“OCCASIONAL MISERIES” – Journal-UCLA Bruin Mountaineers


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Trad climber
May 11, 2012 - 05:05pm PT
And where there's Tolkien...you know there's a good story:


Following a successful trip to the Minarets, John Williams, Roger Steeb, Dave Meeks, and Don Lashier were sitting idly around cokes and candy bars (the beer wasn't in yet) discussing the various attributes of the female population in the Red's Meadow store when suddenly Don said "Let's go rock-climbing." The others, weighted down with the gravity of the situation at hand, did not immediately respond. But creeping up from the subconscious came memories: The ring of pitons, the smell of granite, kletterschuhe toes. Suddenly everyone sprang to life, lured by the call of the rock.

"But where?" said John, cursing Don for arousing him when he believed he could not get fulfillment.

But Dave's eyes twinkled, for he knew what Don proposed: "Satan's Stack of Sticks," he whispered in hushed tones, looking slowly from John to Roger.

"But that's against the Rule," cried Roger, his eyes afire with horror.

"If we are sly, They won't catch us, and then it won't be against the Rule," explained John, pleased with himself for this bit of wit, otherwise known as a witbit or sometimes nitwit, which is short for nittanywitterbybit.

Later that afternoon they reconnoitered, noting carefully the habits of the black rider with the wide brimmed hat. They carefully studied the Dark Tower, which amazingly resembles a stack of sticks and thus is known colloquially as Satan's Stickstack or First Degree Mordor.

That night, after the Black Rider had gone for nourishment in far lands, the group embarked on their journey in the dark, along the old forest road, armed with weapons from Don's hardware store. After posting Gregg to warn of the Black Rider, Dave began an attack on the tower. He soon surmounted the tower via what was known in the elder days as a chimney, about a 5.4 chimney to be exact. Next John, and then Roger surmounted the tower, following Dave's lead. Don was about halfway up when Gregg cried out in warning. Panic, terror, helplessness, and then relief, for Aragorn rode with us and the intruders were only two tourists come to see the stack of sticks etc.

Our lust not yet satisfied, we returned to the bottom to try another assault. Dave started to nail up a crack between two sticks of the stick stack, but the stacked sticks of the stick stack weren't stacked sticky and the nails didn't stick, i.e., it was an expanding crack -- about A4.

When Dave got about halfway up he could not retreat, because the pins below him had fallen out, but he did not wish to proceed, for the crack expanded easier ("more readily") as one ascended it. It took some technique to shift your weight at the right time. John ran around and gave him an upper belay, and he successfully completed the climb. Inasmuch as the route cleaned itself, and it was growing quite dark, we retired to the hot spring showers to sing:

"Sing hey! for the bath at close of day
That washes the weary mud away!
A loon is he that will not sing:
O! Water Hot is a noble thing!

O! Sweet is the sound of falling rain,
and the brook that leaps from hill to plain;
but better than rain or rippling streams
is Water Hot that smokes and steams.

O! Water cold we may pour at need
down a thirsty throat and be glad indeed;
but better is Beer, if drink we lack,
and Water Hot poured down the back.

O! Water is fair that leaps on high
in a fountain white beneath the sky;
but never did fountain sound so sweet
as splashing Hot Water with my feet!"

-- poem by J.R.R. TOLKIEN

Trad climber
May 14, 2012 - 06:15pm PT
Tolkien bump!

Trad climber
May 15, 2012 - 05:06am PT
Happy birthday, BooDawg!

Hope you have an awesome day, and all best wishes for the year ahead!
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 12, 2012 - 09:40pm PT
OK, now I know why people call Boodawg "Booey" instead of Boche. Sibylle couldn't quite explain.

The UCLA adventures and stories are very reminiscent of university outdoor clubs elsewhere.

Gym climber
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 5, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
Hello Bruin Mountaineers,

I am writing on behalf of the UCLA Daily Bruin. A few weeks ago, some of the Daily Bruin editors began looking into clubs that existed at UCLA in past years and they came across the Bruin Mountaineers. After reading about this club and all the experiences you all shared, we thought it would be a perfect series of stories that include personal features, some radio content, and even a slide show. This is where you come in. We would GREATLY appreciate if you or anyone you know in Bruin Mountaineers could share a few pictures that you captured on your adventures. Any content is welcome. We want to make this series great, and that can only be done with your help.

Thanks so much for your time!

Trad climber
Feb 5, 2013 - 06:05pm PT

Thousand Oaks, CA
Feb 13, 2013 - 06:07pm PT
Hello Bruin Mountaineers,

I am working on a story about the Bruin Mountaineer club for the Daily Bruin at UCLA. For part of the story we were hoping to name some of the climbs that the club and its members have pioneered. If you have any knowledge concerning this subject, feel free to email me with any information you can provide, it will be greatly appreciated

Thank you,
Sam DeMello

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 3, 2013 - 05:10pm PT
An article in The Daily Bruin about the Bruins as climbers can be found here:


And embedded in that article is a multi-media story about "The Marathon" that took place during winter break, 1966. It can be found here:

They also ran a story about LilaBiene's search for her birth parents:


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