Rusty Baillie- The Globetrotting Climber


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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 29, 2012 - 02:02pm PT
A brief but interesting interview from Climbing #2 July 1970 to start off a thread about this indelible character. Rusty had his hands solidly in the events of the day in 1970!


Trad climber
Sep 29, 2012 - 03:01pm PT
Rusty was a committed teacher at Prescott College for an eternity and one of the first people I met when I went there to visit as a high school junior. He brought his own wacky brand of Brit to everything he did, whether it was stopping entire van of students on the side of the road while he scooped up a roadkill javalina to eat later, building giant cairns or trundling rocks off of routes with an oversized crowbar. He also mentored hundreds of students and showed thousands what adventure was all about. He also lent his Hilti out to more than a few ambitious, young first ascentionists and humored the rantings of more than a few youngsters who thought that his instinct to bolt was a little too eager. I hope retirement in Idaho has been treating him well!

Sep 29, 2012 - 03:07pm PT
Thats' a rare one steve -thanks fpu -an iconic character to be sure

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 29, 2012 - 04:13pm PT
I really enjoyed listening to his talks at the Presscot climbers coalition meetings.
And the chicks dig him!

Jus Cheer'in

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Sep 29, 2012 - 05:33pm PT
He'll be speaking at a Syndicata presentation in bisquit on Oct 13.
Love him or hate him, he's a classic!

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Sep 29, 2012 - 05:51pm PT
Here's a link to an article the Spokane newspaper did about his North Idaho lifestyle.

Sep 29, 2012 - 06:03pm PT
Good for him. It appears he planned ahead and is now enjoying retirement. A lesson here, youngsters . . .


Sep 29, 2012 - 06:38pm PT
nice one pops :/
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2012 - 08:29pm PT
A lively description of an early Baillie All Star appearence as told by the Bard himself, Tom Patey and his thoughts on the Old Man of Hoy. Hoy, Hoy! One of my favorites!

Rusty must have taken this shot!

From One Man's Mountains, 1971.

Nov 18, 2012 - 08:52pm PT
Nice one. For Brits of my generation Rustie was one of the icons of climbing, as young climbers still at school we followed his exploits on TV and in the press with awe and the postcard we bought of him climbing Cenotaph Corner in North Wales is one of the most famous pictures of british Climbing.
44 years after buying that picture Ive finally met the man and were going climbing together tomorrow at Red Rock as we are both at the ASCA conference here in Las Vegas.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2012 - 09:33pm PT
Have a fantastic day out you two!

Rusty and I have a date with a Rockfellow two years from now if not sooner.

Thanks for contributing.

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Nov 19, 2012 - 12:11am PT
Good guy and an interesting character. Of all places, I bumped into him one time up at Mt. Charleston, where he was wandering around and looking for a partner. He was nice enough to belay me as I battled and hung on a few of the hard routes there.

Truckee, CA
Nov 19, 2012 - 02:38am PT
Rock and Ice #53(?) has a pretty awesome Baille story with great photos and prescott topos to boot. One of my early heroes whos stories helped get me hooked on climbing when I was starting out.

Nov 19, 2012 - 07:29am PT
He put up a number of fine routes in Kenya as well. When I was living there it seemed many of the gem had Rusty as the FA
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 22, 2012 - 04:16pm PT
Roy Smith met Rusty in Kenya and offered him a job at Prescott College which gave us his estimable presence in AZ.

Roy also met a certain Anton Nelson and upon hearing his tall tales of Yosemite climbing thought he might have been embellishing just a tad.

Roy soon found out that Ax was giving it to him straight!

Ice climber
the ghost
Nov 22, 2012 - 05:34pm PT
I met Rusty in Calgary & climbed Louise Falls with him.
He's a class act.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 25, 2012 - 02:20pm PT
A climbers climber...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 12, 2013 - 08:52pm PT
Some Baillie and Old Man of Hoy material starting with a spectacular shot of Rusty from John Cleare's superb book Mountains, 1975. Seems Rusty was a pioneer in the art of going sideways with the odd swim here and there!

Much better known for his free climbing prowess,Joe Brown could pull off a determined bit of dangling too!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 15, 2013 - 11:15am PT
Rusty Bump...
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Feb 15, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
One day, early 60s, Jeff Dozier appeared in the Cal hiking club with a book he had just acquired, "Rock Climbers in Action in Snowdonia". One pic captioned "Rusty Baillie "bombing" on the Cemetary Gates"'

In Feb 1995 Lori and I ran into Rusty and his team from Prescott on Signal Peak in Arizona where we got to do the route he had installed there, two pitches, 5.4, with drilled angles for protection. This is far superior to what had been the standard route, very loose, a little to the west.
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