Vintage climbers...your story

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Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Jun 6, 2018 - 02:28pm PT
My first three climbs in Yosemite Valley were of Higher Cathedral Spire. Only three ascents over the three year period - 1962, 1963, 1964. Oh, those Dulfersitz rappels!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jun 6, 2018 - 02:50pm PT
Ward
Do you want to get rid of that bottle of wine?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jun 6, 2018 - 03:48pm PT
I second the motion by Bruce for H&L Feather Canyon route!
cornel

climber
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Jun 6, 2018 - 08:37pm PT
Wow! there are some Old Timers here! I am a spring chicken I guess at 68. Well 1974 was the year it all started for me. I signed up for a 2 day Rock climbing class at Holubar Mountaineering in SA, CA. $20 for 2 days, thatís right ($10 a day)! So my 1 st day Big Rock, Lake Perris, CA, 2nd day Idywild, Tacquitz rock , White Maidens Walkway. I was completely hooked from day one. Though the instructors were shall we say substantially less qualified than AMGA. Example, my first day out at Big Rock our instructor lines the 6 students up and then leads Africa Flake and brings us up one at a time. The 1st in line gets to the belay and is then instructed on how to belay. The instructor then left the belay and scrambled down to the base. Now being 6th when I get to the belay I find the belayer was only holding the rope in his hands.. not around his waste. I told him you never had me on belay man. He staunchly maintained the rope did not need to go behind his back..So I realized if I am going to pursue climbing I need to find some truly qualified instruction. This is way fun but this is dangerous.. Fortunately I found some very experienced climbers to shepherd me through the first couple of years.. EBs had just come out. Kletter shoes were soon to be a thing of the past. Did buy a gold line but only used that unwilde cable 2 or 3 times. Ugly, way ugly, so got a New kern mantle and I never looked back. I read every publication I could find on climbing. Robbins Beginners rock craft of course as well as many different mountaineering volumes. Guide books galore too. Like so many I became obsessed with El Cap, so I learned the art of thin nailing. Really loved it. Copperheads, aluminum heads, hooks every type and size. How to be creative with stacks. A 5 was the name of the game baby and I was all in. Walls in any season too. I loved winter big walls. No crowds but itís a little tricky to pick the driest line on a formation. Boy have I been schooled a time or two. Topped out more often than not.. but just barely..
Still going for it. Went climbing today.. All the way to the big dirt nap I pray..
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 7, 2018 - 11:53am PT
Ward
Do you want to get rid of that bottle of wine?

I wish that bottle were mine to get rid of.
I merely pinched the photo from the interwebnet in order to evoke such sentiments as a few listed below:



riverxing

Mountain climber
Templeton, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 8, 2018 - 10:54am PT
I didn't realize I was launching a discussion topic when coaxed into writing that brief introduction to my rather ordinary climbing career. I may be among the last of a vintage crop of rock climbers dating back into the forties, fifties and sixties, but in no way could I be considered a significant representative of them. Have sure enjoyed the many posts, however, which deserve some follow-up comments. Those were the good ole days. I'm reminded of that every time I try to get out of my soft, leather recliner after an afternoon nap.

John Gill! Good to hear from you again. Been a while since our last annual rendezvous in Bishop. Hope you are not aging as fast as I am right now. In a constant state of fatigue from all the A-fib drugs the cardio has me on. You remember Elephant Rocks, the giant granite boulders near Ironton, Missouri. You paid homage to the place back in the 60's if I remember correctly. Poor "L" apparently missed "living the dream" while growing up
less than a 100 miles from there in Rolla. My gosh, the area around Ironton was one of my favorite hangouts as a teenager. We would play follow-the-leader on those big, round, smooth boulders, suffering some bruising falls. L, there were a lot of adventurous climbing opportunities in that area ready for the taking: limestone caves, granite quarries and Tom Sauk Mtn., the highest hill in Missouri!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jun 8, 2018 - 10:58am PT
Wish I knew the Sierra Clubbers who I spent a weekend with at Devilís Lake in 1968.
After the shame Iíve brought to this Ďsportí theyíre lucky they donít remember too!
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 8, 2018 - 03:05pm PT
Jim, yes, I think I'm ageing at the same rate (if not faster)! Had an ablation a few year back that cleared up the bad tachycardia, then a touch of AFib, so I can sympathize. These days its a really bad back that makes walking unpleasant. Oh well, what can you say? All these youngsters on this forum are out there doing handsprings.

I visited Elephant Rocks maybe twice around 1964. Really unusual and lots of fun. Also Cave in Rock, Dixon Springs, and other areas in S. Illinois. Nice limestone and sandstone. Joe Healy did quite a bit of climbing in S. Illinois. Maybe he'll chime in.

Elephant Rocks ca1964
jbaker

Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
Jun 8, 2018 - 03:45pm PT
DMT - That area in Hunter Liggett is Wagon Caves. Now you just have to show a drivers license to get in with permission from Jolon Road. Coming over from Big Sur, I don't think there has ever been a check point. Nice spot if you're passing by.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jun 8, 2018 - 04:21pm PT
Hi Jim-

Appreciate your modesty and just want to say thanks for checking back in. I'm sure you have a lot of stories to share when you find the time.
L

climber
Just livin' the dream
Jun 8, 2018 - 04:56pm PT
We would play follow-the-leader on those big, round, smooth boulders, suffering some bruising falls.

Lol! Jim, as a little girl growing up with very active but non-climbing parents, I did fall off the giant dinosaur eggs at Elephant Rocks a couple of times...but what we did there was a far cry from the bouldering I now do in CA.

I also explored limestone caves with my mom and hiked the Big Piney's crumbling limestone cliffs with my dad; but again, there was nothing in the environment of my youth that remotely resembled the technical rockclimbing I discovered when I moved to California.

Now you've got me feeling sorry for my past-self and the missed climbing opportunities hidden among the Missouri foothills...if only I'd known! :-)

riverxing

Mountain climber
Templeton, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 9, 2018 - 10:28am PT
The Elephant Rocks! Great fun! Didn't have a rope, chalk, pad or climbing shoes back then -- just ankle high, Chuck Taylor basketball sneakers made by Converse. They were known as "Non-Skids." We did resort to shoulder stands, but getting off the rocks was always more of a challenge than getting up. Sometimes we could run and jump to smaller boulders, then to the ground. Most of the time we just sat down and started sliding, generating all the friction we could before free-falling to the ground, sometimes 10-12 feet!

I can identify with our lady friend from Rolla. We knew little about proper technique there in Missouri. We just did it. My first contact with a "real climber" was when I moved to Glendale, CA in summer 1951. On top of Eagle Rock near Colorado Blvd I met Jerry Hall, a close climber-friend of Jerry Gallwas (who in June 1957 did the NE Face of Half Dome with Robbins and Sherrick). Hall became my climbing tutor and close friend. In 1957 I was starting my third climbing season at Grand Teton.

John Dietschy ("Irene's Arete") and Tom Hornbein (Everest fame) grew up in St. Louis area at same time I did (1932-1950). I didn't know them then, but during our teens we explored the same bluffs along the Mississippi, the same rock quarries and had the same dreams about "real mountains." Tom's climbing bible was Ullman's "High Conquest." I was hooked on the same author's "White Tower." The big event in both their lives was when their parents sent them to summer camps in Colorado in their early teens. There they were introduced to real mountains, which changed their lives forever.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 9, 2018 - 01:04pm PT
https://utswmed.org/doctors/john-dietschy/

I talked with John after he came down from Irene's Arete. Then went up a short time later and repeated it. It's become a real classic.
riverxing

Mountain climber
Templeton, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 9, 2018 - 01:49pm PT
I still chuckle when thinking about John having to do a shoulder stand on Irene on an otherwise free ascent.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jun 9, 2018 - 02:57pm PT
^^^ I have forgotten that. Do you recall any details?

;>)
riverxing

Mountain climber
Templeton, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 10, 2018 - 06:18am PT
I believe they needed good protection for the next lead and the crack was beyond his reach. Of course, that led to the question why didn't he help her place it?
riverxing

Mountain climber
Templeton, California
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 10, 2018 - 08:50am PT
Mr. Atkinson, I especially enjoyed reading your "Early Adventure in the Tetons" article. Too bad you and "Tink" Thompson had to abort the East Ridge climb back in 1957. My first climb on the Grand (Exum Ridge) was with Tink Thompson on July 31, 1955. We were both seasonal park service employees at the time. I also remember Art Cran whom you mentioned in another article. Did you pilot the B-29? I was the radioman on a PB4Y (Navy version of B-24) for a couple months in 1952.
L

climber
Just livin' the dream
Jun 10, 2018 - 06:37pm PT
L, did you ever get into the Fossil Mountain/Wind cave system on the west edge of the Tetons, up from Driggs?

Hi Jody--No, I never got into that cave system. But now that you've brought it up, I just might have to go take a peek.

I love caves and caving...and have a special affinity for those darling little bats, too. Seriously. As long as they stay out of my hair. :-)
Mark Rodell

Trad climber
Bangkok
Jun 10, 2018 - 07:44pm PT
Excellent thread and Jody, nice pictures, those you took and the others as well. Thanks
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jun 10, 2018 - 08:31pm PT
I'm reminded of that every time I try to get out of my soft, leather recliner after an afternoon nap.


Aaaah ha ha ha.


Merriam Webster vintage:

3 b Length of existence, age


Dulfersitz comfort depends a lot on your clothing. T shirt not wise.
Messages 41 - 60 of total 94 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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