Best Supertopo posts.


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mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 3, 2014 - 08:15pm PT
This is probably my favorite as it seems to have a lot of parallels with my life even though I grew up in a much different place and have done many different things in many different areas a lot of the feelings are the same.

Anyway this is probably my favorite which was written by Pate:

Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 25, 2009 - 01:45pm PT

All this talk of sandstone and desert granite gets my hands sweating and my mind churning again..... I've been thinking about climbing non-stop for a week now. I got so bogged down in clients and top roping the same crags I lost perspective on that real feeling of freedom and brotherhood. Same thing happened with skiing, and the Mountains in general.

I realize now how lucky I was to have banged around from Colorado to Utah to Arizona to California, and looked past my feet down the snaking rope hundreds of times to marvel at the places that my courage, heart and strength had gotten me to. In this temporary new life I am living I am constantly in contact with people who will never ever know what it really means to be free. To not live by another person's agenda. To live by the mantra that beaten paths are for beaten men. That sounds so cliche, but the choices we made in life have led us to a place in spirituality that so few can ever find.

When I tell the stories of the things I have done, there seems to be one question that comes to most of my listeners minds, "where were you working then?" They can't understand that the work has nothing to do with the life. Instead of living so that we can work, we work just enough so that we can live. My stories seem almost fantastical when I tell them, and I realize that the story never ends, that there is always the before and the after and all of these incredible experiences are tied together in one long timeline. We leave our marks literally in blood and sweat and tears in improbable high places, down long rivers, in lonely deserts.

The road I have chosen has had so many bumps and pitfalls, but when I look back I can find so many moments of clarity in seemingly simple moments. A fox disappearing down a vertical gully on Thumb Butte, an owl bursting from an offwidth at the Monitor Dome, a rattle snake sunning on a ledge 300 feet up in Zion. Fumbling out hand rolled cigarettes and steaming black coffee on frosty J Tree mornings. Coyotes sniffing my head through a tent wall. Powder so fine that it chokes you, linked turns further than your legs can carry. Laughing hysterically at the ridiculousness of eating frozen cookie dough from a tube, crammed into a three person snow cave with 5 people on top of a stormy 14er. A far reaching cast across flooded river to a trout nose that was barely perceptible. I have these things stored in my mind, I am a collector of views and experiences.

I know that there is a world that I fit in, and belong to, and that belongs to me. The things I have done may have led me back to my parents house in Boston, but my loop has been so long and intricate, I feel like I have lived lifetimes compared to the people who surround me now. An old line constantly comes to mind these days "my best vacation is your worst nightmare." That is us and them. What we see as a commonplace challenge, gasless, rideless, homeless, jobless, moneyless, others see as the end of days. Is it true that you can never be set completely free until you have experienced these things?

I'm never going to change brother, I'm always going to be a vagabond, the same person inside, and offer the same unbreakable loyalty and love to my true friends. I am struggling with how to be a parent and still live the true life, walk the righteous path. I thought that I needed to ween myself away from a never never land, but bro THIS PLACE is never never land. I'm not sure where I'm going, but I am sure that being back in touch with you has clarified a lot of important things to me. Be true to your heart and embrace yourself for who you are and what you have done. People may look at me and where I am right now and think how I have nothing, but I, at 39, have lived lives and lives already, had thousands of "once in a lifetime" moments. and I am going to have thousands more.

I'm feeling all contemplative because I am sitting in the lounge in a Sheraton in Portsmouth NH while Jen has a job interview for some development job. She went off this morning looking like a million bucks, after we had an incredible night together, and in the wake I am realizing how different I must seem to her. I love her so much, I know her so well, have wanted her for so long, but she is incapable of understanding the roads that I have been down. I keep trying to tell her that to me anything is possible, if you let go you will not fall, you will fly, and I don't think she can get her mind around it. It is a new situation for me in life to be dealing with people who can not see the magic of the free fall journey, who can not rest easy in the fact that on a grand scale it all just kind of works out. All these things have been swirling around in my head for a few weeks now......just need to flow this stream your way. I know you understand. Random but true at heart, always.

Love from your brother,

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Sep 3, 2014 - 09:00pm PT
That's a good one.

Sep 3, 2014 - 09:33pm PT
a couple of my faves:

DMT's Alter egos of internet big wallers?

and yo's clarification of the lowe's

it's too bad a bunch of the photos have been lost...
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Sep 3, 2014 - 09:33pm PT

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 3, 2014 - 09:51pm PT
That was a good one!

It is a new situation for me in life to be dealing with people who can not see the magic of the free fall journey

i don't think we would've goten to Mars with a free fall journey?

But i know good as any, It SUCKS to grow-up!

Giving ur life up to destiny only makes you a pin-ball.

Thats my best ST post.

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
Sep 3, 2014 - 10:11pm PT
Eventually, there's that point where you realize that you can see beyond the headlamp beam, and that it is no longer yesterday.

Just bumped the Lurking Fear TR that contained this quote the other day. By far one of the most compelling parts of a post.

And if we are considering a Trip Report as a "post" then Half Dome with my Autistic Son was by far the best post I've ever encountered

Boulder climber
Sep 3, 2014 - 11:05pm PT
The ones we'll never know cuz some poor bastards got banned for no good reason.

Sport climber
Sep 4, 2014 - 08:48am PT

Superb writing and a great post I think Jen will appreciate...

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
Sep 4, 2014 - 08:55am PT
Wow. I had never seen that post by Pate. Magnificent!

Gym climber
Sep 4, 2014 - 10:16am PT
That Leaning Tower TR, where they brought only beer instead of water, was a pretty good one!

Some of Ouch!'s, fer sure.

So, are we talking single posts, or entire threads? This will take some diggin'...

Sep 4, 2014 - 10:38am PT


Boulder climber
Sylvan Grove

Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 8, 2012 - 07:31pm PT
I left a 1" tubular nylon sling hanging right at the start of Cathedral Peak on the 5th. It was blue with some slight fading and has red tape and sharpie star on the sewn area. The doods behind us said they did not take it, but one of the Bros from Salinas was pretty rude and unhelpful, not only about the sling but when we got off root and asked for them to toss us a line. They were dicks but not thieves me thinks. Anyway, it would be super cool if someone that took this sling would send it back to me for some carma and all that. Taking gear that is not yours is pretty much not cool!!!!!!!!!!!! And yeah, I did go back and look for it and it was stolen.

Oakland, CA
Sep 4, 2014 - 11:06am PT
J Tree wrote:
And if we are considering a Trip Report as a "post" then Half Dome with my Autistic Son was by far the best post I've ever encountered

Agree. Mouse from Merced (is that the handle?) has a great response to the OP in that thread as well. So much heart in that TR, and the responses engendered.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 4, 2014 - 11:17am PT
This was meant as a "single post" thread, as the "best thread" thread has been done many times on here. So TR would definitely be in the mix as it is a very hard worked single post. I also love the Half Dome with my Autistic Son is one of the best as I hove worked with children and adults with disabilities my whole adult life(not to mention I probably have a few of my own OCD, ADHD, ect.)

Also many of Jim Herson's are great. Haven't seen him on here for a while. I can omnly imagine what's next for them: Cerro Torre with my kids. They are so bad to the bone.

If you can copy the text and post it here. May be hard for a TR though I guess.

Sep 4, 2014 - 11:20am PT
That Leaning Tower TR, where they brought only beer instead of water, was a pretty good one!

Leaning Tower TR:

I liked the story where Dingus ate goat for dinner:

Both of these "best supertopo posts" appeared previously on rec.climbing!search/x/rec.climbing/1xpTjrIouy4/DLvIsqwvPCkJ!search/x/rec.climbing/6GTIyQTqKIE/1LrxEZDgh5YJ

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Sep 4, 2014 - 12:08pm PT
oh, the fart and puke story is right up there as an all-time contender for comic relief

Boulder climber
Sep 4, 2014 - 03:52pm PT
For excellence, almost any post by Rich Goldstone or Ed Hartouni !

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Sep 4, 2014 - 04:11pm PT
jgill, you're being too modest to exclude your own. Also, any Micronut trip report is unfailingly excellent.


Sep 4, 2014 - 04:23pm PT
ewto, from '06


Well, it's more like "Eric trying to burn his house down AND kill himself, AND kill his kids, dogs, lizard, and goldfish" but that title was too long.

So I get a new cheapo backpacking stove off Ebay a while back. Last night at about 8:03 p.m. I think to myself, "Self, you really oughta try that stove out before you head into the woods with it this weekend." So I grab the stove, and head upstairs to the attic (where the fuel canisters are ... with my backpack.) Now I know you are thinking, "He's not dumb enough to light a stove in his attic. Not Eric!" (At least humor me and tell me that's what you are thinking.) I hook the stove up to the gas canister, briefly think, "I should do this outside." Then my thoughts rapidly switch to, "Eww... it's chilly and damp outside, and I'd have to go down the stairs again..." Then I think, "This really isn't safe." Again, the dude on my other shoulder says something like, "Oh screw it! Light the damn thing!" I should mention here for those who don't know: My attic is the fourth level up in my house.

So I open the valve a teeny bit, turning the knob in the "anti-clockwise position" as the chinglish instructions said , hit the nifty piezo igniter, and the stove fires right up. Nice soft purring blue flame. I let it heat up for thirty seconds or so, then turn it up a little... it's roaring like a jet engine... great flame, lots of heat. I'm impressed. So I think, "I wonder what it's like turned all the way up?" Well, there's only one way to find out. I turn it up, and up, and up until suddenly there is a distinct POP and the little blue flame turns into a three foot tall yellow flame. In my attic. Nipping at the insulation. Trying to remedy the situation, I calmly started turning the knob in the "pro-clockwise directions."

Suddenly there is a second POP, followed by a whooshing roaring sound. Now there are two blue and yellow flames shooting out sideways from between the stove and the gas canister like a two headed propane torch, and the entire stove, not just the burner, is enveloped in a large yellow flame. No longer even remotely calm, I actually tried blowing the stove out with my mouth. You'll be shocked, I'm sure, to know that this tactic didn't work.

I turn and run down the stairs, past my sons who are watching from my bedroom and are just standing there like stone statues with HUGE eyes and gaping mouths... I think they were wetting themselves. I screamed, "Out of the way!" and started running down the first set of stairs, three foot yellow and blue plume trailing behind me and burning all the hair off my knuckles and hand. I hear one boy start screaming "Fire! Fire! It's a fire!" Thanks, Einstein. I yell for the boys to get away from me and not follow me, thinking that at any second, this canister is going to turn in to a homemade hand grenade. I get to the front door, now with my hand AND arm feeling kinda burnt, and trailing the scent of burning flesh and hair throughout the house, I grab the front door... it's locked.

See ... there's this project I've been putting off. It just so happens that in certain weather conditions (Say, like, when it's chilly and damp outside) the door swells or shrinks (or the house swells or shrinks, I haven't really taken the time to measure it) and the door becomes nearly impossible to unlock with one hand. So there I was, looking like Richard Pryor on a bad freebase outing with a ticking time bomb of a fuel canister burning the hell out of my right hand, and stupid door that stupid me hasn't fixed firmly locked in my left hand. I think I already mentioned my lack of calmness, but I'll re-emphasis: I was in a full blown panic at this point. I yelled "Fire! Fire! It's a fire!" (Thanks, Einstein) and was about to wet myself. Just as I'm beginning to think that at any second there would be a third, much louder POP followed by a lack of sensation in my right extremities, the lock gives and I yank the door open.

Now remember, dear reader, it's just after 8:00 p.m. on beggars night. Trick or treat has been over for mere minutes. I open the door and hurl the fully engulfed contraption with all of my might like an Irish Protestant with a Molotov cocktail. (Which is an amount of force somewhere between "Palestinian ten year old with rock" and "Irina, the Russian shot put champion with shot put thingy.") The burning stove and canister arc through the dark Halloween sky, flames trailing behind like the tail of a comet. The stove hits the ground, bounces three or four times into the street, and the flames go out. Shocked three foot tall Goblins, X-men, and Power Rangers are looking on from all directions... parent's mumbling something about "White trash" and "rednecks."

One of the stove's pot stabilizing arms was slightly bent, but other than that, it's no worse for wear. (I, of course, decided to re-light it once it had cooled off and everything seemed to work fine.) So my pro-tester review of the "Everst ES-102 backpacking stove" is very high marks on durability and heat output, and not so high marks on the flame control mechanism.

I'll let you know how it does on my trip.

(Oh, BTW... my wife thinks the funny smell in the house was just from a cheap tea-lite candle I bought at the dollar store. So ... Shhhhhhhhhhh!)


Although there are many, this was always a favorite of mine.

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Sep 4, 2014 - 04:35pm PT
Stupid Americans!

Makes me laugh every time.

Bishop, CA
Sep 4, 2014 - 04:55pm PT
Heart-wrenching and beautiful - RIP amazing spirit:
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