Stonemaster Stories; Part 7-More of the same, only different

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WBraun

climber
Mar 22, 2006 - 09:58am PT
I can still push key board buttons. That must count for something?

hehehe
Gramicci

Social climber
Ventura
Mar 22, 2006 - 10:00am PT
Interesting how we are all trying to analyze this stuff that just happens.

An important motivation that’s overlooked most often is our need for understanding the unknown. A lot of us back then climbed routes based on the line. That alluring set of holds or soaring crack that makes a route possible or even acceptable. You would sometimes think they were put there just for this purpose, to climb. So regardless if the route had been done or not it was the line that caught your attention. Until you did it the unknown of just wondering if that aid line was possible to free climb was intriguing.

The difficulty was not the goal, it only came after. Placing a number on a route was to allow the next party some insight to what was in store for them. There was no systematic schedule for how to get to the next point in the evolution. Regarding New Gen, I think if there was any hoopla it was only created by the grown ups coining “No go Ledge” we were just kids at 16 and 17 and our only interest was finding those elusive holds to reveal a new route. As several have posted on this epic thread, they were so surprised how easy these routes like Valhalla and others were when they finally did them. This is a good thing, it shows the proper preparation everyone one took before attempting any of the routes that had now become a known quantity.

These skips in the evolution or the paradigm shifts happen when it’s the unknown you’re looking for again. You have trained yourself on the periods “test pieces” thus preparing you to further your own personal goals. This endeavor is so cool that it allows for everyone to make their mark in this world. This need for humans to be a part of something bigger than themselves is fulfilled.

For me I have always tried to think of and remember routes for their moves or even the situation, not their numbers. Sometimes the situation was a long run out or a difficult bolt placement making the route that much more exciting and perhaps a more memorable experience. You share these experiences with others when they repeat a route but you keep some for yourself when you step into the unknown.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 22, 2006 - 10:24am PT
We were definitely lured FA to FA when we could even detect the next one might exist in turn, and as you say, the numbers meant nothing to us at the time...
hashbro

Trad climber
Not in Southern California
Mar 22, 2006 - 10:28am PT
Hey Mike,

To bounce off of your elequent analysis further, I would venture to say that my (our) time exploring routes, crags and the unknown was our way of testing the spiritual in our spiritually bankrupt culture.

For me (and I'm sure for many others), walking through unknwon desert corridors, getting out on the lead, getting scared, hanging out with really good friends and staring up at the starry night sky was our way of experiencing that there is far more to this universe than consuming resources and the dog-eat-dog rat race back in town.

So I'm spiritual, but not religious. Thanks for being such great teachers Mike, Largo, Ricky, Tobin, etc....
TC

Social climber
No matter where you go, there you are.
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:01am PT
Have any of your children followed your path? Do any of them carry the torch with the passion that you do (did)?


Michael Muir gets a lesson, Whitney Portal.
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:08am PT
"...our way of testing the spiritual in our
spiritually bankrupt culture."

Looking around today, I think we're still in the red on that account...


Gramicci

Social climber
Ventura
Mar 22, 2006 - 12:39pm PT
Kids are fascinating to watch as they get involved with this and how they approach something totally uninhibited. My oldest son enjoyed dragging me up a few routes in San Luis Obispo while going to school there about 5 years back when I was in lesser shape than I am today. My oldest daughter loves the romance of climbing and always eager to go. My youngest son is becoming more intrigued by it. After following about four routes he sees the excitement he’s looking for is found on the sharp end. He really surprised me asking for the lead of this one route. After one short fall he quickly finds a good rest to get back on and looks down at me and apologizes for hanging on the rope. It was too cute. When he gets to the top he avoids the slew of lower off anchors and finds a tree to belay me up on. He has only watched all this happening he sees what is real and what is not. An individual quite a bit older than him had just battled his way up the same climb because he wanted to do a 5.10 not because the route was a good looking distinct line on a lone buttress. All the kids understand the personal value of a good effort. If he stays involved he will enjoy some great experiences. My youngest daughter probably the most intense will just stick with horses.

Ron Kauk told me a great story of his youngest son Lonnie asking him to try Midnight Lighting. Ron just smiles in a yeah sure kind of way, walks over to Columbia boulder and Lonnie proceeds to do it his third try! He knew it could be done, probably seen it done a few times too but none the less amazing. Definitely a paradigm shift waiting to happen here and in the cleanest way possible.

Gramicci

Social climber
Ventura
Mar 22, 2006 - 12:44pm PT
Spencer, your right it could be very spiritual and to have a tight knit community that still thrives today lends a lot of power to it.
Rubidoux Wilson

Trad climber
Santa Maria, CA
Mar 22, 2006 - 03:19pm PT
Spencer told me about this forum a couple of days ago and I've been reading through what's transpired in the last two months of it. I haven't read every single posting, but many of them. It's amazing what we can remember when given the right stimulus.

You guys speak of climbing and the element of community and also of if being spiritual. I would have to agree. I have more to say, but since this is my first time here I'll keep this short.

Also, I've made a little list of things that stand out to me in the period of 1975 and earlier (since that was the initial request that John had). A lot of those fond memories center around the people I got to interact with and some of the relationships that were developed. Would you like to hear them?

rmuir

Social climber
the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 22, 2006 - 03:27pm PT
Jim, is that REALLY you!? Welcome aboard.

There are other lurkers too... I just got confirmation that Shockley has seen some of all of this.

Jim: A lot of those fond memories center around the people I got to interact with and some of the relationships that were developed. Would you like to hear them?

You bet cha... Post up!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 22, 2006 - 04:03pm PT
Gramicci & Spencer,
Nice words Bra.
The line is the thing!
And all these great folks coming out to share-

"Ropes, Racks, & The Shirts On Our Backs!"
Gramicci

Social climber
Ventura
Mar 22, 2006 - 05:17pm PT
Jim, we have been waiting for you!
Rubidoux Wilson

Trad climber
Santa Maria, CA
Mar 22, 2006 - 10:34pm PT
Here are some memories of mine...regarding Tobin.

I really enjoyed the time Bachar competed with Tobin to see who could "race walk" the fastest around the Humber Park loop up above Idlywild. At first it looked like Tobin was cheating during the last hundred feet of the race by not keeping the correct footwork. But in looking more closely, he was actually doing it right! The reason he was closing in on Bachar was because he was just jammin'. Tobin ended up winning.

Here's another Tobin story.
Once I was climbing on Suicide with Erik. We could hear people down at the Suicide parking lot and we could also hear a sound we had never heard before up there. We said: listen to Tobin, trying to sound like a coyote. This went on for fifteen minutes. After thirty minutes we felt: boy, he sure is persistnt,isn't he ever going to quit? After a full hour this coyote howling was still going on! It began to seem odd that we could no longer hear anybody else at the parking lot...and it was getting dark. Then we realized: Tobin wasn't down there acting like a coyote, these were real coyotes and now we're going to half to walk down in the dark right into the area where the sounds were coming from! We reallly wished it had been Tobin making those sounds! If we had known they were real coyotes, we would have gone down while it was still light.

You guys were talking about the Tobin incident of jumaring the "fixed" rope on The Shield and narrowed it down as to who he did it with. Interestingly enough, I met Bruce Adams in my first week at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1977 and he told me about doing The Shield with Tobin.

The fondest memory I have of Tobin is when I was told that he had become a Christian. I had talked to another person up in San Luis Obispo that had known him and had gone to his funeral. Did anyone in this Forum get to go?

Rubidoux Wilson

Trad climber
Santa Maria, CA
Mar 22, 2006 - 10:53pm PT
Rob,

When you worked at Ski & Sport in Riverside back in 1972, what was the make of bicycle you had that you would bring to work? That was the year I road raced and as I recall you had this cool road bike. I just can't remember who made it.

Did you work there while Chis Robbins was working there? He and I were friends. We raced bikes together and we climbed together too. I still miss him whenever I think about him.
Wonder

climber
WA
Mar 22, 2006 - 11:23pm PT
Mike, one quiet day in camp I came around the corner of the boulder and there was Ron all chalked up ready to go. We had all seen john do it a few times, but i knew ron hadn't. he asked for a spot, and if i remember right, which i never do, it was iron cross, which was a long reach for him, pinch,hang,slap, mantle,and done. I was just as stoked watching him as he was doing it.
PS I think I rememder him saying it was the hardest boulder move he had ever done at the time.
I wish Ron would join in here sometimes, but thats just like him out front in the back ground all the time.
rmuir

Social climber
the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 23, 2006 - 07:40am PT
When I was in high school, most of the young lads that I knew from Indian Rock in Berkeley all had fine road bikes. Riden everywhere, taken everywhere (into banks and classrooms, etc.), they were far too valuable to leave chained to light standards on the Berkeley streets. Man, with all those pricey Colñagos, Masis and Paramounts, there were guys hoofing around with portable acetylene torches and full Campy tool kits waiting to strip a ride in a minute!

It was a regular thing to ride up to Indian Rock to boulder. I started doing some road races back then too. Borsen and I did a lot of riding when we came down to Riverside, and the Riverside Cycling Club, back then, was full of pretty hot cyclists.

Jim, my ride was a silver Cinelli. Still is. But it's been hanging in the garage for far too long. I remember that on our first trip to Europe, Rick and I took the day off while Gib went out and bought a nice custom road frame from some shop in England.

Say. Didn't some of the Newport lads make road rides up to Idyllwild? I remember a few guys doing that a few times. (A good, stiff century ride with the manly bits all in the last 20+ miles.)

Bachar scored a fine bike (a Masi, wasn't it John) that he had in the Valley (along with a shiney VW van) that he scored right after that (cough, cough) mysterious Airplane crash. He and I toured the Valley together a few times and rode up to Wawona. Cough, cough.

Bicycles and climbing seemed to go together, back then.
rmuir

Social climber
the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 23, 2006 - 07:47am PT
And speaking of Humber Park and its highly irregulars, I found this scribbled on the back of some old stationary that was mixed-in with my climbing mags:



Drawn by Gunnar Swanson, probably back in 1973 or '74 in Berkeley, during a Winter road trip we made to Tahoe (stayed with Bird and Bard) and then to Lee Vining for nice ice. Gunnar introduced me to ice-cold Aquavit.

Name the players.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Mar 23, 2006 - 08:43am PT
Couldn't guess, but the Tart = Sybelle [corrected]
rmuir

Social climber
the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 23, 2006 - 08:47am PT
Ooooh. You're good! (But with an "S" wasn't it?)
G_Gnome

Social climber
Tendonitis City
Mar 23, 2006 - 08:53am PT
Right hand two must be Largo and Bachar.
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