A Short Walk with Terray

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oldguy

climber
Bronx, NY
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 10, 2013 - 09:03am PT
March 1963. I am living with Linnea in an eleven room apartment in Barcelona. The apartment is on the fifth floor, and at the front a small enclosed balcony overlooks the street below, overlooks the lamplighter as he comes at dusk to light the street lamps. He turns a gas valve at the base of the lamp and then reaches up with a long pole that has a flame on top to bring the light to life. Gas light has a soft but warm glow more conducive than electric light to walking quiet streets, especially if your life is suffused with romance. Linnea and I are not usually up when the lamplighter makes his rounds in the morning to turn off the gas.

Royal had written me, giving me the address in Barcelona of Manuel Anglada, one of the better Spanish climbers. Anglada and I got in touch, and he invited me to go with him and some other climbers for a weekend trip to Montserrat, an area north of Barcelona with many conglomerate domes, spires, and faces. As it happened, the great French climber, Lionel Terray, was also in Barcelona to show movies of his climbing and skiing adventures, and he would join us. Indeed, the trip was organized for him, not for me, but Anglada was a good fellow, and we got along well.

We drove to a restaurant near the trailhead. Outside, a very large perron, a glass wine decanter that one drinks from like a bota bag, sat on a wooden pedestal. Most perrons hold a liter or less, but this one held several gallons. The wine was free for anyone who could drink from it using only one hand. Some of the other climbers tried but failed to bring the spout close to their lips. Somehow, I managed to lift it into the air and direct the stream into my mouth. The wine was warm from sitting in the sun all morning, but I didn’t care. I think it may have been more a matter of technique than strength, technique acquired through regular wine drinking. Terray, however, didn’t seem thirsty and didn’t try to lift the perron.

At the trailhead, Terray was the first to put on his pack while the rest of us were talking and kidding around. Then he started up the trail with an unusually measured stride, as it someone had wound up a giant key in his back and set him on his way. His whole body spoke determination, and there was a decided lack of ease or grace. I suppose such an approach might account for his numerous first ascents all over the world. We knew about determination in the States, but it was for the tough times, not for when we could be having fun.

Anglada had planned the trip mainly to show us the area, not to do any serious climbing. The rock was surprisingly solid for conglomerate (one thinks of Pinnacles in California) but also had few cracks. The locals left the pitons on a route so it was hard to tell how good the protection was. One route that we passed under was about a thousand feet high and dead vertical. They told me that all of the belays except one were in slings and that there were 300 pitons and eighty bolts on the route. The fastest ascent had taken fourteen hours. Another thousand foot route, however, went all free in seven hours. Anglada and I planned on climbing it on the following weekend, but things didn’t work out. Instead, we did some short climbs, one an eighteen bolt ladder, but another two pitch climb with few pitons and some definitely interesting moves after a long run out. Again, I wondered about the soundness of the pitons.

At the end of the day we arrived at a large cave where we were to spend the night. The Spaniards cooked food for us, and bottles of wine appeared. Terray spoke a little English, and I tried to talk to him but didn’t find out much except that bong-bongs (he knew about them) sounded very nice in French. A little later in the evening, however, I overheard him say to Anglada’s brother, (and here I translate) “The American is very strange.” Whether his observation was due to some quirk I had inadvertently revealed or whether it was just that I was an American I have no idea. But then I thought Terray was strange, too, so perhaps we were even. It did occur to me, though, that if he thought I was strange he should get to know some of my climbing friends back in Yosemite.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 10, 2013 - 09:46am PT
Bump for a cool story well told!
My French vocabulary doesn't include 'aloof'.
At least you tried to engage him. ;-)
crock

Mountain climber
The Library Window
Apr 10, 2013 - 09:54am PT
I think this is the best piece of writing I have seen for a very long time.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 10, 2013 - 10:04am PT
The locals left the pitons on a route so it was hard to tell how good the protection was.--Trad Old Boy

Fine as frog hair, Joe.
steve shea

climber
Apr 10, 2013 - 10:07am PT
The frogs just did not warm up to Americans. An old timer in the Savoie once told me they were insecure around us, they felt they could not measure up after our sacrifice for them in WWII. That they were particularly critical around Americans. Great story, well written!
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Apr 10, 2013 - 10:18am PT
that if he thought I was strange he should get to know some of my climbing friends back in Yosemite.
Good story, Joe.
I think in the early 70's the climbers increased in strangeness!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 10, 2013 - 10:18am PT
Nice slice Joe!

Funny how very insular and cliquish continental climbing was BITD.

Thanks again for sharing your rich experience with us here.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 10, 2013 - 10:56am PT
Joe, Anglada contacted me a year or two ago and wanted to get in touch with Royal too. I am not sure RR responded. Josep sent these two images. I gather they did some climbing together and a new route variation in the Pyrenees on Pedraforca. The photo of RR, TM, and Anglada was taken in 1963. And this "short walk" was not as funny as Patey's (grin).

Credit: from Anglada

Credit: Peter Haan

Pedraforca
Pedraforca

martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Apr 10, 2013 - 11:21am PT
Terray died in a rock climbing accident in Chamonix 1965. Anyone have any details on this? It seems his partner died as well. Cragging? Wall?
H

Mountain climber
there and back again
Apr 10, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Great shot Peter.

Terrific story Joe. Is this the start of a new book? You'll be missed in Jtree this year.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Apr 10, 2013 - 11:39am PT
I don't think it was Chamonix where Terray died. It was an area called the Vercors (don't know where in France that is). He and a younger partner apparently fell roped together on the descent and were found at the bottom of the crag. This was a rock climb, and not an alpine icy thing, according to my understanding.

I have just finished re-reading Conquistadors of the Useless, which is excellent. Terray has always been a hero of mine, and I have seen his grave site in the Cham. graveyard.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Apr 10, 2013 - 12:05pm PT
Great writing, great thread. TFPU!

"Le 19 septembre 1965, avec son ami Marc Martinetti, Lionel Terray fait une chute mortelle ŕ la fissure en Arc de Cercle, aux Arętes du Gerbier, dans le Vercors."
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 10, 2013 - 12:16pm PT
It was an area called the Vercors (don't know where in France that is).

Gerbier is on the ridgeline above (and a little bit south) of Grenoble, to the west.

Terray died on a route on the east side of the peak, which, is kind of a long ridgeline (classic summit traverse too).

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/gerbier/107582022

Great stuff. Thanks!
Alan Rubin

climber
Amherst,MA.
Apr 10, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
Great story Joe.

Others have mentioned French climbers' (and maybe the French in general)attitude to Americans during that time period. A few years after Joe's walk with Terray, I encountered another version of this attitude.

In the summer of 1967 Utahan Bill Conrod and I were in the cafe in the telepherique station on top of Aiguille d'Midi waiting out a morning storm hoping to get on a route after it cleared. At a nearby table were two quite burly guys with heavy packs and ropes on the floor next to them. After a while they waved us over to join them. They introduced themselves as Pierre Mazeaud (Fr.) and Roberto Sorgato (It.) whom I knew to be two of the top alpinists of the day. Once we sat down they (mostly Mazeaud)began commenting at length, and with no little condescension and sarcasm, on our treasured US hardware, then rare in Europe.Our responses were quickly brushed aside. He was particularly dismissive of our (to our minds) state of the art Chouinard D carabiners. "Zey are much too small, I like ze Cassin Bonatti's---you can get your whole hand in zem"---demonstrating "French free" with his own quite substantial mitt. Soon after, the weather cleared and they went off to their climb, while Bill and I headed off for what turned into an epic (for me) ascent of the Rebuffat. A few years later Mazeaud became notorious for walking out on one of the Everest International Expedition extravaganzas in protest over what he claimed was favoritism towards the despised Anglo-Saxons. Still later he became active in French politics and eventually, I believe, even became a Cabinet member.

The Vercors is a high plateau outside of Grenoble a good ways south of Chamonix, It is "buttressed" by many impressive faces up to maybe 1000-1200 feet in places including Gerbier. It is presumed that Terray and Martinetti were roped simul-climbing an easier section in true alpine style even though this was a Pre-alpine rock climb.

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Apr 10, 2013 - 01:07pm PT

The French are traditionally known for being intellectually curious, and Americans... what should I say... a little bit blonde... like Norwegians. I'm talking tradition and not actuality. The white side of the intellectuality is the curiosity and the willingness to think. The black side is intellectual snobbery and a feeling of superiority.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 10, 2013 - 02:38pm PT
JoeF, it would be good if you could elaborate on your impressions on Terray; he was such a terrific writer and of course luminary alpinist. Pretty Please??
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 10, 2013 - 02:49pm PT
Second.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 10, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
Third!
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 10, 2013 - 03:02pm PT
Fourth
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 10, 2013 - 03:02pm PT
It is presumed that Terray and Martinetti were roped simul-climbing an easier section in true alpine style even though this was a Pre-alpine rock climb.

Isn't the birthplace of "alpinism" sometimes referenced to Mont Aiguille, which, is really just a busted off chunk of the Vercors plateau?

Pre-alps, but, maybe not "pre-alpine"...

Er something...
oldguy

climber
Bronx, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 10, 2013 - 03:37pm PT
To let the proverbial cat out of the bag, it was fifty years ago and my memory, while not too bad considering, isn't photographic. In this case it was aided by a sheaf of letters that I had written to Royal after I went to Europe and that he graciously returned to me after our meeting in Oakdale. My post on my early climbs in the Gunks also benefited from one of the letters since I didn't actually keep notes on the climbs I did then--or ever.
As to Terray, I am afraid I can't say much more, but he did seem like a robot on our hike, which surprised me, and he seemed disinclined to talk. One small addition, gleaned again from my letter to Royal, was that both he and the Spaniards seemed to think that El Cap was the only big or hard climb in Yosemite. The bulk of the letter deals with Anglada's planned visit to Yosemite and my efforts to make sure he was well received and supplied with whatever equipment he might need. I don't know if he made it that time, but he think he did later.
Thanks for the comments, and remind folks that my book is still for sale (joefitschen.com)
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 10, 2013 - 05:29pm PT
Just did...

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1944970/Going-Up-Tales-Told-Along-the-Road-to-El-Capitan
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Apr 10, 2013 - 06:11pm PT
Wonderful story Joe.

I had the opportunity to spend a little time with Terray when he visited the Ski Hut in the early 60s as a guest of Steck.

"I remember one day when I was working at the Ski Hut in the warehouse. Steck, my boss at that time, brought Lional Terray out back to introduce him to the "boys". I can still visualize him standing there in his blue farmer-john coveralls, no shirt,with a bong in his hands and this wonderful french accent," So, cese are ce famous bong bongs? No?" Still makes me laugh."

I remember when you took off for Europe after you made the 2nd ascent of the Nose and how jealous I was of your ability to travel abroad. I was stuck in high school forever it seemed. You were probably an old man of 22 or so. Funny, how the image of you, Pratt, Frost and Robbins as much older and wiser climbers will forever be etched in my memory.

Loved you book, what a fabulous pulse on an era and the characters involved.


Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 10, 2013 - 06:46pm PT
Bong Bong-The Afro-Cuban connection on the Chouinard-Herbert on Sentinel.

Tom once referred to Yvon as the "great namer of names" while telling the story of the FA of the Pharoah's Beard.

Bugaboo in heavy French would be fun too.

Terray had some good hunting in the Americas with Huntington, Chacraraju and Fitz Roy to his credit.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Apr 10, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
Nice read. The borrowed title caught my eye. TFPU!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 11, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
This is Terray with his family. Antoine on Lionel's knees and Nicolas in the indian outfit. Marianne, his wife to the left. Terray died not long after this photo. I think that Antoine was four when his dad expired.

Credit: from ledauphine.com
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 11, 2013 - 09:53pm PT
Anybody know what paths the kiddies followed?
I'm gonna guess it wasn't climbing.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 11, 2013 - 10:14pm PT
Not being a Terray scholar here, I do think that there is a bunch to tell, Reilly, on the two kids and what they have come to. I do know this: Nicolas Terray, the one in the indian outfit above, has this video out now at roughly the age of fifty, promoting the Lionel Terray DVD and accompaning pamphlet/handbook: (french only) Nicolas has a hard time addressing the camera directly and appears almost furtive or damaged. Very interesting to watch. Losing one's father at four must be almost impossible to understand and to overcome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3p3kNKQws8

Antoine is active as all get out as a trail runner, apparently in Chamonix. He is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/antoine.terray and looks great. He was the one sitting on Lionel's lap in the above B&W photo. Here is a little video of Antoine doing a run in Chamonix.

http://lejt.tv8montblanc.com/Antoine-Terray-se-prepare-a-l-UTMB_v2631.html

and a photo of him with the expected background:

Credit: Peter Haan
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 11, 2013 - 11:47pm PT
Pete graciously left the mystery intact, but for those who wondered,

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush is a 1958 book by the English travel writer Eric Newby. It is an autobiographical account of his adventures in the Hindu Kush, around the Nuristan mountains of Afghanistan. It has been described as a comic masterpiece, intensely English, and understated.--Dawiki

TFPU remains a mystery...
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 12, 2013 - 12:18am PT
“The American is very strange.” Whether his observation was due to some quirk I had inadvertently revealed or whether it was just that I was an American I have no idea. But then I thought Terray was strange, too, so perhaps we were even. It did occur to me, though, that if he thought I was strange he should get to know some of my climbing friends back in Yosemite.

Terray had long been one of my idols, right up there in the pantheon with Herman Buhl. And he did get acquainted with some of your strange friends in Camp 4, shortly after an attempt on the East Peak of Chacraraju and a successful ascent of Taulliraju in Peru. We hosted him in Camp 4 towards the end of the summer of 1962.

I had been developing various weird aid devices including hooks and mashies and bashies in the runup to the NA wall. Royal asked me to demonstrate my little rack of gimmicks to Terray. Lionel was quite intrigued and quick to lecture me on all the reasons why these were impractical. I recall one particularly unlikely mashie placed in a shallow dimple in a boulder, and in his best Franglish accent he stated, "I do not think that this will work!" When it held up to my cautious 140lbs, he hopped into the sling himself and bounced gently with a wry grin punctuated with 'merde!' when it still held his weight.

At the time Lionel had a broken arm in a sling and was quite depressed from receiving a letter that the French government had dropped his annual stipend in favor of younger climbers. However that didn't stop him from a fast ascent of the Royal Arches, including running unroped across the 'missing rotten log' pitch.

I am not sure how much of the story has been told regarding his career following publishing of his book in 1961.

In September of 1961 he went to Paris to organize the expedition returning to the exceptionally difficult Himalayan peak, Janu. Meanwhile in November he took a bad fall at Saussois near Paris (one of my favorite climbing areas) and broke six ribs. However by the middle of March in 1962 he was establishing base camp for Janu and by mid April they were on top.

A month later he was on his way to Peru leading a strong team to the east peak of Chacraraju with Claude Maillard and Guido Magnone. Considering this too formidable, they went instead onto Taulliraju. High on the peak, Lionel fell and broke his arm, setting off a very challenging rescue operation by the rest of the team to get him back down to base camp and installed safely in a sleeping bag. The other climbers went back up their fixed ropes. Then nearing the high point, they looked down to see Terray, with one arm in a sling and his other hand using a Jumar on the fixed ropes. They then summited three days in a row, the second day with Lionel and a photographer.

Following his brief tour as visiting royalty in Yosemite, Terray made a dash to the Himalayas and caught up in September with some of his Dutch friends going in to climb Nilgiri. By the end of October they completed the first ascent of Nilgiri, with a view across to the north face of Annapurna.

So in one year in 1962 he lead three major expeditions to three ranges on two continents...

The way I heard the story, they had completed an enjoyable climb in sunshine following a rain shower, and were still roped together on a slope of wet grass...
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 12, 2013 - 12:25am PT
I like ze Cassin Bonatti's---you can get your whole hand in zem"---demonstrating "French free" with his own quite substantial mitt.

Cool, Alan, I always liked this description of French Free, when you told me about this back in the mid-70s!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 12, 2013 - 12:51am PT
In reading of the way in which Terray responds to bong-bong,
I am reminded of the story of plonk.

Which hoary vets of the Alps know what the fonk is plonk?

"As always, the truth is in the bottle."--Sherry would say
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:02am PT
I went to France in the late 60s as a free guest of the French government at the five-star Hotel Henri Quatre and employee of Cegos-Informatique/Cegos-Tymshare to install and train their staff on their first time-shared SDS/XDS 940 mainframe computers (the TymNet backbone to the internet) in the new Bureaux des Collines de St Cloud.

The Bureaux had one of those big tower cranes that was the only way to lift our big (and fragile!) mainframe computers into the huge building that was still under construction. I did my best to brief the crane operator on the challenge to treat the huge computer crates like egg cartons. When he succeeded in depositing the last crate where we could roll on into the building, we all cheered, and I climbed up the outside of the tall lattice pedestal in my business suit and handed him a bottle of champagne from my inside jacket pocket!

I was on a regular three weekend rotation with my wild-eyed Irish girlfriend: one weekend partying with champagne, the next weekend skydiving at Troyes, and the next weekend climbing at Saussois (where I neatly aced all their test pieces),and repeat... Evenings were often spent fencing at the exclusive Club Le Racing and driving around between restaurants in a yellow Lotus Europa.

(just taking a break from dirt-bagging in Camp 4)

The French were always very nice to me so long as I dressed appropriately, honored their cultural mannerisms, and spoke French as best I could. You would better understand their attitude if you saw the way they are overwhelmed in Paris by tourists speaking English and German and who knows what-all...

In the summer on the metro, I sometimes felt like yelling out to all the rude tourists, "This is France! Speak French or stay quiet!"
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 12, 2013 - 05:02am PT
Cool stories. Thanks!

DMT
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Apr 12, 2013 - 05:54am PT
Thanks Joe!
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Apr 12, 2013 - 07:12am PT
"Bong bong" sounds nice in French: bonbon!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:48am PT
Voila-"The Conquistadors of the Useless."

I notice this is 1964 and I believe the time he visited the Hut for the first time was 1962.

Royal Arches Register-courtesy of the Bancroft Library, Mnt Records Di...
Royal Arches Register-courtesy of the Bancroft Library, Mnt Records Division, UC Berkeley.
Credit: guido
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 12, 2013 - 10:25am PT
News view loans something-something de Jean-Clod Killy, pourboire, oh naturelement.

C#m saw? :0)
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Apr 12, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
This is an absolutely cool thread. I almost feel as if I'm reaching my hand out, and shaking hands with one of my heros who has been dead most of my lifetime.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 12, 2013 - 12:21pm PT
That's fun Guido. Antonio Sottile: I met him at Doug Tompkin's first North Face store there on Columbus in San Francisco, maybe a year before. He actually deigned to talk to us kids and was nice and elaborated about climbing in the Dolomites to Dougie. Dougie could hardly stay in his Levi's back then, what with being basically next store to Condor nightclub. He was in and out, so to speak, all the time, leaning on his storefront checking out his immediate neighborhood---the store was already boring and we couldn't compete with Carol Doda in her "monokini".
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 20, 2013 - 12:25pm PT
Leo Le Bon is a name that shows up here and there. What is his story?

More of Lionel's Alaskan exploits here.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2119991/Conquest-of-Mt-Huntington-Terray-Mountain-World-1964-65
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 20, 2013 - 03:33pm PT
Stevie
Leo was a close friend of Al Steck and involved in Mountain Travel, the original trekking company in Berkeley that I think Lito Tejada Flores was connected to also. Leo, Al Steck, and Barry Bishop started that business in the late sixties. Alla Schmitz also, Kim's dad was somehow involved. There are many interesting aspects to this bunch of characters. I do not know much though. Vandiver does; I think he worked for them at times.
Here is a photo of Leo from Backpacker:

Credit: Backpacker Magazine

And here is that article:

http://www.backpacker.com/march_2009_globetrotter_interview_with_leo_le_bon/destinations/12795
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Apr 21, 2013 - 12:22am PT
Hey Joe, you started this thread with another of your delightful pieces of prose and the quality has carried on through the thread.
David Wilson

climber
CA
Apr 21, 2013 - 06:53am PT
Great writing Joe ! Thanks for the tale. It would be good to get Steck to chime in on this one.
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Apr 21, 2013 - 06:57am PT
In the early seventies a partner of mine had a "Terray" down jacket. It was pretty cool looking and very functional. Anyone remember those things?
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Apr 21, 2013 - 08:20am PT
My first downy as we called them then was a Terray. There weren't a lot of options. A beautiful blue color.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Apr 21, 2013 - 09:15am PT
This is what i came here for. Thank you gentlemen. Thanks for posting up!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Apr 21, 2013 - 09:31am PT
Before the classic, blue Terray down jacket was available in the US we used to order them through Sporthaus Shuster in Germany. I believe either Holubar of Gerry were the first to import it?

Also available via SS was the Terray Pied D'elephant-in essence half a sleeping bag. Pretty cool innovation.

Sporthaus Shuster had their own in-house down jacket with a heavier outer covering, dark green, and that was the preferred model by many. I recollect Tom Frost being one of the early users.
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Apr 21, 2013 - 07:24pm PT
During a stormy spell back in the sixties a bunch of us podunk climbers, bored with hanging out in camp 4, trekked across the road to the Yosemite Lodge coffee shop. As we sat down at the table and started figuring out the cheapest way to spend the most time in this warm place, one of us whispered to the others, "Hey, look there's Joe Fitschen." Sure enough there he was half way across the room, sitting alone at a table in an open and dirty down jacket. Someone said, "If I had a down jacket, I wouldn't wear it in the lodge. I'd save it for bivouacs."

At that time it is likely that none of us had ever slept up on a wall, not very many had.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 21, 2013 - 07:49pm PT
Dick,

Joe's jacket might have been a Terray back then too. Mine was. Being that the outer nylon surface was so very delicate, they got ripped to hell soon enough and were superceded by a host of tougher designs by american firms. I can still remember how my Terray duvet felt to the touch...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 26, 2013 - 10:59am PT
Bump for an expanding selection...
maxn

Sport climber
grenoble
May 28, 2013 - 01:38pm PT
Great story and writing.

I live within sight of Gerbier, and a few blocks away from both the "rue Lionel Terray" and the "gymnase Lionel Terray". Terray was born in the historic St. Laurent quarter of Grenoble, so there are a lot of things named after him around here! The route he was found at the base of is called 'Arc de Cercle', I think http://m.camptocamp.org/routes/54697/fr/gerbier-fissure-en-arc-de-cercle
oldguy

climber
Bronx, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 27, 2013 - 07:00am PT
It's fun to watch things spin out on these posts. I did in fact have a Terray down jacket, but I got it after our trip up El Cap and just before I went to Europe the following spring. I bought it from Roper for $5 as I recall, and it was the first one I had seen. My Army surplus sleeping bag was trashed after the previous summer, and my idea was to use the jacket and an elephants foot that I would buy in Europe as a substitute for the bag. It didn't work out too well. There was frequently a draft between jacket and foot (and also, obivously, no room for a companion). I also bought a cagoule and corresponding outer elephants foot. Anticipating inclement weather in the Alps, I chose ones coated with some kind of rubber that made them water proof. It kept the rain out and also kept all my escaping bodily fluids in. Quite clammy. Some years later, though, when Royal and Charlie Raymond and I went to the Cathedral Spires in Alaska, I still had the cagoule, and since there was a lot more rain than sweat it did good duty. It also came down below my knees which led to some interesting climbing technique.

Oh, you young lads with your closets full of Goretex and pile and scientifically validated theories of layering, all tested in real conditions by famous mountaineers--you don't know what you have missed. Be glad.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 25, 2013 - 10:43am PT
X-mas Bump...
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Dec 26, 2013 - 08:22am PT
You bought a used Down Jacket from Roper? I had heard once that he had found one that didn't fit him
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Dec 26, 2013 - 02:14pm PT
From the Charlie Fowler interview: I went to Fitz Roy in December 1977 with Mike Munger, Jane Wilson and Kathy Ryan and after the traditional waiting around for weeks we got good weather and Mike and I made the third ascent of the Super Couloir on the first try.” “Fitz Roy has meant the most to me of all the climbing I have done because it is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world.”

“In reference to the first ascent in 1957 we were talking about a little while back, I heard a different story about the team member who was supposedly killed in a river crossing on the march in. It wasn’t a river crossing that got him, he was messing around with one of the local’s wife and got shot.”

There's more to this story for sure! We need Terray to post up. Or Poincnot, I'd take either
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