History - Harding and.....?

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Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Sep 16, 2012 - 10:22am 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 - 10:25am 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 - 10:26am 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 - 10:28am 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 - 10:52am 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 - 10:55am 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 - 11:01am 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 - 11:03am 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 - 12:13pm 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 - 03:18pm PT
Snake &#40;L&#41; and WJH enroute to Promulgated.
Snake (L) and WJH enroute to Promulgated.
Credit: Swifter
Swifter

Social climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 28, 2012 - 03:21pm 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 - 03:26pm 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 - 05:28pm PT
Swifter, are you Bob Swift ?
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Nov 28, 2012 - 07:12pm 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 - 07:27pm 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 - 07:35pm 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 28, 2012 - 09:28pm 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 - 11:38am 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 - 11:47am 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 - 11:57am 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 ;).
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