Neptune Mountaineering Sold

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Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Jan 12, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Phil, great pics! I was working at the Profiteer during some of those years and had fun with many of the suspects from Neptune's.

Did you guys ever help that guy that needed a left-thread ice screw we sent over?
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
Steve was, back in 1976 to maybe 1978. I went to visit him
one day (this was when the store was on 28th st), leaned on
the counter and started chatting, looked down, and I was on
the cover of On Belay!
Now that was a surprise!

Great story Steve! The 28th St. store goes way back.

I should have looked on Neptune's alumni list- of course Steve Glenn is there. When we built the original Neptune website, Pammy was a major contributor to this list- she's the best Neptune historian going besides Gary himself.

~Phil
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
Hey! Those Ramer shortcuts in that ski shot back there a ways are mine! I know because of the white plastic heel piece. Still have them.
...


Thank you for the story! I'm sorry that my memory isn't any better and I have forgotten so much. (Thank God for fotos, huh?) I'll bet I'd recognize you instantly if I saw you though. :-)

The pieces of the story of Pete at Snowbird, the Tarzan yell, the snowbank and what followed all came together here- probably for the first time.

~ph
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:38pm PT
I can't place you either, Phil. (Phil, Phil, I know I know who that is, but......Pete would be all like, of COURSE you know Phil!)

But that looks like the load of skis I took back to Boulder with the first group, probably '95?
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
This IS a great thread! I've never heard of Neptunes but I love the history and this represents the best of what Stuportopo provides. Great to to see it last through the sludge that has killed so many other potentially great threads. And any thread Tarbuster contributes to (a rarer occurrence these days) is a reflection of the integrity shown here. Keep it going!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 03:16pm PT
Phil. Thanks for the memories! You're gonna have to get your own account here sir ;)

That troll was masterful indeed. I recognized it right away but only becuase I had seen the letter posted before. (Greg@mountainproject, greg@widefetish) The way he re-worded it was hilarious!


Thanks Mike,

Internet forums are largely driven by a combination of boredom and pleasures derived from the misfortunes of others. This thread shows it in spades, particularly the first several pages.
Every internet forum I've seen has it's own lineup of trolls, clowns, wet -or- dry alcoholics and douchebags with an ax to grind. In all honesty, I find that stuff tedious beyond words.

My intention here was to paint an honest and more complete picture of Gary and his shop. I found the facile nature of the debate in this thread conveniently left out much relevant background information. I expect that people will reach their own conclusions- which may be helped by more beta.

Gary has been accused here of running either a club for elites or a frat house. To be fair the frat house comment is somewhat on the mark, but the elite thing is BS.
I was probably one of the worst climbers to ever work at Neptunes, yet me and others like myself, had no problem being accepted. If Neptunes was indeed a 'club' or frat house- it wasn't all that difficult to get in; mostly what was required was a sense of humor.

Neptunes -like any and every other shop I've worked for- had colorful personalities and, yes, a few arseholes who were employed there. As someone else here noted- the best climbers were sometimes the worst at providing good customer service. True!
For the most part though, most every soul I knew who worked there pushed very hard to provide excellent customer service, give people the correct information and had no interest in upselling people with sh#t they didn't need.

Thanks Mike for the comments- maybe if I think of more stories that might interest people I'll share 'em. Thanks for yours and everybody's interest and time- I really appreciate it.

~Phil

locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 12, 2013 - 03:18pm PT


What a GREAT line!!!...

LOL!!!...

and of course, TRUE!!!...


"Internet forums are largely driven by a combination of boredom and pleasures derived from the misfortunes of others"...
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Jan 12, 2013 - 03:31pm PT
mostly what was required was a sense of humor.
I am quickly learning that this is the case most places in this world. You have done an excellent job portraying your experiences at Neptune's and giving some life to the name for the clueless (like me).
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 03:48pm PT
Phil, great pics! I was working at the Profiteer during some of those years and had fun with many of the suspects from Neptune's.

Did you guys ever help that guy that needed a left-thread ice screw we sent over?

Todd,

I think I remember you. Were you at BoMo when Ralph Imbrognio worked there?
You probably remember those green sweatshirts Gary had printed.

The rivalry between the two shops was actually one of the most humorous aspects about the Boulder scene in those days. At Neptunes, it was, by and large, very light-hearted and not very contentious. Everybody there had big respect for Bob.
Also- Gary really did believe that there was plenty of market to be shared between the shops.

As for the left-thread ice screw- that also sounds quite familiar- good example of the mischief that was enjoyed.

Thanks for this! Makes me smile!

~Phil
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:02pm PT
...the elite thing is BS.
I see 3 matches for "elite" in this thread - 2 in your post above and one in mine upthread in the context of "elite town" - Boulder...

I think it's cool when people find a family and enjoy life. Love to see it. However, except for the slideshows, I'm failing to see how these activities were of any benefit to the larger climbing community, as claimed in many posts...
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:14pm PT
Hey Phil, thanks for all your great pics and stories!

This is a great thread.

I remember when Derek Hersey got the idea for climbing the Diamond, solo, in winter. He had no gear for this so Gary quietly gave him all kinds of expensive, top-quality winter gear. Poor Derek was a bit out of his element but Gary was totally supportive.

Derek's first attempt, he lugged a huge, monstrously heavy haul bag full of all the food and gear and stuff, all the way in and stashed it on the Boulderfield, ready for rapping to Broadway. He stumbled out in the dark and hitch-hiked back to Boulder for a few days to rest up. He had no car, so the logistics were not easy. He found a ride with someone and was about to head back up when he got a phone call, "Hey, we rescued your haul bag! Man, it was heavy but we brought everything back down for you; we got it safe and sound--in Fort Collins....."

Derek was horrified. He now had to go recover the bag from Fort Collins before he could even start over. The poor guys who'd brought it down thought they'd done a HUGE favor to someone and were expecting much thanks, at least; there was much sheepishness all round.

Much of that winter was spent with several exhausting forays up and down, before Derek finally called it quits. Gary's generosity benefitted Derek for years--he had lots of cold weather gear for many further adventures.

Quite possibly Gary never really expected Derek to succeed on the Diamond (few of us did, really), but saw in Derek the kind of raw, free-spirited, devil-may-care climber that deserved support, a fellow iconoclast.

Gary's generosity came with no strings.

I think the monster sleeping bag was inherited by Strappo, who, in turn used it for many more adventures.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:18pm PT
However, except for the slideshows, I'm failing to see how these activities were of any benefit to the larger climbing community, as claimed in many posts...


OK.

Gary was always a big supporter of the Access Fund, sponsored multiple cleanups at Flagstaff (Christian's Flagstaff Cleanups), his own old slings and webbing cleanups at Eldo- and lots more that Gary did pretty quietly and many I can't remember at the moment.
I was, however, privy to very many local expedition and individual sponsorships. The discount list at the shop became a major section of the staff manual.
In the ten years I worked there this was ongoing- so I don't have an authoritative list of everything Gary has done for the 'larger' community.

Clearly you have your mind made up and that really is fine. However your knowledge of what Gary has or hasn't done for the community is incomplete at best.

~ph



Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:25pm PT
Quite possibly Gary never really expected Derek to succeed on the Diamond (few of us did, really), but saw in Derek the kind of raw, free-spirited, devil-may-care climber that deserved support, a fellow iconoclast.

Gary's generosity came with no strings.


Thanks Crunch,

Spot-on and brilliantly stated. It was true, Gary had no expectations of what Derek would achieve on the Diamond but 'success' wasn't really the point of it.

~ph
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
Ron and I lived across the street from Gary for a year? Maybe a little more? What a gas that was. Neat stuff on the walls, Gary's 50th birthday party, having a fake rock thrown at you when you come in the door, a bouldering cave in the garage, good wine, food and folks.

The slide shows at Neptune's were pretty much my only social life.

I never worked there, but he always invited me to the Snowbird trips. Not Ron, just me ;->

Elitist? Boulder for sure, big reason why I left, but Gary? and Neptune's? Nope. A couple of the bigger names he had work for him, yeah.....
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:55pm PT
Gary was always a big supporter of the Access Fund...

http://www.accessfund.org/site/c.tmL5KhNWLrH/b.5000715/k.22D5/Financials.htm

Shows 2001-2011. In 2010, 2011 Neptune gave in $500-$999 range. All the other years listed - nothing.

...did pretty quietly and many I can't remember at the moment.

Neither can I...
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:20pm PT
I left Neptunes in 2000, so I can't speak for what the shop has done since that time. Previous to that Gary did support the Access Fund. I know. I was there at the meetings at Gary's shop.
If support for the Access Fund is your primary measure of 'contributions to the larger community' then Neptunes is clearly not the shop for you.

What becomes increasingly obvious with each of your posts is the very personal nature of your rancor.

But my statement still stands, your knowledge of Gary's contributions is incomplete.

~ph



Prod

Trad climber
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
"Hey, we rescued your haul bag! Man, it was heavy but we brought everything back down for you; we got it safe and sound--in Fort Collins....."

F*#king classic. I can nearly hear him now, that had to be a great rant!

Thanks for the story,

Prod.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:30pm PT
The only thing that annoys me about your posts is confusing what is obviously a pretty good man and a personal friend with someone who was a pillar to the community and made sacrifices for it. I don't see Gary as someone who crossed that line. All I see is all about him and his crew. Further, there seems to be some kind of insistance that he be respected as a great giver to the community. To place him with the likes of the guys who actually volunteer hours (make that years in a few cases...) for the AF, do cleanups, bolt replacements, etc - it's kind of annoying to me - even more so as this thread wears on. If you just didn't cross that line...
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:52pm PT
Gary sponsored one of the first bolt replacements at Eldo- that was spearheaded by David Brewster as I recall. Thanks for reminding me.

Your logic seems to indicate that if YOU didn't see it, hear it or know about it, then it didn't happen. And that is patently false.

The point myself and others here are making is that many of the things Gary did for the community were not exercises in public relations and self-promotion.

What about the other points I made that you couldn't argue semantics with? What about that huge discount list in Gary's shop manual? Are those people not part of the larger community?
Sheesh, what about the huge list of people he employed in that forty years? Are they part of the larger community?

Did anyone here indicate that Gary is a 'Pillar of the community'? Gary himself would laugh his ass off at that statement.

Maybe you could take that line of thinking in a more positive vein- why not start a thread about your heroes in the Boulder community? Highlight their accomplishments.
Or is it more fun to take the piss on someone that you perceive has failed you and your community?

Maybe you could reveal the thing that stepped on your own toes so badly. It's clear that you take any celebration of Gary's business in this thread as personally offensive.

~ph



JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:59pm PT
What about that huge discount list in Gary's shop manual?
Dude - Gary's bro-deal book - you were serious?

I've stated my point. Carry on.

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