping a vicarious glass of red wine with the tribe. Thanks, Ken!

Hennek gave me one of those Snowdon Railway nuts, and it seemed fitting to sling it on hemp cord.
Credit: DR

Also, on the digital front, Steve Grossman and I spent two days interviewing Glen Dawson a year ago. Steve now has 5-6 hours of tape of Glen talking to us about the rope arriving in California in 1931, the FA of the East Face of Whitney, and his impressions of Norman Clyde. Among many other topics.
DR, Steve Grossman, Glen Dawson, July '09
DR, Steve Grossman, Glen Dawson, July '09
Credit: DR
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 5, 2010 - 04:34pm PT
Thanks, Ken - an interesting report, and some important subjects to discuss.

I'll post more when I get a chance - this is a place holder.
litak

climber
Idaho
Oct 17, 2010 - 04:41pm PT
I was actually looking for Galen Clark references for a child when I found your post. Galen and Rebecca McCoy were my great great grandparents, so we are some kind of cousins! Hi. I am through their daughter Mary Ann Clark Regan. I did actually cilmb a mountain once, so I guess I qualify to be on this forum. I was a single mom and I did it in Outward Bound. It was awesome and I would have loved to have done more, butit didn't fit into a single mom's budget or free time. Oh well. Anyway, Hi, Cousin.
BooDawg

Social climber
Polynesian Paradise
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 18, 2010 - 01:12am PT
Aloha Cousin, Litak!

What a small world it is! Or at least it keeps getting smaller, thanks to the internet! I’m not sure how much you know or want to know about Rebecca McCoy Clark, wife of Galen Clark. I’ve wondered what became of Rebecca and Galen Clark’s descendants after Rebecca died, and Galen Clark moved to California and eventually became “The Guardian of Yosemite.”

As you may know, Rebecca’s brother was Joseph McCoy Jr., my direct ancestor; her father was Capt. Joseph McCoy Sr., brother to Martin McCoy, Jedediah Smith’s companion whose travels I summarized in my posting.

Have you or other members of your family been to Yosemite and visited the grave of Galen Clark in Yosemite? I took a picture of Galen Clark’s headstone when I was there this past summer, but the quality of the pic was so bad that I didn’t include it in my posting. Here it is, tho I wish it were of better quality. His grave is surrounded by Giant Sequoia trees that he trans-planted there from the Mariposa Grove (which he discovered!) long before he passed onward.

Galen Clark's Headstone, brought (by him) to the site where he...
Galen Clark's Headstone, brought (by him) to the site where he carved his own name in it. His birth and death dates were carved by his descendants from Red Bluff, CA.
Credit: BooDawg

Joseph McCoy Jr.’s descendants settled in Red Bluff, CA. Galen Clark was a cabinet maker, and he made a set of six chairs in Missouri for Joseph McCoy Jr. When Galen Clark visited McCoy’s grandson, L. L. McCoy in Red Bluff, CA, he saw at least one of those same chairs in his home there.

Like you, I am a single parent; I have a daughter who is now a senior in high school. She is planning to attend college next year in the N.E. U.S. She is hoping to attend Emerson College in Boston. Are there any of our McCoy relatives still living in MA or the N.E. U.S.?

If you are interested in obtaining what information I have about Rebecca McCoy Clark and her family, perhaps it’d be best for you to PM (Private Message) me through this website. If you have any questions about Galen Clark or if you or your family have any experiences or photos of any visits that you have made to Yosemite, please post them here. Your own Outward Bound mountaineering experience would be most welcome. BTW, everyone is welcome on this website, with or without, mountaineering/rock-climbing experience.

I look forward to hearing more from you.
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Oct 18, 2010 - 01:26am PT
Wow, This is too cool. I love how small our world can become at times.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Mar 13, 2011 - 06:55pm PT
gotta bump this. Missed it the first time around. What a great post.
neversummer

Trad climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Jul 7, 2011 - 10:58am PT
good stuff...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 7, 2011 - 11:40am PT
Very interesting how much webreach the posting on the ST have.
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 20, 2012 - 02:31pm PT
At the time that I wrote this T.R., I forgot to include the interesting fact that when Guido and I climbed the F.A. of the S.W. Face on Mt. Clark, I had no idea that I had any family relationship to Galen Clark. I still intend to post some pictures and an account of our climb, but I thought I'd post the following photo. Our climb ascends near the crack system that diagonals up and left on the right side of the face, well to the right of the central snow tongue that descends the center of the west face.

Mt. Clark from Washburn Pt. The S.W. Face is to the right of the long ...
Mt. Clark from Washburn Pt. The S.W. Face is to the right of the long snow tongue.
Credit: BooDawg
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Jul 20, 2012 - 02:40pm PT
KICK ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

That's the REAL stuf right there guys and gals!

WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeremy
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jul 20, 2012 - 05:59pm PT
Once again, thanks so much for this wonderful and important TR/history piece, Ken. As usual, tons of detail and scope; your way of going about things certainly.

One add: The wall of Harding images and memorabilia was actually requested around the time of Warren's passing. It was to be a Temple of Farcing and always accessible to friends---this was how he put it and of course farcing was one of Warren's favorite activities.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 20, 2012 - 06:21pm PT
Boodawg just last weekend I was up on Tenaya Peak with my friend Sasha. It was a pristine summer day after a couple days of afternoon storms - crystal clear blue and warm, 'clear and a million' (miles visibility) we used to say in the Air Force weather service.

I was looking over there at Mt Clark thinking of my good friend and for many years my go-to Sierra partner Burl Guido, with whom I did the NW ridge of Clark, the skyline ridge on the left in your photo, as a 1.5 day traverse of the peak out of Illoutte Creek. Man was that such great fun and it was cool to be up on Tenaya looking over at it and thinking about it.

I recall doing "King's Leap" coming down, and chuckling at bit at his extravagant adventure writing in contrast to his official survey and geological reports. Guy must have been a total character!

I also remember that Lonesome Highway of an arete we were on, sublime. And looking down at your face thinking there were lots of other possibilities out there. I knew there was a route out there. Had no idea it was yours.

Awesome country. We've been blessed eh, to walk this ground in the manner we have, virtually for free! Pretty dang incredible, when you think about it.

Cheers
DMT
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 20, 2012 - 07:10pm PT
Thank you, Peter, for your kind and generous words. WHO did the requesting that Warren's wall be made available to friends and supporter of farcing?

DMT: I'd love to have been up on Tenaya Peak with you and to look across to Mt. Clark and to hear the complete story of your trip up and down that peak. I'd have been pleased to tell you about Guido and my adventure on that same peak. That is still to come... Wishing you many good times in the mountains!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 20, 2012 - 07:15pm PT
Wonderful!!! Those pictures of you and Guido are priceless....enough to make a cougar's heart flutter.
Zander

climber
Jul 20, 2012 - 08:28pm PT
Nice thread!
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Jul 20, 2012 - 10:54pm PT
Credit: pyro
how can we ever forget the great BooDawg! still tell people about u along with Mclean.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Jul 20, 2012 - 11:11pm PT
nice TR dawg!


That Dolt World book looks like a treat!
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
Oct 5, 2012 - 11:04am PT
Great to see this again.
I hadn't noticed the Bruce Cooke piton before.
I remember trying to convince him to make me a few, but I was unsuccessful.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 5, 2012 - 12:52pm PT
LilaBiene & BooDawg
LilaBiene & BooDawg
Credit: BooDawg
Yosemite Facelift
9/26/2012
Washburn Point

More fickle than you can ever imagine.
Thank you, Baby. Thank you, BooDawg.
Quite a story. Quite an adventure.

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