Vintage climbers...your story

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Tom Patterson

Trad climber
Seattle
Jun 13, 2018 - 04:53pm PT
This thread has been absolutely fascinating. Thank you, Mr. Langford, for sharing your recollections, and Jody, for chiming in additional commentary with amazing photos!

Regarding the Korean War, my father in law got a Purple Heart, after they marched too far north and were chased back. He has a couple of bullets still in him (too dicey to remove), and is missing a good portion of his right leg. He'll be 89 in July. I've spent many hours asking him questions about his experiences, which were many. My wife has the telegram that was sent to his mother, informing her that he was "slightly injured" in combat. It was most definitely not "slight."
BruceHildenbrand

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
Jun 13, 2018 - 05:04pm PT
Jim,

I think you nailed the route line of H&L Feather Canyon in the second photo.

When Clint and I went up to replace the old bolts we got to the top of pitch 5(the pitch above the water groove) when it started to get dark. It took a while to replace the bolts not to mention hauling all that gear up the climb.

Well, Clint and I have never done the climb before so we were a bit concerned trying to follow the circuitous route especially since the next few pitches didn't have any bolts to let us know if we were on route and the last pitches only had a couple of bolts. So, we bumbled upwards in the dark, replacing a few bolts along the way and finally got to the top of H&L about 3 hours after dark(that time of the year it was about 10pm). That was really fun, but a long, long day!
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jun 13, 2018 - 07:01pm PT
Am well aware of Bonnie Prudden, as many East Coast climbers of a certain vintage are.

Her pressure point relief-of-pain still works.

She is eponymous for Bonnie's Roof and Boston at the Gunks.



1952

on lead

no swami






https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnie_Prudden
Jody

climber
Occupied Territory
Jun 13, 2018 - 09:14pm PT
Another one of my favorites, dad on the east ridge of the Grand, 1957.

zardoz

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, CO
Jun 14, 2018 - 03:49am PT
Why is it that dads of old look super cool in their mountaineering gear and we later dads look like dorks? Is it the lime green Edelrid helmet? Ha ha. Really nice pics, Jody.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jun 14, 2018 - 08:22am PT
Yes, this latest offering by you Jody, of your dad Jim, is emblematic of the perennial climber.
Presumably he's carrying twin axes to lighten the leader's load?
Jody

climber
Occupied Territory
Jun 14, 2018 - 08:55am PT
Tarbuster, I always thought that was interesting but never asked him. I assume you have it right though. I still have one of those ice axes from the picture.
Jody

climber
Occupied Territory
Jun 14, 2018 - 08:57am PT
Jim,

I think you nailed the route line of H&L Feather Canyon in the second photo.

Not bad for an 86 year old based on memory from 40+ years ago!

Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jun 14, 2018 - 10:33am PT
Man, this thread is the real deal, powerful stories. The talk of turning points and becoming smitten with the mountains triggered a visceral memory; I may be sitting in a cafe right now in Olympia WA but I swear I felt a warm waft of Ponderosa scented wind and tasted the tang of stream water drunk from a stainless steel sierra cup, leftover senses from a boy scout backpacking trip in the Sierra probably around 1970, a fork in the trail that has led to me to so many friends and places over the years. Thanks everyone.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jun 14, 2018 - 12:03pm PT
Lucky you are Jody, to have had a dad like your's!

So many parents today sequester their kids in air conditioned game rooms so that they can go about their day uninterrupted.
Tom Patterson

Trad climber
Seattle
Jun 14, 2018 - 12:28pm PT
What Off White and donini said! ^^^^
Jody

climber
Occupied Territory
Jun 14, 2018 - 03:37pm PT
Thanks guys...he was as good a dad as anybody could have.

That last picture was taken by William Cropper during an FA on the Grand. From 1958 AAJ:

The crest of the east ridge was reached August 11, 1957 by William Cropper and jim Langford by ascending the subsidiary ridge which leads from Teepe's Glacier to the gendarme immediately east of the Second Tower. This ridge forms the eastern edge of the hanging couloir hogh on the southeast face of the Second Tower. The main obstacle of this ridge, an 800-foot nearly vertical section of gray rock, was passed by means of a ledge slanting steeply up from west to east across the ridge crest. The remainder of the ridge was climbed by its east side until the notch between the gendarme and Second Tower was reached, after which the usual east ridge route was followed to the summit.
L

climber
Just livin' the dream
Jun 14, 2018 - 04:01pm PT
Why is it that dads of old look super cool in their mountaineering gear and we later dads look like dorks?

Zardoz--it's genetics.

When a guy looks that good in knickers, you know he's in a league of his own. :-)
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jun 14, 2018 - 04:07pm PT
Yes, some people looked great in knickers. Nobody, and I mean nobody, looked anything but pathetic in neon lycra...and that is equally true for women. What about kilts?
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 14, 2018 - 04:18pm PT
Nobody looked anything but pathetic in neon lycra...


Freddie Mercury?


;>)
L

climber
Just livin' the dream
Jun 14, 2018 - 04:19pm PT
What about kilts?

Aaaahhhhh...kilts. Now there's some manly attire!

Dangerous to climb in though, as I believe preoccupation with the sights to be seen by the belayer would doubtlessly lead to ground falls and such.
riverxing

Mountain climber
Templeton, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 14, 2018 - 04:31pm PT
Ha! My army surplus mountain pants were wiped out. I needed something in a hurry. Found those Swiss corduroy knickers on sale at the ski shop in Jackson. Those boogers turned out to be tough and comfortable. Better than Kilts!
riverxing

Mountain climber
Templeton, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 14, 2018 - 04:51pm PT
No one was wearing neon lycra back in the fifties, were they, John? Only ballet dancers. Many years ago climbing the Half Dome cables I got caught behind several ladies in dresses and skirts. Had to risk my life going outside the cables to get ahead of them!

For "L's" sake, we've come a long way, baby.
Jody

climber
Occupied Territory
Jun 14, 2018 - 07:26pm PT
Zardoz--it's genetics.

When a guy looks that good in knickers, you know he's in a league of his own. :-)

Well, you know how they say some things skip generations? Well, guess which of my dad's genetics skipped me? LOL!

Looks and climbing skill...

Here is my favorite picture of dad. I took this in 1983 while backpacking cross-country over the NW ridge of Sawtooth Peak in Sequoia NP.

L

climber
Just livin' the dream
Jun 15, 2018 - 04:04pm PT
For "L's" sake, we've come a long way baby.

We certainly have Jim...at least here in the US.

Across the pond in the UK, however, things are lagging....

At last the question of what those guys wear under their skirts has an...
At last the question of what those guys wear under their skirts has an answer...
Credit: Swiped from the Intardnet
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