Jim Donini Appreciation thread


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A long way from where I started
Jan 31, 2013 - 01:06am PT

What a bunch of hero-worshiping wankers.

Oh, sure, if some climber had actually done all the climbs attributed to Donini, then yeah, that climber would be worthy of worship. But you idiots don't speak Italian, do you? In Italian, a singular word generally ends in "o" and to make it plural you change the ending to "i"

Think about it. No one Donino did all that crazy sh#t. It was a whole bunch of Donini. Helping each other out, covering for each other's failures, giving each other a toprope on the hard pitches... And then claiming they were just one climber.

I'm calling bullsh#t.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 31, 2013 - 01:08am PT
Never heard of him, this Jim.

Heard he was a weenie, what's a Donini?

Some call him Slim, some call him Jim, Slim Jim.

Just don't call him teeny beanie Donini.

Ahhh truck you Guido....BWA HA HA hahahahahaaaa!!!

On a serious note, as a young alpinist in Oregon in the mid-late 70's, campfire tales made him out to be eleven feet tall and blessed with super-human powers.

Then as I grew into an aging rock climber in Alaska at the dawn of a new century, the tales were just as good as before. He was the same age as before...it was only I who had gotten older.

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Jan 31, 2013 - 01:18am PT

photo not found
Missing photo ID#263979


Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Jan 31, 2013 - 01:40am PT
One of my best friends. Real friends are hard to come by.
Things I appreciate about Jim.

He loves to climb.
He loves people. Sure he can come off gruff and all business sometimes but deep down, he's a social creature.
He loves to climb.
He tells great stories.
He loves to climb.
Can cook a mean salmon.
He loves to climb.
Generous beyond belief.
He loves to climb.

Credit: ionlyski

Also,he just likes to get out and climb.

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Jan 31, 2013 - 02:16am PT

photo not found
Missing photo ID#287292
Big Mike

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 31, 2013 - 02:20am PT
That Nini me pic is classic!

Mountain climber
Eden, Utah
Jan 31, 2013 - 02:53am PT
Just a couple of weeks ago, Jim was instrumental in getting Jeff Lowe down to the Ouray Ice Festival where Jeff got to participate in the presentation of the first annual Jeff Lowe Service Award being given to Bill Whitt for his service to the Ice Park. Jim and his friends worked with the board to create the award in Jeff's honor. You may have seen the thread - it was awesome!

Once we arrived in Ouray, Jim and Angela treated us to a fab dinner at the Bon Ton with dear friends and if all that was not enough, they next came to our condo and cooked one of his famous salmon dinner for 10 of our friends...

And then, with the help of Jay Smith and his wife Angela - created an amazing video for Jeff of folks being interviewed and talking story and so much more - all for his ol' Latok climbing partner Jeff.

Always smiling and making time to come and see us - we appreciate Jim (and Angela) more than words can say. Climbing breeds some unique and wonderful folk - so lucky to be friends with same and on the receiving end of their generosity and good will.


Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jan 31, 2013 - 05:16am PT
Jim is the man, period. Got to meet him for the first time at Facelift a couple years ago, and he promptly asked me if I wanted to climb some time.

Naturally I said hell yes, but told him I am no where near his level and I'd probably bore him silly. His response was that he was just fine with low level climbing, and that being as I climb with Cosmic that was good enough for him.

Hell of a guy, in and out of the mountains. Jim's been an inspiration to myself and many others.

Jan 31, 2013 - 07:18am PT
i asked on ST where to climb in March in the US. I didn't say how well I climb or anything like that..
Jim offered to climb with me in Indian Creek and the Black. Just like that. I said yes.
He picked me up the airport, cooked amazing dinners the whole way, drove around, giving me a great tour of desert climbing i'll not forget. Another highlight was climbing the evolution traverse together. It's such a pleasure to hang out and climb with Jim.
He's extremely generous and open.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 31, 2013 - 08:33am PT

Jim's something else. Still crankin' hard. Smarter than most,
and a genuine guy.
We need more of his type!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 31, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
Thanks everyone for the kind words, kinder than i deserve.
Some things that i appreciate:

Being a member of the ST family....sometimes a grump here and there, like any family, but generally caring and respectful of each other.

Belonging to the worldwide climbing community. I have travelled to over 50 countries, some of them at odds with us politically ( Cuba, China, Iran) and many of them in the third world. Politics, culture, standard of living and religion may vary immensly, but get climbers sitting around a campfire and they are all members of the same tribe.

The travel opportunities that climbing has afforded me. We Americans often get caught up in American exceptionalism and isolationism.. The more i travel, the more i appreciate other cultures and worldviews. We are a great country but still a part of a worldwide community that deserves our respect. We have much to give the rest of the world and also much to learn.

The healthy lifestyle that climbing has given me. I wonder where i would be (physically) a few months shy of 70 had i not gotten into climbing.

The opportunity to meet new people and mentor younger climbers. I love climbing with new people....knowing that, as climbers, we immediately have much in common. I also enjoy helping younger climbers just as i was helped many years ago.

The lifelong, close relationships that have come to me thru climbing. Too many to enumerate but here's an example. George Lowe and i first climbed together in 1976 at Arch Rock. We next spent three months together in 1978 on the Latok 1 expedition. There followed a couple of decades where we only saw each other at the odd social event. Five years ago we started climbing together again; IC, the Sierra's, the Incredible Hulk, the Evolution Traverse etc. Hopefully, this May we will team up as a rope team (nearly 139 yrs. in combined age) to do the NIAD.

So in closing, i am most appreciative that climbing has given me the opportunity to still have high adventure with both new and old friends in both familiar and new places in these the autumn of my years.

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jan 31, 2013 - 12:34pm PT
I seem to recall there was a commemorative Jim Donini .44 magnum handgun up for grabs a while back. Anyone know where I could get one? You know, for home defense against mice.

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 31, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
Had the pleasure of meeting Jim in 2004.
He said I could stay at his place in Ouray anytime.
Really nice guy
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 31, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
50 countries!

Holy crap! I had no idea that a Geritol endorsement could be so lucrative!

Wait, maybe he's right, there must be multiple Donini.
The Warbler

the edge of America
Jan 31, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
Jim was the wise, experienced climber when I met him in Yosemite around 1972. I was 17, he was an old man of 29 years. The first time I climbed with him was with Chappy, and we did the FA of Fingerlickin'. Had a great time and I remember that day with a smile - lots of laughs, a hard, clean crack, and the feeling we were on top of the world - even if our Everest was a scrappy little PO infested crag in the Lower Merced Canyon.

Donini has more seniority, experience, balls and wit than just about anyone else who posts here, we're all lucky to have him around. All that with a strong dose of humility. Plus, he understands that republicans are wrong on everything. What's not to like?

Still the wise, experienced climber, only now more than ever.

Salutations, JD, and have fun on your Nose in a day climb!
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jan 31, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
Couldn't resist chiming in on this thread with a link to a webpage I just posted with six photos of Jim climbing in Patagonia.

I really ought to get around to figuring out how to digitize my old slides. I've got dozens of great shots of Jim climbing in Patagonia and Alaska.

To Jim's CV above, I'd add the Shaken, Not Stirred couloir on the South Face of the Mooses Tooth in the Ruth Gorge. I'd think that route stands with The Old Smuggler's Route on the north face of Aguja Poincenot and A Fine Piece on the West Pillar of Cerro Pollone as the best three routes we did together. I think all three have been repeated a time or two, and I think Paul Roderick's flying has turned Shaken, Not Stirred into a bit of a modern classic, which I find pretty cool. That was one hell of a fun climb.

But don't fall for the bullshit Jim let get printed in the Supertopo AK guidebook about how Shaken, Not Stirred got discovered... the real story is totally different. ;-)

PS: If I remember my Donini lore correctly, I think he might have made the first one-bivy ascent of the Nose, too. Back in the Pleistocene.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 31, 2013 - 04:54pm PT
But don't fall for the bullshit Jim let get printed in the AK guidebook about how Shaken, Not Stirred got discovered... the real story is totally different. ;-)

Awwwright, out with it Pilgrim!
The Larry

Moab, UT
Jan 31, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
C0z said
But if I have to endure one more ass suave, I may throw up my top Ramen.

Dude, I'm not sure what an ass suave is but how many can you endure before you puke? Can one build up a tolerance to ass suaves?

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Jan 31, 2013 - 06:12pm PT
I ain't suaving no one's ass . . .

Jim what's the story with this: (from Jim's Wikipedia page, how many Taco heads have their own Wikipedia page??!!!)
Notable climbs

1976 Torre Egger - First Ascent - with John Bragg, and Jay Wilson from the United States, by climbing first to the col between the Egger and Cerro Torre, the Col of Conquest, and then up the ridge to the peak. The ascent was hampered by bad weather and took from December 1975 to February 22, 1976 when the 3-person team summitted.[4]
1978 North Ridge on Latok I, Karakorum Range, Pakistan. Attempt with Michael Kennedy, George Lowe and Jeff Lowe (climber) (all USA).[5]
1991 Cobra Pillar on the east face of Mount Barrille, Ruth Gorge, Alaska Range, Alaska, USA (VI 5.10+ A3 WI5? 2300m) FA with Jack Tackle (USA), June 510, 1991.[6]
1991 Viper Ridge, south spur of southeast ridge to ridge, Mount Foraker, Alaska Range, Alaska USA. FA with Jack Tackle (USA), June 1117, 1991.[7]
2000 Lightning Spur, south face Thunder Mountain, Alaska Range, Alaska USA. FA with John Bragg (USA).[8]

Seems that 1991 was a productive year.

What happened on June 10th and 11th?

Did you catch a flight?

Sounds like the ultimate Alaska season . . .

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Jan 31, 2013 - 06:20pm PT
Jim's been climbing,
a LONG, long, long long, long time!!!!

photo not found
Missing photo ID#203711
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