Another weird twist is all the Sheep Buggerers, including their leader Craig Fry, were members of the Young Republicans based out of Pacoima, Ca. The chapter was eventually folded when the Buggerers revolted against their right wing leader and became mostly left leaning sackless slab climbers of no real note.
From another thread, some additions:
The Inflatable Man
The Human Drug Machine
Doogan the Tin Man
Dick Cilley, second in command to Craig
The San Diego Bent
The Almondjoybar Brothers
Doc of Shock
The Ruby DuLuxe
Doug the Slug Zeisner (2nd strongest man in the world)
Herman the German
That one dude with the big hand... aka "The Hand"
Toe Tag Tom
Luke the Fluke
Karl; with a K
Dave and Steve Tapes
Them girls that liked Mowtown....
The Old Ass Hippes,
The Bone Tipson or Nardson or Springs
Hey there say there, sorry Mr Fry if I left you out of my poem.
I can write you back in as the Dark Overherder or Baaad Sheep Number One if you'd like...
My memories of those days are foggy at best, but still my dreams are haunted by the bleats of horror echoing through the JT Wonderland of Rocks in my head from BITD.
BITD Maria C. took me on one of my first climbs in JTree, Double Cross.
Besides being terrified of heights, I was pretty much overwhelmed by the whole climbing scene, hanging with such great climbers.
As we made our way up the climb, topping out were two young guys, one with long hair and a headband. I thought it odd that they were bleating like sheep and asked Maria about it, I couldn't believe this was a common practice. "Oh, it's nothing, they're just having fun."
Well, OK, to tell the truth it kinda fit the whole scene back then.
Slim (Angione) and I had a random encounter with several key buggerers in a coffee shop in Lone Pine a number of years ago. It was The Driver, Mims and ? We were goal-less and they told us they were headed for Charlotte. We instantly committed and had a grand old time climbing the classic in 2 parties.
I did have a horrifying experience when I woke in the middle of the night. Something was happening to my face and although laying on my back I couldn't see the stars, it was a moonless night.
I was finally able to choke/spasm out a shriek of terror and the creature pulled back. It was a buck deer licking my face!!
Gnomeoftoomanybasehits: Ok, I've got no idea,
but some one fess it up. . .
who sent me up "loose Lips"?
yeah , still
It was probably Russ (fish) or Mike Paul (Watusi)
Certainly not me, and I doubt it was Mike... Have you ever been to JT?? I mean for reals, not like tripping away on an astral projection thing while riding on a dragon with 3 vulvas and doing DMT through a curly straw all while wearing a rugby shirt and an aviators mask sorta thing? You know, like for reals, man.?.?.?
Crestfallen, I retreated yesterday to my musty greenhouse sauna to baste as sweat soaked the waves of grief washed over my thick hide. Compounded by the awareness of nauseatingly revolting fumes from the adjacent dogs sh#t bucket, I could only think back fondly of my tenure there and the memories of all those years ago amongst the cactuses and yuccas along the gritty sun burnt trails of J Tree land.
Fond memories of huge puss glistened jamming scabs from the wide cracks of that place filled my mind. There was once the time I drove into Hidden Valley, after breaking up again with a Riverside girl I once was in love with, and en-route had ingested a huge quantity of shrooms which were cooking in my brain. I had sat there alone for uncounted hours devoid of all but my wayward spirit to guide me, when the regulars found me I was in an alarming agitated state, and many beers were required to calm me before a midnight run through the desert tired me enough to finally sleep.
Did I not become worthy the time the iron door cave was barred from outside for several hours to prevent my escape? Did not those spluttered bleatings of yore haunt my every dream to humble the tragic man child I once was? Or was it the latent domesticity that finally hobbled me, and removed all hope of initiation into their irreverent adolescent tribe?
But alas as the rejection letter signed by none other than Sheepnonymous fell to the gravelly floor of my pungent perspiration den, I finally understood I would never be eligible for membership to that shallowed crowd. It wasn't that my resume of drunkenness and debauchery were not low enough, nor were my transgressions against the brave and the bold not more than shameful. And my meager climbing skills were clearly of no merit.
There it was, bald faced and obvious. I held up the rejection letter in my grimy claw, and read again, "This reply is to inform you membership to the Sheep Buggerers is not considered due to the fact we've never heard of you...bla bla bla, such and such, bla bla," (end of letter).
Thanks for the photos and the awesome fond memories of our youth. Still trying to figure out how I ended up on the list right under the Fish?? The only time I really climbed the Fish gave me a black eye....the Creature ;)
Hey Dave, V here. Did NOT takes Russ' virginity....we were friends at PCC. Started going out to JT with a friend of his, Derek Olin. E showed up at school second semester and it was all over...true love. We connected for the first time in 20 years. It was nice...hard to "hook up" over the Pacific Ocean though. I'm going to delete my account after this, but wanted to say muchos gracias to all for the great laughs that ST has brought me. I really enjoy the photos. I'd like to come to the reunion, can I bring E? Aloha, V
perhaps a wallet or two?
designs by the fish factory - aren't in the cards.
my idiot beginner, while paying me for advice, did not take it
bought a crap metolius, instead
sincerely (really I do mean IT)
Apr 10, 2016 - 09:13pm PT
V here. Did NOT takes Russ' virginity....we were friends at PCC. Started going out to JT with a friend of his, Derek Olin. E showed up at school second semester and it was all over...true love. We connected for the first time in 20 years. It was nice...hard to "hook up" over the Pacific Ocean though. I'm going to delete my account after this, but wanted to say muchos gracias to all for the great laughs that ST has brought me. I really enjoy the photos. I'd like to come to the reunion, can I bring E? Aloha, V
Apr 10, 2016 - 09:29pm PT
Oh yeah, Russ knows who I am....he's one of the biggest bullshitters I know.
The buggers were 18 when I met them out of HS. Russ hasn't changed much from what I read...did he ever have children??
E can come, but he will have to admit he was as much a sheep buggerer as me
The Fish has children, they got big ole red melons for heads
Hey Russ, when should we come over for the reunion?
Sorry Craig, that post was thanking you...have no idea why I wrote Dave :(
Not deleting acct. until everyone has read. Thanks for the post dee, I think I always liked you too...who is this?? Russell knows who Vikki is, he's still just a big ass bullshitter...hey fishy, fishy, fishy. Ying says HELLO!
Hey Sewellymon, Jeff, I really like the pic of The Driver and Russell in the van...lots of great memories of those boys...what is Moonie up to? How are you and where are you these days? Aloha, Vikki, The Creach
Don't be including me with that unsavory bunch.
I never made so much as a single bleat!
And I was all about tying in with E at the time.
The Buggerers, so named by Lechlinski, were only a few people:
Russ Walling a.k.a. The Fish
Doug Munoz a.k.a. The Moon Fuzz a.k.a. Moony a.k.a. The Fuzz
Greg Byrne a.k.a. The Driver
Karl Rundi a.k.a. The Boxer (probably never made any silly sheep noises either, way too much of a man's man)
The Manx (really their mascot)
The Joe Boys were:
Roy McClenahan (and I broke with that ship, but fast!)
Forget about David Evans and Craig Fry, both solidly ahead of the Buggerer curve.
They are really more an extension of the Stonemasters, belonging to what could loosely be called the second wave, or the Stonemaster middle period.
But, along with Vogel, and hailing from behind the Orange Curtain, they prefer to be known as the B Team or simply see themselves belonging to the loose confederation of: Not-a-Stonemaster.
I think this is original Sheep Buggerer member Mike Pope on Latin Swing in JT
Went all CSI on the pics... this one of me is the same route, same rope, same era, same pic angle.... Good Lord and Hail Satan! I bet it was the same day!!! I must have only had one shirt back then as this is the same outfit I had for the Do Or Fly pic earlier in the thread, save for the orange Hendrix pants.
Who took these? Swelly?
Edit: And LaWoman, I still don't know who you are. Maybe a vague memory of a blond girl, kinda heavy? Hung out with Craig Fry when he was the "Tall Sleek Neufie" ??
I think this is original Sheep Buggerer member Mike Pope on Latin Swing in JT
Hi, I have to disagree... Mike Pope was not a sheep buggerer.... He started climbing the same time as I did.... 1973. We went to a bunch of BBQ's together while you boys were still in kindergarten. Now I do admit to helping to corrupt some of you boys by supplying liquor/drugs and I do remember showing you all how to get a chick into your tent for the evening.
I recommend the Lake District in Wales for a SB climbing trip. Can’t swing a cat without hitting a sheep there. Blakey was kind enough to show me around a few years ago.
I read a good book on the subject recently, The Shepard’s Life, by James Rebanks. The author grew up on a farm in the Lake District and had little formal schooling, but read a lot. Somehow he got into Oxford, graduated, and was offered jobs in finance, but decided to return to life as a shepard.
Craig, none of the chicks on your list are buggerers! Most of the ones you mentioned were classified under "hotties", except for me of course the non climber. After the Fish gave me a black eye I was done. Russ still claims he doesn't know me, but as WE ALL know he is BS'ing...probably doesn't want to explain to the wife about all the groupies. E was not a bugger either, HE was a HOTTIE and could blow any of the buggerers out of the water and they knew it. When I met him he was hanging with the Stonemaster's...many fond memories there. Thanks again for the great photos Fishy and everyone. Aloha
Kevin Powell told of some groupie chick that said, "oh the Moon is soooo long and fuzzy". I think that might be how he came to be called the MoonFUZZ. Can't remember her name though. Might have been the Old Ass Hippy?
E caught one of my longest falls in my second year climbing, 50 ft tumbler off the top of Jonah up on Tahquitz. Shirtless with a hip belay he got pretty good rope burn and must've yarded in some rope fast 'cause I stopped 5 ft above the ledge he was standing on, saved my ass, and I'm grateful to this day
Guy posted that pic of E. I remember meeting you that time I drove down to go climbing with Eric in the Needles in the mid-80s. Don't think you were so happy to see him go, ha ha. Shows how much you cared about him. You seemed like a nice lady. Last time I saw him was about 25 years ago down in Owens River Gorge. Guess he's still crankin hard after all these years.
Sorry Bushman and THANK YOU Guy for the pic of E.
Bushman, vaguely remember the Needles climbing times. Everything before children seems to be a blur...I'm really going to delete my account, but I
really enjoy the photos and memories ; ) Aloha, Vikki out
As to the identity of the David Evans/Charlotte Dome mystery man ...
This is definitely Ken Hamm.
He and Joe Kiss rented a house on Sierra Madre Boulevard in Pasadena, near where it bends South, after crossing under the freeway. Technically, it may have been a Corson Street address. Then Karl/The Boxer took Joe's room. I rented a third room in the house, staying with Karl and Ken for a period of time around 1981 or 1982.
Joe was a union house painter and had painted a 2 foot high gray silhouette of a climber coiling a rope, standing on the thick gray craftsman style floor trim of the living room of our climber's pad. His inspiration was taken from a classic silhouette which can be seen on the cover of Gaston Rebuffat's THE MONT BLANC MASSIF, The 100 Finest Routes.
So, speaking of silhouettes, I recognize Ken's profile in the picture above. I see his sloped chin, his sideburns, and the way his brown hair stood up in a haphazard bouffant.
Also, I made that pack he is wearing. Russ and I rented a Consew industrial sewing machine from a friend of my mother's. It was a mess, and Russ, being very good with mechanical stuff, figured out how to get the timing right, but it was funky.
After that, spring of 1982, we rented a better machine and wound up procrastinating with our allotted time. We pulled an all-nighter to finish all the packs and haul bags we would then take to Yosemite, so we could sell them for lunch money. At 2 AM, we were on our last needle. Bullwinkle deemed everything sewn after 10 PM pure crap!
I'll never forget the burgundy fabric which you see on that pack in the picture. Sewed up a variety of custom (read: prototype/experimental) packs and haul bags with that burgundy Cordura. In the pack Ken is carrying, I was trying to replicate the contour of a Karrimor Whillans Alpinist rucksack.
I had pulled the pattern from Marco Milano's Karimor. Marco hailed from the Sierra East Side. And no, Marco was definitely not a Buggerer either!
I kid that he looks like he's top roping Gunsmoke.
and that in turn get the response that Fry is chortling man flesh
I never saw the Gunsmoke comment.... the gargling and enjoyment of gargling manflesh by Craig was unprompted. Just the facts at the time. It's ok to be yourself Craig... no one except the Boxer cares anymore. He is still bent on how you claim the FA of the "Fry Problem" when everyone knows the Boxer did it first. He may never get over it, or your roaming hands on the torso of his youth at Dennys.
I still don't know the lawoman, but always glad to hear EE is quite the jackhammer in the sack. That is what the Driver told me too... so it must be true.
Don't know why but the Flu was one of my early leads at JT and it seemed way hard and scary at the time. Never went back on it again. Maybe it protects better with cams but I remember being wigged on lead.
So last night I was sleeping in my tent on the Dorset coast.I woke thinking a badger was trying to steal my food.As I squinted into the darkness I realized that a baby lamb had crawled in under the tent fly. Too bad there weren't any buggerers there. What an opportunity.
Mooney and The Boxer and I started climbing in 1974, when we were 14 years old, on Goldline.
This is way before we could drive, so our maturation as climbers was slow. And for a high percentage of that, through summer of 1977, it was just Doug and me, and still we didn't drive.
In late 1977, I started climbing with Larry Stone and Jeff Sewell and John Freriks. Larry would pick me up at Arcadia High School on Fridays in his big brown Dodge Power Wagon. I did the Joe Boy thing with them pretty solidly throughout the spring and summer of 1978. Also got roped in with Keith Cunning and the Uplanders at that time.
1978 was the year Craig Fry was deemed Rookie of the Year by his peers, which included not just Team B, but the remaining Stonemasters and their immediate disciples.
Fall of 1978 through spring of 1979 I really started branching out and although still doing some first ascents with the Joe Boys, I started climbing more with other people, first with Darrell Hensel, then, Erik Eriksson, Charles Cole, Kevin Powell, Lynn Hill, Dave Evans, Nick Badyrka, and Guy Keesee. Lots of bouldering and top roping with Bullwinkle, Bachar, Long, Mike, Mari, Yabo (... and soon after that, much partying with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones).
One of the main reasons I got out ahead of Munoz and The Boxer and started climbing with Larry, Jeff and John... and then E and others, is that Doug was doing varsity track & cross-country all the way through Pasadena High School graduation in 1978. From 1977 forward, I was only interested in rockclimbing and I was dedicated.
Russ Walling didn't enter into it until he bat-manned the rope behind Munoz on Sundance at Suicide in 1979, virtually as a non-climber. Ed Kaufer (an Uplander) and I climbed The Nose and the Steck Salathe just a month or two later. Bullwinkle and Mari and Lynn were just starting up the wall as we topped out on El Cap.
The Fish rose quickly. The Sheep Buggering thing started sometime after that. Erik met the Buggerers on the PCC campus, playing hacky sack in 1980 or 81. By 1981 and 1982, most of the separation of these different groups had melted away, and we were one big community of fairly seasoned climbers. That's when I started climbing with Russ.
Mooney and I got together just last year to recollect some of these things. Jeff, Erik and I have also looked into these timelines.
This all brings back the memories that have now become so blurred... it was PRE-KIDS after all. (to Quote LA Women) And you are correct about the different factions blending into just one scene... by the late 70's I was starting to branch out and climb at many different spots around California, The Needles, Sequoia and the Mammoth Lakes area.
Ice camping with Nick.... 1979
BY 1984... I had a family who got most of my time....
When Doug (Mooney) and I moved into the house in Santee (84?ish) with John Freriks and Mike Casper I didn't really know Doug. Later Kent (The Manx) moved in as well. Also Mike's younger Bro John was there almost every night.
We started off a little rough and on one trip down to the "Belly Up Tavern" in Solano Beach with Greg Epperson and others to see the "Rebel Rockers" (?) I wanted to punch his effing lights out. He had a way of pushing your buttons till you wanted to burst.
Soon after that I learned to love the guy. I had my new dog "Washoe" living with us and for some reason I thought it was important to train him as an outside dog.
I learned later that those nights that I made Washoe stay outside Doug would let him in.
Doug had the outside "shack" as his bedroom.
It was something like 10 years later when Margy and Washoe were at Josh and Washoe ran over to a person in a distant group and started jumping up on him and just generally loving him. It was Doug! Washoe remembered him after all that time.
Here is a quickly scrawled story from those days.
"Dang Tar, the memories keep coming back. Yes I lost a rack AND a VW van in Mexico. The '66 van was a money pit. Before this episode I had blown my trick 1835 racing engine (that I had built in our living room in Santee)at Josh, so on this trip it was a measly 1600. It broke down and I had to leave it at the campsite after limping in. I returned a week later with parts, fixed it, enjoyed a weekend of climbing and headed home. On the way home I had another major mechanical and had to park it near La Rumerosa. Marge was escorting me back (after taking me down initially). I pulled all items of value and left it with no regrets. We saw it a couple of times after that and then it disappeared. To lose it was a blessing in disguise. That was the last VW I will ever own.
That Mooney shot is classic. That was the first time we did a route on The Throne. He and I went down with no beta in bad weather (at first). We were driving on a section of road in a wash and it was raining hard and , flooding, quite a bit. I missed where the road cut left out of the wash and then we were in trouble. The water was getting deeper and deeper and the water was shooting up over the front of the van, the van was starting to bog. It was too narrow to turn around and too soft to stop, I had to keep on the gas (as such is possible in a VW van). Just when we were starting to panic the canyon widened and there was enough room, I gunned it hard, bounced over a sandbar and pulled a u-turn, just barely making it. We found the turn and made it to the camp.
The next day the weather was perfect. We headed in to do the E. Buttress, all we knew is that there was a route there somewhere and it was 5.10 and may or may not have had aid as well. We started swinging leads and found the climbing tricky (multiple 5.10 sections) and the route finding even more so. I did quite a bit of aid on at least one pitch, we had no etriers or jumars. There were no topos. We saw no evidence of other ascents. Very late in the day we found ourselves coming up under a huge triangular roof in a dihedral that stuck out 40 or 50 feet. It looked like a total dead end. We thought we were f*#ked. We lucked out though and found a cave/chimney that tunneled through the roof and came out near the summit. We had done about 15 pitches.
It seemed like every time I went to do a big route there it was some kind of epic! Too much fun.
Yes Watusi, Guy Andrews was a bro. I haven't thought of him in a while."
Since Tarbuster started including groups from San Diego, it occurs to me that the Poway Mountain Boys are not represented here. Then it occurred to me that the PMB really did end more or less when our charismatic leader, George Manson, died on Denali in 1980. I climbed one more season in Yosemite, then our group pretty much disbanded. The PMB missed out on the JT golden years, which were just getting started. I would have to think that Dick Cilley and "Clean Dan" Grandusky are the key links that connect the PMB to the JT golden years crew since they both hung out with us in our formative years. I would be interested in hearing any stories from guest appearances by the PMB - say, Piggott. I always love Danny stories - Cilley stories too, for that matter. Plot and personality (and creativity). That's what makes for a good story.
Except that one day I was climbing at Big Rock with Kevin Powell and he was telling me about these various groups. He said, "Yeah, me and my brother are basically the BRB. The Big Rock Boys. Not to be confused with the PMB, Poway Mountain Boys."
Maybe Bushman a.k.a. Tim Sorenson will pipe in. After all, his brother was Tobin, a PMB.
I never knew Tobin was a Poway Mountain Boy until I read Bruce Adams writing about how they gave him an honorary membership. It's back on one of the Stonemaster or T. Sorenson threads I think. Maybe Bruce is reading here and can illuminate us as to the details. I haven't seen him post or heard from him for over a year. Last I heard he was up in Washington.
The SBs? Well, still totally enjoy the lifetime membeship, sans back problems, ha ha, ow!
Over 200 posts and no mention of Ranger Jan Dick???
Nope, don't need to be a Sheep Bugger to remember this guy. But, the SB's and Ranger Dick shared one of the great rivalries of climber/authority relations. Especially right in that Buggering sweet spot of fall 1979 and winter of 1980, the rivalry was so sweet!
Late one Saturday night I was standing by a warm fire with The Hotties, (the name given to the Stonemasters and their immediate disciples by the various groups of plebes), and out of the black of night we heard a jubilant and raucous band of SHEEP working their way up through the bowels of Intersection Rock.
The Buggerers were getting louder and louder, their cackling amplified by chimneys and chasms. Suddenly, a proclamation echoed off the monzonite rock formations of Hidden Valley, when they suspended their bleating for an outcry: "Ranger Jan Dick is DICK!".
Of course, it HAD to be said.
Then everyone in the campground heard the sound of beer cans rattling down some blackened chimney. The echo seemed to go on forever. Like that scene in Lord of the Rings where Pippin knocks a bucket and chains down an endless, echoing chasm in the Mines of Moria, only to awaken the wrath of a Cave Troll.
Jan Dick probably confiscated more beer from underage drinkers and more smoking paraphernalia than any Ranger in history!
Not a Sheep Buggerer, but I am sure his ancestors herded plenty of sheep. Dave Evans' dog Washoe was the bomb, One of the best dogs ever! Washoe saved our grow operation in San Diego when some assclowns tried to rip us off, his barking chased them off.
When Craig told the Fish, Yosemite the place to be, We packed into the Driver's van and headed to Tuolumne.
I suppose at some point the whole Scumbag saga/facade/brotherhood/insurgency could benefit from, at the very least, some type of documentation, or at least a plausible explanation. Our tiny band was very much apart from various LA crews. We'd roll in, knock out the hards in short order, consume vast -- as in standard setting quantities -- amounts of chemical enhancement products, then tick early repeats of some more latest hards in respectable times, then it was back to the MDA beer whisky pallet fires and so on. Our little group just sort of commingled with whoever was around and up for some drinking drugging and climbing. It is only in very recent years that I became aware of all the sets and subsets and sub-sub-sets of different posses with identities and nicknames and such. From '73 to '87, my busiest years there, my recollection is that groups of folks would just rally in the morning, somewhat randomly, and get out there hittin' the rocks.
We can take credit for giving Yabo his first dose on MDMA (he loved it, we wound up doing it every day for a week), and showing up Thanksgiving '83 with a 10 gallon trash bag full of shrooms that we gave entirely anyway, free by the handfull, keeping everyone in HVCG tripping for a week or more. But in the big picture, we flew under the radar. We were about big parties and big fun, and we really, really liked camping in the monument, so we were pretty much oblivious to the whole scene that revolved around Todd's house during those years. I needed a B-loop campground and a monster pallet fire and some all-night power drugs to make my stay complete!
The "who's who" lists were pretty much secondary to my relationship with the Jtree scene in the 70's and 80's. It was just super f*#king fun.
Most of these cadres and their names were short-lived. Two or three years, and usually marking the coming of age of the players. And though they often comprised a group of 4 to 6 individuals, the names were usually meant as a joke. Robs Muir even says that about the Stonemaster marker.
One of the reasons the Stonemaster concept survived is because they (Long, Harrison, Accomazzo, Graham, Sorenson, Muir) were the first of our generation to step through the door and because that term became emblematic of a way of approaching climbing, a kind of what to do and how to go about doing it. The Stonemaster Zeitgeist persisted as the one way for about 15 years.
An Accidental History: Masters of Joshua Tree
Text accompanies Dean Fidelman's article including his photographs, from Climbing Magazine 2004 photo annual
Not so long ago, Joshua Tree National Park was an obscure national monument with nothing of the mystic aura that now lures climbers from around the world. It was an isolated outpost of pitifully small rocks where a few hard-bitten crag rats converged to wile away the winter months until the next season of "real" climbing in Yosemite. In the early 1970s, a tight group of climbers began haunting the area, defining the J-Tree scene of the day: fierce free routes, highball boulder problems, outrageous free solo ascents, and large-scale consumption of mind-altering substances.
John long formed the nucleus of the crew, and his discerning eye for local talent soon expanded the membership. John Bachar caught his attention after casually on-sighting Long' s cruxy Bearded Cabbage ( 5.10c) and was initiated into the circle. Soon, SoCal climbers John "Yabo" Yablonski, Mike Lechlinski, Mari Gingery, and Lynn Hill were roped in.
Bouldering was a favorite activity then, as it is today. "Long would tell us stories about this guy in Colorado named Gill," says Bachar, "about how dynamic climbing was the future. He also made up stories about this solitary boulderer named Oliver Moon. He'd point out some undone, near-improbable problem and say,' That's a Moon problem.' " The farce went so far that an early J-Tree guidebook featured an interview with a caped, shades-sporting Moon.
Bachar, hot on the heels of the Moon myth, produced a slew of real-life highball problems that included White Rastafarian, So High, and Planet X, which still intimidate (and bout) many would-be suitors. Treating the area's relatively short routes as extended highballs, he also initiated a tradition of solo ascents alarmingly near the area's free-climbing standard. Yablonski joined Bachar in the tradition, matching him ball for ball in boldness but falling far short in technical proficiency, producing some of the sketchiest solos ever in the sport's history, including a notorious knee-knocking lap on the 5.12 Leave It to Beaver. By the early 1980s the crew had largely dispersed, but the legacy lives on.
Never any mention of Gordo or this guy,
Alan Bartlett , I've not found any other pics but this ,
I have a shot of him, on Silent Scream , This is It and It took all this Time .
Here is Katy and the climbSILENT SCREAM
The real trick was NOT to have a regular climbing partner and to climb with as many people, groups of people, and on as many types of rock as possible.
Exposure is a good thing. Did all the jazz greats blow with just one or two of the other fellows, or one ensemble? No way.
Walter Rosenthal and the Drywall Dogs
It's been awhile, I'm guessing circa 1976, back in a Kelty shop in Glendale CA, Vern Clevenger gave a slideshow on Mescalito and my teenage climbing pal, Douglas Munoz and I attended it like it was Christmas morning. At the time Vern was one of our heroes, given his defining legacy as a prime activist in Tuolumne Meadows.
To a certain degree, Vern used Walter’s good-natured presence on the climb as a comic foil for the story; partly due to Walter’s overall relaxed, good nature, (he said that Walter had a good book to read, just in case they decided to kick back for a day) and specifically because Walter chose to climb in Lowa Triplex, which was the standard high-altitude mountaineering boot at the time. Vern said Walter’s explanation was quite simple:” I'm going to be standing in slings, so what does it matter?” Vern had plans to try to free climb as much of the climb as he could, I don't think Walter cared so much about it and given the report of their ascent that proved to be a more applicable perspective. Vern had maybe one free climbing picture which Walter took of him laybacking an expando flake.
In spring of 1980 I moved to Mammoth Lakes, so I could pick up some mountain travel skills and be closer to Yosemite. I didn't know any climbers up there. I was buying a block of chalk in the pharmacy and Hugh Burton's wife, Kathy Dermitzakis, pegged me as a climber and introduced me to the boys: Marco Milano, Bob Finn, Chuck Cochran, Vern and Margaret Clevenger, Kevin Leary, and Walter Rosenthal.
At the time, Kevin and Walter were sharing a tiny Airstream trailer in the trailer park, out where the golf course now sits. Also there were Marco and Bob sharing a trailer, a nice guy named Jim, who in later years I got to work with at Tamarack Lodge and then Vern & Margaret together in a trailer, where I rented the second bedroom.
They all took me under their wing, which included employment on Bob Stephan’s hard-working drywall stocking crew. At the time Walter was primarily a skier, the rest of them shared enthusiasm equally split between skiing and climbing, but my time with those boys and my defining memories of Walter in particular, are all about the days of the “Drywall Dogs”.
Make no mistake about it: even though Marco was our foreman, Walter was our spiritual leader and Chuck was his lieutenant. These appointments were entirely impromptu of course, more a generation of character than anything else. On a tidy notepad in his pocket, Walter always had the immaculate count as to where the numerous sheets of drywall were to be stacked and he anticipated logistics. Walter was the science officer, (incessantly reading Scientific American), while Chuck, when not giving me sh#t for being young and bow legged, told uproarious stories in his signature drawl and sought to uplift team morale.
Every morning, we’d go to Schatzees Bakery, where Walt, smartly dressed in a dark blue short waisted jacket, wool pants, and stiff leather mountain boots, would see to it that we all had plenty of coffee, and he was the last person to suggest, “perhaps we need a few plugs for the road?”, a “plug” being a buttermilk doughnut, by weight and density, the highest caloric value doughnut a person could buy: essentially a gold brick of dough, butter and sugar.
That infectious laugh! One of the bigger jobs we worked on was Aspen Creek: this gargantuan palace, in its construction phase like the vacuous bowels of a medieval castle, with endless passageways, multiple enclosures and great lofts, was peopled with tough carpenters ambling proudly about with their nail bags dangling like six shooters. He and Chuck would get us to race down the long hallways, up the stairs in teams of two, gripping double bundles of 12’ 5/8" drywall sheets. This became entertainment: and Walt's resulting laugh was more like a hearty exhortation, a sarcastic gulping, it sounded like he was drinking in life with large throatfulls. We worked very hard and owing to the dynamic, cheerfully so.
When a friend of mine, a climbing partner, Jerome Carlian died that summer, Walt, not much of a drinker, bought two Coors talls and sat me down on lunch break to be sure I was okay and talked with me about it, looking after my sense of the whole thing and checked to be sure I didn't feel any guilt, a feeling which he said can be quite normal when one suffers the death of a friend.
About midsummer, Tom Carter and Allan Bard joined our team and the resultant dynamic expanded hilariously! Carter was always humming reggae tunes, while Cochran would cut him up about it and Bardini was just looking for a way out to get back to the guiding, which at the time was being done for John Fisher at the Palisades school. Also joining us was a very large black man named Marcus, who I later beat out in an eating contest, including ribs, corn, potatoes and pie. Little 135 pound Bob Finn could also out-work Marcus in terms of sheer load carrying capacity, which was really something to watch. Marcus knew we were just a bunch of crazy white boys.
In the fall, we all showed up for work one morning on a crystal-clear, beautiful day. Our collective tone was ambivalent; work energy low, appetite for the Sierra light and raging aspen's very high. Walt & Chuck held a pow-wow, then Walt quietly went over to confer with Bob Stephans. He came back and declared the successful outcome of a congenial mutiny! “We’re taking the day off boys; and we are first going to the Bishop Golf Course driving range (Chuck's bid), then we'll have a nice day hiking up Paiute Pass".
Since spring, we’d all been working so hard together and it was largely Walt’s sense of timing and care for the morale of his team that sparked a wonderful day of hooky together. We were all pretty stimulated by the end of the day, having swallowed two well spaced doses of psychedelic mushrooms … and we barreled down the trail from Paiute Pass en masse, running headlong through the aspens in a tunnel of brilliant red leaves.
Good memoryTarbuster ..cancel the arricept...Was the nice guy " Jim" from Tamarack , Jim Catlin by any chance..? I remember meeting Leary on a new home construction project...We got to talking about ski racing and hit it off big time turning into training nazi's and driving to tahoe in our tired old jalopies...I remember that tiny flash-gordon style trailer that he and Walter lived in and remember seeing Walter for the first time walking down Old Mammoth Road with his sh#t-eatin grin...younger innocent times...
Before the Buggerers, before the Stonemasters and to the day, exactly one year after the Miles Davis album Kind of Blue was released, I was born in Sierra Madre California, within spit-shot of the rugged San Gabriel Mountains, August 17, 1960. Doug Munoz came just four days later.
We were a gang of two for what seemed at the time our whole lives, seeking nursery school adventures and playing army man in back yards, side streets and vacant lots.
Munoz and Tarbuster, 1964:
Doug's parents, Andrew and Ellen, one hot afternoon in summer 1968, took us hiking in the local San Gabriel Mountains. First Water was the designation of a hefty goal for a children's hike. Steep trails cut through scrub oak and manzanita, and after a mile and a half, the path led us down into Little Santa Anita Creek.
Andrew and Ellen sat on the cool rocks beneath an oak tree, talking, handing out Wonder Bread sandwiches and enjoying the shade. Doug's sister, Diane, whom his parents called Sissy, joined us as we slid through a natural waterslide in the creek, formed by a tube-shaped impression scoured over thousands of years into the bright white granite of the watercourse.
The next year, Doug, Erick Dickson (the boy next door), and I decided to stretch out a bit and hike the entire Mount Wilson Trail, 7 miles and over 4500 vertical feet, to the summit of Mount Wilson, at 5,715'. We were all nine years old. It was in fact, Doug's idea. Doug's dog, Boo-Boo, one of those crouton-sized muts, people friendly and with long white and gray hair covering its eyes, would be our protector.
Between us we had a quart of water in a stale aluminum canteen, one baloney sandwich, and a single dollar. Doug's mother did not expect us to make it all the way to the top of Mount Wilson. We did.
When we got to the summit, we were totally blown out. The water had long been finished and our stomachs bore no memory of the 1/3 sandwich which we'd each consumed. We took the dollar to the summit snack shop. Between ourselves and the dog, we split a single chocolate doughnut four ways.
With the change from the doughnut purchase, we phoned home. Doug's parents, Andrew and Ellen, drove the twisty Angeles Crest Highway in their sky-blue 1964 Chevrolet Impala. They picked us up at the base of some giant radio towers on the summit. They were impressed with our fortitude and we were completely flagged.
A modern website describes the hike: "Oaks rule on the trail that goes all the way to Mt. Wilson: (It's very strenuous, so you'll want to work up to that)." But, without the internet and at nine years old, who knew?
It was easy to get car sick on that Angeles Crest Highway. About halfway down the mountain, Boo-Boo vomited his 1/4 doughnut out of the window of the Impala.
WOW Roy, you are on a roll. The entire time I was reading about Walter I was thinking I want to meet this guy, I'd really like him, awesome human being, to find out he is no longer with us. Eloquently written. Thank you. The post about you and the boys, hiking in the SG's, Andrew & Ellen, memories as kids doing nothing and everything, all outdoors (no devices) brought back floods of incredible memories. Bouldering in Snow Creek Village at the base of San Jacinto by the time I was 8 years old in our backyard at a cabin my dad built in the late forties. Thanks to our parents who allowed it and our generation who raised our kids to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Many memories of vomiting on the ACH also...."hey dad, can you pull over?" Delighting in the pic of you and Doug ; ) Thanks Roy for the posts and the great oratories. Aloha, Vikki (1960)
Your portrait of Walt Shipley is vivid and excellent. I wish I could have gotten to know him.
I met Kathy D during the summer of 1978 when Sutton and Burton were building houses in Idylwild. I too was working in construction, but as a laborer, helping a guy build a cabin. Kathy and Gerry became friends, as they were both working toward their nursing licenses that summer.
Great story Roy. I, too, was born in Sierra Madre (1958) My grandparents lived in Arcadia. They had a flawless light blue '64 Impala SS that I bought during high school. First hike was Henninger Flats.
The real trick was NOT to have a regular climbing partner and to climb with as many people, groups of people, and on as many types of rock as possible.
That about sums it up Roy. One found partners in Humbler Park, Stoney Point, Intersection Rock parking lot or at one of the few "climbing shops".
Really love the stories....and looking back now I realize just how good we had it in our own little world of climbing. I have friends, and after 43 years at this, who I still get out with on a regular basis.
Do you remember when E had a very clapped out Ford Econoline Van? The one with low compression. Everyone had to exit and push it up that steep part right before Humbler Park?
As I said before, we were there in the Josh Golden Years
It was like God rewarded us with heaven on earth
The real trick was NOT to have a regular climbing partner and to climb with as many people, groups of people, and on as many types of rock as possible.
That's what helped me become a real climber.
After my regular partners started losing enthusiasm (Kevin Watts, Matt Montgomery, Fernando Corona, Jim Dody).
I had to go on my own.
All I had to do was drive out there and hook up with a pack of locals.
The locals would sometimes car pool, but gas was so cheap back then that you could do a weekend on $10 which included food.
We would pack as many cars in a camp space that we could, we would all hang and party together, have big campfires after coming back from dinner in town, do hours of hacky sac, big boulder sessions, night walks or do some horror show like the great chasm w/o lights.
Yeah Roy, it's hard to stay away with the feel good memories that are better than an endorphin rush LOL.
Especially the fun times that Craig mentioned; hangin, partying, campfires, hacky sack, night climbs....I think my first climb was at night...didn't see enough to be scared. Especially the ones with E...
The E100 1970 6cyl....the one I was driving, on Acid in Sequoia during a heavy snow storm with Floyd Blasting on the stereo, and I backed into a car-hard-in the Moro Rock parking lot. We took off when we realized the owner was nowhere to be found and with a foot of snow on it you couldn't see any damage......
...then you got the VW witch somehow lost the front hood...IIRC.
And Crag is sort of correct about the inner loop vs the outer (dirt-bag)loop, but by the later part of the 70's there were a lot of climbers going out and one of the smartest rangers ever started to let all of the climbers pack into the camping spots between the Old-Woman and the Blob....
he tossed out the stupid two car rule and let us stack park our collection of old cars - as many as we could fit. The only rule was this... "don't come running to me demanding to have cars moved because yours in packed into the middle..." so people started putting car keys on the tires.
I never rode in the yellow Econoline. That's the one I was thinking was dirty white.
The white Datsun. Seemed like the carburetor was never right on that thing.
Another LSD inhabited anecdote:
E and I headed out to Christmas Tree Pass in the Datsun and the stuff kicked in right about the time we arrived. I think Nick Badyrka might have been with us, kind of foggy on that one.
The dirt road was rough and got rougher the closer we came to the crags. With the climbs in view, we hit a gnarly ditch and something busted loose in the bed of the truck and a whole bunch of our water bled out into the desert sand.
Fully blazing, E led a couple of those routes and I followed. I thought the colors were really cool, but the crystals in the rock were pretty big and in places they were coming off like popcorn!
I remember the time I ran a stop sign out onto Topanga Canyon Blvd. in my Carina that was full of sheep buggerers....the Fish, Moon, Manx?, E and myself. Totally sober. It was Russ' loud sheep call that distracted me and a massive auto crash ensued. Got hit by a VW bug. Any larger vehicle would have killed me in the driver seat. We were heading out to Stoney Point. Don't remember if we made it are not.
Even though I don't remember the Lawoman.... I remember this event.
This cray cray woman was driving her turd colored car through the porn capital of the world and then just flat out leaked out onto Topanga Canyon Blvd at full speed.... blowing the stop sign like it never existed. Dude in a VW bug T-bones us (me, the Moon, and E as passengers) The impact pushes us across Topanga and into the center divide, minimum. I'm thinking, yeah... this ain't too bad.... at least we lived.. then the guy gets out of the bug and drops to the tarmac clutching his arm. At that point I knew there would be a delay to our bouldering outing.
So, cops. the whole deal. We eat the lunch we are packing on the opposite curb while the cops do their thing. Stoney is in the distance and we can even see it... After the report is given I kick the drivers door off the steering wheel to return its function and then we continue to Stoney to boulder. We crush them all...
After we leave, it starts raining.... I don't think we had a windshield but we were booking it on the freeway anyway heading home. I think I drove.... We dumped the rig at the CrayCray house and ran before her dad came out to investigate.
As an aside... there were no buggery noises or anything of the like to distract the driver. She was just CrayCray bro. Nothing more.
Edit: I'd like to inject more facts to this thread, but I'm away from my pics and actually working from early AM to about now. Sad to say... yer kinda low priority right now.
Edit #2: hey, is that pic a ways up really the MoonChero™™™ or someone else's ride? That thing is sweet!
You knuckleheads are forgetting "The Voice Of the Crags" Alan Roberts. Jeezus effing c......and one other main Buff Alpine Club character Rob Dillinger, boyfriend to the beautiful Debby.
Rob, Sibylle and I worked together on the famed "Mr. Pibbs" commercial, filmed out at the J. Trees.
It was rumored he was killed along 395 late one night due to his....."environmental stance?"
Fill in here.
Thanks Roy for the poignant memory regarding Walter R. He turned his trailer over to Sibylle and I on a number of occasions. That's when I was learning how to ski.
His death was a tragic event and one of Mammoths great epics involving others.
And yes E's vehicle of memory was the squareback. I remember riding from Humber to Idylwild and back sittin' in the front trunk area which had n\o lid. And smoking from the apple pipe while doing so.
I showed that photo to my wife and she enlarged it, I mean blew it up, made it bigger, sh#t, whatever...sent it to her phone and told me I looked hot, like a pornstar. What ever could the lady be thinking?
Must've been around 1981, I got really serious about climbing a lot more for several years after losing big bro. Too bad I wasn't as serious about brain cel or hair follicle conservation back then.
This Thread is really cool I am enjoying all the old pictures of you guys.
After my regular partners started losing enthusiasm (Kevin Watts, Matt Montgomery, Fernando Corona, Jim Dody).
I had to go on my own.
Actually Craig you and I never roped up together we went hiking a few times and the one time that we went to Joshua Tree together it snowed like crazy I don't know if you remember we spent the whole time sitting in a cave burning. I was pretty sketched out at rock climbing at that point because of my experience with Fernando soloing, I figured I would stick with something safer like martial arts and surfing and it wasn't until the early to mid 90s that I met a guy that climbed extensively with Bridwell through work as a rigger that I was reintroduced to climbing and became addicted to it.
Dee Eee...I believe Rob perished ( 1990 ? ) when he rolled his truck north of Mojave on 395 in Red Rock Canyon ...He had just started a house for Joe Rousek , a llama rancher , in Aspen Springs .. Joe had to hire another contractor to finish the project...There's a spray painted memorial honoring Rob on the foundation stem wall under Joe's house...
Did an El Cap route (either Mescalito or the Shield) where two of our six gallons of water were formerly fabric softener and laundry detergent bottles. We didn't realize until we were well up on the route that no matter how much rinsing we had done before hand, the aftertaste of soap or fabric softener still lingered in the water.
Near the top of the route we had to resort to drinking from those two bottles and the one with the taste of fabric softener was almost unbearable. We figured out that drinking it while holding our noses somewhat mitigated the nauseating flavor. It's what we had to do to stave off dehydration, ha ha, and how we learned the hard way.
I have posted it before but I have never seen anyone bang off one arm one finger pull ups in webbing like Craig. Even the Fred Nicole stuff in masters of stone I believe wasn't as impressive although I believe Fred did it with his little finger...hmmmm... okay equally as impressive
The picture of Erik is taken at the campground for Turkey rocks in the South Platte which has great bouldering. I think this was during the summer of 1983? Erik and Vic were living in Boulder and they graciously let me crash at their place for a few weeks. Erik was working as a machinist at the time. Their Boulder place always had a stream of climbers dropping by; Todd Gordon paid a visit during his drive back to California from his job teaching on a reservation, we all went up to Estes Park to climb, Todd being Todd he instantly made new friends and we all ended up hot tubing and drinking beer at some girl’s house after climbing. Suzanna Bandana a climber from Oklahoma also dropped by, I remember climbing the Yellow and Green spur with her. She got the nickname because she had bandana curtains in her truck shell and she fabricated a few halter top from bandanas. I think she ended up living in San Diego for a while. Boulder locals like John Sherman, Pete Stears(sp) and Rolofson among others would also drop by, fun times.
Mid 80s, 2 car per campground rule strictly enforced.
Was when "The Voice" was my best friend.
I would leave OC at about 5pm on Friday
Drive to Josh and pull in to Al's always open camp site and he would be there waiting for me. I would bring him some food or whatever, and we would hang and chat for a couple hours.
Never had to worry about getting a site.
He went downhill after he moved into to Gordo Ranch in the 90s, the ever present climber trash talk turned him bitter.
Grandma Roberts ended up being a pirate on the Las Vegas strip. He would cross some swords and then swing on a rope over the bullwarks and drop into the sham briney. Three times a night for $400 a night at the Treasure Island. Married a set of talented 52 EE's and has three mulato babies.
We worked loading drywall at this massive project called Aspen Creek, right at the end of 1980.
A lot of the carpenters swaggered about, their nail bags on their hips like six shooters from a Hollywood western.
I was walking behind one of those guys with my hands on my hips, thumbs and forefingers like pistols.
Cochran tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear: "Young one, you don't even want to be doing that ..."
Tarbusser...LOL...Guys and their carpentry bags...Acid Creek condos..! Talk about a black hole of construction law suits...Tried to get work at Aspen Creek with Matthew Kerwin in 81 ...Matthew is now running the Black Diamond maintenance crew in Verdi...
Bachar on Crank City (V4), just to the right of the classic So High. "Everybody said, ' Bachar, you're nuts – let's get out of here. This thing will never go,' " says Bachar. "I thought they were probably right but suddenly on my fifth or six try I did the dyno move about 10 feet off the ground and everybody stopped to look. Then nobody wanted to leave."
I was there that day. This happened during the last breaths of the 1970s. We were all on acid. When Bachar topped out, he disappeared for a moment behind the summit and then just his head and shoulders reappeared and he was wearing this great big grin.
10 or 20 minutes later, Mari actually got the second ascent of the Crank City proper, but she didn't continue up the So High, as Bachar had.
Nevertheless, she was so stoked and so were the rest of us.
She was jumping up and down like a little girl having just beat all the other boys at their own game. And she had done just that!
Mari is really good at crimping and crossovers, which is just how you accomplish Crank City.
Yabo on the notorious, almost-didn't-make-it solo of Leave It to Beaver (5.12a)
Maybe Randy Vogel will chime in on this one.
At least one person who was watching literally had to turn away from the near-grisly spectacle as Yabo got crossed up above the crux and had to power through.
The depressing construction scene in Mammoth...Alan Roberts was working for this psychotic painting contractor by the name of Hank who had sniffed too much laquer...He came right out and asked Alan what was the least amount of money he would work for...They were painting a 3 story tall condo that needed some sketchy rope work and the contractor was pimping Alan for ideas on how to rig the building..I think he wanted to pay Alan 6 bucks an hour...Poor Al couldn't believe what the guy wanted to pay him..LOL..
I do remember getting rained out
Rain was common back then, we would hike around all day and have just as much fun
It was for sure a snow storm because it was significant in my mind due to the fact that I had never heard of snow in the desert before being as noob as they come on things desert. I was a forest and beach kid up to that point. Regardless it is interesting to ponder how things would have been different for me if we had actually climbed something and I had got into it the way I did when I really took up climbing at the ripe age of 35. I was maybe 18-20 years old at most when you and I went.
So, Alan Roberts may not have been a hot 5.11 leader, but I guarantee you NOBODY could have loved climbing any more than Al. When most of us were barely 20 or just in our early 20s, Al was already 35. At the time we probably didn't appreciate the athletic reality of that disparity.
What if a middle-aged Woody Allen had joined your collegiate gymnastics team? That was Al. He was particular. He loved perfect hand cracks. He was neurotic about rattley finger cracks, and could be the first one to be overwhelmed by the proposition of a certain type of climb. But he would still go!
Roberts was tidy, meticulous, and always well prepared. He was big on details and guidebooks. It's no wonder we called him "Voice of the Crags". I believe he was actually semiretired, or so it seemed. Before we met him, the only job which he'd had that I knew about was his sewing stint with Allan Pietresana 's Buttermilk Mountain Works.
At the tail end of the Stonemaster era, Mike Paul carried on the sandbag tradition just about better than anyone. This guy had stuff DIALED. Find me someone who was better at thin cracks in SoCal at that time, besides Bachar. Or maybe Rick Piggott at Mount Woodson. I double dare you …
By the late 70s, he had absorbed the Mount Woodson classics into his solo circuit. Hear My Train a Comin', Drivin' South, and Californian Knight among others. These are overhanging finger cracks on oversized boulders. Hardly anyone besides Bachar and Mike Paul would've thought of soloing them at the time.
One cold day in Josh, Mike mentioned this to Largo while a bunch of us were out bouldering. Largo kind of had to shrug it off. Not that John didn't believe Mike, and John was stoked for him, but he definitely had to pause. What could he say?
There was a time in the early 80s when Bachar had Mike Paul in his rearview mirror. For real. Not long after Bachar soloed Hot Rocks, Mike soloed Hot Rocks, with Tucker Tech as witness.
One day shortly after that solo, a bunch of us were blazing on Cid (it wasn't all psychedelics all the time mind you, we smoked a lot of marijuana in between trips), and about five or six of us were standing in a lineup. And I really mean a lineup, like cadets at an inspection.
Bachar walked up to us and looked into our pupils and laughed. The breeze was really blowing our hair back. He gave us the usual scant acknowledgment, saying hello to us, but when he got to Mike Paul he just stood in front of him, grinning. Bachar was just staring at him and he wasn't letting go.
Nothing needed to be said. Bachar was acknowledging that Mike was really becoming a bad ass. Mike can be almost shy at times. He just stood there, feeling he was being put on the spot, while Bachar absorbed Mike's aura. We all saw it. Bachar was really paying homage to the balls out spirit of Mike and the competitive spirit of free soloing. Few could really play that game and get anywhere near Bachar, without dying.
Roy, Great shots of Alan. For many years, he lived in a Blue VW Bus, that was (as you mention) meticulously ordered and maintained. We called him the voice of the crags for his particular talent of recalling exact move sequences, gear and other detailed beta for routes. It was uncanny that he not only remembered this, but you could count on it being right. Of course, if you didn't want to know, better not to ask.
For some reason, I can't be sure, but I always got the impression that he was educated as an engineer. We always had fun climbing or shooting the breeze with Alan. After many, many years living the life of a traveling climber (then more stationary at Todd's house) and developing some health issues, he went back to school to train for a career in nursing. He eventually moved to Vegas to finish that up. That was probably the last I saw of him. Too bad, cause he was/is a great guy.
Mike Waugh a.k.a. The Gran Wazoo, Stony Point, and the San Fernando Valley crew.
Aside from Guy Keesee and Nick Badyrka, we haven't really touched on these guys.
Is Jan McCollum from the Valley? I think so. Definitely Hank Levine, Dan Hershman, Tony Yaniro, and probably Randy Leavitt?
Wazoo is truly very strong. Remember the white deck shoes he would trounce us with on the hard problems?
And SUCH a modest soul (right ... uh-huh).
I think Bridwell was a pretty badass skier at one point Craig why didn't you hook up with him and like, Steve McKinney? They were buds and that McKinney guy was something else way ahead of his time from the stories Jim told me
My first time at Suicide Rock (76ish) with my climbing bros, we decide we can for sure do a 5.8, so we go to the North Side and check out the Guillotine
Our fearless leader, Kevin Watts will lead
he gets up to the bottom of the "tine" and gets some good pro in
He launches off onto the lieback from hell, a gapping flake with a slick foot surface,,, he gets up about 10 feet and flings off like a projectile
Luckily the pro holds, so we lower him the ground and BAILLLlllllllllll
10 years later
I walk up to the Guillotine that I still haven't done since that day and launch off for an easy free solo, I get to the "tine" and am reminded of that day long ago, the gapping vertical lieback above me,
but now it feels like a rail from heaven, I fire up it wondering what all the fuss was about back then.
I scramble back to the base and this guy comes up to and says, are you Dr. F?
I ask why, and he says it's me, Kevin Watts, I came up to see my old nemesis, and you are up there free soloing it !! WTF??
he just got out of 8 years in the military and missed it all
That photo of Mike Paul in Craig Fry's book, and a similar one of Woodward flashing the AWU, inspired and amazed me for years. What about the classic footage of MP in Masters of stone, floating the super desperates?? So awesome.
Roy I've always wished someone would do exactly what you are doing, reminiscing about hanging around when JB was firing these uber classic bps. MOre please! Were you there when he found Planet X, the JBMFP, etc, etc, etc, etc?? WRite it down, share it, loving these memories. Carry on!!
Mad props to Mike Paul. Truly a very gifted climber but more importantly a nice person to all of us visiting climbers even if he did sandbag us a wee bit! Also did I mention he likes to party hard! Way fun to hang with and toss about some good slander on various climbers . Club salute! Steve S / aka Jack Ness. x-dlfa
Little history of Bachar's exploits at Josh are remembered by others
He lived out there during the late 70s to mid 80s,
and did a lot of his stuff alone during the week days.
We all remember his workout installation located at the Gunsmoke,
and we can all point to his test pieces, but not much more.
We remember his campground presence more, blasting funk from his van, the sax.
Mike and Mari probably have the best stories, but they won't play on ST.
Once again guys, thanks for all the photos, memories, etc. Love the pics of Mike Paul...lots of memories there. What happened to the pics that Fish posted...nasty or what? Why removed? Fishy? Thanks Roy for all the good stuff. You too Craig ; ) P.S. When is the buggerer reunion?? I think I can make it if it's this winter....fun times. V
We need to get Dean to go and find the rare super 8mm movie he made one morning while we tagged along behind JB. This was his morning circuit, Bearded Cabbage, Hot Rocks, Left Ski, and on and on (faded memory)
And Roy, Jan was a Valley Boy and so was Mike Pope, Jim Wilson (wild jim)Shawn Curtis, Dean, and lets not forget "the goyle" (Mike Gardino) or Levi or Dave Katz or or or or or ???
Tad.... a different Jim Wilson. "wild Jim Wilson" he is on the TACO (sometimes) .... he still climbs. He is older than me! He was the leader of the Stoney Point crew in the 70's and still is the Mayor of Stoney Point.
Peter Wilkine (sp?) .... another Valley climber, he made almost all of the Gramichi stuff in the 80's before moving on to BD when they moved to SLC...... I wonder just what happened to him? Anybody know, please let me know.
Hey guys, what happened?? Nothing more to say about the Sheep Buggerers of JT?? This stuff was getting me thru the end of an extremely stressful school year with gut wrenching laughter at times. You've all gained many new fans. I think Fishy probably likes that ; ) Doug, Greg, Karl??? Any more photos?
Anyway, Tim, THANK YOU for the fine prose that began it all, the bleating, pics, blasts, and especially the memories that were drawn out of everyone. Thanks to all (*Roy*) for their contributions. I hope there is a reunion, it would be entertaining and fun. I'd love to see the ladies. Aloha, Vikki
There was "Wild" Jim Wilson, slightly older than we were, a great guy and hardcore. He may have been a few years older.
And there was Rubideoux (sp?) Jim Wilson. Rubideoux was of my era. My first ascent of Valhalla was with JW in '74. We were the same age, climbing together since '74-, graduated from high school in '75. He led the crux.
I don't remember much about "Wild Jim" but that on one occasion we all hiked up to "One Hour Rock," and did a number of FA's. I think Clark was there and maybe Matt Cox or RV. We did 4 or 5 routes and all were FA's.
By the end of 1976 Munoz and I were making our first forays into the sandy pit of graffiti and pink sandstone boulders that is Stony Point. During 1977 we became regulars.
There were the omnipresent teenage brothers who bouldered exclusively in mountain boots. The young greyhounds had narrow set eyes, sharp noses, and bowl-cut dark brown hair. They were highly skilled and the toes of their boots were totally blown out. They floundered at the real crags, but at Stony, they were little kings.
Scott Loomis a.k.a. The Old Man, was something of a self-driven prodigy. He must've been 12 or 13 years old. Bob Kamps was there, and he would boulder with the young Loomis, giving lessons in immaculate footwork and edging skills. We'd occasionally see Largo and Kevin Powell and Mari and others. We called Kevin "Popeye" for his nasal repartée and wicked strength-to-weight ratio.
Under the eucalyptus trees one smoggy afternoon, a long hair jumped up and grabbed the opening holds to a sort-of-high boulder problem called Pink Floyd. He stuck the holds and his feet swayed out from the overhanging rock. He stabilized, feet still free from the stone, and flung a dyno out left with his right hand, slapping for a gutsy crossover. He latched the hold, making an X pattern with his forearms. Feet still hanging away from the rock, he bumped his left hand to another hold.
I watched intently and counted the moves: dyno entry onto pinch-grip holds in an overhanging wall. Two successive dynos from those holds to grab the next two handholds, all with no feet. Only then did he bring his feet onto the available foot smears and continue his acrobatics, and high enough from the ground to get hurt. His ascent looked practiced, but really elegant and definitely powerful … maybe a little dangerous.
"And that is how you do that, boys."
I was beginning to see this bouldering thing really had potential!
We didn't know exactly why the dude was called Bullwinkle. True, he was lanky and had a rack of hair ... I never learned where his nickname came from, or I've simply forgotten. From Dean I learned about bouldering with gusto. I also learned that once you break bread with him, he'll back you up when you need it!
"Hey man, somebody send me up a reefer or something, FAST!"
That was the first and last time I'd ever heard Shawn asking for stoner supplies. He had just led Stick to What out at Echo T in Josh, circa 77 or early 1978. The sun was bright, we were all young, some of us just on spring break from high school, and the crystalline monzonite was sharp to the touch.
Levi cutoff shorts, EB's, scraggly red hair and a mock-histrionic display. Summoning reefer at his belay stance. I knew I liked Shawn right away, just from his self-effacing, cool-but-concerned style. Pat Nay was there that day too, fresh from his military stint in Germany, wearing an Edelrid chest harness.
It wasn't until the end of 1978 that I met him, when Shawn had returned from a trip to Canada and invited E, Fred Ziel and I to come down to San Diego to take a look at his slides from his trip to the ice fields.
"Man, just look at those glaciers and crevasses! How cool would it be to take acid in that setting!
It kind of hit me as a bit much, but Shawn had a bubbly enthusiasm that made it seem possible.
"Check out those taco shells I had to climb through on this next mixed section!
E and Fred and I went on a few climbing trips together. I didn't make it down to San Diego again for another couple of years, so really getting to know Shawn would have to wait. But we did pass through on our way to climb the Pan Am in late '79.
Summer of 1981, some of the Sheep Buggerers and most of the Joe Boys were all up in Tuolumne. Those club names were beginning to wear off.
By this time, having left Southern California for Mammoth Lakes in spring of 1980, I was pretty much an independent actor, and had ties to several groups of climbers hailing from Southern California, Yosemite, and the east side of the Sierra. (By the End of 1981 and Early 1982, Russ and I would become solid pals).
Shawn was there that summer. So was Tim Sorenson. Shawn was big into his photography at that point. He took a lot of pictures of us that summer. Peter Wilkeney was around as well. I was very driven by this time, almost antsy, and it was kind of obvious.
At one point Peter and some others said I should just chill out and drink a beer.
Tim and I had climbed Inverted Staircase on Fairview. The campground was free. I decided my relaxation program would include renovating a lawn chair with the help of a 2 inch swami. Tim and I attacked it like it really mattered and Shawn took pictures.
Shawn's sister has that photograph and a whole bunch of pictures which he took of us that year.
Shawn and Jim Angione and I had a memorable ascent of the East Face of Whitney roughly during that time period. It was our first time up the famous peak. We took a rope but I didn't use it and those guys only used it for the crux. We drove up there in Shawn's convertible.
We were camped at the lake the night before and saw a most remarkable rockfall off the ridge below Day Needle.
A suburban house sized block cut loose. We watched in awe as it fell, then hit and broke into multiple train car sized chunks. Then it was 2 dozen VW vans and then it continued to disintegrate.
To this day I've never seen anything like it except on Youtube videos.
Towards the end there is a wacky contextual blooper here, while watching free solo footage, we get the following overlay:
Commentator: "Thirty feet up, Lynn is perched on a ledge the size of a dime; how does she handle her fear of falling?"
Lynn: "It's only scary before you fall, after you fall it's kind of a relief, because you realize that it wasn't that bad and I've fallen 40 feet and just hopped back up on the climb and completed it."
Commentator: "What drives these people to risk their lives for a climb?"
Largo: "It's just fun ... probably the same ... as sinking a 35 foot jump shot or a sinking a long putt.
Thanks for thinking about me and posting the links to the reunions! Great photos and memories...having a slamming day at school and it helps when I can take a moment to have a good hearty laugh. The story about Katz is hilarious! Carry on....beautiful day in HI. Can see every valley and tree on Mauna Kea, nice trade winds. Keeps the vog (volcanic haze) at bay ; ) V
Guardino was recalling the night the park rangers told you guys to get out of the Valley and where to go ...
Many Long Island iced teas in the MR bar.
Short chat with park rangers/directions dispensed.
VW bus high centered, dangling over the edge of the river, somewhere near the El Portal sewage treatment plant.
Headlights pointing to the stars at the angle of a telescope.
9 mm cord tied from guard rail to bumper.
Gargoyle walks off into the night for help ...
Yeah... Cops told us where to go... we go there down by the sewage plant in El Portal. Way late. We go too far and have to hang a u-ee or Y turn thing on the skinny dirt-ish road that has a pretty sheer drop into the merced river on the business side.
I do the turn and hit a boulder on the first leg of the Y... it was hidden in some long brush. No big deal. I back up and promptly go off the road with the ass end of the bus. Rear wheels are not even touching!!! Long drop into the Merced. Everybody out!!! But, when I hit the rock it rotated the front wraparound bumper up enough to make it so neither front door would open!! Trapped like rats. The Garg is headed into the back of the teetering bus, to save his brand new Fires!!! The thing was like a teeter-totter. We eventually bail out the side door and lash the bus off to a fence post with a 9mm.
It is way late now and we go for help. Some river dudes are up the way and have a truck. But, the puss says it is his dads truck and he can't pull us out. WTF over?? But there is like 6 of them and they are way drunk so we recruit them to pull us off the brink by hand.
I stomp on the bumper to get in the front door and fire the rig up.... them boys are pulling for all they are worth as I go through all the gears... finally the real wheels hit tarmac and the bus launches into the crowd!!! At least one dude goes down and partially under the bus. Good times!!
Fires were saved, no real injuries, and the proper tool free bivy was eventually found.
Say Tardy... are you sure that is German Mike?? I think not. Maybe it will come to me. German Mike was thinner and liked doing one arms and acid in Camp4. Sorta introverted in a serial killer kind of way. Super strong gymnast type guy.
How about all them super Swiss/German guys? DePaolo and Big Sunny... Michi of course... Jody... German Mike and Mattias.... And the bent one.... Martin Scheel. And we all went to that steak house in the Castro District and the local fellas were foaming at the crotch checking out our meat store.
Remember the convertible that, what was his name?????? Fladdi/Vladdi!! Thats it. We kept calling him Vladdivostok or something and had... a Buick Electra with the girlfriend with the pony tail and they always dressed up like 50's teeny boppers. He was all fussy on the Priest Grade after a run to the Haight since my bus was so slow and he was overheating being behind me...!!
And the Swiss Misses... Dani and Melena?
And Punk Roy our chauffeur in the Swiss Mobile, along with the Writher girl from Ohio(?) and lots of Tangerine Dream and Talking Heads on the EastSide and Tahoe.
Manx had a habit of the rope jumping his back while belaying. Happened to me twice with him.
Once on Sundance as Roy said.... bolt were whipping by and finally I grabbed the rope and stopped myself. Roy was feeding the Manx pipeloads when I whipped. The other time was on the Sham at Taquitz. I'm one move above the bolt, I pop.. go a long way, off a small roof and through a bush/tree... giant whipper. Rope jumped his back. Ropeburns on the Manx from the arrest. I think we bailed.
It's well-known, I can't be trusted with flammables.
Remember when we were camped back at the scene of the crime, of the Gargoyle/VW bus cliffhanger incident by the El Portal sewage treatment plant, and I tried to blow up that propane cylinder while making coffee???
... And then you, Russ, backed away and fell off the edge of the road into the rocks and bushes?
Russ claimed Manx ballooned up to 400 lbs., turned tail and went back to Kentucky and wrote everybody post cards saying "I hate all of you!"
Not sure about that... but he is in Australia doing tech support or computer repair or something. I get reports from the Rubber Maiden from time to time. Last time I saw him he did dwarf me though, and I'm no lightweight.
Remember when we were camped back at the scene of the crime, of the Gargoyle/VW bus cliffhanger incident by the El Portal sewage treatment plant, and I tried to blow up that propane cylinder while making coffee???
... And then you, Russ, backed away and fell off the edge of the road into the rocks and bushes?
That was in the same timeframe as the Garg story... we were in your rig, way late at night making some spro... cuz that's how we did it....
You had like a mini cab over or something on your truck... anyway... making spro and something goes haywire with the stove... a gas lantern is going too... propane starts spewing out of a cylinder and makes all the air milky in the little RV... and there is an open flame with the lantern... I'm in some bunhuggers (summer, dont ask) and bail the rig and start walking away from the soon to explode vehicle... and step off backwards of the bridge that marks the forest service boundary.
I'm flying backwards through the air and land in a giant poison oak bush! WTF??? I take an immediate dirt bath and scrub everything twice... then get in the creek to finish the job. Never did get the oak on that one. Lucky!!
Strappo jumped up on the bar-top naked, with a cocktail toothpick crossways into his anteater foreskin, yelled something like "beware my hammerhead shark" then ran down the bar until he took the main roof beam in the forehead. Lights out, naked, hammerhead foreskin intact, laying on the bar unconscious.
You mean that story??
How about Powell and the MellowDick™™™ routine in the 4 Seasons? That is some funny sh#t too.
Roy, You are on fire!! You are my new hero for making me feel so special. Continue getting those photos up, good job!
Doug, thanks for the great pics...so many awesome memories ; )
Fishy, your stories make me laugh to the point of tears...
I even got teary eyed seeing the buggerers at the Weeping Wall.
How many lambs were born unto those buggers anyway?
A couple/three years before the changeover, that's where David Evans and I first spotted Bobbi Bensman ...
When she was fresh off the bus from Arizona and just a 19-year-old skinny climber girl with a bandanna over her hair, stretching out on the floor in a full splits.
I think we should start a Manx appreciation thread. When I think back of all the fun times and the things he did for me, there must be others that Kent helped out. He even gave me a place to crash a few times. One of my fondest memories is digging out of school, meeting up with the Manx and going to Santa Anita and betting ($2) on all the grey horses that day. They ALL came in. I thought their muscles looked bigger ; ) I came home with $140 and thought I was rich!
Another vivid memory of Kent is when I got the flu while living in Tuolumne, I believe the summer of '80. Burning up with fever, The Manx picked me up and put me in the back seat of my '66 Dart, and drove me to the hospital in Bishop. They gave me a shot of penicillin then made we wait to see if there would be any adverse reaction. As soon as we got back to the car I started projectile vomiting in the parking lot. I think E was on the Captain.
Any Manx stories out there?? After all, he was a real bugger...
Moonie, thx for firing up those memories.
Did you ever share how The Fish got his name? We are all curious...please do share : )
Oh, and Vikki ...
You asked about Sheep Buggerer progeny.
Buggerers in whirligig caps. Joe Boys in sombreros.
L-R Tony Montiel, Russ Walling, Greg Byrne, Larry Stone, John Freriks
Photo, Doug Munoz
Tony Montiel, alive and well, not sure about kids.
Russ Walling is like performance art: you only get one shot, so no proj.
Greg Byrne, with his wife Luresa, have a boy named Clayton.
Larry Stone, girlfriend, no progeny.
John Freriks, married with a son, who is also a talented runner.
Doug Munoz, (Buggerer, not pictured), with his wife Joan, have a son named Sid.
Jeff Sewell, (Joe Boy, not pictured) remarried to the lovely Cynthia, has four kids from a previous marriage.
Dave Bruckman and Joe Hedge, both Joe Boys, both single, no kids.
I'm happily married to Lisa.
But, like Russ, no kids … With me you only get one match to light!
Roy, Thanks for filling me in...I don't always recognize folks.
Since I'm listed as a bugger under The Fish on some list, I have twin sons that will be 23 yrs. in July...time sure flies when you're having fun. Turned out to be awesome young men, trying to save the world and all that. I'll try to dig up a pic with all of us in it. Don't take many, don't carry a smart phone.
I'm totally looking forward to the next chapter...180 degree lifestyle change. Thinking about early retirement ; ) Stay tuned. Aloha, V
I wonder if anybody has any photos of the Mass Assaults we would do on Sunday afternoons, after a huge MEGA SESSION at the base of the WW.
Usually Mo would start up Revelations, trailing a rope unbelayed, at the first bolt someone else would tie in and start climbing while Mo would continue.... sometimes we would have Mo at the top with sombody just starting up... about 15 climbers all in all in a huge simul.
I know that little bit of nuttiness had to have been captured by someone.
And a Question for V ...... you had a dodge dart and you drove these idiots around, right? Did you go to school at La Verne?
Prolly wrong gal. Went to HS at SG, PCC where I met the buggers, then Cal Poly SLO for multiple degrees and credentials...professional student.
Lived with EE in Boulder after a summer in Yosemite ('80-81,'82?, it's fuzzy) where we had lots of folks over for parties and climbing (Aloha Todd G!), Morro Bay and SLO town. Ended up moving to the Big Island in 1990 to have a career as a school counselor. Lived in Yosemite for 3 summers, even while living in Boulder. Sold the Dart to a climber while living in SLO.
Tell me who you are, I do have some memory left...things before children are the most blurry ; ) E has been most helpful in filling in the holes.
Didn't really spend much time driving the buggers around. Just the one time I pulled out onto Topanga Canyon Blvd. when Russ let out an unusually loud bleating sound...completely distracting me. You bad Fishy. More Manx please. Awesome memories of the intersection table too, LOL.
PS. E and Tarbuster were 2 of the cutest guys out there ; )
Dave Katz pretty much looks the same...must be the margarita's!
Russ and Jeff, many thanks for the great pics. More pics Doug!!
Also joining us was a very large black man named Marcus, who I later beat out in an eating contest, including ribs, corn, potatoes and pie. Little 135 pound Bob Finn could also out-work Marcus in terms of sheer load carrying capacity, which was really something to watch. Marcus knew we were just a bunch of crazy white boys.Italic Text
Marcus Grear - he lived in Yosemite in the 70's and migrated to the East Side after that. He did road crew all up and down 395 - snow plow, etc. He eventually settled in to South Lake Tahoe. Now he lives in Washington State - but he plans on moving back down that way in the fall. He would get a kick out of reading this. He always enjoyed playing with blues bands in the Bishop area.
I checked out my climbing notes from the 70s and there they were
I kept real notes back then, from the 80s on it was just a check mark in the guidebook or a FA name scribbled in the back
I met Mike at Humber Park one morning, summer of 76, both of us were looking for someone to climb with, Mari was off with Bob Camps in Tuolumne for a couple weeks.
I had a bigger rack, so we went to the big stone and did Super Pooper and some other classics, next day we did Suicide.
We met up the next weekend with Mari and did Valhalla.
(For DE, I led the 2nd P. in 77)
We did 100s of routes together over many years, the Nose 8/78.
There was no doubt that Mike became and was the best Southern Cal. local climber (Bacher not being a local) for 2 decades.
And Mari being the best female climber for the same period.
Visited them last Fall out in Josh, still awesome folks.
the notes say we did Duck Soup with Guyman!
Craig, I neglected to reply earlier but I enjoyed your response to my question re JB's bouldering exploits. You recalled that he did a lot of that stuff solo on weekdays with no one there to see.... not quite the response I was fishing for, but gold nonetheless. Heady times and legendary personalities for sure. I was born too late.
Killer money shot of ML cruising the X too.
Soon after the "Beer Ascent" of Crescent Arch I moved to Sacramento and went for a semester at American River College.
I climbed almost exclusively with Jeff Sewell's cousin Tom Smith.
Tom was a great partner and WAY psyched! We spent the year touring all of the cool areas available from Sacto. Tom was an expert in (majoring in grape harvesting) ....viniculture and has become a fixture in this world.
We went all over, Donner, Eagle Lake, The Leap, Calaveras Dome and all satellite formations, Phantom Pinnacles, S. Lake Tahoe, Cosumnes River Gorge........everywhere. I see from the records that I climbed with Nick Badyrka and a few others up there as well.
At one point we did a classic FA on the Leap. It was over to the right of the Bear's Reach and such..... We scoped the widest area on the Leap with no routes and saw a cool line with features from top to bottom. We started at bottom and did a 2-3 pitch route that we thought was great. The pro was a little sketchy, one or two bolts, 2 or 3 pitons and the rest clean. 5.9R.
We reported it to the locals and received no acknowledgement. The route never made the guide.
Bachar and Largo were competitive, and Yabo … tortured, half crazy, and painfully sincere.
At the end of the 70s, it was my time to shine. I had quit college, climbed The Nose, and started guiding as much as possible. During the winter of '80, Erik and I joined Largo, Lynnie, Vogel, Yabo, and a few others for the FAs of the top rope problems Animalitos and Animalargos, at Hound Rocks, Joshua Tree. These discontinuous crack lines were steep and almost acrobatic. Animalitos was the name printed on a box of animal crackers which we passed around. We had fun naming the second route after John Long: "Animalargos".
While we were warming up, Yabo lit up solo on one of the nearby Baskerville cracks. He was always charging out on something iffy, maybe hoping for approval, but mostly getting his fix. Watching him was kind of yucky. He shook nervously for a good portion of his daily baptism.
A year earlier, I'd had my own baptism.
"Get yer chalk bags! Bachar's goin' to The Beaver!!!" Mari rallied the troops … and anybody who thought they could hang, came with.
We were cliquish as hell. But it was a meritocracy, and people generally self-selected, because the atmosphere was inclusive. The Kirkatron, a pumpy traverse named after the eccentric saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk (idolized by Jimi Hendrix), was one of Bachar's favorite workout venues. So we would all sling laps on the reddish monzonite at the base of Sports Challenge Rock and share a top rope on Leave It to Beaver.
When I buzzed across the traverse, Mari hollered, "Where did we get this kid?", but I snapped off a hold and flew onto my back. I was getting strong, but still a little green.
There were times when being out bouldering was the better call, if just to stay warm. This also suited group activities. There is a water wheel affect when climbing in a collective. Examples get set. People try harder. We made each other better by pushing one another. And as part of his meticulous nature and personal flair, Bachar started wearing these idiosyncratic color-coordinated sports outfits. He was a pro, and acted the part.
Gil Scott Heron: "The revolution will not be televised!" The Last Poets: "Black is you, black is me, black is us, black is free." Bachar had soulful and eclectic tastes in jazz. He could also be sharply standoffish, reciting cutting jabs from Frank Zappa while bouldering stuff you couldn't touch.
Boulder problems and ratings? With Bachar you got the John Gill scale. B1, B2, B3. For a while there, only if something was really stiff, would we let it be called B1. Some of us mortals could do those if we really dug deep. Then there were the "Bachar problems". Usually B1+ or harder. From there, it could get confusing and was open to interpretation. B3 was only allotted to problems which one person could do. As soon as it had a second ascent, the problem automatically became B2. And B2, as far as Bachar was concerned, was virtually nonexistent, reserved only for the very hardest problems. And then he told me: "Just look at Gill's scale, Roy. B1 starts at F10, which is 5.10a or b." So, unless you were Bachar, B1 comprised nearly the whole range, because everything from V0, up to about V7, was just B1, maybe B1+ …
Bachar had gone down to Patagonia with Mike Graham and Bridwell. This was just before Bridwell's ascent of Cerro Torre with Steve Brewer. Spring of '79, Bachar, Erik, Lynn, Mike, Mari, Dan Goodwin, and I went on an overnight trip into The Wonderland, for an ascent of Hyperion Arch. During the hike in, John regaled us with stories of hanging with Bridwell on the train, its steel wheels gravely thundering deeply into South America. They swallowed small chips of acid to pass the time, and eventually aborted the expedition. At the base of their intended route, an avalanche had covered their supplies. Bachar and Graham soon left the stalwart Bridwell to his own devices.
The night before we all climbed Hyperion, campfire and reefer-driven chat provided a cheerful eddy in the cold black night of the desert. As we were zipping into our bags for a night of rest beneath the ceiling of stars, Bachar showed us how to make a bed of coals, covered with a thick layer of sand to keep his Blonde God physique extra warm. So he set it all up and rolled his sleeping mat directly over the coals, which were just a little bit submerged in sand. Somewhere in the middle of our sleep, I awoke to hear Erik giggling. Bachar was hustling about in small fits because he had been getting overheated by the coals. Even legends feel the burn.
One very cold morning after the mass Hyperion ascent, when I was scurrying along the edge of B loop with Lechlinski, getting geared up for the day, Bachar was already halfway up Howard's Horror Direct. He was in the zone, piloting his solo capsule.
"He's crazy, it's way too cold for this. Don't follow that example."
Lechlinski a.k.a. Mo, was 26 and I was just 18. Powerful and intimidating, but with a youthful face and a kind of charm which made him seem years younger, he had a solid presence and was an uncanny nonverbal communicator. So when he spoke, there would usually be some kernel of wisdom in his words.
Mo borrowed Bachar's BMX bike and Evans loaned me his Schwinn stingray death bike and we rode to Keys View. The peddling put heat in our bodies and the effort felt good. It's a few miles, all uphill, we were under-geared, and we weren't seasoned riders, so it was kind of an event.
The descent was fast and fun. I was really stoned. I soaked up the sensations from the mechanics of the speeding bike, rubber tires humming over the grainy road, and Mike's bike whirring along to the side, his body hunched over in a tuck. When we got back to camp, Shockley came up to me, "I hear you and Mike pedaled out to Keys view!" Dick was being congratulatory and it felt special. I was beginning to be part of something – something real and vital and absolutely necessary to the survival of the soul.
Another cold weekend at Josh, early 1979, Scatterbrain campsite. Fingertips shredded. Guns holstered. Somebody produced a tape measure and indexed Largo's cranium. One thing led to another and then we were measuring the standing broad jump, grandstanding for Bachar as he let fly.
Mari, Jessica, Roy, Cashner, Largo, Lynn, Bachar:
photo, Dean Fidelman
(the photo is cropped from an 11 x 17, hand-delivered from Dean by Lynn, which hangs in my world headquarters office)
In the photo below, taken the same weekend as the picture above, we see Lynn Hill on the cover of Mountain Magazine, making the FA of a tall boulder problem in Josh. On this day a bunch of us had spread out into the desert, into the Asteroid Belt, including Juan Largo, Rick Cashner, Randy Vogel, Lynn, maybe Erik, and a few others, scouting for new problems.
Followed by Monday morning $1.99 breakfast at Don Ricardo's with Russ, Larry Loads, Mo, Driver.
Plus Stony on Tuesday, fingertip pull-up contests on the Boxer's door trim on Wednesday, Rubidoux on Thursday ...
And don't get me started about those early 80s multiple-Denny's-stop-pie-coffee-psychotropic-infused all nighter Friday drives out to Josh with The Fish after his machine shop let him off the leash ...
I was beginning to be part of something – something real and vital and absolutely necessary to the survival of the soul.
Roy.... very true. I was asked one time by one of the young dudes at SP "so this Stonemaster thing did you need to join like a club?" or something along those lines....
My reply.... we didn't start out thinking we were special in anyway, we were just very young and we were having a blast with this rockclimbing thing. If you were luckey enuf to have lived in those times and you had something to offer, you became part of the group, and the group swallowed you up.
I reall love that shot of DE on swept away... really shows the whole "I made it to this good hold, now WTF do I do with it? "
Great story Roy. Keep it up, you're making my week. It was great fun being part of the group...it's amazing how new memories keep popping up. I heard that Ho Man! a few times climbing up Suicide as JL was below me looking up ; )
Of course our Sheep Buggerer crew were all Geniuses in one realm or another
some in numerous exploits all at one time
That's what brought us together
Have you seen the sewing stitches on the latest Fish Gear. Very impressive!!
swellyman, packaged goody management
DE, Advanced County Bird Watching authority
Moonie, scientist, tele skier, still fuzzy (according to unnamed sources)
Tar, writer, runner's wife
The Fist, artist
Manx, vacuum salesman
Loads, Real Estate Mogul
Schumtzfink, hedge fund manager at Goldman Sachs
I could go on..
but will have to do alittle more research
Jeff, LOVE the pic of E...looks like a Viking Warrior.
Guy, a league by himself and still blasting at 49 ;)
Johnny, moved to Hawaii so I wouldn't have to wear much : )
Now I'm blushing...
Roy keep it up...15 more school days. Thank you for your devotion, research,
photos, time it takes to make it all come together, and how it's giving everyone
a load of great memories and warm fuzzies. Aloha nui brah.
P.S. The Ho Man! was on Tahquitz not Suicide, but who remembers anyhow?
Anyone want to have a reunion in the Valley at the end of June???
The coolest thing about the ManxyDude is how is name is engraved on real permanent signs leading to his namesake boulders... The Manx Boulders. Even the Park Service recognized his brilliance and immortalized him on a few metal and spaceage laminate signs.
Totally agree about Manx being an unlikely historic figure in the climbing world.
And yes, immortalized with signage! Touché!
Hadn't realized over all those years he had climbed The Salathe. Got to be a feather in his cap!
But then when you understand, after Mooney climbed The Nose (with Fish? Boxer?) that he declared it: VERTICAL BACKPACKING, well ...
Exactly one year after the Miles Davis album Kind of Blue was released, I was born in Sierra Madre California, within spit-shot of the rugged San Gabriel Mountains, August 17, 1960. Kind of Blue is noted as the best-selling jazz record of all time.
My father had been into jazz since the end of the Korean War. The first music I remember hearing, was jazz. My mother worked a few stretches of swing shift at her job with the Pasadena Police Department, so Rodger had me to himself on those evenings. I feel fortunate to have retained some these very early childhood memories.
Between the ages of two and four years old, I would sit in a big black naugahyde easy chair, listening to jazz on the radio. As Rodger prepared dinner, he kept me satiated and entertained by feeding me olives and radishes while I listened to the music.
In those days, the early 60s, I recall much more vibraphone, or vibes, being played on the jazz stations. The playlist also seemed more trumpet-centric, whereas in later years, and even now I see the emphasis on saxophone. We lived in Southern California, so naturally, the smoother, more introspective West Coast jazz ruled the local airwaves at the time.
There was a radio commercial which got a lot of air time, and it entreated the listener to come out to Shelly Manne's jazz club, which was cleverly named: Shelly's Mann-Hole. Shelley Manne was said to of been one of the most musical drummers around and he was big into the West Coast cool jazz scene.
"What's a manhole, daddy?"
"It's a round metal cover which blocks a big hole in the street. It lets men get down beneath the street in case they need to work on the storm drains and sewers."
"So they play jazz music down there? And there's a guy on a microphone down there? And they make radio from under the street?"
In the 70s my dad liked Quincy Jones, Chuck Mangione, and the compositions and arrangements of Michelle Legrand. He enjoyed playing Mangione's The Land of Make-Believe for my little sister. Sometimes in my early teens, I would thumb through his record collection. Visually, the album that sticks in my mind most is the cover of Milestones. Miles Davis sits on a stool against a burnt orange background. He looks thicker in the face and of better physical constitution than he did in many other photographs. On that album cover, Miles is the solid, serious artist. He holds out his trumpet firmly as if to say: THIS.
I was an inquisitive child. I asked a lot of questions. My father sent me to private schools until third grade. To answer my incessant questioning, to which he already knew most of the answers, Dad bought me a set of Colliers Encyclopedia. I mostly just looked at a section which featured a colorful array of world flags and another which highlighted the varied insignias of U.S. Army uniforms. Rodger eventually read all of those encyclopedias cover to cover. He was a voracious reader and when in his 30s and 40s, many said he could have challenged a graduate degree in history. He had a mathematical appreciation of music.
Rodger had a smooth face with just a wrinkle between his eyebrows. He was of average height, at 5'9". His thin dark brown hair receded, but I never saw much of any gray. For my entire life, he had burly forearms and a beer belly. When he worked on cars, he immediately began sweating like the prolific tennis champion Rafael Nadal, bearing down on the final set of a match.
"Rodge" considered himself a sociopath, which is doubtful on many fronts, but he didn't mince words, that's for sure. In the 1970s and 1980s I became a rock climber. We climbers spent many nights out in the cold and ravaged our bodies on the stone and lived hard at times. Most of us were inculcated with 70s drug culture. During that period in my life, some climbing buddies visited my family home. One of them was a bit war worn, but had earned his wizened visage, indulging many antics and bold adventures.
"Hey dad, this is my friend Mike."
"Hey there, Mike. Want a beer? I see you could use one, you look like 40 miles of bad road. Whatever you've been doing, it's aging you!"
When I was in my early 50s and he was in his late 70s, I asked Rodger what he liked to listen to most. He said, "East Coast jazz. Hard bop."
"What about all those Stan Kenton records you have?"
"That's before I knew what I was doing."
Rodger had a good life for a war orphan from Nazi Germany. John Wayne movies convinced him at 16 years old that the adventure of war was where it was at. He lied about his age to the recruiters, and got himself into the Army a year early. He survived the Korean War and became interested in sports car racing at the invite of my grandfather. For 35 years he had just one job, working as an equipment installer for Ma Bell's Western Electric. He wrenched on cars with his pals and worked as a corner flagman at Riverside International Raceway for almost 30 years. He drank mountains of beer and wine, smoked 2 to 3 packs of menthols a day, and lived happily into his early 80s.
He was hard to kill. He'd been in the hospital for a short stay, with cardiac and other issues and defied all of the doctors. Some of his numbers were extremely good for his age and others indicated he shouldn't have lived another minute. The end was imminent, yet he still continued on for a number of months and in a fairly robust state. We said our goodbyes.
"Roy, I've got one foot on a roller skate and the other on a banana peel."
I couldn't complain when he died. I just saw too many positives to his life and he had been a good father. Physically solid, but heart failing, while loading a case of bottled water into the back of his truck, he went out like a light. That was the expression he would use when my little sister and I were tired kids and fell asleep quickly. I like to say he shopped till he dropped.
I recently acquired 30 vinyl record albums from his collection. (I have yet to get the old 78 rpm records). Given that he said he liked hard bop, I have found it interesting that most of what he bought, purchased in the mid-to-late 50s, is predominantly West Coast cool jazz. Shorty Rogers, Stan Getz, The Lighthouse All-Stars. There's some good stuff bridging away from swing, but not yet bop. The 3 Herds: Woody Herman and his Orchestra. Adventures in Rhythm: Pete Rugolo and his Orchestra. Elliot Lawrence Plays Jerry Mulligan Arrangements.
I'm schooling myself on the history of jazz and the more I read, the more I put it together. With where we grew up, I see why his collection has so much West Coast cool jazz. His modus operandi was to listen and to read. In those days, that process took time. By the time he knew enough to understand his own particular taste, he was raising a family and could no longer justify extras like hi-fi records to indulge his musical interests.
He did have Kind of Blue and Milestones in his collection. Both records ventured into modal jazz, but in Milestones hard bop comes through. I've had those vinyl records of his in my possession for years, because I knew what they were and he let me have them long ago.
I can see why my dad eventually settled in with hard bop. It's how I remember him. Bouncy, upbeat, and can-do. To get a feel for those rhythms and textures and colors that were Rodger, listen to Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus. Throughout my youth he was a compulsive whistler. Now that I have worked through more of his music and read about different styles, I see that he was whistling hard bop!
In my late teens I was into rock and roll and jazz fusion, and that wasn't Rodger's deal. Fathers and sons grow apart. But, when I was 19 years old, I took a young woman named Jeanette down to Hermosa Beach, to see some jazz at Shelly's Manne-Hole. The club felt tiny, and crammed inside next to the tables was a small ensemble doing improvisational jazz. That's bebop in a nutshell isn't it? Of course it has to swing! I really didn't know what I was hearing at the time, but I wanted to like it.
We stayed for a while, had drinks. Then Jeanette got bored with it so we left. We were just a few steps down the sidewalk and briefly looked inside another club as we passed by. A self-conscious rock 'n roller stood defiantly, shod in red tights and knee-high lace up leather boots, making tonal wreckage with his guitar. Jeanette swung her dark brown shoulder length hair around and pointed her perfect nose up in the air toward me, then peaked her eyebrows.
"Maybe that's what we need to check out!"
As she held my arm, I wheeled her around, we picked up our pace on the sidewalk and just kept on moving. I couldn't do it!
Just yesterday I was hiking into the verdant Gregory Canyon, to the right of Chautauqua Park in Boulder Colorado. The red powdery trail beneath my feet was rimmed with rivulets of melted spring runoff and the green scrub along the trail was dotted with aromatic spring blooms. White snows still coated the pointed summits of the surrounding peaks. The Flatirons lay above the steep green lawn at the edge of the manicured path, their slender rectangular faces organized like keys on a vibraphone.
I thought about Milestones, the namesake tune of the album, and how evocative it is of the feeling of spring. I drank in nature's fecundity and felt the rhythms of jazz driving all of it. There is such lively, productive, and hopeful movement in Milestones. It is much like water burbling, green grass swaying in active breezes, flowers rhythmically popping open, little creatures busily scurrying about in the verge.
My old man liked driving. Before I was a teenager, I went lots of places with him in his car, just the two of us. We would race along the edges of the guard rail of the Pasadena Freeway in his Porsche speedster. It felt risky but controlled and I liked the sense of speed. It was here that I learned about confidence under duress.
He would take me to Will Rogers State Beach and the sand always stuck between my toes on the ride home. We did lots of errands together. Rodger would bring me along to his favorite Caldwell Tires in Pasadena. Steeped in the pungent smell of fresh rubber and clanking airguns, he talked shop with his racing buddies.
Rodger liked to drive us up to Altadena to get haircuts in his favorite barbershop. While waiting my turn, I looked at superhero comics books and uncoiled the tiny comic strips wound around pink squares of Bazooka bubblegum. At the end of the cut, there was always the slightly irritating feeling of stiff bristles against my neck as the barber cleaned up. Sitting in that barber chair, with mirrors in front and behind, I marveled at the reflections repeating into infinity.
At the finish of these adventures, I was usually very sleepy. My father would back our car into the garage and had a habit of un-clicking his seatbelt as he shut the engine off, letting the car coast the remaining 10 or 20 feet into the garage. Then, without fail, the un-snapping of his seatbelt would stir me just before the car came to a halt. To be sure I was awake and ready to move on, and in a fatherly sing-song, he would whisper aloud: "End of the line."
Roy! Thanks for all the writing. You too Dave and Craig. You guys have brought a lot of good memories back up. We really did live thru some golden years.
One of my fondest memories of you guys is when you asked Hauser if you could borrow his van to get out of the wind. We look in a couple minutes later and you had the mirror off the wall and are doing lines. He was so straight I thought he might die of shock. I did finally get him to drink tequila some nights around the campfire.
It was during one of the door-jam pull ups, bong-loads, sht talking and listening to music way too loud sessions at the Boxer’s house in 1979, when Roy shows up and regales us with stories about climbing with this guy Erik, who he informed us was, “The best face climber in North America”.
Shortly after this Roy invited me to go ice climbing in Lee Vining with him, Erik and their friend Lou. I was a little more than intimidated to meet Erik given his reputation. I think the only reason Roy invited me was so I could fill a pipe as I had just procured a bag. We all rented cross country skis from the now defunct Alta sport and headed up to Lee Vining for the weekend. Lou had a couple of Lowe Big Bird axes (state of the art at the time), Roy had some Forrest tool we ended up nicknaming the plate maker because every time he set the tool a large plate of ice would come raining down. One giant block of ice hit me in the shoulder basically giving me a neurapraxic lesion, paralyzing my arm for about 4 days, because I couldn’t use my arm E ended up belaying both Roy and Lou at the same time while I crawled away from the bombardment to lick my wounds and watch from the sidelines. I ended up meeting Erik again at Pasadena City College.
Erik at one time or another ended up mentoring all of us; Roy, Russ (The Fish), Greg (the Driver), Karl (the Boxer), Kent (Manx), myself (Moonie) and I am sure many others, giving us all a leg up in our climbing.
Here are a couple of shots from that weekend (winter of 1979-1980) back when ice climbers wore wool and needed two hands to set a screw.
Roy, That piece lightened up my otherwise tedious day. Great stuff. And, Congratulations on your and Lisa's anniversary. Been up Haleakala and running that is impressive.
To add a tid-bit about the DE picture on the FA of Swept Away. Dave has traversed off the hanging belay, and is trying to get situated on some rather poor footholds to pull out his hammer and drill a bolt. It seems like it would make a good picture. So, I pull out my Nikon, focus and shoot (this is really a two hand maneuver), while trying to maintain some semblance of hip belay. I don't think Dave was pleased...
Before finishing your story I was already googling and listening to Sonny Rollins, St Thomas, then got to the bottom of the read to see you had already posted all those great jazz pieces, ha ha. Guess I jumped the gun but the story about you and your dad really got me to remembering my brief period of interest in jazz, the Bird, Coltrane and other greats.
Solid writing dude, bring it.
Happy Anniversary and many more to you and your true beloved!