Jim Donini Appreciation thread


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Trad climber
Mancos, CO
May 14, 2014 - 05:15pm PT
In 1976, I met Jim Donini while climbing the Nutcracker in Yosemite. As I led up the second pitch "gully" I laid eyes upon a stunningly beautiful blond topless woman, Juanita Hunter. With little provocation she became quite talkative and let me know she was climbing with Jim Donini, just returned from Patagonia and the first ascent of Torre Egger. Fortunately, I understood the import of this achievement and was duly impressed. Juanita was not feeling well. In fact, she found a way to go off alone one the ledges and throw up.

From this beginning, I ended up spending most of the next two weeks sharing a non-Camp 4 campsite with Jim and Juanita and an incredible string of other luminaries, including Warren Harding and T.M. Herbert.

Warren was amidst his protracted adventure to place a climb upon another panel of Yosemite rock: the Porcelain Wall adjacent and below Half Dome. He invited me to join up and I did for a while, but that's another story.

I climbed again with Jim at Granite Mountain and the Mace in Sedona. At Granite Mountain, Juanita explained her illness on Nutcracker. "It was morning sickness, but I didn't know it at the time," she related as she tended to her daughter at the base of a climb.

Thirty four years passed before I next crossed paths with Mr. Donini one fine day in Indian Creek below Supercrack.

Jim almost immediately remarked, "Haven't I meet you before?"

"Yes, we have," I answered, "but if you really remember me you've got as good a memory as the best politician on Earth. It's been 34 years!"

We've gone on two llama pack trips to the Wind Rivers since. My admiration for the man knows no bounds.


Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
May 14, 2014 - 06:28pm PT

I'm going to add another comment here, since we've both have known Jim for a long time. I've climbed with hundreds of partners, over the years, but after recently spending a week in Yosemite, with the senior citizen, I took in quite a display, of fine leading skills, since Jim did all the leading.
As you know, Jim likes to lead, and I was totally out of shape, and happy to just climb.

What really struck me as different, compared to almost anyone, I've ever climbed with is his ability to place pro. without hardly a pause. It seems like he is constantly moving up, and placing pro; almost as an afterthought.
I spend quite a bit, with climbers, who spend as much time pacing pro. and fiddling with their gear; as they do moving up the rock.
Jim's leading style really stands out among the crowd!

( He cooks a great meal too--better than Spam)


Ice climber
Brujo de la Playa
May 26, 2014 - 01:49pm PT
^It has been said, that where Jim goes, others should follow.

Listen up, Jim speaks here on technology and climbing!


Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 26, 2014 - 02:31pm PT
Credit: Jaybro
Angela and Jim, Indian Creek Nov '13

Social climber
May 26, 2014 - 04:06pm PT
At 150 lbs. soaking wet, arm wrestling isn't my go to activity.

Great line Jim.

ALl the best to you !
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
May 26, 2014 - 04:13pm PT
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 26, 2014 - 06:16pm PT
Yooray for Jim Donini!
He's better than linguini.
Jim Donini's really hard
and Ouray is his own front yard!
Yooray for Jim Donini!

I heard that his latest venture is the

Matches made in the Alpine Zone
for you and you alone.
You won't regret it
so come and get it!

Find out what it means to be
Competent and so cool.

Big Mike

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 26, 2014 - 08:12pm PT
Wow. Great stories here everyone!

I'm very much looking forward to meeting and climbing with Jim at COR!
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 26, 2014 - 11:14pm PT
It bugs me that today's generation of young climbers have no idea of who climbers like Geoffrey Winthrop Young, Paul Preuss, Hans Dulfer, or Albert Mummery were.

That is why Donini is such a valuable human resource having roped up with all of them before becoming a green beret.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 26, 2014 - 11:52pm PT
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 27, 2014 - 01:33am PT
T.V., I know what you feel like. It's too bad they miss out on the roots.

A Dulfer seat rap set up is beyond the ken of the current generation.
They are too Young to have very much historical fascination.

See, historical timelines get longer and more complicated as time goes on and the number of events and persons increase.

The gaffers and gammers here know these names because we had a shorter learning curve with fewer events and we read because it was what we had of history.

Today there is a general decline in reading while at the same time there is a general increase in watching.

Ask yourselves, "What do they watch?"

At the same time, icons are iconized, and single names are preferred. Bachar. Bridwell. What's-his-name. Braunini?

I rest, yer honor.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
May 27, 2014 - 08:08pm PT
One of the finest. Always has been. Has my total respect.


lost, far away from Poland
Jun 28, 2014 - 06:12pm PT
Yeah, I was the ropegun for Jim at COR.

Somebody had to get the rope up for the old guy! ;)

Great times, Jim. Thank you!


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