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Mountain climber
Anchorage, AK
Jun 21, 2006 - 08:45pm PT
I am pretty sure Fry was one of the Sheepbuggers; I can remember him driving around the hidden valley loop in his VW van braying like a sheep. I think Rob Raker may have straightened him out in the early 80ís and told him to go to college so he could find work taking water and air samples or something like that.
Gordon maybe you knew Fry after he turned his life around.

right here, right now
Jun 22, 2006 - 12:50am PT
That's a good start Lois, the 70's as a sea change and climbing responding in kind; a reasonable inference.

I have yet to read John's Stonemaster article; I'll get to it.
Have fun with your reading list!
Then we'll gab some more.

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
Jun 22, 2006 - 01:14am PT
Stonemasters = Bums?

Jun 22, 2006 - 01:17am PT
No, bums do nothing ......

There were a lot of successful Stonemasters.

Quit being so Juanish, Juan.

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
Jun 22, 2006 - 01:18am PT
"MANY of our guys are bipolar. I may be. I self-medicate (?) and my wife tells me I am naturally bitchy and depressive and she IS qualified to say so. Depression is NOT uncommon among us. Suicide is a preferred way for a bunch of us."

Thats my typical day in the last few years.



Social climber
The West
Jun 22, 2006 - 02:28am PT
Man 'o' man. Nice input all.

Who are you, really, Lois? I choose to take you at your word, and you deny being a troll, but your gill net provides the largest harvest;

1) this thread,
2) Dingus' recent explanation of mtnering taxonomy and
3) (and foremost)the recent Ed and Roger show of a few months ago that explained what climbing is, why you can fall and keep going, what 'free' means and why the Castanada sh#t is big with us and all in a way more articulate and erudite way than anything that has EVER been in print, and you're still pimping us and will, no doubt get even more stuff, straight from the font.

If you really are my age and live where you say you do (down the road from woodstock)you've got a few clues about the seventies already, and can appreciate the fractal nature of our part of the world.

So, good on Ya!!!!!!! I really do take you at your word, and think you have no idea how good a troll you are.

Maybe, as a diagnostician, it goes with the territory.

I anxiously await what you will uncover next. Personally, I suggest you probe Offwidth. Largo left a trailmarker (paisano) some of us had to deal with,as did Haan, Dr E, and a bunch of others, but what was the deal with John Garson??

You are our Holmes.

Jun 22, 2006 - 02:38am PT
Leb there were a few guys who lived in Idyllwild who were not the "Cor" But we lived it every day. Bruce Foster's name does not get battered around here much. or Fred East or Greg Thill. At one point I remember Clifford from the MT store was mentioned. There are more.

But the truth be told my favorite memories was sitting at the base of suicide smoking bong loads.


Jun 22, 2006 - 02:39am PT
Bald head my bald ass.......all you needed was a high school education, a stick to poke someone in the ass with, a pine cone to hit someone in the face with, booze that you stole from your parents liquor cabinet, thrift store garb, a $200.00 V.W. , a rack of hexes and stoppers and a few cams, and you were a sheep-buggerer......I've been called immature before, but these guys are textbook.......guys like Fry (and myself) weren't part of THAT clan......Fry was WAY too grown-up for their antics..(And you already heard about my bald head...).....their sheep-buggerer call could be heard at the crags and in the still desert evening.....usually from an under-age drinking fool, moments before he tossed his cookies....(All this is captured with a camera.....)......These were the guys (and I DO say guys... it was a sausage-fest)......that really pissed off the climbers who worked out, didn't party, and took their climbing "seriously".......for the nasty sheep-bugerers would usually out-climb the "athletes" almost everytime.......they were a sorry product of bad judgement, underage drinking, too much time on their hands, and sperm-buildup.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 22, 2006 - 03:02am PT
I've very much enjoyed reading this thread, and all the Stonemaster stories threads. (Not quite finished.) Thank you to all who've contributed.

I began climbing at Squamish in the 1970s, and there are some parallels between the origin and culture and evolution of the Stonemasters, and what we had in Squamish. I'll save those stories for another thread. As a visitor to the Valley in the 1970s, I had a little contact with the Stonemasters, and those stories may better fit, though not tonight.

Our history and stories (not always the same thing) are a big part of our community, and something I'm quite interested in.

A sociologist or anthropologist might find some interesting parallels between climbers' cultures, and those in hunter-gatherer and perhaps other societies. I don't know a lot about such things, but it is interesting that many climber sub-cultures seem to involve 15 - 20 core individuals, with defined admittance rituals, a periphery of aspirants, regular tests of hardihood, leadership by proven ability, and fairly egalitarian standards. The group is part of the larger group (tribe, clan, whatever), but at the same time emphasizes its distinctiveness. It's also an adolescent male thing, or even rite of passage - bearing in mind delayed adolescence in our societies.

It would have been fascinating had some social "scientist" done a baseline study of climbers at Camp 4 in the 1970s, and followed up from time to time. All the usual stuff - family, pyschological profile, intelligence, education, and so on. Are climbers truly different as individuals or a community, and if so how and why? It might be possible now, but as climbing is much more mainstream, and risk-averse, it might not be as informative.


Jun 22, 2006 - 03:08am PT
Todd you certainly were there. you have said it the best.

right here, right now
Jun 22, 2006 - 10:00am PT
get 'im lois!
ok just kidding.

i think what jay is getting at, is something you patently answered, meaning your approach as an ordered interlocutor and an outsider elicites in depth and objective responses from us, which come out in an unguarded and thoughtfull manner. that's not how we typically interact on the forum. we typically play grab ass.

to troll is also to assume a stance which is an affectation. to respond to a troll is to buy into it. in this case, in responding to your querries, we are out of necessity prompted to work outside of our ordinary lexicon and set of tacit agreements and collective assumptions.

so you draw us out, which is also an aspect of trolling.
but there is no malice and no joke.
it's fun, just like a good class.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 22, 2006 - 10:41am PT
Lois, we take you at face value and our responses are crafted as we interpret you questions to be. But we wouldn't be responding unless you asked, or baited the hook... as in your "diatribe" above, which could go off in the direction "what was the '70's anyway?" It is hard to believe you lived it, at least as our roughly SoCal experience would prepare us to believe... On the otherhand, the "'70's" was not the same in otherparts of the country as it was in Cali (and the west).

But there I go again, actually trying to answer your question and taking your bait and careening off topic again.

The "Stonemasters" were one group of many in the '70's. At the time, it would be hard to predict who we'd be talking about in the '00's, 30 years later. Many of us were independent of our parents very early (looking back on it) in our lives, either because of one too many parental stories of independence ("when I was you age, I...") or inability to support or coexist, or just plain striking out on our own. That happened in a lot of areas, climbing just one, the "Stonemasters" just a single group there.

I was not a Stonemaster, I grew up in Claremont CA during that time period, I bouldered around Mt. Baldy and Rubidoux, climbed at Tahquitz (but not Suicide) and the Valley, probably could have driven down Foothill Blvd. and met up with John Long, et al.. But they were the shitz then, and I sort of knew about them, but never engaged.

Travelling "dirtbag" to Yosemite was typical of youth at that time, not just the Stonemasters. Starving, climbing, and all that was a part of growing up, our expectations were not that we would be provided for, but that we would figure something out. Many of us could go home if it didn't work out, but many of us could not.

Compared to the philosophy surrounding kids today, it is hard to believe that all of our parents weren't arrested for child endangerment, but they believed in us to some extent, and even though they knew the world was not always our "hippie utopia" they also knew we had to learn how to cope with reality... so we went out and figured it out. The casualties seem worse, but I am not sure that the current crop of kids do not suffer at the same rate in their cohort.

Kids are still the same, somewhere in the early teens they think they are adults. In many ways they are, they can procreate... we were kicked out of the house, in many instances, because we would not socialize. So we created our own societies... the Stonemasters is an example of that, but not unique, just a different milieu.

In the end, the Stonemasters are notable in the '00's because of the climbing accomplishments of its members, and the strength of their vision, which can still be experienced in places like Yosemite Valley. Many of the members, and satellite members, are still active and contributing, trying to teach the younger generation what worked and what did not, in forming a society as much as in climbing.

Social climber
The West
Jun 22, 2006 - 10:59am PT
what they said

There is no rule that a troll can't use their powers for good!

I define 'Troll" a little more widely than you do. More to do with cause and affect than mean intent, though that counts too.

Sport climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Jun 22, 2006 - 11:38am PT

Watch Cliffhanger, it's 'loosely' based on the Stonemaster experience and will provide several answers to the q's you posit...(premise by John Long).

Trad climber
Westboro, MA
Jun 22, 2006 - 12:39pm PT
For those who take LEB at face value - call me - I can get you an incredble deal on a bridge in Brooklyn

Social climber
Tendonitis City
Jun 22, 2006 - 12:43pm PT
Hmmmm, climbing, drugs, rock and roll. I never knew if I was a Stonemaster back when there really were Stonemasters. I climbed with them all, I climbed hard like they did, I climbed almost every day, but somehow I did not fit in as well as some others. I was a few years older, already out of college and with a job so I never did the whole summers in the valley/meadows thing. So I guess I was a part-time Stonemaster. However, I spent all my time with some of them. Most went to school and worked and saved so that they could spend all summer in the valley. But every weekend was spent at the rocks.

More than anything it was a passion (one I still live, thankfully) for climbing. We embraced this new ethic of clean climbing (no pitons) and continually pushed the difficulty up. The fact that there were few of us really made it a group thing and I think that is the difference from today. Nowdays there are so many climbers that you don't get the same dynamic. Then there were maybe 30 people at Josh/Suicide every weekend and we climbed together and pushed each other every day. And we got stoned together every day and every night. We became a community. We were all pretty different than the average American and we knew it. We were PROUD of it! Most of us still are.

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Jun 22, 2006 - 12:45pm PT
Watch the first part of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective; When Nature's loosely based on Cliffhanger. Althought Sly is pretty funny without trying, JIm Carrey is flat-out hilarious. "You know, you could poke somebody's EYE out with that thing!"

the Hooterville World-Guardian
Jun 22, 2006 - 12:57pm PT

BumbleBeeTuna rockjock.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 22, 2006 - 01:51pm PT
If you troll at a high intellectual level then you will catch high intellect responses...

...if you do it at a low level, then you get the commensurate response.

As we all know, we don't have to respond to a troll, we choose, and we also choose the way to do it.

There is no relevance for the question who, what or why the avatar LEB. The dialog is the only relevant issue. (Sounds like neomodernist deconstruction).

Social climber
The West
Jun 22, 2006 - 02:00pm PT
Hmmm? Sounds almost Mcluhan-esque.
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