Info on Greg "The Hand"


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Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
May 24, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Super stuff Fist!

Just to clarify: The Sheep Buggers were headed up by Craig Fry and the ranks were filled with mostly relatives of people from Newfoundland.

Our crew all hailed from the Sierra Madre area and Arcadia. That would include the Boxer, the Manx, The Driver, the Shake Bros, Me, Jeff Sewell, Roy Mcclenahan, Erik Erikson and sorta Buttf*#kleman and Jon Frericks and Larry Loads. The last few were mostly Joe Boys from like Alhambra or somewhere. Even Joe Hedge aka Homo Joe was in there though I don't think he climbed and mostly just carried the gear for Buttf*#kleman.

As to your art talent... That was in another thread where two different Karls were mixed up. Someone said that you might be an artist or a Karl... I was claiming neither. Having seen the real Karls work I likened you to a drooling crayola scribbler compared to Karl with a K, of course not knowing if you had ever put pen top paper. Now, having seen your art, though different from Karls, your stuff is really top shelf. Great gallery of work you have there.
The Fist

Trad climber
May 24, 2013 - 11:33am PT
Thanks for the beta Pyro.

I think I'm getting the format thing, which you're absolutely right about.

I'm a technotard on the best day, I'll go back and fix.

Checking this...


Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
May 24, 2013 - 11:34am PT
Good stuff fist
but you need to break it up more

+1...agreed, Bad eyesight & old eyes suck.

Just after Russ' post, add an extra space after the word cetera

ps.. I didn't notice the price of your painting on the website?.... curious..

I just enjoyed looking at your art work for the second time...... I love your painting style!..

Edit: Hey...THANKS for editing........(-;

can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
May 24, 2013 - 11:41am PT
da Fist, thanks so much for your memories. I remember vague slander fest's aimed at anyone not conforming to the ruling elite's world view. I'm glad you survived and now have a rockin hot g/f to soothe your artistic soul.
The Fist

Trad climber
May 24, 2013 - 11:43am PT
Like jumaring you have to show me by example Nita...please. Rivets? You mean an extra space after sentences? You mean like this? Crap, it didn't give me a double space...


Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
May 24, 2013 - 12:12pm PT

Best post of the year.


Please keep it up.

Guy Keesee
The Fist

Trad climber
May 24, 2013 - 12:13pm PT
Oh, okay, think it worked right.

Was trying too hard I guess.

All the paintings on my website are sold. I haven't had a solo show since '01 because showing is a huge amount of work that for the most part precludes being able to sell anything for up to the year it takes to put together fifteen to twenty decent paintings. It's poverty inducing in a serious way.

Although over the last twenty years since I began teaching myself to paint I've been represented by five galleries here in Reno, it's not the best mode of sale. I mainly work on a commission basis, and while occasionally I can sell a piece for as little as $250 to $500, for the most part my better work is in the $1,000 to $2,500 range.

It may seem a lot of money, and for us mortals it is, but a large realist piece like the "Centre Court Cowboy," which is four feet by three, can take up to 200+ hours of mentally taxing graft. I earned $2,500 for the painting sans gallery commission which would have been an industry standard 50%, so essentially the painting went for 5K. Collecting art is for the most part a rich person's gig.

I'm basically earning minimum wage, but happy to be able to do so when the majority of artists require a day job to support their habit. "Job" for me, has always been a four letter word, though when it comes to painting I'm a workaholic.

Thanks to all for the props, I very much appreciate them. While I'm supposed to say "I do it because I love it!" the truth is I do it because others love it, and it's what I do best (well, that and one or two other things I like to think.) It can be grueling, solitary work, and though not financially rewarding, it is very emotionally rewarding.

Time for this vampire to retire, I'm about four hours past my bedtime. Thanks again for the nice compliments.
Somebody asked for a current picture to prove I'm still alive. Taken a...
Somebody asked for a current picture to prove I'm still alive. Taken at Bonneville, Utah.
Credit: The Fist

The Fist

Trad climber
May 24, 2013 - 12:17pm PT
P.S. Damn, thanks Guy! And by the way thanks for doing "Clean and Jerk" and "Sail Away" with me all those years ago. A very confidence boosting day for me.

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
May 24, 2013 - 12:20pm PT
I always liked climbing with you....

just out for fun and adventure

good times.


Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
May 24, 2013 - 12:29pm PT

Nice storytelling, Fist. It's nice when someone can come and write without a lot of self censorship.

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
May 24, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
That was indeed a good read, sort of felt like I was reading a short story of those Cali yesteryears written by Hunter Thompson...good stuff!
The Fist

Trad climber
Jun 2, 2013 - 05:14am PT
I removed the rant, it wasn't appropriate to the thread, which is now at end. Strange that loud mouth kid stuck in anyone's memory. I'm haunted by my past and the things that don't go away. When I was in group home I accidentally tongue-kissed this girl Lisa Miller and she got kind of hysterical about it. We found out later that she'd been getting off with her roommate in their shared room in the girls unit they were in which was called Taper 2. Her dad got out of prison or reappeared from wherever and pulled her out of the place a few months after that. About four months later my houseparent pulled me aside one afternoon to tell me that she'd been murdered up in Hollywood. He told me that she was living with her dad in an apartment, and one day while her dad was in the shower a pimp knocked on the door and tried to get her to turn tricks. She wouldn't go with him and he stabbed her through the temple with a knife.

Well, you grow up and learn that pimps don't go knocking door to door turning out girls, there are plenty of them arriving from everywhere looking for stardom, thrills, whatever. The good looking ones without mental acuity end up in porn if they're lucky. If a girl is attractive and smart she'll end up working escort. They end up tricking for a pimp if they're not lucky, and pimps are evil.

Working the track in Hollywood you can try to be an independent, but any pimp finds a girl who doesn't have a pimps "protection" on his turf and catches hold of the girl the first offense is a pistol whipping that shatters the girls nose (sometimes more) and renders her unable to work for the three weeks it takes her face to heal. If he catches her again he'll have his girls kidnap her and he'll insert a heated coat hanger in her vagina which will put her out of work for months. A third "violation" and the girl disappears. That's how it was in the seventies when all of Sunset Boulevard was turf owned by powerful pimps who drove around in garish Excalibers or Rolls Royces, wore bright green or maroon leisure suits and had platforms six inches high on their feet. They were quite a sight, like a bunch of menacing peacocks. They're all gone now, mainly due to the crack epidemic which really changed the face of LA in the early eighties. Nowadays pimps drive high-end BMWs, wear track suits and baseball caps. No class at all, but I digress. I think about that girl a few times a month. She'll just pop into my head and I'm left wondering if anyone thinks about her anymore? If her father's still alive how often does he miss her and what she could have been? I'll post my climbing stories as I find the time to get to them, if ever...
Wobbling up the flake on Turlock ca. 1978.
Wobbling up the flake on Turlock ca. 1978.
Credit: The Fist
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Jun 2, 2013 - 12:58pm PT
Fist, great bitd stories, I love your style and art!

Carry on.

edit: Oh yeah, also loved your political thread aka "the rant.".

Big Wall climber
South of the Mason Dixon line
Aug 27, 2013 - 04:17am PT
Greg, someone you would always remember if you ever met him. Greg seemed to know everyone and was quite the conversationalist. He introduced me to Rick Sylvester and I think Warren Harding.

One point Greg made I would like to clarify: I always tied off to each and every bolt hanger at a belay.

He and I climbed West Face Leaning Tower! It may not have been the best time of year to climb, but we had a bloody/good time. Bloody being the bad part where Greg's glasses prevented him from seeing, causing him to gash his "mitt" repeatedly when cleaning the pitons I placed. We did have some good times as well, but they were overshadowed by the gore and blood lost from his big right hand. Anyway cheers to you Greg!

The Fist

Trad climber
Sep 1, 2013 - 09:01am PT
It was great to hear from you on fakebook Crack 'N Up the Snake Charmer. I'd really like to re-post your fakebook reply to my query about your snake bite if you'd let me-- it's amazing, hilarious and nothing less.

Rick Sylvester. I've got a great epic tale called I think 'Climbing with Slick' about our leisurely two-day ascent of the Grade IV Geek tower Center Route. Slick Rylvester arrived at our rendezvous in the Camp 4 parking lot a little late, and we finally left to do the climb around 1:30pm, the second week of November, finally arriving at the base of the route with less than three hours of light to climb six pitches to the top of the tower, then rappel down the right side route. You can imagine the fun we had in that leaning, muddy gully.

I'm going to have to agree to disagree with you about the anchor thing. You'd already done Half Dome direct Route with Will Ox and Robert 'Da Simpleton' Carrera. and possibly the Column South Face, plus Mud Flats solo and the 130 degree LeConte Boulder aid crack, both all Crack 'N 'Up ascents, so I had a lot of respect for you.

I on the other hand, had done Mud flats with copperheads and a belayer, while my big wall experience consisted of drinking a case of Budweiser a day and listening to Darryl Hatton's many classic hair-raising tales of actually climbing big walls, many of them early third and fourth ascent repeats, including the second ascent of the P.O. Wall, while he put away two cases of Coors in one sitting. I considered him my mentor in The Valley.

Darryl told me I'd been crazy to do Mud Flats, which at the time was grade A4 and had 40' ground fall potential. It boosted my confidence enormously, and while drinking he taught me big wall do's and dont's, mainly delivered in the form of a seemingly endless supply of gruesome stories.

When you and I did The Tower together and I jugged up to you at the first anchor, your anchor 'system' nearly caused me to launch a giant brown submarine right there in my pants. I swear it was exactly as my cartoon shows. I gave you hell, and each subsequent anchor was mainly well-arranged except for one.

At the top of the fifth and sixth pitches which you lead as one initiating an unbelievable bout of MMA rope drag, you then rapped off without waiting for me to clean as you were in a hurry because it was almost dark (fair enough.) Arriving at the anchor I couldn't believe that in your rush you'd rappelled from a 3/4" bolt which was halfway pulled out, backed up by an ancient 1/4" bolt three feet up the start of the next pitch, a piece of dessicated (sun baked to the point where the yellow color was bleached bone-white) flat 1" tape, tied in an overhand knot directly through the hanger above, it ran down to where it was clipped into your single 'biner with another overhand knot if I recall. No freakin' way,I thought as I arrived at the station at last light. I took the time to clip the good bolt four inches below the 3/4" and equalize the lot, which made for a fun lights out rappel in 'this is what its like to be blind' conditions. I had to make certain my set-up was right by feel, before I launched down towards the sound of your voice, the entire time thinking Thank God I won't see the ground rushing up to kill me if the anchor fails. At least you'd used a screw-gate 'biner.

We had exactly one-quarter pint of water for our final day, and I allowed myself one small sip before breaking out my dinner. I'd been in a mad rush to secure my rations at The Lodge Gift Shop before our ride left. All I could think to get was a packet of Fig Newtons, which normally I like. Dehydrated as I was I may have as well have brought a bag of sawdust. You'd brought two cans of creamed spinach, which you enjoyed cold. Popeye much? Hungry and thirsty as I was it never crossed my mind to ask you for a bite, or slurp as the case may have been.

Finally, I didn't bash my Mitt cleaning your pins. I'm left handed, and cleaned good pin placements using my daisy chain clipped into the pin with a cleaner 'biner, outward force supplied with body weight.

The reason why I was covered in dried blood on the third day of our ascent, was because while cleaning pitch 5 in 110 degree heat my nose started pouring blood. After several fruitless minutes trying to arrest the flow by tilting my head back, I elected to let 'er run while I cleaned so I wouldn't be rappelling down to Ahwahnee Ledge in the dark, to no avail. I have to admit it was mesmerizing watching the drops run off me and disappear into space. Eventually I ran out of enough blood to maintain necessary pressure to feed the leak, and my nose stopped bleeding.

I was pretty weak the next morning, and when you insisted on leading all four remaining pitches I readily agreed, a feat you managed in about ten minutes using Crack 'N Ups, only setting gear every thirty or forty feet to prevent a long whipper.

You were the worldwide master of that piece of equipment, and Bill Forrest should have subsidized your trips to Yosemite.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 2, 2013 - 05:21pm PT
Crack n up's nice!
nice read greg!
where is mud flats?

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 2, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
I've lead such a boring life. Thank god I have SuperTopo.

But I will say, Greg, you're waaay under-charging! Those are late 70's prices, if that!
You're also in four galleries too many in Reno. Have you heard of the capitalist notion of
Supply and demand? Those gallery owners are playin' you like a cheap fiddle.

Social climber
1187 Hunterwasser
Sep 2, 2013 - 11:16pm PT
This is why I like this place. Who needs to buy a lame rag when we get this shizznit.

Trad climber
Jul 21, 2015 - 08:25am PT
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