Looking for Ray Olson


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Messages 1 - 32 of total 32 in this topic

Boulder climber
Jamul, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - May 7, 2016 - 11:20am PT
Hey can anyone give me contact info for Ray Olson? I live down in Jamul and I wanted to talk to him about a deer horn Valley climbing guide he wrote.



May 7, 2016 - 11:27am PT
Cub reporter for the Daily Planet?

I know dumb but keeping it bumped for you

Trad climber
Josh, CA
May 7, 2016 - 11:38am PT
I haven't seen Ray in 4 or 5 years. I think he's somewhere in San Diego. That was the last I have heard from him.

Mountain climber
Anchorage, AK
May 7, 2016 - 12:20pm PT

Juan Maderita

Trad climber
"OBcean" San Diego, CA
May 7, 2016 - 12:29pm PT
Go to this link:
Click on the box "Send Email to Ray Olson"

Boulder climber
Jamul, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 7, 2016 - 04:10pm PT
OK, I sent him an email - we see if it pops with anything. Yes that is the guide I was talking about.


Boulder climber
Jamul, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 11, 2016 - 09:40pm PT
Hmmm. Nothing.

Jul 14, 2016 - 04:56pm PT
Did you ever find Ray? If you do, say hi from me.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Jul 14, 2016 - 05:11pm PT
Those emails are not going through I suspect
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Jul 14, 2016 - 06:48pm PT
I haven't see this thread before.
It it steamy hot, so the widows are wide open, we were painting and rearranging furniture.
Changing the layout for the 1st time in ten years. Getting rid of the kids 'schmutzz' from toddler-hood, Living room walls scrubbed clean and painted.

There is a desk that sat backwards facing the wall,
openable for the 1st time in that 10 years. Inside I found the New york Times magazine from,
1/1/89 with the great story of Lynne H & her climb of the hardest route in the Gunk's at the time a sport bolted line.
& a FROG tag / label, from my old harness. Take it as a sign. Lets hear from RAY!
I don't know why the label is so golden in this picture

San Diego
Nov 28, 2016 - 06:29pm PT
Hi all, I'm Ray's nephew, Neil. I recently started climbing and thought I'd google my Uncle Ray to see if anything cool popped up, and a lot did. I found this thread and shared it with my Dad and Uncle Mike so that we could reply to you. So here is a letter from my Dad:

//Dear climber friends of Ray Olson,

We are Ray Olsonís brothers, Bob and Mike. Bobís son Neil, currently developing a burgeoning interest in climbing, stumbled upon this thread and brought it to Mikeís and my attention.

We are saddened, but at the same time we feel an obligation to let Rayís climbing friends and acquaintances know of his untimely death in 2012. We are gratified that Ray had so many friends, many of whom took the trouble to try to find him. We are also proud that Rayís FROG equipment and Deerhorn Valley guide appear to be historic in their own right. Both were truly from Ray Olsonís garage and a tribute to his love for the sport. Thank you for keeping Ray in your thoughts and prayers.

Bob, Mike, and Neil Olson//

It's a bummer to share that news with you, but it's also cool to see he had so many great friends. Reading through all the old Supertopo threads he was a part of, it's clear he was able to make an impact on this sport that was his passion. My uncle took me climbing out to Mt. Woodson a few times as a kid. Totally green and a little intimidated, I was humbled A LOT. We would hike and climb all day, and he taught me how to overcome my fears. He showed me some of his first ascents and I understood why he loved this sport so much. Those were the best memories I have of him. Back then, he got me a harness, shoes, webbing, and a chalk bag. Now that I'm getting back into climbing, I can't use the shoes anymore but I'm stoked to use everything else as it's a reminder of him and his passion for climbing.

Please share with anyone who would want to know. Thanks.


Trad climber
Salt Lake City Ut.
Nov 28, 2016 - 06:49pm PT
I'm sorry to hear this news.

Ray and I were good friends when he worked for Chouinard and I for Gramicci about 30 yrs ago. He was always a bit eccentric in a good way. I once bought a 10+ foot long board from him. Why would he even have that. Go figure.


Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
Nov 28, 2016 - 06:52pm PT
Neil: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Ray's brothers & share your sad information with us.

I never met Ray, & my life is less, for that reason.

Belated condolences to his family & friends.
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Nov 28, 2016 - 06:54pm PT
Wow... Knew Ray from way back and had been to the "garage" a few times. To some degree I followed in his footsteps with my own sewing gig. He was certainly a top shelf innovator in the outdoor sewing world. 2012?? Damn... RIP.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Nov 28, 2016 - 07:13pm PT
Then I raise my glass and toast


TO RAY. . . . FROG

The true creator of the Bod harness!
and so much more

Fish has never been so humble!
not that I'm talking out of turn - he & I are not on speaking terms
But for the family ; The Olson's need to know. . .
The post two posts up ~ Russ Walling! ~
You and your family need to know that Russ is the FISH
Of . . . . Hey I had that link saved for sure where have I put it?

Yes and please as very much the biggest climber has asked in the next post
Largo is the one and only John Long
Hats off to you sir!

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 28, 2016 - 07:16pm PT
Can anyone add anything more than "untimely death." For those of us who knew and climbed with Ray, a little more info helps out. Sorry to hear this news.

Gold Canyon, AZ
Nov 28, 2016 - 07:17pm PT
Yes he did make the good stuff. Bummer to hear this unfortunate news.


Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Nov 28, 2016 - 07:18pm PT
Can anyone add anything more than "untimely death." For those of us who knew and climbed with Ray, a little more info helps out. Sorry to hear this news.

Social climber
Wise Acres
Nov 28, 2016 - 07:47pm PT
Thanks Neil for letting us know Ray was a good guy. I have a Bosch Bulldog sleeve he made that works great and was well thought out!
I'm bummed to find this out, R.I.P. Ray!

Nor Cal
Nov 28, 2016 - 08:11pm PT
Damn, this is horrible. I remember ray getting ready to leave boulder, he hated the way people treated him there (edit: not referring to climbers, just the town people). then i never heard from him again after we visited and hung out at goatboys pad one night back before 2010.

Grey Matter
Nov 28, 2016 - 08:11pm PT
An inspirational & innovative climber and seeker!

Social climber
Nov 28, 2016 - 09:04pm PT
Sad news.

Knew Ray back in the day when he lived out of an ancient, classic, 50s truck with camper, around J-Tree and the Valley. Eccentric, colorful, creative, very bright, great company round those endless winter camp fires. And not afraid of anything or anyone. Later, he lived and worked in Boulder for a while too, ran into him from time to time. He worked at Neptunes for a while, also tried writing fiction stories, no idea what if anything came of them. Recall he wrote some pretty wild, raw stuff, always creative, always original.

Two memories stand out: In the Valley, Bacher Cracker. I watched him nonchalantly campus though this, one-finger-jam pull-up after one-finger-jam pull up. He was so strong!

And a letter he wrote to one of the mags, ranting in fine style about too much reporting on the same old "big men with big egos doing big climbs on big cliffs!"

A true original.
RIP Ray.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 28, 2016 - 09:19pm PT
Ray posted in this forum as:

Raydog (until 2008):

Ray-J (until 2009):

frog-e (until November 2011):

In addition to his climbing gear design and manufacture,
Ray did some of the early bolt replacement, such as the anchor for Outer Limits.

He had neurosurgery in June 2010 for degenerative lumbar arthritis:

right here, right now
Nov 28, 2016 - 10:16pm PT
He left us all the way back in 2012?!

Last I heard, he was in California again and into riding Harleys, or maybe big bore cruiser bikes.
Something about wheelies on those big bikes getting the better of him, ha!

Ray Olson, hanging out in Marshall Colorado, early 90s:

Ray had a very technical mind. I often thought he should have been an industrial designer, but alas, like many of us, he was all about climbing and the attendant counterculture. This isn't so bad, as these were his first and last loves in life.

Nevertheless, when you caught him in that mood, he could be really fun to talk to about design, aesthetics, and creative solutions for all sorts of things. In those conversations it was fun to see that when he was focused, his attention was very ordered and productive.

He could be all about how things work and that was when he was at his best. Ray could be troubled and troubling at times, but we also had ourselves lots of laughs when the good stuff got lined up in the crosshairs!

"The Frog" was an itinerant member of the 80s Joshua Tree scene and present for many of the antics and good times. He was a part of us all, and one of the many rich characters which made our outsider's dream such a kick in the pants!!!

Here's to you, hangin' fire, Ray Olson.
dee ee

Mountain climber
Of THIS World (Planet Earth)
Nov 29, 2016 - 08:17am PT
Wow, this comes as a surprise.

I hung out and bouldered with Ray many times back in the '80s when we lived in SD. He was a solid part of the climbing community and was at our house on Paiute for many a spontaneous get together.

Rest in peace Ray.

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Nov 29, 2016 - 09:22am PT
Sad news indeed...

Ray was one of the tribe and he added greatly to the sport we love.


Dec 1, 2016 - 10:00am PT
Ray. What a great guy!

Does anyone know what happened?

Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Belmont, California
Dec 2, 2016 - 01:21pm PT
Last time I ran into Ray Olsen was in Boulder in 1996 when I was on contract there at Carrier Access Corporation. Walked into Neptune's on Saturday afternoon and was surprised to see Ray standing there big as life behind the front desk. I'd known in him C4 years earlier of course. And remember Yerian teasing him all the time. This comes as quite a surprise and shock even. I had one of his Frog Packs and a Frog harness is still sitting out in my old 69 Ford van out front of the house here in Belmont.

Been gone since 2012 evidently, but bon voyage Ray!

Dec 3, 2016 - 11:16am PT
Shocking News, I sure would like to know more. We shared some great times BITD, I will always remember your friendship and generosity.

Dec 23, 2018 - 02:53pm PT
I enjoyed reading about Ray. Seems like someone I would have buddied up with. I've always been jealous of the guys who can build and create tangible things. Anyways despite being around climbing in the American West for 20 years I've never heard of him. Glad I have now. Thanks y'all. First time popping over to the Super Taco in many, many years. peace, Luke

Boulder climber
Dec 23, 2018 - 05:38pm PT
Tom Patterson

Trad climber
Dec 23, 2018 - 09:26pm PT
I have vivid and fond memories of him in JT and Woodson. Really hit me when I read this thread a while back, as did the news of BVB.
Messages 1 - 32 of total 32 in this topic
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