Jeff Lowe Solos Bridalveil Fall W.O,Johnson Sports Illust 78

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neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 21, 2010 - 10:44pm PT
hey there say, steve.... wow, thanks for the neat and really wonderful jello share.... great 'dissert' for this soon to be, winter season...

god bless..
:)


cheers for jello...
:)
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Nov 21, 2010 - 10:49pm PT
1978 was an interesting year for me. Taught ice climbing all winter and capped the season with the Bridalveil solo. Definitely felt solid on that climb and in the 4 years since the first ascent I'd done so much steep waterfall ice that I was already beginning to lose interest in yet more first ascents in that idiom.

However, waterice skills added to alpine and mixed skills gained on new routes in the Canadian Rockies - big wall skills from Yosemite, Zion, the Wind Rivers, etc in the late 60's/early 70's - long free routes in the Black Canyon, Wind Rivers, Sierra and Canada and I was ready to head to the Himalaya and try some really big stuff in good style.

In early June Donini, Kennedy, George and I headed to Latok. That climb was the launching pad for a fifteen year search for the ultimate climb. During that time there were some real successes: South Face of Ama Dablam, solo first ascent; North Face of Kwangde with Breashears (an application of water ice techniques in the Himalaya); solo winter ascent of the French Spur on Pumori: the NW Ridge of Kangtega with Frost, Hargreaves and Dr Doom; one of my very best climbs, the NE Face of Tawoche, with Roskelley; a free climb of Trango Tower with Catherine Destivelle. Together with hundreds of second-tier classics in North and South America, the Alps and Asia.

But I knew we were trying hard enough objectives, too, because for every few successes, there was a failure. Latok, of course, was a success in every way except for a summit; Skyang Kangri with Kennedy was a good effort, too, with no summit; twice with Twight on Nuptse's South Pillar saw us up the most technical stuff, but still 1,000 meters below the summit; a second effort on Latok with Catherine was halted by too much snow and my torn miniscuss. And my biggest dream - alone on the West Face of Makalu, with its' gleaming white polished granite headwall looming like the NA Wall above 6,000' of burnished ice - buried in 1993 in a spindrift avalanche before I had even touched the blond headstone of the peak.

I didn't know it at the time, but that attempt on Makalu was to be my last try at something standard-setting in the great ranges. After Makalu I spent the rest of the 90's passing on the knowledge I'd gained (with the exception of a burst of interest in furthering the technical limits of mixed rock and ice). In the year 2000, at the age of 50, I planned a return to the big mountains via Meru Shark's Fin with Pete Takeda and Dave Sheldon...

I was both relieved and frustrated when shortly before departure for reasons I still don't fully understand, I was dissinvited from the trip. Relieved because I had begun to experience the symptoms of the degenerative neurological condition that has finally left me in a wheelchair, and frustrated because I felt still capable of pushing hard enough with Pete and Dave to complete one final beautiful objective.

From the perspective of 60 years and another decade, however, I'm thankful and completely satisfied for all the wonderful partners, amazing climbs and enlightenning experiences that have been mine through this life of climb. The Taco Stand and all you Taco Heads are a continuation of a path of learning from which I wouldn't remove a boulder or a pebble. Walking along with you folks in this new cyber-world you rub my nose on the mossy bark of evergreens and reveal the golden dawn as seen from a thousand bivouacs.

I love the Taco Tribe!

-Jello
wack-N-dangle

Gym climber
the ground up
Nov 21, 2010 - 10:57pm PT
Jello bump ...

SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 22, 2010 - 12:31am PT

Donini--WAS????????????

hee hee hee. . .
Bump it again for Jello.
Yay Jeff!!!!
schwortz

Social climber
"close to everything = not at anything", ca
Nov 22, 2010 - 01:30am PT
another bump for mello(w) jello
Conrad

climber
Nov 22, 2010 - 01:14pm PT
"Stay calm", the mind instructs the body. Vision becomes acute, time slows down until there is plenty..."

Classic.

Thanks Steve for posting. Thanks Jeff for the motivation.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 22, 2010 - 05:33pm PT
Original equipment on this climb along with hinged SMC crampons!




The Chouinard Zero Northwall hammer came out in 76 so this one should be close. The other tool is an early Lowe Alpine System Hummingbird hammer featuring the thinnest of tubes.
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Nov 22, 2010 - 05:59pm PT
Supercool!!! I remember that article, cheers!:)
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 22, 2010 - 06:40pm PT
In early '77 Scott Fischer was soloing on the waterfall in Utah with a brand new Hummingbird like that, fell over 100' (I think Jeff was there), and stuck the tube pick through his leg,

He had to explain the teeth to the doctor, and they hacksawed off the pick and drove it through.

I'd say we're better off rock climbing, but I don't want to tempt fate. With my luck I'd show up with a large cam inserted in me,..
RDB

Social climber
wa
Nov 22, 2010 - 11:49pm PT
"Original equipment on this climb along with hinged SMC crampons!"

Steve you should drop the vino and step away amigo!

Better quizz Jello on that "hinged crampon" statement. Photos show other wise. And looks like two bamboo tools on the climb Humingbird stuff in the swami.

Either way it wasn't the arrow, it was the Indian on this one :)
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Nov 23, 2010 - 10:12am PT
From the perspective of 60 years and another decade, however, I'm thankful and completely satisfied for all the wonderful partners, amazing climbs and enlightenning experiences that have been mine through this life of climb. The Taco Stand and all you Taco Heads are a continuation of a path of learning from which I wouldn't remove a boulder or a pebble. Walking along with you folks in this new cyber-world you rub my nose on the mossy bark of evergreens and reveal the golden dawn as seen from a thousand bivouacs.

I love the Taco Tribe!

-Jello


Wow! That is powerful. Thank you Jeff for everything. You have always been one of the shinning inspirations in my lexicon of heros.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 23, 2010 - 12:42pm PT
Yeah, it ain't the tools...its the carpenter!

Better quizz Jello on that "hinged crampon" statement. Photos show other wise. And looks like two bamboo tools on the climb Humingbird stuff in the swami.

Photo's from the climb look like those Chouinard/Salewa ridged crampons. Seems like there was a thinner/earlier version that busted pretty easily (might be the ones in the photo). I remember a partner braggin' about gettin' a pair cheap at a swap and then having them break when we soloed the Blue Gully (Pine Creek MT) together. A bit of an anxious moment for me 'cause I was in the lead then at the rap station, hoping he'd make it up with the rope he was trailing. I was reaonably new at climbing back then (early 80's) so the prospect of down climbing the darn thing was a bit stressful. Too funny.

In some photo's on the pack for instance, they look like SMC hinged.

Probably a Chouinard Zero axe too? Or a C-F?

Great topic, Steve and GREAT post Jeff!

-Brian in SLC
Jobee

Social climber
El Portal Ca.
Nov 23, 2010 - 02:45pm PT
"it ain't the tools, it's the carpenter"

quote of the day Brian!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 24, 2010 - 09:27pm PT
I was certainly mistaken about the "hinged" comment except on the closeup photo.



BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Nov 25, 2010 - 04:25am PT
Steve - thanks for posting this. One of my brothers gave me a copy of the article shortly before my 1st ice climb - I could hardly wait to get on the ice after reading it (even though I don't remember having seen those great color pictures). And I still refer to Jeff's The Ice Experience (1979) and several of his videos.

Jeff - THANKs so very much for the inspiration, gear innovations, articles, books, movies, the Ouray Ice Festival, and all you've done for climbers and climbing over the years!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2010 - 11:42am PT
Give us this day our bump of Jello!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Dec 2, 2010 - 12:14pm PT
Wow super inspiring. I would love to just do Briedal Veil with all the new sharp pointy things some day let alone solo it. Is that weird round thing next to the ice axe some sort of pipe?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2010 - 12:25pm PT
The head on the early Hummingbird hammer is machined from solid round stock so that it has enough weight to perform properly. A cast head and selection of interchangeable picks was still a few years off!
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Dec 2, 2010 - 01:02pm PT
That article was one of the reasons I started to get serious about climbing. My subscription to Sports Illustrated lost meaning to me afterwards.

I recall soloing some of the trickles in June Lake on my 21st birthday in 1981 and recalling that piece and how it gave me inspiration.

Thanks Jello for some truely fine adventures I had when I was young and eager.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Dec 2, 2010 - 01:40pm PT
You can buy a reproduction of the cover to the SI issue at:
http://www.sicovers.com/product.aspx?pid=1557&p=SPR19781211&utm_source=sivault&utm_medium=showcover&utm_campain=icrefer&xid=sivcover
They don't have an option for a solid gold frame. This is a classic shot!

SI also has an archive of the article on their site at:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1094430/index.htm
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