Fred Beckey, Pete Schoening: Climbing Epic Sawtooth's 1949

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Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Original Post - May 11, 2012 - 02:40pm PT
Idaho Magazine has just published my eight-page story in their May 2012 issue!


It is about Fred Beckey, Pete Schoening, & Jack Schwabland's epic 1949 trip to Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains. I quote from Schwabland's account of the trip in the 1950 American Alpine Journal, and added my own photos and stories.

They had one heck of an adventure in only 8 days. They made three 1st ascents by employing aid techniques, climbed three other peaks, traversed much of the range, and nearly all died in a lightning storm on Baron Spire.

It only took me from 1971 to 2011 to visit the same peaks.

Here’s a link to Idaho Magazine’s Facebook page on my story.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Idaho-Magazine/178896083093

and here is a link to their website.
http://www.idahomagazine.com/current_issue.asp

It is a great regional magazine. Please buy a copy or a subscription!

I have tried to call & email Jack Schwabland without success. I believe he still lives in the Seattle area. If anyone can supply his current address, I will be glad to send him a copy of the magazine.
RDB

Social climber
wa
May 11, 2012 - 02:44pm PT
Great effort in any number of ways Ray, congrads!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
May 11, 2012 - 03:24pm PT
WOO HOOO!!!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
WA, & NC & Idaho
May 11, 2012 - 05:14pm PT
Awesome Fritz, I'll pick up a copy!!!!
-ez
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 11, 2012 - 05:24pm PT
Nice, Fritz, or Roy. ;-)

Did ya snag any Fred booty? Not that he ever left much, the cheapskate.
RoryKuykendall

Mountain climber
California
May 11, 2012 - 05:38pm PT
Righteous.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 11, 2012 - 05:49pm PT
I did an 8 day river trip with Pete in '94.

What a gentleman, a good soul.
(pretty good at belaying too)
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - May 11, 2012 - 08:38pm PT
Thanks to all for the positive comments.

This is first time I have ever been paid for writing one of my stories.



Reilly: there was no Beckey-booty in sight, even in 1971.

We discovered we were the third party since 1949 that had climbed Fishhook Spire, (now El Pima) by seeing their names in the summit register they left. Of course, I didn’t think to take a photo of the register sheet.


By 1971, their original 22 bolt Baron Spire summit-block bolt-ladder consisted of a much smaller number of mostly bent, and hanger-less ¼” studs.

Someone-------likely the original party----did leave a ¼” drill-bit stuck in the rock towards the top of the Baron Spire bolt-ladder. FGW (on ST) shared a photo of it that I used in the article, along with a photo of him on the bolt-ladder. (I promised him a copy of the magazine too!)


Dick Dorworth wrote about the drill-bit in a Mountain Gazette article he did on Fred Beckey.

From a Summit Post link. http://www.summitpost.org/baron-spire/155259
About three feet higher than my outstretched hand was what looked like a headless nail sticking out of the wall about two inches at a slightly downward angle. After several attempts, during which time the clarity of commitment began to fog up, I managed to sort of lasso the object with a sling. With conscious slow breathing, the clarity of commitment, and the gentleness and finesse reserved for A5 placements and 5.11 friction, I clipped an aider into the sling and tip-toed onto the stirrup. It held. I carefully moved up one rung. It still held. I tied off another sling where the broken-off drill bit that looked like a nail came out of the wall at an angle that threatened to shrug off the sling that held me in place.”
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
May 11, 2012 - 09:01pm PT
Good on yah Fritz and you even got paid!

Fascinating history.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - May 12, 2012 - 09:13am PT
Anyone have a current address for Jack Schwabland bump?

If you do, please PM it to me.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
May 12, 2012 - 11:45am PT
Nice, Fritz.

Loved the bit about the bit!
fgw

climber
portland, or
May 14, 2012 - 10:48am PT
Hi Fritz,
I'd love to read that article but I don't see a way to order this issue online (maybe I'm blind). You don't have any extras you could sell via the mail by chance?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 14, 2012 - 10:51am PT
Now that you have found your true profession, you can say goodby to all of those whinning shop owners.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - May 14, 2012 - 01:54pm PT
fgw: Private message in to you! Thanks!

Donini: The shop owners I still work with don't whine! I fired the whinners!
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
May 14, 2012 - 03:29pm PT
Wow...fantastic bit...
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - May 14, 2012 - 11:39pm PT
I don't need to collect a "Fred Beckey" autographed copy of my article.

I suspect he has better things to do than read articles about his 1940's adventures.

I am happy to mail a copy off to Fred, if he emails me that he wants to: "check it out."



I am humble about what I have climbed, versus, all the great new routes that Mr. Beckey has done in North America.

Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
WA, & NC & Idaho
May 20, 2012 - 04:47pm PT
Fritz,

that was a great write up, Thanks,

We are lucky to have the tooths to play in!

An excellent tribute to Beckey, Shoening and the others!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2012 - 10:55pm PT
Thanks for the positive feedback on the Idaho Magazine story!

Glad that you enjoyed it!



Click on map to enlarge it.
fgw

climber
portland, or
May 21, 2012 - 01:10pm PT
Fritz, thank you very much for sending me a copy. A great job on the write up!! A great piece.
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