In memory of Bill "Dolt" Feuerer


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Ron Anderson

Trad climber
i WASNT ON THE INTERNET during bush years...
Nov 23, 2012 - 03:14pm PT
Iconic BUMP...
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Nov 23, 2012 - 04:26pm PT
Here's what's left of my Dolt metal collection other than bashies. Dolt pins were always special - I hated pounding on them. I left a fixed Dolt pin on Pea Soup at the Needles in 1970. It was pretty loose but could not get it out without breaking the thin lip of rock it was behind (1st pitch) so I didn't! I traded the Cobra hook for a belay seat back in the day. That was a deal! Does anyone know if he actually ever made any Gold Plated Pins mounted on Rosewood? He advertised them!
Credit: McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 23, 2012 - 08:15pm PT
My profuse apologies for the up-side-down and otherwise screwy photos, which I hope I've now fixed. I had just a few minutes to post while inspiration had taken hold, and still get out the door to work this morning.

From my heart, I thank all of you for your thoughtful comments, for sharing your similar experiences and for sharing this journey with the muppet and me.

Nita: I'm looking forward to next year, already, too!!!

Crusher: The muppet LOVES your book (we read a story or two most nights before bed) and that picture of her with the book is priceless! Thank you over and over, again.

McHale's Navy: I would love to know about that last bong (I think?) at the bottom of your picture -- that looks like it has some great stories to tell. Thanks for sharing.


Nov 23, 2012 - 08:45pm PT
I never imagined such a series on this website (or anywhere else, for that matter). I'm still in a state of wonder about your experience. I knew and liked your Dad, and was shocked when I read of his death in Steve Roper's book. Bill Amborn

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 23, 2012 - 09:04pm PT
i DO believe he's thinking of you, and dearly loves you...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 23, 2012 - 10:18pm PT
Oh, my, Lilabiene, you ARE a n00b, as Mad Bolter learned that day he tried to take you on an aid pitch at Church Bowl.

I can only suggest you enlarge the photo from McHale's Navy and inspect what you thought was a bong.

You use a hammer to strike the end which has the hole in it, while the much thinner end is inserted into a crack.

We'll talk, OK? No biggie, we've all been where you are in your climbing career. Your enthusiasm transcends your ignorance, so enjoy the state of bliss.


Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Nov 23, 2012 - 10:31pm PT
Wow... wow... wow... beautiful.

Words have failed someone who can't stop talking and writing! :-)

Moved, once again.

Such a beautiful, heartwarming, encouraging story... still going too!

Peace, love and happy birthday to all of you.

Now this whole tale is truly something for which to be grateful.

Giant cosmic hug!

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 23, 2012 - 10:42pm PT
Does anyone know if he made gold plated pins...!
Speak to Don Lauria, evidently he bought a collection of them from him. DL tells the story on the Dolt thread (one of those threads).

Edit: Mouse From Merced - Don't be to hard on her, there are probably tens of thousands of sport & gym climbers who do not have a clue as to what a pin or bong is (other than for smoking bud) let alone the difference between an angle, lost arrow, knife blade and a bong!

We will make a big wall/trad climber out of her yet!!

edit: LilaBiene - we know you're not a sport or gym climber. i was just saying that there ARE those types out there that call themselves climbers, and they don't know the difference. so no worries!! :)

btw, KNOTT stupid questions! "how else does one learn?" = correct resonse! kudos!!

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 24, 2012 - 09:42am PT
So what exactly IS IT, then? It looked to me earlier to have two edges, but it's more likely that was just a shadow. How the heck am I supposed to learn unless I ask (stupid) questions? Sheesh.

Edit: I'm not a sport OR gym climber...I'm just a'learnin', and I prefer to do this outdoors. ;)

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:25am PT
That would be called a knifeblade. It does have a slightly different head design than the ones usually available today. Dolt's equipment was beautifully finished compared to any others I have seen. Certainly not a dumb question we all have to learn this weird gear somehow plus it's part of the fun of climbing.

Typical current version of a knifeblade piton.

This would be a good example of a Bong Piton. They are rarely used these days due to camming devices that are better suited for most larger cracks. Bongs still have the occasional use as fixed gear or in very soft crumbly rock.

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 24, 2012 - 11:57am PT

Most people think a bong has nothing to do with rock climbing.

At least Lila was on the right track.
For somebody who only recently learned basic climbing jargon cut her enough slack to make the move!

Besides, lots of things go "bong" if you hit them with a hammer.

Nov 24, 2012 - 07:03pm PT
That's why they were originally called bong bongs.

Nov 25, 2012 - 01:41pm PT
We really appreciate the interest you and the Muppet have in the rock and in us. Bill's story has long been a source of sadness for us. Hearing of your's and the Muppet's adventures, at long last, begins to make that story whole.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 25, 2012 - 06:31pm PT
jstan: I was contemplating this earlier this morning during my swim, albeit from my perspective, so I thank you for giving me the "nudge", so-to-speak.

It's really me that has you and the rest of the climbing community to thank for making ME whole.

Without the love shown over and over in preserving the memories of Bill, be it in stories, eulogies, jokes, photos, equipment, clothing, routes...I never in a million years would have "found" him or the wonderful lot of you (the first group of people with whom I've felt truly comfortable in my own skin, and likewise, haven't felt the need to explain myself to...much, anyway...chuckle).

In having found him, I have been given a key I never imagined existed. This is not simply because I never dared to imagine who my father was in the archetypal sense, but because I made the assumption very early on in life that I was inexplicably...hummmmmm...well,, mostly in the ways that I looked at and took in the world around me. And now I know that I am not an original (in my "offness")...I am a genuine Dolt reproduction. HA! Or a-HA! (Equally appropriate.)

It's ME that has so unbelievably many of you to thank for sharing of yourselves, welcoming me to the campfire, teaching me, passing along tangible and intangible memories...and for not avoiding sometimes sad and painful moments (both mine and yours).

I know I can't replace him, or take away the unthinkable pain he inflicted on so many...including himself.

Perhaps through us, or along with us, though, Bill will find redemption, acceptance and wholeness, and his soul will finally be set free.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 25, 2012 - 09:24pm PT
Oh my....just unbelievable. This is such a moving story.

Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 26, 2012 - 12:32pm PT
Audrey, and Muppet - we're delighted to have you as part of our little community. Sure, there are a few oddballs and misfits, but probably not more than 75% or so. Those of us who belong here know that we fit in. Anyone of good heart wanting to join our campfire is always welcome.

Nov 26, 2012 - 12:36pm PT
Sure, there are a few oddballs and misfits, but probably not more than 75% or so. -MH

There Anders goes again. Always looking on the positive side.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 27, 2012 - 08:01pm PT
MH: BTW, I'm really enjoying Chris Jones' "Climbing in North America". Thanks for the great recommendation. About the funniest thing I've read in a long time is the quote of Lincoln O'Brien to Robert Underhill on their attempt on Mount Robson: "Robert, if our objective in life is making first ascents, I believe we will make more of them if we avoid making this one."

I really like that the book covers Canada, the West and the East -- never would have known Eastern climbers were as involved as they were in early U.S. climbing, otherwise. Suspect I'll be up nosing around up in NH before too, climbing AND skiing? How close to heaven can you get? But I digress...

Trad climber
Nov 27, 2012 - 11:19pm PT
What a wonderful thread. Who's going to take Lila to the Dolt Hole and to the top of Dolt Tower?
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 28, 2012 - 01:21am PT
Other books that you might like are Steve Roper's "Camp 4" and "Ordeal by Piton", and Galen Rowell's "The Vertical World of Yosemite".

We thought that Audrey might try Arrowhead Arete next year, and perhaps Dolt Tower in 2014. Who knows, though - she may progress more quickly.
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