Jim McCarthy Welcome and Appreciation Thread


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John Ely

Trad climber
Aug 29, 2014 - 09:21pm PT
Hi JM appreciators. Thanks for corrections and data. Here is an updated list of JM's CV. Consult this before wasting your time correcting the original. Still looking for more items....to add to this eye-popping list...

Underneath it is a list of some pictures for whom I've more or less gotten permission to post into Wikipedia of folks doing his climbs for the 'gallery' section. Anyone who wants/has a good hero shot of self/others, or a 'historical' shot is welcome to post it below or just send me the picture and the permission (JohnDEly@gmail.com). (If your pictures are floating around, I'm likely to irritatingly ask privately, so please just post or send me in advance. I especially want the one of Bragg on CoEx, Bein with helmet and rrs on Matinee 2nd pitch, and the North American Climber Rock and Snow ad of someone on 'MF', though I think this is actually 'Birdie Party.' - which is also fine as long as someone can confirm that JM climbed this at some point w/out aid even if Bein did the FFA. Especially desired: sky top pics so one can quietly winge about restrictions.) (In the wikipedia article on Harding, I just posted my own pictures of the various walls, but in this case, I think a gallery of action/hero shots of the climbs in question will be more illustrative. Viz, people having a good and/or wild time redoing what JM did in the good old days.)

1954 Jimís Gem (FA), with Stan Gross
1954 Gory Thumb (FA), with Dave Bernays
1954 No Glow (FA), with Tim Mutch
1954 Co-op (5.9 PG13, FA), with Dave Bernays
1954 Fillipina (FA), with Stan Gross
1955 Le Teton (FA), with Stan Gross
1955 McCarthy West Face (III, 5.8 A3, FA), Devilís Tower, Wyoming, with John Rupley
1955 Try Again (FA), with Hans Kraus; 1967 (5.10, FFA), with Richard Goldstone and Ray Schrag
1955 Double Crack (FA), with Hans Kraus; 1958 (5.8, FFA), with Jim Geiser
1956 Alley Oop (5.7 & shoulder stand, FA), with Hans Kraus and Stan Gross
1956 Cakewalk (5.7, FA), with Hans Kraus
1956 East Face, Middle Howser Tower, Bugaboos, Canada (III, 5.7, FA), with John Rupley
1956 Kraus-McCarthy Route, Snowpatch Spire, Bugaboos, Canada (IV, 5.9, FA), with John Rupley
1957 Yellow Belly (5.8+, FA)
1957 Fat Stick (5.8, FA), with Hans Kraus
1957 Directississima (FA), with Hans Kraus and John Rupley
1957 Pas de Deux (FA), with Jack Hanson
1957 Oblique Twique (5.8+, FFA)
1957 McCarthyís North Face (III, 5.7 A2, FA), Devilís Tower, Wyoming, with John Rupley
1958 Foops (FA)
1958 Katzenjammer (5.7, FA), with Jack Hanson
1958 Birdland (5.9, FA)
1958 Ventre de Boeuf (FA), with Claude Lavallee and Jim Andress
1958 Blistered Toe (5.7, FA), with John Wharton
1958 Snookyís Return (5.8, FA), with Dave Craft
1959 Drunkardís Delight (5.8-, FA), with Jim Andress
1959 Never Never Land (FA), with Art Gran and Dave Craft; (5.10, FFA), with George Hurley
1959 Turdland (FA), with Jack Hansen
1959 Birdie Party (FA), with Doug Tompkins
1958 Roseland (FA), with Hans Kraus; 1960 (5.9, FFA)
1960 Airy Aria (5.8, FFA)
1960 Landís End (5.9, FA), with Art Gran
1960 Absurdland (5.8, FA), with George Blume
1960 MF (5.9, FA), with Claude Suhl and Roman Sadowy
1960 Apoplexy (5.9, FA)
1960 Farewell to Arms (5.8, FA), with Al DeMaria
1960 No Escape Buttress (IV, 5.9), Mt. Moran, Tetons, Wyoming, with Yvon Chouinard and Dave Dornan
1961 Bonnie's Roof (5.9, FFA), with Richard Williams
1961 Retribution (5.10, FFA)
1961 Nosedive (5.10, FFA)
1961 Baskerville Terrace (5.7, FFA)
1961 Tough Shift (5.10, FA), with Ants Leemets
1961 Westward Ha! (5.7, FA), with Harry Daley and Hans Kraus
1962 Ape Call (FA), with Jim Andress and Ants Leemets
1962 Broken Sling (5.8+, FA)
1962 Black and White, Weir Cliff, Quebec (5.10+), with Claude Lavallee
1962 Co-Existence (FA), with John Hudson and others; 1967 (5.10, FFA), with Richard Goldstone
1962 New Frontier (FA), with Ants Leemets
1963 Sound and Fury (5.8, FA), with Richard Williams
1963 Groovy (5.8+, FA), with Jane and Bob Culp
1963 Grand Central (5.9, FFA)
1963 Matinee (5.10, FA), with John Hudson
1963 Raunchy (5.8, FA), with Bill Gouldner
1963 Beyond the Fringe (5.9X, FFA), with Doug Tompkins
1963 Directissima (5.9. FFA)
1963 Commando Rave (5.9, FA), with John Hudson
1963 South East Face Original Route (VI, 5.8A4, FA), Mt. Proboscis, Cirque of the Unclimbables, Nahanni National Park Preserve, Canada, with Layton Kor, Royal Robbins and Richard McCraken
1963 The Diagonal (V, 5.9 A5), Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado, with Layton Kor and Tex Bossier
1964 Sling Time (FA), with Richard Williams
1964 Frustration Syndrome (5.10, FA), with Richard Williams and John Reppy
1965 Transcontinental Freeway (5.10, FFA)
1965 Lito and the Swan (5.9 PG-R, FA), with Lito Tejada-Flores
1965 Mac-Reppy (FA), with John Reppy
1966 Eastertime Too (5.8, FA), with Richard Williams and Don Hudson
1966 Men at Arms (5.10, FA) with Richard Williams
1966 Grim-Ace Face (5.9+, FA), with Royal and Liz Robbins
1966 Nemesis (5.10 R, FA), with Richard Williams, John Hudson, Phil Jacobus and Steve Larson
1966 Tetonís ĎThe Grand Traverseí North to South from Teewinot to Nez Perce (V, 5.8+), Teton Range, Wyoming, with Lito Tejada-Flores
1967 Balrog (5.10, FA), with Richard Goldstone
1967 Son of Bitchy Virgin (5.6R, FA), with John Reppy
1967 Psychosis (5.9+, FFA), Pok-o-moonshine, Adirondacks, NY, with Richard Goldstone
1967 Fastest Gun Off-width Variation (5.10, FA), Pok-o-moonshine, Adirondacks, NY
1968 Lotus Flower Tower (VI, 5.8 A2), Cirque of the Unclimbables, Nahanni National Park Preserve, Canada, with Tom Frost and Sandy Bill
1969 Proctoscope (5.9+, FA), with Richard Goldstone
1970 Pinnacle Gully, Mt Washington, New Hampshire (FA with front points)
1971 Something Boring (5.9X, FA), with friends

[name of climb followed by the captions for photographs with source approval]
Broken Sling - Jeff Mekolites has worked though the hard part of the technical and relentless 'Broken Sling', photo Greg Allen
Birdland - Climber Hovhannes Karagozian is 'stemming' his legs after finishing up the continuously difficult first pitch of the 'Birdland' face, photo Gina Musilli
Lotus Flower Tower and Mt. Proboscis - A panorama of the Cirque of the Unclimbables showing Mt. Proboscis and Lotus Flower, photo Mike Anderson
Double Crack - Climber Roger Benton has gotten just beyond the 'alcove' rest of the consistently overhanging 'Double Crack', photo Martha Busko
Drunkardís Delight - A climber has passed the 'don't slip' ankle-breaking beginning of 'Drunkard's Delight', photo John Hoffman
Drunkardís Delight 2 - A climber on the 'easy' meter+ roof on the second portion of 'Drunkard's Delight', photo Jason Halladay
Son of Bitchy Virgin - A climber on the dangerous portion of 'Son of Bitchy Virgin' above the hardest section, photo Gottlieb Duwan
Roseland- A climber has finished the attention-getting corner of 'Roseland' before the real difficulties begin, photo Guy H[xx]
Co-Existence - Darek Kuczynski fully focused on the crux of 'Co-Existence', photo Denis O'Connor
Snookyís Return - A climber starts up the hard portion of 'Snooky's Return', photo Denis O'Connor
Ape Call- A climber surmounting the 'roof' of ĎApe Callí, photo Denis O'Connor. Traditionally one is supposed to dangle ones feet and holler like an ape after reaching for the 'lip' of the overhang.
Transcontinental Freeway - Climber Ivan Rezucha replacing a piton in the middle of the demanding and beautiful 'Transcontinental Freeway', photo Rick Perch, 1971

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Aug 29, 2014 - 11:03pm PT
Ha! I forgot about Psychosis. Jim led it, pausing in mid-layback to place a bong (Jim might have been the best laybacker I ever met). I struggled up it on a top rope and thought it solid 5.10, but Jim insisted it was only 5.9. This massive sandbagging distorted Adirondack grading for years to come, since folks kept comparing routes to Psychosis, graded at 5.9, to decide whether those routes were 5.9 or 5.10. I hereby proclaim my innocence.

A bit of trivia: Yellow Belly was, I think, the hardest climb in the Gunks when done free in 1957. Graded 5.8+, but it would have been 5.9 at, say, Tahquitz in 1957.

I especially want the one of Bragg on CoEx, Bein with helmet and rrs on Matinee 2nd pitch

Those are mine, you are welcome to them.

the North American Climber Rock and Snow ad of someone on 'MF', though I think this is actually 'Birdie Party.' - which is also fine as long as someone can confirm that JM climbed this at some point w/out aid even if Bein did the FFA.

Could you point me to the Rock and Snow ad photo? I can probably settle the locale. As for climbing Birdie Party free, Jim did it many times after Kevin's (accidental!) FFA.

Jim climbed Absurdland with George Bloom (not Blume).

The Kraus-McCarthy Route is on the West Face of Snowpatch Spire.

The Mac-Reppy ascent was a free ascent and was 5.8 at the time. A chockstone in a crack came out later and made it 5.11.

There's a great picture of Jim (on the left) and Dave Bernays on the top of Devil's Tower in 1954 on John Rupley's website, http://climbaz.com/interviews/mccarthy.html.

John Ely

Trad climber
Aug 30, 2014 - 07:57am PT
The 'ratings debate' circa 1977

Not surprised to hear about how the Gunks powerhouse kept the 'dacks 'honest.' There are remarks in the early publications about how no one had the gunks had yet done a 'hard' [UIAA] six but only easy and mediums. The idea of an absolute ratings limit still makes sense for aid climbing, but it seems that reports from Barber about the eminently sensible Australians would never take hold in the US, where we got stuck with lots of letters as well.

North American Climber, Winter '77, p20
North American Climber, Winter '77, p20
Credit: John Ely
NAC,Winter '77, p 21
NAC,Winter '77, p 21
Credit: John Ely

Note whose climbs form the framework of definition determinations!

By the way, the urban dictionary derives 'sandbag' from the first star wars movie and the whomp rats. Circa '77. Anyone recall an earlier use by climbers? I assume it must predate G Lucas.

Mountain climber
Boulder, CO
Dec 7, 2017 - 03:10pm PT

Chiming into this discussion a bit "late"--Jim was (and is) one of the very best. His influence on multiple generations of American climbers was possibly a more significant legacy than his first ascent route list! I hope, Jim, you are enjoying your current life in Ridgeway! Roy K
Mighty Hiker

Outside the Asylum
Dec 7, 2017 - 03:35pm PT
The 1971 Interior Ranges guidebook says that the route on Snowpatch in 1956 was by Kraus, McCarthy and Rupley, referring to the American Alpine Journal. The much later Bugaboos-specific guidebooks just say Kraus and McCarthy.

When we did it in the 1970s, everyone called it the "Kraus, McCarthy Rupley".

I only mention this because John Rupley was at the memorial for Fred Beckey at The Mountaineers' in Seattle last Sunday, and spoke. John must be over 90, but seemed very fit.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Dec 7, 2017 - 03:44pm PT
Jim got married this past September at the tender age of 84 to Ellen Latham, a lovely woman who is wicked smart and climbed Bidalveil Falls (WI 5) last winter. Iíd say heís doing fine!
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