Plaidman Appreciation - A Story Of Redemption And Glory


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Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 12, 2018 - 03:51pm PT
Now look, let me say this upfront - I'm not into the whole hero thing and Plaid is as unlikely a hero as you'll ever find, but still, he's way, way up there in my book.

For me, he just stands somewhat apart even from the legion of climbers who have dug themselves out of various pits of self-inflicted wounds and/or other unfortunate events. A couple of things makes Plaid's story compelling for me. First is the fact he started climbing so late in life, second that he was like a dog with a bone once he tried it, and third that he wasn't a 'natural' at it by any means. In fact, he almost killed himself in a number of creative ways in his first couple of years. Yet even the threat of potential doom every time he went out didn't dissuade him or cause him to pursue a more rational and prudent pastime. No way, and if the AAC gave out an annual "Endeavor To Persevere" award then Plaid would have won it back-to-back for his first couple of years surviving climbing.

And survive he did going on to the fame and glory he currently basks in on a daily basis today.
Mighty Hiker

Outside the Asylum
Jan 12, 2018 - 06:21pm PT
Scott is undoubtedly good company, as is Ronda. Definitely people to go into the jungle with, although possibly not with a wheelbarrow.
Credit: Mighty Hiker

The Good Places
Jan 12, 2018 - 07:39pm PT
some dude with a table unfurled on the blacktop, doing his prep work in the public, was pretty doggone humble when I happened across him at geearheads. a worker, that one.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Jan 12, 2018 - 08:37pm PT
The guy set Zodiac Wall solo as a goal and reward for getting in shape and achieved both.

His is a great example.

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Jan 12, 2018 - 09:09pm PT
The best way I can sum up Plaid is: He will loyally and fervently get the job done. Oh, and he's a blast to hang with. :-)

Social climber
joshua tree
Jan 12, 2018 - 09:56pm PT
That was a cool post healyje🎅🏼

VVVVThat was even a cooler post Dingus🎅🏼🎅🏼
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Jan 12, 2018 - 10:04pm PT
And finished the Zod with a ruptured disk, then went and had surgery to get it corrected.

I never fessed it up but this is the prefect place - the fact he did that? Hurt himself bad and then manned up for the surgery? It was the inspiration for me to do the same when not all that long after I ruptured another disk in my back and had to force the issue of surgery with the medical gulag archipelago. Glad I did to this day and plaidman's story right here on the taco was a big part of the reason.

True. Cheers plaidman

I ruptured the disk in late Nov. 2013.


Trad climber
Jan 13, 2018 - 12:06am PT
The Plaidman is rad man.

Credit: Studly

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 13, 2018 - 03:05am PT
Great guy, Im glad I got to know him....hope that well tie in together some day.

Social climber
Jan 13, 2018 - 03:17am PT
hey there, say, healyje... wow, thanks for sharing... :)

happy appreciation to you plaidman... i enjoy seeing all your adventures on the ol' facebook...

happy appreciation thread to you!

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 13, 2018 - 04:15am PT
I should add that Plaid walks in the footsteps of other Beacon Rock locals who made their way down to the Valley including Kim Schmitz, Dean Caldwell (still here in PDX), Avery Tishner, Darryl Nakahira, and Mark Cartier among others.

Jan 13, 2018 - 05:40am PT
Plaid is RAD!

SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
Jan 13, 2018 - 07:07am PT
Plaid, Plaid, Plaid. Miss you like crazy....come back soon with Rhonda...well do something more relaxing, like hiking and biking!

You are an incredible example of PERSEVERANCE!

You never stop amazing us...

Susan and Mike

right here, right now
Jan 13, 2018 - 08:12am PT
he was like a dog with a bone once he tried it

Spears the heart of the matter for most of us, I'm sure.
Go Plaid!

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 13, 2018 - 08:35am PT
Apparently his sartorial magnificence is in keeping with his other virtues,
just as Thomas Carlyle would have it.

Jan 13, 2018 - 10:33am PT
I concur with Healyj. Good post Joe. Not sure about the "fame and glory" part. But dog with a bone? YES! What kind of dog would you say? I'm thinking Schnauzer, but he does have poodle nose hair I'll note. Probably Terrier. Those dogs fight well over their weight and never back off. Yup, Terrier for sure, but a friendly one.

I've had the opportunity to put up several new routes with Plaid. He's a very honorable person to climb with, super company, (although a tad slow). I thought his solo of Brother Mike was pretty damned terrier. Full on "radical out there terrier" in fact. I'd pointed the lump of rock out to him. I knew he did a lap on the easy route we did on the backside mostly to looksee the rock and the descent off the top.

While later I head out to the next formation over for a lap with my boy and his buddy and we see a speck on the next Tower over. No cell phones available out there, no nothing. There was someone up there, by themselves it appeared, I knew there was no route at that location. So instead of hiking down to our thing, we drive over to see if whomever it was needed anything. Scoped him out with binocs and it was Scott. We did the obligatory "yer gonna die" salute and waved, he hooted back, having fun. He was getting it done. By himself. Damned audacious would be the correct spelling. He named the route after his late friend. Like I said: very honorable. Here he is on that route that day (I think). About a 300' high tower and there is a single route in this photo to this day, that's the one Plaid (and later W/Rick McDonald) did.
Plaidman on the Fa of his new route Brother Mike on the Steeple
Plaidman on the Fa of his new route Brother Mike on the Steeple
Credit: couchmaster

I was at the base when he finished "Better Than Sex". He comes down and in response to the query: "how was it?" giggling while he's untieing says: "Ho man, that was better than sex:-)" Thus the name. I may bump into him later today on the current project. I hope so. I was cautioning him about the rope and he said he put a 2nd backup rope on it he said because that's what Richard Jenson showed him. As RJ is a super savvy guy, I'm interested in what that looks like. It stopped raining and I've been waiting for it to warm up a tad.

Trad climber
Jan 13, 2018 - 09:08pm PT
Couch, I rapped the single rope today going down and wondered what the second rope was for. I guess when cleaning if a rock cuts the line you are on. That route is going to be great! I climbed it in its untouched state and it was stellar then.
Neil Chelton

Jan 16, 2018 - 10:02am PT
Credit: Neil Chelton

Best way to carry climbing gear ever. Thanks Plaid!

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jan 16, 2018 - 10:24am PT
Gotta wonder sometimes, though, about the company he keeps...
Credit: Jaybro
John Evens, Cam Burns, The Plaid...
Credit: Jaybro

Trad climber
Jan 16, 2018 - 10:38am PT
A square peg in a round hole

Beginning the squeeze section in Deadhorse cave.  Keep it togather.
Beginning the squeeze section in Deadhorse cave. Keep it togather.
Credit: Studly
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