David Brower? What do you know?

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Messages 1 - 67 of total 67 in this topic
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
St. Louis
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 8, 2006 - 10:47pm PT
I’m currently reading a fun book entitled Condor: To the brink and back – the life and times of one giant bird by John Nielsen (Harper Collins, 2006). In this book, David Brower is repeatedly mentioned. Seems he (among other things) worked for the Sierra Club, was the Director of the Sierra Club, fought victoriously against several dams proposed in the Colorado River Basin (including one to flood part of Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument), and was very active in the Condor wars.

What primarily caught my attention is that David Brower mentioned his love of Condors began in the 1930s when he was a “daring and extremely accomplished rock climber” (page16). I feel badly that I’ve not heard of this individual before. What do you guys know about this individual climbing or otherwise? I believe he would be 94 years old today (if he hasn’t passed yet).

Also, the book mentions several professional rock climbers who helped during the Condor Wars. For example, several climbed in the Grand Canyon with an Ornithologist named Emslie. Anyone know more about this?

Thanks in advance!
hossjulia

Trad climber
Eastside
Oct 8, 2006 - 10:53pm PT
If you hav'nt already, Google his name. Then read on, for days.

You must be really young
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
St. Louis
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 8, 2006 - 10:56pm PT
I mean, I see some of his stuff. But given the folks here, I thought there would be some interesting stories about him, climbing, and the Condor Wars.

And I'm not sure what "young" is, but I doubt I can pass for that! More an artifact of growing up in the flatlands where climbing information is non-existant (i.e., Houston).
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Oct 8, 2006 - 11:17pm PT
You really do owe yourself an extensive google on this one; but that is going to be mostly the ecological stuff; Founder, Friends of the Earth, Grand pooba of the Sierra Club, subject of a John Mcphee book, Author in his own right, etc etc,

I met him at Indian rock in Berkeley when I was 19 or 20 (he was in his sixties), "This guy did the second ascent of the Durrance on Devil's tower" (which we had just done)my friend said. This old guy? I thought. (apparently he was 16 at the time of the Deto climb, belaying was a new concept, sometimes ropes broke, etc etc) He also did an early (the first?) ascent of Shiprock and maybe placed the first bolt in North America, if I'm keeping any of this straight.

His last big Crusade was the attempt to clean up Lake Baikal, in Russia (said to contain 25% of the fresh water in the world!) a Climbing buddy of mine (and Engineer) Damon Williams,(and others as well) traveled there with him to work on that project. Perhaps STEELMONKEY can add something to that one.

I didn't even know about the Condor thing.

& BTW, I'm 50, definitely young.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Oct 8, 2006 - 11:30pm PT
I met him at least twice. The most memorable time was drinking whiskey with him at the Ahwahnee Bar. He told me that he had placed 63 pitons in his life and seemed to regret placing every one of them. He inspired me to do my best and try to climb clean on the walls I have done since. I have a picture of him climbing at Indian Rock in the 1930's somewhere and I will scan it when I find it.

Ken
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Oct 8, 2006 - 11:36pm PT
63 pitons!


He placed the first bolt in North America.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Oct 8, 2006 - 11:39pm PT
One thing I heard he did was fight vigorously about the routing to the Tioga Road, the one that goes up through T-Meadows.

I don't know all the details, but apparently the subject of Brower's fight was the routing of the road by Tenya Lake. He thought this was a gross mistake.

Imagine the canyon without 120 going through it. While there'd be a LOT less climbing in the Yosemite high country if the road didn't run by Poly Dome, Medlicot, DAFF, Fairview, etc; it would sure be something if the road didn't run by that beautiful lake.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Oct 8, 2006 - 11:46pm PT
He placed the first bolt in North America.


I wonder if it had a Leeper hanger.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 8, 2006 - 11:51pm PT
He was one of the most accomplished climbers in North America, and Yosemite, in the 1930s. When he died a few years ago, the New York Times obituary was about a half page - only about a paragraph of which had to do with climbing.

Much later, he was executive director of the Sierra Club. During the fight over damming on the Colorado River, the responsible government agency claimed one of the benefits was that it would enable boaters to better see rock art. Brower had the Sierra Club to take out a full page ad in things like the New York Times, stating that the cretins would flood the Sistine Chapel so people could get a better look at Michelangelo's frescoes. As a result, the club lost its 501(c)(3) status, and soon after Brower moved on.

In the 1990s, he stated that he regretted that the Sierra Club had phased out its climbing and mountain programs, given its roots.

Plus he did lots of other environmental stuff.

Read "Encounters with the Archdruid" by John McPhee. Excellently written, like everything from McPhee, and quite thoughtful. Though it says very little about his climbing.

Anders
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 9, 2006 - 12:48am PT
he had a very interesting eye for a line... some classic, some outright amazing...

Arrowhead Spire, South Arete 5.5 Yosemite Falls Upper, East Arrowhead Arete Area 1937 Dave Brower Richard Leonard
Castle Cliffs 4 Yosemite Falls Upper, East Yosemite Point Buttress 1940 Dave Brower Morgan Harris
Cathedral Chimney 5.7 Cathedral Rocks Higher Cathedral Rock 1936 Dave Brower Morgan Harris
Circular Staircase 5.8 Sentinel Rock 1940 Dave Brower Morgan Harris
Glacier Point Terrace 5.2 Glacier Point 1937 Dave Brower Morgan Harris
Glacier Point, East Face 5.6 Glacier Point Apron, East 1939 Dave Brower Raffi Bedayn Richard Leonard
Grizzly Peak, South Gully 5.5 A1 Half Dome 1938 Dave Brower Morgan Harris
Leaning Chimney 5.4 Cathedral Rocks Leaning Tower 1940 Dave Brower Ken Adam Morgan Harris Richard Leonard
Lost Brother, Regular Route 5.6 Sentinel Rock Lost Brother 1941 Dave Brower L. Bruce Meyer
Lower Brother, Southwest Arete, Left 5.6 Three Brothers Lower Brother 1937 Dave Brower Morgan Harris
Middle Brother, Southwest Arete, Right 5.7 Three Brothers Middle Brother 1941 Dave Brower Morgan Harris
Panorama Cliff 5.4 Upper Merced Canyon, South Panorama Cliff 1936 Dave Brower Morgan Harris
Rostrum, The, From the Notch 5.4 Lower Merced Canyon, South The Rostrum, West, Base 1941 Dave Brower Ken Adam Richard Leonard Rolf Pundt
Stanford Point, North Face Cathedral Rocks Leaning Tower, Fifi Buttress Area 1942 Dave Brower L. Bruce Meyer Morgan Harris Alan Hedden
Sunnyside Bench 5.2 Yosemite Falls Lower, East Sunnyside Bench, Left 1935 David Brower William Van Voorhis
Sunnyside Bench, Waterfall Route 5.7 A3 Yosemite Falls Lower, East Sunnyside Bench, Left 1935 Dave Brower William Van Voorhis
Yosemite Point Couloir 5.7 Yosemite Falls Upper, East Arrowhead Arete Area 1938 Dave Brower Morgan Harris Torcom Bedayan
cintune

climber
Penn's Woods
Oct 9, 2006 - 12:57am PT
One time I was with Brower in the back of a pickup truck, along with a live deer. Brower goes up to the deer and says, 'I'm David Brower! SAY IT!' Then he manipulates the deer's lips in such a way as to make it say, 'Davidbrower' ... It wasn't exactly like it, but it was pretty good for a deer!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Oct 9, 2006 - 12:58am PT
Some early first ascents at Pinnacles National Monument.

November of 1933...

Original Route- South Summit
Original Route- North Summit

Done with Hervey Voge and George Rockwood.

The next year April he did

North Finger - Regular Route with the same guys.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 9, 2006 - 01:03am PT
Wasn't the "first bolt" on Shiprock? At least allegedly? Somewhere I read that Brower always regretted that he was the first. Though I suspect he wasn't, depending on how you define "climbing" and "bolts". Half Dome in 1875 has to be in the running.

Brower also said he was one of the first in the environmental movement to have a sense of humour about it - he thought that it was a group that needed to lighten up a bit.

Anders
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Oct 9, 2006 - 01:06am PT
Brower's House of Smoke,...
cintune

climber
Penn's Woods
Oct 9, 2006 - 01:07am PT
Did I ever tell you about the time Brower took me out to go get a drink with him? We go off looking for a bar and we can't find one. Finally Brower takes me to a vacant lot and says, "Here we are." We sat there for a year and a half — until sure enough, someone constructs a bar around us. Well, the day they opened we ordered a shot, drank it, and then burned the place to the ground. Brower yelled over the roar of the flames, "Always leave things the way you found 'em!"
LuckyPink

Mountain climber
north bay today/someplace else tomorrow
Oct 9, 2006 - 01:16am PT
Yes, he placed the first bolt on Shiprock near 4 corners in the 50's, very circuitis route , I got to climb it 2 years ago with some locals. It's a closed area. I was into an historical climbing phase.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Oct 9, 2006 - 02:46am PT
not sure I would have posted climbing shiprock. meh.

On bolts and Brower, I seem to recall that the Shiprock use of bolts was the first time bolts had been used in North America. (see Pat Ament - Wizards of Rock pg. 40-42)
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
St. Louis
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 9, 2006 - 08:27am PT
Thanks, so far. These are great. Correct Riley, he was vehemently opposed to the capturing of the Condor to save them. He said he'd never live to see a captive raised bird released to the wild. Fortunately he was wrong as he did live to see this happening. From the book, he sounds like a very colorful character! I think that is why I was surprised I'd not heard some great climbing stories about him. I'm really enjoying them!

Oh, and Jaybro, I date men older than you so I suppose that makes me young too. Yay!
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Oct 9, 2006 - 10:04am PT
Only know the basics, like you Jaybro. But DSW lives within half a mile of me. I'll have to ask him about that next time I see him. I'll tell him ya said hi.

Someone said the FA of Shiprock was in the 50's, but it was way before that.

"David Brower was the first American climber to place a bolt. He installed a few of them at the Pinnacles in California before employing them on Shiprock in New Mexico in 1939. On that climb, he and his three companions used a handful of bolts for aid, and afterward they sheepishly referred to themselves as 'engineers'."

Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Oct 9, 2006 - 10:38am PT
I remember meeting him at Indian Rock too.

You know Jaybro, we must have met at some point over the years as we both climbed at Indian Rock and Mt Diablo around the same.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 9, 2006 - 11:06am PT
for some Condor pictures see the Closures at Pinnacles SuperTopo thread...

...I am of a divided mind regarding the capture-release program. I think I'm happy to see the beasts flying in California skies though, even if "the hand of man" is heavy on that script.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Oct 9, 2006 - 11:08am PT
George Anderson not only placed bolts on Half Dome in 1875 but, he also placed a bolt in 1877 on Mt. Starr King.

Ken
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Oct 9, 2006 - 02:32pm PT
Brower was "the Man"

Anyone with an interest in him should see the new documentary about him.

"Monumental"

On Sale for $16! I paid $25

http://firstrunfeatures.com/monumentaldvd.html

From the moment David Brower first laid eyes on the beauty of the Yosemite Valley, he fought to preserve the American wilderness for future generations.

The story of a true American legend, Monumental documents the life of this outdoorsman, filmmaker and environmental crusader, whose fiery dedication not only saved the Grand Canyon but also transformed the Sierra Club into a powerful national political force, giving birth to the modern environmental movement.

Seen through Brower’s own eyes - he was an accomplished filmmaker, and his stunning footage is included here - a 1956 raft trip down Glen Canyon, before its damming, evokes the awful sadness of losing public land we’ve failed to protect. And in period footage of Brower’s early rock-climbs (done in sneakers, with hemp ropes) and of his training in the 10th Mountain Division (who defeated the Nazis in the high Alps), Brower emerges as an unlikely and inspiring national hero.
Featuring music by The Beachwood Sparks, Fruit Bats, Yo La Tengo and more.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Oct 9, 2006 - 02:34pm PT
is the distinction that those were straight in spikes of some sort and the Shiprock placement was an actual expansion bolt?
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Oct 9, 2006 - 02:53pm PT
Jaybro,

Here is a picture of the 1877 bolt Anderson placed on Mt Starr King.


The bolts he placed on Half Dome were larger and had a smooth, bowed shank making it more of a compression bolt like the split shanks that used to be popular not too long ago.

Ken
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 9, 2006 - 03:45pm PT

David Brower on a first ascent in the Pinnacles, 1934 (probably the chimney between North and South Fingers).
Brian

Trad climber
Cali
Oct 9, 2006 - 04:33pm PT
Karl is right. "Monumental" (http://www.loteriafilms.org/press.html); is definitely work it.

Brian
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Oct 9, 2006 - 04:44pm PT
ken thx for the clarification.

can it be said that the Anderson bolts were merely 'anchor' bolts or is too much speculation involved there regarding how the bolts were used (aside from stepping on them for Aid).


Does anyone know if the old Anderson bolt holes are still visible on HD?
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Oct 9, 2006 - 05:37pm PT
Hmm? well, so much for the 'first to bolt', thing.

Clint, wrestling shoes? Proto Chuck Taylors?
cintune

climber
Penn's Woods
Oct 9, 2006 - 05:54pm PT
The movie Deliverance was based on Brower's experiences as a kindergarten teacher.
Festus

Mountain climber
San Diego
Oct 9, 2006 - 06:38pm PT
Another vote for "Encounters with the Archdruid"

Then read "The High Cost of Being David Brower" by Daniel Coyle. You can find it in an anthology titled "The Best of OUTSIDE, The First 20 Years"...which will make you even sadder about the state of that magazine now.

Then read "Climbing in North America" and "Cadillac Desert"

You'll like 'em all, if for different reasons.
maculated

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Oct 9, 2006 - 06:49pm PT
Hey Crimpie, if you get out here, I'll GIVE you my Dave Brower books.
Alpine Raven

Mountain climber
Eugene, OR
Oct 9, 2006 - 07:09pm PT
Here's a brief bio from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Brower
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Oct 9, 2006 - 07:26pm PT
Here is another Brower-Yosemite-Climbing tie-in:

He co-wrote the first published Yosemite Valley climbing guide. It was orginally published in the Sierra Club Bulletin in 1940, then published as a separate reprint later that same year. A Climber's Guide to the High Sierra, Part IV, Yosemite Valley

This, along with the other five parts of the High Seirra series (some of which Brower also Co-Authored), were updated by Brower and reprinted in 1949 into a single guide: A Climber's Guide to the Sierra Nevada: Preliminary Edition.

This guide served as the basis for Hervey Voge's High Sierra Guide first published in 1954.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Oct 9, 2006 - 11:22pm PT
Used to own a big fat biography of Brower that was published about the time of his passing (1990?) Donated it to the J. Paul Leonard Library at SF State U this summer along with all my late father's counter-culture books. But think that's where you should go for further details about the full particulars of his life. cf. Amazon.com.

Looked it up myself: For Earth's Sake: The Life and Times of David Brower. Actually, it's an autobiography by the man himself.
john hansen

climber
Oct 10, 2006 - 01:34am PT
There were some bolts put in on half dome in the late 1800's by George Anderson. First bolts in the vally.
john hansen

climber
Oct 10, 2006 - 01:40am PT
Alot of people dont know that he was instrumental in forming the 10th mountian Division in WW2. Just another amazing story in his life.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Oct 11, 2006 - 10:23am PT
Still, seems more worthwhile than trout pond seeding. Though uncomfortably similar.
JOEY.F

Social climber
sebastopol
Oct 11, 2006 - 09:48pm PT
A third for MONUMENTAL. As I own a video store, I got in early on this one-been out about a year. After reading this thread B4 work yesterday, put it on at the store. Hadn't seen it in a while. Extremely cool music to go with it (folky-hippie). A great quote that he and Ansel got along well because they saw in each other an ability to party. Great shots of gettin up Cathedral Peak in tennies w/hip belays. Lots more about the greater good he did for us all. 2 flappers up!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 10, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
Speaking of monumental.

Does anyone know if David had siblings or cousins who lived in Catheys Valley, California, on the road to Yosemite?

There is a gravestone marker in their cemetery for a James Brower, born in 1914.

David was born in 1912.
squishy

Mountain climber
Oct 10, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
Didn't they try to name Middle Pal after this guy but it was shot down?
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Oct 10, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
Callie, I'm really surprised you didn't know about him.

He could be called the inheritor of John Muir's mantle as leader of the environmental community, following Muir's passing. He added the element of technical climbing to the Muir legacy.

He was a zealot, as such people seem to be. He did not keep his thoughts private, and some people found him hard to take.

Generally, though, he was beloved within the environmental community.

That is, until his later years. There were fights within the Sierra Club in the few years before his passing---one having to do with overpopulation in the US, and Ca in particular, and the suggestion that the issue of immigration should be looked at in regard to that impact----and the reigning structure of the Sierra Club chose to treat him with great disrespect, as a doddering old fool. I could understand the disagreement with his position, but the attacking of him as a person was beyond disgusting. Brower resigned from the Board of Directors as a result. I think it really damaged his soul.

Particularly, inasmuch as he was it's first Executive Director, and the ED at the time, Carl Pope, was savage in his personal attacks. Brower was also largely responsible for making the SC a national organization. It has previously been mainly Californian.

I remember this controversy well, and was the reason I quite the SC for quite some time.

Brower, in spite of his shortcomings, was a giant of environmentalism, and is deserving of great respect.

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Oct 10, 2013 - 01:19pm PT
It was North Pal that was proposed to be renamed "Brower Palisade".

He had done the first winter ascent.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/s3304/text
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Oct 10, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Brower is an all time hero in my book.

This is a great thread...this is what makes ST a great place.
Inner City

Trad climber
East Bay
Oct 10, 2013 - 02:44pm PT
Crimp,
It seems as though this may be a troll.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Oct 10, 2013 - 03:00pm PT
David was a Berkeley native. He had a younger brother, Joe, born when David was eight. Their mother went blind not long after.

In "For Earth's Sake" he talks about how his experiences helping his blind mother, taking her for walks, describing what he could see, helped deepen his appreciation of the scenery, the environment.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 10, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
By both his example and spirit, his lifework reminds us that "boldness has
genius, power and magic in it."

David Ross Brower was born in 1912, and grew up in the hills of Berkeley
when the Golden Gate described a water passage between San Francisco and
Marin County, not a world-famous bridge. After dropping out of the
University of California in 1931-he was more proud of this than of his 9
honorary degrees--he became a mountaineer, making 70 first-ever ascents in
Yosemite and the High Sierra. Much as he would do in the world of
environmental politics later in his life, he found 19 new routes on the
sheer granite walls of Yosemite. He was an instructor in the U.S. Mountain
Troops in World War II, served as a combat-intelligence officer in the
Italian Campaigns, and was awarded the Bronze Star.

For over 65 years, Brower worked on a campaign on behalf of the planet,
its wild places and inhabitants. As an editor, filmmaker, and writer for
the Sierra Club, he broadened environmental awareness in the nation as few
others have. While the Club's first executive director (1952-1969), he
helped transform it from a group of hiking enthusiasts into a political
force as its membership grew from 2,000 to 77,000. He led the successful
campaigns to protect Colorado's Dinosaur National Monument, prevent the
Grand Canyon from being dammed, establish the National Wilderness
Preservation System, and helped add nine areas to the National Park
system, from the Point Reyes National Seashore in California to New York's
Fire Island, from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Alaska. He founded the Sierra
Club Foundation, Friends of the Earth International (on Earth day, 1970),
the Earth Island Institute, and with Marion Edey, the League of
Conservation Voters. Dave created the Exhibit Format books for the Sierra
Club. These were among the first coffee table books, which achieved
beautiful reproduction, revealing a variety of beautiful regions to be
saved and preserved. In topical publishing, Dave Brower brought to
mainstream America the messages of Dr. Paul Ehrlich (The Population
Bomb) and Amory Lovins (Soft Energy Paths). Three times he was nominated
for the Nobel Peace Prize. His incredible circle of friends links William
O. Douglas to Gary Snyder to the Dalai Lama to Julia Butterfly.

Dave had a single-minded defense and pursuit of environmental quality,
however it was threatened. He perceived what many were slow to realize,
that ecological concerns cannot be confined to on region or one
hemisphere. We live on a small, precious planet, where environmental
devastation in one area has an inescapable impact on other areas. His work
with the Sierra Club and subsequently Friends of the Earth and Earth
Island Institute emphasized that point. With his acutely infectious,
uncompromising dedication to his cause, the earth, he pushed and
challenged the norm of what was possible on the political battlefield. As
long as I knew him, he had the passion and energy of someone a fraction of
his age.

--David Kupfer, preface to The Last Interview
http://www.wildnesswithin.com/kupfery.html

Brower's reminiscences which I've read in the past include his description of the 1923 Berkeley Fire, which destroyed something like 600 homes and buildings.

Flames know these things.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 10, 2013 - 03:50pm PT
I used to think this was at Pinnacles, but it looks more like granite.


David Brower and Morgan Harris climbing in the Minarets, 1935, photo by Ansel Adams
from:
http://www.yosemiteclimbing.org/content/ansel-adams-images
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Oct 10, 2013 - 06:34pm PT

John McPhee's Encounters With the Archdruid is a real classic!!!!
(Of course, most of McPhee's books are@!!!!
Howard71

Trad climber
Belen, New Mexico
Oct 10, 2013 - 06:59pm PT
Another good book about David:

The Wilderness Within: Remembering David Brower

Contains a set of "essays" about David constructed from interviews by one of his sons(Kenneth Brower) with Paul Erlich, Steve Roper, David Foreman, Doug Tompkins, and others.

http://www.amazon.com/Wildness-Within-The-Remembering-Brower/dp/1597141860

So far the book reminds me why compromise is not a good way to preserve wilderness. I would have said "manage wilderness" before I started reading it.

Howard
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Oct 10, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
Yeah- I'm a major history buff so I was sort of surprised that Brower managed to stay totally off my radar as well - until about two years ago. I sort of recalled his name from Grossman's Shiprock history thread but that was about all I knew about him at the time.

There's a chapter about him in Cadillac Desert (a must-read BTW) that finally clued me in to research him and get acquainted with his history both in the climbing world and as a conservationist. Fascinating guy. Not everyone admired him. E started an appreciation thread that sort of got shot down by detractors. Hope this one stays positive.

FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
Oct 10, 2013 - 08:43pm PT
^^^^^
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Oct 10, 2013 - 10:28pm PT
So much to say, so little time. Here's a pic of him at teh 1999 C4 reunion:



Google and visit the David Brower Center in Berkeley for more insights...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 4, 2014 - 01:43am PT
Sixty years ago, Brower had an article published in the National Geographic.

The Archdruid on a High Trip.
Brought you in a Nash.Yes, it's Mountain House Freeze-Dried Ice Cream. What else?
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Apr 4, 2014 - 02:03am PT
Imagine Brower posting up here!
thebravecowboy

climber
Apr 4, 2014 - 02:07am PT
Thanks Mouse!
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Apr 4, 2014 - 08:03am PT
Wow, Mouse thank you....I had never seen the NG article. I'll retrieve a great piece Brower wrote on backcountry skiing and post it up, hopefully sooner than later. His ski accomplishments were adventurous to say the least, imagine touring from Echo Summit to Donner Pass today let alone in the 1930's. Truly an early force in mountaineering and environmentalism who is a big part of Sierra lore. BTW his son Kenneth wrote, "A Star Ship and a Canoe", a worthy read.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 4, 2014 - 08:24am PT
This is such an interesting thread (and it was never a troll posting).
scooter

climber
fist clamp
Apr 4, 2014 - 08:49am PT
He helped teach the 10th Mtn technical rock climbing skills before they assaulted and captured Riva Ridge. Saved the Grand Canyon and helped defeat Hitler. Pretty solid.
Bad Climber

climber
Apr 4, 2014 - 09:13am PT
+1 @ SteveW.

Must. Read. The. McPhee!

Also, some good interviews in the video series Cadillac Desert, based on the book of the same name by Marc Reisner, which is an absolute must read for any American, citizen of the planet, but especially those who live in the west.

I had the pleasure of meeting "The Arch Druid" once at a fundraiser in Nor Cal and a beautiful place called Hopkiln Winery.

Damn, so many great books out there.

BA
Festus

Mountain climber
Enron by the Sea
Apr 7, 2014 - 03:39pm PT
I mentioned this article (link follows) earlier in this thread, but I thought this was as good as anything I've ever read about, or by, Brower-- except for Encounters with the Archdruid, which is the best. And if you only read one section of that short book, read the account of McPhee, Brower and Floyd Dominy all floating through Grand Canyon together after Glen Canyon Dam was a done deal. The Dominy v. Brower relationship/duel, and what it ultimately meant for what came to be known as the "environmental movement" makes great reading (also written about well in Cadillac Desert, among other places). Anyway, here's the '95 Outside Magazine article, The High Cost of Being David Brower:

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/The-High-Cost-of-Being-David-Brower.html

Edit: Also a truly great read, and an incredible look back in time if you get your hands on a copy, is Brower's account of the Shiprock Climb in (I think) The Saturday Evening Post. Look it up in the periodicals guide. I read it about a decade ago (they did the climb around '39 but the article may not have appeared until 1940) at San Diego's old main library, which had a copy of the magazine. I think (but could be wrong) the article was titled "They Said it Couldn't Be Climbed"...or that was a quote early on in the piece. Brower did it with Bestor Robinson (who brought the bolts, which he had become acquainted with in a masonry/patio project at his home), Raffi Bedayn, and John Dyer. At the time it was considered (by Robert Underhill among others) the hardest rock climb done in North America.
curt wohlgemuth

Social climber
Bay Area, California
Apr 7, 2014 - 04:13pm PT
Skim through R.J. Secor's High Sierra guidebook. See how many FAs have David Brower in the party. He had a whole trip (1934 maybe?) with Norman Clyde and Hervey Voge.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Apr 7, 2014 - 07:24pm PT
There are several great articles by David Brower in Voices for the Earth including "Beyond the Skiways". Brower denounces the increasing popularity of resort skiing where men "slashed trails in forests, built elaborate lodges, gashed mountains with highways, wired peaks with funiculars. They conquered the wilderness. Men now ski superbly. But what have they lost?"

Brower goes on to describe, "Ski mountaineering" is a combersome term, but no other term so aply describes the grand sport that results when skiing and mountaineering are combined. The ski-mountaineer's recipe, complex but not exacting, is this: find out how to handle skis resonably well, gather winter equipment together, learn how to use it, find some trusted friends to carry most of it, then try to bread Old Man Winter in his den -out beyond the skiways. Out there one will find the timberline country, where temperatures are more invigorating, where snows are persistently drier and more powdery, where broad open slopes are tracked only by one's chosen friends, surroundings are rugged, yet marvelously adapted to ski-mountaineering. In such terrain even the most blase of resort skiers have been temporarily overcome with reverence."


Such true words from David Brower in 1938.
JOEY.F

Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
Feb 5, 2015 - 11:31pm PT
rad thread bump
originalpmac

Mountain climber
Anywhere I like
Feb 6, 2015 - 04:49pm PT
We once threw David Brower a bachelor party. He ate the whole cake before we could tell him there was a stripper inside of it!
Camster (Rhymes with Hamster)

Social climber
CO
Feb 6, 2015 - 05:36pm PT
I was lucky enough to hang out with Dave between1989 and ... well, until he passed. Anne too.
I have a few photos of him (as everyone knows) and some recordings. You're welcome to all.
"Booeee" (Boodawg) Ken is likely a better contact. He was there. He's smart about this stuff. I would like to be like the Dawg one day! (Best to you, Ken----need to get out and visit you soon.)
Cammo
two-shoes

Trad climber
Auberry, CA
Feb 6, 2015 - 09:00pm PT
I once talked a little bit with him about climbing it was at a Sierra Club dinner in Merced in about 1995. He had just finished a talk. After, we talked briefly about what a shame that the Sierra Club had gotten completely out of teaching folks to climb, because of liability reasons. He said that he still had that on his to do list, but there were so many other pressing environmental issued to first take care of. I asked him if he still ever thought of climbing? He said that he still had a lot of pleasant dreams of climbing, and smiled. He then wrote in me and my wife's book, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run. "To a couple of climbing bums--from ex ditto", David R Brower

In my mind, He really was a larger than life sort of person.
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