Stonemaster Stories (Part II)


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Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Feb 9, 2006 - 04:15pm PT
Hey John. I lost track of Dennis after he moved to Hawaii some few years back. Another guy I'd love to hear from. I don't know if you heard about Dave Goeddel - he went on to become one of the founders of Genentech and was this close to receiving the Nobel prize back in the early 80s.


Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Feb 9, 2006 - 07:56pm PT



Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Feb 9, 2006 - 07:59pm PT
i asked the same question about piggot just a few days ago. some of my best days were spent at woodson, competition forcing me to attempt to even barely keep pace with rick...meaning some of my best efforts and best memories.

word was he was working constuction south lake tahoe -- guess that would fit in welll with the RENO theory.

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Feb 9, 2006 - 08:05pm PT
"Yes, it's remarkable how few pictures of Tobin Sorenson have ever surfaced."

i've got some old mags with pics i can scan...tobin on the 1st ascent of season's end, tobin attempting (or doing?) the 2nd ascent of insomnia, a pic from mountain magazine of him hiking some overhanging horrowshow in australia that either was, or became when he did it, the toughest send down some pics i took myself of some early attempts on some route out by snickers, can't remember the name....

also, some pics from an old mag of tobin and accomazzo on the 2nd ascent of europe' hardest ice route..tobin grinning with a red "one way to heaven" helmet on, complete with a black arrow pointing skyward!
scuffy b

S Cruz
Feb 9, 2006 - 08:58pm PT
Did you coin "No commitment, hock equipment"?
It's one of my faves for 20+yr now.

Feb 9, 2006 - 10:05pm PT
A good one I would hear from KP while bouldering a couple of years ago was "Bijeengus" as in that hold is bijeengus". with an emphasis on the j-e-e-n. Classic.

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Feb 9, 2006 - 10:27pm PT
Not a Stonemaster story from Kath - Missus Blinny.

250 stories and counting.

Seems strange. Are they on vacation?

Social climber
Feb 10, 2006 - 01:38am PT
We actually did the third ascent of Insomnia that day Mark Miller took those photos, yeah they were in a lot of mags and the same day did seasons end. All in a days work.

Iíll let you all know soon where to see some Sorenson photos.

Where is Blinny anyway?

Sport climber
the start of Bedwetters, LRC
Feb 10, 2006 - 08:18am PT
You guys might try Englekirk for info on Mr. Piggot; he was working for Doug up there for a spell, pwning routes at Donner/Cave (when it was open).

Possibly DE can be tracked down here:

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Feb 10, 2006 - 10:18am PT
Piggot is still in the Reno/Tahoe area. Ran into a guy a month ago at Gunsmoke who knows Rick and is from the same area. Says he is still climbing. I think he mentioned dirt bike riding also. I'll see if Hensel has any contact info.

Social climber
Claremont, CA
Feb 10, 2006 - 11:25am PT
Fun with scanners...

Here's an excellent, action photo that we had submitted to Mountain, back in the day. It shows Tobin, in the midst, on Insomnia Crack at Suicide. Originally published in Mountain 32, Feb, 1974. Photo by Mark Millar.

Notice the shoes, the nuts (no cams) and the swami belt. No tape, either...

Social climber
Claremont, CA
Feb 10, 2006 - 11:48am PT
fun with scanners... part 2.

Gramicci sent some e-mail identifying a few old sources relevant to this thead...
So, into the archives I dived last night and found these moldy images:

Owen Gunter and the notorious Ski Mart "sheep ad", which we ran in several places including "Descent", Summer, 1972:
may not be suitable for the office

The infamous flyer for the infamous "Suicide Climber's Party" (a.k.a., the Stonemaster party) circa 1974... I found a copy of it stuffed in an old Mountain magazine:
the flyer for the "pahawtay"

Ivan "Bud" Couch leading the second pitch of Sundance. I have an original, signed copy of the Larry Reynolds photo. Probably taken in 1970 (?) or so:
classic old shot. Check out the footwear!

And, Bolton, tell your Couch story re. the Stonemasters...

Trad climber
Oakland, CA.
Feb 10, 2006 - 01:09pm PT
Forget the sheep ... look at the size of those frickin hexes (and is that a fist-sized nut? Good God.) on Mr. Gunter's rack. Good times.
kevin Fosburg

Sport climber
park city,ut
Feb 10, 2006 - 01:19pm PT
Clark Jacobs told me that Bud Couch changed his name to Ivan after reading The Brothers Karamazov and becoming enamored with Ivan K. Is that true? If so, it seems like a powerful tribute to Dostoevsky's genius for someone to abandon such a proud name.

Feb 10, 2006 - 01:24pm PT
Has Sorenson got a wallet in his pocket in the photo above?

Also, the comments above regarding the lack of TS photos seems rather ironic. All my old climbing rags got donated to the library a few years back, but somebody help me out. I seem to recall that Mtn Mag published a whole series of pictures of TS climbing a route (Insomnia?) and also noted that a poster of Tobin was available for purchase. A subsequent issue had outraged letters to the editor concerning the photo spread, noting the spread constituted an ego-maniacal approach to climbing and that the poster was simply prostitution of a glorious sport, or some such sh#t. I don't recall any other photos in Mountain till his obit appeared, which showed him in a suit with umbrella.

Social climber
Feb 10, 2006 - 01:29pm PT
paul- the bruhaha was in summit mag.
Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Victorville, CA
Feb 10, 2006 - 01:42pm PT
So, anybodt got a story about how the "stonemasters" needed to form a group?

Social climber
Feb 10, 2006 - 01:47pm PT
That Article was a load of sh#t. Tobin loved that photo because it wasnít the typical bad ass climbing photo showing how tough you are. It humanized climbing if anything. He gave me an 8x10 of that shot. Its on my wall and I treasure it.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Feb 10, 2006 - 02:03pm PT
Couch definitely insisted on being called Ivan and I think in all the FA info we've chnaged that...

Couch surely had vision and established many of the classic hard routes at Suicide.
Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Victorville, CA
Feb 10, 2006 - 02:38pm PT
Greg Bender and Phil Warrender bouldering together at Stoney Point were approched by what bender later described as an "impudent kid." The kid said: "Hey can we join the your Stoney Point Climbing Association?" Bender thought for a minute, since the only place the stoney point climbing association existed at the time was in the mind of the kid. But Greg perused the kid, and said "no." half joking, half serious, but not at all mean... a week later the kid informs Greg, we don't need your stoney point climbing association... we're the Stonemasters!

and so it was..

meanwhile i was in the sierra, never liked bouldering much : )
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