Stonemaster Stories (Part II)


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Social climber
Feb 10, 2006 - 03:01pm PT
So Ed, you got me curious I’d like to hear more on that. There was never a club persay.
Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Victorville, CA
Feb 10, 2006 - 04:17pm PT
Understood there was never a "club" but I do think that was the birth of the term.

I wasn't even there, Phil Warrender related the story to me just a few weeks ago.

and though there was no club, there most certainly was a clique.

Mari, you (MG), and Clarke were always personable and friendly though, and Eric.... Eric was always good for entertainment, broken Ice tools as he actually climbed ice, a failed attempt at discounted friend purchase, and wild route names, all too funny.


Trad climber
Feb 10, 2006 - 04:32pm PT
Well, the SPCA did become reality at some point. We hold our annual meeting in TM every August and have a yearly wrap up on Christmas Day at Stoney.

Social climber
Feb 10, 2006 - 05:25pm PT

Sounds like the story could be accurate turned around with ShortTimer’s enlightening post. I know our early group of Bastard kids (sorry JL) formed before any Stoney point involvement, at least one season or even a year. I gather from the numerous posts that we could of looked like a closed group. But I’d never met a more generous group of guys willing to help others along as also evidenced on this thread. No body was ever told they don’t belong or you’re in another tier. You hung out with us if you had the same aspirations as us, plain and simple. We all enjoyed climbing as an adventure not a completive sport. True that shifted as the numbers grew but our core today still has the ideals as back then.

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Feb 10, 2006 - 09:36pm PT
Where can I join this Stonemasters club? I don't have much money but I got some cool shoes to trade...

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 10, 2006 - 09:54pm PT
When's the reunion - will it be a spectator event?
ron gomez

Trad climber
Feb 10, 2006 - 09:57pm PT
Johnny, send the shoes and yer in the stonedmasters club

Trad climber
sw PA
Feb 11, 2006 - 12:58am PT
EEErik Ericksons favorite line, "Lets go silo some loads."

Trad climber
Wiliams, Oregon
Feb 11, 2006 - 02:51am PT
John, Mike, Ricky,

Do you remember when you all rescued me, Dibbs Sorenson, my brother Al and Chris Robinson off of the White Maiden's Walkway in mid-winter, around 1972 or 73'? John hauled our 15 year old asses up the last pitch in the dark, hand over hand. We ended up on Tahquitz's longest route on around the shortest day of the year thanks to some great beta from Richard Harrison stating that all we'd need was a few runners for pro.

You might also remember Acapulco Bill's 120 foot cliff dive on the Guillotine at Suicide in the mid 70's. I belayed him and Randy and I pulled in around 50 feet of slack before he stopped inches above the ledge.

Rick A

Boulder, Colorado
Feb 11, 2006 - 09:31am PT
Great to hear from you.

On the White Maiden rescue, see my recollection of that night deep in part I of the thread.

On Acapulco Bill. I had completely forgotten the nickname and the story that goes along with it. We could be pretty callous back then. The guy has one 120- foot fall early in his climbing career and he’s stuck with the nicknames “the Cliff Diver” or “Acapulco Bill” for the duration.


Social climber
Feb 11, 2006 - 11:25am PT
Hi Spencer!

This is bringing out a lot of people.

Acapulco Bill! That shocked my memory banks too. My favorite idiom that came out of that was “he fell so far he screamed twice” even used it in part one here.Always liked how descriptive it was.

Good to hear from you!

Spencer Lennard

Trad climber
Williams, Oregon
Feb 11, 2006 - 01:10pm PT
Mike, Ricky, John,

Being the first 15 year old to be dragged up the final slabs of White Maiden, upon arrival on the summit I saw John Long yarding ther bhoys upward as though we were tattered haul bags. We tried to climb the final bit but Largo would not slow down long enough for a single move. We, therfore were sliding upwards on our sides, knees and elbows.

Incidentally, the cause of our rescue could be placed on Dibbs (Tobin's younger brother) decision not to lead or belay at about pitch two. Therefore our four person crew was forced to thrwo a rope down for him at the end of each blocky pitch, which led to lots of snagged lines, rappels and other silly (and dangerous logistical elements). I clearly remember Dibbs nervously asking in his stutter at the end of each pitch," can we smoke those joints now"?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 11, 2006 - 02:24pm PT
"Screamed twice", beautiful! I'm stealing it!

This is a highly informative thread too. Gunter Owen huh? Had that picture on my dorm room door for a year to the tune of many a comment but never knew who it was.
Still have the entire collection of Vulgarian Digest though.

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Feb 11, 2006 - 03:05pm PT
Spencer! Good to hear from you bro. Hope all's well - grand theft avocado days are long gone (or are they???) cheers, jb
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Feb 11, 2006 - 03:19pm PT
Grand Theft Avocado ... DE even memorialized that little event with a route at Josh.

I remember the first time I met Spencer and Alan... everyone referred to them as the Hash Brothers. I assumed (wrongly) that Hash was their last name for months; only later was the "homemade hash" story revealed.

Anyone remember driving on the wrong side of the "Trees" heading up to Idyllwild from Hemet! Its a wonder were still alive.
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Feb 11, 2006 - 03:27pm PT
Does anyone remember the blinking road flasher that was left on top of some ledge on Tahquitz? It invaribly led to some concerned citizen calling the rangers about climbers stuck on the big stone. I think it only stayed up there for a few years before the battery wore out.

Social climber
Feb 11, 2006 - 03:51pm PT
Spencer, Look at all the stuff you brought back. Grand theft Avocado!...

Randy, I think you and I did that detour about four times. It was light maneuver past 10:00 pm. But I remember you and I pushing it prime time once it had to be three miles on the wrong side of the law.

You’d be disbarred if they only knew :-)
Spencer Lennard

Trad climber
Williams, Oregon
Feb 11, 2006 - 06:05pm PT
Certainly my most dicey lead (far scarier than the Edge!), was actually as a passenger in Vogal's little yellow fiat, shitfaced on Old English 800, as he cruised through the "wrong way" near Hemet. I almost barfed the first time he did it, and simply closed my eyes on successive passes.

As far as avocado theft, Al and I got off on informal probation, but Chris (just having passes hi 18th birthday) had to spend a night in jail, pay a fine and get a year probabion.

Lesson to be learned: if ya steal, make sure yer collar is white.

Social climber
Claremont, CA
Feb 13, 2006 - 08:25pm PT
In a prior posting, up-thread, it was noted that some of the Stonemasters (back then) had a tendency to "urge" people on... This often took the form of encouragement to try new things and, as has been noted, sometimes led to the creation of a top rope for the rest. "Horning-in" was the usual term...

Kind of like a symbiote (or maybe a parasite depending on your point of view or what kind of day you were having), the end result was sometimes to get the "host" to lead a new line or climb up to that divot to place the next bolt. This parasitism frequently would put the unsuspecting host in grave peril, but usually (if they sucker survived) it resulted in making the host all that much stronger!

I vividly recall how the first ascent party of Ten Carat Gold raved about how good the new line was, and how, "We should do it!" Of course, the beta was sketchy-to-none, but the lads watched with gleeful intensity while I padded up quite a long way to eventually clip the bolt. Only they knew how far it was between belay and bolt, so anticipation was high. So, of course, the minute the hard stuff was done (and no fall was imminent), that was end of the excitement. Time to head down to Humber for brews...

Can't recall who else was there, but Graham and I were up at the extreme right side of Suicide, just finishing gawd-knows-what. Largo, and another Stonemaster or two, are just walking down from another route, and has a wee-small suggestion to make...

"Hoo man!" "We should try that old aid crack, over there." (Note the royal "we".)

"OK", says I, after conferring with Gramicci... "You mean that thing heading up to that tree up there?" (Looks maybe do-able. But, how 'bout pro? Isn't that an old aid route that's got a few pin scars? Nuts, only? Hmmm. Looks like several short pitches.)

"Sure, John. Let's go for it." (The first symptoms of the infection...)

So, Graham and I rope up, and I draw the first straw.

Largo and company are lounging at the base, so there'll be strength in numbers on this newby... Now, Largo had probably done this crack as an aid route, so he probably had some beta. Mike and I? No such luck.

Of course, the "urging" begins. Like any first ascent, it's the uncertainty that makes the game really interesting. Who knows what you're about to get into, until you cast off, right?

Lots of kibbitzing from below, and Graham's focused as the stout belayer. But the nuts slot really well, the climbing goes suprisingly-well and--before I know it--I'm at the tree. (Gramicci and I later decide to call it "Lone Pine", and the route later gets the name "Flower of High Rank".)

Up comes Mike and we trail a rope for the other lads, as etiquette demands. This is how mass-ascents usually start. And since this is a FIRST, we're both expecting the horde to follow... So we cast down the cord.

Not this time, however. For some reason, they all beg off and head down presumably for afternoon brews... I'm dumbfounded!

Quite a plum, and Mike and I got to eat the whole thing ourselves.

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Feb 13, 2006 - 08:40pm PT
back in the day.
Messages 61 - 80 of total 175 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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