The enigma that was the Dolt

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LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - May 9, 2012 - 08:20pm PT
If you could only say one thing or tell one story about Bill "Dolt" Feuerer to his daughter (who only learned he was her birth father some 2 months ago), what would you want her to know?
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
May 9, 2012 - 08:29pm PT
Well, my late husband Jack Roberts had HUGE respect for him. I never knew him, but only ever heard that he was "amazing." I wish i had more to tell you......Jack used to talk about him over the years, and I know he respected and admired "dolt." He has some dolt hangers about the house...I'd have to dig around. I'm sorry you had to just find this out, but I hope it is also something you find great growth in. My heart to you.
Pam roberts
nature

climber
CO
May 9, 2012 - 08:34pm PT
some of us are too young to have a direct connection to him or his hardware contribution to climbing.

that said, his logo is awesome and makes for a great shirt.

wearing said shirt folks have been known to do weird things.

drive fast, take chances
drive fast, take chances
Credit: nature
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 9, 2012 - 08:38pm PT
Nature, that is one COOL picture!!! Big grin!
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
May 9, 2012 - 08:47pm PT
Check out this thread on the first ascent of the Totem Pole.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/727570/Dolt-Photos-First-Ascent-of-the-Totem-Pole
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 9, 2012 - 08:48pm PT
Two cents from a cheap guy.

Bill's my "idolt."

I had a several jobs in Merced.
Dolt had one here, too.

Bill F. had a gig at the SAC base here, too, from what I have learned. No light on the subject.
It is natural, I suppose, that his proximity to Yosemite led to his strange affliction, rock climbing, as did mine. I speak of rock climbing, of course. :)

As my password to the Barnes and Noble database at B Dalton on the Merced Mall, I chose the immortal "dolt." Nobody asked why. It was none of their business. But I'm proud of that little factoid.

I never understood why his blue boots never flew. They sure cost enough! At least twenty at the Yosemite Mtn. Shop. Floyd Turner bought a pair, changed the laces for bright red Galibier laces. What a Dolt!

He coulda got Lowa cheapah!

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.

Bob Culp

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
May 9, 2012 - 08:55pm PT
I never knew Bill. Only spoke to him once on the telephone, but that conversation left a lasting impression.
I had just started a little climbing shop and ordered some Dolt gear. It arrived in the mail instantly and customers marveled at how meticulously crafted it was - as much works of art as climbing gear.
One day the phone rang and the caller identified himself as Bill Feuerer. I must have hesitated because he quickly added - the Dolt.
He said he was calling his dealers to see how his gear was received. Of course I told him people thought it was amazing. He sounded pleased and talked a bit about how it was almost a passion of his to create exceptional things. I told him that was evident.
The conversation turned to climbing and he said he had been out of it lately, but was getting the urge to get back into it. He mentioned he was thinking about taking a road trip, visiting his dealers, and doing some climbing. We made plans to get together when he was in Boulder and visit Eldorado Canyon and do some classic climbs together. He sounded very enthusiastic and ended with a "talk to you soon".
Sadly that was the last I heard from him.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
May 9, 2012 - 08:56pm PT
My dream catalogs in 1959 and 60

Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Credit: guido

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 9, 2012 - 09:01pm PT
Dolt's Yosemite Valley First Ascents

The Footstool, Right Side 1959, Mark Powell, Beverly Powell, Bill Feuerer
North Buttress, Lower Cathedral Rock 1957, Mark Powell, Bill Feuerer
Overhang Route 1935, Dick Leonard, Doris Leonard, Bestor Robinson; FFA, 1956 Mark Powell, Bill Feuerer
Penny Pinnacle, East Arete 1959, Mark Powell, Bill Feuerer
Rixon's Pinnacle, West Face 1959, Tom Frost, Bill Feuerer FFA 1971, Pat Ament
Arrowhead Arete 1956, Mark Powell, Bill Feuerer
LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
May 9, 2012 - 09:04pm PT
you can get the t shirt too! One of the guys here does them

http://www.shop.vershke.com/product.sc;jsessionid=2609BD6FA6DAAB8741CF32829B08D474.qscstrfrnt04?productId=14
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
May 9, 2012 - 09:09pm PT
Great scans, Guido.
MH2

climber
May 9, 2012 - 09:09pm PT
For an enigma he was widely known. I used one of his holsters in the piton era, still have it and it seems indestructible.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 9, 2012 - 09:21pm PT
If you'd like some Dolt hangers from the early 70's I have three from a rebolting project.
I'd be happy to send them to you (email me via SuperTopo email)

mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 9, 2012 - 09:25pm PT
Guido,

I was simply going to say I liked the photos of white-clad 50s-era SoCal climbers.

Then I got to thinking of how I viewed the climber of the era as opposed to what were your "dreams" of the same personality. It is an age thing, (a difference of at least ten-plus) but also a LA/Merced thing ("current" in Merced is always last year, and used to be lots longer).

I tuned to the Larry's suggestion of pics to be seen at another Topic and see exactly my mental image of the late 50s stylist, wearing a dark green Tyrolean-style hat atop Totem Pole. Handsome, jah?



Ed, I think it is interesting that Dolt and Powell climbed the Arrowhead Arete together. It is unquestionably Dolt's highest-quality FA and except for "the arguable few that are best," one of Powell's best, as well.

Is there any information on Bill's MOS? I'm betting machinist or resident mystic tinker.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
May 9, 2012 - 09:37pm PT
So Cal gang had a great affinity for wearing 2nd hand long sleeve white dress shirts, which was actually quite practical with hot weather and intense sun. For Chouinard, Frost, Daley .............it was the Tog de Jour. Apparently there was a 2nd hand store called Granny Grundies(sic) in the San Fernando Valley? which was the main source.

It soon caught on for the Northern crowd and Roper, Naylor and others picked up the fad. Of course Chuck Ostin would always be dressed in white.

Rather stylish you must admit for a clan of climbing bums.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 9, 2012 - 09:42pm PT
What's her age?
The answer depends on that, I think.

In general, it seems hard to convey the man with a single fact.
He did multiple things, some very well, and other not so well (such as his "failed attempts at matrimony").

We are all like that to some extent.
Trying to have a variety of accomplishments or experiences in life, and coming up short in some of them.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 9, 2012 - 09:47pm PT
I'm 42 and I have a really good sense of humor...does that help? ;D

Guido: I love the catalog scans -- I can only imagine how much fun it must have been picking up the latest at that time.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 9, 2012 - 09:57pm PT
Which goes to show my poor judgment in choosing Frost as my model. His iconic photo at the Roof on the Salathe caused me to invest in several pairs of long-sleeves, white. I used one shirt one time, and have a photo of that one instance, which Millis took on MCR. The tee shirt is more suitable to following on a wall, and you just end up rolling the damn long sleeves up anyway. And cuff-links are such a pain.

Any Dolt cuff-links out there? You never know. $$$$
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
May 9, 2012 - 10:09pm PT
Kudos for the generous offer, Ed. I noticed Chessler's has some Dolt items for as much as $1500.00 each.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
May 9, 2012 - 11:36pm PT
Guido,
Is that last picture taken at Mt Pacifico? kinda looks like the main wall there or one of the little slots behind the main wall.

Lila,
I read your story and was very touched, welcome to Supertopo.
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