Earl Redfern Appreciation and Memoir . . .


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Dec 30, 2011 - 11:05pm PT
I liked Earl. He and I think Yates were on Mescalito when Jeff H. and I were on Tribal Rite maybe '88. Back down in the meadow afterwards they were partying down with some hot floozies and showed real generosity. Good times.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Dec 30, 2011 - 11:39pm PT
Some friends and I were walking back to the car from the Cookie under a Sun shimmering afternoon. "Hey, lets hang out on those boulders in the river" said Jean.

The road is an interesting border. The other side of the Cookie was cool and thick with humidity. You could roast in the Sun or switch to the cool by simply finding yourself on either side of a shadow.

A guy appeared and held out his hand. "Hi, I'm Earl, Earl Redfern. How are you all doing ? How was the climbing ?"

Earl was the classic American gentleman and perfect random company for a Yosemite afternoon that happened after all the angst and work of slaying granite dragons.

That was the only time we met and I was saddened at the news of his passing.

Dec 31, 2011 - 12:14am PT
Hey Hank - Earl was cool - I remember hanging out at his pad in Midpines when he was doing the Thor thing - like others, he was a good guy, always psyched, except when on a bender, and a huge bummer that he's not around anymore.....


Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 31, 2011 - 12:44am PT
I knew Earl only in passing, one of those casual acquaintances that come from doing really long Valley hangs. Knocked a few down with him at the Deli on occasion. What litle I did get to know of him was this: a perpetually stoked, but completely casual guy. Never heard him say anything gnar about anybody else, ever. Rare in those days. Always seemed interested about whatever it was you were into at the time. Polite and genuine. Could spin one hell of a yarn with a complete absence of showmanship. An incomplete picture of him perhaps, but when I heard he bought it in the Canyonlands, I paused. A bad day.

Social climber
Ely, Nv
Dec 31, 2011 - 01:44am PT
Drank me under the table once or twice. Good fellow, that Earl.

Big Wall climber
Richmond, CA
Dec 31, 2011 - 02:35am PT
My friend Dave and I met Earl one afternoon on the far left side of Glacier Point Apron (near HoM). He came hurtling out of the air, landing on his back right at our feet from about 25',bounced up and said...nothing at all. Like he had done it all before.
Captain...or Skully

May 14, 2012 - 11:48pm PT
Miss ya, Earl.

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe
May 15, 2012 - 02:53am PT
I miss you Earl, a true Southern gentleman...

Jun 29, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
john bald

Jun 29, 2013 - 11:52pm PT
Climbed with Earl a few times up in NorCal. He was keen on the aerial delivery of supplies into Baffin. Helped him with some rigging of such. Earl was also one of the first DMM reps for the States....neat to get ahold of their lighter biners through him. Story he told me of the Golden Gate jump....ascended tower, made jump into the brink and awaiting boat...quickly nabbed by Coast Guard who had been watching the entire event from start to finish. Still have the business card that was posted above. Earl possessed a lust for life and climbing that was a joy to be around.....miss him!

Boulder climber
Jul 10, 2014 - 09:25pm PT
Earl, The Enthusiastic Maniac we all should be!
Earl, The Enthusiastic Maniac we all should be!
Credit: Leifur

Long Story of how I met EARL REDFERN of Georgia:

First about a minute into this video you see Earl as I knew him looking back at the camera, then arms up and jumps with a chute:


I was a Punk Rock/New Music lover from '76 onwards in SF,CA. Was excited about the S.F. music in '67 prior as a 14 yr old. Pal was Fritz Fox of the Mutants in San Francisco. He knew all these climbers who like our music too..all rebels.
He got me to climb Mt.Whitney with him with Peter Minx in '82. They climbed the front while I surprised them yelling down from the top after I sneaked up the Mountaineer's Route solo as a noob.They were impressed. Minx from Liverpool, was a climber on the Eiger Accent Film you can rent or buy: http://steepedge.com/categories/mountaineering/out-of-the-shadows-into-the-sun.html

'70 bit with Minx in red: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhaJKjnqoeY

I bought us all a nice rack of lamb after our climb. Minx and his wife pushed us into marrying my wife, as we had a kid and he found a wedding ring on a crevice on a mountain we could borrow! Some guy left it there! Got 3 more kids out of that. Thanx Minxy!

R.I.P. Peter Minx..just found out:


Fritz introduced me to John Bakker, R.I.P., at Tuolumne Canyon too...full blond hair wild young guy then, doomed by the free solo addiction but I am sure it was very well worth it for him.
Virginia Parker (R.I.P.) and her sister Lucy were there too climbing with us...Daughters of the Yosemite Indian Chief who ran the road crews. Let us camp on his lawn. (bye Virginia ..bad move jumping out of the car girl)

Fritz brought over Georgia born guy Chuck Clance.. (he got a BA from UC Santa Barbara in Psychology.. a fellow big drinker, but I always held my liquor..the Icelandic way unlike the Irish heh heh..dig)

Clance was an expert, maniac Yosemite climber who did 15 ways up El Cap by mid '80s! I never got into the Adrenaline Rushes that these guys dig...but TOTALLY respect it.. takes wild guts..they lead us!!

Chuck hung out with me for years, great guy...I admired him greatly for his skills and fun ways. I joked about Clance as he came back from his Cap Wall Wars, cheesy smell when the socks came off. Chuck E Cheesefoot!

Clance and I had a few silly disputes, too bad.
Clance introduced me to his Pal from Georgia EARL REDFERN. He came over to my San Francisco Apartment on Dolores St and was a very interesting, super booster, enthusiastic fellow that was infectious. THE NEXT DAY the GUY was on the FRONT PAGE OF THE SF CHRONICLE for jumping off the GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE!!!!!!!! ARRESTED, but not dead like other jumpers...HE BASE JUMPED IT on a bungee cord! I do not think people know Earl Redfern Jumped our GGB on a rubber band.

Wild FUN GUY! He came back and I bought a T-SHIRT to support his BAFFIN ISLAND EXPEDITION he was so happy about! What a great novel enthusiastic person Earl was. I saw the being and he was a wild kid! Shed a tear today thinking about him on the way to work. I wish I could have had the guts to do what he did. So sad he did not have that poor Pilot Noob under closer watch when he hit the canyon wall ..probably looking through binoculars at his next Thrill Base Jump!

Earl and his pals succeeded in the first West Face Direct ascent at Baffin Island of Mt Thor, 33 days in what was called the world's first Grade VII Alpine Big Wall climb in 1985. I did not know he did it until now.


I am putting Earl on the list now when I call a new qualified Medium like Betty Bethards who died. Talking to you soon man! It's always them.. Watch "The Long Island Medium" show on cable to see how it works.

Trad climber
Jul 11, 2014 - 12:44am PT
Earl was a very kind Southern gentleman.

Boulder climber
Jul 18, 2014 - 11:10pm PT
He was SO ENTHUSIASTIC ...thank you Earl you inspired many you never thought could do what you did like this: YEEEAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Social climber
Raleigh kids - Ral NC
Mar 30, 2015 - 07:43pm PT
Had to bring this thread back as I Knew Earl so I've a story or two too add -

Met Earl in Boulder with some great Boulder folks (Bob was very cool course this was in the winter of 86 so hope I have Bob correct). These were great Boulder Canyon + climbers tho.

Earl had just taken a 150ft whipper in Provo and had a busted nose & a few broken ribs - arrived in Boulder to run the Thor slides at a climbing shop located coming into town on Broadway. My friend Liz & I Sat in - 33 days on the face - DuPont made that tent (actually had one of the posters with the flag on the front taken from me .... damn roommates of the day).

Old news but Earl & the boys got the locals in Baffin to drop the sleds (snowmobiles) about 20 feet down to the river bed – later apparently - they were quite p*ssed with the trouble they had getting the sleds back out of the bed......

A day or so after the presentation we were invited to a party (Bobs place & other great hosts) I am a true nobody in the climbing world but hung out with Catherine that night - def did not know who she was at the time - RIP Cath.

So Earl was just then the west of the Mississippi Rep for Blue Water - as told - Bob found Earls feet staring at him on a climb in the Southeast - maybe SC or TN where there’s a small cave part way up the pitch – Earl was crashing there & somehow it was mentioned to B W and next thing Earls rocking a Maroon Chevy Van said to be a perk of the new job -

Anyway a day later off we head out to climb the Ridged Designator (the Fang was not formed) in that van rolling up I-70.

Go figure on the way up the pass snow was coming down and no s**t there’s a guy in a jean jacket flicking a Bic lighter on the shoulder just before the tunnel - Earl is stopping .... he stops hes says "you never leave a guy (anyone for that matter) flicking a Bic on side of the road" -

Dude was freezing said he was out there for 2-1/2 hours & no one stopped - but Earl did - We dropped him at the bottom of the pass in Silverthorne (with cash). He said yea we were moving furniture from Denver to Stm Boat when we ran outta gas and my buddy took all the money & said wait here.........

As we pulled away....I/we made a few jokes about that boy....Earl said hey....he was up on El Cap when a big storm came in..bad one and it was a Bic lighter that got him/them down the back trail....flicking the Bic the whole way - told two people laid down that night - Earl was party to going back up the next day too get those souls - he looked at me again and repeated "if someone is flicking a Bic lighter you always stop and help them".

Guess for most of you that was a light story - wish I had more - Earl told me he had a place just outside of Yos & a small place left to him in Alaska - that place when he first visited there was a squatting Trapper living there - Earl was cool with that (amazed that old man walked out on his lines for six weeks at a time dead winter).

E's Yos stories tho you guys win hands down -

I have one favorite tho which included Bob - They hit the wall pulling a few good size bags....a ways up Bob's like wtf....turns out Earl packed 33 Foster's Oil Cans in the sack Bob was lifting - so along with the boom box it was a great few days on the face as I was told.

Again I am not that climbing guy but I knew Earl - I failed the Ridged as I had a broken hand that day....Earl tho rolled it - he really pissed off some other climbers tho....he was about 50 up....They were like.....we can just drop a line...Earl said yea in about an hour I'll do that if you want to wait.....he soloed it with the broken ribs -

So appreciate you all - Wish I was there as story has it....Earl rolling in w/ that old BMW stereo a blasting & people saying who t f is that a** hole........

Alas too its "can you believe the stories" - a few really great people I met because of him - Earl included (hope I had Bob correct) & def he had some great stories......... If you knew Earl & you or yours ever needs help near Raleigh NC - I'll do my best to assist.

Thks to whomever - I looked for years and could not locate Earl...I have now...

Be Safe - Thanks & KRs -


Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Mar 30, 2015 - 11:11pm PT
Lindz wrote:
Earl .....arrived in Boulder to run the Thor slides at a climbing shop located coming into town on Broadway. My friend Liz & I Sat in

I was at that slide show held at Neptune Mountaineering on Broadway in south Boulder. Earl had a few trivia questions for some giveaways and I won a fleece hat which I have to this day. RIP Earl.

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 30, 2015 - 11:41pm PT
man, these surprises are the best part of supretaco.

Thanks to all the posters:)

Specially Thanks to Earl.

wISH i could'a known ya..

Nor Cal
Mar 31, 2015 - 10:46am PT
Leifur, great stories and BASE footage. Earl was the man.

Lindz, thanks for sharing.

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 31, 2015 - 03:37pm PT
Late August in 1986 on the FA of the T-Bird the face is already in the shade all day long and so has a thermal down draft that replaces air being heated by sunny faces and rising.

Just before starting we heard the news from Africa where in Camaroon a lake had had a CO2 blossom that killed hundreds.

Earl is a hundred feet above me in a chimney when I hear him break wind so long and loud there is an echo from the opposite wall. He yells "Camaroon!" and sure enough 5 seconds later this invisible mephitic miasma pours forth on me from the bottom of the chimney.
It gagged me out. I've found 5 day old carcasses with more olfactory appeal.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 31, 2015 - 03:59pm PT
Arguably Earl's biggest Pearl...the Mighty Thor!

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