History - Harding and.....?

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Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 14, 2012 - 08:31pm PT
Seems like a huge appetite for ancient history here, especially regarding Harding. Okay.

Most accounts have him pegged pretty well. First climbed with - well as I can remember - Mickey’s Beach on a Sierra Club scheduled rock climb. Maybe ‘56 or so. We went to work on a vertical face. Hung in slings for hours, dangle and whack. Bolts. Painful. Spectators couldn’t believe his doggedness. Forecast of things to come.

We did some piddly things together in Yosemite and some decent ones. He sent me up the chimney on Worst Error - didn’t much care for chimneys or bats. I loved it. No pro with pins, but you could get back in the tight part and take a deep breath and stick like a panicked chuckwalla. Then he did the hard part. Thrashed for a long time at the crux. He had a great vocabulary. I kept waiting for the shock, with the standing hip belay of the time and my eyes like targets. Nice climb.

When I joined NPS Cindy and I had a 28’ trailer in the employee’s camp. Great housing. You couldn’t turn around in the bathroom. Harding and his then girlfriend came and stayed with us for a while in the “back bedroom”. Whatever you hear about his amorous appetites is probably true. We often wished the trailer was on a solid foundation.

He wasn’t as invulnerable to criticism as is thought. When he had a bit too much he sometimes got a bit maudlin, and bitch about how “everybody was out to get Harding”.

Also got pretty aggressive in that condition. One time my younger bro went to a party in El Portal, and Harding decked him. Having Harding for a friend wasn’t always easy, especially if you were a ranger.

He was generous, too - not just with the wine. When Cindy and I were married he gave us a Kelty pack as a wedding present. Major investment for the times.

Could go on, but there are others who can contribute.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 14, 2012 - 08:34pm PT
Now we're talkin'! Don't let us stop you!

"take a deep breath and stick like a panicked chuckwalla" - that I like!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Sep 14, 2012 - 08:41pm PT
Thanks Wayne,
Love the part about having "A great vocabulary" and "Wished it was on a foundation" well said!
Glad you joined the campfire and look forward to more stories from the golden age!
Tad
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Sep 14, 2012 - 09:11pm PT
So GREAT to hear you come to the campfire, Wayne. I know that folks here would be especially interested in the stories about the people and events and any controversies that arose during:

1) The first ascent of the Nose and

2) The founding of the Yosemite Mountaineering School

Beyond those are certainly many more tales that you could tell, and many here eagerly and respectfully await your further contributions here.

Again, welcome to the Taco Stand!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Sep 14, 2012 - 09:58pm PT
Absolutely wonderful! Bring it on Wayne, but dose it out and keep us on the edge.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Sep 14, 2012 - 10:21pm PT

Great stuff, Wayne! the crowd shouted "MORE, MORE!!!"
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 14, 2012 - 10:42pm PT
Yes Wayne. Please give us chunks of what you got! It will not be always to put together in written form but we are all together in that challenge. It is critical we share our history and the sooner the better. There are not many years left and all this stuff will vanish unless brought to life once again.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 14, 2012 - 10:42pm PT
Hi Wayne,
I first met him in '76 but didn't get to know him until he moved to Moab.

I suspect from what you say that he may have failed to appreciate some who weren't out to "get him".
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Sep 14, 2012 - 11:14pm PT
Wayne-Some reflections on the Worst Error. I think Big Joe Fitchen made the 2nd ascent with ?
I was fortunate to climb it with Reed and Kamps in I think 1960 and the memories are still alive of that fun adventure with two classic climbers.

First Ascent:
First ascent of the Worst Error 1957
First ascent of the Worst Error 1957
Credit: guido

Credit: guido
l
And we use to tyrolean across the Merced to get to the climb. Now the smart lads have discovered that it is much easier to rap down from the top. Such is youth.
Galen crossing the Merced on the way to "the" Elephant:
Rowell crossing the Merced en route to Elephant Rock.
Rowell crossing the Merced en route to Elephant Rock.
Credit: guido

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 15, 2012 - 01:11pm PT
"metabolic uproar"!

Uproarious!

That's medical exemption right there if they re-instate the draft.

PMUD.

Q: How difficult is the river crossing at Elephant Rock? Where is the crossing? I and lots of others have never checked it out.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Sep 15, 2012 - 01:13pm PT
this is gonna be GUD!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Sep 15, 2012 - 05:20pm PT

It looks like Galen's trying not to drown in the Merced there!!!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 15, 2012 - 07:50pm PT
Guido- First rate Tyrolean Death shot!

The low point on that triangle is way too close for comfort!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Sep 15, 2012 - 08:03pm PT
He would also be a hell of a lot better off "if" he ended up in the water without a belay. As we sadly learned from the death of Don Wilson and the problem of being attached with a fixed line in a swift current.

Galen was not really a water guy except when he would lather up in his tanning concoction of Coco Butter and Iodine and hang out at the UC Berkeley pool in Strawberry Canyon and troll for the ladies.

Quite successful I must admit.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 15, 2012 - 08:03pm PT
Big G's being dragged down by the weight of his Big Nuts!!!

Or the shat in his tidy whities, one.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 15, 2012 - 09:51pm PT
Damn, that's one saggy Tyrolean! Must have been an awful pull up the other end. Today, of course, someone would slack line it. And Guido is so right - I know of two others besides Wilson that got hauled under by a "safety rope". One of 'em above Bridalveil.

Hey, no more reminiscences of Harding?

I'll add one more. When I was leading the Pancake Flake with pitons (no chocks then) each new pin loosened the loaded one, and the grating and pivoting of the one I was standing in was mildly upsetting. But Harding said, "Hey, no worries. If you zipper you won't bounce off anything. Except maybe me."
rrider

climber
Mckinleyville, Ca
Sep 15, 2012 - 10:02pm PT
today "they"'d probably zip-line a tyrolean, heh.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Sep 15, 2012 - 10:12pm PT
Cool stuff. I can't add anything, but I can sit here and hope for more!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Sep 15, 2012 - 10:16pm PT
It was an old piece of sh#t Goldline that had been there for years, who placed it?

Park Rat

Social climber
CA, UT,CT,FL
Sep 16, 2012 - 01:09pm PT
Hi Wayne,

I am surprised your post has not received more response, it may be because it's the weekend.

I expect you will be inundated by requests for more stories of your time with Warren Harding.

Your first-hand knowledge of those first ascents of the big walls are priceless.

You may think of yourself as a fossil, in fact you are more of the Sage, in my opinion.

I have often wondered if you had any pictures from that period of time that we have not seen.

The other question that has plagued me is why Harding was not more of a solo climber.

Somewhere, I got the impression that he had a bad experience which led him to always having a climbing partner with him. I don't know if you told me this or I learned it somewhere else.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

All the best from sunny Florida.

Susie
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Sep 16, 2012 - 01:22pm PT
all i can add here is my recollections of a shindig at Doc Longs house back around 76/77. Beverages flowed freely, -i was like a star struck child really. In the hall of mtn kings i was. He was the first "royalty" of climbing i had met and was my hero. Stories of the Dawn wall had amusing side notes as did all the tid bits he shared with us.
Met him again in the early 80s at the reno trade show, where he looked like LUCIFER himself- wild hair and eye brows a flowin, dashing he was and in quite good spirits.. Him and Royal got to chat a bit and i was again star struck..Never been that way around hollywierdos..

Saw him last at Rock Sport during a slide show trip.. The years of abuse could be seen clearly YET he was STILL THE HARDING- with that rye humor and somewhat cavalier attitude toward it all. "awww who really gives a shyt about this shyt"...


it was all S. Farcimus..;-)
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 16, 2012 - 01:25pm PT
he was STILL THE HARDING- with that rye humor

I thought he preferred wine? ;-)
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Sep 16, 2012 - 01:26pm PT
Thanks for starting this thread and the stories in the original post.

Folks have been sharing their stories here for over a decade so the usual suspects may be somewhat tapped out for new material.

As others have mentioned we'd love to hear more from you! Whether the story includes Batso or not.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Sep 16, 2012 - 01:28pm PT
actually he was into Brandy at rock sport..;-)

the phrase was heard,"could someone PLEASE refurbish my brandy?"


as for the low response thus far,,

A) anyone under thirty thinks climbing history is Sharma

B) Intimidation of even posting on threads containing TRUE PIONEERS of our sport perhaps? (we ARENT worthy!)

Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Sep 16, 2012 - 01:52pm PT
Park Rat / Susie wrote, "The other question that has plagued me is why Harding was not more of a solo climber.... Somewhere, I got the impression that he had a bad experience which led him to always having a climbing partner with him. I don't know if you told me this or I learned it somewhere else...."

I recall reading that Harding (free?) soloed the vast NE face of Lone Pine Peak around '54 (?) and it was dicey.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 16, 2012 - 01:55pm PT
Ron, your B theory is probably right. Besides, who wants to read about my
failed attempt to drink the legend under the table? That would merely put me in
a long line of pretenders.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Sep 16, 2012 - 02:01pm PT
Yeah- I reckon all of it is weak in Comparison to the Ultimate black hatter. But Then again, ANY story in the Farcimus genre is a GUD one.;-)


A wiki list of Warrens FAs..

1954 Harding's Chimney & Harding's Other Chimney, Sugerloaf, Lake Tahoe, CA, with Jim Ohrenschall.
1954 Upper & Lower Phantom Spire, Lake Tahoe, CA, with Jim Ohrenschall.
1954 North West Books, Left & Right Water Cracks, Lembert Dome, Tuolomme Meadows, CA, with Frank de Saussure, friends.
1954 East Buttress, Middle Cathedral Rock, Yosemite, CA, with Jack Davis and Bob Swift.
1954 North Buttress, Middle Cathedral Rock, Yosemite, CA, with Frank Tarver; Craig Holden and John Whitmer.
1956 East Arrowhead Chimney, Arrowhead Arete, Yosemite, CA, with Mark Powell.
1956 Promulgated Pinnacle, Sentinel Rock, Yosemite, CA, with Bob Swift.
1957 East Arrowhead Buttress, with Wally Reed and Mark Powell.
1957 The Worst Error, Elephant Rock, Yosemite, CA, with Wayne Merry.
1957 East Side, Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite, CA, with Mark Powell.
1958 Northwest Buttress, Ahwiyah Point, Yosemite, CA, with Wayne Merry.
1958 The Nose, El Capitan, Yosemite, CA, with Wayne Merry and George Whitmore (47 days in several pushes).
1959 Beverly's Tower, Cookie Cliff, Yosemite, CA, with Gerry Czamanske.
1959 Merry Old Ledge, Three Brothers, Yosemite, CA, with Gerry Czamanske.
1959 Southwest Face, Mt. Conness, Yosemite High Country, CA, USA, with Glen Denny and Herb Sweedlund.
1959 East Face, Washington Column (later 'Astroman'), Yosemite, CA, USA, with Glen Denny and Chuck Pratt.
[edit]1960s
1960 Keeler Needle of Mt. Whitney (14,000+ ft), with Glen Denny, Rob McKnight and Frank Gronberg.
1961 West Face, Leaning Tower, Yosemite, CA, with Glen Denny and Al MacDonald.
1962 Delectable Pinnacle, El Capitan, Yosemite, CA, with Brian Small.
1962 North Face, The Rostrum, Yosemite, CA, with Glen Denny.
1962 The Flue, Sentinel Rock, Yosemite, CA, with Bob Kamps.
1964 South Face Route, Mt. Watkins, Yosemite, CA, with Yvon Chouinard and Chuck Pratt.
1968 The Good Book, The (Right Side of the Folly), Yosemite, CA, with Tom Fender.
1968 West Face or Direct Route (NCCS VI F8 A3), Lost Arrow Spire, Yosemite, CA, with Pat Callis.[22]
1969 Southwest Face, Liberty Cap, Yosemite, CA, with Galen Rowell and Joe Faint.
1969 Firefall Face, Glacier Point, Yosemite Valley, CA, with Galen Rowell.
[edit]1970s
1970 South Face Route, Half Dome, Yosemite, CA, with Galen Rowell.
1970 Wall of the Early Morning Light (Dawn Wall), El Capitan, Yosemite, CA, with Dean Caldwell (28 days in one push).
1971 Porcelain Wall, Yosemite, CA, with Steve Bosque and Dave Lomba.
1975 Rhombus Wall, Royal Arches, Yosemite, Ca, with friends.
1976 West Arete, Mt. Winchell, Sierra Nevada, CA, with Galen Rowell.
1978 Forbidden Wall, Yosemite Falls, Yosemite, CA, with Dave Lomba, Christie Tewes and Steve Bosque.[23]
[edit]Gallery
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Sep 16, 2012 - 02:03pm PT
That's a great OP Wayne!

Please keep it coming.....

Tussle thee forth with the keyboard.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 16, 2012 - 03:13pm PT
Park Rat - I suspect he did little soloing because many of us at the time got started with Sierra Club Rock Climbing section practice sessions, which were notably conservative. This wasn't a hell of a lot past the age when the dictum was "The Leader Shall Not Fall!" And climbers were encouraged to be conservative. Soloing was an ultimate no-no.

When we are experiencing something for the first time, those early directives get pretty well embedded - especially if they are delivered by the reigning authorities.

Free climbing techniques were pretty primitive at the time, too. And the shoes were ridiculous.

Of course, some of his routes later were anything but conservative, but they were usually protected.

That's just a guess. We never discussed it that I can recall. But then some of those discussions couldn't be recalled next morning. Maybe one of his other partners has an answer. Anybody?
Swifter

Social climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 28, 2012 - 06:18pm PT
Snake (L) and WJH enroute to Promulgated.
Snake (L) and WJH enroute to Promulgated.
Credit: Swifter
Swifter

Social climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 28, 2012 - 06:21pm PT
WJH on Promulgated Pinnacle. Note that though the horizon tilts one wa...
WJH on Promulgated Pinnacle. Note that though the horizon tilts one way and rocks the other, WJH is still vertical!
Credit: Swifter
Swifter

Social climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 28, 2012 - 06:26pm PT
Ron-

Is it possible that you meant John (not Jim) Ohrenschall? WJH really admired O's tenacity in climbing the NW ridge of Mt. Williamson.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Nov 28, 2012 - 08:28pm PT
Swifter, are you Bob Swift ?
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Nov 28, 2012 - 10:12pm PT
Warren Harding gave a slide presentation in Vancouver in the early - mid 80's. Some of my friends managed to get BAT T-shirts out of him at the bar after the show.

I was a little late for the boozing and Warren was settled in. so I asked him anyways, if there were any more shirts available?

He looked up and said, "F*#k off"...

HAHAHAHA ! ! !

LilaBiene

Trad climber
Nov 28, 2012 - 10:27pm PT
Hi Wayne!

How about some tidbits from the post-attempt round-table discussions over coffee with Warren, et al.? Oh, to have been a fly on the wall for those... What were the dynamics like between the...er...personalities? :D Were there any particular discussions that stick out in your memory?

Really wonderful having the honor of meeting you at Oakdale!

Audrey
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 28, 2012 - 10:35pm PT
Swifter, are you Bob Swift ?
Yes, he is.

What I want to know - who killed the snake?
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Nov 29, 2012 - 12:28am PT
What's the Merry Old Ledge on the Three Brothers? I've always been curious about routes up the westish side of those.

Harding routes often end up as classics.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 29, 2012 - 02:38pm PT
Audrey -

There were surprisingly few post-attempt planning sessions. We'd drive frantically up to the Valley on Friday night, thrash ineffectually around on the wall for a couple of days, and drive frantically back to work and college when we got down, somehow managing to survive the drive. My classes still suffered, and I imagine Dick's did too. There were a few planning letters that went back and forth. I might just possibly have some stuck away in some box in the attic. Will post if I find any. I know I've got some B&W negatives too but can't find 'em.

Personalities got along very well. I remember you asked about some possible friction, but I don't remember any. Maybe I missed it

The most spirited discussion I can recall was in the summer of '57, having coffee at the "Greasy Spoon" in old Curry Village, which was near the chapel. Harding, Dolt, Powell, me. (I couldn't climb much that summer, being a seasonal naturalist.) We were discussing the route. Harding was set on the Nose. I thought the Salathe was far more beautiful. We got out a few times and glassed the routes, felt either could possibly go, though the idea of being up there was mildly terrifying. Anyway, WH being the spiritual (or should I say spirituous) leader, had his way.

Audrey, I'm the one honored to meet you. You brought unprecedented warmth and humanity to the Taco and touched everybody. Thanks.
Branscomb

Trad climber
Lander, WY
Nov 29, 2012 - 02:47pm PT
Wayne: Good to see you on here. I remember watching Harding nail up Taurus on Sugarloaf Rock back when I was starting to climb in the early 70s. He was having a great time of it and was certainly most efficient at it.

Kristi and Juniper are well. Juniper is a senior this year. Can you believe that?

Say hello to Cindy for us all and stay well......Bob Branscomb
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Nov 29, 2012 - 02:57pm PT
Wayne: Good to see you on here. I remember watching Harding nail up Taurus on Sugarloaf Rock back when I was starting to climb in the early 70s. He was having a great time of it and was certainly most efficient at it.


Nailed up Taurus? I guess I don't spot pin scars very well. That is a wonderful climb. I've led Taurus but not Harding's Chimney at Sugarloaf (only followed that first pitch - scary!). So, I'm scared of his chimneys, and freeing his nail ups! It's like we evolved in one area only to find we woke up with a tail.

I love the rivalry between he and Robbins that resulted in Fat Merchant Crack at Sugarloaf. It really sums up heated rivalry that leads to better climbing, and was a debate done in a tasteful, clever manner to boot.

I'm looking at ticking off Peter Croft's "Big Four" Sierra climbs, I've already done two. Only thing is, the two left on the list are both Harding routes and notorious for having the wide. With a little practice and prudent use of adult diapers, I just may be able to do it though. Of course, I bet depends were considered aid back in his day ;).
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Nov 29, 2012 - 03:49pm PT
1969 Firefall Face, Glacier Point, Yosemite Valley, CA, with Galen Rowell.
[edit]1970s

Ron, the FA was over Labor Day weekend in 1969. I was in the Valley then and watched them from Stoneman Meadow.

Also regarding the Worst Error. When I was President of the UC Hiking Club in 1972-73, I came across some archives including quite a bit from or about Chuck Pratt. One item, unattributed, was a graph in the shape of the positive side of a parabola. The X-axis was labeled "Height," and the y-axis labeled "Difficulty." The graph was titled "The Worst Error."

Since I know Pratt and Fitschen made the first free ascent, I wonder if this was Chuck's handiwork.

John
BBA

climber
OF
Nov 29, 2012 - 06:38pm PT
Hi Wayne - Just thought I'd check in and let you know how much I appreciated your help getting my climbing partner down from Sunnyside Bench after the rattler bite. Bill Amborn
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 29, 2012 - 09:05pm PT
Hey Bill -

That was a LONG time ago! How did he make out in the long run? I heard he just lost some tissue from that finger.

At the time, the first aid was ligature and spray with ethyl chloride to cool it. Between that and your dull knife, we may have done more harm than good!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Nov 29, 2012 - 09:39pm PT
On the first ascent of the Firefall Wall I had promised the boys I would rap off Glacier Point and get some photos. I kind of lost track of their progress and had to jam down a quick meal at the good old Hanging Judge Ottonello's house, drive like a maniac, aka Rowell, to the rim and rap off for some cool photos. Dam near got a classic case of indigestion with all the rush.
Swifter

Social climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 30, 2012 - 10:53am PT
Clint,

I regret to report that I was one of the only two bipeds on the trail the day Snake died. Immediately following Snake's demise we regretted our action because, in retrospect, we might have enlisted the Crotalid to lead and then hang on by its teeth to provide a prussik line up some difficult pitches we envisioned.

Now, 60+ years later I no longer place bolts or kill anything bigger than an insect. (With only one exception that I can think of, but though snake-related it had nothing to do with climbing.)
BBA

climber
OF
Nov 30, 2012 - 05:59pm PT
Wayne - here's what I said in another spot about that adventure. I was under the impression he lost his middle finger...

In early June, 1962 I was approached by a newcomer to the Valley and asked if I would take him up Sunnyside Bench by the waterfall route. He said he had steaks in an ice chest in his car for later. Of course I agreed and we set off. He wanted to rope up at the base, so we did, and I led up the third class part. He considered that was pretty easy and asked if he could lead the next pitch, the “crux” if you can think of a fourth class climb as having that, which takes you to the top. Sure, OK by me. So he goes up a ways and I ask him to put a sling around a tree or a branch before the steepest part for protection, and he does. He continues up a couple of moves and I hear, above the roar of the lower falls, “I’m hit”. “What,” I holler. “A snake.” He had been bitten on the middle finger of his right hand as he put it in a crack. So I say “Step down and relax” and I pulled in the slack and lowered him down to me. Then the trial began. “I have to lower you down and we have to get you to the hospital right now. Are you ready? You walk back and I’ll keep the belay tight on you.” The reply: “No.”

Our conversation was the most difficult I have had in my entire married 44 years life. He wouldn’t do anything, wouldn’t move, just looked down and kept refusing whatever I suggested. So I said I should go down and get help, and he said no to that. What a quandary. So I tried screaming at people walking on the trail, and they didn’t respond to the obvious madman on the ledge. Or maybe it was because the falls were at high volume. Then Joe Fitschen (Fitschen’s Folly at Tahquitz) comes strolling along and, miracle of miracles, he looks up, he hears, and he seems to understand and asks where is the bite? I hold up my middle finger and he starts turns and starts walking away thinking I’m joking around and giving him the finger. And I start screaming and jumping up and down and he comes up and sees we have a real problem and heads down to get the rangers.

Soon Wayne Merry arrives and says we have to give the victim cryotherapy which he happens to have in his pack to administer. That is where you more or less freeze the affected part so the poison doesn’t spread. In my academic “career” I had taken a biology course at UCLA from a herpetologist who insisted that cryotherapy was the worst thing to do. Anti-venin was the only way. The venom of a hemotoxic snakebite (like a rattlesnake bite) injects a digestive enzyme that wrecks tissue big time. I mentioned this to Wayne and he ignored me and got to freezing the affected finger by spraying it with something from a small canister, maybe CO2. As your physics tells you, an expanding gas cools. The idea is that the venom wouldn’t spread, although in this case the swelling already appeared localized. After that my climbing partner seemed OK and agreed that if embraced by Wayne they could be lowered together. Done.

I visited him in the hospital daily and his finger was all bandaged. He ultimately lost it. Snake venom digested so much that it had to be amputated. On the third day he thanked me for trying to help him and gave me his car keys so I could at least have a steak for my troubles. Wow! Cool! A reward for being good! How unexpected! Unfortunately, after three days the meat had gone bad, and boy, did that ice chest smell. Later that day I returned his keys to him and the next day his car disappeared and he left the valley.




By the way, your rescue of Glen Denny and Colliver from the Lost Arrow notch was quite interesting to me as a participant in helping haul the winch and cable to the top of the falls in the moonlight.

Bill Amborn

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 30, 2012 - 08:34pm PT
When I met Harding in the early 70's his climbing days were largely over but he still had a larger than life persona especially when he held court around a campfire, much younger woman at his side and a glass of cheap red in his hand.
A legend already, I remember thinking that he was still young and vital but seemed to be in the first stages of throwing it all away. Here at ST we seem to be guilty of either seeing no wrong in our heroes or cloaking there excesses with humor and even a form of reverence....boy, can he drink!
If you consider the toll alcohol, drugs and depression have taken on our community, sugar coating and tacitly approving destructive behavior helps no one.
Our legends deserve more than slavish, unquestioning glorification. They are heroes to us because of who they were and what they accomplished. In the end, like all of us, they are/were also flawed. An honest examination of their lives can serve as beacons to help us all get thru this gauntlet we call life.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Dec 1, 2012 - 01:44pm PT
Listen up lads, well spoken by one of our elder statesman-I'll drink to that!
tom Carter

Social climber
Dec 1, 2012 - 05:36pm PT
Jim well said - I concur.
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Dec 1, 2012 - 07:49pm PT
Ya' hit the piton on the head, Jim!
Swifter

Social climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 14, 2012 - 05:29pm PT
FC

You mentioned the greasy spoon. Batso's disdain for following the rules was probably reinforced by having followed the "Please order by number" dictum at the Spoon. His order for "5, eggs over easy" (5: 2 eggs (specify your preference) with hash browns and toast) was misinterpreted as "5 eggs over easy" and that's what he was served. Yech.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:07pm PT
History bump.

"Eek! Eek! A dead snake, mon!"
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jun 5, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
What a great thread. Thanks for sharing it fellas!!!
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