Ship Rock 1952, Bob Ormes

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 19 of total 19 in this topic
Happy Idiot

Trad climber
Santa Fe
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 18, 2013 - 07:46am PT
Here's a vintage New Mexico Magazine article about Bob Ormes' early attempts at Ship Rock.

I found this in the UNM special collections library yesterday. I hope the scans are readable. The cover image is actually blurry in the original, so it's not just your eyesight.

Credit: Happy Idiot
Credit: Happy Idiot
Credit: Happy Idiot
Credit: Happy Idiot
Credit: Happy Idiot

So, who ultimately nabbed the second?
Happy Idiot

Trad climber
Santa Fe
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2013 - 07:48am PT
A 1963 Ship Rock ascent by some Utahns is related here.


http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1157666&msg=1157666#msg1157666
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 18, 2013 - 08:11am PT
Great find!

Another excellent Shiprock history thread here.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/783372/Shiprock-Climbing-History

Thanks for posting these articles.
Happy Idiot

Trad climber
Santa Fe
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2013 - 08:18am PT
Thanks Steve. With all your posted magazine articles, you're actually the one who inspired me to dig up these old obscurities and post them up as well.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 18, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
Nice article! The dry trip, the wet trip, the windy trip. Ormes manages to bring the desert to life.

Thanks for posting that.

Ormes was really affected by that fall. He never again pushed his luck on technical steep rock; he focused on more mountaineering-based objectives after that.

He was, seemingly, quite the character, an old-school eccentric, humble, self-effacing, a prankster. He wrote a hard-to-find, fascinating (though kind of bizarre) memoir/biography called "A Farewell to Ormes."

Second ascent was April 8, 1952.

Dale Johnson, Tom Hornbein, Harry Nance, Wes Nelson, Phil Robertson. All CMC members.

Third ascent was just a couple weeks later, by some Californians:

Letter from Bill Long about third ascent of Shiprock
Letter from Bill Long about third ascent of Shiprock
Credit: crunch

Bob Skinner was Todd Skinner's father, I believe.

Ray Jacquot, of Laramie, WY, has assembled a comprehensive reconstruction of the ascents up until 1970, when the climbing ban was enacted. A copy is at the Alpine Club library in Golden.

FRUMY

Trad climber
SHERMAN OAKS,CA
Jan 18, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
Thanks
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 18, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
Nice post Crusher.

The formal start of the bolt controversy.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 18, 2013 - 09:20pm PT
Beautiful!!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jan 18, 2013 - 11:10pm PT
No doubt that Shiprock was a great ascent from a climber's perspective.

From the perspective of the Navajo, it was just another rape of sacred land by white man, and just another example of white man's complete disregard for the Navajo culture.

I hope that modern climbers just leave the place alone.

Sierra Ledge Rat
Native of Santa Fe

Doug West litho
Doug West litho
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat

neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jan 18, 2013 - 11:39pm PT
hey there say, happy idiot...

thank you for sharing...
i love new mexico cover...

seirra ledge rat...
thank you for posting that lovely litho...

*wow, that magazine is old...
the old stuff is nice to see and read...
thanks again...

edit:
crunch... thanks for the picture, it just
does not show...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 18, 2013 - 11:46pm PT
The idea that Shiprock was so hard to climb in the first place

the idea that Shiprock is a sacred spot to the Navajo by another name because how the hell does a Navajo know what a ship is in the desert--that's a white man term

the idea that Shiprock had a controversy over the FA, even one easlily disproven

the idea that Shiprock was climbed several times with no deaths (if I am correct)

the idea that Shiprock is officially 'retired' and has been put out to pasture

all these give it the aura of mystery which the desert is so kind to provide

the idea to post this brief and informative piece was a good one and thanks.

Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jan 19, 2013 - 05:34am PT
please read the shiprock climbing history thread--there are navajo and there are navajo.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jan 19, 2013 - 07:54am PT
please read the shiprock climbing history thread--there are navajo and there are navajo.

So... as a white guy that's your judgement to make? Who is Navajo and who is Navajo?
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 19, 2013 - 08:21am PT
Thanks for the post. I love historic stuff. It's a great perspective.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 19, 2013 - 10:27am PT
I am a bit surprized to see that Dale Johnson and Tom Hornbein were in that second ascent party. I would have thought that they had more sense than to bugger up the place!

Funny that the original FA pitons would have loosened up in just two weeks time.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 19, 2013 - 11:33am PT
I am a bit surprized to see that Dale Johnson and Tome Hornbein were in that second ascent party. I would have thought that they had more sense than to bugger up the place

That surprised me, also.

I talked to John Devitt, who was on the fourth ascent and a good friend of Dale's, about this.

When Brower et al. left four bolts on Shiprock, they were careful to describe these as being for "safety" not for progress. Two were placed for belay anchors, two as protection (not aid, apparently) on dicey bits of aid climbing.

What they had done, their bolting legacy, was unprecedented in US climbing, and of course WWII interrupted any discussion of ethics. A decade later, when climbers began revisiting their sport, the Shiprock bolting legacy, as described in the various essays written by Brower et al., could be interpreted in two ways:

1. Restraint. Bolts were to be used as a last resort only. This ethic was adopted by the Californians, who also quickly added the idea that it was unacceptable to add bolts to an existing route.

2. Safety. If it was acceptable for the lead-climber to place a bolt to ensure his/her safety, then it was the leader's decision. If any competent leader felt that their safety required a bolt, then it was fine to place one: "safety knew no bounds." No one else could second-guess the leader's decision. This ethic was widely adopted by a number of Colorado climbers (particularly within the CMC), in the 1950s. Dale Johnson being one of the leading (In both senses) CMC climbers of the day.

This ethic was eventually displaced by the California one. Non-CMC climbers in Colorado, like Layton Kor and Harvey Carter, readily embraced the more sporting "restraint" ethic in the late 1950s.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 19, 2013 - 11:41am PT
I would love to hear of whatever happened to Ernie Anderson. He was a long-time New Mexico climber who at one time intended writing a book about Shiprock.

He amassed a big box of cuttings, articles, etc. These ended up with Eric Bjornstad, who gave me the box which is now at the AAC library in Golden.

Eric had no idea what happened to Ernie. Suggested he had maybe moved to LA? Anyone have any idea?
grover

climber
Northern Mexico
Jan 23, 2013 - 02:48pm PT
Missed this first time around.

TFPU
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 10, 2013 - 07:56am PT
Can't have that...bump.
Messages 1 - 19 of total 19 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews