Daryl Hatten


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Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 18, 2006 - 11:34am PT
Daryl was one of the truely unique characters in climbing, Politically incorrect but brutally honest. He could not fit in with regular society but found a positive outlet for his energies in climbing. I knew him only in passing and only climbed with him once but heard many outrageous stories.
Perhaps some of the 70's/early 80's Yosemite and Squish crowd can share some stories.

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Mar 18, 2006 - 11:41am PT
Base of El Cap late 70's. Daryl has been thrown out of the Valley because of an incident at the store. We see this guy rapping from Sickle Ledge. As he hits the ground we come over and it goes like this:

Us: "Daryl is that you? I thought they kicked you out of the Valley."

Daryl (putting on a pair of dark sunglasses): "It Doug. Doug Fir."


Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Mar 18, 2006 - 11:59am PT
One night we were all standing around outside the Foul Seasons restaurant at the Lodge. I was sitting on my little red BMX bike and Hatten came up and asked if he could borrow it for a few minutes - I said sure and he disappeared. Minutes later he showed up with a trenchcoat on and then rode the bike through the restaurant NAKED! He gave me my bike back and disappeared again.

A bit later we noticed that our group was surrounded in the recesses by a growing circle of security guards...hmmm. I quickly realized that they thought I was the guy who "flashed" the restaurant on the "red" bike. I hit the pedals and bolted out of there. A security guard was waiting in the bushes for me around the corner so I faked right and turned left - he fell flat on his face trying to tackle me! I sped back to Camp4 and ditched the bike and went to sleep.

Way to go Daryl! You sure knew how to get people's attention!

RIP bro!

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Mar 18, 2006 - 12:24pm PT
Hung out with Daryl both in Yosemite and Squamish a bit. Always entertaining...and the man could drink!

Mar 18, 2006 - 01:11pm PT
The Hattini and I hung out and got drunk alot together so i dont remember alot. so ill write down some i remember at this hour & then go skateboarding. one time we were all packed and ready to do the east buttress of el cap but we had gotten way too drunk the night before. but we were determined to go. Late in the morning we got a ride to the meadow and with our heads pounding we hiked up and just started climbing up together the lower stuff. we had the tunes with us and with early Police playing we just keep going. at some point we decided it was now 5th class and maybe we should rope up. with Daryl leading (he had done the route before and knew where to go) we just keep climbing without belays with the rope on just in case. At one point i remember asking for a belay. I get up to where Daryl is standing and he's just standing there on some small ledge, smoking, no anchors, pulling the rope up with one hand. Walking on the Moon was playing. We made back to the MR before closing. gotta go, ill rememder more later.

Mar 21, 2006 - 01:29am PT
Daryl one time told me how he got into climbing. He use to be a purse snacher in Vancouver. not really for the money, theres no real money in it, but for the rush. He was a young canadian and got in alot of trouble for it. So they sent him to outdoor rehab and they taught him rock climbing. He said it was a way more rush than purse snatching. Well yeah Mr. wet demin daydream.

right here, right now
Mar 21, 2006 - 10:09am PT
Hatten and Burton were lounging about C4 one morning, say 10:30 AM, drinking beer. Australian Beer, Tooeys to be exact, if mis-spelled. Darryl is drinking, ya, but on this occasion, it's for scientific reasons. Actually it was a "materials study". Tooeys cans are pretty burly, like a Fosters Can, steel, not aluminum. Darryl had need of rivet hangars for a new route he'd planned for El Cap. He wanted his rivets to be handily adorned with actual hangars. He had only enough money for either beer, or hangars. What do you think he chose?

So he's drinking Tooey's and cutting off the top rim of the can, making his cut about 3/4 inch down from the lid, leaving only the round disk of the top of the can with it's pre-punched carabiner hole (the drinking spout) along with the reinforced rolled edge around the perimeter and a little bit of the vertical aspect of the can. Then, he takes a Yosemite Hammer, a 10 Penny Nail and whacks the steel Tooeys beer can lid into a tree at about shoulder height.

It was an elegant plan. "Ya see Eh? I coot off thah can, sos ya can still see the Tooeys logo at the top. So whin ya get to my rivet ladders, you'll look up and see Tooeys, Tooey's, Tooey's, EH?!" Darryl then clipped a set of aiders to the handy pre-punched 'biner hole, delicately mounted the stirrups and promptly ripped the 'biner through the "Hangar".

"Right, more studies required, Hugh, Hand me another, EH?!"

Trad climber
Jul 25, 2008 - 08:18pm PT
One of the better climbing stories ive read.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Jul 25, 2008 - 08:30pm PT
Work over ..... having a beer....great rivet story...thinking we need to be more Daryl-like in life. Looking in the closet for trenchcoat.....(kidding, maybe ?)....Denny's, watch your door. hehe

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Jul 25, 2008 - 09:51pm PT
Daryl was the first person I met in Yosemite.

He got on the bus I was on, up from Fresno.
He saw me and sat next to me, the bus going...
he broke out beers and gave me one - I was a
complete dork and Hatten was as good natured
as they come, he faked a cough to open the can,
I think it was Coors, or Oly.

Did the same, he and I'd just met and
were instantly busy consuming alcohol.

Recall Daryl Hatten had a really infectious
and very positive energy/attitude/vibe :)


Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Jul 26, 2008 - 02:30am PT
Wow, I don;t know what to sAY...he must've kicked ass!!!!

seems like a great guy!!!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 26, 2008 - 02:32am PT
Many stories and photos in the thread started by his daughter also:


Trad climber
Courtenay, B.C.
Aug 3, 2008 - 04:27am PT
I have about 200 (?) slides and photos of Daryl from his early days - many before his ascent of NA Wall. Most of them were taken in Squamish or on Vancouver Island. Also, I have a few odds and sods of memorabilia from the years that we hung out together.

A couple of warnings, though - quite a few are the usual head or ass shots and not very interesting, not to mention that some are out of focus. Also, I'm a bit of a Luddite and have somewhat limited computer skills, not to mention that my eyesight is fading fast. This means that any interest in this archive is going to require a very patient and persuasive response to the above news.

For what it's worth, most of the stories that I'm familiar with are true, although some of the less flattering comments posted by people who claim to have known him well are insinuating a degree of closeness with him that did not exist in reality.


Trad climber
Courtenay, B.C.
Aug 7, 2008 - 09:46pm PT
Hey Tami

Alas, it's been quite some time since the scent of roasting mutton has assailed my nostrils. People just don't know how to throw a decent party these days, it seems.

I'll try to get back to you at your e-mail address, but at the moment I can barely read these words... don't be too amazed if typos abound.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 10, 2008 - 07:34pm PT
Daryl Hatten, Fig and I were hanging out by the side of the road a short distance into El Cap Meadow. A large blustering touron lumbered toward us, turned to face the wall, and asked with a strong drawl, "Is that Halfadome?"

Daryl grinned ear to ear, cocked his head back and declared in a loud and comically husky voice, "Halfadome? Kinda looks like half a dome..., don't it?" We chuckled later and let him continue to believe it was HD.


Trad climber
Courtenay, B.C.
Aug 13, 2008 - 01:04am PT
Daryl used to live at my place in Victoria for a while during the late 80's.

One morning I was hurrying off to work and noticed that he was intently watching TV as he ate his cereal. When I figured out what he was watching, he told me that it was his favourite show - the Smurfs.

Still trying to get some of my photos posted here, but I seem to have computer problems these days.
Double D

Aug 13, 2008 - 01:15am PT
Stewart..."he ate his cereal..."

He must have gone through rehab.

This is more like what I remember his breakfasts to be...

Daryl Hatten, Breakfast of Champions.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 13, 2008 - 01:22am PT
A complete and imbalanced diet!
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 13, 2008 - 02:29am PT
Stewart is sending me some scanned photos of Daryl from early in his climbing career, which I hope to be able to post in the near future. I may put them on the main "Daryl Hatten" thread, though.

Social climber
Aug 13, 2008 - 02:48am PT
hey thre tami.... i dont know all the climbers, etc, ...i am hear cause by brother climbed in yosemite....

thank your for sharing from your heart, about your friend daryl.... i know this is an old post and you may not see this---but sharing what you have, helps leave a few more riches behind from a man's life, that had been full of many sorrows, among his few joys....

let's pray that these riches somehow overflow and help someone... even as he tried to help the cat.... (lots of folks do things for money, there are many kinds of odd little jobs folks can do, off and on.... not many folks will try to rescue a cat up a tree, though....)

god bless you tami....
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