Fifty years of climbing club...the roster


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Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 11, 2018 - 02:42pm PT
If you’re in you’re past caring that people know how old you are. Entry qualification: your first climb with a rope was at least fifty years ago. I’ll start with date of first roped climb.

Jim Donini...August, 1964

A long way from where I started
Jul 11, 2018 - 03:03pm PT
If we can broaden it slightly from just climbing to include other stupid adventures, then I'm in. There were no mountains or rocks in the middle of the Canadian prairies where I grew up, but not far to the north there were big wild rivers, and I started paddling whitewater in 1962. And, starting in 1963, I spent four months every summer up there, first as an assistant guide, then guiding.

First mountain was in 64, but that was on a Scout trip to the US southwest, so just hiking and scrambling. Still, the summit was 12,441 ft, so not nothing.

First roped climb didn't come until 73, when I moved to Vancouver, so, technically, I don't make the cut. But maybe "Honorary Mention" or something?

Edit to add: Fossil Climber (Wayne Merry) definitely makes the cut. I think he did a roped climb somewhere in California about sixty years ago.
another nickname

Social climber
Yazoo Ms
Jul 11, 2018 - 03:04pm PT
Best I remember I flunk the test by two years.

It was on a 15- foot high "cliff" in Connecticut where my friends slightly older brother was teaching himself how to lead at age 14, using mostly home made pitons.

The kid was a very minor climbing genius...soon after doing El Cap, in a particular venture described somewhere on this forum, in post I think by Peter Hahn with whom he'd briefly hooked up.

I also flunked at climbing and never got any good--my first (and pathetic) leading was decades later.

My mentor's career was far more brief, if vastly more illustrious, than mine.

An early 80s conversation: "Why'd you give it up Charley?"

"Don't wanna die."

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 11, 2018 - 03:07pm PT
I guess I’ll have to fess up since August will be my 50th anniversary of going to Devil’s Lk with some Sierra Clubbers. Pretty sure I impressed ‘em in my Keds.

My first ‘roped’ outing, so to speak, was about three years before when I took my younger brothers up some choss pile in a canyon above Desert Hot Springs using Granny’s clothes line. I kid you knott!

Trad climber
portland, or
Jul 11, 2018 - 03:11pm PT
Damn! I'm a year and a half shy (1970)!
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Jul 11, 2018 - 03:15pm PT
I was 12 in 1960 and we climbed Moosilauke in NH. Spent the night on the summit. The ruins of the Dartmouth Outing Club and the moon were eerie enough. The tarp we were under blew away in the night. I can still see it floating away over the Whites.

Mountain climber
Jul 11, 2018 - 03:32pm PT
First roped climb: 1959, Black Tusk (I know it is easy, but not so easy in full blizzard conditions)

First 1st winter ascent: 1960, Sky Pilot Mtn and also first 1st ascents of minor peaks.

First new route: 1961 Canadian Border Peak in the Cascades. Same trip: 1st forced bivouac.....

First 1st ascents at Squamish: 1961 pretty low quality stuff

Used up the first of the proverbial 9 lives: 1960, Five Fingers fiasco.

Sport climber
Sonora Ca
Jul 11, 2018 - 03:33pm PT
does it have to be a climbing rope?

Social climber
my abode
Jul 11, 2018 - 04:06pm PT
1964 I was 4 years old. My uncles and I climbed up the side of the local elementary school. I remember clearly standing on a swamp cooler 2 floors up thinking I was going to die.

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Jul 11, 2018 - 04:10pm PT
I just make it, this very summer. pb, if it was a "rope" (includes clothesline) and you were climbing with it, it's a climbing rope. Mine was 120' of some weird soft kind of 3/8" goldline (not the steel cable like goldline) I bought at a hardware store for a princely sum like $13 or something. We had I think 3 pitons and an equal number of heavy Army steel biners. Two 1" slings. We each raided our father's toolbox for a hammer, ball peen preferred so the claw wouldn't rip your pants pocket. Hiking boots. And off we went, three of us, to Angel's Fright on Tahquitz. In a 2-seater Porsche with the third guy jammed up in the back window, and if you know what a 1950s or 60s Porsche was like, that's a tiny space. Heading up the last bit of road, we first saw Suicide Rock and thought, wow, what a big rock! This is going to be awesome! then turned another corner and Tahquitz itself loomed into view, about 2-3 times bigger. Climb went great, but we pretty much 4th classed it, belayer just sat behind a tree unanchored and I led out to the next tree 100 ft away. Second came up, untied, and we tossed the rope down to the third guy. Placed one piton half way in, at the final overlap, and that was it for pro for the whole route. Giant fun.

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
Jul 11, 2018 - 04:59pm PT

I guess that I made the cut. I did the 1st ascent of the "Pendulum Route" on Cathedral Ledge in 1968. I guess that I started at least 1-2 years before that in the Gunks. Been out a few times this year but now I'm on the bench with a herniated disc. Have fun overseas.

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jul 11, 2018 - 05:09pm PT

Soon only not yet.

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Jul 11, 2018 - 06:10pm PT
first roped climb: Friction Pitch at Quincy Quarries, Boston, in October 1967

most recent roped climb: haven't-named-it-yet on Mt. Maxwell, Salt Spring Island, July 2018

The cobble marked with an X came off.
Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jul 11, 2018 - 06:11pm PT
1964; John Muir route on Sunny Side Bench. We used a hemp rope spliced in two places. Protection was youthful invention: we'd untie the rope and run it old ring-eyed pins and around tree limbs.

Mountain climber
13,000 feet
Jul 11, 2018 - 06:30pm PT
did a nail up in the Arroyo Seco, summer 1966, i was 11. Thank you Frank Bigelow.

The Hot Kiss On the End of a Wet Fist
Jul 11, 2018 - 06:43pm PT
Jeezuz, Donini, I was 2 yrs 8 months old when you lifted off. Kudos to you staying alive and prospering.

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 11, 2018 - 06:52pm PT
First roped climb (well, it was a roped climb for me at the time) Owen-Spaulding route on the Grand, July 25, 1957.

Grand Teton via Owen-Spaulding, July 25, 1957
Grand Teton via Owen-Spaulding, July 25, 1957
Credit: rgold

Still puttering on...benched at the moment with peroneal tendonitis. :(

Woody the Beaver

Trad climber
Soldier, Idaho
Jul 11, 2018 - 07:15pm PT
Summer 1961, on a demented attempt at a sandstone arch ascent in western Colorado. It was a new kernmantel rope (having read the Gerry catalog, we loved that luscious word "kernmantel") that my friend Tim McLaughlin had furtively borrowed from his big brother Michael, who attended Colorado College and was an impossibly hip guy. Somehow we managed to knock off a huge load of rocks onto the precious rope, and it looked pretty sad after that. Still feel guilty about it.

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
Jul 11, 2018 - 07:16pm PT
Sorry, but I'm a year removed from being in the club.

After a brief lesson near McCall, Idaho on rope management, belaying, & rappelling, in July 1969, a few weeks later, I found myself on steep & crumbling cliffs high above Boulder Creek, near Ketchum, Idaho, leading novice climbers, childhood friends into unknown territory, with an old hemp rope, borrowed from a friend’s family garage, tied around my waist. We all somehow survived that adventure.

And I still continue, at a vastly-reduced level.

Credits to Brokedown Climber for this photo of me following the easier parts of a 5.7 at City of Rocks, a few weeks back.

Credit: Fritz

(I actually led a 5.6c, later the same day.)

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 11, 2018 - 08:02pm PT
The club accepts new members as they become eligible. Believe me, your time will come sooner than you expect.
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