RIP R J Secor


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Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Nov 13, 2017 - 10:28am PT
Alois, thanks for posting that.

I always liked this quote from the book:
“One of my goals in life is to go around the world three times and visit every mountain range twice. But whenever I have wandered other mountains, I have been homesick for the High Sierra. I am a hopeless romantic, and therefore my opinions cannot be regarded as objective. But how can I be objective while discussing the mountains I love?”


Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Nov 13, 2017 - 05:25pm PT
Gary and all

With RJ, it was all about mountains. He was on north side of Everest in 1986, one of the first trips there after China opened Tibet to climbing. He was on Cho Oyu a few years later. I remember trips to Alaska, several to South America (one of them with me) and the one we almost did to Ruwenzori Mountains in Congo. He loved the mountains more than anything. As someone said long time ago, he usually was "the sharpest person in the room" as well. The quote you mention describes the man perfectly.

Mountain climber
Nov 13, 2017 - 06:27pm PT
He had a PhD (I don't know what discipline).

Somewhere I read that it was in International relations(not joking).
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Dec 13, 2017 - 06:50am PT
Sorry to learn of RJ's passing. Did he suffer a second accident more recently? There seems to be a reference to that on a Sierra Club page.

International playboy indeed--but without the motor yacht overloaded with babes.

RJ's eccentricity extended to shabby mountaineering equipment. I wondered whether he was sometimes trying to see how little he could get away with in the mountains.

I admired his long-billed caps and often wondered where he procured them.

PhD in international relations? Now that's a surprise.

I should mention that he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention of 1988, which nominated George H.W. Bush, and that he told me the highlight, for him, was sitting in a bar, I believe it was in Detroit, when Bush walked in with his entourage. But if RJ was political, he certainly managed to keep his opinions mum, as so much else about himself.

I wonder if he ever kissed any of those longtime girlfriends.

I don't think I've ever known a person who seemed so aloof and yet would come across with genuine warmth and friendliness.
unlocked gait

Gym climber
the range
Dec 13, 2017 - 07:02am PT
i've spent few long nights studying where i went wrong on his topo.

thanks for the yarn, RJ.

i've much gratitude and respect for the man.

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 13, 2017 - 08:32am PT
There's some plans afoot to hold a memorial hike to Henninger Flats April 15.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 4, 2018 - 10:46pm PT
SMS obit and pictures. Nice.
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Apr 27, 2019 - 08:54am PT
RJ told me a rather amusing story about of his ascent of Mt. Aconcagua. He said that when he got to a certain point, he had a hallucination. He saw a Dairy Queen drive-in.

"I knew it was a hallucination because the Dairy Queen sign was green, and I knew Dairy Queen signs are red."

So he hiked on. As he approached the summit, he smelled strong, fresh coffee. He thought it was his mind playing another trick, but when he got to the top, he found a fellow making coffee on a small stove and giving a fresh cup to everyone who summitted that day.
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