Mary Pridham and The Little Gem Company, 1956


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 10 of total 10 in this topic
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 8, 2011 - 01:45pm PT
This was in the last section of Belaying the Leader, 1956 (Sierra Club) and formed much of the basis for climbing cartooning to come. Also note it was MAY, and not Mary:

scuffy b

Three feet higher
Feb 8, 2011 - 02:18pm PT
Wasn't the falling leader used in Roper's red guide?
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 8, 2011 - 02:39pm PT
The perfect leavening for a great little book.

I remember poring over this volume when it was new and I was very young and just starting to climb. Had no idea then that the ideas in it -- the serious part about dynamic belaying -- were so cutting-edge in the whole world of ropework for climbing. At the time I took it for how it looked: barely more than a pamphlet with some ideas from local guys just across the Bay in Berkeley. And great cartoons.

But then I just happened to be nearby. Turns out that the rest of the climbing world was pretty clueless too about these advances, actually pretty huge, in how to hold falls.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Feb 8, 2011 - 03:01pm PT
The one drawing also showed up on the 1956 Tahquitz guidebook (the one that first introduced the Decimal Rating System).

Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 8, 2011 - 04:14pm PT
This thread is a little gem!

My father had a copy of Belaying the Leader, which I perused carefully. It was amusing that most of the book is fairly technical and dry essays on detailed things, up to and including manufacturing your own pitons and what sort of metal to use. (All by males.) Leavened by the cartoons at the end.

Feb 8, 2011 - 06:32pm PT
I knew I recognized her name from a register in my collection of images.

I think I have others, though this is a nice one to share. Her name is at the top of the page.


Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Feb 8, 2011 - 06:35pm PT
May (not Mary) Pridham has a number of solo FA's in the Sierra. More than any other woman in Secor, IIRC. I wish I knew more about her.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 9, 2011 - 01:42am PT
Well, Dr. F. has his big thread about rocks and crystals that he collects, so other gem threads deserve attention also.

Mountain climber
Los Angeles
Apr 3, 2018 - 09:35pm PT
@dipper - On which summit did you snap that pic of May Pridham's July 1936 entry in the Register?
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Apr 4, 2018 - 10:09am PT
Dipper has not posted on ST in over 4 years.
Messages 1 - 10 of total 10 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta