TM Herbert appreciation


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Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Feb 19, 2012 - 12:58pm PT
I was just out at the Patagonia outlet and TM is still there working in the back.

When 426 and I did the 30 th anniversary accent of the Muir we went and saw TM. He told us the only thing he remembered was it was cold and wet.

TM gets my vote in 2012

Trad climber
los angeles
Feb 19, 2012 - 02:10pm PT

I once led Jonny Quest at Suicide (10b?) ...sort of a lieback to vertical fingercrack type thing, next to Flakes of Wrath. I brought up my second while this older fellow was champing at the bit below, waiting to lead it.

So I had the pleasure of watching TM Herbert cruise this route, in smoother style than I had done it. It was child's play to him.

I got to have a few words with this "living legend" at the belay there. Great guy!


Social climber
Feb 19, 2012 - 07:17pm PT
Back in the 90's I ended up in Tuolumne Meadows and wanted to do the Bachar/Yerian. The guidebook said almost nothing but "Bachar/Yerian 5.11c X, take a #4 friend". As info I thought this seemed sorta sparse but I ran into Tommy Herbert at the TM general store and borrowed a really old and crappy #4 friend from him. I thought since Tommy was famous and all his gear would be nicer but I took the friend and did the route wondering the whole time, where am I supposed to need a #4 friend on a 4 pitch face climb? When you show up to where you need the friend it is PAINFULLY obvious, and as I'm placing it I noticed TM Herbert is stamped on the stem of the friend and realized why this piece was so old and funky. It was his Fathers cam and I was giddy with even more excitement. Cornball story I know, but I was a Texas kid on the B/Y with a TM Herbert cam and I thought that was boss!!

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 19, 2012 - 07:56pm PT
im big fan of his deviation,
Credit: Norwegian

Trad climber
Feb 19, 2012 - 08:45pm PT
One of the funniest guys I ever climbed with.

He was quite comical and a very unique individual. I bet he really enjoys his grand-kids.

Trad climber
Feb 19, 2012 - 10:12pm PT
TM for mayor of tuolumne, and president
Credit: hope

Trad climber
Washington DC
Feb 19, 2012 - 11:08pm PT
We used to run into TM in the Valley all the time in the 70's and 80's. At first he was leading Tommy up things but after a few years it was the other way around. Always the jokester. One time we were at Arch Rock and Kauk leads him up Leany Meanie and TM squeals the whole way up, although I might add that he followed it clean. Good times.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Feb 19, 2012 - 11:14pm PT
1972 at my pad in the Santa Cruz mountains, standing in my "backyard" with Hennek and Herbert:

Herbert says" hey joe, have you ever seen a Cooper's Hawk around here?", I am just about ready to reply no, when in a flash and a crash, a Cooper's Hawk snatches a bird out of the hedge just in front of us. "Oh yeah TM, all the time!" Both TM and Hennek were avid birders.

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Feb 19, 2012 - 11:17pm PT
TM gets pulled over on the freeway for driving solo in the diamond lane...The cop tells TM he needs another passenger if he is going to use the diamond lane...TM , perplexed , looks at the cop and says , diamonds..?

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Feb 19, 2012 - 11:28pm PT
TM and this other carpenter are on a roof standing on a piece of plywood-sheeting....The contractor informs TM that the sheet of plywood is off layout so TM reaches down and yanks the only nail holding the plywood to the rafters....Luckily the plywood didn't take off with TM and the other guy standing on it...
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Feb 20, 2012 - 01:29am PT
Nice shot Dan! Who are all these folks? I see Don R., Herbert, Joe D., Katie and a bunch of folks who I *know* I could remember their names with just a little nudge. Is that Mike Brown on the left?

Feb 20, 2012 - 07:47pm PT
Lauria, Your "Letters from Herbert" absolutely should be scanned and put here! An all time favorite of climbing lit...

I have witnessed the wrath of TM when stuck behind land sharks on 120...didn't know about the "key" trick though, har har.

got some pics, let me fire up the four stroke scanner, brb...

edit: ought to change every chuck norris reference to TM

Trad climber
Feb 20, 2012 - 08:14pm PT
that big dude is bernie, super cool guy that runs the show up there in tuolumne (he does look like mike brown now that you mention it)
here's my best description with my ,less than good, memory
bernie/tm herbert/?/grant hiskes/?/chris echland/don reed.
?/joe denicola/?/doug nidiver/john shewchuk/holly/dan mcdevitt/dave lane
con severis/chad shepard/katie lambert/gorge ridgley/craig/hope wolf
hey is joe the guy to the right of tm? i should know the guy to the left of nidiver as he guides up there, but i spaced it. any help appreciated, (last names) thanks. ill update this list as i get more names
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 1, 2012 - 01:18pm PT
Tuff Mother Bump...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Apr 25, 2012 - 08:37pm PT
TM stories are usually worth reading. Letters, though, sounds like a gold mine, but there's no doubt some lurking fear in the shafts. It' probally ver' dark in dere.

But I dare you to do it if it's not that much effort.

I'm sure we can handle it.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 25, 2012 - 08:45pm PT
TM is a gold mine...full of weighty nuggets!

So is this thread!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Apr 26, 2012 - 02:03am PT
the first tm, Moby Dick Center: he strolled by the base as Mathis and I faffed (thanks, UJ) about on the change-over at the beginning of the second pitch. I don't remember his passing remark, but we laughed our asses off.

the second tm, the Pratt version of how to get to the summit of Fairview: my partner, Throwpie, and I bagged it because we just weren't gettin' it that aft, just too much difficulty for Bushmills drinkers, I guess. The man and his partner came down the last part of the walk-off and we asked where they had been and it was on Lucky Streaks (that old fart did Lucky Streaks and we can't do this?). tHE mASTER remarked a friendly remark, which is again forgotten in the mists of time.

the third tm, Mathis and I were waiting for Bardini to show up at his place in Bishoop: The Man lived next door to Alan. He came home from work and we had the nerve, the gall, the luck to have beer in quantity (by this time Mathis and TM were well-acquainted) and we coerced him into trying some. It turned into one of the best afternoons I ever spent. Again, I can't remember a single topic except women were discussed dispassionately and with respect, we may have even mentioned climbing. Ask TM next tm you see him.

Never a dull moment.

oh, my point? Same as in post #1. TM has his ego in his pocket. He gives everyone the encouragement they seek if they deserve it, and prolly it's because he was given the same by some qualified legend.

And he knows how to take a joke.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Apr 28, 2012 - 11:20am PT
Here, Bert. And Ernie. And Steve. Et al. From the boisterous boy himself:

N. Joy

tmm=tell me more, lots more.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 14, 2013 - 11:24pm PT
Cookie Monster Bump...

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 14, 2013 - 11:31pm PT
TM is one of my favorite people. He mentored me when i first arrived in Yosemite. Wonderful sense of humor and one of the nicest people you could ever meet. You would be hard pressed to find anyone, anywhere who had anything negative to say about TM.
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