RIP JIM BRIDWELL

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Messages 1 - 259 of total 259 in this topic
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 16, 2018 - 11:03am PT
With deep sadness
Peace
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 16, 2018 - 11:04am PT
Peggy and Layton request Peace and Respect.
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:08am PT
I know Jim was an inspiration to so many, and also a friend and mentor. I wish a person's passing didn't hurt so much for those who love them.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:14am PT
An inspiration,
Best wishes to Peggy and Layton
hellroaring

Trad climber
San Francisco
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:16am PT
Oh man so sorry to hear. Thoughts and prayers to his family & friends.
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:18am PT
Hellroaring and I met Jim around a campfire in Tree. What a character... the world is a poorer place without him.
Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:21am PT
R.I.P., Jim. Even when you know it's coming, it's still tough to accept.

Curt
ground_up

Trad climber
mt. hood /baja
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:27am PT
A sad day indeed. He was an amazing individual.
RIP Jim
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:27am PT
Ohh, what a life lived to the fullest. Just incredible.

My condolences to his family and friends.

Thank you Ron for all your kind words and updates.
Stewart Johnson

Mountain climber
lake forest
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:31am PT
A sad day indeed
Thanks for the great times Jim !
Radical2

Trad climber
Texas
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:34am PT
Rest in Peace, Jim
labrat

Trad climber
Erik O. Auburn, CA
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:39am PT
Sad news. Good thoughts going out to family and friends.
Erik
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:40am PT
A life writ LARGE!
Fritz

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:40am PT
My condolences to the family and friends of Jim Bridwell. What a life he lived!
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:42am PT
Condolences to Peggy and Layton. Rest in peace, Jim.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:43am PT
So long partner. Condolences to Peggy and Layton.
zBrown

Ice climber
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:46am PT
A sad day indeed. Condolences to the remaining Birds.

i-b-goB

Social climber
Wise Acres
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:48am PT
Here's to you Jim, R.I.P.!
LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:48am PT
What an amazing Individual. What a vibrant life. Solace.
dfrost7

Social climber
Long Beach, Ca
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:52am PT
God be with you, Bridwell family.
Roots

Mountain climber
Redmond, Oregon
Feb 16, 2018 - 11:59am PT
I am so thankful to have met and partied with Jim. He was a badass and his willingness to share knowledge and his drive to push the limits will continue to influence our community for decades to come.

RIP
John Mac

Trad climber
Breckenridge, CO
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:02pm PT
Condolences to his family and many friends.

SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:03pm PT
Total goosebumps and huge sighs.

It’s always hard to process the passing of someone bigger than life.

The footprints left behind will never be filled.

Susan.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:06pm PT
Wondering if it was kidney failure just like Layton's namesake.

Stay hydrated people.
Scole

Trad climber
Zapopan
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:11pm PT
The Bird has flown the cage. RIP Jim, thanks for all of your contributions to the climbing world.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:13pm PT
RIP, and my condolences to all his friends and family on here.
I only ever met him once, but obviously he was a figure of huge importance in our sport and a good friend and mentor to many here.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:14pm PT
The world is less now. I'm so sorry for the family's loss.
clode

Trad climber
portland, or
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:15pm PT
My sincerest condolences and best wishes and thoughts for family and friends.

Although I never met him, he was one of my greatest climbing idols in the 70s. Truly a living legend, before, now and hereafter.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:16pm PT
Condolences, and thanks Jim!
ClimbingOn

Trad climber
NY
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:17pm PT
RIP. His legacy will live on for a long, long time.
originalpmac

Mountain climber
Timbers of Fennario
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:20pm PT
To be, or not to be--that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep--
No more--and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep--
To sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all

Farewell Jim Bridwell
Scrubber

climber
Straight outta Squampton
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:20pm PT
Give 'em hell Jim, wherever you are now!
Waldo

Trad climber
King City, CA
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:22pm PT
A Pinnacles Pioneer - we are diminished by his passing.
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:23pm PT
Yet another legend left us. Condolences to the Bridwell family and his many friends worldwide.
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:23pm PT
RIP Jim

Until Valhalla
Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:30pm PT
Better be crags in Heaven.

Thanks for your years of stoke.
dave yerian

Trad climber
the parking lot
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:30pm PT
I was 16.5 years old when I first started climbing with Jim. One day we went to climb Midterm, at Arch Rock in Yosemite Valley. I pulled out the gear in my pack, including hexentrics. As I handed my rack to Jim thinking he was going to lead he said, "Oh no. You're going to lead."
I thought to myself, "this is one of my first 5.10's I have ever led in Yosemite. (At that time there weren't many 5.11's being climbed.)

As Jim top roped up after my lead all I heard was cussing and swearing as he approached the anchor. He said, "holy sh#t, what kind of an anchor is this?" I didn't know when you top roped you needed to put carabiners in the anchor for the second to come up, so I had rope on sling.

When Jim got to the ground he said, "a lot of you young climbers are good at bouldering, but you know nothing about anchoring and protection." Bridwell taught us brats how to be safe climbers and survive. I am glad for the brother he has always been to me.

In the last days of his life I was there with him and glad to be his friend until the end. God Bless Jim and his soul.
ec

climber
ca
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:40pm PT
Farewell

My condolences to Peggy & Layton

 ec
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:41pm PT
That dude takes a lot of history with him.
Luckily he left a bunch behind too.

What a legend.

jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:45pm PT
So sorry to hear this. A legendary climber. RIP
Doaner

Mountain climber
Tustin
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:46pm PT
I had a chance to party with Jim once at a memorial party in JTree for Blitzo. Roots had taken me in 2013 (I think it was that time) as I was getting back into climbing after a long hiatus. I didn't know who he was, or what he represented at the time, but I was just downstairs at the party, beer in one hand, and Jim partying up a storm and talking politics. Something skunky was in the air and I said to him, "Oh... smells good brother!" and he goes and passes me some greens, perfectly rolled. We shared a joint, talked about life, struggles, and how lame the government can be. I can't comment on him personally, but the short experience I did have says a lot. He was a good man and a legend.

I was gifted this carabiner and belay device that belonged to Jim from a collector friend (whom I will not name). Honored to have it. RIP,

 Doaner

Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:47pm PT
RIP, Jim............and my best wishes to Peggy, Layton, and his friends and family. I got to spend much of a day climbing with him many years ago, and I remember being surprised by how nice and funny he was...I was very much in awe of his legend, and assumed he would be somewhat arrogant, but he was nothing of the kind. It sounds as if he's been struggling for some time, so I hope he is at peace..........and I hope Peggy and Layton feel that, as well.
cheers,
Pam
Mike.

climber
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:51pm PT
Pretty cool to be getting in the game and see an old stalwart still in the theater, hammering away after decades of the same.

Thanks for the notes and remembrances, all.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:51pm PT
It is hard to overstate Jim's influence and impact on modern rock climbing, free climbing and mountaineering. His time bridged several key generations of climbers. More than just another gifted climber who merely moved with the times, he was an innovator and pioneer who helped shape the sport. But, perhaps most impressive, he took many climbers under his wing and became a mentor to many of the sport's greats. Hats off and farewell to Jim.
Spanky

Social climber
boulder co
Feb 16, 2018 - 12:57pm PT
Rest in Peace Jim. The Bird was truly one of a kind who is a big piece of what made climbing what it is today. His achievements cannot be overstated. I never got to meet him but he has always been a hero!
ionlyski

Trad climber
Polebridge, Montana
Feb 16, 2018 - 01:02pm PT
Chatted with him a couple years ago at Todd's. I really couldn't understand what he was saying each time we would engage in conversation. His mind moved so fast and he was always two steps ahead with an astonishing number of one liners and other philosophical words of wisdom, I couldn't tell if they were rehearsed or how all that verbage came out so quickly with no hesitation.

Except when we fell back to talking about my home crag he had once visited many years ago. He instantly pulled out memories of individual moves on routes he remembered. Then he talked in plain Jane language. A lot of people attributed his mumble jumble as just "way out there" but I saw it as a form of high intelligence. Heavy!

Arne
groaz

Big Wall climber
italy
Feb 16, 2018 - 01:06pm PT
The Bird now flies free. Go great Master,go! But sometimes looks down at us... Ciao Peggy and Layton.
Yafer

Trad climber
Chatsworth, California
Feb 16, 2018 - 01:11pm PT
Condolences . ................
Alan Rubin

climber
Amherst,MA.
Feb 16, 2018 - 01:13pm PT
So sad to see this. Yet another of our legends now gone. He was always open and generous with advice to those of us, even gumbies like me, who spent time in Camp 4 during the years of his 'dominance'. RIP Jim.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Feb 16, 2018 - 01:13pm PT
Raising a beer to your memory tonight, Jim.

We only met a few times, but you were and are my hero. I only wish we had had the chance to climb together.

Rest in peace, Jim - you have earned it.

msiddens

Trad climber
Feb 16, 2018 - 01:21pm PT
oh man, what an amazing life to have lived. So sorry for the loss.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Feb 16, 2018 - 01:21pm PT
Condolences to family and friends for a man most gifted and a true modern day pioneer.
The Lisa

Trad climber
Da Bronx, NY
Feb 16, 2018 - 01:23pm PT
I am so sad to see this loss of a legend. Condolences to Jim's family and friends.
throwpie

Trad climber
Berkeley
Feb 16, 2018 - 01:36pm PT
Every time I crossed paths with him it was memorable. Once, kind of scary. He was one of
a kind. Rest In Peace.
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
Feb 16, 2018 - 01:37pm PT
I learned very early on as a climber that if the name Bridwell was on the first ascentionist list, it would be one burly route. Meeting him once while out climbing in the ORG is a special memory.

My condolences to his family and friends.
Phyl
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 16, 2018 - 01:38pm PT
The best of the best. The wildest of the wildest. RIP my friend.
crusher

climber
Santa Monica, CA
Feb 16, 2018 - 02:03pm PT
So sorry to hear this. We had an enjoyable afternoon climbing next to Jim and a young protégé of his in the Valley many years ago. He cracked us up the whole time and was genuinely invested in helping his friend learn to climb.

Condolences to his family and all of his friends.

Greg Epperson

climber
Joshua Tree
Feb 16, 2018 - 02:07pm PT
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Feb 16, 2018 - 02:47pm PT
RIP Jim... thanks for showing us how it is done
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Feb 16, 2018 - 02:49pm PT
My sincere and heartfelt condolences to Peggy and Layton, the entire extended Bridwell family, and all his friends and acquaintances. His contributions to climbing can never be overstated!

A tiny handful of the many people Jim Bridwell profoundly affected!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Feb 16, 2018 - 03:02pm PT
Oh man. Don't know what to say other than he gave us a run of goodness and condolences to all who love him

edit: PTPP & rmuir, thanks for the photos. Only met the Bird a few times at el Rancho Gordo, including the Birdfest in 2010. Like others I admired his accomplishments and spent a lot of time reading of his exploits BITD.

Cheers Jim; would have liked to have gotten to know you better.

R Gomez; you are truly one of the great ones yourself.
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Feb 16, 2018 - 03:24pm PT
Goodbye old friend. It's a sad, sad day. Thanks for the tips and the good times. You will be remembered wherever rock climbers gather.
karabin museum

Trad climber
phoenix, az
Feb 16, 2018 - 04:05pm PT




Many Blessings to the Bridwell family.



Mark Rodell

Trad climber
Bangkok
Feb 16, 2018 - 04:09pm PT
In 1970 I would wake early in C4 and hurry to cafeteria. There over endless cups of coffee I would listen to Jim hold court. He was kind to me. He lived life fully and his spirit lights all cliffs: unique and wondrous.
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
The fake McCoy from nevernever land.
Feb 16, 2018 - 04:09pm PT
Drinking malt liquor and smoking bowls in your honor at a secret spot in Yosemite with a killer view. The sun is working its way down and I can not stop thinking...fly free, bird, you will not be forgotten, A birds feather, floating past on the wind, dancing and exploring this special place, it feels as though apart of you will always remain here. RIP
Yeti

Trad climber
Ketchum, Idaho
Feb 16, 2018 - 04:18pm PT
Peace, respect and my deepest condolences to Peggy and Layton. I will always be grateful to Jim for his friendship, guidance, inspiration and, of course, some very very good times. Another one gone from this group.
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Feb 16, 2018 - 04:23pm PT
Rest well jim. You deserve it. What an incredible existence. Condolences to family and friends.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 16, 2018 - 04:23pm PT
A remarkable, complicated, innovative man. Chouinard said that Yosemite was the true training ground for the modern alpinist....Jim made that statement true. He took his skills, honed in the Valley, to the crucibles of extreme alpinism and created climbing works of arr.

Jim had an outlaw, hardman image but beneath that tough exterior there beat a caring heart. When my son passed away at age twenty Jim called me on three seperate occasions....his kind words were hard to hear thru his tears. I will never, never forget that.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 16, 2018 - 04:43pm PT
He was a sweet soul Donini! I cry for my lose but feel good he is in a better place! So grateful to be at his side today.
Peace
klaus

Ice climber
6th and Mission
Feb 16, 2018 - 04:44pm PT
See you in the next world. I'll try not to be too late.
gunsmoke

Mountain climber
Clackamas, Oregon
Feb 16, 2018 - 04:48pm PT
The most important figure in the development of A5 big wall climbing.
Hubbard

climber
San Diego
Feb 16, 2018 - 04:59pm PT
Spoke with him in Joshua Tree on several occasions. Friendly and straight forward. I asked the questions and he gave the answers. After those encounters I spent a longer time hanging around with him at a trade show. He was depressed that he was old. He was wearing a bathrobe and living room slippers. He honestly thought nobody cared about his routes any more. I set him straight about that. We all still cared and that he was the best of the best. As gnarly and tough as he was it was refreshing to see that he had feelings and did care what other people thought. It didn't take long to see that deep down he was a kind soul. He helped anybody who asked.
snakefoot

climber
Nor Cal
Feb 16, 2018 - 05:04pm PT
RIP, fn legend....
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 16, 2018 - 05:23pm PT
10:53 am, 2/16/2018. The great man passed.

Condolences to all who knew him, and especially to his immediate family, Peggy and Layton.

"The Bird" was only possible at a certain time and place, and his time stretched across decades and the places are too many to recall.

He was more than a mentor, but also a father figure.

He will always be The Captain to me.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Feb 16, 2018 - 05:26pm PT
QITNL, so much thanks for the picture you posted!!! It reminded me I was the so blessed person to be one of the first ascentionists on a tiny route put up by Todd Gordon in JTree with Wendell called The Hammer. Of course Todd used Jim's hammer to put up the route.
F10

Trad climber
Bishop
Feb 16, 2018 - 06:08pm PT
A legend for sure and more important a great person.
RIP
Fogarty

climber
BITD
Feb 16, 2018 - 06:09pm PT
Thanks for your inspiration and most of all your friendship,
God Speed JB❤️
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Feb 16, 2018 - 06:25pm PT
Good to hear your voice earlier today, Ron. We picked up Roy as promised and the three of us made our toast.



The first time I met Jim Bridwell was about 20 years ago during one of our NYE stays in Joshua Tree. I was taking this nice young lady on her first lead on Upper Right Ski Track (5.3). When we arrived Jim and his client were just gearing up. We were ready so he let us go first. She was taking a while so he asked if he could lead up behind her and give her some tips. She had no idea who he was. One of the greatest legends in modern free climbing history was giving her a free lesson on leading rock.

Meanwhile Jim's poor paying client is shivering in the shade and about to get sick because of the exposure. His client aside I couldn't be happier about what I'm witnessing. I've finally met the legend and I get to watch the sun go down on the top of Intersection Rock with him.

His client belayed him and went down so I cleaned his gear. He had slung a horn and I commented "old school" which he heard. I forgot his response but it was classic Bridwell. On top he showed us his new idea for a belay device. He swore me to secrecy. Once we got down he asks, "got any beer?".

RIP
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Feb 16, 2018 - 06:32pm PT

Our community, our campfire is so empty without the presence of the Master, Jim Bridwell.
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Feb 16, 2018 - 06:44pm PT
RIP Jim, one of the greatest forces in the sport. Fly high!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Feb 16, 2018 - 06:53pm PT
QITNL

I picked up that hammer in the course of a Bird fund raiser. It was passed down the line for others to use/feel the vibe. El jefe gordo did indeed put up a route with it as Lynne noted (there are photos, but over several moves and new 'puters I've lost them).

According to Doug Robinson that whammer was an original, one of a kind Bird prototype; don't remember the period it was born but figure it was sometime in the 80's. Last I saw of it MIKE had it. Cheers and take care of that puppy!.

Shout out to R Gomez and Todd for their efforts over the recent years.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 16, 2018 - 06:57pm PT
They broke the mold the day Jim entered the world
and there will never be another exactly like him.

His heroics made us believe the impossible was attainable.

I honor his memory and may God guard his family against despair.

Yeti, that is one helluva group portrait.
Sula

Trad climber
Pennsylvania
Feb 16, 2018 - 06:57pm PT
What's the feeling that's submerging, drowning the sadness?

Respect.
Gene

climber
Feb 16, 2018 - 07:00pm PT
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/obituaries/jim-bridwell-mountaineering-maverick-is-dead-at-73.html
HF

climber
I'm a Norwegian stuck in Joshua Tree
Feb 16, 2018 - 07:15pm PT
"To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die."
ALFRED LORD TENNYSON

To Jims family and to all his close friends I send my sincere condolences. He will be missed by many. Today is a sad day indeed.

HIlde Fonda
Joshua Tree

steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Feb 16, 2018 - 07:18pm PT
Sad to hear this the passing of a legend. He truly pushed the climbing to new levels and was quite the character. We met a couple times in Camp 4 in the 80,s. A few beers some smoke and sh#t taking. It was real. Rest in peace Captain. My condolences to his family, friends, and the climbing community.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Feb 16, 2018 - 07:23pm PT
Just reflecting, that as wee lads in the late 50s and early 60s we had our European heroes in Gervasutti, Bonatti and Terray and in Yosemite Salathe ,Steck, Harding and Powell.

The lads of today and the future will have their Pratt, Sacherer, Robbins and now, more than ever one to identity with in Bridwell.
Risk

Mountain climber
Formerly TMJesse
Feb 16, 2018 - 07:27pm PT
My condolences to Jim's family and friends. An American icon. I feel privileged to have been part of Jim's community of people BITD, and to have met up on our mutual paths in life.

Chris Runner
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Feb 16, 2018 - 07:40pm PT
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Feb 16, 2018 - 07:45pm PT
Condolences to Jim's family and friends.
It's tough to say goodbye, but it is all part of this amazing adventure called life.
Jim's was a life lived to its fullest. We should all be so lucky.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 16, 2018 - 07:45pm PT
Doug, good to talk today. Glad you saw Roy, hope he got his hug.
Peace Brother
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Feb 16, 2018 - 08:18pm PT
Bumper sticker on our car: "My best vacation is your worst nightmare." Jim Bridwell.

Adios, master.

BAd
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 16, 2018 - 08:41pm PT
Last month, Peggy reached out to let me know how serious Jim's condition was. When I called, he recognized my number and answered with a vigorous hello. He was in good spirits and sounded strong and sharp, although I caught some of the tells of liver failure in occasional slurred words. Jim was hopeful as he talked about the prognosis and Layton's fund-raising efforts, but I think we both knew how close the edge was.

He marveled at the calls he was receiving from all over the world, even Cleveland. I did manage to tell him how much he mattered to me and those of us who climbed with him and how much he shaped climbing. By force of Jim's skill, leadership and warmth, he crowd-sourced the explosion of climbing talent in the Valley in the early 70's. Everyone was welclome. He nurtured us all. His response: "I like people!" Did he ever.

Lots of life lived and no regrets, no regrets. Peace to Peggy and Layton.
Spencer Lennard

Trad climber
Williams, Oregon
Feb 16, 2018 - 08:53pm PT
https://web.stanford.edu/~clint/yos/brave.htm



Bridwell was the mentor of an entire generation......


Thank you!
Modesto Mutant

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 16, 2018 - 08:54pm PT
I was fortunate to have met and spent time with the Bird back during the taping of Mike Hoovers "Survival of the Fittest" He was cordial, kind, respectful, funny and full of life. It meant the world to me. Later when I would see him in the Valley he always had a kind word for me even though I considered myself to be a 'Sub-Dirt-Bag'. He was a genuine American Hero. RIP Jim. Your memories will live forever through your routes and through legend.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Feb 16, 2018 - 08:58pm PT
Jim was a climber of mythical dimensions when I first went to the Valley in 76.
The PO and Sea set the standard to aspire to in hard nailing and Camel plains at the belays were essential for any big aid route.

I got to work with Jim on Cliffhanger and share a rope with him in Josh back in the mid nineties.
Like Largo said, if you tied in with Jim you were connected to the history of climbing itself.

Condolences to Jim's family and friends.

RIP Jim

PB
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Feb 16, 2018 - 09:11pm PT
Jim and I did the 3rd and last ascent of Lower Cathedral Rock NF. The following winter a flake we climbed behind for 2 pitches came off. Jim led a difficult offwidth at the top of the flake. I don't know if I could have led it.

I first met him in the winter in the valley. He announced that they were going to climb the NE Buttress of Higher Cathedral Rock. There was 2 feet of snow and giant icicles dangling off the overhangs at the top. They didn't get up it, but did get up 6 pitches including some hard climbing. We referred to them as the "Higher Rock boys." A cool harbinger of all that would come.
Mark Force

Trad climber
Ashland, Oregon
Feb 16, 2018 - 09:50pm PT
New York Times Obituary
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/obituaries/jim-bridwell-mountaineering-maverick-is-dead-at-73.html

I was never more than a nobody, yet he was still an open hearted and supportive sensei. That gruff exterior held a big and bright mind and a soft and encouraging heart.

Long live the mayor of camp 4!
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Feb 16, 2018 - 09:52pm PT
I never climbed with Jim, but worked on a couple rescues with him. We sort of felt like having him with us was a sort of secret weapon.

Great life, Jim. Have a good rest.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Feb 16, 2018 - 09:59pm PT
I've always thought talented climbers were impressive, but that's about it.

From the stories I've read and heard about the bird, he was much more than that. To be at that level and still giving his time be with friends and to teach noobs is admirable and just plain awesome.

How many world class climbers take people up their first lead and teach basic skills in parking lots?

I never met him but wish I had, seems like the kind of guy that makes the world a better place.

Happy to hear that his friends are there to support the family that has lost him. I pray he's in a better place.
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
Feb 16, 2018 - 10:04pm PT
A true inspiration, he was my big wall hero.

Condolences and best wishes to Peggy and Layton, and those who are close to him.
BruceHildenbrand

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
Feb 16, 2018 - 10:11pm PT
Undoubtedly he's glassing that line on the left side of the pearly gates with the big right facing dihedral topped by a large roof! RIP.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Feb 16, 2018 - 10:45pm PT
hey there,say... i am late ... was gone all day...
prayers and condolences, to jim's family and loved ones...

and, prayers to be strong, as they now go forward, without him...

:(
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 16, 2018 - 10:52pm PT
Jim and his family had a positive impact on me during a short period of time, probably around 1990. I was a mess. Recently divorced, lonely, climbing hard dangerous sh#t for all the wrong reasons. I barely knew Jim, but he seemed to pick up on my scene and invited me down to their home.

I was there for about three days. I would be surprised if Peggy or Layton even remember. But Jim paid attention to me. When that short visit ended I felt like I had lost 100 pounds of emotional baggage. After that we did some climbing in Josh and up at the tram. He said "Let's go up to the monument and play some miniature golf."

I am so very fortunate to have been with the right person in a time of crisis.

I wish to extend my heartfelt sympathy to Peggy and Layton. Jim's was a life to be celebrated. I'm sure that at the right time we will...

Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Feb 17, 2018 - 03:14am PT
My sincere condolences to all that loved Jim.
The world lost a mentor, not just in climbing, but more importantly life.

Here's to a life well lived.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 17, 2018 - 05:30am PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1217261/Bridwells-Brave-New-World-Yosemite-Ratings-Mountain-31-1974
The full scan with all the classic photos.
Jim Bridwell with Dale Bard is seen tackling the crux of Butterfingers from close in.
Bridwell's hands are bound and chalked and treated with chemicals, in order to resist wear on the jamming, and give extra friction and grip on sweaty holds.
These aids are themselves the subject of critical debate among American climbers, particularly chalk, which is said to deface climbs, thus spoiling the experience of subsequent climbers.
I always liked this one, which was reused in Chris Jones's book.
British caption from the times as well.
Skeptimistic

Mountain climber
La Mancha
Feb 17, 2018 - 06:21am PT
Magician/Hardman/Legend. Thanks for showing us limits are self imposed.
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Feb 17, 2018 - 06:32am PT
Condolences to family and friends.

We've lost a second giant of our climbing community.All those dedicated to the climbing life , and of more than one generation, saw in Jim the spirit of the age.

How did so much time elapse.
Urmas

Social climber
Sierra Eastside
Feb 17, 2018 - 06:39am PT
As others have pointed out, he was a kind man. Aside from his monumental impact on the climbing world, he took the time to be helpful.
Jeff Gorris

climber
Not from Portlandia
Feb 17, 2018 - 06:46am PT
Salute!
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Feb 17, 2018 - 06:53am PT
The phrase "larger than life" really doesn't cover Bridwell's impact in the valley and so far beyond. One of my heros from when I was only dogearring all of my Yosemite guidebooks from 3000 miles away.
bobinc

Trad climber
Portland, Or
Feb 17, 2018 - 07:03am PT
I plan to scan in the full article from Climbing but here’s a start. Classic Alaska adventuring from 40 yrs back: http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/12198047300/print
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
Feb 17, 2018 - 08:01am PT
I spent the summer of 1965 in Camp 4 while Jim and an ever changing group of friends came and went. It was obvious even that summer that he represented a new generation of climbers who were more sociable and sharing than the pioneers of the previous generation. Consequently they seemed to have more fun, though often in ways that the more staid members of the pioneers were uncomfortable with. It was the difference between white painter pants and psychedelic paisley. Later on, we were dazzled by their accomplishments. Grudgingly, the old guard began to admit that you didn't have to be asocial and celibate to climb hard.

As many have noted, Jim was a wonderful human being, not just a climber, a person who helped many others in so many ways. May his example continue to inspire the climbing world both on and off the rock.

Condolences to Peggy and Layton who suffer his loss the most.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Feb 17, 2018 - 08:05am PT
My condolences to Jim's family and friends.
Bushman

climber
The state of quantum flux
Feb 17, 2018 - 08:08am PT
Condolences to the Bridwell family. I only knew him in passing and my fingers only found some of his handiwork on the stone, but what handiwork it was!
Thank you, Jim
Pennsylenvy

Gym climber
A dingy corner in your refrigerator
Feb 17, 2018 - 08:20am PT
Keep this short.........my condolences to Jim's close friends and family. I have talked to so many people whom are lucky to have spent time with Jim: He had a way of bringing you up within your own skin, about making you feel good about yourself. I can tell you personally this affected my life and still does. He planted a seed in me and made me a better person. I will carry on and make the world a better place because of him You will be missed Jim, but you do live on.
WBraun

climber
Feb 17, 2018 - 08:26am PT
Pennsylenvy

Yep, that .... describes Jim in a nutshell .....
Rick Linkert

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills CA
Feb 17, 2018 - 08:34am PT
If the measure of a man is an incomparable, legendary legacy as well as love and respect of family and friends, Jim died a very wealthy man.

RIP Jim. My condolences to Peggy and Layton

Rick
Loyd

Big Wall climber
Roseburg, OR
Feb 17, 2018 - 08:47am PT
Close friend lost. there is getting to be viewer of us left.
fosburg

climber
Feb 17, 2018 - 08:56am PT
RIP Jim Bridwell, climbing visionary. Sincere condolences to loved ones
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Feb 17, 2018 - 09:05am PT
My sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Jim Bridwell.

I met Jim in Camp 4 the summer of 1969 after my high school graduation. I'll long remember the many evening bouldering sessions followed by conversations and occasional music around the campfire. I laugh to this day having been invited to his tent for a joint which back then was a very serious crime. We were 17 years old and it must of looked like a scene out of Animal House with the professor, us kids all wide eyed listening to the wild stories of a warrior. He was 6 years my senior and as far as we knew he could walk on water.

While I can cry because it's over I'll smile because it happened. I feel fortunate to have shared what little time I had with him - he, others who are now gone and all of you are threads of a beautiful tapistry
so rich and colorful that defines us as a tribe......what a force, so long Bridwell. Again my sincerest condolences to those close to him.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 17, 2018 - 09:16am PT
I hung with Jim a bit in Camp 4 in the late 60's and 70's. Now he has moved to take up residence the hearts and minds of all those who knew him, who loved him, and who were touched by his personal kindness and prodigious abilities.



Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields,
See how his name is feted by the waving grass,
And by the streamers of white cloud,
And whispers of wind in the listening sky...
Born of the sun he traveled a short while toward the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with his honor.


---Adapted from a Yom Kippur meditation

Good bye Jim.


Flip Flop

climber
Earth Planet, Universe
Feb 17, 2018 - 09:41am PT
I hope this is okay. I hope that Jim knew just how big his star is. There are people and times that should be remembered for the very best reasons. Look at the faces on this stage singing this song. How many people have sung this song? They might as well be your faces. The Greatest of the Greatest. I'd put the Bird in the middle with the white hat.
The Author. The Captain.

[Click to View YouTube Video]


Stimbo

Trad climber
Crowley Lake
Feb 17, 2018 - 09:55am PT
What an amazing guy and athlete; climber, skier, and nice person. I think I was most impressed by how grounded he was. We send our condolences to Peggy and Layton.
Jim Herrington

Mountain climber
New York, NY
Feb 17, 2018 - 09:56am PT
My ex Sara and Jim on the Snake Dike in 2007-ish.

Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Feb 17, 2018 - 10:26am PT
I called Jim 10 days ago to say goodbye. He was having none of that, and after describing a recent trip to Italy, he said he was looking for a hospital that could perform a transplant, and that he had every intention of living. I could imagine that crooked little smile of his, as he chuckled,

“I always have a plan.”

He was not able to execute this one, but it was a hallmark of Jim, that behind that carefree, wild-man persona, he always had audacious plans. And he executed them more often than not. Whether pioneering free climbs, big walls, or big alpine, he always had a plan.

This is my favorite memory of Jim:

Early summer in Camp Four in the seventies was a hot mess: a place of tincture, chalk dust, testosterone, new route ambitions, and one-upsmanship. Most conversations did not break below the surface of sly boasts, casual insults, sarcasm and posturing. It was as nakedly competitive as a modern climbing gym, in almost as close quarters.

Mike Graham and I were about to drive down to LA to catch a plane to Paris, on our way to try alpine climbing in Chamonix. I was 21 years old. As we were getting ready to get in my Pinto, Bridwell came over and he adopted a tone I had never heard from him before, grave and deadly serious:

“Be careful. A lot of people die over there and I don’t want that to happen to you.”

I was moved and that moment never left me. Others have mentioned how underneath the legend, Jim was a caring and kind soul. That’s how I’ll always remember him.

Hugs to Peggy and condolences to Layton and the rest of his family.

Rick Accomazzo
Levy

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 17, 2018 - 10:39am PT
Such an amazing man with even more incredible stories that will be treasured and shared by the many who were fortunate enough to have known him.

RIP Jim, you will be missed. I feel fortunate to have roped up with him and shared his enthusiasm for the art of climbing.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 17, 2018 - 10:52am PT

24 hours ago
Peace
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Feb 17, 2018 - 11:00am PT
*
Condolences to the family and many friends of Jim Bridwell ...

Wonderful stories, pictures and remembrances in this thread, keep them coming.

Rest in Peace Mr Bridwell.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Feb 17, 2018 - 12:11pm PT
Beautiful, eKat.

BAd
Chris Jones

Social climber
Glen Ellen, CA
Feb 17, 2018 - 01:35pm PT
What a character. What an inspiration.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 17, 2018 - 02:32pm PT
Best post Kath! I woulda hung with yer Pops! Genuine, able to read people. That's why I think me n The Bird got along...we saw each other through the bullsh#t. W
He and I could be screaming at each other one minute and sayin' " I Love you Brother" the next. We respected the others opinion and recognized the ability to voice it and LISTEN to it. I miss Jim so god dahm much, I will miss our road trips, I will miss our conversations, I will miss the stories, I will miss our RESPECT for each other! Ballin my eyes out right now!
Thanks Girl!
Peace

Jim and I left every trip and conversation with those 3 magic words...well we modified it to 4,
"I Love you Brother."
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 17, 2018 - 03:31pm PT
No! Keep it coming! Healing, entertaining and part of our history.
Peace
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 17, 2018 - 03:44pm PT
The best stories, eKat!
Unstoppable - thanks for sharing.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 17, 2018 - 03:50pm PT
Please share Kat.
Peace
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 17, 2018 - 04:11pm PT
A life like this is nothing to be sorry about.

Here is to those who are happy to live their dreams and are willing to pay the price to see them come true.

Too few of us do things half way. We keep a foot planted in the real world. Those who leave it all behind to pursue their dreams are to be celebrated.
Gene

climber
Feb 17, 2018 - 04:12pm PT
Please keep these stories coming. I never met Jim, but I appreciate getting to know the man through all of your experiences and memories of him. Thanks.
jstan

climber
Feb 17, 2018 - 04:53pm PT
During a trip to Yosemite in 68( I think) Jim went out of his way to talk to me. Me an Eastern climber. Right now it is a period of great change. We will miss him.

Today was a trip into nostalgia, I went down to the Pit to recover the sign I had had made.

The usual residential trash. Nothing unexpected.

Nothing is the same though:






Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Feb 17, 2018 - 04:57pm PT
Kath said,

I sat there scared to death to tell them how I felt - we were young and stupid and "love" could be taken for all the wrong reasons…”

I’ll say. Everyone in camp had a crush on the lovely Kath.



Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Feb 17, 2018 - 05:17pm PT
I'm sorry
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 17, 2018 - 05:49pm PT
Jim and I had a short-listed box of memories, little vignettes that conjured up a long friendship (and necessary since we haven't created any new ones and I stay away from talking about personal politics), memories that we couldn't resist looking into when we'd get on the phone or, more rarely, see each other. They always managed to bring back something that we both cherished in those very early days of our friendship, starting in 1969.

In our last call, a few weeks ago, Jim added a few memories he had as if he were rerunning the reels. They were more observational with no story to them, but things that had stuck in Jim's memory. I have clear recollections of all of them, or at least I think I do, but a few of the new ones Jim added we had never ever talked about. It reminded me of how close we were in those early days.

One of those shared and resonate memories (which we left in the box on that last call) was about almost nothing, a drive from the Valley to Squaw Valley in the snow at the end of the 1970 climbing season, just before ski season started. A memory in which, as far as I can recall, nothing happened. An old car, full of gear, two guys, a snow storm, and no windows.

Jim was a ski patrolman at Squaw. I, however, had quit college the previous spring and had moved to the Valley to climb full-time. Jim and I had met the previous year, and he had taken me in, given me a spot on the rescue team and, although I didn't fully realize it at the time, created a home for all of us. At the end of my first season as a full-time climber, I had no place to go and no plan: I was a college dropout with long hair, and nearly broke. I decided to spend the winter in Squaw Valley. Jim probably encouraged me. I have a vague recollection of crashing with Chris Jones and maybe Eric Beck before I got started as a lift operator and could pay rent. A lot of climbers spent time there, many of whom post on ST. Chris Jones' picture up-thread shows the time and place. Even though I never skied, I ended up spending three winters in Squaw, driving machines.

But first I had to get there. Jim offered me a lift from Yosemite to Squaw in his newly acquired, used car; given its shape it was probably a late 50s model: a nice, big sedan. Tioga pass was closed, so we drove on the west side and crossed over on Highway 80 into Truckee. It was snowing hard. Jim was taking it easy, nursing his beast along. Our friendship was built on talking about life, and we had similar points of view and plenty of life to figure out, so the time passed quickly enough.

However, I was uncomfortable, sittifng cramped, mid-seat. I had very little baggage but Jim had lots of ski and climbing gear. The back was full of stuff. And several pairs of skis ran diagonally over the front seat and stuck out the front passenger window. I had to sit twisted up between the skis and Jim. In new cars, the back seats fold down so skis in the trunk can pass up through the gap in front seats, but this was so last century and the front seats were benches without head rests. Just so the open window doesn't sound too alarming, there were no back passenger windows.

Driving along in a whiteout, parsing the meaning of life in an artificially enhanced bivouac experience in which the wind speed is relative: 50 mile an hour winds during a snow storm replaced with 50 mph driving in a snow storm in a car with open windows.

We were bundled up and taking care not to lose stuff out the windows or get cut up on the ski edges. Jim did a good job keeping us on the road. I don't remember much traffic. Not surprising, given the conditions.

Sweet trip. Jim always remember how he ended up with this car, the exact make and year of his new car, and why there were no windows. I don't remember the car making it back to the Valley the next spring.

Toughness was always an ingredient in Jim's successes, and he worked to passed it along. But, obviously, style was equally important.
throwpie

Trad climber
Berkeley
Feb 17, 2018 - 05:56pm PT
Time fogs the memory but here goes...
The last time I saw Jim was when he was working on the Pacific ocean wall. We were hanging out in the camp 4 parking lot, and after a smoke, he recruited me to haul some bloody gear down from the el cap base. Billy Westbay had cracked his noggin pretty good the day before. We took a high-speed, terrifying run to the captain in a white van. Not sure if it was Jim‘s or not. As we hiked to the base Jim was describing all the features of the unclimbed line that loomed above us. We were soon greeted by huge streaks of blood and piles of bloody ropes and gear. Bridwell mused the the route should be called the Painted Wall. He asked me if I wanted to Jumar up and belay him while he worked on the unfinished pitch. With zero experience in that realm, I begged off and just gathered up the gear and headed down to the van. My friend Jay (who was with us) offered to join him and the rest is history. I hitched back to camp and that was it.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 17, 2018 - 07:45pm PT
Very funny Kevin, on our many road trips, Jim would tell me he woulda been a race cardriver, but his parents couldn’t finance it. “Gomez... yer one of the few guys I’ve driven with that, I wish I had a chalk bag! My hands are dripping sweat, but you still seem to be controlling it!”
Another was, “ never seen anyone drift a truck through corners like you”. We had a blast driving the interstates at high speeds and the mountain roads smelling and listening to melting rubber. Oh Jimbo.... the times we had! Loved em all.
Peace
john hansen

climber
Feb 17, 2018 - 08:03pm PT
Sometime around 84 or so, me and my brother and some friends were top roping at 90 foot wall.

These three hippie looking dudes came walking up and started soloing the 5.8's and 9's.

My brother was looking at the 5.11 moves just left of the 5.1 corner.

One of them came over and said, "this ain't tennis shoe territory,,"

and then he pantomimed the moves you had to do to make it in the right order.

My friend called me the next day and said "That was Bridwell"

Like many have said above, he went out of his way to encourage and interact with everyone in a positive way.


Aloha


BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 17, 2018 - 08:44pm PT
I had the pleasure of working with and climbing with Jim Bridwell. I first really got to know Jim while working with him for a couple months in 1992 in the Itallian Dolomites, on the movie Cliffhanger, featuring Sly Stallone. I was the Safety Officer and Jim was a Rigger. Good times.

Later in the 90's I got to know Jim even better when I worked with him at Joshua Tree, guiding SEAL Team 6, and climbing with him on several occasions. After that we had many great conversations every time we ran into each other.

Jim had a heart of gold and many Olympic moments.

RIP free bird

Condolonces to Peggy and Layton

Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California, now Ireland
Feb 18, 2018 - 02:50am PT
I only climbed with him once, partied with him several times and listened to him all the time. RIP and condolences to family and friends. Patrick
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Feb 18, 2018 - 06:16am PT
When it was finally my turn, I ordered a New York, medium rare, baker with sour cream, salad. . . and please change those idiot's orders to the same!

Gotta say eKat, you dirtbag in style....
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 18, 2018 - 07:20am PT


This last couple months I have spent a lot of time with Jim. The last decade I have spent a bunch of time with jim. We have had some of our best conversations and communications lately. I will miss traveling and hanging out with Jim. Jim was a unique one. I liked jim a lot. His politics and conspiracy theories didn't bother me at all. His love of adventure, people, experiences, and wonderment was something I admired and shared with him. I will miss him a lot. Jim was very very sick these last couple months. He is now free of his illnesses. I am appreciative of our friendship and all the time spent with Jim. He was a very good friend to me.
couchmaster

climber
Feb 18, 2018 - 07:58am PT

Only a climber would look at this photo Jim Herrington put up above on Snake Dike and think to themselves: Isn't that a 9.4 Bluewater dominator rope? /shakes head... we're a strange bunch.


Jim had better than a good run, he had a great run. He lived a great life and on his terms. Then he got old. Like Robbins, Kor, Pratt, Sacherer, etc etc etc. Which sad to say, will happen (is happening) to all of us as well in turn. Much, much too soon. Call received the other am, my fathers brother (uncle Bob) had passed away last night. His passing was a blessing which finally relived him from the pain he was in. I can remember not long back when he was younger than me. So like many other have noted above so capably: live your own life like it's about to end, because it is. Treat others the way you wish to be treated.

Vios con dios Jim. See you on the other side all too soon.

Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Feb 18, 2018 - 08:04am PT
By the nineties, I had watched with admiration as Jim had progressed from a Valley-bound pure rock climber to ticking off first ascents on the hardest alpine walls around the world. The AAC had a meeting in Denver and Jim was getting an award, so he came to stay at our house. I told him to get to my downtown law office from nearby Stapelton airport and then I’d drive him to Boulder.

I was working in my office when the receptionist buzzed my extension. In a whispered voice filled with trepidation, she said,

“There is a homeless man here to see you.”

I laughed and went down the hall. He did look the part: a large, faded, red frameless pack on his back, disheveled shoulder length hair, and a darkly tanned face, crevassed like a summer glacier.

But I knew that this was not from exposure on the mean streets of a big city. That face had weathered sun and storms on wild adventures in some of the most exotic and beautiful places in the world.
AMB

climber
CA
Feb 18, 2018 - 08:24am PT
Hard to remember, but I think it was the winter of '81-'82 when I was working at the x-country ski school in the valley. One night I wandered into the Mountain Room bar. It was quiet, only a few people in there, and Jim was sitting alone at the bar. I'd never spoken to him, but I joined him for a drink. He at least knew who I was. He said he'd hiked up along the southwest face of El Cap that day to the base of the West Buttress. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small white object and handed it to me. "Know what that is?" he says. "Uhh... a piece of some kind of bone, I guess" I reply. "That's a piece of Jim Madsen's skull." Whoa! I was skeptical, but he clearly believed it. Later on I got to thinking that he could have been in on the Madsen body recovery (way before my time) so he would have known right where to look. Maybe they're together now....
norm larson

climber
wilson, wyoming
Feb 18, 2018 - 08:46am PT
Winter of 1976-77 I was down in Patagonia helping soome friends get their gear on to the icecap to climb the West Face of Cerro Torre. After they were on there way I was free to explore the Fitzroy massif. I spent the next month and a half hiking around meeting the other 6 parties or so that were camped in various valleys at their basecamps. Every two weeks the mail truck came and brought us some supplies that we had ordered two weeks before.

One day the mail truck arrived with Bridwell riding along. He was partnerless but eager to climb something. Since I was without a partner we made a plan and headed off to try the super couloir on Fitzroy. It was a long day on the approach and we were both knackered. We settled in to a bivy with the weather fine. In the middle of the night I woke to Jim spooning me saying he was cold. I was kind of freaked out but thought maybe thats how they do it on the big walls. I was young and only had a few years of alpine experience. No big walls.

In the morning we woke to high clouds and gusty winds. We started up the gash to see what we could do.We made it a bout 1500 feet up when the wind really turned on, only as it can down there. We both knew it was over but then it became so windy we could hardly downclimb without being blown off the route. We helped each other wherever we could.

After that I didn't see Jim for eight or ten years. Then one day we bumped in to each other at Dornans bar after a day when we were each guiding in the Tetons. Jim and I immediately recognized each other and we had a beer together reliving that attempt.
Jim was like that, though he was well known and could have been another super climber with a huge snobby ego instead he took the time to relate to me, just another climber, and was really interested in what I had been up to. Whenever we saw each other after that we just laughed, shook our heads at that day in the wind, and how I was freaked out by being spooned by Jim Bridwell in the middle of the night.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 18, 2018 - 09:14am PT
Are you still there? Need anything?
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Feb 18, 2018 - 09:41am PT
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Feb 18, 2018 - 09:48am PT


Dale Bard had SEVEN A5 leads in a row..
On a first ascent..
Freaking mind blowing!
i-b-goB

Social climber
Wise Acres
Feb 18, 2018 - 11:02am PT
http://www.mountainblog.it/redazionale/morto-jim-bridwell-la-leggenda-dello-yosemite-guarda-video/

[Click to View YouTube Video]


[Click to View YouTube Video]
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2018 - 11:32am PT
EKat....guitars. Wanted to get to hold that guitar John Pesca had that he was so kind and generous to get back to you. Post some photos?
Side note: talk with Peggy everyday, this morning we spoke about being at his bedside moments after he was taken Off Belay. She said,"isn't there some saying about when one life ends, another begins?" I said yeah something like that. She mentioned it would've been nice if a baby was born in the hospital when Jim passed. This morning, she tells me a nurse who helped talk care of Jim in the hospital and is a climber, gave birth moments after his passing in the same hospital! She named the baby, Wren....a Bird! She was not aware of Jim's passing. Peggy was tickled that a person that took care of him, gave birth that day and named her baby after a Bird!
Peace
Maysho

climber
Soda Springs, CA
Feb 18, 2018 - 11:44am PT
Wonderful memory shares you all. I am still awash with so many vivid memories of those great days, about a 25 year span 1979-2004, when my life was made much richer by my association with Jim. I will write some of these down a bit later. We are all part of an incredible tribe, with intense lineage. Sad when such a leader passes, but also a beautiful moment to reflect on those who shaped us, and how they inspire us as we forge our own route through life.

Peter

August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Feb 18, 2018 - 01:29pm PT
I’ll be smoking non filters and sipping some fine bourbon tonight in memory.

I crossed paths with Jim in the meadow after coming down from doing the Muir. He asked what I had been on and I told him. He gave me a smoke and we talked a bit shared a laugh and that was it.

The first time I ever talked to him I was walking through a Yosemite parking lot, with my climbing gear, on a hot day and he stuck his head out of the back of his truck and asked if I wanted a beer. Calling it "warm" would be diplomatic. I think it was PBR, but if it wasn't, it was something comparable. A number of more warm beers followed. Although it wasn't the only time I talked to him, it was probably the most memorable for me.

I didn't see this thread when it first went up, but maybe I need to swing by the store and get a six-pack of PBR and leave it in the sun for a while. No fine bourbon for this memory lane...
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Feb 18, 2018 - 01:48pm PT
Will's will be for sale on Blanchard's site, comin' up shortly

eKat-

email me @ johntpenca@gmail.com


VVVV

ya can't fool me eKat; yer smarter than the average bear.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2018 - 02:45pm PT
Ohhhh man, those are some sweet works of art. Where's the shop...on the eastside? Hope to be heading up soon
Peace
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Feb 18, 2018 - 03:33pm PT
My deepest and most sincere condolences to his family and all the many others who loved the man! I felt privileged to hoist a couple beers with him at the Gordon Ranch a few years ago when we were all saying our farewells to Blitzo.

Ron-thanks for standing by him during his time of greatest need; he was blessed to have a friend like you.

Rodger
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2018 - 03:55pm PT
Peace Rodger. It's what we all do for our Brother's and Sister's! Hope we get to hoist a beer again soon!
Peace
mastadon

Trad climber
crack addict
Feb 18, 2018 - 04:39pm PT
John Hansen-I was one of the scruffy looking dudes with Bridwell that day at 90 Foot Wall. Bridwell had those climbs brutally wired.

Jim was a true master of stone. He loved to get out whether it was epic long hard routes or just day cragging.

I remember many insightful things Jim said but one seems especially relevant now. We were talking how some people were obsessed with numbers. Jim said, “At the end, when you cross the brdge at the end of your life, it won’t matter how hard you climbed. What will matter is how you treated people along the way.”

The world just doesn’t seem the same today with Jim not in it.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2018 - 04:46pm PT
That last line in the last paragraph! Nailed it. That's what Jim was about.
Peace
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
Feb 18, 2018 - 04:54pm PT
Bird is rappin in the dead of night
Clip those tattered slings and lean away
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Bridwell leading on the granite cap
Sink those rusty pins and step on high
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be you

Bridwell fly, bridwell fly
Into the light of the dark black night...

RIP
Don Paul

Gym climber
Denver CO
Feb 18, 2018 - 05:38pm PT
Here's a nice obit by Duane Raleigh: Jim Bridwell, Founder of YOSAR and Big-Wall Godfather, Dead at 73 Inventor of the chalk-bag? I thought he invented copperheads. Maybe deserves more credit for his ascent of Cerro Torre considering Kelly Cordes' book. The NYT and Wash Post both did crummy google/wikipedia -based articles and had no idea who they were dealing with. I'd like to see John Long or someone like him put all these pieces together.
jaysmith

Trad climber
Castle Valley, UT
Feb 18, 2018 - 06:34pm PT
So sorry Jim. That was to soon to leave us. You were an inspiration, a mentor and great partner. Just appreciative for the time I got to spend with you. You will be missed by many and equaled by none. We did bag in Patagonia. If it wasn't for you, I may have never gone there. Thanks for all buddy. May your next existance be just as rewarding. You showed the way for many.

My sincerest go out to Layton and Peggy.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2018 - 06:39pm PT
Jay was so glad to be in Ouray with you guys. Jim had a blast and got to spend time with some of his close friends! Treasured moments fer sure.
Peace
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 18, 2018 - 07:36pm PT
Jim was well known for inventing new techniques and inventing new equipment. So sometime around 1971 or so, Jim decided that we should make our own shoes to fit into thin cracks. I don't think that we had EBs at the time, probably still just RDs and PAs. Anyway, Jim knew someone who managed or owned a boot and shoe repair place in the Bay Area, so he called up, and off we drove out of the Valley to design and prototype new crack climbing shoes.

The idea was simplicity itself--the JB crack shoes. Make a thin mountain boot insole several sizes smaller than your foot. Stretch inner tube tire rubber over the last and glue it to the insole. Slit the front, poke holes in the inner tube rubber for laces and glue on a hard rubber smooth sole like an RD or PA. Oh, and make the toe come to an extreme point about 1 1/2 inches off the end of your feet--to stick into thin cracks.

After a few hours in the shoe repair place the guy working there took the rest of the day off to go fishing. We had the place to ourselves. We made three pairs--two for Jim and one for me.

It took about 20 minutes to get these suckers onto your feet and somehow located in the right spot and laced up. Then if you weighted the edges, they rolled and the twisted onto your feet, smoothly and effectively transferring 100% of your weight to your hands.

But the main idea was to make thin crack shoes, not edging shoes. And this this regard, the JB pointy toes slipped into the smallest of cracks, especially when inserted sideways. However, as the rubber deformed to the exact shape of the crack, it slowly slipped out, and smoothly and effectively transferred 100% of your weight to your hands.

Did I also mention that they hurt like hell?

Jim, an eternal optimist and never one to admit any touch of failure until he was damn good and ready, touting the benefits of these new shoes and how a few tweaks here and there would fix the problems. I agreed in part: work really hard on finger and and arm strength and leave the shoes on the ground.

Jim was often right, about many things--a skill I am sure he learned by knowing first hand how some good ideas are just down right doomed to failure.

I think that I weaseled out of my fair share of the cost of this adventure by claiming that since I got one pair and he got two, I should only pay 1/3 of the expenses.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 18, 2018 - 07:53pm PT
From the Rock & Ice link:
Bridwell was devoted to the teachings in the Urantia Book.

The Urantia Book was another fundament. Said to have been written by celestial beings, The Urantia Book is a bible of sorts explaining the creations, God and the progression of beings including humans, angels and a paradise where God resides within a billion perfect worlds.

More El Cap pioneers favor the Urantia Book than one might think."I got the app and don't have to take the book, now!"
H

Mountain climber
there and back again
Feb 18, 2018 - 09:06pm PT
Pioneer, legend, mentor, story teller, hero, brother, philosopher, sage, inventer.


I meet Jim the first time after his presentation at marmot mountain works in Marin years ago, then shortly after in Talkeetna where we shared a pizza and talked shop. Would see him often at Outdoor Retailer. I was honored to take him to town and get him some smokes one time. Talked politics and spirituality a number of times. He was witty and generous but mostly "one of a kind". Fond memories.

I cherish a number of goodies I got from him over the years. Even more so now. My heart goes out to those closest to him.
F

climber
away from the ground
Feb 18, 2018 - 09:43pm PT
I think I met Jim the same summer that Mark Westman mentioned. Post climb.
What a guy.
Respect.
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Feb 19, 2018 - 12:13am PT
Having only met Jim once or twice, I can't claim him as a friend. But I do feel the pain of those many who did, and who spent important eras of their life in his company.

I've lost way too many of my own friends, with whom I had naively expected to be one day in the distant future recounting old stories on our porches, long after our bodies had worn out.

This passage, melancholy as it may be, has put things into perspective for me, and it seems appropriate to share with everyone here. Condolences to all.

Nothing, in truth, can ever replace a lost companion. Old comrades cannot be manufactured. There is nothing that can equal the treasure of so many shared memories, so many bad times endured together, so many quarrels, reconciliations, heartfelt impulses. Friendships like that cannot be reconstructed. If you plant an oak, you will hope in vain to sit soon under its shade.
For such is life. We grow rich as we plant through the early years, but then come the years when time undoes our work and cuts down our trees. One by one our comrades deprive us of their shade, and within our mourning we always feel now the secret grief of growing old.
If I search among my memories for those whose taste is lasting, if I write the balance sheet of the moments that truly counted, I surely find those that no fortune could have bought me. You cannot buy the friendship of a companion bound to you forever by ordeals endured together.

-Antoine de St. Exupery,
Wind Sand and Stars
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2018 - 07:41am PT
Got it!
Peace
😍
adikted

Boulder climber
Tahooooeeeee
Feb 19, 2018 - 09:40am PT
Although I never got to meet Bridwell, I have had a locking carabiner and a figure 8 that was part of his rack. Given to me by the late Blake Beeman in Tahoe City, it is one of my favorite possessions... Cheers to a legend..

Greg
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 19, 2018 - 10:20am PT
When I was 20 I was most fortunate to meet “The Bird” in camp 4. As a young climber just learning the ropes so to speak, Jim showed me the blueprint of how this climbing game worked. Party hard, get up early and go climb something that is challenge to your skills, do your best and don’t tell fibs, party hard and vow to do better tomorrow. Repeat this process every day and you will find the meaning of life and happiness.

A fine way to live.

Thank you for the encouragement you gave me.

I offer my sincere condolences to Layton and Peggy.

RIP
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Feb 19, 2018 - 11:47am PT
I met Jim when he first wandered into Camp 4, he was barely 20, I was in my early 30s. Needless to say, he was never a mentor to me - I was too old to be taught anything. We never did climb together. I spent almost all of the 70s climbing with TM in Tuolumne and Jim was busy climbing in the Valley in those days. I think we considered ourselves friends over all these years, but never "really close" friends.

Reading through all these tributes to Jim makes me realize how much I didn't know about him. Last time we met was at an Oakdale gathering a few years back. Of course, now I wish we had spent more time reminiscing. There was so much of his past that I was unaware of. Truly a great personality in the climbing world.
WBraun

climber
Feb 19, 2018 - 12:04pm PT
So one day Jim goes lets go up and scope out the route that became Bushido.

We drop the obligatory acid to to make sure we see all the "hidden features" one normally never sees :-)

The Jim starts verbally saying; "up this crack then maybe belay here and blah blah blah". LOL

Then he looks at me and asks what yah think?

I said; "what you said Jim don't make any sense".

Turns out I was looking at the what became eventually the "Zenith" climb thinking it was "Bushido".

Suddenly !!!! he sees what I'm looking at and it's a "Eureka" happening and he says OOoooohhh and that's mine too, lol.

And then says; "But you can come too" .... LMAO, way too funny.

There are thousands of "Bird" stories just like the man who said there's thousands of stories in LA in the "Dragnet" TV series ......
Mike.

climber
Feb 19, 2018 - 12:10pm PT
These are great stories.


Porter was talking with JB about the Shield headwall before the FA. JB implored him to leave it untainted for a free ascent, as he could see an obvious 1" crack leading up it. (Haha.) CP comes back to his car after the FA to find his windshield wipers broken off (story relayed with a healthy CP belly laugh).
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2018 - 12:48pm PT
Been waiting Werner.... please keep em coming! I'll never forget bringingJim to the Valley that rainy spring for one of the Nose Reunions. We got there, I asked...so what's the first thing ya wanna do? No hesitation, "I wanna go see my old friend Werner." Went straight to the yard behind the Indian Village, he knew exactly where you'd be. That was a memorable trip.
Remember it?
We got booted from the Rescue Site trying to visit it, we were too old and with respect to them, we crossed over limit lines saying keep out. We got a good laugh at that!
Peace
johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Feb 19, 2018 - 01:13pm PT
My buddy was getting ready to lead Band Saw in Joshua Tree and hadn't brought any draws so racked up with mine. Just as he was starting to climb, Jim asked him if he liked the draws he was using, he said "of course". Jim then told him "you better cause the're mine"

On another occasion we had climbed Central Pillar of Frenzy in Yosemite and as we came down, we set up a top rope on the excellent stemming climb, Bircheff-Williams. Jim came along and asked if he could toprope it and we, of course, told him we'd be honored. After he walked up the climb I mentioned that we had just done the great climb, Central Pillar of Frenzy. He told us "Yes, that climb was put up by some bad ass climbers".

What a legend he was
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 19, 2018 - 01:14pm PT
Jimmy Dunn said he sounded just fine 5 days ago. I hope his passing went easy.

We sure have lost a lot of the greats in recent years.



Not all of the early heroes of rock climbing have been as successful financially as a Chouinard or Tomkins. I have considered leaving some money to start a foundation that would provide a home for great climbers that find themselves in need of assistance later in life.

Any feedback?
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 19, 2018 - 01:27pm PT
Often thought if I rolled in the cash Ron, I 'd do the same. But how do you choose who "qualifies"? My best guess is, everyone has a fate and we learn to deal with it, good or bad. I'd sure like to see Peggy taken care of in some way. She was with Jim almost the whole ride and without her, he may not have done what he did. If ya'll think Jim was something...ya gotta get to know his soul mate, best friend, Love of his life and greatest supporter! Peggy.
Jim did go in Peace. He had his wife, Son and couple buddies by his side. It was peaceful.
Peace
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 19, 2018 - 01:35pm PT
Who qualifies would be a call made by a board who look at not only an extensive history of inspiring climbs, but also the support available to him or her, and the "fit" given existing residents (think Bird / Donini political arguments).
Claw Fang

Social climber
High Falls, New York
Feb 19, 2018 - 02:59pm PT
I always prefer a raucous wake with many legendary tales- here's a story:
The NYTimes also had an excellent article about Jim.
One ingredient of the article spoke of Bridwell’s basic founding of YOSAR
which reminded me that I was on the first rescue that Bridwell ever took part in by virtue of being a Camp 4 rodent , not because of climbing skill.
A bunch of us ( Bridwell, Bev Johnson, Kelsey, Barry Bates , … ) got driven by the park up to above El Cap - we hiked downhill with lotsa big gear including a big winch ( and a few wenches) and set up on the granite slope right over the Nose.
Bridwell with a Walkie Talkie was lowered 800’ to the scotsman? Brian Robertson and ??? .
I have full documentation from YOSAR in my basement archives should anyone require the ??? and the … to be replaced
by facts. As Bridwell was being lowered a sound of panic entered his voice transmissions via the Walkie Talkie -
“ oh sh#t mannnn I’m spinning around whoa …” It was overhanging all the way!
He finally managed to unwind the cable laid rope to an equilibrium state just before
he reached the desiccated climbers.
Later we all were treated to an ASS - TOUNDING helicopter ride from just above the lip of El Cap to the Meadows below.
The ride was in a total plexiglass bubble enclosed 3 seater chopper that one could look down through the floor of.
We were all very VERY used to exposure BUT , as most of you have observed, when taking off in a fixed wing plane as one rises up to about 50’ there begins to be initially a feeling of exposure - then magically as soon as one punctures the 50’ barrier the exposure evaporates and one is comfortably in the hands of this crazy flying machine.

Well in this helicopter we started up and while we were still in the exposure zone - maybe 30’ or so off the ground- the ground fell away from 30’ below to
3,000 and 30 feet below . What a rush !!!!! Even without drugs.
Good times. Memories.
clwd
Claw Fang

Social climber
High Falls, New York
Feb 19, 2018 - 03:09pm PT
Another memory: groveling around in Camp 4 .... sounds , big sounds , coming from Bridwells table ... "Ten Years After" - blasting out of his record player ( 33 LP - no buds, no iPuds, basic - earthy - down home )

" hey little school girl "
dad dad da da dun doh
" let me carry your books home baby

I feels so good to day ..."


I can still hear those sounds ...
forever Bridwell !!!!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 19, 2018 - 03:43pm PT
The rescue that Claw Fang recalls was in mid summer 1970.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/735602/The-very-First-El-Cap-Rescue
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Feb 19, 2018 - 04:13pm PT
Toker Villian, I have given this much thought also.

I have a vision that I may or may not live to see realized. Start a non profit which would include a climbers museum in Joshua Tree as well as a fund to help climbers financially. A board would be selected to make decisions and a finely tuned document to help them delineate how to make those decisions.

The building would be one story with 3 areas....a climbing museum, in the middle a "Moving Meditations" garden, the right wing a hall of fame.

It's good to dream and have visions.
cornel

climber
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Feb 19, 2018 - 05:11pm PT
No climber has ever inspired me more than the Commander, the Walrus, the Bird... I told him so too. Thank you Jim for setting and resetting the standard of excellence.. you were a true visionary... condolences to Peggy and Layton
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Feb 19, 2018 - 06:32pm PT
Toker. That is a wonderfull idea++++++++ until then all we have is go fund me.....
Dickbob

climber
Westminster Colorado
Feb 19, 2018 - 08:14pm PT
It is good to see all of the contributions to this thread. Friends of the Bird. We are a tribe and that is really not a cliché at all.

I am just Dick Bob. I have a couple of friends on this forum but overall I am just a 56 year old climber and like a lot of you, I have been doing it in the mountains essentially my entire life. And we still are. Thank God for that small thing.

I met the Bird in person one time and like a few of you on this thread it made a positive impact on me. It was at the Derek Hersey Memorial in Eldo. Through a friend of a friend, I went to it with Steve Dieckhoff. Steve randomly touched my shoulder and said, Rick, I want you to meet Jim.

I shook his hand, nervous as F--k, and Jim casually asked me how I was doing. I over enthusiastically said I was doing great. Good day on the rock blah blah blah, kinda going off on it with the nervous excitement of meeting Jim. The entire time his eye balls never left mine. Kind of fricken intimidating if truth be told. But, I could tell that his look was kind and he was interested in my words.

I finally stopped babbling and asked him how he was doing and he slowly shrugged his shoulders, raised his thumb and pointer finger up to my face about an inch apart and said, under the present circumstances I could be doing just a little bit better. I felt like an ass but Jim was gracious as hell. He wasn’t putting me down that’s for sure.

Definitely a leader. That was obvious.
Chad Umbel

Big Wall climber
Las Vegas
Feb 19, 2018 - 08:43pm PT

I met Jim back in 2005 in Joshua Tree. I was lucky enough to spend 6 days with him smoking camel NF’s, listening to countless stories & him sicking me on the best highballs josh has to offer. I was 25 at the time and it feels like a lifetime ago. One night around the fire some belligerent drunk started ranting off about politics and Newt Gingrich to all the youngsters trying to impress everyone with his awareness of current events and such. He then started prodding Jim on the subject. Jim proceeded to embarrass him and devour his knowledge on politics. I remember Jim really having trouble with Newt. He couldn’t stand the dude, I was in stitches laughing as it went on and on.... Anyhow

This pic is from his and Brian’s trip to the Buckskin for the first ascent of the East face of BT. I hadn’t met Brian yet at the time. But he was a legend from my neck of the woods (NRG) and I was keen to try and climb/learn the ways of big walls from him and I asked Jim about their trip. He asked me, “Well what do you wanna know?” I asked him how it was that he failed multiple times with big name partners, but somehow managed to pull it off, older and with a crew of raggamuffins and one red neck from Ohio. He then told me how Brian was the fastest, most competent aid climber in the world at the time. And that he also lead 90% of the entire route. He called him a farm boy and said that he had the gusto to go up in a fashion he respected deeply. The result was “The Useless Emotion” (which was regarding the concern of weather).

One year later I was fortunate enough to peak Brian’s interest enough to share a rope. And even get a trip in to the Buckskin to attempt a new route. Brian taught us what Jim taught him on that same glacier. How lucky we were. Brian loved Jim and did everything he could to help him over the years. He had pictures drawn by a local artist of Jim and he took dozens of them over to Jim’s house for him to sign and write a “Bridwellism” on each one. He then auctioned them off and gave him all the proceeds. Time fly’s.... RIP Bird

PS. Rollover, I haven’t forgot about ya. I will be back in Vegas in two weeks.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 20, 2018 - 07:39am PT
Mountain 25, published in January 1973, summed up the shift that occurred in the Valley climbing in the early 70s.

As Mountain noted, the all-free, all-nut ascents were the rage of young modern climbers (the best ones!), and Charlie Porter's big wall ascents are treated as the exception by Ken Wilson, Mountain's editor. I think this was pretty accurate in 1972.

Ken Wilson, Mountain's editor, noted: "On the short, hard, free-climb scene, Jim Bridwell’s second ascents of the Left Side o f Hourglass and Cream stand out. These very serious leads had gathered a certain aura and Bridwell’s ascents break a psychological barrier that had developed round these climbs."

The notes on Jim Bridwell's second ascents of Mark Klemon's Cream and Peter Haan's all-free The Left Side of the Hourglass point out the importance of these climbs in pushing the free climbing standards of the time. However, I don’t think that Ken's comment about Jim's ascents breaking a psychological barrier holds water--everyone was still scared to death of both of them (the routes, I mean).

PDB: Bouldering with the Delphi Oracle

On a fine day in 1972, Jim asked me to go bouldering with him. It was an odd request because Jim didn't have much interest in bouldering, and my interest in bouldering was limited to finding nice sunny flat ones near the Merced where I could create romantic enticements in my search for the meaning of life.

But, how could I refuse.

I assumed that we would go to the standard boulders with all the caulk marks that ended near the Mountain Room Bar, but Jim started off towards Manure Pile Buttress. I pointed out a few interesting looking boulders, which we passed. Then I pointed out that most were covered with moss and had bad landings. Jim persisted, telling me that he thought there was a good place just a bit farther towards Manure Pile Buttress.

Finally, we arrive at a giant stack of three boulders, two on the bottom, and one on top, with a cave like space between. In the cave, the edge of the top boulder and one of the bottom boulders formed a straight up crack, with a horizontal edge that ran out the along the top corner of the cave. I was thinking in terms of a roof jam crack and noted it had a fairly sharp edge but was a horrible width. Also, the rock was covered with moss, pine needles and dirt. And the floor of the cave was boulder strewn and uneven.

"What a glorious find," I think to myself.

As I stood and watched, Jim climbed back into this embodiment of the perfect bouldering cave, and from a crouch, reached up with both hands, grabbed the edge and underclinged out of the cave, moving from right to left. He doesn't try to find foot holds--just pure gut busting underclinging.

When he got to the end, he steped down to the ground and suggests that we go back to camp.

Sometimes, being with Jim was like channeling the Delphi Oracle.

A few days later, Jim did the second ascent of Peter's Left Side of the Hourglass with Rik Rieder. Rik's account is here: ...Yet another look at the depth of Bridwell's climbing...
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 20, 2018 - 09:29am PT
Actually tradman I have a location in mind, and already have an option on the property.

The biggest problem is how I am repeatedly disappointed in members of the community.
Ed Sklar was funny when he said that climbing may be hard, but it is easier than growing up.

But therein lies the dilemma.
SSH

Trad climber
Seattle
Feb 20, 2018 - 09:51am PT
I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.

-Jack London

In my four seasons climbing in Yosemite in the late seventies and early eighties, I never met Bridwell, But you could feel his presence among the big stone that loomed over you in that vertical playground called The Valley.

As young Washington climber back then, me and my climbing crew felt his presence as far north as Index and Leavenworth. We hung on every word (never on a climb, heavens no!) about the Bird's and the Stonemaster's exploits. His influence over little shits like us cannot be underestimated. His influence ran deep into corners and cracks that reached far outside his massive orbit.

After hearing the sad news of Bridwell's passing and after reading the tributes and stories posted on this forum, I thought the Jack London poem really captures the Bird's essence.

He squeezed every ounce of life into an endless narrative of adventure. His was a life fully lived - and as many of you who climbed and hung with him know - it was certainly not for the faint of heart!

Rest in peace oh mighty bird. There will never be a character quite like you to grace the polished granite with such boldness, vision and style!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Feb 20, 2018 - 09:58am PT
As a young Washington climber who only occasionally visited Yosemite I only ventured
into Camp 4 to visit Bruce Hawkins. Bridwell and those other guys looked so scary!
Bruce assured me JB wasn’t but I didn’t take any chances. Wish I had now.
WBraun

climber
Feb 20, 2018 - 10:20am PT
Jim started the P.O. Because he had sprained ankle.

So he said; "Ankle is healing so it's aid climbing time.

We scoped it out one day and he looks at me and says you're coming on this.

I then Sh!t in my pants ....... :-)
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 20, 2018 - 10:24am PT
Jim told me that he came down off the PO in order to get roid surgery.
Then he was good to go.
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Feb 20, 2018 - 10:34am PT
condolences to layton, peggy, and all of jim's close friends.he was a great legend of a climber, one of the most influential of his generation. so sorry to lose another valley legend. steve schneider
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Feb 20, 2018 - 10:39am PT
I had not met Jim in person until the last few years. I had seen him in Valley a few times, and I was inspired by the accounts of his exploits.

The first time I met him and spent some time talking to him was during a JT fundraiser at Todd G's. After talking to him for a bit (a interssting "feeling out" process for both of us), he insisted that I read his manifesto. Jim stood there waiting patiently to discuss it when I finished. I was trapped and needless to say a little intimidated ;-)

As time went on I got to spend some time talking to him and listening to his stories and opinions on various subjects. I did not agree with all of them, but the discussions were well worth the time, and I got a better appreciation for how he saw the world, and the considerable amount of thought he put into things.

I was lucky enough to spend some time camping with Jim and Ron in JT. We had a couple of "lively" discussions about some Valley routes, and some great general bullsh*tting around the fire. We talked about some of his knives, and craftsmanship in general. I consider myself fortunate to have spent that time with him.

Heartfelt condolences to all his family and friends.

Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 20, 2018 - 01:44pm PT

Jim ready to start up Stone Groove in about 1974.
Roots

Mountain climber
Redmond, Oregon
Feb 20, 2018 - 02:10pm PT
I have a vision that I may or may not live to see realized. Start a non profit which would include a climbers museum in Joshua Tree as well as a fund to help climbers financially. A board would be selected to make decisions and a finely tuned document to help them delineate how to make those decisions.

LL -

I would like to learn more about your vision..maybe start a new thread when you're ready?
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Feb 20, 2018 - 04:18pm PT
I met Bridwell around 1989. He had been to the valley during the years I lived there ('84-'87), but generally in just enough days to fire off a first big wall ascent on El Cap or Half Dome, before jetting off for an another Alaskan adventure or European climbing trip.

He had just finished his new route Shadows on Half Dome and had invented a new tool for aid climbing. By this time I had been making a lot of new gear for big wall climbers, and he approached me with the idea. He came out to Flagstaff and I first heard a ton of stories about the old days as we drank and smoked thorough the nights. Here are some notes I made of the stories he told:


Then he showed me his new secret weapon for aid climbing--a collection of well beaten and worn sawed-off Chouinard Crack'n'ups, the gear that everyone in the 70's thought was a must-have, but ever since had been stashed in the archiac or broken gear bin. Brilliant! The simple ability to hammer a small thin hooked piton was Jim's vision and resulted in the innovation of the first thin hooked piton (the Czechs had some larger hooked pitons, but were not widely used). I agreed to build them and sell them and provide a 50 cent royalty per beak ($5.00 retail), so we got to work on the design. I also agreed to sponsor his trip to Patagonia that year as advance royalties ($5000). Here one of Jim's original sketch and the first A5 version, and also showing the many variations that came out within a few years after the A5 Birdbeak.



As any aid climber knows, the Birdbeaks revolutionised hard aid--instead of RURPs, which were shaped like a postage stamp and had to be smashed into seams, these could be delicately hooked and tapped to create a secure placement. My relationship with Jim was mostly business at first, but during those visits he made to the Southwest, we had a few adventures on the Navajo spires, including the Totem Pole a story I recounted for the bigwalls.net website (back then one of the few climbing specific websites).

In the 90's, I would see Jim more often at Joshua Tree and perhaps some trade shows, and got to know Layton and Peggy during some visits to his home in Tahoe and Palm Desert. We often talked about an expedition together, but it never got off the ground. I remember having deep discussions about philosophy and the world with Jim, he was an incredibly sharp when it came to describing a vision, but often seemed a bit frustrated when I couldn't quite follow all the logic in the discussions. It was pretty clear he had most certainly attained a different state of being and thinking from all the intensity he had been through on his skiing, climbs, and life in general, as there were often links with the incredible stories he told of his adventures interspersed with his wisdom.

Mostly, we talked about climbing gear when we hung out. He had a lot of ideas, and was always looking for someone to make them. Mostly hardware, but a lot in clothing too (his experiment with wearing a wetsuit on a cold wet Alaskan wall is legendary). Here is an ice tool idea he had before there was anything else like it:


Jim had a deft artistic hand, here is a proposed Beak revision:


Bridwell was an inspiration in many ways. I so appreciate having gotten to know him, but also for his visionary progression in big wall climbing. His climbs in Yosemite, Alaska, Patagonia, and all the other places all have subtleties when it comes to innovation and style. He really paved the way to find radical experiences on big walls. Rest in peace, Jim, and my condolences to Peggy and Layton and all his very close friends who found joy and inspiration from Jim.

--John Middendorf

aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 20, 2018 - 05:18pm PT
It is an unfortunate fact that thousands of Americans in Jim's and Peggy's position are severely strained financially during the last six months of life. So many people are bankrupted this way, it's terrible the way our system works.

Because of the YOSAR connection, he more than deserved a special pension from the U.S. Park Service for putting his own life at risk to save others.

Although I never met him, the one story I heard that bears repeating is how, when Billy Westbay was dying, Jim came to the hospital. It's like "I am your friend to the end, I've got your back." That's the kind of man he was. My condolences to all his friends and family.
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Feb 20, 2018 - 05:35pm PT
Here are a few choice images from the Book of Dreams project that I organized a few years back to help out Jim. The notes that folks wrote were the best part of sending the book around.





Best wishes for Peggy and Layton.
Marty
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Feb 20, 2018 - 05:36pm PT
Really like the pic on the GoFundMe site of Jim - a recent pic as an older man - in the meadow with his shirt off, in tights, looking fit - racking up, getting ready - whatever - something other than looking retired and past his game. I hope someday that is me, or like it.

Who in the history of climbing has maintained the level of bad-assery that Jim has, for so long? 5.11 before there was 5.11. Cerro Torre before it was cool - bypassed the pin ladder. Alaska - multiple hard routes. NIAD was his idea, as I read, he planned every detail. Multitude of hard aid on El Cap over decades. Insane. Any one of these ascents would have made the entire career of many of his peers - Jim just kept going and going. Much respect. Super cool life story.

Thanks eKat for the above posts - what friends he had.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 20, 2018 - 06:07pm PT
What a friend WE had!
Peace
TLloyd-Davies

Trad climber
Santa Clara, ca
Feb 20, 2018 - 06:42pm PT
Not that it's a good story, but here's mine for the record that was really meaningful to us and left an impression on me at the time (the shortened version).

Buddy and I were deep in the dirtbag years, he'd just joined Yosar and I was still living in the trunk of my car. Our climbing was improving and we decided to attempt the notorious Rostrum. Fate was not on our side that day and somewhere around pitch 3 or 4 Buddy went for a big ride, slamming into the wall and breaking a number of bones in his foot. While I pushed for a rescue, Buddy flat out refused and insisted we were getting ourselves off. What ensued next was a ridiculous day of self-rescue involving lowering him from the climb, dragging ourselves down to the river, setting up a tyrolean to get him across, and an epic episode of hitchhiking back to the hospital.

The next day, bloody and bedraggled, we stumbled to the ranger showers to clean up. On the way there we ran into Bridwell, my first time meeting this legend. The encounter was brief, he casually paused as he looked us up and down, and the only words he spoke were something along the lines of, "I heard about what you did yesterday, nice work."

We glowed as he walked away, giddy to have received the approval of the original YOSAR.

mastadon

Trad climber
crack addict
Feb 21, 2018 - 07:01am PT
I remember that Kevin. I used to laugh when i’d walk past Werner’s tent at night and see a light on. Not a headlamp or candle light, a real light.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Feb 21, 2018 - 08:37am PT
Ho man. The august Washington Post—celebrated in books and a current movie—honored Jim with a lengthy obituary.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/jim-bridwell-free-spirited-climber-who-conquered-yosemite-dies-at-73/2018/02/18/76e3c654-14be-11e8-92c9-376b4fe57ff7_story.html?utm_term=.87fc44ce6146

Dr. Juan Largo is quoted as a source on Jim’s medical history:

"It was on one such trip, a 1980 traverse of Borneo, that Mr. Bridwell may have contracted the disease that eventually killed him, his wife told the AP. He received a tattoo from a tribe of reputed headhunters, as well as a severe stomach ailment that Mr. Bridwell initially believed was cancer.

Rather, it was “a tapeworm the size of a black mamba,” his climbing partner Long later wrote. Amid a “titanic bender,” a resigned Mr. Bridwell eventually purged the parasite from his body.

“Legend has it that the Bird was instantly restored to his former hale self,” Long continued. “Fetching the adder by the neck, he dispatched it, diced it into a frying pan, and offered it to Camp Four passersby. When challenged to sample a morsel himself, the Bird replied, ‘No thanks. I’m a vegetarian.’”
VDub

Trad climber
San Francisco
Feb 21, 2018 - 10:41am PT
An inspiration to us humble mortals. In my mind, the Bird was the standard bearer for the "Second Wave" of epic Yosemite wall-rats. A connection for me back to the Golden Age...

I had the thrill of climbing the Nose one February, on a completely empty El Cap, until the end of our second day, when we heard (later) that Jim jumped on below us. That was about as close as I ever got to him, but he still resonates throughout my climbing psyche.

No disrespect to other posters meant by this, but don't rest in peace Jim, make some noise and climb on!
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Feb 21, 2018 - 11:57am PT
Deepest respects and heartfelt condolences extended to Mr. Bridwell's family,friends, and fellow admirers.

Al_T.Tude

Trad climber
Monterey, CA
Feb 21, 2018 - 12:22pm PT
Just climbed Snake Dike 2 weeks ago (in February!). While alone at the summit I thought about Jim ascending this amazing route to this glorious summit for the first time with Eric Beck and Chris Fredericks over a half century ago. I had no knowledge of his health issues, I just enjoyed soaking in that view and trying to imagine what the experience was like for him. One of his many enduring gifts to the climbing community.
nasagal

Trad climber
South Bay SF
Feb 21, 2018 - 01:31pm PT
Jim The Keith Richards of the climbing world
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
Feb 21, 2018 - 02:43pm PT
wow. appreciating all the pics and stories.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Feb 21, 2018 - 04:06pm PT
I found myself on Bridwell climbs at a couple of significant times. Mariko and I, shortly before we married, did Snake Dike. She has since dropped out of climbing, but she's always pleased to tell people "I climbed Half Dome--not just the hike!" Jim made that possible for a lot of people.

The summer before Nick, our youngest child, went off to college, he, daughter Erika, and I climbed Braille Book--late start, slow going, bivouacking as darkness caught us a couple pitches below the top. Nick played oboe in high school orchestra, and he began whistling, note-for-note, the opening bars of Night on Bald Mountain. We laughed hard and were able to face a long night in good spirits. Thanks to Jim for helping us stretch our limits.

I got to know Jim in 2011, the year I spent guiding in Joshua Tree. We seemed to hit it off easily, I think partly because my last name is "Bird". I also kept an open mind to Jim's interest in the automatic-written Book of Urantia, which I later took a more serious look at--one of the many paranormal sources for my own worldview.

I appreciate Eppy's photo of Jim's workshop above. Jim had more tools than I do and he organized them better.

I've come to believe in reincarnation, mostly because I think that's where the facts lead. Our souls grow spiritually through every life we live. There are young souls, middle-aged souls and old souls. Elmer Green--scientist, mystic, and pioneer of biofeedback--stated that we're all here attending "earth school" and, no matter what our past lives have been, we're currently, in the here and now, at the top of our individual soul's evolution. We adventurers should know that there is more adventure ahead, and I think adventure is good for the soul. 'Best to you there, Bird. You've adventured well and given us much.

While at "The Pit" at Josh, I also got to know Jim's close friend, Phil, climber, sculptor, and veteran of the Tuolumne S & R. I know that Phil looked out for Jim quite a bit in Jim's last years, and I think he deserves a note of thanks from Jim's many fans.
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Feb 21, 2018 - 04:26pm PT


Do climbing photos get more iconic?





Edit for Chad U.
Give me a shout when you are back in Vegas man!
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Feb 21, 2018 - 04:36pm PT

When I moved to Squaw Valley in 1991 Bridwell and Schmitz
were legends around the mountain.
Their faces were ever present on my boss Peter Hipp’s wall of fame.
Pete started at Squaw in 1969 so his wall was a veritable timeline of
adventure athletes.
But there was a special connection of all Lift Mechanics
and Ski Patrolman largely due to the community response to
the 1978 accident..
Sadly 4 people died.
Near blizzard conditions and high winds didn’t stop the tram from running at 12 m/s.
Very fast by today’s standard.
One of 2 track ropes was twisted out of the carriage and flew skyward.
The car plummeted at first but..
The equal and opposite reaction was the cable dropping down to the rapidly rising
Car. Cutting it in half. The cable weighs 12 pounds per foot....


Everyone in the Squaw Valley community came together to rescue the survivors from both cars in
hair raising spots... all during a blizzard..
Apparently ropes were borrowed from Schmitz to
help with the Tower 1 (other one) car rescue.
A possible 600-700’ rappel in a freaking maelstrom
of winds.

A local friend of Peter’s named Dale Cox was in the car from the photo above.
It was his 18th? birthday that day..
One stormy day he stopped by Lower Lifts and recounted
the story for us Lift Mechanics.
It was the culmination of all our worst fears.
I will never forget it.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 22, 2018 - 01:23am PT
we were both teenagers in camp 4

i was the older kid climbing with the big guys, royal and sacherer and kor (all in their 20s...LOL)

he was 'that new kid' even younger than me

we followed our separate paths and decades later we discussed our well synchronized philosophical perspectives

so who among you back then would have predicted his 'bird' body dying in bed?

he lived full well, and spent decades studying how to fit his experiences into a larger perspective, and sharing what he learned

he knew well, confirmed by personal experience; body death is a local illusion

so enjoy without fear what you can of life, and try not to die with regrets you could have avoided

the spirit can never die and is simply freed up for yet another adventure
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Feb 22, 2018 - 08:15am PT
Jim was definitely one of the most inspirational characters in climbing for me, and I'm honored to have gotten to spend a little time with him.

One early summer evening around a dozen years ago a friend and I were standing by the back of her truck in the Lodge parking lot laughing because we had racked up to squeeze a final pitch in for the day, but realized that all of our ropes were in my truck down by the Cookie. Seemingly out of nowhere from behind us in a cloud of cigarette smoke, Jim Bridwell (?!!...omg, that's Jim Bridwell!) strolled up with a couple of devout teenage boys literally orbiting him and asks us what we're up to. After exchanging hellos and hearing about our silly predicament, he went to car parked next to us and pulls out a rope that was so new that I think it was still factory coiled. This was before cell phones were ubiquitous, and he just told us to have fun trusting that we'd find him in one of the places that climbers hang out when we were done with it...which of course, wasn't very hard to do.

It must have been shortly after he loaned us the rope that another partners' last minute change of plans led us to spend the day doing the El Cap layback with Jim hearing his tales of Alaskan expeditions and the new route he was going to put up on El Cap. I was impressed and undoubting of the idea that this legend who looked as old as Father Time was about to add to his ticklist, though he must have been reckoning with closing the book on long, hard walls as he scoped this one from the meadow.

On the handful of times that I ran into him in Joshua Tree after that he always seemed happy to have a willing ear to listing to his stories. I felt bad that the multi-billion dollar climbing-inspired clothing industry didn't do a better job taking care of this living legend who did so much to create their caché and have been impressed by the generosity of his friends. My sincere condolences to his family and all who were close with him.
Fritz

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
Feb 22, 2018 - 08:54am PT
I enjoyed some beers & conversation with Jim Bridwell back in the day, in Yosemite. He was a living legend when I met him, but also a kindly & tolerant human being.

I scuffle my feet for a second or two, look into the distance, and sigh----

It would likely be May of 1978, in the crowded Mountain Room Bar, when Jim Bridwell & his girlfriend politely asked if they could share a table with my Idaho buddy, Mark & me.

Mark & I had been drinking, a fair amount of beer, to celebrate our 3rd day of surviving being visiting “turkeys” from Idaho, while climbing in Yosemite.

We had some more beer with Bridwell & his girlfriend, while making small talk, without sharing introductions.

Mark overheard him say something about Upper Cathedral to another person and leaned over and asked him what he thought of Braile Book. Bridwell smiled and said something about really liking the route, since he had done the first ascent. At this point Mark stuck his hand out and said “Yes I knew that, you’re Jim Bridwell aren’t you?”

I had a firm image of Bridwell, from magazine photos, in my drunk mind & it didn’t match the man talking with Mark. As they shook hands, I blurted out:

“You’re not Bridwell! Bridwell has a mustache!”

Bridwell laughed, stroked his face, and pleasantly remarked that Bridwell did not now have a mustache.

I stumbled through an apology, then slumped back against the wall with my “red-face,” while Bridwell & Mark chatted pleasantly about climbing.

It was only one beer later that Mark looked seriously at Bridwell and said:

“Do they just pound those chrome-moly pitons right into the rock, or what??”

Bridwell looked like he had been pole-axed and could only stare dumbly, while my mind recalled that Mark had been very-impressed by the thin aid-crack on Bishop’s Balcony, when we had climbed Bishop’s Terrace a a day earlier.

I quickly mentioned the Bishop’s Balcony aid-crack was what Mark was likely thinking of, and Bridwell haltingly explained that pitons need some kind of a crack to be driven into.

Bridwell now knew he had not one, but two, hopeless drunk-idiots sharing his table.

The conversation faltered, and Mark & I soon excused ourselves & stumbled out into the night, & practiced gobbling like turkeys on our way back to camp.
zBrown

Ice climber
Feb 22, 2018 - 12:25pm PT
Maybe the man himself can get a few words in edgewise. (2006 - recollecting his first climb in the Fifties)


Sunlight glistened along the lizard's back like water. Each time I reached for it, it darted, quick as a minnow, higher up the rock, swimming over bulges and through the cool shadows of small cracks. I was six or seven. I'd always liked watching small animals, but the lizard absolutely mesmerized me. Now, it wriggled out of reach. I touched the rock, wishing my hands and feet could stick to the granite flakes like the tiny creature's did, and then, without thinking, I began to climb after it, farther and farther up the cliff. From time to time the lizard stopped, as if to lure me on.

My foot slipped a little on a loose patch, and I looked down. In the dirt lot beneath me, everything had gotten smaller. There was no one around. I began to shake. The lizard was gone. A shadow seemed to pass over the bright day. Slowly I relaxed my tight grip on the handhold above me and moved my trembling fingers to the one below it. Then the other hand, then a foot, reversing the moves. The same terrain that I'd passed over, hypnotized by the lizard's easy movements, had grown steeper, the holds harder to find.

When my feet struck the ground, I stumbled backward, the horizontal world unfamiliar. My anxiety subsided, and I imagined the lizard, high on the cliff, looking down at me, its slim body quick as a wink.

For years the memory of that beauty and that fear fermented in me until I realized it wasn't about the lizard. I wanted to capture something that was even more elusive: I wanted to find the limits of my imagination itself.

Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Feb 23, 2018 - 05:46pm PT
zBrown, I like that Glen Denny photo of Jim, from back in the day when I met and started climbing with him. Here is another of Glen's photos taken a few years later at Judy's and my wedding in the meadow across the road and through the woods from Camp 4. Jim is second from the left, with a with the wedding ring I bought for Judy in his pocket. I'm not surprised to see him gazing up at the Face of Sentinel Rock.
Left to Right'
Frank Sacherer, Jim Bridwell, Judi Morton (behind Jim's shoulder), John Morton, Lois Rice (Jim's then girl friend) Rev. Baldwin (the Valley protestant minister at the time), Dick Erb, Steve Thompson (behind), Judy, Bill Haas (top of head) Mary Graham(partial), Chuck Pratt, and Tom Kimbrough(behind Chuck). Further to the right are family members out of sight as Glen was making this one a climbers photo.

Mellisa, interesting what you said about clothing sponsors. That was more rare in those days, but we sure could have used some more good paisley stuff.
Fan

climber
Feb 24, 2018 - 08:24pm PT
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 24, 2018 - 09:09pm PT
Nice!
Mike.

climber
Feb 25, 2018 - 03:14am PT
"That's good weed."
clifff

Mountain climber
golden, rollin hills of California
Feb 26, 2018 - 02:23pm PT
Renegade Climber

https://www.pressreader.com/usa/the-washington-post/20180221/282243781073845
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 27, 2018 - 06:12pm PT
Missing our Buddy. Goin on a road trip in a couple weeks...woulda normally had Bridwell in the co-pilot seat, feeding me with stories of past walls, words of infinite wisdom, "sharing" views of politics, religion and other worldly concerns, or just screaming at each other trying to force feed each other on BS! Miss our Buddy.
Plans are in the making on his Memorial/Celebration. When details are finalized, we will be getting word out.
Peace

Layton's painting of his Father
steveA

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
Feb 28, 2018 - 04:42am PT
That is quite a painting!
Roots

Mountain climber
Redmond, Oregon
Feb 28, 2018 - 01:07pm PT
Nice painting. Layton has some skills!!
Keeper of Australia Mt

Trad climber
Whitehorse, Yukon , Canada
Feb 28, 2018 - 01:23pm PT
So sorry to hear of this and condolences to family and legions of friends and his big rock posse. Quite an amazing guy and I was lucky to share a beer with him in the pub at Jtree back about 2001 as I was spending time with another Yosemite vet and learning about "anchors" - time so well spent.
And ropes too! Wish I could have been around him more and absorbed some more of his knowledge and savvy. Climbing has taken a hit but the seeds he laid will sprout to soften the blow. They broke the mold with this one. RIP Jim Bridwell.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 28, 2018 - 02:13pm PT
Yeah Layton is an amazing artist. The photo I posted isn’t even the finished version! This is the finished piece.
Peace
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 28, 2018 - 03:17pm PT
Is that Ney, Schultz, Worrall and Bridwell
Peace
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 28, 2018 - 05:55pm PT
What is Layton planning on with that and his painting in general?
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 28, 2018 - 07:25pm PT
It is in Peggy's and Jim's house where it should be. Layton's gift to his Mother.
Peace
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 2, 2018 - 06:47pm PT
Oh Kat! On me n Jimmies (that is Bridwell) many road trips, I would que up playlists of music to fit the particular trip....going throught the Navajo Lands....spiritual Indian music, up the central Valley...some Merle Haggard, Buck Owens.....Yosemite and everywhere else, HENDRIX to the max and LOUD! Would always put a smile on Bridwell's face and an appropriate climbing story to follow. Oh the memories!
Peace
groaz

Big Wall climber
italy
Mar 5, 2018 - 01:59am PT
Jim was commemorated yesterday near Orvieto (central Italy) in the zen Buddhist monastery of the master Engaku Taino (aka Gigi Mario - senior italian mountain guide), during the march sesshin, with the recitation of "Namu-Kara-Tan-No".
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 5, 2018 - 06:10am PT
On behalf of myself and other friends of Jim....Thank you Giovani. Never had the pleasure to meet you, but feel like I know you, Jim spoke of you and your adventures with him!
Peace
groaz

Big Wall climber
italy
Mar 6, 2018 - 12:25pm PT
Thanks Ron, i hope to meet you one day. My daughter Silvia was there in Bridwell house, the days 18-21 february, to reiterate our long friendship.
Take care. Giovanni
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 6, 2018 - 02:12pm PT
Yeah Giovanni, Peggy really enjoyed her company. She mentioned Silvia and Layton have been childhood friends. Jim really talked very highly of you. He appreciated the relationship you two had!
Peace
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
Mar 7, 2018 - 03:17pm PT


Oakdale Festival.


Susan

DanMerrick

Social climber
Mo' Hill, CA
Mar 7, 2018 - 04:48pm PT
I have the Bridwell hammer that was going around among the ST crowd awile back. I tried to contact Largo so I could send it to him figuring he would know what best to do with it but I don't seem to be able to get his attention.

danielmerrick

gmail
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 7, 2018 - 05:53pm PT
Ironic, Peggy and Layton are trying to get some of Jim’s personal items back. He was generous and trusting and gave a lot with hopes the sales would come back to him to help with his family. I am sure Peggy and Layton would Love to have that back.
Is there a way to contact you....and thank you for posting this up. Just spoke with Peggy last night about this very matter!
Peace
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 7, 2018 - 07:36pm PT
Dan, look forward to reuniting that hammer with Peggy and Layton!
Thank you very much
Peace
Roots

Mountain climber
Redmond, Oregon
Mar 8, 2018 - 08:18am PT
^Awesome!
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 8, 2018 - 08:56am PT
Peggy should auction off Jim's gear here.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2018 - 09:02am PT
She and Layton have plans for Jim's gear/belongings. Attempting to accumulate now.
Peace
DanMerrick

Social climber
Mo' Hill, CA
Mar 8, 2018 - 09:16am PT
The hammer is on its way to Ron. Should be there in a couple days.

Roots

Mountain climber
Redmond, Oregon
Mar 8, 2018 - 09:52am PT
Ron - there's the 70's Climbers book we worked on gathering all the StoneMasters signatures...you know the one with probably the ONLY Richard Harrison autograph ever...

I told you I would save it for a day when it was needed to raise funds for one of the Stoners. If this is the time, send me an email and I'll get it to you to do with as you choose.

rockcairn [at] hotmail

Dig it!!
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2018 - 05:02pm PT
Dan, will get you something when I have your address...might not be till end of March, but I will get you something soon....and something later!
Peace
DanMerrick

Social climber
Mo' Hill, CA
Mar 9, 2018 - 07:56am PT
Ron,

The hammer was on loan so no need to do anything in return.

Dan
Chris Jones

Social climber
Glen Ellen, CA
Mar 9, 2018 - 11:44am PT
At the recent Mountain Film Festival in El Chalten, Patagonia, there was a brief slide show at intermission. Here are poor photos of two slides honoring Jim Bridwell. On both evenings of the festival the pictures of Jim moved the 600-strong audience to prolonged applause.


MAD BOLTER

Trad climber
CARLSBAD,NM
Mar 15, 2018 - 12:05am PT
I remember meeting him in Joshua Tree when he was "fiddling" with his gear.
I think it was when he was apparently through actively climbing. This was about 1900 something. Our meeting was not climbing but mostly a "howdy!".
I will miss him but the memories will remain. And as they say R.I.P. CUL
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Mar 15, 2018 - 01:05pm PT
Sorting gear. Note the briefcase behind his knee. Useful for storing pins etc. in the tent.


Nice shoes, Jim. A C4 fashion statement, c/w Terray down jacket, but definitely "pre-paisley".
ionlyski

Trad climber
Polebridge, Montana
Mar 15, 2018 - 03:54pm PT
Wow Hamie that's a find I've not seen that one. Yeah the shoes! Paisley and what goes with it looked a few experiences away yet.

Who are you?

Arne
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 15, 2018 - 04:10pm PT
Jim's hammer looks like it is a ball peen type.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 15, 2018 - 06:43pm PT
It's hefty! Got to mess with it before I left for a couple weeks. Man I MISS my buddy....
Peace
flyingkiwi1

Trad climber
Seattle WA
Mar 30, 2018 - 12:01pm PT
I came across this news on a rare browse through the taco stand the other night, and have had a deep time making my way through your posts over the last couple of nights.

Did meet the legendary man once on a slide show tour, but the images and feelings you all have shared of your friend far eclipse those I have. Thank you so much for taking the time to share them, can't think of a greater tribute than such deep respect and love from your community.

Ian
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