BITD... Hidetaka Suzuki stories

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Messages 21 - 40 of total 49 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
shylock

Social climber
mb
Feb 13, 2018 - 04:24pm PT
classic epperson shot
classic epperson shot
Credit: greg epperson
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 13, 2018 - 06:56pm PT
Is it just the photo, or is one of these guys whose thighs are the same diameter as his arms? I've never seen such skinny thighs, he looks like a famine victim.
shylock

Social climber
mb
Feb 13, 2018 - 07:37pm PT
i can only tell you that it takes some serious lower body strength, among other things, to stem right there.
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Feb 14, 2018 - 04:59am PT
I hear he took up kiteboarding, never looked back

That guy probably only needs a 3m kite to get flying.
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Feb 14, 2018 - 09:27am PT


Skip to 24:10 for Hidetaka.
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Feb 14, 2018 - 09:30am PT


Skip to 11:15 for Hidetaka.
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Feb 14, 2018 - 10:06am PT
I was guiding for Colorado Mountain School in Estes Park the years the Hidetaka and Michiko were there. I was always awesome to watch him climb but thatís not the point of this story. They were living in Komitoís basement and eating birdseed, rice cakes and wakame and whatever else it took to maintain his skeletor physique when we invited him to party with us at the mountain school. I donít remember exactly who was there but the cast of characters likely included Billy Westbay, Aaron Walters, Doug Snively, Harry Kent, Randy Joseph, Scott Kimball, Mike Caldwell, Mark Wilford and maybe Bill Wylie.

As you can imagine, it wasnít long before we decided that it was time for Hidetaka to get stoned. It worked and all I remember of that night is that we spent the next few hours trying to get him to say Rick Ridgway.

And so it goes.
VinylRhino

climber
Oakland, CA
Feb 14, 2018 - 10:41am PT
Heard this story once. When asked what he thought of the Tuolumne climb Grenade Launcher, his response was, "Green Egg Rancher. Very hard name!"
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Feb 14, 2018 - 10:49am PT
"...maybe I have a small brain?"

Yeah, me too.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Feb 14, 2018 - 10:54am PT

His climbing is very relaxed and confident. Even when he's pushing hard I can see his point about holding birds... He's walking the talk...
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Feb 14, 2018 - 10:58am PT
Thanks Rollover, good stuff.

DMT
HandCrack

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal.
Feb 14, 2018 - 01:56pm PT
I met Suzuki long ago, maybe the late 1980's, in Joshua Tree. Though our climbing skills were worlds apart, we became friends due to my connection with Japan. Some times on his rest days we would climb together. After I would claw my way up some 5.8 or 5.9, he would tell me to just drop the rope. By the time I had done the descent and returned to the base of the climb, he would have coiled the rope, then soloed, cleaned and downclimbed the route, and be patiently waiting for me smoking a cigarette.

Brandt Allen
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 14, 2018 - 02:29pm PT
This is great. Keep 'em coming. Hidetaka is a class act, and whatever he is doing today must certainly fit that standard. A master.
Steve Simpson

climber
Descanso
Feb 14, 2018 - 05:12pm PT
Hidetaka when I knew him was the zen lunatic of climbing--humble and genuine. Someone said he lived on puffed rice and cigarettes. Someone else said he was so thin he looked like one strong common cold would wipe him out. I met him under the Ramon Road bridge shortly after he broke both heels climbing with Mayville. I heard Dave was belaying, and caught him in his arms twice after he fell before reaching the first bolt. Third time he broke both heels. I remember him driving up under the bridge--he put on his Boreal Ninjas, got on his crutches to get from the car to the wall, and proceded to do laps on the traverse with two broken heels. Nine bows to you dear comrade!
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Feb 14, 2018 - 06:25pm PT
His thinness is unrivaled... that is the operative of this story.

Hiddy was supposed to be filmed doing some climbing in Yosemite for a commercial that would show in Japan. I can't remember the product, but something like Fuji Film or something.

So, they send over a crew to do the filming and all that, but needed some local knowledge to get the job done. Enter J. Long and Tim Powell, myself, and few other hired hands. Somehow we all end up in Yosemite with rooms and an expense account.
For some reason, it is decided, late in the day, that Hiddy and someone should do the DNB... hahaha... sounds like an epic from the get go. We hoof it up to the base and somehow Tim Powell, who has not climbed a lick in years, is going to partner with Hiddy and go up the DNB with a Hi-8 camera to film the event. We will be on the ground getting long shots and "nate-yooor" shots in the meadow.

So we find the base and send them on their way. Nobody really thinks this is that great of and idea, but there is a language barrier making it happen anyway. We hang out and film while they do the first pitch or two, which were not done that efficiently! hahaha! We go down to the Valley floor to get the long shots and soon it is getting dark. We go to the bar... we are sorta worried, but they are grown men and all that. It gets really late and we ditch the bar to go to our rooms at the Lodge... around midnight someone is knocking on the door... It's Hiddy! He looks like sh#t and we are trying to get info out of him. Seems they topped out, in the dark, and then started working their way along the CatWalk. That did not go that well and Tim decides he can go no further... Hiddy decides to keep going and get back down to the Valley, and he did, around midnight.

And here is the punch line... we ask him about why he did not stay with Tim up on the Catwalk... he sorta motioned with his hands to take a look at his body, clad in shorts and a tshirt... and then says, "Bivy suit not so good..." hahahaha! That was it, and how right he was! There was not a calorie left in that carcass to burn for fuel! Then he headed off to his room and that was that.

As a funny aside... Tim showed up the next day and looked pretty rough too. The night out did not go well for him and after covering himself with brush and leaves, filmed an obituary speech on the High-8 camera... Never saw the footage but I hear it was beyond hilarious...
msiddens

Trad climber
Feb 15, 2018 - 05:25pm PT
I met him BITD as he came up quietly as my buddy and I flailed on Electric Africa on the back of Pywiack in the Meadows. I recall how quiet and very polite he was. So kind and also impressive as he hiked the route after we backed off.

Also- so skinny! His thighs couldnít have been larger than my arms!
jonnywoodward

climber
Feb 15, 2018 - 07:22pm PT
It seemed like Hidetaka was always at every crag you went to in the 80s. I can't believe there was only one of him. He was on a mission to do every climb of consequence in America and if Hidetaka was there it somehow validated the crag. Unlike most of the other Japanese climbers, who seemed to outnumber everyone else 2 to 1 back then, Hidetaka usually didn't spend too long on routes. He did however monopolize the John something special. Every morning he'd be in there for at least 45 minutes. God help you if you needed to go. Maybe that's why he was so thin - perhaps more came out than went in.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Polebridge, Montana
Feb 15, 2018 - 08:59pm PT
Gawd Russ that was a great story. So well told. And Johnny Woodward thanks for taking us into the very personal realm. Ah, the 80's.
Arne
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 16, 2018 - 10:55pm PT
Johnny that's f*cking hysterical.
bentelbow

climber
spud state
Feb 17, 2018 - 02:54pm PT
I remember when he was hanging out at the limestone at Riggins. He would take a dump before every burn. He had these little metal tubes with insence that he would rub on his forearms to depump. The guy wouldn't dyno for anything if he coudn't do it static it wouldn't go. Also super nice and low key. Very cool to watch him send.
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