Speaking of statistical improbabilities...


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Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 12, 2012 - 07:31pm PT
So on the Saturday of the FaceLift, Ed Hartouni and I took the little bee, aka Audrey, aka Dolt's daughter, climbing. A most delightful afternoon, although rather hot. In fact, near record heat, not to mention that our destination was at the base of the southeast face. 30+ degrees and a reflector over were a bit toasty.

A few days before, Audrey went hiking with Ken and friends, who apparently told her that the Pohono trail was "ten miles, all downhill". So she may just have been a bit apprehensive.

For our history project, Clint and Ed searched the database for routes first climbed by Bill Feuerer, the Dolt. Given that Audrey had only just started climbing (she's quite athletic), that somewhat limited the options, and we ended up climbing the right side of the Footstool, at the base of El Cap. Nominally 5.6, perhaps a bit harder. (We said to her "Footstool 2012, Arrowhead Arete 2013, Dolt Tower 2014".) Adding to our history project, it turns out the Footstool was Ed's first route in the Valley, in 1970 or so.

Ed was the designated leader, using his lurid new pink rope, allegedly for its photogenic possibilities. Audrey the stout second, yours truly the photographer (we were desperate) and gofer.

Credit: Mighty Hiker
Here's Ed on top, with Audrey starting up. The route is in something of a rockfall zone, but you pays your money...

Trad climber
she'll make.5 past light speed
Oct 12, 2012 - 07:46pm PT
I just saw this. So cool! Do you have a copy of Downward Bound by Harding? I could part with mine.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 12, 2012 - 08:50pm PT
So Ed got to the tippy top, passing an old piton (but not a Dolt) on the way. Up went Audrey.
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Credit: Mighty Hiker
It went quite well, and she was only momentarily stymied in one or two places. It was, after all, only her second day of outdoor climbing - it's not everyone who climbs El Cap on their second day! Plus we FaceLifted the trail and area, not that there was much to do.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2012 - 08:56pm PT
I loves dat Pink String, Ed!

Anders Adams, we give you a mighty hug from a great distance! Thanks!

LilaBiene, you looked like you buzzed rrright up! Congratulations, Odd!

Credit: BooDawg
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 12, 2012 - 11:38pm PT
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Credit: Mighty Hiker
(The posting is taking longer than the climb.)

We told Audrey about Dolt Tower - more or less in the background - and the Dolt Cart, but didn't take her there this time.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 13, 2012 - 12:05am PT
the note in my Green Roper's next to Footstool, Right says Aug. & Sept. 1971, I apparently did it twice that year. I am pretty sure the Aug. date was with DonC, and the Sept. date was with my high school buddy Michael Rosner.

We banged pitons in on both occasions (I think I lead both)... I think I went there with Gary in 2011 and did a 40th anniversary climb.

Always loved that location. Didn't remember that Mark & Beverly Powell and the Dolt did the FA in 1959. Odd that when I first did it it was only 12 years after the FA, now it's more than 50 years...

But it was certainly a doable climb on the list of Dolt FAs, for a first time Yosemite visit with only one other time out on the rocks, as LilaBiene had indicated.

It was hot and that climb is slick, with not great pro, so even at 5.4 it gets your attention. Given the drama of the hike two days earlier I was determined not to require any official assistance on this outing.

Here's LilaBiene approaching the belay

And my only summit block photo...

In case you were wondering just where the Footstool is, LilaBiene points it out for you from El Cap meadow.

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Oct 13, 2012 - 03:21am PT
A most excellent climb! TFPU! I've been waiting patiently to see the pix. Great to see them. Looks like you three had way too much fun! LilaBiene tells me that she'll be posting her account this weekend. I hope so.

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 13, 2012 - 04:15am PT
I am so the romantic at heart!
This is the Best thread!
That I've read!
Ly'in in bed!
On my taco!
Thank You!

PS. I didn't notice, are U married?

Jus Dream'in

Oct 13, 2012 - 07:02am PT
Kudos to Ed and MH for being touchstones to the past and guides to the future for this bright spark.

Climb on, LilaBiene.
Climb on.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 13, 2012 - 07:31am PT
Hey "Theresay Ed,"

"I think" & "I'm pretty sure" are not really like you.

Did you forget da Brim?

I like the photo of "Odd" Audrey "LilaBiene" Feurer "Dolt" Todd more than I can say.

Speaking of Sarcastic Improbabilities, what are the chances that you would be the first man to take a photo of two Dolts?

If that's too cryptic for the rest of you (Ed got it, WBraun got it, Odd no doubt will have gotten it), the wench and the tower.

The WENCH and the tower.

"What bolts?! I thought you said Dolts."--Fletcher yelling down at the crux

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Oct 13, 2012 - 12:21pm PT
Wonderful thread. I actually love the Footstool as a climb to finish up when leaving the Valley. Couple Facelifts ago Sully, Ferretlegger and I did it in probably 100 degree heat. Wrong choice....like a pizza oven in there with its direct exposure. We also saw several rock falls just off the footstool cascade across the path where some FL volunteers had just passed with their pinchers.

Ferretlegger met his climbing partner Art, of over 40 years, on the Footstool. Mike came up one side and Art the other. They chatted on top and a life long partnership was forged!

Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 13, 2012 - 12:38pm PT
And the last summit photos.
Credit: Mighty Hiker
photo not found
Missing photo ID#267795
photo not found
Missing photo ID#267796
More souvenirs for Audrey.

The Granite State.
Oct 13, 2012 - 12:43pm PT
There should be a like button.

Great thread.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 13, 2012 - 03:02pm PT
Then we rappelled. Ed first, then Audrey, then me. Ed provided a fireperson's backup for Audrey - we even demonstrated.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#267797
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Audrey's second-ever rappel, and a stout effort.

The peanut gallery (Mark H and nephew Paul) cheering below.
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Fortuitous, in that we persuaded them to come to the MeatFest that night.

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 13, 2012 - 03:16pm PT
Thanks so much for the photography duty and posting up those photos, MH! Great stuff and so nice to see Lilabiene connecting with the stone!

And to Ed as well, for getting her safely up and back down again.

My lord in heaven... that pink rope is something else...it's florescent in bright daylight! Sure to be appreciated by Tom Evans.

Love that shot of Harding belaying with Powell next to him. One of amy all time favorites. Glad it's in the hands of the YCA so many will have a chance to appreciate it.


Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Oct 13, 2012 - 03:27pm PT
Pushing the LIKE button now....

Fab story, thank you for posting this up.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 14, 2012 - 12:56pm PT
The TR that Odd just posted yesterday was quite well-written. It well might form the core of a atory that could easily fill an entire book. She has the the ability to write so well, IMO, that she could knock one out. Of course, she's a mommie, so that's a hard one to pull off.

Rather than take up space in the TR, I am using this thread for the purposes of posting other things related to Odd than her first visit to the Valley, an important event for anyone, climber or "mundane." Useful word, that. The Ren fair folk call "all non-Ren fair folk" mundanes, it's easier to get the idea over that this person I am talking about isn't one of us. It's far easier than using the cumbersome phrase above. Odd is no longer mundane, has made the transition to whatever we seem to be.

I know we all seem to be kids at heart, still rebellious, still rowdy.

Here is an email that ATB sent me last May. It seems it's time to post up our privacy. I don't mind if she doesn't.

Hey Brain!

Thanks very much for the good wishes! I, too, am getting a huge kick out this forum. I love that most seem to have a wicked good sense of humor... :D

Even better, it's getting me back into climbing (which I only dallied in previously - being indoors isn't really my thing) and the prospect of climbing outside...I'm psyched. Not sure how well I'll do, but I'll give it my best.

The "Miseries" are a lot of fun - it was a great surprise finding Tolkien in the midst of one of them. More fun to come!

It's in the interests of the story that I post that letter. Privacy is nothing in the face of a good story or lawsuit. The main things I want to say about my experiencea with Odd are that here is a person I'd never met, living in Boston, and now it seems like we are brother and sister. I a lot of you feel the same after having jived with her.

I would also like to encourage that idea of a book. It will only serve to make a lot of people happy. What could be better than that?

On the more somber side, there's the part of the story that is sad, that is hard to tell, that is based on a suicide is bound to be difficult to write. She shows she can write objectively and with keen insight.

Where is my withering sense of humor now? It's in my pocket, with the handkerchief, because there is nothing funny about the first part of the story, except to say "young Love" or "young scandal." I have been involved personally with young love and it's a shame that things happen, but these things happen all the time, so it seems that they must happen for a reason. If there is one, it's simple. It's called nature and is reason enough to accept one another in spite their "faults," not to reject them.

Why this tabu on procreation? Sissies.

Anyway, there's much food for thought in this story, pus the Ultimate Climb of the fifties, we...

I gotta go with the Everest ascent so that makes El Cap the second greatest climbing story of that decade. It's a BN Bonanza. An Amazon Ass-Kicker of a Best-Smeller. And we are all a part of the story, some having huge roles (BooDawg and dee ee) and others less huge (?).

Just to keep this ball rolling and unspooling, just to keep this thread spinning, here's some things which may spur Odd to literary endeavor. It's a start.

"Bill earns his wings daily for all the humor he has provided at his expense. Perhaps his greatest legacy is mostly just that. Think Cyrano. What's the big deal with a nose? We all have one. We all aren't Dolts."

"I love LilaBiene's story of her search because it is so genuine. It is so awesome that her birth parents turned out to be such interesting people. Both of them seem to have interesting stories and the whole thing would make a book that I'd love to read. Although she claims to be shy, Lila can write and should."

"I agree with what you said about just doing your best. In the years when I was sick and doctors were of no help, I was at a very low point in my life and at times felt very hopeless as to whether I would ever be able to dig myself back out of the hole I had fallen into. (My uncle gave me some sage advice a few years back: When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging!) But you do the best you can, and if your persist long enough, things will turn themselves in a different direction."

"Wow... You are a good story teller Lila! Amazing story indeed and it made my night. Especially the part where you reveal you father's name. My jaw was on the ground! This Taco Stand certainly can be a magical place."

"Clint: the first time I read the story about him taking a header cemented for me that we were related...pretty hilarious that a quality such as that is actually heritable. Now I'll have to remind friends that instead of pulling an "Odd", I'm actually pulling a "Dolt"!"

This tale is far from over, Odd's returning to California to attend the Oakdale Climbing Festival, so if you'd like to greet her, thank her for the contribution to our community (herself and her father's story), this will be your chance. This story promises to entertain us for quite a while longer. Camila, Odd's daughter, is only 3. Yet she sounds precocious. You hear this a lot coming from mothers. Coming from this particular mother, I believe those words.

Like father & daughter & granddaughter.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 14, 2012 - 09:53pm PT
After the climb, but before MeatFest. Ed and Audrey in the meadow.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#267890

(cross link http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Longest-6-months-6-days-of-my-life/t11710n.html);

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 15, 2012 - 08:17pm PT
Anders and Ed, thank you so much for taking and posting these pictures! I don't know how I missed seeing them until now...but finding them was perfect timing because I'm daydreaming about how to find some rocks somewhere near here that I can scratch around on this weekend. Sooooooo much fun! Thank you!!! (Secretly hoping I can make my way back to Yosemite after Oakdale...but will just have to wait and see what's in the cards.

Is it too soon to start packing again for next year?!
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 16, 2012 - 12:58am PT
A pleasure and honour!
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